Some thoughts about HQ Upgrades, Base Permits and Base Expansions

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…

Let’s start off with a look at the currently known HQ Upgrade prices:

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. :upside_down_face:

Base Expansions

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.

Why I’ll never use that feature

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.

TL;DR

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.

A suggestion on how to fix this

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!

5 Likes

One important note is that expanding a base’s area with a permit is not permanent. You can later remove buildings and refund the permit. So there’s no reason to hold out on expanding a base if you can use the extra area right now, vs making better use of it in a month or two. Obviously that does not apply once you start getting base upgrades that cost hundreds of thousands of coupons to do.

That doesn’t mean that I think the doubling cost of each upgrade is reasonable though.

Personally I’m okay with Jacuribu not using the base expansion feature.

1 Like

I’m also “surprised” that using a permit to expand an existing base is free, i.e. no associated buildings costs like the CM for a new base. Which then could also degrade, adding a cost if you want to switch how many permits are allocated to a single base often. Of course with that expensive permits you wouldn’t really need another cost on top of that but on the other hand I would image it to be a fixed cost, so it’ll be much cheaper (trivial).

About the idea of having separated permits, I would instead prefer if that would just be part each base instead of a HQ feature. A simple implementation would be similar to STO, just expanding area instead of storage (of course capped by max building count :slight_smile: ). In addition, we could probably then also start with smaller bases.

1 Like

Jacuribu’s point doesn’t take into account that some planets are worth more to be on, so expanding on them may intrinsically be worth more than building a second base. Also this doesn’t take into account the faster growth of, and better use of, experts in larger bases.

I’m surprised the fall in permit cost from 7 to 8 hasn’t been mentioned. By my maths permit 8 costs 38% of permit 7. The switch from stupid numbers of b-fabs to manageable numbers of more expensive l-fabs causes this step down. Perhaps switching one fab per step would smooth things, and making MCG and TRU rise more smoothly across all permits.

I think longer term a more granular permit system may be the way to go, allowing a range of bonuses, ship sizes and base sizes to be purchased. Switching from 1 permit/upgrade and base to 5/upgrade and base, and a linearly decreasing area per permit based on 5 permits = 500 area and 15 permits = 1000 area as at present, you get the following:

Permits	Area
 1		 125
 2		 235
 3		 333
 4		 421
 5		 500
 6		 571
 7		 636
 8		 696
 9		 750
10		 800
11		 846
12		 889
13		 929
14		 966
15		1000

Note how 10 permits (2 currently) should be 800 area not 750. With a granular system would Jacuribu’s approach mean we all have a large number of 125 area bases, or think more carefully how large we want each base?

2 Likes

I like the idea of making it a building, but the issue I see with that is that the costs for base area increases would be linear to some degree: Someone with 20 bases has an easy time upgrading that thing on every planet a couple times if the prices are always just as low as on the first planet.

Out of curiosity, which planet is worth so much to be on that you’d be happily trading 50% production capacity for? There’s a dozen or so planets right next door to a CX and thus I think neither a CoGC, shipping nor basic material availability would be worth it, in case that’s what you mean.
In terms of experts, yes. A larger base would mean faster buildup here, but that’s only a temporary benefit (and I don’t really like the concept of experts as in tight markets with large margins that’s a death sentence for new players). I wouldn’t say that they would be better used tho, as every base can accumulate 5 experts over time and focus on just one industry, and this is a neat nudge to force cooperation between players (or gasp horizontal base designs)

I think a more granular approach would be pretty neat as well. Some Gas Giants just don’t call for a full 500 Area base, unless you either dedicate an entire ship to it or have a bunch of people willing to ship the stuff or pick it up themselves.

I think its good the way it is.

I even feel the start area of a base should be 250 Area and allow us to expand 3 times to final size of 1000.

Just make it an adjustable number, so each 1 permit is 500 area and you adjust which base can take how much of that area. You want 10 bases with 50 area assigned (25 is taken by CM btw :wink: )? go for it! You want 750 one base and 250 other? Go for it! This would help with not wasting area on GGs that are used mainly to extract and forget and you can still use the remaining area on your first 750 base.

Some sort of smaller-than-500 permit usage would be clutch (call it like an “outpost permit” and make it 150 area for 1/2 a permit perhaps, if not making it fully adjustable). It feels like such a waste to use a full, expensive base permit when you’re trying to get some resource on a higher tier planet with just a couple extractors…

Or we just go with 1 Permit = 250 base area from the start next universe.

only if they change the current values of HQ upgrade… its currently way too expensive once passed level 8-9 (and I assume it falls on rfabs at some point…)

Already on it! :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for the feedback everyone!

why is it to expensive? The game is meant to be looong. If everyone could upgrade to 20 permits within 1 month it becomes boring.
It has to get steep at some point

1 Like

flattening the fabs requirements but adding more “fun” stuff there I would think is the way to go as also individual R&D projects for bases :wink:

I dont mind it being steep

I mind it being the same thing over and over again making it almost a requirement to produce those…

But IMHO its way too steep at the end of bfabs and near the 4th level of lfabs. A hq level shoudn’t cost more than an entire base at this point in time

4 Likes

I find this whole thread very interesting. I actually took the exact opposite approach.

I have HQ 9, 10 base permits. I demolished two bases on gas giants and now am “all-in” on permits on two bases, soon to be 3, with a 4th base at 1 permit.

My view was, that I am already shipping-speed-limited, so until I have a 3rd FTL ship, I have no need of more than 3 or 4 maxed out bases. Also, there is no investment cost to expand permits, so ROI on new buildings is EXCELLENT. I think the old approach of spread out and use resource taps is what is obsolete with the new HQ changes.

I don’t think either approach is wrong - it just demonstrates how circumstantial so much can be in this game. Which is neat, IMO. It startled me to see that someone else at so similar a stage of the game would have arrived at so opposite a conclusion as me.

I also think the new permit feature will force people to start sharing resource taps more than they did before. Which is great.

I think the steep cost of base level 4/5 (whichever the huge BBH one was) is actually EXCELLENT - it forces a drastic change in focus for a time, which makes the game feel more dynamic. I do agree with the suggestion to have a little more variety of inputs.

1 Like

Imho removable CM remove the need for short term ressources tape sharing. Won’t be that long until large players can affors to drop 10 ext for a month to cover their needs