Feature request - Better control over production chains

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tobascodagama

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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby tobascodagama » Tue May 03, 2016 5:00 pm

I agree with Yukon Sam on the latter point. Players are basically never going to bother shipping from colony to OSB because the margins are so tiny. Even shipping between OSBs is rarely profitable on anything like a satisfying scale.

When I first got my Yeti, I found a route moving carbon or something between two OSBs in the same system at something like a 200/ton profit, which is pretty big for such a simple route, plus there was something like a 10/ton profit on grain for the return trip. But on a credits per time calculation, even zipping between two stations in the same system was less profitable than hauling the same amount of carbon through a couple of gates to the closest inner planet space station at an ~900/ton profit.

Most colony<->OSB routes have similar margins, but with the added time sink of manually flying into stock market range of the colony. It's just not worth doing, and for newbies with small ships it's even less attractive than for vets who can trade 20,000+ tons in a single trip.

Newbies really need a steady, guaranteed profit for whatever activity they're engaging in, and hauling around teeny portions of raw materials for established players is never going to be that, because established players are never going to sell them at enough of a loss to make it worth the time for newbies to do. That's what the inner system stations are for, because the UNCA has infinite demand and infinite credits. Even the biggest magnates in the game can't claim that.
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby rmartz » Tue May 03, 2016 5:14 pm

Yukon Sam wrote:We're not talking about bringing goods to market, we're talking about getting them from the surface to an associated OSB. I'm a patient woman, but I can't even begin to imagine the zen mastery required to do that for minimal profit in sufficient volume to even put a dent in the demand. The rest of the trading system is mostly fine, but that one small step cries out for automation.

When I went back and reread the OP, I realized I was talking about something different, but was too lazy to change anything. :lol:

The concept is for NPC to do the hauling. You can set buy orders large enough that most mats are moved by them. The idea is using the markets so it makes as many markets available as possible. If we had 100's active the player base, open markets would not be much of an issue, but with a smaller base, this leaves more opportunity for newer players and allows for a much more open game.

It forces me to have open markets instead of locking it all down so only I can use it. This is a good thing and keeps me from controlling too much. It also forces me to watch market prices and make sure I do not post a buy order too high or a sell order too low.

While I would LOVE to have a space elevator that connects OSB to colony, not having one makes me open my markets. I often see others swoop in and buy some mats. I like that.
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby rastilion » Tue May 03, 2016 6:54 pm

BoshingTong wrote:That has been suggested. Most of it was shot down due to Jam wanting the hauling jobs available to new players. That is why it is an open buy/sell market and NPCs will only trade up to half. He expects players to fill in the other half. We just don't have enough new players for that to be happening.


Basically, I agree with the idea. I would love to properly sell my producedd goods to the community.
But there are a couple of major flaws in it.
a) Like you said, this requires a certain number of (new) players
b) Like Yukon Sam said, the margins are too small and the time consumed too much for Col <-> OSB routes
c) Who would think about hauling even for a profit of 100/unit, if there is a constant demand of goods that fetch 100k/unit?
d) Who, as owner of a colony (and consequently NPCs) and OSB, will want to pay for having his own resources transported if his NPCs can do that for free?
e) I'm sure, i've missed something, but that should be enough :mrgreen:

Not part of this, but if you do the maths, you will see that given a high enough demand at the target and enough cargo space, the NPCs alone will soon start delivering your daily production. Even with the restriction of max half demand/supply.
And cargo space really isn't a limiting factor in the later game.

Edit:
rmartz wrote:While I would LOVE to have a space elevator that connects OSB to colony, not having one makes me open my markets. I often see others swoop in and buy some mats. I like that.


This is my personal experience:
I'm quite busy even when i'm out of office. (That's why i love this game... I can just be gone for a few days.)
I currently have about 600 systems left to fully explore before i can start going out there again. (An aim of mine)
There are still each 550 WHs and PCs to fill on my side of a gate meaning lots of mining time. (I wanted it, i got it ;) )
I'm forced to open my market to players who won't transport goods from my colony a to b (where the goods are needed) but buy for themselves because i don't have the time to transport my mats myself. (my mats referring to the materials needed at each colony/OSB for them to function properly)
The last sentence is not meant to attack any player, it's just stating the facts.
I have far too high production of some materials i would love to sell. Then there are materials i would rather not sell but use to supply my colonies and OSBs, for which these materials are originally planned. Sadly, the materials i want shipped between my colonies are mostly underproduced and production is not so easy to get by (see the fertilizer from my first post), but get bought because they are quite hard to acquire.
This will then of course impact the colony the materials are meant to be brought to, because there is already too little and this forced opening of my market will reduce the available amount even more.

But enough with the rambling now :D

Edit2:
Note to the first part: My colony is 300 ly out and as such somewhere between medium and far out, effectively putting it out of range of players supplying it. And my col is still close, seeing other players with cols 1k+ ly out there.
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby Xanuri » Wed May 04, 2016 2:30 pm

+1 here

what I don't mind, having to hire NPC's and purchase ships to move product from my colonies to my OSB's, there is nothing wrong with this as a sink hole in the economy.

I do believe that this activity should be private.

