Announcements post #61: Development updates - Upcoming economy changes!

AutoposterAutoposter Posts: 19Member, Bot ✭✭
From: Ilyos, the Arbiter
Subject: Development updates - Upcoming economy changes!

Greetings Starmourners!

We have talked, discussed and planned and we have a solid overview on what's to happen with the economy in our next update. So let's talk about it! There is some heavy stuff here!


First up, while commodity generation feels way better right now, we still believe we can improve the returns on how much time you spend seeking comms versus what (and IF) you actually find something. Combining that with a suggestion from players that we loved very much, we're going to introduce the first "Planetary Exploration" mechanic in the game. Here's an overview of what you might expect there:
- On specific planets that you can already visit, there will be a place where you will be able to begin your EXPLORATION. This will put you in a randomly generated mini areas, full of danger and excitement. Your goal there will be to set up triangulation equipment in certain spots around the area and initiate an area scan that will determine if there are exploitable resources in the area and what they are.
- Once everything is set up you might find something, a lot of something, or nothing at all. If you find something, you mark the spot and send a broadcast into space which allows anyone to come pick up the commodities found with their ships (you can't very well haul hundreds of kilograms of titanium in your backpack). Alternatively, you can outright sell your discovery to a NPC org.
- There is a small chance you might find a huge cache of commodities. If that happens, the area will be flagged as open PK for a few minutes, as a discovery so important becomes up for grabs. (details will come at a later date)
- There will be a cooldown per planet per player

Next on our list is the manufacturing chain. Now this one is VERY IMPORTANT, so please read on! We feel there is very little room for profit and growth for players in the manufacturing sector and close to no reason for a new player to join the manufacturing chain unless they want to do have some facilities for themselves. Also, a single player (with enough time on their hands) can perform every task in the manufacturing chain by themselves and doesn't require the help of anyone else. Additionally, a single wealthy player can completely fulfill the sector's refining needs and doesn't even need to be around for this to happen. This is not what we had in mind when we set out to create a balanced economy. As such, there will be some major revamps to the system.

Among them, we have the following:
- Players will be able to specialize in Mining, Refining or Processing. While performing tasks in all three areas will still be possible, you will have some bonuses while doing your specialization's activity and/or some maluses while doing things from another type of activity.
- You will only be able to own a fixed amount of refineries and autofactories spanning a VERY narrow spectrum of types. If you specialize in Refining or Processing, this cap will increase slightly
- Autofactories will be open to everyone, just like refineries
- If you go inactive and don't log on for a number of days, your refineries and factories become inactive and will be delisted from public service
- Based on your specialization, you will have special missions that will pay a great deal more than the average order/mission, hoping to narrow the gap a little between how profitable it is to be someone in the manufacturing industry and a hunter

There will be a few more changes, but these are the important ones so far. However, in order to make this possible, we will need to start anew with everything in manufacturing. Since there will now be many limitations to the system, it is required that you are all given the option to choose what you want to do and specialize in regarding the manufacturing chain. So, that means the following: WHEN THESE CHANGES WILL GO LIVE, ALL EXISTING FACTORIES AND REFINERIES IN THE GAME WILL BE DELETED AND PLAYERS WILL BE REIMBURSED.

This is not a decision taken lightly and we understand that it might be hard to swallow, but we feel it is for the best.

Alongside these changes, we will also be doing some more modding work and improvements to the CAC system (most notably increasing the duration of the rewards). We can discuss about those later, for now we believe that the information above is enough to mull over. It will still be some time until everything is implemented, so please, let us know your thoughts and comments on the above!
RhindaraGrekCubeyPoetSlanderMatlkaelYayehjunoReeloc

Comments

  • CubeyCubey Posts: 222Member ✭✭✭
    Do you plan to introduce some kind of limitation on who can receive the normal, non-PvP comm signal? For example the player sends it to a specific other player, not everyone, or even chooses when to send it (for example when they or their friend have a ship nearby).

