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"A New Era..."

Discussion in 'General' started by Thrak, Jan 2, 2019.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    I'm spitballing here... but what about using PCU limits as currency? If you're just starting out in the world, your PCU limit isn't of much value but getting valuable refined ingots and components is. If you're established, refining mass amounts of ore is easy but you're limited i the amount of PCUs you can build.

    I haven't completely explored it... but you have two classes of people who have inverse situations in supply vs. demand. There might be something there.
     
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  2. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    I always try to integrate a gravity generator into my space miners so the debris will fall away and not cloud the drill heads. Yeah, I know, I know. I actually like to see what I'm doing.
     
  3. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    But there is no more debris generated from mining, if there was only a way to get the large dust cloud of the way...that would be awesome!
     
  4. Sarekh Senior Engineer

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    I think you might be onto something there - the more users a faction has, the more it can build, so the PCU I can contribute to a faction also equal power.
     
  5. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    But whoever the admin is can manipulate the PCU count.
     
  6. Sarekh Senior Engineer

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    So he or she is like a federal bank and can set the inflation rate - it still is a valuable commodity if the servers are managed right
     
  7. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    Ahem. The name of my Faction is Asteroid Mining & Modification. Mining is all I want to do.

    So, the way the "economy" conversation seems to be going is:

    We would like currency and trade in the game.

    No one will buy anything because resources are so plentiful that you can get what you need without trading.


    The key to this conundrum lies somewhere inside this keen observation:
    There are essentially two types of SE players. There are those (like me) that relish the find-mine-refine-assemble-build aspect of the game, and there are those that just want what they want NOW. In my opinion, the vast majority falls under the second category. The players that want stuff now are generally the ones that want an "economy" which is, as I said before, really just a short cut to getting what they want without the "drudgery" doing all the work themselves. The Workshop itself is a short cut. You can buy the game and in a matter of seconds you could have an entire fleet. Under those conditions an "economy" is completely unnecessary.

    So, let's think this through for a second. Let's say in SE you could wander around and find stuff to "sell" at an NPC "trading post". Would the average player see SE as a game of mining, refining and building, or as a game of obtain and buy? My guess would be that players would spend all their time trying to get enough currency to buy what they want instead of finding the resources to make what they want. Since "necessity is the Mother of invention," removing the "need" to build will result in much less variety in ship and station design, and with no other real challenges the game will most likely stagnate and die because games where you can buy what you want are dime-a-dozen and SE with an "economy" would be the least popular of that kind of game. Make no mistake, a game of obtaining and hoarding currency (making the one that has the most the "winner") is much simpler than a game of find-mine-refine-assemble-build. Simple games can be very popular. For a short time. Once they "beat" it (acquire the most money) they move on to the next conquest.

    Now, let's look at this from a real-world perspective. You have relatively plentiful resources within reasonable distances from wherever you start in the game. Believe it or not, this is true in real life. There is gold under my house. Why don't I dig it up? I could be RICH. Answer is there is not enough gold to justify the expense of getting it out of the ground. So, just because the resource is nearby it might as well be on the Moon for all it matters to me. In the game, nearby plentiful resources are worthless if you have no way to get them and turn them into usable objects. So, as an average player starting out, you mine and refine what you can reach and, hopefully, you might be able to build something that will allow you to range further afield and gather more resources faster. On your own you will eventually get to the point where you can leave the planet and realize your dreams. Eventually.

    If you are a Type II player, eventually is too long.

    So, what if Type II player is on a planet scrounging trace material from stone so that he/she can improve their conditions, and a ship from Asteroid Mining & Modification comes along and offers a mining machine in exchange for 80% of the ore produced? What do you suppose would happen? I just described an economic system of barter that did not need to be hard-coded into the game. It's the very same economic system that has built empires all over the world time and time again. It's how things worked before currency became a thing.

    I'm willing to bet real money that that particular scenario has never played out on any server because of the way most people play. In real life it's more common than you think.

    You also have to consider the world Space Engineers takes place in. There was a Second Great Space Race in 2029. People (apparently) left the Solar System in great numbers seeking their fortune in the vastness of space. By 2077, it's not likely that any sort of currency from Earth would have any value out in space. With no organized government to enforce the rules, space engineers would be more likely to trade tangible things like ore or components rather than something intangible like dollar bills. It may be possible that in the ensuing 48 years some sort of government may have emerged that coined their own currency, but I doubt it would have universal trust, and bartering would be the means by which most would obtain what they needed. Mostly the 1% would deal in currency. In fact, a commercial venture like AM&M might coin their own currency, consisting of "store credit" and "points".

