Galactic Market isn't making the game more deep (quite the opposite)

Galactic Market isn't making the game more deep (quite the opposite)

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Piotrzeci

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In my opinion Galactic Market and the local one work exactly the same and on top of that make the game less interesting to play.

  • Reaching a critical deficit is never a problem as anything can always be bought instantly. There isn't even a need to ask any aliens to sell the thing to you.
    The same goes for Rare Resource cost of ship parts and their "edicts", just buy them whenever needed, just more clicks.
  • Rare Resources are totally uninteresting. There is barely any difference between a maintenance in RR and just increased EC maintenance. The Market is pretty much the only source of them in any significant amount and I just tend to buy more than the Galaxy produces. Since they are always there I can upgrade my buildings constantly and as long as I make profit it's fine.
  • As long as I make profit it's fine. Economy just doesn't make any sense. There is no need for a reasonable Industrial empire that has many mines and forge worlds, producing only alloys works too. I don't think the supply of the Market is met with aliens selling minerals as quickly as I buy them off to smelt them into alloys and sell for EC for minerals... at a healthy profit. I doubt anyone even manages to buy all those alloys.
    Some would call it specialization of the economy, but it reaches the level where it's unnecessary to think at all. Anything will make profit (more or less) using this market and it really lower the need for strategy.
  • An empire cable of self-sufficiency isn't more stable. With infinite supply it's entirely possible to never produce some things; let's say food. Since there is a way to produce things and convert them into EC and into anything (food) having farmers or having clerks doesn't make any difference. Nobody can cut the food supply, nobody can blockade me from using the Market, it's all about the price and if I can make that money from turning every celestial body into a city-planet I don't need to ever build a farm. Even if eventually it would be cheaper to farm my own... that's all there is to it - cheaper. The interesting gameplay with different planet features and potential need for expansion is just lost as there is another braindead way of dealing with a deficit.
  • Two markets don't feel any different. It might be a result of the game barely showing fluctuations in the prices (no graphs, no red/green indicators of current price's nature), but I don't ever feel like switching to a Galactic Market does anything. I can buy locally things that no place in my space is capable of producing. I also don't see who sells what so it just leads to a thought back in the head that I do fuel someone's economy... but I don't actually feel like that's the case. I trade with the Market, not aliens.
As to suggestions:
  1. Make the interface show relation between the current and base price more clearly. It would immediately make the Market feel more alive.
  2. Either:
    Make it so things placed on the Market aren't just sold and nothing can be just bought, but instead an empire has to place their goods on the Market and then someone has to come and buy them to create profit instead of selling to the Void-Market.
    or add limits to the supply based on the production of nations involved, let's say you can only buy up to Anything Sold + 50% of monthly production of the good of all the nations involved (so there is no way to buy something from the Void).
  3. Make Rare Resource production jobs actually more reasonable than straight up buying the thing. The job is terrible; it gives little work places for a building slot, has building maintenance, requires input and a working pop, which is pretty much always (except for habitats) more expensive than just buying the resource.
 
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KingAlamar

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Generally I feel like there was more thinking involved when each empire had to provide everything it needed, than now with an additional mechanic.
I agree with you in general. I feel like I was having more fun managing economies without such a BROAD AND DEEP safety net.

On the other hand prior to 2.2 you only really had to juggle three balls at once with very simplistic interactions -- food, energy, minerals. So with the original tile system things were a little too easy. Now you have to juggle not just the three prior balls but also amenities, consumer goods, alloys, motes, gases, and crystals -- not counting the "super rares". Also the interactions are at least slightly more interesting given the "tiered" nature of the other elements that needed to be juggled.

