Higher tier versions of buildings

The reason I believe was mentioned for not having higher tier produce lower tier materials is to prevent lower players from being priced out of tier 1 markets. I believe there’s a way around this if we view things from a profit per area per day perspective.

In theory, in a perfect economy, the price of everything would balance at the point where every building produces the same profit per area per day. Since humans are involved and markets can shift rapidly, there’s a risk factor to everything and the more complex a production recipe is, the higher the market risk is and therefore the higher the profit per area per day needs to be before someone decides to jump in that production. This is why a FRM has low profitability while a SL prints money and will always have this relationship.

FLX recipes kind of do this, but it’s not large enough to be noticeable. It’s normal because it still uses the same building and the same workers, which means profit per area per day is going to be slightly higher than the non-FLX recipes due to risk of securing FLX, but not that much.

To really make a difference, I would move this recipe to a settler tier building, essentially SME2, which instead of employing 50 pioneers, would employ 50 settlers. By being a higher tier, the supply chain grows in risk and profit per area per day can grow a bit more without making the non-FLX recipe unprofitable for new players. It will require precise balancing, but it’s something that should be rather simple by attributing a target profit per area per day to materials and going from there.

The desired outcome is using SME1 6 FEO + 1 C + 1 O = 3 FE produces higher profit per FE and the SME2 4 FEO + 1 C + 1 O = 4 FE produces lower profit per FE, but higher profit per day. The recipe might need to be tuned based on the value of FLX and FE.

This means that new players will always have profitability in the SME1 recipe, while advanced players will be encouraged to move up to SME2 because they are running out of base space.

Also, I mentioned SME2, but there could also be a SME3 using even more advanced materials to produce FE at a much higher pace. 3 levels might be enough, but it could go all the way up to 5.

By applying this concept to all buildings, this also creates an incentive for ressource rich planets like Etherwind to tier up their workforces instead of being the place where pioneers go to be slaves forever.

The positive side effect of doing it this way is it solves the chicken and egg problem when tiering up the economy. Also, it will allow materials to be used in more recipes, which will help create a market for them and have them show up at the CX, unlike some materials which are used in a single chain and make no sense to trade on the CX.

Also, it fixes the pyramid relationship between scientists and pioneers where you need an absurd amount of pioneers to support a single scientist. By teching up tier 1 production buildings to level 3, scientists can be supported by technicians because technicians become self-sufficient. This could also be pushed up to level 5 where the entire universe runs on scientists with brain wrecking interactions between production recipes compared to a quarter of the universe turning H2O into DW.

This can also be tied into other systems to increase player diversification, encourage horizontal scaling and trade.

For example, the SME2 building might be something that you must buy with NEO Charter faction points while EXT2 is bought with Castillo-Ito points. This means players will be unable to get all upgraded versions at once until well into the game. It will create trade between players because one player using EXT2 and one player using SME2 will produce higher profit per area than a player using EXT and SME2 or EXT2 and SME.

This could also be HQ upgrades for players who prefer to isolate in Hubur.

Another option would be to have efficiency bonuses to these upgraded versions, but not the base ones. Anyone could build SME2 right from the start, but to really specialize in it requires investing a lot of limited tech points into that particular building. Since you can’t upgrade SME1 this way, new players will be unaffected. This also encourages trade between players for the same reasons as above. Vertical players can spread their points all around the place and get some bonuses for their chain, but would not be as efficient as trading with other players.

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The building chain concept already exists for a lot of buildings, e.g.

PP1 → PP2 → PP3

Some FRM products already have HYF recipes, but I don’t know if anyone uses those. When I looked at them, the HYF ones didn’t seem worth it since they require extra ingredients. But if the devs wanted to test this idea they could just tweak those recipes to make them cost effective, and then see what happens.

Yes this is true I forgot about them, but the concept could be expanded to the rest of the buildings, otherwise the universe can never get off the pioneer phase. ORC is not a replacement for FRM in any way though. The CHP path also has no overlap, they’re just the same expertise.

