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What Is the Worth of Funds


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ok this may not be the best place for this question but what are funds worth? 

I think paper money is a representative of a commodity like gold, silver, platinum. now in terms of ksp we have liquid fuel, oxidizer, monopropellant, solid fuel, Xenon, and Ore. so how do you determine what value the money is worth. on the wiki it says that ore cost 0.02 VF per unit of ore and if you fill one tank It only amounts to 30 VF so what is the worth of one fund unit?

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ECON 101 Explanation - The US Dollar was based on a gold standard in the past.  Yes, the actual amount of gold (bullion/bars/coins) in the country's physical possession (like Fort Knox in the James Bond flick).  Now?  Just the strength of our economy.  Value fluctuates based on many factors, but they're all relative to the currency of other countries and the relative trading situation.  

The take-away?  Money doesn't actually have to be based on anything, so long as everyone accepts it in trade for other goods and services.  It's just a super-convenient placeholder for trade (rather than fifteen live chickens for thirty pounds of salt, or a hundred potatoes for a wagon wheel).

From a Kerbal perspective, you could use launch clamps to place a tank and engine on the runway, burn off the fuel, and compare the value on recovery to the cost of launch.  This would give you a direct relationship between funds and fuel.  Then you could say that one Mk 1 Capsule is worth XX Fuel.  You could do the same for Xenon or Ore, with each comparison involving more steps along the way.

Edited by HalcyonSon
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You can even launch a craft already full of ore, refine it all into monopropellant, recover it and still profit.

Has anyone made a systematic comparison of Funds to Earth currencies? I foresee game balance causing some weird values, like a chunk of pure steel costing more than a similarly sized computer or sensor full of electronics.

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13 hours ago, kurja said:

A thought: if you harvest ore and recover at KSC, do you profit?

You profit much more if you convert it into LF or monoprop.

Ore is cheap, and you can run Kerbal Refinery Program if you want. Pay for the ore (fill up the ore tank before launching), and then time warp and convert it to LF or mono prop. Recover for more funds than you started with.

Xenon is *expensive* though, so if you use a mod that allows for ISRU harvesting of Xenon from atmospheres, you can make substantial profits

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I think someone once calculated the conversion rate based on the known cost per weight of Oxidizer and (I-beam) Steel.  Heck if I can find it again, though!

Also, I once did a career where 90% of my funds came from a mining rig I had set up near the Runway :P

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Moving to KSP Discussion, since this thread is about the game (KSP funds, not real-world funds).

(Goodness, this may be the first time I've seen this happen... usually we're moving stuff out of KSP Discussion because it's not about the game, since it seems like everyone always just dumps stuff in there by default...) :wink:

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On 2/1/2017 at 7:03 AM, KAL 9000 said:

I have about 10 ore drilling vehicles sitting next to the Runway in my Career game. INFINITE CASH!!!

Why bother?  The ore concentration on Kerbin is horribly low.  Even in the stock game it doesn't take much to make most first stages recoverable, and that can cut the cost of every launch in half.  I recover at a minimum the first stage and last stage of every launch.  For routine launches that means getting about 75% back on three Orange Tanks and three Skippers five minutes into the mission, plus the lander / command pod / service module at end of mission.

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5 minutes ago, HalcyonSon said:

Why bother?  The ore concentration on Kerbin is horribly low.  Even in the stock game it doesn't take much to make most first stages recoverable, and that can cut the cost of every launch in half.  I recover at a minimum the first stage and last stage of every launch.  For routine launches that means getting about 75% back on three Orange Tanks and three Skippers five minutes into the mission, plus the lander / command pod / service module at end of mission.

INFINITE CASH!!!

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40 minutes ago, JayPee said:

okay well, do we want to think of in-game funds in terms of use-value or exchange value?

I usually think of funds as "something I need to worry about in the early-middle stages of a Career game and then almost completely forget about once I get past Minmus and have all my buildings upgraded to max level".

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It's actually possible to find an accurate value for funds compared to current market prices. How? Xenon.

Xenon is a real element, with a real market value. In game, xenon costs 40 funds per kilogram (according to the wiki). In reality, Xenon is worth $1200 per kilogram (source). This means that one fund is equivalent to 30 US dollars.

This makes it seem as though Kerbin's space program is exceptionally cheap by comparison to real space programs, but the technology used is simple by comparison so I suppose this makes sense.

Edited by eloquentJane
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On 1/31/2017 at 1:11 PM, HalcyonSon said:

ECON 101 Explanation - The US Dollar was based on a gold standard in the past.  Yes, the actual amount of gold (bullion/bars/coins) in the country's physical possession (like Fort Knox in the James Bond flick).  Now?  Just the strength of our economy.  Value fluctuates based on many factors, but they're all relative to the currency of other countries and the relative trading situation.  

