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John Jacob Astor

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About John Jacob Astor

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  1. John Jacob Astor

    Economic model design - Infinite Resources.

    As a single-account player I view this as a very partial picture of the current economic design. Large sectors of the shipbuilding and concomitant upgrade economy originate in dropped resources and not in buildings. The more limited (and valuable) they are, the more likely they are to be dominated by alts. The outpost and labor hour advantage provided by an alt provides leverage unavailable to a single-account player. It appears to be impossible to compete with. This is not the case with buildings which I why I voted yes. Are there problems with the building model? Yes. It is currently crippled by the inability to see contract activity without entering a port, which stovepipes the markets. And the ET (as currently implemented) overly suppresses the ROI on building production where it is applied. But you can't lock new players out of the building model by using alts to kick the ladder down from the tree house. Do not misunderstand me. I am not anti-alt. But I will not be a fan of any alternative to buildings that creates an inordinate structural advantage for them.
  2. John Jacob Astor

    DLC ships

    That being the case I am withholding a final opinion on this until after the crafting and economy reworks. Presumably there is a plan to address the structural issues the DLCs appear to introduce.
  3. John Jacob Astor

    DLC ships

    Why bother putting mods on it? Just clobber a player trader for PvP rewards, sell it a bit of cash, and churn a new one out the next day in hopes of a ship with more capabilities. The churn in the real incentive. But getting cash in the process doesn't help. It just adds to the incentive to churn the DLC. The 24 hour respawn is the problem. It makes them a disposable ship. If you are using mods that might make you more conservative, but a lot of folks might not even bother with them. The disposabilty adds a new structural problem to the economy. It cuts into demand for player-crafted ships. A month after DLC introduction ships are sitting in the Charleston market a good deal longer than they used to. Address the disposable nature of the DLCs and I suspect this might mitigate some of the port battle issues as well. I am guessing some of the tactics described are not dependent on having upgrades. Just on using a ship you can replace the next day. The respawn clock ought to be tied to what the ship can get in terms of bonus. So many days since the last. Just to be clear, not since you last had one, but so many days since you last redeemed one. I don't have an opinion on how many days, but at a minimum, next day, zero bonuses. For that matter, a churned ship should be a sub-par ship. Too many days in a row and the quality drops to zero knowledge and upgrade slots. Which is not going to affect players that spend money and crafting effort on upgrades. You aren't the ones churning the DLCs.
  4. John Jacob Astor

    DLC ships

    This came from a DLC ship? So not only can you sell both DLCs every 24 hours for 26K each, you can churn them until you get a bonus ship. So hit a trader for PvP, offload the cannons and repairs and sell before logging off, and redeem the next day. Stash cannons and repairs at outposts and you effectively also get a cash-positive port tow. Am I missing something here? Might partially explain why ships are sitting in the Charleston market longer than they used to. Fewer buyers.
  5. @Norfolk nChance Would knowing the total in-game crafting cost of a ship give you this? If a ship value is being used as common the point of reference. Assuming I am properly understanding the question you are asking. For any of the (limited number) of ships that I built for sale I ran the crafting recipes out to the individual resource level and then ran totals based on 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x building production costs of basic resources. Once that was known option woods for planking and hull could be factored in. 1x is the minimum cost, assuming all basic resources are owned. 2x gave me a rough way to gauge when I was overpaying for the resources I didn't control without having to track inventory. Between 3x and 4x I was making money on the ship and able to factor in labor hours. 4x is the ET price. Much above that the ships tended to sit too long in the market. Because too far above 4x a player might as well put up a shipyard and buy everything from the ET. Didn't actually need to do much with the option woods though. My bread and butter turned out to be fir/fir T-lynxes. New players found them to be an ideal gank evader.
  6. I actually WAS having fun until I started smacking into stuff that undercut what attracted me to the game when I started playing around the first of the year. First MMO, first sandbox, and what actually interested me was competing in the player economy. Being chased around now and again after moving to PVP was a bonus. But it's not what holds my attention. I`m on the sidelines until after the crafting and economy reworks. If the game holds my interest thereafter I will be back. (with your commission) 😁
  7. As a recently very active merchant, I view the fundamental problem in the economy as not so much what is needed to build with as whether a crafter needs to buy any of it from other players. Right now the DLC enables them to produce most everything for core shipbuilding in-house Except for specialty woods and stuff used in upgrades which, incidentally, is where the alts provide an inordinate amount of leverage these are dropped and not player-produced. Cotton being the exception to this where I had no problem competing. Put up a building, acquired the blueprint, and undercut the current quarter-million offer price for the upgrade in Charleston by half. And sold everything I produced, with the ROI being well north of what I could get out of a trade run hauling dropped goods. There's those pesky buildings again. And in some cases player production competes directly against the AI, as @Jean Ribault pointed out is the case with repairs. If the shopping list looks like what @Hethwill posted, what I've run smack into will cease to be a problem, provided it comes from player production, and not from AI drops. In-house production will be insufficient for the core of what a crafter does. If it does I've clearly misunderstood the developer traffic on the crafting reworks, which seemed to be headed toward much simpler builds with a lot less in them. I am hoping I have misunderstood them.
  8. @Norfolk nChance thank you for posting this. It may be the first place I've seen everything gathered together is a coherent fashion. I see this addressing some of the current disconnects where marks and money seem to run at cross-purposes. I guess what I am not understanding is how the currency redesign addresses the demand problem at the very bottom of the economy. Unless there are plans to broaden this beyond the current pyramid that puts ship production at the apex. Increasing the variety of end products (beyond one) might make the fall in resource trading irrelevant. One player plus DLC or same-nation alt will no longer be self-sufficient. I expect after the redesign I will look back and it will make sense.
  9. I do hope you are correct on the currency matrix. I am commenting on what I see at the moment while trying to work with these markets. I am not convinced but am perfectly willing to be proven wrong. Bought the DLCs on the summer sale. Additional copies of the game were actually cheaper but I am not interested in running an alt account. I do not have the time. And I am not actually anti-alt. What I am having trouble with is apparent inability to compete with them in certain market sectors. I used the Admiralty DLC to open additional building types. Which is when it occurred to me that I could completely withdraw from buying in the resource markets. And here we are, a month later, and look at the markets. That took way less time than even I thought it would. Whether this works depends on the nature of the merchant activity. I can see this working for a highly mobile buy and trade. Pretty sure I couldn't do this. What was doing (until the resource markets started imploding) was integrated shipbuilding and resource sales. Found a niche and went to town. And started developing repeat buyers. Which you really can't walk away from for 30 days. There is the matter of the infrastructure (the level 3 shipyard cost about 2.6M to build when everything is factored in) and your customers go elsewhere. My long-term plan was to shut down one of the production buildings as I had gotten pretty efficient at acquiring what I needed at contract. And open a 2nd shipyard in a the Bahamas. Except it's academic because there are no customers. Again, I really do hope you are right about this.
  10. John Jacob Astor

