Dumas, re: your point about Alien Alloys being plentiful - That section about LCs versus FBLs addresses a common early misperception. In actuality, both LCs and FBLs make the same amount of profit each ($18k), but you can make ~33% more LCs per month with a given number of engineers. In other words, LCs are 33% more profitable than FBLs, period.
Unless you want to make your FBLs one at a time, so that they don't need AAs. Then, they're just barely (2%) more profitable than LCs. (If you play with the spreadsheet, this is clear.)
So it doesn't really have anything to do with AAs. LCs are a far better deal than FBLs, unless you want to hassle with making FBLs one at a time. Either way, you never needed a single AA. (And if you've got a big surplus of AAs, then just sell'em! smile)
Let me know if I'm missing something - MikeTheRed 18:41, 9 November 2006 (PST)
I see. So that's what the AA thing means. It's not explained very clearly. I'll fix that.--Dumas 04:58, 10 November 2006 (PST)
Hmm, we go straight from Workshop to Manufacturing Profitability - there really should be a Manufacturing topic around that sits between them I think, to cover all the basics and key points. Might start it myself in next few days if no-one else does.
--Sfnhltb 18:36, 1 March 2007 (PST)
Oh and of course, another note is that the values for maintenance on Living Quarters and Workshops being fed into the equations are wrong, but you cant tell what they are going to cost unless you know what row of the base they are built on. Could make the numbers a little fuzzy (not likely to make a big difference, as the average cost is just over 17, so that would probably make these two items a little cheaper than the 22.5 currently assigned to them.
--Sfnhltb 18:40, 1 March 2007 (PST)
Huh, good point. I only just learned about that maintenance glitch today. For the time being, I'll stick in a note that those numbers are probably slightly high. For that matter, the maintenance glitch page could probably use a few notes about how much the other costs of 1) facilities in general are (e.g. for likely base configs - average cost per building as per UFOpaedia vs. actual average cost as per bug), and 2) other costs of the game in general. IOW I suspect that maintenance costs are a small part of a serious X-COM operation, relative to country funding, loot, and manufacturing profit. Which, if true, would lead to a wrap-up statement re: the maintenance bug of something like, "as can be seen, maint. costs are only a few percent of likely revenue and expenses; all in all, this base placement bug doesn't impact much, and can easily be totally ignored, if you like".
Edit: This could also go on that page dedicated to the bug. Maybe that's a better place for a longer explanation/analysis, and the Bugs page would just have that wrap-up sentence.
- MikeTheRed 19:15, 1 March 2007 (PST)
Yeah, thats along the same lines as I was thinking when I created the new page, try to avoid any bugs in that section from getting too large, if they have a lot of related detail it should be linked too, so that the bugs list is as concise as possible, most people are going to want to make sure they arent falling foul of any serious issue due to their play style and little more, if they want more information they can drill down to the dedicated topics related to it.
--Sfnhltb 21:02, 1 March 2007 (PST)
Works for me. It brings up an interesting question - what kinds of bases do people make? (Which would affect the average facility cost, depending on where they put facilities.) For newbies, the average cost is probably the best guess. But for vet players like us wiki folks, we probably all have our own styles. I make research at my first base in Europe, and fudge around the original Access Lift relative to base attacks. My first base has a crack squad, as do two more that look like the second inset. Then as you can see from the tiny base outlines, I have several more that are hangars up top and psi labs/LQ below, then a few more that are just LQ and hangars, for screening large recruit batches. (Good'uns are sent to the psi bases.) Manufacturing is light in 1st, heavy in 2nd, and 3rd depends how greedy I am. They all have a Stores or two, of course. And it's prior to knowing about the Maintenance Bug, naturally. (FWIW, my game date there is August 1999.)
Just some ideas about how bases might be. I'm sure the rest of you have your own styles. Heck it might be fun to make an informal area where folks show their current base layouts. - MikeTheRed 21:30, 1 March 2007 (PST)
Non integer math?
