| Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 12:42 pm |
I own a nice little empire, but no enterprise.
There's merit in starting an enterprise to progress in game levels, but... I think I might want to head into space first.
As I understand it, starting an enterprise will cost me 30gc/month. Relying on the game level bonuses to pay for that endeavor is unsustainable. But where else would I get those gc? Direct trading? I can make some gc direct trading, but certainly not 30/month.
So, aside from direct trading, level bonuses, and outright purchasing gc, where else is there 30gc/month? Space.
Space is an expensive place to reach. But it won't cost 30gc per month just to exist.
I'll soon be sitting on 400 gold coins - which is what I consider the minimum to guarantee a successful launch into space (300 to buy a dock, 100 to purchase, operate, and maintain a fleet). So tell me... why should I build an enterprise instead of a space fleet? Why shouldn't I cut out the middle man (an enterprise) and start selling some wares in space? I realize it won't cost 100gc for a fleet; I'm thinking 'worse case scenario' where it takes me months to figure out how to make enough sustain a fleet.
The only reason I can think of is because, without an enterprise, I can't produce the highest quality product possible. So selling weapons and ammo in space might not be my best choice.
Which brings me to an aside here: once bought, can we resell our docking space? Can we sub-divide it and/or rent it out? Seems to me, it's very much like a warehouse in space. We should be able to buy, sell, sub-divide it and rent it as we see fit.
| Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 06:38 pm |
Lot of info there. Maybe I can best help by pulling out as many questions you can and do a little Q&A.
How do I get coins to sustain an enterprise?
You are right to start doing math on this. Idle or underused enterprises are a gold coin hole. You should consider an enterprise, in my opinion, when you have a good shot at getting game level 7 (peaceful) or game level 9 (full game) on a world.
Check my Game Level Guide on this same forum. The first few game levels earn 110 coins to game level 4. Then it is best to plan whether you want to go as high as 7 going the peaceful route or 9 by switching to the full game requirements. Going from 4 to 7 adds an additional 310 coins but 9 earns 710 over game level 4. This coin collection will pay for your enterprise for almost a year or more.
Okay, after I get the game levels, why would I still retain my enterprise?
If your sole aim was game level, maybe you shouldn't. Again, an underutilized enterprise is a waste of coins. However, the enterprise does have some advantages that may continue to prove its worth. One of the most prevalent advantages is the ability to store weapons for no maintenance cost. This attribute is used heavily by the most powerful war players and no player without a similar stock of weapons can hope to stand against them.
Another reason to retain an enterprise is their spending cap. Unlike a country, an enterprise fully refreshes its spending cap every game month with a hefty $500B that can be spent however you choose, military or non-military. Remember that boosters can be used to extend your enterprise. Indeed, my FB enterprise is already extended into late April from me simply continually purchasing the spending cap booster and utilizing the cap to pad my weapon and ammo stocks.
1. Docks actually cost 200 gold coins from the GM. You can purchase them from players for any amount. Docks have limited space and are restricted to a certain market. I have 7 docks to maintain my sell offers and presence on 4 different space station. Some players have more.
2. Shuttles are quite inexpensive right now. I have been adding mine to the market, my last offering was 225 shuttles, for .27 coins each. A very impressive fleet of 200 shuttles can be purchased for about 50 coins.
3. Space should not be considered instead of an enterprise and vise versa. Adding an enterprise to an account is an added reason to enter space as the ability to move things from place to place without considering spending caps is not to be underestimated. Ask any players who have had access to shuttles for more than a month or two and none would consider surrendering this ability.
4. You can sell your dock to another player. You can also choose to rent it, at a fixed game-set price of 5 gold per "real" month. You are not able to rent part of a dock. Docks may be smaller than you realize. They typically are able to store as many as 10 purchase transaction worth of items of the space center they are based. To support 20 sale transactions, for example, you would need to own 2 docks.
Can I produce the highest quality of product without an enterprise?
Of course you can. The highest quality product is produced by a "truly" public corporation. The controller of the corporation must own less then 25% of shares. The controller of such a corporation can be a country as well as an enterprise. A review of my LU empire would reveal that a country-controlled public corporation is my most common type.
| Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 11:56 pm |
Thanks for taking the time to write all that.
I don't like sharing, I guess. Less than 25% of the profit from the sale of highest quality product just doesn't appeal to me as much as 100% of the profit from a lower quality product. It's a decision I made about 2 months ago, when I bought back all my corporations. I now have the knowledge and ability to get around that, but I lack the ambition (for now).
