Research Labs, why bother?

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greyhoundgames
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:07 pm

Research Labs, why bother?

Post by greyhoundgames »

So doing some comparisons, it seems like a spaceport with labs is better then a spaceport and a bunch of research buildings seperatly. The only downside I can see to this is if you need room on the spaceport later for other stuff.

The reason its better is you can get bonus modifiers applied to all 3 fields. This is early game mind you. I am missing a lot of late game experience so please help me understand the pros and cons
Aeson
Posts: 785
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:36 pm

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by Aeson »

If I understand things correctly, you only receive the greatest bonus for each field out of all the location research bonuses for that field, and the location research bonuses are computed as

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     LocationBonus = SiteBonus + sum(ResearcherBonus_n/n, n = 1, N)
or something like that, where the researcher bonuses are ordered so that higher bonuses are less penalized than lower bonuses. Thus, if you have some good research sites and you stack all your scientists on the home space port, you might be wasting their bonuses. If your researchers are strongly focused into specific fields rather than being more generalized, then you might not be gaining as much as if you had stuck each of them on a lab over a site with a bonus in their strongest field. Note that the denominator of the sum of researcher bonuses might be something like 2^(n - 1) rather than just n; I'm not really certain because I haven't looked at how scientist bonuses stack in a while and I don't remember what others have said about it.

Of course, keeping all of them at home, or in one big lab over your favorite research bonus (note - if you want to use off-type bonuses from the scientists, you need to have at least one lab of the appropriate type wherever they're stationed), allows you to keep them safer, it allows them to pool any shared bonuses which might add up to more than what you'd receive by stacking the best in each field over the best site bonus in that field that you can find, and it allows all of them to benefit from any Inspirational characters you happen to have who you can station at the lab (I think that's the name of the trait; if not, it's whichever one improves character skills over time). Regardless, you're normally not losing out on much by keeping them all in one big lab.

Also, late game is probably when you least need to spread out the scientist stack. It's in the early to mid game that you most want to have the best possible research bonuses, because that's when you're most likely to get the most out of any research advantage you can scrape up. Spreading the scientists out is riskier but potentially more rewarding because if done appropriately and if the risks don't materialize (i.e. pirates and saboteurs don't blow up your Typhon Weapons Lab while Creative Supergenius Top Scientist and the other 3 best weapons researchers were working there) it can get you ahead in the technological race. Late game, you're really just picking up the technologies you hadn't really felt were worth researching earlier, and it doesn't really matter if you're getting your absolute best possible bonus towards the research of Assault Missiles II because you already have Plasma Thunderbolt IIIs as your standard long-range weapon, and anyways stacks scientist characters who started with multiple skills and survive a long time are likely to have better skills than most research locations will with smaller stacks of best-in-field scientists.
NephilimNexus
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:25 pm

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by NephilimNexus »

I usually just do one giant lab at my homeworld with all three lab types on it. It does not matter what kind of lab you officially make it, all lab types will function. The designation really only matter when building specialty labs on neutron stars & gas giants to get their bonus.

For example: I've got a gas giant nearby with +20% to weapons. At my homeworld, I'll make a lab (any type) with, say, 25 of each lab type. Then I'll make a specialty "weapons lab" that is only 1 lab unit and less than 100 units in size (cheap!) and put it at the gas giant. I'll get the 20% bonus for having a lab at the gas giant even though all of my research is actually done on the big lab at my world.

This is also useful for when pirates target your labs, as the one big lab on homeworld is next to my big, heavily armed starport as well. If they blow up the tiny "bonus" lab that cost me less than 1000cr it's no big deal.
Kizucha
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:45 am

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by Kizucha »

@NephilimNexus: Its exactly the same way i place my research stations but it have a really bad problem. Aside that the little research outposts are really cheap they are easy targets for saboteurs and for clear... really really really easy targets.[:D]
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Spidey
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:39 am

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by Spidey »

The designation really only matter when building specialty labs on neutron stars & gas giants to get their bonus.
To clarify, you need to build a research station at location bonuses but any kind of research station with at least one lab of the right kind will get the bonus. Meaning an energy station with a single weapons lab will get a location bonus to weapons research.
Kaien
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:43 pm

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by Kaien »

A NephilimNexus :
This is also useful for when pirates target your labs, as the one big lab on homeworld is next to my big, heavily armed starport as well.
Why you do a labs station ? Why you dont do a big starport with lab ?
Maybe the answer is obvious, but for me, it is not clear why we have ''lab'' when we can do a startport with lab.
Aeson
Posts: 785
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:36 pm

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by Aeson »

Why you do a labs station ? Why you dont do a big starport with lab ?
Maybe the answer is obvious, but for me, it is not clear why we have ''lab'' when we can do a startport with lab.
There's a chance that a scientist will spawn when you build a (or perhaps your first?) lab station.
NephilimNexus
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:25 pm

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by NephilimNexus »

ORIGINAL: Kaien
Why you do a labs station ? Why you dont do a big starport with lab ?
Maybe the answer is obvious, but for me, it is not clear why we have ''lab'' when we can do a startport with lab.