- Those who know XCOM, know that it suffers from integer truncation in a number of places. This could've hurt profitability badly if it occurred there; for example, if an item needs 100 engineer hours but you only assign 99, it might've taken twice as long, and halved your production and profit potential. Fortunately, this is not the case with manufacturing; it does not truncate production time this way.
I would be surprised if it was storing progress as any sort of non integer value. What it likely does is treat the entire batch as one unit, creating at the end of the hour as it knocks them off - so it saves an integral number of hours of progress against the next item in the list.
To explain with your example, but run a batch of 10 of them:
1st hour - 99 production, not to 100, no output 2nd hour - 99 stored + 99 production = 198 done, take off 100 to make one unit to leave 98 stored for next hour 3rd hour - 98 + 99 = 197, make one store 97.
What this essentially means is that on short projects you would want to run them in batches to minimise wastage, or with a number of engineers that divides into the unit production time with no remainder if you want to build single units at a time (whyever would you want to do that? ...)
--Sfnhltb 13:33, 2 March 2007 (PST)
Obviously it could as easily store 10 x 100 = 1000 as the hours for the entire project to complete, and produce each time it drops by 100, whichever way (I think mine is more likely because then adding/removing units in the production screen doesnt require it to recalculate the hours left for the entire project each time, but BPROD.DAT or whatever could probably easily be tested to find which it is.
--Sfnhltb 13:35, 2 March 2007 (PST)
Hiya Sfn; back from some time spent on things at work -
What you say makes plenty of sense. I too was surprised to think they might've used floating point here; your thought didn't occur to me at that time, but a simple carry-over makes perfect sense. In support of what you say, I did not test vs. the production time of individual items; I only tested total production vs. longer amounts of time. Shouldn't take long to try 99 scientists vs. a 100 hour item. But in the long run, it doesn't matter - there's no truncation. - MikeTheRed 18:46, 9 March 2007 (PST)
A free market in armaments
Hi I'm back... Some thoughts I would like to post but I'm not sure where to put them:
I was getting VERY bored of manufacturing things just to get money and it occurred to me that there might be a wider economy in the world outside XCom with an industrial base that could do some of the grunt work for me, more efficiently.
What I would like to do is just provide the Elirium and Alien Alloys to an industrial concern and let them handle all the dull logistics
The effect of this is that the "market clearing" price of Elerium should be about $15K and Alloys about $25K. Rather than producing a PsiAmp for sale to convert 1 Elirium into $15K profit (net of all costs), or building an FBL in order to convert 1 AA into net $25K... just correct the market price of AA and E115 to reflect the potential profits that can be made by some other industrial organisation.
Let's assume as a simplification that these external industrial organisations have better economy of scale than XCom (factories are large scale, near transport hubs and not hidden beneath volcanic islands with false sliding craters over the Interceptor pads). Assume that this improved economy of scale allows the arms companies to cover their capital costs and still make a profit on PsiAmp & FBL production despite paying what would be (for XCom) the break-even price for the required exotic materials.
Interestingly even at a resale price of $25K it's still not worth manufacturing AAs for profit.
In game terms what I do is, once I have the necessary technology, I just sell off the alloys/elirium and use a money editor to give myself the extra cash from the "higher" price.
Possibly this could be an XComUtil mod that actually hacks the game data files to change the sale price of AA and E115 after each money-making technology is researched.
If anyone is interested in this idea I could work up a full table of increases in the market value of AA and Elirium with each technology advance. For now I have just calculated the maximum values, based on having PsiAmp (E115) and FBL (AA) technology.
In theory if there was a high resale value for craft, this could also push up the market price for UFO Navigation and UFO Power Source.
Another indulgence that I might allow myself (using a game editor) is to assume that I can buy items (anything from Medkits to Avengers)from these external industrial concerns. I would have to pay the full price (from the manufacturing spreadsheet attached to this article), plus the same buy/sell spread used for conventional items. I guess the normal delivery times could be used - or maybe 2x normal.