    The way I read it is that as soon as you're done with the exploration quest, everyone else picks the signal up and can grab your commodities if they just happen to be nearby. Which means other players can benefit off your hard work without your consent, and you can't even do anything about it because it's not an open PK scenario (unlike the big caches). I hope I am reading this wrong.
    So, that means the following: WHEN THESE CHANGES WILL GO LIVE, ALL EXISTING FACTORIES AND REFINERIES IN THE GAME WILL BE DELETED AND PLAYERS WILL BE REIMBURSED.
    Oh thank goodness.
  • KirinKirin Posts: 68Member ✭✭
    edited June 5
    I have reservations about a few things

    a miner goes out and collects gas and asteroids. They are spending time doing this and it’s a continuous process requiring effort

    a refiner simply waits for others to use his facilities. This is very passive, an economic investment if you will

    a manufacturer buys refined goods to produce stuff. This is also passive, simply an economic investment.

    as a result you are segregating an active activity with two passive ones. I simply create an alt to run my refineries and autofactories while I mine since they do not require any ongoing maintenance of more than a few minutes (if that makes sense)

  • JoscelinJoscelin Posts: 45Member
    Kirin said:
     I simply create an alt to run my refineries and autofactories while I mine since they do not require any ongoing maintenance of more than a few minutes (if that makes sense)
    This would violate HELP SECONDS.
  • KirinKirin Posts: 68Member ✭✭
    edited June 5
    Joscelin said:
    Kirin said:
     I simply create an alt to run my refineries and autofactories while I mine since they do not require any ongoing maintenance of more than a few minutes (if that makes sense)
    This would violate HELP SECONDS.
    It wouldn’t really - you are free to use refineries on the basis of their cost and if they are the cheapest you will refine there.

    the point of the post was to highlight that refining and manufacturing seem to be boring activities you cannot spend time on (like bashing and mining) 
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 222Member ✭✭✭
    TBF mining I found so aggressively unfun that I'd rather do a passive activity than an "active" one like that. I'm impressed by people who are determined enough to mine hundreds of comms at miniscule gain. Incursions, similarly boring they may be, at least pay well.
    Nykara
  • KirinKirin Posts: 68Member ✭✭
    Cubey said:
    TBF mining I found so aggressively unfun that I'd rather do a passive activity than an "active" one like that. I'm impressed by people who are determined enough to mine hundreds of comms at miniscule gain. Incursions, similarly boring they may be, at least pay well.
    It’s the pacifist’s bashing essentially. 
  • SteveSteve Posts: 2Member
    edited June 6
    I nearly suggested something identical to the exploration plus finding commodities proposal about 24 hours ago. I am so glad I didn't!

    The only adjustment to the posted concept I'd suggest considering is switching to an extraction-over-time model instead of getting a chunk of resources immediately, which is what we've got with the floating asteroids and gas clouds. This could be a good means of trading some manufactured goods (such asQPCs and UMMs) into other commodities by requiring their use for extracting the commodities. I still envision having to pick up the resources and hauling them off to a refinery, by the way, but perhaps the materials could go into a ship's hold for refinement.

    I'd like to see another speculating system added that gets the many, many named asteroids involved. I like the idea of roaming around, surveying rocks, and deciding whether to take a risk up front for the possibility of a long-term payoff of resources. This speculation and extraction process could be conducted from space, which might be more appealing to captain-only types.

    To be clear, neither of these would be a guaranteed-forever stream.
  • kamyrkamyr Posts: 48Member
    edited June 6
    Overall, I don't like it. You now have a per player production with the global production of gasteroids, and the end result of that is people going 'lulz townes? I haz transmute' which translates to 'lulz ships? I can triangulate!' (E: Okay this analogy isn't the greatest, but still). No comment for autofactory/refinery limit. Specializations seem meh. I especially don't like the non-pk broadcast thing. I would just have someone follow me in space so I'm not giving people I don't like comms.

