Creating an alt shows me how hard the credits rain down.

Also, 50ish millions in 2days for a new player means he either found a guide, most likely road to riches, or grinded really hard. Source, the asp was my second ship after the cheap hauler. And I paid for it with RtR. The mission payout was low, and so were the bounty.
I showed him how to deep core mine... The rest was history.
The way credits are virtually given away, FD may as well just remove credits from the game and give away everything for free. It's a joke at this point.
I'd be happy with that! Any way to eat up Credits really.....

My main ideas would be -
  • Increase cost of re-fueling
  • Increase cost of repairs
  • Increase cost of ammunition
  • Re-design rebuy to be a weekly premium to pay (with the option not to pay it, but you don't get insurance)
  • Persistant hull integrity, which goes down very slowly (each repair would give it a lower 'total integrity' & add option in advanced maintenance to "Replace Hull")
  • Lower payouts for ALL missions/credit-earning opportunities
  • Some mechanic to "win big!" (so people can still get FC's) - first to discover a rich resource-deposit (untouched) has the opportunity to sell mining rights or something. Maybe a player/BGS diven stock exchange would work here?
  • This one isn't really Credit balancing, but.... Rework engineering to give smaller bonusses (G5 gets 15% or something, tops), to close the gap between 'meta' builds and everyone else, especially for weapons and shields! I'd also be tempted to nerf every (ship-based) weapon to make PVP less of a 1-sided, 5-second fight and give the 'underdog' a chance! Maybe gimballed weapons should only be available in Class 1/small options, while turrets should only be available as Class 3/Large?
I do like your docking/storage fees idea though! Docking fees could also bring a new 'Freeport' idea into the game - no fees to dock but commodities cost more to buy and make you less profits as the seller (maybe 'Illegal' goods could be less illegal in these places)?

FD lowered the price of fuel, repairs and ammo years back. Initially, like other prior version of Elite, there used to be a docking fee, which was reasonable but FD decided to remove it.
There's always been "gold rushes" or ways to exploit credits. Robigo Slave Trade, Skimmer mission stacking, the Mining Rush, etc.

And just recently the CG with the engineered FSD Interdictor as a bribe for sacrificing personal freedoms.

Even though I like most of the ED content creators, a lot of them push exploits on new CMDRs like a drug dealer at a schoolyard, so the Monty Haul method has always been there.

I liked the rebalancing updates. For the most part they just made less profitable activities more in line with mining.

I can snatch up multiple gold/silver/palladium source and return missions that pay 20+ million from certain stations all day, and at most all I have to source is 90 units. I've been able to do that since I started playing.... well, and after getting a decent cargo hauler.
That was my point all along. The game is far from being equal in its rewards. With knowledge, you know how to maximise profits.

Don't tell me doing USS missions, or CZ mission with a non engineered medium ship is very efficient when it comes to money making.

I'm not saying "efficient". I'm saying I'm working against my knowledge of the game and I still will drown in credits. Black market trading, smuggling missions, not bounty hunting, not silver or gold trading, not mining. With those constraints, I'm still already over 20 rebuys in 3 days.

Go 300LY to unlock an engineer? Bam, you don't need to be in a small ship ever again.
Take 15 bounties to unlock Todd? Bam, you don't need to be in a small ship ever again.
I even went to an icy REZ to only hoover up dropped cargo, Bam... 1.5M in tritium dropped.

Pretty much the only thing slowing anyone down is taking missions. But after friendly it's hard to find anything under 300K payout. Even took my stock A Viper MK4 to a CZ. As long as I stuck to the edges and fights with backup I could hang in. So wing massacre missions would be doable if in the 20's for targets.

I guess maybe we're saying the same things in different ways. I'm saying sure you could make it rain harder with knowledge, but even acting against that knowledge you can't stop the flood, excpet to stop playing. That's a shame. Everything south of a Python is a self-imposed "harder mode".
An easy way to rebalance things is to make ships more expensive. Keep the most expensive ships the same, but increase the price of all the other ships. A Sidewinder should be close to 1-2 million credits and have all the other go up from there. Modules can stay the same price.
The thing is learning the game, that's what makes the difference. I often take a ship, go to a far place of the bubble, and pretend to start a new. It's always easy to get more of everything if you know all the ropes already!
So in prep for Odyssey I decided to make an alternate CMDR and to play it very different from the main player. I mean what motivation does a multi-billionaire fleet admiral really have to throw on a suit and fight it out on the ground? Figured I would try and play the new character really lean and someone that has to stick to the periphery systems. Staying in anarchy systems and taking dark-side missions and hauling. Just get him in position to jump into Odyssey with enough to suit up and a touch of ship engineering.

