Unit costs skyrocket over time

4X strategy game from Proxy Studios

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player1
Corporal - Strongpoint
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Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by player1 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:08 am

Essentially, what is my impression over couple of games, is that when getting to later game eras that units costs rapidly increase.

This is because, there is cost increase for each component of the units: Hull, weapon and armor.

Hull price doubles over each era and then when you add to that increased cost of weapons and armor you get much more expensive units. Much more then corresponding buildings in later eras.

On the other hand, those units are indeed as good as they are expensive, but I think inflation of unit power and cost had gotten a little bit out of hand. I'm not even sure if late game production can cope with unit prices later in the game.
Last edited by player1 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

player1
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by player1 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:17 am

Some numbers:

Colonization era trooper with flamethrower, first level armor and defense matrix:

16 base + 25% weapon + 25% armor + 25% ability = 28 production, base power 3

Mechanization era trooper with corresponding flamethrower, first level armor and defense matrix:

32 base + 100% weapon + 100% armor + 25% ability = 104 production, base power 12

Transcendence era trooper with corresponding flamethrower, first level armor and defense matrix:

64 base + 175% weapon + 175% armor +25% ability = 304 production, base power 36

As you can see, both power and cost of units increases 3 to 4 times over each era.

On the other hand, building costs only double over each era.

Folket
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by Folket » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:21 pm

I do not see a problem. It is usually better to have few stronger units and for the times it is not you can choose to build weaker variants.

It is easy to have 100 production in a city late game so producing units in reasonable times still.

fortydayweekend
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by fortydayweekend » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:36 pm

Production also skyrockets once you have factories (+175%), morale buildings (+140%), the advancement that adds 25% production, in size 20+ cities with almost all workers next to Xenite flowers.. it seems to be a good balance in the couple of games I've got that far along.

SephiRok
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by SephiRok » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:09 pm

As player1 mentioned, the bigger concern is that buildings become a lot cheaper than units.
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Apheirox
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by Apheirox » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:47 pm

... and the bigger concern still is that at the time when those units become available, the game is almost over anyway - you won't ever be using the largest mech or best jet because you'll win the science victory in just a handful of turns at that point. The transcendence era goes by far too quickly - there's not enough time to use some of the bigger toys (even if it is a building, the Black Hole Generator in particular comes to mind - it sits at the end of the tech tree and takes 20 turns after being built to even be usable).

jdmillard
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by jdmillard » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:41 pm

Wasn't there an original plan to have techs called "transcendence" in the Transcendence Era?

I think it would be good to have a means of progressing further, or even some way to have research points mean something at the end of the tech tree. In my last game, I didn't even build the transcendence era research building even though it provides a huge boost to research... it wasn't worth it if I was only going to use it for 10 more turns.

player1
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by player1 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:48 pm

I don't think AI has production resources to builds those transcendence era units. Same for money needed to upgrade cheap early game units to costly late game units

Even for mechanized era units, AI often starts to build gimped versions of units (no armor with good weapon, or similar...), since it can not keep up with the cost.

boulugre
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by boulugre » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:09 am

player1 wrote:I don't think AI has production resources to builds those transcendence era units. Same for money needed to upgrade cheap early game units to costly late game units

Even for mechanized era units, AI often starts to build gimped versions of units (no armor with good weapon, or similar...), since it can not keep up with the cost.
I don't think the problem comes from a lack of production resources. When you take over AI cities you can see that they build up properly their infrastructure and their towns are often very powerful production centers once the morale malus fades away. Also although they produce crap units, they produce a LOT of them, so their overall production output is pretty high.

I don't really know why the AI doesn't upgrade properly their troop, but they lack the ability to delete old obsolete units ( they always keep loads of colonial infantry around). Maybe they look at their total upkeep and wont build more units if they reach a certain % of upkeep so keeping old units will prevent them from building new one?? This seems likely as once they start losing troops in number they will replace them with high quality troops.

If this is the case perhaps the AI should get a cheating bonus to cut down the refiting price of old unit or learn to delete old ones so they can upgrade/build better units (cause slaying strenght 5 inf with strenght 40+ tanks get old very quickly :wink: )

player1
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by player1 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:00 am

I think one of the devs said that in case when AI thinks that units design is too costly for its cities, it will scale down its design.

And that's something I see in my game. Like AI building 2nd era ships with 2nd era weapons, but no armor to keep costs down.*

Similarly, AI is always out of the money. Refitting costs are really high in the game. Close even to straight rush buy, if you plan to upgrade early era unit to expensive late game variant.


Also, era differences are really drastic, as shown in fist post. In order to modernize army you need serious production effort, either to build up whole army a new, due to new units costing 3-4 times more, or being economic magnate that could actually upgrade old units to 3-4 more costly design, or rush buy new ones (and abandon economic victory at the same time). Old military reserve from previous era doesn't matter much at all.


*about example from above, I think AI logic is lacking:
If AI wants to scale down on unit design, it should not remove armor first, but higher tier weapons instead, in case of unit that is not sniper or artillery.
Last edited by player1 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

boulugre
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Re: Unit costs skyrocket over time

Post by boulugre » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:38 am

player1 wrote:I think one of the devs said that in case when AI thinks that units design is too costly for its cities, it will scale down its design.

And that's something I see in my game. Like AI building 2nd era ships with 2nd era weapons, but no armor to keep costs down.*

I see. Well in that case I really think this mechanic needs to be improved to make the AI more challenging and combat more interesting. In my last game, mid mech era, my opponent had around 30 colonial trooper stacked in a town with around a dozen strenght 6 aircrafts. I declared war, launched 2 or 3 nuke on that stack which instantly killed all of them and that was it, the invasion was pretty much done, just had to do the moping of surviving units while taking over the entire AI cities in a few turn...

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