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Calculated: Trade Ports vs. Refineries

By on August 18, 2009 10:42:28 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Raging Amish

Join Date 03/2008
+79

1 Tradeport (all fast)

income is 1.6 cred/s. That's the default if it's just one ( I know, I know, they pay off quicker when in a trade line, but this is just a base start). For my calculations I'm going to use 2 cred/sec. That's about a 3-4 planet chain on all fast.

I use 1 resource = 4.5 cred

750 cred + 100 metal + 125 crystal = 1762.5 cred

1762.5/2 = 881.25 sec or 14.7 minutes. That's the slowest it will take for a tradeport to pay itself on all fast if you've built up a 3-4 planet chain.  

Now a refinery costs

1500 cred + 125 metal + 175 crystal = 2850 cred

Now, the best I can tell after looking at the entity file, a refinery will give you (and this is on all fast) .08 * 1.2 resource per second, or .096 resource per second PER MINE ( all fast gives you 20% more income on fast than the set default on slow).

So how many mines do we need for the refinery to pay itself off in 14.7 minutes? It needs to generate 3.23 cred/sec, or .564 resource per second.

Refineries are not affected by allegiance factors.

This comes out to a refinery needs 6 mines near it to be worth it. Finding that isn't too hard. What's ideal is to look for planets with a minimum of 3 (4 is preferable, I've seen up to 8 phase lanes before) phase lanes and put 3 refineries there. They will pay themselves off. They just cost more to get, so it's risk/reward building.

If you're Vasari you're selling ur extra resources for creds. I don't know how much of a difference this makes, because losing 50% of their worth in trade undoubtably has a big effect. How big though, I don't know.

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November 3, 2009 5:28:56 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

maximum allegiance

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November 4, 2009 9:18:57 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting anteachtaire,
maximum allegiance

Ah.  Extraction bonuses have to spread across allyour planets, so not a big factor unless you are Advent in late game. 

Is refinery income based on where the refinery is or on where the extractors are?

I have noticed that with trade ports at 6 planets all earned the same even though the allegiance levels varied from 65% to 110%.

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November 4, 2009 10:57:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Refinery income is based on how many extractors are in the gravwell and all gravwells 1 jump away.  Each extractor can feed up to 3 Refineries (4 for neutral extractors).  You build your refineries so they have access to as many extractors as possible...a refinery with only 4-5 extractors in range is a bad investment...a refinery with 15 or more extractors in range is a very good investment.  Refineries tend to be placed in the middle of crossroads where they can access as many gravwells as possible around them.

Tradeport income does not depend on allegiance, it depends how long of a traderoute "chain" you have...the longer, the more profitable all your tradeports.  You can see the trade route when you hover your mouse over your income at the top of the screen.

Allegiance affects planetary income from population and resources mined by the planet.

 

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November 4, 2009 11:50:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

yeah, I meant the advantages for max all. by itself, (not for trade or anything.) its comprable to researching extraction and trade bonuses to a cert. extent. Personally I feel as though its a better investment though. And it can be a big factor early game, as you maximize your base income and set yourself up for a better eco. when you get more research; extraction research offsets the loss of income from low all & if you have higher all. in the first place it maximizes future bonuses from research.

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November 14, 2009 12:40:02 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting anteachtaire,
yeah, I meant the advantages for max all. by itself, (not for trade or anything.) its comprable to researching extraction and trade bonuses to a cert. extent. Personally I feel as though its a better investment though. And it can be a big factor early game, as you maximize your base income and set yourself up for a better eco. when you get more research; extraction research offsets the loss of income from low all & if you have higher all. in the first place it maximizes future bonuses from research.

Badly worded. Let's be clear on the fact that allegiance does not affect trade income whatsoever, mmmkay?

And yes, using culture early on rather than ressource upgrades most certainly sounds like a  good idea just don't overdo it as culture centers are very expensive. You are much better off expanding your fleet to grab more planets than getting various upgrades or structures early on. Spend that gold on colony ships instead and go on a mad grabbing rush. The way I view it, every second a planet stays on neutral hands is a second I'm not gaining from it. That's why the neutral ships must die. Fast. And horribly.

