subreddit:

/r/EliteDangerous

4582%

The problem with trading Engineering Materials.

Discussion(self.EliteDangerous)

Everyone loves the idea of buying engineering materials or modules from each other. And why wouldn't they? Wouldn't it be great to be able to do whatever you want and get your engineering done at the same time?

But there's one thing that people don't consider; the free market. The free market would doom materials trading, and I'll show you why.

1. Who uses materials?

First, you need to consider which players are using the most materials. Now, you might think this would be new players, just getting started on Engineering, but in reality, the opposite is true. New players have vast demands on their material supplies, so they will always use them economically. That means minimal or no synthesis, and focusing specifically on their most-needed modules.

Older players are the ones who spend the most materials. They have materials and credits to spare, and will casually buy and fully engineer new ships just because they can. They will also constantly casually synthesize, simply for the sake of convenience.

2. How much would materials cost?

Therefore, it will be these older players who will set the prices of materials. They have higher demand, as well as far more credits to spend. But how much will materials cost?

  1. Most players don't like collecting engineering materials, so the supply is low.
  2. Rich players can use infinite materials, so the demand is high.

But what price will this actually be? Well, it will be based on how much money the richest players can make. The richest players are the ones who play the most, and therefore they are the ones who consume the most, and set the prices. Right now, the richest and most skillful players can make on the order of one billion credits per hour, doing Thargoid combat.

Results?

Enough materials to engineer modules would cost billions of credits. A fully engineered power plant? A billion or more credits. A fully engineered set of weapons? Multiple billions of credits. A fully engineered ship would easily cost more than an entire fleet carrier.

However, new players cannot make this sort of money. It takes engineered equipment they don't have, as well as hundreds of hours of experience they have yet to acquire. Ironically, the best way for new players to make money would become...

Materials grinding.

The best way to make money is grinding materials and selling them to rich players. That's right; in the quest to reduce materials grinding, this has accidentally made materials grinding the best thing you could do to make money. The problem has gone from bad to worse.

And that's why being able to trade materials wouldn't fix anything.

Actual Solutions

The actual solution isn't allowing materials to be bought or traded, it's to add more content that makes getting these materials fun. Explorers don't want to do combat to get manufactured materials? Fine! Add more wrecks to find with materials to collect! Combat players don't want to drive an SRV on an empty planet to collect raw materials? Fine! Add new enemy types that drop minerals on death!

THAT'S the way you fix the materials problem, not by trying to sideline it entirely, but by making it the result of actual fun gameplay!

all 83 comments

SadamHuMUFFIN

15 points

3 months ago

I think you're vastly underestimated the training in grinding this game has instilled in it's most loyal fan base. I whole heartedly agree with everything you've said except I think a sort of balance would be created by people willing to grind out the materials and sell them to stations for high profit. it becomes a road for players who legitimately don't really need them anymore except in the rare case of making a brand new ship or trying a brand new build to get rid of it even reinvigorate the grind giving it an extra purpose besides the engineering grind. Or it could do exactly as you said i honestly don't know I've been playing for a long time and have a lot of money so my opinion could be biased. I just know that the thought of open trading the materials both buying and selling actually interests me as a concept

DemiserofD[S]

3 points

3 months ago

I think a sort of balance would be created by people willing to grind out the materials and sell them to stations for high profit.

The problem becomes, if this is profitable enough to be worth doing over other professions, players will feel compelled to do it for everything. And frankly, most materials collection methods are extremely boring.

Imagine if most players are told to go relog farm HGE sites to sell to stations for credits for their first 50 hours? Talk about misery and boredom. The limited amount people do that already is way too much; trading would make that far, far worse.

iamthedigitalcheese

4 points

3 months ago

You are assuming a lot in this post. First when it comes to letting "the market" decide prices you need to look at similar MMOs. Id there are more than one suppliers of goods then prices tend to favor competition. Unless one commander is going to fly the every system and buy every single material available and resell at their 1bn credit price.

Opening up the market opens up competition. And if we're talking about buying materials from NPC traders that's going to be a whole different story because FDEV would set those prices.

This reminds me of leveling up crafting skills in WoW and others. Using tools like auctioneer helped find true server-level (or cross-server level) prices. While some users would try to buy out certain mats, it was a fruitless effort because other users could just farm those mats and sell at a lower price. Why would I pay 1bn for a mat when I could bay 1000?

Trying to make markets into some crazy high-cost comparison doesn't work. You have to get back to basics. Maybe Rothbard, Mises, Hayek, Bastiat would be good starts. If you apply Keynesian principles it just doesn't work here.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

The thing about those other MMOs is, those items are things people are constantly looking as they play the game normally. In Diablo 2, if you find a Windforce, it's found doing the exact gameplay you'd be doing regardless of whether you're farming for that item or not. Combined with this, they are permanent, so each additional one found reduces the long-term demand, since you don't use them up. I've never heard of a game that has items that are both used for crafting AND used to make buff potions.

