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Borticus wants to reduce EC inflation.

pwstolemynamepwstolemyname Member Posts: 1,417 Arc User
So Bort has been tweeting:

https://twitter.com/BorticusCryptic/status/1129440815585976320

Brainstorm with me! If we wanted to reduce EC inflation in STO, the game needs sinks for that currency which are Meaningful, Desirable, Repeatable, and Accessible. What ideas do you have that might meet all 3 of those?

I don't tweet, so I thought I would respond hear, and give others the opportunity to chip in too.

Right now the game has five currency types:
  • Dilithium: Rewards time spent playing non-specific content, and is caped.
  • Energy Credits: Rewards time spent playing non-specific content, and are not caped.
  • Zen: Rewards contributing to the maintenance and development of the game.
  • Marks: Reward time spent playing specific content, and are not caped.
  • Lobi: Rewards repeated failure and frustration.

Four of these currencies can be used to acquire 'end game' equipment in a manner which leads to the consumption of the currency. Energy Credits are different, in that when we use them to obtain 'end game' equipment we trade them to another player, so the energy credits traded persist and we get inflation.

To address this inflation we could just have another tax in the form of a rep/fleet project bar to fill up. But no one likes tax, and with the continue event cycle causing us to play STO like a job instead of a game already, I don't think it will have a positive impact on the playbase. It also wont be as effective as it was in the past, given that it must now also counter the influx of extra EC we are all making through personal endeavors.

We could also have an NPC sell us something for a lot of EC that we will all want.

If its a consumable of some kind then it could continue to do its job of countering inflation into the future which is grate. BUT a consumable brings a couple of problems. If its a consumable that doesn't have a large effect, then we won't buy it and it wont work. If it has a large effect then it will contribute to power creep(unless its cosmetic, like a holo emitter). On the other hand if its a consumable that is required for some reason, such as making imposible content possible, then people will either not run said content, or feel that its just another tax.

If its a non consumable then it has to be able to compete with the 'end game' gear we already have access to from the other currencies, and won't continue to act as a sink perpetually as a consumable would. However I think people would probably react a lot more positively to it.

Personally I would like to see something that encourages the flow of EC from old timers like myself, to newbies. I don't just want my EC to be worth more. I want a reason to trade it to new players who need more. So my suggestion would be to add something to the loot table, that drops rarly, and can be used along with EC to obtain something else.

Newbies spend more time actively playing the game then I do these days. Its still new and fresh for them, so they don't just log in to do dailies. Spending more time playing, means they have more time to get drops then I do. So if i want some new shiny thing I might go to the exchange and buy the drop from them. Then turn it into whatever the shiny thing I want is, at the NPC.

The idea is that with a two step system (trade EC on exchange, then spend EC and Drop at NPC) we both remove excess EC from the economy, and encourage the movement of EC within the economy, which is also important.

The one downside to the drop system is that although I don't play as much, I can get the same number of loot drops a newbie might get in an hour by spending ten minutes in the right place putting out massive DPS. So to make this work and stop me doing that there would need to be some sort of per player(player not character. Oldies like me have many many character slots) drop limit... one per hours max or something like that.


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Comments

  • garaks31garaks31 Member Posts: 2,441 Arc User
    low level ships, give option for ec buy
    fleet ships
    lobi items

    we have too few ultra and gold doffs !

    ec to lobi , to fm , to dill

    ship mastery leveling boosters for ec
  • artan42artan42 Member Posts: 10,114 Bug Hunter
    If anybody wants to sink any EC at all, mail it to @artan42. To make it easier you can use it to buy expensive items from the exchange and post them to me. I promise I won't use them in order to keep it as a sink.​​
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  • warmaker001bwarmaker001b Member Posts: 9,000 Arc User
    garaks31 wrote: »
    low level ships, give option for ec buy
    fleet ships
    lobi items

    we have too few ultra and gold doffs !

    ec to lobi , to fm , to dill

    ship mastery leveling boosters for ec

    heheh, when this game launched, those regular ships in the shipyard like the Assault Cruiser, Negh'Var used to cost EC. Negh'Var used to cost 30k EC or something like that.
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  • ichaerus1ichaerus1 Member Posts: 789 Arc User
    You forgot fleet credits, salvage, and the most worthless currency of all. Gold-Pressed Latinum. Sounds like Borticus is FINALLY realizing that a Monty Haul style isn't all that great. Maybe if Cryptic hadn't decided that endgame gear would primarily be gained via reputation sliders costing marks and dilithium...with loot drops just being there for mainly salvage or EC. Or maybe if they hadn't decided that going to a medbay or shipyard to heal/repair would be free if someone is short on the widget to fix the scraped knee or scuffed paint...Or maybe if there wasn't so much bloat with currencies...

