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"A New Era..."

Discussion in 'General' started by Thrak, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Thales M. Junior Engineer

    I think making Uranium rare and can be found only in a distant planet/moon would be better.
  2. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

  3. May Rears Apprentice Engineer

    I wouldn't recommend disabling reactors because you might screw your game over. If you have any npcs spawn whether modded ones or not there is a good chance their build requires reactors. If you disable reactors you will break those builds.

    Far better to make Uranium rare. Either with Scarce Resources (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=831739660) that only spawns Uranium on the Alien Planet or if you like the Earth-type planet this one of Splitsies (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1105967009) that has all the ores except uranium forcing you to use scavenged uranium or solar/battery.
  4. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

    As I said, if you payed attention in Economics class you would not say these things. Commodities are not valuable (and thus usable as currency) because they are rare or scarce. They are valuable because people want them. Gold is not scarce, but there are so many things you can do with gold (besides wearing it) and that's what makes it valuable. The second the developer declares that ore has value and some ore is more valuable than other ore, the race will be on to come up with the best counterfeit ore mod.

    Economics is about supply and demand. Currency is about trade. Everyone knows about the supply part. No one understands the demand part. Everyone know you can buy stuff with money, but few people understand why. Gamers understand that if there is money in the game that means there's a shortcut to getting stuff. If they can get their hands on some money they won't have to go mining. If they can buy a ship they won't need to build one. This is what most people really mean when they say they want the game to have an "economy." In a single-player game it's easy to give that because it's just you and the computer and the computer can't cheat, and if you cheat you literally just cheat yourself. In a multiplayer computer game, cheating can be particularly insidious, so you either hopelessly try to make it impossible to cheat, or be realistic and embrace cheating. The best way to embrace cheating is to not have the game be at the center of it. Players can decide among themselves what's valuable, what constitutes currency, create currency and back it up with whatever is agreed upon, create banks and exchanges... the whole ball of wax, and the game developer is held harmless. The idea that you can just scrounge around for some stuff and take it to a "trade block" and get "cash" for that, then take that "cash" to a "store" that will have some stuff I might need at a "fair price" just strikes me as incredibly lame for a game as sophisticated as SE is capable of being. I compare that type of "economics" to the Nanite Repair Factory mod. It's wonderful to have if you play alone, but ten players working together gets the same results, and all ten players are more attached to the finished product.

    I'm all for economics in the game.

    As a mod.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Calaban Junior Engineer

    The new era looks to be "NO more free base ship to start for YOU"
  6. doncdxx Apprentice Engineer

    I feel you're overlooking that demand is subject to scarcity. Currently in SE, the only way to get material of marketable value is to mine ore to sell or stripping a random encounter ship to sell the salvage. If someone has a mining ship already, they have to ask whether it's worth buying an ore they can mine themselves. If they have a combat capable ship to disable the ships they encounter for salvage, odds are good they mined a lot to get there and didn't get rid of their resource infrastructure.

    Essentially, what is the demand for ore if everyone is a miner in a world with every ore available everywhere? (#SpaceCommunism) The creation of ore scarcity is the first logical step for a game economy and they already added an option to scale probability in the asteroid voxel material definitions. But that balance is a hard tightrope to walk for a game like this, when essentially every material is a must. If you've ever wandered from asteroid to asteroid for an hour to find that one material you're lacking, you already know why. A tier system using other materials (aluminum, tungsten, etc.) could help, but it that doesn't widen the tightrope too much. That means the best way to create demand for ore is to add game mechanics for players who aren't miners.

    The most logical way to create a functional economy is the introduction of neutral safezone stations with unusable and non-producible trade goods (Aldebaran whiskey, Cogswell's cogs, self-sealing stembolts, etc) for the traders and combat missions for the action players. Non-producible goods with fluctuating values at multiple trade posts can allow for wealth to be made by transporting the goods based for profit and procedural combat missions with a bounty payout means the combat players need minimal infrastructure to maintain and improve their combat vessels. An inclusion of other play styles would reduce the number of miner players and then increase the demand over the supply of ores, making mining more profitable. Features could also be added to aid other play styles such as a shipyard or trade station operator.

