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Spaceception

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EDITED with changes.

These are just a number of random thoughts I've had on this subject. Nothing concrete. But overall, I'd just like them to live up to their namesake.

Systems/Planets
  • Set several small regions of space to be richer in strategic resources across the galaxy (so you don't have to wage war from the opposite side of the galaxy). This is for both stations, and habitable planets.
  • There could be a mode for "clusters" and "distributed." Clusters works as above, distributed works similar to now, but with richer deposits (there may also be fewer deposits overall, but they're still spread out). In the first case, there could still be some random deposits. So even if a much stronger Empire that isn't willing to trade (like a purifier) beats you to the chase, you aren't totally locked out.
  • Habitable planets should get richer deposits, and at least several would be guaranteed in each cluster described above.
  • Refinery habitats become even better for the late game. (If you can build the natural buildings based on the deposit)
The above makes these regions justified for warfare, and can give you a very strong economic position. Most Empires that would normally hate you (like those with opposing ethics) will now want to be your best friend.

They could even be excellent places to hold "neutral space" as has been discussed in other threads (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...ace-makes-stellaris-feel-constrained.1247714/), where you can contest, guard, and trade these resources. Colonies become very rich (but require a good garrison), and over time, you could expect a handful of powers to hold the majority of these resources.

Either way: for peaceful Empires, they could get discounts (or exemptions for fighting) to get these if they're otherwise unable to secure them, and for the more genocidal or diplomatically lacking Empires, it becomes important to get a stranglehold on these. But this also opens you up to a unique CB for other Empires to gain access to them again. Even something like a joint war à la Federation style. Better have a good fleet!


The Market/Enclaves
  • Regardless of anything else, strategic resources should be made into a limited resource on the civilian and galactic market. This makes using them strategic too since you always have a limited supply - will you build ships? Activate edicts? Upgrade a building?
  • Now, buying resources from the Enclaves makes more sense, especially if you suddenly lose an important station from a stronger Empire. I've never seen a reason to do that; because I don't have the income, don't have a use, or I already have enough. So it must be a niche reason outside of making them like you more.
Synthetic buildings
  • Take them out. Just give a tier two for the natural extraction ones with 2 or 3 jobs. You're already halfway there with the Lithoid Crystal plant.
  • Or, do the natural building upgrade, keep the synthetic versions, and only let the player build them on a planet with the natural deposit already; or dependent on their upkeep somehow. This I think, helps retain the value of these clusters so that they're still worth contesting over.
Ships/Buildings
  • I don't know what I'd do with these from here. Raise the rare resource cost of ships to make it a more important investment? Lower the resource upkeep on buildings? What happens if you happen to run out, since the game would be harsher on you if it happened?
Lithoids
  • Just become more powerful. May not be able to upkeep anything on pops alone, but they could run edicts and build ships more easily, and with less risk. Also, they would be in a fairly good position for trade.
Trade policy
  • So if any of you saw my "Expanding trade" thread, one of the policy ideas I tossed around was one for strategic resources. That would need to be taken out in lieu of this, or only be allowed if the planet had those deposits already. Very nice, but probably not too OP for a while, since even at 300 trade value with 0.03 being produced, that's still only 9 resources.
EDIT: Diplomacy tree
  • Something I hadn't thought about was this - the Diplomacy could be made more powerful by giving some bonus to the extraction/trade/or protection of strategic resources. Like giving you a better weight for trading than other Empires as well (so you can get more bang for your buck basically).
 
Last edited:

Spaceception

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Weren't they renamed 'rare' resources, though?
I just booted up my game to take a quick look, and there was nothing that suggested they were called rare resources. Not the tech for collecting them, the resources in space, the edicts you can choose, or the resources themselves in the top bar. At most, Exotic gases were called rare and exotic, and crystals are named rare crystals. But the wiki for 2.3 explicititly calls them strategic resources. When talking about them, it uses the terms interchangeably.

