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Things I Wish I Knew... 120 Hours of Survival Gameplay Retrospective

Damodred

New Member
Messages
7
This is a bit of a patchwork of things that I have discovered over back to back playthroughs of Sim Settlements 1 and then Sim Settlements 2 which I found unclear or poorly documented after extensive searching of both the wiki and the forums. I also have a few questions that I have been unable to solve even after creating a dedicated testing playthrough and conducting controlled experiments. I would also like to thank all of the mod authors and community members for this awesome experience that adds so much to a Fallout 4 playthrough. This content is on average of higher quality than the base game itself.



1.) Vanilla Resource objects (Turrets, Generators, Water) have daily upkeep.

This is kind of obvious to people who played SS1 but it took me over 100 hours to realize it in SS2, as all of the UI elements and reports that were in SS1 have not yet been implemented in SS2. The setting to disable this is still present thankfully, which I might actually recommend until some form of report is created to gain a sense of what your daily upkeeps are. For the longest time in my SS2 playthrough, I could not figure out why I was always out of oil, which was significantly impacting my game play as I was unable to upgrade weapons or build new settlements. I checked every upkeep report on every plot and could not figure out what was draining all my oil. It did not occur to me until last night that it might be my generators and I headed out to a new settlement to test it.

  • Large Generators - Oil per day.
  • Med Generators - 2 Oil per day
  • Small Generators - 1 Oil per Day.
I also tested to see if this was based on total power produced by running with different numbers of generators intended to produce different rounding results but I can confirm that it is a static number per generator and is not effected by other factors such as power consumption.

I tested turrets also but I was unable to nail down a Cost Per Turret as I tested with 5, 10, and 20 turrets and found inconsistent upkeep numbers. If anyone knows the actual turret upkeep, I would love to know.



2.) More Advanced Plots / Plot Types Can be Less Efficient than Simpler Versions

The critical one here is the multi-person home. From my testing, a multi-person home has double the needs cost on a per settler basis than a single person home. The efficiency levels out as the plots progress but in the early stages of a settlement, watch how many multi-bed homes are built. Dynamic needs can also make testing difficult as numbers tend to change without a great deal of transparency as to why.



3.) Fast Travel

Playing SS2 on survival, fast travel is a critical element. I love the immersive aspect of playing without fast travel but being able to visit settlements quickly is clearly assumed by the mod developers. It is just necessary; so I loved that a earnable fast travel system was integrated. Unfortunately it is not viable on survival (who I assume are likely the only ones using the caravan system) because the travel times are currently absurd (or bugged). I was unable to test a cross Commonwealth trip as I lacked the settlement network (settlements now have a limited caravan range so it has to be a complete network) but a caravan fast travel from Sanctuary to Abernathy Farms (a 30 sec run) took 4 days and 2 hours of game time. This means that all of your needs are bottomed out at the conclusion of each trip. I was unable to test longer trips so I am unsure if this is a static time value or if it increases by distance, but really?

This is a problem for 2 reasons; if your playing SS2 your going to need to do tours of your settlements, which means your spending ALOT of time just fixing your needs after every trip which just gets to be obnoxious. If there is a compelling reason for trips be to this long, you should arrive with full needs bars (We obviously rested a lot on this half mile trip after all). Second, I actually care about elapsed in game time in survival; I am out pacifying the Commonwealth which has an 80 day respawn time. Survival is dangerous, and I want downtown Boston to stay clear for at least a little while after spending thousands of bullets to clear it.

If anyone knows how I can edit a .ini or other file to change this please let me know, this is actually blocking me from starting a new playthrough until I can get it fixed. I love the idea of earning limited fast travel but this is non-viable in its current state.



4.) Salvage and Mark 1 Beacon Range

I saw a lot of complaints about these on the forums so I wanted to test them out. Their range is actually not to bad; a Com Station in sanctuary was able to reach Corvega with around 2 days to complete the trip. It was not able to reach Fraternal post 115 so the limit is somewhere between the two. This represents a little less than 25% of the span of the Commonwealth, so 4 Com Hubs in chosen settlements can make the Salvage Beacons very viable, which is a godsend in survival.

