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Better Robotics
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Dec 15, 2018 @ 9:27pm
Jan 26 @ 1:44pm
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Better Robotics

Vanilla values are hilariously bad so I took it upon myself to mod some values that are more reasonable. Disclaimer that I don't normally go machine empire myself (although I am doing so now simply to test the mod and see more of LeGuin)- the mod was created in large part because one of my friends likes doing Machine Empires and found them pretty, shall we say, "lackluster" this patch.

Vanilla Values for comparison:
Both Non-Machine and Machine assembly buildings are capped at 1 per world and provide 1 of their respective job.
Roboticist (Non-Machine): +2 Growth, 10 Mineral Upkeep
Replicator (Machine): +1 Growth, 5 Mineral Upkeep

Machine Capital buildings do provide increasing numbers of Replicator jobs in vanilla so their growth rate scales slightly but even including those jobs a new colony therefore has +1 growth and costs 5 minerals in doing so. The capital likely has +3 to +5 growth (im not sure what tier the initial structure is) and costs 15-25 minerals. Late game I believe the jobs capped out at either 4 or 5 meaning they end up with a potential (un-%-boosted) maximum of +6 growth which costs 30 minerals in upkeep.

Mod Changes:
Non-Machine Assembly Plants
1 Structure Cap / Planet
2 Roboticist Jobs / Structure
Roboticist Upkeep: 6 minerals, 2 energy
+1.5 Robot Production / Job
(3 max growth; equal to base Bio growth)

Machine-Empire Robot Assembly Plants
2 Structure Cap / Planet
2 Replicator Jobs / Structure
Replicator Upkeep: 6 minerals, 2 energy
+2 Robot Production / Job
Replicators also no longer produce 5 Amenities each, as that would make them superior to Maintenace drones in most cases (Growth and amenities to sate the new population for one building slot)
(8 max growth, rising to 12 with one of the Ascension perks added)

Machine Planetary Capital Buildings (All Tiers)
Replicator jobs removed from all tiers except for the initial colony, which retains 2
+5 base Amenities (+10 for Colony Shelter); +1 Maintenance Drone job (+0 for Colony Shelter)
+2 Housing

The replicator jobs are only on the initial colony structure, the "Administrative Array" upgrade and all upgrades after do not have the replicator jobs. The tradeoff is that you can no longer build Robot Assembly Plants on a planet unless there is an Administrative Array or higher-tier capital building. The initial jobs are to allow machine empires a slight variation on the "Pop Production World" playstyle that I prefer and so that you don't have a 500 energy and 300 mineral tax on any colony you make (from needing to resettle 5 pops and then build an Assembly Plant).

The housing change is simply so you can let the planet grow a little before you need to invest in districts and the amenities change is to compensate for needing two pops as Replicators on any new colony. You lose the 5 free amenities and gain the Maintenance Drone jobs you would normally have for Administrative Arrays and up.

Coordinator Jobs (Machine Empire)
3 Unity, 3 Engineering Research (Robots have a slight Engineering research advantage)

Synapse Jobs (Hive Mind)
3 Unity, 3 Society Research (Vanilla values)

Telepath Jobs (Psionics)
3 Unity, 3 Physics Research (Psionic species have a slight Physics research advantage, though this likely will be significantly smaller than Hive / Machine)

Machine-Empire "Bio-Reactor" Building Modifications:
Removed inherent Upkeep/Production Values
Now provides +2 Biofuel Drone jobs
Three Structure Tiers (2 Jobs / 5 Jobs / 10 Jobs)
Tier 2 / 3 cost 90 / 210 Volatile Motes but have no Mote upkeep in order to keep the strategic resource economy largely the same as other empires.

Biofuel Drone:
Produces: +11.4 Energy
Upkeep: 12 Food
Biofuel Drones do not benefit from any job-specific output bonuses (namely Technician / Agri-Drone Research)
That is, their ratio for Food:Energy conversion remains at exactly 95% and their upkeep/production values are completely flat. A Biofuel drone at year 1 will cost 12 food and produce 11.4 energy and a Biofuel drone at year 400 will do the same even when your farmers are producing 12 food each and your technicians are doing likewise.

