Jump to content
Saul Retav

Limiting Script Automation will Hinder Economic Growth

Recommended Posts

The devs have said that automated mining will probably not be an option. As a student of business and economics, here's what I think:

 

ABSTRACT:

Limiting script automation for both mining and weapons fire will greatly limit the capacity for economic growth and in-game innovation.

The mining industry, for example, will start out with individuals mining for minerals and directly selling them to other players or on an open market. It will eventually evolve into a number of mining corporations that will be able to provide minerals more cheaply through an organized workforce and semi-automated processes. This is inevitable, as it should be. But why limit the mining industry to this level of business innovation? By disallowing further automation, yes, the market for mundane repetitive tasks like mining by hand will be preserved. But what would happen to the broader job market in a simulated economy where automation is unregulated? It would expand exponentially.

How would automated mining exponentially expand economic growth and job availability? Well, the whole purpose of automation is to reduce labor costs, to reduce the price of goods (raw minerals, in this case), so that, in a competitive free market economy, businesses can stay... competitive. Inevitably, reducing the price of raw minerals allows other businesses, further up the chain of production, to increase production and lower their prices (competitive market, remember). These reduced prices further up the chain of production lead to increased demand and, therefore, new market opportunities.

 

STORY TIME:

John Smith is a miner. He mines steel all day for Mineral Corp, gets a commission based on how much steel he mines, and Mineral Corp sells the steel to spaceship manufacturing facilities. One day Mineral Corp decides to cut costs by using automated mining drones. Nooooo!!!! Curse you Human Ingenuity!!

 

Let's look at what just happened:

 

In order to cut costs, mining corporations are now buying automated mining drones. This new demand for drones is providing jobs for programmers, industrial designers, manufacturers, and even truckers (to transport all the extra minerals that are being more cheaply produced and are increasingly in demand by all these industries)!

 

Back to John Smith:

 

John lost his job to robots. The Luddite fear that soulless computers will replace all the honest employees has come true! *cough cough* But when John's at home, drinking away his sorrows with some Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, he opens up the classifieds and is shocked to see hundreds of jobs available that weren't there yesterday! Not only jobs related to the production of mining drones, but many seemingly unrelated jobs!

 

Where did these other jobs come from?

 

They came from the steel being cheaper. Businesses that use that steel for product production, like spaceships and buildings, can now sell their products more cheaply. Having cheaper spaceships increases the demand for spaceships because more people can afford them. In order to meet that increased demand, spaceship manufacturers must increase their production by hiring more employees (new jobs! Yay!). So now, even though less people are mining by hand, more people are building spaceships (as well as countless other things)!

 

John Smith may not be mining anymore, but he has a new job now, that pays more, and he can enjoy a cheaper cost of living thanks to those beautiful automated mining drones.

 

BASIC FORMULA:

Automation = reduced cost.

Reduced cost + competition = reduced price.

Reduced price = increased demand.

Increased demand = increased production.

Increased production = increased job availability.

Automation + competition = increased job availability.

 

Can we please have free automation scripting?

(I may touch on automated weapons-fire later)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really. It will though make sure the game is not full of multiboxers and bots.


It will also not overflow the servers if an idiot wanted to make a loop do 1000000000000000000000 loops a second. You might be sayng "but scripts run on the client's end", which is true, but the server has to receive those actions and register them.



Limited automation will keep the game tied to its core social interaction. You can have welders putting a ship together in your factory, or you can have machines that do it slower than them.


It's a risk to have people work for you and it's not a risk to have machines, but they have slower speeds than humans. It's a trade-off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the Dev was going for a full economics simulator game then sure automate away. But that doesn't seem like the game they are building. There still has to be reason to actually PLAY the game and not just input numbers and wait for the result.

 

Combat especially would be a HUGE mistake to automate. I mean how would that even work? You just stand near an enemy and your rifle shots and finds targets on its own...? That sounds fun? :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously scripts need to be limited by the elements that are being scripted, but taking away such practicle mechanics as mining scripts seems like a big mistake that'll really limit the games potential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, that was a nice story.

Would read again.

 

But at the moment the information says there wont be any mining elements.

