Economy

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Economy

Postby Hubes » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:19 pm

Now that there's a hit on my head for saying the dreaded world, let me explain my goal upfront:

Calm and rational discussion of the in-game economy and things we might like to see done to/with it.

This topic has come up many times, and it almost instantly fills with anger and drama...I'd like to see if it's possible to talk about this without either. There are many separate markets that make up the economy as a whole...LMs, the SM and GM, ship sales in the forums, etc... There are many other influences other then the markets...like gate building, terraforming, and even the daily needs of colonists. There are also major factors that discourage us from directly relating this particular economy to real world economies such as players going inactive and taking large chunks of currency out of play.

We have a living and breathing economy...and yet we also have absolutes such as regulated prices and unlimited demands at the LMs, and unlimited resources at planets and roid fields.

This all leads to rather unique situations...something I'd like everyone to try and keep an open mind about. Many things that are horrible ideas in the real world get instantly discredited here when they might warrant a detailed look to see what they'd do in this particular environment. Others are just bad in our or any other world.

What are your thoughts on what we have, what we can do, what we'd like to do, and what would make you happy? What might make you enjoy this game better? More profits? More business competition? Less?

Share your thoughts and try to keep any direct rebuttals respectful.
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Re: Economy

Postby Novicius » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:32 pm

Thank you for bring this up

I do believe we do need proper debate about economy in Ascent. I will give my ideas in some future but for now I would like to just point out two possible points of view:

1. "There is a new world out there" - I do not want to be attached to Inner System as my own system/cluster becomes more important.

2. "Home world" - I want to have true reason to comeback to Inner System.
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Re: Economy

Postby Zemp » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:47 am

I support that dream, not sure how to get there though.
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Re: Economy

Postby rmartz » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:52 am

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3188&start=30#p26141

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3188&start=30#p26162

There is much more to the economy than the LM. The LM is where credits come into game. We have several trillionaires and many billionaires. I think the influx of credits is not really a problem. Yes, some leave and their credits go with them, but they are not buying things like nio and tin because their warehouses fill up and their buy orders can not be filled, so it is basically a wash.

The addition to NPC hauling, OSBs and much larger ships would have affected even a highly regulated economy.

As research costs are absorbed, improvements in production is taken advantage of(enhanced production), market prices would drop some. I still think they need to be held up some, but even if someone does not make a colony, they can become a trillionaire, as one player did. Not saying this player did anything wrong. They did not and find many ways of supporting the game. I am also glad that enormous amounts of credits of one player does not really negatively affect other players directly. I do think there are some indirect affects, but Jam has done well at keeping us interacting, but not controlling or manipulating.

I honestly think a slower climb will increase investment in the game, player retention, and overall enjoyment.
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Re: Economy

Postby Hubes » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:30 am

I prefer growth in all things and all areas. Reductions, cost cutting, shrinking, etc...they all leave me feeling the same...like I'm taking a step backward.

Personally I think price reductions tend to cause such feelings. All the best reasons in the world don't change the fact that someone now makes less then they did before for doing the same work.

This holds true for rare ore prices, Local Market prices, ship prices, manufactured goods, etc... We saw similar results whenever there was some form of reduction on a large scale...like the roid field reset that drastically reduced the ore a miner could harvest, or the LM price drops that reduced income for trading. There was much debate on what impact such actions had on the economy (if any) but no matter which way you feel on the topic we can all agree that players lost some of their fun over it.

Did it effect everyone? No. Did it piss off some? Definitely. Did it make people quit? Debatable. The end result is it put a strain on some of the playerbase.

This is mainly why I oppose price reductions, and limits on the economy. It gives off the feeling of stepping back...of putting bandaids on something that's perceived as broken.

Why?

Take a step back and try to separate your thoughts from any real world economics. If reductions are a step back, and give off a negative feeling...then increases and making more for the work you put in gives good feelings and feels like progress. I can hear, "then you're flooding the economy with credits, a supply and demand market would never work like that, inflation, etc, etc..." But wait...I asked you to step away from all that, didn't I?

