December 20, 2009

Interview with Enigma guild

Many players have spoken of the problems of the production system, so I looked around, to find someone who's actually successful in it. Luckily, I found two players, named Ecma and Faradel from Enigma guild, and asked them about a few things, mostly about the production system, and how's their business going so long.

Mancs: Who are you, how long have you played the game, and whats your main focus in game play?
Faradel: Well I'm a 22 year old ex-biochemist and upcoming math-student from the Netherlands. I have played for roughly 5 weeks now. And our goal in perpetuum is to be independent arms dealers.
Ecma: I’m 43 year old, played PC games for far too many years, second in command of Enigma. I got the not so nice jobs to do with human relations in the guild, I’m disabled so I have lots of time to play. Just loving perpetuum and the way it is shaping up!
Enigma: What we mean with independent arms dealers is that we will stay independent as a corp and will not join an alliance but will do business with everyone.
We want to make a profit of other people's wars in other words
Mancs: So Enigma is basically a multi-gaming guild?
Enigma: Yes, but at the moment we have no real focus, once we do, we focus mainly on that game. But people are free to choose for themselves of course.
Enigma: Currently we have most people playing perpetuum but we also have a few DDO and LOtRO players.
Mancs: Let’s get to our point. What do you think of the current industry-production system?
Enigma: With the current system we feel that it does take a lot of time and money to start up production. The costs of developing a patent and producing the items is not something that we feel someone can do successfully on his own.
Enigma: On the other side we feel that as a group that work together to achieve this goal it is very achievable.
Enigma: As long as you split up your roles and have people focus on the different tasks that need to be performed. Say someone to develop patents, someone to produce bots, someone to refine and recycle. And a corp supporting these people with the money and materials needed.
Also a lot of the people who start for themselves don't seem to have a proper understanding of the of the patent/licence system.
Mancs: Hmm. How much player's cooperation it requires, to start a fully working crafting "assembly line"?
Enigma: In our experience we needed at least 1 person to specialize in each of those roles: Patent development, Builder, Seller/buyer, Miner, Recycler/refiner. This is what we think is a minimum.
Enigma: That doesn't stop those people from also mining/killing to get money and mats in. Also the developer can be the same guy who recycles/refines. Killers to bring money in will help a lot with bringing in money for development. This is roughly how we started...
Enigma: From there we got more people in and the process begun to speed up. But there is a period of time where you are mainly investing money in setting everything up. It does take a lot of time, effort and planning to get it done efficient. That is something we had.
Mancs: So finally its worth it? How much is your daily productions market price?
Enigma: Today only we have sold 34 mil worth of robots. We would have done more if we had them ready to go on the market. We then spend 21 mil investing in buy orders for commodities... From here on we can invest more money in buying materials instead of just mining them and that will speed up production.
Ecma comments: We made 11 bots today for sale, one being a heavy mech... Mats were the issue but they are poring in as we have 90 % of the buy orders for mats. So it will improve now, because we have 2 new builders, betting skill points so we can produce a lot shortly.
Mancs: Do you work on logistics? To transfer the created modules and robots, from one place to another, make sure that its findable everywhere? Or you post your sells on your home base?
Enigma: Till now we mined the materials on our own island and created the bots there to then bring them to the starter islands and sell them there on the same station as the infinite sell-orders are on. At this point where we are buying materials we move everything to doaden and craft the robots there now. The rare materials is different: we still mine it elsewhere, and then bring to doaden. And from daoden we distribute the robots to the stations that are affiliated with their clan. So the laser bots are sold on daoden, EM on attalica and missiles on NV. Our reasoning behind that is that not everyone has figured the market out yet and we don't want to miss sales due to people going for the infinite sell order. Instead of buying a cheaper bot at the next island over that they didn't know was up for sale. This way less nic and material leaves the game.
Mancs: You investing only into commodities? What about reselling used robots?
Enigma: All the robots we keep in corp are used, ones they move beyond that tier of robots they hand them back to us and we sell them. Or we give them to a newer player. Bit like your bigger brothers hand me downs.
Mancs: I mean, giving up buy-orders for robots in the market, then reselling them?
Enigma: We don’t have the funds available for that yet, but as we have more funds to work with we will look into that and other things. We did think about starting a trading lot, but that's for after terraforming comes in.
Mancs: Is there anything you would improve on, in the game’s production system?
Enigma: One thing that comes to mind is the increasing of time and material efficiency. At the moment you can only increase them 1 rank at a time. What would be nice it to have it work the same way as the license upgrades work, so request more then one at the same time. And when are containers ready? We are going trough a lot of tracks on those termis's!
Mancs: Ehehe, indeed its should be implemented soon ;)
Enigma: On buying an item: when you have a buy-order with multiple items the window takes the maximum number of items by default instead of just one. For example someone bought 3 arbelasts today meaning to buy 1. We bought the other 2 back for the same price. But not everyone will do that. Nothing else seems to jump out at the moment.
Mancs: Anything else you would improve on?
Enigma: When we look at what started this conversation. Newer people coming into the game will run into a very steep learning curve when it comes to the current patent/license system. We are lucky enough to have people with the skills to come up with working models to predict the investment costs and profit margins and what would be the optimal rank of rank of material efficiency. We have set up a spreadsheet that can calculate all of this for us due to a combination between my math skills and mizpahs logic skills. A lot of people who come in seems to not understand the basic mathematical ideas behind the system and don't know how much to invest in the different upgrades available. We have seem people state in help that they are requesting licenses 1 at a time. Or upgrading Material efficiency to rank 100 and at that point you are actually making the licence more expensive.
Mancs: Its a kinda cool thing that u actually managed to create such sheet.
Enigma: As to answer your question: We think the system works fine. The question is whether people can work with it. We have discussed about releasing that spreadsheet as a tool after the game goes live.
Ecma comments: we all feel the same about the Dev's hard work, we see them from very early till very late more than we are on.
Enigma: Indeed everyone here has great respect for the Dev's and gm's and their dedication.
Mancs: oh my god, what should i say?! Thanks! :)
Enigma: Thanks for the opportunity. See you all in game! ;)
Mancs: It was my pleasure! ;) Goodbye!

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