    If you want to add production to ground stuff, just put it in quests and drops (for non-combative) as well as raids, neutral planets with production over time, or distress calls for crashed ships (for contested production). Hell, you even added in instanced areas behind a mechanic needing attention that would be just as if not more fitting for finding hidden caches than prospecting. Why do it again?
  • IlyosIlyos Posts: 47Administrator, Moderator Starmourn staff
    A few more clarifications here:
    - planets you can already visit does indeed mean planets that have a dock already. So, think something like, you'll go to Saksar Jungle and find the appropriate room there that lets you start this exploration activity. Or you travel to Anemoi and do the same thing. Exploration sites and the mobs within will be thematic with the planet you are on.
    - yes, using alts to bypass your refinery/factory limit does indeed fall under the violation of seconds rules.
    - non-pk commodity caches aren't broadcast to everyone. If someone happens to be in the area and they keep on spamming the relevant commands to check if there are discovered caches on that planet, it is indeed possible they might grab the resources before you have time to go back to your ship and get them yourselves. A few additional notes here: it is perfectly plausible that you pair up with a friend and one of you does the exploration and the other waits in orbit to scoop up the resources. In fact, every time someone else other than you scoops up the resources you found, you'll gain a little bonus xp.
    - a pk commodity cache will only be available to the winner's faction and not to everyone. Not much sense in having a pk event where, at the end, the loser(s) can just wait in orbit and ninja the resources
    _ I agree with the fact that mining is active while processing is passive, but one involves a lot more freedom and less initial investment (at the cost of time), while the other is more reliant on getting people to actually use your factories to turn a profit or people to fulfill your orders so that you might complete your order
    Reeloc
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 102Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 6
    @Yayeh If all manufacturers went on a strike they would get an invitation to a very special event! Depending on the flavor of the faction that event might be different though. :D

    But economical crises are part of the game (or should be part of the game rather) after all. I mean if there were no such impending issues policymakers would be out of business! So while that doomsday scenario would provide an initial setback, other people would rise to the occasion or people would get by with emergency supplies for awhile until matters are resolved.
  • RocketCatRocketCat Posts: 91Member ✭✭✭

    Content advisory: Very Important Opinions(R)(TM).

    Planet exploration and specialization missions sounds promising and I look forward to playing with these.

    So I thought I’d chip in to the discussion from the perspective of a player who does not intend to mine at all. I’m much happier buying resources for top dollar on the market, paying others to haul, and making it all worth it by maximizing production bonuses and a) passing on my additional expenses to the buyer or b) donating it all to faction storage anyway. So far I’ve just been doing option B. The point is I just want to manage market orders, queue jobs, and get the products to market or to faction, without doing anything in between. People like me are necessary for other people do play the niche they want, mainly miners and haulers. I’ve been running things in the red for now just as I get my feet wet and help the faction, but eventually I’ll want to profit from all this on the open market.

    Now that that’s out of the way, here’s my dream of what I think a fully functioning Starmourn economy would look like from the perspective of the end buyer: In a shipforge-less environment, anyone should be able to dock at any station and at least have access to the basics in sufficient numbers: em_batteries, thermal_batteries, kinetic_batteries, astromechs, repairkits, scoops, and tethers. Naturally, the more remote the station, the greater the inconvenience to a marketeer, and so greater the markup. Preferably this wouldn’t be facilitated by just one player (and codedly can’t be at the moment, more later), but rather there would be multiple such marketeers constantly trying to undercut one another but still turn a profit. That’d curtail the cost to the end consumer and bring market prices in line with what is profitable for all. Supply and demand of raw materials would be tuned just right so that the cost of raw materials would be high enough above the refining cost that miners could sell to the highest buy order and be overall happy with their profit.

    What are the gaps between this vision and what we have now? Really all you have to do is MARKET OFFER LIST EM_BATTERY/REPAIRKIT/THERMAL_BATTERY/ASTROMECH to get a sense of how far we are. For my own incursion running, I rely on materials produced by the faction and on the efforts of a particularly eminent do-it-all-yourself industrialist ;) . The fact that there are only a handful of offers for a very limited range of end-user goods at Omni of all places is particularly troubling. It should, by all measures, be the central trading hub of the Sector simply by being in the middle and because of its conveniently-placed voidgate. But it makes sense, overall. Factional economic efforts are much stronger than independent ones, and supply is far short of demand.

    So let’s look at the limitations in the current system and do some projections based on the sounds of these proposed changes to get a sense of where we’ll end up.

    1) The main problem is low supply for the free market and low velocity of money. To test this I put large market orders of Tritium up at Omni and Iota at a price far above the refining cost and above all the other market orders. They’ve been up there for about 5 RL days now, and in total I’ve received 33 tritium. So yay, 1.75 r-glasses for almost a week of waiting. Obviously most of the supply gets channeled into factional supplies. So if you don’t mine yourself and rely on the open market, at this rate it’d take you months to build resource supplies.

