PP2 balance issue - "It's cheap and expensive to run" - why that's a problem

I was talking about PP2s and Lfabs on stream today and came up with a realization about PP2s. I’d dabbled in them a lot in the previous universe and was rather frustrated with the result.

PP2s have a very low cost (15 Bfabs and a few TRU). Let’s just throw a number out there like 40k NCC for a PP2 + 10K for the HB1/HB2s to support it (normalized for low pioneer/settler needs). They also have a very high operational cost (not labor). They can churn through over 10k NCC worth of ALO/NL/PG per day very easily by making LSE or LDE. The labor costs are small, just 500 NCC/day…

Because the PP2 is so cheap and can process so many materials so quickly it makes it a prime candidate to “build it, use it, demolish it when i’m done.” If other players are trying to sell LSE/LDE at a high price and AL is for sale, i can be cheaper to just make your own PP2 and run it for 2 days and demolish it. This is all due to the fact that the building cost is so low compared to how much it processes.

To make matters more unsettling, how does a player keep a PP2 running making LSE/LDE? They’ll need 40k NCC worth of input material to hold 4 days worth of product if they want to keep just one PP2 running. This hidden cost is staggering.

I think Lfabs produced in a PP2 are not trading well (based on very intimate experience in previous universe) in general because of these factors.

Buildings that are expensive and have low operating costs tend to be favored (FRM+RIG combo is super simple and you dont have to buy anything). It’s also less likely that players will “build it themselves” when the prices go up a little bit (GRN go from 100 to 120? not a problem).
Buildings that are cheap and have high operating costs tend to sell products whose profit margin are very slim, and any sort of fluxuation in price results in either catastrophic reduction in profits or megalucrative gains (LDE went from 4k to 5k? that’s outrageous!!!). Note the GRN/LDE samples are both changing price by 25% but the impact is significantly different.

I’d like to propose a theoretical change to the PP2. I’ll throw an example and why out, and then I hope we can use this thought process to analyze other buildigns that may be disproportionate in ways that make the game less fun. I don’t recommend we change the PP2 this universe, but rather just use it as a model for how we might change it next universe

Raise PP2 cost significantly to make it feel like more of an investment and to make sure that players who build one are significantly invested into it.

  • Building cost from 6xBBH 3xBSE 6xBDE 4xTRU to 18xBBH 10xBSE 18xBDE 16xTRU
  • This raises the price from about 35k to 110k for the building (210% sticker increase)
  • The ratio of building cost to input cost/day went from 2:1 to 9:1
  • The end result is that the cost to setup a PP2 + 4 days of stockpile of PG+AL to make LSE went from 83k to 158k (90% practical increase)
    Increase area so that the revenue per unit area is more in line with other buildings
  • Raise area from 25 to 60
  • If the PP1 processes 5k/day and the PP2 processes 15k/day, tripling the area keeps the overall revenue per area in the same ballpark
    Increase the rate at which PP2 makes Bfabs, LBH, and LTA so that it can stay relevant compared to PP1.
  • Modify BSE recipe to be 3x AL + 6x LST => 3x BSE (6h), modify other recipes accordingly.
  • Modify BDE recipe to be 100 PG => 3x BDE (12h), this makes PG-BDE a viable alternative and useful recipe in some cases. It’s slower, but should usually be more resource efficient than the PP1 recipe.
  • Modify LBH and LTA duration from 6h to 4h so that they are more in line with total operational costs compared to LDE and LSE
    Alter pioneers/settlers to match the new size of the building.
  • Increase pioneers to 80 and settler to 80. This offsets the bonus speed of the Bfab production and provides way more labor cost to the Lfabs to help it be less operational cost focused.

This is just a sample of how it could change and why those changes would help make the PP2 a better experience to own. The numbers as they are aren’t as important as the concepts behind them.

These changes will help make the PP2 an investment that people take more seriously. They’ll also help stabilize the Lfab market by adding more labor cost and building costs to the LFab industry to ensure that slight fluctuations in price don’t make or break the entire building. People will also have a better intuitive understanding of the operational costs as tend to default to thinking operational costs scale with building costs. Lastly, it’ll create an interesting ‘big building’ in the early era that players strive for, but don’t just jump into.

Thanks for reading!

No! Just No! The PP2 is actually one of the best designed building in the game. It can print Tier one prefabs and print tier two prefabs making the transition to tier two easier. The fact that you can occasionally print L-fabs while printing B-fabs is a great thing.

The other two B-fabs require higher tier materials to make, and I think that is a great thing.

It was one of the best decisions the devs made, and I can safely say it is one of the reasons the game loop became more stable.

3xAL + 6 LST --> 3 BSE is not only overpowered, but makes the problem of holding 30k work of inputs even worse.

The Bfab increases are not only insane, but are out of line with the other buildings, the population proposals as well-no building uses 160 total workers. You’re not even taking into account POPI.

Once the L-fab economy developed I had no trouble finding L-fabs on the market.

I wish more buildings were like it-the PP2 is the gold standard when it comes to well designed buildings.

With that high building costs the expansion of the economy would be harmed a lot. What would constructors (I guess 95% are going from PP1 to PP2, at least 60% from PP1 up to PP3) do? They would save their output except the 10% they need for food for even longer periods in early stages.

So when POPI and common expansion will (have to) start to become an issue, the constructors would still work for them self to get their PP2s, keeping the basic prefabs and sitting on farms of PP1 that absorb every last drop of DW. But RAT and DW production is even harder to expand, as prefabs are short! The only way out would be to stop socialism and increase the market-maker price for basic prefabs (for even higher opportunity costs for constructors) or trading on LM (how ever they would be build) with very high prices would start replacing the CX. So a young economy would have to survive this moment of almost all constructors sitting on that amount of investment goods (which would be like twice of their balance statement?).

I guess this proposal is very likely leading into an economic collapse. Why is everyone trying to “harmonize” or “balance” the business cases of farmers and constructors?

Bfab portion wasn’t really changed at all. I just tripled the building cost, workforce, and speed. The net effect is identical, it’s just a bigger upfront investment. The change is essentially that Lfabs produce slower.