All career paths should pay equally.

Why not balance the game so that no matter what you do, you will earn about the same amount of credits per hour. It shouldn't be hard to do, just play the game and time each activity then divide the time into x number of minutes and multiply by the appropriate number of credits.
Go and mine for 3 hours, earn 200 mill. Thats 200mill divided by 180 minutes for a nice 1.1 mill per minute.


Now go and do search and rescue for 3 hours and see how many rescues you did in that time. Let's say you did 20 so thats 180 minutes divided by 20 missions for about 9 minutes per mission. Now take the nine minutes for one rescue and make it 1.1 mill times 9 and the pay will be 9.9mill per mission.

That means you can do 9 missions for 9.9mill for a nice 198mill in 3 hours. Payouts are same as mining.


Do this calculation with all mission types and every thing you do will earn you about 200mill for 3 hours.

Isnt this a good idea?
 
Base all profit on cargo. Cargo shipping missions should seldom pay better than entrepeneurially buying your own cargo low and selling it high.
With an upper maximum mission profitability guideline we can then decide to equalize all professions. Then we have to take into account risk. You should get paid better for risky missions like smuggling and assassinations. Combat missions should pay better than cargo hauling for the same time invested.
Entrepeneurial mining should generally be more profitable than entrepeneurial cargo running but not ridiculously so (and mining takes a lot more time). I think a clever guy ought to make about 1mil per hour max.
As it stands the economy is pointless and you might as well have money cheat codes.
I'm all for gold rushes and jackpots but they should be rare and reasonable, like 10-20mil for top 10% of a CG.
 
I will agree that certain trades are underpaid, (bounty hunting), however, unless the mission is from, or market located in, a communist faction, they should pay differently based on demand.
Even at a communist controlled station, some missions are more equal than others.

By demand, I mean, the longer a mission goes unaccepted, the more it should be worth up to some reasonable ceiling. Same for commodities. The longer demand is not met, the higher the price climbs until it is met.
 
Why not balance the game so that no matter what you do
How literally do you mean this?

If you mean it completely literally, then this is easy - just credit players' accounts X million credits per hour in-game whether they're fighting Thargoids, running trade missions, docked at a station reading Galnet, or struggling to get their Freewinder through the mailslot. But while that would certainly have its advantages, I think it would be ultimately unsatisfying for the players who are motivated by credits in the first place.

If you don't mean it completely literally then it's basically impossible. Okay, you can do in your ship with your skill level about 65 million credits per hour from mining. So you think search and rescue missions should pay about 10 million each to match that. But the best miners can make 200 million credits an hour, if not more. So should search and rescue pay 30 million credits each so it's balanced for them? If so, you'll think mining is massively underpaid, because you can make three times as much from S&R missions.

There's just far too many variables:
- what ship you're in and how its outfitted and engineered
- how skilled you are (some people say that should affect your earnings, but others say that's a ridiculous idea)
- how much you're optimising your earnings
- where you are in the galaxy
for this to ever work. Sure, they could balance the earnings around how good one particular Frontier employee was at everything. Maybe they did, and maybe that employee is just a really terrible miner but knows some secret the rest of us don't to RES-based bounty hunting.

And that's before considering the effects of doing more than one thing at once. If you're doing data courier missions, they don't take up space, so you can take between 1 and 20 of them at once ... well, let's assume that you're doing this in the most optimal location which regularly offers 20 missions to the same destination and set the pay accordingly. Then none of the individual missions pay much at all, if you're not in this mythical super-optimal location... and how does tie in with trade profit - which you can also get at the same time. Do Frontier have to ensure that systems with good trade routes don't have good courier mission routes, so you can't combine the two? Or do they assume that you will be combining the two and make each pay only half?

Anything beyond a very literal "you get paid X for existing, no bonuses for actually doing stuff" is completely impossible to balance.
 
Source missions ought to pay a lot of money for a small amount of cargo but no more than 200% of the galactic average. You could stack these, make a (relatively) tidy profit and get that clever feeling of efficiency (if our expectations weren't so high). Much of the potential of the game is left irrelevant due to profit creep.
 
Base all profit on cargo. Cargo shipping missions should seldom pay better than entrepeneurially buying your own cargo low and selling it high.
With an upper maximum mission profitability guideline we can then decide to equalize all professions. Then we have to take into account risk. You should get paid better for risky missions like smuggling and assassinations. Combat missions should pay better than cargo hauling for the same time invested.
Entrepeneurial mining should generally be more profitable than entrepeneurial cargo running but not ridiculously so (and mining takes a lot more time). I think a clever guy ought to make about 1mil per hour max.
As it stands the economy is pointless and you might as well have money cheat codes.
I'm all for gold rushes and jackpots but they should be rare and reasonable, like 10-20mil for top 10% of a CG.
1M an hour is way too low without a complete redo of the price of things in game. 1000 hours of optimal credit earning play for an A rated cutter. Another 5000 Hours for a FC. How masny thousands of hours do you believe a person should have to put in to have a handful of ships?
 
Im not saying that my numbers should be the standard payouts but rather that all missions should pay the same amount per time invested.

