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Planning and gathering resources - 8/7/2013 7:11:28 AM   
mSterian

 

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I have some suggestions and questions regarding resources.

Can you make things a bit clearer on the resource planning area?
In most of my games, I end up having enough money to build anything I want, but start lacking resources pretty bad.
I figure that's mostly because I can't plan resource gathering in advance easily as I don't know how much I might need. How is the current game design? Should I be fine if I start getting more sources to gather a resource as soon as it starts showing up in the "Unfulfilled" column? Or might that be too late already? The idea here is to never have a construction stall because of resource shortage because I didn't know it would happen.

On the other hand, this could be useful if somehow I expand my gathering TOO much. Over-expanding mining sites can prove to be harder to protect and you end up serving them to the enemy.
Post #: 1
RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/7/2013 7:36:45 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mSterian

I have some suggestions and questions regarding resources.

Can you make things a bit clearer on the resource planning area?
In most of my games, I end up having enough money to build anything I want, but start lacking resources pretty bad.
I figure that's mostly because I can't plan resource gathering in advance easily as I don't know how much I might need. How is the current game design? Should I be fine if I start getting more sources to gather a resource as soon as it starts showing up in the "Unfulfilled" column? Or might that be too late already? The idea here is to never have a construction stall because of resource shortage because I didn't know it would happen.

On the other hand, this could be useful if somehow I expand my gathering TOO much. Over-expanding mining sites can prove to be harder to protect and you end up serving them to the enemy.

mSterian if you search around the forum you'll find some great information on this such as the Early Game Resource Guide.

I used to have a fairly detailed strategy on mining bases but these days it's a bit simpler:

1. Prewarp building mining bases on almost everything (except anything low percentage) in your home system. That said focus on Steel first then Caslon and also prioritise planets with multiple good strategic resources. This will bring many other strategic resources along as well.
2. Post Prewarp I have a look through the Expansion Planner and focus on any strategic I don't have yet and also any strategic resources which are relatively low in stock. I tend to focus on strategic until they are all on the way to having more than 10k in stock. As far as possible I'll keep those early bases close to home so I can defend them and also try to keep them in as few systems as I can ... even if I had to take a bit of a mining quality hit.
3. All bases are custom designed with more extractors. My defaults have 2 but I've seen threads suggesting 3 is optimal early game. Gas Mining Stations have enough docking days for my fleets and lots of storage.
4. After each Strategic is above 10k I stop building more bases ... except a few more Steel and Caslon ... to avoid overbuilding. I keep checking this through the early game.
5. I then focus on the Luxuries ... need exploration ... and particularly those that have racial advantages etc. Often there is no choice for these to be more distant, early game I'll assign more ships to the more distant bases for defence. Super Luxuries are always top priority to find and build.
6. To help refuelling I'll progressing build more Gas Mining Stations in wider rings around my territory.

With this approach I find my homeworld is always well resourced and I can pump out exploration ships and fleets.

It takes time to get the right infrastructure in place, so I don't use the unfilled column, you need to be proactive.

If you find yourself with too much cash, try a harsher start for your homeworld, and higher difficulty settings ... and avoid selling technology.

As I mentioned in the mining bases thread, resource shortages elsewhere (i.e. upgrading distant bases etc) can't be prevented ... although I'm interested in further discussion on how we can optimise it.



< Message edited by Icemania -- 8/7/2013 3:39:07 PM >

(in reply to mSterian)
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RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/7/2013 8:22:12 AM   
mSterian

 

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Well, prewarp is easy. I, as you suggested, build a mine on pretty much any resource to begin with.
What I have problems with is late game, when you're pretty expanded and building 50+ ships at a time plus some space ports :)
I'd like to refrain building too much at the same time if I can't fulfill the resources. As I heard, freighter AI is pretty bad at prioritizing and you might end up with most construction orders stalled due to resource shortages. I'd like to avoid that as much as possible and it would be nice if I could see that problem coming my way before it hits me.

