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Economy Guide

By -synthc- - 2nd November 2008 - 19:21 PM

Everything you need to know about the economy of Command and Conquer 3.

Harvester to Refinery Efficiency

  • 1 Harvesters/Refinery = ~$2000/min (efficiency=100%)
  • 2 Harvesters/Refinery = ~$4000/min (efficiency=100%)
  • 3 Harvesters/Refinery = ~$5500/min (efficiency=90%)
  • 4 Harvesters/Refinery = ~$6000/min (efficiency=75%)
  • 5 Harvesters/Refinery = ~$4500/min (efficiency=45%)

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As you can see here, Harvesters start losing efficiency after 2/Refinery. It is reasonable to have three Harvesters to a refinery, because there is only a 10% efficiency loss, but you don't ever want to have more than four to a refinery, because they actually start bringing in less money than lower numbers of Harvesters due to what is affectionately known as "Harv glitching," where they jitter, bump into each other, drive around in circles, stop moving altogether, and don't bring back full loads of Tiberium.

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Harvester Efficiency/Glitching and Refinery Placement

  • Probability of glitching with 1 Harvester per Refinery = extremely low
  • Probability of glitching with 2 Harvesters per Refinery = much higher than 1 (but still relatively low)
  • Probability of glitching with 3 Harvesters per Refinery = slightly higher than 2
  • Probability of glitching with 4 Harvesters per Refinery = much higher than 3
  • Probability of glitching with more than 4 Harvesters per Refinery = almost guaranteed to have some sort of glitch
Efficiency and glitch rates are completely different if there is a substantial distance between the Refinery and the Tiberium field (if the Harvesters have to travel long distances). Efficiency and glitch improbability are extrapolated over distance, because the longer the Harvesters have to travel, the less they will pile up at the Refinery. Good timing should also be employed; your second Harvester should be going out to harvest when you first Harvester is coming back to dock. Try to even out the cycles of your harvesters, so that they are not all harvesting at once, or all docking at once. This increases efficiency and decreases the probability of glitching.


Long Range Harvesting


The chances of Harvester glitches will also naturally rise slightly when there are more Harvesters on the field, regardless of how many Refineries there are. Refinery spacing also affects Harvester glitching; it is a good idea to always space you Refineries, not only because it reduces the chance of Harvester glitching, but also because it helps protect your Refineries from Catalyst Missiles and other powers or area of effect weapons.

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Another piece of advice for Refinery placement is to put them near your War Factory; if the unloading bay of the Refinery is within repair range of the War Factory, your Harvesters will be repaired as they unload their Tiberium. Alternatively, you can do this with Rigs. The Rig is actually very good for defending against Harvester harassment because of its long range and excellent repair capabilities.

Tiberium Growth


Tiberium has three stages of growth: seedlings, medium, and mature. Each stage is worth a different amount of money when harvested (stated below). Blue Tiberium works identically to green Tiberium, except that it takes twice as long to mature and it is worth twice as much (crystal maturity relationship is the same).

The veinhole (center of the Tiberium field) is seen by the game as a Tiberium crystal that is not harvestable; this is what allows other crystals to grow around the veinhole. This also means that Tiberium will only grow in tiles near other medium or mature crystals (seedlings don't count) and they will only grow in the designated Tiberium field area. The typical growth pattern for Tiberium is for three seedlings to spawn from the veinhole, then those seedlings mature to medium crystals and those medium crystals spawn two seedlings of their own, while maturing into fully mature crystals (but it does not always happen this way, and having a Growth Accelerator increases the number of seedlings that are spawned from each crystal/veinhole). In the case of the destroyed Tiberium spike, it is like an invisible veinhole spawned in the center of the resulting Tiberium field, which allows the Tiberium to grow back.

Contrary to popular belief, the Growth Accelerator actually does not cause the Tiberium to mature faster, but it does greatly increase the rate at which it grows (seedlings are spawned faster). It is fairly easy to see the difference between seedlings and medium or mature crystals, but medium and mature crystals are only slightly different in appearance, and can be very difficult to tell apart.

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       Seedlings               Medium                    Mature
  • Seedling value = $112
  • Medium crystal value = $252
  • Mature crystal value = $350
  • Time between growth phases = 32 seconds (to go from seedling to medium, or from medium to mature, blue takes 64 seconds)
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Here you can see the importance of calling your Harvesters off for a little while and letting your Tiberium regrow. Mature Tiberium is worth about three times that of seedlings, so even if you have a Growth Accelerator, you still need to let your tiberium mature before you harvest it if you want to get the maximum amount of income from it.