Lack of a real estate market & feedback from a new player

I’m new here so I could be wrong about these (although complaints about a slow early game are legit). I realize there is some nuance to be observed here but hopefully the core issues can remain the focus.

  1. LOCATION is crucial, and makes starting strategies very limited and immutable since you’re attached to it. While this can’t be solved completely, newcomers get a permanent % penalty (depending on resource abundance) relative to early starters once all the “best” locations are taken - ack! I’m not sure what can be done about this right now.

  2. The game seems like it starts to get interesting once you get more than a single base up and running. I know people seem to think expanding your first base should be the early priority, but that kind of horizontal scaling up is a relatively boring activity compared to the challenge of having to manage resources and supplies across multiple bases.

  3. If local rules change and ruin your business model, shouldn’t we be able to sell plots and relocate? It shouldn’t be prohibitive to pack up. This would also help out new players who “mess up” by choosing a bad starting location for their industry, and it allows shifting to different industries so they can meet the needs of a changing economy.

… I suppose #3 would be done by giving back the majority of the materials used to construct a core module, and/or treating real estate like it’s… real. Real-estate plots have no value and no market. Surely such a concept is crucial in an economic simulation?

I don’t know what the solutions should be (this game seems like it’s a nightmare to balance and design) but a dummy’s solution would maybe provide enough starting capital for 2-3 bases, allow entire bases to be demolished and re-built cheaply, and create a real estate / plot sales market.

In fact we should be able to sell real estate assets with the building upgrades in place. That might help free up space on planets that are full, too. (Or heck, how about a “used space ship market”? haha)

I haven’t looked at it yet but I hope a real estate market is somewhere on the roadmap - right now I feel like it might be one of the biggest issues in the game overall.


Abolish plots :slight_smile:

Although a more long-term solution might just be making plots tradeable property.

Speeding up the start has been often proposed in the past and I think that is coming together with the new tutorial system the devs are working on.

It actually is not that prohibitive. The resources you spent on your buildings will be refunded upon demolition (those that have not deteriorated yet). If you choose the right timing it actually costs you nothing but lost production to move your base (not sure about the starter CM since you build it with a special kit, though). The CM is not a major cost of a base, anyway.

I’ve seen the calls to abolish plots, but I really don’t think that’s the best answer. Real estate is an asset that really should be simulated with a proper market, and keeping it the limited resource it is in real life. So definitely I agree more with your long term solution comment about making plots sellable.

We could make an argument for gradually increasing the maximum number of plots available over time, though. Subtle “plot inflation” - perhaps just on planets which are already maxed out. The real life analogy to this would be clearing land, reclaiming badlands, or terraforming, so it makes sense.

After reviewing the demolish refunds I may have “mis-under-remembered” how much comes back to you, so yeah I guess that isn’t a big issue other than the CM refund (which I still think is a bit harsh).

I really like the idea of giving new players enough start-up cash and/or resources to completely fill out their first base on day 1. That is, go ahead and accelerate everyone past the initial phase, which is often considered the most boring.

What unforeseen problems would this cause? I’m not sure. You might need to provide some compensation to existing players lest they consider it unfair.

Increasing new player retention would be good for everyone, and giving players more to do at the beginning would be the easiest way to help with that.

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I imagine such a change would come with a world state reset, were it to be made.

  1. The recent addition of “ghost plots” means that brand new players are not limited by plot allocation. So this is partly solved already. Other proposals have been suggested to limit the ease with which players can have bases on all the good planets, for example by having the factions charge a foreign residency tax on bases of companies whose HQ is not in that faction’s space - so if you spread to all four regions you’re paying extra tax on 3/4 of your bases. This would encourage development of the secondary planets in each region instead.