For example it would be nice if the game would keep track of all current unfulfilled resources and aslo warn me when i'm trying to order builds that require already unfulfilled resources.
As it is now, for every construction I order (ship or base), I need to "manually" compare each required resource with the expansion planner unfulfilled column. That's a bit of a drag and time waste.

(in reply to Icemania)
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RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/7/2013 8:31:36 AM   
Icemania


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I generally tend to avoid building a bunch of fleets at the same time and build them up progressively early to mid game. Late game I typically only upgrade at one of a handful of "core" worlds. With this approach I never have a problem with resource shortages when building ships, except on occasion when I'm silly enough to refuel multiple fleets at the same place at the same time. I never check the expansion planner beyond what I put in my previous post. That said, I have no real objection to warning.

Ports being built around the galaxy and bases being upgraded around the galaxy yes I'd like to explore more ways to improve supply but there is only so much we can do to influence those private ships.






< Message edited by Icemania -- 8/7/2013 8:32:01 AM >

(in reply to mSterian)
Post #: 4
RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/7/2013 2:25:12 PM   
Plant


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I think the best bet is to build as many constructor ships as early as possible and set them to auto. The private sector can easily pay all the maintenance fees, and I think they pay for the construction as well now, but I am not entirely sure.

(in reply to Icemania)
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RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/7/2013 2:52:11 PM   
Icemania


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Plant, I certainly agree a lot of construction ships is essential, I'll steadily build up to 30 typically in the early game.

But there are significant advantages to Manual control of Construction ships such as:

1. Building mining bases in more readily defensible positions rather than spread all over the place.
2. After a while the AI massively overbuilds. After enough bases are in place I would rather focus on repairing ships in debris fields (etc) to get a technology boost than build mining bases that cost maintenance and supply resources I don't need.
3. The AI often will build stations for resources where I have plenty of stock ... rather than for strategic resources where I have no source of supply yet. And before long I want to be building a wave of Exploration Ships and then Fleets, which I can do earlier.
4. The AI is also often way too slow with building bases for Super Luxuries (I'll stop a Construction ship if I need to!) and Luxuries with racial benefits or higher prices/demand.

(in reply to Plant)
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RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/8/2013 5:12:30 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I am bit puzzled at 30 constructors.

When I did my Shadows AAR I had 4 until I inherited a whole lot at an empire conquest (and ended the game). And I remember them sitting mostly idle. I don't doubt that one may require more as the empire grows, but that would be more like "8" than "30". That was with 22 colonies at the end.

As for the main question, I would monitor the stores of resource early on. Get a feel for the "big" ones that you need a whole lot of, you can view construction summaries of the things you build the most of.

If you struggle with resources, don't build a lot of stuff at once, do one spaceport at a time. The capital is your best bet for doing major ship builds, but the build order tool should spread builds around quite well.

What I do is to keep an eye on having sources for all things, and on stores. As the game matures, notice construction yard shortages that are announced. Check your reserves of those resources, and also make a mental note of where it was. If you notice shortages repeating itself in a part of the empire, build a mine for that resource in that area.

Of course, sometimes you don't have potential sources, and have to just live with the problem...

I tend to get a feel of whether I have "plenty of resources" or "potential problems". I won't order massive amounts of ships if I feel I may have issues, I will build a few at a time to avoid clogging the yards with a ton of stuck builds. In an AAR I was so short of resources that I only dared retrofit 5 destroyers at a time :)

To avoid problems, not only build at your major spaceports (capital), but also think twice about where you send fleets to retrofit. Especially the larger fleets.

(in reply to Icemania)
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RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/8/2013 5:39:36 PM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
I am bit puzzled at 30 constructors.

When I did my Shadows AAR I had 4 until I inherited a whole lot at an empire conquest (and ended the game). And I remember them sitting mostly idle. I don't doubt that one may require more as the empire grows, but that would be more like "8" than "30". That was with 22 colonies at the end.

