Well, yes, "New advances in recycling technology have made extraction of rare earths from these materials more feasible" is exactly what I'm aiming at from the realism perspective.
BTW, I assume that in SE, rare earths/metals might also mean stuff like gold/copper/lead, used in IRL electronics ? (Well, lead not so much any more, but SE starts with simpler techs and less regard for human life.)
From the point of view of balance, yes, one of the goals is to make the fossil power plant relatively more viable. (And as a secondary bonus, it seems like vehicles are a bit too strong now, so raising oil demand would make them a bit less strong ?)
Another goal is to make it a less obvious choice whether to nationalize the starting private scavenging community (which can't extract rare earths/metals) or not.
Yeah, it would be nice if, like for radioactives (and of course metal), a rare metals extraction spot (or, indirectly, an oil field) was actually something worth fighting for !
I just checked, and in the first turn of my current game, it cost 478 credits to buy 100 rare earths/metals for a lvl 1 solar panel field producing 100 energy/round.
(And also 1 machine = 34 credits, while a Power Plant 1 takes 3 machines = 100 credits for 500 energy/round)
Note that there are other potential ways to find rare earths (& machines) early on :
- random free folk settlement discoveries
- two different zone fate cards (IIRC the first one gives regular & rare metals, and the 2nd one gives rare earths, machines and high-tech parts ?)
- in a pinch, scrapping GR units & fate sentinels ?
- scavengers on artifacts sometimes give machines (& high-tech)
- I don't think that I'm forgetting any ?
And for making due without solar OR oil power plant :
And speaking of *actually* non-guaranteed options, but which might make skipping discovering solar/power plant viable :
- For energy those would be the random assets Geyser Turbines and other LE Mini-Reactors (including guaranteed ones from Major Capitals) and Gravitonic Collector artifacts.
Those look like balance issues. What's the point then of [...] non-solar ?
But you are not forced. I already gave some examples of situations where it might be viable to go without Power Plant or Solar, at least for a while.
- getting a Model & Staff council and rushing a nearby Major to get its LE reactor and then taking advantage of asset specialization, with higher levels being more efficient.
- getting a Foreign Affairs council and quickly absorbing a nearby minor that has a Geyser Turbine / LE Mini-Reactor in its territory.
Another way is to minimize energy requirements, whether by location or choice :
- open (xeno)farming rather than domes
- scavenging rather than metal & oil mining
- wind traps or rain rather than ice mining
- private oil rather than public oil
- private light industry rather than public industry
- bureaucrat offices rather than high command
- private QoL rather than public QoL
(Though it looks like that Serpentinization is *so* bad, that even this change wouldn't help to make it occasionally viable ?)
< Message edited by BlueTemplar -- 5/19/2021 2:22:05 PM >