Beginner questions (Full Version)

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boxleitnerb -> Beginner questions (9/8/2012 1:08:54 AM)


I'm a bit overwhelmed by Distant Worlds: Legends and I have several questions.

1. How can I speed up ship production? Especially colony ships take a long time to build
2. How can I prioritize which planets are colonized first?
3. Can I cancel colonization missions?

If I do the colonization manually, it is very tedious to find the colony ships as they are mixed with the exploration ships (in the show next colonization/exploration ship menu) - is there a better method to find them?


Oh btw, lately I have a weird circle around some of my systems (see attachment).
What is that?

WoodMan -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 1:55:13 AM)

1) It is based on the population and development of the colony as far as I am aware. The larger the population the faster the colony ships build. I don't know ther exact stats or anything.
2) Um... Colonize manually. Do you have colonization set to automatic? Do you know how to choose automation settings from the game menu?
3) Did you learn how to use the Expansion planner? Never just build colony ships for no reason, they cost a fortune to maintain and they can't do anything but sit there! Use the expansion planner, find the planet in the list you want to colonize and choose build and send colony ship. Generally you don't want to do more than one at the same time at the start of the game, because your Homeworld can only build one at a time and you don't want other smaller colonies building them.

You shouldn't really have a problem with finding colony ships because apart from unusual circumstances you won't have any!

The circle is your fleets defensive range. You have them set to defend and that is the range they are defending [:)]

Edit: Boxleitner is a legend [:D]

And welcome to Distant Worlds and the forum [8D]

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 7:20:09 AM)

Thanks for your reply!

Yes, I had colonize on automatic. Does that mean the AI does everything by itself or do I still have to chose suitable planets with the expansion planner and click "colonize"? I fiddled a bit with the expansion planner and ended up having queued a dozen or so colony ships. Then when I discover a planet with a rare resource that I want to colonize immediately, the other colonizing missions are "in the way".

This game really really needs two things in my opinion:

1. The possibility to override the automation function and set a custom target as the highest priority for colonizing/constructing.
2. An overview what colony/spaceport is building what. With a percentage progress bar. Is there something like that and I missed it?

Bingeling -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 10:10:02 AM)

If you set colonization to automatic, the AI will take care of everything with colonization.

However, this does not stop you from interfering. You can manually order colonization of a different planet, and if you want to you can intercept a colony ship sent by the AI and send it somewhere else. This is true for any area in Distant Worlds, you can always override the AI. In some areas (ship design), you may see your interference being overridden quite soon, though.

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 10:47:12 AM)

Okay, thanks :)

Another question please:
Sometimes when I give the order to build something (for example a spaceport), the construction is not started. Is that because there are not enough resources avaiable for that particular project?

Bleek -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 11:57:16 AM)

If it allows you to make the purchase so you get the outline, you can click on the object and it'll tell you how many components remain unbuilt.

I can't remember exactly but I think you can double click the info box to bring up the construction menu where you can literally find out what component is being build and what material it requires.

Typically a slow build is for two reasons, 1) distance of supply line i.e. you're trying to build on a far off planet or 2) you have no or low supply of certain materials.

It goes without saying a new space port on a brand new planet on the edge of your system will take longer to build than one on an establish colony.

Bingeling -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 12:20:05 PM)

Construction not moving forward is due to missing resources, yes.

This is "always" seen when building a space port on a fresh (or almost fresh) colony. It sits with no improvement for quite a while. If you build a fresh colony in between you good, mature, colonies you will see the build being quite fast, as freighters move in from the well supplied colonies around. If you conquer a wealthy colony, you can see it build a space port very fast, as the colony already got materials.

If you are interested in details and enjoy watching the game, you can try to move along these lines.

- Select the space port.
- Click on its design in the lower left.
- Press the "construction summary" button in the design seen just above the weapon stats.

Notice the list of resources needed in the lower part.

- Close the design. Double click the selection panel (with the space port) to open it in the ship list.
- Notice the cargo tab (it is shared with the colony). If you see strategic resources that has higher reserved than amount, it is most likely materials for the space port that the colony lacks.

To try to figure out what happens... If you got legends, enable private sector travel vectors with one of the buttons above the mini map. If you zoom in a bit they appear. Hopefully you will see vectors going towards the colony trying to build a space port.