But even if they were just rare resources, this could still fit for them, if they were only in small regions of space. Making them much more limited as well by removing the synthetic versions could allow for new mechanics and diplomacy.
 

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They kinda tried this back before 2.2 (maybe even before 2.0, though it kinda showed up again with Distant Stars and Nanites) when strategic resources were just a buff that required only one source of it and after which you can trade the rest away, and ended up dropping it because the sort of gameplay you're hoping to see with this never really surfaced.

Instead, you had the AI regularly pinging you with trade request for them, when they would almost never trade away theirs for you, though I don't recall if it was because PDX didn't trust the AI to make a trade with a player who wasn't the bestest of friends because they might be trying to do the classic player thing of taking advantage of a gullible AI to undermine and conquer them with the aid of their own strategic resource, or because they would almost immediately get pinged and trade away extras to AI empires before the player had their own chance... sort of like how the slave market is now. Even when all you were dealing with was AI, it meant pretty much the only way to secure a resource was conquest, and if you wanted to play tall, too bad.

And again, that was when they were buffs, and not absolutely critical to upgrade buildings, build advanced ship modules, and maintain parity with other empires. The player would have even less incentive to trade it away, and the devs a greater incentive to make sure the AI doesn't do so itself unless the relationship with the player has gotten to the point that you would need Xeno-Compatibility to take it any further.
 

Spaceception

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And again, that was when they were buffs, and not absolutely critical to upgrade buildings, build advanced ship modules, and maintain parity with other empires. The player would have even less incentive to trade it away, and the devs a greater incentive to make sure the AI doesn't do so itself unless the relationship with the player has gotten to the point that you would need Xeno-Compatibility to take it any further.
That's true. I suppose you could add a new trade deal system for these where you give resources in exchange for additional protection/defense. This way they remain more secure in the long-run for you, but I think the game needs more incentive, in general, to make deals and trades with the AI. Not just about making your own numbers go higher.
This could be things like being able to have additional allies when you get good trade deals - something that may become more important in the Federations update, and dealing with other Empires with a large stock to give you the resources you're lacking. So if you have a surplus of exotic gases, need alloys, and notice another Empire has a large access to motes, you could trade for some.

Lowering the upkeep of buildings may also help with this, so it's a bit more forgiving. Like 0.2/0.3 per month or something. Because as this idea stands, you would be very limited in late-game expansion with current costs. An ecumenopolis does become more powerful though, an additional 2 jobs for the same upkeep could be a larger boon than now. I even considered removing the upkeep for tier 1 (tier 2?) buildings altogether so your mid-game isn't as strapped. But that may take away from the value of this.


I vaguely remember in a 2.2 stream, that they talked about the importance of which buildings you should want to upgrade with strategic resources. So this idea is mostly meant to look at how to dig into that.
 

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Honestly I just want tier 2 refineries and extraction buildings. I would absolutely pay (for example) 1 mote monthly for 1 or 2 extra gas refiner jobs
 

Spaceception

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Honestly I just want tier 2 refineries and extraction buildings. I would absolutely pay (for example) 1 mote monthly for 1 or 2 extra gas refiner jobs
Would that be too high upkeep for a profit? But I'm okay with no additional resource upkeep (aside from energy), if the synthetic versions are removed. I think that increases the difficulty enough on its own.
 

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Personally, I think the ENTIRE market should be supply based. You can only buy minerals as long as someone is selling.

Resource extractions need to be buffed. Currently they are just a refinery without mineral upkeep. Have them give twice as much imo, two extractors per (or perhaps based on capital building level. Maybe instead add an upgrade to each extractor: 1 rare resource (of a different type) for +1 job. Use crystal lattices to trap trace gasses, pump exotic gas to displace Motes, use micro-explosive motes to perfectly cut free crystals.

