So, if you have a large empire, constructing syths is worthless now.

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sillyrobot

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Right. I'm not seeing how that's especially relevant. There are a bunch of complaints about total cost, but by the time that becomes real factor, then you should have enough production that the 2 extra alloys are worth it if you want any real pop growth at all - instead of having .3 pop growth for free, you'll get 2.3 pop growth for 2 alloys from the planet. The only real consideration is the opportunity cost in terms of pops.

At some point, that cost will justify phasing out the job, but on full, small planets, getting say, 10 extra growth points when you need 500 from planets that are generating 1.5 means you're getting more than 5 times the total growth. For 10 alloys from an economy that should be generating several hundred, 10 alloys is worth it when it's your only real pop growth.

Now, if you're playing a heavily aggressive style, or raiding other empires for pops (which is now very, very attractive), then it's probably not worth it, but neither is the normal organic pop growth either. Holistically, if you're trying to extend your empire's growth for as long as possible, conquering the galaxy isn't even worth it - you want several small, defenseless, inevitably angry empires that you regularly declare otherwise meaningless wars just to steal their people.

1) You really shouldn't allow your colonies to get full. It's counter-productive if there are empty planets anywhere. Just arrange your job count to be half your capacity.

2) That means you are generally looking a 6 pts of growth for biologicals. So the 2 pts of separate growth on assembly is incidental after a while. Before I quit, my longest game of 3.0 had my biologicals take about 6 years to grow and the robots about 18 -- assuming the growth penalty didn't get worse in the next 18 years, which it would because that is 2.5 cycles of biological growth. It also means each robot was consuming an opportunity cost of 2 destroyers over 18 years -- not considering the hefty energy cost as well. That's 80 destroyers over the 40 or so colonies I was running, which was larger than my fleet at the time.
 
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The only reason you want pops is to generate more alloys and research. If constructing new robots takes 50-100 years of time to get more alloys and research than not constructing new robots does, do you really want new robots? The math isn't going to change whether you're looking at a large or small colony, it only changes based on total empire pop.
So, each pop can generate 2.3 growth. That won't take 100 years until it takes 1,200 months to get a new pop. You're talking about an empire population of around 5,320. That's going to take a while unless you're regularly plundering other empires, and by the time you reach that population, you won't have any real growth, except by plundering other empires.

Now, you can build feeder worlds of low-pop colonies and build an empire around shipping them off to other worlds to stave off the curve, but those take at least a few pops to maintain on the opportunity cost in terms of pops isn't looking good at this stage. There's a good period of time where continuing Synth production on your developed worlds will still make sense.
 

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1) You really shouldn't allow your colonies to get full. It's counter-productive if there are empty planets anywhere. Just arrange your job count to be half your capacity.

2) That means you are generally looking a 6 pts of growth for biologicals. So the 2 pts of separate growth on assembly is incidental after a while. Before I quit, my longest game of 3.0 had my biologicals take about 6 years to grow and the robots about 18 -- assuming the growth penalty didn't get worse in the next 18 years, which it would because that is 2.5 cycles of biological growth. It also means each robot was consuming an opportunity cost of 2 destroyers over 18 years -- not considering the hefty energy cost as well. That's 80 destroyers over the 40 or so colonies I was running, which was larger than my fleet at the time.
There are overhead advantages and disadvantages to that. I don't see the point in not filling colonies if you have plenty of worlds, since you can easily set up breeder colonies and ship off pops, or you can't ship off pops and you won't be able to stop them from filling up. Spreading around the pops help maximize the number of planets at full growth, but it's a bit of a false dichotomy anyway - at the point where having a pop dedicated to 2.3 pop growth per month is no longer worth it, your empire is probably large enough that having even 6 pop growth won't give you a new pop more than once every ~40 years or so anyway. At that point, if you have meaningful pop growth, it's from stealing pops, in all likelihood.
 

sillyrobot

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There are overhead advantages and disadvantages to that. I don't see the point in not filling colonies if you have plenty of worlds, since you can easily set up breeder colonies and ship off pops, or you can't ship off pops and you won't be able to stop them from filling up. Spreading around the pops help maximize the number of planets at full growth, but it's a bit of a false dichotomy anyway - at the point where having a pop dedicated to 2.3 pop growth per month is no longer worth it, your empire is probably large enough that having even 6 pop growth won't give you a new pop more than once every ~40 years or so anyway. At that point, if you have meaningful pop growth, it's from stealing pops, in all likelihood.

Every colony was a breeder world. That's what having 20ish pops means. It is trivial to keep the worlds from filling up so long as you have other colonies with job openings; adding a colony every 3 years is enough. Though robots were freaking annoying. Droids aren't sentient so they had to be moved manually. Luckily, I was only getting about 1 droid a year out of my 40 colonies.

