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Starsector => General Discussion => Topic started by: Askaron on August 12, 2018, 12:15:42 AM



Title: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Askaron on August 12, 2018, 12:15:42 AM
I calculated that if you buy on planets that have products in excess and sell it to the usual buyer (which is indicated in the export), then there is a difficulty in getting to zero by spending. I'm not talking about making money like that, it's hard to believe at all.

Why is there a freight system in the 21st century, a preliminary conclusion of a procurement contract, a tender or some other form of trade on contracts, and in the world of the future it does not exist, and only someone from outside can give you an order for purchase and delivery, although the whole planet lives with the export of some resource?
What am I doing wrong, why do I still have options for either quick trading or buying stocks or events? Are there modifications that drive the trade to the mind?

sorry, if something is written is not entirely correct, I use google translator. Thank you.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Goumindong on August 12, 2018, 12:25:48 AM
"Trading", in the "buy low sell high" sense, is not intended to be profitable.

The reason for this has to do with gameplay patterns. People, even when playing games, will typically go for the easiest option even if that option takes a lot of time. We often call this "grinding". As a result, unless there is some fun gameplay pattern involved in trading what will tend to happen is that players will want to grind money doing it until they can afford to go fight. What is intended is to go fight immediately. This gets you into the core gameplay experience faster and wastes less time doing boring things.

So while people may say they want it "trade" its actually bad for the game in the long run.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Askaron on August 12, 2018, 12:35:56 AM
thanks, I already had more than 20 attempts to fight, enough.

it's just an unthinkable number of cycles to save-load.


and why was it necessary to do such a complex system of the trade interface, that in the end it would simply not be necessary?


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Megas on August 12, 2018, 01:08:28 AM
Simply put, trade is broken.  It used to work somewhat before 0.8, but now it is pointless to bother with barring some fetch missions.

Until trade outright broke, the way to trade in previous versions was to store commodities at markets that frequently got shortages then sell.  Instead of buy low and sell high immediately, you bought low, dumped the merch into storage at the market until a later date when the market gets a shortage.  When that happens, sell.  It also used to be possible to manipulate stability of markets, and you could get rich if you knew what to do.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Seth on August 12, 2018, 02:06:42 AM
"Trading", in the "buy low sell high" sense, is not intended to be profitable.

The reason for this has to do with gameplay patterns. People, even when playing games, will typically go for the easiest option even if that option takes a lot of time. We often call this "grinding". As a result, unless there is some fun gameplay pattern involved in trading what will tend to happen is that players will want to grind money doing it until they can afford to go fight. What is intended is to go fight immediately. This gets you into the core gameplay experience faster and wastes less time doing boring things.

So while people may say they want it "trade" its actually bad for the game in the long run.
Sorry, but that doesn't seem sensible, IMO. Particular players truly enjoy trading as an activity, and if economy wasn't broken, that would be fun thing to do for us and earn money. Running bounties is the same way of grinding, but if trading would be a thing, we would have at least two options to choose from, instead of just one. Exploration is not all that profitable either and is quite risky, plus requires specific fleet and preparation, which fresh player is not really capable of financially, so making some adjustments to it could make 3 activities, and actual roles for new player. Seriously, this game has awesome combat, but it shouldn't completely revolve around it, it should be a choice player makes.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: intrinsic_parity on August 12, 2018, 04:27:18 AM
Exploration is extremely profitable, probably the best way of making money in the game currently. You just need surveying and salvaging skills and a decent freighter and you can make millions from planet surveys, research/mining/orbital stations, remnant battle stations (if you have the fleet), and drone motherships/survey ships. As long as you are not stupid and check the fuel range on the map, you can always ensure you have enough fuel to get home, and the combat, with the exception of the remnants (which are avoidable), is all much easier/less risky than conventional bounties. The exploration missions themselves are definitely not very profitable though, I'll give you that.

I think trading is going to end up being done on a higher level between outposts rather than by the player. I imagine you will set up contracts from you colonies to deliver goods and gain a steady income source that will free you up to do other things than grind for money. I think Alex wants to avoid the player being a delivery boy which I don't mind at all.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Goumindong on August 12, 2018, 04:40:02 AM
"Trading", in the "buy low sell high" sense, is not intended to be profitable.

The reason for this has to do with gameplay patterns. People, even when playing games, will typically go for the easiest option even if that option takes a lot of time. We often call this "grinding". As a result, unless there is some fun gameplay pattern involved in trading what will tend to happen is that players will want to grind money doing it until they can afford to go fight. What is intended is to go fight immediately. This gets you into the core gameplay experience faster and wastes less time doing boring things.

