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# Introducing the UC Trading Value System for MP

Discussion in 'Multiplayer' started by JamesL86, Mar 28, 2014.

This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
1. ### TeravisorApprentice Engineer

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You can't calculate demand precisely, but you can average it. That means if you average of 70 UC iron (compared to 1 UC silicon and 0.5 UC stone for example) that still means a lot of servers will have a 5 UC iron 1 UC silicon and 0.001 UC stone. But that's because of local variables that universal model needs to account for... And that requres a titanic lot of work noone really needs.
There's much more problems with supply than demand, but it's possible to average it and provide formula that'll have variables based on how advanced players are, how much ore in use, etc.

That's exactly what it should be, no?
But in order to split between mining companies and other companies we need to answer one question: who and why pays money to non-mining companies, or how do they get profit?

In general you're right, I just try to at least decrease damage done to people who will read first post by adjusting numbers.

2. ### HatchieApprentice Engineer

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Now this is one great question! As I explained what is profit we need to figure out, how would those companies profit (why would they do their business)?

Between two players profit could be generated pretty easily - person playing on his own would probably always have excess of some materials but shortage of another and thus values minerals differently. But if a group of players starts mining company and mine all the time, they would probably pretty soon gather excess of everything and as such every material would have almost the same value for them (as in they wouldn't feel any profit trading one mineral for another).

So there are several possibilities I can come up on my own, but everyone can find his own ways and motivations to do simillar business:

- Purely alturistic: If you have excess of everything, you basicly do not care if you trade one mineral for another, but other players care. You can just trade for the feeling of making profit for others while making virtually no profit on your own.

- Creating business: You can make two prices: buying and selling. That way, both you and people trading with you would get profit as you gain more material (which is generally always more valuable for you) while people trading with you get more valuable (for them) materials. It's common market concept used for example in money exchange.

- Creating market: This would need to figure out how to organise it but general idea would be: You use your materials to build station(s) instead of trading them directly with lots of place to dock ships and trade and you just let others make their own businesses while collecting some materials for renting them a place on your station (you could either say directly "1kg Uranium per day" or make it payment ex gratia - volunteer payment). You could for example make separate hangars for each mineral trading and players would land their ship there which meant they are going to sell/buy that given material. Your materials invested in building the stations would very slowly yield income on payments and wouldn't probably give you much value in minerals, but you would create place(s) where players meet and make the server feel more alive which you personally could feel as valuable for you (I would).

In anarchocapitalistic enviroment SE is from it's nature different people will try to organise this different ways and players who participate in trading will decide what way they like it the most and they will use it. I personally like the third idea and historically from times where society had more freedom than it have today it shows people tend to choose such solutions with generally more human interactions - since human is a spieces higly cooperative.

3. ### TeravisorApprentice Engineer

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In close future, when we get configurable blocks, I think we should make an auction/request devs to allow us to make something like auction.

That'll solve ALL issues.)

4. ### HatchieApprentice Engineer

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True that this will organising such thing make alot easier.

So for the question of OP "how to implement easy and fair system to server": The anwser is still "No system is better than any system!" but this is actually something that might help alot with stabilisating prices. Build large market station. Players on server will meet there and you will make your server overall feel more alive and cooperative. Since people will be trading close to each other soon there will be created somewhat price range in which given materials will be traded (it won't be exactly 1,4 Uranium for 1 Gold, but lets say range 1-1,8). Those prices will actually reflect supply and demand and you will most certainly see those prices moving over time!
Still remember those prices will not be universally correct and only fair ones at whole server. Trading in open space far away from any near station will lead to different prices. Building another market station in different part of space will most probably lead to slightly different prices over time (for example on station A 1-1,8 Gold for Uranium while on station B 0,8-1,5 Gold for Uranium).

Edit: As I told you about that MMO game I played where trading system was pretty simillar to this - prices were actually fluctuating due to time of the day!
Prices in the morning and during the day when many players were in school/work and there were less players on the server (and thus less items supplied) were slightly higher than prices in the evening when everyone was playing and every townsquare was full of players wanting to buy/sell.

5. ### TeravisorApprentice Engineer

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The problem is...
Station security! We need to protect it from pirates outside/and robbers inside.

