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Let's Talk Balance

mytigio

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Commenting from a recent play-through and going by my own observations, my apologies if any of this information is wrong as I'm still getting to grips with everything.

I agree with the need for a buff to Martial plots, in larger settlements the need for them becomes too high

Commercial plots seems under-powered compared to the new advanced industrial buildings, with dynamic needs the total amount of Power/Water/Defense that becomes required to get to level 3 commercial plots (when counting the required level 3 residentials) seems not worth it. In comparison I seem to be able to keep my residential plots at level 1 while getting higher level advanced industrial at a fraction of the cost.

Admittedly this is partly due to me keeping residential plots at lower levels by choice but maybe there should be a greater benefit to getting residential/commercial to higher levels. Maybe advanced industrial plots should have a requirement for higher level residential and/or commercial existing before it will upgrade. Another option is to shift the taxes away from advanced industrial completely and increasing them from higher level commercial plots.

Maybe it's just my interpretation, but I don't think everything is meant to have a mechanical benefit for the player. The system is as much about making the settlements feel alive as it is about benefiting the player. So some things are purely a negative impact (like upgrading residential plots). I think if anything, higher residential plots should provide Happiness.
 

Sterga

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Clean water would be the biggest issue to overcome. Hygiene, crops, drinking, and basic plumbing all depend on the water supply. Medical professionals and medicine would be incredibly valuable as well. Defense and power should be trivial.

Power


In the Fallout world, something a bit bigger than a lantern battery is giving Power Armor enough juice to last a good while. That's an incredible amount of stored energy. Basic batteries would be significantly more powerful than what we could find in reality. A simple windmill, hardly high tech, coupled with the amazing storage ability of batteries should produce enough energy to power a small settlement. At worst, settlers would need to use candle / fire light to conserve energy for the machinery. A farming settlement might only really need power for a water pump and purifier.

Considering the natural resource shortage, I would think alternate, renewable energy would have major strides. Especially with CIT being in the area. Solar power and kinetic energy-harvesting wouldn't be out of the question.

Defense

Medieval level tech should make defense mostly a non-issue. There are plenty of places to salvage stone, brick, or concrete. Pickaxes and a brahmin pulled cart require basically nothing in terms of tech. Building large, stone / concrete / brick walls should be easy if labor intensive. Easier than all of the tech you can build in Sim Settlements. The only downside is Bethesda didn't include decent machicolations or murder hole building options. It would require minimal people manning the walls. Even modern military bases use HESCO bastions, which is the super advanced tech of a giant basket filled with sand. I'm sure dirt works just as well and there's dirt all over the place. Just having a sturdy wall is a major defense upgrade.
 

tankthing

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unfortunately the ai pathing is so crappy that if you make your walls too well, attackers will teleport through tbem. i wouldnt mind seeing a water wheel type of power generator myself if only for those settlemnts close to running water.
 

mytigio

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Clean water would be the biggest issue to overcome. Hygiene, crops, drinking, and basic plumbing all depend on the water supply. Medical professionals and medicine would be incredibly valuable as well. Defense and power should be trivial.

Power


In the Fallout world, something a bit bigger than a lantern battery is giving Power Armor enough juice to last a good while. That's an incredible amount of stored energy. Basic batteries would be significantly more powerful than what we could find in reality. A simple windmill, hardly high tech, coupled with the amazing storage ability of batteries should produce enough energy to power a small settlement.

Fusion Cores are NOT batteries. They are literal miniaturized Fusion Reactors. You can't just plug them in and charge them, it requires making deuterium and tritium (or some similar molecule combination light enough to fuse and have a net energy gain)

Literally a very tiny version of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak

The amazing energy storage isn't something they can just charge up with solor power, they would need a very advanced facility, a clean room, etc or the ability to literally mine a gas giant to make more of these or to recharge the fusing materials inside.

So, while I'm all for making a plot the consumes fusion cores slowly and you have to refill them with fusion cores, wind/solar are not going to somehow recharge a fusion core.
 

Sterga

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Fusion cores are basically batteries. You have different atomic nuclei stilling around doing nothing until you plug it in instead of different chemicals sitting around doing nothing until you plug them in. And you mean to tell me in a world where fusion cores exist, which is freaking amazing, that battery storage hasn't improved significantly? I wasn't talking about using fusion cores as batteries. I specifically said "basic batteries" not fusion batteries. The mention of Fusion cores was a parallel. If that kind of amazing tech exists, this other tech can easily exist too.
 