This would require using a base editor to simulate these purchases. Or again an XcomUtil-like 3rd party program could act as the "Arms Merchant", selling and delivering equipment.
The last scenario for those like me who get bored by manufacturing logistics is: technology licencing (royalties). This means just letting some other organisation produce the Motion Sensors and Laser Cannon, under licence from XCom Holdings Inc. As there seems to be infinite and price-inelastic demand for these products it would be a great and mutually profitable partnership. :)
As infinite income is a bit unbalancing, some kind of compromise is needed. Maybe, when the technology is researched, total monthly Funding is increased by the amount shown as the monthly net gain in the spreadsheet. This would be spread across all funding countries.
- Interesting idea. But in all honesty, it's not like money is particularly hard to come by if you're doing halfway decently. By about June, almost every alien you wax is worth 142 grand, minimum; 20K for the corpse and a 122K for the extra Heavy Plasma, when you're already drowning in them. Then you've got spare clips, alien alloys, UFO Power Sources, UFO Navigations, grenades...even Elerium. I can, in a regular game, easily build a fleet of 30 avengers without breaking the bank so long as I have a halfway decent Laser Cannon operation going on somewhere and enough recovery missions to bring in raw materials. Arrow Quivershaft 17:28, 24 February 2008 (PST)
XComUtil Manufacturing Profitability Discussion
For some reason the XcomUtil "new laser weapons" manufacturing option only affects beam weapons. It does not make the manufacture of Fusion explosives and projectiles any harder, so the FBL economics are unaffected. Hovertank/Launchers, Blaster Bombs & Launchers, and Alien Grenades are also unaffected (but were never very profitable). The Hovertank/Plasma is redesignated (in name at least) a Hovertank/LaserCannon, in effect saying that the only Plasma weapon that can be produced is the craft Plasma Beam, and that with great difficulty.
Arguably to handicap the plasma weapons so much, but not to in any way handicap the alien launched / explosive / fusion weapons, seems to create an anomaly in the progression of X-COM firepower, rather than the presumed intent of making the game harder overall. Instead the midphase of the game is harder but the endphase is pretty much the same.
It appears that XComUtil prohibits the production of alien plasma small arms in a rather clumsy way, by increasing the workshop requirements to an extreme level in PRODUCT.DAT. We now know the location of the flag set to indicate if an item is manufacturable, so that could be used instead by a (hypothetical) update to XComUtil.
Spike 15:15, 13 March 2008 (PDT)
AQ, agreed the lion's share of cash comes from wasting aliens. For me this is more about what to do in the dry periods when intercepts are scarce (a whole other topic there).
Because I use the XcomUtil setting to make manufacturing profitability a lot harder I don't have the Laser Cannon factory option to boost my base level of funding/profit.
I guess for me the real solution is how to increase my number of recovery missions since I prefer that part of the gameplay.
30 Avengers though by June? That is impressive. On Superhuman? Apart from money time and parts to build them I wonder where you get the Elirium to keep them all flying. Spike
- I didn't catch that you had used the modified laser weapons; my bad. I said nothing about the rate at which I could put 30 Avengers together. Usually it takes me about a year of game time to get the fleet well underway(I could launch Cydonia at any time, but where's the fun in THAT?! ;) ) Also, since I've only been playing for a bit over a year myself, I don't play on Superhuman often. The aliens still have this nasty tendency to kick me around like a soccer ball if I do. :( Arrow Quivershaft 05:21, 25 February 2008 (PST)
One good way to ensure frequent battles is to milk supply ships off alien bases. Even one alien base will keep you well supplied for the rest of the game.
If you don't choose to use that strategy (some find the regularity of the supply ship unnatural - although you still have to risk life and limb in a real battle to win the loot), there should still be enough from the first couple of missions to get you off the ground if you spend your money wisely - not counting a production business.
