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They can lift the creature up to high altitudes when contact is made.
In this stage, the player or other opposing nations can capture an estimated 16 or 18 spice geysers that appear around the player's homeworld. The player can claim the spice geysers with their land vehicles or sea vehicles to earn Sporebucks per 5 seconds. The air vehicles cannot claim the spice geysers unlike land or sea vehicles. The player can also claim the spice geysers from other nations, though it diminishes the nation's relationship. If every nation's cities are conquered by other nations and no longer exist, their capture of spice geysers will be disbanded. Any remaining nation can claim the spice geyser before others.
Likewise, if the player has captured every single spice geyser on their homeworld, they will receive the Spice Hoarder achievement.
Spice can be collected from the player's empires, stolen from other civilizations and empires, or bought from other empires with Sporebucks. The spice can then be sold to other empires for Sporebucks, which is one of the primary sources of income for the player besides completing missions.
There are 6 different types of spice which vary in rarity and price on separate planets available in the Space Stage (not counting White Spice -- a glitched spice):
|Highest Sell Price||Value||Description|
|Very Low||This rare spice is used as a flavoring for certain foods and often produces an eye-watering effect on the consumer.
(Despite the description, this is the most common of all spices.)
|Low||A sour spice used primarily in summertime beverages.|
|Medium||A deep blue spice used primarily as a sleeping aid.|
|High||A green spice used in making a relaxing, minty tea beverage.|
|High||A pink spice used as a sweetener or as a floor polish.|
|Very High||A purple-ish spice used in making a sweet-flavored purple pudding.|
Each planet produces one color of spice, determined by the color of its star and the temperature of its surface (indicated by the color of their orbit trail). Moons do not need to match the spice color of their parent planet. The player's homeworld orbits a yellow star, but it produces red spice.
|Red Stars||Yellow Stars||Blue Stars|
When the player first makes contact with an alien colony, the price that will be presented to them remains the same, as long as they do not visit any colonies of another empire beside their own (i.e. the player sells spice to Empire A and then collects more from their colony to sell to Empire B. Empire A's price will change. If the player does not visit Empire B, however, Empire A's price will not change.). However, depending on the player's spice production and the speed at which the player can produce each variety of spice, the player may want to reset on occasion to sell more expensive spice. For instance, red spice may be the primary source of income, selling for as much as 1.2 million Sporebucks per 99. But if the player has more than six colonies producing other spices, they can sell for as much as 2.4 million Sporebucks per 99.
It is important to note that the player's selling spice at their colonies will not affect the asking price of alien colonies. A colony never wants to purchase the color of spice it produces and will only pay a very tiny fraction of its value. Sometimes, players can have a colony that produces two types of spice (as a result from a trade route), and these types may even buy the "side spice" at a very high value. Additionally, two other colors are chosen at random and also purchased at minimum price. Of the three colors that remain, each is randomly assigned a price between one and five times the "buy price" of that color, as per the charts below. Finally, the Easy difficulty level has its buy prices increased by 20%.
Other than colonies never wanting the same color of spice they produce, there does not appear to be any weighting to the randomization. That is, the desire for all spice colors seems to be equally likely and all potential prices seem to be equally likely. Early in the game, if the player has a system that contains both a colony paying premium prices for a particular color and another which produces it, they can keep flying back and forth indefinitely with less time wasted on zooming in and out. (However, this ceases to be a good use of time once they have a large enough empire.)
- Spice prices of other empires may change after every save game.
- the difference between easy mode sell prices and hard/normal sell prices is 22.4%.
Normal- and Hard-Mode Prices
There are a number of ways to obtain spice. The player's ship's cargo hold can contain up to 99 units of each color at a given time, after which no more can be picked up.
Friendly colonized planets can produce spice that the player can purchase from shopping or trade routes. The places where spice is produced often offer the spice for a low price; the player can sometimes re-sell the spice to nearby systems for much more. Trading spice is a nice way to start making the player's first Sporebucks fast. This is highly recommended for all empires to grow and prosper.
Setting up trade routes with neighboring empires is a good way to get a variety of spice that may otherwise be hard to obtain. Trade is collected when the player visits the endpoint of the trade route (typically the closest planet in his or her empire, but not always).
