Hi. I'm a beginning player, and I'm trying to understand the mechanics. Unfortunately, the guides I've read are about what strategies win, and so aren't very useful to me. I want to understand some very basic and obvious things. For the discussion below, assume I have no competitors and no black market. (Yes, this is artificial, but this isn't for developing a winning strategy.)
1) Is there a cost load to buy things off the market?
** That is, is it more expensive to auto sell everything instantly and build buildings with money, or is it more or less the same? This is a mechanical question, not a strategic one.
** Is there a financial reason to be self-sufficient, or is it a trap for the new player to sucker them into building resources that are cheap instead of the ones that are more profitable?
** Would you make more money by ignoring your consumption and simply focusing on the buildings that make the most profit?
This is all the same question -- about whether buying from the market has a penalty associated with it. Without such a penalty, the only reason to be self-sufficient is strategic vulnerability, but that might be worth it if you can make 3x the profit and buying your needs from the market.
The guides I've seen seem to suggest that self-sufficiency is a good thing, which seems very weird to me, as my inclination is to go where the profits are -- and while completely counter-intuitive, this holds true in most economic games I've played -- it gets you the most money to ignore your needs and go where the profit is, while buying your needs from the market.
2) What is the tradeoff between paying off debt, buying your own stock, and buying someone else's stock?
I've read this same thread from multiple sources, but the second half of the article has unclear pronouns ("for this to pay off" -- what is "this"?), so I don't understand some of what the author is saying:
** The first time you have spare cash, does it make sense to pay off debt, buy your own stock, or buy the cheapest stock?
** Does it make sense to accumulate debt early on so that you can get to 50% stock cheaply (or even until it is all owned), then pay off debt and watch your stock rise?
** Or does it make sense to say that interest % is larger than the % increase in stock, so it is better to pay off debt first if there will be an interest tick in between?
** Or does it make sense to say that if you are never going to pay off your debt, then anything paid with debt is free, so you might as well bid anything in auctions because it is free?
** Or more accurately, once you are at class D interest, are there more penalties associated with debt the larger it gets, or does the penalty more or less max out so that more debt is mostly irrelevant?
** The article I linked to above ignores the 30% interest per day, which is just bizarre.