Also, Superhuman actually nets you more profit from loot sales. There'll be many more aliens in a battle, and the UFO activity tends to be a bit more aggressive. That's where the higher difficulty pays off - pun and all. - NKF 20:50, 25 February 2008 (PST)
Yes good point about Superhuman - higher risk brings higher reward which is a good thing.
I do need to figure out how to milk supply ships, or some other method to boost my plunder rate. I guess I need to stop indiscriminately crashing all the UFOs - learn to recognise the base-building missions and let the aliens get on with it?
(By the way sorry that I keep adding sections. The edit window in the mobile phone browser I am using isn't big enough to safely edit the whole page. Don't want to mess the page up!) Spike
- Generally, base-building missions consist of 2 Battleships and a Supply Ship or two, and maybe a few others. They'll all show up at about the same time in the same area(of course, if you're using Radar, you may not detect them all...if you're using a Hyper Wave Decoder, you should already know its a base mission.) Once the base is built, Supply Ships will be dispatched randomly to service it(Supply Ships on Supply missions are always launched at 00:30.) Make sure the base is in Africa or Western Asia so you get to raid the aliens during the day.! Arrow Quivershaft 14:13, 26 February 2008 (PST)
I just feel like expressing the usefulness of this article. I'm currently constructing a new Workshop (on top of a couple others); I have more than enough Living Quarters to support the 50 Engineers I plan on getting. But the Workshop is scheduled to be completed about 10 days before the month's end. With some quick calculations I found that 50 Engineers working for 10 days on Laser Cannons wouldn't produce as much profit as their net salaries! So those guys will just have to wait an extra 11 or so days to get jobs, hurting the global economy (tear). NightChime 21:01, 26 January 2009 (CST)
- Hire them on the 2nd or 3rd last day of the month. It takes 72 hours for personnel, (whether soldier, engineer, or scientist) to arrive at a base. (They're probably doing a background check.) Salaried staff in transit when the month changes don't get paid. Assuming your month has 30 days, if you hire them at 01:00 on the 28th, the 29th and 30th will tick by, and they'll arrive at 01:00 on the 1st of the next month, meaning you can put them right to work! (While this 'feature' is listed on exploits and I consider it to be such if you're needlessly shuffling personnel around just before the end of the month, I consider it fair game if you hire them right at the end of the month.) Arrow Quivershaft 22:55, 26 January 2009 (CST)
Salary / Hourly
Just a quick note here-
The figure given for a salary is $35/hour.
Doesn't that depend more on the month in question?
Enemy Unknown treats 1999 as a standard, non-leap year, so the hourly wage of an engineer should be:
(month - hourly wage) 1 - 33.602/hour (744 hours) 2 - 37.202/hour (672 hours) 3 - 33.602/hour (744 hours) 4 - 34.722/hour (720 hours) 5 - 33.602/hour (744 hours) 6 - 34.722/hour (720 hours) 7 - 33.602/hour (744 hours) 8 - 33.602/hour (744 hours) 9 - 34.722/hour (720 hours) 10 - 33.602/hour (744 hours) 11 - 34.722/hour (720 hours) 12 - 33.602/hour (744 hours)
The average salary over the year breaks down to $34.247/hour but will vary considerably in any given month.
Manufacturers-for-profit will have to watch out for February especially.
Renegrade 18:23, 7 August 2010 (EDT)
- Yeah you're right bro. As you see in the spreadsheet I made, I just used 30.5 days per month. I didn't look closer at exactly what the game is doing. Good catch! And great to hear from you.
- We have to use the resources of earth as wisely as possible if we are to live through this threat to our existence.
- -MikeTheRed 23:21, 7 August 2010 (EDT)
- No problemo! BTW, Saving the Earth is rather expensive, and the governments are being kinda cheap! Also, these Engineers are making 300K/year...where can I sign up? ~ Renegrade 07:52, 16 August 2010 (EDT)