    Here's an idea. Offer some services to cost EC. Going to the tailor? Pay the barber or seamstress. Want more outfit options? Spend EC to unlock those for your character. Can be a new reason for dumb restrictions(such as Orion females not being able to use New Styled Elegant hair) to be lifted if you want to spend the EC. Make the ability to kitbash reputation or racial outfit parts unlockable for X amount of EC).
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 6,710 Arc User
    edited May 17
    garaks31 wrote: »
    low level ships, give option for ec buy
    fleet ships
    lobi items

    we have too few ultra and gold doffs !

    ec to lobi , to fm , to dill

    ship mastery leveling boosters for ec

    lobi items is not going to happen because lock boxes keep the lights on.

    For ec > lobi you can buy and use keys: 4.x million ec => 4-5 lobi and some lock box loot.

    Ship mastery leveling boosters for ec is a great idea, especially since it now takes a huge number of queue runs for even one ship. It also destroys the ec and doesn't cannibalize from any existing dil, marks, zen or lobi sinks.

    Ship mastery will also appeal to the whales, so they will keep buying zen to open lock boxes to get ships to sell the rest of us to get ec to finally get ship mastery boosters.

  • iamjmphiamjmph Member Posts: 102 Arc User
    meh, im not that good at getting EC normally so... don't know. By inflation do you mean exchange prices, cause thats a problem that i dont think can be fixed, or are you just talking about people having tons(how do you do that bye the way nothing i craft sales even though i undercut lowest auction and i like the infinity lockbox too much to sell keys)? If it's the former, the only thing i can think of i wont even mention cause if they did it i'd be pretty ticked off. As for the latter, well an exchange to other currencies? Maybe an ability to buy Elite marks or Marks, maybe Dil but probably not cause that can then be exchanged for zen. Maybe an admirality booster thats not lobi?
  • ichaerus1ichaerus1 Member Posts: 789 Arc User
    iamjmph wrote: »
    meh, im not that good at getting EC normally so... don't know. By inflation do you mean exchange prices, cause thats a problem that i dont think can be fixed, or are you just talking about people having tons(how do you do that bye the way nothing i craft sales even though i undercut lowest auction and i like the infinity lockbox too much to sell keys)? If it's the former, the only thing i can think of i wont even mention cause if they did it i'd be pretty ticked off. As for the latter, well an exchange to other currencies? Maybe an ability to buy Elite marks or Marks, maybe Dil but probably not cause that can then be exchanged for zen. Maybe an admirality booster thats not lobi?

    That's part of the problem why you're space poor.
  • mamif3mamif3 Member Posts: 136 Arc User
    Let me spend 50mill EC to buy boxed ACCOUNT BOUND duplicates of promo and lockbox ships that I have opened before. So I can trade to my alts. There are so many ships I would actually try and get if I could get them for multiple characters for less than 500million EC each.

    "But then people wont buy as many keys because they wont need ships for multiple characters"
    I would ESTIMATE that less than 10% of players would even think about spending that much for alts. Spending that much on an alt is madness to me.
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 6,710 Arc User
    mamif3 wrote: »
    Let me spend 50mill EC to buy boxed ACCOUNT BOUND duplicates of promo and lockbox ships that I have opened before. So I can trade to my alts. There are so many ships I would actually try and get if I could get them for multiple characters for less than 500million EC each.

    "But then people wont buy as many keys because they wont need ships for multiple characters"
    I would ESTIMATE that less than 10% of players would even think about spending that much for alts. Spending that much on an alt is madness to me.

    That <10% are the whales who buy multiple copies of 1.x billion EC ships, and Cryptic needs them to keep doing that, so nope not going to happen.
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 6,710 Arc User
    garaks31 wrote: »
    i meant like 1b ec to 200 lobi.

    You can do that now with lock box keys, plus you get the lock box contents.

