This is a sub-topic of this topic. Please keep this topic clean and only talk about this one specific issue. Balance will not be changed - it is just an aesthetical change.
This specific topic is about the Cybran build animations. This is by far the most expensive build animation of the game, yet typically the most used one because of Hives. Lets start with some numbers.
The sim runs at 10 ticks a second, therefore we have 100ms for each tick. Let us compare some engineer numbers when they are building something:
- 150 t1 Aeon engineers: The sim increases with 1 ms. (3.3 -> 4.2)
- 150 t1 UEF engineers: The sim increases with 3 - 4 ms. (2.3 -> 5.8)
- 150 t1 Cybran engineers: The sim increases with 4 ms. (2.0 -> 6.1)
- 150 t1 Seraphim engineers: The sim increases with 2 - 3 ms (3.5 -> 5.0)
That isn't too bad. Lets try with 150 t3 engineers.
- 150 t3 Aeon engineers: The sim increases with 1 ms. (3.4 -> 4.2)
- 150 t3 UEF engineers: The sim increases with 4 - 5 ms (2.2 -> 6.9)
- 150 t3 Cybran engineers: The sim increases with 10 - 11 ms (2.0 -> 12.8)
- 150 t3 Seraphim engineers: the sim increases with 4 - 5 ms (4.0 -> 8.8)
And what about hives / engineering stations.
- 150 t2 Kennel (upgraded): the sim increases with 7 - 9 ms (4.5 -> 12.2)
- 150 t2 Hives (upgraded): the sim increases with 16 - 17 ms (2.2 -> 19.1)
- Seraphim and Aeon engineers are more expensive by default (they start at a higher base value) because they have emitters underneath them. If those are not in vision they do not impact the sim.
- Aeon engineers are cheapest because they always have only 1 beam emitter, regardless of tech.
The reason cybran engineers tend to be more specific is for one, and only one reason: they require a large number of additional (dummy) entities. As an example:
Each hive has drone bots. These are new units made from scratch each time the hive starts building while it doesn't have any drones at all. Each drone requires a random target on the structure it is building to create a beam. Each of these targets are (dummy) entities. Therefore for one hive you need:
- 6 additional (indestructible) units
- 6 additional (dummy) entities
Then we have the effects that the hive uses.
- 6 beams from the drone to their own dummy entity.
- 6 'spark effects' at each dummy entity.
- 6 beams from the hives to the drones.
That means we introduce over 12 new entities (of which 6 are units) and 18 new emitters. As a comparison:
- Aeon introduces one entity and one emitter for each tech.
- Seraphim introduces one entity and 1 - 3 emitters, depending on the tech.
Other Cybran builders can be discussed in a similar manner - resulting in much higher entity and emitter counts than their co-workers.
The Cybran build effect is unique and I do not intent to take it out entirely as it is part of the game. However, having it in its current state can seriously slow things down especially for slower computers and laptops. (as a comparison: the computer of Cheese runs the sim almost twice as slow as my computer, by default).
What I suggest is the following:
- We limit the number of drones not on build power, but on type. All engineers will only have 1 additional drone, instead of 1 / 2 / 3 depending on the tech. All hives will have up to 1 / 2 / 3 drones, instead of 2 / 4 / 6. Commanders and sub-commanders will have 1 / 2 / 3 drones depending on their enhancements, instead of 5 / 6 when they are fully upgraded.
- We limit the number of unique targets. Instead of having each drone (and the engineer build arms) all have their own unique target, they all share the same target (as the engineers). With that we limit the number of entities (to 1 / builder) and the number of emitters (just 1 sparkle emitter / builder).
- We limit the speed at which drones switch targets. Instead of having them switch target each 0.2 seconds, we lower it to 0.5. All drones switch targets at the same time, instead of each having drone switch targets on their own (this lowers the number of threads required).
All in all - the effect will be the same when you use 10 - 20 engineers or more. But - I expect it to be a lot cheaper when you use 50 - 100 engineers (or hives). My question to you all is - what do you think, and do you think it is worth changing for the more sim speed?
disclaimer: the times are related to the performance of your processor / RAM. You will have different timings, but their differences (in %) will be roughly the same
The Aeon and Seraphim have a higher baseline because they have emitters underneath for a hover effect. This means that the sim has more to do. That is why they start at about 3 ms, while the uef and cybran engineers start at about 2ms.
This topic is solely about the cost of buildings things. Therefore we do not look at the baseline, but at the difference between the baseline (idle engineers) and engineers assisting something.