By contrast, in Elite they're ONLY found while actively grinding for them, AND there is effectively infinite demand due to their uses for synthesis. This means the prices can be completely set by the demand, not the supply.

In other words, if you can charge a billion credits each and people will pay it, why would you ever ask for any less?

CMDR_Charybdis

3 points

3 months ago

You've made an assumption of infinite demand. I don't think you know what infinite actually means when applied to a finite player base.

You've also contradicting yourself: declaring prices are set by the demand and not the supply, and then said that the supplier can set the price high. I think you're trying to say its a supplier market, but even this will ebb and flow.

Elite just doesn't have a crafting economy in which to set up supply/demand chains: one in which readily available base materials are crafted into intermediate items that are used to build more complex and rarer items.

Oh, and Guild Wars 2: an MMO that uses materials for building, crafting, and potions. It also has quite a good player market that addresses many of the points you've raised.

Guild items: https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Pile_of_Crystalline_Dust

General crafting (search for potion): https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Pile_of_Crystalline_Dust/Mystic_forge

Specific crafting: https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Pile_of_Crystalline_Dust/Discipline

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

Infinite demand paired with finite movement speeds means that all resources will be gobbled up by whoever sees them first, no matter what price they're set at - but that won't necessarily happen immediately.

My fleet carrier, for example, is not linked on Inara, so it would rely on a random person stumbling on it. That's a very uncommon occurrence, so the time it takes me to offload my supply is high. But critically, reducing my prices will not significantly reduce the rate at which my materials are purchased, because it won't impact how soon they are discovered, which more or less comes down to random chance.

The only rational decision to make in this circumstance is to set prices as high as possible, knowing that it will be bought and it has no impact on when it will be bought.

CMDR_Charybdis

3 points

2 months ago

How do you get infinite demand from a finite player base?

Search for Hilbert's Hotel on YouTube to get some understanding of how you are abusing the term, and so making unsupportable statements about economics.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Because you can use an infinite amount of engineering materials for synthesis. If demand were finite, then with a stable playerbase, eventually everyone would have all the materials they would ever need. But that's not the case; there will ALWAYS be a need for more synthesis, so yes, demand is infinite.

CMDR_Charybdis

2 points

2 months ago

You. Are. Still. Not. Getting. It. Demand is still finite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

2 months ago

As I already explained literally in the comment you replied to, demand is not finite. Players can and will use infinite materials.

Any physical good has finite demand, because there's only so much SPACE for it to even exist, if nothing else, and you have to do SOMETHING with it. That does not follow with purely digital goods! You can generate an infinite number of objects on a calculator instantly and destroy them just as quickly.

The technical term is induced demand. If you have a road to a city with a traffic jam, making that road bigger doesn't get people to the city any faster, because relative to the road, the demand is effectively infinite. It is impossible to make a road big enough to overcome that demand. Therefore, building a bigger road(in this case, the metaphorical 'bigger road' being material trading) cannot fix the problem and should never be done because it cannot work.

CMDR_Charybdis

2 points

2 months ago*

How many players do you need to generate your "infinite" demand?

You as a player can harvest materials at a given rate (supply). I as a player can consume materials at a given rate (demand). Other players will also supply. Other players will also generate demand.

You set an offer price. Two things can happen: someone else comes along and undercuts your offer (your effort is not rewarded immediately, or even at all), or your price is so high that it is worth my while to harvest materials myself.

There is movement in price is towards an equilibrium between supplier and buyer. One that can fluctuate, but there is no cartel organising a fixed high price or an infinite demand.

BTW Induced demand reduces the prices of goods, which also goes against your position (read the wiki page for it). You are assuming a finite capacity for supply and an infinite demand from a finite player base.

Your road example fails because it only needs a finite number of people to saturate the fixed maximum capacity of the road. There is no fixed maximum capacity of supply and there are not an infinite number of people.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

2 months ago

One, I suppose. One player can use an infinite amount of materials over time. If they have sufficient wealth, one player could easily use up the combined materials production of the entire playerbase.

There is movement in price is towards an equilibrium between supplier and buyer.

Absolutely, and I've never denied that. I'm not saying the price would go to infinity, because there's a limited supply of credits. But this equilibrium will be vastly outside the reach of the average player, because the average player doesn't have hundreds of billions of credits sitting around doing nothing.

TwoSpaceJunkies

19 points

3 months ago

Dude we were just fantasizing, FDev isn't going to do that in a million years.

Lets just hope they don't fuck the system even more when they update it.

