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Starting fresh...


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I decided to look at how starting fresh would be, and aside from it meaning months of building tons of containers and (many people) pooling their daily allowance to buy schematics for the most basic stuff, something else became apparent:

  • You can't advance in tiers without mining asteroids.

Because the mining option for planets/moons has been removed entirely, you can't get anything beyond T2 ores without mining asteroids. T2 are ground spawns on every planet, with the type  available depending on the planet, but there are no T3-5 ground spawns. The mining units, which are supposed to take the place of digging tunnel networks, require the same tier of ore to make as they dig up. That means that while a T2 (uncommon) mining unit is plausible to make with the resources available (especially on Sanctuary), the T3 mining unit is not, because you can't access the resources to make it.

Since there was no wipe to make this apparent, I believe it may be an oversight. Making it entirely necessary for people to mine asteroids for simple advancement seems like a mistake. Mining asteroids is a great way to gather a lot of ore quickly (assuming no competition), but by making it necessary, most people not in a large org will be excluded until those orgs have had their fill (I'd say half to a full year at least, given the artificially slow pace of progression via ludicrously expensive schematics, high territory and trade taxes, and a small daily allowance, which puts most player income back into the system early on, rather than circulation in a player economy).


I recommend looking back at the changes and how the affect players starting from scratch. When you remove or change a feature, consider that impact, not just how it will slow things down or help with lag or other things. Those are primary concerns that improve the game, but so is making it reasonable to progress as a solo player, or even as a small org. It might make sense if all you care about is slowing things down, but there are other ways to accomplish that, such as randomizing your planet of origin (since there are multiple marketplaces on each planet/moon, there's no reason multiple starting points can't also be created), using a system of research to come up with schematics that can then be traded (solid market for that, and it would be something to specialize in), and no doubt many other ways that can work alone or in combination. Making things artificially expensive (schematics are legit, but there's no reason they shouldn't be reproducible or cheap. They're data meant to be used to rebuild civilization, not state secrets. And who are we paying all our taxes to?) while giving a daily allowance doesn't seem like a reasonable approach for the background that we're supposedly coming into (a super-advanced future where we're all refugees trying to restart civilization).

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More on starting fresh:


For people who are well-established (in resources and accumulated quanta), this isn't as big of a problem in the short term, as there are still people who have established mining outposts to feed resources to the market and build bases or constructs without worrying about always being strapped for even the most basic resources on simple or modest projects. For everyone else, though...


Ore distributions make it less than desirable to have bases on most planets because of the lack of basic/T1 ores to sustain development, as well as T2 ores for space fuel and other development. For example, Sicari has really low levels of T1 ores, low levels each of a single T2 and T3 ore (only half of the territories have any T3), and after over 50 scans no kolbeckite. By comparison, Jago also has kolbeckite and some other T2+ ores, but only quartz represents the T1 section, and all of the ores have low quantities; kolbeckite, as on Sicari, hasn't shown up once in over 70 scans (columbite shows up in 40% of territories). Moons, as before the change, have almost none of the T3+ ores they claim, but reasonable amounts of two T1 ores. The problem with this distribution is that 1) the market for any T4/5 ore will be monopolized by very few, and most especially 2) expansion beyond the safe zone planets will be almost entirely for mining the rarer T3+ ores instead of building legitimate/sustainable bases that don't require constant resupply from other planets/moons of the most basic T1 ores. In both cases, logistics will have most resources being transported towards the safe zone planets out of necessity, rather than creating networks of trade, and that will put a huge strain on fuel resources, which will put the pressure on the few planets/moons that have reasonable T2 ore distributions/quantities.

For those who are already established, this is less of a problem because of the ability (via taxes and resources/infrastructure) to support multiple mining outposts across many planets, but when starting fresh (assuming a wipe on release and for most of a year after), getting the resources to expand to other planets will mean not just setting up a base elsewhere, but bringing enough T1 ore to make up for the deficiencies of the new base's planet, and having enough fuel production to sustain constant resupply. Sustained fuel production requires industry, which requires a claimed territory (doing it on a space core with limited hauling capacity makes that option silly, but the only viable one for anyone without a Sanctuary TCU), which requires a TCU, which can only be built via industry on a claimed territory (the circularity of this problem is why industry in space is the only viable option unless everyone has a Sanctuary TCU, and last I checked, there is only one Sanctuary moon, and it has limited territories. Planning for orgs pooling resources acting as a limiter for how many territories actually get claimed is naïve, because everyone with a free no-tax TCU will be trying to claim their own right away after release)...sustained fuel production will require expansion to other planets, which mostly are not suitable as much more than mining outposts for specific ores, which brings it back to the core safe worlds being where everyone not running resources from those outposts back to those core worlds will be concentrated. (As things are now, most people are focused around Alioth because of the market system. All of the resources are there, and since you have to go to where the stuff you want to buy is, it's far simpler to just stay on Alioth than to expand and open up shop on another planet.)


The distribution of marketplaces is therefore unjustifiable, as only one or two would be necessary to adequately service any given planet, with the exception of those that have enough resources to reasonably support a base. Jago, with its incredible ore deficiency, only really needs 2 marketplaces.

Distribution scarcity, coupled with the low economic potential (taxes on marketplace transactions and territory upkeep, as well as high and scaling costs for schematics, as well as other fees, offset by the comparatively insignificant 150k/day allowance) will make the game so tediously slow that it isn't hard to imagine it being a very niche game from release onward, particularly if the plan to wipe on release is maintained (as it should be, IMO); large numbers of spaceships and bases (representing a high player count) will become untenable even with asteroid mining. The drudgery involved in starting out from scratch through becoming reasonably developed (including via specialization and trade), even as an energetic org from day 1 of release, because of the above factors of ore distribution/scarcity, taxes and the like, will be soul crushing for many. (I've spent countless hours/days collecting resources across many games, but this is obscene and takes away from the ability to do much of anything but tediously gathering resources for the first several months. Almost no PVP, almost no creative ship/base designing.)


Maybe this is all just me complaining about what I see as problems of the game, but I believe these to be legitimate issues that should at the least be considered further. As with the previous post, all of this stems from decisions about the game that changed dynamics without appearing to have considered the unintended consequences (namely that they want to manufacture a slow pace in the game, and these things will do that at the cost of making it an AFK or "log in, set stuff up and get allowance, log out and play something else" game for the bulk of its first year, and then probably more of the same as it ages). There are better ways of doing that which don't make the game unnecessarily tedious:

  • If you can put marketplaces everywhere, you can have multiple starting planets so that there isn't one natural focus of the game on Alioth.
  • If you want schematics, you can have a research aspect to come up with them instead of buying them from the system you pay your taxes to.
  • If you want money to circulate, have max territory count as a talent/org rather than based on tax, and allow individuals/orgs to create taxes for using their marketplaces and other services. Make it player-driven instead of the system. An allowance is fine to get money into the economy, but should probably be capped at each player getting a certain amount over a period of time, and then it gets cut off so that inflation doesn't go crazy.

Plenty of ways to do things.

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