TL;DR in bold
The new update has buffed MEs sufficiently that I can finally play Rogue Servitors again. However, I have encountered a handful of issues that are impacting my enjoyment of this playstyle:
Colonizing a new planet automatically creates 1 Drone and 1 Biotrophy
- The Biotrophy is unemployed, having no Sanctuary
- They are spawned even on planets where they have 5% habitability
- They are very unhappy, causing stability issues (new planets have ~20% stability)
- They cost almost 2x as much food and goods while providing nothing in return
- Without resettling, it takes years to be able to build a Sanctuary
- The Biotrophy replaces what would be a second Replicator, halving robot growth
- The Expansion tradition for 1 extra pop makes the new pop a Biotrophy (???)
Biotrophies keep growing (not immigrating) on planets where they do not live
- Biotrophies keep growing on planets even after being resettled to the capital
- They have faster growth rate compared to robots (3.0 + mods + potentially immigration vs 1-2 on a new colony and 3 on a medium planet)
- They are still unemployed, unhappy and expensive
- Colonizing other planet types becomes very bad because they keep growing there
- It is very easy to end up with global Biotrophy growth higher than robot growth
Planetary happiness includes the 2 robot strata at 50% each, overall 63%
- This bug has existed since 2.2.0
- On planets with 50/50 robots and Biotrophies, the overall happiness will be 63%
- This works out if the 2 robot strata (Complex and Menial) are at 50% happiness, the Biotrophies are at 90%, and they have equal political power
- This reduces the previous 0-40% production global buff for the robots to a mostly static per-planet 6-7% (ignoring amenities)
- Population is irrelevant – 1 Biotrophy has the same effect as 100
- RS no longer get up to 2 influence as before (less painful since they don't need habitats anymore)
I'm not sure what conclusion to draw or how to best play RS in 2.2.5. Having 2-3 Sanctuaries with Biotrophies on each planet is pretty good for Unity but that's about it. Additional robots are needed to provide food and consumer goods to the Biotrophies, and additional robots are needed to sustain the artisan robots. It's easy to unlock a lot of building slots, but many of those go to either Sanctuaries or the CG building. The Unity is probably better than even Spiritualists, but they lose so much on every other front.
Even if the first 2 issues are actual bugs and fixed, the happiness issue (per-planet and disregarding actual pop count) makes RS kind of conflicting to play:
- Ignore the Biotrophies, play as normal ME with low Unity and 1 less civic slot
- Have Biotrophies on every planet, only colonize Biotrophy-compatible planets, pretend I'm playing organics with cosmetic changes
- Stuff all the Biotrophies on 1-3 planets for good unity and ignore them elsewhere
I'm going with 3 right now. I had to enable population controls for the Biotrophies because I couldn't build robots to feed and clothe them fast enough, but it's 2275 and I only have 2 Unity trees left.
I'll update this thread with pics when I get home.
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