EDIT:So it looks like everything is hashed out and the changed are finalized. They administration rolled back the changes in combat to an extent, making it so pirates are once again profitable to hunt, but in the same stroke they have essentially removed pirates from the game to prevent people from being able to profit from their existence. This guide is largely correct, although they have changed the energy generation from terran solar panels to be more effective when they are in later positions around the stars.
Unfortunatly the removal of pirates from the game means its no longer possible to really advance in this game or at least i havent figured out how to as of yet, so at this time i still cannot reccomend this game for new players just starting out. If this changes i will edit this post with my suggestions on how to advance, but for the time being there is no path i can see for newer players.
Why am I writing this; the first thing that comes to mind is insanity followed by stupidity, but the truth is am tired of repeating myself hundreds of times and linking to this post should save me some headaches.
The initial post of this is just going to be the very basics of the game that every veteran player wish they knew before they started playing. How to get resources, how many fields you need, where and what you should colonize, etc.
Upvotes and comments via reputation in game or by direct message may encourage me to take the time to add all the details, pictures, etc to this post or even to write other posts.
I understand that not all the details are present to explain why these are the best choices for you to make, it’s not that I don’t know the details its simply that it’s a lot of work to explain them and as I stated earlier this post in no way benefits me and actually costed me hydras to post; so, whining about this fact will get you nowhere with me. As time permits i may answer questions or edit this post to cover them. Direct message in game is free as opposed to costing hydras to ask here.
EDIT: I recieved a decent amount of in game messages about this post so i have edited it to add more details, pictures and instructions of how to carry out these basic operations in the game. Unfortunatly, no one found this information helpful enough to donate hydras toward additional topics and while i don't mind spending a bit of my time to write them i would rather spend my hydras on something useful to me. As such this will be my last post of this type. You are still welcome to ask questions here or message me in game, i am happy to try and help as time permits.
The first thing we need to talk about is vision, if you’re just starting out you can only see your solar system. As a Terran (human) player you need to research a technology called detection technology. This will allow you to see 1000ckm per level (one solar system linearly the diagonals are (1000^2 +1000^2)^(1/2) or 1414ckm. As a Zerg player you need to build the Sensor spore colony which is a defensive structure. For Protoss it’s a building called the fleet beacon.
The most important thing when your just getting started is to raid the inactive players, you see the newbie protection status prevents the vast majority of active players from attacking people below 25k points. This means there are literally thousands of 7 day inactive players within 100k ckm of you that only a small handful of players can attack. They also usually have no defenses and at least a few hundred thousand resources.
As Terran its best to use small cargo ships (SC) to raid these players, they are quite fast and as long as the enemy has no defenses you don’t need a ship with weapons to steal their resources.
Unfortunately, the Devs hate new players, so in order to get some vision your detection tech or spore colonies are a must. Your best bet at the start is to go onto the chat and beg some bigger players around you to share some vision with you. This will help a lot as you are waiting to level up your tech, or spore colonies.
If you do this you should easily be able to loot about 30 million resources in a week and be around 25k points at the end of the week.
Why is bold and underlined? Well, because it is the biggest mistake virtually every player makes in this game when they start out. This mistake costs millions or even billions of resources to correct later, (the longer you wait the worse it is)
Note: in order see the details about a planet, like what type it is you need espionage level 5 or higher!
One of the things you likely will have noticed on your home world is that it has 220 or less fields the truth is your home planet must always be eventually abandoned for this reason. You see Terran need an inordinate number of fields, 300+ base fields per planet. As for Zerg, 270+* and Protoss we will say 250+.
I constantly get push back on this by new players or people who don’t know what they are doing, the truth is when Terran gets more advanced they need about 350 fields per planet, even at a modest score of say 500k-1 million points; while getting a base roll of 350 fields is technically possible, its much more feasible to get 300+ and with some pumping technology and infrastructure levels and terraforming you can easily squeeze out the extra needed fields for an affordable amount.
There is an astrisk beside Zerg, because they dont actually have the ability to terraform the planet, they can build 100 creep colonies to get an extra field, this is a pain in the ass. Many Zerg players will only keep a base with 320-330 or more fields for this reason.
So why don’t you just keep that 200 base fields and terraform it to 350 base fields? Well, because it will cost you about half a billion resources to do this. If you do what I suggested it will cost you less than a million resources…
Now I am a mathematician, but it really doesn’t take one to know that less than a million resources is preferable to half a billion for the same thing. Especially when if you follow this guide, you can get that 300+ base fields for less than 100k resources.
Here is the trick, every time a planet is colonized the number of fields is generated arbitrarily so if you get a low roll, you can build a a robotics factory and then a shipyard, then take all the resources off the planet, abandon it and the re-colonize it for a new number of fields. To do this quickly I recommend 9 or 10+ colony ships as it reduces the colonization time to 6-10 hours instead of 24. The formula is 24/sqrt(number of colony ships) rounded to an integer this is how many hours it will take at minimum to colonize the planet.
You only lose one colony ship and half of its resources are converted into useable resources on the planet that you can take with you so you’re only losing about 15k resources per attempt, even less if you pick up the spawned materials before you take off to make a re-roll.
