From: Lindsay, Ontario
Edit: oops, replied to wrong person. Sorry, Aeson!
There's no need to apologize; I'm pretty sure that the "Post Reply" button at the bottom of the page automatically makes the reply to the last person to post in the thread as of the time that you hit it anyways.
Later, I'll just have three large installations at the three largest bonus locations I can reasonably defend, so that I have the best possible buffs in energy, hitech and weapons.
Note that when you have N scientist characters in the same location, their skill bonuses in a field stack as sum([scientist_n_bonus]/n, n=1:N) with the bonuses ordered from highest to lowest in the field. If your scientists have reasonably large bonuses in two or three fields rather than a large bonus in one field and at most small bonuses in the other two, or possibly if you have many scientists with moderate bonuses across all fields, it is possible that it will be better, or at least little worse, to stack all of your scientists in one location than to spread them out across the best research locations.
it's way easier to build a dedicated lab in the home orbit and use it to alter research focus with retrofits than it is multiple stations.
Still doesn't need to be a [Field] Research Station; the home space port will do just as well. Retrofitting bills you for alterations, not for the total cost of building the station from scratch, there's not really any good reason to have a big space port anywhere but the homeworld in the early stages of the game so there's not really any reason to worry about retrofitting multiple stations in order to rebalance research priorities (again, not that I really see much reason to do so once you're at the stage of the game where having an interstellar empire really becomes practical), and building the home space port with labs or retrofitting them in after the basic space port skeleton is completed is slightly faster and probably slightly cheaper than building a separate research station.* Also somewhat safer, since the space port, as your homeworld's primary orbital installation, is probably larger, better armed, and better protected than any research station(s) you might build at the homeworld or elsewhere, especially if you don't manually place the research station on top of the spaceport and instead allow the game to place it in a somewhat more exposed position slightly away from the homeworld.
*There are several components of which you only need one per station, and there are some additional efficiencies possible when using one station for everything rather than separate dedicated stations - for example, if your home space port design already has 30 shield generators and 50 armor plates, you probably don't need to add another 15 shield generators and 20 armor plates to protect the lab space if you add labs to the home space port, but if you build a separate large research station to house all your scientists over the homeworld you should probably invest in reasonably formidable defenses on the station even though proximity to the homeworld's other orbital installations will provide some degree of protection.
I was under the impression (from reading the research screen breakdown during the game) that it took the largest single scientist + location bonus to each field and applied that modifier. For example, if I have a station with 30% energy, 10% energy and 5% energy scientists, and the location grants 20%, I would have a 50% bonus (30 + 20) to energy research generated from the labs at that station.
Am I mistaken? It has been a little while since I've had more than 2 scientists in a playthrough so it's possible I read incorrectly.
I can see the appeal of putting the labs on the spaceport rather than just under the umbrella of its protection, but my port generally doesn't have any weapons or armor for the first 20-something years (very expensive research, 0% taxes til max population) unless it's my intent to go to war. I just pay every pirate I find before they attack, when possible, so the fees are generally cheaper than the maintenance would be to arm my installations adequately. However, if a pirate does change their mind suddenly, the AI will attack the port but ignore the research platform unless it's armed (and fires on a ship). Overall, at least for me, the dedicated station is safer for any precious scientist I might have, and by the time an armed spaceport becomes a reality, the station has generally moved elsewhere.
I'm not saying it's a bad option, just that I've tried both methods and, for me at least, I find I prefer dedicated stations rather than spaceport labs. However, I might try a start in my next playthrough where I lab up the spaceport rather than build the orbital research facility, since it might be very slightly cheaper/faster to retrofit the station after queueing the 3 initial exploration vessels than it is to pay for the second command center and other components - and I do so love trying to squeeze every last modicum of efficiency from starts in this game! Food for thought, at any rate.
< Message edited by bubb_tubbs -- 1/6/2019 9:38:44 AM >