  2. This has been suggested before, however some players (e.g. me) enjoy the initial “poor entrepreneur” phase of the game. Also, jump starting everyone would effectively shorten the game’s playable content, since a common complaint is that players run out of things to do once they reach Tier 3 production capabilities. If it were up to me I would actually reduce the starting packages by half the money and 1 ship. So be thankful that I have no more influence in these matters than you do. :yum:

  3. You can already pack up your base and relocate, with the exception of your first base, which comes as a kit that you don’t get back. However I believe you can still demolish that base if you want to. So this is basically not an existing problem at all.

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1 - Wish I knew that earlier! Those ideas are also worth considering.

2 - I’ve seen it discussed too. But doesn’t PRUN lose a lot of new players due to the slow early phase? I can see how some who might like the mid or late game may not get there at all. To me this problem of “half the game is in the beginning” is just a matter of adding more mid and late game content. So we’ll probably disagree on this one.

3 - Hmm… but does anyone really just abandon a base? The idea is to allow those who want to be stationed in a certain location to eventually get there, by making the world a bit more dynamic, as we have IRL. It also adds more accountability to governance, and rewards good governance. Certainly there are lots of other mechanisms possible for this, a market just seems like a natural answer.

Also I want to note that I actually can’t pack up and relocate, because I don’t have the resources to restart a base yet, that’s only something a mid or long term player could consider. A new-ish player would have to COLIQ. This works, but it feels like a slap in the face for new players who are already facing an uphill battle and a long wait before they can approach anything mid-game.

I’ve read that you shouldn’t bother with a second base until you have basically a few 100k, and you’ve expanded your first base all the way. I hope that’s a major exaggeration, because that phase of the game sounds lot more interesting to me and right now it looks like it’ll be months until I could reach that.

The most efficient way to expand is to fill your first base before building the second, but there’s nothing to say you have to do that, if you’d rather get a second base sooner. You can click on the “Build base” button on any planet to see what materials you would need to settle there, and work out for yourself when you will be able to achieve it.

It’s true that PrUn has a lot of players who sign up and then decide that the game is boring and leave. But from the Steam reviews it’s clear that those players are looking for EVE style spaceship fights, or clicker style instant rewards. Even if you gave them a full base to start with, they’d still look at the minimum production times of 6 hrs and conclude that the game is far too slow. Or burn all their starting fuel on a 30 minute flight, and then get told off in chat.

I find it hard to believe that PrUn is missing out on a whole swathe of potential players who are totally into this type of long term planning game that unfolds on a timescale of months, but who are too impatient to grow their first base.

2 - is pretty much by majority accepted as true, at least from the discussions I have had and seen on the discords. The slow start is one of the big reasons why new players quit. Many players thus advocate for a faster start (more starter resources, for example, which might be implemented together with the new tutorial system).
Personally, I argue for more starter resources + much less growth in the mid-game to at least equalize it.

Regarding a fast start or slower mid game, I’m not sure why it needs to be either/or really. I would think things get much more complex and harder to manage as you expand, but besides that, adding new content and activities for mid and late game seems to make sense.

That’s perfectly normal. The reason land has any value is because it provides economic advantages due to its unique location. Plots on a planet are all the same and provide no economic advantage over other plots on the same planet. Other than some starter planets, there’s always a free plot to settle on, which means other plots have a value of 0. If we could trade plots, filled planets would have a value based on the second best option. Promitor plots would be priced according to the fertility and location of the next best planet that can be farmed.

If we ever got a real estate market for plots, it means the game has failed because wealth inequalities will be part of the economy. Players could cash in being the first to colonize a good planet. Players would either have to buy it from them or produce at less efficient locations. The plot would be valued based on this profitability difference. That’s bad game design even if it mimics the real world.

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It doesn’t. I am advocating for both :slight_smile: But either by itself would also be better than how it is now. Both would be the best, yes.

Yes, abolish plots, I agree :wink:

I don’t think anyone is advocating for less mid-game content. But adding that stuff takes developer time. Whereas giving every player more resources at the start wouldn’t take much developer time at all, which is why people are suggesting it as a quick fix for the perceived problem of the early game being too slow.

