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Money - 2/10/2014 4:16:55 PM   
Ghost Matter

 

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Joined: 10/4/2010
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I'm having troubles with money... it always fluctuates wildly and I can never get steady income. I'm also not sure I understand the income info in the top-right corner vs the empire screen cashflow. (I mostly play in Age of Shadows)

Any tips?
Post #: 1
RE: Money - 2/10/2014 4:24:03 PM   
Ardilus


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Hey Ghost. Check out this recent thread for some advice:
Money Problems

Both the empire summary and the game map info show annual income and costs. The lowest entry on the game map is the total of space port income (private sector purchases ships from you), trade bonuses (a bonus, not your empire's total trade value which is calc'd into colony incomes), and resort income. The game map info shows only state budget, not private sector, which is basically peripheral (though important).


< Message edited by Ardilus -- 2/10/2014 5:25:50 PM >

(in reply to Ghost Matter)
Post #: 2
RE: Money - 2/10/2014 5:31:13 PM   
CyclopsSlayer


Posts: 583
Joined: 2/11/2012
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I do wish the display was more user friendly. Was always a source of frustration to see ++Cashflow, ++Bonus Income and yet watch my Cash on Hand drop.
Now I mostly ignore the onscreen displays except as just general indicators.

(in reply to Ardilus)
Post #: 3
RE: Money - 2/10/2014 7:58:36 PM   
Hawkeye_BF


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From: Austria
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I think you have problems with the support of luxury resources at your colonys. Could be the reason for the fluctuation . To supply your colony with that resources your income goes high and in the ather way your income goes down. The culture development of your colonys stand and falls with the luxury resources.


(in reply to CyclopsSlayer)
Post #: 4
RE: Money - 2/10/2014 9:55:52 PM   
Ardilus


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That makes sense Hawkeye! I don't use AI so am not sure, but happiness will fluctuate too, and if Ghost uses AI Tax this should move accordingly.

(in reply to Hawkeye_BF)
Post #: 5
RE: Money - 2/11/2014 9:11:49 AM   
Bingeling

 

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In addition if there are automation ongoing, the AI could order infrastructure or retrofits which can be quite expensive at times. Or the player can happily retrofit 10 large fleets without noticing that they cost 100k to retrofit each.

(in reply to Ardilus)
Post #: 6
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 2:43:47 AM   
Ghost Matter

 

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Can anyone help me with this game? I switched back to Feudalism and back but nothing helps. I'm in the red.

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 7
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 4:19:29 AM   
Ardilus


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Having a look now, and the first thing I've noticed is that you're getting eaten up by ship & base maintenance. Your designs are really expensive for your empire's level of development. My early-game military ships usually run about 2/3 your current maintenance or less, even with democracy. Energy collectors on military ships are definitely something you cannot afford right now -- ditch 'em. You are researching fast mining which will help a lot in a couple years, but you will be better off enhancing your basic ship parts, so that you need fewer of them. I would definitely look at getting quantum reactors to power you equinox drives asap, so you will only need 1 on each ship.

This brings me to your large space port :) You are nowhere near economically powerful enough to support a 12k+ annual maintenance on a space port, and you will not face anything destructive enough to warrant it for another 10 years at least. Also, you are supplying it with excessive energy, which is expensive. Back off on either reactors or collectors, whichever is more costly, until you've just covered your static needs and weapon needs. (You can worry about balancing reactor energy *storage* needs later on. This is a peripheral design problem to tackle when you've gained more experience)

Your private cash-flow is also pretty weak, which will slow private development, thus potential GDP and tax revenue. I noticed you have 3 energy collectors on your mining stations. These are pretty expensive, and since all ships need a reactor, your power requirements are well met. 1 solar collector is all you need, and this is really just to get shields charging before fuel can be delivered.

In short -- design efficiency!

And... I think you've probably a couple or more too many troops for this stage of development. I am not sure it is worth shelling out 8.6k on def units just yet either.


***After writing this I just noticed your designs are automated.. time to teach computer who the creator is :)

< Message edited by Ardilus -- 2/13/2014 5:20:16 AM >

(in reply to Ghost Matter)
Post #: 8
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 4:25:18 AM   
Ardilus


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Ah yes, research stations. Look at how your output is way under capacity -- these are expensive and overbuilt. Capacity should total around 600k (a little over your potential) for all three fields, however you want to slice it. Right now you have built around 1100k capacity. At 3.3k maintenance each, you are spending some 12k+ each year on nothing.

