Hidden Costs


This is not a bug, but people should be away of the hidden costs in a new line, a hidden initial cost when you’re building a new drug line.

Line length is key, the longer it is, beyond the costs of conveyors and machines, the more the line costs in Unprofitable Time during startup.

This is time you are guaranteed to lose money, regardless of the profitability of the drug produced, and it occurs every time you start a new line, or adjust an old one (though thankfully it’s often less then starting a new line).

Until you actually get a product out the door, the line will lose money importing ingredients to fill the line, running the machines in the line, and you can easily lose thousands just waiting.

Just thought people should be thinking about this.


Another hidden cost I’ve noticed…and this might be a bug… is when you have a multi-mixer line, the “Raw Material Cost” only factors in the cost of the base ingredient. It doesn’t add the cost of the 2nd ingredient that gets mixed in.


I’m not sure where you’re going with this, the ingredients are paid for when imported in, the only charge that should be associated with the Multi-Mixer is the operation cost and purchase cost of the machine.

Single operation, single cost.


But the resulting medicine raw material costs should be the sum of the both raw material costs from before the mixing.


I noticed this too. It doesn’t correctly calculate the profitability of the drug because it isn’t counting the material cost of one of the pre-mixer ingredients.


Well, in any case it appears to of been reported in the Support sub-forum so the Dev’s will hopefully figure things out either way.


True, and sorry to distract from your original point!

The cost of a production line is about 5k at minimum, for a second-tier drug 10k+, and that’s not counting the factory-floor space cost and the connection points . Really that boils down to opportunity cost: “what could I otherwise be doing with this money, with this space, with these import/export slots ? Is this the most profitable/useful setup?”

I’ve also messed up assembly lines because I ran out of cash for belts part-way through, and wanted to quickly get the new drug out the door… selling some other stuff to make it happen but completely discounting just how long the drug will be in the production line OP describes. If it’s a tier 3 drug, it can take 30 days to even reach the first sale, while locking up the full manufacturing cost of 29 days worth of production.

Be very weary of setting up high-tier meds unless your profit margin is very healthy :slight_smile:


No problem.

Now less a hidden cost and more a risk is sending out expeditions.

While needed, sending out an expedition for the wrong ingredient (especially at the wrong time) can cost some significant cash for no->little gain, especially when they can be used to decrease the price of your existing ones.

Sometimes, it might be better, (baring some specific medicine production goal scenarios) to hold off buying an ingredient and instead waiting to go for a “harder to find” ingredient, especially if the ingredient in question is attached to a catalyst (more so if the catalyst is not needed).


My last post actually brought me to a new hidden cost, or perhaps a new hidden saving:

Upgrades, we know they can decrease costs and increase profits, but what are the costs for/against gathering them?

Is a dollar (Or equivalent) savings per process worth having one or more scientists not working on unlocking something? It can easily be, especially if done early, but on scenarios where you have production goals, you probably should dedicate them to unlocking as much as possible till what’s absolutely need is available.

You need to remember, the savings (or increased values, but mostly savings) are cumulative for every machine in a pill process, but later upgrades drop the purchase prices of the machines themselves, are these good savings? Not as good, but they can help.

Then there’s buying floor space, you can buy a few blocks early on for little, but the prices ramp up, should you wait to decrease the plot price?

And with all of these, the price of time is an issue.


One last cost off the top of my head, not really hidden but could easily go unnoticed, Junctions cost Twice as much as normal conveyors.


I did a quick test and it looks like 1 scientist takes 2 months to generate a point. at 30$/day that is 30$X2monthsX30days= 1800$/point.
For exploration points if we assume 2 months then it’s 50$X2monthsX30days= 3000$/point

The hiring cost of 3000$ becomes negligible over time, 10$/day as you approach the Y1Q3. However, three scientists could have been a 9000$ room running 1 to 2 lines of T1 products.The value of that point depends on the complexity of your lines and the number of machines running.

The value varies: 3$/pill = 3$/2Turns thus pill press = 1.5$/day/press for example. So here is a starting factory: 3 product lines, each having 2 disolvers and 2 pill printers. A point in disolvers = 2disolvers3Lines1$/day = 6$/day. A point in pill presses = 1.523 = 9$/day. So by Y1Q3 you will have spent 3000+9months30Days30$ = 11,100$ on a scientist, and made 2430$ for 1 point. If someone wants to do the calculus to figure out how aditional points effect that value… by this point they will have accrued a total of 4 points, each worth around 1$/day/machine. So where is the break even point?

At 1$/day/machine assuming Y1Q3 is our yardstick: pointinvested1$#machines/day (i.e. /dt) = 40$. So for 1 point, 40 machines must benefit to break even. points will acrue at months 2,4,6, and 8 at which point only 10 machines are needed to benefit from the 4 points. by year 2 Q3 cost/day to beat will be just above 30$ as the initital hiring cost is spread out over 600 days i.e. .5$/day

For explorers the variables are the number of ingredient lines, and the price of the ingredient. by Y1Q3 an idle explorer has cost 5000+50930 = 18500$ or around 68.5$/day
for simplicity I will define 2 ingredient prices, normal defined as 30$, saturated defined as 60$, thus the value doubles when the market floods.

The calculation of earned value is 10%Price#productLines/day. This is very tricky because only a few lines of each ingredient can be run. Thus 1 point for three product lines of an ingredient yields either 9$/day or 18$/day. The problem is that saturation restricts the ability to expand the number of product lines, while increasing the efficacy of investing a point, but requiring 8.3 lines, or 240 ingredients/month to even break even at saturation prices.

The takeaway, I feel, is to minimize idle explorers and focus on markets in which you pull heavily. This can actually be an anticompetative strategy, by investing points in a single product and then dedicating production to differant tier drugs derived from that product, you can maximize the efficacy of explorer points while pricing out diversified competitors who spread points around. However, it might be better to avoid having idle explorers.

Should you then fire explorers? it takes 100 days for an idle explorer to cost as much as hiring a new explorer, so if he is going to be idle for more than 3.3 months, idk. This is offset by the generation of 1.5ish points worth potentialy 18$/day. at the 2 month mark 3000$ maintance will have been paid, and 2000$ remains till break even, but maintance is reduced by the benefit of the point to 50-18=32$, 2000$/32$/day => 2months till break even. However, by the 4rth point, assuming full saturation on 4 products with three lines, the explorer is now turning a profit. however, having 12 lines running requires quite a large factory.

Furthermore, during this time he has not been exploring. The value of a new drug line could be between 100 and 200$/day or greater

Well thats enough for napkin math, not really feeling a spreadsheet atm :slight_smile: