The Trading Game - Development Log #346

This week Michi shares the team’s stance on certain trading techniques and Fabian talks about leaderboards.

You can find the full issue of the development log here: link


Hurrah for the war on penny wars!


I protest tick size!
It’s not a solver of a problem, and only change his look.
Step 0.01 and 1 or 100 do not protect me from demping
You only increase a size of demping. this will make a lot of businesses not liquid because either you are waiting for a month of sale or you are selling the product at -100 cost price, because the developer did not give alternatives


the decision to limit the number of order deletions is already a solution to the problem. Nothing else is needed. can reduce the number of remotes to prevent dumping duration, but limiting tick size is killing all business in the universe

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Sure, [scalpers] don’t add “value” per se

They do add value per se. They provide the producer with immediate capital. Capital that can be reinvested more quickly.

There is a high probability that you guys know that already and agree and I’m just being unnecessarily technical, but still :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Sad to see penny wars potentially go, though.


Very intersting dev blog. I would like to give my opinion on all 3 trading techniques.

1)Regarding scalping, I practice it from time to time. Not very often though, because in PrUn the extraction + production is much more profitable than market speculation. Some players might find the scalping unfair, but market speculation exists in real world, and I don’t see why trade in PrUn should be more fair or moral than in real world.

2)Regarding the penny under-bidding, I do this systematically. It’s an old habit from EVE Online. There it is called one-isking. Yes, it is an annoyance. Moreover, this does not allow the ask prices to go down fast enough on expensive products. Tick sizes are a good solution, but they have to be dynamic, depending on the price. This is what is used in EVE Online. But if you add the tick sizes, please remove the limit on order deletion. You could also add broker fees as in EVE Online. Each time an order is listed, buy or sell, a broker fee is charged which is a small percentage of the value of the listed goods. When an order is relisted, a broker fee has to be paid again, perhaps a smaller percentage than the first time. In this way there is a cost for relisting the orders. By the way, there should be an option to relist an order at a different price without deleting it. In general, regarding the CX, my recommendation would be to just copy the system from EVE Online, because it is very good there.

3)Regarding the private market making, this is actually a great thing which provides a great service for the participants to the market as a whole. It makes the market more liquid and the bid/ask spread smaller. This definitely should not be penalized in any way.


What I mean is that a price delta of 0,01 AIC is totally OK for PE which costs around 5 AIC unit, but the same delta is ridiculous in case of BHP which costs around 2000 AIC unit. The rule should be that the delta is at least 0,1 percent (1/ 1000) compared to the next price.

This is an exaggeration. Most products in PrUn are profitable even when selling at the bid price. The margins are not tight at all.

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Scalping is important to have available; this is a market simulation game and anything that makes it less of a market makes players like myself less likely to purchase it.

I don’t really have an issue with some tick reform; it might help reduce the bid/ask spread which is helpful pricing information for everyone. Anything that improves pricing information or moves trade to the CX is positive in my book! We want market efficiency.

Players being market makers is just good business and is perfectly valid in a market simulation game.


the tick size does not carry a payload, it is an imposed pricing. This is a market, here everyone offers the price that he sees fit, why should I definitely set the price from a neighbor at 100 less or more? I want to place -23.54 less then my neighbor, because I want

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It doesn’t work like that. Even in real world stock exchanges have their own rules. The commodity exchange belongs to a faction according to the lore, and the faction is free to impose its own rules on ITS CX.

I think the main fix that is needed is that when I place a sell order that matches another one, then both out items are sold in proportion (or 1 for 1) when a buyer accepts the price. This would PU tan end to the penny wars which are sometimes needed just because large sell orders clog up the system.

It’s just a form of a target clearing mechanism that would prevent players gazumping each other, and you can still undercut to clear your stock.


How would that change anything regarding penny wars? I still have a strong incentive to underbid by 0.01.

Sounds just like more complexity without an upside. If there has to be something implemented, I’d much prefer ticks.


Yeah in general I’m not a fan of arbitrary rules - why would the tick size be 0.1%, or 0.2%, or any other number? Using the smallest currency fraction is good enough for me, “the market” will figure it out.


Keep the penny-wars!, as a seller I want to keep prices as high as possible, and as a buyer I tend to buy consumables when I need them regardless of price, and bargain hunt things like prefabs etc for future HQ upgrades.

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In eve online devs also increased the step of changing the price of the order (now it depends on the price of goods). Did it help? No, just traders began to drain more money on taxes (and life for small traders became harder).


In EVE after the changes, the sellers still undercut by the smallest possible amount. This indeed didn’t change. However, now the competition makes the ask prices decrease faster. The bid prices also increase faster (because of course if a tick size is implemented for the sells, a symmetric tick size should be implemented for the buys). So one can argue that the market prices reach their equilibrium value faster.

