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Research stations and energy collectors and space ports - 7/21/2013 2:34:50 AM   
Bosk

 

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Ok, Couple more questions and I see they have been discussed a bit in the past but not apparently in the way I need. So I offer these three questions up. (playing shadows as empire. This game am about to get warp, have played others where I had warp and captured some independents)

1. When I start a game, I build a small space port then 3 research stations. One of each type. Now I do this because I watched some videos and the videos showed this. So naturally I have been duplicating that. My questions on research stations are..
a. Rather than build one of each type....might I build 3 weapons stations and then crank out weapons fast? Or 3 energy and get warp bubbles fast?
b. Where else can I build stations and what limits it. For now, in my home system I build mining stations everywhere. Could I build a research station on of the planets? Can I just use a constructor and order it to go build a research station at a planet? What are the limits

2. energy collectors. I gotta be honest, I have mostly ignored this item so far. I see it on the tech tree, but have never researched it as I just dont get it. My ships can have energy collectors...but why? So far I havent needed to replace them, upgrade them etc...so please help me get this.

3. spaceports.
a. I have one on my home world. Can I build one at one of the other planets in my system? Where can I build it. I have assumed I can only build them where I have a colony...but my gut says I am assuming wrong on that.
b. Lastly, the small space port seems to serve my needs. Why would I want a larger spaceport instead of a small. I have some guesses but would rather hear real answers. My assumptions have caused me problems before.
Post #: 1
RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 2:48:03 AM   
elanaagain


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Energy collectors 'harvest' energy from stars. They only work when the base/ship is not moving (under its own power). This energy an only be used to offset 'static' energy drains in the ship/base. Basically, putting enough collectors on a base will cover the static energy drain of some components on the base. This allows the base to use energy from fission/fusion reactors to create fuel, and power weapons, shields, etc. Short version: look at your ship/base design. Look for the 'static energy' needs amount. Put enough solar collectors to offset the static energy drain. Now your base will use all fuel generated by reactors to make fuel, and power the non-static energy needs. Since reactors use fuel (caselon/hydrogen) to power the reactors, the reactors consume these resources and that costs more than the maintenance expense on the collectors. .

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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 5:05:45 AM   
Starke

 

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re: Research Stations - absolutely, yes. Go to the research tab and click on the far right-side tab showing all your research stations. Seeing you're asking this question I'm guessing you don't quite understand how research works, and it's a bit lengthy to explain, but important.

The number to understand first is the one on the right, Total Empire Research Potential. This is your combined research cap for the three types of research. It'll grow as your empire grows (tied to population I think, but grows logarithmically, so it'll slow down mid-late game). Now look at the three numbers next to Total Research Capacity. This is just a sum of the numbers above for Weapons, Energy, and High Tech research. (before upgrades, each research lab component gives 20K research potential, to a research station with 120K has 6 labs) But often you can build research stations at locations with bonuses, or have a race/leader/scientist that gives you a bonus. This modified output is shown in Actual Output.

Another thing to know is what happens when your Total Research Capacity exceeds your Total Empire Research Potential. Before bonuses are applied, each of the research totals are proportionally reduced to fit the empire cap. Then the bonuses are applied. Thus, your Actual Output totals can exceed your Total Empire Research Potential - in fact, you should make sure they always do, by at least a little - this way you're always getting the maximum amount of research your empire can produce.

To answer your original question: absolutely, yes, you can skew your research potential towards one area, and in fact early game it's highly recommended you do. For example, in a PreWarp game, it's a valid move to dump every last drop into Energy to get hyperdrive tech ASAP, with maybe the exception of 20k for the other two that comes default on SSPs - maybe you'll get a lucky crash and get a tech or two done.

re: Energy Collectors - they are a surprisingly important piece of tech that can easily get overlooked, especially in your first PreWarp game as you won't have them on anything by default. Provided that the ship/station they're installed on is stationary and near a star/black hole/etc., they'll generate power for 'free' e.g. no fuel needed. This doesn't seem very useful until you consider that a lot of modules, especially those related to mining, construction, or research, have a static power draw, meaning they constantly suck energy. It's not much, but for a distant Mining or Research Station, it'll bleed the fuel bunkers dry, and the station will do nothing but cost you maintenance until some Private Sector ship finds the time to resupply it - and then a few months down the road it'll happen again. Energy Collectors (solar panels, basically) are crucial to cover the power supply of pretty much any stationary structure you build, and are useful for constructors too for the same reasons. For ships, on the other hand... most don't have much static power draw, and I don't keep mine idle often, except maybe isolated defensive fleets. If you tend to keep your fleets idle and are annoying to return and find them mysteriously low on fuel, try adding an energy collector. Otherwise, don't bother, they take up valuable space.

