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Shadows - resource movement broken?

 
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Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 3:34:19 PM   
Chris McMahon

 

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It seems to me that resources and resource movement in Shadows is dramatically different from Legends, or possibly bugged?

In Legends I had everything under control. At least 5x sources for all luxuries, 20x sources for all strategic resources and the civilian economy moved everything around and was profitable. Everything built ok and quickly.

Now under Shadows, I keep getting stalled construction warnings, 20+ at a time. For example, even though I have over 60 sources of steel, and have a huge empire stockpile of steel, I'm still getting warnings about running out of steel!

It seems that the civilian transports aren't moving my resources around the empire. Why?

And how can I make them move my resources around?

And how do I get resources to my construction ships out in deep space?

Why do they just sit at the construction site instead of getting more resources themselves?

My construction ships have huge cargo capacity. Why can't they just load all the resources they need before starting the build? eg I have a size 1200 construction ship. 40% standard cargo bays. Why is it stalling building a size 500 mining base? Does that mean I can only build size 480 bases (40% of 1200) with a 1200 size ship? Why don't the civilian ships bring it the resources it needs as it runs out?

It's got 4x docking bays, yet it just sits there telling me it's out of steel (for what seems like) every minute until the end of time.

I'm getting frustrated as I seemingly have no control over a part of the game (internal resource movement) that is slowing down my empire's expansion.

< Message edited by Chris McMahon -- 6/15/2013 3:43:41 PM >
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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 3:51:53 PM   
Astax

 

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Yes this can happen, and has happened to me. I would stop building manually and tell the constructor to repair instead. This sent it on a mission to pick up more materials.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 4:10:54 PM   
Chris McMahon

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Astax

Yes this can happen, and has happened to me. I would stop building manually and tell the constructor to repair instead. This sent it on a mission to pick up more materials.

Thanks. I'll give this a go and see how it turns out.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 5:11:11 PM   
Fishers of Men


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Could it be that our construction ships are stalling more when building things, or does it just seem that way because the Shadows expansion gives us the ability to know about the stalled construction? I think this new feature is great, but it sure shows up that inefficiencies of our constructors and the freighter support system. I did increase the number of cargo bays per construction ship in the hope that they could collect all necessary resources before it goes to the job site, but that did not help. It would be better if the constructor would wait at the space port until it has all required resources before it starts building, instead of building a partial site and then waiting for freighters to delivery the rest. I will try the repair tactic to see if that works any faster.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 5:23:07 PM   
Chris McMahon

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishers of Men

Could it be that our construction ships are stalling more when building things, or does it just seem that way because the Shadows expansion gives us the ability to know about the stalled construction?

It definitely brings it to the player's attention. I don't think it's working as intended.

I think there's two possible causes of the problem. Either:
1. The construction ships aren't asking for more resources, or
2. The transports are ignoring the constructor's requests for more resources.

I can definitely rule out that my empire didn't have the required resource. I had 60+ sources of it and hundreds of thousands of units in storage.

Either way, I think it needs looking into.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 5:49:37 PM   
Bingeling

 

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When I looked at this, the freighters were quite good at helping construction ships. But it does take some time to fly to a spaceport, load and get to the construction ship.

Keep an eye out for freighters. If you enable civilian travel vectors, the ones working for your selected object (has hat as destination of goods) will have red vectors. Select the stuck constructors and see if one is on its way. In my game they were on the task when the shortage message popped up.

I think constructors looks for a nearby spaceport with all materials. It could be that the AI is not good enough in distributing all strategics to all spaceports.


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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 7:30:23 PM   
feelotraveller


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As far as I can tell the construction ship logic is the same as it always has been.

If you are seeing stalled construction ship messages it means that the construction ship did not gather all the resources needed for the base initially.

What I have seen is that when a base is ordered the construction ship goes to the starport nearest the location of the base to built. (It will do this even if it is already located at another starport. ) If the starport nearest to the location of the to be built base does not have all the required resources for the construction ship to load when it docks then you will get a stalled construction message later when the construction ship finishes doing what it can to build the base.

The only way to avoid this is to micromanage your construction ships. For best results give the build base order only when immediately outside a starport (so that other reservations which crop up before it docks and loads are minimised) which has all the required resources in sufficient quantities unreserved. I will often give the order to build on some meaningless asteroid close to the starport where I want to load from then cancel the order once loading is complete and give a new build order (for the same base design in case resource requirements are different...) at the location where I really want the base built.

It can be a pain to babysit your construction ships so much but barring a better *AI* your only other choice is an outright gamble.

