Rework of harvest boost

  • Dev Team

    The idea is definitely interesting, but it looks too dangerous for those who use harvest boosts currently and rely on the speed boost provided by UO/UHO2/XUHO2.

    My experience tells me that these boosts usages are primarily situational, but still, we need to investigate how actively they're currently using... if nobody uses them, we want to be absolutely sure about that.

  • Dev Team

    I've collected some statistics about using boosts and we can clearly see that there are people using it. That means the proposed change would break their code. So in order to proceed, we should find these players and kill them invite them into this discussion because, obviously, these will be the most affected players by any harvest boost change.

  • I use T1 harvest boosts for extracting minerals, just to speed up depletion a little (the sooner the regeneration cycle starts the better). So if the proposed change is just about energy it wouldn't effect me at all.

  • I use UO and XUHO2 quiet extensively and it has it's place in this game already. You should use it when you want to reduce work parts for harvesting (obviously) and when you do, it has good returns for what it does.

    I think this change of increase in minerals/energy to be too good.

  • One of the overlords used to be very fond of harvest boosts.

    I used to use the Harvest boost ALL THE TIME for harvesting minerals, but I stopped using it in favor of being able to blast full production in the labs 24/7. It's indispensable when you only have a few level 6 and 7 rooms, but once you have enough level 8 rooms, it's way less useful.
    The other useful T1 boost is the build / repair boost. 50% increase in wall building power for a T1 isn't bad. The problem is when you're using a ton of them 24/7, it gets expensive. Boosts are just too stupid expensive to use. You need freakin' 30 of them PER part. using 2 repair creeps instead of one is far cheaper, and adds 100%.
    The core problem with boosts is their usefulness is completely dependent on your inability to make creeps. Once you can make enough creeps that it doesn't matter, you can "just make another creep" to get that 100% boost.

  • So I've not really considered harvest boots until this thread, but having looked into it they turn out to be the most efficient way of saving parts of all the economy boosts. With UO which is really quick to product, you can build harvesters that have 1M1C2W instead of something like 3M1C6W, which is a 4-6 part saving on each harvester from merely 2 boosted parts.

    So if you're exploiting 3 2-source rooms at RCL6, you can get maybe 24-36 extra parts. Which is maybe half a transporter... so using these boost doesn't guarantee that you can open up another remote room, but maybe sometimes the numbers work out. I will have to look into these boosts more closely.

  • I don't yet use harvest boosts, but I have several of the aforementioned uses working their way to the top of my "to-do" list. My brother and I used to laugh about the uselessness of harvest boosts, but they've been slowly growing on me. I now think of them as one of the most interesting economy boosts. I've had several pleasant nights of not-sleep-brainstorming, trying to think up new ways to use them.

    Not saying the suggestion of giving extra resources is a horrible idea, but I do think they are quite interesting as-is, and have some untapped potential.

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  • I used the T1 Harvest and Repair boosts all the time (I'm the Overlord deft-code was referring to.) But I stopped once I started getting serious about manufacturing boosts through gang manufacturing.

    So, the last patch, lab.unboostCreep(creep); was introduced so I thought I'd give it a try with a repair (rampart/wall builder) creep as I'd just put in a boost on demand system that goes right back to production afterwards. As such, I no longer needed to dedicate a lab to just the repair boost.

    unboostCreep will have huge benefit for this. There is a slight overhead at the beginning of the creep's life (Have to boost it.) and at the end (Have to get it to the lab to unboost it.) and there is loss as it drops the boosts on the ground instead of the nice safe lab (I even made sure to have the same boost in the lab, just to see if it would put it there instead.) But that's not a huge deal, as the creep could just pick it up after it fell off.

    So... we're talking 5% overhead with the boosting / unboosting, some average loss in collecting the dropped boosts (recycle creep might be spawning / picking something else up. So leave that at 20%.

    Even then, you're getting a 35% or so repair increase. Not earth shattering, but the T1 is pretty cheap... sure, 2 creeps would be "more", but this saves energy and CPU over the long term.

    The cooldown. As advertised, the cooldown is the aggregate reaction cooldown for the entire batch recovered. With T1, it's not so bad... My test creep (8 WORK parts with the LH boost.) invoked a 360 tick cooldown. A T3 50 body creep would not even be practical with this.

    The cooldown had no effect on production, as the lab was a reaction output. So it was able to go right back to work after unboosting. It just needed to have the cooldown be zero when the next creep needed to be unboosted. So long as the cooldown is under 1400 or so ticks (31 or fewer boosted parts for LH, et al) it can be worked continuously.

    Will have to throw more math at for long term viability... Math.throw(longTermT1Use()); but I think I like this unboost change. Could breath life into T1.

  • Oh heck. What was I thinking? It's the INPUT labs that don't get the cooldown, having the output lab get hit with that essentially prevents production from occurring in that lab for the cooldown duration. So that's essentially a deal killer.

    And I hadn't even gotten to the part where I figure out the actual mineral cost... which is probably also a deal breaker.

    All in all, what is the point of this feature? Boosts are still too expensive to use for anything but the one place you HAVE to use them, combat.