6. ### HatchieApprentice Engineer

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Well yeah. In my other topic I wrote about how multiplayer playing could look like on dedicated servers. I believe the ability to set some parts of universe or quadrants as "peacefull", where all blocks or at least some block (for example stations only) would be indestructable by anything else than their owners grinder will be crucial in order to make longterm multiplayer in larger number of players viable.

http://forums.keenswh.com/post/the-future-of-multiplayer-6827909

7. ### OzwartTrainee Engineer

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nice job here , i was looking for trade value on ore and item so trade would be fun when faction and persistant dedicated server are up.

8. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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I am moving more in the direction of a price index now. Taking average supply and demand to adjust the prices with some help from a few friends. The formulas could then in the future be scripted to allow for an active recalculation of prices daily on a server. Thus the prices would no longer be static.

9. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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Hey Hatchie, about your concerns over security at trade stations... Reading between the lines of what the devs have said in recent weeks about the dedicated servers, I think they will be set up to link multiple world files together so you could just deactivate the weapons in the sector that has the station if that is the case. Problem solved.

10. ### TeravisorApprentice Engineer

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You mistook, it was me saying about security.
But then think: how much will that station with security cost? Who will pay for that station?
It needs large ship dockings, small ship dockings, repair costs, conveyors... And everything protected. Just think about how much will it cost. And it all needs money. Where from? From transactions made on station of course! And that creates an overprice on every transaction: everyone needs safe transactions, right?

11. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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Well if its a server run proprietary sector, why not simply, as I said, leave weapons off in that sector and perhaps further, leave it in creative mode and restrict building access to just the server owner? Then again why would you need a central trade hub anyway? I always imagined that pretty much all trade would be between individuals in close proximity. Maybe eventually servers could get big enough to have large communities that need trade hubs but i think its too early to speculate on that.

edit: also i finally remembered to update the OP

12. ### TeravisorApprentice Engineer

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You can't disarm ships without mods because people will enter sectors with hidden weapons and rotor-powered screens or just construct weapons on-place...
And with mods it's much easier to create an auction terminal.

13. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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1,091
No i mean IF (and that is a big if) a dedicated server application is designed to string together a number of saves, which that seems to be the case reading between the lines, you can use the world settings in the options menu to deactivate all weapons in that sector like you can currently. They simply won't function. I have used that setting plenty of times when setting up public build worlds.

edit: you can still ram but i dont know too many people that would ram a precious ship in survival, except maybe the spawn ship.

14. ### TeravisorApprentice Engineer

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You can disable turrets, not rifles...
And we'll see if robbers can be disabled later...

15. ### OzwartTrainee Engineer

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I dont know about canceling weapon , i like policing my saector and taking out griefers while protecting other engineers.
I was doing it this weekend , build myself a small fighter , when other people mine and build and when people spawn or repsawn in rescue ship i escort em , tell them to reduce their speed when less than 400meter of the platform if they dont listen i destroy them.
Was fun
And police ship are nice (just a fighter with a rotor on top and 2 light spinning)

16. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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well anyway, back on topic lol. A friend of mine says the new system can and will take care of all those points you made yesterday. Its going to take probably several days to get all the data together if not a bit longer but I am confident that the new system will be far FAR superior to what is currently in place.

17. ### TeravisorApprentice Engineer

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400 meters is only 4 seconds on maximum speed.
Even if you damage some ram-type ship, it won't stop at that distance whatever you do...

As long as it doesn't mislead people, I won't argue. Can't say that about some other people...

18. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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well i am out of the forums for a while... time for another day of calculations

19. ### HatchieApprentice Engineer

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Well we drifted from the topic and that is economical question of servers. And if you still want to create some sort of universaly right prices that you want to impose to everyone playing on given server and try to look like anyone using different prices is somehow trying to "take advantage of others" or "rig the economy", you are doing something that is conceit, immoral and harmfull toward everyone playing on said server.

20. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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Hatchie: The new models will be floating but for now the formulas are not exact enough to produce variable prices, though that is being worked on. These prices are not arbitrary even in there original form and can be adjusted based on local supply and demand. The work being done now is to integrate average supply and demand figures into the prices (preliminary update already completed based on small samples). This is no longer a set of "universally correct prices" but will evolve into a system of formulas that can be applied to any server, and will take into account the individual qualities of said server.