Rare resource spawning imo should be a game option "Distributed" or "Clusters". Distributed would be like it is now, with the sporadic single deposit throughout space, and a few planetary deposits or more dense systems. Clusters would make Deposits not spawn in the majority of space, but then have small clusters of space that are super dense with those resources. 5+ deposits in space, multiple deposits on planets. Give use Arrakis, a planet valuable enough to supply an empire.
 

Spaceception

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Rare resource spawning imo should be a game option "Distributed" or "Clusters". Distributed would be like it is now, with the sporadic single deposit throughout space, and a few planetary deposits or more dense systems. Clusters would make Deposits not spawn in the majority of space, but then have small clusters of space that are super dense with those resources. 5+ deposits in space, multiple deposits on planets. Give use Arrakis, a planet valuable enough to supply an empire.
Hmm, I could see that. But how could that work with the "neutral space" part of the idea? Maybe there are more clusters, that are smaller, and more spread out like you said? I remember pre-2.2 there could be multiple systems with all of the resources, so maybe something like that. And those could be the random neutral spots across the galaxy to contend over, instead of a handful of larger ones.
They could even be separated over type in both cases. So one corner of the galaxy would be disproportionately gas, another motes, and another crystals. This makes trading with Empires across the galaxy for the other two resources important, and gives you an edge with the one you have.

I also agree with buffing natural extraction.
 

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Would that be too high upkeep for a profit? But I'm okay with no additional resource upkeep (aside from energy), if the synthetic versions are removed. I think that increases the difficulty enough on its own.
Personally, I'm fine with the synthetic ones, but I only build them very late because they're so space inefficient and come with a high mineral cost (not that minerals are a limited resource by that point, but it's still more workers who could be doing anything else). I think about it this way: yes, the strategic upkeep cost is high, but what this really does is mean a given building slot is more efficient, and seeing as by the late game making the most of your building slots is the big priority, it's fairly easy to justify the extra cost (especially when workers generate 2+modifiers and upkeep would be 1-modifiers).
 

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That's true. I suppose you could add a new trade deal system for these where you give resources in exchange for additional protection/defense. This way they remain more secure in the long-run for you, but I think the game needs more incentive, in general, to make deals and trades with the AI. Not just about making your own numbers go higher.
This could be things like being able to have additional allies when you get good trade deals - something that may become more important in the Federations update, and dealing with other Empires with a large stock to give you the resources you're lacking. So if you have a surplus of exotic gases, need alloys, and notice another Empire has a large access to motes, you could trade for some.

Lowering the upkeep of buildings may also help with this, so it's a bit more forgiving. Like 0.2/0.3 per month or something. Because as this idea stands, you would be very limited in late-game expansion with current costs. An ecumenopolis does become more powerful though, an additional 2 jobs for the same upkeep could be a larger boon than now. I even considered removing the upkeep for tier 1 (tier 2?) buildings altogether so your mid-game isn't as strapped. But that may take away from the value of this.


I vaguely remember in a 2.2 stream, that they talked about the importance of which buildings you should want to upgrade with strategic resources. So this idea is mostly meant to look at how to dig into that.
It's a free market economics issue; for a trade be fair, both sides must be equally aware of the value on the item(s) involved in the transaction, both to the other party and the market at large.

...Except the player doesn't know what the AI wants it for; it's an inscrutable compilation of code that may be acting due to an actual need or because the devs wanted it to be open to trade; is it going to use that gas to upgrade research and get a tech edge on me, or just sit on it?

This uncertainty means players usually only engage with such trade when they are significantly more powerful than the AI, to the point there is almost nothing they can give them that would make them legitimately more threatening, or when it can be immediately used to gain an advantage somewhere, possibly against the very empire they traded with.

...And the AI doesn't know what the player wants it for either. Even if they're given total and complete knowledge of everything going on in the player's empire at the moment of trade, the player is guaranteed to never be making the same value judgments the AI is programmed to on all the factors involve, which will still often lack the capability to notice the pattern that comes from all that data that a human being might catch on to almost immediately. It might notice that they would still have an alloy production advantage after trading away the motes, gain a research advantage after gaining the gas, and agree to the trade, only for the player to use it for an edict to boost missile firepower and then wardec them, taking advantage of them being an AI type that doesn't use picket sections to win despite having a numerical advantage, resulting losing both their extra motes and the Ruined Science Nexus the player is going to start rebuilding to forever ensure their tech advantage even if they trade away all their gas, after which the player will come to the PDX forums and complain about how stupid and gullible the AI is.

Because while the AI was programmed to compare the player's empire's economy and fleet strength to theirs, it wasn't allowed to reacted at their fleet loadout beyond the combat value it gave it, or consider why their navy is so close to the border, or how close the volatile motes and any ruined Megastructures were to said border, or or or.

So in order to have the AI not be called stupid, you have to restrict it's trade to exclusively to allies, empires *they're* certain won't pose a threat to them even after the deal, or when the deal's value is so lopsided in their favor that even a player would take it knowing that it's probably still to the benefit of the player offering.

Anyway, they did say that, and that is the case; even if you can technically make limitless motes/crystals/gas, you don't usually have the building slots to do so, so there is a cost to consider if building a refinery is worth the slot whether it's using planetary deposits or minerals to make them.
 

Spaceception

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Personally, I'm fine with the synthetic ones, but I only build them very late because they're so space inefficient and come with a high mineral cost (not that minerals are a limited resource by that point, but it's still more workers who could be doing anything else). I think about it this way: yes, the strategic upkeep cost is high, but what this really does is mean a given building slot is more efficient, and seeing as by the late game making the most of your building slots is the big priority, it's fairly easy to justify the extra cost (especially when workers generate 2+modifiers and upkeep would be 1-modifiers).
Okay, so what about this then: You can only build a synthetic version of the building, if the natural deposit for it exists on the planet (or the number you can build is dependent on your upkeep somehow. But you wouldn't lose them if you lost the upkeep in question, just wouldn't be able to build more). Like, the infrastructure for it is here, and you're just expanding it using mineral upkeep. That way, you can get more out of it, but aren't diminishing these sectors, and still have a good reason to contest for these regions.

Because while the AI was programmed to compare the player's empire's economy and fleet strength to theirs, it wasn't allowed to reacted at their fleet loadout beyond the combat value it gave it, or consider why their navy is so close to the border, or how close the volatile motes and any ruined Megastructures were to said border, or or or.

So in order to have the AI not be called stupid, you have to restrict it's trade to exclusively to allies, empires *they're* certain won't pose a threat to them even after the deal, or when the deal's value is so lopsided in their favor that even a player would take it knowing that it's probably still to the benefit of the player offering.

Anyway, they did say that, and that is the case; even if you can technically make limitless motes/crystals/gas, you don't usually have the building slots to do so, so there is a cost to consider if building a refinery is worth the slot whether it's using planetary deposits or minerals to make them.
That's a fair argument.

Could anything else work though? I'm wondering if maybe having allies with people you're trading with could reduce the number of Empires who can possibly take control over a station from you. A monthly trade deal could be like a quasi-non-aggression pact, but without influence upkeep. This could make your situation mare stable. But attacking them could make the other Empires you're trading with (and even others) more likely to attack you in return; taking the stations/planets for themselves, but without trading with you for a time. This could incentivize you to make friendly/neutral deals instead. Though, I don't know if that could help.

That's true. And while that's technically fine, I would personally like if you had more reasons to stretch beyond your borders, and more ways to interact with other Empires. This is just one of them.
 

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Hmm, I could see that. But how could that work with the "neutral space" part of the idea? Maybe there are more clusters, that are smaller, and more spread out like you said? I remember pre-2.2 there could be multiple systems with all of the resources, so maybe something like that. And those could be the random neutral spots across the galaxy to contend over, instead of a handful of larger ones.
They could even be separated over type in both cases. So one corner of the galaxy would be disproportionately gas, another motes, and another crystals. This makes trading with Empires across the galaxy for the other two resources important, and gives you an edge with the one you have.

