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wcanyon

suggestion for reasonable build times

Automated Assembly tech unlocks a robot that builds stuff  

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  1. 1. Automated Assembly tech unlocks a robot that builds stuff

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    • Bad idea
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Unlocked corsairs. Went to build one. Even with 20 techs it's gonna be like 30 days for 2 of them. But really a crew of 20 people wouldn't be able to build a plane in a week, right?

My solution: after Alien Electronics unlocks a tech called Automated Assembly. That unlocks a car-sized robot that helps you build stuff (like large weapons and planes) and takes up 1 slot in your vehicle hangar.

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Problem 1: The "realism." Remember this is 1979, automation of making CARS is still bleeding-edge. Even today we're using large, specialized robotics that are good for mass production. Making a swiss-army construction robot, capable of high quality craftsmanship on prototype tech is nowhere near viable. The most technologically-advanced vehicle is the Hyperion hovertank, which is basically a standard tank, except it's got an alien-tech antigrav unit and alien materials used. So it's just a brute-force adaptation of alien tech, which is so much easier than innovation of a brand-new idea that (at the time) has no predecessor.

Realism test: Failed.

Problem 2: The gameplay: Would inviolate the vast majority of late-game balance, including the resources/space needed to get workshops and technicians. I usually have 30 technicians well before Corsairs are buildable, and will usually devote notable portions of my 2nd base to mass production. Adding a robot that does the work of more than, say, five technicians would make it far too easy to manage base space, money, etc. etc.

Let's say the robot is implemented as a simple effective 'x' number of technicians. Technicians take approximately one base square per five technicians, plus about 20,000 per technician (counting building construction and hiring costs).

Garages take one space, and can have three vehicles. So each robot ought to cost 40,000 and count as two technicians, to maintain balance of 5 technicians/square. Not really a huge benefit.

There is another way to balance the robot as compared to technicians: Technicians take a straight 3 days to arrive, but this robot would have to be built, since things don't magically get done. So each robot would need a build time to be attached to it. Except you're already complaining about build times: Adding yet another thing to build would certainly not alleviate that problem.

Gameplay test: Failed.

Overall: While an admirable attempt to utilize the largely-useless second and third garage slots, would not be a beneficial suggestion to implement.

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> Remember this is 1979, automation of making CARS is still bleeding-edge

This is a game about aliens and flying saucers. Realism left the building a long time ago. Maybe it'd make more sense to have an advanced foundry be required for the high end equipment -- iirc that was a thing in UFO Afterlight.

Edited by wcanyon

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At least as of build 18, construction times were just fine assuming you expanded aggressively and didn't waste money. It might not seem that way your first playthrough (it didn't for me either, I complained about it a first too), but once you learn the progression you should be fine.

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They do seem out of whack... I've got 26 techs on 2 corsairs and it's going to take over 30 days. I think it makes more sense to have techs building advanced factories that build the advanced weapons, rather than techs building the weapons directly. I've got 2 techs building 20 electro grenades and it's going to take 8 months. Wat.

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Yes. The ALIENS have some pretty fancy tech. WE don't. Everything the humans make in this game basically follows the following process:

1.) Take already-existing human design.

2.) Add alien shit to it

3.) ???

4.) Profit!

So for example, we get:

1.) Guns and laser beams

2.) Alien materials enabling greater focusing

3.) Make gun with highly focused laser

4.) Profit!

The only way that one could argue in favor of this is if it was based on a technology recovered from an alien base where you found an alien manufacturing machine.

Although if the aliens have those it does beg the question of why they brought 3,000 UFOs when they could have just brought like four and set up a base on the Moon for a few years.

So does it exist as a human invention in 1979? No.

Does it exist as an alien tech? No.

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Yes. The ALIENS have some pretty fancy tech. WE don't. Everything the humans make in this game basically follows the following process:

...

So does it exist as a human invention in 1979? No.

Does it exist as an alien tech? No.

I find you sarcastic and obnoxious. I'm not talking to you anymore.

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They do seem out of whack... I've got 26 techs on 2 corsairs and it's going to take over 30 days. I think it makes more sense to have techs building advanced factories that build the advanced weapons, rather than techs building the weapons directly. I've got 2 techs building 20 electro grenades and it's going to take 8 months. Wat.

...Also, what version are you playing? Electroshock grenades were made infinite a few version ago, IIRC.

And if 26 technicians is too few, have you considered (and this is going to blow your mind here, just absolutely blow your mind)

...

...

...

Hiring new technicians? Building new facilities for them?

Adding a robot that does the work of technicians will either a.) completely unbalance the game, or b.) be a worse version of simply getting more technicians.