Lets push the envelope shall we? Lets completely flip it on end and instead of price cuts lets give us a raise:


Iron: 400cr (was 150)
Aluminium: 950cr (was 400)
Titanium: 875cr (was 675)
Carbon: 1000cr (was 825)

I got the old numbers from RAM's post. Titanium and Carbon get boosts, Iron gets the largest boost percentage-wise, and Aluminium overtakes Titanium in price. Seem like madness? Maybe. What happens? More credits will come in, sure...and if it helps a few players reaching their endgame keep playing then those hunks of credits don't disappear with inactivity. Where is the downside? From what I've heard the worse fear is a glut of credits and inflation. How is that bad at this point? The only things that can raise in price are the items we pay other players for...what's so bad about them making more money? I don't view this as greed...but as progress. As players continually do better, make more, grow and explore...won't they spend when they want to spend and horde funds when they want to horde funds?

Something else I'd be curious about is pushing Silicon up in price at the LM. It can only be obtained mining...why is it so cheap? We need decent quantities to manufacture...if it were more profitable it could become a valuable resource.

I'm giving extremes as examples here...not suggesting these specifics. I'm not trying to ignite a 'right vs wrong' debate. I'm trying to present an alternative to the suggestions of lowering prices.

TL;DR: why can't we think big and focus on expansion rather then reduction and shrinking?
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Re: Economy

Postby rmartz » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:49 am

Hubes wrote:Personally I think price reductions tend to cause such feelings. All the best reasons in the world don't change the fact that someone now makes less then they did before for doing the same work.


This is what no one seems to be understanding. We are not getting paid the same for the same amount of work. We are doing the same amount of work to haul 200k of cargo as we used to use to haul 20k of cargo. So now we make 10 x the amount for the same amount of work.

We have a wide disparity of wealth. Only societies with effective leveling mechanisms perpetuate themselves. These tools keep the uber weatlhy closer to the poor and give access to wealth to the poor.

Game dynamics are creating a big disparity of income earning potential.

A newer player will deliver 500-1000 tons of cargo to the LM. The 20% reduction will main they need to make 5 trips instead of 4.

For a player hauling in a lev, the amount earned from those 4 trips is a good size number.

200,000 tons sold at 1000 is 200,000,000 credits. If the same amount is sold at 800 per ton, that is 160,000,000. 40 million credits a trip will not break the lev hauler, but will increase the amount of credits getting flooded into the game presently. It was not as big an issue when we were hauling 20k, but 200,000 tonnes per trip is substantial.

I understand your desire for expansion. We do not really have a big enough player base to handle continual expansion. We have way more materials (iron and carbon) then needed for the active gate builds. Look around. Gates need modules, not iron and carbon.

I would not want people to have to go 2-3 months to get to a class 7 ship like I did. I do think it is not unreasonable to think it might take 2-3 weeks. Quicker if they do heavy playing.

Why would adjusting LM prices to reflect delivery technics and available infrastructure be a step back? Just the opposite. It shows our advancement. Lower prices for materials sold would lead to lower commodities for the population in a capitalistic market.

Hubes wrote:The end result is it put a strain on some of the playerbase.


How does me making a trip to the LM and selling at 9x what I used to make instead of 10 x what I used to make put a strain on the playerbase?

Hubes wrote:This is mainly why I oppose price reductions, and limits on the economy.


Reducing the LM prices is not a limit on the economy. Please research the Weimar Republic(hyperinflation) and see what happens when you continueally dump fiat currency into a economic system.

I would argue that a healthy market will see reductions in price because of supply and competition.

Hubes wrote:why can't we think big and focus on expansion rather then reduction and shrinking?


Again, market reductions would be a sign of a healthy strong economy. Why would it be attached to a concept of shrinking?

I already know that my argument is falling on deaf ears. I know that nothing will come of it. I just want to show that it is based on facts, knowledge and observation. It is not just a whim or a ploy to strengthen myself in the game. I need no more strength. I do not plan to grow any of my existing colonies. I actually plan to shift over much of my production to terraforming, of which I will gain nothing personally, just like all that gate building. (That comment was not meant for you Hubes.)

Now you all can go back to your enjoyment of the game. Yes, it is a game and the LM prices will not really affect us much. Especially those of us who haul in levs.
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Re: Economy

Postby davh62 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:40 am

I would like to share my thoughts on this with a glimpse into the game future.


