Greetings dear comrades of the Soviet Republic. We want to apologize for another delayed report. But hopefully we can go on with good news from now as we know how high the expectations are regarding the release of the upcoming Metro update for public testing. No, it is not ready yet, but we are intensifying pre-internal testing to switch into internal testing as soon as possible, and during the writing of the next report the internal test should be running in full swing, so if nothing goes wrong, the Metro update can be released for public testing before the end of this month.
Most features of the realistic mode are fully functional, but there are still some issues we need to address. The most critical is the inability to buy containerized resources like UF6 and nuclear fuel at the border. Another thing we need to tweak or think about, is the import for vehicles in maps without land-based customs house, because right now it is possible, but you need quite expensive infrastructure (harbor for vehicles/containers). In realistic mode you need to buy some vehicles at the customs and then send a truck to pick the special vehicles which cannot drive by themselves (for example: tower cranes, trolley buses or cable cars), If you are playing on the island, you can purchase vehicles/trains and everything at waterway/airplane customs then you can send ship to pick up those things (or eventually airplane/helicopter). Beside that we also need to add more graphic content like overhead railway stations for metro cars, but this may even come during the tests.
One of recent changes we did, was that we set a debt ceiling based on population to avoid exploitation of loans by players. There will be no way to use technically unlimited loans and never pay them back, which will be useful especially with realistic mode, but we are sure it will limit others too. The formula takes into consideration the number of workers you have and the current cost of foreign workforce, so it scales very well with inflation. It also counts in the amount of existing loans in other currency so it will decrease the available limit for the other until loans are paid off. We made a short test, and you should be able to take loan over 100% of your GDP, if you use all the loans you can, so you can still be debt trapped, if you are not careful, but you will not be able to redeem yourself by taking more and more loans. Then taking and not paying off only one of the currencies will not help you either.
Then we want to share with you some important under the hood information about how prices evolve in the game because the mechanic is unique, which makes every Republic you play different, and you cannot find two Republics that are the same. Right now, there is a formula calculating overall inflation for resources and it is also adding small random deviations for each resource. Then there are global events which can add additional price changes which can last for weeks or even months. There are two types of resources. Base resources have a fixed start price which is generated at the beginning of each game, and these are raw materials (wood, crops, raw gravel, raw bauxite, coal ore, iron ore, uranium ore and oil). All other resources are made from these by combination of workforce and use of other resources that means the price of those is affected by price of these and their prices are counted in. As example we can use oil which price event affects the price of fuel and bitumen too to certain extent. But these price changes are out of player’s influence.
Then there is the price change based on your trade with your neighbors. We want to emphasize that currently you are trading with countries next to your border and even if the trade is considered international, it can be counted as regional. Thus, there are certain limits how much your neighbors are willing to sell to you or buy for the current price. What does that mean? It is simple. The more you buy or sell in certain period, the more it affects the price for which the resource is being traded. Currently the period is 75 days and there are fixed limits for each resource. Do not ask why these amounts, it is the will of your neighbors. It does not work in a way that your imports or exports do not have effect on price while you do not reach the limit. The effect is only more limited while you are under the threshold and at the point when you reach the threshold the price should move 5% depending on if it was import or export. Of course, it counts all imports and exports of the resource in the last period to calculate the difference.
We are currently dealing with two main problems regarding this system. One is on the import side; another is on the export side. On the import side we need to solve the issue with growing imports you may need to sustain your population and transportation needs. Currently there is a limit which you may reach if you grow your Republic and then the prices go off the roof and can destroy the economy if player insists on importing certain required resources instead of producing them on their own. The riskiest are food and meat, then also electronics, clothes and fuel can easily get out of control over time, so we recommend you to not rely on imports only, especially if you play on hard difficulty. What we want to change regarding this is to change the formula so, that it will scale with population of the republic which should significantly lower the chance of getting into deadly price spiral, but it will not eliminate the risk totally.
On the export side there is a problem with exporting resources using large ships especially large tankers because if those ships are loaded with single resource, they easily exceed the limit for the last period causing massive price drop for the resource in matter of few months while unloading at the customs. Exporting by trains and medium ships does not have such a strong effect The idea is to give ships and planes extended limits and consider the trade with waterway/aerial customs as not regional as you can transport resources to any country in the world, and thus the price effect should be limited. It does not mean there will be no price effect, but it means it will be smaller than there is currently.
One thing on players side how to deal with price changes is to divide exports or imports between both trade groups. For example, you may get way more value if you unload 50% of the tanker at soviet border and 50% of the tanker at NATO border and it is similar with every resource if you want to export a lot of it. Particularly important note is that exports and imports of vehicles do not affect the prices of resources, so you are allowed exporting as many of them as you can make without dropping or raising prices. Here is a spreadsheet for each resource in game with all the numbers for each trade group. Some resources may be better to import or export from one side some from the other, and with those numbers you may have a good estimate what you can do and how far you can go without imploding or exploding the prices.
Values are for amounts of respective resource (tons, megawatts or m3). We can make this available as downloadable spreadsheet later.
The idea behind this system is that your neighbors have their own limits you cannot change, and you need to accept the trade deal they offer. You are just not allowed to buy as much as you wish without penalty, and you just cannot throw as many resources on them without losing some margin, but you can manage to trade successfully over centuries. There are side-effects too. The prices change over time and some resources may be cheaper long term based on your exports lasting for decades or some may be more expensive growing faster due to your constant imports. This should cause that importing resources for production will lower the profit margin you have for exported resource. It is always better setup the whole production chain or start producing the input resources at least partially. You do not need to produce all you need to mitigate the price effect of imports over time. With exports we want to give extra reason to use ships or planes for exports of massive amounts of resources. Then you also know now that there is an advantage to export vehicles instead of resources themselves as they do not affect the price of resources they were made of because the prices of exports import only have effect on next resources in the chain made from them.
We hope you can make better economical decisions based on this information we gave you. It is always cheaper to produce the resource home over time, and it is always more profitable to produce a resource from home made resources. There are resources you can use for imports and transform them into exports to make money early, but bear in mind that if you do that excessively over long period of time, the profit margin will shrink significantly, because the price of inputs will grow, and the price of outputs will go down more than the general inflation rate is. And this is all from us for this report. Enjoy the rest of the summer, have fun, and stay tuned for the next report.
Thank You for Your support