My thoughts are:
  • Do away with the market entirely IF the gameplay can be made to work ... at least have that be an option players can disable at game start
  • IF there is a market then change it to be somewhat like the following:
    • A potential seller goes to "sell mode". You specify how many "widgets" you want to sell. You can see the price you can get for those goods instantly. If you accept you lose the widgets and get credits.
    • A potntial buyer goes to "buy mode". You specify how many "widgets" you want to buy. You can see the price you can get for those goods instantly. If you accept you instantly gain the widgets and lose credits.
    • The "market fee" is paid twice ... Once on "selling" and another time on "buying". Each empire likely has different levels of fees they have to deal with.
    • The above works ONLY when you have willing buyers & sellers. Think about the market being a fast way to diplomatically ask everyone in the galaxy "how much can I sell/buy this widget for?". The system is just GREATLY streamlined though.
    • IF there are no instant buyers or sellers THEN allow players or AIs to put in "SELL" orders. They lose their widgets but don't get paid anything UNTIL those widgets sell on the market at the dictated price. The same applies to "BUY" orders. They immediately lose credits HOWEVER they don't get any widgets UNTIL sellers pop up [if ever]. You can go back later and modify SELL or BUY prices and quantities if and as desired.

For super rares like Dark Matter, Zro, and Nanites I would make those strategic resources WORTH going to war over. IF these were on the market at all the market fee should be extra high [possibly introducing the concept of tiered or variable market fees??]. So high that it might be better to go to war to claim the systems where those resources are OR similar.

This extra tidbit may add some additional flavor to the end game at least, the politics of resources, etc.
 

Tamwin5

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The market should have an actual supply. The market should have a certain number of resources, and a price calculation based on how many are currently on the market. But if there is no one in the galaxy producing and selling food, you can't just pull food out of nowhere.

The internal market should also have a much higher market fee, like base 100%. It should not be a good option.

I think that the galactic market should be allowed to form earlier, but also be able to change if the center of trade changes. When the market changes, it would leave behind a "former market HQ" that gives -5% trade discount (non-stacking with current market HQ. The market HQ should also give like a 20% bonus to in-system trade value.
 

KingAlamar

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The market should have an actual supply. The market should have a certain number of resources, and a price calculation based on how many are currently on the market. But if there is no one in the galaxy producing and selling food, you can't just pull food out of nowhere.

The internal market should also have a much higher market fee, like base 100%. It should not be a good option.

I think that the galactic market should be allowed to form earlier, but also be able to change if the center of trade changes. When the market changes, it would leave behind a "former market HQ" that gives -5% trade discount (non-stacking with current market HQ. The market HQ should also give like a 20% bonus to in-system trade value.
I like the idea that you're proposing. In the end I wouldn't mind that he market just be some "streamlined interface" to allow you to diplomatically exchange goods. If it's a real market then introducing some form of "actual buyers & sellers" of some variety would be a welcome change.

Devil's Advocate: We might need to do something about assimilation and similar though. There are times you can run into a hiccup in your economy based on workers not being able to work -- having a way to smooth out those transient bumps OR changing the system that causes the bumps would be welcome.
 

Tamwin5

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I like the idea that you're proposing. In the end I wouldn't mind that he market just be some "streamlined interface" to allow you to diplomatically exchange goods. If it's a real market then introducing some form of "actual buyers & sellers" of some variety would be a welcome change.

Devil's Advocate: We might need to do something about assimilation and similar though. There are times you can run into a hiccup in your economy based on workers not being able to work -- having a way to smooth out those transient bumps OR changing the system that causes the bumps would be welcome.
I think direct trading should still be available, and kind of separate. If the market is just a streamlined way of diplomatically exchanging goods, you have redundant systems.

Assimilation and Gene modding should get overhauled. But honestly, having to prepare and stockpile resources before undertaking something big like that does make logical sense.
 

KingAlamar

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I think direct trading should still be available, and kind of separate. If the market is just a streamlined way of diplomatically exchanging goods, you have redundant systems.

Assimilation and Gene modding should get overhauled. But honestly, having to prepare and stockpile resources before undertaking something big like that does make logical sense.
Players will ... AI probably won't so if it doesn't happen to have a big enough stockpile it can get into a bad way fast.
 