Future- Ship sizes are getting seriously big- Leading to selling to UNCA ss's on a massive scale
: carb will be exhausted first followed by Titanium then any other material that can be sold en masse for fast big profits.
: The player market will inflate due to materials shortage.
: Player market will shrink due to players hauling their own materials to market instead of selling


I'm not saying this will happen soon, but it will happen when we get to say class 18+ cargo capacities. Colonies will be bled dry & systems pillaged.

I personally think that prices should remain the same & lets see how things play out. Ship cargo size cannot continue to double. It pains me to say that but it's the hastening end game like never before. Your thoughts please?
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Re: Economy

Postby shathiell » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:34 pm

Good topic and one which comes around time and time again. I haven't played Ascent for a couple of months (Hopefully coming back soon), however this is something which should be addressed.

Going off previous experience with an in-development game (Shroud of the Avatar) the developers there recently were concerned with how much gold was being generated into the economy so they thought the best move was to reduce the amount of gold on mob-drops to help dry up what was being generated. This resulted in massive community backlash as it alienated those still building their character from those who had done the massive grind to collect. It also didn't really fix the problem because the grinders were still generating gold (at a slower rate, but it didn't matter given how much they had) and the ones building their character stopped playing.

So, reducing the only true source of income for newbies leveling isn't the answer. The developers of Shroud don't have an answer, however they know that gold (The in-game currency) inflation is an issue and one they are closely monitoring. They have just gone through a "Property Raffle" which resulted in gold sinks in the economy and the ongoing rental payments for those properties will help reduce it further. However, this kinda highlights the underlying issue; The lack of credit sinks in the economy.

We don't have a lot to sink credits into right now. Jam was hoping that palaces would get rid of some of these credits, however given they are only once-off costs the grinders and rich ones are able to easily able to make back those losses and continue on their merry way. The introduction of bigger ship classes makes this easier as well. What we need is some new ideas on credit sinks and/or ways to create market supply/demand on NPC stations without disrupting the leveling process.

Some suggestions I have which come to mind:
  • Have an option to support colony upkeep in credits - This might not really affect many people, however those who don't want to pay the monthly sub will have an option to keep their colony rolling without the monthly sub credits.
  • More dynamic NPC economy - This is in place right now, however it is rather rudimentary and doesn't really cover demand (It does cover supply). Implement something which changes the demand over time for certain goods at certain stations to stop flooding Apollo with carbon.
  • Enable colonist migration - The feature to pay colonists was a good start, however we should be seeing them migrate to better paying jobs if the opportunity arises. Allow migration to start injecting more credits into colonists upkeep.
  • More Jam-1 stations - This one doesn't really reduce credits (more enables them), however if we start doing a real supply/demand market then we should start seeing stations appear in outer systems which enable trade of rare goods for materials they will have in high demand (Such as food).
  • Support NPC's - Looking at how other games do crafting, they require items purchase from NPC's to do the actual build (Shroud goes one step further and introduces crafting failure rates). Look at what we could buy from NPC stations for crafting certain modules.
This is all I can think of right now (And should probably be in the game features discussion), however reducing the NPC income isn't the answer.
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Re: Economy

Postby BoshingTong » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:58 pm

Stepping back. I think that we have not add things that need to be there. Creds are not useful to people like RAM. He is not a trader and does not buy anything. He is self sufficient for any project he wants to complete. I am a trader so creds are uber important to me because it is the only way to trade with NPCs or PCs. Ship builders like Seek often take trade and creds for ships, so they are mildly important to them. These are the basics for the game.

If we get to the point that NPCs can move on there own then a major change will be pay, medical, education, food and housing. Right now if you want to you can pay your NPCs it makes little difference in the grand scheme of things. Just by adding that creds become important to everyone. He who pays the most or better will get the work done they need. You would always be needing to hire more, which takes real time and more creds. That would add balance for even RAM. Also there is not up keep cost on NPC fleets. I have a large fleet to move production around. If I had to pay up keep and salary to the NPCs it would change the need for creds. We don't pay up keep on colonies or OSBs. Again would fix alot of the economy.

