Feedback Focus: Prospects and Bargains

[color=#6666ff]Greetings Skyfarers,[/color]
[color=#6666ff]All going well, we’ll be releasing an update with our new trading system next week. Prospects and Bargains are a little different to trade in Sunless Sea, and they work differently to trade in most other games, so we wrote a detailed blog post on how we developed them, and we also did a live stream on Twitch yesterday which you can check out for a demonstration on how the system works (I really recommend watching this one especially since we explain a couple of the outstanding bugs we will be launching with and why). [/color]
[color=#6666ff]Once the update goes live, you’ve read the patch notes and are aware of any outstanding issues, then please jump in game and check it out. After you’ve got a good sense of it (and this may take a few hours since new Prospects and Bargains are generated every 30 in-game days), then jump on this thread and tell us what you think. [/color]
[color=#6666ff]We’d like to know:[/color]

  • [color=#6666ff]If you think the system is too easy[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]If you think it’s too hard[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]If you feel it’s just right[/color][/li][li][color=#6666ff]Any other feedback you have [/color]

[color=#6666ff]Please bear in mind that this is just the first implementation. New Prospects and Bargains will be added throughout development, outstanding issues will be addressed, and mostly likely prices will be tweaked. This is why we are gathering all the feedback, so thank you in advance. Oh, and yes, we will be adding your Sovereigns to the Shop and Bazaar interfaces in a future update.[/color]
edited by FailbetterFuzz on 12/14/2017
edited by FailbetterFuzz on 4/6/2018

Two questions for now:

  1. Any idea when its due for release?

  2. Will it be possible to import saves from the procgen branch? I’m assuming/hoping that this patch will roll in procgen in addition to the new trade features?

Welp, i guess the answer is now and yes. ill get onto testing it soon
edited by Nanako on 12/12/2017

Prospects and Bargains really make the early game more survivable. I made 400 sovereigns or so in a single trip, which wasn’t all trading, but a lot of it was. Right now, if anything, they feel a bit too profitable, but I’d need more time to figure out if that’s actually the case. It’s certainly a huge step up from the previous situation in terms of fun, and I do prefer it to Sea’s trading system in a lot of ways.

Hold space feels rather tight - I ended up with 7 cargo full of bargains, meaning that I was running from port to port on 2 fuel and 1 supply and constantly having to do rations. That was mostly my fault, but I do think that raising the default hold space, maybe to 15 or so, would be nice. This could also potentially go alongside a small reduction in the profit from Prospects and Bargains, so each individual one wouldn’t be as good but you could carry more cargo and fulfill more of them at a time. I’m also a bit confused about the Moloch, a sleek luxury liner, having more hold space than the explicit trading vessel. Maybe there will be better trading locomotives with even more space available at some point, but right now it’s a bit weird.

I agree with you here. I’m inclined to think that the Parsival, Pellinore and Bedivere are all tier 2 vessels, being somewhat equivilant to each other. and the moloch is more like tier 3. i’d expect to see other tier 3 trains in future with similar levels of power, and differing specialties

I’d expect also its price might be lowered, i think right now its price is just set crazy high as a timefiller because its the only endgame content we have
edited by Nanako on 12/12/2017

[color=#cc0099]Have you been making use of the Bank? Or is this just specifically on your trade missions?[/color]

Feedback from me!

The first odd thing i notice, is that the bazaar seems to have two cheap sales, one with a quality requirement and one without. this looks wierd

Also this quality seems to have no tooltip

I think the bazaars in each port could do with some more flavour text, rather than simply being a generic menu. Maybe a little segment in lustrum about pushing past miners, and trying to hear over the hour harkers. This bazaar thing is a good opportunity to inject a little of the culture of each port into things, have some more narrative content there

I’m not entirely onboard with the &quotevery small port exports something&quot idea. Specifically; Magdalenes, Carillon and Polmear & Plenty’s Circus, are three ports that all run on a service economy. They produce no goods and really shouldn’t be exporting anything, imo.
They’re currently exporting souls, souls and bronzewood respectively, though i don’t see much reason they would export these things. Maybe there’s some spirifage going on at magdalenes?
Devils eat souls, i remember it being explicitly specified in sunless sea that &quotdevils don’t…export souls&quot. The implication being that souls are something they import, and consume. Carillon shouldn’t be selling souls. The circus? Not a tree in sight, where is it getting wood from.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a few ports which don’t export, it can just be one of their little quirks. Give those places more importing opportunities instead
Not to mention that all three of the above ports are simply duplicating their exports from other places which make much more sense

As to a few others;
Port Avon is exporting souls? I suppose that makes some sense, since they have those soul filled ruins. But i figured their main export would be cider, apples, seeds or saplings. The apple orchards are the first and foremost thing about it. Maybe they could have multiple consistent exports?

Port prosper exports unseasoned hours. This too, is odd. I get the impression from the storylets that its the main place for refining and processing unseasoned hours. Therefore they should be IMPORTING unseasoned hours and exporting…seasoned hours? We don’t seem to have an item ingame yet for properly processed hours, maybe this is a temporary state of affairs until one is added?

Anyways thats thematic feedback. I’ll post more about mechanics and balance as i experience it
edited by Nanako on 12/12/2017

I’m seeing quite a few purchasing opportunities like this

Note the greyed out buy button. I have more than enough money and hold space to make the purchase, and i have the required academe affiliation to open this option, but i can’t make a purchase. is this a bug?