Trace the ship at the other end of the vector, and select it. On the info panel it will say what it transports, if you want to know numbers double click it to check cargo in the ship list. Be aware, though, that colonies (usually) got some resource, and the ship could be heading there to pick it up.

If you have a build that stalls at, say 80%, you can use the same method to figure out which resource is lacking. Select and double click the ship/base in question. Select its component view. Scroll down and notice which components are not built (got some yellow/black striped icon). When you click one of these you should see the resources needed for that specific component, one of more of these should be the one missing.

It is easier to spot the missing piece on a colony with a lot of items in inventory if you know what you look for :)

pipewrench -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 1:41:47 PM)


ORIGINAL: boxleitnerb

Okay, thanks :)

Another question please:
Sometimes when I give the order to build something (for example a spaceport), the construction is not started. Is that because there are not enough resources avaiable for that particular project?

If you order a build from the selection panel you are putting the build in a query and depending on other orders it could be a while before the task is started.

If you build a constructor and then order a retrofit the base above, the retrofit will only be preformed when the constructor is finished. If you then order a colony ship to be built, it again will be waiting until the constructor and base retrofit is finished. * edit : same colony

If you order a mine to be built thru the selection panel it will go into a construction query. Placing too many orders at once can create backlogs as distance to base and resources on hand become factors.

If a constructor is ordered to build something and you do not have a certain resource, the constructor will start the project and call freighters to bring supplies. These calls again go into a freighters query. Depending on range and its original orders it might be a while before it can bring the missing material to the constructor.

Helpful hints:

If a constructor is going to build a mine and you spot a better resource you can stop that constructor and order it to build in a new area. If it has not started building the original order it will not return to base because the supplies are on board.

Just make sure that it is the same type of build.
ie: gas - gas , mine - mine , resort - resort, etc.

Don't overbuild at the start. You only have so many freighters and they can only go so fast at building up supplies.

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 5:38:18 PM)

Btw is there a way to keep fleets together? When there is a faster ship in my fleet, it always arrives at the target first and gets killed because it is alone.

Bingeling -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 5:51:52 PM)

Make sure the fleet members have the same hyper drive and enough energy to power it fully.

WoodMan -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 6:04:10 PM)


ORIGINAL: boxleitnerb

Btw is there a way to keep fleets together? When there is a faster ship in my fleet, it always arrives at the target first and gets killed because it is alone.

Maybe someday we can see fleets moving at the speed of the slowest, it would be nice. Put it in the suggestions thread (I'm sure it has already been added before at some point though!)

feelotraveller -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 7:43:37 PM)

Under options there is a setting for % of fleet dispersal before regrouping.  I haven't tried it but you could adjust this and see if it forces a regrouping of your fleet.

But I do as Bingeling suggests.  Makes it easy. [:)]

Bingeling -> RE: Beginner questions (9/8/2012 7:58:41 PM)

It is worth checking, but I think it is like this. This of course is if the AI designs, if you do it yourself you should know how your ships are built.

For most hyper drives (at least starting ones), two reactors are required to power them fully.

Escorts for sure have only one reactor - never let them near a fleet.

Frigates probably have only one reactor - reserve them for pure frigate fleets if you feel that is a good idea (I generally use these as automated single ships once filthy rich).

Destroyers and larger have two reactors and can power along at full speed. Build your fleets out of these.

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/9/2012 10:48:48 AM)

Isn't it a good idea to have mixed fleets? More effective against different targets?
Do you design the ships yourself?

Bingeling -> RE: Beginner questions (9/9/2012 3:47:59 PM)

A main reason to avoid mixing them is travel speed. Also, if you have some alien ships, keep in mind that having a fleet of mixed fuel (caslon and hydrogen) can be a pain. To see what kind of fuel a ship needs, click the design (in the selection box) and look towards the top right part.

The single issue with using big ships I can think of is that they struggle with chasing down ships. But it is incredible what a few carriers and some jump inhibition devices can achieve.

In my current game I design my own ships, but nothing outlandish. In my previous I left research and design to the AI. My method is fairly similar.

1: I micro manage fleets. This is a choice. I set them all to defense and "current system only". I don't want them to take off on their own. Look at the strategy (war?) forum for a guide on automizing this.