So while people may say they want it "trade" its actually bad for the game in the long run.
Sorry, but that doesn't seem sensible, IMO. Particular players truly enjoy trading as an activity, and if economy wasn't broken, that would be fun thing to do for us and earn money. Running bounties is the same way of grinding, but if trading would be a thing, we would have at least two options to choose from, instead of just one. Exploration is not all that profitable either and is quite risky, plus requires specific fleet and preparation, which fresh player is not really capable of financially, so making some adjustments to it could make 3 activities, and actual roles for new player. Seriously, this game has awesome combat, but it shouldn't completely revolve around it, it should be a choice player makes.

Would you, absent income concerns, run trading fleets around the Galaxy?

If no then that is a bad design. The core activity isn’t fun enough to justify and rather it’s the efficiency of the income that is driving the activity.

Now, many games, this included, use income as a mechanic to progress the player down the gameplay progression. Some games do this with XP some games do it with money. But the point here is to gate more complex and advanced gameplay behind the lesser so that there is a noticeable progression throughout the game. (And also to ensure players don’t get overwhelmed)

Is trading like that? Where you get bigger transports and the more complex logistical issues provide unique and interesting challenges? Or is it there to get you a big fleet so you can go shoot things?

I don’t believe it’s the former.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Histidine on August 12, 2018, 05:13:39 AM
Trade has been a nonstarter since the trade disruption events got axed. With 0.9 likely to have the final iteration of the economy system, they may come back then, and further changes towards interesting trade gameplay can also be made.

I think my 4 year old post here (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8430.msg143703#msg143703) is still relevant. It explains the rationale behind normal trade not being viable, the defects with this system, and things that could make the system more interesting.



Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Megas on August 12, 2018, 01:35:41 PM
Exploration is extremely profitable, probably the best way of making money in the game currently. You just need surveying and salvaging skills and a decent freighter and you can make millions from planet surveys, research/mining/orbital stations, remnant battle stations (if you have the fleet), and drone motherships/survey ships.
Requiring skills and probable dead aptitude is a problem.  If you take the skills, you lose six to nine points on the Industry skill tax and gimp your combat power.  Better for me to skip that tax and rough it.  Skill points are already short even without that Industry tax.

And thanks to outrageous bounty level scaling (to match player level), the only other option if bounties become too hard is to take some exploration missions with a Dram tanker, possibly escorted by a Wolf.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: intrinsic_parity on August 12, 2018, 03:36:07 PM
If your goal is only to create the absolutely most powerful fleet, than sure it is a problem, but I've found that even with less combat skills, my fleet can easily defeat any other fleet in the game, and I have a lot more money to replace losses (which still almost never happen) and buy good ships and weapons (especially early in the game). To me it seems like an equally valid way to solve the problems that the game presents, plus it's easier and more consistent. Also, you can still do as many bounties as you like for fun, you just don't depend on them to sustain you. I also enjoy the exploration aspect of the game, although I wish there was a larger variety of things to find, hopefully there will be at some point. Exploration in itself can be an enjoyable aspect of the game, abstractly from its profitability. It all depends on what you want to get out of the game.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Megas on August 12, 2018, 04:04:04 PM
Quote
If your goal is only to create the absolutely most powerful fleet.
It is because the ultimate point of the game is direct ship-to-ship combat, with campaign elements designed to bring player into said combat.  I get that support skills can be an indirect way to support the fleet, but that is not very fun.  That is like building the auto-resolve character back in 0.5.4.  It kills the fastest (fight resolves in seconds, not minutes), and you can get the 10-10-10 character (due to how fast fights finish), but you did not pilot anything at all, which bypasses the point of the game (until you get all the skills, then you can enjoy your god fleet).

At the very least, I want my max level character to have as many pilot-only skills as a max level officer.  I can only (barely) manage this by max level if I completely ignore Industry and other campaign only skills like Navigation.  Too many skill points are already consumed by must-have fleetwide skills in Leadership and Technology and dead aptitudes required to get those skills.

Even if I want Industry, the main skill I am interested in is Safety Procedures for the half malfunctions threshold perk and maybe a few others.  Surveying and Salvaging are fun, but only yield non-renewable resources.  Once explored or plundered, you cannot tap that same resource again.  Enemies are renewable resources, and you will get just as rich in end after more grinding.  Basically, fast and easy start but less power, or slow and hard start but more power.  If the colonies in 0.9 make Surveying and some of the new skills required to be the best, while the rest of the skill system remain unchanged, the player will be squeezed even harder toward support role if he wants to be the best.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: intrinsic_parity on August 12, 2018, 04:30:29 PM
If I can win every engagement, and my flagship is strong enough to dictate the battle and kill things, even if it is not soloing fleets, then I don't see the point in further increasing combat power (other than for it's own sake). I have already solved the problems facing me, and my personal role is enjoyable (i.e. I can fly around and kill things and 1v1 any AI ship without too much trouble given I have a similarly powerful ship). If adding extra combat skills doesn't allow me to do anything that I couldn't otherwise do, then I don't see the point of passing up QOL skills that make the game much less frustrating.