Here are a few ways to handle this

Each resource has the following properties.
Reserve: this is the amount of that resource that will not be touched by resource movement activities or sell orders. it allows you to maintain a certain amount for use by the local colony/OSB for consumption.

Example:
reserve carbon 2000

This will set aside 2000 carbon to be maintained for local usage, should resources fall below this # it will be filled/replinished before any is available for transport or sell orders.

(optional) Supply Order. Supply <resource> <priority> <enable/disable>. this is a simple on/off mechanism to allow you to enable or disable a resource as a source of supply and set their supply priority. Priority would be a number ranging from say 1-4, this would allow you to prioritize your supply resources

Example:
supply carbon enable 1

This will enable carbon as a supply resource and assign it as a priority 1, meaning you want to move carbon out of this location before any other location. so long as the amount exceeds the reserve amount set. if the reserve amount set is not met then this is simply ignored.


(optional) Demand Order: Demand <resource> <qty> <priority>. This command sets the amount of resources you want to have at a particular location and allows you to assign a priority to that demand.

Example:
demand carbon 1000000 1

This sets a demand for carbon to 1 million with a priority of 1, the npc's would work hard to keep this resource stockpiled before moving other lower priority resources.

NPC AI Options for moving product idea: (pick one or suggest others)
  • Assign NPC to be a trade NPC, nothing more. Control is all in the priorities set. ALL trade NPC's will work to fill a Priority 1 demand before they work on the next lower priority.
  • Assign NPC's to a trade priority, the npcs will work to fill the demand orders only for the priority they are assigned too. You can re-assign them as needed.


Stock Market:
(optional) Sell Order: price/t, max qty.

(optional) Buy Order: price/t, max qty.

I was always taught that if you are going to complain about something, don't just complain, provide a better solution...so I have attempted to provide what I think would be a valid solution for controlling internal supply and demand and provided the more simplified buy/sell orders. I think this is a simple solution and might not require too much in terms of coding but still provide a mechanism to do internal product moves.

If anyone else has constructive contributions to this setup please post them, I'd like to hear them.
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby rastilion » Wed May 04, 2016 2:40 pm

I love the idea of setting supply/demand for locations.
But i think, you should be able to assign NPCs to locations/routes for better control.

My proposed solution was keeping the system as-is, but allowing to set a "price" which indicates that this good is for internal use only.
Your solution is much more code-heavy, but would allow for much more flexibility than mine, which would just be a value-check.

Regards
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby Xanuri » Wed May 04, 2016 3:12 pm

rastilion wrote:I love the idea of setting supply/demand for locations.
But i think, you should be able to assign NPCs to locations/routes for better control.

My proposed solution was keeping the system as-is, but allowing to set a "price" which indicates that this good is for internal use only.
Your solution is much more code-heavy, but would allow for much more flexibility than mine, which would just be a value-check.

Regards


okay so I will add in your NPC suggestion to the list below

NPC AI Options for moving product idea: (pick one or suggest others)
  • Assign NPC's to a trade priority, the npcs will work to fill the demand orders only for the priority they are assigned too. You can re-assign them as needed.
  • Assign NPC to be a trade NPC, nothing more. Control is all in the priorities set. ALL trade NPC's will work to fill a Priority 1 demand before they work on the next lower priority.
    Add:
  • Assign NPC's to trade between specific facilities. Once the orders are filled your NPC's will do nothing until there is work to do.

maybe you could also set a NPC's "home" facility in addition to trade priority, this would effectively allow the NPC to do work at another location you have so long as his "home" facility demand orders are filled.
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby Yukon Sam » Wed May 04, 2016 3:53 pm

You know, you could repurpose the dome atmosphere code to handle non-gaseous materials, but instead of "vent" you could "shuttle" things into orbit, with applicable command line parameters. Throw in a centralized control interface associated with warehouses and boom, you're set. That would provide much of the functionality Xanuri is suggesting with less additional coding.
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby Xanuri » Wed May 04, 2016 3:58 pm

Yukon Sam wrote:You know, you could repurpose the dome atmosphere code to handle non-gaseous materials, but instead of "vent" you could "shuttle" things into orbit, with applicable command line parameters. Throw in a centralized control interface associated with warehouses and boom, you're set. That would provide much of the functionality Xanuri is suggesting with less additional coding.


My suggestion was loosely based off of the dome store/vent controls but your suggestion bypasses the warehouse entirely and doesn't account for materials like Grain or Iron. not to mention I think the Dome Controls have enough things to handle, tying it in with supply chain would not be recommended.
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby Yukon Sam » Wed May 04, 2016 4:27 pm

Allow me to clarify. You could build an independent system, based on the dome control code, specifically for commodities like iron and grain, that would direct production to surface reserve, orbital storage, or market. The existing command set, applied to commodities, would give the player fairly granular control over what to keep on hand, what to move and what to sell.
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Re: Feature request - Better control over production chains

Postby Xanuri » Wed May 04, 2016 4:56 pm

Yukon Sam wrote:Allow me to clarify. You could build an independent system, based on the dome control code, specifically for commodities like iron and grain, that would direct production to surface reserve, orbital storage, or market. The existing command set, applied to commodities, would give the player fairly granular control over what to keep on hand, what to move and what to sell.


yes that would be some reusable logic to use in the back end, I agree. ;-)
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