(Note: maybe this was common wisdom and I’m an idiot, but still)
(TL;DR at the bottom)
Now, imagine you’re in the early-to-mid game and you all of the sudden have an energy deficit. With too few pops and/or minerals to build more generator districts, and no building slots for Energy Grids, you reach for the “Edicts” tab and, more precisely, the “Capacity Subsidies” edict.
For a base cost of 160 influence and taking up one edict slots, Capacity Subsidies increase the energy output from technician jobs by 20%. That’s a lot, isn’t it? It sure might be expensive, and you surely might have wanted to save that edict slot for more important things, like Research Subsidies (with their 10% to researcher output), or Diplomatic Grants (that give you an extra envoy to talk xenos out of launching a war of genocide against you, increase your weight in the Galactic Senate, and maybe even become the Senate by outvoting the rest of the galaxy combined, or increasing the Cohesion in the Galactic Union whose other members somehow let into an Authoritarian-Xenophobe-Militarist Hegemonic Imperialist Empire while everyone else is an Egalitarian-Xenophile-Pacifist Federation Builder/Migratory Flock Democracy, but I digress).
But there’s another part to that edict, that’s often overlooked with the excuse “it’ll pay itself”: that pesky 0.5 energy credit cost. I mean, it’s still a +20% boost to technician output, so that minute 0.5 cost can’t possibly render the whole thing a waste, right? Right?
Because it does.
And, by virtue of how “
Now, I had the Capacity Subsidies edict on, but then, as my energy surplus had grown quite large, I decided to shut it off and replace it with Diplomatic Grants (gotta get that +10% Diplomatic Weight from the Envoy you sent to the Galactic Community).
Now, my energy production from jobs was 817.7/mo, so, when I lost the 20% bonus to it from the edict, It should have dropped to about 700-ish/mo. And it did, dropping to 743.4/mo. So, with an energy surplus of 287/mo, it should have dropped to 212.7/mo, that is by 74.3. But did it?
No, my energy surplus only decreased by 18.6/mo to 269.4 lmao.
But why? Why did it decrease so little? How could the 0.5 energy credits per technician per month have been so much?
Well, it’s not that the cost is so much, it’s that the bonus is so little.
Now, without the Capacity Subsidies edict, between technology, high stability, and other modifiers, I have about just over +100% technician output in the game I’m currently playing in 2320.
Meaning that, with a base output of 4/mo, each of my technicians shuffle out about 8.85 energy credits each month. For the sake of argument, we’ll round this down to 8.
Now, if the +20% modifier applied to the whole output, it would have risen from 8/mo to 9.6/mo, for an increase of 1.6, which becomes 1.1 when you factor in the 0.5 upkeep you get as drawback for the edict. Which would be really good.
But watch what happens in game, where job output modifiers apply only to the base output.
Take the 8/mo each technician was already making before the edict. Separate the 4 of the base output from the 4 you get from technology, modifiers, buildings, etc. Add 20% to the 4 energy a month base output, and you get 4.8. Add back the 4 energy credits from the other modifiers, and we’re stuck with 8.8 energy credits. Which isn’t bad in itself, you know, 0.8 energy credits more per technicians are not bad. Or at leas they wouldn’t be, if you didn’t also have to factor in the 0.5 energy cost per technician from the event. Making the buff only 0.3 credits. Which, considering what you lose by not having another edict up because you’re still using Capacity Subsidies, thinking, or, more accurately, naively believing they’re what’s keeping you in the positive with your energy income, is not worth it.
TL;DR: By the time you have unlocked the “Capacity Subsidies” Edict, it’s already useless. Spend that influence and edict slot on research already, something that actually increases energy output rather substantially.
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