    I argue that the fundamental changes required to make a functional economy must be implemented into the base game as they are beyond the reasonable scope of what a modder should attempt to add to a game that is currently still in beta. If added by mod after release, it's not likely to attract new players as much as it is likely to enhance play for us current players. An in-game economy with attached features that cater to multiple play styles is exactly what the game needs to attract new players and enrich the gaming experience for current players. If they put in the game mechanics but players think it's balance is off, modders will make variations. Odds are also good they'll make it optional for players who want no part of it. That makes it a win/win for Keen to try.
  7. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

    This past test they had the ore did seem scarce or either ore detectors just were not working. I spawned on Earth-like and I went at least 30Km (probably farther) in all directions of my small base and nothing pinged. The only other resource I found beside stone was ice. Now that I think about it not sure that ice showed on the ore detector. I just knew it was ice because it was a "lake" lol.
  8. Barrio575 Apprentice Engineer

    Wait, so all the "mechanical entities" are working correctly now? You know the piston and rotor.
  9. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

    They are working to a point. There are some minor glitches that you can avoid, and more importantly won't blow your ship up for no reason unless you're careless.

    As for economy. I don't think the game can support enough players to have one in the game, or be worth Keen's time to develop. I like economics in most games they are in (especially Elite), but I don't think we'll see one fleshed out in SE. I think the closest we'll get is maybe a much greater diversity in fundamental building requirements/ingots. Aluminum, Titanium, Copper, etc... so that no one person can find everything within 5km of their base, or if they could, would be too much for them to work with. This would promote trading, but currency? Now that's way too much nuance for a game that doesn't have ANY domestic goods.
  10. May Rears Apprentice Engineer

    Which is why they won't work in SE. Anyone and their dog can build a mining vessel and go get all the ore they need since supply is infinite. The material requirements once you have built your ship/station are minimal, a couple of thousand Uranium ingots is enough power for a couple of years.

    For any sort of economy system to work you have to limit supply and create demand otherwise you are wasting your time.
  11. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Such an economy would have to be valued not with resource/material value, but instead with time. Player time spent, bartered and traded. The Frontier Economy mod [https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=504209260] was a good experience on this- I often found myself willing to pay for instant gratification for those 1000 superconductors, rather than wait for production to finish.

    Platinum ingots for example, take a great deal of time to actually produce in useable amounts. Such Cold Pressed Platinum (see what I did there?) Represents a high value trade able commodity.

    How many uranium ingots is it worth to YOU to not have to sit and wait for the platinum to make those large ions to get refined?

    Such a Cold Pressed Platinum standard would work well if there was a block limit to the number of refineries each player could own, and if the refinery speed was not set to a convenience multiplier.

    OR current DS admins could just add the mod for now.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. ShadedMJ Apprentice Engineer

    That reminds me of a different game looong ago that I accidentally broke called Galactic Traders. Friends and I had good but not great trading going on and having a fun time. I went out further and found two neighbor systems where I could buy very cheap products that were high demand for its neighbor. In a few hours I had the best ship that could be purchased in game and reached maximum allowed credits.

    Setting up an economic system is going to be extremely hard to do, and for Space Engineers the only real way to do that is a save game with all that set up. Can't really be dynamic at all.
  13. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

    If there were some extremely rare ore only able to be found buried inside asteroids (but only some of them) which was used in some desirable block such as upgrade modules for drills/thrusters or a more powerful weapon, or really anything decent then you'd have a tradeable commodity.

    If all ores are relitivly common then you won't end up with one being used as a kind of currency item.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Moon20 Trainee Engineer

    I was thinking that what Space Engineers needed was not so much survival in the typical marooned individual style, but more maintaining personal well being of your avatar while working to achieve a larger defined objective or goal that varies based on scenario.

    What I mean more specifically is that Space Engineers likes to think of itself as a "problem solving" sand box game. While the simple act of gathering the supplies and constructing an environment in order to live can be considered problem solving its not really in the spirit of the "engineering" concept of this game. The direction I would suggest this game go in would be one in which you might have to address the factors of your avatar needing food, water, and sleep but that would not be the main thrust. Instead your main objective would be in constructing equipment in order to address a goal outside of that simple paradigm.