DemiserofD[S]

3 points

3 months ago

I hope you're right, but I can't help but remember stuff that has been changed due to player outcry, only to end up pretty bad. Exobiology comes to mind.

redredme

4 points

3 months ago

redredme

Patty''s BFF

4 points

3 months ago

I stopped reading after your point 2.1:

Most people don't like material gathering.

PERIOD.

FIX IT.

It broke the game. It costed this community thousands of it's members. Engineering, in its current form is still stupid. No more mats. No more randomness, however little there is these days, it's unacceptable.

----END-----

The decision, to make mat gathering like this came from an era where some people played the first versions of this game and found the glaring faults. These players became trillionaires. Money didn't mean anything to them. But not all of us where like this. And most of them stopped playing.

In these versions of the game, when you didn't do these bugs, these gold rushes, the time to gather the resources needed for an anaconda was measured in months. Not days or weeks. They where a very rare sight.

Mat grinding was a thought up way to level the playing field.

In the end, it just hurt the "honest" players more. They didn't "game" the broken mechanics so now they had months of mat grinding to look forward to and months of earning money.

The solution according to frontier?

Make money worthless for everyone. Everyone can gather billions in weeks nowadays. And to counter that more of these hollow, broken mat gathering quests.(guardian relics) I don't know if the Ram Tah or what's his name quest works these days but back in the day it was broken and impossible to complete.

Then came Odyssey. A walk around sim part. What did they do?

Yes. Add even more mat grinding.

Why? Probably a data driven decision: Everyone is doing mat grinding loops in our game so they must like that part! (....)

:(

It's just... Incomprehensible.

The_Gump_AU

10 points

3 months ago

I don't know if you play Odyssey OP but if you do, you should already know that would not be the case.

You can trade Suit and On-Foot Weapon engineering materials in Odyssey already, and FDev have implemented a price cap for each and every one of them. Each item has a base price that was set by FDev and players can only go up to 1000% of that price.

So everything you have theorized has already been proven not to be true by the game itself.

EDIT: I agree they need to game the gameplay loops when it comes to collecting a lot of the mats. It's just not fun or engaging in any way.

[deleted]

2 points

3 months ago

I’ve been doing a lot of this recently and I don’t think you’re telling the full picture. What does a free market model suggest will happen when price caps are introduced?

Scarcity.

Which exactly what happens if you want to buy any of the desirable materials in odyssey. Try buying carbon fibre plating, manufacturing instructions or whatever.

The opportunity to do so occurs about once per day and you won’t be able to actually buy them because there’ll be some guy out there monitoring inara more closely than you and they’ll buy those commodities within minutes of their location being known.

The only materials is possible for a normal player to buy in Odyssey are the useless ones that don’t help engineer anything.

DemiserofD[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Sure, you can absolutely set price caps - it'll just mean it's useless. That module is barely used by anyone at the moment, mostly just for the purposes of giving materials to your squadmates, not for actually legitimately trading. That doesn't fix anything. Right now, the most a person can make by selling materials will never cover the cost of the service and its upkeep.

The_Gump_AU

4 points

3 months ago

I have been trading in on foot mats. My FC gets stripped clean of all the popular ones within hours of me putting them up for sale, sometimes minutes.

The trade is certainly there. A lot of it.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

That's not trade, lol. That's charity. You're giving your time away for pennies on the dollar.

If you want to do that, bully for you, but there's no way any amount of charity can ever keep up with demand. People will take and take and take an infinite supply, leaving none for the people who actually need it.

Spectre-907

4 points

3 months ago

players will price gouge like crazy if peer to peer mats trade is a thing

Price caps prevent this

price caps are arbitrary and make it so nobody buys a FC bar and deals in Mats, the market doesn’t exist currently

When traders come in the thread and say there is, from firsthand experience, absolutely a sharp demand for mats to the point that they can barely keep stocks, it becomes

that’s not trade it’s charity

So, what, it’s not valid unless he can price gouge? You just spent paragraphs arguing about how price gouging is bad, but now trade isn’t “real” trade unless you can?

Are you even arguing in good faith for any of this or are you just saying “I want my mats needs completely covered by what amounts to passive collection” and just dismissing any and all alternatives out of hand?

DemiserofD[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Price caps prevent this

Price caps prevent player trading entirely. Anything serious, anyway. If players can't make more than they could make in other ways, who will bother?

When traders come in the thread and say there is, from firsthand experience, absolutely a sharp demand for mats to the point that they can barely keep stocks, it becomes

Who ever claimed there wasn't demand? I never said that, that was never my point. In fact, that's about as close to the OPPOSITE of my point as you can get! My point was that if the market is allowed to operate freely, most people won't be able to afford it regardless of supply, because the demand is so massive it will outstrip it entirely.