Not taxes, but broker fees. Taxes and broker fees in EVE work differently. Taxes are paid only once and it does not matter how much times an order has been relisted. Broker fees are paid each time an order is relisted. In PrUn, there are neither taxes nor broker fees. Imo in PrUn broker fees should not be introduced until the point when there are much more players and the CX becomes more liquid.

As a solo industrialist from EVE I disagree. The issue are not the taxes or broker fees or the tick sizes. T1 rigs and T2 in general are very profitable. What is not profitable are the T1 ship modules and T1 ships. Basically almost everything that requires only minerals is not profitable. The issue are all the players who mine the asteroid ores themselves, produce this T1 ships and modules out of it and sell it below their mineral price, because they didn’t buy the minerals in the first place. These are the minerals_I_mine_are_free guys, and they are the main reason why the T1 market is broken in EVE. In PrUn we don’t have such a phenomenon.

The idea is that the competition between sellers drives the ask prices down, and the competition between the buyers drives the bid prices up, and eventually and equilibrium price will be reached, with ideally a small bid/ask spread. However, how fast the equilibrium will be reached depends indeed on the tick size. If everyone undercuts by 0,01, a commodity that costs about 5 or 10 will reach the equilibrium price much faster than a commodity that costs about 1000 or 10 000. So the tick sizes are here to make the market figure it out faster.


Here’s what I think about it. You can judge me.

  1. If full scalping was real in PrUn then it would even be good for the universe. Scalpers provide liquidity to producers and slow the run-up in inflation by pulling cash out of the market and channeling it into investments.

  2. Scalping doesn’t have much of an impact on the market right now because of the small number of players. With as little as 100-200k you can start to feel the liquidity ceiling of the market even in the most popular commodities. I’m not even talking about 500k or 1m.

  3. Ticking at 0.01 is fine and helps keep prices at a level most people are happy with. If the market thinks the price of an item is fair then let them sit at a difference of 0.001 between themselves. Do you want a different price? Invest in new bases of new players who will fill your inventory and the market as a whole.

There is an opposite problem when players can inflate or undervalue very strongly thinking that so they are faster to buy or sell without knowing the production cycles, the approximate number of buyers / producers in the region.

I had a situation when I brought carbon to Moria and I wanted to sell it faster so the ship wouldn’t stand for long, since I needed to pick up bfabs and fill up the rest of the space in the ship. I put the price at 0.001 below 2-3 times.

A player comes in and with his ticks making a move of 15-20ncc lowers the price of carbon by 70ncc. For no external reason. That’s just the way it is. It is useful when the price goes out of bounds if a lot of goods are bought out or vice versa the market is empty but many players spoil prices without an objective reason.


Penny wars are a symptom of low frequency, high volume trades in a low participant count market.

What’s happening is you send a shipload of stuff to the CX which is a week’s worth of production. There’s another guy selling the same stuff and there are 2 buyers. Production and consumption per day are balanced, but since this trade happens once per week, it compresses 7 days worth of trading in a single event. The issue is this trading is a single event and can happen at any point in the week. By undercutting by 1 cent, you’re selling your products 3.5 days faster on average. The other guy will need to wait for the next trade event to sell his stuff. That translates into higher profits and it makes the process worth it.

For products where there are lots of buyers, like RAT, the number of trade events per production cycle is much higher. Undercutting by 1 cent isn’t worth the hassle because you’re only gaining a few hours or minutes.

To make penny wars pointless, trade events should be closer to production events or there should be more buyers or sellers in any given market. Any minimum tick rule changes is simply putting a bandaid on the issue.

For example, having planetary CXs would allow players to run with smaller inventories, which generate more trade events on a single product. Another example would be for players to require a wide variety of materials without having it economical to produce them themselves, which would generate multiple trade events per ship, but spread across many products. Consumables are kind of like this where sellers put up big offers and many smaller players buy small quantities.

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Some leaderboard ideas:

  • Base counts
  • Equity
  • Income this week
  • Ship count
  • Base furthest from center of galaxy
  • Longest-running governorship
  • Count of different materials currently listed on exchanges
  • Shipping contracts fulfilled this week
  • HQ level

And also:

  • Leaderboards should have a days-since-company-creation filters: by default, show everyone, but also allow showing only companies created in the last 30/60/90/180/etc days, so that you can compare yourself against others in your cohort.

Slight change in topic: Leaderboards

I’d really like to see how many ships another player/company has similar to base count.

As there are many different ways to play, some players don’t even have bases and purely trade. So it would be nice to get an idea of how well different style are doing.

A Leaderboard based on company ratings (Activity, Reliability, Stability) would not mean anything. The difference between each rank (A - B - C - etc.) is largely unknown, there is little incentive to chase higher ratings (only for shipping contracts), and trial/free licenses would be excluded.

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