    It might be best to illustrate what I mean with the follow:

    Scenario 1: player is a poor Miner type Space Engineer who has been dropped of in a part of space to mine and collect ores. On a periodic basis, an NPC freighter owned by the Mining Company will jump in-system for a defined length of time which the Engineer/Miner can rendezvous with to fill its cargo hold with the ore it has gathered up. In exchange for the ore it will earn credits from the Mining company (awarded once the freighter safely jumps back out). Those credits would be used to order items from the Mining Company store that can't be generated by the Engineer themselves. Ordered items would arrive after a period of time via the resupply probe that is already a part of the game but without the counted down mechanism.
    The Engineer starts with nothing but a tiny ship of their own, some limited food, water, and oxygen supplies. After mining ores and filling the small cargo hold of the ship, it can be used to make the periodic rendezvous.
    As the game progresses the space engineer aspect becomes more important by having the player improve his mining operation by constructing larger ships with better mining attributes, better quarters (improving general health and player status), and even refineries (as ingots pay better than raw ores and can be used by the player in his assemblers).
    To make it interesting, the assemblers would be limited to being able to manufacture only simpler items like light armored blocks, construction components, windows, etc. More complex items like motors, computers, and displays would only be available by purchasing those from the Mining Company store. Additional food and water would also be supplied via the Mining Company Store.
    With the periodic arrival of the Company Freighter and resupply probes you might also add the challenge of pirates who might randomly attempt to intercept either one if they fall with a certain range of their sensors.
    I know it sounds like a rehash of Keen's earlier title but I'm not suggesting as the sole mode of playing but instead a scenario alongside others.

    such as...

    Scenario 2: our Space Engineer here is a combat engineer type. Humanity is threaten by Alien race X who moves through space like some sort of space locusts leaving death and destruction in their wake. In order to more easily protect the inhabit worlds, your space engineer is one of many who have been dropped into various uninhabited systems in their path to set up defenses, minefields, and other automation in order to reduce their numbers via attrition before they arrive in the populated systems.
    Your Space Engineer would still have the survival aspects of food, water, air, sleep to address but periodically supply probes would arrive that they can rendevous with to help fill those demands.
    As the game progresses, the aliens will first arrive in the form of individual scouts whose travel paths via observation will help your avatar determine the best areas to lay mines and set up automated weapons in ambush in order to do maximum damage to the main body that will eventually follow some time later.
    The game would progress with the initial ships being few in number but the later stage would see an increase in numbers and sizes representing more of the main body passing through. In a sense I envision a sort of "tower defense" aspect to this scenario as preplanning defenses would likely be a core aspect.

    While I appreciate the aspect of Space Engineers in encouraging creativity by providing as much of an open sandbox experience as possible I think having a few scenarios with some defined goal, situation, or problem that gives you a specific target for applying that creativity can enhance the game for many.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. vadersson Trainee Engineer

    Just to chime in, I really think the way the game is set up does not support any real economy. For one thing, we are mostly alone. How much does adding some sort of economic system really help single player game play?
    You could have some sort of economy in multi-player, but I really think it would only develop and work well in an MMO type set up. With 16 players, having a trade function would be great, but I don't think it would truly support an entire economic model.
    Just my 2 cents (ironically.)

    • Agree Agree x 3
  16. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

    @vadersson yup I agree is a little too late to try and worry about an economy at this point.
  17. Roxette Senior Engineer

    It always seems like the most challenging problems for players to solve are the ones caused by game bugs, so I guess once they are all fixed it will need something new to maintain the interest...
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    You can't have an economy without specialization. If everyone can produce the same thing (given enough time), then there's little reason for the transaction. If I am wealthy in platinum, what does another player have that I can't get? If I have the resources to efficiently manufacture one asset, then I have the resources to manufacture ALL assets. To make trade valuable, there has to be a way of making resources or refining resources exclusive such as tiered skillsets, rare distributions, and neutral places to trade. Trade is easy. The motivation to do so is not.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

    Here in Fairbanks, if I demand a pizza there's like fifteen places that will give me one, all for about the same price. I don't demand the pizza because they are scarce. I demand one because I'm hungry.

    That's not the most logical way. It's the most common way, and it only really works in single player games where you only "trade" with NPC's.

    And Spacely's Sprockets are a better value. Just sayin.

    Translation: you make the thing that will guarantee your survival in the game so scarce that obtaining it is the entire point of the game. In SE we say in one breath that all resources are available to everyone, therefore they are all worthless, and in the next breath we bitch about how hard resources are to find, let alone the drudgery of refining it into something useful, and the added drudgery of turning the now useful material into actually useful components that will now allow us to make the blocks we want although even then you have to build the block. Yeah, if only I could just hand someone some currency and have the block magically appear. Now THAT's an economy!

    The point of the game would then become finding, mining and hoarding the rare material. You wanna build something? Ya gotta come talk to ME. That's neither trade nor an economy.