        - The problem is mitigated by the proposed change to add planetary exploration. More supply is a welcome change.

        - The problem is magnified by the proposed change to add specializations. Why? Well, it seems like it’s going to require a lot more working together in order to produce goods for the faction. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true with Autofactories going public. Nevertheless the overall sense I get from the changes is: “Work together to fill everyone’s needs.” But the actual way I think this will transpire is: “Work together as a faction to fill the faction’s needs.” Starmourn is a social game, and networks of cooperation naturally form around factions. My feeling is that we will end up not with one functional village economy, but rather with three functional house economies.

        > In other words, the possibility for a healthy independent market to exist is either shrinking with the proposed changes or at the end of the day will be about the same as it was before.

        * If we do end up with silo economies, we need something to make sure the independent market is healthy. Possibly this could be achieved in a player-driven IC manner without any mechanical intervention.

    2) There are coded barriers to a “trader/marketeer specialization.” It’s these people in an economy who distribute goods to where they’re needed to turn a profit, make sure there are buy and sell orders, regulate the buy and sell cost of goods to balance the needs of the producers and the consumers. The coded barrier is the market order limit of 12. Market offers are fine, I don’t really know what the upper limit is to these but it seems really high. I don’t really understand what the justification is for putting such a low limit on market orders, vis a vis market offers. 30 seems a more appropriate number. You could even sell an artifact to increase the number, but I think first of all the baseline for everybody should be increased.

    Okay this is getting long already, so I’m gonna stop here.


    Hi, I'm Ata. Oh and maybe some other people, too. o:) Check out my various packages for Nexus: Vuu combat system, Global Pathfinder, Slicer Tools, Ship compass, JS from command line, and Vitals Tracker.
  • Pink_CandyflossPink_Candyfloss Posts: 32Member ✭✭
    @Ilyos I'm not really sure how having other alt characters with refineries and factories is a violation of HELP SECONDS. Sure, if someone is transferring marks from one character to another, that's abuse, but merely owning and using your own alt's refinery or autofactory isn't. So long as you aren't putting up cheap or free orders then instantly switching character to buy them up, there's nothing wrong.
  • IlyosIlyos Posts: 47Administrator, Moderator Starmourn staff
    @Ilyos I'm not really sure how having other alt characters with refineries and factories is a violation of HELP SECONDS. Sure, if someone is transferring marks from one character to another, that's abuse, but merely owning and using your own alt's refinery or autofactory isn't. So long as you aren't putting up cheap or free orders then instantly switching character to buy them up, there's nothing wrong.
    I do believe our HELP SECONDS needs an update, as right now it only covers some of the more basic scenarios. A general rule that will be enforced is that, if you own two or more characters, you cannot, in any way, use one character's information or resources of any kind to further the IC or OOC interests of another character. The only exception to this rule are credits you purchased with money, which can be freely transferred around.
    What you and Kirin said might be acceptable under normal circumstances, but it'll then allow for a lot of edge cases that would be very shady at best.
    Poet
  • KirinKirin Posts: 68Member ✭✭
    Since most autofactories and refineries will be refunded, would you allow a one-time free relocation of your cargo from remote planets to a central station? Perhaps a command like COMMODITY TRANSFER ALL HERE 
    juno
  • YayehYayeh Posts: 34Member ✭✭
    And just a curiosity question --- is shipmodding going to be part of upcoming economy/tradeskills development, or is viewed as a further-on-down-the-road type of thing once other aspects of the game are in place?
    Keinna
  • KitranaKitrana Posts: 51Member
    sorry about that rocket cat. the faction resource system we had going kind of trained me not to look at market orders for a while. mind you i can kind of reinforce your point anyway. because i tend to reserve tritium for faction members which is why i chase you and grek around asking what your order numbers are because there is no way to know with the current system.

    something which i think needs to be changed anyway because the offer system has the same flaw only moreso. if two people are selling the same thing at the same price on that same station i am not sure how the system determines who you are buying it from and you have no say in the matter.
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