Once the player has the cash to spare to place colonies, terraform, and build factories, his or her empire can begin its own spice mining operations. The amount of spice storage space available depends on the number of colonies on the planet. Each colony can hold 5 units; however, placing a Spice Storage doubles the amount each colony can hold. Except for the homeworld of each empire, each planet can hold up to a maximum of 3 colonies (one per T-Score level). The amount of spice generated is rated in each colony by spice produced per hour, based upon the number of factories and the links between factories and houses. For example, a planet with three colonies, each listing a production of 120 spice per hour, will generate approximately 6 units of spice per minute. For a fully equipped colony planet (with maximum colonies and a Spice Storage device) this equates to reaching maximum capacity in 5 minutes. It is very important to place colony buildings as effectively as possible- it can make the difference between 200 spice an hour and 70.
There are methods for acquiring colonies that have a spice storage capacity of greater than 30 in a star system. There are two common methods, depending upon the player's species' philosophy. The start of this is the same for both. First, the player should raise the planet they want to a T-Score of 3. Next, place a monolith on the planet to uplift one of the species on that planet to be a space-faring species. (Note: It is significantly faster to uplift a planet that already has a sentient species, but it is not mandatory, especially if the player is going for the Brain Surgeon badge.) Once the species is spacefaring, the player has two methods of acquiring the planet for his or her empire. For Trader species, the most common method of obtaining the colony for the player's empire is to establish a Trade Route and then use the Cash Infusion ability to enable the player to buy the alien's star system immediately. For all other species, it is usually quicker to simply militarily take over the alien's planet. (Note: It is advisable to save before attempting to take over their planet militarily, because an accidental overuse of force can destroy a colony, which will then lower the colony's spice storage capacity after the player has taken over the entire system.) Done properly, this can result in a spice storage capacity of 100! Also, buying the homeworld of a friendly empire and using a Spice Storage increases the amount to 100.
A player visiting his or her colony in the solar system view will automatically pick up any spice if there is no current crisis (pirates or an enemy empire raiding the planet, etc). While the player is in orbit or in the atmosphere, spice will continue to be refined. The player can collect it by leaving the planet or system and then re-entering orbit; opening communications and 'purchasing' it (there is no charge for the spice that a colony produces) through the trade option; alternatively, the player can hover over a colony and 'abduct' the crate.
If the player does not particularly care what his or her neighboring empires think of them, they can steal spice from them by hovering over the empire's colony and using the Abduction Beam on their spice crates and fly away. Stealing from a space stage empire will give the player negative Relation Bonus. Stealing from a pre-space or non-spice collecting (cell, creature, tribe) civilization does not give a negative relation bonus, even though the red "Angry Face" will appear over the city. They may attack the player with turrets. Stealing 50 crates (not 50 spice) in any number of games grants the player the Thief Achievement.
Occasionally Pirates will try and loot spice on one of the player's colonies, with as few as three squadrons. When this happens, the player cannot automatically pick up spice or "buy" the spice in the trade menu. However, while on the planet the player can 'abduct' the spice and therefore stop the pirate raid (pirates cannot loot the spice if it is not on the planet). In some instances, as is the case with the tribal stage and raided food, addressing a more pressing issue may be worth more than the price of the spice lost. Interestingly enough, fully upgrading a colony's defenses (especially Uber Turret) will entirely prevent pirates from plundering, but not from attacking (it takes a couple of seconds for the Uber Turret to destroy them). This may convert some of the "Spice plundering" missions into full-fledged attacks by the pirates with two or three more attack squadrons.
The player should not bother responding to these spice calls. The pirates take only 1 spice unit, which (at max) is refilled in 2 minutes. The spice pirates, unlike the ones that appear for attacking, run when the player comes near. The laser is an ideal weapon to destroy the fleeing pirates since the proton missiles may explode before reaching the ships. If the ships are destroyed, they can sometimes drop some money they were carrying.
There are three ways to do this.
- First, the player must have the Monolith tool, all Terraforming tools, the Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Spice Storage colonizing tool beforehand. Also, they should be sure to have Bio Protectors, Uber Turrets, etc. for their future super-producing colonies.
- The player must find planets with valuable Spice and terraform them to T3 and use the Monolith to promote the inhabiting race to space as quickly as possible.
- Then, the player must buy solar systems. It helps to have Cash Infusion here. The player can also use Fanatical Frenzy. However, beware, as this breaks the Galactic Code. The Homeworlds will have between 5-10 colonies and, with spice storage, can produce 50-100 spice, sometimes maximizing production in less than ten minutes.
