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Thread: So, a constructive thread about balancing the economy...

  1. #1

    So, a constructive thread about balancing the economy...

    After reading someone else's thread where they mock frontier for attempting to bring balance to the Elite economy, stating that
    The only people now not flying around in gold-plated Cutters, are the noobs and hardcode RP immersionists.

    You release a new exploit or bug with every single patch and people top up their rebuys with a few billion and then wait till the next one.

    So why are you bothering to patch them out?
    I was left wondering what would it take to make a truly immersive and balanced economy while still maintaining gameplay and not disadvantaging those "noobs and hardcode RP immersionists" while still challenging the people who milked All the exploits and unintentional gold rushes caused a lot of people not having to worry about in game money ever again.

    After a working economy is made, there is still the issue of a few trillion credits which have been exploited into existence and need to be addressed in a manner that mines the least possible salt. By that I mean if Frontier called exploit on Robigo, or Sothis, or Draconis, or Quince, or any combination of those and removed the billions upon billions of credits earned in those systems from commanders accounts the backlash would be apocalyptical.

    So what I'm looking for in this thread is suggestions that could be contributing factors to designing a more realistic, robust and balanced economy, and how to deal with the backlog of exploited multibillionaires?

    My first suggestions would be:
    • Add some reality checks to the algorithm that spawns missions, like why would anyone pay 50million to get 700k's worth of cargo brought to them? Or Why would a passenger mission for 6 business people going 25LY offer 5 million, when they could buy a cobra, get themselves to their destination and save 4.8 million?
    • Add more fluctuation on the prices of goods based on rate of production/consumption, and variance in the levels of stock of those commodities held in the markets with stock levels and prices going up and down in accordance with a facsimile of npc traffic and bgs activity.
    • Markets need to stop being the blackholes that you offload commodities into them and they just instantly disappear never to be seen again. Consumption and production needs to be emulated, so at arefinery station you offload minerals, they show up on the market, the number keeps getting nibbled at (as the refinery uses them) an npc type 9 lands the number of minerals goes up again, then goes down by another couple as the refinery uses more, then some more metals get added to the stockmarkets inventory (which the refinery has produced).
    • Introduce proper supply and demand, ie: If an item is genuinely out of stock, its price should start creeping up. If there are thousands of tonnes of an item in stock the price drops.
    • To slowly eradicate the exploited trillions, I'd make the galaxy more hostile the more a players net worth was, making sure exploiters (sothis/quince/draconis billionaires) get hit by ATR levels of devastatingly effective NPC's to induce quite a few rebuys to bring their credit balance into check.


    But thats just my thoughts, what are your suggestions..?

  2. #2
    I'm a multi-billionaire.
    98% of my earnings come from exploration - and not road-to-riches either.
    I don't see why I should get harder NPCs when I'm flying a Cobra, just because I'm rich. In any event, it would take a awful long time for the rebuys on it to make a dent in my bank balance.

    I agree that mission payments need killing though.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by DrewCarnegie View Post (Source)
    I'm a multi-billionaire.
    98% of my earnings come from exploration - and not road-to-riches either.
    I don't see why I should get harder NPCs when I'm flying a Cobra, just because I'm rich. In any event, it would take a awful long time for the rebuys on it to make a dent in my bank balance.

    I agree that mission payments need killing though.
    Ye, or have engineered bullet sponges spawn on you just because you've played the game for a while.

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Jayridium View Post (Source)
    • Add some reality checks to the algorithm that spawns missions, like why would anyone pay 50million to get 700k's worth of cargo brought to them? Or Why would a passenger mission for 6 business people going 25LY offer 5 million, when they could buy a cobra, get themselves to their destination and save 4.8 million?
    • Add more fluctuation on the prices of goods based on rate of production/consumption, and variance in the levels of stock of those commodities held in the markets with stock levels and prices going up and down in accordance with a facsimile of npc traffic and bgs activity.
    • Markets need to stop being the blackholes that you offload commodities into them and they just instantly disappear never to be seen again. Consumption and production needs to be emulated, so at arefinery station you offload minerals, they show up on the market, the number keeps getting nibbled at (as the refinery uses them) an npc type 9 lands the number of minerals goes up again, then goes down by another couple as the refinery uses more, then some more metals get added to the stockmarkets inventory (which the refinery has produced).
    • Introduce proper supply and demand, ie: If an item is genuinely out of stock, its price should start creeping up. If there are thousands of tonnes of an item in stock the price drops.
    • To slowly eradicate the exploited trillions, I'd make the galaxy more hostile the more a players net worth was, making sure exploiters (sothis/quince/draconis billionaires) get hit by ATR levels of devastatingly effective NPC's to induce quite a few rebuys to bring their credit balance into check.
    Whilst I love the idea of a proper economy in ED working off a simplified supply and demand model I think the issue is it would be a monumental task to change it now.

