Alpha 1.17 economy model kills the game

Hello there.

Yesterday I played the game again after a few weeks and I am so sorry to say this with such harsh words but the new economy model is garbage. Take a look at the attached picture.

I am not that far into the game. What I did was I researched the process specializations (because you cant put most things in the car without) and then started researching all the extras. By the time I finished the first few ALL and EVERY one of the extras is marked as universal which means I get nothing for it.

I have been a gamer for over 20 years now and for me gaming is fun when it feels good, when I get something for the things I accomplish. This can be a nice little cut scene for advancing the story, a little reward from the quest NPC or more profits in a tycoon management game. But this systems gives me nothing. I can stuff my car with all the extras in the world and I get nothing. So why bother? Because the game penalizes me for not doing so. my current car only sells for 12760. That is 7000 less than the first I produced which had no extra at all. And that doesn’t feel good at all. It’s like back at school when I didn’t do my homework :wink:

So I don’t like it at all and I really think you should change it before you go into early access and a wider audience.

Here are a few Ideas how:

1.) Lower the research speed of the AI.

I am not entirely sure but I got the feeling the AI doesn’t need to research the process techs because after I finished these they had already researched most of the in car technologies. If this is right, lower it even more. A normal player should always be able to stay ahead of the curve to get the feeling of accomplishment I was talking before and not only for a week.

2.) Set a minimum rarity for some parts

Think about it. A BMW M5 costs more than a for example Seat Ibiza. Why? Not only because of the power but because it has these nice features which are not common in low budget cars like heated seats or automatic window wipers. And when you ask players what cars would you like to build of you can mange a car factory in a game most if not all of them would answer with some high class cars like BMW, Mercedes or Aston Martin. Because it feels better then producing Seat Ibizas.
To give players this feeling of producing nice expensive cars, in other words to give them an accomplishment after researching so much stuff, let most of the techs never drop below common. Some even never below rare like adaptive cruise control. Even in a BMW you have to pay premium to get this.

3.) (only minor) Rename the availability “universal” to expected.

If you mean “A car is expected to have that” by calling it universal why call it universal in the fist place? Its much more clear this way.

I hope you read this Clifsky and think about it. I like the idea of the game but if I had to review it on my YT channel with this economy model I am sorry but I would call it a bad game.

There’s more than what the pricing window shows about the in game economy. While you get a premium price for rare tech you get less money for selling car without them - so overall cheap car can still be sold with a lower unitary margin as expected. The only thing that seems to be missing is a demand curve for selling high volume low margin cars, especially if all the ‘virtual’ competitors only push out top line luxury sedan.

Alas, technology commonality should be based on the cars produced and sold and not on the technology unlocked. Game should track virtual competitor sales and market size, to provide a more robust pricing framework, as it’s not like the city car segment never really dies with technology advancements.

That said, I guess competition research speed is just ‘because alpha’

I know what you mean but implementing a market system with segments where you compete with diffrents types of cars would be to complicated to be implemented before the game goes in Early Access so I made two simple sugestions which can be implemented before EA and later there can be a bigger change.

Hi, thanks for the feedback. I’m well aware that the economic model needs a lot of tweaking./ I’m doing the final checks on build 1.18 (which will double as the early access build) and it contains the following fix:

  1. [Balance] Changes and fixes to the speed of AI research depending on various factors.

Essentially the AI does not race ahead of you at anything like the speed it used to, and the game is WAY more playable in the late game now.
This is just the first step in me tuning the economic model, but it wont be complete until I have support for different ‘models’ in terms of luxury, budget etc, and different markets for each car (ditto each body type).
That is likely to come after early access. I also intend to move a lot of the IA variables out to text where its easier for me to tweak them.

So…expect 1.18 to be far better in this regard.

I hope you also fixed that thing where AI can research items without researching the per-requisite research.

I hadn’t really considered it, as the only ‘impact’ the AI research has on you is that they compete on features. I agree that they should not be cheating, but actually (for tedious code reasons) its not that easy to reflect this in the R&D screen yet.

Dear god, the competitor R&D pace in Early Access is slower than it used to be?

Here I am, trying to learn the ropes, and competitors are making things universal faster than I can unlock them - let’s not forget that it’s not enough to unlock the tech, you also have to unlock a process so that you can actually install it in a car - the AI doesn’t seem to be doing that.

Far more importantly, they demoralize players, and create a perception that you need to fill your entire factory with research offices.

I agree that the AI is too aggressive at the moment. Don’t worry, it will be getting tweaked soon, now the game is on steam and thats out of the way.

I agree.

From a new player’s standpoint (Im a huge Factorio fan, so not new to the genre) the AI ramped up Research MUCH too quickly. They were making upgrades common way before I was able to research them. I flat out gave up in the Small Factory with 1.5mil starting money, because I couldnt afford to spam research.

I look forward to the new tweaks. :slight_smile: