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  1. #1

    The problem of balanced restriction (better known as caps)

    In the last few days I've had this image in my mind of a franchise for a coffee shop chain in which the franchise sets ludicrous limits on its operators.

    Customers go in and discover that things on the menu boards are capped and the number of tables is severely limited. If they want a certain drink they must keep reordering until it reappears in the system. The best the staff can do is say it is unlikely to be available, but even they don't know for sure and have to try entering it into the system again and again. They tell you it is linked to the number of tables they are allowed to have, which is linked to the number of customers they have had in the past. You had noticed that there was lots of space, but only one table.
    "We're not allowed more yet," you are told.
    Then you notice that the person sitting at that table looks to be pretty much asleep, but has a piece of string running to the counter. You are told this is semi-aft - but the person will tug on the string every now and again, and a fresh attempt to order a special coffee is made. You decide this is all too weird and leave...

    Is this the loot table availability model that planet partners have to accept, I wonder? Once again, like on Cyrene, I'm confronted on Next Island/ Ancient Greece with what looks like a super-cap on anything that 'might' have a value once there is more activity. It is so limited that 1 player alone can drain the 'loot table' - and even that player is bored almost witless.

    How can a place ever hope to thrive based on such restrictions? We even have some tales of the future, where future materials for buildings are known. Don't get me wrong, it is progress that we know more ahead of time, but that is ultimately negative if we see how little expansion there will be. In this case it is building materials for 6 (six!) estates that AG now has - and many buildings of the likely total (18 out of ?) will now be implemented for free anyway because MA cannot deliver in the agreed time (again...).

    Surely hunting and mining only really have the purpose of supplying mats for crafting, which has the purpose of supplying equipment for hunting and mining, plus maybe a wide range of 'cosmetic' items such as clothing...

    Are we going to be stuck in a low-volume circle for ever, or can we break out? At the moment this looks like an aquaponics tank with 1 fish and 1 plant in it, both insisting that the other increase in numbers first (or being locked down at 1 by the franchise).

    What is a planet partner supposed to do here? Can we, the players, do anything at all to help?

    Edit: I'd like to add a bit on the other extreme we have, to enable on-topic discussion of that too, if desired. It is ... oh noooo, oh yes, sweat! This is not only an unrestricted resource, it is also free to gather. For several years the Caly economy managed to have large numbers of sweaters of various types, from solo to sweat circle and from pure sweating to swunting. If I remember correctly it was the introduction of vehicles which massively hit demand on the head, although the market value of sweat had been dropping steadily anyway.
    Is anybody able to gauge demand for sweat in various areas of the game, and what sort of market price could be justifiable (I know, I know...)? Is spawning that worm thing dependent on sweat, by the way? I've forgotten, and have never been to that restricted area even (not finished the long mission chain). It's just that the gorgon spawn event requires sweat - and seemed to push the price up somewhat. Is that a good thing, will it last, etc. etc.?

    For a while I thought harvesting would be mix of the two extremes, not quite free to do, but low cost and definitely possible for noobs to spend time on, with a pyramid of rarer availability built in (lvl1,2,3 trees). Do people like the idea as such? Did it fail because the plot system has so far failed?

    Would taming the lowest pets in order to turn them into residue (also with a rarer type in the mix) be another example of economics that COULD work, but hasn't because it was dead-ended by MA again (stables and good pet functions)? Or is there another reason?

    All of these are relatively uncapped systems. Surely it is better to have lots of activity that can be balanced if necessary, instead of super-capped systems which never really take off in the first place. Is the armatrix range a positive example of a capped system, however (capped by (L)bp availability, but enough around that it works)?
    Last edited by jetsina; 04-08-2020 at 15:02.

  2. #2
    Prowler Aloisius's Avatar
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    I firmly beleive MA should not own a planet in this planet partner scheme. This model you describe is absolutely nasty. And, I think it all boils down to the fact that MA doesn't want competition. This is worse than monopoly. I think an apt analogy would be Franz Kafkas the Castle. Perhaps a good author could get a moral out of this horror story.

  3. #3
    Slayer Spawn's Avatar
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    Mindark owns half a planet. They should sell the other half

  4. #4
    Elite thoreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloisius View Post
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    I firmly beleive MA should not own a planet in this planet partner scheme. This model you describe is absolutely nasty. And, I think it all boils down to the fact that MA doesn't want competition. This is worse than monopoly. I think an apt analogy would be Franz Kafkas the Castle. Perhaps a good author could get a moral out of this horror story.
    From 2011.

    Quote Originally Posted by thoreau View Post
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    The business model of MA creates a niche game. Very few are going to 'play.' The only thing planet partners are going to do is compete against other planet partners for the same decay generators. Growth is too slow to build a planet from the ground up.

    The real thing is MA gets their cut regardless of where a player spends their time. So MA doesn't care if there is 100,000 players on 1 planet or 100,000 players on 10 planets. So MA will be the last to go financially. You'll see planet partners drop first and my guess is Calypso will be the last one standing.

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