In my (limited) experience the chains don't seem to leap other "non-planets" either--dead asteroids, asteroid fields, gas giants, plasma storms. Should they cross any of these?
Do the links cross planets without trade ports?
I was speaking in regards to using starbases to traverse these gravwells....which is why a magnetic cloud blocks, no starbase can be built there. As you say, they can't "jump over" without a starbase tradeport.
Typically if I put down three refineries I get ballpark 3.5 metal/crystal extra per second. They take a while to fire up for some reason. There's a lag between when it starts and reeeally kicks in. I think it's waiting until a ship makes the trip to the extractor, and then makes it way back. It does work, just has some odd lag in it. Sorta like with phase lanes with Vasari Phase gates.
Amish, this is totally dependent on how many extractors are available! And yes, there is a lag while they get rolling, but there is also a lag on tradeports too! 3.5 resources per sec sounds about right for 3 well placed refineries with some techs researched.
I didn't really follow that. But if a refinery is producing 1.167 vs. the trade port's income of 1, plus...whatever...that's darn good. That or the "whatever" had better be darn good.
Sigh.... the ratio provided was not refineries to tradeports; he was sharing his experience with how an extractor's quota fulfillment affected refinery income. If you don't understand the basics of refineries, I would not try to understand this particular argument. Take a look at my analysis below and then get a nice cup of hot chocolate and watch some "Friends" reruns, secure in the knowledge that a well placed refinery is a good investment.
Did you calculate the cost it takes to research refineries? Trade Ports are better.
A tremendous effort! I applaud the directness of your argument, and congratulate you on your next tradeport built.
I swear, this is the last thread I am doing analysis of this....I have done this something like 4 times in the last 2 years.
I'm pretty sure for normal game speed it is 0.06 per extractor, and for fast I worked it out to be around 0.078. It is hard to tell the exact number because Sins doesn't display enough significant digits and rounds up. I determined this by using 9 refineries in 3 star systems. 32 extractors were each covered by 3 refineries for a total of 96. I was getting a total of 7.5 minerals per second. 7.5 / 96 = 0.078 minerals per extractor. This was with NO TECH upgrades to metal / crystal or cargo holds. These technologies will increase your income. Allegiance will not. It is also worth noting that I did not use ANY neutral extractors to find these numbers. Neutral extractors were giving a bit more resource income to the refinery!!! so I only used the refineries that didn't have access to neighboring neutrals.
On Fast Settings a tradeport gives a base of 1.3 cr / sec and +0.1 more cr/sec for each additional planet in the trade route. Because it is very common to have trade chains that are 6-8 hops long, we know that a tradeport is very often producing over 2.0 cr/s.
A Refinery that covers 10 extractors will give a base of .78 resources per second before technology modifiers. If we value 1 resource at 4.5 credits, we see that this refinery is producing about 3.51 cr/s. This isn't bad, you would have to have a 23 length trade chain to get the same income from a tradeport.
Now, if a refinery is poorly located -- for example, at a dead end planet with only one neighbor -- and it covers only 5 extractors, we see that it would make half of 3.51 cr/s, or 1.75 cr/s. Still respectable if you are desperately in need of the resource in question, but otherwise, not really worth the greater investment costs when you can just make cheaper tradeports.
On the other hand, if you find a superb location with 20 extractors covered (I have found more than 20 on a few occasions), then your refinery is making double a 10 extractor refinery, so 2x 3.51 cr/s gives us 7.02 cr/s. This is awesome income. It is not easy to find a 20 extractor spot, but 12-15 extractor spots are fairly common on most maps.
Things to keep in mind:
1.) Refineries cost more to build. No need to invest in them if the game is going to be short.
2.) TEC has to research refineries on their way to expanded cargo holds so you might as well build one if you have a good location
3.) Refineries DO NOT replace Tradeports. You still want and need Tradeports.
4.) If you have too much metal and crystal and are selling it, the refinery is not worth as much to you. If you find a great location, it still might be worth having a refinery even if you are selling it. You have to make this judgement call.
5.) If you are playing an epic length game that goes on for many hours, your research and investment costs will become negligible over the course of the game. Unless you have a VERY long trade chain (20-30 hops), a well placed refinery will provide much better income than a tradeport over the course of your game.
6.) I can't stress enough, this does not mean you make 20 refineries instead of 20 tradeports. It means you find a great spot and you make 17 tradeports, 3 refineries at the great spot, instead of 20 tradeports!!!