My second base story

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.

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Hey, it sucks that you feel disappointed. When this test first started, I set up my main colony on CR-911b. I built 3x EXT and sold MG and HAL to the market. I barely made any sales, and it was a good 3 months before I managed to save up enough cash to get myself another colony. I know what it is like to be questioning your decisions about settling a particular colony.

Umbra ( XK-745c ) was the birth place of PG production for this test. It is a T1 plant with low concentrations of H and MG. PG was reaching 40+ ICA/NCC per unit in those days, and even though I was providing MG to Promitor and Montem, they just did not have the production capacity to meet the demand for PG.

Now, I have partnered with Racer to produce PG on CR-911b. H can be cheaply sourced from Gas Giants now, and I’m shipping in GRN to convert to C on site. This is a more capital intensive way to do it, but it saves my shipping time. Theoretically, if we make no profit, we can produce PG for < 10 per unit.

Now, your estimated profit margins of 760+ NCC / day is actually pretty decent. You need to look at that in terms of expansion capabilities. When the server started, 1,000 a day profit is what we expected as a good margin. Prefabs were 3 times more expensive, and a new colony cost 120k.

A colony now costs around 75 - 85k depending on where you source the materials. Prefabs are much cheaper and you are making 25% less margin. Thats pretty good.

To be clear, the major Corps have geared their production towards internal usage. In GDP’s case, we have not yet finished building up our PG consumers and are suffering from an excess of supply. GDP would like to see the market price of PG hovering around the 15-18 mark.

Unfortunately, you have provided a solution for a problem which the major corps have all faced earlier on - PG is vital to expansion, and securing a steady supply is key to running a strong Corp. You were correct to identify the shortfall, however you made the mistake of not coordinating with those players who would be your purchasers.

I don’t feel that there are NO avenues for which a new player can make a lot of profits. The PG avenue is most certainly closed for newer players. The capital requirements to eek out just a little bit more efficiency are huge. The solution which Racer and I have implemented requires 4 colonies by us, and supporting infrastructure from Corp-Mates.

An avenue which can provide a lot of revenue is DW production on FO-250a or CR-385b. Both planets are fertile, and if the majority of members from your Corp are PRO users, they can utilize the local markets to pool export materials to save on shipping costs. Both planets are fertile, and can support RAT production as well. Each of these planets have ample slots available, and can be entirely self-dependent with RIG, FP, and a couple FRM.

You have a hand in a reasonably sized corp, you could establish a semi-closed economy. Why buy from someone else when you can keep the money inside your Corp? Sell PG to your Corp mates, they can make PSL and you all buy your PSL from Corp mates. Even if it seems more expensive, the Corp value has not changed. If you buy externally, the Corp loses value.

The game has moved far past the point where the average player can just go it alone. I feel it is still possible, particularly by starting on CR-385b or FO-250a making RAT/DW. Most importantly, the demand for these products continues to increase. You do not have to sell to the MM. However, the game has moved to where relationships are most important.

I will not invest in producing a product that I will list on the market and hope that it sells. If I want to produce a new product, I first establish my supply chain via forming new relationships or leaning on my already established relationships.

For example, if I feel the need for cheaper LSE, I will approach another player with an offer. " I want to sell LSE for x, here is how we could do it.". With the complexity of the current economy, this chain extends far beyond a single interaction.

If I want to provide a solution to the market, I must develop a strategic level plan (Goal), establish clear metrics (measurements of success) for what meeting that goal would look like, and establish a supply chain (procurement / investors). Sure its more complex than simply hoping your product sells, but its more effective.

When I messaged you with an offer of cooperation between GDP and your corp in building up a new market outside of faction space you rebuffed me saying that you enjoyed the bustle of the free market more than set pricing. The offer still stands, as it does to any corp. Coordination between players, and corps contributes much more towards success than any player can hope to generate on their own.

I urge you not to give up. There is always something you can do. You have a colony on Montem - that is cheap prefabs for your corp. Do you have corp mates on Promitor or another highly fertile planet? Build an INC on Montem and have corp mates ship in GRN. It more than halves the fuel cost.

Are your ships running all the time? If not, do shipping! Coordinate with people in game. If you are a PRO user, use the LM.

You need to lean on your corp mates. Integrate your supply chains and coordinate, that is the whole purpose of having a corp! Set some internal prices and utilize LM trading to undercut the market.

