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Author Topic: what is wrong with trade?  (Read 3976 times)

Askaron

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what is wrong with trade?
« 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.
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Goumindong

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #1 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.
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Askaron

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #2 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?
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Megas

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #3 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.
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Seth

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #4 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.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #5 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.
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Goumindong

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #6 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.
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Histidine

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #7 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 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.

Megas

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #8 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.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #9 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.
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Megas

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #10 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.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #11 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.
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Seth

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #12 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...
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 12:10:52 AM by Seth »
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Goumindong

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #13 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
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Megas

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #14 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.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 05:33:53 PM by Megas »
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