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Fusion Cores are NOT batteries. They are literal miniaturized Fusion Reactors. You can't just plug them in and charge them, it requires making deuterium and tritium (or some similar molecule combination light enough to fuse and have a net energy gain)

Literally a very tiny version of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak

The amazing energy storage isn't something they can just charge up with solor power, they would need a very advanced facility, a clean room, etc or the ability to literally mine a gas giant to make more of these or to recharge the fusing materials inside.

So, while I'm all for making a plot the consumes fusion cores slowly and you have to refill them with fusion cores, wind/solar are not going to somehow recharge a fusion core.

Fusion cores are basically batteries. You have different atomic nuclei stilling around doing nothing until you plug it in instead of different chemicals sitting around doing nothing until you plug them in. And you mean to tell me in a world where fusion cores exist, which is freaking amazing, that battery storage hasn't improved significantly? I wasn't talking about using fusion cores as batteries. I specifically said "basic batteries" not fusion batteries. The mention of Fusion cores was a parallel. If that kind of amazing tech exists, this other tech can easily exist too.

@Sterga: With miniaturized power generation, why would the battery tech have improved much? I figure that battery development stopped as soon as they got nuclear reactors down to small enuf to fit in a car. Given that it takes a staggering amount of power to make a lethal laser in atmosphere, a fission cell would power most man portable devices for there conceivable life time. Even modern battery(LiIon) are unlikely because lithium is one of the few elements you could conceivably use for plasma weapons...

@mytigio: their is a Shoddycast video on Youtube that goes into some depth on fusion cores but it ends with the conclusion that ALL the prewar FCs will be depleted with in 2 years of you leaving the vault due to the energy requirements for storing the internal fuel in a use-able state....
 

Lancars

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I wish there was alternate power for the power armor that didn't need fusion cores.
 

kevbal

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I wish there was alternate power for the power armor that didn't need fusion cores.
Baby mole rats! Take the mole rat, reduce it size and drop it in a rotating globe. Duplicate the fusion core and the recipe and edit the clones replacing the nif with the new molerat globe and make it cost corn and plastic to build. Then have it reduce power armor speed by 20% if used to power.
 

Lancars

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Baby mole rats! Take the mole rat, reduce it size and drop it in a rotating globe. Duplicate the fusion core and the recipe and edit the clones replacing the nif with the new molerat globe and make it cost corn and plastic to build. Then have it reduce power armor speed by 20% if used to power.
I'd probably power it with weaponized nuka cola. Or have the molerat thing but have a nuka burst of speed when i feed it to the molerat.
 

Jack Taco

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Hi Kinggath and staff:
I would agree, as others have mentioned, that the defense requirements is nearly impossible to meet with large settlements. My Sanctuary settlement population is 68. I ended up turning off dynamic needs.
Essentially all my needs bars were full except for defense with hovered around 10-20%. The bulk of my settlers were farmers. I knew if the farms upgraded to level 2 it would produce more food and therefore would require less farmers/farms which then I could devote more settlers to defense. Since I couldn't meet the defense requirement, none of my plots would upgrade. Sort of a bottleneck at this point. Once I removed dynamic needs, my farms upgraded to level 2 and so my food production shot up. However, my defense is still low. I've been adding more defenses but the defense meter hardly improves, even though defense rating is over 200. Anyway, hope my input helps/makes sense. Still a great mod. I'll continue to mix up my plots to see if I can find the right formula/balance. If you would like my specific settlement stats, or any other info, let me know. Thanks.
 

Sterga

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With miniaturized power generation, why would the battery tech have improved much? I figure that battery development stopped as soon as they got nuclear reactors down to small enuf to fit in a car. Given that it takes a staggering amount of power to make a lethal laser in atmosphere, a fission cell would power most man portable devices for there conceivable life time. Even modern battery(LiIon) are unlikely because lithium is one of the few elements you could conceivably use for plasma weapons...

It makes a whole lot more sense for a Power Armor suit to do the bulk of the work when it comes to generating power and the fusion cores simply supplies the fuel to make that happen. How do you think a nuclear power plant is refueled? They don't replace the whole thing, they just swap out the rods. I don't see why a mini fusion plant would be much different. Just swap out the fuel part. Kind of like what a battery would accomplish. A battery like a fusion core. It would be significantly cheaper if you used a battery system in the manufacturing of fusion cores.

