Trying to nail down the lowest cost way to get mass at all times as the game progresses, in terms of how quick to get and make it pay for itself.
I've watched Heavens eco vid at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-GzOhDQwA8&list=PLxH0oefiZR_VjudeMTq6cGaMOLnnNywKQ but I'm keen to make a simple guide for newish players and not go into
opportunity cost or
if mex likely to get reclaimed as he does. We'll set aside thoughts of power cost in general as we go.
To begin with, we reclaim. Essentially free mass (ignoring cost of engineer). Rocks get more mass than trees. Reclaim alone can often win games as the quicker you can upgrade your mexes using this free mass the quicker you can grow your eco. When reclaim from dead units becomes available you should always grab it as a priority. The importance of reclaiming dead units cannot be overstated.
Then we grab T1 mexes. These should be grabbed at every opportunity, even if you feel you can not hold them for long as they repay the cost of making them in around 18 seconds. They cost 36 mass and generate 2 mass per second.
Next, we upgrade a t1 mex to a t2 mex. This costs 900 mass and generates 6 mass per second. 150 seconds or 2.5 minutes to repay.
We must ring those t2 mexes before even thinking of upgrading them to t3, so 4 mass storage each, total cost of 800 mass. This adds 3 mass per second, so a ringed t2 goes from 6 to 9 mass income. Just over a minute to repay the cost of all 4 storages.
Once I finish ringing t2 mexes I'm always unsure.
The two usual options i think are:
- RAS on my acu after building a t3 pgen. Taking the UEF as an example, cost of RAS is 5k and income is 14 mass so 6 minutes to repay.
- OR -
- Upgrading a ringed t2 mex to a t3 mex costs 4.6k and outputs 27 mass per second. Takes about 3 mins to repay cost.
I think RAS income has changed at some point during a patch and it used to be the recommended next step but now seems only worth doing if you want the extra power it will create?? So it seems clear to me it's best to keep upgrading those t2 mexes to t3's and only then once they are all done get RAS on the ACU. If your faction has multiple RAS upgrades I don't know of any reason not to get the second stage immediately after the first.
(Oh, if you want to get technical, BrinkOfInsanity did a video where he proved if you have mass and power in the bank combined with plenty of buildpower, you should ctrl+k the t2 mex and build a t3 from scratch on top of it RATHER than upgrading it. Seems illogical but he clearly proved it.)
So now we're in late game, all mexes are ringed T3 and ACU has RAS. Once more I'm unsure.
Essentially, we are back to the choice of two pathways:
- Mass Fabs. Static and snipeable. But lower cost and faster to build than RAS Acus. I'd say build a dozen or two T2 MassFabs and then start making the T3 MassFabs.
- OR -
- RAS Sacus. Just go all in on these high HP, mobile units with buildpower. Building the Gateway costs, and then the first few Ras Sacus seem to take an age, but by the time you've got 500+ mass sec you'll be watching them pump out to hopefully an unbeatable mass income.
Interested in hearing everyone's thoughts. Ras on ACU before or after T3 mexes? What's your late game mass strategy and why?