Also with regard to renewable resources, sure technically it is non-renewable, but there's no way you play the game long enough to reach that point. You would have enough money to buy anything you want many times over before you have explored everything. The amount of money available is far more than you would ever need in one campaign. The only way you would expend all the resources available through exploration is if you decided you wanted to explore everything and grinded for a very long time. I once tried to explore everything but stopped probably 50-75% of the way through because I got bored with a full end game fleet and a second in storage and enough money in the bank to buy a third. Of course I also hunt bounties because combat is fun, but that probably made up less than 30% of my income. By the time you finished exploring everything, there would be nothing left to do.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Seth on August 12, 2018, 04:49:25 PM
To make early game and credit earning more balanced and fun, I would:
Reduce bounty rewards across the board, but make rewards scale, as tougher bounty you take on, bigger the reward. But it's to the point of impossible to defeat these enemies alone, while easy bounties have small payout barely covering expenses. I'd go further and have feature to request assistance of fleet in friendly/neutral territory (if present). It already works in such a way, that when you and someone else kill bounty, rewards get shared based on contribution. It would help immersion and not make player feel like a god of war as he can (and must) tackle and destroy everything solo easy-peasy.

Another issue is how fast you can build endgame fleet. When you know what you're doing, you'll have super-armada in no time, which hurts the feeling of progression. I mean it's a sandbox game, we supposed to grind a bit here, a bit there. Have an incentive to roam around the galaxy, do stuff to get stronger bit by bit, instead of roughly be stuck in same cluster, pick closest bounties nearby with best payout and roll them hard...

So it would be nice if we had trading, exploration and bounty hunting as all viable options, while bounty hunting supposed to be hardest and most risky out of three, which is the other way around right now, heh.

Exploration is extremely profitable, probably the best way of making money in the game currently. You just need surveying and salvaging skills and a decent freighter and you can make millions from planet surveys, research/mining/orbital stations, remnant battle stations (if you have the fleet), and drone motherships/survey ships. As long as you are not stupid and check the fuel range on the map, you can always ensure you have enough fuel to get home, and the combat, with the exception of the remnants (which are avoidable), is all much easier/less risky than conventional bounties. The exploration missions themselves are definitely not very profitable though, I'll give you that.

I think trading is going to end up being done on a higher level between outposts rather than by the player. I imagine you will set up contracts from you colonies to deliver goods and gain a steady income source that will free you up to do other things than grind for money. I think Alex wants to avoid the player being a delivery boy which I don't mind at all.
Megas made good points, which I won't repeat, but on the fleet in particular:
Populated space is clustered in the middle, while explorable space is surrounding it and is at quite some distance. So you need pretty small fleet with tanker and freighter, otherwise you'd be suffering serious losses in terms of income if you run giant battle armada. But particular fleet built for exploration stands no chance in combat, especially if you got jumped by something big and scary, since you can't run away from everything, even on sustain burn, thus it means high risk venture. And definitely one you can't get into fresh from the start, while later it gets pointless.

"Trading", in the "buy low sell high" sense, is not intended to be profitable.

The reason for this has to do with gameplay patterns. People, even when playing games, will typically go for the easiest option even if that option takes a lot of time. We often call this "grinding". As a result, unless there is some fun gameplay pattern involved in trading what will tend to happen is that players will want to grind money doing it until they can afford to go fight. What is intended is to go fight immediately. This gets you into the core gameplay experience faster and wastes less time doing boring things.

So while people may say they want it "trade" its actually bad for the game in the long run.
Sorry, but that doesn't seem sensible, IMO. Particular players truly enjoy trading as an activity, and if economy wasn't broken, that would be fun thing to do for us and earn money. Running bounties is the same way of grinding, but if trading would be a thing, we would have at least two options to choose from, instead of just one. Exploration is not all that profitable either and is quite risky, plus requires specific fleet and preparation, which fresh player is not really capable of financially, so making some adjustments to it could make 3 activities, and actual roles for new player. Seriously, this game has awesome combat, but it shouldn't completely revolve around it, it should be a choice player makes.

Would you, absent income concerns, run trading fleets around the Galaxy?

If no then that is a bad design. The core activity isn’t fun enough to justify and rather it’s the efficiency of the income that is driving the activity.

Now, many games, this included, use income as a mechanic to progress the player down the gameplay progression. Some games do this with XP some games do it with money. But the point here is to gate more complex and advanced gameplay behind the lesser so that there is a noticeable progression throughout the game. (And also to ensure players don’t get overwhelmed)

Is trading like that? Where you get bigger transports and the more complex logistical issues provide unique and interesting challenges? Or is it there to get you a big fleet so you can go shoot things?

I don’t believe it’s the former.
Yes, I'd absolutely run trading fleets around the galaxy, that's what I'd like to do for fun. Your whole post just biased towards your opinion of what you think player wants and enjoys in this game. You gotta understand there are many of us with very different tastes. And game has all the premises to have working features those players enjoy, if balanced right. I mean it's already there, just needs a bit of tweaking...


