All career paths should pay equally.

Not practical - so I take a mission to carry 4t of cargo in my Courier to a system 4 jumps away, do 4 in an hour and get 50 mill. Then get out my Cutter and cart 600t of cargo around for an hour and get 50 mill - then jump out 200Ly and scan a couple of bigger systems and, yes, get 50 mill?

May as well get 50 mill every hour in-game not on a pad as the idea doesn't work otherwise.

Worse, cutting my earnings for winging up in a High CZ by 66% wouldn't encourage me to be bothered.

Great idea, but impossible to implement fairly - and that is where it stumbles - because we don't all fly about in the equivalent of a "Ford Transit Van" ;)
 
But generally, just doing this with all the missions would be nice and easier and level out the playing field.
Even missions don't really do that.

Cargo missions - as Rat Catcher points out - are very dependent on the size of the ship you do them in. In a Python, with a bit of luck, I could easily make 50M/hour with them. In the Krait I actually fly, probably only 30M. In a T-9 in the right place, 100M+. Which gets balanced to?

Whereas exploration missions - scan this datapoint, etc. - can be done better in a cheap Sidewinder than a slower expensive ship, so at least for a beginner they'll pay better . Again, who and what are you suggesting they do the balancing to? A beginner with their Sidewinder, or an established player who already has access to an engineered fleet of large and medium ships?

But you can get 50 mill per hour doing what you like doing, unless you like to not play the game.
The thing is, you don't need anything like that hourly rate as a routine thing.

The total value of "one of everything" in the game, including a Fleet Carrier, is a bit over 10 billion credits. So at 50M/hour guaranteed for casually showing up and doing something (and therefore likely >1B/hour for actually putting some effort into it and optimising everything) you could have all the credits you ever need in 200 casual hours or ten hours of following a Youtube guide - for a game that's designed to be playable for thousands.

It was a serious question above - at that point, why not just get rid of credits and make outfitting free? For established players that's usually essentially the case anyway.
(My lifetime average earning rate is under 1M/hour - so you're proposing to make me earn >50x faster? - and yet, because I don't actually want "one of everything" I ran out of things to spend money on about four years ago. Both before and since I've been doing what I like doing.)
 
Not practical - so I take a mission to carry 4t of cargo in my Courier to a system 4 jumps away, do 4 in an hour and get 50 mill. Then get out my Cutter and cart 600t of cargo around for an hour and get 50 mill - then jump out 200Ly and scan a couple of bigger systems and, yes, get 50 mill?

May as well get 50 mill every hour in-game not on a pad as the idea doesn't work otherwise.

Worse, cutting my earnings for winging up in a High CZ by 66% wouldn't encourage me to be bothered.

Great idea, but impossible to implement fairly - and that is where it stumbles - because we don't all fly about in the equivalent of a "Ford Transit Van" ;)
Im not saying everything you do in game should pay the same. Im saying every profession should pay the same. Of course a good fighter pilot in a wing should earn more than a sidewinder alone.

But a skilled combat pilot in a wing should earn the same as a good trader in a wing. A skilled combat pilot in a top tier ship should earn the same as a top tier search and rescue ship who helps many ships per hour.


Im not saying the skilled should have the same as the noob, im saying the skilled should have the same as the skilled doing another profession.

Also variations in income is ok but should be ideally balanced to all be viable, for example 40 to 60 mill range, with outliers in wings perhaps conciderably more but not double.
 
Quote "I think the payouts should be the same regardless of risk. "

Actually, it is the other way around in this game. Risk vs reward appears to be skewed to high profit low risk tasks, like mining.
A lot of high risk missions have pretty low rewards.
I personally believe the higher risk should net greater profit.

Why do the high risk tasks if there is less profit? One of the reasons mining is so popular is due to how low the risk is vs very high rewards.
 
Even missions don't really do that.