It's turned out "Lean" has been all but impossible if you intend to engage in the PvE side of the game at all really. In a few days there's been 20 million in credits and that's just doing activities needed for mats, reputation, and minor self-defense while scooping spilled cargo in the REZ sites. Honestly credits just pour in. Even when you take active and intentional choices to reduce them it's still a waterfall. Hell the Sidewider went in the garbage bin with JUST the income from repositioning 70LY outside the starting point. Why not just offer us all the choice of several different start-up ship at this point and stop pretending it matters to start in a Sidewinder? Might even be less frustrating to new players who's only bar to this is that they don't know yet how easy it all is. Start up in a Cobra / Eagle / or Hauler.

There really is almost no point to credits as I have felt for a while, but wasn't sure if that was just because my CMDR was a rich fat-cat now. It turns out though that, no there is absolutely no reason what-so-ever to remain in a small or even cheap medium and really work to outfit and upgrade it. The rebalance of some activities and credits was good in my opinion it made them useful and worthwhile for long-term players to keep engaging with them and mining needed to stop being the only activity that earned any money. However it's lent itself now to basically making the early game ONLY mats and rank. I mean one or two evenings playing tag in a REZ site and you'd never need to worry about 'which ship and what modules' again. With 32T of cargo space you're already to ~1M trade runs if you feel so inclined and have the purchase capitol which is a few minutes of bounties away from any commander with a single pulse laser to their name.

I know. The horse is dead, it's been picked clean by vultures, and the bones are bleached but the scaling of income is just so busted to crap. So much of the interesting things to do are completely lost to the bloat very early in the game. Really I'm having more fun this way than I did with my hauling/mining start (and don't get me wrong I enjoyed those too) but until I made a conscious choice to make my credit life harder there really was no way I would have really considered them.

All that said I'm having a blast in the alternate. Trying to get my little Viper Mk4 beefed up and fight it out using just that ship and basic modules has been fun and put some challenge back into activities and doing all those mission types I avoided the first go-round is fun unto itself. If you are a long-term player and you've considered it but haven't done it then I'd say go for it!

Back in the old days, earning credits by doing enjoyable activities to upgrade your ship and get those A class modules was quite fun...

These days, there's no need to earn credits, like you say they will just fall into your lap somewhat, so you dont even go through the D-class phase or even B class, its staright to A,
BUT - you need to engineer those A class modules instead now.... and "earning" materials to achieve that is boring and lame as hell, and only a handful of viable ways of doing it

back in the old days I could scan a planet, kill an NPC, trade some bio-waste, or ship sensitive data and it would contribute towards upgrading my ship... now i have to sit mashing the scan key, scanning countless ships leaving a station to RNG get the item I need... yawn.

that's the problem.
But do not forget you have an extensive knowledge of the game. You are not supposed to have that as a fresh cmdr :D
This. We veterans just can't truly experience how the game is for a real fresh CMDR, we can't wipe our knowledge of how the game works. Then there is a new guy on the forums today who was wondering how and why he overshot in SC, while not even realising that it was overshooting what he did. The learning curve in ED is as steep as ever. Once a new player does get a grip though, catching up to the veterans becomes relatively easy. And that's not a bad thing IMO. There are still the engineer and tech broker unlocks, which you can't speed up much and the enigneering itself.

Personally I have two alts that I bought for dirt cheap when the game was on sale some time before Horizons got merged into the base game, then hardly did anything with them, merely did the tutorials. This week, before the CGs finished, I actually launched them, scanned two ships, dropped 1 data at each CG, then cashed in 19 million on both accounts. They have A rated Sideys on enhanced drives and A rated Cobras now, with 8 million to spare. A new player wouldn't even know that enhanced drives even exist for quite some time, nor might they immediately have realised what an opportunity those CGs were. Now they're parked again, until I figure out what I want to do with them, or another opportunity for some quick buck comes around.
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Huh, I just play the game trying to do the things I enjoy. I don't care if I do things suboptimally as long as I am having fun. Credits come, credits go.

Sure, I could do things the "optimal" way and be in a fleet carrier next week, but what is the point?
All these threads only amaze me how detached people are from being a newcomer in this game. I'm hanging about on a discord where (mostly) newcomers ask their questions, and people are really struggling to make end meet.

Seriously how?

When I started expecting 100Cr I started with 10,000 Cr, immediately got a mission to teach me the game I presumed that paid 50,000 and then when finished noob zone as was, I got a follow-on mission for 100,000 to carry data with me. Thats without knowing anything, these are the starter missions that the game gives you to teach you the game. I felt cheated even then. I knew nothing but every mission just threw cash at me.