Sometimes, if I'm considering a suggestion, I'll run some balance analyses. So why don't you run a few for us: Come up with values and how they'd effect the game. You want this to help accelerate build times. Well, how would it go about accelerating build times? Would it count as extra technicians as I assumed in my analysis? Would it instead reduce the build time by a certain percent? What percent would that be? How much would this cost? How long would it take to make? Answer those questions and get back to me, I'mma go to sleep now.

P.S. Couldn't you also just suggest "Reduced build times for late-game interceptors and equipment"? That's something that's been discussed in a lot of places and probably is far more likely to ever be implemented.

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I think its a combination of the balancing and expectations really. If the ramp up in activity and size/speed/toughness/number of ufos by month 2-3 wasn't so big, the manufacturing speed part wouldn't be a problem.

The corsair also really isn't that special (its really just a quicker condor with 50% more hitpoints, it still can be taken out by heavy fighters way too easy), and you have something that is not much bang for the buck. Add that to the massive build time, and its best to just skip it and wait til you've got the next level unlocked.

Best to concentrate on getting plasma explosives and not worry too much about the fighters really. By the time you get corsairs, its way cheaper and quicker to just keep using condors.

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> and you have something that is not much bang for the buck

Blech. Seems like the air game is out of whack with the ground game... my ground units have gotten pretty badass since day 1 but the air units don't feel like they've kept pace. I unlock the corsair only to find it ain't that great and it takes forever to build.

What I'm really after with this suggestion is the feeling that I am ramping up for war. The automated builder bot (or hell, even a power loader style construction suit) would add a feeling of "hey, we've taken alien tech and adapted it to make a badass factory".

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I agree with you totally - the other various games ramped up with you much more gracefully, so you'd have time and money to invest in the intermediate tech and use it in anger before progressing onto better tech.

At the moment, the steep ramping up of difficulty means the intermediate tech is pointless, and actually penalises you with the cost and time wasted - the corsair is an example of the geoscape combat, laser rifles for the ground combat.

I like the explanation of why you can use alien tech to speed up manufacturing. Once you have alien electronics and an andron autopsy, you could cobble your own production line together, and halve or quarter the time taken. The way I also see tech adoption, unless you really are improving the way the tech works from the ground up, there should be no reason to build anything from scratch - the most you'd do for an alien weapon is redo the stock, sight, trigger and grip. Your troops are being butchered with advanced weapons, why wait 2 months for research and engineering to make a human version?

If you think of the balance between research and engineering as it currently stands, I have 15 scientists that are mainly sitting idle since they finish research so quickly. On the other hand, 40 engineers still aren't enough to construct and keep pace with the alien ramping up.

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My impression has been also in v18 that advanced planes take too long to manufacture. Yes, I can get more than 30 engineers. With 30, building planes takes too long of course. But the issue is, getting more feels like a waste for anything except planes. Advanced planes require something like 60 engineers to get production times that are at all reasonable, but for just about anything else, that is overkill. I can build a Foxtrot within a day with 30, I can build any weapons or armor quickly enough for my needs.

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Yea the disparity between geoscape and ground equipment build times feels out of wack, but maybe that's how it is in an alien invasion? It's rather realistic to have unefficient manufacturing in the 80's

idk maybe that advanced andron welding arm could be used to make the barebones frame of an A/C quickly enough? or just the trusses that make up the airframe's skeleton?

Edited by smoitessier

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Yeah I think the discovery of the Andron's could make the use of a bit of rudimentary intelligence in the manufacturing process logically consistent within the game. The logic of this canon of game has always been that we reverse engineer alien tech and apply our own human spin on it to come back and save the day.

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Alternate idea: just edit manufactures.xml: :D

<Row>

<Cell><Data ss:Type="String">ManTech.Corsair</Data></Cell>

<Cell><Data ss:Type="String">Aircraft</Data></Cell>

<Cell><Data ss:Type="Number">220</Data></Cell>

<Cell><Data ss:Type="Number">300000</Data></Cell>

<Cell><Data ss:Type="String">20xItems.Alenium;30xItems.Alienalloys</Data></Cell>

<Cell ss:Index="8"><Data ss:Type="String">StockItem( "airplane.human.corsair" );</Data></Cell>

<Cell ss:Index="10"><Data ss:Type="String">airplane.human.corsair</Data></Cell>

</Row>

I'm kinda surprised that this data is in a spreadsheet -- seems like an sqlite db would be ideal here and would enforce data integrity as well.

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So that figure is in like manpower days or something? Wonder what the second value is for.....

My current game is at January and I'm being crucified on the geoscape with constant base attacks and terror missions, and i've lost 2 continents - time to manufacture some marauders....

Then you see it would take a month with 30 engineers..... :(

Time for some editing.

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So that figure is in like manpower days or something?

Time for some editing.

First is man-days, second is money. Column definitions are in the doc, somewhere. I had some negative build percentages when I edited this while a build of that item was in process. Don't know if it was gonna crash the game or anything, just reloaded a save before I'd started building a corsair.

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