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What do you think about tax suspension?


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Per this announcement, taxes are now suspended for two weeks to give NQ time to "revisit the tax rate". 

 

I wonder what they will actually change...? Personally, I think they need to change the frequency of the tax, not just the amount. A weekly upkeep creates a psychological pressure that will make the game seem like a chore no matter what the tax amount is, but that's just my opinion as someone that can't play every day. 

 

If they simply halved the tax rate, would that be good enough...or do they need more fundamental changes with this system? 

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I don't need a tax system, as the meaning behind it could also be linked to an active subscription. Taking Quanta out of the game can also be done with market bots that offer goods that no other player offers in the market, likewise schematics are expensive enough.

A player-driven game looks different.

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This constant 'play to keep' pressure is fundamentally wrong for a subscription game.

 

DU is the type of game where players will play for long periods, but then want to take a brake for something else. But not being able to do so and continue where they left of (in a building focused game with subscription no less), only makes them quit instead.

 

I would compare the DU subscription to cloud storage. Meaning as long as you keep paying the subscription you are also paying for NQ to maintain your current state in the game while you are away.

 

And if this does not scale economically, then NQ should stop beating around the bush and put a hard cap on what and single account can actually do in the game. But this would be admitting that the entire premise for the game is broken, so...

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37 minutes ago, CptLoRes said:

I would compare the DU subscription to cloud storage. Meaning as long as you keep paying the subscription you are also paying for NQ to maintain your current state in the game while you are away.

Cloud storage systems have limits based on what you pay. DU has a limit (5 Headquarter territories). Cloud storage gives you more if you pay more. DU lets you have more if you play more.
Now if you stop paying things change. In DU at least, I believe your Sanctuary contents will be preserved (but not necessarily the location itself).

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Taxes should only be for Org tiles.  And org tiles should give some bonus's to building on them.  HQ tiles should be free of taxes, but tied to a subscription.  But you have 3 months after your sub ends before its abandoned.   Some people will build on HQ tiles and thats fine, others who want the industry bonus's will build on a Org tile.  

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As I've mentioned before I certainly believe an upkeep mechanic is needed and has a place in a sanbox MMO like DU. The choices made by NQ here though are very "easy" and really are just a tag on and not something that follows from gameplay or is part of it. I talked about a suggestion I feel woudl be much better suited HERE.

 

I play a few other games and all of them have upkeep, EVE certainly does for citadels and it is a well balanced system. I also backed and play Fractured Veil where a "construct" has a "totem" which needs to have the main material for the foundation of the "construct" in inventory to maintain it and prevent decay as wel las protects agains mob attacks (somewhat similar to how 7D2D works). Once you run out of material and do not replenish, the "construct" foundation starts to lose HP and when it runs out, it collapses and you lose whatever was placed on the foundation. By choosing a better material as foundation, with higher HP, you not only create better protection but also allow for a longer decay time if you run out in the totem. Those materials are still easy to get but are more "labor intensive" to maintain stock of. Basically, you spend 20-30 minutes to get a week of upkeep and you can upgrade the totem to allow for lmore inventory and longer periods where you do not have to gather fo rthis purpose. A very simple but effective system which puts players out in the world gathering resources and opening them up to interaction with either other players or the environment. You know.. like gameplay..

 

 

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6 hours ago, JayleBreak said:

Cloud storage systems have limits based on what you pay. DU has a limit (5 Headquarter territories). Cloud storage gives you more if you pay more. DU lets you have more if you play more.
Now if you stop paying things change. In DU at least, I believe your Sanctuary contents will be preserved (but not necessarily the location itself).

I understand what you are saying, but this type of limitation is hamstringing a game like DU at a fundamental level.

 

Basically the game is telling builders that the more effort they put into the game, there more they will also be forced to do regular chores at set intervals etc. just to maintain all the hard work. So where is the intensive for builders to continue playing like that?

 

And when combined with MU grind just to get enough resources to build, it is turning builders into second class citizens compared to other types of players.

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the mining mini game is dull but fine. Better if you could skip the animations. 
 

However, the fact that over half of the material needs to be immediately sold to bots to make money to put back into the hex it came from is kind of Rube Goldberg-esq if you ask me, though. 
 

The “bonus” surface ore collection, on the other hand,  is carpel-tunnel-syndrome-inducing level rancid. At the very least you should just be able to pick up the ore rather than wasting time holding a mouse button down for 5 minutes.

 

Even better would be to have the ore added to the next 24h’s collection or even just added to the container immediately or even better, delivered by that stupid invisible drone we see in the mini game. 

 

I know NQ want to drag out the minimal content they have to last as long as possible in lieu of real gameplay but still…


Someone said you can put 13 weeks of payment into your hex if you need to step away for a bit, but damn that would be 13,000,000 ℏ per hex at current rates!

although you could HQ them I guess. 
 

I’m not a game designer though so I don’t really have much to offer as alternative beyond patching the manual ore collection. 

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1 hour ago, VandelayIndustries said:

 

Group up with other people?  The game shouldn't cater to these people who literally build huge ghost towns.  