You can load for multiple bases but it is additionally tricky and probably not worth it. In order for it to succeed (I'm talking lower tech when all the resources are not yet included in components) you need to catch your construction ship after it has completed a base but before it unloads (any of) the retrofitting supplies. Give it another base build order at this point and it will do so (assuming you have preloaded the required materials) but the base you just built will be queueing an order for all its retrofitting resources.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 7:47:01 PM   
Chris McMahon

 

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Wow that sound really time consuming. I usually have 80+ construction ships by mid game. Baby sitting them like that would be a PITA, not to mention a test of memory.

As it now, I can't play the game in real time (1:1), having to pause every few seconds to issue new commands.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 9:51:59 PM   
invaderzim

 

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You can also load extra supplies on to a construction ship by ordering it to build something big, like a large spaceport and then changing the order to a small spaceport. After the small spaceport is completed, it should be loaded with enough resources to retrofit to a large spaceport without freighter support.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 10:52:55 PM   
Bingeling

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chris McMahon

Wow that sound really time consuming. I usually have 80+ construction ships by mid game. Baby sitting them like that would be a PITA, not to mention a test of memory.

As it now, I can't play the game in real time (1:1), having to pause every few seconds to issue new commands.


Why would you have that? I see the AI built a heap (like 10+) and wonder why my medium empire sit with 4 mostly idle ones...

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 11:10:01 PM   
Chris McMahon

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
Why would you have that? I see the AI built a heap (like 10+) and wonder why my medium empire sit with 4 mostly idle ones...

I run out of resource X and all the current construction ships are busy so I build another two and send them off to build mining stations. Rinse and repeat.

I tried putting multiple construction yards on a single construction ship but they never seems to build any faster.


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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/15/2013 11:11:54 PM   
sventhebold


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No that wont work as even a small space port stripped down to the most basic components I am trying to build takes years to complete even with supply in stock in great quantities all around the empire.I think the trading ships are taking it to other empires versus keeping it at home.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 3:30:35 AM   
Jeeves


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You don't need more than 4-9 cargo bays in your constructors, and only one yard and one docking bay. It is better to have many cheap small unarmed constructors than a few big ones doing multiple tasks using queueing. Constructors load all available resources for a project when they arrive at the ACTIVE spaceport nearest the project, including the retrofit supplies for the object to be built. In early game I build 12-16 constructors at my home world then switch to colony ships for several years, because there's no point building lots of constructors that will be obsolete by the time they finish their second project. I use obsolete constructors to repair unclaimed spaceports that need repair, and work debris fields or test zones. That way I get more tech in early game. I hope these pointers are helpful.

Lonnie Courtney Clay

p.s an ACTIVE spaceport is one at your colony when the colony is at distance zero according to the expansion planner "empire resource locations" list. The asteroid spaceports you claim and the ones you repair can be extremely helpful when supported by state mining ships (escorts fitted with mining components and cargo bays).


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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 4:28:42 AM   
elanaagain


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Jeeves, are u saying that you can take a military (state) ship, like a FG, design it with mining capabilities, and then control its mining activities? How do you get it to 'unload' its mined (collected)resources at the starport you wish the resources to be at? Way cool. I will try this....I get so frustrated with shortages when the needed supplies are all around.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 4:52:25 AM   
Duplicty

 

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that seems to work, but how to get it to repeat without doing multi orders of mine...

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 6:01:04 AM   
Jeeves


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The military mining ship automatically unloads its resources at the active spaceport nearest to its mining location. Then you get a mission completed statement from it and have the joy of figuring out where to mine next. You use the message log at top right to look at the mission completed messages and go to the location. The ship is always at center screen and has an identifiers like steel miner 2 004 to help you find the ship. That is a lot of micromanagement to work around the resource distribution system's flaws. I mine heavily near newly activated spaceports, and keep a few mining ships active near all active spaceports regardless of whether there is currently any shortage there. In my current game at year six with 21 colonies and 13 asteroid belt spaceports, I have 425 miners of three classes.
1) steel miners with 3 mining engines, 4 massive cargo bays to mine where there is no luxury.
2) state miners, same as 1 except also has 3 luxury extractors and 5 cargo instead of 4.
3) gas miners with 3 gas and luxury extractors and 10 cargo bays.
They are all escort class and I get a mission complete or two every game day, which makes my game progress rather slow, but I am still dealing with shortages. The galaxy map filter by known resources looking near the ship's location is essential.

