Mass storage adjacency on Mex - some thoughts

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Hi,

I’m opening this thread because the other one on adjacency is basically poop.

As discussed before I see the following problem with storages:

  • they are so incredibly efficient that a stand-alone t3 mex isn’t worth it
  • they are so incredibly efficient that most of the time you want to reclaim any t1 or t2 fac adjacent to a t3 mex in favor of a storage and rebuild the fac without adjacency
  • they bloat mex mass production to levels unhealthy to t2 and early t3 balance, t3 mex payback times are almost as high as t2 mex because of the rediculous benefit they receive from storages (see t3 mex thread that was closed because I didn’t provide a replay of a mex producing too much mass)
  • eco progression in faf is something that is not intuitive, noobs frequently ring t1 MeX with storages or forget to ring t3 mex because it’s not clear that this is unholy inefficient

The percentage based adjacency bonus of a storage for a fixed price makes it so that storages are worth almost as much in terms of mass efficiency as a standalone t3. They essentially give mass as efficiently as mex points on the map, without the need for additional map control, power need or volatility (see problem with ras acu) and therefore don’t fit into the regular strategic framework of mass production in faf.

I want to make a case that storages are, in a way - OP.

Now I just want to open a discussion about that situation without having a clear solution ready. A quick brainstorming yielded something like a fixed bonus without diminishing returns, like +0.5 mass extra per storage on all levels. I think the diminishing return on adjacency is not very intuitive and makes the whole topic needlessly complex for new players.

Another more radical approach could be to cut it with storage adjacency all together, because I believe that mass production should be tied more closely to securing map control, and that adjacency should be a production efficiency improvement on the spending level, but maybe that’s for sup com 3.

Thoughts?

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Regarding removing storage adjacency bonuses altogether: LOUD got rid of the adjacency bonus entirely and incorporated it into the mex itself. I don't like that approach. I like the idea that you have to decide between storaging a mex or putting a factory next to it. And I like that storaged mexes are a bigger target than unstoraged ones.

Even without volatility, the fact that storages need to be built next to the mexes themselves puts them at risk whenever a mex is targeted, whether it's with a strat bomber or t1 arty or t1 bombers or anything else really.

Here are some common values for the extra mass/second from a mass storage:

Current Values
0.25 Next to a T1 mex
0.50 Between two T1 mex
0.75 Next to a T2 mex
1.00 Between a T2 mex and a T1 mex
1.25
1.50 Between two T2 mex
1.75
2.00 (production from a t1 mex, which costs 1/6 as much as a storage)
2.25 Next to a T3 mex

3.00 Between a T3 mex and T2 mex

4.50 Between two T3 mex
...
6.00 (production from a t2 mex, which costs 4.5x as much as a storage)

My suggestion was to flatten it a bit, but not make it completely flat. To boost the bonus for t1 adjacency and reduce the bonus for t3 adjacency. If we flatten out the adjacency bonus it a bit, the chart could look like this. I don't see any downside to this change:

Proposal
0.25
0.50 Next to a T1 mex
0.75 Next to a T2 mex
1.00 Between two T1 mex
1.25 Between a T1 mex and a T2 mex
1.50 Between two T2 mex
1.75 Next to a T3 mex
2.00
2.25
2.50 Between a T3 mex and T2 mex

3.50 Between two T3 mex

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Bit of a sidebar here, any way to have the mex ring itself as a upgrade between 2 and 3, helps the noobs and will buff general build power

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Not really.

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Thoughts? It would make the game less interesting. Map control is important but if that's all that is important it changes the game and drastically too. It's essentially simplifying the game. We would move on to another game if simplicity is what we wanted.

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@furyritchie map control is no small thing mind you

Map control often seems too weak at least at certain levels. However, not sure of removing storage adjacency is enough.

Personally, I would love it if T1 mexes received a massive buff of more than 100%.

Also @BIG-BENNIS-MAGIC would you maybe feel better if people built massfabs instead of storage? Maybe give massfabs adjacency bonus to mex?

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Anyone know of any mods that tinker with adjacency? It's a really great mechanic and I'd be interested in seeing what else we could do with it.

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"eco progression in faf is something that is not intuitive, noobs frequently ring t1 MeX with storages or forget to ring t3 mex because it’s not clear that this is unholy inefficient"
Well this is somewhat true I suppose, but I wouldn't say that it means there is a "balance problem" to fix. Noobs just need to pay some attention and learn the most efficient path is:
build T1 mex--->upgrade safe T1 mexes--->cap T2 mexes--->upgrade capped T2 mexes.

So I don't think we really need to do much about mex storage adjacency. If anything, we could easily increase t1 storage adjacency so that a fully capped t1 mex gives 4 mass total. It would still be significantly less efficient than upgrading the mex to t2, so it doesn't really matter, but would be just a bit less punishing for noobs.

I don't think storage adjacency is OP, but I have had a small lingering feeling that storages could be a tiny bit more beneficial for t2 mexes, and slightly less beneficial for t3 mexes. It would make eco upgrade choices a little less of a big decision, since in many games a t3 mex is a very expensive investment with a large payoff if you make it work. Maybe something like 10 mass for a capped t2 mex, and 25 mass for a capped t3 (compared to 9 vs 27) would smooth the economy upgrade path sufficiently. (maybe some cost adjustments would be justified as well) But I must emphasize I'm quite uncertain if smoothing economy upgrades would be an improvement, or how to best approach it. Maybe it makes the game a lot more strategic and interesting to have t3 mexes a very expensive and very effective upgrade, and a more linear or smoothed out upgrade path would be more boring.