This document details Mars4 Colonist NFTs, their mechanics, basic stats and compares them to Mars4 Vehicle NFTs. The document focuses on their output in the Mars4 Control Center (MCC) - not the Mars4 3D game.
Imagine being on Mars and trying to explore or mine. As a colonist, without the help of machines, it would be very, very difficult. It is hard to survive on Mars, let alone walk around, explore or mine. The goal with the Mars4 Colonist NFTs was to emulate this harshness of the Mars environment and to make colonists function very human-like.
Human fragility meant we had to limit their mission time in the MCC to 3 hours (who wants to be out there for longer anyway). This also presents an opportunity to send the colonist on a different mission every 3 hours. We have envisioned scenarios where you would use and interact with your colonist during your day, and then rent them out during your night and receive rent while you sleep.
Once we add building functionality to the MCC your colonists will also provide building speed boost. The more colonists you have idle, the faster your buildings will be built. When you used them during the day, they can explore and mine for you and at night when you sleep they can provide building speed boost.
The harsh environment on Mars also limits how successful our colonists are on the missions - not every mission succeeds. On the contrary, most of the missions fail. But that is okay for two reasons:
Missions are short (3h) and you can resend your colonist back on another short mission.
Colonists never truly ‘fail’, even on an unsuccessful mission they still bring back small amounts of random resources - they never come back empty handed.
Instead of having 30h missions with 100% success rate (which would not make sense anyway, as which human can go out and work that long!), we opted for more realistic 3h missions and 10% success rate (for Legendary colonists). The output they generate in 30 hours is the same - you just get to interact with them every 3 hours.
While each colonist has the same mission runtime (3h) and mission cost ($25 MARS4), their main difference (apart from original cost and productivity score) is their success rate. Legendary colonists have a 1 in 10 chance (10% success rate) of returning successfully, Epics have 1 in 20 and Classics have 1 in 50.
The table below compares different colonists and their stats. The top part (before mining) shows the stats, while the bottom part (mining and exploring) shows the output. While we can compare the stats between colonists, due to different mechanics, we cannot directly compare stats between colonists and vehicles.
One stat not in the table is the colonist experience. From the time colonists get minted they start gaining experience. The initial experience they come with is reflected in the success rate and building speed increase already, but once the skills tree functionality is released in the MCC, you will be able to dynamically assign additional skills based on the available experience.
Comparing colonists with vehicles
Vehicle owners will notice changes to the stat approach with colonists. Major differences are:
All colonists have the same exploration mission time (3h) - vehicles have different exploration times for each rarity.
All colonists have the same mining mission time (3h) - vehicles have different mining times for each rarity.
All colonists have the same mission cost ($25 MARS) - vehicles have different mission costs between rarities.
All colonists will always return some amount of resources (6kg on average) when their primary mission (exploration or mining) fails - vehicles return empty handed when their primary mission fails.
Colonists are constantly earning Experience Points - even when not out on a mission. Just by being in your wallet, colonists earn experience. There is no experience concept with vehicles.
The experience colonists gain will come useful once the skills tree goes live - you will be able to assign experience points to specific skills and thus improve your colonist the way you want. Vehicles do not have this ability.
Idle colonists will boost building speed on your land - vehicles do not have that ability.
You will be able to boost certain colonist stats in the future by building specific buildings on your land - vehicles will have a similar ability.
As vehicles have different mission times and costs, vehicle owners must be careful when they list or rent vehicles - using the wrong vehicle for a mission can tie the vehicle for a long time and waste resources. With colonists we wanted to simplify this and have set the same mission duration and cost for all colonists (Classic, Epic and Legendary). This, however, meant that we had to adjust the success rates.
When comparing vehicles and colonists we must compare the output (i.e., time and money needed to explore or amount mined per hour per Mars4 spent), not the individual stats (success rate, mission price) as the stats are used differently for colonists and vehicles and they do not tell the full story.
Comparing ExplorationWith exploration we want to be able explore one (1) plot of land as fast and as cheaply as possible. The table below shows the comparison between vehicles and colonists. You will notice that colonists are quite competitive if you do not mind interacting with them a lot.
Take the price to explore one (1) plot for example. Using a classic colonist players would have to pay on average $1250 Mars4$ to explore 1 plot. Classic Caripen GT is more expensive at $2,857 Mars4$. Similarly with Epic colonist - $500 Mars4 is cheaper to explore than Epic Caripen GT ($647 Mars4).
The major difference between vehicles and colonists is in the interactions required (number of missions). With vehicles, players would send them on a mission which could last up to 84 hours. With colonists, players would send them on an exploration mission for 3h and would have to interact with the colonists again in 3h to send them on another mission. In total, the runtime required to explore land plot is very similar between vehicles and colonists - but the number of interactions needed is very different and thus the real time, which would include the time you would normally sleep and not interact with your colonists is longer with colonists.
Colonists need interaction every 3 hours. The real exploration time then depends on the player's ability and desire to log into MCC every 3 hours. For players that don’t sleep, the colonists are very comparable to vehicles in exploration. But if you need to get your 8h of sleep, you will not be able to interact with your colonists during that time.
Players thus have to decide what is more important to them - less Mars4$ spent exploring (2,857 vs 1,250) and interacting with colonists every 3 hours or spending more and not having to regularly log into MCC (1.43 vs 50)!
With mining we are again looking at the final output, not individual stats. We want to know how much we can mine per hour, how much that will cost us and how much time we need to mine a specific amount of resource.
Note that all the numbers in the table below assume 100% resource concentration for the land being mined. If the land you are mining has a different resource concentration you will need to adjust the numbers.
The difference between colonists and vehicles (focusing on Karkanda) is a bit larger in mining than exploring (especially with 100% resource concentration - differences will be a bit smaller on lands with lower concentration) - as you would have guessed anyway.
The biggest difference between vehicles and colonists is the amount they can mine in an hour. Classic Colonists can mine on average 21 kg per hour, while the classic Karkanda can mine 375 kg per hour. Vehicles also need way less missions (interactions) to mine the same amount of resources.
Colonists do come a bit closer is the mission cost per kg - especially the Epic colonist with $168.5 MARS4 for 1000 kg is very comparable with the Epic Karkanda at $156 MARS4 for 1000 kg.
Note on averages
Note that the numbers in the table are statistical averages and become reliable with a larger number of missions - on a low number of missions you might see much better or much worse results. For example, while Legendary has a 10% success chance, your first mission could succeed and thus you would have 100% success. Similarly, your first few missions could fail and you would have 0% success rate. Eventually, with more missions your actual success rate should reach the expected success rate.
Hopefully by reading this you understand the importance of comparing the outputs, not individual stats. Focusing on the outputs, you can see that colonists are very comparable to vehicles. They use a different type of game mechanics - relying on frequent interactions - to achieve a similar output, especially with exploration, less so with mining.
However, this is just the beginning for colonists. The first wave has landed and started their missions. With time, they will grow in experience and help you on your survival journey.
Colonists will in the future have more utilities. One that is just around the corner is the building system where each idle colonist will provide additional building speed boost. The more colonists you have, the faster your buildings will get built. Note, vehicles will not have this boost…
Use your chance to get a First Wave Colonist early.