  • The Mark 1 Beacon "searches" for resources but this does not mean it auto-loots the cleared location. It seems to draw whatever it picks up from a separate roll or table. Looting the location manually does not seem to effect the resources returned by the salvage team. I was a little disappointed by that as I was hoping they would actually clean sweep the location so I did not have to. Still a nice feature. However, the Beacon weighs 10lbs which is a serious issue for survival play throughs; this needs an option bad.
  • Once a salvage team returns from a cleared location with their resources (So far I cant find any logical correlation between where they went and what they brought back, might be completely random), you can go back to the same location without waiting for it to reset and put down another beacon to send them again. This does not seem to effect the resources they return with so I don't think this is an intended feature.
  • Salvage beacons require a level 2 Com Station, but the message simply says there is no Com Station in range, the same message as when you are actually outside of range. This can be confusing as the Mark 1 beacon will work while the Salvage will not without any differentiation of error message.
 

Damodred

New Member
Messages
7
Cont:

5.) Settlers Reassign Themselves

This is an option in the holotape and one I recommend turning off for the moment. The Special system implemented into SS2 is pretty awesome and while the tools to manage the system still need a little work, the impact of settler skills is significant (can more than double production). Unfortunately, with automatic assignment turned on, settlers will frequently change jobs if the algorithm identifies a critical deficit of some resource. So a scavenger might become a well digger if a shortage of water is identified and there is a vacant municipal water plot. Unfortunately, the system does not seem to consider the special stats yet when choosing assignment, that means your strength 9 settler who is providing critical upkeep resources may randomly become a farmer during a food shortage (he has 2 endurance) which is not only inefficient, it can cause the whole settlement to crash. If you have auto-draw from workshop turned on (which is by default), suddenly, all of your aluminum and adhesive is gone and you are not able to make the critical upgrade to your power armor which is the reason you spent 10 minutes running all the way to your main settlement. Furthermore, the system might try to correct this shortage once it is recognized by reassigning other settlers to the vacant position created by settler 1, but again without real care in who is assigned to what which can cause a cascade of inefficiency. Plus if you have assigned settlers yourself, all your hard work is undone. Codsworth is the worst about this, which is bad since his intel is massive but I have decided he is completely unreliable. Damn General Atomics.

Finally a question; if you are manually developing a settlement, is there any point in assigning a mayor? I have done a bit of testing but I cannot identify any impact so please let me know if you have noticed anything.

I know Kinggath is currently working on a balance patch so hopefully some of these issues/lack of documentation will be resolved, but right now, SS2 is very much an endgame experience for when scrap is plentiful and clearing location is easy. While I love the story and features of SS2, which I think are superior to its predecessor in almost every way, I do miss the gameplay loop of SS1. Playing survival, I would start developing Sanctuary right at the start of the game as the settlement would provide advantages to help me survive those critically hard first hours of Fallout 4. This might actually be my favorite part of a playthrough. Right now, SS2 is a massive resource sink while providing very few advantages back to the player (Industrial Salvage do provide resources but the upkeep on generators and turrets make their use less desirable) until after all of the chapter 1 quests are completed, which on survival could be 10 to 15 hours into the game if you stay focused. In fact, if you mess around with settlements before you are well established, you are hurting yourself as you will be short on critical materials to upgrade your gear. Furthermore, by the time you have access to beacons, and then spend the time to develop a settlement network, you might very well be near the endgame, which really calls into question the necessity of doing any of it.

Kinggath has frequently stated that the purpose of Sim Settlements 2 is to give players a compelling reason to build settlements and I think he is doing a great job in that regard by integrating story content into the settlement system. However to be successful, there needs to be a compelling reason at level 1 as well as the endgame. I am looking forward to the next iteration of this experience. A huge thank you to the development team who have obviously put months and years into this project.
 

NDQ

Active Member
Messages
286
Some mayors have traits that affect your city plans, such as Hubert attracts Children of Atom to his settlement. Only reason I know of to use one in a manually built settlement
 

NeuBleu

Active Member
Messages
114
Thank-for all your testing and commentary. Although the closest I've come to Survival is playing FO76 in Adventure mode, I appreciate the depth of your commentary and it helps me understand how SS2 works.
 

Drakenred65

Active Member
Messages
245
Ok there’s 2 mods not counting the ne I’m tinkering with that add leadership trades to named settlers mine just adds them to my NPCs. For example





Robin and Robin from what I’m working on ( and you can only have one of them as a leader)have

older twin
Railroad ally
Animal lover
depressed

younger twin
One mutant army
military mind
Taskmaster.
 

Rocola

Active Member
Messages
280
I've found that the best way to travel around in survival mode is with vertibirds. It's quicker (in in-game time) than fast travel. Running is quicker too, but you have to know a safe route. I would still travel this way despite having the caravan option.

btw good report!
 

Qerewen

Active Member
Messages
292
this is some very good information that i hoped would be on the wiki, but it seems like the wiki has been abandoned.

