March 2, 2015 in Dev Blog
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been looking at the structure of Starbound’s economy as a whole, trying to devise a pricing structure that makes sense for both the 3D printer, and in preparation for when our selling interface is added in down the line. This ultimately entails repricing about 2000 objects and items which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is not exactly a trivial task.
The intent is that, once implemented, merchants will typically buy any items off you for half their value, so you could earn a steady profit looting dungeons of their most precious objects, or by carefully managing your resources as a farmer.
I began by tackling the pricing on our crops, as they are one of the few things that have a tiered structure in place with clearly established values, making them an ideal place to start. Typically buying a seed for a crop will cost about a quarter of the value of the crop itself, or about half of what you’d earn from selling said crop. This means if you grew four wheat crops and sold them, you could then spend those earnings to get eight more wheat seeds, and exponentially expand your farming operation, or alternatively, spend that money investing in higher value seeds. As you progress through the tiers you gain access to higher value crops from increasingly hostile worlds, which in turn will net you greater rewards.
This led to me repricing all of the prepared foods that the player can make or purchase, which are now priced in accordance with the component ingredients and tier of the food. At this time the current food buff system is still not quite where we want it, so this aspect will receive further attention down the line. In a similar vein (heh) all the ore values have been tweaked to suit, and almost all of them can be refined now if you have no use for them.
The real challenge was figuring out how to evaluate the value of the sheer multitude of objects. I didn’t want to just go through and slap random numbers on them, but rather I wanted the value to be directly tied to the traits of the object in question. These traits include:
- Tier (where in the progression the object may be acquired)
- Utility (bed, chairs, containers, light sources, switch functionality, crafting, etc).
- Material Value (if it’s something the player crafts).
After much experimentation, I finally felt like I had some solid formulae in place and thus I’ve been working my way through all our objects and assessing their values. Printing things is still going to be fairly costly in the early game, but by the late tiers things should be feeling quite affordable, so if you’re one to build large elaborately decorated structures, you’ll likely notice prices overall have come down a bit.
As an aside, I got some reprieve from all the object pricing today to make some minor updates to the outpost. There is now a crafting room on the outpost that has all the basic crafting stations, for those situations where you happen to already have the ingredients you need to complete a quest. Perhaps of greater significance is the addition of a teleporter inside the outpost, which you’ll be able to link directly to your own teleporters as part of our new placeable teleporter implementation. These changes should hopefully alleviate the tedium of traveling to and from the outpost.
Have a good night everybody!