(in reply to Ardilus)
Post #: 9
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 9:07:03 AM   
Bingeling

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ghost Matter

Can anyone help me with this game? I switched back to Feudalism and back but nothing helps. I'm in the red.


71 K colony revenue.

90K ship and base maintenance
21K troop maintenance
1K fuel cost
6K pirate protection

-41K total.

A slight negative can be tolerate (resort income, spaceport fees). 41K is not "slight" at this stage.

There is a pirate base on one of your colonies. It is not the reason for your troubles, but it does not help...

3K ship maintenance is temporary colony ship maintenance.
9K is 3 defensive bases. Scrap at least two of them.

Are those resort bases earning enough to defend their maintenance? Are there visitors at both?

As was mentioned research. The potential is 525. You want the modified values for each area to add up to 525 (or a tad more). It is 122 + 342 + 294 = 758. If you (or pirates ;) get rid of two research stations you lose 240 and are almost there (or a tad below). Keep in mind that "too good tech" can also be expensive, more expensive components in ships.

A solid number of resource sources in general, but few fuel mines. You are well of, why do you have 6 constructors? Retire 3 of them. (saves some money). Queue up some caslon mines.

It is hard to stop pirates on the defensive, it is easier to kill their bases. Wipe pirate bases, get rid of protection deals. Your cruisers does not exactly rock yet, though, but the 1st fleet is large. And getting some ships killed would help the economy, anyways ;-)

1st Fleet has pathetic range. Why? It smells bubble drive.
Vostok IX are bubble drive destroyers. You can't afford to retrofit them, though. I go through the military ships, and notice fuel ranges. Those with pathetic range (and not out of fuel) are bubble drive, remove them from the fleet. This leaves 12 ships. Remove the troop transport. That leaves 11. The troop transport could unload at the pirate base colony, and the troops can attack that base.

Go to the ship list, sort by fleet. Make sure the non-fleeted ships are automated. I would consider retiring the bubble drive boys, though.

1st fleet, 11 ships 560 firepower. I tell them to move to Pred to gather up. Since they were pretty much gathered, and the pirates should have 1 ship, just attack the base. If they have lots of ship, move to the system rather than attack base, wait for the local ships to arrive, kill them, then attack base... 10 ship survives, many take some damage, repair and refuel and hope that there is fuel...

The pirate faction survived, but they still have only 1 ship. This got rid of the protection deal too ;-)

The purple to the left have 2 ships and 1 known base to the left. A good next target.
When refueled and repaired, attack.

Oops, 5 ships survived, and the admiral died. That fleet was rather pathetic anyways . But the pirate base died too (but a bit stronger fleet would not hurt).

This is one direction to move. I did none of the saves and just busted a couple of bases. -57k cash, -5k cashflow. The economy solves itself with time, my only saves were getting some ships killed. And pirate protection is down from 6k to 4k. Also, at least one colony ship managed to colonize (and both may have disappeared somehow).

Killing any pirate base you see should be top priority. Visit them in the diplomacy screen and peek at their military strength before attacking... You are no longer the pathetic pre-warp empire scared of pirates. The best protection is to chase them away.





< Message edited by Bingeling -- 2/13/2014 10:31:28 AM >

(in reply to Ghost Matter)
Post #: 10
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 3:29:11 PM   
Ghost Matter

 

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Looks like I need to go full manual for anything to work. It's unfortunate because I do not like designing ships. It also makes me feel like the automated part of the game is overrated.

I had scrapped loads of ship and troops already before I uploaded this game. I had tried to attack a pirate base but the ships wouldn't listen to me and stood around doing nothing so I had to get them back on no fuel to retrofit...

Thank you for the tips!!! More welcome!

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 11
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 4:19:41 PM   
Bingeling

 

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You don't need to do manual on much, but to get an edge on the other AI empires you need to manual something... I prefer to manually order ships, set up fleets, and run military ships. All the rest is optional. People give advice that are fit the hardest possible settings. They make perfect ship design sound as a "must", the same with every exploit the game offers. You have a fairly nice homeworld hinting at "normal" settings (91% quality). The Ketarov may not be the easiest race in the world, I have never played them, though.

Ships out of fuel does not fight. You had "bubble boys" with your proper ships. Bubble drive is useless the moment gerax hyperdrive is researched. Also, if you notice ships (ship classes) that are constantly on less fuel than others after some "fighting and shooting", drop the from the fleet. Keep ships of similar ranges together.