You cannot abandon your capital and you can only transfer your capital to anthor planet for free one time only!
The next question is what type of planet should I colonize?
This one is easy it doesn’t matter what race you are there is only one answer, GAS PLANETS and not just any gas planet, you want a gas planet with a negative temperature the colder the better! The best roll is a -120 degrees minimum temperature with a maximum temperature of -100 degrees. This is a “perfect planet” the max temperature for gas planets is 20-40 degrees higher than the minimum tempature you see from the galaxy view. There is no correlation between position and temperature for gas planets, they can be +100 or -120 degrees in all 9 positions around a star, this is what makes them so valuable.
*Important* The temperature of the planet or it being gas has no effect on the output of the minerals or metal produced. Yes there is a planet type that can, by a very small percent increase of metal or mineral production (1-4%), but these planets are much warmer and will produce 20-60% as much gas as a negative temperature gas planet. 40-80% is many times bigger than 1-4% and gas is way scarcer once you break 25k points.
I am not going to bother showing you the math for each race, but i will do a quick example with terran. Lets say you find a nice sand planet that is 80 degrees and its gives a nice bonus +4% to metal production; lets say i find a nice gas planet that is -80 degrees. For the Geyser we first note that it generates 20% more gas on a gas planet than any other type, the next is pretty simple math.
For the sand planet we have 2 * x^(1.8) * (0.8 - 0.001 * max tempature of the planet.) The only diffrences in these two calculations is the last part, your planet will multiply the gas produced for a given level by 0.8 - 0.08 or 0.72 and mine will multiply it by (0.8 - (-0.08)) = 0.88. So for the same level of building my planet will produce (0.88/0.72) * 120% = 146.7% times 108% for it being gas so 158.4% more gas for the same investment level.
For the refinery it will generate 1.28 - 0.16 for the sand planet and for the gas planet it will generate 1.28 +0.16. So we have that it will produce 1.44=1.12 = 128.6% time 108% is 139% as much gas on my planet compared to on yours.
Now you may be going, you promised up to 60%, so here how you get it for one a gas planet will add 8% to all of these values. However, these are the base gas values, things like infastructure, geologist, other tech buffs all stack multiplicativly with these numbers NOT ADDITIVELY!. So if you have say a level 5 geoligist (a 15% buff) you are getting 148% gas form the refinery and 169% from the buff instead of 115%. There are many other things like planetoids, alliance stations and etc that will also stack multiplicativly with this bonus so 60% is actually a very low value compared to the potential increase in gas. (note the gas addition from being a gas planet stacks additivly not multiplicatively thats why i left it out of the secound set of calculations.)
The only race that gets a bonus multiplicativly for the gas type bonus is protoss. For gas planets in the calculation of the vespene generated by the green droids only it is multiplactive as long as you have an assimlator.) This is an important point as it means that the metal inscrease from your sand planet is 4% of the base value and my inscrease stacks before this calculation occurs so its multiplicative instead.
Take into mind that 1 vespene is generally considered to be worth as much as 2 mineral or 4 metal per unit and you start to understand that it is pure stupidity to colonize any other kind of planet. Now you may say, most of this bonus is coming from the cold tempature, not from being a gas planet! This is true, but only gas planets can roll as cold as -120 (not even ice planets can do this) They can also spawn in any position away from the star and this means you can have a very cold planet that is 1st position.
This is important because terran and to a lesser extent zerg actually rely on solar energy! We also note that all metal and mineral production buildings have no effect on the output of these buildings from tempature!
So tempature only affects the amount of gas produced on a planet; tempature has no effect on the output of metal or minerals on any planet, regardless of which of the three races you are playing!
Does the diameter of the planet matter; what does it effect?
The diameter affects the base structure of a planet, this can make it harder to blow up and hard to be eaten by a lexx. It also has an affect on the amount of resources produced if you are Zerg or Protoss. These two races will produce more resources (metal and minerals only) on a smaller diameter planet. The amount isn't huge, but ever bit helps. You don't really need to worry about a Lexx attack unless you are offline for like a month or more. For one no allaince allows its memebers to eat an active players planet, and secoundly Lexx is unimaginably slow they have a base speed of 1 unit of distance per minute. No one is going to send them to an active players planet as they are so slow you can make the needed changes to prevent anything from being eaten anyway.
My friend said to change the time back to 24hrs when using multiple ships to colonize a planet; why?
Well so there is something i didnt mention in colonization the roll occurs by generating a random number between 40 and 350 as far as i know at least. 348 is the largest i have ever seen, but i have been told by a mod that 350 is the maximum roll, but honestly who knows. Anyway the part i left out is that the roll occurs and then there is a small number of bonus fields added to this roll, its equal to square root of the number of hours rounded down. So if the colonization time is 4 hours then u get +2 base fields, 16hrs you get +4 base fields, 999 hrs you get +31 base fields. The thing is it doesnt appear to increase the maximum roll that can occur, and if you understand anything about statistics its much more likely you will get a high number of fields in the same amount of time by performing more rolls with a smaller bonus than less with a larger bonus. This is why i didnt bother mentioning it. It also possible to colonize as many planets as you have fleet slots at the same time, even if you have no avalibility to colonize a planet in your tech you can still colonize as many as you want. The key is you must have an avalible slot when the colonization finishes this will allow you to colonize several planets at the same time and only keep the one or two with good rolls.
