[X2] How to make the factories work for you?

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Chrushev
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[X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by Chrushev » Sun, 22. Mar 20, 09:47

So I built a Power Plant and a Crystal Fab. Set buy/sell prices to be competitive. Its set for NPCs to be allowed to trade at my stations... yet no one ever comes?

Also, how do I make my own ships do the trade runs? I have trade software installed, yet when I go to trade option I can only do manual run. No automatic, all grayed out.

EDIT: Nevermind about the 2nd part of the question. They were grayed out because ship needed Home Base set. I am still curious as to why NPCs arent coming and would welcome any general tips as to how make money from my own stations?
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jlehtone
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Re: [X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by jlehtone » Sun, 22. Mar 20, 12:45

NPC stations own ships. Those ships purchase resources for the station from others. They never sell. No NPC ship will ever come with wares to sell to your station. In X3 there are NPC Free Traders that buy and sell, but not in X2. Your station must own ships that buy resources for it.

The game
Ships go for the best offer. That usually means the minimum price. NPC ships will not pay more than average price*. To have any chance that NPC comes to your station to buy your product, your product price must be under average and only the minimum price is "competitive". Alas, on some factories you can't get resources cheap enough to sell product at minimum price without loss.

*There is an exception: NPC Docks (Equipment Docks and Trading Stations). Their ships can pay more than average. There is a claim that Trading Station will buy Crystals from your Fab even if you demand maximum price. The prices at Docks are fixed at average, so you could buy "back your" Crystals at average from Trade Dock.


You must have ship(s) on your station to get resources. Ship that sells the product is the ticket to profitsss. Only the player has that option. Each "Buy for Best Price" and "Sell for Best Price" ship carries only one ware. Your Crystal Fab needs thus four ships. You can have more than one ship for a ware, but ...

Say, you have two ships selling for ECells from SPP. Ship #1 heads for the best offer. Ship #2 sees the same offer and heads for the same destination. The #1 arrives, sells, and leaves back home. NPC's ECell stock fills and price jumps up. Ship #2 reaches the same NPC but cannot sell, because price is no longer acceptable, and returns home cargo still full. It is quit likely that the same repeats multiple times; #1 delivers and #2 chases wild goose.

A fact is that if your SPP offers ECells at 14cr, any NPC ship that comes to buy will pay exactly 14cr but the salesman freighter of your SPP will get max price from NPC station that is out of ECells and whose ships have not yet returned with new shipment.


Do you have X2 Bonuspack installed? You should.
There is Advanced Trade Command Mk1 (formerly Best Price Handler). Bonuspack installs with manual, but see viewtopic.php?t=59265 and viewtopic.php?t=66782

One ATC ship can serve all needs of a Crystal Fab, while the plain Trade Mk1/Mk2 need four ships. ATC coordinates ships of a station to prevent all targeting same destination.


Consider also what is hauled.
There are bulk wares, like ECells. Stations can have a lot of them. (Every Factory can burn 900 ECells per hour.) For those you want cargobay. Dolphins look awesome and have the stats.
Crystals are much more compact. There is never many of them at once. When any ship can haul "all", then speed is king.


tldr; Buy low, sell high, and have your ships to do it.
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Re: [X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by fig » Tue, 24. Mar 20, 00:12

*There is an exception: NPC Docks (Equipment Docks and Trading Stations). Their ships can pay more than average. There is a claim that Trading Station will buy Crystals from your Fab even if you demand maximum price.
I have a feeling that Space Fuel and Space Weed will also sell at max price. I thought I'd try building a couple of these stations, but I made a big mistake and built them in a sector that had a local destroyer in it. I only realised my mistake later, when I noticed that the pirate ships were not making it through the system to get to my stations. I suspect it might work quite well if you built these stations in an outer sector with a pirate base and no race defences, so I may try this again at some point. If you can sell these illegal goods at max price, they should make a lot of money!

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Re: [X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by jlehtone » Tue, 24. Mar 20, 01:38

Lets assume that Pirates buy the illegals.

Pirate freighter serve Pirate Bases. The Bases are Docks.
The behaviour (pay high) would be consistent with other Docks.
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Chrushev
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Re: [X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by Chrushev » Tue, 24. Mar 20, 23:03

Thanks guys. Another question. For mining stations, what does asteroid yield affect? Does it ever run out? It doesnt seem like it affects the output amount? Does it?

Also, what is the number in brackets when changing station's parameters?
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Re: [X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by jlehtone » Wed, 25. Mar 20, 16:42

The number in brackets is the production cost of one unit of product.
One production cycle takes N units of resource for which you have set price X and produces M units of product.

Code: Select all

Make even price = sum(Ni * Xi) / M

Yield affects the cycle-time of a Mine. High yield, short cycle. Shorter cycle, more cycles per hour.