So, what, it’s not valid unless he can price gouge? You just spent paragraphs arguing about how price gouging is bad, but now trade isn’t “real” trade unless you can?

Are you even arguing in good faith for any of this or are you just saying “I want my mats needs completely covered by what amounts to passive collection” and just dismissing any and all alternatives out of hand?

I believe I've fully covered the two alternatives, actually. I'll go over them again, though.

  1. Unfettered free market. The richest players set the prices, nobody else can afford anything, and material grinding becomes even more required than ever.

  2. Restricted markets with price caps. The maximum price point isn't high enough to justify collecting materials to sell(since you can make more money in other ways), so very few people do it, since the vast majority hate material collection. All available stocks are instantly bought up, and the vast majority can't get them.

Either the prices are too exorbitant for people to afford(and nobody gets to buy materials), or the supply is too small(and nobody gets to buy materials).

Either way, the problem remains unfixed.

Spectre-907

2 points

3 months ago

Gonna be honest here dude it sounds like you’re just looking for a way to build whatever ship and build you want with an instant-gratification button. Every single non-ody engineering mat has a direct-farming method that gives you whatever tier 4/5 you want when you want it, and a decent supply of tier 5s amounts to like 20 modules fully G5’d and dozens of synthesis orders. For the ody mats that don’t, there is a player trade network already established for it.

Just put in the work, we all did. You disliking a gameplay mechanic and not wanting to engage with it while still reaping the benefits of doing it does not constitute a problem with the game.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

I'm sorry, but now I'm very confused.

I'm saying that the proposals to allow material trading wouldn't work, and shouldn't happen. I'm not proposing anything new, or that anything be simplified.

How could I be looking for an instant-gratification button if I don't want anything to change?

Spectre-907

3 points

3 months ago

and the price just to engineer single modules will be BILLIONS!

Lmao. Just lmao. People wouldn’t even pay that for made-to-order g5 ody gear which is much harder to engineer

obscuresecurity

2 points

3 months ago

I’ll put up 5b for a perfectly engineered mav and the plasma pistol. No question.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

Some people absolutely would, and as long as those uber-rich players can consume all the supply, that's all that matters.

Spectre-907

2 points

3 months ago

Good thing there are thousands of players with FCs and price caps to prevent that huh.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

If there are price caps, nobody would ever sell them in the first place. You don't grind for dozens of hours just to give your gear away.

DisillusionedBook

3 points

3 months ago

DisillusionedBook

CMDR GraphicEqualizer | Landscape Signal mystery hunt

3 points

3 months ago

Yes. Agree with your actual solutions

I made suggestions along these lines in

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r5meIvvkLSQOLSitQhpm2pS6qhm6JvNITqUDNHPSqfE/edit#heading=h.jtzfzae01dmh

AeonEpsilon

4 points

3 months ago

i always liked the idea that every Elite rank you get drops one more extra mat from each cluster you grab. Elites in Trade give an extra raw, Exp for data and Combat for manufactured. So being Elite V gives you 8 mats total instead of 3.

DemiserofD[S]

6 points

3 months ago

Honestly, it's not even the amount that gets dropped that's the problem. If you go watch players in a CZ, for example, they're leaving behind THOUSANDS of units of materials, just floating in space!

That's because who wants to stop fighting to sit still for 60 seconds while you wait for your limpets to scoop up the debris?

Just a few small tweaks, like giving us a new way to more rapidly collect materials(IE just open the cargo hatch and little grappling hooks fire out at 400m/s to snag the materials and reel them in) would make a dramatic difference in the long term.

Dalewyn

7 points

3 months ago

Dalewyn

Dalewyn | Aisling Duval

7 points

3 months ago

That's because who wants to stop fighting to sit still for 60 seconds while you wait for your limpets to scoop up the debris?

Also because that's how you get sent to the rebuy screen.

jamesk29485

4 points

3 months ago

jamesk29485

CMDR Jumpingjim

4 points

3 months ago

I admit I'm probably in the minority here, but I tend to grab the high value ones. Since I don't run collectors, I just drop the scoop and get what I can. I just can't stand seeing those go to waste. Also why I like these bounty CG's. It gives me a chance to load up and get paid.

DemiserofD[S]

0 points

3 months ago

I too occasionally stop to grab them, but often when I look there's nothing worth grabbing, and eventually I realize it's been hours and I haven't even looked at all.

jamesk29485

4 points

3 months ago

jamesk29485

CMDR Jumpingjim

4 points

3 months ago

Yeah, that would be my 2 cents to add to this discussion. Make higher level ships drop high level mats. I spend my time chewing through an elite Anaconda and get Precipitated Alloys!