I think the payouts should be the same regardless of risk.

My reason for the risk factor not affecting the payout is that we would all be able to play the game the way we want to and be able to earn the same.

This would make it really easy to calculate credit per hour across the board, so it could realistically be implemented.

It would be much easier to balance the economy and pricing of ships and modules, and therefore balance the progression of players coming in to the game. You could realistically know where a player would be after 50 hours in game because they would have earned 3 billion if grinding non stop missions or mining or trading, based on the numbers i used as an example.
The devs can then take this information into account when they plan out where they want a player to be after x number of hours.
 
How literally do you mean this?

If you mean it completely literally, then this is easy - just credit players' accounts X million credits per hour in-game whether they're fighting Thargoids, running trade missions, docked at a station reading Galnet, or struggling to get their Freewinder through the mailslot. But while that would certainly have its advantages, I think it would be ultimately unsatisfying for the players who are motivated by credits in the first place.

If you don't mean it completely literally then it's basically impossible. Okay, you can do in your ship with your skill level about 65 million credits per hour from mining. So you think search and rescue missions should pay about 10 million each to match that. But the best miners can make 200 million credits an hour, if not more. So should search and rescue pay 30 million credits each so it's balanced for them? If so, you'll think mining is massively underpaid, because you can make three times as much from S&R missions.

There's just far too many variables:
  • what ship you're in and how its outfitted and engineered
  • how skilled you are (some people say that should affect your earnings, but others say that's a ridiculous idea)
  • how much you're optimising your earnings
  • where you are in the galaxy
for this to ever work. Sure, they could balance the earnings around how good one particular Frontier employee was at everything. Maybe they did, and maybe that employee is just a really terrible miner but knows some secret the rest of us don't to RES-based bounty hunting.

And that's before considering the effects of doing more than one thing at once. If you're doing data courier missions, they don't take up space, so you can take between 1 and 20 of them at once ... well, let's assume that you're doing this in the most optimal location which regularly offers 20 missions to the same destination and set the pay accordingly. Then none of the individual missions pay much at all, if you're not in this mythical super-optimal location... and how does tie in with trade profit - which you can also get at the same time. Do Frontier have to ensure that systems with good trade routes don't have good courier mission routes, so you can't combine the two? Or do they assume that you will be combining the two and make each pay only half?

Anything beyond a very literal "you get paid X for existing, no bonuses for actually doing stuff" is completely impossible to balance.
I dont mean that every mission type must be on the dot similar in payouts, but within reason they should all make about 40 to 60 mill per hour just as an example.

You can exclude certain mission types from this, or tweak them. For example courier missions, make them exclusive to cargo mission and just say its because cargo adds danger of interdiction and call it a day.

The main point is to make it viable to be a courier and earn 50 mill per hour.
Also to rescue ships for 50 mill per hour.
And running cargo for 50 mill per hour.
And bounty hunting for 50 mill per hour.
And explore for 50 mill per hour.
And kill thargoids for 50 mill per hour.
And smuggle for 50 mill per hour.
And pirate for 50 mill per hour.
And be a fuel rat for 50 mill per hour.
And all the other professions too.

Why is this a good thing? Because then everybody will do what they like, and that makes everybody have more fun, and that makes everybody enjoy the game more, and that makes everybody recommend the game to their friends, and that makes fdev more money and that makes fdev develop more cool stuff and that makes us have even more fun and that makes us talk about how awesome it is etc etc etc.

This is what you would call freedom to forge your own path. This is how we will be able to play the game as we want to play it, instead of thinking too much about profit.


It would also make it easier for fdev to see clearly what players like to do and that is the key to design gameplay that keeps the playerbase happy.
 
It is not possible to get what you suggest to work.

For a start there are far too many ships with different loadouts which all effect efficiency in some way. Then you have faction standing and pilot federation ranks.

The only way it would be possible to achieve this kind of thing is in a single player game or if everyone flew the exact same ship with the exact same loadout.

Then there is the risk vs reward; although I do agree with some that bounty hunting has fallen behind on the risk vs reward when it comes to money earned per hour. Problem is most developers will take a sledge hammer to crack a walnut and will often mess up the balancing of such things. The problem comes from commodities such as Low Temperature Diamonds and their ilk having such a high price on the market which makes all other forms of money making mute in the game. I knew this would happen when I saw the sell price of such items when they were released, as of now all other forms of money making in the game is redundant due to this effect.

As a roleplayer in the game I have to force myself to do other things in the game, but the rational side of me as a person is at odds with doing the rescue missions for the Empire right now in the destroyed stations as I know I can earn more money per hour mining than I can rescuing npcs from a burning station.

What really needs to happen is to see a reduction in price on such commodities as LTD, Void Opals etc to a more normal level, this in itself would then balance 90% of the problem with earning money in the game.
 
The main point is to make it viable to be a courier and earn 50 mill per hour.
Also to rescue ships for 50 mill per hour.
And running cargo for 50 mill per hour.
And bounty hunting for 50 mill per hour.
And explore for 50 mill per hour.
And kill thargoids for 50 mill per hour.
And smuggle for 50 mill per hour.
And pirate for 50 mill per hour.
And be a fuel rat for 50 mill per hour.
And all the other professions too.