- The player may also choose to take the colony by force, although this will mean having to rebuild the destroyed factories and homes.
- If the player contacts his or her new colony before landing on the planet and witnessing the huge number of colonies, the game will automatically reduce the number of colonies to 3, so the player should be on the planet when they buy the solar system. The player should then place bio protectors, spice storage, uber turrets, and anything else they desire on the planet (Uber turrets are highly recommended). Homeworlds come with maxed out turrets by default, and along with the Uber turret, the player should never have to visit to defend the planet.
- Then, the player should terraform another planet to T3 and make it a zoo planet, so that they can store an unlimited quantity of Spice in it without it disappearing. Placing spice crates on a zoo planet (created with the wildlife sanctuary tool) will cause them to stay there and not disappear as they would if placed on a colony.
A homeworld with maxed cities and the spice storage will have an output of roughly 900 spice an hour, maxing out about every 6.7 minutes, depending on the number of entertainment buildings and the worldwide happiness level
- The player using Method #2 should purchase these items:
- Colony Incredi-Pak x3 at 75,000 each (from Shaman)
- Spice Storage: 250,000 (from Bard or Trader)
- Uber Turret: 375,000 (from Warrior)
- Bio Protector: 150,000 (from Shaman or Ecologist)
- Bio Stabilizer: 150,000 (from Shaman or Ecologist)
- After Terraforming the planet to T-3, the player should place all Colony tools on the planet. They should then build each colony with the layout shown here and place all 8 turrets
- The total cost of the tools purchased from the cheapest vendors is 2,225,200 Sporebucks.
- Storage: 30 spice
- Output per colony: 132 per hour
- Total Output: 396 spice per hour (fills up in 4.6 min)
- Total Happiness: +6 (+2 per colony)
If done with green spice sold at an average rate, it will pay for itself in 14.4 minutes (just over 3 sales of 30 spice, in easy mode) Purple spice at max cost will pay for itself in one transaction of 30 spice.(again, in easy mode) At the end of the day, if done with Green, Pink or Purple, although the initial cost is high, it shouldn't take the player any more than 30-40 min to pay it back and begin making profit. The player does not need visit the system to defend it from attacks (full turrets and Uber turret will wipe out anything), Eco Disasters are rare, but are still a threat. The player does not need loyalty or happiness boosters since each colony has an implicit happiness of +2.
While this does not produce the long-term endless supply of storable spice that can lead to maxed-out money, it gets the player to the production of Spice much more quickly without waiting for civilizations to mature and trade routes to finish.
Alternatively, for a planet-wide production of 594 spice per hour, place 3 colonies on a T-3 world. There should be 5 places for buildings next to the town hall. On the side with only 2 spaces, place 1 entertainment building in one of the two spots. In the remaining spots by the town hall, place factories. In all remaining spots place houses. The player should have a production of 198 spice per minute. The net happiness will be 0. Repeat for the other 2 colonies. Place turrets, Uber turrets, spice storage, Bio Protectors and Bio Stabilizers at the player's own discretion.
Pros and Cons of #1 and #2
- Method 1 produces so much spice that, once the player has finally set it up, it can max out the player's money in about 10 minutes with a good buyer and purple spice and then begin storing spice for later cash needs on the zoo planet (which can be accessed by other game files!). However, setup is very expensive and takes a long time. If the player does not think they will be needing obscene sums of cash then it likely isn't worth the wait
- Method 2 takes very little time and is comparatively cheaper than method #1. Yield is far lower but is more than adequate to keep most games going with a high rate of production. Running back to collect the spice every few minutes can lead to a quick growth of cash that will keep the average player quite wealthy.
Get a single Purple Spice crate. Place it in a colony, before the citizens can get to it. Buy the spice. Steal the spice before it disappears, repeat.
To begin with, first, obtain the Spice Savant consequence ability, then pursue either the above colony methods or use the following colony layout for all colonies. Spice production will increase to 162 per colony (108 without Spice Savant) and happiness level will be maxed out.
With Spice Storage the colonies max out their capacity in 5 minutes 33 seconds. The player will never be short on Sporebucks again.
As a side note, this method has the highest combination of happiness and production possible from a colony. This was proven in a computer simulation comparing every possible colony layout.
- The player can calculate the number of cities on a planet by using the spice production amount.