Cargo missions - as Rat Catcher points out - are very dependent on the size of the ship you do them in. In a Python, with a bit of luck, I could easily make 50M/hour with them. In the Krait I actually fly, probably only 30M. In a T-9 in the right place, 100M+. Which gets balanced to?

Whereas exploration missions - scan this datapoint, etc. - can be done better in a cheap Sidewinder than a slower expensive ship, so at least for a beginner they'll pay better . Again, who and what are you suggesting they do the balancing to? A beginner with their Sidewinder, or an established player who already has access to an engineered fleet of large and medium ships?


The thing is, you don't need anything like that hourly rate as a routine thing.

The total value of "one of everything" in the game, including a Fleet Carrier, is a bit over 10 billion credits. So at 50M/hour guaranteed for casually showing up and doing something (and therefore likely >1B/hour for actually putting some effort into it and optimising everything) you could have all the credits you ever need in 200 casual hours or ten hours of following a Youtube guide - for a game that's designed to be playable for thousands.

It was a serious question above - at that point, why not just get rid of credits and make outfitting free? For established players that's usually essentially the case anyway.
(My lifetime average earning rate is under 1M/hour - so you're proposing to make me earn >50x faster? - and yet, because I don't actually want "one of everything" I ran out of things to spend money on about four years ago. Both before and since I've been doing what I like doing.)

I see your points and let me explain.

Im not saying 50 mill is the correct rate, i said several time that that is an example so that i can compare numbers.

Im also not saying that noobs will earn the same as elites, im not talking about giving everybody the same, im talking about balancing the professions.

This means that a top level explorer should have the same as a top level miner and as a top level combat pilot and a top level trader. Not that a top level miner ahould have the same as a bottom level miner.

Hope you see my point, its a suggestion to make things better, and if something would ruin things then it obviously wouldnt be implemented right?
 
Quote "I think the payouts should be the same regardless of risk. "

Actually, it is the other way around in this game. Risk vs reward appears to be skewed to high profit low risk tasks, like mining.
A lot of high risk missions have pretty low rewards.
I personally believe the higher risk should net greater profit.

Why do the high risk tasks if there is less profit? One of the reasons mining is so popular is due to how low the risk is vs very high rewards.
Hi. I know the risk vs reward thing is a point that people make, but i personally dont think risk vs reward should be the main deciding factor, i think that Time Vs Reward should be the main balancing factor.

Time Vs reward is a much better balancing point because then everybody will feel like their chosen activities are rewarding and fun and a worthy use of their time. That is because this is a game and i believe that if everybody could follow their own interests then everybody would enjoy the game more.
 
This means that a top level explorer should have the same as a top level miner and as a top level combat pilot and a top level trader. Not that a top level miner ahould have the same as a bottom level miner.
That certainly would be a good idea - the tricky thing would be implementing it given the very different way the professions work.

Trade and exploration are very easy to optimise and the way to optimise them is well-known.
Thargoid combat is very difficult to optimise and most beginners will probably make a loss (which is the right thing to do).

So at the moment all the non-mission professions do pay fairly similarly - 1-3M/hour - for a relatively casual player (yes, even mining, if your starting point is someone who doesn't look up how to do it effectively) ... and mission-running probably pays a bit more than that. The difference is that they have very different amounts of optimisation possible - exploration probably the least, mining and combat probably the most, right now. All of piracy, mining, combat, trading and exploration, as well as about half the mission types, can already pay 50M/hour if you know how to do them effectively ... mining and certain combat types obviously go well beyond that ... and the effective ways for mining have been much more publicised (and even when done half-effectively are still better) than the other professions.

Making those skill/equipment/technique curves look more similar for every profession ... agreed in theory, in practice I think any specific suggestion for doing that might attract complaints from people who currently like that profession (see also: the FSS)
 
That certainly would be a good idea - the tricky thing would be implementing it given the very different way the professions work.

Trade and exploration are very easy to optimise and the way to optimise them is well-known.
Thargoid combat is very difficult to optimise and most beginners will probably make a loss (which is the right thing to do).