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Goumindong on August 12, 2018, 05:16:44 PM
Quote
Megas made good points, which I won't repeat, but on the fleet in particular:
Populated space is clustered in the middle, while explorable space is surrounding it and is at quite some distance. So you need pretty small fleet with tanker and freighter, otherwise you'd be suffering serious losses in terms of income if you run giant battle armada.

Apologies for no specific quotes. I am on a phone and it’s a pain to format.

The above isn’t true. Exploration is easily profitable with a reasonable fleet that can defeat the threats present. And increasing the size of ones fleet faster than the enemies scale per your level is a legitimate way to tackle more difficult challenges.

The key is that exploration challenges tend to be specific and so you can fairly easily defeat them with specialized fleets. [Redacted] are the hardest (especially at tier 3) but even they can be beaten relatively cheap without fielding a huge CR combat force. Pirates are second and more or less free for combat ships designed to take them down. And then ruined [redacted] are even more free. The only downsides of which is that all these keep giving you XP that you might not want. (That is, fighting produces XP but doesn’t produce as much loot as proper salvage and so your margin on exploring goes down with respect to being able to kill larger forces). But in no way is it impossible or even that hard to do.

There are like, four really legitimate ways to go about getting stronger in this game (the standard fleets, exploration, stealth, and solo) but the forum really only likes to acknowledge one of them. And you 100% can get into all of them at the start


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Megas on August 12, 2018, 05:24:54 PM
About combat, since it is impossible for the strongest ship to solo the simulator (or equivalent in the campaign), there is no such thing as too powerful ship, only not strong enough.  (I still remember the skills from pre-0.8, and they were more fun to pilot.)  If I cannot get all the skills, I want to have at least enough to match officers without giving up essential campaign skills like Loadout Design or the ones enemy fleet commanders may have.  The current skill system makes that hard.  Sure, I could fight and win with unskilled fleets, but I do not like fighting with a handicap.

Starsector is more than problem solving.  For me, it is primarily an arcade-like shmup with few RPG loop elements thrown in.  I do not want to pilot a lemon while the enemy and my officers pilot hot-rods, due to them having the combat skill advantage (because I took Officer Management or the fleetwide booster skills officers cannot take).  Sure, giving campaign QoL hurts, but giving up in-combat QoL (like many of the pilot-only skills) hurts more.  I do not like to pilot a ship that is handicapped compared to max level officers.  Combat QoL is a reason why Electronic Warfare 1 is the #1 perk in the game, perfect example of an essential fleetwide skill.  If you do not have it, you automatically lose from 10% to 20% to shot range automatically in some fights against threats greater than pirates, and that hurts.

P.S.  If I explore because I am not strong enough to fight bounties (thanks level scaling), I probably want the bare minimum to travel to complete exploration missions at minimal cost.  That means Dram tanker at a minimum.  If I want to fight a few stray pirate ships that catch my tanker, bringing a Wolf may be enough.  Against anything bigger I cannot fight or run from, reload game.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: xenoargh on August 12, 2018, 07:39:07 PM
Trading should be fun, easily understandable, and lower profit-per-hour than fighting.  It should be there for newbies to build up capital via FedEx runs or low-profit hauling.  

For vets playing Iron Mode, it should be there as a way to escape from a fleet-wipe scenario where the player has lost too much capital to continue otherwise.  It shouldn't be a, "do this before actually playing", when the game's on Hard and the time before things start happening is short (provided there's ever an element like that).  It should be the slow way to win via conquest, if the game supports that as a sandbox experience and there aren't any timer pressures.

When this game's finally Beta, if trade still doesn't work like that, I will write a mod to make it so, if I'm still playing at that point.  I'm just not writing any publicly-available Mission code at all until I'm sure it won't get broken six ways from Sunday every release, like Vacuum did.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: intrinsic_parity on August 12, 2018, 08:08:26 PM
Populated space is clustered in the middle, while explorable space is surrounding it and is at quite some distance. So you need pretty small fleet with tanker and freighter, otherwise you'd be suffering serious losses in terms of income if you run giant battle armada. But particular fleet built for exploration stands no chance in combat, especially if you got jumped by something big and scary, since you can't run away from everything, even on sustain burn, thus it means high risk venture. And definitely one you can't get into fresh from the start, while later it gets pointless.
This is absolutely not true. I can very easily turn a large profit with 5-6 cruisers and many supporting destroyers and frigates in my fleet. With the skills that give extra salvage/fuel, you can almost sustain indefinitely in the uncivilized area, but even without, you can easily stay out long enough to find juicy class IV and V planets that will pay out as well as bounties. Usually I come home because my cargo holds are full, not because I run out of fuel. Capital ships are too fuel hungry to be sustainable though, but the only thing you need a capital for is the remnant stations or large bounties, and you can specifically plan an expedition to deal with those things, you won't accidentally have to fight them. By super late game, I just lug capitals around anyway because I have enough money where I don't care.