So there is nothing to automate for miners. If you want it, dig it out.

 

As far as automating entire chains, JC said that he wants to keep it to a minimum. Social interaction is part of the core idea behind DU. If you allow players to automate too much that interaction is watered down.

 

But its still pre alpha so we dont really know how it all plays out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as scripting weapons fire, is it expected that in times of war a commercial hub is always going to have players manning the anti-ship batteries just in case there's an attack?

 

Automation would also have it's vulnerabilities with the future hacking mechanics that'll be introduced. It would be a bad idea to build a fully automated facility when a skilled hacker may be able to shut it down himself. That would be a result of competing organizations trying to gain an upper hand, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mining 24/7 is just a bad idea. -1

 

Everyone will abuse it and mine 24/7, using ask and bot like mechanics. Crashes the market

 

Turret automation will only lead to lone wolves, flying with their bot mined super-extreme ship. It enforces solo play

 

Bad idea

 

Plus it's completely against emergent gameplay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as scripting weapons fire, is it expected that in times of war a commercial hub is always going to have players manning the anti-ship batteries just in case there's an attack?

 

Automation would also have it's vulnerabilities with the future hacking mechanics that'll be introduced. It would be a bad idea to build a fully automated facility when a skilled hacker may be able to shut it down himself. That would be a result of competing organizations trying to gain an upper hand, of course.

Have you played rust by chance?

 

There was a point where players could build and place both a Quarry and a Pumpjack. They could pump crude oil, refine it, use it to fuel a quarry, and get all of the materials they need without leaving their walled base, assuming their base strattled the line between desert (where you could find oil), and any other biome (where you could get metal and stone). In the beginning it seemed like a great idea.

 

Then the big clans would build their walls, place their jacks and quarries, and never leave their base except to get blueprints and raid. It led to FAR fewer player interactions. Sure in theory someone could raid them, but automation allowed the largest clans to have many many layers of heavy stone walls and keep them reinforced. Automation removed a primary play element from the game, mainly players going out to collect resources, interaction, and generally killing each other.

 

Solo players without much free time wince a bit when they hear mining can't be automated. I feel you there, when I discovered the minecraft Quarry mods I was delighted to srtip-mine automatically. This might be necessary for the game's health though, because if large orgs can automate each process of ship production on a wide scale, combined org strength will make solo play completely irrelevant. A big org could lose a dozen capital ships in a raid and not care because their production line might produce 6 per day between 17 planets without a player spending a minute mining a thing. That's not an MMO, that's an Realtime Strategy Game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The game is a sandbox MMORPG. without a creative mode. If you want infinite resources this is not the game for you, that would completely ruin economy and the gameplay, since the players wouldn't even go out of their base if bots can mine for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The game is a sandbox MMORPG. without a creative mode. If you want infinite resources this is not the game for you, that would completely ruin economy and the gameplay, since the players wouldn't even go out of their base if bots can mine for them.

Yeah. Bot will not mine for them, for sure. Of course the great amount of resources will be gathered by big orgs, institutions, or associations on a  project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as scripting weapons fire, is it expected that in times of war a commercial hub is always going to have players manning the anti-ship batteries just in case there's an attack?

 

Automation would also have it's vulnerabilities with the future hacking mechanics that'll be introduced. It would be a bad idea to build a fully automated facility when a skilled hacker may be able to shut it down himself. That would be a result of competing organizations trying to gain an upper hand, of course.

I don't think its unreasonable at all to expect miners and such to have combat capable allies and friends with them. Want to mine and gather resources alone that's fine but do so at your own risk and be ready to defend yourself. But bottom line this being an MMO I don't see anything wrong with the expectation that some activity's will require groups. Like others said above automation takes out the interplay between players and thats bad because again its an MMO, the whole point or rather a major point is in fact relying on and interacting with other players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could see some limited forms of automation being introduced later in the form of an expansion a few years after launch. For instance, the could be certain pieces of equipment that would enhance mining, within certain limits. 