  • theraven2378theraven2378 Member Posts: 5,483 Arc User
    What about being able to convert GPL into lobi?
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  • postagepaidpostagepaid Member Posts: 2,277 Arc User
    They increased the cap on the exchange and have also increased the amount of ec flowing into the game thanks to the endeavour reward boxes that are stacked towards giving ec and R&D mats.

    Of course there was going to be a problem with inflation. Not helped much by the focus on dumping potentially desirable ships and stuff into gambleboxes with poor to negligible drop rates.

    One easy(ish) method to ease things would be to shift cosmetics over to ec from the dil & lobi stores. Certainly the dil store ones which are vastly overpriced anyway.

    Increasing the drop rate of the high end gamblebox items might also help but will never happen as so much stock is put on the ships=content single avenue of making money for them to want to risk reducing that in any way.
  • ltminnsltminns Member Posts: 8,932 Arc User
    Maybe you can mix up the Endeavor Rewards and don't give out gobs of EC (or Mats for that matter).

    You already lowered the EC sale value for items.

    Foundry is gone, so that (previously reward curtailed) avenue is closed.

    No EC sinks in Fleets just for the sake of sucking up EC as we know how that worked out with the Colony Holding and Dilitium.

    No MACO/TNG exorbitant style EC costs for clothing.

    There are way too many pendulum sledgehammers as it is.

    A Dilitium Bonus Weekend immediately followed by a Phoenix Event does not bode well for planning ahead.
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  • iamjmphiamjmph Member Posts: 102 Arc User
    ichaerus1 wrote: »
    That's part of the problem why you're space poor.

    well thats only marginally helpful... i buy keys like 10 at a time every other month or so, 45-50 mil every other month would not really solve my problem. A good t6 ship from the pack could get me 300-400 mil and while i can at times got through 100 keys and only get junk and 1 t5 ship(which sell for next to nothing) i can also get a t6 in like 15 boxes. It's rng but thats how i've sustained myself for some time. Been a bit dry lately though so i'm in need of alternate income. I put an epic covariant xv shield capx2 plus the epic cap, and dis and amp(this i assume is the deal breaker) i believe up at 10 mil less than the other epic xv covariants... and have had to repost it 4 times now, just as an example.
    .
  • azrael605azrael605 Member Posts: 9,494 Arc User
    Small craft skins maybe.
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  • aten66aten66 Member Posts: 650 Arc User
    mamif3 wrote: »
    Let me spend 50mill EC to buy boxed ACCOUNT BOUND duplicates of promo and lockbox ships that I have opened before. So I can trade to my alts. There are so many ships I would actually try and get if I could get them for multiple characters for less than 500million EC each.

    "But then people wont buy as many keys because they wont need ships for multiple characters"
    I would ESTIMATE that less than 10% of players would even think about spending that much for alts. Spending that much on an alt is madness to me.

    As someone also mentioned salvage, how about it cost salvage and Dilithium as well, but make it reasonable. Maybe a couple thousand (1k,2k?) salvage, and a 50k Dilithium per T5, and like 75k Dil for T6? Obviously I don’t know how much of a sink this would be, but it’s something different?
  • ancientfighterancientfighter Member Posts: 107 Arc User
    They need start making polls on the forum too, the only ideas i can see comming from them are more power creep.

    How about a slot machine on ds9 or drozana, the big reward is...
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 33,774 Arc User
    well, needs to be something optional, useful, and purchasable repeatedly...
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  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 47,914 Arc User
    nixboox wrote: »
    I want to preface this by saying the obvious solution to this problem is to simply change EC into fuel for our ships, instead of "energy credits" they'd be "energy units" and you'd need a certain number of them to run your ship, fly across space, transwarp, slipstream, shields, weapons, or even just to use the replicators. Problem solved...

    So... turn an MMO into a mobile game where we only have limited energy per day to do ANYTHING... and if you can't keep generating enough ECs you can't even play at all. OH... and since a fresh player starts with 0 ECs... can't do SQUAT.

    Yea... good way to kill the game if you ask me.
    You don't understand how economies work...you can't have an economy where you just keep printing money without some sort of built-in way of removing that currency from circulation. You have Zen coming into the game unrestricted and that Zen can be turned into dilithium unrestricted and that dilithium can be turned into EC unrestricted.

    The ONLY solution you have to that problem is to take out the step where you can turn Zen into EC - so nothing in the Zen store should be able to be sold on the exchange...NOTHING.

