Jump to content
Game-Labs Forum

John Jacob Astor

Members
  • Content Count

    279
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by John Jacob Astor

  1. John Jacob Astor

    Testbed - econ/crafting changes

    Not very much. Not until upgrades crafted from drops are given mass and put into the hold where they belong. Teleported upgrades. The mother of all safe zones.
  2. John Jacob Astor

    Testbed - econ/crafting changes

    @Hethwill the Harmless I keep being told this but what is the functional difference between marks and doubloons? They are both specialized exchange / reward mechanisms that are disconnected from the baseline production layer of the economy. They must be traded for in the markets. Walks like a mark, swims like a mark, quacks like a mark, so it might be a mark. If they function the same way they might look like money but really behave more like a commodity. Which means the same issues that currently plague marks are going to apply to the markloons. Here's the problem for the merchant (in the context of the teleport, but the teleport isn't actually the problem). It is unlikely to be a problem for the combat player. But since we are talking about the economy... Marks are currently difficult to find consistently at reasonable prices in the national market and I have yet to find them readily anywhere but free ports (in which I have to drop an outpost so I can teleport). There may be places on the map that are different but this has been my experience over the last six months. Seems to me I saw elsewhere some someone asking questions about what happens when the chest is full of marks. Which might explain why I have trouble buying them. This is not to suggest the folks with the full chests are doing anything wrong. There just is no meaningful need to sell them. So my question is what is going to make the markloons different? If the money sinks (like teleports) are paid in markloons, the hordes will pay directly into the sinks and the markets will never see them. What is going to draw them out of the hordes and into the markets where I can buy them? Some hints about this might actually be helpful.
  3. John Jacob Astor

    Replace EU Trader with new mechanic

    I'm sure this was the intent of the free labor but it only works until you find yourself competing head to head against an alt. And the free labor hours the additional account(s) provide. Then you can no longer ignore the labor hour cost. Depends on which resource and what the total of the labor cost per unit + the gold cost per unit + plus the tax add up to. Yes on iron. No on stone block. Mostly no on LV log. Sort of yes on what's in between. Selling below that break-even amount is essentially subsidizing someone else's shipbuilding with my labor. Except most of those intermediate materials are going away in the crafting recipe simplification. And we are down to primarily loads of raw resources. The new recipes amplify the effects of the ET.
  4. John Jacob Astor

    Replace EU Trader with new mechanic

    Not talking about the ET multiplier. Talking about calculating which resources it's actually possible to make money on with the ET multiplier in place. Stone block and Lignum Vitae aren't on that list.
  5. John Jacob Astor

    Replace EU Trader with new mechanic

    15 combat marks at 3500 gold per mark in La Tortue, which appears to be one place where they are consistently available. Or convert from VMs but the price for them doesn't often get that far from the fixed exchange of 100 CM to 1. Of course, as a combat player, you certainly do get to ignore this and farm marks. And as I said, iron ore is NOT one of the commodities that are materially affected by this as the labor component at 1 LH for 8 ore is quite low. Stone block and Lignum vitae are at the other end of the spectrum at 1 to 4 and 1 to 2. The remainder fall in between the extremes, depending on the relation to the gold per unit cost.
  6. John Jacob Astor

    Replace EU Trader with new mechanic

    I would have no objections to keeping if if the spread between the break-even valuation of shipbuilding resources and the Eurotrader price were larger. Either 1) the ET multiplier needs to be a good deal larger, or 2) the labor-hour production percentages in most of the commodities needs to be a good deal smaller. The effect of the current ET structure is to suppress player-to-player economic activity. The only commodity where the ET doesn't appear to meaningfully depress the price is Iron Ore. The rest of them need adjustment to varying degrees. One of the reasons there are fewer players selling production resources is that it is unnecessarily difficult to make money doing it. The ET isn't complicated. What's complicated is maneuvering around it. Which currently requires spreadsheets. And yes, if retained, the ET needs to be up front and visible. Nobody should have to guess. I often see prices in CT that are posted above the ET price by experienced players. I can only conclude they are exploiting new players. Not all of the gankers sail ships.
  7. John Jacob Astor

    Replace EU Trader with new mechanic

    Actually, yes, some of us do. That's why there are still commodity contracts in Charleston. Moving mindless dropped trade goods bores the snot out of us. What the ET does is make it impossible to factor the per-unit labor cost into the sale and compete against the additional free labor provided by alt accounts. It badly screws up the economics of stone block and lignum vitae. The open market value of the labor hours + gold cost per unit + tax is nearly equal to the ET cost of stone block. LV isn't far behind. Anybody selling below this break-even valuation is essentially donating their labor hours to other player's shipbuilding. I agree the ET needs to go. But replace the commodity sales with a flat 4x and it will be time to move along.
  8. John Jacob Astor

    Testbed - Teleport fees

    Which is what I would hope to see. Obviously I will be trading for them. My reservation, I think, has less to do with the fee, or even the amount, than the way it is being paid. Marks are not commonly available now in the ports where I have outposts. When they turn up in national ports it is usually at high prices and I have to visit (teleport) to the port to find that out. They are consistently available in La Tortue, but of course, I have to teleport there to get them. What I am not seeing why converting Marks to Doubloons is going to change this. And this is true. It might take some of the steam out of this if you would at least give some hint of how you intend to flush them out of the hoards and into the markets. Global visibility of contract markets would certainly do it.
  9. John Jacob Astor

    What Quality of Life Features do Merchants Want?

