Community Input - Ecoing Revision

BioXide

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Lead Developer
Management
Jun 1, 2017
453
Portland, Oregon
Guns of the Conclave
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Service Points: 999999
Hello Citizens,

These threads give you the opportunity to assist the development of Mankind Reborn, we are a community driven game, so it's ideal to allow our community to influence the development of the game. Here's how this will work, we will work on the design of X feature internally, then bring up a community input thread to allow the community to voice their opinion and give ideas on the feature, we'll then grab ideas from both the developers and the community to further expand on the features and then finalize it in the Game Design Document, this is your time to shape the future of mankind! :)

Let's begin.

As you may know, we'll be kicking off our second phase of the playtest soon and I wanted to get some input on the current ecoing systems, there's already plans to overhaul mining & adding a licensing system so you don't need to purchase PMODs every time you want to produce a single item. We're not scrapping the PMOD system but we'll add more so ecoing is not entirely dependant on that.

My main focus for ecoing is:

- Allow both passive/active methods, if you want to AFK eco you should be able to do so but it will be slower than active ecoing, players will be free to choose both methods depending on how much time they can play and how 'ard they want to eco
- Try to make the process less tedious than it already is, this means lots of improvements to the UI/UX to make it easy to grasp and work with
- And some other things we all can collectively agree on

PLANNED TWEAKS FOR ECO TEST:
- Allow more than one mining task active at a time
- Removal of the PMOD system for production materials, you should be able to refine items into production materials without having to purchase a PMOD or license (In the future we'll separate the refining process to another colony service, similar to production, but just for production materials)

Please feel free to use this thread to voice your opinions on ecoing and how it should work, taking in consideration the current system is temporary and pretty much a first pass, I want to make sure to do some tweaks before/during the eco test and see how it performs for an extended period of time, to gather the most amount of data possible that will help us take the systems to a better state.
 

Delan

Game Designer

Staff member
Bronzed Donator
Alpha Tester
Nov 8, 2017
62
Germany
Followers of Eternity
Rank: Game Master
Service Points: 5
I'd like to add a request for you guys.

I'm working on the production flow of items, needed minerals, refined materials and the money involved in the whole process.

Every suggestion you can make, regarding the production cycle outside of mechanics, is highly appreciated and will be taken into consideration as we move on to overhaul the eco system.
 

holmesc

Dweller

Aug 20, 2018
11
Civil Protection Commission
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
Can't wait to see what's cookin.
Eco was always a big part of games like FoM and EvE
 

Banjo

Dilettante

Bronzed Donator
Alpha Tester
Jun 14, 2017
122
Terran Defense Corps
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
I'd like to add a request for you guys.

I'm working on the production flow of items, needed minerals, refined materials and the money involved in the whole process.

Every suggestion you can make, regarding the production cycle outside of mechanics, is highly appreciated and will be taken into consideration as we move on to overhaul the eco system.
make basic items cheap and plenty full, it's not fun to fight back if you can't afford it.
 

John White

Dilettante

Supporting Donator
Jul 23, 2018
148
Avalon Enterprises
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
I'd like to add a request for you guys.

I'm working on the production flow of items, needed minerals, refined materials and the money involved in the whole process.

Every suggestion you can make, regarding the production cycle outside of mechanics, is highly appreciated and will be taken into consideration as we move on to overhaul the eco system.
Right now there is coal, that is only used for 1 item and carbon. You can mine carbon for some reason. make carbon a refined material. I think back in FoM there were several ways to make carbon, that gave players several options of time vs money. In addition, different colonies to use in mining process.
And don't only include carbon into this scheme. Give more creation paths for items. At least from mining to prod material path. Having different prod material requirements for same items will get confusing.
Also there was talk about active and passive ecoing. Different paths to create same prod material can be incorporated into this. Like you can only get certain mineral by active ecoing, but there is also passive ecoing alternative to create same prod material.
As for cost, don't have same cost for all minerals (like now, I know it's temp, just in case)
Bulk production discounts would be nice. Funny, right now it actually costs more if you order more minerals (Looking at you, Mars and Aurora)
Better organised menu's will be great. Armour and weapons menu's look disgusting. Maybe add extra sorting by weapon class and armour prefix. Like when going to armour menu, it will first show dino type armours, then you open that submenu, it will show dino rex, dino raptor, and then you can expand those to buy individual pieces.
Maybe also adding search function to terminals would be great. Also knowing stats of items before one produces them is nice.
3 ways for this one: have pmods also show items stats, add extra menu - index, that has description of all items (+ lore, locations, etc), have wiki people do it and make ecoers suffer in alt-tab.

As for active mining and mining guns, I think there was enough said in the mining input thread. I stand by what I wrote, you can read it Here


Now armour.
I have only had a glance at the values, seemed pretty similar, definitely doesn't justify having this many. I don't care about values much, let the combat personnel figure that out. What I want to suggest though is, ability to select colour of the armour and maybe some clothing on production. So you don't have to have tons of pmods for items which are only different in colour.


Also if you are considering tiers in armour, I vote against. I don't remember ever selling lower tier equipment in FoM, I don't think there was demand either(especially armour). Well you could argue that everyone was rich in FoM, so there was no reason to use lower tier ones. It's human nature. There is something objectively better that you have kinda have access to, so you would rather spend extra hour grinding and get that instead of going for worse version. Maybe some ability to reinforce armour by members of military factions or departments.

And finally I suggest doing a bit of research about minerals and refinement processes, so that when some enthusiast joins the game, they don't loose their shit.
 
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LordAdder

Advocate

Bronzed Donator
Alpha Tester
Oct 24, 2017
211
CHICAGOOOOOO
Terran Defense Corps
Rank: Colonel (R6)
Service Points: 1
Have a construction minigame where you assemble the product :D
Then you can sell mods or something that automate this process. Granted, this would actually require manpower hours and may increase the price based on this and the complexity of building the object.

I know this idea seems silly but hear me out, since some non-Eco oriented factions will end up needing a small eco division to provide for the faction, this could be their job instead of having to build the entire thing, so that they can purchase the stuff needed from the eco factions, but still have a step that they need to do themselves.

Could be elaborated on but it's a spitball idea lol
 

John White

Dilettante

Supporting Donator
Jul 23, 2018
148
Avalon Enterprises
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
Have a construction minigame where you assemble the product :D
Then you can sell mods or something that automate this process. Granted, this would actually require manpower hours and may increase the price based on this and the complexity of building the object.

I know this idea seems silly but hear me out, since some non-Eco oriented factions will end up needing a small eco division to provide for the faction, this could be their job instead of having to build the entire thing, so that they can purchase the stuff needed from the eco factions, but still have a step that they need to do themselves.

Could be elaborated on but it's a spitball idea lol
no, you have to buy from me.
while we're on it, ban non eco factions from producing, they can't do it properly anyway.
 
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GeeKay

Clone

Bronzed Donator
Alpha Tester
Oct 1, 2017
4
No Faction
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
Mission System

Mission creator makes a marker where the meeting point is
Players must meet up at marker at start time
Pre-mission write ups
Mission pay determined by daily income x payout modifier /# of missions ran

Economy

Drones do mining / productions processes automated
Set it and forget it: Pick what you want done, and it will be done over a long period of time (12hrs)
Onus on colony owner to protect drones
If drones destroyed, rate of mining slows (Slower income for owner, lower mission pay, conflict points and reason to patrol owned colonies).
Eco-ers can be more *active* to speed up their mining / production by visiting different *drone deployment stations*<or insert fitting thematic name here instead> and staying in the proximity.
Creates more conflict points on the colony, makes tedium regarding economy completely opt in and balanced around time / efficiency and not cost.
 
