FAQ: Please read this before posting!

I've been thinking about the swarmwarp vs clone larvae thing, and I have a hypothesis as to why swarmwarp is better on later ascensions.

Simple math suggests that clone larvae is roughly three times as powerful for its cost. Not only that, but squeezing out larvae (which clone larvae solely produces) is a lot more useful than squeezing out extra meat and territory (swarmwarp is split between all three). While meat and territory are valuable, you're really looking to improve meat in terms of orders of magnitude and polynomial degree instead of just multiplying it by a coefficient, and then use that to improve your military drastically by making better units. Multiplying your larvae is useful because it lets you develop your meat units faster.

So why have people observed swarmwarp to be vastly better after the first ascension? The better mutation coefficient is part of it, but it's mostly because of the hidden cost of clone larvae and the hidden benefit of swarmwarp.

The hidden cost of clone larvae is the need to make more and more cocoons. It's easy to think you'll just set aside enough for a cloning and just farm those, but when you're rapidly growing your swarm you need more and more as you go, and that's a lot of your expensive clonings sunk into banking useless cocoons.

The hidden benefit of swarmwarp is that it not only produces meat, territory, and larvae, but it also produces meat UNITS, which is huge. Not only does this speed the acceleration of your meat growth (and the acceleration of the acceleration etc), but it helps in that awkward phase of meat tier advancement where you're mostly just waiting for your new tier to produce more of the previous tier so you can buy more of the new tier.

This is just a hypothesis. I don't have hard math on it(although since you're dealing with polynomials of one resource vs flat multipliers of another, it seems like grasping the number theory and gameflow may be more useful than number crunching), and I haven't yet tried clone larvae in a late ascension with many mutations so I don't know how harsh it actually is to bank cocoons in that spot.

/r/swarmsim Thread