- Spice per city on regular planet: 5 Spice per city
- Spice per city on planet with spice storage (one of the player's planets): 10 Spice per city
- T0 Planets can have 1 city with no spice, with the exception of Grox colonies.
- T1 Planets can have 1 city with up to 5 Spice
- T2 Planets can have up to 2 cities with up to 10 Spice
- T3 Planets can have up to 3 cities with up to 15 Spice
- Homeworlds Bought by Trade route can have up to 10 cities with up to 50 Spice
- Homeworlds bought by trade with all cities intact, with the spice storage, can have up to 100 spice.
- The player's homeworld can have 10 cities and 50 Spice well. However, for some reason, the cities only produce up to 5 spice at a time, unlike a T1 colony which can produce as much as 60 spice for its city.
- Spice Storage doubles the spice storage on the player's planet.
- The player's Space Ship Cargo will allow them to hold only 99 of any Spice at one time.
- On easy difficulty, if the player sells 99 of all 6 types of spice at maximum Price, they will get 24,300,648 Sporebucks. On Normal or Hard difficulty, they will get 19,437,561 Sporebucks.
Worlds Lacking Spice
- By default, only two types of worlds lack spice geysers: the worlds with a crashed spaceship and the worlds with a destroyed colony. These are uncolonizable due to their lack of spice. However, alien species may colonize them, and such colonies can be captured. If a spiceless planet owned by an alien empire is purchased or conquered, factories can be added to the colony to have the planet produce red spice, despite there being no spice geysers.
- If a colony produces spice of certain color, the price of that particular spice is always lower there. Other than this, apparently prices of each colony are random and change every time a game is loaded, saved, or played for a long time, unrelated to whether the player sells or buy spices there. However, each type of spice has a possible maximum price.
- The buying price is always lower than the maximum possible selling price. Do not sell spice until the empire was found that will buy the spice near or at the maximum price.
- All the prices are purely random and independent of the player's location in the galaxy. The player can't trade with Grox even if they ally with them.
- There is a glitch that can allows the player to trade with them. If this glitch happens while they're allied and they trade, the entire Grox empire will be destroyed. For some more information, see the Grox page.
- Sometimes, white spice resulting from the rules which Spore uses to determine spice colors, can be found on gas giants with alien colonies. Since gas giants are uninhabitable, white spice can not be bought or collected from the player.
- There is a rare glitch found on Gas giants or Ruined Planets, where white spice has been reported.
- White spice cannot be sold (therefore, it does not show in the 'Buy' window), and the actual image of white spice is the "War" symbol (two swords crossing each other), due to the fact it is a glitch (hoaxes have been made with a white spice icon--these are fake). The only description of the spice is ***.
- In the civilization stage, spice possesses similarities to petroleum. Spice requires derricks and pumps to harvest it just like crude oil. In addition to this, spice is a crucial part of a player's economy, similarly to petroleum. This reference can also be seen in the fact that at the beginning of the stage, geysers produce 1000 sporebucks per minute-- in the end, they produce 100 sporebucks per minute as if the natural resources are being depleted.
- Spice is likely a reference to the Dune book series, where one planet was known for a mysterious and addictive drug by the same name. Drugs called "spice" also appear in other science fiction, including Star Wars where Han Solo smuggled it for Jabba the Hutt and the "spice mines of Kessel" are mentioned.
- It also could be a reference from Star Wars Legends where "spice" refers to numerous mined materials used as food additives, narcotics and a variety of other uses.
- Spice may have been inspired by either the spice trade of human history, which involved the trade of edible spices, or melange, a rare but valuable resource and drug featured in Frank Herbert's Dune series.
- The different spices also seem to be references in themselves to real-world objects.
- Red: It is used as a flavoring and induces an eye-watering effect. This could be a reference to cayenne, candlenut, or red chili peppers used as seasoning.
- Yellow: It is sour and used in summertime beverages. This could be a reference to powdered lemonade mixes.
- Blue: It is used as a sleeping aid. This could be a reference to any of the various blue sleeping pills on the market.
- Green: It is used in making a minty beverage. This could be a reference to the crushed mint leaves used to flavor tea and other beverages.
- Pink: It is used as a sweetener and as floor polish. This could be a reference to Sweet 'n Low and floor polishers.
- Purple: It is used in making a purple pudding. This could be a reference to dried plums.
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