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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 447
# 27
08-27-2012, 01:41 PM
Actually, the OP is half right.

You can turn the fleet doff system into a perpetual motion machine...but as the other posters noted, inputs are necessary to do so. So, it's not really perpetual motion at all.

The input that makes the fleet doff system + dofftwister look like perpetual motion is other players' EC through the exchange. Buy fleet doffs, sell the tacs, engineers and some specialists such as sensor officers (lol) and grav scientists, grind up the rest, sell the high-demand greens (e.g., traders, diplomats and some tacs and engineers), break the rest back down, then repeat the process, disbanding enough doffs to yield dil to keep the entire cycle going. I did this, actually, to power our SB through to T2.

In the doff market prepatch, this yielded enough EC profit to pay for the other inputs. However, it's not sustainable, because eventually market forces would balance things out. It's also hugely time consuming; players paying EC for doffs produced through dofftwisting is really a case of money = time. Which is why we made it only to T2 before the change.

What enables this racket is not the supply of fleet doffs but fundamental imbalances in the system (unequal spawn rates of different doff professions and totally arbitrary demand for different rarities and professions) as well as barriers to market forces (the poor quality of the UI and the excessively low XC auction cap). Most viable markets also have transaction cost to prevent these sorts of rackets (STO is the only market, real or virtual, that I have ever seen, with no cost to list items nor an AH cut, and this enables predatory behavior and racketeering).

It's possible that what really might be going on here is the OP relating the devs' flawed understanding of the player response to their own system. What they think, or claim, is a perpetual motion machine, is really a racket powered by the inefficiencies of the fleet doff system, enabling some players to pay for others' time doing something that shouldn't be necessary in the first place.

If the doff devs are reading this (probably), the solution to this mess is:
1) Add transaction cost to the XC and doffbreaker.
2) Normalize doff spawn across the six professions, then normalize doff spawn for each specialization within the professions.
3) Normalize doff specialization utility within the fleet doff system.
4a) Add more FC sinks (e.g., reduce the CD on fleet assets and make the CD individual not shared).
4b) Add inputs for special fleet projects that enable the purchase of expensive and powerful player assets obtained from advanced objectives in fleet actions (e.g., No-Win Wave 10 now drops a token or something that can be used to open an elite req store).
5) Fix the XC mechanics so they no longer server as a barrier to entry to the market and thereby facilitate rackets (if you guys cant figure out how to do it then bite the bullet and hire people who can).

As for the fleet doffs - the center of this controversy?

Add a doff pool, maybe a jacuzzi and mud pit as well.
I know my fleet really wishes we could dump our fleet doffs and entertainment holograms in a pool accessible to the guild as a whole, to make donations, collaboration and guild bonding easier. To prevent excessive collective doff micromanagement and sharing from deflating demand, perhaps add a cooldown on adding or removing personal non-fleet doffs from the doff pool, or some sort of reassignment cost, like 10/50/100/250 FC per add/withdraw operation depending on rarity. Fleet doffs should be bound to that pool. After all, it only makes sense.

Again, however, this will take programming expertise the STO team may not have. And I doubt they'd be into such a radical idea that doesn't have an immediate $$$ angle. /shrug