I think it would be nice if we had more control over the market end of the game. Currently it seems a bit unfair in some aspects, for example, if you’re putting out an obviously superior product, but can’t directly hike your selling price to take advantage of this. If I’m putting out a drug that has no side effects, is more refined and stronger than the competition, I want to be able to point this out in the form of advertising, which would affect the market for a period. I also expect that, if I have a good product, (eg B+) and my competition is a bad one (eg D-), the disparity in prices should be more pronounced, there could also be market events which see the lesser products completely devalued in the eyes of the public. This would actually present the player with a strategy of either making a quick buck at higher risk, or investing in a better product for more long term security and potential gains.
Although of course there needs to be some element of uncertainty, it doesn’t seem like there’s enough incentive to produce more than just the bare minimum of drug with all their side effects intact, since your operating costs eat up too much of your profit, especially early game. Even if you research improvements on the machines which bring down the process costs, you’ve actually spent money on the salaries of the researchers during that period, which means that you’re not really standing to recoup much by reducing the price of a drug by say $10, when it cost over $1000 to achieve that cost reduction. Plus the initial investment in machines. Plus the cost of taking out a loan. Etc etc.
Altogether it seems like actual profit is not really achievable unless you play the game for decades, due to the low value of drugs on the market, high investment and low starting capital. It’s just a bit frustrating that the AI takes the cheap and easy route and makes more profit with sub-standard products, and there’s not really much I can do about this - there should be.
[Altogether it seems like actual profit is not really achievable unless you play the game for decades, due to the low value of drugs on the market, high investment and low starting capital.]
The tier 1 and 2 cures tend to be really low profit. You gotta go after the tier 3+ ones. I have a tier 4 drug that sells for $1700 with $450 processing costs. I got a tier 5 one selling for $2800 with $600 processing costs. So the profit can get pretty ridiculous at the higher tiers. They’re both S+ rated syringes with no active side effects.
Early game I just dump out a bunch of tier 1 and 2 cures and try to get the tier 3+ ones. Go for whatever is profitable.
Well it’s good to know that there are profitable things in the game, however, what kind of investment did you need to get to that level of cure? The investment you make all adds up. My main trouble is that, aside from just spamming out 1 process pills in the early game there doesn’t seem to be a reliable way to get the kind of money needed to build the setup to produce those kind of cures. You require a lot of machines, or a lot research/exploring, or both. That stuff isn’t free, you’re going to have to take out a loan to cover it. Which means based on the few hours I’ve played so far, on a few different saves, there’s no route to early profit making, you’re running a business in debt and it’s about making less debt than the competition.
Actually, the real issue I have is not the company running in the red, since that’s part and parcel of business, but the railroading down one route in the early game. I even got lucky one time and had a starting ingredient that just needed a few +concentration to remove a side effect completely, so i went for that. The drug blew the competition out of the water and yet it wasn’t making me more profit by doing this because they were mass producing their crappy drugs. Now, okay, that’s kind of hilarious from an objective real world perspective but it didn’t really feel fun or fair in the context of the game I was playing. I just felt like starting over and spamming out crappy drugs instead was the real way to play the game…
Yeh, just spam 1 process pills early game. They only make like $40 profit each, so I build like 4-5 lines, which is enough to get tier 2s. Tier 2s for me usually make around $100 profit each (anywhere from $80 to $120). These allow me to research and get to tier 3s, and tier 3s pretty much put me in the green for the rest of the game, easily making $400+ profit.
PS. This is what I had after 5 years in one game. I was pulling in $425,000 operating profit, and I’d only just built the Tuberculosis Relief drug.
PPS. The forum is cutting the image off. Open it in a new tab or something to see the profit and values.
Good to know that there’s money to be made later in the game with side-effect free drugs!
Not sure why the early stuff is so unprofitable though. I was making a side-effect free painkiller rated A and I couldn’t ever get it to make a profit, even after reducing the process costs. The AI were selling ones with side-effects, with E ratings and making profit. That doesn’t really seem right. In reality, other tier1 pills I was selling were covering the costs of my painkiller so I was overall making $2 profit, but to what gain? If perhaps there was some benefit to having high rated drugs, like your company was perceived better by the public (meaning you can charge more or sell more per month), then it would be beneficial.
After I stopped selling the painkiller and converted that line to a migraine pill (again with no side effects), I did actually manage to turn a profit after selling the drug at a loss for months, when it got to be rated A - but again, the AI was selling their D rated pills at the same time and turning a profit the entire time I was making a loss. Even if they eventually made less money (over a period of years), there wasn’t really any negative to them doing this. They were able to invest that profit into building other lines while I had to take loans out. My pill was only valued at +$10 over theirs despite being altogether better, curing more people, having no side effects, etc etc.
To me it seems like the long term/short term benefits/negatives to selling better/worse drugs need to be adjusted.
It’s because the things that really boosts profit (i.e. syringes and rating) are all percentage based. So like an A rating gives +25% to the value. So for say a Tier 1 drug like Treats Diabetes I’m getting +$39 in value from the rating. Now if I do the same with Appetite Suppressant (a tier 3) I’m getting +$102 value from its B+ rating (+20% value). Now, that same Diabetes drug has a processing cost of $52, while the Appetite Suppressant is $223 processing cost. The raw material values are both the same $40. The thing is though, since the base value of the Appetite Suppressant is $480, the $263 (55% of the value) cost to produce it is pretty low. Now, the Diabetes drug’s base value is $118, with $92 (78%) cost to produce. The percentage benefit from syringes and ratings just compounds this difference even more.
Let me tell you, syringes (+40% value) and S+ ratings (+40% value) get crazy with Tier 4/5 drugs. I’ll just post the screenshots. The numbers speak for themself.
They have equally crazy production lines too.
Those are indeed crazy Thanks for the extra info about the ratings.