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So to amalgamate and elaborate on two ideas already posted (Trading Currency and Another Use for Bytes), I got geeky and came up with a visual representation of the idea. Seeing it can hopefully generate some excitement about it. The name "ByteKoin" and the graphical representation were created as a quick placeholder, but I thought it was fun. They can be done in many other ways if anyone has issue with currency in Astroneer. One could use Bytes on Data Chips or Data Drives and trade those instead, but you get the idea...
1) currently bytes serve no purpose after everything is researched: 1.1) make bytes function like currency used to purchase, for example, resources at twice their research cost (titanium byte output: 2001, so the cost would be 4002, etc.); 1.2) new module possible Transcriptor which would be used to write bytes to a new item HDD (maximum capacity per unit 2500 bytes with the longest writing time of 25 minutes (1 byte = 0.6 seconds)): 1.2.1) manually enter needed amount by pressing buttons | Add_1000 || Add_100 || Add_10 || Add_1 |, so to buy titanium you would need 2 HDDs and for each you'd need to press | Add_1000 | 2 times and | Add_1 | 1 time to get 2001 with the writing time of 20.01 min; 1.2.2) 2 HDDs may be attached to Transcriptor so you get those 4002 bytes in just 20 minutes, HDDs then could be attached to the trade platform. Also, astronium could be purchasable for 10020 bytes (time-consuming alternative requiring 5 HDDs and 50.2 minutes (if only 1 Transcriptor is used) instead of going to Radiated an mining it); 2) role of astronium as an ingredient used in the Chemistry Lab for producing something like Plasma Fuel (hydrazine + astronium) used to power the core of a mobile space station/base that could look like a mixture of Saturn V with solar panels of International Space Station attached to its middle (may be the ultimate buildable goal consisting of very expensive parts like Solar Array in its non-destroyed form, Plasma Thrusters, etc.) which could be repositioned from one planet's orbit to another, and during the repositioning the solar panels would fold in; 2.1) Plasma Fuel may also be used in shuttles but in a way that a canister of Plasma Fuel is equivalent to 4 or 5 canisters of hydrazine by power output (when filling up the tank of a shuttle it would look like there's not much but the durability would be as if 4/5 canisters of hydrazine were used).
I would like to see long term economic goals. A market system in which you could buy, sell & trade items using research points as currency. The trade platform connects to a database outside of game that everyone playing Astroneer in the world could interact with. Any other avenues that would allow long term goals on a multiplayer level I am eager to hear.
As the currently stated objective of the game is to get rich, it brings up the question "how do we define rich?" Currency does not currently exist in the game and has been suggested numerous times, but should it be included? As the game gets more content it appears we may get a multiplayer trade market and determining value for each resource will be very important. I think there are good arguments for both cases and have outlined some below, I'm interested to see where people want the game to go. Arguments for a space currency: Comparison between players is simplified, easy to see who is the richest Currency would make it easy buy items that you currently can't. Ex: you could purchase a rover and it would be delivered to your planet May be less frustrating to simply buy items at some point than collecting a plethora of different resources every time Currency may streamline a live trade market. Ex: You could sell 100 compound and buy titanium as it is available, instead of looking for an exact trade partner for 100 compound Would allow for any objectives/goals (exploring, research, science expeditions etc) introduced to have an easy payout system Arguments against a space currency: A currency may remove some of the "magic" from the game, making it kinda vanilla Trading resources is irrelevant since you will simply sell resources for cash Determining resource cash values would be critical as players could simply hunt for large quantities of the easiest to find resources, sell them and skip much of the game Balancing value of fuel cost will be very important for gameplay, if its too cheap there is no reason to make your own, if its too expensive (and you can still make it) it will break the game economics. (A live trade market would determine the value for fuel and probably keep it in the medium range.)