However, I think it would be a counterproductive change, hence I’m arguing against it, just in case the devs pay any attention to these conversations. :sweat_smile:

Based on some of the replies above I can agree that a real estate market wouldn’t completely solve all problems; modelling reality would probably be too much. For a market we’d need to assign a sales value for “open” plots of course, but once all those are gone, all the remaining taken ones would suddenly jump in price - not so great. I had thought about that issue before, but I should’ve taken it more seriously.

Maybe @FireFreak is right that abolishing plots is the best answer.

So I guess the main issue is being locked out of an area entirely because you weren’t an early arrival to the game. Maybe that’s not a big problem now, but it’ll probably become one eventually.

Preface: I don’t think a real-estate market would work well. Any system would have to have a “grace” period for new players, naturally, makes sense. And the moment their time is up, there will be a bidding war from rich players to kick them off and take their spot. This doesn’t feel healthy. It’s basically just a race for a new player to run out the clock and get a lump-sum payment for something they were given, but don’t have value to keep? Doesn’t seem natural or balanced to me.

Problem: High concentration of population on small number of worlds.

My suggestion is:

Different HQ upgrade chains. Remove the current planet plot-limit to make all of them unlimited. Change the limits from an arbitrary hard-coded limit to one with economic incentives and tradeoffs about how\where you choose to expand.

Each of these 4 items is their own chain of upgrades and are independent of each other in their cost structure.

  1. Settle (x) number of “core” worlds. These are the current T1 starter worlds. Katoa, Promitor, Montem, Vallis, etc. Medium-expensive cost. For example, if you can only settle on 3 of these, you have to make very careful choices about which ones you choose.

  2. Settle (unlimited) number of “other” worlds. Build a new base on any non-starter world. Cheapest cost.

  3. Upgrade the size of (x) number of bases. This is the current permit expansion system, but instead it’s it’s own chain. You get to have several bases which can be upgraded from 500 to 750 area. 2nd cheapest cost.

  4. Upgrade the size of a core world. Only doable on one planet, must be on a highly developed core world. Able to increase the area from 500 to 1000. Most expensive cost. Think of it as your “HQ” mega-turbo base.

Each of these 4 paths has their own resource and upgrade requirements. You can tune the resource and cost requirements to encourage people to go the much cheaper route of settling a new, non T1 base on a new world.

I would also suggest adding upkeep costs to your HQ, similar to how a COGC has upkeep costs. You start paying these reoccurring costs the more your company expands. These should be options that should only be available in the mid-game and should serve to tamper down on the inflationary aspect of the game.

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Yeah let’s back off from the real estate market concept, I like realism but not if it ends up screwing up gameplay.

Now I like this concept a lot, but I haven’t thought enough about how you might do this. I know I don’t like things like “you can only settle on N of these” or any hard cap like that – too artificial and gamey for me; I like my freedom. Would players be essentially locked in to one of those 4 paths?

I don’t know if this kind of thing is even on the table or not (I’ve read somewhere that major changes at this point are unlikely), but what about the way Eve does this? The “core” areas have less valuable or fewer resources (and busier exchanges, so there’s a trade-off), more distant worlds have greater resource abundance. It might be hard to balance well but at least it’s not hard to understand.

It’d require a total universe overhaul and reset, so I don’t know if that falls under the “large change” category. Large data change, but possibly not a large code change.

It’s better than being forever-locked out of ever setting up a base on Promitor or Montem unless you start the game on one of those worlds.

PRUN is already structured like this. The best worlds with the richest resource deposits are further out into the universe.

While we likely won’t change the map of a running universe, the current one isn’t the final one. So we do indeed plan to overhaul the map in the future. As @lowstrife pointed out we have a system that tends to favor placing richer deposits in further out regions, but we want to pronounce this much more in future iterations.