Fix the ingame economy!

It's currently quite bad. Billions of credits is the norm in the game at the moment. Mining is way too profitable compared to everything else. And most things are quite profitable by themselves.
Random flying about can easily get you millions of credits.
I reckon raregoods trading should be one of the most profitable things in game, so I wouldn't mind seeing everything being adjusted using rare goods as base.
I know some people are against reducing the credit output, but with the current state of the game, credits are worth absolutely nothing. Might aswell remove them completely and give everyone every ship/module they need at any given time.
Currently the biggest challenge in Elite is not to earn any credits during the session, while not losing a ship.
 
Ive said it before and Ill say it again, frontier needs to put mission rank locking back if they want to time gate newbies without hurting veterans.
An employer isnt going to give you a difficult job if you dont have atleast some of the educational requirements.
Elite should be no different.
A newbie shouldn't be able to pick up elite ranked missions.
The whole economy is hurting because frontier removed rank locking on missions and then decided to nerf payouts left and right when newbies started getting anacondas in a week.

And now the vets are forced to eat the consequences because of it.

The only reason why we get stupidly profitable missions and mining is because every patch breaks the generation and frontier eventually nerfs it into the ground
 
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I'd be happy with an immersive, logical, "adheres to economics" economy. I always find it baffling when a "poor" system (it says so in the GalMap) with 1000 people in it can afford to pay me millions of credits for simple jobs.

Now a criminal kingpin paying me a lot of money to smuggle something, okay, that makes a bit more sense. Trading should follow similar rules - moving goods in and out of an Anarchy should pay more than moving the same goods between two hi-sec worlds. Risk vs reward and all that.
 
While I do agree rewards are out-of-hand and inconsistent, the game doesn't really have an economy and it's going to take a lot more than correcting the credit supply to make if feel like it does. Many underlying issues stem from this lack of meaningful economic mechanisms and systems.

Problem is, I don't think most players want an economy. I think they want to collect numbers...the faster and easier, the better.
 
While I do agree rewards are out-of-hand and inconsistent, the game doesn't really have an economy and it's going to take a lot more than correcting the credit supply to make if feel like it does. Many underlying issues stem from this lack of meaningful economic mechanisms and systems.

Problem is, I don't think most players want an economy. I think they want to collect numbers...the faster and easier, the better.
That is so true... and this is one of the big issues with game economics, is that players are printing money all the time....and when you have bought everything you want, then there is nothing more to spend then on, so we just collect it...

That is why many games have money sinks. Once you have bought all the ships you want/need, now the only thing to really spend your money is ship/module transfers, and of course the obvious rebuys, but if you are a careful player, that do not use module/ship transfers then you will simply collect more money with basically nothing to spend them on.


I a have always been suprised over how a system with less than 15 000 population, can support a pirate faction, that is less than 1% where we in one week destroyed well over 200 pirate ships... Lets do the math....
1% of 15 000 = 150 population

200+ ships destroyed, that is more than the entire population gone... How does that work? Not only the rebuys for 200+ ships, but also the recruitment of new crew.



So the ingame economy is non existent, and there are no easy fixes for this. And if they make it to "real", players will most likely hate it, because we just got another job playing a game...

After numerous gold rushes, we got a new currency in the game... Engineering materials.... it is not hard to buy a new ship, but collecting all the needed materials to upgrade the ship is, even with the brokers, it can be quite time consuming... Also unlocking the engineers is another masterful design to slow down new players down from rushing through the content to what is perceived as the end game content, and to actually get them to try out all the various activities the game has to offer, how many threads about never again mining, and now mining is much more popular due to the potential for great cash rewards...



So we should not look to hard at the ingame economy, as it is what it is, a pretend thing placed in a game.
 
I play casually and do not use any money glitches. With that playstyle, it took me a little more than 4 years to save enough credits for the imperial cutter.

I understand, commanders who are around a lot in the game have billions; commanders using money glitches or optimizing their profits as well. As long as you can't really do anything with the credits, except buy a lot of ships, this is not much of an issue for the gameplay.

With the new updates from 2020, we will hopefully have many new commanders, and will need to bring the veterans and the newbies all together in the same game. Therefore, the new commanders need to be able to catch up with the veterans within a reasonable timeframe.

Also, I don't know yet a single game with an economy that actually works. The effort one has to put in a realistic economy and the gameplay improvement this will bring is likely in no reasonable relation.