Also:

quote:

ORIGINAL: elanaagain

This allows the base to use energy from fission/fusion reactors to create fuel, and power weapons, shields, etc.


Whoa there, you were doing so well until you mentioned turning energy back into fuel. That's a super-uber-late-game tech that requires a special component. I take it you like super-long games?

re: Spaceports - your gut was correct in this case, spaceports can only be built at colonies you own, unless you're playing as a pirate - as an empire you can find abandoned ones in other places, but they're not near as much use without a planet below. Defensive bases can be built at any location, however, if you want some serious defense at a given location.

Going by the default designs, each step up the spaceport size ladder increases:
-number of docking bays, used by freighters and for refueling
-number of construction yards, used to build and retrofit both private and state ships
-number of research labs, which give you research potential
-number of weapons, to make bad things go away/die horribly
-number of shields and armor plates, used to avoid losing your expensive space station while the weapons do their thing
-number of cargo bays and fuel cells, for boring logistical reasons

and oh god I had a lot more to this post, but the my login reset inexplicably and you can't recover it on this forum implementation. -.- Lucky I crtl-A'd this much. I'll retype the rest later...

(in reply to elanaagain)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 5:41:13 AM   
elanaagain


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What I meant about reactors is they consume fuel (caselon or hydrogen) to create the energy the ship uses. That is why ships have to refuel - to feed their reactors. Same for bases. I did not express it clearly before. Sorry.

(in reply to Starke)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 9:46:56 AM   
Canute0

 

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quote:

Energy collectors 'harvest' energy from stars. They only work when the base/ship is not moving (under its own power).


Collector are allways working. But collecter only generate energy and Engines need fuel+energy. Collector are mosttimes to cover the static energy use. So idle not moving ships don't use any fuel. Collecter even can supply shields and weapons,but both need alot more energy then a few collectors can generate.

quote:

1. When I start a game, I build a small space port then 3 research stations.

Research stations are only needed to claim local research bonus.
You can put research modules at your space port too, thats more efficent then to build 3 extra research stations around. I design my Home space port with 10 of each researcg modules, thats mosttimes more then enough resarch capacity.
But when pirates blow up this space port, you don't have much research left, so protect this space port well.

(in reply to elanaagain)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 12:58:39 PM   
Tehlongone


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Yeah, energy collectors are very important, in my last pre-warp start game I noticed how most of the ship traffic was occupied with barely transporting enough fuel to keep everything going. With their pathetic speeds and costly reactors it was woefully inefficient, even the mining stations needed refilling. Aside from the credit cost of that it also meant less fuel for the fleets and more shortages.

Aside from giving all immobile bases (near stars anyhow) energy collectors I also give them to ships, not those handled by the AI as they never stand still, but to my fleets. I like to use a mix of AI-controlled ships patrolling and up to 8 hot-keyed manual fleets of about 14 specialized cruiser/capital ships to allow me easy ability to order destruction/defense. These fleets are usually parked in various solar systems when not actively used and it saves huge amount of fuel that they don't slowly drain from the static energy requirements, allowing them to be active longer and not run out when not used.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Canute

quote:

Energy collectors 'harvest' energy from stars. They only work when the base/ship is not moving (under its own power).


Collector are allways working. But collecter only generate energy and Engines need fuel+energy. Collector are mosttimes to cover the static energy use. So idle not moving ships don't use any fuel. Collecter even can supply shields and weapons,but both need alot more energy then a few collectors can generate.


