I want to share a quick short story about my adventure into the second base in PU. I started in late August on Montem as a prefab constructor which was good at the start and then later kind of slowed down to a halt. Because of the issues I was having w/ making prefabs I thought I’d venture out and pivot. I did a bunch of research on what it’d take to support peoples’ expansions into T2 and found a whole lot of use for things like AL, PG, PSL, and LFabs. I thought it would be a good idea to get a foothold into those areas as people would be expanding to 2nd, 3rd, 4th, bases etc. The market for PG was dry, not a whole lot going on - not much buy, not much sell, but I knew it’d be needed and based on the numbers I ran there wasn’t enough on the market at that time to support a lot of base expansion.
I did a bunch of analysis on the cost/value of H, MG, and PG. The POL looked promising and the COL/EXT was decent based on Montem/Prom market prices. I went for it and settled on Umbra. I had to save up for weeks (the Bfab market was really bad) to settle and even had corp-mates build parts for me since some weren’t available on the market (namely PSL). I set sail and established a base on Umbra and it has been going for about 10 days.
Today I look at the montem market and see that 10,000 units of PG are now for sale at 17 NCC per unit. This is a stark contrast from the 23 NCC per unit (and much more barren quantity) that PG was going for 3 weeks prior. At the current market volume I estimate this take about 12 days to sell the 10,000 units, putting me in a really tough spot. I imagine this is just a small pile of stuff that some old player decided to ship to Montem “just because.”
I can sell my PG at 16.99 and accept a measily 766 NCC profit/day for my POL investment (Less than what my PP1s were making on Montem when I decided to Pivot, they are doing about that selling BTAs to MM atm). Or I can shut down my Umbra colony. That’s really all I can do. I built an EXT, COL, and POL on Umbra which was quite expensive. The EXT and COL are netting a profit of 225+356 per day each, which is just an ideal because I have yet to sell a single extra H or MG to any market. I’m only using 33% of those outputs because I only have 1 POL. I estimate that at this point Umbra is actually a net negative colony for me because I am making H and MG and not able to sell it. I have to run my POL for 5 days at this point just to have enough there to cover the cost of the fuel to ship it to a market. Since I only have 11 days worth of consumables and C on the planet, I’m effectively getting 1011 NCC per day of profit for a 170k NCC investment.
Basically my Umbra colony was my pivot from a dying market and it is now approaching a liability.
What I’m trying to outline here is that I see the new player experience here as an unmanageable drought. Older players have more efficient bases because they settle planets that produce more resources per EXT/COL/RIG. Yes they have higher up front costs, but those are one time costs. Older players also may have 5 experts running on these bases giving them further reduced costs. They are also more fuel efficient, being able to haul larger payloads and spread fuel costs over larger amounts of products.
I don’t think this game will work well if older players can always build things cheaper than newer players. That fundamental mechanic of rewarding the rich with cheaper avenues to build product has no possibility to be overcome by younger players. It’s a backwards mechanic, and is in in many ways a built in economies-of-scale that need not be there (Economies of scale happen naturally, there is no need to create a mechanic that applies it). Older players at some point will be able to set up a CoGC and 5 experts and run on only one of the most basic/cheapest consumables and still be at 55% efficiency! This means they have almost no consumable input costs! How can anyone compete with that pricing?!
I believe that there is nothing more I can do in this test. The current conditions are ill suited for any sort of expansion for me aside from getting into markets which have an active MM. I settled Umbra because I didnt want to settle CR-385B and sell RCO to a MM. But now I feel I may have to shut down Umbra as I cannot support it. I must resort to making BTA on Montem and selling that to a MM.
Thanks for reading, I solely just wanted to express the story as a way for devs to understand the gameplay experience that the F2P surge players are experiencing.