It's commonly said that the player economy is kind of broken. Prior to Ilyos' appointment as producer one of the biggest complaints was the design and craft system, and while I feel things have steadily improved since then, they still fall short.
One of the main problems I have with the tradeskill system, which has prevented me from acquiring even one, even though I would really like to, is the Problem of Choice. I'm a creative person; I love world-building and imagining up new (im)possible things, which is one of the biggest appeals for me in a sci-fi setting. However I don't like limitations, and even the thought of having to choose just one (now two) makes me not want to choose at all.
I know the original intention behind this was to prevent players from becoming self-sufficient, and to encourage them to trade with others. But I don't think this is a valid concern. There will always be those who need or wish to purchase from others, especially those who can't, don't or won't spend the credits on a craft, given that Starmourn's tradeskills are a fair bit more expensive than the majority of other IRE games'. And people will always be willing and eager to reward good craftsmanship (in a text-game meaning beautifully written/imagined items), and those who prefer not to expend their energies conjuring up descriptions at all. I mean there are lots of people walking around with no character descriptions and I imagine they'd still be happy to pay for stuff.
Then we have the mod economy, which is still a horrendous grind that very few people are willing to bother with. I don't think the game is really served by the fact that we have so few modders doing anything with their craft; it's stifled by it.
I would like to suggest a dramatically different system that I believe will greatly benefit the player economy:
- Remove the limitation on how many creative/design-based (clothes, jewellery, cooking, mixology, furniture) tradeskills a player is allowed to purchase; let everyone buy as many of these as they want. They will still have to put in a lot of hard work to make use of all of these if they choose to be "self-sufficient", and if someone is willing to invest that deeply into being a designer, why not?
- In addition, let everyone select one modding skillset by default, separately. If it becomes a grind that everyone has to (or is at least highly incentivised to) participate in, it'll change from being a dead market that only a few people can afford to use to being a healthy, thriving economy. Everyone will have a vested interest in getting the mods they need and exchanging the ones they don't; if I find an armour mod and I'm a weapon modder, I'll swap it to someone who needs an armour mod and get a weapon mod instead. Immediately the market will be flooded with people both purchasing and selling various mods. I believe in limiting this because you should have one aspect of the economy that prevents self-sufficiency, and the grind-based rather than the creativity-based one is a much better choice in terms of what you want to limit players in being able to do (do not limit creativity, it's a rare enough resource as is). Plus, people "need" mods for mechanical reasons, whereas customisation-based items are predominantly RP luxuries.
In lieu of these changes:
- Refund those who have two mod-based tradeskills their lessons, and let them pick just one to keep.
- Consider reducing the cost of a design-based tradeskills to 100 per. The cost is already pretty prohibitive when you factor in lesson requirements to trans these.
- Adding the same 33% higher lesson cost for each new design-based tradeskill a person takes, similar to the multiclassing system. This way designing becomes more affording for most, if they are only choosing one, but more costly for those looking to master multiple.
- Or, increasing the cost of each new design-based tradeskill by 50 credits. So the first one costs 100, the second 150, the third 200. Under this system you would want to refund those who bought one tradeskill 100 bound credits, and those who have two 150 bound credits.
I believe these changes would greatly stimulate the player economy. And I can say that I for one would be incentivised to return to the game, and to purchase the 5 design-based skillsets (for real money, I'm actually out of credits) if they were implemented. And I would take up a modding skillset and participate in the mod market whereas currently I kind of just sit with mods in my inventory because I'm too lazy to sell them. I'm someone who has thus far not taken up a single tradeskill.
I have other suggestions (ahem
) but for now, leaving this here for player + admin feedback.(Edited some inaccuracies, thanks pony. )
"They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
— Oscar Wilde
"I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
— Margaret Atwood