Are you SURE about that? Because that is definitely news to me. If that's true ALL ships should have collectors. I'm quite sure that at some point collectors only worked when stationary, so unless that's been changed at some point..?

Also shields burn zero fuel. If collectors do supply for weapons too you can just add enough collectors to generate hundreds of energy, wouldn't really be a problem. I'm pretty sure they don't but maybe it warrants testing.

< Message edited by Tehlongone -- 7/21/2013 1:06:17 PM >

(in reply to Canute0)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 4:17:43 PM   
Strat_84

 

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Energy collectors are interesting on ships to cover static energy costs when they are idle. That prevents a static fleet from depleting its fuel reserves.
Also shields do consume energy when they reload, something like 1 point of energy per shield point restored.

< Message edited by Strat_84 -- 7/21/2013 4:18:06 PM >

(in reply to Tehlongone)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 4:24:32 PM   
elanaagain


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yes, you can put solar collectors on ships. However, they only 'collect' energy from suns when the ship/base is not moving under its own power. If the ship is docked with a base, or stationary at a sun, planet, etc., it will 'collect energy.' This means a ship on patrol, or in transit collects zero energy from solar collectors while moving. A cargo ship (un)loading cargo is stationary, so gets a bit of energy from the collectors. Based don't 'move' so they are always collecting energy from collectors. I read, a long time ago, on these forums (back in the original DW days)that the solar collectors don't 'make' fuel, so they can't be used to supply energy to a stationary ship/base beyond (above?) its static energy usage. Canute states differently. Cool. If Canute is correct, I need to adjust my ship doctrines - both construction, and engagement stances. How might we test this? Ummm..

< Message edited by elanaagain -- 7/21/2013 4:25:50 PM >

(in reply to Tehlongone)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 4:34:20 PM   
Shark7


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On research stations: While the base designs will have only 1 specific lab on a research station design, you can put all three types on if you so desire. Though in this case you will need to make 3 copies of that multi-purpose design to not get the 'no designs of X type' warning.

Another thing to consider...you can literally stick a research module on any ship or base design you have.

Just remember, if you over do the research modules, you will make the game go into super easy mode because the AI will not match your designs and you will out research the AI completely.

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(in reply to elanaagain)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 5:03:34 PM   
elanaagain


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Re: solar collectors on ships test. I just tested the idea that solar collectors will create energy on a ship that will then be used to fuel the ships engines, etc. I made 4 identical DD size ships loaded with 8 solar collectors. I put them into two fleets, two ships each. I ran both fleets in outer space to drain their engines - consume all fuel. One fleet was then sent to a sun. I watched both fleets for several game weeks (boring). End result: all four ships still had zero fuel. This means either I suck at ship design (I don't) or the solar collectors don't turn energy collected from stars into fuel. Tehlongone - thanks for asking the question, cause we now know for sure...solar collectors will power components that use static energy, but nothing else.

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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 5:14:09 PM   
FerretStyle

 

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Energy collectors don't create fuel, they create energy. Normally, energy is created by reactors which use fuel to create energy.

Energy collectors are great for anything that will be standing still for any amount of time. I put them on every ship enough to cover static energy usage (because that's what causes ships to use up fuel even when idle) and on bases I might use hundreds of energy worth of collectors to power their weapons so they can operate completely fuel-free.

By the way whoever said AI ships never stand still is mistaken. AI ships frequently idle and cost you fuel while doing it.

(in reply to elanaagain)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 6:35:08 PM   
elanaagain


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@ferretstyle, I already knew that energy collectors don't (normally) 'crate fuel. I did the test to prove to some others in this thread that my original statement about this was, indeed correct. And to provided this info to newer players - because the decision to put solar collectors on a ship at the beginning of the game requires trading off a significant percentage of the ship's space - hence its important to know what the tradeoff really entails. A size one EMC is a no brainier - put it on all your ships. But Solar collectors?

(in reply to FerretStyle)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 9:40:59 PM   
Tehlongone


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quote:

ORIGINAL: FerretStyle

Energy collectors don't create fuel, they create energy. Normally, energy is created by reactors which use fuel to create energy.

