I don't really know where to post this but I hear NQ want's feedback on Demeter so here goes...
I think we need 2 more weeks on PTS. We need a snapshot of today’s LIVE server and here's why:
1. People have factories set up with the huge amounts of ore we've mined. So, if you want to know how AMU’s (auto-mining units) are going to perform with server loads we need to test it with the factories ready to produce AMU's and compare the server ore rates with the current supply we've stashed. If you open up the live server with the current mining rates, we have no idea if the amounts are sustainable.
2. By wiping all scans (YAY!) there's a different approach we need to take for laying the AMU's. Industrialist will now have to scan fresh to find the best planets to scan for the T2-T3's we need to produce ATU's for the community.
3. After figuring out which products we can SUSTAIN making on a server that no longer has mega nodes, we can then figure out how much asteroid mining we'll have to do. That way we'll know how many more asteroids we'll need spawned to sustain the community.
4. By buying the new schematics for the AMU's and producing them over the 2-week period we'll understand more on how much we need to tweak the current AMU amounts.
Other issues I would like to bring up:
1. Since there has been such a long heads up to Demeter releasing, we got ready by pre-mining ALOT of ore. So, this idea that people will have enough money by using AMU's the first month of Demeter going live is probably not accurate. The market will be flooded with ore that players will put up for a lot of quanta only to NOT have it sell because it’s not needed the first few weeks. This will cause people to start cut throating the market only to finally sell to the bot's (if you don't discontinue them) That will mean the only way people will get reliable money to pay for their TCU's is to run a lot of missions. With this in mind, why would non-industrial players want to have tiles with AMU's if they make plenty of money running missions? Therefore, after 4-6 weeks there will be a huge lack of ore on the market again just like what you released missions. Except when you released missions there were still Mega nodes so Industrialist could mine the ore they needed by hand.
2. You should consider having mining on Moons. I understand why you're getting rid of mining on planets. I understand the huge server draw from underground mining on planets. But moons are small and I think you will gain enough server resources by eliminating planet only mining. Also, maybe NOT load the tunnels on the moon until you step off your ship. This way they don’t load while you're flying over moon tiles. I think if you allow mining on moons only, you could save people from leaving the game that actually enjoy mining.
3. Find a way to tax space stations. The buildup of people avoiding territory tax buy throwing their bases up into space around Alioth and Sanctuary is ugly and unsafe. I would put a tax on all Space cores. If you don't pay it then your station is removed from the game. Sometimes I think Dev's don't give credit to how far a player base will go to avoid paying taxes. At least make non-station building zones that correspond with the warp lanes coming in from other planets?
Finally, I keep asking myself what is the purpose of Demeter? Is it to get the game ready for release? Is it to save money by cutting back on server resources? Is it to get the game more marketable to other investors? It seems that it is all of these and I don't think you can do all 3 at once. If you release the game with this amount of guess work it's my opinion it's going to backfire on you. Because releasing this game with the proposed changes and "figuring it out on the fly" is going to wear thin on the current player base. If you lose more players without attracting new ones that's going to discourage new backers with the player base dropping. It's also going to make you rewrite the game so it's more prepared for release. The only thing you'll accomplish is saving server resources which you'll do anyway with the player base taking another hit.
In all honesty, we need another 2 weeks of PTU AND approaching a company like Steam to make the game available to raise the player base. I’m looking forward to the “New Player Experience” you’re creating to keep our new players interested! Hopefully they will have a ship to go asteroid mining and or Mission capable given to them. Also, access to public D-Sat and a way to scan their tiles to feel like they’re playing a full version of the game that the rest of us already enjoy playing…