    Bingo. The single most traded commodity in the existence of mankind is work. Here's the definition of talent:

    tal·ent /ˈtalənt/noun
    1. natural aptitude or skill. "he possesses more talent than any other player"
    2. a former weight and unit of currency, used especially by the ancient Romans and Greeks.
    Literally, your talent was currency. You traded your work for someone else's work. People worked at what they did best and bartered the fruit of their labor for the things they couldn't get or make themselves. Currency just makes all that easier because it provides a standard.

    Currency only has value if the person getting the currency thinks it's valuable. The Dutch West India Company bought Manhattan Island from the local natives for what was described as "beads and trinkets." I'll leave it to you readers to decide who got screwed in that deal ;)

    All you need for an economy is for someone to have something someone else wants. That's not something that needs to be hard-coded into the game. In fact, if there was KeenBucks or whatever in the game I would not accept it as legal tender, and I'm convinced that if you had something I needed I could get you to trade me for something I have that you think is more valuable. All without a single line of code. No special blocks or "rare" ore. In fact, in SE every faction could have their own monetary system, and some faction's currency would be more or less valuable than other faction's.

    You know, as it is in real life.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. doncdxx Apprentice Engineer

    Yes, but to put your comparison in video game context, what's the demand for pizza in a game where every player is running a pizzeria?
    Or as I put it earlier...
  21. TenshouYoku Trainee Engineer

    The thing about in SE is that everything (unless you are EXTREMELY unlucky) is in a massive surplus, even with the incredible consumption rate of materials when attempting to build massive warships. Once you found even a strain on an asteroid like Magnesium, you will very, very hardly run out of this magical powder needed to wage war. With this pizzeria analogy in mind, this is basically "I demand a Pizza, but everyone including myself is a farm, a factory, a bakery and a salesman, have absolutely every material you need to make a Manhattan or Meat Lovers en masse without running out, you can get extreme obesity from that". You can't build an economy if you don't have something you want from others, and others don't have anything they need in great desire from you.

    Besides , what I am going to trade currency (or whatever that will be used as a currency) for? An economy only works if there is demand for supply and how SE currently works simply cannot afford any of the diversity required to support it. It works in real life simply because there's a gazillion tons of stuff you need to run a country (or a sizable corporation), say you are to manufacture space warships, you need accountants, designers, engineers, scientists, PR, etc. Then you will need the military/civilian armed corporations/whoever applicable and allowed to buy warships to demand for a new type of craft. Then you need to go and search for other mining or refining corporations to supply required alloys, and corporations that provides the engines or power plants you can find and is suitable for the task you are looking for, just to design and manufacture a series of new ships you don't know if the demand is still there or not. No single person knows how to operate and do everything, and even if they do, they can't do this alone in a large, regional scale. This is obviously not true in current SE.

    The balance of this game even in consumables (like platinum or uranium) is broken and there's no denying that. In SE, everything can be done in a few blocks completely rendering the need of materials and people alike unnecessary, as well as consumables monitoring a non-issue because they are so easily acquired and refined in large quantities, and usually aren't consumed quick enough to make trading something an appealing choice to obtain them in larger quantities in short order. There's nothing beyond "having to mine, refine them, build huge shit, fight or sealclub newbies" at the current scope of SE.

    And the most important problem, everyone can do that easily alone (except maybe building huge ships without nanites, which is rare because it's stupidly annoying to attempt and build a sizable ship without it). There's no need of interaction, and even if there is, it usually is just war or the strong ravishing the weak.

    The first thing I came to mind is how USA traded the technology related to fixed wing aircraft designs with USSR for how to refine and work on titanium (where they used it to refine the metals they obtained from USSR through trade under different names that are not called "building an SR-71 Blackbird").

    It's not impossible to trade if both sides have something the others want. Isn't this the very roots of the system called "Economy"?

    Except it is too easy in SE to completely negate the need of individual talent (I am going to completely omit this "faction currency value discrepancy" because it's impossible unless the game is called Real Life 2.0 with thousands or even millions of players playing simultaneously). Without certain rulelists such as limiting how much drills one is allowed to have on a grid, everybody will just build massive drill monsters and bore holes in every asteroid they can find and gain gigatons of materials nobody can effectively consume, and they can't sell to anybody since everybody already have too much materials as well. Everybody will just build massive farms of refineries and assemblers to build the massive fleet of objects they will need. As long as you are not inept you can build ships yourselves that doesn't even have to obey basic laws of physics.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  22. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

    Problem is in this game everyone has the same talent. So can not base an economy on this unless they come out with a skill tree to focus on a specific talent.
  23. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

    Time definatly is fundamental to a trade economy, though you need some variaty in things to spend said time on. Say I wanted to make lots of iron to sell, and spent 1 hour making iron and got many many iron. I'd want to sell it so that my hour i'd put in (including time spent obtaining uranium, building equipment etc) would be roughly the same as another hour somebody else had put in making something else. However with all ores everywhere this is kind of moot as miners won't want stuff miners have. I can think of two other things people could do with thier time that somebody might be willing to trade stuff for - capturing cargo (or maybe players, though would you trade with this person?) ships to grind up for parts, or building very nice ships to order. Really isn't that much of a variety, especially considering everyone can build thier own perfectly good ships setup how they like them rending the 2nd idea mostly moot anyway.

