Crew must cost some salary

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Max Bain
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Crew must cost some salary

Post by Max Bain » Sun, 22. Sep 19, 12:14

I think this could imrpove the game drastically and would be way more realistic.
Depending on the skill level a character has, the salary needs to adjust. To compensate these costs, the initial hiring costs should be lowered a lot.

Actually a lot of people (all?) think that the game is too easy because when you have your first station the money is coming out from nowhere and you can sit back and watch your cash grow. There is no disadvantage of having a huge fleet but when crewmen cost salary, you can only have a fleet as big as you can pay for.

With a salary for your men you need to think twice before you produce a new fleet.

What do you think?

Is there a mod doing this maybe?

repatomonor
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by repatomonor » Sun, 22. Sep 19, 13:43

At this moment, player crews requires such level of micromanagement that the hourly salary system for individual NPCs would be a really bad idea.

However. If we had a page dedicated to our employees I can see it succeeding. Although, it would throw up some game design questions for instance, factory workforce. So you would straight up pay thousands of NPCs that aren't even in your handle?
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Max Bain
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by Max Bain » Sun, 22. Sep 19, 15:27

repatomonor wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 13:43
At this moment, player crews requires such level of micromanagement that the hourly salary system for individual NPCs would be a really bad idea.

However. If we had a page dedicated to our employees I can see it succeeding. Although, it would throw up some game design questions for instance, factory workforce. So you would straight up pay thousands of NPCs that aren't even in your handle?
Sure we need a better crew management system but this is necessary anyway.
I dont think that there would be more micromanagement to the actual system. The salary would be paid automatically each game hour or so. Nothing you need to manage except if you run out of cash and need to fire some people.

Falcrack
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by Falcrack » Sun, 22. Sep 19, 15:46

repatomonor wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 13:43
At this moment, player crews requires such level of micromanagement that the hourly salary system for individual NPCs would be a really bad idea.

However. If we had a page dedicated to our employees I can see it succeeding. Although, it would throw up some game design questions for instance, factory workforce. So you would straight up pay thousands of NPCs that aren't even in your handle?
Payment to NPCs could be automated. Every hour, the amount to pay crew is deducted from your account. Factory NPCs (workforce) get money deducted from the station account automatically. No real micromanagement issues here, just a credit sink so that factories are not automatic money printing machines, so you have to think a bit more carefully about what type of factories you make, where you put them.

If you come to the point where you can no longer pay crew or workforce, they may start to leave, or even worse in the case of crew, they may just hijack your ship and turn pirate if they are owed too much back pay.

repatomonor
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by repatomonor » Sun, 22. Sep 19, 19:56

Okay guys, now imagine a late-game scenario where you have an armada of cap ships, fleets of fighters, plethora of stations, whatnot, FULL of employees.
But you suddenly stop 'making' money. And if you don't cut some corners or fire employees, you get in a deep debt. So you start firing them one by one per ship/station. See the issue?

Anyway, I was told that such salary system would go against Egosoft's principles of X4 so it's most likely not going to happen, unless mods.
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Falcrack
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by Falcrack » Sun, 22. Sep 19, 20:13

repatomonor wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 19:56
Okay guys, now imagine a late-game scenario where you have an armada of cap ships, fleets of fighters, plethora of stations, whatnot, FULL of employees.
But you suddenly stop 'making' money. And if you don't cut some corners or fire employees, you get in a deep debt. So you start firing them one by one per ship/station. See the issue?

Anyway, I was told that such salary system would go against Egosoft's principles of X4 so it's most likely not going to happen, unless mods.
That's the issue I WANT to have late game. I WANT to be forced to consider things such as late game running out of money. I WANT that challenge. What you just described sounds awesome to me.

sh1pman
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by sh1pman » Mon, 23. Sep 19, 01:19

Falcrack wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 20:13
That's the issue I WANT to have late game. I WANT to be forced to consider things such as late game running out of money. I WANT that challenge. What you just described sounds awesome to me.
Then there needs to be a mechanism of getting money independently from NPC factions, for two reasons: first, they can be wiped out by Xenon or the player, cutting the player’s access to credits. Second, without this mechanism the player is forced to trade with at least one of these factions, which requires a good reputation. I don’t think that we should depend on some other faction just to keep the lights on.