Aside from that (and I could be wrong about this), but there might be some merit in selling lower quality upgrades. Specifically, a weapon or an ammo upgrade seems to do the same whether it's 280Q or 350Q (again, correct me if I'm wrong). Since we're talking gold coin transactions, there's a bit of a disconnect between price and quality; production costs and gold coins earned. You, of all people, know this from your direct trading of electrical power. But from a sellers perspective, forgoing the cost of producing a higher Q product should be advantageous. Right now, I have a 30gc/month advantage producing low Q upgrades that do the same as someone who is paying 30gc/month to produce high Q upgrades. (Unless you happen to be a free enterprise with no country at all)
But I don't produce a lot of what I sell. I simply buy it off the international market at whatever Q I want (limited to 330Q). There's some mixing of qualities for my government, but the effect is manageable.
Being able to rent your unused dock does seem nice - but we really should be allowed to set our own rent. This is not criticism of you, but anyone who has been in a warehouse knows subdividing one is as easy as painting lines on a floor. It's harder for the game engineers to subdivide dock space than IRL. Well, the game engineers have more important things to do (like fixing chat).
Which reminds me. If I remain based on G.R., and someone from F.B. or L.U. wants to buy the stuff I'm selling on a space station, does he need his own shuttles to get it? Second question is; if I sell my stuff to someone with a dock on the same station, is there any mileage put on either of our shuttles?
Another thing I noticed is that, while there are plenty of shuttles scooting about, some space stations are empty derelicts. My view is limited, but it looks like a lot of planet to planet activity, but not a whole lot of space trading going on.
I guess I'm pretty much decided to go into space directly and forgo the enterprise/level increases. The awards for those level increases may come in handy later. But for now, I'll prepare to head off to the stars.
| Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 03:37 am |
A couple things there. A "truly" public corp benefits from higher sales using less workers compared to any other corp. The profit you are concerned about losing can by mitigated in several ways. Remember that tax income happens first, before profit transfer. Also, you may have other entities of your own, such as investment funds or enterprises you control, purchase shares. It is possible to own most, or even all, of the shares of a corporation with different entities of your account and, as long as the controlling entity owns less than 25%, the corporation remains a "truly" public corp.
According to game news, weapon and ammo upgrades perform in a "linear" way according to their quality. To be honest, I have taken this at face value and have not done extensive testing and have even, to no avail, emailed the gamemaster in the past to get clarification on exactly the utility of using higher quality weapon and ammo upgrade products.
Now, electric power is a different thing. Where weapon and ammo upgrades have a specific function related to improving the quality of military units, electric power is consumed as part of a consumer item and corporate supply. As a consumer item, the quality of electric power in a country stock contributes to the consumption index of a country. That metric, in turn, influences the very important welfare index.
For corporate supply, the quality of electric power is calculated along with the quality of other supplies and the production process upgrade level to determine the quality of a produced product. There are some other interesting dynamics with this as well, related to the compensation your country receives from your people for consumed electric power as well as how the world market will pay you for sales of electric power from your stock.
As far as space, the rent situation is not too bad except that the monthly fee of 5 gold coins seems out of sync with the cost of a dock being 200 coins. It would take 40 "real" months, over three years, to recover the purchase price of a dock. Purchasing a dock does not make sense for most players most of the time. I have made a suggestion before that the GM should instead sell docks for 100 coins. In addition, I believe all current dock owners should be refunded 100 coins/dock. I believe a 100 coin price point is more in line with the utility of the space market, makes more sense with the rent rate, and would lead to interesting dynamic with space sellers potentially entering more of the dock rent market and offering bundled deals with their space wares to encourage more space trading activity.
| Friday, March 4, 2016 - 12:07 am |
Thanks again for the information.
Now about shuttle maintenance...
It looks as if the only way to buy shuttle maintenance is to make your own, or to buy/rent a dock on space station Libra. Is that right? How else does one get a hold of SC maintenance units? And exactly now does one apply SC maintenance units to a shuttle? I might be blind, but I haven't seen it yet.
Another thing I noticed is that it looks like I have to have my own dock to buy from a space station. Is that right? Seems to me, I should be able to request and get permission to dock at someone else's dock to complete a transaction. (naturally, someone should be able to deny permission too).
But I don't see anything for that either.
| Friday, March 4, 2016 - 03:48 pm |
As far as SC maintenance, I have been advising players to make their own. I have considered whether I can make a business selling maintenance in space and it simply doesn't seem feasible with the price of a dock. Like now and most times I check, SC maintenance is not even available for sale in space by any seller.