Soon I will create a frigate class with 3 each of minerals, gas, and luxury extractors and 10 cargo bays to collect resources and report in every couple of years, and gradually retire all those escorts.

Lonnie Courtney Clay


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Live long and prosper!

Lonnie Courtney Clay

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 8:22:01 AM   
Bingeling

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chris McMahon

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
Why would you have that? I see the AI built a heap (like 10+) and wonder why my medium empire sit with 4 mostly idle ones...

I run out of resource X and all the current construction ships are busy so I build another two and send them off to build mining stations. Rinse and repeat.

I tried putting multiple construction yards on a single construction ship but they never seems to build any faster.

This does not make sense. If you control your construction ships manually, you should know what ships are up to. If they are stuck in construction, that is something to fix, not make worse by ordering even more construction ships to be stuck in construction...

Resources are best handled by being in ahead of problems, not chasing after them ;-)

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 8:28:33 AM   
invaderzim

 

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It seems that AI freighters prioritize unloading resources at the nearest spaceport regardless of what the spaceport actually needs.

I happened to have two spaceports as in the same system after discovering an extra one in an asteroid belt. The spaceport in the asteroid belt had a shortage of helium, but freighters kept dropping off loads of 2000 steel at it.

Meanwhile the other spaceport was on a gas giant and it had lots of steel but no helium. Freighters never bothered to deliver steel to the gas giant spaceport. Nor did the freighters bother to transport helium from the gas giant port to the asteroid belt port. Go figure. So having too many spaceports can actually hurt your resource availability.

< Message edited by invaderzim -- 6/16/2013 8:29:40 AM >

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 8:45:33 AM   
Bingeling

 

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Yes indeed, I think many spaceport can hurt resource distribution. If you only have one, you know where it will end up ;-)

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 10:58:13 AM   
Sithuk

 

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Jeeves, I'm playtesting state mining ships. I've created the escorts as you suggest below. I appear to be only able to manually order each ship to mine individually instead of issuing a single order for the fleet of mining ships.

How do I issue a fleet mining order? Otherwise the micromanagement would appear to be excessive to have to individually order each ship to mine?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jeeves

The military mining ship automatically unloads its resources at the active spaceport nearest to its mining location. Then you get a mission completed statement from it and have the joy of figuring out where to mine next. You use the message log at top right to look at the mission completed messages and go to the location. The ship is always at center screen and has an identifiers like steel miner 2 004 to help you find the ship. That is a lot of micromanagement to work around the resource distribution system's flaws. I mine heavily near newly activated spaceports, and keep a few mining ships active near all active spaceports regardless of whether there is currently any shortage there. In my current game at year six with 21 colonies and 13 asteroid belt spaceports, I have 425 miners of three classes.
1) steel miners with 3 mining engines, 4 massive cargo bays to mine where there is no luxury.
2) state miners, same as 1 except also has 3 luxury extractors and 5 cargo instead of 4.
3) gas miners with 3 gas and luxury extractors and 10 cargo bays.
They are all escort class and I get a mission complete or two every game day, which makes my game progress rather slow, but I am still dealing with shortages. The galaxy map filter by known resources looking near the ship's location is essential.

Soon I will create a frigate class with 3 each of minerals, gas, and luxury extractors and 10 cargo bays to collect resources and report in every couple of years, and gradually retire all those escorts.

Lonnie Courtney Clay



(in reply to Jeeves)
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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 5:24:17 PM   
Jeeves


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LOL, you don't put them into fleets, AND the micromanagement IS excessive, slowing game progress by 5-10 minutes per game day. It's not for everyone...

Lonnie Courtney Clay


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Live long and prosper!

Lonnie Courtney Clay

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 7:48:10 PM   
invaderzim

 

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Bigger cargo holds help with state mining ships since will mine more with each trip. It's too bad you can't automate them, but they are good for filling gaps in your economy when private freighters refuse to help.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/16/2013 10:08:31 PM   
elanaagain


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Actually, I have experimented with military FG turned into mining ships. I do put them into fleets, so that I can manage 3 or 4 ships as a group. eeasier to send the fleet to a planet, then, upon arrival, tell each ship to mine. Cuts out some micromanagement. works for me.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/17/2013 4:08:14 PM   
Chris McMahon

 

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Ok, so I started a new game with the latest 1.9.0.6 patch, just to be sure. It's about 24 years in, I'm the blue guy in the bottom left on the map. I've got 11 colonies, 10 (+1 building) with small star ports, each with 100 standard cargo bays and 10 docks.