Just because fusion reactors exist doesn't mean renewable resources and batteries weren't still being developed. They had to get to that point in tech in the first place. As non-renewable resources go away, why wouldn't other energy sources have serious development? Especially when you start thinking about rural areas or that the rest of the wold exists. Batteries have other advantages and uses even if fusion power exists. We have multiple avenues of power being developed today, including but not exclusively fusion reactors. Why would that be any different in Fallout's world? Electric cars existed well before the divergence, so is not even remotely far fetch that it was a revitalized project.

This is way beyond the point I was making. Walls = Defense, Energy generation = cake. And let's be real, the devs probably hand waved a whole lot of things.
 

tankthing

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Hi Kinggath and staff:
I would agree, as others have mentioned, that the defense requirements is nearly impossible to meet with large settlements. My Sanctuary settlement population is 68. I ended up turning off dynamic needs.
Essentially all my needs bars were full except for defense with hovered around 10-20%. The bulk of my settlers were farmers. I knew if the farms upgraded to level 2 it would produce more food and therefore would require less farmers/farms which then I could devote more settlers to defense. Since I couldn't meet the defense requirement, none of my plots would upgrade. Sort of a bottleneck at this point. Once I removed dynamic needs, my farms upgraded to level 2 and so my food production shot up. However, my defense is still low. I've been adding more defenses but the defense meter hardly improves, even though defense rating is over 200. Anyway, hope my input helps/makes sense. Still a great mod. I'll continue to mix up my plots to see if I can find the right formula/balance. If you would like my specific settlement stats, or any other info, let me know. Thanks.

If you turn off Dynamic needs, Advanced Industrial no longer produces anything. It's often better to shut off the individual plot type upgrade requirements and leave dynamic needs alone. Defense requirements are actually extremely easy to meet with large settlements. You just can't do it instantly without turret spamming. To upgrade to level 3, Martial plots require a certain number of industrials to upgrade to the next level. This can be any combination of regular and advanced industrial. The wiki should have all the data you need to derive working ratios to level all plot types until Kinggath rebalances things and we'll have to discover it all over again.

Here's some hints based solely on my experience:
  • If you've got a lot of plots, make sure everything is overprovisioned for resources or you're going to come back after playing a while to find your defense and happiness has tanked.
  • Keep water + food lower than defense
  • If you're using addons, 5-6 level 3 Agricultural plots will feed 20 people comfortably with some left over
  • Don't be afraid to scrap Agricultural plots if they take you over what you need to live.
  • With Dynamic Needs turn on, there's a multiplier on requirements, higher level plots need more resources.
  • Every time you go back to a settlement and it tells you water is low, bring your production up by 50% rounding up (so if you have 2 purifiers, add another one, if you have 3, add 2)
  • Build as you need, don't overload on water or food production, you're going to get attacked a lot otherwise.
  • Martial plots eat settlers and break even around level 2. You need level 3 martials for the plot investment to really pay for itself.
  • With lower level martial plots, your best option is always a few to guard entrances and then turrets to take it up to high levels.
  • Walls are a resource sink with high cosmetic benefit and extremely low real benefit.
  • If raiders can't get into the settlement, they'll teleport in.
  • The only real benefit walls provide is that they can help funnel attackers into your guns. If the entire perimeter is guns with clear fields of fire and no walls, well, invaders are good on nachos apparently because there's a lot of chunky salsa flying around.
  • If you go the turret route, alternate lasers and missiles. If the usual attackers are immune to one, there's generally enough of the other type to make salsa
It's also important to realize that the game is balanced around 20-30 settlers in any settlement on PC (10-20 on xbox) and to get it to perform decently above that takes some ini changes. At 70 settlers even with the optimizations on the wiki, you are going to have problems with script lag, assignments not happening in a timely fashion, settlers standing around doing nothing all the time, and many more fun things. This is a game engine limitation.
 

kinggath

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@Jack Taco - The defense requirements outside of Dynamic needs are based on the vanilla defense requirement to reduce raid chances. In fact, Sim Settlements are actually lower than those requirements. The base game requires Food + Water in Defense, whereas Sim Settlements is Food + 1/2 Water. Ultimately, the problem you're running into is that you're over-producing in that settlement - which makes you a huge target for raiders!
 

