Starcraft 2 Armory

[Terran] Diminishing Returns and MULES

14 posts ⋅ 1,996 views

Traveler
2,091 posts
I got bored and decided to take advantage of the replay feature to study, well, what the title says.

Results for mining 8 Mineral Fields

1 Worker per Mineral Field=350/minute, or 43.75/minute per Worker

2 Workers per Mineral Field=700/minute or 43.75/minute per new Worker

3 Workers per Mineral Field=800/minute, or 12.50/minute per new Worker

4 Workers per Mineral Field=830/minute, or 3.75/minute per new Worker

1 MULE=180/minute, 160/minute if not deployed optimally

As a result, if you have 16 Workers mining, you could do one of the three following
Get OC(550 cost, 640ish if you include time building it)->180 minerals/minute
Get 8 Workers(400 cost, 500ish if you include Supply)->100 minerals/minute
Get 16 Workers(800 cost, 1000ish if you include Supply)->130 minerals/minute

Put simply, once you get to 16 workers mining, you'd be better off stockpiling for a second OC than flooding the Mineral Line with additional workers, unless you are planning on expanding soon, whereupon you should... stockpile for an OC anyways. It could be argued that getting extra SCVs gives you more insulation from raids, but again, OC would provide better insulation there.

That said, you still gotta have 6 SCVs for Gas and a couple of SCVs for building/repairing crap.
Reaper
357 posts
i have no idea where you got these numbers but it is a proven that 3 scv's per mineral node is the most optimal

in essence 1st scv mines 2 wait

1st scv finishes and is in transit to the base while 2nd starts to mine 3rd still waiting

1st scv enters base, 2nd scv finishes and is in transit, 3rd starts to mine

1st scv exits base and is in transit to mineral node, second enters base and third finishes and is in transit to base

then the cycle repeats.

8 mineral nodes x 3 workes is 24 workers on minerals and 2 gas x 3 workers is 6 for gas

30 workers is the max income before diminishing returns starts because then every worker after 3 has to wait stagnant

and 1 worker will always be waiting.

and mules are good becasue they carry more so optimally the best thing to do is 29 workers and 1 mule since the mule has to follow the same mineral gathering physics as the scv and has to wait in line. (the last part im not sure about if they dont wait in line to mine then 30 scv's + mules is optimal )
Nov 19th 2010, 07:52:00 Quote by Gemini_19
God I wanna bone Kerplode soooooo bad.... :'(
Coach ⋅ Phoenix
2,631 posts
wodan you are completely right, ive heard of players expanding right after they hit 16 workers on minerals, basically a "macro style" and you hit 200/200 REALLY fast. Try it ingame! The only issue is surviving the other player's 1 base build until your expand kicks in.

Id say its easier for terran than protoss since you can build an OC inside your base and defend it just like additional workers. For us protoss we lose a defenders advantage of our ramp. To make up for this I build mostly zealots+stalkers and delay my 2nd gas. Its funny how 1 zealot per 4 stalkers can hold off almost all early concussive pushes. Once stim pops up you have trouble but by then your expansion has kicked in and you have 4 gate+1 robo to produce from.

Basically, EXPAND A LOT its awesome!!!!?!@#!#!

edit: kozmo you're wrong lol

2 scvs mines optimally, 3rd scv has diminishing returns (about 1/3 of the mining of each of the initial 2). On close mineral patches the 3rd scv actually gives 0 additional return.

Mules mine ontop of scvs, meaning a mule and an scv will mine at the same exact time. However mules will not mine ontop of each other, they have the same mining mechanics as scvs with each other. When one is mining the other will move to a different patch. Make sure you don't mule the same patch over and over or you will find yourself on 7 patches before your base mines out (less income later)

edit2: wodan you should do some math about how long it takes your OC to catch up since you essentially get immediate income from your scvs (albeit diminished) after your 16th scv on minerals. Your OC takes a long time to get running so if it was to stay in your base and not expand you would be worse off than making workers with the money. Btw after starting the OC start making workers again!!
Marauder
256 posts
Sep 13th 2010, 05:11:47 Quote by KoZmo
i have no idea where you got these numbers but it is a proven that 3 scv's per mineral node is the most optimal

in essence 1st scv mines 2 wait

1st scv finishes and is in transit to the base while 2nd starts to mine 3rd still waiting

1st scv enters base, 2nd scv finishes and is in transit, 3rd starts to mine

1st scv exits base and is in transit to mineral node, second enters base and third finishes and is in transit to base

then the cycle repeats.

8 mineral nodes x 3 workes is 24 workers on minerals and 2 gas x 3 workers is 6 for gas

30 workers is the max income before diminishing returns starts because then every worker after 3 has to wait stagnant

and 1 worker will always be waiting.


The way you describe it isn't really correct, 3 workers per mineral patch is complete saturation meaning that there won't be a time where the mineral patch isn't being mined yes. However the 3rd worker will always have a slight delay for the mining worker to finish and return which is where the diminishing returns starts.
SCV
101 posts
I thought it's best to keep producing SCVs so that you can transfer them to the new expo ASAP.

I understand the diminishing returns on the main mineral line but at what point would you break even by stopping SCV production?