I'm getting warnings about running out of steel (amongst other things). Here's what my resources look like:

i.imgur.com/9XQb2N3.jpg <-screenshot

As you can see, I have 11 sources of steel and almost 250k steel in storage, yet for the last 10+ years of game time, I've been getting "out of steel" messages, ie unfulfilled 97k.

If I try and build more steel mining stations, they build reallllly slowly. I've got a couple that have been building for over 10 years!

Now maybe I'm overtaxing the private sector so they can't afford ships? Well they have consistently be making 2-3x what I make every year and have almost $7M on hand to buy more freighters if they need them.

i.imgur.com/H1e0fj4.jpg <-screenshot

I leave the private ship design on auto-everything, so I've not screwing that up.

So as suggested earier in the thread, I've tried selecting my construction ships and retasking them to repair whatever they were building when the resources ran out. That kind of works, in that they then leave the build site and fly off to get more resources then eventually come back and start building again. If I leave the construction ships alone, they just sit there doing nothing (for 10+ years in some cases).

However that's not an option when colonies run out of resources, building a star port, for example.

I do see the occasional private freighter bring the constructor ships supplies, but it's very rarely. Maybe 3 or 4 freighters are assigned to my fleet of 20 constructors at any one time.

So what are the other 150+ freighters doing? ~50% seem to be flying between my colonies with ~50 to a few hundred resources units per ship, even though they have 6,500 capacity, ie 90% empty. I can't find the other 50%. Maybe they're off selling all my previous resources to my enemies?

So where is my steel? It seems to be sitting in my star ports.

i.imgur.com/1ohNOEV.jpg <-screenshot

Along with ample amounts of all the other resources I'm constantly getting popups about, eg chromium.

Why are only 4,706 units "reserved" when I have 97.0K "unfulfilled"? Maybe the rest are reserved at my other 10 star ports? I apparently have 242.2K units of steel in "storage" around my empire.

So the question is - who's at fault? Is there something I'm not doing, designing, building, to sort this out?

Does my construction ship not have enough cargo bays? It never seems to totally fill the available capacity before setting off to build something.

i.imgur.com/Fy1u3iz.jpg <-screenshot

(Apparently I'm not allowed to post inline screenshots)





< Message edited by Chris McMahon -- 6/17/2013 5:46:29 PM >

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/17/2013 5:19:01 PM   
Lucian

 

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I've experienced the same sort of problems. It's beginning to look more and more likely that resource transport is broken. How badly its impossible to tell.

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RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/17/2013 11:48:32 PM   
elliotg


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Hi Chris

Thanks for your report. Resource movement in Shadows is actually dramatically improved over previous versions - it had to be to support prewarp empires.

I think what you are asking about are simply misunderstandings of how things work.

A new feature in Shadows is that you are now notified of any construction resource shortages. So seeing those messages is not a bad thing, it simply lets you know where resources haven't quite reached yet. Freighters will deliver resources to any locations with any shortages. You can see freighters enroute by selecting the location with the shortage (spaceport, construction ship, colony, etc), zooming out to the galaxy/sector-level, and turning on civilian ship vectors. Any ships travelling to the location will have their travel vectors highlighted in red.

In short, running out of resources is an expected part of the game, especially if you are establishing spaceports and colonies in new regions. Freighters will deliver needed resources, but this takes time, as with real-world distribution networks.

Further comments inline below:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chris McMahon
Ok, so I started a new game with the latest 1.9.0.6 patch, just to be sure. It's about 24 years in, I'm the blue guy in the bottom left on the map. I've got 11 colonies, 10 (+1 building) with small star ports, each with 100 standard cargo bays and 10 docks.

I'm getting warnings about running out of steel (amongst other things). Here's what my resources look like:

i.imgur.com/9XQb2N3.jpg <-screenshot

As you can see, I have 11 sources of steel and almost 250k steel in storage, yet for the last 10+ years of game time, I've been getting "out of steel" messages, ie unfulfilled 97k.

You actually have 6 sources of Steel (top panel), the planets in the list at the bottom are places where you could build NEW mining stations ("Targets") - you don't have any there yet.

Building spaceports at every colony, and especially having too many cargo bays (spaceports at colonies have unlimited storage from the colony, you only need a few cargo bays as on the default design) is probably what is chewing through a lot of steel. Anyway, if you're short of steel, simply build more mining stations.

You can see that there's no bug in the game for this, because the Galaxy unfulfilled demand level for steel (far right column in top panel) is very low, i.e. freighters are successfully transporting steel around and meeting demand in all other empires in the galaxy.

quote:


If I try and build more steel mining stations, they build reallllly slowly. I've got a couple that have been building for over 10 years!