In regards to the fast traveling, i am quite sure there are some mods on nexus that allowed you to fasttravel between settlements that have supplylines.
Perhaps look into using one of them in the meantime? But i have to agree with Rocola that Vertibirds are the best form currently but there is a old mod on nexus where you can fix up a motorcycle and drive it, i am pretty sure there is also a APC that works in some different way but i cant remember how due to the time since i looked at them, but i do know they have upkeep.


When it comes to advanced plots it is very much a non issue that they require more resources than the basic ones.
They are in effect tier 4-6 and high tech tier 7-9. I would rather use them in a new settlement than the basic ones provided the citizens are educated enough to use them
(Look further down)

Multi residential plots however i agree are a bad investment espec at the start for the issue of power/Water usage, food is never really much of a problem,
But once you got 3-4 settlements they start to become worth it.


Settler reassigning is a very VERY big headache, i suggest turning off the special requirements for the advanced plots for now until that issue is fixed.
The biggest issue to the reassignments is that it is very hard to train your settlers to what you need them to be (or maybe Kinggath is a god and gave them free will?)
It then compounds with the issue that only the 1st settler assigned to the plot will get the training applied which makes the entire settler s.p.e.c.i.a.l system very much unusable currently unless you are willing to be micromanaging on a absurd level for a game.
(But i suppose that is the new main reason why Shaun is never found since his parent is stuck at the desk in the settlement HR department with mandatory overtime.)
 

yaugieLC

Well-Known Member
Community Rockstar
Messages
2,023
i am pretty sure there is also a APC that works in some different way but i cant remember how due to the time since i looked at them, but i do know they have upkeep.
You mean this one? Yeah it has upkeep costs (including using Nuclear Material as fuel which can be tricky early-game). It effectively "fast travels" FOR you.

I've got plenty of OPINIONS on these topics myself, but it's been made quite clear that I'm not allowed to do any more than give direct facts, so I better not
 

msalaba

Well-Known Member
Community Rockstar
Messages
1,973
5.) Settlers Reassign Themselves
To add to this: Multi residential plots-
  • It seems there are 2 systems used to check if a settler is assigned a home/bed. Settlers assigned to a multiRes plot only have one of these systems flagged.
    • If you check a settlers "has a home" status with either the tracking homeless feature of the City Manager or the Vit-o-matic, settlers assigned to an occupant slot of a multiRes plot will be labeled homeless.
    • If you check a settlers "has a home" status with the popup that shows when you interact with them (or setup hotkey/hover) settlers assigned to an occupant slot of a multiRes plot will show up as having a home assignment.
This has been reported and discussed at great length for a long time. Therefore, I'm hoping it is on the "list."

This is a pretty good write-up. :agree: If you wanted to be a superstar and loved by all, you could clean it up a little and submit it in the Wiki forum. ;)
 

dinelen_darkstar

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,427
So ok that explains a lot. somehow in a couple of my settlements, starlight and finch for sure, somehow the city built 2 of every power pole, turret, etc. I went through and deleted what the game would let me without CTD and left the rest. So are these double things consuming double costs? And it seems that I have that turned off but sure seem to be going through those resources fast.
 

Navil

New Member
Messages
27
this is some very good information that i hoped would be on the wiki, but it seems like the wiki has been abandoned.

In regards to the fast traveling, i am quite sure there are some mods on nexus that allowed you to fasttravel between settlements that have supplylines.
Perhaps look into using one of them in the meantime? But i have to agree with Rocola that Vertibirds are the best form currently but there is a old mod on nexus where you can ning is a very VERY big headache, i suggest turning off the special requirements for the advanced plots for now until that issue is fixed.
The biggest issue to the reassignments is that it is very hard to train your settlers to what you need them to be (or maybe Kinggath is a god and gave them free will?)
It then compounds with the issue that only the 1st settler assigned to the plot will get the training applied which makes the entire settler s.p.e.c.i.a.l system very much unusable currently unless you are willing to be micromanaging on a absurd level for a game.
(But i suppose that is the new main reason why Shaun is never found since his parent is stuck at the desk in the settlement HR department with mandatory overtime.)

Settler Reassigning is a very VERY big headache, i suggest turning off the special requirements for the advanced plots for now until that issue is fixed.

this is some very good information that i hoped would be on the wiki, but it seems like the wiki has been abandoned.