    The main point I am trying to make is that if the developer imposes an economic system, issues currency, and just expects it to "work" without any effort on their own it will, at best, be so boring and worthless people will wonder why they bothered or, more likely it will blow up because most people will be out to break it.

    If I create an economic system on my server and it fails, I can try alternatives pretty much on the fly or at my leisure. If an economic system from Keen fails it will effect the entire game population. I would rather people hated playing on my server than having them hate the game entirely. However, those Type II players want everything done for them, and Keen is sometimes willing to please in that regard. I would say to anyone that wants an economic system to try out their idea on a server and see how it goes. At least that way if something emerges that actually works to most players' satisfaction, THEN Keen could adopt it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 6
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  8. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    Sorry I didn't address this sooner. The comparison, in video game context, is that in SE there are plenty of "pizza ingredients" around, but if you want "pizza" you need to gather the "ingredients" and "cook" the "pizza" yourself. Most players would rather avoid that and would "pay" for "pizza" delivered fresh and hot and in under 30 minutes. It's not the "pizza" you pay for, it's the work.

    The "pizzeria" can decide what the "payment" might be.

    In a Stardriver session, I'm Pizza Hut.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  9. Malware Master Engineer

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    "Most"? I'm having a hard time believing that. Why on earth would such people even buy games of the SE kind if they don't want to build? Nah. Not buying it. Pun intended.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. Brennan Booth Trainee Engineer

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    2
    I feel what the game really needs is an optional progression story. Like minecraft. Maybe each planet only has a resource that spawns there and you need it to explore further in space. For example. So youd start with atmospheric thrusters to get around the planet and then youd build hydrogen ones to get to space then youd need to land on mars to build ion thrusters to travel long distances and then you could fight the pirates for resources in the alien planet to get matterials to build a jump drive. And then idk youd get coords to a deep space station that was sort of an end game location with cool stuff you couldnt find elsewhere?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    @Brennan Booth this ain't Minecraft son, this is the real deal!!

    (Just poking fun no ill will intended, have to cover myself so I do not pull another warning!! Though it does seem okay for certain devs to be smart ass, lol)
     
  12. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    Well, I've said that a lot so it was hard to pinpoint what I was referring to there, but I believe most players would rather avoid mining and the search for ore. To a lesser extent many players would like to avoid building in that it takes a long time to make blocks one at a time. I'm not saying that the search for ore and mining stop people from buying the game. I'm saying that mining and the search for ore gets the award for "Part of the Game I Could Do Without". In a given situation where an average player could choose between looking for ore or having someone bring them what they need, they would choose delivery. If they could choose refining over delivered ingots, they would choose delivery. Same for finished components. The part where they actually get to building something? That's where the majority would rather handle that themselves. There are some, though, that wouldn't mind if someone else welded up their stuff, and there are some that would rather someone dropped off a finished ship ready to go.

    For many people, an "economy" means a way to avoid searching for ore, mining the ore and assembling components. An "economy" would not be a shortcut for building, although for some it also means obtaining finished ships.

    They don't dislike building. They dislike all the stuff they have to do before they can build, and they don't want to do things in Creative mode.
     
  13. KissSh0t Master Engineer

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    3,398
    Ohh man bringing up Minecraft made me think it really would be so cool if planets had weather that changes, the first thunderstorm in Minecraft scared the crap out of me on the first lightning strike, totally wasn't expecting the sound :woot:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Roxette Senior Engineer

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    1,293
    If you look at all the craft designs on the Steam workshop, and assume that they are proportionally representative of the things that players enjoy doing with the game, then it's obvious that the majority of players use nothing but single player creative mode. Most of them have design features which render them between useless or downright self-destructive either under the network-induced sync and general funkiness of multiplayer, or in any player-versus-player situation. The rate at which new designs of this nature are still being added to the workshop indicates that the popularity of the game to these players continues unabated by the recent and not-so-recent changes to the game that have made ore location and mining more and more troublesome.

    The player-versus-player interest of the game was largely killed off long ago when the world ceased to be a relatively small cubic area with a handful of huge asteroids where there was contention for resources and player interactions were likely to occur.

