Lots of people love the rate-based economy. I, myself, am one of them. But lots of people also claim that it's difficult to learn. I don't doubt this, and there's many factors that influence its difficulty. One thought I have on making the rate-economy easier to learn and manage is to fix the rate at which engineers and factories consume mass/metal/one-of-the-resources. Why? Because doing this means that for any unit you build, you know exactly how quickly it consumes resources. And changing units being built doesn't change your metal consumption at all. If something more expensive is going to be built; it'll take longer to build. Simple! If it's exactly twice as expensive, it'll take exactly twice as long. But how do you make things balanced? Surely there's some units with a high cost that can be built quickly. Well, I think that's where much of the problem lies. In SupCom, people didn't realise how much mass and energy it took to repair an ACU, and how quickly it could be repaired (hence the resource rate was very high), and then accidentally walked their damaged ACUs near engineering towers. This crashed economies and made the new players very upset. What about engineers assisting factories? This is both good and bad. If engineers spent metal at -1m/s, and factories spent metal at -5m/s, then you know that five engineers will double the output of a factory. That didn't take a college degree, and it didn't require an Excel spreadsheet to calculate. That's the advantage of it. Now, the disadvantage. If engineers spent metal at -1m/s, then a factory will take a bloody long time to build. If you don't want factories to take ages to build; make them cheaper. [EDIT: no it doesn't] But that creates the unfortunate situation where surrounding factories with engineers is the most efficient way to build things. There's a big discussion on these forums about that, and it's considered a bad thing for gameplay. Doing this is secretly a way of removing mass/metal as an actual resource, and replacing it as a moderator to limit unbridled spam. I'll justify this a bit better in a later post, but right now I'm late for a statistics class!