The take-away?  Money doesn't actually have to be based on anything, so long as everyone accepts it in trade for other goods and services.  It's just a super-convenient placeholder for trade (rather than fifteen live chickens for thirty pounds of salt, or a hundred potatoes for a wagon wheel).

 

The Econ 101 answer is fraught with political peril. Suffice it to say that many would find that answer insufficient at best and inflammatory at worst. Understanding that politics are not to be discussed here, I will refrain from traveling down that path :D

 Best,
-Slashy

 

4 hours ago, eloquentJane said:

It's actually possible to find an accurate value for funds compared to current market prices. How? Xenon.

Xenon is a real element, with a real market value. In game, xenon costs 40 funds per kilogram (according to the wiki). In reality, Xenon is worth $1200 per kilogram (source). This means that one fund is equivalent to 30 US dollars.

This makes it seem as though Kerbin's space program is exceptionally cheap by comparison to real space programs, but the technology used is simple by comparison so I suppose this makes sense.

eloquentJane,

 I like the way you're going with this, but minor quibble: Xenon may be relatively abundant or scarce in comparison to Earth. Or relatively easier/ more difficult to collect and refine. We therefore can't draw a direct comparison based on the commodity.

 Best,
-Slashy

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13 hours ago, Birdco_Space said:

1 fund is worth about 1/20,000 of a single Kerbal trip to orbit using a LFO powered rocket (and yes, I can do it for cheaper using SRB).  Until we get a cost of a snack, this is probably the only measure of exchange the Kerbals we know care about. 

My valuation is different, but I think this is the closest to the correct answer.

Funds are simply a game mechanic to limit what you can do in career mode. They have no value beyond that.

Best,
-Slashy

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12 hours ago, HalcyonSon said:

Why bother?  The ore concentration on Kerbin is horribly low.  Even in the stock game it doesn't take much to make most first stages recoverable, and that can cut the cost of every launch in half.  I recover at a minimum the first stage and last stage of every launch.  For routine launches that means getting about 75% back on three Orange Tanks and three Skippers five minutes into the mission, plus the lander / command pod / service module at end of mission.

I think it's like 'infinite energy' or 'infinite electricity' and such. Both are pursued much more than it's really needed in either game or real life.

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For some reason I tend to think of 1 fund as about $1,000 US.  I had some space based conversion metric in mind but I've long since forgotten it.  

But it looks like if you compare jet engines to their closest counterparts (seems like the most apples to apples part comparison) a fund is worth considerably less than that,  though. For example,  the list price of a GE90 777 engine is closer to 10,000 times the funds cost of a Goliath.

At any rate,  the question probably depends largely on whether you scale for the much lower delta v costs for the smaller KSP solar system. 

Edited by Aegolius13
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15 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

I like the way you're going with this, but minor quibble: Xenon may be relatively abundant or scarce in comparison to Earth. Or relatively easier/ more difficult to collect and refine. We therefore can't draw a direct comparison based on the commodity.

I made the assumption that Xenon is of similar value on Kerbin as on Earth because Kerbin is based on Earth, and so it seems likely that resource abundances are similar. Obviously there's no guarantee, but this is probably the closest approximation we can get of the real value of a fund.

Alternative comparison methods might involve comparing the value per mass of KSP fuels with real fuels. In that instance, I think the assumption to make would be that KSP's liquid fuel and oxidizer are methane and liquid oxygen respectively. This is because that is the easiest rocket fuel to manufacture in-situ on celestial bodies which do not have oil deposits. The problem here, however, is mass differences between the fuels in KSP and their most likely real counterparts.

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22 hours ago, Mastikator said:

Funds don't have value, funds ARE value.

From a certain point of view...

Any currency's value is completely relative to what you can get for it.  If the baker suddenly decides he's going to raise the cost of a loaf from 1 clam to 100 clams, your clams are worth a lot less (assuming he's the only baker in town, you don't know how to bake, etc., etc.)

That 25,000 fund tourist contract to go 'round Kerbin is great when most of your rockets cost 15,000 funds.  When you're going to Duna and your rocket costs 500,000 funds, you have to do LOTS more of those early tourist contracts to pay for the giant new rocket.

If your bottlecap is worth one bottle of purified water, and suddenly some random scientist's son decides to purify all the water in your area for free, now your bottlecap is worthless.

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@HalcyonSon Money is a medium of exchange, the amount of money reflects the value of the item you're exchanging. The value of the item is fuzzy, subjective and arbitrary. So the price is arbitrary too. But the amount of money is a measurement of its value, like meters is to length and kilograms is to mass. (except that length and mass are objective and value is subjective, but you get my point)

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