I only had 40 colonies because that's the amount of resources I could put towards colony ships and create the outposts to reach the planets. I had maybe 10-15 crappy planets uncolonized. Borders were starting to fill in. I could probably snag another 10 colonizable systems before I'd have to go hunting further afield or go to war.

When each pop growth centre takes 6 years to make a pop where are you getting the extra 800 pops to fill up the worlds? You're only getting 7 pop a year (8 including the droid) -- and that's getting slower every time a pop appears. It was pretty much time to retire the robot assemblies at that time. The 80 alloys a month I'd save would be better spent getting ready to take pops from others.
 
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Finally there is a nerf to synths, and Synth Ascension remain relevant. I won't cry a river about it.

I feel like I should add that this is not true at all and this was actually a buff to Synths compared to other empires. As long as you have a migration treaty, you will get full bio pop growth on planets even if you dont actually have any bio pops there. What happens is that pop will grow and spawn as organic, get assimilated, and become a new synth.

This is how things work in my Synth game and I'm curious to see if it means you'll get a ton of free crisis points without having to actually do anything as a Synth empire.
 

sillyrobot

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I feel like I should add that this is not true at all and this was actually a buff to Synths compared to other empires. As long as you have a migration treaty, you will get full bio pop growth on planets even if you dont actually have any bio pops there. What happens is that pop will grow and spawn as organic, get assimilated, and become a new synth.

This is how things work in my Synth game and I'm curious to see if it means you'll get a ton of free crisis points without having to actually do anything as a Synth empire.

I haven't paid too much attention to 'become a crisis' because I think it is silly, but what I did see granted points for purging. I don't think assimilation counts as purging.
 

Less2

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So, each pop can generate 2.3 growth. That won't take 100 years until it takes 1,200 months to get a new pop. You're talking about an empire population of around 5,320. That's going to take a while unless you're regularly plundering other empires, and by the time you reach that population, you won't have any real growth, except by plundering other empires.

Now, you can build feeder worlds of low-pop colonies and build an empire around shipping them off to other worlds to stave off the curve, but those take at least a few pops to maintain on the opportunity cost in terms of pops isn't looking good at this stage. There's a good period of time where continuing Synth production on your developed worlds will still make sense.

I did the calculations here:


For example, if you have 900 pops, then your roboticist has to work 250 months to make a new pop, or about 20 years. Then that pop has to work 20 years to break even on pop time (because you paid 20 years of a working pop to get it). Then it has to pay 250 months of 2 alloys a month and 5 energy a month, or 500 alloys and 1250 energy. If you go by the numbers I did there, it takes over 50 years for that pop to pay itself off.

Just as a general rule, would you make an investment that only pays itself off after 50 years? Would you pay 2000 alloys in 2250 if you only got the 2000 alloys back in 2300, and then started gaining 6 alloys a month (a new pop)? I wouldn't, I think other investments can grow my empire much better.
 
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Every colony was a breeder world. That's what having 20ish pops means. It is trivial to keep the worlds from filling up so long as you have other colonies with job openings; adding a colony every 3 years is enough. Though robots were freaking annoying. Droids aren't sentient so they had to be moved manually. Luckily, I was only getting about 1 droid a year out of my 40 colonies.

I only had 40 colonies because that's the amount of resources I could put towards colony ships and create the outposts to reach the planets. I had maybe 10-15 crappy planets uncolonized. Borders were starting to fill in. I could probably snag another 10 colonizable systems before I'd have to go hunting further afield or go to war.

When each pop growth centre takes 6 years to make a pop where are you getting the extra 800 pops to fill up the worlds? You're only getting 7 pop a year (8 including the droid) -- and that's getting slower every time a pop appears. It was pretty much time to retire the robot assemblies at that time. The 80 alloys a month I'd save would be better spent getting ready to take pops from others.

Right. My point is just that given how pop growth slows, capping a couple of planets can be difficult anyway, so if you happen to max out a couple of planets, it's not a big deal. You will slow your pop growth by a few points, but empire wide that is negligible and can be mitigated with habitats. This assumes that you have a set up where you can move pops easily - if your empire can't take the Corve System civic, then you're going to fill up planets sooner or later anyway unless you really spam them.

The thing is, we're talking about margins that are so small - where 2.3 pop growth isn't worth the 1 pop and 2 alloys per month it costs - that other forms of growth are also going to either not matter or stop mattering relatively soon. At that point, have a few extra planets that are also producing growth has a small impact on overall growth.

At that point, every pop should be maximized, so administrative pops like rulers should be minimized as much as possible, unless you'll be raiding other empires for pops consistently.
 

sylivin

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I haven't paid too much attention to 'become a crisis' because I think it is silly, but what I did see granted points for purging. I don't think assimilation counts as purging.

You get points for assimilating as well as purging. Stephan was using it to his advantage in the developer run Nemesis game to get more crisis points.
 
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Less2

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Maybe the rest of the universe should treat synth assimilation as purging, at least then there would be a downside.
 
