As many of you may have noticed, there have been no Market Bot buy orders available recently. We wanted to give you an update about this topic.
The Market bots were initially designed to help kickstart the Helios economy for the launch of Dual Universe. It gave all Noveans a chance at earning more quanta at the beginning, in order to jumpstart the global in-game economy.
We have been closely watching the amount of quanta obtained selling to the Market Bots and we have determined that Market Bots are no longer needed and this ability has now been turned off, which means that players will no longer be able to sell to Market Bots.
A note from NQ-Entropy:
Just to establish some background, before Market Bots started running out, the T1 ore buy orders were the first quanta faucet in the game economy, with missions coming in second. Another point of note is that since the start of the game the total amount of quanta in the game has never stopped climbing. It was honestly a scary level of inflation for the early state of the game.
One of the reasons we had mentioned when we did the release wipe is that the economy was in trouble and the state and health of the economy is something we are paying especially close attention to after wipe. While we didn't communicate on this, and perhaps we should have, is that we knew we needed bot buy orders on launch, but we were unsure as to if and when we were going to refresh them. We know that there was some confusion about this and we do sincerely apologize for any miscommunication. However, it has become apparent that keeping bot orders refreshed would not be a good thing for the economy, and ultimately the game at large.
So let's talk about the game itself, there's a couple of things I want to mention. The realities of a game with a pseudo-economy and a real market is that we are in a basic version of supply and demand. If the supply for a resource is too high, the cost will fall. Unfortunately, it was too idealistic to think that everyone could free-farm a T1 ore territory cluster and make guaranteed (and quite high) profit. On average ore buy orders were seeding 3 to 4 times as much quanta as was being sinked by territory taxes.
The second thing I’d like to mention is that for most players there is no requirement for your territories to always be online. HQ territories still allow you to build and run industries. The only thing onlining a territory does is activate mining units and if it is unprofitable to do so, you may choose to offline/HQ your territories.
Territories and mining units were never meant as a means to print infinite money, sustainably, with no risk and limited effort. The tradeoff you are making when activating a territory and running mining units is paying tax for access to resources. What you do with those resources, and what is possible with those resources is up to you, and to an extent, the state of the game and its economy. It may be that it's a good time to make a profit on the market, but it may also be that you just need extra resources for honeycomb, scrap, or materials to run industries and make items you need.
If it is the case that the supply exceeds the demand, and as a result of that, prices sink, then it may be that the best solution for you is simply to go buy those cheap ressources at the market and take advantage of the surplus of resources. The more people do this, then demand should rise, and so will the cost, until we find some sort of equilibrium.
Adding another thing: Ultimately one of the main things that matter in all of this is fundamentally balancing our supply versus our demand. When it comes to T1 ore, the barrier to entry is incredibly low, even a starter character can have a basic mining unit setup over a couple territories in a few days. The question is, how many people as a rough percentage of the player-base are needed to supply the game with the resources that all players require? We fundamentally don't expect all players to need or want to gather resources, that's why markets exist. The real question is if that number is too high and too low. The issue that we are seeing now I believe is that while bots were still active, mining units were a good form of income for everyone, because the prices were artificially pumped up. That will not be the case anymore and we will have to find some form of equilibrium between people willing to farm resources and people who ultimately would prefer to buy them at a competitive price. For those staying in the MU field, as with any competitive endeavor, it will come down to organization, talents and preparation to stay competitive if you truly wish to make good profit selling ore from MU.
The counter-balance is that if resources were ever too expensive and demand was higher than supply, either due to some sort of market interdiction, or other similar phenomenon, anyone is free to pay for a couple territories to start flowing resources into the economy to rebalance the supply and demand or to acquire resources at a “cheaper” price.
It could be that it requires too few people to supply the game with the resources it needs, and in that case, we have levers we can ultimately use to change the balancing of the game and make the demand higher, such as making crafting more resource demanding, or introducing more element sinks.
Finally, a note on buy and sell orders. We understand that without infinite buy orders the market feels less fluid. This is the reality of the size of our economy at this point in time. People will have to get more used to utilizing buy and sell orders as opposed to instant buy and sell. Don't get tricked by players putting up low buy orders, put up a sell order at a fair price and people will buy it. Make no mistake, people out there need ore, and are willing to pay for it.
We understand many of you enjoyed using the Market Bot orders, but ultimately this amount of quanta flowing into the economy could not last. We will be continuing to monitor the in-game economy very closely.