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Thread: How much is a Credit Worth in 3303? (or: How does money work?)

  1. #1

    How much is a Credit Worth in 3303? (or: How does money work?)

    How much is money worth in 3303?

    Are ships really cheap? Or is everyone paying crazy money to ship goods and people around?

    A ship like a Cobra (something the size of a jet plane and the volume of a large house, approximately) costs around 300k. That seems fairly reasonable given (presumably) space-age 3D printing and assembly methods, they can probably crank out something like a fully finished Coba in an hour for little or no labour. Missiles cost 1000 credits, which seems pretty cheap, bit again space-age 3D printing I can imagine that's only just above raw material costs or something. Fuel is so cheap I couldn't even tell you how much that costs, but since it's Hydrogen, the most common element in the universe then it makes sense it's cheap.

    So I assumed originally that buying a Cobra in 3303 is like buying a Transit Van today. A really nice one will set you back around £23k or so, which in the UK is about a middle-manager annual salary, so it's a not-inconsiderable investment of personal money. An Anaconda is like buying a merchant ship, I can't be bothered to google enough to find prices but a quick search told me a small one might be around half a mill or so.

    However, I've just been paid 1.5million to take 3 people 2 hyperspace jumps. If you do some quick napkin conversions that means (in today's money, if we use the transit van comparison), they just paid me around £100,000 to take them down the motorway for two junctions. That seems a bit crazy. Another mission someone paid me 330k to transport 3t of cargo to the adjacent system. So, today's money conversion they paid me £25,000 to transport three parcels to the next town over. These are fairly standard mission payouts, cargo runs somewhere between 100 and 500k is pretty normal.

    From this I assume that ships are just really, really cheap. It's like paying for everything in Yen, 300k isn't actually much money in 3303.

    Using this type of thinking then, can we assume that buying a Cobra is like buying a small family car? Like £3k or less?

    I seem to remember reading in one of the novels (I think it was Premonition) that one character sold her family business to pay for pilot training and could only afford a Sidewinder at the end of it. Given this thinking, can we assume then that mass produced standard "stuff" in 3303 is dirt, dirt cheap (for the most part), but skills are very valuable? Maybe that's why there's so few pilots, maybe getting trained costs a billion credits?

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Farm Boy Passenger: "1.5 million credits?! We could buy our own ship for that!"
    Scoundrel Commander: "Yeah kid, but who's gonna fly it? You?"
    Farm Boy: "I'm not so bad a pilot..."
    Wise old man: "We'll pay you 10,000 now, and double on arrival. And we'd like to avoid any Imperial entanglements..."
    Commander: "Yeah, that's the trick..."

  3. #3
    There's plenty that doesn't make sense to 2017 thinking. I can only assume life is as radically different in 3303 in a similar fashion to how 2017 would look to someone from the middle ages.

    You probably are into something when you suggest commodities are cheap yet time is precious. Maybe most things are machine mined and manufactured.

  4. #4
    A Credit is worth approximately 160kg of poop.

  5. #5
    One ton of water costs some 100cr. You could extrapolate from there.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by CMDR Kevix View Post (Source)
    Farm Boy Passenger: "1.5 million credits?! We could buy our own ship for that!"
    Scoundrel Commander: "Yeah kid, but who's gonna fly it? You?"
    Farm Boy: "I'm not so bad a pilot..."
    Wise old man: "We'll pay you 10,000 now, and double on arrival. And we'd like to avoid any Imperial entanglements..."
    Commander: "Yeah, that's the trick..."
    Actually that's what got me thinking about it! (Also FE2 and FFE both have passengers missions that start "We need passage on a fast ship to..."

    But then I thought maybe it's the flying bit that's hard/expensive. They wish they'd had a farmboy that wasn't such a bad pilot himself.

  7. #7
    Part of the canon of Elite: Dangerous is that the FSD is a relatively recent invention, and has been around for less than a decade. "Officially" every single Type 2B Hyperdrive was scrapped, and replaced with the modern FSD. If this is true, and FSD technology is truly that ubiquitous, then the exorbitant prices we see for passenger and delivery missions don't make much sense. "You can buy your own ship for that," is not something that should be uttered by the person you want to hire.

    In my personal headcanon, the Type 2B still sees widespread use, with most ships still relying on the older 2B Hyperdrives to get anywhere. Which means that travel from one station another station a few light years away still takes a couple weeks of travel, unless you're one of the privileged few... such a member of the Pilot's Federation. If this is the case, then it could very well be worth a wealthy person's time to pay premium to charter a Pilot's Federation ship, verses travelling on the very slow alternative, no matter how richly appointed such ships may be.

    It also explains why so many ships appear only in USSs. Those are ships that still have to take the slow route through a system, and you can only stumble upon them when you're nearby.

    As for how much a credit is worth... there's a lot of ways of calculating that, but IMO the best way to compare is to examine the staples: wheat, corn, and rice, AKA grain in the game. IIRC, the last time I calculated this, I got a value of around $2 to $3 USD per credit. Other estimates, usually based on the price of gold, are much higher.

    And for the record, my character sold herself into Imperial Slavery for an education, a Sidewinder, and most importantly the money to join the Pilot's Federation. I personally considered the last one to be both the most expensive AND the most useful. There are some things money can buy, but membership in a galaxy-spanning criminal cabal is priceless.

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Vardaugas View Post (Source)
    One ton of water costs some 100cr. You could extrapolate from there.
    But based on what? We don't really know how rare water is in 3303, based on my logic currently that 1t of water is worth about 7p in todays money... That... might be right?

  9. #9
    I just want to know how many credits will buy you a pint of beer (or how many pints you can buy for a credit).

    I can only think about money in those terms.

  10. #10
    Impossible to say, as we don't know what the intrinsic value of a credit is worth in comparison to something tangible. But, assuming in 3300 they still use Gold as a base for value...

    1t of gold = 1000 kilograms = 9,417 credits.
    So 1 gram of gold = 9.417 credits.

    Compared to today's real world gold prices:

    1t of gold = £32,200. (or $42,259)
    So 1 gram of gold = £32 (or $42.59)

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Moribus View Post (Source)
    But based on what? We don't really know how rare water is in 3303, based on my logic currently that 1t of water is worth about 7p in todays money... That... might be right?
    Well, compare the water price with beer and wine and I guess it's some $0.5-$1 per liter, so $500-$1000 per ton.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Darkfyre99 View Post (Source)
    Part of the canon of Elite: Dangerous is that the FSD is a relatively recent invention, and has been around for less than a decade. "Officially" every single Type 2B Hyperdrive was scrapped, and replaced with the modern FSD. If this is true, and FSD technology is truly that ubiquitous, then the exorbitant prices we see for passenger and delivery missions don't make much sense. "You can buy your own ship for that," is not something that should be uttered by the person you want to hire.

    In my personal headcanon, the Type 2B still sees widespread use, with most ships still relying on the older 2B Hyperdrives to get anywhere. Which means that travel from one station another station a few light years away still takes a couple weeks of travel, unless you're one of the privileged few... such a member of the Pilot's Federation. If this is the case, then it could very well be worth a wealthy person's time to pay premium to charter a Pilot's Federation ship, verses travelling on the very slow alternative, no matter how richly appointed such ships may be.

    It also explains why so many ships appear only in USSs. Those are ships that still have to take the slow route through a system, and you can only stumble upon them when you're nearby.
    That is nice logic. I have adopted this is fact.

    I agree, I can't believe that in 3300 when the new FSD type hyperdive was officially launched every single ship immediately got a free upgrade. It follows that the vast, vast bulk of ships are still using the old stardreamer tech and old hyperdrives.

    I've often thought, I know it would be an insanely pointless use of Fdev resources but I'd love to see tons of NPC ships in the old style (but with new skins) making those old blue wormholes and going through outside of stations and slowboating all over the place. Also since that type of hyperdrive used to drop you on the edge of a system and you had to fall inwards to the planets, it would be awesome to see (if you happen to be in the right place at the right time) one of those wormholes sitting there and a ship coming out. There should even be a second type of wake scanner for tracking those old wormholes, but then... I guess you'd have to wait like a week on the other side and remember to go back to it when it drops out lol.

    Originally Posted by Darkfyre99 View Post (Source)
    There are some things money can buy, but membership in a galaxy-spanning criminal cabal is priceless.
    Awesome.

    Originally Posted by metascrawl View Post (Source)
    I just want to know how many credits will buy you a pint of beer (or how many pints you can buy for a credit).

    I can only think about money in those terms.
    According to my original maths it's like 3000 credits a pint...

  13. #13
    I have said in a similar thread. A Sidewinder is the same cost as a VW Bug/Beetle.

    As to the rewards you are offered to move someone, or something. As in this life; it is dependent on your own reputation and 'who' is paying. How much does it cost to run the POTUS a thousand miles today? Or a group of overpaid executives, the cost of a round trip for a two day 'seminar'? Or the shipment the local Man, wants moving and he knows, that you are the hauler that can get it done; with the least amount of attention.

    It is all relevant.

  14. #14
    Seems like another Realism vs. Gameplay question IMO

    Ultimately the question is:

    Do you want realistic cash reimbursement for doing a 'job' or do you want a value which is balanced to make the game enjoyable?

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Kaltern View Post (Source)
    Impossible to say, as we don't know what the intrinsic value of a credit is worth in comparison to something tangible. But, assuming in 3300 they still use Gold as a base for value...

    1t of gold = 1000 kilograms = 9,417 credits.
    So 1 gram of gold = 9.417 credits.

    Compared to today's real world gold prices:

    1t of gold = £32,200. (or $42,259)
    So 1 gram of gold = £32 (or $42.59)
    That's nice maths. However, something like Gold is only valuable since it's relatively rare and useful in some stuff. And pretty. In space, gold is likely plentiful so it's probably worth a lot less in 3303.

    Something like Lithium might well be far more valuable since it can't be made (all the Lithium in the universe is all there ever will be), or Tantalum, since it's what Hyperdrives are made with.

    Originally Posted by Kerrash View Post (Source)
    Seems like another Realism vs. Gameplay question IMO

    Ultimately the question is:

    Do you want realistic cash reimbursement for doing a 'job' or do you want a value which is balanced to make the game enjoyable?
    Nah it's more of a "This is an interesting thing to think about" question. It doesn't really bother me in terms of "game balance" or anything, I'd just like to know if having 200mill credits means I'm rich (like having 2mill today would be) or it means I'm pretty average, or even poor because money is valued totally differently.

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