Greetings

Robert de Vries
 
Also, I don't know yet a single game with an economy that actually works. The effort one has to put in a realistic economy and the gameplay improvement this will bring is likely in no reasonable relation.
Sid Meier's original Railroad Tycoon had an economy that while fairly simple, was truly dynamic and realistic in the sense that actions you and the AI took in game impacted the growth and development of towns and cities...in 1990.
 
I don't understand why people get so annoyed with how other people are playing the game. If you're not into making credits that's fine but why punish people who are?

Can someone please explain why this is an issue and how it affects them?
 
In Railroad Tycoon, you could press shift + f4 to get $ 500'000 every time (source: Wikipedia german version). Therefore, this game really doesn't qualify as a reference.

In every massive multiplayer game, a money glitch after an update, even if it is hard to find, will be found out within a short timeframe by someone, will be published and be used many many times before it can be fixed. Therefore alone, it's a very difficult task to implement an economy for a massive multiplayer game which actually works.
 
In Railroad Tycoon, you could press shift + f4 to get $ 500'000 every time (source: Wikipedia german version). Therefore, this game really doesn't qualify as a reference.

In every massive multiplayer game, a money glitch after an update, even if it is hard to find, will be found out within a short timeframe by someone, will be published and be used many many times before it can be fixed. Therefore alone, it's a very difficult task to implement an economy for a massive multiplayer game which actually works.
It's a trivial exercise in a single player game to bend the rules as you see fit, but I don't count that against the economy. But true, a valid economy is also much easier to do on a small scale in a single player game.

In an MMO, you're correct--it's a much harder exercise. You'd have to find a way to manage player income that would look for outliers indicating use of a glitch/bug and automatically provide a ceiling on those credits. They are kind of doing a ham-fisted version of this now. Maybe it'll evolve, and maybe they can begin adding some more sophistication to the economic model used today to make resource movement more interesting, but I'm not holding my breath. :D
 
I don't understand why people get so annoyed with how other people are playing the game. If you're not into making credits that's fine but why punish people who are?

Can someone please explain why this is an issue and how it affects them?
It's not about how you play the game or are you into making credits or not. It's about things being broken and needing a fix.
 
In an MMO, you're correct--it's a much harder exercise. You'd have to find a way to manage player income that would look for outliers indicating use of a glitch/bug and automatically provide a ceiling on those credits. They are kind of doing a ham-fisted version of this now. Maybe it'll evolve, and maybe they can begin adding some more sophistication to the economic model used today to make resource movement more interesting, but I'm not holding my breath.
I also hope for improvement over time.

It's really hard: in GTA online for example, a game where you can buy credits for real money, they absolutely want to make it work. But still, they keep struggling with hackers, who can generate credits ingame and even play the the code looking for the outliers....
 
There are so many things you can mine in this game but it's only worth mining 2 things. There are dozens of commodities but only one worth trading. What's the point of everything else? There's just too much about the game that's hard to believe.
 
It's currently quite bad. Billions of credits is the norm in the game at the moment. Mining is way too profitable compared to everything else. And most things are quite profitable by themselves.
How else could it be? If there's a set of activities which are profitable and a set of activities which are not, players are going to gravitate to the profitable ones and mostly do those. If no activities are profitable, then no-one ever gets out of the Freewinder.

Therefore inevitably after playing for a while players end up very rich, even without exploits, bugs, etc. I've never used any of the famous "get rich quick" schemes, and have only done a couple of hours of mining since 3.3 ... but I've been playing a long time, so I have a couple of billion of spare credits which just showed up, over time, as I played the game.

Certainly Frontier need to adjust some of the older earning methods - rares trading especially - so that their profits keep pace with other changes in the game. But the idea of people generally being able to make money isn't going to change.

I know some people are against reducing the credit output, but with the current state of the game, credits are worth absolutely nothing. Might aswell remove them completely and give everyone every ship/module they need at any given time.
If I was lead designer on an Elite-like game, then I think one major break from tradition I would do would be "no credits". Run the whole thing on a patronage-and-reputation system where if you want a particular bit of kit, or some special tuning for your ship, you work for a patron who'll give you it (or more often loan you it), or you barter something you've found (a new ELW, for example) for it.

Problem is, I don't think most players want an economy. I think they want to collect numbers...the faster and easier, the better.
This. The current in-game trade economy has a fair bit of detail to it in terms of supply and demand for various goods, effects of BGS states on those, etc.