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Banjo

Dilettante

Bronzed Donator
Alpha Tester
Jun 14, 2017
122
Terran Defense Corps
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
Mission System

Drones do mining / productions processes automated
Set it and forget it: Pick what you want done, and it will be done over a long period of time (12hrs)
Onus on colony owner to protect drones
If drones destroyed, rate of mining slows (Slower income for owner, lower mission pay, conflict points and reason to patrol owned colonies).
Eco-ers can be more *active* to speed up their mining / production by visiting different *drone deployment stations*<or insert fitting thematic name here instead> and staying in the proximity.
Creates more conflict points on the colony, makes tedium regarding economy completely opt in and balanced around time / efficiency and not cost.
This is better then mining lasers for sure. Anything would be better then manual mining laser to behonest, but I feel this is on the right direction, where active mining doesn't mean nose into a stone while holding down your mouse button.
 

John White

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Supporting Donator
Jul 23, 2018
148
Avalon Enterprises
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
manual mining sucks. It's the worst.
Sitting there and just shooting at a piece of environment for hours. In FotD you could alt tab while pressing mouse button and character will keep mining, you can still hear that sound so if the gun broke or you got attacked you could hear it, alt tab back and RUN. or at least see what scum dared to disturb you.
The terminals were better as you could actually play the game, while you eco'd. That included RP, fighting, chatting. God, you couldn't even chat cause you're using one of your hands to mine, unless you exploited the game.

So to summarize my points on mining guns:
1. they're boring;
2. they prevent you from playing or interacting with the game;
3. nobody wants to use them.


So my idea would be to not forsake mining rigs.
Make mining possible by 2 ways:
Terminals that are at a heart of colony or on earth colonies.
They will work slowly, can be taxed, but they can be run in background and are relatively secure.

Now the mining rigs.
Instead of making them deployables, make them big structures in open worlds somewhere far away from colony center in the ass of nowhere.
They will need a power cell to function, but otherwise they are free and can't be taxed.
At the same time they are neutral structures. So anyone can just walk up to them and take minerals stored, don't even need to hack.

There will be limited number of these mining rigs in the world, spaced really far apart and each producing one specific resource.

Now that copy from previous mining thread is out of the way, let's discuss mining guns in more detail.
So, you're the game designer and you want to implement more ways for player to produce resources. You want players to have more engaging and interactive ways of ecoing that are suitably rewarded. Of course we want this to be a choice made by the player, not an illusion of a choice, but an actual one, so we can increase the depth of the game. Now how would we go about adding new ways of procuring materials, without making already available ways obsolete. Well, first of all, we need to think like the player, or in this scenario, one specialized in economics, an ecoer. What is an ecoers goal when producing items? well, for one, making a profit. To make a profit ecoer would prefer to produce an item as cheap as possible and sell it as high as possible. Of course there is a price floor, lowest possible price the item can be produced for, that player can't pass. To make a profit, ecoer would need to be able to sell this item for at least 1 UC higher than the price floor. Consumers will always tend to buy the cheapest product, even if the price difference is 1 UC. This is why, ecoers will often undercut, place their item at a price lower, usually 1 UC range, then the lowest available price. Of course this will reach it's limit when the price hits the price floor, as undercutting further will only bring loss. Usually at this point ecoers shift their production to another item, while waiting for market on this item desaturate a bit, so they can make a profit again. As input of the current item is slowed consumers start buying out available ones starting from one closest to price floor and moving up the chain and raising the price. as prices rise, undercutting becomes viable again and the process repeats until it hits the price floor again. So why is this price floor so important? Well in hyper competitive markets, there is high likelihood of items almost always be near price floor, within 1-2 UC range. The way most markets are set up, oldest entries on the same price are displayed first, so consumers tend to buy those first. So if you put your product for sale at the price floor, you are guaranteed to eventually sell your product.
Understanding these concepts is very important when making changes to economy. If you add a path of making items that has lower price floor than previously available, ecoers using previous method won't be able to sell their product. Let's discuss an example:
Making a ammo clip using terminals costs 50 UC, that is the price floor. selling it for 50 will not make you any profit, selling it for 49 will make you take losses. Now what would happen if you added a method that had a price floor of 45 UC?
People using that method could keep the price range always within that 45-50 UC and always making a profit, but people who are using older method who would even sell it for 50, would never get their turn, as lower price takes priority over time of item's placement on the market (remember? older entries on the same price take priority, or are listed higher, so to say). So, as a result, people using terminals won't be able to sell their product at all, not only forcing them to sell items already produced using terminals at a loss, but making terminals obsolete and moving all the production to the novel method.
Now that we have understood price floors and problems associated with introducing methods that lower them, let's discuss active mining, or more specifically the mining guns.
People spend effort and time using active methods of mining, so it stands to reason that they are adequately reward. How do we go about doing that? Well we can't make minerals mined through mining guns cheaper, it would alter the price floor and make other methods of mining obsolete. Then how do we reward players time?
What if we gave them more of a resource, but at the same price per unit as the terminal. So if in one hour, ecoer could get 100 gold for 2k UC, using mining guns they can get 200 for 4k uc or even 300 for 6k uc in the same time frame, that is one hour. This way player is adequately rewarded for their time spent actively mining and it doesn't make terminals useless. Thus we are giving players an actual choice, not an illusion, an actual choice of what to use to reach their goals.
To sum up, we reward players time, effort and risk by giving them more resources, albeit at the same price, but in lower time frame. This would, of course, take some effort to balance.
It would require defining price floor of a mining gun and it's ammo, then checking how many minerals a clip can mine, then check how many clips can a gun empty before breaking. Then edit cost values on the terminal accordingly.
But mineral deposits won't be static, they will deplete and player will have to search for another one, how do we account that into the cost, you may ask. We don't! Time spent has no place in the price floor calculation. If you feel reward is inadequate, just increase mineral yield. But every time you do recheck with the terminals so that both mining gun and terminal produces have same price floor.
That was a long read, thank you for sticking with me till the end and hopefully I was able to convey my thoughts properly.
Thank you again for being interested in this project and working towards it's success.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
 