For now all prices are still static but they do reflect a much more realistic set of variables. Prices now compensate for estimated supply and demand based on average composition of a sampling of builds as well as the average composition of asteroids in a map. These estimations are, as I said, preliminary and will be adjusted with much larger and random sample sizes as the project moves forward.

A special thank you to the creator of SE Toolbox which I have been using to attain ore compositions for builds and asteroids.

21. ### TeravisorApprentice Engineer

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Magnesium is hard to calculate properly... You need a LOT for ammo, but it refines VERY slow and has awful refining rate.
But you don't need ammo unless war is ongoing.
A strange mix.

22. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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Yep, though I would suspect there would be some procuring of it over time simply from people stockpiling it. The Uranium of course is always going to have a fairly steady demand. Either way those 2 are gonna be fun figure out.

Also, Uranium is used in missiles so a conflict would have a double wammy on uranium prices.

23. ### HatchieApprentice Engineer

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Well maybe I do not understand what are you calculating them for than... How would you like to applicate them? What is a purpose of all this (I mean in actuall aplication not "to create pricces")?

24. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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The original purpose was to establish a base set of prices for goods, in order to have some type of base value to go on when trading. Yes I understand that folks value things differently but I figured a starting point would be a good thing to have. After the conversations that have taken place on this thread I decided to pursue turning this into a true set of formulas that can be applied to any server to create market prices that can shift over time. These formulas are based on averages such as average consumption and average available supply. This will create what I think is described as a market index or a price index, though I may have the terminology wrong on that. Been getting a lot of help from a few of my friends on that.

I think if I have my mind around this right, that players can still obviously trade however they like but this system, when complete will give representative pricing based on server-wide average supply and demand.

25. ### HatchieApprentice Engineer

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Well market prices is not something you can create by default as those are prices created by people engaging in free market. There are basicly two types of prices:
-Market prices - They are created freely on market simply by supply and demand of people. Since it fluctuates wildly and multiple people are trying to buy/sell at different prices, they are typicaly a range or prices. (1,1 - 1,5)
-Central prices - They are created by a person or group of people conceit enough to think they can dictate prices and are forced to use. Typicaly they are one exact value. (1,32)
If you create prices, you create central prices.

If I understand it correctly - you will create those prices in the first seconds of server based on some formulas involving amounts of created ores and other things and then tell people those prices and let them freely trade at whichever prices they wish?

26. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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That is partially correct. The prices listed can change over time based on previous trades. The preliminary numbers were gathered as follows:

The basic supply numbers were taken by creating a new empty 16 asteroid map and averaging there total ore compositions to get an average theoretical supply.

The basic demand numbers were taken from the average ore contents of all the constructed items in a long term survival map that I have been running with some friends.

Once I had the two figures for each ore, I divided the supply into the demand to get a representative "snapshot" of time to estimate the currently static prices more realistically.

I then set the ore prices based on the supply demand calculations. This in turn, reset all prices throughout the system since they are all tied back into ore prices.

All composition figures were taken with SE Toolbox.

The eventual goal once everything is ironed out (there are still a lot of parts missing) is to create a script that can calculate these figures perhaps once per day and then represent the average rate of commodities on that server. Local fluctuations are to be expected but the system itself will set the average price based on the activity on the server and not by someone dictating prices. So in essence, the players will in fact be setting the prices in the market.

27. ### HatchieApprentice Engineer

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Well I do not understand the application still. The system will determine some prices and than what? What will those prices be used for? Are you saying that you will determine some prices and people will still trade at their prices and with their free will? (Don't get me wrong, thats actually right because the other option would be to force everyone to use those calculated prices and that would be extremely bad and harmful for everyone!)

But if this is true let me tell you this: You are going to spend huge amount of time on work that is absolutely meaningless! Beacause players will still do the exact same thing as they would do if this system haven't existed in the first place - trade freely according to their own personal prefernces and values.