Since the game presents no win condition, there is no true goal, only what you want. If your goal is only to have the most powerful flagship possible, then yeah, it doesn't make sense to take QOL skills that weaken you. However, My goal is to defeat my enemies, and have fun, so as long as I can build a fleet to defeat any enemy and my personal role in the fleet is fun, I've achieved my goals. I don't compare my ship to my allies, but rather to my enemies. As long as I have the potential to beat them, I'm happy. I'd rather have more powerful enemies than myself since it presents a challenge. Having an OP flagship that murders everything without difficulty is boring for me. (but I can understand that other people do enjoy that)

I've found that both exploration play throughs and combat play throughs can satisfy my goals. I personally enjoy exploration and finding exciting things in the unknown, but I can see how if you didn't enjoy that, the whole play style would seem unappealing. I think people who don't enjoy exploration by itself have probably never committed to it enough to see how reliable, safe and profitable it really is. It's fine if you don't want to play the game that way, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible or enjoyable for someone else.

Ultimately, it's up to Alex to decide what he wants to be possible in the game and what he wants the win conditions (if any) to be. Optimally, he would make all play styles viable, but I don't think that is realistic.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Seth on August 13, 2018, 12:27:02 AM
You're saying about specific fleets and skills needed, but how do you get these skills and particular ships you absolutely need to start exploration? That's right, you grind bounties. For bounties to start racking up creds you need any bucket that can fly and no skills whatsoever. A bit later it is wise to invest into combat more skills than in anything else, because this way you'll be able to survive and defeat enemies with weaker ships and smaller fleets. It would be very inefficient to start spending first skills on exploration, because as soon as you'll get into combat (and you will) with pretty tough enemy, you'll be smashed to pieces.

So by the point you get all requirements to start exploring safe, it just gets irrelevant. Sure, in my endgame, when my storage is full of rare ships and weapons, sometimes I pick small fleet of frigates, freigther with tanker, and not care would I could come across. So in reality you cannot get into exploration fresh off the start and earn even similar cash you earn by bounty runs. By the time you CAN make exploration payouts big, there's no sense in it, because you don't need it anymore, just as roleplaying activity.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: intrinsic_parity on August 13, 2018, 01:45:57 AM
You can do the exploration missions to start off with. They pay enough in the early game to sustain you until you get surveying enough crew/heavy machinery to survey. You could also grab salvaging skills and a couple freighters and look for stations to loot. You can never fight a bounty if you don't want to. Fighting a few bounties at the very start certainly helps a little, but it's not necessary. Technically you don't even need surveying skills, you just need to get really lucky and find terran worlds. You can easily win early game combat without skills. A good player with a wolf can ruin most small pirate fleets single handedly and the drones you run into in exploration are trivial. The tutorial also gives you enough ships to be safe for a while.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Goumindong on August 13, 2018, 08:23:28 AM
A wolf and a dram and a Buffalo can do early exploration content super easy and you only need the Buffalo for loot. (You could run missions/planets without) which is easily within the starting allocation.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: TaLaR on August 13, 2018, 10:40:00 AM
Dram + Lasher + (Cargo) is a good exploration fleet too. Melee (non-SO) Lasher can mow down a lot of remnant/pirate fleets sequentially at just 10% CR per deployment. Which is more stable as the only combatant than Wolf, which uses 20% per battle. Of course you need to know and avoid enemies that non-SO Lasher can't fight against (too fast frigates that are non-SO themselve(as you can wait out/crush SO ones in melee) /properly equipped DE(which is usually not the case for enemies) /carriers with more than 1 wing).


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Dudok22 on August 13, 2018, 03:15:26 PM
I would love to play as trader if it was profitable. I think it would be similar to the game "Port Royale" in which it was fun to build up your wealth by trade, building industry and defending it from other factions and pirates. You would finally have reason to use combat freighters and also build different kinds of fleets than "build the most powerful fleet to smash the biggest bounties to earn enough money to pay for the maintenance of your insanely powerful fleet". Going through space, getting attacked by enemy factions, pirates or pathers and trying to defend your cargo with ships that are not always the top military models of the sector would be fun.

One type of mission that could be added is the delivery mission where you pick up their cargo (so you don't have to source it yourself) and just deliver it to the destination for a fee.

Also what if we could sign contracts with factions similar to commissions for long term deliveries of goods for example: Ancyra needs 300 supplies per month and we can pay you 54000 credits each month you can satisfy their demand." This contract is for x months and is nullified with relations penalty if you cant satisfy the demand for 2 months or something like that.