I wouldn’t merge them into existing buildings either, because that will make it harder to control global economic development. What I mean is if a PP2 is meant to contain tier 2 PP1 recipes, then its building materials should be tier 2 and up instead of being tier 1. PP2 is half settlers, but PP1-2 would be full settlers. If PP2 is a stepping stone toward tier 2, then PP1-2 is a stepping stone toward tier 3 in a different way that PP3 is a stepping stone toward tier 3.

The flow I’m picturing is the pioneer economy has excess, which allows PP2 to be built from tier 1 prefabs. This produces lightweight prefabs, which is then needed for upgraded tier 1 recipes. The PP1-2 allows players with maxed bases to increase their tier 1 prefab output, but inefficiently from a per-unit point of view. From an area point of view however, the universe is more productive and since area is the ultimate limiting factor in this universe, that allows the next cycle to happen.

I did some napkin math and HCP from a FRM with COoG and 2 experts is really cheap compared to HCP from HYF with COoG and 5 experts. It’s about 60 vs 112. That’s without luxury beverages. New players will never feel threatened by experienced players with a HYF setup because they can produce HCP much cheaper due to low material costs in the recipe. That’s the key to make it work, by requiring more valuable inputs per output since experts, COoG and any potential efficiency bonuses only reduce consumable and building expenses.

The profitability threshold for using HYF instead of FRM for HCP would be about 130. Beyond 130, HYF has better profit per area and FRM has higher profit per unit.

A ton of people use HYF, and not just for the unique things only they can make (COF). It’s more area efficient, allowing you to produce more in the same base. I have 20 HYF making HCP\RAT.

Under what circumstances though? e.g. if this only happens on Etherwind, then the principle of the HYF being more efficient in some way doesn’t generalise. I doubt anyone is growing HCP in a HYF on Promitor.

Of course, they’re not really equivalent buildings, since the HYF doesn’t get the fertility bonus/malus. So you can build a HYF anywhere, which is kind of the point. A better test of the higher tier building principle would be to add some FRM recipes to the ORC, and then see if Promitor peeps start switching over.

I for one make all my b-fabs in PP2s rather than PP1s. But that’s mainly because they’re on an ALO planet, rather than due to any efficiency calculation.

ORC uses PP4 prefabs, so that’s not the same as HYF. ORC is more of a tier 4 building in that sense where HYF is low tier 2.

Anyways, Using ORC to produce MAI, this recipe feels roughly balanced to me.

200 H2O + 1 DDT + 4 SOI = 90 MAI
Production time 16 hours

A FRM outputs 0.21 MAI per area per day while this ORC would output 1.03. My napkin math spreadsheet gives a production cost of 68 for FRM and 139 for ORC. The breakeven price is around 155, but that would be different after factoring experts and CoGC.

From my pessimistic prices, this gives a labor+building vs input cost split of 30% labor+building 70% input. A FRM is about 80% labor+building and 20% input.

This means the fertility bonus of Promitor wouldn’t change much in the equation. And this is perfectly fine if you look at the real world for inspiration. The reason we can sustain 8 billion people is because of the Haber Bosch process which allows less fertile soils to be closer to the best naturally fertile soils. This is actually good because it transforms any low fertility planet into a source of food for a region.

Also, I think it’s important to point out the opportunity of using more products in the economy by splitting buildings instead of piggy backing on existing higher tier ones. That FRM3 could be using drones in its building materials like HYF uses MHL for example. FLP could see more use by being part of higher tier RIG instead of being something you do once every month to get a new ship.

Giving players better profit is one thing, but that one is the real gameplay enhancer and might even improve the ship building economy by making more pieces readily available.

I am very intrigued by the concept.

Give new players the profits. (money efficiency)
Give old players the convenience and scale. (area efficiency)

I think this can work and they should roll it out for a few things as a test.

FRM3 using NS + DDT + SOI + Drone(irrigation-drone) + FLP(irrigation system) + BMF + WAI(agricultural management AI)

You can go super crazy, not only with the input materials but also with construction materials (which are also just long-term input materials)

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