Is the Economy Holding-up?

So we’ve been playing this game in Early Access a few weeks now and although I don’t have access to a lot of data on how many players are ‘actively’ playing. I’m also aware that it’s pretty hard as a player to be objective about this but I want to get people’s opinion on how well the economy is holding-up to players trying to use it.

My experience is that the cost of all ‘consumable items’ was eroding my profits down to a very very tiny margin when I started (I took the Constructor package and trade at Benten Station). I often had to wait significant time for some items to sell and it got to the point where build queues would run out of input resources to keep going. But it’s ok because after you persevere and get a better building to make better items things will improve, right? Wrong.

Now I have a Welding Plant and basically I can only make Trusses. I mean technically there’s nothing to stop me making other things but they won’t sell as there’s no buy orders, no sell orders, no guide pricing even. Perhaps some people reading this would say I should try and sell them anyway but as I cannot sell Trusses in any hurry right now and the margins on those are worse than on more basic things, the point seems moot.

I thought perhaps it was just the way I was playing, or perhaps I have just randomly drawn the worst trade hub in the game - so I asked my better half to see how she was getting on and even though she’s doing the Food-producing starting package, which should very easily make money and is at another hub, things are really no better. For her expansion is proving not an option and the resulting cost of consumables over time is taking its toll.

This made me wonder if really the only viable way to play this game could be in Pro mode (where you can use local orders) - could a pro-subbed player perhaps comment on their experiences relating to this?

As for what changes would I recommend - it is hard to say, as I don’t see all the numbers but perhaps seeding the market with some base buy/sell orders (the prices don’t have to be great but at least there’d be something to sell against for empty items) would go someway towards helping. Apart from that I can only think players will need the amount of consumables needed or their cost reducing to help give them the time for the economy to get their trades done. At the moment I’m pretty much accepting buy orders on a great deal (like almost all) of my stuff just to play at all.

The “just tech up and then you’ll be OK” mentality doesn’t really hold all that well in this game. TRU in particular does not really have enough demand to be a major business for most folks. To make it competitive with people that are actively cooperating to make it, you’ll need your AL and HE to be quite cheap. The higher tech construction direction that is actually lucrative right now is lightweight prefabs (shorthand term “lfabs”), which are needed for second-tier buildings as well as for bases beyond the first one. But those are not super easy to produce.

Generally speaking, victuallers on planets with good water and not-complete-trash soil should do fine, because their expenses are extremely low. Their returns can end up also being low if there are a lot of other victuallers also around, but eventually that will also stop, as the number of workers not devoted to making pioneer and settler consumables gradually increases. However, a victualler on a planet without a lot of water such as Proxion is often going to be quite inefficient at pumping their own water (especially for making DW…RAT is not nearly as water-intensive as DW is). You may be better off running more FRMs and FPs and just buying your H2O from people who are exporting it from high water planets like Etherwind.

If instead you are operating on Promitor (as I suspect your SO is), you should have no trouble making both RAT and DW, but you may have trouble making any money selling your own wares on Hortus Station, since so many other people had exactly the same idea. You may be better off hauling RAT and DW to a different exchange to buy OVE, PWO, and prefabs.

In regards to your start, I’d ask where you actually started up. You say you started Construction and sell at Benten Station, but that doesn’t specify where you actually started out. If you started on, say, Katoa, then that is going to be an uphill battle, because very little of what you need is available on planet. Assuming you like the Benten Station area, it is a lot easier to start out with that on Gibson (fairly easy to make FE there) or Proxion (easy to mine LST there). The actual construction capital of the early universe is Montem (which has both of those features in the same place). Though I’m sure there is a lot of competition for prefabs on Moria Station.

There is an obvious response to what I just said: “the company making GUI encouraged me to start in a system with a commodity exchange, and neither Gibson nor Proxion said they were in such a system”. That’s true, it does say that. Unfortunately that information is really a relic of the last universe, where the commodity exchanges were actually on planets, which made it vastly easier for players to operate on those planets, especially without having a pro license. By contrast, this time around, the commodity exchanges are on their own stations. There are some planets in the same system as them, but also a bunch of planets one or two jumps from the CX, including several of the starting planets. Operating on these planets is totally convenient even for a new player with no pro license.