Dyvrik

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My only balance point is when your settlement is brand new with 2 or 3 settlers. It's really slow to get basic needs met unless you haul enough stuff out in the first place to setup a settler radio beacon. Tenpines Bluff, County Crossing, Oberville Station, Sommerville Place, Taffington Boathouse, Croup Manor etc.
 

Sterga

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"Walls are a resource sink with high cosmetic benefit and extremely low real benefit."

Diamond City and Goodneighbor have extensive walls and not a whole lot else, yet do not have problems with raiding (residents are safe while inside) despite being the largest settlements in the Commonwealth. Look at how many NPC settlement have very little in defense outside of walls. But player settlements are supposed to use extensive turrets and people / robot patrols? Wealthy settlements can afford to throw up a bunch of turrets, build roboguards, and pay people. And yet... they don't bother because walls exits. Walls not giving defense is an arbitrary mechanic that doesn't even make sense in the game's world.

NPCs magicking into a settlement is poorly implemented game function. No reason to let it prevent walls from giving a defense value.
 

AmazonQueen

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"Walls are a resource sink with high cosmetic benefit and extremely low real benefit."

Diamond City and Goodneighbor have extensive walls and not a whole lot else, yet do not have problems with raiding (residents are safe while inside) despite being the largest settlements in the Commonwealth. Look at how many NPC settlement have very little in defense outside of walls. But player settlements are supposed to use extensive turrets and people / robot patrols? Wealthy settlements can afford to throw up a bunch of turrets, build roboguards, and pay people. And yet... they don't bother because walls exits. Walls not giving defense is an arbitrary mechanic that doesn't even make sense in the game's world.

NPCs magicking into a settlement is poorly implemented game function. No reason to let it prevent walls from giving a defense value.

After killing Finn Hancock mentions he'll miss him next time supermutants attack. Goodneighbour and DC also have plenty of guards and DC has quite a few turrets so neither depends on just walls.
 

tankthing

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Walls provide no real benefit from a game mechanics point of view.

I'm not saying I don't wall some of my settlements but it's a purely aesthetic choice because of immersion, not something factored in as a defense mechanic in the game. Modding can set walls to provide a defense bonus but the mods are inconsistent and simply add a bonus to a piece. I could wall my settlement with busses for example and have an equally effective wall with zero defense bonus even though busses would be far more sturdy than flimsy plywood junk walls.

This is likely why the developers didn't choose to accord walls any sort of defense value coupled with some like me who frequently use junk walls internally in the settlement for multi-story buildings who could cheese the defense system easily by just making the walls and sinking them below ground if I didn't want them to show up.

That is the vanilla game. Stupid or not, it's what we have.

From a purely technical point of view, both DC and GN are in special cells that don't have attack spawn points. That's why you get a loading screen when entering either of them and also why they don't see attacks on the interior. You can actually escape an attack by going inside and the enemies won't follow.

Walls add to the poly count of settlements and can be a problem for that reason in the form of a resource drain on the player's machine.

Walls won't prevent attackers from entering the settlement even a little. If they can't path in, they'll teleport. As previously stated, the most they can do is channel attackers into the guns and even then you'll likely still get spawns near the workbench half the time.

What practical value do you think walls bring that hasn't been covered already?
 

Argyuile

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Just for walls benefit I want to mention that in vanilla you are correct. If however you're using say "War of the Commonwealth" which is one of my favorite mods, walls become very very useful.
 

Liberty Bull

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Using all settlements extended mod I walled off sanctuary and red rocket together. Watch towers were placed at certain intervals where they fit in the middle of a gap with chain link fence so the turrets can shoot. Also I had two always closed powered doors and I got to say it kept most attackers outside of the wall. Some did teleport in but not most.
 

Jack Taco

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@Jack Taco - The defense requirements outside of Dynamic needs are based on the vanilla defense requirement to reduce raid chances. In fact, Sim Settlements are actually lower than those requirements. The base game requires Food + Water in Defense, whereas Sim Settlements is Food + 1/2 Water. Ultimately, the problem you're running into is that you're over-producing in that settlement - which makes you a huge target for raiders!
tankthing & kinggath: I appreciate the input. I'll redo my setup. Thanks.
 
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