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So when we initially scoped out what it’d take to expand to a second base I went through and identified the different materials that would be needed to construct the various parts and their ratios. PG was one of the big ones, alongside AL smelting and PSL production. We coordinated a few different players in the corp that were able to take on the risk of building these alternate structures (POL, PPF, WPL, PP2, and some players started on Berthier). We did so with the goal that we’d line up buyers within the corp. That went on for a week or two. The guy who owned the POL had to shut it down as his running costs from buying goods ended up being higher than the lowest sell on Montem. I’m not sure what happened to the PPF, or if that player ended up quitting. I built the PP2, and the most profitable recipe on it is to produce BTA (and sell to the MM).

We don’t exist within the universe where we are exempt from MM price floors. We have to buy DW at 43 ICA or 54 NCC. We have to buy RAT at 52/61. Do we have people within our corp on Promitor who make RAT and DW? Yes. Can we have people on prom make GRN and ship it to Umbra so I can make cheap C? Yes. But why would they sell to me for cheaper when they can sell to someone else for more? I am not handicapped. I am not incapable. I am the product of game mechanics at work.

Even if we do only buy within the corp, those people are just sharing some of their needed profits with the corp, and our average is still the same.

I’m at the mercy of the prices of DW/RAT. We all are. And those are held up by price floors from MMs that many players seem to think they are exempt from because they don’t trade on the market.

I had strongly debated settling an H2O planet (CR-385b) while I was figuring out what I wanted to do next. My thought process came down to a very simple argument in my head. If I settle CR-385b I would be making a farm planet and I would likely be selling crops to a MM directly or selling within a section of the market that had price floors (MMs) supporting it. Had I settled CR-385b and subsequently the MMs were removed, I’d find myself only able to make crops along side an army of other farmers on similar planets. The potential to enter an oversupplied market and have it fall out was something I didn’t really want to to into. In hindsight, I feel pretty confident that I made the right choice - the devs are now actively talking about those specific MMs and removing them. If I did not settle CR-385b, I wanted to delve into something that would be considered “higher risk,” (in this case, non-zero risk) but still safe. Umbra is the best T1 planet to make PG and aside from using high tier gas planets (the end game of PU), there weren’t really any alternative spots to make PG. On top of that, Umbra had a 25% Chemistry CoGC making it seem like it had some long term potential as a viable PG producing planet.

So there I was, thinking “Do i want to just sell to a MM?” or “Do I want to push into T2?” I pushed into T2. And now my Montem base is making BTA and selling that to the MM. So in the end, I’m playing the MM game anyway - which I affectionately refer to as “the cookie clicker” within corp. This has come to an end now that we’ve devoured all the PE that was buffered up in sell orders. If BTA is no longer profitable to dump into MM, we’re back on BSEs. And while we were doing that, the margin on those got real, real, real small.

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Short story also : Started on Montem, built 1 extr, 1 sme, 1 prefab, 3 farms, 1 fp ,2 inc, 1 bmp making almost everything to keep prefabs up. Was paying only for DW/PWO/O. Kept adding smelters and prefabs but not more than I was able to sustain.
Filled my base pretty fast and importing very little, selling anything to buy DW/PWO/O/H was quite hard indeed but not impossible.
Getting stuff for a second base was a real challenge had to buy ALO ad-hoc build a PP2 and slowly get there. PSL also.

From what you wrote is kinda clear. You did not understand that commodities have no price stability and if you own the consumables to produce them then cost is converted into base area occupied. Many times I hear people talking about profit but they do not mention time to sell. Profit / day is irrelevant, you will never sell as expected, it’s like in real life. If you establish some nails factory you think anyone would buy your products? Think again.

Truth is this : the commodities you consume are your most important values because if you have them you can keep production up and anything you sell from production is pure income.
You should have raced to establish consumables production first. Any resource you produce and own the materials to make it + consumables has a zero cost attached but it requires occupied area in your bases to keep producing it.
People constantly talking about “profit” and making integrated production chains is for newbies and other bla bla bla… but these are the ultra rich people that afford to buy massive quantities and sell them. You don’t.
Your PG base is also gold because production cost is very little compared to what it sells for. And why would anyone buy PG when they can make it 5 times cheaper?

You need to change your mindset. Instead of designing bases for mass production to turn profit into consumables and materials how about designing them to sustain yourself on long run without being at mercy of buyers (who only want to hoard money) or price volatility.

Players leaving is always a difficult time, especially when they form an integral part in the chain.

I also purchase all consumables I need for all of my colonies from the Promitor CX or Montem CX. That’s never stopped me being competitive.

You would purchase GRN with the agreement that they in turn get prefabs from you. The money thus stays within a small system (2 players) and you both are better off because you both can increase your production.

I feel that you need to expand your idea of profit beyond your bank balance. PrUn is far more than a trading game - there is so much meta to take into account. Why should you take less payment for your goods? You are building relationships, dependence, investment.