The 30 constructors are used firstly to very quickly get mining bases up at which point I have explorers flying around everywhere finding debris fields and super luxuries et al. Normally I'm still building constructors when I get to the point of having enough mining bases (I don't overbuild like the AI but ensure I have good stock) and they then all move onto debris field ships. For quite a while literally every Constructor is working on a debris field ship unless I find a new super luxury of course. In my last game none of the 30 constructors were ever idle until 2025 i.e. after all debris field ships on the map were repaired and that's when I started to retire them and funnily enough ended up with 8 at that point. Also keep in mind I play large maps 1400 stars 10x10. The only reason I don't build more than 30 so I can repair debris field ships faster is because of the maintenance cost ... and that might be a weak argument ... and of course a harsh start is a gamechanger.


< Message edited by Icemania -- 8/8/2013 5:48:29 PM >

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/8/2013 6:37:06 PM   
Bingeling

 

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That explains a thing or two. Debris fields are one of the main reasons why I never play with storylines.

If you expand faster, you need more constructors. That makes sense. And if you have a lots of ships killed you need more mines. But in shadows I feel that blitz expansion is not so easy, and there is no need to build that many mines at once.

I find it interesting exploring how few mines are actually needed, but the tracking of resource usage is not very good in the current game. Two questions that are not easily answered are "does the store of steel increase or decrease with time" and "how are steel stores in various parts of the empire".

In that AAR I had 22 colonies, 210 military ships, 4 constructors, 24 mines, 39 gas mines. I remember booking some mines now and then whenever I was bored. Of course, 22 colonies gives quite a few sources as well. And if in doubt, build another fuel mine.

(in reply to Icemania)
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RE: Planning and gathering resources - 8/9/2013 12:45:57 AM   
Icemania


Posts: 1839
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
If you expand faster, you need more constructors. That makes sense. And if you have a lots of ships killed you need more mines. But in shadows I feel that blitz expansion is not so easy, and there is no need to build that many mines at once.

I half agree that blitz expansion is not so easy. Early game, I strongly agree with you. Mid game, destroying pirates around the map removes one barrier. In the meantime I've built sufficient mines to support a war machine in parallel with building as many colony ships as I can and supporting ports/bases et al at those colonies. Eventually I would say it indeed becomes blitz expansion. In my last game (same settings as AAR, Expensive Research) was 21 colonies in 2120, 135 colonies in 2130 and not long after that > 200 (large map as always, tried abundant colonies and teeming independent life for a change and had the victory conditions set very high).

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
I find it interesting exploring how few mines are actually needed, but the tracking of resource usage is not very good in the current game. Two questions that are not easily answered are "does the store of steel increase or decrease with time" and "how are steel stores in various parts of the empire".

I agree. But I think the way around it is to know how many mines are needed to support your expansion plans. I find 20-30 mines is about right for my expansion style ... which is very aggressive once I feel I'm ready. At this point I stop checking stocks for Strategics as it's never a problem. Stores for resources in various part of the empire I also ignore, because I find building fleets at my best worlds with Large Spaceports (typically homeworlds and in particular my initial homeworld) ensures resources are generally where I want them for the big consumptions, and I'm prepared to be patient waiting for new starbases/spaceports to build (although that's now an area I'm starting to focus more on) elsewhere.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
In that AAR I had 22 colonies, 210 military ships, 4 constructors, 24 mines, 39 gas mines. I remember booking some mines now and then whenever I was bored. Of course, 22 colonies gives quite a few sources as well. And if in doubt, build another fuel mine.

Outside of Debris Fields I feel more constructors are needed for two purposes:

1. To build mines around newly conquered homeworlds (because I'll be building/refuelling fleets there)
2. To progressively place Gas Mining Stations around the map to support refuelling and with Long Range Scanners to find targets.

After that I agree, retire.



< Message edited by Icemania -- 8/9/2013 12:56:50 AM >

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 10
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