Make the CX work in percentage increments

First: Penny wars are just annoying.

I think it would be beneficial for this game if the CX would accept orders that are at least X% higher/lower for (bids/asks), or the same as any bid by other parties.
It would make the pricing decision actually meaningful, rather than making “the last person online” win. It’s in line with the ethos of the game where strategy and planing are prioritized over micro management.

For example, let’s run a scenario, with the arbitrary rule that it’s 5% increments minimum (that percentage could be any value): The highest bid is 200, the lowest Ask is 250.

  • You can BID at 200 or less (like the current) or anything higher than 210
  • You can ASK for 250 or more, then 238 or anything lower.

You can end up with a BID/ASK closer than the next step of either, but that doesn’t break the system.
Let’s say you placed a BID at 215, then someone an ASK at 220.
The next person placing a BID either goes at the back of the line (Bidding 215) or put a BID at 225 or more, which would strike any ASK at or lower like it’s currently the case.

As I said, the 5% is just to have an example that’s easy to visualize, but even going to a low percentage like 1-2% would have the desired effect: Outbidding someone on PE by 0.05 is fair game when the price is at 5.

A more advanced system could have that percentage decrease as the volatility increases, but I wouldn’t advocate going there right away.

I’m curious: Beside the empty argument “it restricts my options”, is there really any down side?

Well I’d say “it restricts my options” is a totally valid argument though :upside_down_face:

For me penny wars hasn’t been much an issue, since I usually just undercut em so hard that they don’t want to go to the depth’s of hell with me :grin:


While also, even if penny wars might seem annoying, is it really that much an issue in general either? Wouldn’t you actually prefer someone cutting you with 0.01, than someone (like me) who cuts you with full numbers? Isn’t the latter one affecting more in your profits?


Although I am surprised by such suggestions to shoot yourself in the knee instead of discussing issues that can really improve the universe (with the current content, which is quite a lot) here are a few reasons. No negativity, let’s discuss.

  • Increased price volatility. Pay attention to the volume within sales orders. For many items, most of the list is young players with a volume of goods for 0.5-3 days of full base production. So just a large number of players with small productions will start pushing the price much lower when every 1000 income is important.

  • Loss of flexibility. Don’t look at 0.001 in a vacuum. Most people won’t do it even if they spend more time in the game. It’s boring. If a person starts setting the lowest price and upgrading it means he

    1. Wants to unload his ship faster, get the local currency and fly back with the new cargo.
    2. He wants to drop a batch of goods on the market to get liquidity and make some transactions.

Restricting these actions will noticeably slow down the tempo of the universe.

  • Slowing down the filling of CX. When people see the effects of restrictions on volatility they will start to accumulate more stock on a planet or station and place one big order to sell. This will lead to more wars because it will be harder to dissolve the large volume of goods that are in front of you even as 1-2 lines below.

  • More people will move to private contracts which will reduce CX liquidity.



Wouldn’t you actually prefer someone cutting you with 0.01, than someone (like me) who cuts you with full numbers?

Nope. I’m totally fine with that. You make a decision to price lower in a impactful way. That’s legit and I’m all for it! It “costs” you. If you undercut by 0.01, even if you sell 10k items, it has no meaningful impact on you to undercut me. If you undercut by 50, then 500k might be nothing to you (no idea), but starts to get meaning.

Yes, the metric of the price volatility would increase, since the mathematics are just what they are, but it doesn’t really affect anyone. The average price wouldn’t significantly shift.
The lost of flexibility argument doesn’t hold water. With the “new” system you still can drop the batch of goods as much as you can currently.
“Slowing down the filling of CX”: How so? Why would they accumulate goods? Two lines earlier you said they want liquidity and now you’re arguing they don’t care about liquidity and will just accumulate stocks.

Nothing that they can do now would be prevented, and nothing “bad” that you say they would do then can’t be done now.


What speaks again this proposal in my opinion:

  • You then have a problem if the price is already on the edge of profitability. Then all you can do is making the same price as the lowest price already is. In the current setting this means: First in first out. You have to wait until all other players get there Orders filled. It then is just a queue - no market anymore.
  • In real world such things arent nessesary because you have day traders. They keep the price span very close cause they play with that gap between highs and lows of the day. For some people its just that what makes the fun. That the CX is quite similar to stock exchanges etc. and they like to gamble/play with that. You take out the fun for such traders.
  • If you dont mind day traders, there are better ways to accomblish your goal: take order fees. The first Order on each product every day is for free for each player. Every Order after takes more and more fee. Then you have to think about your order and are stuck on your bid/ask if you dont want loose money with the order change.