    I don't think you'll ever get much trade with the current even distribution. Looking at Minecraft (Forgive me for using this as an example), you have recources which everyone wants but are rare (diamonds) and a bunch of stuff that is only obtainable in specific biomes or using methods requiring an awful lot of setup in one place. You tend to end up with that item that everyone wants but is rare (diamonds) being adopted as a kind of currency, with trade driven by different players having access to different stuff. One might live in an area that has a rare recource, while one might have built a farm for a hard to obtain recource. This mostly works because of the amount of different types of stuff that game has, and one player with thier own source of everything is rare until the extreme late game.
  24. FoolishOwl Apprentice Engineer

    Long story short: specialization becomes boring in the real world, and even in games built around trying to make it interesting, it often gets boring. SE really isn't built around making specialization interesting. In SE as it exists, you can mine more efficiently if you just concentrate on that. But how many people would want to do nothing but mine all the time?
  25. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

    I am one of the crazy few who enjoys mining all the time! over 80% of my builds are mining related. True Story!
    • Like Like x 1
  26. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Economy in game could be based on "unobtanium" credits. (get it? unobtainable by yourself material), or heck, just paper money with someones face on it (they are just as valid. secret: money isnt really real)

    The Market could be just an event horizon to dispose of extra material for said $$. Players would gain $$ as a resource they could not attain through any other means than to dig/build/sell. Players can buy items back for same $$ value, from dispensary kiosk block (programming blocks acting like a borderlands Guns kiosk)

    Then key things, like an additional medbay/spawn point, a jumpdrive, higher player PCU limits, Block limitation increases, etc. needs an additional resource amount of $$ to finish building it (call it activation fees/taxes)

    Additionally player to player trades can be done with $$ in exchange for-whatever they are dealing with, however they agree on a deal (told you money wasnt real)

    Another key thing is that $$ is not raidable/stealable/hackable/destroyable (its imprinted on your space engineer clone DNA or whatever)

    This $$ has a real value then- even in a market with limitless easy resources (resources just arent valued very high, like pennies). Players can sell their stuff for $$ rather than leaving it in a box to be raided, knowing that they can just spend the equivalent $$ to get it back later. Thats probably the biggest benefit: "vault-ing" your stuff away. Heck, rich players may opt to "digitize" their base ship for $$ when they logoff for the night, just to "re actualize" it for additional $$ when they come back.

    Additionally, the $$ could be spent on more abstract game things, such as spectator mode for 3 minutes. Blueprint Ship Insurance paid to be able to Paste a registered (but now gone) blueprint (for a LOTTA $$). "Unstick my ship" spaceway-side assistance; where you can cut/paste your grid when needed. -for a fee, of course. Things like that. Basically "limited unlock admin privileges"

    So stepping a bit more "big picture", rather than thinking of uranium ore or superconductor components as literal $$, but instead seeing the $$ as an abstract, safe "thing" of equal value to Stuff, and other benefits, is how I perceive Economy working in SE.
  27. Roxette Senior Engineer


    ... you say that as if you've never looked at the Steam workshop or played on a server...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  28. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

    @Roxette Same talent as in everyone can mine, refine build etc...lol
  29. Sarekh Senior Engineer

    How dare you, I am devoid of this talent you are speaking of, I am a married man!
    • Funny Funny x 2
  30. KissSh0t Master Engineer

    I used to enjoy mining when it made lots of loose bits of ore float everywhere... the fun part for me was collecting all the loose bits with gravity generators but then keen killed that because they wanted to optimize the game to be multiplayer focused..... I don't play multiplayer so it was like they killed the part of the game that I enjoyed the most, now I don't even have the game installed for quite a few months, just waiting and hoping that whatever keen is introducing with the next update is good and fun, the new defending against bots scenario so far is what has piqued my interest.
    • Agree Agree x 2