You have a lot of stuff on manual that could easily be automated. I think I spotted manual taxes and manual troop recruitment, but I may remember that wrong. The AI does fine at both (even though it does not sound that way on this forum). Beware that if you do manual research and automated design, you should make sure to research the weapons used in the design templates. You should find a hint what this is in the empire policy research priorities. You can also peek in the designTemplates folder. It reveals that the ketarov wants to use phasers and torpedoes (look at any "fighting ship" file, I checked cruiser).

Did the AI really want 6 constructors? :) A few of them had "repair frigate" as order. I would scrap damaged and stranded ships unless I know that the constructors are bored and that the ship deserves to live. Like the heroic low tech frigates that busted the spaceport of much stronger pirates. In such cases, every stranded survivor deserves to be repaired and brought home...

Also, there is the "cashflow" shown. There is also a "real cashflow" which is the change in money as time flies and you don't buy anything. Try to adjust your expenditure to the "real cashflow". Have the cash on had grow slowly, don't suddenly spend 300k because you got 300k. But if you have a "good increase", maybe add 30k of maintenance which could be a decent fleet.

In general my overruling when the AI is on suggest is "less (and different) ships, less colony defenses". You notice when you are well off and can let the AI start throwing defensive bases around, or when you feel that danger is around and you want to build them yourself...

As for your situation. Do you need troops? Yes, always some. Maybe more if pirates are raiding. Do you really need a troop transport? Maybe, it can shift troops to a colony where a pirate base pops up (like the one you got). Do you need two? Nope, you got no attack objectives (but there may be some independents nearby...).

It also looks like you may have expanded fast, which burns some money (but helps in the private spending money on ships).

(in reply to Ghost Matter)
Post #: 12
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 5:31:47 PM   
Ardilus


Posts: 53
Joined: 12/30/2012
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quote:

People give advice that are fit the hardest possible settings.


I am probably very guilty Your advice is excellent and appropriate for someone who does not want to design ships.

quote:

They make perfect ship design sound as a "must", the same with every exploit the game offers.


I am not sure that is a fair assessment though. Minimal costs implies you have no ships at all. It is a balancing act between wants, needs, and can-haves; there is no ideal that could be qualified as perfection. Situations frequently change and ask for changing strategies, not to mention the influence of the player's own role-playing interest (I often design ships with certain load-outs just because I think it will look cool with the ship graphics and fits the race 'theme' I am looking for, not because it is of hypothetical maximum effectiveness). Because they are fundamentally static, my own feelings are that AI design templates are set up for best conditions and are not arranged to scale well with development progress -- that is to say they are designed for what will work well during late-game.

In the end, the approach is the same -- cut costs. This can be done through a variety and combination of different methods, such as reducing maintenance costs per ship/base or reducing their numbers. In both cases, doing anything differently than the AI could be considered an 'exploit' in the context used, but that is, after-all, one of the four X's, and a basic game-play feature for games of this kind.




(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 13
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 5:57:15 PM   
Bingeling

 

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On equal settings, you need to beat the AI somewhere.

Cutting cost is not everything, but spending money on something useful (in a better way than the AI) is one way to beat it. Getting peace when needed is another part. Pay some small change, prep it by hurting it a bit to tilt the invisible "score" in your favor.

I grab my main advantage from better usage of military might. My fleets spank theirs, and even if the AI have improved a lot in being offensive, they can't string attacks like I can ;-). Also, their fleets are much better at getting totally lost (and out of fuel), than mine. A new challenge could of course be to play with automated fleets and harvest other advantages, but what is the fun in that?

(in reply to Ardilus)
Post #: 14
RE: Money - 2/13/2014 6:16:18 PM   
Ardilus


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Joined: 12/30/2012
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Challenge is the essence of fun :) I enjoy the role-playing experience of DW quite a bit, and ship design plays into that considerably for me. I started winning on normal by outrageous margins by the time RoTS came out, so, yeah, very hard or extreme with scaling until my rivals have, perhaps someday, biological intelligence. I don't often play as a galactic conqueror, so staying competitive needs good internal management.

While not everything, I think we've agreed that cutting costs is what is needed to turn Ghost's game around here, one way or the other.

edit: Of course, if he completely follows both of our advice, Ghost might get bored with his overwhelming victory on this map


< Message edited by Ardilus -- 2/13/2014 7:20:49 PM >

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 15
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