    How does making lockbox keys bind on pickup solve the problem of inflation? All it does is remove an option for people who can't afford to buy keys who otherwise can't.

    What's needed is something worth buying with ECs via vendors.
    Same with GPL. We need something worth spending that on too. Because I've built and rebuilt the Great Pyramids of Giza multiple times with my stash. I kinda wanna unload it but can't because there's nothing worth buying.
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
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  • jkwrangler2010jkwrangler2010 Member Posts: 189 Arc User
    edited May 18
    Take dilithium and convert it to ec and remove the dilithium currency. Instead of needing dilithium to buy ships, fleet items, reputation items, upgrading parts or rengineering them and fulfilling reputation projects, use more ec.

    Or, allow the purchase of dilithium using ec and allow the purchase of reputation marks with ec.

    The other useless items I keep acquiring thousands of are common and uncommon R&D items. Every single thing you do rewards you for R&D. For those of us that don't do R&D projects every day, it's just needless accumulation of useless things.
  • coldnapalmcoldnapalm Member Posts: 7,239 Arc User
    Sinks that are one time won't do jack. If they really want a EC sink, they need to either sell consumables for EC that are actually worth a damn for rather heft amounts or they need to make those skins or whatever they are selling have a time limit. The easiest way to do an EC sink however is to have a posting fee on the exchange be a percentage of what you post it for.
  • duasynduasyn Member Posts: 148 Arc User
    edited May 18
    garaks31 wrote: »
    low level ships, give option for ec buy

    Vendor ships used to have an EC cost. They swapped them to Dil instead.
    Take dilithium and convert it to ec and remove the dilithium currency. Instead of needing dilithium to buy ships, fleet items, reputation items, upgrading parts or rengineering them and fulfilling reputation projects, use more ec.

    Never was a fan of Dilthium as a currency. Woudn't the Fed and KDF go to war over planets that had Dilithum in TOS era? The 1701 didn't even carry any spare crystals. I never thought of Dil as abundant enough to be used as a currency.
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    Sinks that are one time won't do jack. If they really want a EC sink, they need to either sell consumables for EC that are actually worth a damn for rather heft amounts or they need to make those skins or whatever they are selling have a time limit. The easiest way to do an EC sink however is to have a posting fee on the exchange be a percentage of what you post it for.

    A 5% fee on a billion is quite a bit. :D

    I can't see any easy way to fix inflation. Some people are so space-rich, anything Cryptic does will not hurt them. While the normal and poor players will take the hit.

    I wonder if Cryptic can determine what is the bigger issue: is new money being generated in-game or is the available money just accruing on a relatively few accounts?
  • thay8472thay8472 Member Posts: 5,819 Arc User
    unlock lockbox ships for other characters for X credits?
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 33,774 Arc User
    duasyn wrote: »
    I wonder if Cryptic can determine what is the bigger issue: is new money being generated in-game or is the available money just accruing on a relatively few accounts?
    New EC is generated constantly from a myriad of sources, most small. Doffing, admiralty, missions, selling junk gear.... it all adds up. I think the issue is that when people "spend" ec they're usually transferring it to another player. thus the total amount of EC in the server is continually increasing.
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  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 47,914 Arc User
    thay8472 wrote: »
    unlock lockbox ships for other characters for X credits?

    Would have to be a pretty high amount to justify the ability. But might work.
    duasyn wrote: »
    Never was a fan of Dilthium as a currency. Woudn't the Fed and KDF go to war over planets that had Dilithum in TOS era? The 1701 didn't even carry any spare crystals. I never thought of Dil as abundant enough to be used as a currency.

    They did... then recrystalization started coming into play, meaning crystals lasted longer. Then I think they started making Warp Cores more effecient, making them last longer...
    By the 2360s, Starfleet had the ability to re-crystallise dilithium while it was still enclosed in the warp core's dilithium articulation frame using a theta-matrix compositor. This was done by recompositing fractured crystals.
    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Dilithium
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    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
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    The resident forum voice of reason (I HAZ FORUM REP! YAY!)
  • coldnapalmcoldnapalm Member Posts: 7,239 Arc User
    patrickngo wrote: »
    i
    So Bort has been tweeting:

    https://twitter.com/BorticusCryptic/status/1129440815585976320

    Brainstorm with me! If we wanted to reduce EC inflation in STO, the game needs sinks for that currency which are Meaningful, Desirable, Repeatable, and Accessible. What ideas do you have that might meet all 3 of those?