Each SCV that transfers to the new base presumably mines at the optimal rate until that base is saturated. So you have the marginal benefits of the SCVs at the main and then the immediate boost when they reach the new base.
Void Ray
3,540 posts
Wait a sec there:

Do you guys wanna say that OC on 16, then OC on another 550 minerals (around 25) then on about 34, then 43 - and so on - would be better in the income overall than making more SCVs ??
SCV
101 posts
Sep 13th 2010, 05:49:27 Quote by VArsovskiSC
Wait a sec there:

Do you guys wanna say that OC on 16, then OC on another 550 minerals (around 25) then on about 34, then 43 - and so on - would be better in the income overall than making more SCVs ??



I think he saying that you'd be better off having 16 workers on minerals per base (plus a few for gas) and trying to expand rather than "turtling".

So 3 bases would have 48 workers on minerals, plus 3 for each refinery.
Traveler
2,091 posts
Sep 13th 2010, 05:11:47 Quote by KoZmo
i have no idea where you got these numbers but it is a proven that 3 scv's per mineral node is the most optimal

No, it is not "proven". I just tested it in game.

2 Workers is OPTIMAL saturation, or the most workers you can have without diminishing returns. 3 Workers is MAXIMUM saturation, or the most workers you can have with ANY notable returns. Data from the game corroborates with this.

Sep 13th 2010, 05:45:46 Quote by tetsujin
I thought it's best to keep producing SCVs so that you can transfer them to the new expo ASAP.

In order to have an expo, you must first build a CC anyways, where-upon you will be upgrading it to OC for efficiency's sake.

Hence, once you have 16 workers, if you intend to expand, you should get the CC underway before you start massing SCVs for it that will have only 1/3 efficiency until the CC is ready, and that assumes that you can even move the CC out at all..

Sep 13th 2010, 05:49:27 Quote by VArsovskiSC
Wait a sec there:

Do you guys wanna say that OC on 16, then OC on another 550 minerals (around 25) then on about 34, then 43 - and so on - would be better in the income overall than making more SCVs ??

No, though I'm not sure what you mean.

Upgrade your starting CC to OC at whenever you normally do, which is hopefully very early, I do so at 15 workers. Get SCVs for Gas whenever you normally do.

When you have 16 SCVs on your Mineral Line, at this point, it is better for you to build/upgrade a CC either for expoing, for MULEing, or both, then it is to build more SCVs. I also suspect you'd be best off waiting til the CC finishes before you even think of building SCVs at your expo.

Remember, any SCVs after the first 16 have 1/3 efficiency. Including their Supply, they take FIVE MINUTES to pay off.
SCV
101 posts
If you have the time, could you get data on having 2.5 (and 2.25) workers per mineral field?
Void Ray
3,540 posts
OK I got it - you should make a new CC with intentions to make it an OC later on when you get the every 16th SCV in your newest base..

What I meant is to ask --> is stopping making SCVs (literally) after your 16th (xcept for the gas) and use those money that you'd spend on "additional" SCVs on newer OCs for more MULEs efficient enough that you actually should do it.. ?? o.O

Now I guess not..

How I understood from your little research is that: 16 workers then OC, then another 16 then another OC would be optimal, right ??:)
Auto-Turret
2,041 posts
The best way is to do both. There shouldn't be competition. If there is, you can cut back on production of units for a little.
Mar 9th 2011, 23:19:20 Quote by stormguy85
"I make poor decisions"

"Must change game to favor me when I make such"
Traveler
2,091 posts
Sep 13th 2010, 07:10:14 Quote by tetsujin
If you have the time, could you get data on having 2.5 (and 2.25) workers per mineral field?

I've been planning on doing that, but I doubt it will make much of a difference. Workers 17-24 produce less than Workers 14-16 do.

Sep 13th 2010, 07:11:43 Quote by VArsovskiSC
OK I got it - you should make a new CC with intentions to make it an OC later on when you get the every 16th SCV in your newest base..

What I meant is to ask --> is stopping making SCVs (literally) after your 16th (xcept for the gas) and use those money that you'd spend on "additional" SCVs on newer OCs for more MULEs efficient enough that you actually should do it.. ?? o.O

Now I guess not..

How I understood from your little research is that: 16 workers then OC, then another 16 then another OC would be optimal, right ??:)

Yes. Plus more for Gas, Building, and Repairing though. Hence when going vs. Zerg, I'd want at least 28 SCVs, 16 for Minerals, 6 for Gas, and 6 for Repair.
Marine
136 posts
how many people here actually stop building at 16 scv? It seems interesting to know that if you can get almost the same minerals per min with 16 to 24 then that would be awesome
Larva
20 posts
What's with the 4 workers per mineral field? I have these numbers (per minute):

16 workers: 639 minerals, ~39.9 per worker.
20 workers: 753 minerals, ~37.6 per worker.
24 workers: 829 minerals, ~34.5 per worker.
28 workers: 829 minerals, ~34.5 per worker.

http://www.broodlings.com/worker-saturation.php
Coach ⋅ Phoenix
2,631 posts
Sep 14th 2010, 17:14:40 Quote by Mxyzptlk3
how many people here actually stop building at 16 scv? It seems interesting to know that if you can get almost the same minerals per min with 16 to 24 then that would be awesome

ideally you want to never stop making workers. Theyre an investment for later because even tho 24 is max saturation on minerals, the extra workers will transfer to your later expansions.

If you plan on staying on 1 base the entire game stop making workers after 24 on minerals and 6 on gas. Otherwise constantly make workers and expand a lot.