Tobold's Blog
Saturday, May 07, 2022
PrUn Log - Stardate 2022-05-07

Prosperous Universe is a game in which much of the fun of "playing" comes from planning things. The actual execution of the plan is inherently slow, and thus not so exciting. But at the end you see whether your plan worked. In my previous post I was talking about a series of transactions that enabled me the materials to construct two more buildings on my planet. A second food processor, and, because that one pushed my need for pioneers to 210 and I only had space for 200, a third pioneer habitation. So, now the materials have been delivered to my home planet, Verdant, and the buildings constructed. Great!

The one thing that isn't so great is the unpredictability of the player-run economy. It tends to be self-correcting: If prices for something are high, more players get into that business, which then drives prices lower. So in my previous post I had announced that having identified the most profitable option for me to expand my base, my net profit per day would go up to 7k. But by the time I actually did the expansion, my net profit per day now is a bit lower already, 6.5k, with prices for the goods I am making trending downwards. Anyway, it's still an improvement, I'll just have to fiddle around more with optimization.

My base now has 3 habitations, 1 water rig, 1 farmstead, 1 oxygen collector, and 2 food processors. The food processors can either turn the crops from the farmstead into basic rations, or the water from the rig into drinking water. But the water from the rig is also used to grow those crops. And the production from just 1 rig and 1 farm is more than 1 food processor needs, but less than the consumption of 2 of them.

So the first thing I did was to optimize my farmstead. I make rations out of a mixture of beans, grain, and vegetables. But for some reason unknown to me, beans are a lot cheaper on the market than the other two. So I switched my farm to grow only the more expensive grain and vegetables, and I am buying the beans at the commodity exchange and ship them in.

The more difficult part was optimizing my food processors, determining the best ratio of rations vs. drinking water to produce. I ended up with 83.3% RAT to 16.7% DW, which is a double-recipe of RAT and a single recipe of DW, both set to recurring. At this production, I am using up only slightly more grains and vegetables than I produce, and with the reserves I accumulated from the time I only had 1 food processor, I have grain and vegetable reserves for over 70 days. Going high on rations means I consume less water, but I am still consuming 7 units more than I produce. Again, I have reserves from earlier, so I have 26 days of water left at this rate.

The more obvious pathway of further base improvement would be to build a second water rig, as this is clearly the missing resource I could most easily produce right now. And with a second rig, I could change the RAT:DW ratio to something like 2:1, and produce more of the more profitable drinking water. However, there is currently a huge spread between drinking water ask and bid price, and it isn't obvious at what price I would actually be able to sell by the time I improved my base, produced, and shipped that drinking water.

So another option might be to first invest in a second collector, to gather more oxygen. That production has absolutely nothing to do with my food processing chain. But oxygen is used in various smelting processes, and Verdant is closest to Moria Station, which is a central hub for the metallurgy industry. Basically my oxygen production is me diversifying away from just doing food processing, and up to now has good profitability on its own. I might do the rig first, simply because it is the cheaper investment.


So, do you have any sense of what your goals are and why? It seems like you have a pretty stable development started up and could just keep that going indefinitely. But maybe you like the challenge of developing and then balancing a larger number of colonists. Is there like a leaderboard of the biggest companies and do you want to grow that huge, or is that sort of against the idea of the game to do comparisons.
On another topic, how's the community? Is it competitive in trying to eke out every penny of advantage when doing exchanges or is everyone hoping everyone else succeeds? It sounds like your guild at least has been generous at times in giving favorable missions but would they offer the same to anyone.?
There is a sort of tech tree in the game. At the start you only have pioneers working for you, but later you can build habitations for settlers and buildings staffed by those settlers. And so on, through a total of 5 levels of workers. Higher level workers make more complicated stuff, with one important "end game" goal being the ability to build more ships.

I found the community pretty helpful, but in guild and in the various chat channels. I also got some generous shipping contracts that were not from my guild. But of course this is an economic game, and in the end everybody needs to make a profit, so it isn't as if I get showered by free money. Which is just as well.
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