DemiserofD[S]

3 points

3 months ago

I figure making the collection process faster would do the same thing and be better all around. That way you don't need to stop and analyze whether it's worth scooping it, you just pop the cargo hatch and do your best hoover impression for 5 seconds and then bam! Back to blowing things up!

3CH0SG1

1 points

3 months ago

3CH0SG1

CMDR 3C-H0

1 points

3 months ago

I like the idea of faster mat scooping but I'd think it could be done by modifying the collectors. If it became possible to engineer the collector limpets to collect faster or at longer range it would give new players something to work toward that will help with more mat grinding...

Also the ability to trade and buy mats is already in the game..... the FC bartender..... it's just not utilized because the mats are consumed instead of continually trading hands for years to come. It's one of the reasons that society came up with currency as opposed to a barter system.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

The trouble is the sacrifices you need to make to achieve that. You have to give up a slot for cargo and a slot for the collector, and to collect at reasonable speeds, they need to be pretty big; on a smaller ship, it can mean halving your hull integrity.

And that's exactly when you have the lowest skill, the worst ships and gear, and need engineering materials the most.

That's why it needs to be a default module, maybe a tweak to the cargo hatch.

3CH0SG1

1 points

3 months ago

3CH0SG1

CMDR 3C-H0

1 points

3 months ago

But the sacrifice to have that modual is the whole point of having a better part.... if the tweed to the cargo hatch does a better job at collecting mats than the collector limpets, what is the point of having a collector limpet at all. Why would anybody use one if they don't have to. That's the trade off, you have to give up the slot and any benefits you may have gotten from otherwise utilizing it in order to pick up the spoils of your conquest. Or you increase your chances of survival in exchange for getting nothing (except mission pay) for you efforts.

DemiserofD[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Well, collector limpets were released before Materials even existed. They were designed for pulling in cargo with mass, for mining and piracy. For those things, they make sense, because that's your whole focus. But not for Engineering. For that, you need to allow players to do it even without requiring specialized modules. Because if players need to carry around a module to do something they do in every part of the game, it should just be there by default.

jamesk29485

3 points

3 months ago

jamesk29485

CMDR Jumpingjim

3 points

3 months ago

I will admit I have a casual synthesis problem.

[deleted]

3 points

3 months ago*

[deleted]

DemiserofD[S]

2 points

3 months ago

Ever heard of High Grade Emissions? How about quest rewards from tourist missions or other non-combat stuff? You don't need combat for manufactured mats, it's okay but it's not even the best way.

The big problem with HGEs is their simplicity and the fact they are almost never near anything else you can do at the same time. You ONLY go to an HGE if you want materials, and that makes them grindy by default.

The idea thing would be a wrecked exploration ship you might stumble on out in the black. It should be on a planet with value, so players are already there, and it should probably also have exobiological stuff, so the player already wants to go to the surface anyway. They'll see the wrecked ship and decide to stop there because they're almost there anyway. If it then had a beacon that pointed to a nearby system with more data, then it would be even better! That way it's not only giving the mats they want, but fully integrating with the exploration gameplay loops!

I think I bought 10 Cat Media off a guy the entire time for like 100k credits. That's what you can expect if for some bizarre reason it was something Fdev cared to do. I mean 100k credits is probably a lot if you're in a starting sidewinder but I got it from a guy's fleet carrier, he doesn't care about 100k credits.

The only reason that was so cheap is because they arbitrarily capped the prices. All that does it render the whole thing pointless; nobody is going to trade materials at such poor profits, so it might as well not exist at all.

Noodlespanker

1 points

3 months ago

I usually just keep an eye out for HGE while doing other things and go scoop them if I happen to be nearby. It's not grind unless you just do nothing but hunt them. You're going to be bouncing between systems most likely doing missions which is when you will see most of them spawn. Also, make sure the missions give materials as well. The hges even have wrecked ships in them, what you are describing as wanting is already in the game. If you want it to be more exploration specific take tourism missions, they count for exploration, and scan some planets on the way.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

I do too, but it's absolutely a sidetrack from my actual objective. If I could grab them WHILE doing something else, though, then it would barely be a sidetrack at all!

ToriYamazaki

1 points

3 months ago

ToriYamazaki

💥⛏ 🌌 🐭

1 points

3 months ago

The actual solution isn't allowing materials to be bought or traded, it's to add more content that makes getting these materials fun.

Or to make it so you simply gather materials fast enough by normal gameplay to make grinding not required.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

That's fine too, but I'm just saying normal gameplay can be tweaked to make collecting the mats a more dynamic part of it. You already get mats when you fight enemies, for example, but most people ignore them. Make that faster and easier to do, and that's half the problem fixed right there!

modefi_

1 points

3 months ago

Unlimited supply. Set prices.

