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How to work around idiotic freighters?

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How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/16/2015 4:37:45 AM   


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I'm still trying to get my head around resource logistics. I get that the private sector is supposed to be mostly out of your control and I respect that idea. But I can't believe how idiotic my freighters are and I'm struggling to find any way to mitigate this. In my current game, I had only a single option for a first colony, a little over a sector away from my homeworld. I built one mine in the area (for a needed strat resource) shortly before I colonized. The colony is now working on a space port and thus needs various resources. What do my freighters back at the homeworld decide to do to fill that order for 14 silicon? Do they take a load from the 20k+ of unreserved silicon sitting at the homeworld space port? No! They travel across the sector with empty tanks to take that 14 silicon from the mine's strategic resource reserve and then drop it off to the colony next door. And if previous games are any indication, another freighter will then see that the mine is short 14 silicon and ship it across the galaxy from the homeworld.

Is the lesson here simply not to build *any* mines in any area until a space port is complete? Might that encourage freighters to actually *use* the stockpiles I carefully collected at the homeworld? But that's really limiting when you desperately need a resource from that area.

I like the basic resource and economic model in the game, but the private sector AI implementation is so frustrating that struggling with it is starting to take away from the whole experience for me.
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/16/2015 4:43:23 AM   


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Or would it help not to start building a space port until a colony built up its own strategic reserve? Would that lead to fewer, larger orders that would tie up less of the freighter fleet?

(in reply to tppytel)
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/16/2015 5:02:54 AM   

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The true key to it is to not build too many star ports. I've found that 1 space port per 10 colonies works fairly well. And space them around so that you have shorter runs from mines.

Build lots and lots of mines at first, you'll need them to get that first space port supported.

Keep in mind that your colonies do require resources. You may be expanding too quickly. The best strategy on colonizing planets is to be selective and only colonize planets that will increase your zone of control, while leaving planets that are colonizable but already inside of your zone of control for later.


Distant Worlds Fan

'When in doubt...attack!'

(in reply to tppytel)
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/16/2015 5:20:13 AM   


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The true key to it is to not build too many star ports.

I get that in principle. But this was my first colony, more than a sector away from my homeworld. If nothing else, how do you handle repair and military refueling without a space port in that situation? With a constructor and a resupply ship? The planet is the only source of Chromium in a 2 sector radius of my homeworld, so I have little choice but to colonize it. And there's no Caslon within almost a full sector radius of the colony, so refueling is a real issue.


Build lots and lots of mines at first, you'll need them to get that first space port supported.

This is almost 3 years into a game. My starting MSP has 25k+ of all the common resources and 10k+ of the uncommon/rare strat resources apart from Chromium and Emeros Crystal (which was also in the system I colonized and part of the reason I colonized there). Is that not enough for the shipping AI to "release" those resources to new colonies? If so, would it help to *downgrade* the starting MSP to an SSP so that it wouldn't try to hog such a ridiculous quantity of resources?


Keep in mind that your colonies do require resources. You may be expanding too quickly.

I don't think that's the case here, given the situation I described.

I've gone back to an earlier save to see if letting the colony get initial shipments before starting a space port helps at all.

(in reply to Shark7)
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/16/2015 8:52:56 AM   


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Hello tppytel,

unfortunately this idiotic behaviour is only the start of this freighters and private sector resource management annoyances - it will get worse. Lots of people will tell you, that it is you, who has to adapt to this extreme stupid system. There is no hint, that the developers are going to fix it (which is highly overdue if you ask me), or at least expose an interface or something similar to let someone else fix. I have done lots of software design and development and I think it will be not very difficult to fix it, but it will be a lot of work, I guess.

I my games, I usually build one station per system where you have at least one planet colonized, regardless if you have only one planet or 4 planets in a system. Don't build too many mines - you will figure out how many you need.


(in reply to tppytel)
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/16/2015 2:05:25 PM   


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I slap a starport over every planet in easy and medium and watch the freighter money roll in from my private sector as they buy masses of freighters. Even on a 100-star map with the largest setting for colony count the map is practically carpeted in moving circles of my colour by the time I finish colonizing.

