So, as we all know, HQ Upgrades get more expensive with each upgrade. Most players haven’t really reached the point to complain about that yet, but they get more expensive really fast and gobble up a lot of Fabs, soooo…
2 Permits -> 3 Permits - 12 BBH, 8 BDE, 8 BSE, 4 BTA, 24 MCG, 8 TRU 3 Permits-> 4 Permits - 12 BBH, 8 BDE, 8 BSE, 4 BTA, 24 MCG, 8 TRU 4 Permits-> 5 Permits - 24 BBH, 16 BDE, 16 BSE, 8 BTA, 48 MCG, 16 TRU 5 Permits -> 6 Permits - 48 BBH, 32 BDE, 32 BSE, 16 BTA, 96 MCG, 32 TRU 6 Permits -> 7 Permits - 96 BBH, 64 BDE, 64 BSE, 32 BTA, 192 MCG, 64 TRU 7 Permits -> 8 Permits - 14 LBH, 10 LDE, 10 LSE, 6 LTA, 40 MCG, 15 OFF, 10 TRU 8 Permits -> 9 Permits - 25 LBH, 18 LDE, 18 LSE, 11 LTA, 70 MCG, 26 OFF, 18 TRU 9 Permits -> 10 Permits - 43 LBH, 31 LDE, 31 LSE, 18 LTA, 123 MCG, 46 OFF, 31 TRU 10 Permits -> 11 Permits - 75 LBH, 54 LDE, 54 LSE, 32 LTA, 214 MCG, 80 OFF, 54 TRU
In case you wonder why LFabs are basically sold out most of the time on every CX out there, I’d say that’s partially my fault since I’m still aiming for getting more permits.
So, in the last update the holy molps of this universe did bless us with base expansions. 250 Slots for one Permit… wait, only 250 Slots, when using the same permit on a new base yields 500 Slots? That feels a bit like a scam! At least to me. Let me explain why.
10 Bases in, I’ve now reached the point where buying an STL Ship and upgrading my HQ once is cheaper than upgrading my HQ twice. That means the 500 Slots from a new base + an accompanying STL Ship are cheaper than the 500 Slots from 2 Base Expansions on the same planet, which would include even higher future HQ costs since I’d need to upgrade my HQ twice for that. So for me, with the ways how things are currently implemented, there’s literally no incentive to expand my base sizes right now.
As far as I am aware there are 4 SHY available in the entire universe right now – one for each CX system, found at partially questionable planets nobody would ever want to colonize besides some odd shipbuilders. That’s 8 Planets I can reach through STL ships while the two FTL Ships I got at the start just connect Planets in surrounding systems with the CX there, allowing me to probably have up to 17 bases or so before shipping gets more tight. For me, that’s the direction the game seems to be pointing me towards right now.
17 Permits in – Extrapolate those HQ numbers and you might already see where this is going: At that point, building a SHY, an STL Ship and an HQ Upgrade is probably going to be just as expensive or maybe even cheaper than two HQ upgrades. I can think of a couple of systems that would work wonderfully to add 2 or even 3 more tightly integrated planets into my empire (XH-594 for example). Heck, maybe we might even have FTL Ships available by then, allowing us to skip the SHY altogether.
The gist of it all is, as things are right now, I see absolutely no long-term advantages in expanding a base’s area over just colonizing a new planet. You are basically giving half the area away for some more vertical space that could just as well be filled through the LM or local CX. Either HQ Upgrades are too expensive or the area increase is too small to be worth considering. Or a mix of both.
I think coupling both new bases and base expansions to the same currency (namely Permits) might not be the best approach. In general, I feel like an HQ could offer so much more to upgrade than just one level – I’m imagining entire tech-trees in my hot fever dreams! But this thread is not to talk about those, but instead to just suggest separating Base Expansions into a different HQ Upgrade Category:
- Base Management: Yields one Area Increase Permit per Level
- Planetary Control: Yields one Base Permit per Level. Basically the HQ level right now.
If upgrade-able separately (and with separated prices), it would make total sense to have a couple bases with 750-1000 Area at some point, and also make the intensity of the price increases for HQ upgrades we got right now a bit less… harsh.
You could also introduce different Items for both upgrade paths instead of “just do more Fabs” into the mix. The addition of OFF that we have at the jump from BFabs to LFabs right now is really great! But there’s a lot of other items out there that could see more active trade on the CX and would make a lot of sense in an HQ besides “making it bigger” (which is what the price mainly being in Fabs suggests). Medical Supplies, Software, Drones… you name it!