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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm
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I keep planning on writing some posts aimed at updating the play guides on the Wiki. Then I get distracted. Then I forget what I was going to include. So I'm going to jot notes down to this thread as and when I think of them so that if I ever do start actually writing soemthing all the ideas I've thought of are available, and if I don't, people at least get to share some knowledge.

Observations

1) Population growth is key to success.

Virtually every industry or research output bonus is keyed to population, the higher your population the higher your output of these key meters.

Growth is acheived in two ways, firstly by capturing populated worlds and creating new colonies, but also by researching techs that either increase the target population or improve the habitability of the world. Ergo, one of the best early game techs to research (and normally my first target technology) is Subeterranean Habitation, it's the cheapest pop growth tech and crucial to output. Importantly, all homeworlds, including AI homeworlds, have the Cultural Archives building, this gives a bonus to industry equal to half the population regardless of focus setting, so in the early game when focused on research a population growth there increases industrial output as well.

It's frequently better therefore, in the early game, to ue any growth specials you colonise that affect your homeworld(s) as the extra +3 population they provide for the homeworld will exceed the output of the new colony for many many turns, and it'll also help growth on all other colonies.

Population growth is defined in universe/PopCenter.cpp
Code:
 if (target_pop > cur_pop) {
pop_change = cur_pop * (target_pop + 1 - cur_pop) / 100; // Using target population slightly above actual population avoids excessively slow asymptotic growth towards target.
pop_change = std::min(pop_change, target_pop - cur_pop);
} else {
pop_change = -(cur_pop - target_pop) / 10;
pop_change = std::max(pop_change, target_pop - cur_pop);
}

pop_change = cur_pop * (target_pop + 1 - cur_pop) / 100

Ergo the higher the target population the faster population growth will be.

2) Information is power.

It's very easy to overlook the importance of Detection technologies (found under Intelligence). As a rule of thumb, you want each of the 4 of them within 50 turns of getting the previous one, so Active Radar should be researched early and definitely by turn 50, Neutron Scanner by turn 100, etc. If there are lots of Laenfa or Cloud Spawns near you, you'll need NS even earlier. If you have spare industrial output in the early game, more scouts will help. Until you can see the entire map, you haven't finished scouting, it's a lot easier to prevent an AI invasion if you see it coming.

3) Knowledge is power.

Techs that boost research output are essential and will vastly improve your acquisition of other techs, it can be tempting to go guns blazing for the cool hulls or the big guns, but it's a lot easier to get them quickly if your empire is producing 100+ research per turn by turn 100 and 500+ by turn 150 than if you're still waiting to get Quantum Networking by turn 200 (I aim to get QN before turn 100 unless something has gone horribly wrong, it's an ESSENTIAL tech).

4) Shields are overpriced, armour underpriced

Until you've got the tech to build really expensive powerful hulls, shields probably aren't worth mounting on ships, use the internal slots for fuel cells, and ue external slots for mostly armour: 50/50 guns/armour rounding in favour of armour is a good rule of thumb. The best and most powerful hull (the Fractal) in the game can't even mount a shield

_________________
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


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