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Drone sm

Poor social conditions and overcrowding will turn citizens into red Drones. Whenever your base has more drones than talents, there will be a Drone Riot, shutting down all production and research. The best way to contain drones is to ensure you have plenty Psych-producing facilities, which reduce the number of drones generated.

Overview[ | ]

Every faction has its lower-class laborers - universally called "drones". Drones typically don't have higher education synonymous with upper classes, instead having a strong back and a better work ethic than those at the top of the social ladder. At the same time, without drones, society would fall apart and humankind would die out in the face of a hostile world - but their work earns little no respect and even less reward from most factions. That is, unless the faction invests in infrastructure to provide leisure, recreation, and other quality of life improvements, such as recreation commons, hologram theatre, research hospitals or nanohospitals. Of course, there's also a tyrannical approach: Punishment spheres and mass use of nerve stapling keep the Drones pacified and in line.

Precisely who is a drone depends on the faction: Highly accomplished craftsmen and specialists would still be considered drones in the University of Planet, for example, while among the liberated masses of the Free Drones, they'd be on par with a Talent's influence elsewhere.[1] At the Human Hive, Drones are treated as an expendable workforce, living in underground barracks with no access to sunlight, and deliberately prevented from gaining firther education to further themselves and improve their lot in life. Foreman Domai, the founder of the Free Drones, was once a Hive drone himself and led one of the first mass revolts in the history of the Planet, rebelling against the overseers and the slavery imposed by Chairman Yang.[2] Eventually, Yang would create the Genejack, a genetically-engineered worker far more productive than a Drone, with no capacity for rebellion.[1]

In general, Drones are usually strong and tough, with advantages such as High Pain Threshold and Toughness. They are likely to have mental disadvantages associated with emotional imbalance: Bad Temper or even Berserk, Intolerance, Jealousy, etc. Most drones have Brawling and skill with commonly available weapons. Drones are unlikely to have advanced technical skills, but they may have high levels of Craft skills, especially Mechanic.[1]

Drone population[ | ]

Several factors contribute to the number of drones found at a base before police, facilities, psych, and secret projects are taken into account:

  1. Difficulty Level: at the lowest difficulty level, every citizen after the first six is a drone. For each increase in difficulty level, an additional drone is added, so at the highest level every citizen after the first one is a drone.
  2. Bureaucracy: depending on your efficiency and your difficulty level, you will receive additional drones when your number of bases exceeds a certain number. See below for the formula.
  3. Disloyal Citizenry: for approximately 50 turns after you capture an enemy base, you will receive extra drones while you assimilate the enemy citizens. The basic rate is 5 drones minus one for each 10 turns elapsed, but the number may never exceed (BaseSize + Difficulty - 2)/4
  4. Faction Power: Some factions receive additional drones or talents. For instance, the University receives an extra drone for every 4 citizens (rounded down), while the Peacekeepers receive an extra Talent for every 4 citizens, rounded up.

Bureaucracy is the addition of extra Drones because a faction has exceeded a certain number of bases. The bureaucracy formula works as follows:

BaseLimit = (8 - Difficulty) * (4 + Efficiency) * MapRoot / 2


  • Difficulty = Player's difficulty level (0 - 5)
  • Efficiency = Social Engineering Efficiency rating.
  • MapRoot = Sq. Root of # Map Squares / Sq. Root of 3200 (3200 squares is Standard Planet, 8192 is Huge, 1152 is Tiny)

For each base a faction builds in excess of this number, one additional drone will appear at some base somewhere in the colony. The limits for a Standard Planet are as follows (zero means one extra drone for EVERY base):

Difficulty Efficiency
-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
0 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40
1 4 7 11 14 18 21 25 28 32 35
2 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30
3 3 5 8 10 13 15 18 20 23 25
4 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
5 2 3 5 6 8 9 11 12 14 15

Riots[ | ]

Drone Riots occur when the number of red Drones at a base exceeds the number of green Talents at the beginning of a turn. Other citizens, such as Workers and Specialists do not directly affect riots. Drones appear as the result of population pressure and cramped living conditions.

All production is immediately suspended and cannot be hurried (except for social or yellow projects, to allow for the quick construction of facilities), and if drone riots are left unattended (i.e. the number of Drones isn't reduced below the number of Talents), there is a chance each turn that a base facility will be destroyed or the base defects - a particular concern if Free Drones are in play.

One direct method of controlling drone riots is to use military units as police.

  • Military units will automatically function as police if you move them into your base. The number of police units you will be able to use depends on your society's tolerance for police, as represented by your POLICE rating on the social engineering screen. By changing your society to a Police State, for instance, you will enable more military units to work as police and suppress riots.
  • One particularly draconian means of controlling drone riots is to nerve staple your citizens. Nerve stapling will prevent drone riots for at least ten turns, but it is considered an atrocity.
  • A humanitarian way to prevent drone riots is to build facilities which alleviate cramped and depressing living conditions. A Recreation Commons will satisfy the complaints of up to two Drones, turning them into regular Workers, as will a hologram theatre. Research hospital and nanohospital will also reduce the number of drones by one each. Building facilities is an excellent long-term solution to drone problems.
  • Creating Doctors (or later, Telepaths and Transcendi) is another, albeit short-term solution to the problem. Doctors, by increasing your Psych output, will create more Talents to balance the Drones. To change a citizen into a Doctor, click on him here in the population bar.
  • If you have many large bases producing a great deal of energy, you can divert some of your energy to Psych on the social engineering screen, which will improve your citizens' quality of life. Every two units of energy diverted to Psych turns one of your Workers into a Talent. To divert a percentage of your energy production to Psych, go to the Social Engineering screen by selecting it from the HQ menu on the main display.

Finally, constructing The Telepathic Matrix secret project ends drone riots as long as the project remains under your control.