Perhaps I didn’t translate it well. I should clarify.

  • Price volatility is always important. And although players with a large batch of goods may lose (under-receive) more, they tend to have more liquidity to stay afloat or expand anyway. And young players almost always have no supply of consumables for several weeks and lack of ability to fill the whole ship with their goods to sell at once and have to make regular flights and may not even make profit when they have to buy fuel (with volatility) and buy consumables + raw materials for 3-5 days (also with volatility). Volatility affects not only the goods at the time of sale, but also at the time of purchase, which increases the load on the new players.

  • You’re mixing two different types of players I was talking about. People who play a very active game do not consider selling a commodity in a vacuum just to make a profit. Real examples over the last few days…

    1. Found someone who makes some rare consumables in some volume. Very good price was available with a large order and good prepayment (Volume of contracts about 1m). Cash was sufficient only not all the amount in the right currency (no good exchange rate) and most of the cash in goods in stock. So one ship quickly flew to the nearest station to dump supplies with a war of 0.001.

    2. When my ship flew to another system to sell my goods I noticed on sale the raw materials I needed at a very good price. So I fought for a faster sale to have time to buy another product before the others (we are talking about hundreds of thousands, and the bad exchange rate can lose tens of thousands). And there are many such situations…

The second group of players are all participants in the sale of CX, and especially the young players. People can (not on purpose) accumulate the volume of goods on CX, because the price movement will be faster approaching unprofitable and the big guy will slow down the sales of smaller players in front of you because he came last or just can afford to make less profit having a large production. I noticed this when I was bringing 1k carbon to Moria but thanks to the 0.001 movement it wasn’t as critical (for others).

  • And in the end it is worth admitting that people are not equal amongst themselves. But it manifests only in the amount of effort that puts each individual player the number of actions that he can (want) to perform.

Adding a cost for placing orders might be justified to compensate for inflation or for the operation of other mechanics, but not to limit some players (the more active ones) just to satisfy those who don’t want to spend a lot of time on it.

If you don’t agree I’m open to discussion.

Nobody is seriously arguing against larger tick sizes. If it were the case that small tick sizes are better, then you would see people saying that the prices of SF and PE are too low, and they should be sold in 10x unit multiples at 10x the price so that we can get 10x the number of ticks. But nobody is making that argument, because nobody really believes that trade in those materials suffers as a result of the current tick:price ratio.

So all these volatility and trade volume arguments are red herrings. The reality is this:

  • Most players would prefer larger tick sizes. It would make the game friendlier to beginners and casual players, and not really impact veterans or hardcore traders at all.

  • It would take developer time to implement, and most players (and the devs) agree they should prioritize other things.

So… it’s not going to happen. For now we’ll just have to put up with people complaining about penny wars in the forums every few weeks. :yum:

1- Profitability is not at the same point for everyone. You still would have a market. Let’s pretend that wasn’t true: So what? Even if a few commodities has a shallow book, it wouldn’t be a problem.
2- You have day traders because there are facilities to do this, and you have volume. The population of this game is wayyy too low to have enough volume for that many commodities. On top of that, with the dev’s stance that no actions can be taken by external tools, that would be limited anyways.
3- Fees just make it slightly less profitable for the person selling. It doesn’t make it less annoying when you have to move your order because someone hijacked your price-point 15secs after you placed yours and logged off.

1- It doesn’t prevent players from doing their trades now. If the spread is large, there is a place for their order to go. If the spread is narrow, then they can just strike the bid/ask.
2- I’m not mixing player types. What I’m proposing is “player-type agnostic”. Everything you did there could be done with price increments. It would just make every decision more meaningful.

I agree that the arguments I’ve seen so far are red herrings, but if the community as a whole (if there is such a thing) doesn’t see it that way, there will be opposition like now.

For your point about development time: It’s a fairly simple system to implement. It doesn’t require additional UI, and all the data needed for that validation to be done is already fetched for the current one. There would only need to be a check done on submit (that would ensure no concurrency issues arise) and an appropriate error message (that window already has error message showing, so not a real new pattern to implement either.)

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Haha, I just read the recent release notes. Happy to be wrong on this one… :sweat_smile:


  • The spread is not an indicator. Often the spread can be large but the lowest selling price is already at the level of profitability or just ask yourself the question “Why should I sell now?”

  • Yes, physically there is nothing to stop you from placing your order but the big players will be able to put up with some losses and in the first place will create pressure on the new players. It won’t be noticeable right away, but in the dynamics will have an effect. If this turns out not to be the case I will only be glad.