However the baseline supply and demand levels are set such that it would take probably a hundred times as many players in game to seriously affect them in normal circumstances. It's not going to happen.

It occasionally gets to be relevant for specific goods in very limited circumstances - trade CGs in Colonia, the Witch Head repairs, Palladium more generally for a while - but very rarely. And even that limited amount has attracted a lot of complaints.

It wouldn't be that hard conceptually [1] to go from what they've got to an economy where a broad variety of in-demand goods needed to be regularly shipped to every station to avoid bad things happening. All the components are already there - they'd just need joining together a bit differently, supply/demand quantities would need reducing significantly, and the effects of economic states turned up to 11. BGS groups supporting factions over their systems then need to make sure their trade networks are good.

But I think the problem is that if the economy is made relevant, the cost is that most players then have to care about and maintain the economy, even if trading isn't what they want to do. Making the economy relevant without losing the fun I can't work out how it would be done.

[1] Fine detail of balancing, that would be really difficult. But they could wrap it in a bit of storyline and pretend at least some of the booms and busts were intentional, if they monitored enough to see them coming a week or two ahead...
 
The fact is, Frontier are releasing the Fleet Carrier update at the end of the year and they want people to be in a position to buy them.

As for mining being too profitable, it's about time. I've been mining for years and it's been absolutely painful at times.
There are far bigger problems with the game at the moment before this needs to be addressed, if it actually does.
 
How else could it be? If there's a set of activities which are profitable and a set of activities which are not, players are going to gravitate to the profitable ones and mostly do those. If no activities are profitable, then no-one ever gets out of the Freewinder.
It can be something in the middle instead of extremes. Couple anacondas in an hour or not getting anything bigger ever than a sidewinder equally bad :)
 
Making credits in the game are great. Why? Because credits in the game doesn't purchase experience. So fly an Anaconda, Corvette or Cutter getting blown away without experience and maybe a player learned something. It will be less of a grind to learn from a mistake.

Players who have experience can enjoy outfitting ships to what does and doesn't work. But totally dialing in a ship requires lots of engineering. Alas credits won't help help there either. Making credits is a good thing especially with new players but only touches the surface of the Elite Dangerous game experience. Credits will not buy skill but might keep new players interested.

 
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How else could it be? If there's a set of activities which are profitable and a set of activities which are not, players are going to gravitate to the profitable ones and mostly do those. If no activities are profitable, then no-one ever gets out of the Freewinder.

Therefore inevitably after playing for a while players end up very rich, even without exploits, bugs, etc. I've never used any of the famous "get rich quick" schemes, and have only done a couple of hours of mining since 3.3 ... but I've been playing a long time, so I have a couple of billion of spare credits which just showed up, over time, as I played the game.
Obviously we want to generally increase in credits, but there's a big difference between being able to afford everything all the time even on a casual player's budget and having to constantly monitor your finances as you work your way up.

In terms of timeframe, obviously players will eventually end up incredibly rich, but the issue here how long it takes. Earlier in Elite's history, where Sothis runs were the best activity for money, players would still generally work their way through things by using intermediate ships and make use of lower grade modules or hand-me-downs when moving to new ships. Now, we are in a position where someone will just leap straight from a CobraIII to an A-graded Anaconda. People say that many ships have no meaning nor place in the game, when it is due to the broken economy taking their place from them rather than the ship itself intrinsically being bad. When I started playing, it took weeks of playtime (that's 500ish hours, not "a few hours a week for 3 weeks") to get into the largest ships under normal playing, while even the exploits of the time would take days and it takes even longer to fully A-rate them.

Similarly, simply buffing older money making activities won't help the situation, as players are already in the position of effectively infinite money. A full review of both income and prices across the board is required to bring everything into balance and bring credits back into relevance.
 
When I started playing, it took weeks of playtime (that's 500ish hours, not "a few hours a week for 3 weeks") to get into the largest ships under normal playing, while even the exploits of the time would take days and it takes even longer to fully A-rate them.
The first triple Elite took about a month (with others not far behind them), and I think they were in an Anaconda after a week from the exploration profits, in 1.0 when earning money was "difficult". If you took 500 hours - and I took longer than that to get anything bigger than an Asp - that's because we weren't making use of the opportunities that were there.

Yes, maximum possible earning rates are higher than then, but on the other hand Frontier wouldn't have spent most of the last two updates working on making things easier for beginners if "Anaconda in a day" was actually what most new players did.

