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Request For Comments: Trading and Economics.

Apr 15, 2009 incarnate link
None of the proposals I have made are replacements for a fully dynamic economy, or having blockades impact the price and availability of items at given stations. Rather, I am trying to paint the fundamental picture that underlies such rule systems; which a more dynamic system can then stir up, but return to after the economic storms pass. As I said in my first post, these numbers, once settled, would still be used as desired targets for a modulated dynamic system, as criteria that would impact the behaviour of NPC convoys and mission-postings to auto-balance the delivery of goods to stations or Factional attacks on blockades.

But before we create a fully dynamic economy, allow NPC convoys to impact demand, permit the build tree of items to impact item sale price and availability.. I need a basic freaking pricing ballpark.

Most of the posts on this thread are getting way ahead of themselves. We don't need fully dynamic systems that are impacted by unrat assaults (who are currently nonexistent and unreliable in some ways). We need a set of averages, average values for regional traffic that underpin fundamental gameplay. Stuff like "higher profits are in Grayspace" and "learn to trade in your Nation space, where it's safer".. along with "there is some actual value to going into gray, other than shooting at people." I can't even move forward with any of the other fancy dynamic crap until we establish a grounded static economy, which frankly we haven't had since Alpha.

So, seriously, can we dial it back and just take a look at the original numbers from my first post? Don't get me wrong, there are lots of great ideas in this thread, but they aren't the feedback I actually need right now. Keep it simple: assuming I am not trying to return to the income levels of Old, how do the relative profits look for the different Intra, Inter, and Deep-Gray regions?
Apr 15, 2009 Sraer link
I think your price range for intra system is a little wimpy per cu. A cap around 750 because there are some goods that are system exclusive sounds a little more logical and doesn't interfere with other ranges. I honestly like your other price ranges.

Just my tiny input, short and simple.
Apr 15, 2009 Death Fluffy link
Incarnate: That answers one of the factors that turn me away from trading, though when I was testing the enhanced routes a couple of months ago, I did not last long enough figure out which ones they were. I trade to relax, have fun (getting chased or pirated is part of that fun), and make lots of credits- however, I am not going to trade simply to provide a target. I'm always watching and occasionally testing. My post was intended to express why I stopped trading, and why after several experiments with the new system and enhanced routes, I have not resumed.

Lecter: Well done. No one states the obvious as well as you do. Keep it up and someday you'll get that pony.
Apr 15, 2009 peytros link
for far to long you traders have been getting your cake and eating it too. fluffy your post on how you can make 2 mil without leaving dau is EXACTLY whats wrong with this game. 2 mil? you can buy 20 greyhounds, what do you people want? 1 wormhole jumps into grey that spit out 200 million credits?

No one is supposed to be as rich as they are now is what Inc is saying so all you people bitching and moaning about not having billions of credits anymore can stfu. imo this game gets very boring when death means nothing and you can pay anyone to do anything.

Inc, I don't trade but I try to make most of my living off blowing up players rather then npcs cause i think its boring, that said I think the max one xc in grey should be able to make is 2 mil on the VERY HIGH SIDE with 700k to 1.2 mil being the average.

assuming grey space expands before this is in place I am going to assume grey to grey trading will consist of more then 1-2 jumps. A grey to grey route should produce somewhere from 300k to 600k per xc

also the last bit of my rant. You people need to stop complaining about going out in moths and getting boomed its a freakin MMO if you are not good enough to go out in space on your own learn to play with other people or go back to hiding in nation space and being anti social.
Apr 15, 2009 jborderman link
I want to put my little bit into this conversation and while it may seem not to apply to the topic it does most emphatically. This is a game. When playing a game I want some enjoyment from the game. Right now it all seems one sided going towards the pirating. I enjoyed this game when I could mine and trade and make a decent profit and no I do not have billions of credits, as a matter of fact less than 100 million. If I can't enjoy being a trader and miner than why should I even continue playing the game. That is just my thing. I actually quit trading several months ago when the economy when bad. I guess the whole point of this is to say to Incarnate: Forcing me to do something I don't want to do causes me to quit. What are you going to do when the TGFT Guild fails and the traders all quit the game? There needs to be a balance that will allow traders to stay in the game. If there is no incentive to stay and trade then there is no sense for me to even be in this game. And no I will not go to EVE cause it is one lousy game. I really like this game but at this point with the direction it is taking I sure can't stay around much longer. Something must change to make it a balanced game. If it doesn't, cya all later.

