Star Ruler 2

Star Ruler 2

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Impossibly frustrating
I'm losing to easy AI after 5 or so games still. I get the economy decently, I've built some nice custom ships after doing research into why. I'm playing Expanse and by the time I'm moving into my 6th or so system against 250 remnant the AI has 20+ systems and is attacking me, on easy, with no cheats enabled for them. HOW? How can they have 5+ 1k ships with full support fleets and not be bankrupt? Good planets make approx 850k, and you get 2-3 of those, yet they're fielding 4-5m in ships. They should be millions negative. I don't understand.

How do they use FTL so much? It's like they have unlimited amounts, in the span of about 10 minutes, I saw no less than 30 jumps, as they bounced between my systems and their own, meanwhile I'm stuck generating .55/s because I never have planets with the resources.

Why do my ships drift of for miles, when they were standing still before I gave them an order?
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Showing 1-13 of 13 comments
The ship drifting is just a problem in general. Pretty sure AI has that too. Can be reduced with fast and agile ships.

My guess is that your decent economy is not so decent. Do you make sure to only colonise planets that have a resource you need? Do you, maybe, build too many imperial buildings? Many of the systems you colonise you'll only need one or two planets at first. And even late game, most planets will have no imperial buildings..

At 20 systems they should have the income for the kind of fleet you mentioned. Not with too much left, but definitly not impossible.

FTL might be that they got lucky with a FTL resource planet (does easy AI try to put up an effort getting these? No clue). Or they may have been mining FTL shards from asteroids.
Deveyus Mar 8 @ 2:58am 
I generally am only colonizing things I need, unless I'm left with mediocre options, for instance, I had a lot of research planets this last time, as in 6 systems I had 4 planets for Level 1 Research. Unless I am supposed to target only production and wealth planets to the exclusion of all else, I don't think I could be much more picky. I was playing star child; I couldn't build imperial buildings this last game at all, I did build solar engines, the energy was quite useful for many things, and they're not particularly expensive (3-4 of them) and much later I built a single FTL storage. That was the extent of my ongoing costs.
As Star Children it might be a good idea to build additional motherships. Most other races can colonise at nearly exponential rate, which a single mothership cannot keep up with. May want to design a low-cost mothership that's smaller than the default design.
Deveyus Mar 8 @ 3:16am 
Did so, when I could afford to do so I kept adding them, and if they weren't busy (they weren't most of the time as my limit was ability to clear sectors, not colonize them) I had them sit and generate that little extra cash for me. (Net profit 60k each) and contribute to building up my support fleets. However each time I built one it required borrowing, as a cheap 500 still costs 800k in a shipyard, which meant on good days I was positive enough to just barely buy them.
Then it might be nessecary to build stronger ships to clear sectors. Just tried a round of expanse, and the first couple of sectors were easily clearable by a 256-size, railgun-armed ship (no support, little supply -> low maintenance).

Also, I don't think motherships generate profit. Would need to check to make sure, but I think they're neutral or slightly negative at minimal maintenance, and max population.

Either way, there's a reason why Star Children, Mono, Heralds, and The First are not recommended for beginners. Playing Saar (star temple stuff), after half an hour I had 8 systems, and had a budget of 1.7M without any money-pressure resources (maybe 300-500k was from planets with hydrogenerators + megafarms, and 2+ moonbases). Settings were default (without dread pirate, revenant parts, and influence victory), map also expanse.
Last edited by FourGreenFields; Mar 8 @ 3:44am
Deveyus Mar 8 @ 6:15pm 
I shall simply attempt to "git gud". Not much else that can be done, do appreciate the effort. Will continue to play Star Children (with fling beacons) because the cool factor is worth it.
GGLucas  [developer] Mar 10 @ 12:29am 
On an honest note, Star Children races are probably the hardest in the game to play efficiently, because they require a fair bit of planning and frugality to get going, and the kickoff to their expansion curve is very slow. It's definitely something that requires a good feel for how the game's systems tie together and how to spend your resources efficiently.

When I play Star Children I usually prioritize a Shipyard and a second Mothership as my first major purchases. You can send Labor from your motherships to the Shipyard to combine it, also leaving you open to parking a mothership in orbit of a labor generating planet whenever you need it and sending that labor along too.

I generally don't build my third mothership until a bit later in the game, and focus on spending my budget setting up my empire and getting some fleets. Especially playing on The Expanse will make this more important.

