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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hostile Activity (09/01/22)

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Author Topic: Market price madness  (Read 1906 times)

Chthonic One

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Market price madness
« on: April 05, 2021, 11:31:54 AM »

Why is it that I can buy various weapons for around $150-$200 credits, but a single unit of supplies costs between $100-$120 credits and fuel between $20-$30 each?

Shouldn't something that is constantly consumed, and required by everyone cost much less than weapons which are not consumed, and generally aren't needed in great numbers?

Even derelict frigates aren't sold for more than $2000, which is about the price of 20 supplies, or the supplies which will maintain a frigate for about 10 days. What gives?

The prices of fuel and supplies are madness compared to everything else!
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Thaago

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2021, 11:44:02 AM »

Well the supplies shown on the info card are in months, so 20 will keep a lasher flying for 5 months best case. Less for storms, asteroid impacts, combat, etc.

The cost of supplies and fuel can definitely be pretty steep in the early game, its a major source of challenge and one of the only ways that the player can really 'die' (though they just respawn if the fleet does totally collapse). Some tips for managing it: consider taking along a few salvage boosting ships like Shepherds; take a few industry skills (can always be respecced out of later); take a commission for money; keep a careful eye on the maintenance of ships in the fleet, and whether it really makes sense to keep them; always keep a reserve of cash, supplies, and fuel in case of emergency!
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Igncom1

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2021, 11:47:54 AM »

Check the market often for surplus sales! Try to buy black market when possible! NEVER pay more then the base cost unless you are loaded or in an emergency.

If you are REALLY generous, sell industry boosters to fuel and supply producing planets, where applicable, to force the market to produce more then usual.
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Chthonic One

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2021, 11:52:55 AM »

Check the market often for surplus sales! Try to buy black market when possible! NEVER pay more then the base cost unless you are loaded or in an emergency.

If you are REALLY generous, sell industry boosters to fuel and supply producing planets, where applicable, to force the market to produce more then usual.
This requires flying to different planets repeatedly which takes time. Time eats supplies which is the problem.

Well the supplies shown on the info card are in months, so 20 will keep a lasher flying for 5 months best case. Less for storms, asteroid impacts, combat, etc.

The cost of supplies and fuel can definitely be pretty steep in the early game, its a major source of challenge and one of the only ways that the player can really 'die' (though they just respawn if the fleet does totally collapse). Some tips for managing it: consider taking along a few salvage boosting ships like Shepherds; take a few industry skills (can always be respecced out of later); take a commission for money; keep a careful eye on the maintenance of ships in the fleet, and whether it really makes sense to keep them; always keep a reserve of cash, supplies, and fuel in case of emergency!
I started with the Apogee start, which listed itself as an "Advanced Start" which suggests that it is an easier start. In all, it was using about 3ish supplies per day by the end of the tutorial due to the fact that most of the starting ships had D-mods, even before taking on more.
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Igncom1

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2021, 11:55:33 AM »

The core stars is pretty small, it doesn't take much time at all.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2021, 12:00:54 PM »

I'm actually pretty sure the Apogee start is not an easier start anymore. It seems like it might actually make some missions harder, and adds quite a bit more logistics pressure.

Maybe it's worth Alex looking at the starting options again.
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Chthonic One

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2021, 12:03:05 PM »

The core stars is pretty small, it doesn't take much time at all.
You're getting hit by asteroids that you can't see even outside of asteroid belts causing you CR and hull damage randomly.

You have to worry about hyperspace storms causing you ship damage randomly, or you have to take the long route around them or just fly very slowly requiring a lot more supplies.

You constantly get harassed by pirates who take advantage of the above situations and your low CR to further cost you in supplies as you do that, because these core systems just aren't safe. They are just a warzone between pirates and security forces.

I honestly don't see any reason why I should spend more time shopping. Instead I spend most of my time war profiteering when I can, and running away from sensor contacts most of the other time trying to do trades.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2021, 12:07:50 PM »

I think the intent is to make the campaign layer a challenge be the running of fleets as well acquiring of ships/equipment.  It also makes the acquiring and loss of ships less important in a sense?  Important in the case of fleet wipes.

I agree that 0.9.5a income streams definitely need a review and updating against each other (bounties vs trading vs raiding for example), my impression of  Alex's intent is to represent a sector in decay and that scrapping enough to get to survive is the challenge.  At least until end game at which point owning colonies makes you the richest person in the sector.

If weapons and ships were significantly worth more than running costs, say frigates sold for 20,000, purchased for 40,000, and supplies/fuel for 1 credit each, the campaign layer difficulty would shift more towards the acquiring and equipping of ships instead of keeping a fleet supplied/fueled.  Recovery rates for ships and weapons would likely be reduced to maintain a similar progression curve. 