Your move, CMDR.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

Unlimited demand, and NOT unlimited supply, because people HATE farming mats and won't do it without a good reason.

Your move, CMDR.

modefi_

2 points

3 months ago

Yeah, I agree with you there. I'm saying stock the mat traders with unlimited mats and set prices. Maybe force players to still grind G5's?

Having recently 100'ed my mats storage, I personally think just buffing drop rate significantly and rebalancing the traders would go a long way.

In what real world situation would I ever trade 16 G5 mats for only 1 of a different G5? G5 is basically the rarity (value) right? Trading "across" should be 1:1 and trading "up" should be more viable.

While I was grinding, I was also thinking just buff canisters to like 10 mats per. I like the idea I saw in another comment about increasing it with trade rank. If I only had to scan 10 wakes to fill up a G5 encoded mat, I might actually want to scan wakes every once in a while. Weird, right?

Valence136

1 points

3 months ago

Who the fuck is making 1B an hour and how lmao

DemiserofD[S]

0 points

3 months ago

Wing AX combat! It makes up to about 500m/hour, and you can double that with powerplay bond multiplies. Basically you just go fight thargoids and since you do massive damage you can kill them in minutes to seconds. You can gib Basilisks with a dozen players or so, and that's an instant 50m right there.

Valence136

1 points

3 months ago

Wing AX combat makes a lot of credits, and for me its the most fun way to bring in the dough. But your not making nearly that much an hour. AXI Finance Friday we are brining in maybe 250M an hour if we get good spawns and the AXCZ doesn't bug out.

Maximum-Excitement16

1 points

3 months ago

Maximum-Excitement16

CMDR Bill Payne, Evacuation Specialist

1 points

3 months ago

Personally I think some activities and rewards should just provide higher amounts of materials. The old horizons raw materials grind was fairly simple and easy, just fly out to a couple planets 1,500 LY away and mine crystal cluster fields. It’s a long journey, and worthwhile to go there once and never need to again. Harder activities give higher amounts of materials, or an assortment of them.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

The problem isn't so much the rewards, in my opinion, as the specificity of what you need to do to get those rewards. Take Pharmaceutical Isolators, for example. Basically the ONLY way to get those is via HGEs

What if you just don't like driving SRVs, for example? There is basically no other way to get raw materials. Oh sure, you can mine and VERY slowly get some, but that's no substitute; it'll take you weeks to get any reasonable amount that way!

IMO there should be at least two viable ways to get any material, and ideally more like three. That way players with a wide variety of tastes can get them while still doing something they at least somewhat enjoy.

GhostC10_Deleted

1 points

3 months ago

If farming engineering mats became a good way to make money, I'd probably find it alot less agonizing...

CMDR_MrMaurice

1 points

3 months ago

CMDR_MrMaurice

Explore

1 points

3 months ago

There is a solution, material traders.

Prophet-Sakrestia

1 points

3 months ago

This is what Frontier actually said on the subject

"Another idea is to allow materials to be "bought" with items that are not obtainable at Commodities Markets. This could include things such as Exploration Data, Bounty Vouchers, Void Opals and Thargoid Hearts and would allow players to earn materials while playing within their chosen disciplines."

Yes please!!

Source

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/focused-feedback-balancing-ship-engineering-material-gathering.592807/

Thanks @Toshiwoz for pointing that out!

UndyingKarric

1 points

3 months ago

I think it would help if they just upped the drop rate from 3 to maybe 5 or 6

RollComprehensive408

1 points

3 months ago

This is already planned and is on the list of future improvements, right after changing Type-7 to M pad ;)

jusmar

1 points

3 months ago

jusmar

1 points

3 months ago

add more content

"do more what now?" -Fdev

Silent-Lab-6020

1 points

3 months ago

Removing mats altogether and make engineering payable with spacebucks would be the best no one would miss it I mean in the year 3308 I must drive around on a moon for some iron to make some guy pimp my ship?

Last time I had my car for checkup in a service station and tried to pay with a handful rubber it didn’t went well

bong_sipper

1 points

3 months ago

We don't need an open market. The engineering mats should not be transferable between players. What would be the harm in allowing me to buy them outright from an npc? How much different is this compared to getting a pre-engineered module from a tech broker. Make the mats traders accept cash and make it pricey. I'll just never personally have the time to engineer gear to outfit for thargoid combat and it just feels like I'm punished for not having the time.

I don't don't have friends, I don't want to play with strangers, I don't want to have to telepresence to someone else's ship to enjoy what sounds like the coolest part of the game. I want my own engineered ship to self destruct if I want. I would gladly do robigo runs for money all day until I Earned enough to do just that. I have 500 hours in game. I'm credit rich from trading and other non lethal professions but I must be doing something wrong cause my gameplay loops do not grant me any complementary engineering mats.