Last edited:

Safwan

Enthusiast

Bronzed Donator
Alpha Tester
Jun 1, 2017
269
Civil Protection Commission
Rank: Commandant (R6)
Service Points: 0
Mining Rigs was one of the better ideas seen in FoTD. Apart from slow mining terminal, mining rig was faster and required protection and active participation on people's end. being able to hack/destroy mining rigs added an element of risk vs reward kind of thing. should be brought in if you ask me.
 

BioXide

Founder

Staff member
Lead Developer
Management
Jun 1, 2017
453
Portland, Oregon
Guns of the Conclave
Rank: Princeps (R7)
Service Points: 999999
Hey gents I've been reading all your suggestions and "running the simulation" in my head, I'm considering switching manual mining into something else, mainly due to improving performance, as having a lot of actors spawn constantly bogs the server down a bit. Drone mining will be coming in the near future once we implement the new AI system and add being able to produce AI, I'll be experimenting with re-adding mining rigs (The neutral mining rigs are already planned as well).

The discussion yesterday was interesting and as I mentioned I'm always considering stuff even if it's not what I want, I also noticed between resource nodes and the mining tool, there was quite a lot of data being sent/received from the server, especially from the particle beam and sound effects, so it makes sense to replace that for something less resource intensive.

Mining rigs make the most sense, as it's essentially an individual mining process, the only benefit to it is being able to place it where you want (inside a mining zone), avoiding mineral costs & taxes, it will mine at the same pace as mining terminals but it wont be able to store as much, you'll only have one active process while mining terminals will be boosted to two.

Feel free to continue the discussion.
 

James Russell

Dweller

Bronzed Donator
Alpha Tester
Oct 20, 2018
18
Terran Defense Corps
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
manual mining sucks. It's the worst.
Sitting there and just shooting at a piece of environment for hours. In FotD you could alt tab while pressing mouse button and character will keep mining, you can still hear that sound so if the gun broke or you got attacked you could hear it, alt tab back and RUN. or at least see what scum dared to disturb you.
The terminals were better as you could actually play the game, while you eco'd. That included RP, fighting, chatting. God, you couldn't even chat cause you're using one of your hands to mine, unless you exploited the game.