For example, lets say I make consumables and you make prefabs. We could list our wares on the market trying to get the most immediate financial profit. I hope my stuff sells at a high price. Hey! I sold some so I should expand my operation. Lets look up prefabs. I need 16 BSE, but to get 16 the price is spread over a range of 500.

You are trying to get the most for your prefabs. You list each batch as it comes out and list it for less than your last batch which hasn’t sold yet. I keep my consumables prices high because I can’t afford to buy your expensive prefabs, and you keep your prefab prices high because you want profit too.

We can work around this by talking to each other. Mate, I want to expand in about a week. Can you do a batch of 16 BSE for me? I’ve got some consumables I can sell to you. We negotiate a price such that we each make a decent, comparable profit. I’m happy to sell my consumables for a lower amount because I know when, and how much I will get for them. Why would I bother listing them and adjusting prices until they sell when I have a guaranteed sale to you? You can commit to a bigger production run because you know you have already sold the products.

This is why we do not have open (generalized) markets like PrUn’s CX in real life. This is why companies have purchasing and sales departments. its all about negotiation. Tee up your sales before you produce a product.

You could have produced RAT and DW to support your 2 colonies. OVE cost is barely noticeable relative to DW/RAT costs. Sure, you take a slight hit to immediate financial profit but you have gained the ability to never really worry about RAT/DW prices ever again. Why sell RCO/GRN to the MM when you could effectively run your empire for the cost of OVE / whatever you need for prefabs.

CR-911b is a T2 planet right near Promitor. It has an abundance of MG and HAL. HAL is in high demand at the moment as it is used in making EPO - which the large corps cannot get enough. Hell, if you had messaged people already on the planet to coordinate supply runs / sales runs, or even just asked in global, I would have been keen to sell you my extra C at about 225 and Racer would be keen to sell you H also. Sharlindra (and others processing HAL) would snap up any HAL production you offered. Your only additional cost is for the SEA. Worst case, you can sell HAL and MG on the Promitor market.

Honestly, no but yes. Umbra is a great planet if you have control over your consumables production. If I were in your position, I would have settled CR-385b or FO-250a to establish consumables production. Then, I would go for Berthier for the ALO, then Umbra for the PG. Your costs are minimal because you produce most of your own supply chain, and your expansion costs are very low because you produce almost everything you need to expand. You just got it in the wrong order.

How I read rain9441’s story is that:

  1. free to play, influx of new players situation happened, seemed that in some 3-6 weeks time they’ll like to expand, hence demand on PG will occur
  2. there was clear lack of supply for PG on Montem
  3. rain9441 invested in PG prod on Umbra
  4. PG demand occurred, prices for a moment reached ~60NCC on Montem
  5. older players came by and (what seemed effortlessly) dumped few k PG at prices way below what you could manufacture, if you had POL and bought MG/H from NC1.

Now, I don’t mind cheap resources, it’s great.

You’re describing a single player game. Surely you can do everything yourself. Seems that you’re maintaining an “internal market” (supposedly the right market), detached from CX (the wrong market). Btw CX do exist in real life, they might be a bit more complex than PrUn, but there are only so many devs on the team.

A statement like: “There is just one good path, and you’re not on it.” Although it might be true, it’s not describing a rich and diverse experience.

Seem that the point you’re making is: Umbra is great planet for PG production, if you have DW/RAT cheaper than MM.

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I started planning PG production with Racer in the first week of September. I finalized my part of the plan over a month later on 12 October.

Which is not a bad decision. Its not optimal, but it is certainly not bad.

The reason I am banging on so much about securing your own consumables is because it acts as insulation. You don’t need to close yourself off from the economy and you most definitely should avoid doing so. By insulating yourself via consumables production you are able to ride out fluctuations in the pricing of the goods you are selling. If you can manipulate your production cost by reducing the “profit” gained at each step, you are better positioned to weather the sudden increases in supply.

Rain has stated that they can make in excess of 700 profit per facility selling PG at 17. Honestly, this is pretty good profit. Hes not unprofitable, hes not losing money, hes lamenting the fact that others in the market have moved to fill the same opportunity that he has. PG has cycled between flood and drought since the server started, the prices are inherently unstable. Demand for PG will only ever increase.

PSL is in high demand, as is NL. Both are made only from PG. PSL is selling for > 2k on Katoa, and for not far off 2k on Promitor and Montem. 40 PG costs 680 @ 17 each (700+ profit remember), then you have 400-500 consumables for the PPF and you sell for 2k. There is another 700 profit and your PSL prices are insulated because you have a bit of flexibility with the PG “profits”.

I’m not and I think that is pretty clear.

Commodities markets do exist and they primarily used for raw materials and agricultural goods. They are not like PrUn’s CX system.