This makes converting food into energy 5% worse than simply making generator districts and producing energy that way. Either way you are using 3 jobs (2 farmers and 1 biofuel drone or 3 tech-drones) but the Bio-Reactor method will produce 11.4 Energy whereas the Tech-drone method will produce 12, a 5% difference.

Ascension Perks:
Robot Assembly Protocols (T3)
+1 Replicator job on Robot Assembly Plants
+25% Robot Production Rate
Reveals the Climate Restoration Tech

Drone Design: Material Breakthroughs (T0)
Robot Pop Upkeep: -10%
Resettlement Cost: -35%

Drone Design: Cognition Cores (T1)
Robot Pop Upkeep: -15%
Robot Pop Output: +5%
The output modifier affects everything from mineral output to research and alloy production; it's a lot stronger than it seems. It can also be stacked with the "Efficient Processors" trait which does the same.

Universal Image (T3)
Terraforming Cost: -75%
Terraforming Speed: +300%
Intended as a 5th perk for coating the galaxy in Machine Worlds. For the empire that wants to expand and keep expanding.

All above perks are Machine-Empire only.

Planetary Expansion (T3)
Requires Mastery of Nature Perk
Provides access to the "Planetary Sculpting" planet decision

Planetary Sculpting (Decision)
Time: 540 Days
150 Influence, 11250 Energy, 22500 Minerals
Converts a planet into a size-25 world.

Starbase Module: Solar Panel
Energy Output 3 -> 4
This is because Trade exists for Non-Gestalt empires and Trade Hubs inherently produce +2 Trade Value by themselves. The effective 3-energy difference between a Trade Hub and a Solar Panel (TH has 1 upkeep) is more than compensated for by the inherent TV produced by a planet's population (30-80 TV on a populated planet seemed fairly normal to me).

Any mod that overwrites:

Lesser conflicts (You'll lose a relatively small portion of the changes) with mods that overwrite:
pop_categories: 01_gestalt_drones

The other changes done do not require overwriting the entire file and are thus largely non-conflicting aside from the obvious factor that if both mods affect the exact same module/building then whichever is loaded last will be the one that actually affects the game.

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nephilimnexus Dec 30, 2018 @ 7:37pm 
Thanks! Paradox's robot pop-growth rules were so backward it was laughable. Reminded me of a scene from Starsiege...

"If those machines want to fight a war of attrition, we'll give it to them!"
"Are you mad? It takes nine months to grow a human, at least fifteen years before they're old enough to fight and then another four months to train them how. The Cybrids can crank out a new unit in a matter of days and they're booted up already knowing how to kill."
FireStorm Dec 23, 2018 @ 8:40pm 
I am liking the changes and the updates to the mod. I cannot wait to see what else you add to it. This makes Robots much better without making them OP.

Thank you.
FireStorm Dec 18, 2018 @ 5:56am 

Thank you for the update, I will follow up ASAP. If it helps I generally found the economy to be rough early on (without your mod), it generally felt like the upkeep across the board for robots should be reduced (15-25%?), I mean they are an robotic empire, they should know how to make things more efficient than Non-Machine empires when building and using robots.

Having more growth may help that out, once population gets up there, maybe worth considering the reduced upkeep? Sounds like something to add to the Machine Empire "Authority" modifier (like Hive-Mind gets +Growth).

I really think Paradox balanced the game according to Non-Machine Empires who have the Trade mechanic, and forgot that an entire DLC was devoted to robots.
Shurimoo  [author] Dec 17, 2018 @ 11:38pm 
@FireStorm I've updated the description with vanilla values for comparison and actually got a chuckle from it since I didn't really process how astoundingly terrible they are in base 2.2- I started making the mod off of the experiences of a friend and the general consensus in the community made it clear robotic civs weren't exactly in a good position.

Okay so I had a giant thing that ended up being 2616 characters and steam only allows 1000 so uh I guess I'll just not post that.

TL:DR Please let me know if you find the Machine Empire early game to be an economic struggle, as I am now past that point in the test game and thus can't really feel how much of a sting those -2 minerals/job hurt your early construction compared to the population build rate gains during the initial ~50 or so years.
FireStorm Dec 17, 2018 @ 1:24pm 
If this does what I think it does (May I recommend adding before/after stats), then this will be lovely.

I generally found Machine empires to be nerfed in 2.2 so I am hoping some tweaks like the above help.

I will be checking it out tomorrow when I have a free day from work.