Thursday, May 12, 2022
PrUn alternative start - Constructor
This is part of my ongoing series of comparing the different starting packages in Prosperous Universe. This time I will talk about my start as a Constructor. Which I might have messed up, but hey, that's the way one learns. The reason why I was interested in the Constructor career is that they make construction materials and prefabs, which are needed to make new buildings. Since the Steam Early Access release of PrUn, a lot of new players have joined the game and played through their first week or two, so they now buy a lot of these construction materials to expand their starting bases. Prices are high, and that makes this an interesting career choice, at least for the moment.
Now the first starting planet recommended for constructors is Montem. And in hindsight that is where I should have started. But instead I was kind of trying to combine testing constructor with testing the option of taking a starting planet that is not on the list by flying there before building a base. I looked at Montem, saw that the concentrations of resources wasn't great there, and decided that I could find a better starting position. I found a planet just 3 jumps away that had a really good concentration of SIO, which is one component of making gravel. A constructor starts with iron, limestone, polyethylene, and silicon ore as starting materials, so I thought that being on a planet rich in SIO would be a great start.
Well, it wasn't. I should have stayed on Montem, for the limestone, which is used more than SIO. But more importantly I should have stayed to be in the same system as the next commodity exchange, and not 3 jumps away. As it turns out, a lot of the stuff you need as a constructor is rather heavy. And as I mentioned in my previous post that means that you can't load very much onto a ship, and thus have to fly back and forth more often. This is an interesting change of pace from the Victualler, who has longer production chains and lighter goods, making shipping less frequent.
I would consider Constructor a more difficult start than Victualler. As a Constructor you only get two buildings, Basic Material Plant BMP and Prefab Plant Mk1 PP1. So you don't extract any resources at the start, but need a lot of materials to make goods. And the starting package doesn't last very long, just a day or so, depending on what you make. So the early game as a Constructor absolutely needs a spreadsheet to calculate what materials you need to buy to just make it over the first week, and then it turns out you don't even have enough money for a week's worth of materials. So you need to sell your production quickly, and fly several times back and forth the commodity exchange just to keep the wheels turning.
Having said that, the initial profitability making MCG and BSE, at least with current prices, is higher than that of the Victualler. And, having two ships and *not* using them to do shipping contracts for other players this time, I decided to not sell my goods at Moria station, but go for Hortus station, where the prices for the prefabs I make are higher, and the cost of food and water is lower. The different factions are designed to have a role in this universe, Moria is about heavy industry and construction, Hortus is the breadbasket. So for optimal profit, I need to buy my consumables in Hortus, and the metals and minerals in Moria.
I didn't have a perfect start as Constructor, but I will still try to play that career for a bit and try to turn it around. The Victualler starts with a building more, and doesn't need much cash at the start to get going, so he can build a 4th building relatively quickly. But as Constructor I can make the construction materials to build a 3rd and 4th building myself, as soon as I have stabilized my economy and accumulated a comfortable buffer of materials and consumables. The start is more difficult, but I might still make it!