Tamwin5

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Crazy idea: What if instead of giving a discount on market price, instead owing the galactic market gave you a cut of every transaction that happened?
 

KingAlamar

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Crazy idea: What if instead of giving a discount on market price, instead owing the galactic market gave you a cut of every transaction that happened?
That might be crazy powerful ... perhaps even too good unless there were a lot of other changes to how the market worked.
 

Tamwin5

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That might be crazy powerful ... perhaps even too good unless there were a lot of other changes to how the market worked.
It would be something small like 10%(of the total cut not 1/3 of the 30%). It would have to be combined with an update so the galactic market can change over time. It would mean that empires would be fighting heavily over the galactic market, either sinking in influence and energy, or just straight up warring for the system.
 

Piotrzeci

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I am currently playing without ever touching the Market and one of the cool things I found is that Rare Resource edicts can nicely influence ship designs. Purely based on geography of the galaxy and supply of resources it might be more advantageous to focus ship designs in a specific way to match the bonuses of the edicts. Kinda like the trade goods of I:R.
 

Tamwin5

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I am currently playing without ever touching the Market and one of the cool things I found is that Rare Resource edicts can nicely influence ship designs. Purely based on geography of the galaxy and supply of resources it might be more advantageous to focus ship designs in a specific way to match the bonuses of the edicts. Kinda like the trade goods of I:R.
I've always wanted rare resources to be more rare. The rare resources in your area never really determine what economic path you go, or how you build your ships.
 

KingAlamar

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I've always wanted rare resources to be more rare. The rare resources in your area never really determine what economic path you go, or how you build your ships.
The only times [recently] I've run into a pinch was when I needed ZRO or DARK MATTER for some of the high-end ship equipment. Unfortunately all you have to do is find ONE single source of these rare resources and then you can buy all you need from the market for next to nothing.

I miss the days when you either had to TRADE for rare resources [pay through the teeth] OR you had to go to war to get the nice sparkly things :)
 

Tamwin5

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The only times [recently] I've run into a pinch was when I needed ZRO or DARK MATTER for some of the high-end ship equipment. Unfortunately all you have to do is find ONE single source of these rare resources and then you can buy all you need from the market for next to nothing.

I miss the days when you either had to TRADE for rare resources [pay through the teeth] OR you had to go to war to get the nice sparkly things :)
Another reason we need the actual amount of resources on the market to be tracked. If no one is selling Dark Matter or Zro, just because you have access shouldn't mean you can just dump energy to get an infinite amount of them.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but:
Aren't markets fundamentally a thing of a free economy?
And isn't the economy in Stellaris a completely planned-economy?
I mean, no wonder the market doesn't tie in well to the rest of the game...
 

Tamwin5

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Correct me if I am wrong but:
Aren't markets fundamentally a thing of a free economy?
And isn't the economy in Stellaris a completely planned-economy?
I mean, no wonder the market doesn't tie in well to the rest of the game...
The theory is that there is a private sector that is buying and selling. I'd much rather just have everything be the planned economy players see.
 

Piotrzeci

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There are two issues I see with playing without the use of the Market:
  1. There is an imbalance in production of basic goods. I am quite low on EC and nearly always capped on Minerals, because the ladder is so much easier to get. I don't build mining stations on 2 minerals anymore, have just a few mining districts and produce quite a lot of alloys and CG and yet every planet has a couple (if not all available) energy districts. I don't know if it's a cause of small amount of energy in space or high upkeep of stations and buildings, but I just can't make my economy keep up with demand for energy (I am in positive, but not nearly enough).
  2. I am overproducing everything. The economy is quite slow to respond and getting new jobs and producing more of a good takes quite a lot of time so I just keep production of everything in the positive at all times, I can't just say "Okay, we have a healthy stockpile of Minerals, you can increase the usage by 100% for few years". It leads to potential of my CG, EC (not that it will ever happen), Minerals and Food reaching the maximal stockpile and I won't be able to do anything with it. Food and CG can be used for planetary edicts and I generally don't have enough to keep it on everywhere, so there is a sink for them. EC just are so underpoduced that I can't get enough of them, but Minerals - I don't have anything I can do with them. The Market is the only reliable way to sink them and without it... they just sit on maximum all the time (I just give them to aliens in trade, but there is only so much they can give me in return, even though I usually make the deal favourable to them).
    With limited building spaces I can't make more Alloy Foundries, I just can't increase the production of this magical good that always is useful. Even though I have resource for it I can't manufacture it.
 

