I really enjoyed CitizenCon 2018. I thought it was very well done, and the game is finally showing real progress. CR's talk at the end laid out, in a general way, the major milestones remaining to make SC a fully playable game (I notice he carefully avoided using the words "complete" or "finished"). But that's assuming only gameplay improvements; it doesn't take into consideration fleshing out the 'verse with additional star systems.
Let's be extremely optimistic and assume that CIG will reach its 12 milestones (CR referred to these as "pillars" I believe) by the end of 2019. How much more time will it take to flesh out the 'verse?
If CIG manages to complete an entire system every quarter, it will take them 14 years to finish just UEE, Unclaimed, and Developing sytems; 18.5 years to finish everything except Vanduul systems, and 22.5 years to finish every system currently on the Star Map. This doesn't count systems which have been mentioned in lore which aren't on the current Star Map. That's a very long time, and it's highly unlikely the game will last long enough for even a small portion of the systems to be finished.
If CIG manages to complete 2 systems every quarter, those times are halved to 7 years, 9.25 years, and 11.25 years respectively.
If CIG manages to complete 3 entire systems every quarter, those times are 4.7, 6.2, and 7.5 years.
If CIG somehow manages to complete 4 entire systems every quarter, times are actually reasonable: 3.5 years to complete all UEE, Unclaimed, and Developing systems (basically, all of UEE-sphere space); about another year to finish Banu and Xi'an systems, and another year - about 5 and a half years total - to finish every system on the current Star Map. I'm not sure if this pace is possible, but it's what we'll need to see if we want the 'verse created in a reasonable time. I think CIG is buiding the tools to allow them to quickly create and populate star systems. Unique assets and hand-built locations would probably have to be kept to a minimum to meet this pace, if it's possible at all.
Greetings, finally the game seems mature enough to bother setting up my HOTAS and buying and selling stuff in the verse. I have loaded my Freelancer with about 19 commodities from Agricume at 25.72 a unit, to Waste at 0.09 and have been flying around mapping out who sells and buys what commodities and at what price. I have some data on revenue based on the amount you need to invest in the cargo.
I have noticed that prices vary at some locations, I suspect based on the degree to which the demand is satisfied so it is possible that margins on runs will change if they become too popular. This variation could also be random, just logging in and out of the terminal has changed some of the pricing. Best return so far for investments under 10,000 is Processed Food at 836 a run. Investments up near 20,000 you can get up to 1,900 a run for Stims. At 35,000 or so you can get up to 2,350 a run for Distilled Spirits. The big dog so far is Medical Supplies for 130,000 earning 7,200 a run. I have not made any of these runs as my cargo compartment is filled with crates of different commodities so I can see who is buying what and for how much. These numbers assume 7600 units per run which seems to be the count regardless of material volume or weight (100 commodity units per cargo space unit regardless of the commodity).
The more of us running around the faster we can map the area and make trade roots. I have not figures all the jump lanes, but from different locations you jump into orbits at different locations requiring additional jumps so developing the best trade routes will require good jump maps. If you have further information to share, please do.
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