So at the moment all the non-mission professions do pay fairly similarly - 1-3M/hour - for a relatively casual player (yes, even mining, if your starting point is someone who doesn't look up how to do it effectively) ... and mission-running probably pays a bit more than that. The difference is that they have very different amounts of optimisation possible - exploration probably the least, mining and combat probably the most, right now. All of piracy, mining, combat, trading and exploration, as well as about half the mission types, can already pay 50M/hour if you know how to do them effectively ... mining and certain combat types obviously go well beyond that ... and the effective ways for mining have been much more publicised (and even when done half-effectively are still better) than the other professions.

Making those skill/equipment/technique curves look more similar for every profession ... agreed in theory, in practice I think any specific suggestion for doing that might attract complaints from people who currently like that profession (see also: the FSS)
You have good points.

What is most important is to make an effort towards a more equal reward per profession.
Mining, most people kind if agree that max money and 200mill per hour is a bit too much. I mean, you can buy one and a half imperial cutter per hour wit 200mill per hour. So flatten the top off of mining a bit would be natural. All missions can be timed and approximated to the balance point of credits per hour. Trading would be easy too.

The goal would not be to raise everyones income or lower everyones income. The goal would be to still let there be a curve where new players earn significantly less and then their income rises exponentially as they get experience and rank and better ships and modules. To get all professions, including the obscure and forgotten ones up to par with the credit per hour goal would be the goal.
Take piracy, search and rescue, raiding megaships and salvage etc and time it to get a quantifyable number and raise the earnings up to par.

I dont see that as difficult or hard. And if you guys or anyone tinks that is hard then pay me to say what numbers to tweak and we will end up with the results i talk about. No profession shall earn 4.5 mill per hour in a top level ship and nobody will earn 500mill per hour and buy a fleet carrier every 10 hours.
 
Sigh ... threads like this almost make me wish for a "galactic financial crisis" storyline that eliminated Credits as a currency and replaced it with a barter economy based on Thargoid Hearts and Bootleg Liquor.

So a major consideration I haven't seen brought up at all yet, is that there are multiple earning rates to take into consideration here. The most significant one next to credits is materials collection. I don't think it's a coincidence that the most low-risk high-credit-reward activity (high value ore mining) yields almost no engineering materials. Whereas high end combat, while relatively low paying in credits, is an excellent source of rare materials. If you look at mission rewards you can figure that FDev values one unit of G5 material at about a half million credits, so by that metric some combat activities are earning tens of millions of credits per hour equivalent in materials, before you even count bounties and such. There are also low-risk high-reward activities for materials, such as flying to the needle crystal sites, as well as an assortment of "unintended gameplay" options (I consider relogging at Jameson's Cobra to be pretty much the mats equivalent of the Eggsploit). Notably, none of those activities pays a single credit, although you can do other activities (exploration scans, for instance) on the way.

There are similar earning ladders for faction rep, BGS influence, superpower rank, Pilots Fed rating ... all of which are things some players value and are willing to work for. Some of those have easy mappings onto credits, others do not. Many of them have optimal activities that are mostly different from the optimal activities for earning credits. Some of them can easily sink exponentially more game hours than the time required to earn enough to buy one of everything in the game.
 
Hi. I know the risk vs reward thing is a point that people make, but i personally dont think risk vs reward should be the main deciding factor, i think that Time Vs Reward should be the main balancing factor.

Time Vs reward is a much better balancing point because then everybody will feel like their chosen activities are rewarding and fun and a worthy use of their time. That is because this is a game and i believe that if everybody could follow their own interests then everybody would enjoy the game more.
Risk equals time... After all, if you fail a task due to risk factor, that adds time. If you fail a mission and loose money that means you need to spend more time to make up the loss.
Also, this is more like life. Why people buy lotto tickets, and high risk stocks.
On the other hand, a lot of players have less time to play. Time is a factor not every player can expend to gain reward.
 
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.
This is very like how I suggested how the game could auto adjust mission payouts based on how popular these missions are.


