This post is an extension of the main Model v2.1 article. Here we analyze in more detail the impact that unlocking research has on the Spire squad size calculation. I assume that you’ve read the main post (and have done so recently 😉 ). So if you haven’t read it, please go and read it before continuing. Without that, this post will make little sense 😉
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Model v2.1 – Research
Here is a snapshot of data relevant for analysis of research impact on the Spire squad size. You may want to click on the image to see a higher-resolution version. Don’t worry, I’ll explain what it all means 😉
On the first chart here, X axis is a base Spire SS, while Y axis is an incremental increase to the base Spire SS when 1 additional research is unlocked (e.g. paid for). The second chart is similar, but Y axis is an incremental increase to the base Spire SS per 1 KP invested in 1 additional research when it is unlocked. Right now both charts look pretty similar, but it doesn’t always have to be the case (as different research items have different KP costs).
You may see some red and blue dots here. Blue ones are relatively clean datapoints; red ones, on the other hand, are not. Basically, red ones are deduced from datapoints where several other things other than AW levels changed, and some of the assumptions used are pretty questionable. Red ones should generally be ignored as long as we have enough blue ones.
An observant reader may notice that there are no blue dots here right now 😉 That’s right, we don’t have a lot of data on research yet, and the data we have is pretty sketchy. All the existing datapoints combine research with some AW upgrades, expansion placement, chapter advancement, MH upgrades – or several of the above. So take what we have here so far with a huge grain of salt 😉
As far as research is concerned, there are not that many factors I can think of that may differentiate contributions. Here are some of them:
- KP amount – research items cost different amounts of KPs
- Chapter – it is possible that research items from different chapters have different impact
That’s about it. There are some special cases where research impact may be confounded with some other effect – e.g. regular squad size upgrade, chapter promotion etc. We may consider some of these in a separate section, e.g. all the other things that may have impact.
Of course, it is possible that there might be even finer granularity to research classification. I highly doubt that it used in the actual calculation though. There are literally several hundreds of research items, and I just don’t see that being a factor on individual item level, or even somewhat bigger buckets. Still, it is a possibility.
As you can tell, we don’t have a lot of data to work with here; not yet. This is due to the fact that the end game cities had no research 😉 And other cities’ results usually conflate any research impact with something else – often AW upgrades, and sometimes with other things.
But now with chapter 16 being live, we might see an influx of data from people doing the new chapter. These active cities are unlikely to provide very clean data, as it is quite likely that several things will be changing at the same time.
Relatively certain conclusions
So what does this data tells us so far? Not much 😉 There are very few things with respect to research that we’re certain about. Even the fact that just unlocking research impacts Spire SS is not 100% confirmed – I still haven’t seen a single clean datapoint confirming that. Still:
- Additional unlocked research impacts Spire SS positively
- i.e. each unlocked research adds something to your Spire squad size; while this is not completely confirmed, I am relatively certain that this is the case
- Only unlocked research counts
- if you just contribute KPs (up to the max), but don’t actually pay for the research, then it won’t change your Spire SS; one of the players tested that in a clean fashion, so it is reasonably certain
- Unlocked research contributes to your Spire squad size different amounts
- Observed increments were within 2-30+ range, so pretty wide; remember though that all these datapoints are questionable
OK, so we don’t really have enough data here even for a decent speculation 😉 So, let’s put down some observations then.
Variability of contributions
So far both charts above look very similar to each other, so I’ll just refer to the first one (cost of extra research vs base Spire SS). Well, most of the points there line up in a nice straight line, which might be an indication that number of unlocked techs is a multiplier to something else. So we see some small increments (~2 points per tech) for lower level cities in sub-600 base Spire SS range. Then we have a couple of early chapter 16 cities in low 3K Spire SS range with about 12 points per research. And then there is 8K+ Spire SS city with 30+ points per research.
So far so good, things are very consistent. But of course we must have another datapoint that throws a wrench into the works. Which is also an early chapter 16 city, and basically completing the same techs as 2 other cities in this stage. And it only has slightly more base Spire SS to begin with (~4K vs 3K). And yet its increases are pretty much on par with a much more advanced city (with twice its base Spire SS). Instead of adding close to 12 points per research, it adds much closer to 30 points. Darn…
Again, these datapoints are not super reliable, but that gap is just so wide. It is possible that there was a collection error or something like that, so lets keep monitoring and see where other points are going to land.
It is also quite possible that rounding has an impact on observations here, given that a single tech increment is relatively small. We may expect to see some jitter in values, which doesn’t help with the analysis.
OK, so here are some possible experiments here. These are fairly straightforward. Just complete a single research and see the impact on base Spire SS. Rinse and repeat and see how it trends. Similarly sized techs should lead to roughly the same increments. I expect differences to be the results of rounding (watch me being proven wrong 😉 ).
Now, it would be interesting to see impact of unlocking tiny research items (e.g. optional 10-20 KPs techs) vs 100+ KP ones. If we see reliable difference, then that would be an indication that KP amounts matter. If we see relatively constant increments, then it would mean that research items are treated the same, no matter the KP amount.
Once we figure out whether it is just a number of research items, or is it KP amounts, we can take a closer look at these increments in different cities, and see what drives the differences.
Once we figure out impact of vanilla research items, then we can look at how special research items behave. E.g. regular Squad Size upgrades, new chapter transitions etc. Until then, it might be difficult to figure out these special cases as these are likely always conflated with pure research impact.
In any case, if you have a city (or know someone 😉 ) where such experiments can be run, I’d like to hear from you! Either in comments, PM, or on US forums. It’s for science! 😉
And that’s it for now. We’ll need to wait for additional datapoints, and see if they can shed some additional light on what is going on with impact of unlocking research on the Spire squad size. So if you have a city where you can run some of the experiments outlined above – consider freezing that city for some time (in terms of placing the expansions, upgrading AWs etc) to record data for this experiment. Let me know if you need any assistance with that.
I am certain we will revisit this when we’ll get more data.