There wouldn’t be ghost towns like Freeport or Utopia Station if NQ didn’t keep scaring off the players. Our own modest org was at nearly 50 people as of pre 0.23. Now we are in single digits, if that some days. 

now that I think of it, does Freeport even still exist after the introduction of taxes… I visited it last year for a couple of hours and saw not a single other player. 

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I don't think the weekly tax is the problem, you can pay for up to 18 weeks so moneywise you could just ignore the tile for 18 weeks.

 

 

But you can't because the problem is the necessity to come back every 2-5 days to calibrate the mining unit and the fact that you can only "save" up to 10 calibrations which actually means that you have to come back every 40 hours (or 1,5 day) to make sure you don't lose calibrations.

 

So in reality you have to come back every 40 hours (or sooner if you have less then lvl 5) which means that all you do in DU these days is calibrate mining units, fly ore back and sell it just to pay for upkeep.

in my experience you can make a pretty profit (my bank account is growing) but the need to calibrate every 40 hours means that is all I do in my game time.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Calisius said:

But you can't because the problem is the necessity to come back every 2-5 days to calibrate the mining unit and the fact that you can only "save" up to 10 calibrations which actually means that you have to come back every 40 hours (or 1,5 day) to make sure you don't lose calibrations.

And you need two calibrations to get the MU working at full efficiency. Even if we wouldn't lose calibrations it would take 2 days to get 100 % after a week absense from the game. That means that a player who logs in for one hour every day gets more ore than a player who logs in for 7 hours every week - with the same mining units, the same talents and the same total play time. That makes no sense with a subscription model. If I pay real money for access to a game I expect not to be punished for not logging in every day.

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The combination of weekly taxes with daily calibration is killer -- when people are spending more than 10% of their time on mini-games, something is wrong. 

 

What's scary to me is that NQ doesn't seem to understand the purpose of mini-games in game design. It isn't as a crutch to replace major gameplay elements lost when you removed digging ore out of the ground. 

 

Mini-games are meant to be fun diversions with little impact to the main game. You shouldn't be constantly required to play a damn mini-game. Arguably, you shouldn't be required to play a mini-game at all. In DU, the mini-game doesn't break up the monotony, it is the monotony. 

 

I know it's harsh, but sometimes I feel like DU was designed by a game design intern...there's just no way an experienced game designer would think this is a good idea. 

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Technically, though, you can completely ignore the mini game. I’ve read from people who do ignore it. 


I haven’t collected the ore on either of my hexes for a week now. That’s about 200k of ore that’s just sitting there. 
 

at least the mini game requires a modicum of luck and skill. 


The problem with the ore drops is that to pick it all up I would quite literally have to point my cursor at stationary rocks for an hour. 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRzkDugnZh4_1mgEpPuLTT

 

how is that in any way, shape or form, fun?

 

for the ore drops at the very least they need instant pick ups. 
just click and boom it’s in the bag. 

 

 

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Hm, I wound up making my peace with the system but since NQ could be convinced to revise it, I'll make a list of suggestions that I think would make the MU more bearable, while not completly loosing all sense of scale, because as it stands, if managed properly they definitly are profitable even at bot prices.

 

-Tax cycle 10-14 days. Idk why but I like the idea of it not falling the same weekday forever better, less repetitive.

-Calibration start degrading after 72 instead of 48 hours.

-Degradation should be such that if set on 100%, monday at 00:00(am) from thursday 00:00(am) to sunday 23:59, it shouldn't degrade more than 30-45%, and by the end of the tax cycle, if not recalibrated there should still be around 10%-35%  calibration left.

-It takes 60 hours instead of 40 to get 10 charges.

-The maximum amount of charges that can be stored is doubled, so 20 charges.

-Harvesting ground rocks is allways as fast as it is for 25l rocks, no waiting allmost 10seconds for 400l, remember they're a reward for the overeager.

 

Together these changes would it make such a player can still manage the same number of tiles, calibration wise, but doesn't loose calibrations so long as he logs in once every 5 days, to have perfect calibrations rates, MU need to be recalibrated every 3 instead of 2 days, but as tax pressure is lower, it's less of a problem to not manage a tile perfectly, while it's still allmost as hard to grab a lot of land for a long time.

 

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Give us a wall-e for each area, which can then pick up the ores in the area and link to a container. It would be great to see tiny little robots moving around on the ground, like busy little bees. Alternatively, I also take mini Borg drones.
12734046.jpg.jpeg.86068c2a0ac670254b2675e5ff9af91b.jpeg

Edited by Zarcata
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33 minutes ago, CptLoRes said:

A interface where you could check the status of all MU's without having to travel would also be nice, is not essential in the long run.

 

 

100%at least an api so you display all the info on a screen without having to open the MU menu.

 

 

 

 

Yeah I still like the idea of skittle roomba too, aaaand it would set them a few steps closer towards implementing npc.

