More Worker Consumables

I was having a chat in Global about how workers don’t get paid, we were joking around about a bunch of stuff but it inspired me to come up with an idea about exactly that. What if workers actually needed to be paid in the faction currency?

Now if workers are paid then they’ll have some sort of income pool based on the employed worker rate right? Well, what if workers actually consumed things themselves, adding a new thing to the production loop. Workers could consume materials like consumer goods which could be a new product we can make. I’m not sure how the worker demand could be reflected in game, maybe periodic LM contracts that just post automatically? Buy orders for consumer goods? Different tiers of consumer goods could be used for each tier or worker as well maybe? Now about the price that the workers will purchase these goods at, it could be a set rate, but that wouldn’t be too realistic. Supply and demand for these goods is actually pretty easily calculated so I don’t see how a fluctuating rate couldn’t be added.

This can even be expanded by being able to negotiate wages with your workers. Imagine your efficiency increased after giving your workers a quarterly raise. Efficiency can then slowly degrade as wages stagnate.


This is something that has been already discussed on the forum and on Discord. Yes, it would be very interesting to have wages and a consummer market. The issue is precisely how does one implement this, how does one make automatic buyers.

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This sounds like the current solution with extra steps.

Do you get paid with food and drinking water by your employer IRL? I guess not.
If you want to pay your employees you needed some sort of consumable dynamic and RAT,DW,etc producers would exclusively ship to NPCs.

I don’t think this would be any more interesting.

It would be more interesting, but there would also be some drawbacks. I elaborate on them here:

tl;dr: It would be difficult to do this in a way that didn’t make the game more challenging for beginners.

I would disagree about the beginner difficulty. Having wages is an abstraction of worker consumable logistics. It isn’t that different from buying them from the CX. Whatever ends up at the CX is an abstraction of logistics required to get these consumables on the CX. Whoever has the best logistics can sell them lowest and as a buyer, you inherit these logistics. Wages is equivalent to that, except it also includes shipping logistics.

New players already have no trouble profiting by buying their consumables on the CX, so I don’t see why they would have trouble with wages. As long as there are different levels of wages representing the different consumables, then new players can replicate using DW+RAT+OVE or adding in PWO and/or COF by setting the appropriate wage.

It depends how it’s implemented. Currently the MM price acts as a hard floor for selling goods. So a new player can make DW or RAT and be guaranteed to sell them at a profit. Also, the cost of hiring workers is fixed at a certain amount of DW and RAT, and there is a price ceiling on that too.

If players were required to pay workers a salary, and could compete with each other to attract workers by paying higher salaries, then veteran players would be at an advantage. Similarly, if players are selling retail goods to simulated workers, then veteran players could charge lower prices and out-compete newbies.

In order to prevent that from happening, you’d need to have fixed worker salaries and fixed retail prices. But in that case the game isn’t adding anything by implementing the worker wages in the first place.

Fundamentally, the more realistic you make the economy, the more difficult it will be for small players to compete, because that’s what happens in real life too.

Yeah I would agree with this if area was unlimited, but it isn’t. There’s a hard limit to the amount of area you control and the cost to add more area grows exponentially. This incites players to go up the profit per area ladder. This either means going up the tech tree and leaving lower tier production open to new players. Or it means using faster recipes which has higher input costs and make up for it with higher output.

Also, this doesn’t really change the material loops. A new player will be selling their RAT and DW at consumer prices, but will also be paying workers wages set by consumer prices. This is exactly the same input cost as if they had to feed them themselves. Whatever excess they have will be worth a bit less(maybe), but that also goes for whatever they will buy. If an experienced player can tank the value of RAT and DW, then anyone making prefabs will enjoy lower wages, which will reduce the cost of prefabs correspondingly. The complete T1 loop remains intact and will still generate surplus, which means as long as are part of this loop, you can grow.

Let’s also not forget that pioneers are stepping over each other for any job available with high levels of unemployment across the galaxy. There would be no wage war going on at that level. If there are sub-groups to each worker levels (food, work gear, luxury work gear and luxury drinks), then the wage war happens on a diminishing returns scale. Experienced players might be able to pay their workers more to squeeze a bit more efficiency out of their area, but that comes at a lower profit per item, which should balance out with new players. In other words, an experienced player who can get cheaper H2O by pumping their own might be paying more for their pioneers so they convert more into DW per day, but with lower profit per DW. They cannot sell DW at a loss and their cost of production is higher than the new player’s due to higher wages, so the new player will always be able to profit.

The 2 advantages experienced players have over new players is experts and direct route to raw materials. Both of these make the T1 loop more efficient, which generates more excess, so that’s better for a new player because experienced players will be undercutting themselves.

If experienced players had a significant advantage, then CX prices would be unprofitable for new players right now. This isn’t the case, so it doesn’t matter if there’s a wage system or not. This is entirely due to area limitation. Remove it and new players would get priced out.

Yes, if the material loops and unemployment levels stay the same, then I agree that the change won’t have much impact on the game. But in that case the change isn’t worth making. The point of changing the way that workers are modelled is to decouple those things, to allow for competition among players for worker wages and retail prices.

Also, most of your argument seems to assume that beginners and veterans are on the same footing due to price per unit. But veterans still have an edge. If a player has 10x buildings making 100k per week total, it’s a lot easier to stomach a 50% reduction in profit than if they have 1x building making 10k per week. Both players are looking at a doubling of the time it takes to expand, but the veteran can still afford a new building every couple of days, while the beginner is now looking at several weeks to get a second one.

In real life, larger companies have pesky shareholders complaining about EPS ratios and so on, but in PrUn it’s only ever just you. It truly is a capitalist’s dream.

While this is an interesting idea - I think it fails on a few different grounds. First, from a game-design standpoint it adds some complexity but doesn’t really have a way to increase enjoyment. If we were building a simulation it would be important to add, but this is a game that is already overwhelming to noobs and gives experienced players too much to do - adding work to the game would impact both categories of players negatively.

Second - as mentioned above any true “pay-workers” would lead to starvation wages because unemployment is so high across the galaxy - this would not help that.

Third - I think this would decrease liquidity in the markets because it would creates more places for money/credits to go - rather than ending up on the market - and at the moment I think this is one of the more critical failings of the game - I think we should be making the access cost of getting to a CX lower so more people use them.


I can see a few ways to reduce profitability of bigger players, but it’s already in the game. It all boils down to reducing the net profit for the same action for an experienced player.

The obvious implementation is to have management layers that grow with your company. That’s the diseconomies of scale concept and it’s how large companies eventually fall. ROI will decrease until it reaches 0. There are 2 problems with this because it puts constant pressure on players which can lead to burnout and also that it forces players into the most profitable path, which reduces choice.

Another method would be a profit tax, but that’s easily gameable. And then there’s the UBI concept by giving a fat check every day to all players.

What the game does right now is it takes this periodic cost and bundles it in a permanent HQ upgrade cost or the need for a new ship. Mechanically it’s all the same thing because it will create an artificial delay before you can settle another planet, but it doesn’t put any pressure to get there. It’s equivalent to wasting that money on management fees, but it’s a variable amount per day. This is why experienced players will not flood newbie markets and will rather move on to more profitable markets.

Like I said, this mechanic is already in the game and if this was an issue, we would see it. It’s not the case. T1 consumables and prefabs are at an all time high and have been hitting the selling MM every now and then.