Now maybe I'm overtaxing the private sector so they can't afford ships? Well they have consistently be making 2-3x what I make every year and have almost $7M on hand to buy more freighters if they need them.

i.imgur.com/H1e0fj4.jpg <-screenshot

I think trying to have so many spaceports is what may be causing you issues. When a construction ship is assigned to build a new mining station or other base, it first goes to the nearest spaceport to grab the resources it needs and then goes to build. If the nearest spaceport has severe resource shortages then the construction ship will look for an alternative spaceport, but usually chooses the nearest one.

If there are not enough resources to build the station, then freighters will deliver these later to the construction ship. But this will get screwed up if you reassign the mission to the construction ship (e.g. repair).

Anyway it takes time to stock up a new spaceport with all the resources it needs, so new spaceports may often not have enough resources for a construction ship build project.

quote:


I leave the private ship design on auto-everything, so I've not screwing that up.

So as suggested earier in the thread, I've tried selecting my construction ships and retasking them to repair whatever they were building when the resources ran out. That kind of works, in that they then leave the build site and fly off to get more resources then eventually come back and start building again. If I leave the construction ships alone, they just sit there doing nothing (for 10+ years in some cases).

10 years to wait for resources is excessive - do you have a savegame showing this? I can take a look at that one.

quote:


However that's not an option when colonies run out of resources, building a star port, for example.

I do see the occasional private freighter bring the constructor ships supplies, but it's very rarely. Maybe 3 or 4 freighters are assigned to my fleet of 20 constructors at any one time.

So what are the other 150+ freighters doing? ~50% seem to be flying between my colonies with ~50 to a few hundred resources units per ship, even though they have 6,500 capacity, ie 90% empty. I can't find the other 50%. Maybe they're off selling all my previous resources to my enemies?

So where is my steel? It seems to be sitting in my star ports.

i.imgur.com/1ohNOEV.jpg <-screenshot

Freighters can sometimes move resources for other empires, but it's unlikely to be half of your freighters doing this. Are they all constructed yet? You can check in the Ships and Bases screen and filtering to Freighters. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and any under construction will show in orange. If you had a freighter shortage, that will certainly cause problems for you.

Note that you're also playing on a large galaxy (15 x 15 sectors), which is fine, but that extra distance is also going to make freighter trips take longer.

quote:


Along with ample amounts of all the other resources I'm constantly getting popups about, eg chromium.

Why are only 4,706 units "reserved" when I have 97.0K "unfulfilled"? Maybe the rest are reserved at my other 10 star ports? I apparently have 242.2K units of steel in "storage" around my empire.

Without having your savegame it's hard to say for sure, but probably the unfulfilled amount are spread across lots of locations throughout your empire: colonies that don't have enough steel in stock, mining stations and other bases that need to keep some steel onhand for retrofits, and any construction ships with shortages.

Looks like the majority of your steel (> 75%) is stored at your home colony. Maybe you have lots of steel mining stations in your home system? You could try spreading out your mining stations nearer some other colonies - this will shorten the travel time for freighters fulfilling demand at your outlying colonies.

quote:


So the question is - who's at fault? Is there something I'm not doing, designing, building, to sort this out?

Does my construction ship not have enough cargo bays? It never seems to totally fill the available capacity before setting off to build something.

i.imgur.com/Fy1u3iz.jpg <-screenshot

That construction ship design is pretty impressive :) Might be a bit too much though. If you click the 'Show Construction Summary' button it will tell you how much resources it takes to build that ship - I think you'll find that's a lot of resources :)

If the rest of your designs are similar (i.e. large and take lots of resources to build), then this is probably most of your problem - you're using too many resources in your ships and bases due to over-designing them.

Use the default designs as a guide for typical size, thus having smaller ships and bases and using less resources.

< Message edited by elliotg -- 6/17/2013 11:51:31 PM >

(in reply to Chris McMahon)
Post #: 26
RE: Shadows - resource movement broken? - 6/18/2013 12:01:19 AM   
Osito


Posts: 652
Joined: 5/9/2013
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: elliotg

Building spaceports at every colony, and especially having too many cargo bays (spaceports at colonies have unlimited storage from the colony, you only need a few cargo bays as on the default design) is probably what is chewing through a lot of steel. Anyway, if you're short of steel, simply build more mining stations.



Do we need to put any cargo bays on the spaceports? I'd been deleting them, assuming they were not required.

Osito

(in reply to elliotg)
Post #: 27
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