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November 26, 2009 11:19:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I'm a noob at Sins--I don't even know how Trade routes work yet (that's what I surfed to this thread looking for)--but one thing I don't understand:   Starbases.   I went directly to Entrenchment.   Is it really that difficult establishing a long trade line?   I mean just throw down a trade module on a starbase in an empty sector.  Sure it's more expensive, but....

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November 27, 2009 1:27:03 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I'm a noob at Sins--I don't even know how Trade routes work yet (that's what I surfed to this thread looking for)--but one thing I don't understand: Starbases. I went directly to Entrenchment. Is it really that difficult establishing a long trade line? I mean just throw down a trade module on a starbase in an empty sector. Sure it's more expensive, but....

No, it isn't hard at all, and you are correct, a starbase with a trade module will allow you to continue a trade chain through a gravwell without a planet.  The only thing really blocking your trade chains now are magnetic clouds.  The main reason why someone might not have a long trade chain is because the planets are in small clusters at each star and are not conducive to making a chain longer than 3-4 hops.

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November 29, 2009 12:46:05 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The main reason why someone might not have a long trade chain is because the planets are in small clusters at each star and are not conducive to making a chain longer than 3-4 hops.

well that's just for 1 star map. on 2-3 star maps, trade chain also influenced by long range/wormhole jumps tech making it possible for 13-14 trade chains.

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November 30, 2009 2:25:27 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

So...based on this, I haven't been building any refineries at all for the past 3 days.   I can't imagine refineries outshining trade except in a few oddball cases.  

However, what about the fleet logistics penalty?  Isn't your fleet eating up 69% of your trade income at the top level?  If your trade is taking a logistics penalty and your refineries aren't, that changes a few things.

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November 30, 2009 2:34:55 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

NECROPHILES.

 

But this is a good thread to dig up.

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December 1, 2009 10:40:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

However, what about the fleet logistics penalty? Isn't your fleet eating up 69% of your trade income at the top level? If your trade is taking a logistics penalty and your refineries aren't, that changes a few things.

Everything gets hit with logistics costs.

Refineries are useful in some cases, especially in long games, but don't replace trade ports.

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December 2, 2009 11:52:07 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If everything is impacted by fleet logistics, then that means the break-even point is longer than 14.7 minutes.  I'd probably add 20% to 15, which is 18 minutes.

Other consideration is, starbases have trade ports.  So if there's benefit in building some D anyway, you might as well throw it on the starbase and save some logistics.  It might depend on the race, but for Vasari it's only 250 credits more expensive than just building the orbital structure.  Starbase costs a whopping 3000 credits, but that's offset by a few orbital turrets you don't have to build--say, 2.  So...2500 credits.

You also have to pay for those logistics/tactical slots, so short-term you may be able to offset those, too.  Let's say 450 credits for a logistics slot.  The (Vasari) trade port on the SB is now 200 credits CHEAPER than the orbital structure (1000 vs. 750+450).  That's assuming you want the SB anyway.  If you don't, you probably don't need the tactical slot.  Let's say 450 credits for a tactical slot, too--that knocks your starbase down 2050 credits.  Factor in the cheaper trade module, 1850 credits.  1850 credits--to have a starbase, instead of two turrets.  That's starting to make sense.

Thing is, it impacts your build order, so you have to plan ahead.  You put off your logistics/tactics upgrades, and you get to build the cultural centers instead.  Cultural centers + starbase + SB trade module on the front lines makes sense to me.  Hard to compare vs. refineries--if the trade center's more profitable for 1, then it's more profitable for 8.  There's no declining margins, unless your scarce resources bump you from the selling end to the buying end of the black market.  If you're on the buying end (and the planet in question is NOT on the front lines--that would be stupid)...maybe you should just use your logistical slots for refineries.  You can always add trade starbases later.

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December 2, 2009 12:09:41 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quick question then; the best place for Refineries is where there are (non neatral) mines in and directly next to the gravity well you plan to build in?

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December 2, 2009 1:04:52 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quick question then; the best place for Refineries is where there are (non neatral) mines in and directly next to the gravity well you plan to build in?