2: Destroyer fleets are great for mopping pirates. Often 4 ship fleets, but in my current game I am (was) poor, and used two destroyer fleets with maybe a bit stronger destroyers than the AI designs (300 size, no troop compartments). They manage pirate bases just fine in early game (heavy rail guns and basic but upgrades torpedos). This is Zenox with a nasty shield, though, usually I have gone with 4 destroyers for this. They will lose attacking a "rich" pirate gang of some success if all ships are at home.

3: The silly Sluken declared war. Beyond panic building troop transports (in their own fleets if in a fleet) to reinforce their target, I built some cruisers (400 size which is max). I think I built 10 and split them in two fleets, one with 6 cruisers, another with two destroyers and an alien cruiser to make 7 ships. If I was not so poor (very hard, corruption, and harsh home world), I would probably build a couple of two 8 cruiser fleets at this point. Add a couple of carriers if they are available (which they are for me now, but I have not bothered to build).

I usually label my destroyer fleet "Raider XXX", a main fleet "Home fleet", and cruiser fleets "Battle xxx". I number the battles 2, 3, 4, may give them a further name to identify them (east, west), and bind them to the key matching their number (ctrl 2 to bind to 2). Home fleet is 1. Raider fleets are good for munching bases and protect against pirates, Battle fleets do the main work.

Now, the silly Sluken has lost their 3 colonies in my direction (we are neighbors in a ring), and the capital is next. I don't want that, I want the war to end. I wonder how to do this, and could probably build another 15-20 cruiser, bust their capital space port and blockade it. That usually makes the AI consider a peace for free [:@]

The toy I got that the AI designer will never build, is a 300 size explorer with a long range scanner. Currently parked in an empty system a bit on my side of the Sluken capital, reporting on fleet movements and enemy mines. I kill the mines I can find, and the scanner shows fleets in mysterious directions, pointing at other fuel stops. Such ships are also nice for scanning areas for pirate bases.

Of course, battle fleets of 8 cruisers are quite early game of limited ship sizes. They typically evolve to 8 cruisers and 2 capitals, 6 cruisers and 4 capitals, 6 cruisers and 8 capitals (with always 2-6 carriers in addition if available). After a while I will probably have only capitals, carriers and destroyers (and other special ships like troop transports, resupply ships, and scanning explorers).

At some time in past games I have become filthy rich, bored, and I wait for something nasties to arrive (which they never do). This is the time period where I order 120 automated frigates to take care of trivial matters. And 100 more if that was not enough.

pipewrench -> RE: Beginner questions (9/9/2012 4:24:02 PM)


ORIGINAL: boxleitnerb

Isn't it a good idea to have mixed fleets? More effective against different targets?
Do you design the ships yourself?


It depends on how you want to role play.

For instance I have explorer/frigate/destroyer/cruiser fleets who are all traveling at different speeds forcing me to set up a close way point before I go in.

Explorer goes in with preliminary scanning and stealth

Frigates go in with point defense, beams. They and are protecting the bigger ships, very fast and hard to hit.

Destroyers are running with beams and heavy armor and shields.

One type of cruiser runs with missile weapons only and is slow as paint.

The other cruiser is a carrier again slow as paint.

It makes for an interesting show when you begin battles and if I want to role play evil the cruiser has only bombard. * edit Does it make it an optimal design? Hardly but I try and keep things mixed in beginning-mid game.

When things become unmanageable later on I am forced to 1 or 2 large designs just because of the time factor.

Bleek -> RE: Beginner questions (9/9/2012 5:24:55 PM)

I normally create a frigate fleet with lots of range (fuel cells), agility (vectors) and speed (thrusters) for first sightings and raid attacks.

I also drop the armour to make way for the above 'nimble' build and have them rely on shielding.

Cheap, fast to build, fast to deploy and good coverage.

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 10:39:34 AM)

Thanks for all your input. I think I will try to design ships myself.

Is it wise to build more engines into a ship to increase speed (for colony ships for instance)?
When I play the Ackdarians, they have the super efficient engines. Does that make all other research in the engine section obsolete? Why would I use the other engines?

Bingeling -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 10:49:24 AM)

Compare the Ackie engines with the other kinds. I would think that maybe the very last normal engine is better than the best Ackie engine, but way more expensive to research. So keep clear of the others until you are at the point where you have research everything.

