Should Oolite have a financial system?

General discussion for players of Oolite.

Moderators: another_commander, winston

User avatar
Wildeblood
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2161
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:07 am
Location: Western Australia
Contact:

Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Wildeblood »

Disembodied wrote:
Wildeblood wrote:There's a related issue that no-one's mentioned yet: should Oolite have a financial system? Should we be able to go to the Black Monks and get a loan at a not-quite-so-usurious interest rate, and have a method of making repayments that isn't quite so blood-curdling? I've often thought of a Black Monks' ATM at stations, so you only had to visit the monastery to take out a loan, but could make repayments - full or partial - almost anywhere. How would it affect the early game if you could borrow money to buy equipment or expensive commodities?
I'm a big fan of using debt in the game: personally, I think all players should start off with a ship, C*100 in cash, a whopping big overdraft to service, and a consequently lousy credit rating. The interest on the loan is a great way of draining off finances: the ideal would be to keep the player teetering on the brink, sometimes able to move ahead and afford some new kit, sometimes sliding back and having to take on dodgier cargos and more dubious runs to get back even. It's a great mechanism, and there's lots of potential to build in non-financial favours and penalties, too. It's a major restructuring job, though.
Okay, let's discuss this further. Black Monks is written in legacy script, which is presumably why no-one has bothered to update it, so it's easier to start over from scratch. How should a financial system work? My assumption, as I wrote above, is that you'd visit a special, scary station to take out a loan, and thereafter an ATM would be available at most stations for you to make repayments. Does anyone see a problem with that?
Then there's the issue of numbers: maximum loan amounts and interest rates. What numbers would make it actually useful to the player, without making things too easy?

User avatar
ffutures
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1356
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:34 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by ffutures »

My main problem with this is that you're making it much harder for a new player to get started and build their first ship up to a useful specification. If this is an OPTIONAL add-on that's OK, I wouldn't want to play it myself but I have no problem with someone else being that masochistic, but making debt and interest an intrinsic part of the game would suck, and would just drive newcomers away.

User avatar
Wildeblood
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2161
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:07 am
Location: Western Australia
Contact:

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Wildeblood »

ffutures wrote:My main problem with this is that you're making it much harder for a new player to get started and build their first ship up to a useful specification. If this is an OPTIONAL add-on that's OK, I wouldn't want to play it myself but I have no problem with someone else being that masochistic, but making it an intrinsic part of the game would suck, and would just drive newcomers away.
I assume you're referring to Disembodied's suggestion of starting a new player with an overdraft? Yeah, it does nothing for me, either. But if there were a usable financial system, creating an alternative starting scenario with player debt already in place would be trivial. It's no different to those fanatics who start in an Adder instead of a Cobra 3.
And everything in Oolite is optional. The first thing I do after downloading it is remove the trumbles and parcel contracts scripts.

User avatar
mossfoot
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 827
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 4:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by mossfoot »

Fanatics? FANATICS? Just who are you calling a fanatic? ;)
--
Image
Pilot: Mossfoot - Ship ID: Viaticus Rex (Cobra MKII)
Rank: Competent - Status: Clean

http://www.noahchinnbooks.com/

Zireael
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1396
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:44 pm

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Zireael »

special, scary station to take out a loan, and thereafter an ATM would be available at most stations for you to make repayments. Does anyone see a problem with that?
Then there's the issue of numbers: maximum loan amounts and interest rates. What numbers would make it actually useful to the player, without making things too easy?
I like the idea. As for numbers, I suggest 500 Cr, 1000 Cr, 1500 Cr, maybe 2000 Cr. As for rates, no idea.

User avatar
Pleb
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 884
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:23 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Pleb »

I like this idea as well. Woonga rates (see what I did there? :wink:) could be set high for short-term loans, such as you borrow 1000 Cr and are expected to repay 1250 Cr or 1500 Cr within a short amount of time.
Wildeblood wrote:The first thing I do after downloading it is remove the trumbles and parcel contracts scripts.
I hate trumbles! :x

Switeck
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 11:11 pm

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Switeck »

A big problem with Elite and Oolite is you start out with something for no cost to yourself -- a Cobra 3, a very expensive ship.

Broke Adder starts and other silly things like Ironman challenges force the player to go a long ways to earn a Cobra 3.

I wouldn't mind a "savings and loan" Black Monks Bank that pays almost nothing for interest on savings (10% yearly tops) and has credit card like interest on debts (roughly 25% yearly.)
Becoming an offender or fugitive could get your account frozen or revoked for particularly dastardly acts.
Each transaction at a "foreign" ATM (different than the starting system) could have a fee, which might be substantial if in a different Galaxy Chart.
Minimum account size penalties, early withdraw fees, account closing fees, poor credit rating (failing to deliver contracts/parcels) resulting in lower interest.

Loans have to be small, short-term, high interest, and based on your credit rating.
1k to 20k loans for instance, starting with 1k.

Credit rating could be monitored by reusing lots of the core logic in Flight Log OXP. If it shows you're not making credits, you won't be able to get a loan.

User avatar
Bugbear
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 408
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:30 am

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Bugbear »

I've been missing the presence of the Black Monks in my post-1.80 ooniverse. They're the kind of people I love to hate.

So if the Black Monks are going to go all mainstream and carebear-y (can you tell I've been on the E:D forums a bit too long), then I'm going to need to search for a replacement sociopathic moneylender so as to indulge my desire to destroy their return on investment. Cash Converters.....in SPAAAAAACE

(Apologies for the minor thread hijack. We now return to your usual programming...)
Commander Bugbear
Cruising chart 5 in a Boa Class Criuser: Quantum Pelican I
Vigilante, trader, gems and precious metals hoarder.
Black Monks bothering performed at no extra charge.