    Certainly NOT this:
  10. John Jacob Astor

    Testbed - Teleport fees

    Yes. The only reason I max out on outposts and teleport between them is I can't see player contract activity without visiting a port. In order to get the best price for what I produce I still have to load a ship and sail it somewhere. That's difficult enough as it is. Having to pay this out in Doubloons without an exchange mechanism from Reals removes the teleports practical utility for getting around this problem. It is also worth calculating the break-even sale cost of production resources (money cost + tax + the open market value of labor hours). The break-even for stone block production frequently approaches the Euro Trader purchase price. The structure of the economy is a bigger problems than teleports. Resource sellers who spend their allotted free labor to sell below the level of the break-even cost are essentially subsidizing shipbuilding by other players. This distorts the shipbuilding economy layered on top of the resource production. The additional free labor provided by alt accounts make it impossible to ignore labor hour value as part of the break-even calculation. Or a single-account player simply can't compete. If you raiders were wondering why there aren't more merchants on the water the teleports aren't the cause.
  11. John Jacob Astor

    Testbed - Teleport fees

    What I am NOT seeing to go with this is a ready exchange mechanism between Reals, the exchange medium for resources, and Doubloons to pay for the the teleport. So merchants are forced into the open world while combat players are not. This might be less bothersome if ship and cargo meant the same thing to raiders that it does to traders. Which is not currently the case. Am I missing something? Is there something in the UI that I'm not seeing? If nothing is coming in the re-balance to address this, one sector of the player base will definitely be bailing. Or maybe there's not enough of us to worry about.
  12. John Jacob Astor

    Solution to keep A global server ?

    Like I said, the East/West coast US doesn't really matter. The three hour spread really doesn't mean much. But there is at least one Australian in my clan. How does this work for someone in THAT time zone?
  13. John Jacob Astor

    My port, my monopoly.

    I doubt that's intentional for a game that's dependent on new sales to pay the bills for the server. Encouraging alt accounts is self-defeating in a stagnant PC market. They make the game much more difficult for single-account players. The PC game market isn't going to get much bigger than it already is. The universe of potential buyers within that space who have time to run 2nd and 3rd game accounts is likely a good deal smaller. Some of us actually do have lives elsewhere.
  14. John Jacob Astor

    My port, my monopoly.

    More yes. Total no. Air-locked monopolies suffocate economies by denying entry to new participants. Econ 101.
  15. John Jacob Astor

    Solution to keep A global server ?

    Won't affect US west as only a three-hour differential. But locking out folks further west might be a problem for a game that is dependent on new sales in a stagnant PC market.
  16. John Jacob Astor

    My port, my monopoly.

    Depends on what sort of game you want. Monopolies are never a good idea if you want a self-sustaining player-to-player economy. Yup. And it would be unlikely to every break into four digits after release. Essentially what this does is kick the ladder down from the tree house for new players. Would be pretty much at the mercy of whatever clan recruited them. If an incompetent one that can't hold a port, or get along with others, they would be pretty much hosed. Not a good plan for new player retention. More control yes. Probably some granularity in allowing bonuses for allied clans, at least.
  17. John Jacob Astor

    Solution to keep A global server ?

    I'm US west coast. I could adjust to this but doesn't locking the map this way mess with folks further west?
  18. John Jacob Astor

    Questions from potential buyer

    I started on PvE and I would recommend that. It's easier to learn the basic mechanics, particularly if you don't have a sense of what sort of game play you actually like. I'm primarily an econ guy. I moved to the Caribbean server back about March. Found it much more interesting, even for what I like to do. On PvE most of the player-to-player econ is limited to the immediate vicinity of the national capitals. But your game play is definitely going to get interrupted.
  19. John Jacob Astor

    TESTBED - Port User Interface Feedback.

    @Hethwill the Harmless, if you are serious about this play it as a merchant. PvPers view this as grinding but economic players actually like this stuff. And no we are not all looking for risk-free PvE. My point is that if you can't make money in player-to-player transactions selling what you buy/produce, then the economy is jacked up at a structural level and the other aspects of the game are merely layered on top of that. AND. I don't know that you do, but if you have an alt, shelve that. If the economy doesn't work for a single-account player it doesn't really work at all. Playing alts in the economy is like dealing poker hands and playing them all yourself. What they tell you about real economic behavior is very, very superficial.
  20. John Jacob Astor

    What Quality of Life Features do Merchants Want?