Why is this a good thing? Because then everybody will do what they like, and that makes everybody have more fun, and that makes everybody enjoy the game more, and that makes everybody recommend the game to their friends, and that makes fdev more money and that makes fdev develop more cool stuff and that makes us have even more fun and that makes us talk about how awesome it is etc etc etc.

This is what you would call freedom to forge your own path. This is how we will be able to play the game as we want to play it, instead of thinking too much about profit.
The problem is that the skill, equipment and optimisation curve for the professions is very different. (And yes, even allowing for that the pay should be increased a bit for some and decreased a bit for others, no objections there)

You can earn 50M/hour from "exploration" now if you Road-to-Riches map a suitable set of ELWs and then sell the data with the LYR rank 5 bonus.
In practice, most people won't do that, so they don't get anywhere near 50M/hour from exploration. On the other hand you can earn 50M/hour from mining Painite in the right spot easily ... you can likely earn ten times that by fully optimising it.

So do "exploration" and "mining" both earn 50M/hour now? You certainly can earn that money in the right circumstances in both professions.

Is that 50M/hour if you do the theoretically best possible approach to the profession? Or is it 50M/hour for a casual player just doing it without particular optimisation. If it's the theoretically best approach, then most professions will end up paying <10M/hour for most players, but a couple of "easy-to-optimise" ones (trading, maybe combat) will pay high ... if it's the casual approach, then the most optimisable professions will end up playing 200M/hour+ for players who do a bit of research and practice, and we'll be back to this conversation in a month with "all professions should be able to make 200M/hour so people can do what they want".

(The actual correct answer is to abolish credits, make equipment free, and then everyone can do the activity they find fun without having to worry about how much it pays - right?)
 
All these 'balance' suggestions are predicated on the idea that the game is about earning CR. Which it isn't. It's about making your way in space, and doing stuff you enjoy.

Look at the dev diary for EDO - how many times to they talk about the enhanced CR earning capabilities of EDO? If the game was about earning CR then they would talk about it. And they don't. No mention of credits at all.

The only thing that needs changing is the price of FC. Drop that to 2B and you're done - credits are now meaningless again and at that point anyone can do just about anything to earn anything in the game. Mine / Fight / Explore / whatever. Sure, tweak smuggling to make it worthwhile, and bump some of the gameplay loops up from 'laughable payout' to 'ok payout', but no need for large payouts.
 
Would you care to run by me the method to do explore with 50m an hour? How would you go about doing that?
Do an exploration trip of 50 hours and count the number of each planet type. Divvy up so that the approximate number of planets per hour and number of each type equals approximately 50 mill. It could be 40 to 60 mill oer hour.
 
You can change mining to not be such a huge difference in payouts from noob to 200 mill per hour by tweaking the amount of products available in each rock, and by the amount of time to extract one ltd from a rock, and by the amount of time to process an ltd inside the refiner and by the demand at each station and by the size of the landing pad. Or you could introduce a mega corporation that controls the ltd trade and they put a cap on the amount a player would be allowed to sell per day. Or by "rumors" that will send more and more and more pirates after you so that you wont be able to mine in the end.
 
Do an exploration trip of 50 hours and count the number of each planet type. Divvy up so that the approximate number of planets per hour and number of each type equals approximately 50 mill. It could be 40 to 60 mill oer hour.
Sure, for someone exploring generally.
Someone exploring in a focused fashion, concentrating on systems likely to have the rarer high-value planets, and then only mapping those higher value planets, will get a much higher result.
And do you count the LYR "triple exploration payout" bonus in this or not? Do you assume that an explorer will have that and balance accordingly, or that they won't?

You can change mining to not be such a huge difference in payouts from noob to 200 mill per hour
Yes, you could. But that's basically saying that "player skill should make less difference to income" which means "the game mechanics should have less depth than they currently do"
 
Sure, for someone exploring generally.
Someone exploring in a focused fashion, concentrating on systems likely to have the rarer high-value planets, and then only mapping those higher value planets, will get a much higher result.
And do you count the LYR "triple exploration payout" bonus in this or not? Do you assume that an explorer will have that and balance accordingly, or that they won't?


Yes, you could. But that's basically saying that "player skill should make less difference to income" which means "the game mechanics should have less depth than they currently do"
I see your point and i agree it will be tricky with exploration and mining respectively because they dont use the classic mission structure.

But generally, just doing this with all the missions would be nice and easier and level out the playing field.

But on the exploration point, lets say they go out from no triple bonus, and no 3rd party tool to find absolutely max cred per hour. Then make tripke bonus into 1.5 bonus. 3rd party tools to max out is harder to do anything with because thats powergaming outside of the parameters of the game. You can definitely not balance it as if everyone uses road to riches because for one its not in game and its not a fun way to play in general.

I recognize that oeople who really really want to max to the max WILL use 3rd party tools but the main focus isnt really to limit them but rather make all paths viable.
 
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