Energy collectors are great for anything that will be standing still for any amount of time. I put them on every ship enough to cover static energy usage (because that's what causes ships to use up fuel even when idle) and on bases I might use hundreds of energy worth of collectors to power their weapons so they can operate completely fuel-free.

By the way whoever said AI ships never stand still is mistaken. AI ships frequently idle and cost you fuel while doing it.

Ships never standing still was an exaggeration, from observation I know that they rarely stand still for long though. Small ships are hampered significantly by adding an energy collector (much more slowdown proportionally speaking), and they rarely even have much static drain, so I find that it isn't worth it on those ships.

AI-controlled singular military ships are also usually sent patrolling which involves constant movement (for no real reason) so I tend not to give those energy collectors either. Cruiser/Capital ships is another matter though.

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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/21/2013 11:59:53 PM   
turtlefang

 

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Just as a note, and I can't find the post right now, someone did a test on energy collectors a while back. The manual's not exactly correct on how they work per the test.

1) They collect energy all the time; it doesn't matter if they are near a star or in deep space.
2) They do collect more energy the closer they are too a star or in a gas cloud rather than in deep space.
3) They collect energy while the ship is moving, not just while ships are stopped.

So energy collectors work all the time, not necessarily very fast (as in fast enough to recharge weapons or shields in combat), but they do work.

All ships will have static energy usage. So an energy collector will extend the range of all ships. You don't have to burn fuel to power the static energy requirements. The only question is one of balance - is it worth the extra space for the energy collector, or another fuel cell, or something else?

So they are not quiet as limited as the manual suggest.


(in reply to Tehlongone)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/22/2013 12:04:52 AM   
Plant


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Personally, I design my military ships to have no energy collectors as I view the fuel expenditure to power static energy needs to be insignificantly small. Since they are often idle in system near a port or a resupply ship, it is simple enough to refuel before a major attack.

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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/22/2013 4:29:50 PM   
turtlefang

 

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Its a choice. Most ships won't need more than one (except explorers with long range scanners). Especially if you research a couple of the tech advances or trade for them.

And the payback varies on different settings. If your playing high resource or normal settings, collectors on military ships might not be worth it. Money and fuel may be too plentiful. It depends on how many ships you have, how much income you have coming in, and how long you go without refueling. Plus how fast do you have to refuel.

Over time, the collectors will pay for themselves but if money and fuel aren't constaints, then they may not be worth the investment.

On low resource settings, where every penny counts, they are definitely worth it. The money they save from not having to buy fuel is just worth too much when your scraping by and trying to save every penny to stay out of the red. A large fleet will burn a lot of fuel without resource collectors.

So it is a trade off. And you need to look at everything when you make that decision.


(in reply to Plant)
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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/23/2013 1:08:34 PM   
Jeeves


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I always put static energy times two on my bases, because the figure given for the collectors is the maximum potential, not actual based upon distance from star and star luminosity. I never put them on freighters or passenger ships. I put one or two on mining ships and constructors depending on my tech level. I always put one or two on large military ships, and one on my state mining ships. So far as fuel goes, once you have energy to fuel converters on your spaceports, it makes more sense to add an extra fuel storage or two rather than having energy collectors. I always have at least a 15 sector range on my ships, with an extra fuel cell on ships with energy greater than 200. I use Quameno reactors until I get the 960 point advanced reactor tech, then switch designs. For cruisers or larger, design fuel storage for 100 days of combat at maximum energy consumption, plus 5 sectors of travel to refuel.

Lonnie Courtney Clay


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RE: Research stations and energy collectors and space p... - 7/24/2013 6:28:44 AM   
feelotraveller


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Yep, construction and mining ships always get them in my games. Military ships usually not but later game my specialist system defence fleets get them as they are idle most of the time.

On more general issues, solar collectors only collect whilst the ship/base is stationary but the energy collected can be used for anything, static use, weapons, shields, even engines (but once the ship starts moving it stops collecting energy...). The number given for collection is an estimate and it is generally a lot lower than what you actually collect, although at the edges of systems you may not get as much as it states. Out in the depths of space you get nothing.

As far as I am aware the information in this post A guide to Energy is still current. Energy collection is point 6.

(in reply to Jeeves)
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