So to summarize my points on mining guns:
1. they're boring;
2. they prevent you from playing or interacting with the game;
3. nobody wants to use them.


So my idea would be to not forsake mining rigs.
Make mining possible by 2 ways:
Terminals that are at a heart of colony or on earth colonies.
They will work slowly, can be taxed, but they can be run in background and are relatively secure.

Now the mining rigs.
Instead of making them deployables, make them big structures in open worlds somewhere far away from colony center in the ass of nowhere.
They will need a power cell to function, but otherwise they are free and can't be taxed.
At the same time they are neutral structures. So anyone can just walk up to them and take minerals stored, don't even need to hack.

There will be limited number of these mining rigs in the world, spaced really far apart and each producing one specific resource.

Now that copy from previous mining thread is out of the way, let's discuss mining guns in more detail.
So, you're the game designer and you want to implement more ways for player to produce resources. You want players to have more engaging and interactive ways of ecoing that are suitably rewarded. Of course we want this to be a choice made by the player, not an illusion of a choice, but an actual one, so we can increase the depth of the game. Now how would we go about adding new ways of procuring materials, without making already available ways obsolete. Well, first of all, we need to think like the player, or in this scenario, one specialized in economics, an ecoer. What is an ecoers goal when producing items? well, for one, making a profit. To make a profit ecoer would prefer to produce an item as cheap as possible and sell it as high as possible. Of course there is a price floor, lowest possible price the item can be produced for, that player can't pass. To make a profit, ecoer would need to be able to sell this item for at least 1 UC higher than the price floor. Consumers will always tend to buy the cheapest product, even if the price difference is 1 UC. This is why, ecoers will often undercut, place their item at a price lower, usually 1 UC range, then the lowest available price. Of course this will reach it's limit when the price hits the price floor, as undercutting further will only bring loss. Usually at this point ecoers shift their production to another item, while waiting for market on this item desaturate a bit, so they can make a profit again. As input of the current item is slowed consumers start buying out available ones starting from one closest to price floor and moving up the chain and raising the price. as prices rise, undercutting becomes viable again and the process repeats until it hits the price floor again. So why is this price floor so important? Well in hyper competitive markets, there is high likelihood of items almost always be near price floor, within 1-2 UC range. The way most markets are set up, oldest entries on the same price are displayed first, so consumers tend to buy those first. So if you put your product for sale at the price floor, you are guaranteed to eventually sell your product.
Understanding these concepts is very important when making changes to economy. If you add a path of making items that has lower price floor than previously available, ecoers using previous method won't be able to sell their product. Let's discuss an example:
Making a ammo clip using terminals costs 50 UC, that is the price floor. selling it for 50 will not make you any profit, selling it for 49 will make you take losses. Now what would happen if you added a method that had a price floor of 45 UC?
People using that method could keep the price range always within that 45-50 UC and always making a profit, but people who are using older method who would even sell it for 50, would never get their turn, as lower price takes priority over time of item's placement on the market (remember? older entries on the same price take priority, or are listed higher, so to say). So, as a result, people using terminals won't be able to sell their product at all, not only forcing them to sell items already produced using terminals at a loss, but making terminals obsolete and moving all the production to the novel method.
Now that we have understood price floors and problems associated with introducing methods that lower them, let's discuss active mining, or more specifically the mining guns.
People spend effort and time using active methods of mining, so it stands to reason that they are adequately reward. How do we go about doing that? Well we can't make minerals mined through mining guns cheaper, it would alter the price floor and make other methods of mining obsolete. Then how do we reward players time?
What if we gave them more of a resource, but at the same price per unit as the terminal. So if in one hour, ecoer could get 100 gold for 2k UC, using mining guns they can get 200 for 4k uc or even 300 for 6k uc in the same time frame, that is one hour. This way player is adequately rewarded for their time spent actively mining and it doesn't make terminals useless. Thus we are giving players an actual choice, not an illusion, an actual choice of what to use to reach their goals.
To sum up, we reward players time, effort and risk by giving them more resources, albeit at the same price, but in lower time frame. This would, of course, take some effort to balance.
It would require defining price floor of a mining gun and it's ammo, then checking how many minerals a clip can mine, then check how many clips can a gun empty before breaking. Then edit cost values on the terminal accordingly.
But mineral deposits won't be static, they will deplete and player will have to search for another one, how do we account that into the cost, you may ask. We don't! Time spent has no place in the price floor calculation. If you feel reward is inadequate, just increase mineral yield. But every time you do recheck with the terminals so that both mining gun and terminal produces have same price floor.
That was a long read, thank you for sticking with me till the end and hopefully I was able to convey my thoughts properly.
Thank you again for being interested in this project and working towards it's success.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

