Author Topic: Why use manufactories?  (Read 775 times)

Offline mindloss

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Why use manufactories?
« on: August 25, 2011, 07:28:39 AM »
I'm newish to AI Wars, but I'm not seeing why you would want to have manufactories left on auto most of the time. As far as I can tell, they'll switch on to help compensate when you're hitting zero on one resource but have some of the other. Isn't this just throwing away resources in exchange for getting what you want now slightly faster?

I can see how this could be a lifesaver if you were trying to get turrets up before a wave etc., but most of the time the immediate-term shortage isn't that critical, and since your resources often more or less balance out over the longer term, you're just burning cash. If you have the full default bank of 20 lit up, that's 120/s down the drain... I guess that's negligible once you get a little ways into the game, but it's a big percentage of your resource flow until you have a number of planets. Only time I see it really making sense are in life-or-death time sensitive situations, and when you hit resource cap on solo and are wasting it anyway. Someone please correct me if I'm confused. :)

Offline Ranakastrasz

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Re: Why use manufactories?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 07:32:56 AM »
Well, generally if you have access to the metal/crystal deposits required to supply your production, the manufactories are not really neccisary. However, if you have too much of one resource and not enough of the other, and as you said, are under time constraints, and need to build a significant amount of something. I personal find them useful, if only to delay the stalled economy state as long as possible.

Offline x4000

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Re: Why use manufactories?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2011, 08:43:23 AM »
Generally speaking, you won't be able to precisely balance exactly what your inflows and outflows are, as Ranakastrasz says.  So at some point you're going to hit a point where you have very little of one resource and everything is stalled, while you have such an incredible abundance of the other resource that you hit the cap and then your income starts getting wasted because you can't gather more than the resource cap.

The manufactories are something of a safety valve, for when your economy is out of balance.  If you notice that a ton of them are on, the solution isn't to turn them off -- that's like turning off air bags because you keep crashing the car and they keep deploying.  Instead, the solution is to leave the manufactories on auto, but then to fix the underlying problem (ie, stop crashing the car).  In this case that means either increasing production of a specific resource, or reducing consumption.

More often than not, though, if you try to make a "perfect" economy that is exactly in balance, you'll spend so much time doing that that you're ships will hit ship cap, and thus production will stop because there's nothing left to build, and thus resources skyrocket and hit your resource caps, and then you wind up with titanic amounts of wasteage based on not building enough.
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