    If you are still talking about trader QoL then the ship and cargo need to mean the same thing to the raider that they do to the merchant. This is not currently the case. AND if you are serious about this, quit treating upgrades as if they have no mass and put them in the hold where they belong. I would agree with this, if it goes to the controlling clan. It improves the economic incentive to protect the space around a port. My experience with the clan structure so far is that clans appear to be able to fully fund ports without much actual merchant activity. What they want from members is combat and port battles. Or they do econ with alts. Most clans appear at best indifferent to merchants. There does not appear to be much incentive to host player-to-player econ.
  21. John Jacob Astor

    TESTBED - Port User Interface Feedback.

    Seems a bit odd that I have a moving ocean and ship at a dock while in port but I can't see the storm in the open world or the wind direction. Even walking between the buildings of a coastal town I would have some sense of this. A static image would actually feel less strange.
  22. John Jacob Astor

    A Radical Crafting/Extraction Change

    @admin, here is why my question matters, and what is at the root of my reservations about having more than one medium of exchange. At present, the purchase of labor contracts yields a production cost for stone block that frequently approaches the Euro Trader cost. Stone is the worst of them but running the math out on other production resources shows meager possible returns. The best of them are well below that of dropped trade goods. Which means that to participate in the player-to-player economy you have to ignore the labor hours. Which works until you run out of hours and have to compete against any Alts in the same market sector. If a merchant has to buy Doubloons, this prices the commodities above where where a reasonable profit can be made the with Euro Trader mechanic in place. And this assumes that Doubloons are even available for sale. In the present economy marks are only consistently available in a couple of the free ports. Are you also planning to add some sort of fixed exchange mechanism (Reals to Doubloons) and dump the Euro Trader? Is this is what was intended when you announced the possibility of a mint? If so, this might actually work. Building counts and production volumes then govern the supply of resources. This would scale up or down with the number of players in the game, and would price-responsive to player demand.
  23. John Jacob Astor

    What Quality of Life Features do Merchants Want?

    We might have some differences at the detail level on this but basically, YES. There really are two distinct classes of trader activity at present. 1) the movement of trade goods to a consumption port. 2) production for sale, including resources, and crafted goods (ships, repairs, intermediate materials, upgrades). I've done both. But dropped trade goods bore the snot out of me and I only move them when I'm having cash-flow problems. I have zero interest in missions. Production for sale to other players is what keeps me interested and on the water. I expect to be chased around some and occasionally caught. Cost of doing business and all that. Other traders may have different interests. If folks want to move dropped trade goods and do missions that's fine. My observation is that the game is pretty much out of whack regarding the player-to-player economy. It was playable up until the DLC releases. The new ships and the Admiralty both made something of a mess (for different reasons). The contract markets pretty much went into the toilet. They've settled somewhat but I'm waiting to see what actually gets fixed in the economy re-balance. My rank as captain over about six months is almost all sea miles. Do I teleport? Yes, but mostly to get around the inability to work with contracts without visiting a port. This is a structural problem that stove-pipes player-to-player contract activity inside of populated ports. At present there are only a very small number of ports that I can consistently sell production resources at a reasonable profit that accounts for the labor hours. These are unfortunately green zone and this creates choke points with furballs in their vicinity that a merchant has to thread. This is getting very, very old. IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT MERCHANT QUALITY OF LIFE FIX THAT. Player-to-player contract activity will start to disperse and the raiders with them. Or, if the raiders insist on hanging around green zone ports I won't have to deal with them. I'll be doing contracts elsewhere. I like @Wraith's agent model. But I would be just as happy having the contracts and ship sales on the same footing in the trader tool as the port stock. I'm perfectly capable of watching a prospective location several days running and then making a judgement as to whether it is worth sailing to.
  24. John Jacob Astor

    What Quality of Life Features do Merchants Want?

    Having sold rather a lot of lower-end ships in the last six months, I think that for this to work there needs to be zero or next to zero competition between crafter sales and game mechanics. Will require some rethinking about where other ships come from (like DLCs, notes, and AI spawns). Everybody in. Or hardly anybody will be in. Regarding the necromancy about the thread. About time. I am going to think about this a bit before I post. I'll be back later. With some thoughts from someone who is interested in actually doing player-to-player econ.
  25. John Jacob Astor

    TESTBED - Port User Interface Feedback.

    Appears to be a conflict between the mechanic for generating food supplies from a farm and the new mechanic for food supplies from fish. Which now requires a workshop. The farm shows production but collection asks for fishmeat, salt, and a workshop.
×