I agree. Having a single, optimal solution does not describe a rich and diverse experience. However, if you refer to my previous posts you will find that I am not espousing the idea of a single, optimal solution. The view that I am sharing is a solution to an individual problem with a defined set of parameters.

PrUn is complex and, indeed, there is not single best way to play. When faced with a decision for expansion, there usually is a best decision when taking into account parameters such as your current production capacity, market position, and corporate plans. My describing the decisions and priorities for which order to expand should not be taken as a “This is the only way to play PrUn.”

Rain already has prefab production, and for him, this is his primary production. His first expansion should be, I feel, something that supports his primary production. Something that provides insulation, and market agility. If I were in that situation, I would pursue consumables production.

Trying to add a second primary production to your empire on your second colony simply provides needless risk and overstretches your capital.

It is, and always will be. It may not be the ultimate solution for PG production, but its good enough to stay profitable.

Thank you so much for your write-up, @rain9441! And also to everyone who chimed in on this. :slight_smile: Before I address any specific points, let me emphasize that a big chunk of mid and late game content is still missing, which (further) limits the things you can set out to do after a certain point. We are slowly, but steadily working on adding more as we approach the beta phase. I’d also like to add that I cannot weigh in on everything as my understanding of the situation is honestly not as deep as yours seems to be. (But that’s why I’m the Community Manager, not the game designer. :stuck_out_tongue: )

Something like this can only happen with a small enough player base in which individuals (or small groups) have significant impact on the market. If they can meet everyone’s needs for a certain commodity, they can single-handedly threaten to put everyone else out of business. Getting more players into the game is a big priority over the next few months, which will at least partially mitigate this kind of problem.

Likewise, when few players are there, many of which started around the same time, you might have few or no buyers of a certain commodity at a certain point in time. E.g. if, like @Prdgi suggested, most people are currently not in the process of moving to T2, it’s a tiny market. This is not to say that demand won’t rise again. (Side note: I recently switched to producing PSL. Just bought 1000 PG and will need more soon. :wink: )

I have to admit that I vastly underestimated the ways in which older players can streamline their production. My background in game design is more traditional and I didn’t know much about economics when I first joined the team, so I always pushed for a clearer sense of progression. Now it seems that, if anything, there is too much opportunity for progression. At the same time, the kind of progression I’ve always advocated for was that older players be encouraged to move away from basic industries such as mining and farming in order to make room for newcomers, and I still stand by that.

We have started to mitigate this dynamic by introducing systems like building degradation. However, it seems that this isn’t enough yet because I regularly hear that it’s very hard to break into the markets as a new player.

All that being said, I feel like part of your frustration is based in the type of player you seem to be. Like @Prdgi said, your profit margin is good and you expanded into a second colony rather quickly. Slightly more casual players (like myself) don’t ever get bothered by certain roadblocks because they don’t notice them and/or they are satisfied with just trading and surviving. :smile: This is not an excuse at all for a flawed progression system, I just wanted to add that everyone experiences their start into the game differently.

I’d love to see you stick around, but if you feel like there isn’t much to do in the near future, I urge you to at least check back with the game in a couple of months and see what’s new. Don’t forget that there will be a few more resets, so even if older players stay advantaged, a clean slate will provide everyone with the opportunity to get ahead of everyone else when the next reset comes. :slightly_smiling_face:

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When I joined there were constant DW/RAT shortages on Montem for weeks if not months and prices were 75/105 constantly. Was paying 90% of all the money I was making on consumables and materials but truth was I mostly had prefab production.
Point is such a base cannot function properly and should not. I restarted several times due to going bankrupt for focusing only on industry and thinking I can sell my production to buy what I need.
Best start for a new player is to keep minimal industrial start and focus on getting consumables first then add more industry as it can support.

I produce PG with 8, including buying all consumables and transport costs without any experts. Why would I buy yours? Instead of buying 1k PG from you I will buy 8LBH and make a POL plant and benefit me in long run.

All these old players that afford to dump lot of resources cheaper than your should make you realize one thing : production prices are very small compared to market prices and people only buy things if they really NEED to. Adapt.

I started this run on day 1 going full FRM on Promitor.

My 5 experts in Agriculture are my greatest asset on Promitor. If you want older players like myself to progress further beyond T1, The agriculture expert tree has to extend beyond T1 FRMs and T2 HYFs. ORCs are a food industries expertise for some reason. I’m never leaving T1 FRMs. T2 HYFs on Promitor are not yet competitive. If I were to make ORCs I would need to get new experts to compete with all those food industries guys. I believe in using my experts to the max. Experts never die, and eat nothing.

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