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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: The Pilgrim's Path (07/19/22)

Author Topic: Making Money is Weird  (Read 4015 times)

KaiserKlay

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Making Money is Weird
« on: August 06, 2019, 05:44:29 PM »

So I'm relatively new to the game. I bought it years ago but didn't remember it until relatively recently and I have a few things to say.

1. Trading is basically pointless

The thing I keep hearing from people is that the 30% tariff was added in to keep people from repeating 'boring' trade routes but it doesn't actually change anything since I'm still doing the same thing, I'm just going to do it slightly differently. Yeah, I agree that that shipping crates of food between the same two planets over and over again it is probably going to be very boring, but isn't that my choice? Sure, I could smuggle illegal stuff, which is far more profitable, but not really at the scale that it needs to be, and it's riskier too. Not much riskier, since most of the time if I just wait long enough (a pretty boring act) the guards will inevitably go somewhere else, leaving the planet unguarded.

2. Derelict survey missions are way too profitable for how much risk is involved.

Doing procurement missions (which I'll have a section on shortly) is an okay method of making money, but it isn't really consistent. In fact, none of the contracts are really consistent. Especially when they come from the pirates or Luddic Path, factions that will try and attack you on sight. At least I can pay the Pathers off with their tithe thing. But even when I sign a contract with the pirates to supply their base with fuel they still go out of their way to attack me. I know they're pirates but Jesus H. Christ I'm just the delivery guy!

My point is that so far in the time that I've played so far the supposedly dynamic economy doesn't really ask for or take much interest in player intervention. That being said, I think there are some relatively simple fixes to these problems. Firstly, mercantile convoys should be made more vulnerable to pirate attacks. I have literally never seen a mercantile convoy get attacked outside of those pirate raid events that don't really start happening for a cycle or two. I also think that the way in which the economy is modeled should be changed, or at least tweaked so as to give the player more usable information. What does it mean when a planet produces x 'units' of a given commodity? I buy them individually, but obviously that's not what's meant by that so is it 100 volatile for every 'unit' produced?

I also think that shortages should directly start triggering procurement contracts, since as it stands they seem to just show up randomly. Procurement contracts, I find, often don't give me a good amount of wiggle-room time-wise. This would be one thing if I already had the resources on hand, but if I did then I'd probably be selling them somewhere else already. Or I just sit around with random amounts of ore/weapons/drugs in my cargo holds, vulnerable to pirate attacks and scans by authorities, waiting until a random contract comes up.

Perhaps I'm out of line. I'd like to hear if I'm misinterpreting or misunderstanding anything here, but I've created (almost literally) the same character like 30 times trying to make a more pacifist playstyle possible (or at least early game pacifism) and it just doesn't seem to be working

P.S. Can someone explain to me what the point of the accessibility stat is? How about 'if the materials get there, then they get there' I don't see much point in randomly capping the amount of trade a planet can do based on some stat.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Making Money is Weird
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 06:46:40 PM »

You are trying to play a pacifist in a game about blowing up spaceships?

Smuggling is even easier than you think. You can just waltz right in transponder-on with all the illegal goods you want, as long as you don't get caught smuggling stuff on the way out.

Pirates in Starsector don't act like pirates at all. I wish they would. The Domain drones seem like a better candidate for a suicidal space rats faction.
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KaiserKlay

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Re: Making Money is Weird
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 07:00:35 PM »

You are trying to play a pacifist in a game about blowing up spaceships?

Smuggling is even easier than you think. You can just waltz right in transponder-on with all the illegal goods you want, as long as you don't get caught smuggling stuff on the way out.

Pirates in Starsector don't act like pirates at all. I wish they would. The Domain drones seem like a better candidate for a suicidal space rats faction.

It's part of the character I was trying to play. The idea is that he was a former Yakuza guy that was forced to watch the entire Godfather trilogy at half speed in one sitting as part of a rival family's torture.

