Monday, May 02, 2022
PrUn Log - Stardate 2022-05-02
This is the log of the adventures of Kappa Alpha Industries in Prosperous Universe. It is the first entry in this format, although some of what I did previously can be found in my previous blog posts on this game. Today is day 9 of my adventures, and because it is Monday, something significant happened: I got a company rating of "A", allowing me to accept all local market contracts, not just the ones that were okay with a "P" for pending rating.
Now, only companies that either pay a subscription, or at least paid a subscription for a single month, have a company rating. Trial accounts have a "U" for unrated, and can't accept local markets at all. Some people in negative Steam reviews call that "Pay2Win". However, the reason to hide local markets is much more complicated than just the devs wanting to make money. Local market contracts can be set to any price at all. And every new account starts out with a starting package of building materials and cash. So if trial accounts could access local markets, cheating players could easily create a string of trial accounts, sell their starting packages for 1 credit to their main account, and buy overpriced goods from that main account. Trial accounts with access to local markets could also be used to troll other players, accepting shipping contracts, picking up cargo, and never delivering it. So, yeah, I understand the need for a paywall here.
Once you pay for a subscription, which are relatively cheap, your company rating goes up to "pending". You also get a "pending" for the three sub-ratings: Activity, reliability, and stability. Activity measures how timely you are with fulfilling contractual obligations; it usually takes just a few days of doing contracts for that to get rated. Reliability measures whether you did or did not fulfill your contractual obligations; it takes 10 contracts to be rated. Stability is the financial stability of your company; an accounting "period" in the game goes from Sunday at midnight (UTC) to next Sunday at midnight. As stability needs 2 accounting periods to measure, it takes "2 Mondays" after starting the subscription to be rated. As I decided early on to subscribe, today is that second Monday, and I now have a stability rating of "C", presumably because my economy is still very small. But thanks to "A"s in activity and reliability, I have an overall rating of "A".
I called one of my ships "Planet Service" and use it to bring my produced goods to market, and bring back consumables or building materials I need from the market. Although that takes a day-and-a-half each way from planet to commodity exchange and back, one ship is sufficient for that task now, as production and consumption are slow processes. But players start out with 2 ships, and as a third ship costs millions, most players just have those 2 ships for a very long time. So I have one ship that I don't need for my own economy, so I can use it to make a bit of money on the side with shipping contracts.
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, the main problem of shipping is fuel cost. It can easily cost 2k or more to fly from one system to another. A lot of shipping contracts don't even pay that much. They could still be worth picking up, for example if I was bringing goods from the planet that I am on, Verdant, to the next commodity exchange, Moria Station, and had some empty space in my cargo hold. If there is a shipping contract that still fits in and is for that same way, the shipping fee for a flight that I would have done anyway is just free money. But if I fly my second ship just to earn money, I need shipping contracts that pay more than the fuel cost of both ways, and those are hard to find. I did join a corporation, which is the guild mechanic in Prosperous Universe, and some friendly guildmates occasionally give me shipping contracts with decent pay. The current universe in PrUn is over a year old, and some people already have large economies, where it needs more than 2 ships to fly everything to where it needs to be.
Currently my second ship just picked up a shipment in a different faction's corner of the universe, near Benten. I was lucky to find a good contract paying 12k, which more than covers fuel cost for the whole round trip. But that got me into contact with another element of the game which I hadn't seen yet: Different factions have different currencies, so I got paid in "funny money" that I can't use directly at home. There is a currency exchange market, but it is very complicated. So I decided to do something else: After I delivered the cargo to the Benten system, I will fly to the Benten commodity exchange. Different commodity exchanges have different prices. In the case of Benten, the best planets to gather the raw materials to make slower-than-light fuel are in the Benten system. As a result, STL fuel prices in Benten station are cheaper than elsewhere. Instead of trying to convert the foreign currency into the one I use, I simply bought 300 FTL and 1000 STL fuel with it. At a price difference of 3 credits per unit of STL fuel compared to my home market, that's another 3k profit for the trip. And I can very much use that fuel myself.
So, this is it for today. I certainly won't post daily, Prosperous Universe is a slow game and there won't be something to report every day.