  • The “veterans or hardcore traders” may feel it, but they will easily accept it since they can afford it (private contracts are a good alternative).

  • If it makes the game more friendly for new players then I’ll be glad to be wrong. But so far, I don’t see the prerequisites for that.

  • Most players would rather limit rich players (thinking they are the cause of their problems) but don’t want to take part in chains that will bring more benefits, profits, prospects to expand and accelerate the growth of the universe. I’ve had enough dialogues with 7-30-60-90 day accounts that are struggling but still don’t want to go from producing DW, RAT, H2O (which are easy to understand) etc to others ( Pioneer level too) even if offered ready-made templates, upfront fees, investment and knowledge of who can buy it.

Yup! I’m glad to see that. Not as strict as I would want it, but it should achieve the desired result.

1- First, it is an indicator like anything else, but even if it’s not, it’s irrelevant once again.
2- Someone selling 10k items will not care if there is an ASK for 13 items that’s lower than theirs. They have no reason to force the ASK to increase since anyone that’s actually in the ball park of making a dent in their order will anyways. I’ll pretend for a minute that your argument is right: The situation as it was was already allowing for everything negative you said to happen.

Anyways, that whole conversation is moot with the new patch that got released.

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Yes, you’re right. We’ll just have to see how it works in practice.)

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Incorrect tick sizes make the markets less healthy and less fair than they otherwise would be.

There is a reason why PE and SF are the two healthiest markets in the game with the most natural liquid distribution of orders. The spread is only one health metric of a market. Liquidity, slippage and so many other factors also are important.

I go in depth to this here as to why I believe these are facts, not opinions. With evidence.

We will see next month once the changes are implemented how the markets transition. Now people will have an incentive to offer better prices and force spreads to collapse on some of the more liquid markets. This means better prices for buyers and sellers who are taking liquidity, which is often better for newer players as you guys were concerned about before. Because they are often taking liquidity, not posting it.

Honestly though - it probably won’t impact things very much. I see it having by far the biggest impact on the bfab market. And perhaps a few other places. Carbon. Etc. Will make people think about how to smartly price your orders.

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I would if I cared enough. I’m definitely against prescribing tick sizes. Now that you said “no one is arguing against it”, I care enough to at least say that I exist.

Would it be better if we had even finer increments? Probably. Would it matter a lot? Probably not. Just as limiting ticks to 3 sig figs probably won’t matter a lot (hence “I don’t care enough”). It would also add unnecessary development into adding more digits for currencies and incorporating that into every UI element as well as into every feature.

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Sure, but I still don’t see any serious arguments - you’re just saying “I care” and “It would be better”.

So, sadly, I must conclude that you don’t exist. :yum:

Arguments have been brought up plenty. Your point was “no one was outspoken against relatively large tick sizes in PE/SF, therefore the arguments aren’t valid”. I just gave a reason as to why people are unlikely to be outspoken about that.

When it comes to preventing an active change, though, tendency to speak out increases.

For example, I won’t type out a forum post about how I dislike something as minor as the inventory bars in INV not being clickable. But if you were to propose making those same bars in FLT unclickable as well, I would actively speak out. Saying “you didn’t say anything about those same bars in INV before, so your arguments are invalid by that fact alone” is just unproductive. In both the hypothetical and here.

You’re right that people are inclined to resist change. But that’s my point too - they don’t have a consistent objection to larger tick sizes, they just don’t want the status quo to change for some reason.

My guess would be that those are the players who like being able to undercut BSE by 0.01. And that’s fine - everyone is entitled to their own play style. But in this case the majority of players don’t like it, and there is no serious argument against increasing the ticks. A serious argument would involve demonstrating that existing large tick sizes hurt SF and PE, and I’ve never seen anyone do this. Instead they make theoretical objections based on volatility and supply, ignoring that the SF and PE orderbooks are sitting right there being perfectly functional.

So, in conclusion, I think the devs made the right call. But if the BFAB markets dry up next week, feel free to come back and explain why I’m an idiot. :yum:

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For all the reasons given already that boil down to two essentials:

  • reduced liquidity
  • increased volatility

But I see why you’re posting now, so I’ll stop. I doubt there is much I can learn when the closing point is basically Nelson saying “HAH HAH!”.

Edit: Oh btw, nothing will dry up. As I said before, it doesn’t matter much either way. I doubt anything will change to a noticeable extent (that’s why I don’t think it’s that important :smiley: ). If it makes you guys happy, I’m totally fine with it.

This would just stifle people who are willing to get on and play more. Nothing wrong with more effort more reward.

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