[color=#cc0099]Have you been making use of the Bank? Or is this just specifically on your trade missions?[/color][/quote]
That was specifically while on a trade mission. It was mostly my fault for trying to pick up lots of cargo to maximize profit, honestly.

Nanako, I think that’s when you’ve bought all they have. The goods available in a bargain are finite.

edit: Ah, my bad.
edited by John Moose on 12/12/2017

I think the bug there is that bargains are showing up with no goods in them. I’ve had that happen as well.

Okay, balance and mechanical thoughts

I’m a little perplexed about the frequency of bargains. When i first heard about this system, i imagined bargains as an occasional thing we might find every 2-5 stops. But from what i’m seeing, theres a consistent two bargains at every noncentral port, which feels a bit much. While it is nice to see so much content, i fear i’m going to burn through it too quickly at this rate and it’ll get repetitive

The profit margins on these bargains is a bit much too. I’m not really feeling a need to look for prospects, when i can sell the items from bargains for a good profit anyway

The removal of all the shops in new winchester is a bit disappointing. It was nice to have it as a place we could purchase almost anything. I’d like to see those return, but the prices jacked up a bit so they’re not an efficient option for sourcing goods

Its not at all clear when the trade system will refresh, since as far as i can tell we have no way of checking the ingame date, nor reliable ways of advancing it except just sailing around. But i did see the prospects refresh just after i finished my third one. So i’ve completed one full cycle

This system does give us some reason to use the bank, at least, storing cheap stuff for later.

On the whole, i’m inclined to say the system is too easy right now. Bargains are too common, and too profitable. The long duration between them refreshing is odd, and i wouldn’t mind seeing it made more granular (less options at a time, but refresh more frequently).

I’ve spent the past hour or two just trading, this system is engrossing enough to occupy the majority of time. i don’t know if that’s a good thing, it may be overshadowing other aspects. It certainly overshadows quests in terms of income

as benthic said.

this is happening on bargains i’ve not purchased anything from yet.

i’m thinking bargains should vanish when all the goods are bought anyway

One thing that’s become suddenly noticeable is the placeholder art. Now that i’m dealing a lot with the bank - which only shows icons -, the excessive use of the placeholder streetlamp icon is becoming a little bothersome. This seems like a good time to move goods icons up in priority a bit. get some unique icons for crockery, hours, etc

is it intended that hybras has no shops anymore?
And strangely, it has a functioning bazaar, even though its abandoned

there is quite a bit of repetition in the prospects, i suspect from a small content pool. Although, if possible, it’d be nice to have some selection logic in there to exclude prospects that were picked the last time around too.
I’m currently working on my ninth prospect, but i think ive only seen five unique ones. Twice in a row now, i’ve delivered the goods for a prospect, returned to new winchester and found the same order waiting for me again.
Seeds for lustrum, and hours for the nature reserve, are the ones i’m seeing most commonly repeated. i wonder if this is just coincidence

Some repetition in the bargains too, although its less noticeable since you don’t focus on them as much.
On the whole, it seems the content pool isn’t large enough for the current frequency of both. I’d suggest reducing the frequency of prospects and bargains (maybe increase the quantities of goods involved to compensate) and also make more of em!

I bet we community members could help write some content for bargains and prospects, are you guys accepting suggestions?

welp, ive really dominated this thread.
In closing: Prospects and opportunities are too common, the content pool for them is a bit too small, and making money through them is too easy. Its an amazingly fun feature, but it needs to be toned down a little, it overshadows the rest of the game atm
edited by Nanako on 12/13/2017

[color=#cc0099]Have you been making use of the Bank? Or is this just specifically on your trade missions?[/color][/quote]

fwiw, i was running around with a pellinore, spacious wardrobe, and 2x durandal canning systems, 26 total hold space. I was still running tight sometimes and having to pass up bargains

pellinore is pretty small for a cargo train though, here’s hoping we see larger higher tier trains
As a side note, stacking two canning systems is pretty silly, that probably shouldn’t be allowed
edited by Nanako on 12/13/2017

[quote=Nanako]I’m seeing quite a few purchasing opportunities like this

Note the greyed out buy button. I have more than enough money and hold space to make the purchase, and i have the required academe affiliation to open this option, but i can’t make a purchase. is this a bug?[/quote]

Could it be due to you falling foul of this Known Issue?

edited by shinyemptyhead on 12/14/2017

this has made the game so much… easier? but I mean that in a good way. Like the game is now difficult, but not in a contrived way of “you just can’t make enough to sustain yourself lol”.

It rewards exploration and helps newer players explore the map with less dear, but also tempts you into taking risky routes and overextending, possibly incurring Condition or running out of supplies.

I was chased back from Carillion with two Marauders firing potshots and a Cantankeri mournfully wailing at me, and d__mn if it wasn’t one of the coolest moments in the game so far, strafing and dodging shots whilst trying not to overheat the engine.

A+ addition so far, can’t wait to see how it’s expanded on.

I’m still not sure about the new system. Not having a reliable source for some items that are needed in quests is annoying, specifically stained glass which is needed for the Albert Clock; Melusine in Lustrum and repairs in Titania should be available to buy at a shop somewhere.

I’ve got several things in my bank and hope to find a prospect that uses them at some point.

Positives - it was fairly easy to get the money to buy the canning equipment and a train with more hold space.

It actually looks like it might be possible to complete the wealth ending before Prospects and Bargains it seemed impossible.
edited by reveurciel on 12/15/2017

After posting about it on the forum I finally found a source of Stained Glass and bought it all :)