 



Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Seth on August 13, 2018, 09:01:54 PM
Again, to start exploring you need at least one tanker, some cheap ships that can hold cargo, someone you who fight and lots of supplies + fuel to get you to far off systems, plus get lucky with actual good loot on your first venture, and there's no way you can afford all that just post tutorial. In far away system, while you traverse, you can come across absolutely anything, and if you can't outrun it, you'll just have to re-roll or reload save.

Bounties are usually in close by systems, you don't need lots of supplies or fuel to get there, you get markets almost everywhere around them, plus lots of friendly/neutrals who can be used as a distraction if you came across something nasty. Exploration might be a valid thing, but bounty hunting is SO MUCH easier and as much profitable, that's what I'm saying.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Megas on August 13, 2018, 10:18:23 PM
For missions where all you need to do is make contact with a derelict, a Dram tanker is all you really need, although few extra ships should not hurt.  After all, if you get caught, just reload.  If not, you get your easy money and do it again until you earn enough to outfit a proper war fleet.

As for bounties, system bounties seem like an exercise in futility today.  The stray pirates are either too rare or too hard to find.  Before the days of sensors, we could bring up system map, look for triangles, and murder them.  Now, it is like "Where's the pirates?!"  Finding one or two small fleets over a few weeks in-game are not very profitable.

As for named bounties, level scaling made it so that future bounties get bigger and stronger fleets faster than you can afford and you "can't catch up".  If that happens, player is forced to put his fleet in storage and do exploration missions with a Dram.  Once you get an endgame fleet of your own, level scaling is not a problem.  It is early-to-mid game that level scaling hurts.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: xenoargh on August 14, 2018, 01:24:39 AM
Quote
system bounties seem like an exercise in futility today
The payoff is far too low, agreed.  It should be 2-3X current to be worthwhile.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: intrinsic_parity on August 14, 2018, 01:54:27 AM
I think we just need higher spawn rates of pirates in the area. It seems like the bounties happen randomly and there might not be any pirates there to kill. Maybe with the new mechanics coming to the game, system bounties will happen near pirate outposts that pop up, and there is a big bounty for clearing the outpost and a little one for killing fleets that spawn there.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Thaago on August 14, 2018, 02:12:14 AM
As long as there are targets the current system bounties are plenty generous. Normal combat is mildly profitable without losses, so the system bounties are a nice icing on the cake.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: xenoargh on August 14, 2018, 04:13:16 PM
Quote
current system bounties are plenty generous
For the same time investment, you can do a Probe and earn far more.

Quote
Normal combat is mildly profitable without losses
For vets, in small fights where you solo things, yes, technically.  But it still feels completely worthless vs. doing literally anything else and is kind of a newbie trap, imo, because hardly anybody else can get enough money out of it and newbies typically won't be soloing those fights; we see, "ran outta supplies, game too hard" posts pretty continuously, which is a strong sign they're playing it "wrong" by doing the things they expect will work, then are giving up in frustration. 

I never bother with the System Bounties when I'm playing the game un-modded, unless it's sheer luck (i.e., my OP fleet dropped in on the rare Pirate Armada worth killing); there are so many better ways to make money. 

Of course, all of these mechanics are probably going to change, now that worrying about Pirate Raids and Stations is a big part of the game.  Perhaps now it'll be profitable to take down Pirate Stations or a Raid will generate enough targets that a System Bounty is a reasonable way to pick up cash.  I'm definitely withholding judgement until we see this next build's features :)


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Askaron on August 14, 2018, 06:33:32 PM
how to steadily avoid detection of contraband?

I have a ship with a shielded cargo compartment, if its capacity is 75, and the rest of the fleet is 100, how much can I take smuggling safely?


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on August 14, 2018, 07:06:07 PM
how to steadily avoid detection of contraband?

I have a ship with a shielded cargo compartment, if its capacity is 75, and the rest of the fleet is 100, how much can I take smuggling safely?
Most likely 75. One thing though is that it reduces, not eliminates, the chance of being caught with contraband


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Wyvern on August 14, 2018, 07:54:32 PM
...Does shielded cargo holds even do anything in the current build?  I know it was useful back when patrols would randomly stop you for cargo inspections / bribe-seeking shake-downs, but that doesn't happen anymore.

You know what I'd like to see?  Shielded cargo holds letting you buy up to that much mass of stuff off the black market without impact on your suspicion levels.  That would actually be useful, especially when some podunk size three planet rolls a mjolnir cannon in its black market...


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Alex on August 14, 2018, 08:01:02 PM
...Does shielded cargo holds even do anything in the current build?  I know it was useful back when patrols would randomly stop you for cargo inspections / bribe-seeking shake-downs, but that doesn't happen anymore.

They do, yeah - comes into play when you're running with the transponder off, and patrols will still do an inspection if the suspicion level is high, too.