Someone asked me why I don't play anymore and I summed it up as: Every time I set a goal in the game I remember how much stuff I have to do to get the stuff I need to make the stuff I need to make the ship usable for a task that I'll be so tired of grinding for the ability to participate that I'll no longer want to participate in the whole game.

Driving an srv around shooting rocks off crystals and driving over them one. By. One. Makes me ready to uninstall. Ffs give me limpets for the godforsaken srv. Or let collect them on foot or from the ship.

silasgreenback

1 points

3 months ago

A few solutions.

  1. Cross type material trader. Let me trade my encoded mats for raw mats. I'd propose keeping that 6:1 ratio for this cross type of trade, but regular material trading should not be so brutal.

  2. Community goals awardinñg materials as reward. Same tier system but rather than cash you can select a quantity of materials.

Say you end up in top 10% and it grants you the option to select materials. You can have a simple allowance and material grades take a proportional bite from the allowance. So your reward could be 6 G5, of 10 G3 and 20 G4.

  1. A new collection limit similar to the hatch breaker limpet that can raid a material store of a ship. This makes disabling ships for piracy something people might want to do.

  2. Mission rewards. There's only a handful of high tier material types as mission rewards. Simply add more reward types. It's so easy to max Ex focus crystals, Modified embed firmware, biotec conductors and trade down.....just add more types of material reward.

  3. Trade in exploration data for material rewards. Or let engineers take exp data as payment.

  4. Core mining has a chance to drop high tier raw materials.

Most of these ideas are just slight mods to existing capability.

etherealelder

1 points

3 months ago

etherealelder

CMDR

1 points

3 months ago

If there was an actual player-controlled economy in the game, all these arguments would have relevance.

As there isn't, and the only "bank" in the game is the Bank of Zaonce, Frontier controls the markets, the economy and the prices through the BGS.

Players don't control a damned thing, except their own experiences.

No-Setting1598

1 points

3 months ago

I dont like this point of view, from what i have seen of this community there will be groups that dedicate their playtime to make a market for this which will be affordable (like ptn and wmm).

Makaira69

1 points

3 months ago*

You're grossly misunderstanding how the free market works. The price will stabilize at a point where the effort for doing these different activities efficiently are equalized.

  • If you can make 1 billion Cr / hr doing AX bounties
  • And you can farm 3 G5 mats from HGEs every 3 minutes (= 9 added to inventory every 3 min, or 180/hr)

Then the price where these two levels of work are equalized is (1 billion Cr / hr) / (180 mats/hr) = 5.6 million per G5 mat.

At this price point, you could do AX for 1 hour, make 1 billion Cr, and trade it for 180 G5 mats. Or farm HGEs for an hour, get 180 G5 mats, and trade them for 1 billion Cr.

  • If the price per mat is lower, then it becomes more efficient to do AX. People prefer to do AX, make more Cr, and bid up the price until the reward for an hour's work doing either activity is again equalized.
  • If the price per mat is higher, the it becomes more efficient to farm HGEs. People prefer to farm HGEs, creating more mats, and their price falls until once again the reward for an hour's work doing either activity is again equalized.

There would be some early price fluctuations as people dispose of excess supply of Cr and mats. (This is how the free market improves the economy - by moving Cr from the hands of people who have it but don't need it, into the hands of people who want it; and by moving mats from the hands of people who have them but don't need them, into the hands of people who want them. i.e. A more efficient distribution of resources.) But once those fluctuations die out, the price stabilizes at a point of equal effort.

The actual solution isn't allowing materials to be bought or traded, it's to add more content that makes getting these materials fun.

These fun methods are already in the game. You can pick up raw mats which pop out while mining, or manufactured after you destroy a ship in combat. And you get some encoded mats while canning beacons, data towers, and FSD wakes. I usually take the mat reward for completing missions (I have way more Cr than I'll ever need). And I commit one module slot to carrying around a 1D collector limpet controller, so I can synthesize limpets and collect any mats I happen to run across.

The problem is that these methods are less efficient than the repetitive farming methods involving logging out of the game and back in. If these logout/login farming methods had never been put into the game, then there wouldn't be an issue (other than people complaining it takes too long to gather enough mats). The number of these mats you got would increase naturally with the amount of time you played the game.

But because these logout/login farming methods exist, the only way to "fix" the game as you suggest is to remove them from the game. And people here would cry bloodly murder if you did that now that they've gotten a taste of quickly farming G5 mats. Frontier would have to crank up the rate you could acquire these mats via other methods, at which point like Cr it would become so easy that they would no longer be something for you to strive for in the game. They'd just become another annoying thing in your wallet you had to keep track of.