    FDev went with a a very very basic economy simluator with a handful of preset prices depending on system states which is tied into the BGS. To change that would require them to almost rewrite the entire BGS.

    IMO the economy and the BGS is one very big reason (amongst others) why this game feels so flat and dull but I seriously doubt FDev will ever do anything about it, it's just too much work for them with very little return.

    The game is filled with these compromised design choices and I believe they did this in order to get the game released on time and on budget.

  5. #5
    A proper economy that runs galaxy wide seems like it would require a lot of CPU resources server side.

  6. #6
    I think the BGS is suppose to react to supply and demand, maybe it is not instant. Some systems would naurally be more lucrative than other in the same way some cities are more expensive than others. You may have a point about increasing the levels of NPC pirate activity but I would do it by location not by credit balance. It would only be natural for more pirates to operate closer to the Sothis run etc. and their effectiveness should also increase.

    Another aspect of economy also to consider is the cost of bounties. Damaging or destroying a ship incurs a bounty that is a fraction of the value to the ship to replace. Therefore collecting bountyies is also well undervalued. Would it not make sense to peg bounties to the galactic average of the ship that was destroyed?

  7. #7
    TWO WORDS:

    BASE BUILDING

    They just need more credit sponges and NOTHING sponges credits like base building...

    I've done it in NMS and I've done it in Dual Universe.... Holy moly do bases require SERIOUS RESOURCES.

    I would really love to fly all my ships to some isolated asteroid and create my own asteroid base. It would be a dream that might actually get me to play more than an hour a week again.

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post (Source)
    TWO WORDS:

    BASE BUILDING

    They just need more credit sponges and NOTHING sponges credits like base building...

    I've done it in NMS and I've done it in Dual Universe.... Holy moly do bases require SERIOUS RESOURCES.

    I would really love to fly all my ships to some isolated asteroid and create my own asteroid base. It would be a dream that might actually get me to play more than an hour a week again.
    I would like to see some personal base building too. It could be fun, shame I won't be able to walk around them though.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Jayridium View Post (Source)
    [*]Add more fluctuation on the prices of goods based on rate of production/consumption, and variance in the levels of stock of those commodities held in the markets with stock levels and prices going up and down in accordance with a facsimile of npc traffic and bgs activity.[*]Markets need to stop being the blackholes that you offload commodities into them and they just instantly disappear never to be seen again. Consumption and production needs to be emulated, so at arefinery station you offload minerals, they show up on the market, the number keeps getting nibbled at (as the refinery uses them) an npc type 9 lands the number of minerals goes up again, then goes down by another couple as the refinery uses more, then some more metals get added to the stockmarkets inventory (which the refinery has produced).[*]Introduce proper supply and demand, ie: If an item is genuinely out of stock, its price should start creeping up. If there are thousands of tonnes of an item in stock the price drops.
    Prices, stock levels and demand levels already vary - sometimes quite significantly - depending on BGS state and which of the three supply/demand brackets the good is in. And incoming trade leads to Boom state leads to increased supply, so in a *very* abstract sense there's a supply-demand model there.

    At the moment, you buy goods from a station and the Supply goes down. You sell goods and the Demand goes down (or the Supply goes up, if you're selling back to an exporter). If it's a very busy station - the source for a CG required good, for instance - then the Supply will eventually go down to near-zero if traffic is high enough (dragging the price up with it). Similarly, CGs have an effectively infinite demand coded in because previously the initial hours would fill the "normal" demand causing the sale price for the rest of the week to drop significantly.

    Watching the supply levels at a CG source station the quantities of the CG good drop and recover pretty smoothly over the course of the CG, and the price varies inversely to this.

    So what would a more detailed supply/demand model visibly provide to players, that the current model doesn't?

  10. #10
    Any game i've played that has the issue of the player gaining too much cash can be solved by increasing the number of things for the players to spend it on.

    There are shades of complexity you do need to be aware off, things like needing a vastly reduced 'resale' price to items (so the 'loss' really costs the player in the transaction as they move 'up' through the items to buy).