Just because people like us who've played for a while both have lots of money and have lots of experience of how the game works doesn't make that typical of players in general. Balancing the game to be financially challenging for the top 5% will make it so punishing for the average player that most players will never stick around to get that good.

Similarly, simply buffing older money making activities won't help the situation, as players are already in the position of effectively infinite money. A full review of both income and prices across the board is required to bring everything into balance and bring credits back into relevance.
Can't be done without a full game reset (you suggest that, I'll be over here, behind this planet).

I have all the ships I want already, so even if Frontier did something ridiculous like make medium ships 10 times more expensive and large ships 100 times more expensive it won't affect me in the slightest, but it'll pull up the ladder behind me for any new players who also want to fly a Krait.
 
The first triple Elite took about a month (with others not far behind them), and I think they were in an Anaconda after a week from the exploration profits, in 1.0 when earning money was "difficult". If you took 500 hours - and I took longer than that to get anything bigger than an Asp - that's because we weren't making use of the opportunities that were there.

Yes, maximum possible earning rates are higher than then, but on the other hand Frontier wouldn't have spent most of the last two updates working on making things easier for beginners if "Anaconda in a day" was actually what most new players did.

Just because people like us who've played for a while both have lots of money and have lots of experience of how the game works doesn't make that typical of players in general. Balancing the game to be financially challenging for the top 5% will make it so punishing for the average player that most players will never stick around to get that good.
Triple elite within a month has always been possible, but that potentially includes those that spent huge amounts of time in the game focusing entirely on the rankings, which isn't necessarily indicative of "normal" game play. Still, taking a month when now someone can get trade elite in a day is a pretty massive difference.

It's quite telling that we used to consider 40 million credits per hour in an Anaconda to be a disgustingly broken exploit that needed addressing, yet now we are seeing 100 million credits per hour in a mere CobraIII.

It's not just the maximum possible earnings that are higher because of Void Opals, but credit rewards have been mostly increased across the board for most activities by an order of magnitude or more. Mining Painite now yields in the region of 750k per tonne, when it used to be around 80k per tonne. "Discovering" an already colonised planet yields far more credits than a Cutter's cargo hold's profits used to.

Looking at it another way, when was the last time you settled for a C-grade module when an A-grade is available because of the difference in price? When was the last time anyone looked at the two Asps and decided to get the scout because their finances can't really handle the full explorer?

Can't be done without a full game reset (you suggest that, I'll be over here, behind this planet).

I have all the ships I want already, so even if Frontier did something ridiculous like make medium ships 10 times more expensive and large ships 100 times more expensive it won't affect me in the slightest, but it'll pull up the ladder behind me for any new players who also want to fly a Krait.
I don't support a full game reset, that just removes players existing efforts and makes everything that players' have achieved all for nothing. Taking away player achievements because a developer hasn't be able to balance things just makes the players the victims of FD's ineptitude on multiple levels.

However, you might have the ships you currently want, but any such inflation would also cause things like transfers, rebuys and outfitting to increase. This makes mistakes in high-end ships far more costly and presents an opportunity for a careless player's wealth to regress or at very least their profits to slow down. 20 million credit rebuy on your Anaconda? Negligible. 200 million credit rebuy? Ouch. Note that this wouldn't really affect cheaper ships (and the newer and/or less experienced players piloting them) as a C-rated Eagle would still be pretty expendable; a tenfold increase on a very small number still yields a very small number.

Secondly, you might have the stuff you want currently, but that's not to say that you have all the stuff you will ever want. Inflation would allow for new content to have meaningful costs to all players while also keeping in line with existing content's prices. What we don't want is a situation where an objects credit value is determined by which patch it is introduced in; the credit value should depend on its versatility, performance and utility instead, which then requires cost increases across the board rather than simply targeting individual pieces of content in order to keep things relevant.

I've also suggested before that the game should have a proper baked-in inflation mechanic that occurs automatically without direct balance intervention. Obviously, a god-handed tweak is necessary to get the ball rolling (likely in the region of a 10x increase in costs across the board), but a simple ongoing 1% increase per week to all costs and rewards would actually do a lot of good for the in-game economy. Firstly, ongoing and automatic inflation will strongly encourage players to spend what they have and work their way up rather than simply jumping straight for the largest ships as credits left in their account will devalue. Secondly, any credits gained by exploiting some unbalanced edge-case will eventually be inflated away over time, so a player with vast sums of money at one moment won't have the economy ruined for them forever.
 
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