 

Initially though, if people could automate mining it would cause a lot of problems in the economy. For starters, if the amount of materials in the economy was to rise at a much faster rate than the amount of currency (e.g. through automated mining) the the currency would suffer massive deflation. It would also cause there to be either a reduced competition for resources or an extreme competition for resources. For example, if everyone was able to mine all their own materials there wouldn't need to be any competition for resources (like trade or war). On the other hand, if people were tearing through resource deposits faster than they could be discovered, warfare would go through the roof as people fight to control every last bit of resources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The game is a sandbox MMORPG. without a creative mode. If you want infinite resources this is not the game for you, that would completely ruin economy and the gameplay, since the players wouldn't even go out of their base if bots can mine for them.

 

No one said anything about infinite resources. Although, technically resources will be infinite because the universe itself is infinite. You missed the point.

 

I could see some limited forms of automation being introduced later in the form of an expansion a few years after launch. For instance, the could be certain pieces of equipment that would enhance mining, within certain limits. 

 

Initially though, if people could automate mining it would cause a lot of problems in the economy. For starters, if the amount of materials in the economy was to rise at a much faster rate than the amount of currency (e.g. through automated mining) the the currency would suffer massive deflation. It would also cause there to be either a reduced competition for resources or an extreme competition for resources. For example, if everyone was able to mine all their own materials there wouldn't need to be any competition for resources (like trade or war). On the other hand, if people were tearing through resource deposits faster than they could be discovered, warfare would go through the roof as people fight to control every last bit of resources.

 

I'm not suggesting anything too drastic. Using the phrase "free automation scripting" was a mistake on my part. Everything should have it's limits, but for a science fiction game those limits should at least try and be realistic (note: only being able to mine by hand is highly unrealistic).

 

Mining 24/7 is just a bad idea. -1

 

Everyone will abuse it and mine 24/7, using ask and bot like mechanics. Crashes the market

 

Turret automation will only lead to lone wolves, flying with their bot mined super-extreme ship. It enforces solo play

 

Bad idea

 

Plus it's completely against emergent gameplay

 

Mining "24/7" for an individual will be impossible anyways (due to server restrictions, automated scripts won't be able to run without an authorized player present).

 

Let's forget combat automation for now.

 

The ability to use automated industrial processes for mining is in no way "against emergent gameplay." If carelessly implemented, yeah, it would suck (almost as much as mining everything by hand). But it can be implemented thoughtfully, in a way that supports emergent gameplay and discourages automation abuse.

 

Have you played rust by chance?

 

There was a point where players could build and place both a Quarry and a Pumpjack. They could pump crude oil, refine it, use it to fuel a quarry, and get all of the materials they need without leaving their walled base, assuming their base strattled the line between desert (where you could find oil), and any other biome (where you could get metal and stone). In the beginning it seemed like a great idea.

 

Then the big clans would build their walls, place their jacks and quarries, and never leave their base except to get blueprints and raid. It led to FAR fewer player interactions. Sure in theory someone could raid them, but automation allowed the largest clans to have many many layers of heavy stone walls and keep them reinforced. Automation removed a primary play element from the game, mainly players going out to collect resources, interaction, and generally killing each other.

 

Solo players without much free time wince a bit when they hear mining can't be automated. I feel you there, when I discovered the minecraft Quarry mods I was delighted to srtip-mine automatically. This might be necessary for the game's health though, because if large orgs can automate each process of ship production on a wide scale, combined org strength will make solo play completely irrelevant. A big org could lose a dozen capital ships in a raid and not care because their production line might produce 6 per day between 17 planets without a player spending a minute mining a thing. That's not an MMO, that's an Realtime Strategy Game.

 

Was the problem in your Rust example really automation, or the result of an infinite resource (crude oil)? If the clans had run out of oil they'd have had to employ a different strategy and, one way or another, be vulnerable to attack, right? It does sound like a messy situation and I'm genuinely curious as to what the contributing factors were.