Wild Gramps (TGFT Council and member)
Apr 15, 2009 genka link
Can't wait.
Apr 15, 2009 Dr. Lecter link
I can pull down 2 million an hour without leaving dau

Which is exactly what needs to change. Fucking about in Dau, or even inside UIT space alone, should net you a max of somewhere around 100,000 credits per hour.

Apr 15, 2009 Death Fluffy link
Peytros: I can make 2 million in less than an hour of running escort missions. I have no idea where I posted that I can make 2 million in dau. I haven't traded in Dau for probably close to a year now, but I doubt I could still pull down 2 million in an hour. Might have to give it a go though just to see.

What I want is a system that adequately rewards my effort and risks taken. I don't want to be reduced to flying Atlas' and Taurs' for trading purposes. I want to be able to spend my time building towards something, whether it is a player owned station or a billion credits.

I am not going to trade just to provide a target to everyone who wants to call themselves a pirate. Nor do I plan to fly a route that is going to put me in the path of players that only want to blow up my ship for 'shits and giggles'. I have been pirated by some of the best that have played the game, and I had a lot of fun.

On that note, I found one of your low decline routes Inc. I'm not sure how far I can milk it yet, but I will say that roughly 600,000cr profit for a moth traveling 8 wh's, is not enough reward for me to keep it going beyond my experiment.

Also, this talk of flying an XC in Grey space is just silly. 1) its too slow 2) it has very low thrust 3) it has next to no armor 4) it has no defensive ports (like that would help this ship). It is great for same system runs or nation space runs if your doing proc missions. Its ok if you need a ship to pick up jettisoned ores if your group mining.
Apr 15, 2009 peytros link
fluffy I don't think you are getting it. no one is going to have a billion credits in this new vendetta inc is talking about there will be to many money sinks and things to buy. Not to mention your arguement is contradictory. You want to be a trader yet you don't want to be a target? sorry but being a trader = target for pirates just like being a pirate = target for vprs and other do gooders

and wild gramps you are terribly short sighted and egotistical no one gives a rats ass if tgft falls and they all leave, actually that might help the game cause all the parinoid alt checkers and people who think they "own" vendetta might leave. sorry to burst your bubble gramps but vo was not made for tgft if they die out some other guild of traders will take their place to bad so sad.
Apr 15, 2009 Azumi link
people, you are forgetting that it all about having fun. Not who did who to whom/who cares about who. Nobody has the golden goose that lays the sweet solution egg. Hence the request for comments, not a request for Teh Endlösing of VO.

So, pipe it down and go back to answering Inc's question please.

Apr 15, 2009 Death Fluffy link
Peytros, I am getting it. Money sinks and items worth purchasing have been needed for a very very long time.

Also, you misunderstand me. My 'reason' for trading is not going to be to provide a target for a pirate, much like I doubt your 'reason' for being a pirate is to provide a target for VPR. I will not role play 'the victim'. If in the course of gameplay I become a 'victim' of piracy its all well and good, and I hope we all had a good time of it.

The point I've been trying to make, is that the incentive for me to return to active trading is still not there. Since I like to trade, I expect that incentive to take the form of lots and lots of credits. I am open to other forms of compensation though.

Hey Azumies! I still have your picture mounted on my control board :)
Apr 15, 2009 PaKettle link
well to answer your question Incarnate.

In nation - a bit high
nation to nation - about right
Nation to grey - too low

Escorting and trade average out at a decent level but mining is very time consuming and low profit. A 10 to 20 percent increase in extraction rate and a general price increase for ore would put it more on par with the other activities.
Apr 15, 2009 Wyrm link
Along with adjustments to trade, could we please start making Corvus a bit more, well, criminal and mercenary?

Corvus are a pirate faction. Pirates should be lawless, and concerned with money above all, so can we have things like an ability to bribe the station authorities into doing things, please?

Stations of Negotiable Allegiance might be a bit much, but escorts for hire (which demand a bonus for attacking a corvus-liked pirate) wouldbe nice to see, and this would help to soak up the stupidly high amounts of money people can make.
Apr 15, 2009 Dr. Lecter link
I think the very first thing that needs to happen is to cut payment for escort missions that don't involve going to Grey space by 3/4; the payment for those that do involve Grey space escort duty still need to be cut by 1/2.