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I did the calculations here:


For example, if you have 900 pops, then your roboticist has to work 250 months to make a new pop, or about 20 years. Then that pop has to work 20 years to break even on pop time (because you paid 20 years of a working pop to get it). Then it has to pay 250 months of 2 alloys a month and 5 energy a month, or 500 alloys and 1250 energy. If you go by the numbers I did there, it takes over 50 years for that pop to pay itself off.

Just as a general rule, would you make an investment that only pays itself off after 50 years? Would you pay 2000 alloys in 2250 if you only got the 2000 alloys back in 2300, and then started gaining 6 alloys a month (a new pop)? I wouldn't, I think other investments can grow my empire much better.
What investment gives any kind of return that you can make during that time? What's the opportunity cost of those 2,000 alloys if you're making, say 360,000 alloys during that time? Or even just 28,800?

You're only talking about pop-free resource production that costs alloys, but no pops i.e. megastructures and some starbase modules. Claiming systems, if there are any left, is capped by influence, so Alloys aren't a factor. If you 360,000 alloys, you should be able to build megastructures with no problem. Once you have a Dyson Sphere, you have a sufficient energy surplus that buying 2,500 alloys off the market place is trivial. Problem solved.

Getting energy is usually easy enough that it's not even worth including in the calculations IMHO. Alloys are the real source of scarcity.

The only time that the 2,000 alloys isn't a worthwhile investment is if your economy is so taxed that you absolutely need to those 2,000 alloys, because nothing else is going to provide a growing ROI.

Let's say that pop you make in 20 years produces 8 alloys, with bonuses, from the job. At worst, you've spent 2,400 alloys getting that pop. That pop can repay that in 25 years. During that time, your roboticist is making a new pop. Let's say that it takes 30 years to make that pop. The cost for that pop is 3,600 alloys, minus the 2,880 alloys that the previous pop is making, which wouldn't exist without the roboticist job. That pop only costs you 720 alloys, net. As so on and so forth.

I'm sure there's a cut off point, but I doubt you'd hit it in a normal Stellaris game.
 
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Less2

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The only time that the 2,000 alloys isn't a worthwhile investment is if your economy is so taxed that you absolutely need to those 2,000 alloys, because nothing else is going to provide a growing ROI.

If you, for example, build a fleet with 50,000 alloys you can probably conquer 100 pops, for a cost of 500 alloys per pop, which repays itself within 10 years or however short your war is.

Let's say that pop you make in 20 years produces 8 alloys, with bonuses, from the job. At worst, you've spent 2,400 alloys getting that pop. That pop can repay that in 25 years. During that time, your roboticist is making a new pop. Let's say that it takes 30 years to make that pop. The cost for that pop is 3,600 alloys, minus the 2,880 alloys that the previous pop is making, which wouldn't exist without the roboticist job. That pop only costs you 720 alloys, net. As so on and so forth.

OK, so it takes 20 years to produce a pop, and then 25 years for that pop to pay itself back. Thats a 45 year repayment period from when you start a pop to when you get economic value from it.
 
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If you, for example, build a fleet with 50,000 alloys you can probably conquer 100 pops, for a cost of 500 alloys per pop, which repays itself within 10 years or however short your war is.



OK, so it takes 20 years to produce a pop, and then 25 years for that pop to pay itself back. Thats a 45 year repayment period from when you start a pop to when you get economic value from it.
At this point, it's more of a question of if the game is even going compared to whether it's worth the ROI. If you make a pop in 20 years, then make a pop in 30 years, you'll get a small return by the 100 year period from day 0 (12,000 alloy cost, vs. 7,680 alloys from the first pop and 4,800 alloys from the second pop), plus whatever the last pop produces. If it takes 40 years to build the 3rd pop, then you get an extra 960 alloys. It ens up being about 13 alloys per year over the 100 year period.

At that point, it probably doesn't matter, but once you get past the 50 year mark, you'd likely be better off getting rid of robiticsts, assuming that A) the game is still going, B) you haven't hit your alloy storage cap, and C) You're still paying for alloys with alloys, and not energy from your Dyson Sphere, which is critical for any end-game build now.

The galactic market is what makes it largely academic, since in the end an optimal build won't have any means of investing in resource growth except for roboticists. Once you've hit your resource caps, the monthly cost generally doesn't matter as long as your monthly budget doesn't go negative.
 
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sillyrobot

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Immigration, Refugees, Slaves, stealing pops.

Use some breeder worlds too, but the above is going to contribute significantly.

All colonies are breeder once you start getting pop limited and are all affected by the pop growth penalty -- 40 colonies with approximately 700 pop was creating 8 pop a year including the lone droid. Immigrations is capped and only augments organic growth -- the growth penalty of which is the problem. Refugees can be helpful, but are out of player control, situational, and very limited in number. Slave market is in a paid DLC. That leaves stealing pops.