Yes, you try to position the refinery where it will cover as many extractors as possible  -- in the located gravity well as well as the connected ones 1 jump away.  When you build a refinery at a crossroads, it is pretty common to get 10-12 extractors covered....rarely you will find great spots where you can get 15-20 extractors.

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December 4, 2009 8:53:06 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Indeed if you can bunch up refineries and condence them into one grav wella nd cover a great number of of extractors you should do so it's the most cost effective method of income in that situation.

But be offten what I will do is build nearly 1 refinery at every planet. This normaly make every world in my control have 3/3 efficiency. In soem case I get 4/3 witch isn't as good as 3/3 but still better then 2/3. But I still try to avoid that as much as possible but it is sometimes imporisble to do.

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December 4, 2009 9:13:14 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Cykur,
The only thing really blocking your trade chains now are magnetic clouds.  The main reason why someone might not have a long trade chain is because the planets are in small clusters at each star and are not conducive to making a chain longer than 3-4 hops.

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?

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December 4, 2009 10:33:39 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Trade chains can most definitely traverse dead asteroids, asteroid belts, and space junk in Entrenchment.  Build starbases, and put the trade ports on the starbases.   Heck, I even do that for the regular planets; save a logistics slot. 

About the refineries, I tried building a bunch of refineries on my world with access to 8 extractors, and I didn't particularly notice much difference.  Do they really stack like that?  I don't have the numbers to prove it, but I didn't notice much benefit past 1.

 

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December 4, 2009 12:04:55 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Do they really stack like that? I don't have the numbers to prove it, but I didn't notice much benefit past 1.

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.

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December 4, 2009 3:29:50 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Also building a bunch of refineries is not profittable. Extractors ahve a quota and that quata is 3 for colonisable planets mines. If you have a quota of 5-6-7 then you are, from what I was able to understand from the game file, reducing the total income you recive.

So say that at 3/3 you generate the amount listed by Amish 3.5.

Now prumse that for each 1/3 quota meet you get 1/3 of 3.5 so 1.16666
1/3: 1.1666
2/3: 2.3333
3/3: 3.5

Now if you go over the quato you are suposed to be penalised. I do not know by how much you are penalised but I know from observations I made a logn time ago that a 4/3 will produce lest then a 3/3 but more then a 2/3. I had never tested 5/3 or more sicne I figure they would produce even lest.
But I would need to reverify this again and do a more scroutenous test about it since it was a long time ago and my memory has gotten fuzzy or the observations I made, not to mention back then I was a bit more careless in my studies of the system then I am now.

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December 4, 2009 3:46:34 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

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. 

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December 4, 2009 5:00:48 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Did you calculate the cost it takes to research refineries? Trade Ports are better.

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December 4, 2009 5:53:42 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

the 3.5 production was with 3 refineries in 1 grva well afecting many mines. Not the production of 1 refineri. I will run some tests tonight.

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December 4, 2009 10:10:00 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

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!!!

 

 

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December 5, 2009 9:49:54 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You guys are stressing cykur out!!Nice analysis

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December 5, 2009 10:00:32 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I was runing some test last nigth and I ahve recomfirmed my findings that refineries will be at their msot efficient when the quota on the extractors is 3/3. I have also recomfirmed that a 4/3 quota prodces more then a 2/3 but less then a 3/3.

Also I found out that if you have 1 refinery + 1 extractor or any type at your homeworld the refinery will give you 0.4 per second metal and crystal extractoin. It does not matter if you only have a metal extractor you will still get the 0.4 crystal as well as the 0.4 metal. This bonus become active at the first refinery build and does not increase with more refineries.

Vasary players should experiment with this as a tactic since a normal start where your HW leads to 1 astroid and 1 Ice/Volcanic mean you have acces to a minimum of 7 extractors and a max of 10.

So 0.8 resorce income for the refinery at home world with 0.075 bonus per extrator at a 1/3 quota you get a prouction of income of 1.325 resorces for 7 extractors and 1.55 resorces for 10 extractor at your HW only.

So Vasari players should try and see if this tactic works out early game of building 1 refinery at your HW since your get a 0.8 Bonus in total resorce production.

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