Fluffy's whining aside, the incentive of "lots and lots" of credits is relative, not absolute. When you can't make more than 50,000 credits an hour in safe space -- whether by mining, escorting, trading or shipping weapons -- that 750,000 credits profit for a 30 minute, one way run starts to look like one Hell of an incentive.

Also, and this digresses a bit, I want to see an experience based progressive sales tax implemented in VO. We currently need sharp deflation, but that leaves n00bs in a tough spot relative to those of us who made hundreds of millions, if not tens of billions, of credits when the getting was easier. A credit reset or credit haircut (all balances capped at 200 million credits, for example) would be a terrible idea. I'd leave, and I only have several million credits--Ecka's head would probably explode.

However, if the cost of your items increased exponetially with your levels (after a certain point, to keep from breaking the up and comers' balls), it would serve as a valuable targeted credit sink that would help combat the "old money" problem with deflation. A level 4 buying an Ecka taur should pay what it costs now--Ecka buying an Ecka taur should pay 15 million credits. (this raises the problem of sell-back price and exploits by low levels buying items for high levels to sell back, but that's a minor issue) Vets should be good enough to pay through the nose for losing ships.
Apr 15, 2009 Surbius link
Inc: Single system trading, imo, should net from 100,000c to 1,000,000c a hour. Item profit in single system trading should reach 750c/cu and slightly higher to 1,000c/cu when it's an emergency.

Multiple system trading, imo, should net 1,000,000c to 5,000,000c a hour. Item profit between multiple systems should reach 2,000c/cu and slightly higher to 3,000c/cu when it's an emergency. However, note that the top tier items with the highest profit/cu should only be available among the longer routes and not a system away. The trader should be intelligent enough to find the max profit in the shortest route, so theoretically they could drag an item across 4 wormholes for 1,500c/cu compared to 8 wormholes where it would net the same profit/cu. The higher profit/cu items would exist on "routes" on the longest travel within Nation Space.

Multiple Nation Space and Gray Space trading, imo, should net from 5,000,000c to 20,000,000c a hour. Item profit between multiple Nations and Gray should reach 5,000c/cu and slightly higher to 7,000c/cu when it's an emergency. Include the above mention of distance to item profit and any intelligent trader should be able to find a route to their liking.

These are just ballpark figures, as Inc asked for, and would require some changes to accommodate the profits per hour and strategic location of items and their max profit end station. Plus item recovery so the routes are not exploited day in and day out.

Profits like these can open up more options for newer traders to actually utilize their profits for bigger and better ships when and if they are implemented.

EDIT: Of course profit per hour is subject to the ship being used. I would say an XC would be the main motive for transportation for single system and Nation Space trade. If the devs want to be a little helpful, there could be another 200cu ship with enough defense to survive if at least caught in an Ion Storm but with a considerable price, just to give traders more incentive to travel to Gray Space with 200cus of goods.
Apr 15, 2009 Death Fluffy link
Same system trades: low profit certainly no higher than 500cr per cube max, maybe lower with a sharp drop off curve. These routes are for new players and should give them a feel for the mechanics, and allow them a modest amount of profit.

Same nation multi-system trades: moderate profit, roughly starting at 1000cr profit per cube and growing (perhaps 500-1000cr per wh jump required) as the source distance increases. Profit and fall off rate should be based on nearest source for each item.

International Trade: Similar to snm-s, with a small international bonus. At present, there is not enough seperation between nations to justify a huge trade bonus.

Grey space trades: similar to snm-s, except much higher starting profits. lower drop off rates, and higher wh bonus'

Grey space to nation: similar to snm-s, since roughly half of a trip is going to be in 'safe' territory, possibly slightly lower overall rewards than pure multi-system Grey trades.

Essentially, if I'm purely trading in Grey space, I should expect to be able to make a minimum of 10 million an hour for intense uninterrupted, shut my mouth and ignore 100 trading.

Rare items, such as Meditation Crystals, Pelatus Spices, Corvus Holo Disks, that only have one or very few source stations should provide either extremely higher profits the further from the source you get, or, as in the case of meditation crystals, extremely high loss if sold in an uninterested region, such as Serco space. But they should also have a higher drop off rate.