Such a ratio would eliminate tension between growing your fleet and running expenses.  At which point supplies/fuel simply become tethers to your resupply/refuel base instead of something to budget against.  As your wealth increased, there would be no reason not to push against the 30 ship limit.  It also means a ship loss is a greater set back relative to your revenue stream, tending to make save/reload more frequent rather than just writing off the loss, assuming the income mechanisms were to take into account the running cost reduction.  It would certainly make the game easier to play on the campaign layer.  Focus would be on building up the biggest fleet possible, and no reason not to bring it everywhere.  Fleet types would likely be reduced to full combat and trading fleets, eliminating the need for exploration dedicated fleets, for example.

Late probably would not change much though.  The current game is effectively "won" at the moment by the time you have colonies fully running and bringing in massive passive income, which trivializes ships acquisition, equipping, and supplying.  That would still be true for the first two at end game.

So, the reason the prices are the way they are is they allow for a more complicated campaign layer with different decision making than if running costs were negligible compared to everything else.
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Igncom1

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2021, 12:09:11 PM »

Looking up the cheapest places to buy supplies and fuel is really not big of a deal at all.
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Chthonic One

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2021, 12:12:49 PM »

Well, I will say that apparently the Apogee start has a greatly increased need for supplies compared to start #2 for example. 3 supplies per day vs. 0.3 per day. Both start with the same amount of starting supplies and cash.

Considering I started with the Apogee start, you can see why I'm so greatly tilted. Still, I went for a long while before fuel ever became a concern at all. It was always supplies for me.
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Igncom1

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2021, 12:17:31 PM »

Yeah that's very true. Fuel costs are very consistent to fleet size and only get spent when travelling or emergency boosting.

Supply drain is very inconsistent, and you spend it constantly. Forcing you to overbuy it constantly just to have a safety net.
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Dex

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2021, 12:18:27 PM »

Your first game was an apogee start? May i suggest the wolf/shepherd?

If you arent comfortable with the logistical mechanics frigates are a more forgiving start. Maybe this should be articulated more specifically on game start.
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Daynen

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2021, 12:22:47 PM »

I started with the Apogee start, which listed itself as an "Advanced Start" which suggests that it is an easier start.

Weeeellll, that's not usually what "advanced" means...that being said, logistics are supposed to be a constant challenge; otherwise the game quickly devolves into a free for all of insanely powerful fleets of your choice mowing everything in your path and saturation bombing the entire sector aaaaaaaaaand then you're bored.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2021, 12:43:36 PM »

Yeah, the "faster" starts I don't think are intended to be combined with the tutorial start, and that perhaps could be made clearer.  Or perhaps go farther and not allow the combination of the two?  They essentially give you the tutorial salvaged ships already.  They're mostly there so you can skip the tutorial and be in the same state ship wise as if you had done the tutorial.

Well, I will say that apparently the Apogee start has a greatly increased need for supplies compared to start #2 for example. 3 supplies per day vs. 0.3 per day. Both start with the same amount of starting supplies and cash.

Considering I started with the Apogee start, you can see why I'm so greatly tilted. Still, I went for a long while before fuel ever became a concern at all. It was always supplies for me.

The apogee start (without tutorial) is about a factor of 4 to 5 greater in terms of supply cost than the say, the wayfarer/shepherd start (again without tutorial).  38 supplies per month vs 8.  7 fuel/ly vs 2 fuel/ly.

Still assuming no tutorial, the wayfarer/shepherd starts with 32,000 credits, 80 supplies, 70 fuel, 70 crew, and 45 heavy machinery.
Apogee starts with 50,000 credits, 230 supplies, 253 fuel, 589 crew, and 75 heavy machinery.

The extra 18,000 credits will buy ~180 supplies putting you at about 5 times the starting supplies and 3.6 times the fuel - almost exactly the supply/fuel cost ratio for the starts.  The key is leveraging that increased cost for increased profits.  At 735 versus 200 cargo capacity, you certainly can carry 3.5 times as much, while having a solid combat line up in the form of the Apogee and fighter support which can handle low end bounties.

I mean, if you really wanted, you could store some of the ships and cargo from the Apogee start in the Abandoned Terraforming platform in Corvus and really just be ahead with the dram + shepherd + wayfarer.  However, I admit that is highly not obvious to a starting player having supply issues.  It is also not an option if you're doing the tutorial from the start.
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robepriority

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Re: Market price madness
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2021, 12:46:18 PM »

Yeah, I'm pretty sure tutorial salvage includes a hammerhead, which is the flagship for the merc tutorial start
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