I agree with everything this man said on this post and the following, if I could have put it into words as thoroughly and eloquently as he did, I would'a
 

John White

Dilettante

Supporting Donator
Jul 23, 2018
148
Avalon Enterprises
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
... avoiding mineral costs & taxes, it will mine at the same pace as mining terminals but it wont be able to store as much, you'll only have one active process while mining terminals will be boosted to two.

Feel free to continue the discussion.
Sounds like altering price floor to me.
Avoiding the taxes is good, but mineral cost needs to be the same as other mining methods.
 
Last edited:

Delan

Game Designer

Staff member
Bronzed Donator
Alpha Tester
Nov 8, 2017
62
Germany
Followers of Eternity
Rank: Game Master
Service Points: 5
Sounds like altering price floor to me.
Avoiding the taxes is good, but mineral cost needs to be the same as other mining methods.
We're looking for ways to balance the cost between all available and coming mining solutions as best as possible. The money involved in mining will most certainly have a different flow and may not be visible in the first place but we want to make sure that every solution will have its viable place. It might take a bit of time while we explore different approaches but we don't want to have 1 out of several options to be superior over the rest when in comes to cost efficiency.
 
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Diaxxie

Clone

Jul 28, 2019
3
Avalon Enterprises
Rank: None
Service Points: 0
Mhm, I agree with John, actually. Taxes and costs do not really bother me as it's sort of sink to avoid inflation of currency in any sort of way. Taxes are also a thing that is manipulated by ruling governors and such during that time and can change at a moments notice if the game features no warning to tax changes in a particular region. It could also be manipulated in terms of 'Are you a member of this Faction' or 'What is your standing here' or even as far as 'What are you making', etc. Some area's may be better to make different things than other places. Making food at AE with your own materials may be lower taxes than say making food at Northstar which may be better for that person to just outright buy the food if it's bad enough.

The thing that actually concerns me the most is not only the time it takes to get the materials and the cost to make it, but how long it takes to make as well.

Will different tiered refined resources, parts and equipment have different crafting times? If so, this will alter the prices, because as more time goes throughout the game, more of these items will be around. Also depending on how long it takes to make said item, it influences how many of those items will be around which effects the price in general, not so much the price floor as John has said since the price floor is determining or not if you make a profit or not. You'll have people making lower tier items which may be faster and require fewer and not as high quality resources as a higher tiered item. (Such as the different between a basic handgun or assault rifle as an example.) Or you may have people making the more time consuming and more expensive higher tiered items.

So what happens if it takes, let's say, a few hours to make a set of the most basic armor, versus nearly a week for something closer to power armor? It's a lot of time, knowledge and commitment that people will have to take to make those items, because they may believe that reward outcomes the lower tiered items due to there being fewer of these items.

"How long does it take for the finished product? Are these materials worth investing into said item for as long as it takes? How much of this finished product is around? How valuable is this product if someone was to lose it due to accident or death?"

That being said, I will not make items if I can sell the materials for an astronomical profit over the equipment I could make from it. As far as if I make more money of making higher tiered items or lower tiered items, that's just depending on the demand and supply of said item. However, that being said, power, healthier buffs and being better equipped than the person next to you does come with a price of its own.
 
Last edited: