Reduce Construction Ship Micro: Make it work like fleet upgrades

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Jorlem

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I would like to request that the construction ship build queue be switched from the current "up front payment" method to the "pay when you can, when the job starts" method used for fleet upgrades. This would vastly reduce the need for micro for both of the two main uses for construction ships.

  1. Expanding your empire to new systems. The game incentivizes expanding your empire contiguously by increasing the cost to build starbases the further they are away from your borders. In itself, this is a good thing. However, as the current construction ship system requires costs to be paid when adding the build order to the queue, it also incentivizes microing your expansion orders, as the cost can be dramatically lowered by waiting for one starbase to finish so the border expands before ordering the next in line to be built. If, as I propose, resources were only paid to construction ships at the time the job began, a player could instead queue up several starbases at once and get the lowest costs (so long as each one was next to one of the ones earlier in the queue), removing much of the micro involved in going checking back frequently to see if it was time to order the next starbase to be built. Quite a few times, I've lost races for land-grabs against the AI, because I got distracted by something else going on and forgot to order the construction ship to start the next starbase in time.
  2. Building Mining and Science outposts. This is more of an early game thing, when a player's resources are tight and getting an extra month or two of income could be important. In systems that have a large number of potential mines or research deposits, it is much easier to order them all to be built from the context menu on the galaxy view. However, if you do not have enough minerals, you either need to wait, or go into the system's map and order each mine to be built individually. The latter is far better from an income perspective, as it means you can at least get some of the value in the meantime, at the cost of a bunch of tedious micro. However, if construction ships worked like the upgrade fleet button does, then a player could press the button on the galaxy map, and the construction ship would start on the structures that they could afford immediately, and the player wouldn't need to remember to come back to build the others.

The way I envision it, the construction ship would fly to the place specified at the top of its build queue, then check to see if there were enough minerals in the empire's pool to build the thing. If there were, it would start right away, and if there was not enough, the construction ship would wait at that location until there was, and then start the build. Ideally, the construction ship's build queue would have arrows like the planet and starbase build queues have now, so the build order could be tweaked by the player if desired, without needing to clear the entire queue and reorder everything, as is currently the case.
 
Last edited:

Space Roach

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Yes! I would also like the ability to queue mining stations after you have ordered it to place a starbase in an new system. Currently you cannot queue this even with plenty of resources on hand.
 

iSaluki

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Definitely. This would make expansion a lot easier. Also I think that if the construction ship reaches a point in the queue and you don't have enough resources to construct the station/structure then it should just wait until those resources become available and then automatically continue with the queue. Because of this feature , it would be great if construction ships could start off with a higher command limit.
 

Ricordis

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We got "Auto-Explore". Where is our "Auto-Construct"? :D
Click a button and the construction ship goes from system to system building mining and/or science stations. Just as a researchable bonus? xD
 

Nathgar

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I like the auto-construct idea. You could even make it so that instead of assigning construction to the ship, you assign what you want built to a construction queue and as the stations become affordable they get assigned to the closest ship. To keep the ships from dog piling you could even set a limit to the total number of constructions ships you want working in any 1 system.
 

klopkr

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I hate seeing my resources randomly disappear when I forget what I set it to do. On the other hand I love being able to set it and forget it even before I have all the resources.

So why not both? Just put a button or decision to switch between 'build within budget' and 'build when available'.
 

OnyxAbussos

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The CIV games allow you to automate workers within parameters, like "Auto roads," "auto all," and "auto mines." I'd like this to be a mid-game tech like the auto explore.
 

merbert

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I would like a reasearch that allows for a ship stance for construction ships to autobuild research/mining stations in owned systems that way if you order an expansion your construction ship would automatically finish the system after building the starbase (and repair raided stations).