DO NOT COLONIZE ANY PLANET THAT IS NOT A NEGATIVE TEMPATURE GAS PLANET!
The position matters a little bit, if you are Terran ideally you want a planet that is in position 1-5, for example a planets coordinates are 100:100:1 this is a first position planet. The reason why is that Terran needs to generate a certain amount of energy from the star and the closer you are the more energy you get from this. Terran the size of the planet is irrelevant; some people will tell you 15,000+ km diameter this is an old thing and nothing you will ever need to worry about.
As Zerg, the position matter less, its more about the temperature, they can theoretically colonize any position, they do use overlords for energy sometimes though. It is also preferable to colonize a small diameter planet, this is because Zerg is able to harvest resources more efficiently later on smaller planets.
Protoss, they are the only race that planet position has no effect on anything for them, no structure or unit etc is affected in away by the planets position. Like Zerg they are able to more efficiently mine resources later in the game the smaller the diameter of the planet.
Do not colonize multiple planets in the same solar system, this is bad for so many reasons. Try and keep your bases at least 5k+ distance apart!
As you colonize more planets and continue to raid inactives, you will start to grow very quickly, you want to begin to set yourself up for the real way of getting resources in this game. They are often called “feasts” by the Russian players, but I will just call them pirates.
EDIT: Unfortunatly recent changes to the game has made this section no longer relevant, it is no longer feasible for terran or zerg races to hunt pirates for profit. The current configuration of the combat system makes it impossible to profit off of killing pirates for these two races if any amount of aggression has accumulated. It is still sort of possible to hunt very select pirate spawns with protoss, unfortunatly this is a bit of acomplicated of a discussion for a tutorial and the race is locked behind having completed a quest for one of the aformentioned races.
Very important! Fleet and resources protection!
Ideally you want your fleet to be secured under FAS all of it. There is a commander that adds +1000 to every base per level or a building for terran and protoss or research for zerg to accomplish this.
Fleet auto save (FAS)
To see or configure FAS you select the planet you want to see and then click on the overview button, you can then toggle it between enabled, civil fleet or disabled.
Clicking on the FAS button itself will bring up a management screen to show eacatly what units are covered and how many of them etc.
It will likely become clear very quickly that this will only cover some civil fleet and the production of some ships. In order to protect your main combat fleet it will need to saved in a diffrent way.
If you have more than 5000 combat fleet on a planet not covered by FAS; you will lose every single ship! Do not ever do this!
So how do you keep your fleet safe? Well the answer is expedition, you send your fleet on a preferably 999 hour expedition. Each hour that passes on expedition the fleet will burn 1% of its fuel consumption value as indicated in the specifications screen. This fleet can be recalled and all unused fuel will be returned minus the warm up cost of the warp engines and 1% of the fuel cost per hour. This is matched down to the slowest unit in the expedition, so if you have a very slow unit it will save you gas on the other units.
Most people don't seem to understand how fuel consumption works so i will give a short explanation.
The fuel consumption of the above unit is 2.95 vespene. This means it will require this much vespene to move 1000ckm at the top speed of this unit. What is not explained in the warm up phase of the engines. You see any flight no matter how short requires the engines to warm up and this costs the same as flying 1000ckm. So to send this unit on expedition for say 7 days (168 hours) it will cost two warm up fees one to get to the middle of nowhere and then one to get back + the fuel used in expedition.
Expedition uses 1% of this value every hour so we will use 2.95 x 2 + 0.01 x (2.95) x 168. So we will use 6.9 units of fuel to send this ship on expedition and then 5 units of vespene for exploring on expedition for 7 days. So expedition really uses very little fuel after you get past the warm up fees of the unit. It is very important that you do not let the expedition timer run out as you may lose your entire fleet in a black hole or have other terrible things happen. This is why it is best to send your fleet on a 999 hr expedition!
Any combat fleet in excess of 5000 units not covered by FAS or large amounts of resources on a planet must be sent away in this way to prevent them from being deystroyed or stolen!
All unused fuel for the expedition is returned! so if you recall at 40 hours the remaining fuel for the 959 hours left will be returned to you when the fleet arrives home. Recalling the fleet only takes about 3-10 minutes and it can be done anytime during the expedition.
Note: there is no risk of losing and ships or falling into a black hole or worm hole as long as the expedition is recalled and not completed! However, there is also no reward for a recalled expedition.
Large cargo ships are very fuel efficient so if you ever need to hide resources this is done in the same way by sending them with your combat ships, you can also use colony ships or lurkers, but they are really slow and i find the warm up times anyoing.
How to send fleet on expedition.
This can be done from anywhere, its best to send it off from a jump gate, but a base or sattilite will work as well. You simply click the fleet option with the correct object selected and then manualy type in the last cordinate the number 10. You then select the ships and resource you want to take on expedition and then send them.
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