In regards to the fast traveling, i am quite sure there are some mods on nexus that allowed you to fasttravel between settlements that have supplylines.
Perhaps look into using one of them in the meantime? But i have to agree with Rocola that Vertibirds are the best form currently but there is a old mod on nexus where you can fix up a motorcycle and drive it, i am pretty sure there is also a APC that works in some different way but i cant remember how due to the time since i looked at them, but i do know they have upkeep.


When it comes to advanced plots it is very much a non issue that they require more resources than the basic ones.
They are in effect tier 4-6 and high tech tier 7-9. I would rather use them in a new settlement than the basic ones provided the citizens are educated enough to use them
(Look further down)

Multi residential plots however i agree are a bad investment espec at the start for the issue of power/Water usage, food is never really much of a problem,
But once you got 3-4 settlements they start to become worth it.


Settler reassigning is a very VERY big headache, i suggest turning off the special requirements for the advanced plots for now until that issue is fixed.
The biggest issue to the reassignments is that it is very hard to train your settlers to what you need them to be (or maybe Kinggath is a god and gave them free will?)
It then compounds with the issue that only the 1st settler assigned to the plot will get the training applied which makes the entire settler s.p.e.c.i.a.l system very much unusable currently unless you are willing to be micromanaging on a absurd level for a game.
(But i suppose that is the new main reason why Shaun is never found since his parent is stuck at the desk in the settlement HR department with mandatory overtime.)
How do I turn off the special assignments for the advanced plots?
 

Damodred

New Member
Messages
7
I found a few more notes that I wanted to share; and if I get some time I will start updating the wiki.

The settlement update scripts run every day at 10:00am game time (at least in all my games). Based on how beastly your rig is and how complicated your settlement, you will notice changes to your numbers shortly after that. The developers have added a visual to show what is being added and subtracted, unfortunately, it is only on screen for a split second as red and green numbers fall away from each category. The scripting sequence is set to that all upkeeps are paid first, then shortly after, all production is added. All of the calculations are done at the time that the script processes, so there is no difference in upkeep/production between a settlement object built at 12:00pm on the previous day, and one built at 9:59am, right before the scripts run. Whatever the state of the settlement is when the snapshot is taken for processing, that is what will be paid/produced.
One of my testing goals for today will be to see if the production granted to the settlement is staggered by one day. By that I mean, a building built at 9am will need to pay upkeep on the first day before any production is granted on the second, after a second round of upkeep is paid of course. However, my suspicion is that both upkeep and production is handled all at once. This is why upkeep is paid first; when the scripts run at 10am, any operational plot that can pay its upkeep produces its resources immediately and then sits idle until the next morning when the scripts run again. This is counter-intuitive to how real life production works but from a coding standpoint is significantly simpler.

The developers did us a real solid by animating the interface to show numbers falling away from each scrap category but the float time really needs to be increased. I cant even get a consistent screen shot as there is no warning when the event is going to occur. It happens whenever your computer completes the process which means I sit in a settlement and stare at my screen between 10:10am and 11:30am game time.
 

xjc1wardx

New Member
Messages
24
Codsworth is the worst about this, which is bad since his intel is massive but I have decided he is completely unreliable. Damn General Atomics.
I find even with auto assignments off. Codsworth will be unassigned from his plot daily.
 

Prey

New Member
Messages
17
I find even with auto assignments off. Codsworth will be unassigned from his plot daily.
I have yet to find a use for Codsworth... The only job he kept.. even in vanilla game was caravan. I don't think it was Mod authors fault but just his programming.
 

dinelen_darkstar

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,427
I have yet to find a use for Codsworth... The only job he kept.. even in vanilla game was caravan. I don't think it was Mod authors fault but just his programming.
He seems to stay on a store. He has a high charisma and wants to use it.
 

NDQ

Active Member
Messages
286
I find even with auto assignments off. Codsworth will be unassigned from his plot daily.
All robots will unassign every time you leave the settlement (not tested at Greygarden)

He seems to stay on a store. He has a high charisma and wants to use it.
It's tied as his lowest trait. He's built for power plants or caravans if the perception + luck talk is true
 

yaugieLC

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Community Rockstar
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2,023
(not tested at Greygarden)
The Greygarden bots SEEMED to stay assigned for me when I last tried it, but they still mostly used the same 'idle packages' of going to the same spots to do "trim the plants" animations whether the plants were there or not.
 
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NDQ

Active Member
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286
The Greygarden bots SEEMED to stay assigned for me when I last tried it, but they still mostly used the same 'idle packages' of going to the same spots to do "trim the plants" animations whether the plants were there or not.
They can do any animation they want as long as my settlements have water
 
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