Auction mechanics for Enclaves and the Market

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Narva

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So right now (as others have noted) the Market just makes the game more boring and removes opportunities for interaction between empires. Alongside this, Enclaves, while kind of nice, don't offer a lot of interaction possibilities either: they just sort of sit there and sell stuff to the player - not the AI empires, just the player - at fixed prices. Both of these seem like huge missed opportunities for dynamic, emergent storytelling.

My proposed solution is this: Auctions. Instead of buying and selling to and from the void at the Market, empires could auction off bundles of goods to one another. You would pick a resource and an amount, set a minimum price, and let rip, with everyone able to see who's bidding what for what. Likewise, Enclaves could auction their services to the highest bidder. These systems would provide another avenue for interaction and competition between empires, making the connections between your actions and other empires' more transparent, make Enclaves feel more Babylon 5-ey, and turn the Market from a negative to a positive for the game. Even better, various characterful twists could be placed on the system to link it to others and enable more dynamic stories to emerge - for example, winning an auction in which a Rival was the second-highest bidder could grant an Influence bonus, enlivening the relationship as well as adding another interesting strategic option.
 

delta180

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I like the idea and would like you to explain how you think this will work with lot of empires, if an empire wanted to sell a bundle while another auction was going on would they have to wait until the first auction is over? Would we get pop-ups all the time when a lot of stuff is being auctioned? Would the bundle go to whoever had held the highest price for a length of time like in conventional auctioning or would it go to whoever had the highest price at the end of a set time like with e-bay?
 

DrNukeLear

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As much as I normally like auction mechanics I think this isn’t the right way to go. We have enough things to check and run on stellaris without dealing with trade auctions. The current market mechanism works, but it’s not good.

Instead of buying and selling to and from the void at the Market, empires could auction off bundles of goods to one another.

I agree. To often has the void sold me what I’ve needed. I would instead throw out the current interface (sorry pdx), add a screen like the contact screen with a list of markets and alongside the market is the supply and cost for each commodity. You pick where you want to buy from, you pick a product, you enter your value. You take your goods.

In addition to each empire capital acting as a market each enclave also acts as a market. Closed borders close access to their market.

An empires market reflects the private enterprise of that empire, not their treasury.

Unfortunately my response to your idea doesn’t really add the character you’re looking for. But I don’t think the trade system is an easy place to add it.
 

Narva

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I like the idea and would like you to explain how you think this will work with lot of empires, if an empire wanted to sell a bundle while another auction was going on would they have to wait until the first auction is over? Would we get pop-ups all the time when a lot of stuff is being auctioned? Would the bundle go to whoever had held the highest price for a length of time like in conventional auctioning or would it go to whoever had the highest price at the end of a set time like with e-bay?
My thinking is that you could have multiple auctions going on at once, and they'd work like conventional auctions.
As much as I normally like auction mechanics I think this isn’t the right way to go. We have enough things to check and run on stellaris without dealing with trade auctions. The current market mechanism works, but it’s not good.



I agree. To often has the void sold me what I’ve needed. I would instead throw out the current interface (sorry pdx), add a screen like the contact screen with a list of markets and alongside the market is the supply and cost for each commodity. You pick where you want to buy from, you pick a product, you enter your value. You take your goods.

In addition to each empire capital acting as a market each enclave also acts as a market. Closed borders close access to their market.

An empires market reflects the private enterprise of that empire, not their treasury.

Unfortunately my response to your idea doesn’t really add the character you’re looking for. But I don’t think the trade system is an easy place to add it.
Your point about how much stuff the player has to manage is a good one - ideally, the excess this system added would be made up by getting rid of some micromanagement elsewhere in the economy. But the precise way to do that is a huge question.

As to your suggestion, it'd certainly be an improvement on the current Market system, but to be honest I'm not convinced it'd do enough to make it better than just not having a Market at all. It would still have the problem of its weakening the economy-balancing game that (for some reason) is the heart of Stellaris at the moment, without introducing the compensatory element of inter-empire interaction that a competitive auction system would.
 

DrNukeLear

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It would still have the problem of its weakening the economy-balancing game that (for some reason) is the heart of Stellaris at the moment, without introducing the compensatory element of inter-empire interaction that a competitive auction system would.

I don't think the economy balancing game in Stellaris is sufficiently strong at the moment. The job/pop/district/building juggling act is manageable, but when you have more things going on and you take your eye of the economy (a sudden unexpected defensive war for instance) you go to the market for a quick (hopefully temporary) fix. I don't believe replacing the market with anything more time consuming (even if it is more immersive) is going to be an improvement. The other thing that I failed to note and I think is important to recognise is the Market does allow for economic warfare.

If you have a stronger opponent and good intelligence on his economy you can target his alloy production worlds for a pre-emptive strike after buying up as much alloys and driving the prices sky high. Clearer economy mapping would make this easier, but it is what it is.
 

Tamwin5

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I don't think the economy balancing game in Stellaris is sufficiently strong at the moment. The job/pop/district/building juggling act is manageable, but when you have more things going on and you take your eye of the economy (a sudden unexpected defensive war for instance) you go to the market for a quick (hopefully temporary) fix. I don't believe replacing the market with anything more time consuming (even if it is more immersive) is going to be an improvement. The other thing that I failed to note and I think is important to recognise is the Market does allow for economic warfare.

If you have a stronger opponent and good intelligence on his economy you can target his alloy production worlds for a pre-emptive strike after buying up as much alloys and driving the prices sky high. Clearer economy mapping would make this easier, but it is what it is.

Ideally, the market would be a closed system, so you couldn't buy things from it unless people were selling (possibly with a slow drain or increase towards a mid-point for basic resources). It would make things more realistic, and also better facilitate resource denial like that.

Auctions I could totally see as an enclave feature though.