Stars!-R-Us Article

"Value Rating" formula for ship designs.
by: Lance Warren Hankins

I was wondering if anyone else has come up with a general purpose "Value Rating" formula that attempts to relate a ship's effectiveness (attack and defense) in relation to how much it cost in minerals and resources...

I am currently playing in about three games and in one (actually a 2.0b game) it is very late in the game and I have a maxed 2 techonologies and am about to build some new ships (I was waiting on the complete phase shield to build a series of new Dreadnaughts), and started looking at the cost of several different designs. In one, I outfitted a dreadnaught with epsilon torpedos (which cost virtually nothing at this stage of the game 75 DP at range 8 for cost of 2/9/5/25 (this is i/b/g/r)) and kelarium armor (also VERY cheap - 300 dp of armor for cost of 5/1/0/10) and put two jammers in the "special" slot.

In the other design, I have a mac'd out Dreadnaught with all the latest and greatest armor (Superlatnium : 750 dp for 32/2/2/100), shields and torpedos (omegas : 270 dp @ rng 9 for a whopping 8/38/19/162), and also 2 jammers in the special slot. The cheap dreadnaughts cost less than one third what the expensive ones do... So how do I decide which will be MORE EFFECTIVE to build...?

Well I whipped out Excel and started plugging in formula's to see what kind of "value rating" I could get for a ship (by value rating I mean how effective is the ship vs. how much it cost). Here's the initial formula I've been using :

value rating = (a * aMod + d * dMod) /
(ic * iMod)+(bc * bMod)+(gc * gMod)+(rc * rMod)

(the first line is the numerator, the second is the denominator)

Here's a definition of the variables :

a = ships attacks per round

aMod : Attack Modifer (I usually set this to 1.25 since a ship's attack per round is usually quite a bit smaller than its total dp - keep reading)... If you wanted to have a greater bias towards ships with better attack you could set this to 1.5 (it essentially allows you to give more "weight" to the attack of the ship).

d = total amount of damage a ship can take

dMod : Defense Modifer (I usually set this to 1). This is similar to the aMod in that it allows you to give more "weight" to the defense value when coming up with the rating.

ic = cost in ironium

iMod : Ironium Modifer (usually 1). You could set this to a value greater than one to reflect the fact that Ironium was "more valuable" (i.e. in shorter supply).

bc = cost in boranium

bMod : Boranium Modifer (usually 1). You could set this to a value greater than one if you were in short supply of Boranium. I seem to run low on Boranium in 2.0b games late in the game due to the high bc of good hi-tech weapons... (I actually have the bMod set to 1.3, because Boranium IS more valuable to me in this particular game, but its "default" value assuming all minerals are equally value is 1).

gc = cost in Germanium

gMod : Similar to iMod and bMod, used to give unequal weight to the cost of germanium...

rc : Cost of resouce points (how many non-mineral resources does it take to build the thing).

rMod : Similar to iMod, bMod, gMod... Used to give unequal weight to the cost of non-mineral resources.

Ok, obviously this system is only (maybe) good for comparing ships which have identically (or close to it) ranged weapons, but this is OK, since we're comparing similarly functioning ships (two fully torpedo carrying ships in this case), its just one uses out-of-date (mid-game) tech. and the other uses state of the art tech. It also doesn't take into account differences in regenerating shields, initiative,jamming, etc (but the two models shouldn't have vastly different initiatives or jamming ratings, its not the Battle Computers or Jammers that are expensive, its the torpedos / armor / shields).

Using this system and the aforementioned Dreadnaught example (keep in mind these are version 2.0b costs for weapons, armor, etc.). It seems to imply that it is more "cost-effective" at this stage of the game for me to build larger amounts of ships with outdated tech on them. Here are the stats for the two designs mentioned (in this instance I used a aMod value of 1.25 and a bMod value of 1.3 (as I said Boranium is more scarce than the other resources this late in the game), all other Mod values are 1) :

ShipDef.AttackicbcgcrcValue Rating
New Tech DN1750089101101138781378342.479201115
Old Tech DN7800285034840427016304.097252272
3 Old DN's2340085501044121281048904.097252272

As you can see, you can build 3 of the old DN's for well under the total resource cost of one of the new DNs... The old DN's have a Value Rating of about 4 vs. the new Dn's rating of about 2.5... A fleet of three old DN's will have more armor - almost as much firepower, and cost significantly less in rc... I've tried varying the paramters for aMod and dMod, and always seem to get a Value Rating which favors the miniturized technology over the current tech.

Does anyone have comments on this?

I'd like some feedback on the formula - is there something I could do to make it more effective? KEEP IN MIND - THIS IS ONLY MEANT TO COMPARE SIMILARLY FUNCTIONING SHIPS. It is NOT meant to be used to compare a beam weapon ship to a torp ship, but rather to contrast like functioning ships with differing technology level items (e.g. two range 8-9 torp destroyers with differing technology levels for their armor and torps) with regard to their cost in minerals and resource points. I have not compared the costs in version 2.6a, but I suspect any "general" formula which imparted information in 2.0b would be useful in similar decisions in version 2.6a as well..

Any (constructive) feedback would be appreciated...

- Lance

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