To make maintenance, you need to make or obtain shuttle boosters and shuttle components. One shuttle booster corp will quickly make more boosters than you will need for some time. You often can find a player to sell you plenty of them. If not, make one corp and when you have your fill of boosters, close the corp. Components you will need more regularly. An ongoing shuttle maintenance program is ideally one shuttle components corp and 8 SC maintenance corps. The one components corp can create enough product to supply the 8 maintenance corps.
You are right that you must have a dock simply to be a space customer. Note, different stations sell different things and you must own or lease a dock on each station for which you wish to purchase goods. If you check what I wrote earlier, I suggested a change in the price of docks can help in this area. If docks "merely" cost 100 coins, instead of 200, I can imagine a scenario where, as a space seller, I could purchase extra docks for my customers to rent from me. In return, I could see offering these lease customers specials on my wares. I benefit from the increased traffic and the additional rent income where the buyer could benefit from a space discount to make up for the dock rent cost, which would be identical to the cost if they were to rent from the GM. With the sale price of docks costing 200 coins from the GM, this model is currently impractical.
| Friday, March 4, 2016 - 04:34 pm |
Thanks. So for now, it's far cheaper to keep horse trading shuttles with those who can maintain them, or buy MUs directly. You need to be GL5 to build the company and that requires an enterprise and that requires 30gc/month (for me). It's not worth it, not even on a temporary basis.
There's more than one way to skin this cat (so to speak).
As an aside, I can see a market for refurbishing and reselling old shuttles with players <GL5.
Postscript: word of wisdom - never, never, never, ever put in a request for shuttles. Not even at rock bottom price. I manually bought a few good shuttles with over 3K missions left on them, then put up an request for cheaper shuttles. What I got was junk with just barely over 1100 missions left. Lived and learned.
| Friday, March 4, 2016 - 05:23 pm |
As for "refurbishing" shuttles, there is no way to do this. Maintenance units simply allow a shuttle to operate normally. For example, if a shuttles has 1000 missions but no maintenance it would consume more than 1 mission per flight, so after one flight it may gave 996 missions or so left. I forgot to add, to give a shuttle maintenance, simply move the maintenance to a space center they are likely to visit. The shuttle will pick it up automatically as it visits and leaves the center.
| Saturday, March 5, 2016 - 02:26 pm |
Wow, I read nothing on that.
AFAIKT, I can't dock at anyone else's dock, and nobody can dock at mine. So buying and selling SMUs have to be done between docks at Libra before being transported to any other space station. Am I right about all that?
So we pretty much HAVE to have a dock on Libra if we're going to be in space. Otherwise, all our shuttles simply fall into decrepitude.
That seems such a rip off.
Seems to me (incoming opinion!), we should be able to buy a product on any station and dock our shuttles wherever our product is. So if I sell you Air Force Maintenance at Ceti, you should be able to dock at my dock to load it up.
But I can foresee an issue with people buying stuff and leaving it on someone else's dock. So, after 48 RL hours, they would have to pay 4GC rent on the dock while the owner retains use of the leftover dock space. After 10 RL days, ownership of the product reverts to the dock owner and the buyer loses what he paid and the rent. I figure 10 days is plenty of time for someone to get his s**t off your dock.
Which brings me to an interesting question: if I rented a dock from another player or the Gamemaster (two scenarios), fill it up with a product, then let the lease lapse, what happens to the product?
| Saturday, March 5, 2016 - 03:45 pm |
Found it. Here it is:
" When starting a new mission, a cargo shuttle will be required to use one space craft maintenance unit. This product is available on all worlds and is traded on the space station Libra. It is the player's responsibility to have such a maintenance unit either on the shuttle itself or at the space center or docking station where the shuttle is launched for its next mission.
If a maintenance unit is not available, the shuttle will age 5 times faster.
The spacecraft maintenance units can be bought and stored at space centers and docking stations."
So it is 5 times faster aging without maintenance.
I have considered a similar model for space docks as you suggest but I foresee it being a more complex change than it needs to be. If the dock price was simply 100 coins, sellers could afford to work this out with buyers as I have described.
Again, most players operating shuttles are not on Libra and simply produce their own maintenance. Unless a seller could produce a business model to make it worth selling maintenance in space, this is unlikely to happen and isn't happening now. You could also make this a fed thing and have one or more players produce fed maintenance. You can sell maintenance between players for SC$ on the same world.
As far as ending the lease of a dock, it is similar to many real life subscription services. If you do nothing, your lease is paid for from your account automatically and the lease renewed for another month. To cancel a dock, I believe it might make you remove your cargo first. If not, I assume you get some warning you will lose your cargo and then it would be lost.