Another factor to look at, is that at present, I can buy consumer electronics for around 300 cr. Sell them on a good day for over 1500cr and make 500% profit for my troubles. Meanwhile, I can buy Sedina chocolates for 10,000cr each, and I'm lucky if I make 2000cr profit, or merely 20%. Rethinking your pricing and profit margins would go a long way to making trade more interesting and fun. If I could make say 75% or better profit on a Sedina Chocolate trade, I'd likely be carrying them all over. There are a lot of poorly priced/profited items out there. Particularly the large cube items.
Apr 15, 2009 Death Fluffy link
Finally a constructive post Lecter. I'm impressed. And I agree with all but the last paragraph.

I gave up bitching about the escort rewards once Inc made it clear that reducing them was going to happen eventually. I maintain, that an escort should offer a flat rate, and any bot's or killed in defense of said escort should offer substantially higher rewards. That said, nerfing the escort missions should have happened at the same time as the start of the economy redux.

You are correct that a reward is relative to the alternative or lack thereof. At present, as previously discussed, I can make far more credits running escort missions than that pitiful 720,00cr, travel in a faster ship, with zero risk. When the situation changes to the point that the 720,000cr trade is the best deal, my perception of what is an adequate reward may change. I say adequate, because you have a significant player base that play purely for the combat experience. Which I believe is why Inc. left the escorts as they presently are. Though I may be wrong in this assumption. If you start forcing these players to trade, then you have the whole argument that went on when the ship prices were raised months ago all over again. But perhaps thats where the new sources of making money come in.

I have long held that VO needs more 'cost's for doing business' whether in the form of a tax or docking fees or whatever. Higher ship prices and station storage fees were a good start, but there needs to be more ways and reasons to make credits.
Apr 15, 2009 peytros link
20 mil for an hours of work is just insane surbius as are you single system and nation only trade route sugestions. you are saying that for an hours work you can buy 200 greyhounds or over 200 x1s. isn't the point of this to bring some meaning to dying in this game?
Apr 15, 2009 Aticephyr link
While I am not going to mention precise amounts in this post, somethings were made clear to me today when I was escorting two moths (not XC's) on a dangerous route through grey.
1) Traveling through grey takes a lot of time (duh), especially if there are baddies on the way (and you need to wait them out or kill them or the like). That time needs to be adequately rewarded.
2) Traveling through grey normally requires escort, which means now the there are at least two people who are spending time and should be rewarded. While VPR offers escorts for free, this is not likely to be the norm for most non-VPR pilots. Therefore, routes that go through grey (either from nationspace1-grey-nationspace2 or nationspace1-deepgrey-nationspace1) need to compensate enough so that the rewards can be split to some extent and still be high enough to incentivize traders to take the routes.

@peytros: the point of this is NOT to bring some meaning to dying in the game. the point is to create more player interaction and not create extreme cashcows. while I'll agree that 20mil is a bit much for an average hour, I believe Fluffy is talking about (or rather I think I would support him if he were talking about) a really, really damned constructive hour where he knew the best trade route at its peak. Again, I'm not a trader, so I don't know what cash amounts would incentivize them to compensate for my above points.
Apr 15, 2009 drazed link
WTF??? You do know not all vets are filthy rich like Ecka or Lecter? I have a petty 10mil in my account, and under Lecters planned taxing would have to go back to flying EC's :(

I've never been big on hording money, and have kept only enough to keep me flying. Just because others have horded their credits should not mean I should be punished along with them.

I propose instead of making the current content/play expensive as hell for the vets that have been supporting VO with monthly payments for some time now (we're gonna be punished because we got here earlier??? wtf???) we add new content for credit sink-holes..

Here are some proposed solutions that do not involve bringing me into poverty.

* Put the trident up for sale, sticker price 100,000,000credits plus some other rare/pricy widgets.

* Expensive taxi service. Will take you across the univers almost instantly, for the right price.

* Rent station (exclusive package): give free repair/reload and unlimited storage at the particular station, for a modest (1-5 million a day???) fee. Maybe make this a group package (20 million a day???)

* Fight a dev. Make this super expensive so the only time one of the devs needs to come die is if it's gonna credit-sink 500million or so. If you beat the dev you get a pelt or some other rare widget.

Anyhow, the above are just some ideas.... If you want money sinks, add new expensive stuff. The greyhound is a great moneysink ship for example. If you make playing VO much more expensive then it currently is even I will have to resort to begging Ecka for pocket change so I can repair my boat :p