All that being said, the game is slow, even when played competently. At a few weeks in, at this stage of the universe, and playing by yourself, I would expect you to have maybe tripled the size of your starter base, something like that.


Thanks - this doesn’t answer all of my questions but I was asking quite a wide range of them.

Time for me to reset I think!

Hopefully by the time I get to anything a bit advanced this time, I will find there’s buy and sell orders to support them but I guess with everything in this game, perhaps there’s an argument that this is part of the planning.

The pointers are appreciated though - thanks for the reply!

only works if you are first, demand is too low to hold multiple ppl. See PWO now vs the 15k/day you made running a WPL in the first few dudes

Their profit is also awful, but victualler are easy and safe start. Construction (or metallurgy in reality and expand into construction) is probably the strongest starting gameplay atm

unfortunatly construction (and manuf in a certain way) is a deadly start due to managing so much inputs, especially in BEN space (for construction) due to the low level of FEO/LST available. Doing so on montem, vallis, phobos or deimos would have seen much more success! The game is really hard when you start for the first time and it’s normal to restart one or twice.

PRO is nice but not mandatory in any way, especially not at this stage of the game. It helps reduce fuel cost and enables faster buys/sells of items and would be benefic to anyone, but not in any way mandatory.

This is already the case for all the starter stuff. They all have what is known as a market maker (MM). Prices are garbage and it’s only there for certain T1 stuff (agri, b-fabs, MCG, consumables, most extractable ressources)

The reason why TRU are so high atm is because of this. No other uses than TRU. It’s a bit of a noob trap as one WEL is a lot to handle. Also, you need a lot of HE and liquid to setup HE buys… Again, not noob friendly but can work out if you can team up with HE producer (see prism ppl)

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Yes - the markets are not very liquid currently.
So maybe you just follow the money.
Where is money coming from ?
New players and Market Maker on Exchanges.
In the end money is generated from what players sell to MM - transport cost - depletion.

Once those players have generated some cash they are willing to spend this “secondary” money.
When I started first time I wanted to produce fuel. It did not pay off. The ingridients had been expensive enough to make the fuel more expensive then the maximum market price.
So I ended up producing something that MM wants. I hope with that I can generate a stable income. With that I will see if I buy stuff or try to invest in making things by myself.

If one day there would be like 10.000 active players my estimate is, that even the markets would be liquid from secondary money ( so enough people selling to MM and have cash to invest) and there would be a stable chance to focus on those markets only.
Until then I am to risk avoided and try to make my income with MM products.

Thanks - some of these lessons I learnt as I was going along and some I’ve learnt from this experience.

I have reset now and I am doing Metallurgy on Phobos - which seems to give me some pretty solid options.

I am pretty new to the game so forgive me if some of these points have already been addressed. I can’t tell if the developers wanted everyone to rely on each other or have the ability to function completely independently. If they wanted to encourage market activity, they could limit the efficiency of production of any product that the play does not specialize in. This way the player can still produce goods when they are not available, but be expensive enough to produce that the player is better off buying another player’s products as soon as they become available on the local market.

I would approach this in one of these ways

  1. Increase the raw materials needed to produce a product you are not specialized in. So if rations require 1 resource of three separate resources to produce 10 rations, a non specialized player will need to spend 2 of each resource.

  2. Limit the output of production in non specialized production. With the same numbers as above, the output of non specialized producers would only have an output of 7, with the same input requirements as specialized players.

  3. Limit raw resource production to specializations. Anyone can make any finished product at the same cost, but only food producers can produce the raw resources needed to make rations. I feel that this option allows new players to produce a starter product which should maintain a steady demand.

As the game currently sits, I feel like I am in a rut producing food. I can’t seem to make enough money to buy the products needed to upgrade to the next levels as there appear to be more people making rations than buying them. If the greater point of the game is to grow completely independently, it would make sense to try to restart into making a product that has more demand. The problem is that by restarting, you have to sell another base level product which the players consuming the product are producing their own already. So really, unless demand is created at the lower levels, players on the low end of the scale will either have a boring or frustrating experience.

Anyhow, interesting concept so far, just very slow pace and not especially rewarding.