(Just confirmed this is indeed the case: https://imgur.com/a/3rKz67Y)


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Wyvern on August 14, 2018, 09:13:33 PM
Oh, right.  I guess I'm not used to seeing high-suspicion inspections ever find actual contraband; when I get those, it's always because I did something like buying a single rare weapon or ship off the black market, and apparently carrying around actual military ordnance is a total non-issue.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Eji1700 on August 14, 2018, 09:27:54 PM
"Trading", in the "buy low sell high" sense, is not intended to be profitable.

The reason for this has to do with gameplay patterns. People, even when playing games, will typically go for the easiest option even if that option takes a lot of time. We often call this "grinding". As a result, unless there is some fun gameplay pattern involved in trading what will tend to happen is that players will want to grind money doing it until they can afford to go fight. What is intended is to go fight immediately. This gets you into the core gameplay experience faster and wastes less time doing boring things.

So while people may say they want it "trade" its actually bad for the game in the long run.
While I agree many player will optimize to the point of losing enjoyment, what bugs me is that there's so many systems in the game already to make trading exciting and fun.  You've got a built in smuggling system, you have pirates, you have cargo ships that you can even arm, the idea of running a pirate infested run is something that should be fun (or sneaking a bunch of terrible stuff past system security) is inherently fun.  As would be screwing with the economy to make money (destroying traders/stopping shipments).

The only reason it's not done more is because there's no reward for accomplishing it as the prices are tanked.

Hell the way the game handles the ship economy takes away from a lot of potential fun (and better use for industry skills as well).  Salvageable wrecks should be MUCH less common to encourage faction loyalty, or to reward you for speccing into industry.  Something like low level you'll see more wrecks with d mods, and max level gives you the restore option.  In the meantime you can start making ships sell for a reasonable price as well and allow that as part of the economy because it's not something that will happen by default.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Megas on August 14, 2018, 10:07:41 PM
I am glad that it is easy to pick up ships, considering that buying most ships is impossible without commission, and if you have commission, some ships are rare enough that the easiest way to get the ship is to kill an NPC fleet and steal their wrecks.  I recover far more Tempests than I can find in shops.

I wish getting weapons that are rarely offered for sale were as easy to acquire.  I occasionally save scum endgame fights to maximize rare weapon drops (like Tachyon Lances or Remnant LPCs).  Think of it as a Diablo 2 style magic-find item run.

Hopefully, in 0.9, player will be able to find blueprints to build all of the weapons and all of the ships the Independents can sell by endgame, so that I do not need to buy or steal ships and weapons.  I am sick of being stuck with Open Market weapons on ships with two or more (D) mods.

The game does not give the player enough skill points to branch out without gimping his combat ability compared to NPCs.  If I want any nice campaign bonus from skills (like anything from Industry), I will be behind a max-level NPC.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: xenoargh on August 15, 2018, 03:13:34 AM
Quote
I recover far more Tempests than I can find in shops.
+1000

Yeah, how that works right now is kinda meh.  Putting together a fleet shouldn't feel like Intergalactic Whack-A-Mole, where the resource we burn is our time on this planet ;)


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Momaw on August 18, 2018, 04:17:18 PM
I like a good bit of trading myself and was a bit little sad as a new customer that it .... doesn't really seem to be a thing.

Totally understand why trading is an icky thing in a lot of games, where it essentially becomes rote repetition. Location A sells product 1, you carry it to Location B to trade it for product 2, then finally Location C and sell your product 2 for insane profits. Then you do it over again.  The thing that makes systems like that terrible are lack of unpredictability...  EV:Nova was absolutely terrible about this, where you could run the same freight loop a few times, hire a freighter, run the loop, hire a bigger freighter, run the loop, and then before you even start doing anything fun in the game you have oceans of cash that you didn't really earn. THAT should be avoided, yes.  But Starsector already has concepts in place to prevent that, i.e. pirates and dynamic economies. Even the fact that in Starsector you have to pay for fuel and supplies acts as an informal trade tariff in its own right, since unlike most similar games we have to pay to move freight around

It seems like trading is a thing that could be in the game and not completely destroy the fun, so long as you're actually competing against other agents for the cargo and so long as the pirates become very interested in what you're up to. A massively profitable trade route should either be temporary (causing a scramble of activity when it opens) or very dangerous (known routes would be ambush bait). Would love to see the 30% trade tariffs reconsidered in light of the otherwise wildly unstable economy, as well as some new missions offered to players. Either one-off "courier this small valuable thing", or bulk freight where the base pay is really pathetic but we get a bonus by the ton for how much freight we arrive with. Or even sign on to a convoy, where we put in some money to help stock the convoy and everybody shares the profits at the end.

(shrug)


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Eji1700 on August 21, 2018, 02:48:42 AM
I like a good bit of trading myself and was a bit little sad as a new customer that it .... doesn't really seem to be a thing.

