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A lot of people have recently talked about the cost of Star Citizen's Persistent Universe, and many people do not understand it, and now I talk to you about my point of view.

The view of the cost of Star Citizen Persistent Universe

A lot of people have recently talked about the cost of Star Citizen's Persistent Universe, and many people do not understand it, and now I talk to you about my point of view.

Because the community pays relatively little attention to what we will be doing with our money in game besides buying ships themselves. I feel nonship purchases will actually make up the majority of where our oney is spent in game (PS: unless someone makes it a point to save only for ships but even then recurring costs will drain their accounts).

This is an important topic to discuss, insofar as anything is important in an MMO, because the main gameplay loop of star citizen, the overacrching cycle that will keep players coming back day after day, year after year, is the flow of money. That is "you want/need something -> you earn money for that thing -> you spend that money." For star citizen to be a long term success all three parts of this basic plan have to be interesting in some way.

The first part, wanting things, is usually fairly easy but its not completely trivial. The game has to present to us obstacles to overcome so that we want to buy better equipment. Also, it is a good idea for things to appeal to us visually and to have rarity of items as these both trigger consumerist responses in most people.

The Second part, earning money, which perhaps should be called "gathering wealth" as not everyone will deal exclusively in in game currency, is another extremely important part of making a successful game and I think it is fair to say most backers think about this part the most. They are not wrong to do so. If earning cash is unfulfilling the game will die within months. I plan to write more on this topic in a separate post at a later date. Suffice it to say, in my opinion, the gameplay must be interesting and fulfilling, but it does not need to be constantly fun as some people have suggested is required for success. More on that another time.

So, which is the spending of your money? This part relates closely to the first one in that what you spend your money on entirely depends on your needs and wants in the game. Some expenses will be your choice; what new ship to buy. And many others will be part of the operating costs of an immersive universe; dock fees, insurance, fuel. 

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Ships

Which ship you buy will depend on how you plan to earn money, and what you think is cool. The upfront cost of ships is expected to be quite high but I suspect we will find that we can also sink a lot of money into components and customization of our ships, especially the larger ones.

Next, let me talk about the recurring costs involved in the possession and operation of the spacecraft.

  • Quantum Drive Fuel
  • Jump Point Fuel - Not sure if this is separate from QD fuel.
  • Insurance - Monthly premiums for every insured ship could add up. And for those with LTI, we may still have a copay on ships being replaced. That is just speculation though.
  • Weapons and their ammo - May be a constant consideration for those who run ballistic weapons, especially when they are in uncharted space far from a restocking station.
  • Missiles - I expect these will be fairly expensive just as in real life.
  • Repairs - This may come both in terms of replacing a wing, and repairing general wear and tear over time.
  • Components - This is a long list of varied parts but we expect it to include things like shield generators, power plants, cooling systems, avionics, e-war suite, and others.

On Foot

Many of these are much less likely to be require recurring costs but they will come up often anyway.

  • Armor - Ranging from light, to titan armor (if we ever see that) we may even have repair costs for these.
  • Clothes - CIG is making tons of stylish clothing for us to wear. For some this is useless, but dont doubt that there are a lot of people who will enjoy buying clothes for their in game avatar. Some may even be worth a lot due to rarity and design
  • Combat Equipment - We havent seen these in a while but things like shield generators, holograms, portable turrets, and more will be on the list of purchases for every marine
  • Grenades - We expect many different kinds of grenades, from frag, to emp, to smoke.
  • Space Suits and Helmets - style is important and different helmets may have different abilities
  • Small arms and ammo
  • Anti vehicle weapons - Rail guns and man portable rocket launchers will be important for infantry to deal with ships and ground craft.

Ground Vehicles

So far we only know about the ursa, dragonfly, and whatever comes with the carrack but I expect as planets get used more we will see at least a dozen surface vehicles. Their costs are similar to ships but ill list them anyway.

  • Fuel
  • Components
  • Repair
  • Weapons and ammo
  • Insurance - May be with ship insurance

NPCs

Hirelings are a guaranteed thing in the the PU. We dont know much about them but we expect some basic expenses.

  • Salary
  • Equipment

Information

Buying information will be an important part of the SC economy. They mostly consist of locations but may have a wide range of uses.