    I don't tweet, so I thought I would respond hear, and give others the opportunity to chip in too.

    Right now the game has five currency types:
    • Dilithium: Rewards time spent playing non-specific content, and is caped.
    • Energy Credits: Rewards time spent playing non-specific content, and are not caped.
    • Zen: Rewards contributing to the maintenance and development of the game.
    • Marks: Reward time spent playing specific content, and are not caped.
    • Lobi: Rewards repeated failure and frustration.

    Four of these currencies can be used to acquire 'end game' equipment in a manner which leads to the consumption of the currency. Energy Credits are different, in that when we use them to obtain 'end game' equipment we trade them to another player, so the energy credits traded persist and we get inflation.

    To address this inflation we could just have another tax in the form of a rep/fleet project bar to fill up. But no one likes tax, and with the continue event cycle causing us to play STO like a job instead of a game already, I don't think it will have a positive impact on the playbase. It also wont be as effective as it was in the past, given that it must now also counter the influx of extra EC we are all making through personal endeavors.

    We could also have an NPC sell us something for a lot of EC that we will all want.

    If its a consumable of some kind then it could continue to do its job of countering inflation into the future which is grate. BUT a consumable brings a couple of problems. If its a consumable that doesn't have a large effect, then we won't buy it and it wont work. If it has a large effect then it will contribute to power creep(unless its cosmetic, like a holo emitter). On the other hand if its a consumable that is required for some reason, such as making imposible content possible, then people will either not run said content, or feel that its just another tax.

    If its a non consumable then it has to be able to compete with the 'end game' gear we already have access to from the other currencies, and won't continue to act as a sink perpetually as a consumable would. However I think people would probably react a lot more positively to it.

    Personally I would like to see something that encourages the flow of EC from old timers like myself, to newbies. I don't just want my EC to be worth more. I want a reason to trade it to new players who need more. So my suggestion would be to add something to the loot table, that drops rarly, and can be used along with EC to obtain something else.

    Newbies spend more time actively playing the game then I do these days. Its still new and fresh for them, so they don't just log in to do dailies. Spending more time playing, means they have more time to get drops then I do. So if i want some new shiny thing I might go to the exchange and buy the drop from them. Then turn it into whatever the shiny thing I want is, at the NPC.

    The idea is that with a two step system (trade EC on exchange, then spend EC and Drop at NPC) we both remove excess EC from the economy, and encourage the movement of EC within the economy, which is also important.

    The one downside to the drop system is that although I don't play as much, I can get the same number of loot drops a newbie might get in an hour by spending ten minutes in the right place putting out massive DPS. So to make this work and stop me doing that there would need to be some sort of per player(player not character. Oldies like me have many many character slots) drop limit... one per hours max or something like that.


    Your problem is that EC is a bottomless fiat currency based on nothing, that continually replenishes and stores up.

    Inflation ends up being inevitable, and adding more sinks is just kicking the problem down the road a piece to be worse later.

    The solution isn't even mechanically possible in game, either-it would require a massive rework and would make lots of people sad no matter what you do.

    but here's a pull at a 'brainstorm' for it.


    Make Commodities Necessary.

    specifically food and drink. If a character doesn't eat something, (use a food item and drink item) a set number of times (on a timer) while active, the character starts taking damage/has stat deficits imposed, they get weaker, until they start taking level damage and losing stats both on ground and in space.

    eating regularly replenishes those skills, traits, and stats, and food items are only available through EC purchase.

    now you have a repeating 'sump' for EC to act as a lever on the inflation, while opening a market for 'stat boosting' consumable foods for sale at vendors in social zones to get a temporary edge for the duration of, for example, a few hours of play at a higher cost.


    You don't even need all that. Like I said, tax POSTING on the exchange. The amount of EC generated is actually quite small. What is large is the movement of that currency from player to player. So tax that and you now have a sink in the game for the currency that is both recurring and targets the people who need they currency reduced the most...AKA people selling the big ticket items like me.
  • captiannemo117captiannemo117 Member Posts: 184 Arc User
    Outfits. EC only outfits. 1 million EC for a top or bottom, 2 million for a top/bottom set. 3 million for a hat, need to keep that cryptic logic after all.
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