First...
ORIGINAL: Aeson
There's a chance that a scientist will spawn when you build a (or perhaps your first?) lab station.

Aeson is correct, and even just one Ultra Genius scientist is a game changer.

Second, yes you can certainly put research labs into your starport blueprint and they'll work just fine. But here is the catch: Doing so means that all of your starports of that size will get research labs, too. Since you only get RP for the largest one, this means that every research lab on every startport past the first one is nothing more than a waste of materials and credits (both in construction and upkeep).

Multiply than by 100+ planets and that's a lot of waste.
Aeson
Posts: 785
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:36 pm

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by Aeson »

Second, yes you can certainly put research labs into your starport blueprint and they'll work just fine. But here is the catch: Doing so means that all of your starports of that size will get research labs, too. Since you only get RP for the largest one, this means that every research lab on every startport past the first one is nothing more than a waste of materials and credits (both in construction and upkeep).
Every lab you have on every station you have adds to your total research capacity. None of your research capacity will be wasted until your research capacity exceeds your empire's total research potential.

Scientists on separate stations who give bonuses to the same field and multiple sites with research bonuses to the same field are wasted as long as there is another lab location with a better overall bonus to that field (location and scientist bonuses are additive with one another for determining which location has the best bonus, and scientist stacks suffer diminishing returns of some form), but labs themselves will not be wasted until your empire's capacity exceeds its potential. If you're doing something silly like 30000K research capacity in each field on the station, then sure, you're almost certainly wasting funds by building multiple stations with that kind of lab capacity, but more reasonable amounts of lab space on each station will not go to waste.
jacozilla
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:21 am

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by jacozilla »

This is more for people who may google this thread in future - my .02 cents and army vet leaning is spread out, one hand grenade could get you all.

I've had games where my one giant research lab was sabotaged and exploded, killing all my top 3 scientists there in one stroke.

I would build separate ER, HT, and Wep labs at the best sites for each you can find (best = both bonus % and relative safety of lab in/near your borders) not only for the better bonus min/max, but to mitigate one sabotage taking out your entire research brain trust.

Although to be fair, its only happened once so i dont know how common or uncommon that kind of sabotage is.

Since i've switched to separate research stations, have only had it one more time in dozen plus games or so.
Remigius
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:52 am

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by Remigius »

As I too, had my scientist killed by foreign agents recently, I would like to know, what influences the success chances for sabotaging a lab? More specificly, apart from comparisons between the two races racial smartnes and the number of counter intelligence agents, can I make a lab design more resilient against being blown up?
Aeson
Posts: 785
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:36 pm

RE: Research Labs, why bother?

Post by Aeson »

As far as I know, the only things influencing the success chances of a sabotage mission are the sabotage skill of the agent involved (the concealment skill may also be involved; it wouldn't surprise me if an agent is less likely to be caught while preparing for the attack the higher their concealment skill is), the counterespionage skills of any agents in the target faction who are on counterintelligence duty, the espionage bonuses of the factions involved, and the size of the target station. The only one of these which is particularly controllable is the size of the station, but if the station isn't built over a colony the size is rather limited early on, and even later in the game you don't necessarily want to have giant lab stations scattered throughout the empire. Also, I've heard that there's a possibility that a sufficiently large station will survive a successful sabotage attempt, though it will be damaged even so; I cannot personally speak to this as I don't recall ever seeing this happen, but I've seen this reported. However, it's likely that this requires a very large station, such as a Large Space Port, to be the target; it is not particularly likely or, probably, economically viable for standard lab stations to be this large if you're scattering them around your empire on research bonus locations.
Although to be fair, its only happened once so i dont know how common or uncommon that kind of sabotage is.
My experience is that station destruction by means of sabotage missions, character assassination by means of sabotage missions, and character assassination by means of assassination missions are rare. However, in games where they do occur, you're likely to see these kinds of attacks occur reasonably often, because actually seeing one of these missions go off successfully tends to indicate that at least one faction has at least one agent who's reasonably good at these types of missions, and so that faction will probably keep sending their agent on these kinds of missions, and as agents who successfully complete sabotage or assassination missions will generally improve the associated skills, they'll be more likely to successfully complete the next such mission that they're assigned.
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