    Deliveries between your own outposts.

    Except that the Admiralty DLC enables pretty nearly that for single-account players. Add up all the buildings in the game. You can get pretty near self-sufficient. You only need to wait for your labor hour wallet to recharge.
  11. John Jacob Astor

    Deliveries between your own outposts.

    Or upgrades, for that matter. As if copper plating has no mass. If you all want targets that might generate a few.
  12. @Norfolk nChance This is exactly my point. What is not needed to buy, nobody is able to sell. It's not that there are no markets, or even no successful ones. But the market at issue is for contracts in player-produced resources. The Admiralty Connections DLC enables an individual player to become completely self-sufficient in this sector. It used to be quite active and where I did both quite a bit of buying and selling. Now, a month after introduction of the DLC, this is what it looks like. There are additional factors playing into this problem but you cannot keep undercutting the fundamental logic of a market without crippling it. Self-sufficient individual players are unlikely to be beneficial for the game in the in long-term. I suspect this is likely to adversely impact clan cohesion. It probably won't affect clans that are successful at team-oriented combat, but some of the larger ones may very well start having problems keeping their warehouses stocked. Although that problem may be easier to mitigate than what's going on in the markets.
  13. John Jacob Astor

    My reasons why this Game will never Succeed....

    US nation.
  14. John Jacob Astor

    My reasons why this Game will never Succeed....

    US, but I would consider changing nations to join one where the play styles were friendly to merchant activity. The first one was a bad fit in that regard. The second one was better but it recently collapsed. According to one of the remaining members, an officer looted the clan warehouse and skipped town to join a different nation. The founder didn't appear to be very picky about who he gave officer status to. I am hoping the planned clan leaderboard provides enough information. This appears to have been a long-standing weakness in the integration of new players. Very few of my fellow clan members in either of my first two appeared to have any awareness of these forums. Which means new players are pretty much at the mercy of whoever happens to recruit them. Not a good plan for player retention.
  15. I am hoping as well. But the comment from @admin about a "national reputation grind" is indicative of a regulatory layering approach to economic issues, rather than engagement with the underlying structural problems. I would like to be wrong about that, but this is what the ET appears to be, as currently implemented. A regulatory mechanism layered on top of an existing structural problem. I completely get the purpose of the ET. But the byproduct is to mostly throttle the markets in basic resources by making the returns uncompetetive with dropped trade goods. As a single-account merchant I have been up close with this for about six months now. And being in clans really hasn't mitigated the obstacles I encounter. If used at all this sort of thing ought to be viewed as training wheels. Your children might need them to learn to ride. But later they are something of a problem when they try corner their bycicle at speed.