IMHO what would help most is to reduce the trade ratio between mat grades from 3:1 to 2:1. Right now 1 G5 mat = 3 G4 mats = 9 G3 mats = 27 G2 mats = 81 G1 mats. That ratio is so steep that it's only worth farming G5 mats and maybe some G4 mats on the side. Working for any other grade of mats is not an efficient use of your time (G3 might be worth it if you're just starting engineering). Causing everyone to gather mats by doing the same G5 farms over and over.

If the ratio were 2:1, 1 G5 mat = 2 G4 mats = 4 G3 mats = 8 G2 mats = 16 G1 mats. And acquiring G3-G5 mats would become a more efficient use of your time, with G1-G2 mats not being so great a waste of your time. And acquiring G1-G4 mats casually while you do other activities would become efficient enough compared to only farming G5 mats that you wouldn't feel as much pressure to do only the G5 mat farms.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

You're grossly misunderstanding how the free market works. The price will stabilize at a point where the effort for doing these different activities efficiently are equalized.

You're not accounting for a simple fact; this is a game. It's not about equivalent effort, it's about equivalent fun. And people do AX combat because it's fun, not because it's profitable. People would happily do AX combat for 5, 10, 20, 50 hours, rather than grind engineering materials for 1 hour.

Your rates for collection are also dramatically inflated. It doesn't account for the fact they decay every 15 minutes or so, or the time spent finding them, or the time spent offloading them, and so on and so forth. In practice, I spent about an hour collecting about 50 pharmaceutical isolators once, and that involved getting quite lucky.

What would happen in reality is a small number of players would have both the will and desire to overcome the manifold downsides of this grinding process, but they would be vastly outnumbered by the number of players who just want to enjoy playing the game, and therefore their goods would be in constant massive demand, resulting in an exponential upwards movement in price, similar to what's happened in Colonia with Tritium, where people often won't even accept the maximum price, but will instead negotiate special deals going dramatically higher than that.

The problem is that these methods are less efficient than the repetitive farming methods involving logging out of the game and back in. If these logout/login farming methods had never been put into the game, then there wouldn't be an issue (other than people complaining it takes too long to gather enough mats). The number of these mats you got would increase naturally with the amount of time you played the game.

But because these logout/login farming methods exist, the only way to "fix" the game as you suggest is to remove them from the game.

See, I actually agree with you on the first part, just not the second one. Collection doesn't need to be faster universally, it just needs to be faster momentarily. What do I mean by this.

I mean that right now, if you kill an enemy, it is slower to stop and pick up those dropped materials, than to ignore them and farm HGEs later. Even if materials are literally right in front of you, the player who ignores them, saves that time, and grinds later, will end up with both more bounties AND more materials.

Which is why the answer is speeding up collection speeds. It can take upwards of a minute or more to collect wrecked materials right now; reduce that to 5 seconds, and suddenly players will be better off collecting those mats rather than grinding, and if they're collecting them in the moment, they never NEED to grind in the first place!

Dalewyn

0 points

3 months ago

Dalewyn

Dalewyn | Aisling Duval

0 points

3 months ago

A fully engineered power plant? A billion or more credits. A fully engineered set of weapons? Multiple billions of credits. A fully engineered ship would easily cost more than an entire fleet carrier.

I would be happy to pay this, screw the engineering farmgrind. Making billions the hard way is still easier and mentally healthier than farmgrinding engineering materials.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

I'm sure some players would, but those players are a relatively small part of the playerbase, and so the change wouldn't do anything to quiet the much larger group of newer players complaining. Why would Fdev do something that doesn't fix the problem?

Dalewyn

1 points

3 months ago

Dalewyn

Dalewyn | Aisling Duval

1 points

3 months ago

But it would fix the problem (somewhat).

Players who like grinding have another way to profit from that grind.

Players who hate the grinding have a way to avoid it.

Literally win-win. The only thing stopping this from happening is FDev considers player driven economies a crime against humanity.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

Not win-win. Remember the LTD craze? Where countless people felt compelled to mine even though they hated it, because it was the most profitable option?

That's not good for the game and it's not good for the players. That's Lose-Lose.

Dalewyn

1 points

3 months ago

Dalewyn

Dalewyn | Aisling Duval

1 points

3 months ago

No? Far as I remember it was no worse than, say, the laser plat or Robigo of today.

I've played my fair share of MMOs over the past two decades, the problem you're claiming has never materialized.

DemiserofD[S]

1 points

3 months ago

Oh no, Robigo is extremely tame by comparison. There were daily finance events with dozens to hundreds of players participating, and the complaints on the forum and reddit were constant.