Maybe some of this needs to be in mats and not just creds. Every 100 buildings need 10 tons of carbon, iron, aluminum, and titanium. The same with mods. This would mean more SM buys and the need for trading, just as we do with food now. I could really get behind that kind of economy change rather than just messing with prices in the LM. This puts mats to use and make a need for a more robust trading system. If we get more control of the NPCs fleets could be sent to systems to fulfill the needs of OSBs and colonies while PCs could keep moving out. This makes the gate network even more need full.

One other thought, though I don't really like it would be to limit the size of a ship that could dock at a LM, so that as we get bigger ships you could not dump mass amounts on the LM, though it is still the only way to add creds to the game.

Just for information I never have more than 50B creds on hand because my Cube is always buying. I don't even have massive amounts of mats on hand because people come and buy it. With reasonable prices both ways I have on hand tons and some creds but not Trillions not even many Billions.
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Re: Economy

Postby rmartz » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:16 pm

BoshingTong wrote:Stepping back. I think that we have not add things that need to be there. Creds are not useful to people like RAM. He is not a trader and does not buy anything. He is self sufficient for any project he wants to complete. I am a trader so creds are uber important to me because it is the only way to trade with NPCs or PCs. Ship builders like Seek often take trade and creds for ships, so they are mildly important to them. These are the basics for the game.

If we get to the point that NPCs can move on there own then a major change will be pay, medical, education, food and housing. Right now if you want to you can pay your NPCs it makes little difference in the grand scheme of things. Just by adding that creds become important to everyone. He who pays the most or better will get the work done they need. You would always be needing to hire more, which takes real time and more creds. That would add balance for even RAM. Also there is not up keep cost on NPC fleets. I have a large fleet to move production around. If I had to pay up keep and salary to the NPCs it would change the need for creds. We don't pay up keep on colonies or OSBs. Again would fix alot of the economy.

Maybe some of this needs to be in mats and not just creds. Every 100 buildings need 10 tons of carbon, iron, aluminum, and titanium. The same with mods. This would mean more SM buys and the need for trading, just as we do with food now. I could really get behind that kind of economy change rather than just messing with prices in the LM. This puts mats to use and make a need for a more robust trading system. If we get more control of the NPCs fleets could be sent to systems to fulfill the needs of OSBs and colonies while PCs could keep moving out. This makes the gate network even more need full.

One other thought, though I don't really like it would be to limit the size of a ship that could dock at a LM, so that as we get bigger ships you could not dump mass amounts on the LM, though it is still the only way to add creds to the game.

Just for information I never have more than 50B creds on hand because my Cube is always buying. I don't even have massive amounts of mats on hand because people come and buy it. With reasonable prices both ways I have on hand tons and some creds but not Trillions not even many Billions.


I would support most of this. Lots of good idea, but will take a lot of coding to make it happen. All that would be in Jam's wheelhouse. It would be up to him if he wanted to work towards some of it. I would hope he would, but I know he has already got the next few months of coding planned. If he jumps off Algae for this, you will have a revolt! :lol:

I keep going back to what can "we" do? Maybe nothing, but find a way to enjoy the game we have. Jam has opened the door that the President can recommend SS Price changes. I was trying to work within that boundary. I can see that a LM price change of a noticeable amount would be very poorly accepted by everyone except me. I still think increasing the SS ship prices would help ship builders so we could allow builders to build cl 6 - 10 ships and still make a fair profit. It may not really change the game dynamic, but I think it would not hurt anything and open a door for another player supplied service.

I really can not see anything else that we can do to affect the economy in game besides this. The rest is really up to Jam to implement or ignore.

BoshingTong wrote:Creds are not useful to people like RAM. He is not a trader and does not buy anything. He is self sufficient for any project he wants to complete.


I wanted to bring this quote out a bit because I think it is important. The reason why I started this talk in the forums is because I know I do not play as most other players. I see things differently often. It is okay if others/everyone disagrees with me. I will still have my opinion, but it does help me to see the way others play. I thank Bosh and others who present their perspective openly and without an intent to attack someone else. I also know some others do hear my perspective and know I am sincere in my desire to help the game, gameplay, and players.
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