The following test and observations are brought to you curtesy of guru labs.
I’ve spent some time running test with harvesting units from the Hiigaran (HW2) and Taiidan (HW1) races to both get a feel for what is optimal harvesting and to compare the income potential of the two races. Below are the results of my testing, but the TLDR; is that they are surprisingly balanced in terms of income potential up to 10 collectors, beyond that the Hiigaran start to break away. Oh and collectors are morons.
Some facts and rough estimated times.
load - 500 ru
Speed - 110
Cost - 600 ru
Build time - 60 seconds
Collection time on rock - 40 seconds
Drop off animation time - 15 seconds
Hyperspace capable - no, but was in HW1 (bug or intended?)
Research required - Capital Ship drive (Research ship + Cap ship research = 1550ru)
Built from - MS only
speed - 100
Cost - 900 ru (minimum 2450 for first, 900 each additional)
Build time - 1:10 ( minimum 3:40 for first, 1:10 each additional)
Drop off pads - 1
Hyperspace capable - yes
load - 200 ru
Speed - 276
Cost - 400 ru
Build time - 30 seconds
collection time on rock - ~25 seconds
drop of animation time - ~ 7 seconds
Hyperspace capable - no
Research required - none
Built from - Carrier, MS
Speed - 226
Cost - 800 ru
Build time - 45 seconds
Drop off pads - 2
Hyperspace capable - yes in range of module
Findings. All test were done on Kharam Wreck using the closest 2 patches.
Controls included not utilizing the carrier in all but two test, which will be explained later. I also did not repositioning the mothership from her starting position. I did move the carrier out of the way in the case of the Taiidan due to it being closer to the starting patch then the Hiigaran. The incomes below shown should not reflect the potential because in a real game, players would utilize the carrier as an extra/early drop point and reposition ms for faster delivery.
Test 1 - 6 H1 collectors vs 6 H2 collectors (pretty much just hit H as they came out and walked away)
H1 - Reached 10k ru at 7:48 seconds
H1 - Had 18.5k at 15 minutes
H2 - reached 10k ru at 8:24
H2 - Had 16k at 15 minutes
Winner, HW1 collectors
Test 2 - 6 H1 collectors + controller vs 6 H2 collectors + mobile refinery
Resulting total ru collected
H1 - 22500 - 2450(total 1st controller cost) = 20k
H2 - 21k - 800 = 20k
H2 has caught up at this point
For the next 2 test, I allowed the second patch H1 collectors to drop at the carrier that I moved out of the way due to the amount of time it takes to get a Controller out. Once the controllers were out they both were moved to the patch. For H2 collectors this was not needed due to mobile refineries.
Test 3 - 10 H1 collectors +2 controllers vs 10 H2 collectors + 2 mobile refineries (harvesting 2 patches)
Resulting total ru collected:
H1 - 33.8k - 5750 = 28k
H2 - 33.2k - 3200 = 30k
Winner HW2 collectors
Test 4 - 14 H1 collectors + 2 controllers vs 14 H2 collectors + 2 mobile refineries
Resulting total ru collected:
H1 - 40k - 8150 = 32k at 15 minutes
H2 - 40k - 4800 = 35k at 15 minutes
Winner, HW2 collectors
I must admit I was surprised at how well the HW1 collectors did. Before running these test I had timed the collection time and the drop off animation time. Combined with the fact that controllers only have one pad I pre concluded that the HW1 collectors would spend way more time then they did waiting on their turn to harvest or deliver. The results show that in a controlled environment this is not the case. Not to down play a 3k difference in the last test, that is a free destroyer to HW2 players, but it is closer than I originally assumed.
Collectors are morons. They spend a fair amount of time waiting to harvest a rock that is already being collected even if there is an available rock to harvest, and I cannot figure out why. They do switch rocks from time to time (I first thought that they were sticking to the first one they touched) and it’s not a matter of switching to the one that is closest to them after drop off (I also watched one stand by idle waiting on a further rock to clear when a clear one was closer) But the AI could use some tweaking.
The Hiigaran have a clear advantage in terms of ease of use and initial setup of their harvesting operations due to being able to build refineries from the start. This immediately frees up the carrier, mothership, or both for tactical movement. They are also better suited to relocate due to both collectors and refineries having double the speed. They can be built from both a carrier and ms and do not tie up the super capital ship hanger when deploying. And to add insult to injury the HW2 mobile refinery is packing.
The HW1 collectors appear to be more marathon runners. I believe if I had allowed the test to run longer than 15 minutes, in both the 10 and 14 collector test the H1 collectors would’ve caught up. In subsequent test I plan on recording the times when overtakes happen.
I am still gathering results to find the optimal number for each race per patch given the number of small/large rocks per patch. I.e. If I have 12 collectors between two patches, 1 patch a 2/1 small to large, 1 patch a 3/1, would it make more since to distribute my collectors 7 to the 3/1, 5 to the 2/1, or keep them 6 and 6. I’m betting this data already exist given this should be no different from HW2 and there were plenty of skilled folks that played that game. The limitation on how many collectors can harvest a rock at once is new to me (this limitation was not in HW or HW:C).
issuing a guard order from the refinery to more than one collector do not keep the refinery/controller equal distant between the 2 collectors, the controller will only follow 1 unit.