Colonization: Energy

One critical but easily overlooked requirement for colonization is energy. Ensuring that your colony is energy self-sufficient is not going to be an easy task, particularly for new players without expensive upgraded cards.

To start with, such players are going to spend roughly one energy per colonist per day just for their habitats. Then, Foodie-Moodies take one energy for every three food. And if you want Communications Arrays, Computer Rooms, Management Consoles and/or Radar Arrays, they are two to three energy apiece per day.

And then there are the Drilling Machine and the Vehicles. They burn energy by the hour instead of by the day. And you really don’t want to see what a good defense will cost you energy-wise. But they’re all listed in the table below anyways.

Smooty All-In-One1-1YESYES??
Strategic Foodie-Moodie--1YESYES?
Tom Custom2-2YESYES??
Shelter Happy Five5-3YESYES??
Orbital Shield--10YESYES1
Defensive Bunker2-3NO
Drilling Machine--1/hrYES43
Radar Array--2YESYESNO
Tom Starter1-2YES111
Life Block2-2YESYESNO1
Automatic Turret--5NO21
Multipurpose Prefab--1YES2NO
Comms Array--3YESYESNO
Lab Equipment--1NO3NO
Management Console--2YES21
Computer Room--3NO31
Chemical Cuves--3NO31

So how can you possibly bring enough energy sources to power all of this? As shown by the Energy Upgrade column in the table above, with a heavily upgraded Octohome (or two) you can eliminate all habitat energy costs. The Tom Settler habitats (and the Foodie-Moodie) will likely be able to upgrade the same way as well – which will make the Shelter “Happy Five” even more valuable. Thus, multiple habitat cards may well be one of the first critical purchases for new players. Note that the Computer Room, Management Console and Chemical Cuves can be made energy self-sufficient as well.

We know that ships can take up to 300 000 fuel units and large fuel tanks can load up to 600 000 fuel units. The jump takes some of it, but Evacuation has already told us that you aren’t low on fuel unless you have less than 10%. The space travel that you must perform if you skip the first planet takes more of it – but probably not that much either. So, what do you have left and by what ratio does fuel convert to energy?

Assume that you loaded fuel like a fiend and that you landed with 250,000 fuel left. Odds are (a.k.a. my best guess) that fuel will convert to energy at 1000:1 or so. 250 fuel is what 7 people will burn in 25 days just for habitat and food. It’s a nice start, but we need to produce energy on the planet. All the currently known possible energy sources are listed in the table below.

-EnergyChgsEnergy/ ChargeDropUpgrade+Energy+Chgs
WHC Unit2501YESYES??
Generator TR-100105000.5YES42100
Generator TR-201500.5YES60.340
Energy Cells-100-YES4NO50
Akhen Cannon??
Suntek Energy Sphere-200

The first problem is that energy sources can take up a lot of cargo space. This can be answered by the fact that all of the normal ones are droppable – but this could rapidly become expensive in terms of cards burned. This is particularly true when you consider the next problem.

Worse is the fact that the common energy sources operate on limited supplies. The WHC Unit requires oxygen crystals and the generators’ energy cells only have so many charges – with each non-upgraded card having a mere 25-day supply. It’s not clear how additional oxygen crystals might be obtained (drilling?) but there is a card for Energy Cell Storage. But this doesn’t solve the main problem – colonies consume non-renewable resources to generate energy.

There have been some hints as to how this could be handled – and there are some generic solutions as well. EXOFUEL is a token sold on Hive Engine that can be swapped for in-game fuel. People who wish to spend money to tide themselves over (or even outright avoid energy requirements) can do so – but Elindos has clearly stated that the game will be playable without resorting to such measures.

The in-game Supplies Market is likely to be a general answer to most shortages. Oxygen crystals and charges well likely be easily available for purchase from there. It is clearly possible to do Energy Research and the Crafting System will likely enable many colonies to produce and sell energy products equivalent to that generated by the Energy Cell Storage card. Colonies which are not self-sufficient in energy would then be able to trade other resources for the energy that they need.

Finally, the Sunteks are clearly energy masters and possession of a Suntek Sphere is likely to pay big dividends in the research and production of energy sources (as long as you have a Suntek and don’t blow your colony to smithereens). We also have no idea what the Suntek Generator on the “Akhen” Cannon starship can do.

It will be very interesting to see the eXode energy economy evolve. It is very likely that, early on, there won’t be enough energy in the system as colonies won’t yet be able to create research and resources. As a result, energy cards and energy upgrades are likely to far more valuable than you might otherwise expect in the early days. If it gets too terrible, energy can always be added via non-card energy rewards and removed from the reward tables when energy becomes more plentiful.

This entry is slightly modified from the article originally published by digital-wisdom on the Hive blog here