    The current version of a 'tech tree' is an abomination that looks like it was drawn up by a crackhead on the back of a beermat on a Friday afternoon.
     
  15. Malware Master Engineer

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    That seems like an invalid assumption to me. It's more likely for people to upload their creative build than their survival builds, simply because creative builds has a tendency to look better. In the same vein it's more likely for creative people to upload their builds than survival people (to the extent there are people that do only one of them). It just seems logical to me that the workshop would be weighted towards creative.

    As for PVP builds... there's little advantage to giving away your winning builds ;)
     
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  16. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    And then there's people like me that don't publish their builds because they're 80% or better mods. All nearly 8,000 hrs of my game time has been in Creative and I've actually published maybe two of my builds, and I published them because they somehow managed to be all vanilla. I have published versions of my other builds, but I had to publish them in a world to assure all the necessary parts would be there. Needless to say they are not popular downloads.

    The point of loading the game in the first place, for some people, is to produce a cool all-vanilla build and put it on the workshop. For others, after months of working on a build and getting it just right, it's just a shame to deprive the community of a chance to download it and admire it at length in a world of their own. I would say that this has been SE's bread and butter since it (and the Workshop) became available. MP sucked and there was little else to do. Right now the emphasis is on PvP/PvE, and more and more new players are attracted by a chance to get in a game and blow someone else's stuff up than just build something. Even though SE is a great single player creative game, it's future is in cooperative multiplayer on servers that can handle at least 16 players.

    I would think a better representation of what players enjoy would be what's most watched on Twitch, Youtube and other such media. My observation is that new players that start playing in "survival" mode will build a flying mining machine and then a spacecraft if they start on a planet, and a miner and welder ship if they start in space. If they start in Creative they will either build a fighter or some sort of heavy gunship.

    Anyway, that's what I see on Twitch. Your experience may differ ;)
     
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  17. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    Yeah... umm.... we'll just file that with the first-person-shooter awesomeness idea...
     
  18. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    For the longest time I avoided mods, and most of what I've published are vanilla builds. I've only recently started playing around with mods, and they certainly have their benefits. Take, for example, Ranos' 3rd shipbuilding contest. In my opinion, it would nearly impossible to create a ship of the size required to meet the requirements and have it capable of interplanetary flight. So I've resorted to mods. Other times I've used mods on builds, but only sparingly and then only what's absolutely necessary to complete the effect. I try to solve the problems and challenges with the tools provided. But that's my choice. And, as you've said, they are not popular downloads. No problem. I enjoyed the design and building process. As for my survival maps (I've created 10 so far, and have three more in various states of completion), I still play them all even though I created them.
     
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  19. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    1,410
    @Stardriver907 they may not be as popular because you have them as world mods, which I use to rather use as you do not have to worry about the mods used as they came with the world, but I am sure you are aware of how fickle some are with not wanting to do world maps like we used to have to do in the old days. There are plenty of popular builds (blueprints) that have mods just list what is needed to satisfy the ones who prefer the blueprint versions.

    Long story short dont let it bum ya if they are not "popular" if you enjoyed it that is the most important part! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  20. DragonShadow Apprentice Engineer

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    Worlds are also no longer loadable if they're old enough, blueprints seem not to have that issue.
     
  21. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    Fortunately, I'm not out to be know as a producer of SE game assets. The all-vanilla blueprints I published were by request of someone watching my stream. Also, they are wheeled miners and I published them when people said it couldn't be done. Their "success" as workable vehicles was dependent on access to all the wheel suspension variables so that the player could tune the suspension on the fly, but after 1.187 all that ended :(

    Anyway, there's no vanilla thing I could make that could "compete" with what's already there.

    Yeah. Also fortunately, I picked up a mod that lets me sit in a cockpit/control seat of a build and get a list of what mods are in it. Still, not likely I'll publish anything unless someone asks.
     
  22. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    It would have to be like a grain or two of sand to make it not worth our while. Have you looked at the price of gold lately? :) Is well worth your while if the price is high. The money a person would spend as expense would be replinished fast. Bad analogy to use. Should have went with Iron under your house..that comparison would make a better case. :woot:

    Not "nit picking" or making fun. I get what you meant, just Gold as an example wasn't the best route to take. :)
     
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  23. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    There's a bunch of broke miners around here that used to think that. Extracting the gold from under my house is cost-prohibitive. Were it not, there wouldn't be a house here to begin with.
     
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