 

I was following along with your last paragraph thinking, "6 capital ships per day between 17 planets united under a common alliance? Heck yes! That level of interstellar warfare and player organization would be awesome!!" until I saw, "without a player spending a minute mining..." You see, I think you're missing the point. There would be players mining. Maybe not the millions of miners that might be required to keep up with that sort of operation if they were limited to mining by hand. But instead, at that point in the game, you'd have a bunch of players all working together in mining corporations, assembling, disassembling, repairing, and transporting mining equipment; transporting and storing fuel for the equipment; scripting, rescripting, and troubleshooting the equipment; transporting, storing, and selling mined minerals. And those are just the technical jobs I can come up with off the top of my head; you'd also need managers to orchestrate and organize the employees, and, if the org was big enough, you'd need upper-level managers to organize and direct the lower-level managers. That's what I see as "emergent gameplay" and player cooperation.

 

To achieve this level of emergence would probably require certain game mechanisms:

  • Frequently used elements eventually requiring repair/replacement.
  • Abiding, to a degree, by the law of conservation of energy and the law of conservation of mass (AKA "no infinite material or energy sources").
  • And there's probably something else, but it's 1:20am and I'm going to bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to play a game where the act of mining (or resource gathering in general) was itself fun. That is the other balance to the equation.

 

I'll quote Sid on this one. The fun in games is "a series of interesting choices." Game mechanics that stabilize into a status quo (Rust and infinite oil) will result in a boring game for all sides. Mechanics that never result in a stable equilibrium (Rust with limited oil) requires individuals and groups to reevaluate and iterate on their systems if they want to keep the status quo.

 

Here is my ideal:

 

* Everyone can get some basic resources and build simple constructs (like a small hover bike) themselves so they can bootstrap on their first play or after a total loss, but most will purchase from the market to fullfill most their resource and construction needs.

 

* The players we consider miners wont really mine themselves, mining is generally automated and the miners manage more of the logistic side of things, be it keeping a cheap mining rig functioning or a massive pit quarry with numerous automated drones. A player who is good can run a massive rig, or a smaller one and pursue other gameplay.

 

* Player choice is needed to keep it running. Neglect the mines too long and they will begin to not produce at capacity and even break down.

 

* Profit = Income - Expenses.  Even a cheap rig will cost some money to run. If "everyone" is mining then mineral prices will drop to the point of being a loss. Others will flock to more profitable gameplay and prices will rise again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

No one said anything about infinite resources. Although, technically resources will be infinite because the universe itself is infinite. You missed the point.

 

 

I'm not suggesting anything too drastic. Using the phrase "free automation scripting" was a mistake on my part. Everything should have it's limits, but for a science fiction game those limits should at least try and be realistic (note: only being able to mine by hand is highly unrealistic).

 

 

Mining "24/7" for an individual will be impossible anyways (due to server restrictions, automated scripts won't be able to run without an authorized player present).

 

Let's forget combat automation for now.

 

The ability to use automated industrial processes for mining is in no way "against emergent gameplay." If carelessly implemented, yeah, it would suck (almost as much as mining everything by hand). But it can be implemented thoughtfully, in a way that supports emergent gameplay and discourages automation abuse.

 

Well that is obvious, but you can just leave your computer running or bind your script to your org. Only disconnects at downtime.

 

Automation should and has to be restricted because players will abuse that system in every way they can. Plus it's more fun and emergent gameplay when players do it (pirates and stuff, blowing up mining ops, mercs protecting them,...). Personally I think mining is the most boring and stupid part of ANY game, but for some people it's entertaining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there might be some confusion about mining.

 

To mine you have to physically dig for it.

It is not a resource node as you see them traditionally in an mmo.

 

Automatic mining would not be placing an element on a node. While I am sure you can design the element in a way it can take instructions, with the way the game starts it wouldnt make sense to allow that. Perhaps in the future if the size of the population requires it. But for now its digging by hand.

 

Some people like that. Me for example.

Besides you still need to succesfully scan for the resources. It wont be like EvE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think mining automation should be possible but limited in many ways :

- Hard to craft : You would have to invest a lot and return on investment would be long.

- Low work frequency : Mining players should be way more efficient and in time of war, numerous non automated miners would be necessary to keep the production going at a high rhythm.

- Player interaction : Player would have to guide it regularly so it doesn't go mining the wrong way/ore for example. Or the player would have to change drills to drill to mine different types of ore/minerals and could need to be replaced after X cycles of mining.