Peek, but do not resurrect: viewtopic.php?t=110986
Fab_size is 1, (aka S), for every station in X2.


Sunlight of sector affects cycle-time of SPP. (X3R was exception; light had no effect,except the 0%)
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Re: [X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by Chrushev » Wed, 25. Mar 20, 20:26

jlehtone wrote:
Wed, 25. Mar 20, 16:42
The number in brackets is the production cost of one unit of product.
One production cycle takes N units of resource for which you have set price X and produces M units of product.

Code: Select all

Make even price = sum(Ni * Xi) / M

Yield affects the cycle-time of a Mine. High yield, short cycle. Shorter cycle, more cycles per hour.

Peek, but do not resurrect: viewtopic.php?t=110986
Fab_size is 1, (aka S), for every station in X2.


Sunlight of sector affects cycle-time of SPP. (X3R was exception; light had no effect,except the 0%)
Thank you. It seems like some factories are so slow that its not even worth it. Like the wheat farm, each cycle takes forever and produces so little resource and each resource costs so little that it seems like it would take real time days at SETA 10 to get anywhere as far as profits.
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Re: [X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by fig » Thu, 26. Mar 20, 00:46

Thank you. It seems like some factories are so slow that its not even worth it. Like the wheat farm, each cycle takes forever and produces so little resource and each resource costs so little that it seems like it would take real time days at SETA 10 to get anywhere as far as profits.
Resource factories, like wheat farms, are mainly used for supplying your own stations. I seem to remember there is some information on here about which stations are the most profitable. I read it a very long time ago, so I can't remember all the details. Basically, E-cells and weapons make good money. With weapons, the trick is to sell them to equipment docks that don't stock them. You have to do this manually though because the AI freighters don't know that you can do this!

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Re: [X2] How to make the factories work for you?

Post by jlehtone » Thu, 26. Mar 20, 09:41

Chrushev wrote:
Wed, 25. Mar 20, 20:26
Like the wheat farm, each cycle takes forever and produces so little resource and each resource costs so little that it seems like it would take real time days at SETA 10 to get anywhere as far as profits.
Wheat Farm's cycle-time is 60 seconds. Nothing has shorter cycle than 60 seconds. The gammaPPC Forge does one cycle in 72000 seconds. That is 20 hours per cycle.
https://seizewell.de/x2/fabpro.php

Stations can be classified as SPP, Mines, Factories, and Docks. SPP and Mines have varying cycle-time. Factories have fixed cycle-time and they all consume ECells. Every Factory burns 900 ECells per hour (if it runs nonstop).

Stations can be classified Tier 1, 2, and 3.
Tier 1 (Mines and Bio Factories) uses only ECells as primary resource. They make under 5k cr per hour on average prices. They will run at loss, if you pay high for resources and sell product.

Tier 2, Food Factories, use ECells and Bio as primary resource. They make about 10k cr per hour.
Tier 3 Factories use ECells Food, and Mineral as primary resource. They make about 24k cr per hour.

Factory converts resource(s) into product. That increases the value. At average prices the Wheat Farm increases value by 33%, a Cattle Ranch by 30%, a Cahoona Bakery by 30%, and a Crystal Fab by 32%. No real difference there.

A Ranch converts 900 ECells into 180 Beef per hour. A Bakery converts 900 ECells and 180 Beef into 600 Cahoonas per hour.
Therefore, Ranch + Bakery converts 1800 ECells into 600 Cahoonas per hour. That is 50% increase in value from ECells to Cahoonas. Better than two Ranches, which also consume 1800 ECells per hour.


Nominal profit is not everything. You can't get profit, if you can't sell product.
fig's gunsales and illegals are examples of (near) infinite markets.
Satellites and Fighter Drones are consumed only by (some) Trading Stations. Slowly. Very limited market.

Wheat has many buyers. NPC Cahoona Bakeries (not player's), Rhime Fabs, and Distilleries. Some other Factories consume Wheat as secondary resource. In the Argon Prime district a Wheat Farm is very likely to be able to sell continuously at better than average price. Furthermore, since Tier 1 requires only energy, they don't depend on NPC Factories.

Sadly, Bio Fabs seem to be relatively expensive in X2. SPP are cheaper, have potential for higher profit, everybody needs energy, and the galaxy has clear shortage in some places. The only thing that prevents spawning horde of SPP is their need for Crystals.


Yes, a station does not make huge profits. Hundreds of stations can - in theory - make millions per hour (and cost billions to build). The balance is different from Xbtf. In Xbtf the playership had limited trade capacity and stations did clearly scale out the profitsss. In X2 the playership can earn much more (via missions).
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