Populous MAT Feedback and Discussion

Hopefully this will attract some discussion as more people get onto the test server and devs talk more about Populous. There are exciting changes coming! This thread is limited to only discussion about the materials and their uses in Populous and not about the planetary projects and their upkeep costs directly.

Here are a few thoughts I had looking through the upcoming material changes…

What is a Truss (TRU) for anyways?

The use of TRU in the MAT tree prior to Populous is limited. TRU was used mainly in settler tier buildings but is now included as an input into most of the Populous planetary projects. The new settler tier buildings, Electronic Device Manufactory (EDM) and Unit Prefab Plant (UPF), don’t require TRU but mostly likely should to maintain consistency. There’s also a question to be asked…why don’t any of the higher teir buildings use TRUs and should they? I would weigh in on that they should as I like to see things getting more complicated and interconnected as they move into the higher tiers.

A principle of interconnections?

The new engineer level building Drone Shop (DRS) produces a MAT Drone Chassis (DCH) that all of the other DRS outputs are based on. The DCH takes as part of its raw inputs 6 aluminum (AL). The DRS is an electronics buildings and most of the items going into the products are electronics items combined with DCH. It could be a boost to WEL, and therefore HE, demand to instead replace the 6 AL with a mid level item say, Drone Frame (DF) that was built in a WEL. The DF would replace the AL in the DRS recipe for DCH. I think this would add some interconnections on the metals side that a higher tier building like this should have. If we really wanted to go wild we could have an alternate recipe for DF that was built from plastics in the 3D Printer. If the plastics inputs were scaled to be similar in cost to the 6 AL then it could add some interesting aspects to drone production in that areas of the galaxy that are skewed towards metal would use the AL method and those skewed towards plastic might use that instead…and changes in market price in the inputs would lead to people having choices to make.

A use for sodium?

I would love to see sodium (NA) get some kind of additional use. I think we will be using even more chlorine (CL) due to the increased usage of Epoxy Resin (EPO) in Populous as an input to things like Office Supplies (OFF). Hopefully it is not to0 late to add something…a sodium based detergent that is used as an upkeep in the medical buildings? This might be an example: https://www.britannica.com/science/water-glass

I’ll probably be back here to post more as I find more things of interest…


Lots of good points there @Esabab! :slight_smile:

Not really sure why TRU isn’t present in higher tier buildings, but it would definitely make sense in general. It’s not specifically a Populous thing, but since we’re adding all these TRU projects, I’ll look into adding it some more all around asap.

I like the ideas regarding DRS a lot. While WEL will have new uses for ship-building, it won’t hurt to throw in a couple more things. The plastic chassis is a neat idea too although I’d prefer to maybe have two different types altogether in the future. Maybe once there are even more drone types.

NA is definitely on my watchlist for the next material tree rework. It just didn’t fit super well with any of the new infrastructure for now. I think a potential new use should intuitively make sense and not feel “forced”.


Thanks for taking a look and responding! Excited to see the Populous changes going live soon.

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As for sodium, while it might be slightly forced, IRL it is used for heat transfer in some nuclear power plants, so maybe something like that could be useful, mainly with the ship building update

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That’s a good point, but we have THF for that

Just wanted to weigh in that I love Esabab’s suggestion of having both a metal route and a plastic route to the drone frame.

In general, my favorite parts of the game are the items that have multiple paths to build them and multiple uses for what you can do with them. I think that is very consistent with a space civilization – you will find a way to achieve your goal with what is available on that planet / in that system. If the area has metal, you will use it. If it doesn’t but it has plastic ingredients, you will use that instead.


I think of THF as a heat insulator. It is used to make INF and TSH.
Liquid NA is used in reactors for the opposite purpose, to pump heat away from the core.