| Monday, May 02, 2005 - 10:21 am |
it's a fucking game gresham, nothing more. some things in this game are not going to be realistic.
So? The way in which some of these unrealities work is open for player abuse. I am currently abusing the steel market. There is now a surplus of steel (listed by simcountry as a deficit) because more than 80% of the "demand" for steel is from fixed price orders at half the market price... that "demand" isn't relevant to the price of steel and it shouldn't be at all relevant to whether corporations produce more steel or go into business to try to. Filling a steel order of mine would be *unprofitable*. But corporations are scrambling to do it anyway-- and the market price has risen-- just because this so-called "demand" is out there. Demanding something at below the market price should not increase the price.
What is the practical consequence? Well, take a look at the time series graphs of supply and demand for steel (on White Giant.) Notice that they both strike up sharply from November 14th of the last year. Notice also that less than two million of my more than a trillion unit order for steel has been filled. The fact that supply is up *and* demand is up means (for simcountry, anyway) that the vast majority of steel corporations are now sitting on a few months of production trying to sell it at the stupidly high market price-- because of "supply" and "demand"-- and aren't able to, because real demand isn't really that high. This illustrates the problem both with the measurement of supply and demand and its effect on price. If I did this in the real world, production would not be stimulated because no one would care that I wanted to buy steel at half-price-- rightly so. And the price wouldn't raise because no one who legitimately wanted steel would be competing with me-- or rather, I wouldn't be competing with them. The market price tends to be the highest buy offer and the lowest sell offer, or somewhere in between them. It is not affected by buy offers far below the market price unless some sort of profit can be made from them with an economy of scale-- and in Simcountry, economies of scale hardly exist at all.
You have to think: there are more players than there are industries-- what if everyone did what I was doing? What if two people did it to both Services and High Tech Services? Driving the price up (while still keeping a situation in which every corporation that needs services and HTS can get a supply-- almost forcing them to buy at the higher price) would make every corporation less profitable, no matter the upgrade level. Even replenishing corporations with strategic stocks of these would be harmful, as the market price would still be high.
There is an easy solution open to W3C: only make buy orders contribute to demand when they are above the market price. There is no reason that buy orders below it should stimulate production in Simcountry-- if we are going to make demand a flat value instead of a curve (as it should be), we'd might as well choose the right point on the curve. (Hint: it isn't the bottom-right end of the demand curve.)
they all use differant resources john, they're listed in the supply section.
Uniqueness of resources as in "this company can mine (whatever) better than any other company because they have something special, such as a machine or better soil conditions or whatever." That can happen in the real world, and it cannot happen in Simcountry. Every product in simcountry is commoditized and produced with the same inputs for the same products. I'm not going to explain to you what a commodity is, but their price tends to stabilize at a point that makes them just as profitable as other commodities, absent any unforeseen weather or market oddities. (Certainly, almost no commodity is perpetually unprofitable unless because of some dumb government policy.) This occurs because of low barriers to entry and no uniqueness of resources or product, conditions which exist in all simcountry businesses. For the same investment, nearly all commodity production gives you a very similar profit over the long term.
you don't need a monopoly to make money. base price has no importance in the game, it really has no effect on anything. each market has a max price and a min price, only reached in extreme ends of supply and demand. the base price of a product does nothing at all to a corp or its profitablity.
Nothing at all? It's probably the biggest reason why wool sucks and gasoline doesn't. The base price determines at what point of "deficit" or "surplus" (those terms are improperly used in simcountry) the corporation becomes profitable, ignoring quality/effectivity/salaries/buying habits/selling strategies. And that is the *only* thing that really changes all that much between industries, besides the price of inputs-- and those are subject to base prices as well.
having the price determined by supply and demand only is what is wrong with the markets. the markets should be more regional and the availability of goods in that regional market should be main pricing factor.
The game needs transportation of goods costs and other barriers to trade. Nuff said.