There may be other tech that require a certain engine tech, that does of course make researching it relevant.

I don't think colony ships are the ones needing tweaking the most. If anything you may notice them needing more fuel, but in those situations you can refuel them half way manually. This is mostly relevant if you want to for instance colonize an ice world up north, while your only colony able to buy an ice colonizer is in the way south. Keep in mind that making the ships more fancy, also makes them more expensive to build. When colonizing I prefer to park a small fleet at the colony target before the colony ship arrives. This removes the need for protection on the colony ship itself.

When starting to design yourself, I would recommend learning design by focusing on a few ship types. Notice that you can choose which ones to design manually in the empire policy screen.

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 11:45:12 AM)

I found a ship design guide, but I'm a bit confuse about energy and fuel

It says for example "6.94 fuel units per 1000 energy units". Does that mean fuel is not only used for propulsion but also for energy generation (weapons, shields, systems etc.)? If that is so, I guess the reactor tech level influences how much fuel is burned for a certain amount of energy to be generated?

feelotraveller -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 12:11:53 PM)

Yes.  Weapons, shields, systems, drives.  Fuel is converted to energy which is then used to power these systems.

Energy collectors can also collect energy if the ship/base is stationary.

The Ackie drives are very good on the whole.  The reason you might want others is that they can put out a greater amount of thrust per space used on the ship.

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 12:28:02 PM)

Great, thanks!

Is it generally a good or bad idea to build mining stations everywhere (exploiting every single resource in my current sphere of influence, that is)? I mean if I don't really need a specific resource right now (according to the demand column in the expansion planer?), it wouldn't make sense to mine more of it - unless surplus is sold on the galaxy market? Question then is: is it profitable, meaning is a particular mining station making a profit accounting for its upkeep.

Bingeling -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 12:29:45 PM)

I would not build much more than necessary. I keep the constructors on auto, though, they seem to do mostly fine. I may queue some manual orders by the expansion planner, or left side panels, though.

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 2:34:51 PM)

I imagine the constructors might build too far away. When I leave them on auto, several moons and/or asteroids on my home system will not be exploited.
Is it possible after all to sell a surplus in resources? Does that happen automatically?

Bingeling -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 2:49:29 PM)

All that happens with resources (apart from spending them on builds) are handled by the private sector.

The AI may build the odd mine in spots where I would not. If they are tricky to defend I let them die (retirement by pirates). I may have a look at what they mine, and if I have other sources for that before letting the pirates retire it, though. In general, the thing I book manually is extra gas mines on fuel sources.

The important thing is not to exploit every resource, but to have enough resources...

The AI tend to manage resources just fine (and have become more aggressive in building fuel mines). In my current game, though, I noticd I had a rare spice planet I had missed sitting in a system right next to a major colony [&:]. I never noticed a popup on that one, and I would figure the AI should have built a mine there ages ago.

When I do manual constructor work, it is like defending the mine on a rare resource (build a defensive base with no area weapon), or early game on very hard settings where cash is absent, pirates roam, and I want very good control on where my mines are.

boxleitnerb -> RE: Beginner questions (9/11/2012 3:38:14 PM)

I've been reading up on resupply ships and cargo holds and a follow up question emerged:

If a mining station or resupply ship mines a planet/cloud with caslon and hydrogen, but only caslon is taken continuously away (for refuelling purposes), what happens to newly mined gases? Let's assume one source of 90% caslon and one source of 45% hydrogen. Let's also assume 100 cargo units for the station/resupply ship.

Initial cargo status: 66.6 units caslon and 33.3 units hydrogen, cargo holds are full. For every unit of hydrogen, two units of caslon will be mined, thus caslon is 2/3 and hydrogen is 1/3.

A) Caslon always has 66.6% of the cargo space reserved and hydrogen 33.3%, meaning no matter what, there will always be place for both resources according to their respective mining rate.

B) There is no discrimination between the resources regarding cargo space. If only caslon is taken away, but hydrogen is not, there will be an ever increasing amount of hydrogen until the cargo hold is full with it and no more gases can be mined. This effectively shuts down the resupply function.

Which is it, A or B?

Btw what happens when I beef up the private sector ship and station designs. They get more expensive, so is it possible that the private sector doesn't make enough profit to pay their taxes, thus affecting me?

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