Monday, February 8, 2010

The Future of Futures

A while ago, I did the math on the return from various Futures research. The numbers didn't turn out so well for our scientist friends. It turned out that all the level 1 Futures took about a year to be worth it, and obviously as the Futures went up in cost from level 2 on, they also took even longer to "return their investment."

At the time, I took my scientists off and demolished all but one of my Academies. I reasoned that the extra building space was better used for something else, and the gold cost for the scientists was better spent on trading for resources than research points.

The other day, however, I was browsing through the Suggestions Forum when I came across a suggestion for a change in the scoring for research. Among other things, I mentioned my above opinion that Futures research wasn't a very good return for what you invest in it. However, Alleycat pointed out that neither were higher level buildings, but you still get huge points for those.

Even with scoring aside, Alleycat made a good point. I am now at a point in building where structures are rather expensive, expensive enough that THEY take a long time to pay off as well. So I decided to compare the two methods of advancement in a mathematical cage match, because that's how I roll.

This was my result, as posted in the thread:

I have relatively low research and fairly high building levels. With all the level 1 Futures, my Scientists score is still only 85k. On the other hand, my master builder's score is just under 1.2 million.

At 1,065,600 research points, Economic Futures level 2 gets me 20 space and 10 happiness in each town. Times 9 towns, that's 180 total space and 90 total happiness.

A Town Hall upgrade (level 27) and two Museum upgrades (levels 15 and 16) cost a total of about 3.3 million resources.

Obviously the cost is much less due to research and buildings, but the same can be said for the research with an Optician for experiments. The buildings cost a little more and provide a little less space, but give more happiness than the research, so I'll say they're about equal value.

So yeah, for me at least spending on research is just as good an investment as building upgrades (better through experiments).

Although this equation will vary based on levels of research and building, and I still won't be building any new Academies anytime soon, for the moment my research team is back in action.

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