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An org can have hundreds of MU.  It seems crazy to me that you have to have a separate spread sheet to keep track of what needs to be calibrated and when, and who did the last calibration.   There needs to be a screen where org members can quickly look at to see what needs calibrating.  It just feels like you programmed part of the system and rushed it out before finishing it.  Could you imagine not having a screen that showed us what talents we have learned and which ones we are currently training, but instead had to run around the galaxy to get that information?  crazy

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5 hours ago, Zarcata said:

Give us a wall-e for each area, which can then pick up the ores in the area and link to a container. It would be great to see tiny little robots moving around on the ground, like busy little bees. Alternatively, I also take mini Borg drones.
12734046.jpg.jpeg.86068c2a0ac670254b2675e5ff9af91b.jpeg


Ore bot pet would be cool, or a repair-bot pet. Heck just a generalized little pet like promised via Kickstarter. Or to grow the idea, let me send out ships on automated player missions- let me risk them in pvp space(to create content for players looking to shoot down ships?!) for the chance of a semi-automated reward. Too bad the founder of the game isn't known for AI.... oh wait, he is.

and yet... we have none. NPC doesn't mean animated random player shells... it can take on many forms that extend what players can do, and in doing so- add more life to the universe that still meets the original vision of what DU was meant to be; player driven.

 

 



Oh wait, this is about taxes. Let's dive deep! NQ is finally calling uncle, after getting "Data" back in the form of players staging a "tea party" protest, seasoned players quitting, and even streamers (Lookin' at you Markee Dragon!) straight telling Deckard & Pan that it's broken to their face on a live stream. Demeter was a patch that could have revived the game, has put it back onto life support.

The fix?
Lower taxes.
Higher ore rates. 
Longer tax periods (2 weeks/Month vs 1 week?!)and more charge accumulation, (30 vs 10).
There needs to be a proper faucet to go with the sink created, or removal/nerf the sink. 

The core issue is, they added a sink(taxes) while also removing a faucet last minute(VR Missions) in doing so breaking the game economy- while removing emergent gameplay for mission runners(some still do, most don't). Removing mega-node hunting(once you have a field... not much drive to another field to run). In it's place is the somehow more boring, less rewarding- and more complex game mechanic of infinite ore.

It's a hard balance, and my hats are off to the devs for trying to find it.

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I came back because of Demeter

and now I'm leaving again.

I was watching Markee Dragon on youtube to see if DU was worth subscribing to again and saw that the Demeter patch was on the way.  I didnt want to lose my stuff so paid a 3 month subscription and came back.

I thought I would stick around if the game was good.

So, My goal is to make quanta by offering a rescue/repair/boosting service and I have a space station setup for that purpose.  With demeter,  I find that I spend all of my available gaming time calibrating MU's, picking up the ore (from Ion and Symeon) and selling it.  I have not done anything else since the initial scanning (which was boring as hell).

I have unsubscribed.  I have one month remaining and I think I'll keep trying to make some quanta for most of the month.  I will then put my 5 best MU locations as HQ and wait until the game gets out of Alpha (could be some years).

How the game makes me feel:  (I may be wrong, but its how I feel)

The tax system is causing me stress.  Not the good stress that drives you to make accomplishments that you are subsequently proud of.  The bad stress where you feel you are locked into a course of action that brings no reward and no way out.

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15 hours ago, CptLoRes said:

A interface where you could check the status of all MU's without having to travel would also be nice, and essential in the long run.

 

Edit: Fixed typo

 

We have this : google sheet

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4 hours ago, Knight-Sevy said:

 

We have this : google sheet


My friend, picture this:


In a ship dedicated to the task, you have 1 screen per MU, it shows all the info the MU does, as well as when it was last updated.


On your bore-stations you have transponder that can submit status to the ship if you push a button on the ship.


The little MU interface is DRM protected and watermarked, so orgs can use it as a valid proof of work: accept hauler into hangar, weigh ore, double check on the screens he actually calibrated and not just emptied the containers, pay him for his work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Underhook said:

The tax system is causing me stress.  Not the good stress that drives you to make accomplishments that you are subsequently proud of.  The bad stress where you feel you are locked into a course of action that brings no reward and no way out.

 

This is a great example of "push" design -- you're being forced to do something boring and monotonous so that you can pay upkeep and not lose your stuff.

 

It's all stick, no carrot. Don't pay taxes, lose your stuff. Don't calibrate, lose ore income, maybe to the point you can't pay taxes. There's no reward, just maintenance and punishment.

 

They actually did something amazing in turning the mole simulator into something even more soul-crushing and shallow.  

 

With MUs, owning territory isn't optional, it's fundamental for anyone that wants ore income. Therefore, the heavy-handed maintenance loop is also fundamental. 

 

Taxes would be easier to deal with if there were ample options for paying them -- more than one extremely extremely boring mission type and daily calibration chores. It should feel like players actually have choices, not that they are playing the game according to a script NQ creates. 

 

If they don't fire the game design interns making choices like "weekly taxes" and "calibration mini-game" I don't see why they are even bothering trying to push to release...because as harsh as we alpha players can be, players will be more harsh come release. Only they won't waste time whining on a forum like me, they'll cancel their sub and never come back. 

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