“It’s too expensive, I’ll do it myself,” is a pretty commonly heard phrase in PrUn regarding products seen on the Commodity Exchanges. And to be honest, they are right-it’s way cheaper to do it yourself then buy it off of other people, which leaves older players sitting on piles of cash, and contributes to players needing to sell higher-tier products at high prices because demand is spotty, which leaves players building their own production lines, which contributes to expensive products because demand is spotty.
An endless cycle.
The problem is once you get out of resource extraction, there is virtually nothing differentiating companies from each other. This problem can be seen at even the PP1, INC, SME level-it’s way cheaper to create your own products then pay the markup.
Even with a base limit, it would be still way cheaper to produce your own products-you would just demolish and reconstruct the buildings. GDP-did to construct the first COGC-rather then running them at a loss, the buildings were just deconstructed and the A-fabs used to construct the next building in the line.
The buildings other then FRM’s and FP are not effected by where you put them, so you can literally place them anywhere and be able to sell products at a similar price to those that specialize.
Trade is generated from inequality-when all companies are equal, there is very little trade.
There needs be multiple layers of specialization, whether it’s from planetary projects, global experts, player buildings or some sort of bonus from planetary “features”.
Perhaps we could earn experts in that industry faster as well.
That being said, the real problem with specialization is that we can’t actually do it. If I start as an agriculture expert on Promitor to start with, where can I expand that lets me continue to dominate in agriculture? In the current universe, I have maybe 6-7 planets tops, all basic tier planets, that I can expand to and do agriculture on. This gets even worse for some other specializations, for example fuel engineering or construction, and some specializations wouldn’t be represented at all since there is no “starter” electronics industry. For chemistry specialization, most of the worlds and inputs most suitable for this are available only on higher tier planets that a new player would have a hard time expanding to.
At the end of the day, most rational players are going to prioritize their expansion to other planets on these criteria:
Cheapest to setup (don’t require any special materials)
Perhaps another option to allow for specialization of companies is to change how the Chamber of Global Commerce works. Instead of voting on COGC bonuses, each corporation can choose to join a commercial faction, gaining access to it’s technical expertise. These could be the standard “agriculture”, “food industries”, “chemistry”, “resource extraction” production bonuses - or we could have more interesting factions/bonuses as well, depending on how much the devs would want to run with this.
Now these bonuses would be applied corporation wide on any planet that you have settled that has a COGC built and supplied. This would result in less planet specialization and more player specialization, since you would only be able to have one of these bonuses at a time, and switching could be difficult or costly.
If we still want some planet specialization, I think it would make more sense to have more bonuses like fertility. For example, a molten world could have a bonus to smelting, since the temp is already hot. A highly industrialized world developed by a faction (like Katoa) could have bonuses to manufacturing. Extremely cold planets could be ideal for assembling electronics. A planet like Etherwind could have abnormally pure water, giving a bonus to production of DW. Other planets could have anomalies that attract immigration of scientists. The possibilities are endless, and give the devs the opportunities to add character and life to the planets and the rest of the universe.
I don’t think so. A player looking at the long-game will pick electronics specialization. A player like myself will go for early small profits and pick resource extraction. I get great efficiency now but its capped later on. agriculture same deal.
Someone picking electronics will get insane profits later in the game, a 5% boost in electronics is worth way more than a 5% boost in agriculture. 5% of GRN is nothing vs 5% boost of WR.
I dont think adding a 6th expert is a good idea. The experts are already a time based mechanic such that “older players” have an advantage economically over newer players. I’d rather remove experts entirely.
This is a frustrating part of the game. A player is better than you only because their account is older. This shouldn’t be the case. All players should be equal in that regard. If a player is more knowledgeable about at area, let that be their specialization advantage.
Ideally the richer players leave behind industries that they don’t want to micromanage anymore and buy that commodity off the market creating demand and trade. This would happen naturally if players weren’t allowed to grow exponentially.
Adding additional barriers to enter a market would really help a lot as it would reward players who specialize without giving them an economic advantage over others. This could be done by enabling some sort of one time cost to unlock recipes or buildings (ideally one that isn’t based solely on Time). In Eve, this was the idea of a blueprint being purchased.