KingAlamar

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@Piotrzeci : While the current economic system, in terms of player engagement, seems generally better than the older systems there are still holes large enough to drive a big truck through.

Early on I'm in the same boat you are. I'm pretty much swimming in minerals and have to fight to keep a sufficient energy surplus to hire scientists so I can do early game exploration.

Some of this has to do with my game settings though. I play with a minimum number of habitable planets [so micro is minimized]. This means the ratio between "space based" and "planet based" production really favors the space side of the equation.

In the end I don't mind being able to over produce initially. It lets me build up large stockpiles of everything in the event that there is an unexpected hiccup in my economy.
 

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... let's say you can only buy up to Anything Sold + 50% of monthly production of the good of all the nations involved ...
This was the biggest let-down of the market for me once I started using it (alongside the slave market UI being a pain, I guess). The market should have 3 things:
  1. A clear bid/ask price (which it kind of does currently through the buy/sell buttons) and a record of both the price and the spread of each commodity for each day over the last 7 or 14 rolling in-game days, so I can continuously get a sense of how prices are moving.
  2. And second, as you suggested, the total buy volumes for the month should be shown & pegged against something tangible. Rather than1.5x the last month's GDP (Galactic Domestic Product lol), I'd take 1.5x the average output of each commodity over the last 3 or 4 months, to smooth the volumes, as the AI is prone to doing stupid stuff at the drop of a hat. It'd also mean after several long wars or a crisis eating lots of people, galactic market volumes will need longer to get 'back on track' (which they should, if half the galaxy has been turned in to Prethoryn chow mein).
  3. The top 3 empire purchasers and sellers of each commodity, by volume, should also be shown (after a minimum threshold, to avoid weirdness with low base sell-volumes)
 

Rodmar18

Lt. General
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Sep 19, 2018
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@Piotrzeci : about self-sufficient empires, I think that now that sectors have stockpiles, planets could have stockpiles too. Cut-off planets/systems/sectors could have similar restrictions as regard to their participation to the global, imperial income as they have as regard to their participation to the imperial trade value, and the enemy would be treated the same way as piracy. This way, blockading an agriworld would harm the imperial food income even if no food would be waste until this world's stockpile is full of food. Let's sat that you have a piracy or a piracy-worth enemy activity of 30%: you'd lose 30% of trade value and 30% of any sectorial resource transiting through that system (as regard to the imperial income). Lost resource would be directed to local (sectorial, then planetary) stockpiles until the threat is dealt with or the stockpiles are full. Building new trade routes (by upgrading or restructuring starbases) could bypass the problem. Now, would this system be fluent enough for the game not to stall (too early)?


Giving resources to other empires temporarily increases their diplomatic opinion. Shouldn't it also increase their trust by a small amount? (I'm not sure if it's the case). It could also ease peer-to-peer trading relations by modifying the "market" value of resources you demand in return, to your advantage. Enough with "gifts" and "tributes" that only help alleviating a former diplomatic loss when you really care for that other empire, be it hostile or allied, feeble or strong, just because it is fine if they are a little stronger at the moment to fit your own agenda (from xenophile and altruistic care to opportunistic reinforcement of your next meatshield).
In short, I'd like that the A.I. empire kiss more the hand that feed them, and more so in dire times. Peer-to-peer trade and increase in trust would suit this purpose.