    In the case of ED i would guess the obvious answer would be to have more of the larger, hugely expensive ships or to go beyond that add some elements of investment in the space stations (buy a player 'home' etc).

  11. #11
    I wish we had a ships hull engineer. I'd pay 1 billion credits to be able to reduce my ship hull mass by 50% and the cost of losing 50% hull integrity.

  12. #12
    The game already has a reasonable simulation of commodity supply - around trade CGs you can see stock run low and prices go up for the commodities in demand. Although I suppose this could be improved in some ways, like tying input and output (more metals for industrial economy causes more goods produced) and creating more regional variety (like each extraction system having only some materials available).

    What the game needs IMO is a similar system for passenger transport and missions. Most money exploits are based on bugs in the mission system (high paying, easily stackable or quick to finish missions). If the game tracked how much money each faction is spending on missions, and how many passengers are transported from / to each system, it would automatically balance things like Quince since the factions would run out of reward money and tourists to transport.

    As for the existing exploited money, I'd say that an impending Thargoid invasion is a decent reason for galaxy-wide economy crash and subsequent currency reform. Any savings above some threshold could be cut down by 90% or more - having little effect on starting players but getting rid of large amounts of excess money in some CMDRs accounts.

  13. #13
    pasted from the other thread. so obviously 1st off there needs to be more switches in place so fd can tweak 1 part without ruining another.

    but if we imagine a magic place where FD have managed to get the game generation something like a good economy..... then i would make some serious changes to the balance of costs.



    carrots

    cut the price of all ships over say 500K by increasing amounts with top tier ships like anaconda costing for arguments sake 30 million
    cut price of the large modules and armour so for instance an 8A fuel scoop may cost 15 million.
    the cost of commodities in the market cost approximately similar, tho the sell price of the cheap stuff be increased significantly where in demand.
    massively cut the cost of the npc fighter pilot, with choice of fixed yearly salary OR a %age of profits - but much less than now
    Actual gold rushes... very short lived opportunities to make good coin that dry up quickly, no time to post on forums and if you do they will be extinguished as masses do them.


    now balancing the other side.

    sticks

    Introduce docking fees, which go up depending on the size of your ship.

    Big ships HAVE to have crew to fly so have wages - until FD are ready to implement proper crew these are just numbers and take a fee - call it large ship tax. this can be fleshed out later.

    When docking if you do not land properly you get a fine for internal damages to the station.

    You pay an extra fee for connecting to the docking computer service but forgo station damage fees.

    Mission payouts significantly cut... but number of targets in kill X missions hugely cut. (more mission targets spawn when on mission)

    mission board synced on all servers

    large ships have wear and tear / damage cost increases.

    Credit normalisation... all CMDRS credits are cut to 10% - 20% of the old credits. (asset value also cut to what ever they would be with the new prices)

    WHY?

    This would imo bring back heavy duty trade to being more profitable for the big ships, but there would be charges involved in doing so. This makes sense. trading your own cargo should be more profitable than couriering someone elses.

    Mining would be a very profitable transaction rather than something to do as a chill out session like now. (unless you are one of the few who have mapped out the asteroids)

    the golden carrot.... and the main reason for this

    This would be a huge boon for piracy/salvage because all of a sudden if a ship drops 5-50 tons of gold, that would be a massive payday for a player, rather than something not worth your time like it is now.

    I would suggest small ships drop cargo as they do now in 1 ton pods
    medium ships drop 4 ton pods
    large ships drop 8 ton pods.
    if you are in a small ship and cant phsically scoop an 8 ton pod you can break them up, but risk damaging.
    perhaps 8 ton pod needs a limpet to collect

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post (Source)
    TWO WORDS:

    BASE BUILDING

    They just need more credit sponges and NOTHING sponges credits like base building...

    I've done it in NMS and I've done it in Dual Universe.... Holy moly do bases require SERIOUS RESOURCES.

    I would really love to fly all my ships to some isolated asteroid and create my own asteroid base. It would be a dream that might actually get me to play more than an hour a week again.

    Would also love to base build.... but as one of those obviously despised noobs, I will never be able to afford it if it is pitched at a cost to beggar the multi-billionaires in the game...

  15. #15
    I don't see them ever making an actual working supply/demand economy.
    There's literally tens of thousands of factions and stations/bases in the bubble. (i believe the actual number is over 50k)
    Keeping track of every commodity in every station and all the associated transactions would be monumental.

    There are some downsides to 1:1 scale galaxy...

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