- Non specialized : Rare ores and minerals should not be mined automatically, I would expect them to be scarce and in limited number already so at least making it that they can't automatically detect veins and that players would have to find them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that is obvious, but you can just leave your computer running or bind your script to your org. Only disconnects at downtime.

 

Automation should and has to be restricted because players will abuse that system in every way they can. Plus it's more fun and emergent gameplay when players do it (pirates and stuff, blowing up mining ops, mercs protecting them,...). Personally I think mining is the most boring and stupid part of ANY game, but for some people it's entertaining.

 

Right, you're totally right in that "automation should and has to be restricted..." I don't think that means it should be restricted to such a degree that automated mining becomes impossible. And I find it hard to believe that people enjoy doing a task like mining day in and day out... but I'm not other people, I'm myself, so I'll try and understand that sentiment. What if the less common, more valuable, minerals were only found near the hot mantle of planets and due to the complexity of avoiding lava pockets and such, mining by hand would be the best option? Could that appease both the automated and manual miner types?

 

 

 

I think mining automation should be possible but limited in many ways :

- Hard to craft : You would have to invest a lot and return on investment would be long.

- Low work frequency : Mining players should be way more efficient and in time of war, numerous non automated miners would be necessary to keep the production going at a high rhythm.

- Player interaction : Player would have to guide it regularly so it doesn't go mining the wrong way/ore for example. Or the player would have to change drills to drill to mine different types of ore/minerals and could need to be replaced after X cycles of mining.

- Non specialized : Rare ores and minerals should not be mined automatically, I would expect them to be scarce and in limited number already so at least making it that they can't automatically detect veins and that players would have to find them.

 

I like a couple of those suggestions, and as you said, mining automation (as well as any other form of automation) would need to be balanced through sensible restrictions.

 

I'm regretting the title of this post. I should have focused on mining and not used the word "free..." Oh well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You realise the devs said there wont be mining ships?

 

That means no elements for mining.

No elements means nothing to script.

Nothing to script means no automation.

 

Maybe instead of asking for automation of mining you should start by asking for mining elements.

 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You realise the devs said there wont be mining ships?

 

That means no elements for mining.

No elements means nothing to script.

Nothing to script means no automation.

 

Maybe instead of asking for automation of mining you should start by asking for mining elements.

 

:)

Yes I believe we need to consider the game first as it is basically with no script and then consider the possibility of scripting. Remember everyone won't be scripting, but those non-scriptwriter folks could by the scripts from the scriptwriters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You realise the devs said there wont be mining ships?

 

That means no elements for mining.

No elements means nothing to script.

Nothing to script means no automation.

 

Maybe instead of asking for automation of mining you should start by asking for mining elements.

 

:)

That is indeed the dependency at the heart of the problem that is why scriptable mining tool is comprised in the "make mining scriptable" request.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Automated mining is bad for a mmorpg.

1)If i can build a bot, i can use the resources it gathers to build another, and so on i could build an army of bots. If you limit the amount of bot you can havem people are just going to multiaccount like crazy, keeping their pc running 24/7 with bots mining for them. And if you limit this with other mechanics, they'll find a way to exploit those too.

2)1 bot for each player is already an insane amount of resources, since the bots have to mine a decent amount to justify the risk of losing them (they'd be made of ontainers, thrusters, and more valuable elements). This would kill the mining activity. Consequently pirates wouldnt have anyone to kill. No bounty hunters. No pvp and socialization that comes from those activities. Ships are worthless because materials are abundant, so noone cares about losing a fight. People will build large ships even if they play solo and cant drive those alone, just because they have materials. Wars will go on forever because people sits on a huge amount of resources.

 

That's what i meant with creative mode. Doesnt matter if resources are infinite or not, it matters if they are more than you will ever need.

 

And even if the bots mine only 10% of your total needs (unlikely, because as i said they can be destroyed and they carry precious elements, so it would not be worth to use them), the amount of mining, piracy and so on, would still be reduced by 10%. That's a big deal in a game like this.

 

Regarding mining elements, that cant be automated, but let players mine by using a construct, they're welcome. The bigger they are, the more they mine, the more they consume fuel and the bigger is the ship you need to carry those mining elements (=bigger risk). As long player interaction is needed, there can be balance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...