So if many CMDRs where going to a station to pick a specific kind of missions, we would spawn more and more of these missions, and at the same time lower the pay.
And since we spawning fewer of the other missions, we can now increase these payouts, to match their unpopularity.



So, popular mission, would be plenty available, but no their pay would not top pay, but since theere are so many, you should easilly be able to find missions that works good togther, like all passenger to the same location, etc,


I did not think about this could be adjusted to apply to commodities to. And now when you have opened my eyes to this, we have the salvage., where you can turn in salvage, pay badly, but if noone turned these in, the payout should be higher...
 
I think it would be better to say rather than all activities paying the same regardless, just that FD need to take a good look at the payouts of various activities as they are and make some tweaks.

You brought up Search and Rescue which is a good example of something that pays ridiculously little. On the other extreme there is mining. Such a wide disparity shouldn't exist.

But i'll give an example of why its not as simple as you think. For this i'll use passenger missions, the one way transport passenger missions.

Now, are they in a good place or not? Do they pay well enough or too much? Well, it depends a lot on where you do it.

If i head off to Robigo, i can get close to 100 million per hour, in a Python, by stacking loads to the same station.

If i'm in Phekda though, i'll never get so many passenger missions to the same location. If i take a bunch of missions, the same amount as i can in a run at Robigo, i won't be heading to one station, but perhaps 10! Depending on distances, a single run could take me an hour. Earnings might be about 20-30 million per hour. Maybe.... if i'm lucky.

So, do passenger missions pay too much or not enough compared to other activities? Too much, because Robigo? Then Phekda passenger mission cr/hr will go down. Phekda passenger missions too little? Then Robigo payments go up, and now it pays more than mining!

What you suggest OP is far from easy to do. Way too many variables.
 
To OP : No.
Path have their uniqueness and preferences.

Combat is "fun" , goid is challenging , mining is "profit" , trading is a bit of all and interact with many other activities (pirates).
Exploration is ... exploration , if you need 10 billion reward to explore , you'r not an explorer, or imo not for the good reason.

Currently you can have all in the game with nearly all professions , appart from FC tbh. So no by making every professions equal in reward , you just makes flavorless.

What i could rather see is some balance and consistencies IN the profession path. (i'm not agains some buff to low paying ones tbh , i just think you cant bring them all to mining/trading).

An exemple of how i see things : You wanna the last Conda full Arated polished ect , you have 2 path , short one : go mining , fast but "boring" . Or fight , long , but "fun" .
It's up to you to decide.

When i started the game for real , i think robigo was already here , with some 100mil/hour, know what ? I never ever bothered with it. I could had my conda ages ago fullyA rated ect.

But no , i enjoyed the game , flew from station to station , did mission, did exploration with a dbx, came back , did some CG in a type 7 , discovered ingeneers (when materials were limited to 500 T_T) ect ect ect .

Trust me rush toward the game by mining is a waste and FC should (really personnal opinion here) be the last of your matters.

TBH the FC are pretty cool WHEN you start having a fleet and alots of credits /commodities.

While I could see some elite mission pay a bit more to demonstrate the difficulty (LOOKING AT YOU GOID) , i never ever want them to be at mining level.
On the other side , i see mining as a good rush , if you dont wanna bother with others aspect of the game during progression.

Anyway the choice is up to you .
 
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?
David Braben said himself he wants all roles to be roughly around the same profitability and that makes sense. He just probably didn't see it coming how someone would make a website calculating for people the BEST POSSIBLE payout from mining. That's really hard to balance around.
 
Maybe I am not understanding some of the arguments. But in terms of profit per hour, consider passenger missions. Potentially these should be profitable, but I have had my share of failed missions due to a client angry over being scanned and loosing out on that 10-20 million payout and hours of game time.

I really don't understand why luxury cabin passengers missions have the same payouts as any other other cabin type. Why it makes more sense to Passengers in an Anaconda instead of a Beluga.
 
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