X4 can copy real world economy to deal with this issue. We can have a “Central Bank” station module that allows us to print money (or issue credits?), reserving some amount of highly valuable commodity (Nividium standard? Finally a good use for it!) in its cargo bay. Employees will then be paid with these “player credits”, which they can exchange for Nividium at the Central Bank, giving the credits back (since in X4 workforce doesn’t spend money on actual wares). The more workforce you have, the more Nividium you need to have reserved. Seems like a fair and interesting game mechanic.

Of course, it can be simplified to just paying the workforce with Nividium instead of credits, but I really like the concept of having “player money”. It makes me feel like I really represent a state-like faction with its own territory, military force and currency.

Imperial Good
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by Imperial Good » Mon, 23. Sep 19, 04:32

Max Bain wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 12:14
What do you think?
Crew actually need a purpose to be "way more realistic". Nothing stops one running an L mining ship at full efficiency with just a captain...

Depending on skill level, crew should actually do something. Yes they technically do improve the captain a bit, and help with repairs or boarding but currently that is all they do and for the most part a trader or mining ship will operate as efficiently with no crew as it does with maxed out 5 star crew. It makes no sense to pay more for someone who does the exact same as someone else.
Max Bain wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 12:14
To compensate these costs, the initial hiring costs should be lowered a lot.
So you want crew to pay the player to be hired? That sounds like a huge exploit waiting to happen...

Crew currently is free when hired from your own shipyard, warf or maintenance stations. It would make absolutely no sense for them to pay you to be hired from those. It is bad enough already that one can generate infinite money by modifying free software onto your ships and then selling it to NPCs by modifying it off.
Max Bain wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 12:14
Actually a lot of people (all?) think that the game is too easy because when you have your first station the money is coming out from nowhere and you can sit back and watch your cash grow. There is no disadvantage of having a huge fleet but when crewmen cost salary, you can only have a fleet as big as you can pay for.
Which would be near infinitely large as you would run everything with a skeleton crew and cheapest captains.

Let us not forget the big elephant in the room. What happens if the player cannot afford to pay his crew? I suspect that is why there are no wages currently so as to prevent this situation from being encountered.
Falcrack wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 15:46
Factory NPCs (workforce) get money deducted from the station account automatically
But then the workforce should pay you for food and medicine. Currently you pay them in the form of food and medicine which translates into money. Hence station workforce technically is not free at the moment.
Falcrack wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 15:46
If you come to the point where you can no longer pay crew or workforce, they may start to leave, or even worse in the case of crew, they may just hijack your ship and turn pirate if they are owed too much back pay.
So a law-abiding citizen suddenly becomes a ruthless gangster pirate just because they are not paid? That makes even less sense than not paying them...

This also causes an infinite down spiral where by disruptions to mining, sales or defence cause disruption to income which in turn causes more ships to go rouge. Such a spiral could destroy hundreds of hours of work just due to a temporary cash flow problem.
Falcrack wrote:
Sun, 22. Sep 19, 20:13
That's the issue I WANT to have late game. I WANT to be forced to consider things such as late game running out of money. I WANT that challenge. What you just described sounds awesome to me.
However it could be implemented so much better and more logically...

Firstly crew needs a purpose. Each ship should require crew to work properly. Crew generate work units and ships require some amount of work units to function properly. More skilled crew generate more work units and hence fewer of them are needed. Some ships require so many work units that they can only function properly with a lot of skilled crew. Different types of crew generate different types of work units, for example marines generate security work units and are required for correct operation of combat ships and larger ships with a lot of crew. As skill goes up the wage of the crew goes up, but in a way that the cost per work unit improves.