Not too sure what I'll do on Hard, probably the same thing, using them as a substitute for specialized orbital forts. Now if I could get tractor beams to NOT pull in weaker enemies (pirates) but instead hold them at arm's length to avoid any troops landing while my velocity shards and later plasma thunderbolts dismantle them...

I could care less about the speed at which they can build things, other than occasionally retrofitting the patrolling frigate group over each world. all the main fleets originate at my homeworld anyhow, sine only Bakkuras Shipyards can reliably let me spam 3K+ size dreadnaughts i.e. Resupply ships fast enough for my patience level.

(in reply to HTG)
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/17/2015 4:14:09 AM   


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I had a save taken immediately after the colonization, so I've replayed it a couple of different ways just to see if I could find some rhyme or reason to freighter behavior. I can't, but here are the results for the record. Again, this is all in the context of a single new colony with no other colonies besides the homeworld, about 3 years into the game. It is difficult for me to imagine how this could be construed as "overexpanding". The new colony was about 1.5 sectors from the homeworld, because that was the *only* continental/marshy planet nearby. There were no independents any closer either.

1) Not immediately building a space port at the new colony is helpful in some ways. A new colony not attempting to build anything appears to generate orders for 300 each of the key strategic resources (steel, caslon, silicon, etc.). However, it's difficult to make any sense of how the freighters source the materials. About half of the orders were shipped directly from the homeworld stocks. But, for example, the freighters ignored the ~40k unreserved steel (price 0.8) at the homeworld and instead decided to fly off to another empire to fill that order, a roughly 3 sector trip including the leg back to the colony. And only the most basic strat resources are ordered this way, so you'll still have to get less common resources (argon, etc.) when you eventually decide to build a space port.

2) Size of the homeworld space port does not appear to matter. I tested by retrofitting my homeworld's MSP into an identical model with the role changed to an SSP. This had no effect on the reluctance of freighters to use the homeworld's stocks.

3) Once a build order is placed, freighters will attempt to find exactly the amount needed to make that build and not attempt to deliver anything more. If a space port build requires 14 silicon, then 14 silicon will be delivered and no more, even it takes 100 fuel to do it.

I have a difficult time understanding how this behavior is a remotely plausible model of private shipping decisions. The more closely I look at it, the more it ruins the whole game for me. The state/private relationship regarding resources is the heart of the game's economic model and much of what makes it interesting for me. Unfortunately it just seems like a really poor model.

(in reply to Guardian54)
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/17/2015 8:33:11 AM   


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The freighters are not efficient as you have discovered. The way to help avoid issues is the advice above about limit the number of spaceports. The freighters have improved over time though, and are much better today than they have been in the past.

Keep in mind that players play games in different ways. One player may have lots of issues because he plays quite "fast" games, and must have only a very few spaceports while being careful with resource usage. Others may see no issues at all with spaceports everywhere since they play a slower, more peaceful game with less ships lost in combat.

Just one particular difference with pre-warp. How you play the pre-warp phase has a huge influence on the stores of resources on the capital as you get the gerax drive. And the stores on the capital influence how easy it is to avoid shortages until you have enough sources for all important resources.

(in reply to tppytel)
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/17/2015 2:22:15 PM   

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I'm confused a little about the problems with the private sector. The private sector does it's job. Efficiently? Sometimes. Horribly? Sometimes. It's never been something I have worried about.

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: How to work around idiotic freighters? - 12/19/2015 5:11:29 PM   


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The problem isn't always so bad. It seems much worse in classic than it did in pre-warp - even with low percentages, those pre-warp starting planets include a lot of rare resources that would otherwise give your freighters fits, and the pirates' strength keeps you from settling more than a planet or two for a long time. By the time you're really ready to colonize in pre-warp you have some huge stockpiles built up. And the problem is greatly exacerbated by long distances. Obviously, you don't want to settle 1.5+ sectors out early on, but sometimes (as in this game) you have no other choice.

(in reply to Retreat1970)
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