User avatar
Disembodied
Jedi Spam Assassin
Jedi Spam Assassin
Posts: 6402
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Carter's Snort

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Disembodied »

I think you need to consider why you want to do this. Do you want to make it possible for new players to get a loan, buy a bunch of equipment off the bat, and then work to pay it off? Or allow players with a few trips under their belts to fit Military lasers and Shield Enhancers before they can afford it? Or even to allow established players to upgrade to shinier ships before they've finished saving up? Because - given how easy it is to make a profit - to me, that seems like a waste of time. It's slightly better than hacking the save file, but that's all. However, if that's what you want to do, then pick loan values to suit, and repayment levels that are possible.

Admittedly, nobody seems to be going for it ( :cry: :)), but starting off with a debt to pay back is a mechanism which would plug quite a large hole in the game, i.e. the almost complete absence of running costs. At the moment, the player starts off with almost no cash, and then rapidly moves to a position where - even if they spend a great big lump and get a big shiny upgrade - they're magically cash-rich again after just one or two trips. Some small adjustments might need to be made to some prices, but with flexible repayments (from interest-only to actual repayment), and a decent interval from the start of the game to when the first repayment is due, these needn't be too onerous for starting players.

The starting phase of the game is in many ways the most interesting, when you're building up your ship and managing your money. Unfortunately, all too soon the money just pours in at a reliable C*1000 per trip (minimum average profit), there's no pressure, and the only thing standing between you and the next top-end upgrade is time. I'd like to see something that would help preserve the initial-game feeling for as long as possible, without simply slowing everything down. Variable interest rates, and lenders looking to get paid off sooner rather than later as the player begins to make more profit and take on riskier runs, seems to me to have the potential to do that.

But it's your code!

Zireael
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1396
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:44 pm

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Zireael »

Now that I think of it, a debt at game start would explain how the player got that shiny Cobra...

Because I get that it's TRADITION, but it makes no sense in-universe.

EDIT: I thought a nice start would be a custom hyperspace capable Sidewinder variant. I can't remember if the Illicit Unlock one was hyperspace capable or not, but it cost around 75k Cr.

User avatar
Pleb
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 884
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:23 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Pleb »

Starting with a Sidewinder might be stepping on the toes of ED though... I think Oolite should continue the tradition of being the spiritual successor of the original Elite and not a subsidiary of ED. Just my two pence worth 8)

Zireael
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1396
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:44 pm

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Zireael »

Pleb wrote:Starting with a Sidewinder might be stepping on the toes of ED though... I think Oolite should continue the tradition of being the spiritual successor of the original Elite and not a subsidiary of ED. Just my two pence worth 8)
Sidewinder, Krait, whatever, just something core and weaker than a Cobra Mk III.

User avatar
Pleb
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 884
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:23 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Pleb »

Could this perhaps just be a starting scenario instead? Like the options we get at the beginning. So you have the player starting off at Lave with a Sidewinder or Kraft with a loan to repay? This could be a hard starting setting.

User avatar
Wildeblood
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2161
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:07 am
Location: Western Australia
Contact:

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Wildeblood »

Disembodied wrote:Admittedly, nobody seems to be going for it ( :cry: :)), but starting off with a debt to pay back is a mechanism which would plug quite a large hole in the game, i.e. the almost complete absence of running costs.
A better way to plug that hole would be to not have fuel the cheapest of all commodities.

The best way to start would be for the player to just have their inheritance and their pilot's license, and begin the game by having to decide which ship to buy. That was mentioned in one of the recent threads about equipment or combat or somewhere. But we know that a technical limitation of Oolite is that the player must always have a ship, so it's been assumed that that way of starting couldn't be done. Actually it can be done by defining a suitably constrained starting ship called "Spacesuit" or "Single use shuttle".

"Congratulations, your home made single use rocket shuttle has got you from your backyard on Lave to the GalCop Coriolis. If you want to get any further you'll need to buy a real spaceship; if you re-launch in that thing it can only fall back down to Lave again and end in a fiery crash. Luckily you've got your inheritance and pilot's license; you better visit the shipyard, Lad."

Of course, then there would be endless debate about whether the starting cash was too low or too generous. (I'm sure it would need to be more than the current 100cr.)

Zireael
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1396
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:44 pm

Re: Should Oolite have a financial system?

Post by Zireael »

Pleb wrote:Could this perhaps just be a starting scenario instead? Like the options we get at the beginning. So you have the player starting off at Lave with a Sidewinder or Kraft with a loan to repay? This could be a hard starting setting.
What I thought was:

Hard: Adder (NON-hyperspace capable) + 100 Cr + laser
Default: hyperspace capable X (Mamba/Krait/Sidey) + 100 Cr + laser
Easy I: Cobra Mk I + 100 Cr + laser
Easy Loan: Cobra Mk III + 100 Cr + laser + loan to repay

Essentially, Easy Loan would equal current default, with that you have a loan.

All ships would start at Lave or whatever the start location would be...
An alternative might be to start the player somewhere that's already a little nicer. (I don't view "Lave is the only world which trains pilots / issues pilot licenses" as remotely plausible, and the option to start at Lave wouldn't go anywhere).
The suggested systems included Oresle (TL 11), Arzaso (TL 10) and Maxeedso (TL 7).

Post Reply