In summary, don’t make specialization cheaper. Make generalization more expensive. Otherwise it’s the new players who get hurt the most.
I really don’t see the point to change the current expert system.
It’s normal that someone experienced ( older as you like it ) is more productive than someone new, that’s the same as in real life.
Besides, Prun doesn’t seem the game to be “the best” in. The game will always be easier ( and more fun ) with friends / corpmates working together. It’s better to have someone specialize in mining, another one in smelting, a third into making b-fabs, than to do all by yourself.
Someone joining in halfway the running universe doesn’t need to have a disadvantage from older players. I joined Prun at a quarter /halfway the current galaxy. I dare to say that I’m on par with the “older” players or even surpassed some of them in bases / liquidity / production.
Everyone has a chance to do this if they want to.
I had 3 - 4 rough months building up, but that’s the challenge I like, and working with some other people to achieve this was a lot fun. Long talks , long nights…
I actually think new players have an economic advantage over older players. I’m seeing new players achieve things in 2 weeks, what took older players 3 months to achieve, like build a 2nd base. New players build on the shoulders of older players.
After reading the replies, it seems to me the biggest problem is that the area limits benefit importers over extractors. I’d suggest boosting the area limit by maybe double which would allow someone to meaningfully specialize, as well as allowing faster expertise in their selected field should they be utilizing it. I for one picked metallurgy and the furthest I’ve gone is a smelter because anything higher would be too expensive to run without a support infrastructure.
There are not enough currency generation mechanics which leads to people adopting conservative tactics, since you can’t pay the price for a CX product.
If the 10% profit by selling low tech/ore to MM’s is the devs understanding of economic growth at lower tiers … then that is the potential of economic growth. Players will try to always grow faster thus 1000% mark-up on CX items and vertical integration.
I’m seeing new players achieve things in 2 weeks, what took older players 3 months to achieve, like build a 2nd base.
You are comparing the economic advantage from a new player in January of 2021 vs a player from July of 2019. The new players achieve things faster because of the progression of the universe and the fact that their starting assets (two ships) are revenue generators equivalent to a full base (but only in January of 2021). With an advanced universe, everyone grows faster.
When I was running 16 SME-AL on Montem using 5 experts, I had a significant economic advantage over any new player trying to sell AL because I was spending less on consumables than they were due to the 5 experts. If they wanted to sell AL, I could squeeze their profits so tight that they made almost nothing while I still made good profit. Allowing me to have a 6th expert in SME will only result in me squeezing the new players out earlier. I felt like shit doing this, but I didn’t really have a choice other than to “play nice.”
My good friend who I recruited to play this game lasted only about 2 weeks because jkomut would continually dump FE on the market to drive prices down due to his “specialization” (experts) and vertical integration advantage. He had unfortunately started off on Montem as a metallurgist and got squeezed out of the market. There was nothing he could do, he picked the wrong starter package I guess. I told him to COLIQ, start on Prom, and sell RCO to the MM but it was already over.
I don’t feel that “new players can take shipping contracts” is a good counter argument for anything. If my first experience in this game was… “Don’t bother building a base, just (buy premium to have access to LM and…) help the rich people by taking their shipping contracts,” I would’ve probably quit 5 minutes into it. I greatly dislike that older players treat newer players with such condescension and disrespect - to treat them like their worker bees rather than allowing them to have a productive base that they optimize. It’s a double down on all of the above when one tops it off with “Oh, you have it so easy.”
I would like to start a new 2nd account to see the new player experience. I’d like to know how frustrating it would be to pick an industry only to find out the prices are low. How impossible would it seem to change industries?
How much money would I lose, for instance, selling GAL.CI1 at the MM price all the time. I’m trying to think of an industry available to a new player where they would actually decrease in net worth each day but I don’t see it. Nothing comes to mind in the pioneer sector on the CX planets.
At 300, you are not losing money on FE on Montem. I know the price of FEO on montem, that is mainly what I looked at for 2 years. Carbon has crept up in price but it generally coincides with a rise in the selling price of FE. I don’t think any player has ever lost money for very long making FE on Montem.