I also agree with buffing natural extraction.
I think the idea that a super valuable chunk of territory would be neutral space is silly. What you could do is divide up the cluster, giving each empire nearby a system or two with resources, as a way to share a resource deposit.

Every Cluster would only have one type of rare resource. And the number of clusters would be galaxy size dependent, on a tiny map there would probably only be 1, but for 1000 stars there would many.

I'd also make the higher tier weapons more rare resource dependent. If you want the good lasers, you *need* a significant amount of crystals.
 

Spaceception

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I think the idea that a super valuable chunk of territory would be neutral space is silly. What you could do is divide up the cluster, giving each empire nearby a system or two with resources, as a way to share a resource deposit.
How do you do that? When there are multiple Empires and limited systems between them, how does it get divided up? Or is it the most powerful Empires getting dibs?
And weren't systems with multiple owners in previous versions? I'm talking about bringing that back, at least for this. Unless you thought that wasn't good in the past.
 

DukeLeto42

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Okay, so what about this then: You can only build a synthetic version of the building, if the natural deposit for it exists on the planet (or the number you can build is dependent on your upkeep somehow. But you wouldn't lose them if you lost the upkeep in question, just wouldn't be able to build more). Like, the infrastructure for it is here, and you're just expanding it using mineral upkeep. That way, you can get more out of it, but aren't diminishing these sectors, and still have a good reason to contest for these regions.
I like that. Maybe in that case planets with a give resource should be split 50/50, so 50% of planets with a given node are right in one small zone, and then the other 50% are spaced out across the galaxy. That way, the empire with the region still is sitting on a massive boost and really controls the market of the resource, but if the mote region falls into the hands of a genocidal the galaxy isn't doomed.
 

Tamwin5

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How do you do that? When there are multiple Empires and limited systems between them, how does it get divided up? Or is it the most powerful Empires getting dibs?
And weren't systems with multiple owners in previous versions? I'm talking about bringing that back, at least for this. Unless you thought that wasn't good in the past.
It's just like any other space. Whoever gets there first gets it, until someone bigger comes along and takes it from them.
 

Spaceception

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It's just like any other space. Whoever gets there first gets it, until someone bigger comes along and takes it from them.
Fair enough. Do you think the CB would still work then, that if you had access to one of the clusters that other Empires can go to war to take it for themselves if they wish? Because if anything else, it would tell you immediately that they have access to it.
 

Shadowstrike

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I've been fiddling with this in a mod, and the main issue I run into is making sure you don't actually end up flooding the game with too many strategic resources, if you increase their frequency (which also destroys their strategic value). Upgradable mines that give more jobs, plus shifting refineries to a late-game tech seems to be what I'm going with, although the resource costs may also need to be boosted too, to counter the increased amount of strategics in the mid-game.

That said, it does make it more valuable to hold planets with strategic resource deposits, instead of that just being a -10 minerals for upkeep synthetic factory.
 

Spaceception

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I've been fiddling with this in a mod, and the main issue I run into is making sure you don't actually end up flooding the game with too many strategic resources, if you increase their frequency (which also destroys their strategic value). Upgradable mines that give more jobs, plus shifting refineries to a late-game tech seems to be what I'm going with, although the resource costs may also need to be boosted too, to counter the increased amount of strategics in the mid-game.
Yeah, that would be a balance challenge for sure.
So does it go: early-game: Natural deposit mining -> Mid-game: Natural deposit upgrade -> Late-game: Synthetic refinery? Because I can see that working.
Yeah, that would be important.
 

Shadowstrike

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Yeah, that's how it works in my mod ("Larger Strategic Resource Deposits") currently. I'm still tinkering with it though.