Shattered Ring newbie (2024)

From the sounds of things, this is a confidence issue. You're not playing optimally, but you're not doing that badly - the game takes place over many decades and what you do in the first 5 years isn't too important unless you're playing on high difficulties. I'd play a bit faster, and just try to fix bad things as they happen. If you're playing on the default difficulty (Civilian, the lowest one), you should stay competitive no matter what you do.

Nostromo The Alien said:

I've now decided to try my hand at SR Machine world, because I read in a couple places it simplifies the resource and pop management quite a bit. Ahem.

Shattered Ring Machines was, in previous versions, the strongest start in the game by far, partially because it was the simplest, but also partially because the origin was just really OP, and machines were also really OP. These days, Shattered Ring has been reworked, and many of the core mechanics have also changed, making the origin less simple and machines less dominant. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your build, and you should be fine playing this game to completition.

Ok, so I have no idea how to start this empire. I'm 5 years in & almost nothing has happened, apart from kind of colonising the 2 broken ring segments (except even though they are settled, they are still marked 'colonising' in agonisingly slow progress, and showing no pops or production, presumably until I can complete the actual starter colony & clear some blockers...?). Do I need to move pops from my main planet to resettle on segment B & D early somehow perhaps...?

If there's still a bar showing "colonising", that just means you're still colonising. This takes a few years, and there's nothing you need to do here (though it is technically possible to remove blockers during this time). Once colonisation finishes, the world will have a couple pops, and a basic building which provides a few jobs for them. You'll then be able to build on this world as normal.

It's worth noting that these ring segments are special - all of the district slots are blocked, and there are special blockers that lower habitability. To fix this, you need to remove the blockers, which sometimes requires a certain low tech technology.

Nostromo The Alien said:

I've scouted the adjacent systems just to stick starbases at all the choke points, as none of the systems appear to be colonisable by me, with very few resources to be mined anywhere (maybe I just got very unlucky with RNG?).
So I want to build tall, and really isolationist/xenophobic. Can I do that across just 3 or 4 local systems? If so, what's the best way to start building my empire?

Planets you can colonise are fairly rare - machines have the advantage of being able to colonise any habitable planet at full efficiency, but you still need to find a habitable planet. You can usually expect a habitable planet every 10 systems or so, but this is dependent on your luck - placement is entirely random, they're not evenly spaced or anything.

Space mining doesn't make up a huge portion of your economy - it mostly comes from pops on planets. That being said, a normal "small" empire is normally around 15 to 20 systems, with only the smallest empires being less than 10, so you do get a noteworthy amount of resources from space. 3 or 4 local systems is unnecessarily small - your neighbours don't mind if you claim more systems, and it won't make the game any more complex. I recommend you keep claiming systems until you run out of empty systems to claim.

"Tall" has a few meanings - I suspect the meaning you're thinking of is only having a small number of planets, and building them really big. This isn't a good strategy in Stellaris (pop growth is based on planet count, so big worlds will be empty for decades unless they're fed by lots of tiny worlds), but it should work fine on Civilian difficulty. I'd recommend trying to find at least one or two other planets though.

Nostromo The Alien said:

Alloys are a real struggle, I've mostly gotten them by trading energy and some materials on the market, which are a lot more plentiful.

I can't seem to move any pops around on my main planet, other than ticking one as a favourite. It's just a very strange & super-slow start, mostly waiting around for year to get resources or build things. And I can't afford to build starbases in every system with a measly 2-4 energy or materials (6 was the best I found so far). And then I suddenly ran out of Unity for no obvious reason I could fathom!

Machine empires get alloys by building Foundry Districts, which you can construct on your capital. These create jobs which convert minerals into alloys, much more efficiently than the market conversion rate. You should build one or two to get more alloy jobs.

You don't need a starbase to harvest energy and minerals - you collect them with a Mining Station, which you build using a construction ship. Even the small energy and mineral deposits are worth building a station over, as they pay for themselves within a few years.

Unlike regular empires, machines don't passively generate Unity - you need to employ pops in Unity production jobs to get more unity. Building a Sensorium Site on every world is considered meta for machines and hives. Edicts and Leaders cost Unity upkeep, and so you can get negative unity production if you're not careful. If you want to play it safe, it's not the worst idea to just completely ignore Edicts.

Nostromo The Alien said:

But I can't help but feel that 5 years in, I haven't even started the game yet...

I think I made the mistake of building a second science ship at the start which I really didn't need and could have used the alloys to build a (second) colony ship much earlier. I've also picked Discovery as the first tradition, as I want to go hi-tech and hugely defensive in theory.

What do I focus on with this sort of empire in the first 5/10/25/50 years - edicts/research/buildings/ships/traditions/etc...? How much do I really need to explore if I want to keep to myself mostly? Or will I definitely need diplomacy regardless of my isolationist tendencies, or the size of my defenses at home?

5 years is not a long time - it's not unusual for basically nothing to happen in the first 5 years, especially if you're not building many science ships. Your starting world has a lot of pops, and the initial rate of growth isn't that high, so growth isn't quite as exponential as it is in Civilisation or Starcraft.

A second science ship isn't wrong - science ships will find anomalies as they survey, which can be explored for rewards, which usually cover the costs of the ship.
I've seen people argue that you should be building around 7, but you should stick to whatever you're comfortable managing.

A good starting tradition for machines is Unyielding, because you can build more starbases, build solar panels on the starbases, and then get lots of energy without employing pops for it, but any of the normal starting traditions (Expansion/Discovery/Prosperity) are fine too.

In the first 5/10/25 years, you should focus on claiming all the unclaimed space you can get your hands on, and colonising the worlds in your space. Try to build lots of research labs on your capital, and specialise the other worlds to get the necessary resources (as a machine empire, mostly energy).

After 25 years, you probably run out of space to expand into, and just need to develop your worlds. Try to make as many alloys and research as you can - if you're making large amounts of basic resources, that's a good sign that you can afford to employ more specialists.
After 50 years, you've probably finished developing your worlds, and the next 150 years before the crisis arrives are going to be real boring if you don't do anything. You can continue to turtle up in your own space using Habitats, or maybe consider being less isolationist.

Shattered Ring newbie (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Last Updated:

Views: 5797

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Birthday: 1993-07-01

Address: Suite 763 6272 Lang Bypass, New Xochitlport, VT 72704-3308

Phone: +22014484519944

Job: Banking Officer

Hobby: Sailing, Gaming, Basketball, Calligraphy, Mycology, Astronomy, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Rev. Leonie Wyman, I am a colorful, tasty, splendid, fair, witty, gorgeous, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.