Experimentation time-benefit-calculator

When making decision, I often try to calculate the consequences.
In a near-end-game me and my team mates had to decide for a research to switch to four our third strongest scientist (besides weapons and manufacturing), so I made a calculation. I’m open to feedback, tell me what you think or if you find any mistakes.

Nice calculator.

Though my advice is:

If you have a team and are coordinating research, don’t research experimentation past level 4-5. Pretty much every other tech is a better investment.

If you do not have a team, you will lose anyway.

Edit: Also $190 is insanely expensive. Is the cost of science infrastructure set to high or is terraforming disabled?

Yes, I used the ally’s # of science (he was the scientist for exp) but my cost of science (I was highest) to see how I would benefit. I neglected the transfer cost for every level.

For the beginning of a game, I agree. This calculator was made during the last few cycles of a game, so I definitely agree for weapons (to let your strongest scientist sprint this) and manufacturing. But banking for example only gives you laughable $72 per level which is a lot less compared to what you save with experimentation. And in that situation, we already had scanning and hyperspace at about level 40 and 15 which was enough to see every attack coming from a long distance. And with our team terraforming level being 40, I used the terraforming calculator (available in the forum) to find that we had already pretty much reached a “saturation point”.

Well, Terra acts as an income multiplier, which makes me a big fan.

Stuff you can buy = income / cost = income / (basecost / (resource + terra * 5)) = (income * (res + terra * 5)) / basecost

At 40 Terra you have 40*5+X = 200+X income multiplier, at 41 you have 205+X which is at most 2.5% more income (by ignoring X) and at least 2% (on home stars). The big question is how much income you have. If you’ve got 10k income then 1 Terra level will give you 200-250 extra income per turn on infrastructure of your choice.

Simplest way to compare it to Exp. is to assume you spend the money on science. That’s $200 spent on your main research focus.

Experimentation might well give you more gross credits but will give you points into a random tech. If you have a party of three people then there is:

  • 2/7 chance of getting zero value - because it will land on a tech they have already researched.
  • 1/7 chance of getting more experimentation… which is not useful in itself.
  • 1/7 chance of getting Banking - which as you say is pretty bad end-game
  • 2/7 chance of getting something slightly useful - HR/Scanning.
  • 1/7 chance of getting a hit on what you are researching… yay!

So any value you get from the above calculator you need to multiple by ~3/7 or something. This is not taking into account the possibility of you and your allies both getting a hit in the same slightly-useful tech - for example there’s 1/49 chance of you and your ally getting a scanning experiment.

However! If you are playing on a short production schedule with expensive science then experimentation can be quite good. With 16 ticks per production you get 72 / 16 = 4.5 * (~3/7) = ~2 science equivalent.

Very good point, I have totally neglected the exact outcome of experimentation for several players (which as you say will be spread amongst useful and useless tech).

Also, the chance of hitting the same tech even rises significantly with more allies:
2 allies = 1/49 = ~2%
3 allies = 3/49 = ~6%
4 allies = 6/49 = ~12%
5 allies = 10/49 = ~20%
6 allies = 15/49 = ~31%
and so forth
[The # of connections between n nodes is calculated with the formula n*(n-1)/2]

About the advantage of Terraforming: Yes, I had also noticed that the savings are between 2-2.5% for this terra lvl but couldn’t figure it out completly… So now I know what to compare before deciding between exp and terra (in this rather special case).