And yes, I understand that smuggling is easy, but it's effectively the same thing as regular trade, but less scalable. The best/most high-value planets also tend to have pickets running around making the whole thing that much more difficult. My point is that the whole 'avoiding boring trade' thing strikes me as a weak argument in favor of the tariff since smuggling is as easy as it is, and that the mission variety strikes me as a little too hit and miss. I've read that the kind of missions you get offered depends on the kind of fleet you have, but I can't really confirm that.
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JDCollie

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Re: Making Money is Weird
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2019, 07:52:30 PM »

I don't know how everyone else does it, but I do my trading almost exclusively through deals found in bars. It ends up sending me all over the sector, is always profitable, and gives me lots of (usually optional) combat opportunities along the way.
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SapphireSage

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Re: Making Money is Weird
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2019, 08:21:05 PM »

The accessibility stat controls a few things. First the accessibility stat divided by 10 rounded down determines how many commodities you can export/import out of faction (eg. 78% means that you can export/import 7 max for each commodity). In-faction imports are your max imports + 5 (eg. If you're producing 8 of X for a planet with 27% accessibility that planet can import 7 X in-faction but only 2 out-of-faction). Accessibility also gives a growth bonus/penalty depending on how high/low it is. Lastly, 1.00 * Accessibility = market share multiplier from a particular colony. This effects relatively how much money you make for a given export amount of a colony.
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Alex

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Re: Making Money is Weird
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2019, 08:53:45 PM »

I don't know how everyone else does it, but I do my trading almost exclusively through deals found in bars. It ends up sending me all over the sector, is always profitable, and gives me lots of (usually optional) combat opportunities along the way.

Extremely this, yeah, at least as far as the design intent. The delivery missions keep it varied, guarantee a profit without having to look up prices all the time, and drive you towards slightly more dangerous areas, as well as giving a reason to explore the populated areas.

Procurement missions do tie into shortages, btw, but just in general, I wouldn't consider them a particularly polished part of the game. They're kind of there, but really, I could see removing them now that delivery missions are in the game, especially once there's a bit more other content.

As far as accessibility: the main point here is that the trade fleets you see don't drive the economy. If they're *lost* they factor in, but otherwise, the economy happens behind the scenes, and that's where accessibility determines what happens. (It's impractical to try to make trade fleets drive the economy entirely; you'd need an absurd number of fleets to get anything even resembling a consistent simulation and there'd be other problems as well.)

Welcome to the forum, btw!
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KaiserKlay

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Re: Making Money is Weird
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2019, 09:41:36 PM »

I don't know how everyone else does it, but I do my trading almost exclusively through deals found in bars. It ends up sending me all over the sector, is always profitable, and gives me lots of (usually optional) combat opportunities along the way.
(It's impractical to try to make trade fleets drive the economy entirely; you'd need an absurd number of fleets to get anything even resembling a consistent simulation and there'd be other problems as well.)

I totally understand that (and thanks for the welcome). At some point, you have to draw the line and say some things just need to be abstracted, but I still think mercantile convoys should be reduced in size so that players have more opportunities to affect the in-game economy. Maybe the bars could more consistently give out delivery missions, perhaps planets with excesses would be more likely? But now I'm just throwing out ideas.
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Alex

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Re: Making Money is Weird
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2019, 09:49:16 PM »

Thanks for understanding! Ah, hmm - you're finding the convoys too well-defended? To me it feels like something you could start to take on with what I'd call a midgame fleet; maybe it could use a bit of tuning to be a more viable early-game option as well, on occasion. Let me think about that.

As far as delivery missions - they're fairly consistent, no? IIRC the idea was that there would be one available often, but with a bit of a delay so that you couldn't just repeatedly chain them together. So you'd get to a new area, explore it a bit, and then maybe take another delivery mission. They're definitely more reliably found than other kinds of bar events. I guess my question is, are you finding them rare, or more having trouble chaining them?

Good thought re: making them more likely at colonies with excesses, I think. Currently (at least IIRC) it's more likely to pick a commodity that's in excess once it's decided to create the mission/bar event at a colony, but not more likely to actually make the mission available at such a location.
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SCC

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Re: Making Money is Weird
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2019, 09:51:43 PM »

How big trade fleets depend on origin and destination planet; they are prey easy enough if one of those is small, so that the trade fleet is smaller, too. Camping at Raelsveg and intercepting supply convoys is very useful.
Did you change "fleet departures" intel in 0.9.1, Alex? They feel much rarer now.