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Metal is the primary resource in AI War. In order to build anything in AI War, one must have metal. It is obtained by building Harvester on planets (automatically done on planet capture). Metal is gather each seconds and never runs out. There is no 'limit' to the amount of Metal available in any game of AI War, though players will only be able to stockpile a limited amount of Metal.
Most ships and structures may be scrapped to get a percentage of their metal cost.
Many structures produce metal over time and increase the income of the player controlling it; some can be built, other must be captured:
- Each harvester produce 20, 30 or 50 metal per second, depending on its mark. A planet can hold a fixed number of them, generally ranging from 1 to 8.
- The Gravity Drill is a rare structure that can be capture and influence gravity, produce some energy and 180 m/s.
- Human Settlements produce metal but increase AIP on death. The Home version produces 50 m/s. The Captive version produces 90 m/s.
- Zenith Reprocessors give metal to their controller when they damage enemy ships.
All Command stations (but the Warp Jammer, which consume 80m/s) produce metal:
- Military MkI: 24/s
- Military MkII and Logistical MkI: 48/s
- Economic MkI: 64/s
- Military MkIII and Logistical MkII: 96/s
- Economic MkII: 160/s
- Logistic MkIII: 192/s
- Economic MkIII: 320/s
- Home: 600/s
Distribution Nodes, when destroyed, yield roughly 60K metal all at once in exchange for a single point of AIP.
The total metal a player can store at once is caped by a metal storage capacity. Different structures can store metal, mainly the Command stations. Overflowing metal is automatically shared or lost.
All Command stations store different amounts of metal:
- Military MkI: 30,000
- Warp Jammer: 50,000
- Military MkII and Logistical MkI: 60,000
- Military MkIII: 90,000
- Economic MkI: 100,000
- Logistical MkII: 120,000
- Logistical MkIII: 180,000
- Economic MkII: 200,000
- Economic MkIII: 300,000
Some Spire structures from the Fallen Spire campaign can also store metal and increase the total storage capacity of a player. [TODO:precise]
When AI units are destroyed in human-controlled systems, the player who controls the system gains the metal cost of that unit as salvage. Salvage is slowly converted into useful metal, but the process is inefficient. The player only gains a percentage of the metal lost, according to what type of command station they have in the system:
Each Command station has a different rate of scrap salvaging:
- Military MkI: 4%
- Economic MkI: 5%
- Military MkII: 8%
- Logistical MkI, Economic MkII and Warp Jammer: 10%
- Military MkIII: 12%
- Economic MkIII: 15%
- Logistical MkII: 20%
- Logistical MkIII: 30%
- Home: 40%
Putting a logistics station on a planet intended to take waves can result in a very large amount of extra metal.
The AI has a somewhat similar mechanic called reprisal.
Prior to update 7.011: Salvaged Resources, AI War had two resources, crystal and metal. Both were required in varying amounts for all ships. Current unit costs are the sum of the original metal and crystal cost, or total cost = crystal + metal. While the overall cost of each ship is unchanged, the knowledge cost for higher mark metal harvesters were increased to represent the greater value of each level.