Deadly-Bagel wrote:And this is assuming Science is actually 4x as expensive, sure Science Pack 3 looks about that but SP1 and SP2 aren't even close. Additionally the cost of expanding Nuclear is far cheaper, and as you require a LOT more power to build all the extra components in hardcore mode you're going to want to expand.
All techs require 4x as many beakers on Deathworld/Marathon - it makes techs very expensive compared with "stuff" and tends to disrupt the balance when faced with the choice of using more of a low tech solution, or less of a high tech alternative. For example you might just choose to spam poison capsules rather than invest in combat robots because you can get ludicrous amounts of poison for the cost of the robot techs.
Anyway, I appreciate you doing the maths, but I also wants to do it myself again (this time not on the back of an envelope) because I want to try and take into account reasonable/no-brainer use of productivity since it's so important by the time one is thinking of investing in expensive techs.
Solar Panel: 67.5 resources
Accumulator: 17 resources (I'm calling 100 acid 5 resources - it benefits from productivity really well and oil doesn't feel so expensive in this version)
1 Solar + 0.84 accu = 71.78 resources
Beakers: red = 3 resources, green = 7, blue = 46.5
Nuclear Power research = 56500 resources
2x Nuclear Reactor = 25000 (* it seems criminal to use only one - but I'll ignore all the other infrastructure)
81500 / 72 = ~1100 Solar Panels w/ accumulators = 48MW
So you could say, for the cost of a basic nuclear setup you could get about 50MW of solar/accu - the basic nuclear setup would easily generate that much electricity. So far, so good. Now for enrichment for which I'll assume a moderate use of productivity because it's more than expensive enough to justify it.
More beakers: Prod: 152 resources, Tech: 306 (but I'll adjust by /1.4 to 218 because the ingredients benefit from productivity really well).
Total = 426 : but I'll further adjust by / (1.4 * 1.2) for the sensible use of productivity modules when making the packs and in the labs, for a cost per research cycle of ~253
250 * 1500 = ~375000 resources
Which would be worth ~4500 Solar Panels w/ accus = ~200MW.
The Marathon/Deathworld adjusted numbers are thus 192MW for a basic setup, and 800MW for the enrichment setup. You do tend to productivity all the things on Deathworld because the tech is so goddamn expensive making lots of room for return on investment, and research benefits more in that regard than solar panels, so these numbers could be reduced somewhat to account for increased use of productivity - especially the basic setup number for which I didn't assume (much) productivity.
My conclusion would be that it's probably generally worth pursuing nuclear in the normal game since altough you can get a fair amount of solar/accu, the nuclear setup can trivially go a lot bigger (easily up to 160MW) for very little extra cost, on Marathon/Deathworld it's more dubious. On my current Deathworld my factory is at the point where I can consider investing the 4000 R,G,B beakers into nuclear power and the factory is using about 50MW (coal power). So it looks to me that at this stage nuclear is still a very expensive proposition relative to alternatives. Then again, once prod3 modules are in play and slashing the cost of research the break even point would come down to a more reasonable number - about 100MW, about what I'd expect the factory to be consuming once beacons are in play. Enrichment would still be a dubious proposition since I somehow don't expect the factory to get much in excess of 300MW. Enrichment on Deathworld is basically for a gigafactory (or producing nukes), otherwise there are trivially cheaper ways to generate the electricity.
A final thing to note is that Solar/Accu is a better copper sink than research, having a 3:2 iron bias, compared with a 3:1 iron bias for RGB science. I treated 1 Iron = 1 Copper, a fairer ratio would be probably halve the value of copper for purposes of early-mid game when progress is almost entirely limited by iron. This favors solar/accu in early/mid game - altough burning coal is even more favorable since it's even more worthless than copper.