Totally understand why trading is an icky thing in a lot of games, where it essentially becomes rote repetition. Location A sells product 1, you carry it to Location B to trade it for product 2, then finally Location C and sell your product 2 for insane profits. Then you do it over again.  The thing that makes systems like that terrible are lack of unpredictability...  EV:Nova was absolutely terrible about this, where you could run the same freight loop a few times, hire a freighter, run the loop, hire a bigger freighter, run the loop, and then before you even start doing anything fun in the game you have oceans of cash that you didn't really earn. THAT should be avoided, yes.  But Starsector already has concepts in place to prevent that, i.e. pirates and dynamic economies. Even the fact that in Starsector you have to pay for fuel and supplies acts as an informal trade tariff in its own right, since unlike most similar games we have to pay to move freight around

It seems like trading is a thing that could be in the game and not completely destroy the fun, so long as you're actually competing against other agents for the cargo and so long as the pirates become very interested in what you're up to. A massively profitable trade route should either be temporary (causing a scramble of activity when it opens) or very dangerous (known routes would be ambush bait). Would love to see the 30% trade tariffs reconsidered in light of the otherwise wildly unstable economy, as well as some new missions offered to players. Either one-off "courier this small valuable thing", or bulk freight where the base pay is really pathetic but we get a bonus by the ton for how much freight we arrive with. Or even sign on to a convoy, where we put in some money to help stock the convoy and everybody shares the profits at the end.

(shrug)
Since you mentioned EV:N, did you play before they nerfed the Opal run?  I don't remember the name of the system but the idea was pretty simple.  There were two planets in system, but very far apart (by EV:N standards).  One had opals at a low price, one had them at a high price, so obviously stupid easy trade.

The one catch was that the system was always swarming with high quality large pirates (manticores and the like), so it was supposed to be a death sprint to see if you could manage to protect your fleet whilst running the blockage (rather than shift queue a few jumps and watching the animations play).

In practice you bought and afterburner, jetted around them, and broke the economy faster and harder than normal, first by trading opals for profit, then by trading lots of opals for profit, then by just pirating the pirate ships in the system (which quickly became worth more than the opals when you plundered and sold them), so they nerfed the whole thing.

While obviously demonstrating the flaws with bad trading systems, it shows the idea that I really wish starsector would try to capture.  Trying to evade pirates (something you'd actually have to do in star sector compared to EV:N's watch me jump), smuggle cargo, and still turn a profit. 

The exact same idea (highly profitable in system trade route with dangerous pirates everywhere) already works so much better in star sector just do to it's general design.  There's an actual stealth mechanic, systems are much larger, fleets are much more dangerous, and there's a hell of a lot more interaction possible (although maybe not currently, map skills are mostly stealth or go faster) to trying to get past them.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: TheWetFish on August 21, 2018, 02:21:09 PM
how to steadily avoid detection of contraband?

I have a ship with a shielded cargo compartment, if its capacity is 75, and the rest of the fleet is 100, how much can I take smuggling safely?

We did a code dive a while back and it looks like it's basically proportional to how much contraband you have relative to legal cargo and also proportional to how much shielded cargo capacity relative to total cargo capacity. The actual full mechanics are surprisingly complex & nuanced, taking into account things like patrol leaders personal relationship with you and considerations for a shielded cargo hold potentially holding a disproportionate amount of contraband. The basic vibe of it is more proportion of .cargo capacity being shielded is good and higher proportion of contraband is more risky


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Momaw on August 21, 2018, 05:24:08 PM
Since you mentioned EV:N, did you play before they nerfed the Opal run?  I don't remember the name of the system but the idea was pretty simple.  There were two planets in system, but very far apart (by EV:N standards).  One had opals at a low price, one had them at a high price, so obviously stupid easy trade.

Not even that route. I did one where you never left safe sectors at all. I want to say...Medicines and luxury stuff....?  It's been years.

The buy and sell values never change so as long as the route is profitable then it will stay profitable until the end of time and just become more and MORE profitable as you hire freighters to follow you around. Smaller profit margins just means a slower pace of geometric growth. Pretty terrible really :D


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Schwartz on September 09, 2018, 08:27:01 PM
Short answer to OPs question is: Prohibitive tariffs. I don't think the game would suffer much if tariffs were reduced to a sweet spot so profit could be made with the right intel / dedication / logistics. It can happen now, but it's very circumstantial. It would just be another way to have fun for people who enjoy trading. Plenty of pirates around to keep that interesting, too. I don't believe in saving the player from his own impulse for a boring grind. I like to do things I enjoy. Bounties are fun, so we're covered as far as money-making goes. No harm in bringing trading a bit closer to the level.


Title: Re: what is wrong with trade?
Post by: Histidine on September 10, 2018, 02:41:11 AM
New tweet (https://twitter.com/amosolov/status/1038973236460101633) indicates a major UI roadblock to non-event trade is going away next version.
(Margins are still dreadfully thin after tariffs, but at least that's something mods already can and do fix)