Economic Expansion - Questions and Concerns

We've received feedback regarding some questions and concerns and while we await the first Test Build I thought I would take an opportunity to address them.  The majority of all questions, comments and concerns so far center around four basic points:

·         Concerns about the number of partner structures needed

·         Concerns about complication

·         Concerns about container use

·         Concerns about hauling


Of these concerns the number of partner structures needed is the easiest to address.  The number of partner structures a player will need depends entirely on what they intend to produce.  A player who is only building basic economy items, even in complete production lines of them will not need any at all.  If a player intends to produce the new partner shipyard ships then at least 1 partner structure would be required (the partner shipyard).  If that player is willing to use markets to obtain the needed materials for building the ships then no further partner structures would be required.  A player desiring the ability to build everything in the revamped economy would need a minimum of 5 – a shipyard, a foundry, and 3 logging companies due to the distribution of wood types on the map.  The rest could be done with basic revamp structures.


Another question coming up has been the nature of the partner structure deed and its use.  The partner structure deed works just like any other structure deed in that it can be built where it is qualified to be built and once built is a permanent structure.  The structure cannot be packed up and moved so its placement should be carefully considered. 


We feel concerns about complication in the economy are very relative.  If you are a specialized producer of a product like oak in game now, the change this revamp will bring is seeing the common wood harvest recipe replaced by one for firewood.  There will be a new basic revamp oak camp available as an option to move into as well as a partner logging camp but they are not required.  How complicated things are beyond this is proportionate to the number of industries and businesses a single player is attempting to participate in.


It’s important to keep in mind a primary goal of the economic revamp was to encourage specialization in the economy.  The revamped economy doesn’t require players to assume risk by specializing in production.  In the current economy there are mountains of gravel that have no value.  It is unlikely that a player could specialize in gravel production and make a profit doing so.  In the revamped economy NPC buyers provide immediate outlets.  If a player has little time or doesn’t want to wait to gain something from their economic activity they no longer have to.  They would most likely make a better profit selling to another player but they are no longer dependent on that to make a profit.   Some folks just don’t have enough game time to wait for days for something to sell.  They can sell their gravel to a regional buyer at a small profit in the revamped economy and begin to specialize in gravel or other production reliably if they choose.  They don’t have to complicate their economy any further to get something out of it.


With the concerns regarding possible over use of containers there may be some misconceptions prevailing about their use.  Not all industries and businesses use containers.  Timber and metal working industries use very few and only for small items like nails and trunnels.  Mines and quarries do not use containers at all.  The primary consumers of containers are the agricultural structures like plantations and the structures that process those products.  Container use does not extend to the entire economy even within the agricultural industries.


There may also be another misconception regarding container use and stock piled supplies.  For example, let’s say I have a stockpile of hemp I’m sitting on but I don’t want to have to put all that hemp into bales to get it to market or manufacturing.  In the revamped economy you don’t have to put that cargo into containers unless your destination for that cargo is an NPC trader or one of the revamped structures (which use revamped recipes).  You can still list the hemp on the auction houses and you can also still use the unbaled hemp in basic legacy Textile Mills.  If the stockpiled items were intended for use in existing basic structures this can still be accomplished post revamp without needing containers.


Hauling concerns are difficult to address because they are case by case assessments.  Whether or not your economy will require more or less hauling to maintain depends on exactly how and where you have it set up.  In some cases hauling will go down because a resource like iron that wasn’t present in their current production port has been added to it removing the need to haul iron in.  They also may not have to sail as far to reach a market for their materials or goods.  Basic economy producers in legacy structures really shouldn’t see any change in their hauling because no current resources moved away (except Teak which was removed from the map). 


If a player wants to attempt to haul everything the revamp economy has to offer it will take more hauling simply because there is more to haul.  Use of player markets can reduce hauling.  Use of NPC vendors can reduce hauling as well though some NPC use comes with noticeable expense in doubloons.  We don’t want to limit the number of markets in the game purely because players choosing to engage in those markets may incur more hauling by doing so. 


We will discuss our 2.15 Test build push plan for this week tomorrow and I will post an update regarding that shortly afterward.