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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Author Topic: what is wrong with trade?  (Read 4708 times)

Wyvern

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2018, 12:54:32 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...
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Alex

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2018, 01:01:02 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)
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Wyvern

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2018, 02:13:33 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.
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Eji1700

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2018, 02:27:54 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.
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Megas

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2018, 03:07:41 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.
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xenoargh

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2018, 08:13:34 PM »

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 ;)
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Momaw

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2018, 09:17:18 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)
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Eji1700

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2018, 07:48:42 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)
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.
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TheWetFish

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2018, 07:21:09 AM »

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
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Momaw

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2018, 10:24:08 AM »

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
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Schwartz

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2018, 01:27:01 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.
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Histidine

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Re: what is wrong with trade?
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2018, 07:41:11 PM »

New tweet 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)
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