  • Mining Zones
  • Jump points
  • Salvageable ships
  • Star Systems, planets, moons
  • Military intelligence
  • Bounty Targets
  • Alien Technology

Taxes

We expect a fair number of taxes in star citizen so I will list them here

  • Docking Fees
  • Medical Fees
  • Respawn Fees
  • Hangar Fees
  • Fines - Such as those for breaking the law in port
  • Import/Export Tariffs - Its been said that only citizens can get trade rights with alien civilizations

Miscellaneous

For this I was thinkign "what might we find for sale that doesnt fit the above lists".

  • Flair items
  • Plants
  • Pets and animals
  • Slaves
  • Alcohol
  • Contraband
  • Other collectible items

If you go to Repair Bears Insurance Co. and pick from a few options, X UEC for a month, 2X UEC for two months, so on and so fourth. If you crater your ship during your coverage, you pay a small deductible. These costs should be minor setbacks, not big punishments. The goal of these being to incentives you to take good care of your ship.

Dicking around kinda implies credit gaining isn't the priority. and how much you earn more in a Idris is entirely controlled by the devs with what Idris level content they intend to build. Its operating costs might exceed general dicking around or casual play certainly.

Plus most games don't really have significant exponential increases in earnings when compared to how much effort it takes to progress. That is why it feels like you progress quicker in the beginning, but slow down closer to end game or higher tiers.

I don't think they could prevent exponential increases if they tried. If you own a ship that costs 2 waffles, and it holds 20 muffin boxes of cargo, that's how much cargo you can move and directly determines your earning potential. If you save for a ship that costs 200 waffles, and holds 2000 muffin boxes of cargo, then you have a very clear and measurable increase in earnings. Even if you go from paying 1/8th waffle a run in expenses to paying 13 waffles a run in expenses, you are still greatly increasing how much you are raking in. Greater cost, does not necessarily mean greater time to obtain.

except all these are random numbers that could be changed in a config file so you can't say either. Some of the most wildly profitable and risky trading in Every Online is done with 5m3 of cargo space. Big ships are mostly used for the mundane low margin, bread and butter hauling. that for example, the larger hull series type ships they will have huge potential profits. It just won't be exponential.

the costs, or maybe premium you pay shouldn't be that big (5-10% of the ship base cost maybe? Something exponential regardless.) But the punishment should (and CIG have mentioned this is probably going to happen) exist, currently they've talked about the time it takes to procure a replacement ship, based on the ships value/rarity etc.

The main cost of respawning a ship will be buying back all the upgrades. We still dont know if we'll be able to insure all our component upgrades or not. your overall loss will depend on how much you put into those upgrades. Besides the upgrades, getting your base hull back will essentially be free. The way CIG seems to be planning insurance (month to month) is a lot different from E:D, where you have to pay a premium for each death.

I actually kind of hope that CIG backs off on their plans for insurance and they keep the system we have now. I think the system we have now is fair - it punishes people for being stupid with their ships (you lose cargo, maybe "new" ship gets the default loadout is also fair), but it's not punishing to the point of crippling players.

The insurance system gives them a believable lore-based system to deny ship respawns though in certain situations, like a ship stolen by a pirate. If a brazen pirate crew somehow managed to board and steal an Idris, and gets it totally destroyed in a battle later on, then they should lose that Idris until they steal another.

If this tells us anything it's that economic balance is going to be a tremendous endeavor. As large, or even larger, an effort than ship and weapon balancing. CIG is going to have to pull all the stops to make sure the system is both balanced and makes sense. Thankfully they're taking the control of the economy out of the hands of players, but they still need to make sure can buy at a price that won't break the bank but can sell at a price that will make trading interesting and not a chore.

The overarching cycle that will keep players coming back day after day, year after year, is the flow of money, Just wanted to mention this isn't going to be true for everyone. Many players will come back every day for much more than that. While those things may cost money in some form or another, earning and spending that money will be an afterthought to the player's actual goal.

This is my opinion about the cost of Star Citizen eternal universe. If you want to play the game better, you can also buy Star Citizen Credits, which will give you a better gaming experience.

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