One cool aspect of Star Children + Fling is that you can Fling the habitats from one planet to another, which lets you expand into systems without having to move a mothership over to them. Just sit a mothership in orbit in of a planet within your starting beacon's range and keep building habitats and flinging them to new systems as long as you have FTL.

Fling has the advantage over Hyperdrive that it can go vast distances in very short amounts of time. It comes at a tradeoff of a hefty overhead startup cost per jump though. Hyperdrive is very much the cheapest form of FTL, and very good for doing short hops between systems very often, but extended travel gets pretty slow pretty quickly.
Last edited by GGLucas; Mar 10 @ 12:34am
Deveyus Mar 10 @ 2:39pm 
I had a game last night and with terraforming on, so I'm not at the mercy of random generation I absolutely am able to go crazy and do quite well. My biggest problem was a constant need for more water. Comets and water planets just run out so quickly, and I can't build on planet surfaces to be able to resolve this. However after I won, I was looking at the budget screen. I felt like I was utterly swimming in money. 9 fleets that were munching revenants like candy even size 3.2k, 34 flagships total (mostly all-engine motherships used as mobile labor and to feed my shipyard.) Yet I noticed easy AI still had more income than I did. I must be missing some key aspect of how to generate cash. I create pipelines of planets upgrade them to higher levels, create or target money producers, and use things like morphic materials and such to increase my money output and I'm still being outpaced!
dolynick Mar 10 @ 10:10pm 
I recall it took me some time to be able to get an economy going (to be fair, I suspect I'm still a bit slow in the early game if I was playing competitively). It simply took some time and familiarity. The one friend I managed to get to pick up the game and play MP with me had great difficulty getting his head around the level-up and resource system as well for a while. It's really quite simple, but for whatever reason people can find it hard to pick up at first.

When you say "outpaced" by the AI in income, which stat are you looking at? Empire (total) Budget? Or Net Budget?

Total budget is essentially a function of the number or colonized/developped worlds in an empire. So long as it's not being drastically mismanaged, the larger the planet owned count, the higher this number will be. It does not take into account any costs though and is more an indicator of size rather than spendable "wealth" per turn.

Net Budget is the measure of how much money an empire can actually spend in a given term. This is a better indicator of their buying/building potential. This is also where the AI tends to go wrong. It will either not be spending enough (and therefore have an overinflated net budget - because it hasn't built fleets) or it will be very low or negative (as something has gone wrong, probably due to planet losses).

My point being that the two values discussed above are not without meaning, but also not a terribly good indicator of being "outplayed" by the AI. At least not with great certainty.
If the AI managed to become senate leader (is that a DLC-only thing?), it might have used a couple of "development" cards on their planets. These give +2B population each, meaning more money/planet. Also, naming planets can give them up to +5B population (only once, while development can be used as often as you want to).

But probably what dolynick said, I guess.
if you want to make star children broken, take the fling beacon ftl, and get an ftl planet to level 5. (this makes all ftl travel from the system it's in free. Fling beacons can fling planets, so you can move planets around for free.) fling all planets in it's system to a single central star system. fling the ftl planet to the next system you want to clear. fling all those planets to your chosen home system. rinse and repeat for everything you own. The reason you do this is because it let's you stack an entire empires worth of habitat stations into one star system for an impenetrable defense. From there you're in a pretty good spot to just crank out ships to try to steal planets, which you then similarly fling-steal, or use diplomacy annexation shenanigans. The AI will never, ever, be able to handle such a concentrated dose of habitat stations, so you're set for the rest of the game. try to become senate leader for development cards, and grab any arcology artifacts you find to keep your economy growing. If you want to really cheese this strategy, take the level 5 ftl planet, and fling it into enemy territory. You now have a mobile dreadnought which will decimate any enemy it comes into contact with given 30-50 or more habitat stations worth of concentrated fire. You now have a free ride to conquer that system since they cant field fleets against you effectively, and you can quickly fling the planets when you're done.

I acknowledge that this strategy is 100% cheese, and using it will likely make you a worse player overall since it will delay your learning of the intricacies of the economy, and possibly teach you bad habits
Last edited by forrestomintero; Apr 9 @ 12:43am
I have done that with The First race in the rising stars mod until the modder went and fixed being able to fling planets for free in the Rising Stars mod
Originally posted by MysticVoid7x9:
I have done that with The First race in the rising stars mod until the modder went and fixed being able to fling planets for free in the Rising Stars mod

I wonder if Alar still remembers the last time you did that... xD
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