As a new player on a server in great need of Iron and Uranium to start and having excess of for example Nickel and Gold which I don't have any use for when I meet some other player offering me to trade 10kg of Nickel and 10kg of Gold (which I have no use for) for 20kg of Iron and 5kg of Uranium (which I need desperately) I will trade it. And I don't care that some system says that 10kg of Nickel and 10kg of Gold should be worth 25,362kg of Iron and 7,915kg of Uranium. And the other player is not taking advantage of me neither is he rigging the economy because I (we both) profit on this trade! Assets I get are more valuable for me than those I'm giving away.
Every sane not lobotomized person will behave exactly the same when this system exists and when it doesn't.
And if prices will actually be set by players trading on the market, the prices would be created on the same marked exactly the same way if this system haven't existed.
This extremely complex system have absolutely none impact on whats happening to prices!

If you truly want to help creating stable, easy and understanable economics on your server you will do much more impactfull work if you open new creative mode world and start designing a space station for meeting players who desire to trade. It's actually quite a work to design it in a way that it's easily understandable where are different materials traded and at which prices (actually some blocks necessary for it such as programmable blocks and any way to transfer information such as displays or any way to write are not presentin the game yet).

28. ### JamesL86Senior Engineer

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I do not understand why you are so stuck on this "players will trade however they like anyway" thing. That is obvious. But in the real world, the amount of need to have for something will dictate how far off the average price you are willing to go. If you need 10,000 iron ingots for example. Those ingots might be currently worth an average of 25,000 UC. But if you deperately need them you might be willing to pay 2,3, even 10 times the average or more in trade value. However the market average will still exist not only as a gauge for commodity prices but also as a method to measure the health of the economy. The UC will give those averages as a guide, just like what exists in the real world though simplified. In the real world, someone in one city might be paying \$3.10 a gallon for gas while other folks in another part of the state are paying \$3.70 a gallon. The price may vary region to region but the average is still \$3.40 a gallon in this example.

edit: and since the formulas that will eventually be created will take into acount things like asteroid composition as well as player builds and other things, the average prices will be self setting based those factors. Its a self-regulating system.

29. ### HatchieApprentice Engineer

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Because you were talking about such fake ideas as "taking advantage of someone" and "exploiting the economy" and I felt the need to explain why such things does not exist (in free market enviroment). Also people who speaks about such ideas often feels the need to "fix the problem" by dictating terms of trades to others while actually hurting the economy and everyone involved.

Now I understand. What you want is basically to approximate average prices of commodities with purely informative practical application (I assume you would like to display the numbers from your system at daily/weekly/monthly basis at some public space such as website or somewhere ingame for everyone to see and not using them to anything else). Am I right?
Now the problem with the way you are using is that the variables you work with (quantity of ores, "average demand" and similar) may or may not impact average prices the way you expect them to do. Approximation your system will create will spread from actual average prices and those spreads won't even follow Gaussian ditribution. The most accurate and simple way would be to know all the trades happening in economy and just calculate average values. But that is not possible unless trades are realised via some sort of mod (like chestshop mod for minecraft which is able to generate extensive economical statistics).

30. ### Ash87Senior Engineer

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What you are saying is both unneeded and unrealistic to expect with the mechanics as they are now.

We are not talking about sprawling multi-national economies here, we are talking about somewhere around 30 people trading at very irregular intervals. Trade may not even happen at All in some cases. In that kind of environment, expecting the whole thing to balance itself out over time by volume of trades setting the price of items... This works fine in real life, where trade happens by necessity, and you have competing parties invested in the system. When we are dealing with the possibility of upwards of only 10-20 people actively trading, at very irregular intervals and using vastly different goods on each trade (I'm seeing Trade IG happen not because of necessity but for convenience sake, so I don't sell the same item twice to the same person, it's always different each time).

Further, getting into tracking trades, you mention yourself it isn't possible to do... so why is this a point? You could establish the Space FTC or something if you so desire on your server, but it's going to be a pain in the but to do.

...And again, why is this needed given the scale of the game, being so small. That kind of planning, throwing the free market at a game, makes sense in an MMO or something where you have hundreds of people who even if trading is optional, will do it enough to set the prices of items. In this game, each server will effectively be disconnected from every other server. You need an API and an interface to trade between people for what you are talking about, to even be feasible.

It's a quick reference guide, you look and go: "Well I'm trading 20 plates for Uranium... that means I should give roughly X uranium"