Sure I made mistakes, all the usual stuff plus some unique Im sure, trying to pay a bounty at the nearest police ship for example and an attitude of what does this do?, what happens if I do this? whats that mean? all helped to keep my credits under control due to rebuys but even data running they just piled up. Didnt look at YT for 3 months and that was for combat tips only, learned about RtR, tagging in res sites, mining etc all long after. I loved that initial game of learning and felt cheated I started with 10,0000 even then, as an 84er I felt the game had sold out and was giving me charity, was initially furious after waiting so long to get the game and looking forward to having to make choices about trade or fuel or upgrades, all gone with the 'easy' start and no option to turn it off.

Now 2 years later I have 4.6bn assets, inc 800m in cash, no FC, no T10, Clutter or Corvette yet by choice, will do one day but need something to look forward to. Bought and flew an E rated T9 in a CG while I upgraded it as I went and flew without rebuy. But its hard to avoid CGs etc that I want to take part in but have to limit due to just spewing cash and therefore rank, avoiding payouts where possible and moving on when Allied. Still so much to do and all the time in the world to do it but want the game to have consequences and meaning, at least I can lose explo data still so that is just about the only thing that means something but Id give that away if I could.

If people want easy mode, fair enough its their game, but give me the option for hard or extreme mode please, dont force it on me from day 1.
two points:

1. as op i made the same experience after FC update. i resetted an account to move it to colonia permanently. the idea was to unlock all non-combat engineers unlocking those in colonia. i did no missions, did only scan and map what i found on my ways, did not shoot any ship, and did salvage (as i needed materials to level engineers). the idea was to have a g3 engineered cobra for colonia ... i ended with a t6, cobra, dbs and sidey, all maxed out, before i had the materials to engineer. at which point i did some conflictzones in my unemgineered cobra, to proof a point ...

2. yes, that requires knowing the game, no question. but while i think it is much harder for a fresh cmdr, it also points out that the difficulty of early game is down to obfuscation/lack of information, while in itself it is not challenging. i think a game like elite could do with a challenging early game, which is not only down to not knowing the game. i know a lot of game, where i can enjoy the early game again and again.
two points:

2. yes, that requires knowing the game, no question. but while i think it is much harder for a fresh cmdr, it also points out that the difficulty of early game is down to obfuscation/lack of information, while in itself it is not challenging. i think a game like elite could do with a challenging early game, which is not only down to not knowing the game. i know a lot of game, where i can enjoy the early game again and again.
I don't disagree, but define "challenging" outside of combat activities.
I don't disagree, but define "challenging" outside of combat activities.
any obstacles and decisions you have to make i guess. in current ed it is the obstacle of not knowing the game which provides a challenge for the new commander.

i still remember getting my first python (pre-horizons), which provided obstacles (price of outfitting, not fast enough to outrun npc) and decisions (c-grade thrusters, as i couldn't afford a-grade). can i afford a dss? do i do that high paying mission for it, which comes with a risk?

i remember pushing home in my adder, a challenge in iself, to make it to an exploration cg, to get a discount on an aspE hull, which sat in storage until i could afford outfitting it.

i would love to play that early game again.
I don't disagree, but define "challenging" outside of combat activities.
I can think of two things. Hazardous environments and financial challenges.

We have hazardous environments to a degree, just be unlucky enough to hit the exclusion zone of a white dwarf/neutron star and ending up in the cone in real space, with the FSD on long cooldown, the ship getting thrown around while slowly being roasted. Happened to me last week, I got away. As long as these things don't end up resulting in instant destruction and can be overcome with some skill, I'm all for more of that.

The other thing is making running costs so high that the game becomes a second job. I say no thanks to that.
btw. i think that @Northpin and others have a point, pointing out that it is good to have special high earners in the game.
i think it is great that i have one account (my non-main bubble account), which i could bring and brought to absurd credit levels without much challenge or time investment. ships as well as a fleetcarriers are somewhat content.

so, while i would love to have day-to-day gameplay being a credit-challenge, and more so early game, i wouldn't mind if for exampel the unknown mysterious contact from the manual, which finances our sidey and pilot license, could be contacted by any commander, who wants a 5 billion loan by a mouse click. that is no satire from my side - but if you feel better with it, make it a station paying 10mio for 1t of soontill relicts, or a fixed poi where a pirate waits with a 100 mio bounty which you can claim as often as you want.

but in my impression, playing the regular game let credits rain, even early game, and that is not good.
Base price of ships are not important op. By the time you hit full A rated price will be most likely x10 times if not more...and even with fully A rated ships engineers made them absolutely terrible compared to what engendered ships are.... so that brings our to your original concern back... 100 million ships is still as trash as 1 mill ship without proper engineering and that’s why this credit rain does not matter tbfh
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