The amount of pay crew receive is based on the type of contract they are hired with. One can hire crew as apprentices which require no pay at all (they are paid with experience) however such crew will likely leave for a paid job once they gain a little skill making them unreliable and more suitable for early game, low skill requirement ships or when there are a lot of low skilled crew available in the universe. Then one have contract crew which are paid some amount based on their skill periodically with such crew being likely to stay for a long period but may also be snipped away by better offers by NPCs in the case of skilled crew shortages. Finally one can hire permanent crew, at 3 times the price of contract crew but such crew cannot be snipped away by NPC factions and also gains a large bonus to moral and skill growth rates. Both apprentices and contract crew have a grace period after they are hired during which they cannot be snipped by NPCs or demoted to a worse contract (but can still be promoted to a better one).

To manage this easily a number of automated system would be needed. Crew is assigned to ships in an abstract way, such as minimum contract type and desired work amount. Most fresh crew entering the universe comes as low skilled and is suitable for apprentices and would be automatically hired as such if available to make up any crew short comings. One can then promote or demote contracts in a bulk way which takes the top (promotion) or bottom (demotion) skilled crew and changes their contract type. Finally one can also bulk snipe skilled crew from friendly NPC factions, at the cost of paying them a hiring fee which is based on the availability of crew at that skill level, your reputation with the faction as well as the crew skill itself. One can also set crew stock orders which would automatically snipe crew of the specified skill level up to the specified amount. All hired crew is automatically distributed between ships as needed so as to try and meet the required work level of each ship. Crew change over occurs when a ship docks, with crew being teleported around representing finding their own way to the station.

Crew would be paid every hour, to match with workforce production cycles. If the player fails to have enough money at the time of payment they get a payslip credit which is added to the next pay cycle and all contract and permanent crew get a morale penalty and become more likely to be snipped. If a payslip credit exists for 3 hours then permanent crew lose their snipe protection. If in payslip credit for 6 hours then all crew are demoted to apprentice and one cannot hire contract or permanent crew until the payslip is fully paid off, no matter how long that might take. One can issue a pay freeze at any time which puts the next hour of pay into payslip credit and prevents any money going towards paying off the payslip credit, otherwise the payslip credit will be added to the hourly wage charged next hour. On top of this the player is entitled to 20 free permanent and 80 free contract staff who are the most skilled of the appropriate contract type who do not charge wages if there is any payslip credit (they still charge them if there is none) and who are not subject to any pay freeze penalties.

When the crew of a ship provides insufficient work in total then the effectiveness of the ship is massively reduced. Insufficient service crew will require the ship remain docked more of the time, flies slower, builds up heat faster, deals less damage and takes more damage from combat. Insufficient marines will hamper turret turn rate, ship boarding resistance, weapon accuracy, crew morale as well as require a ship dock more frequently. In general M traders and miners will need more work effort than one can reliably obtain with apprentice labour alone, and will need apprentice crew in large quantities which may cause availability shortages. Powerful combat ships such as destroyers, and frigates require a lot of crew work effort and one would need to snipe sufficiently skilled crew and keep them hired as permanent staff.

Notice how big the above suggestions are? That should give one the amount of effort needed to implement a crew wage system. This is why Egosoft does not have such a system planned...

AquilaRossa
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by AquilaRossa » Mon, 23. Sep 19, 08:55

How long do people plan to play a game start for? It not like Hearts Of Iron where years go by and armies having annual running costs. I have a 1000 hours up on X4 now, but it never really gets further in than two weeks of X days before I am done and starting a fresh game. Not enough time to even have to think about end of the month X bills. I just assume a hiring fee is the salary up front and ship has provisions and stores that come with the order. More micromanagement? No thanks. Plenty of other games to scratch that itch for tedium.

repatomonor
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Re: Crew must cost some salary

Post by repatomonor » Mon, 23. Sep 19, 17:31

AquilaRossa wrote:
Mon, 23. Sep 19, 08:55
I have a 1000 hours up on X4 now, but it never really gets further in than two weeks of X days before I am done and starting a fresh game.
Don't misunderstand me - I don't want to tell you how to play for that would be beyond my limits and authority. But, I don't think that's how an X game is supposed to be played. A gameplay session (gamestart) of it should last for months at worst, 1+ year at best.

If X4 cannot provide that level of endgame content/features right now, it really should.
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