[Vehicle] Nanite to IRL Price Comparisons

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by ColonelChingles, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. ColonelChingles

    So after a certain thread about the realistic roles and costs of aircraft, I thought it would be entertaining to compare the costs of PS2 vehicles with what they would cost in real life.

    For a thread comparing vehicles to their IRL counterparts, I would suggest this thread.

    But first, a disclaimer. Not all vehicle costs can be directly compared for a number of reasons. Some of them might include:
    1) Countries have different costs. A country with high wages could produce the same tank with a much higher price tag in dollars than a country with low wages. For the purposes of this comparison I don't take into account PPP too much.
    2) Vehicles have different specifications. One jet plane might have been designed to meet lower standards than another, even within the same generation.
    3) Prices can be subject to market and political influences. The export price for inferior military equipment is generally higher than what the manufacturing nation would pay for the same thing, unless of course it is included as a "gift" of military aid.
    4) Prices are subject to inflation. Something that cost $50 million around two decades ago would cost over $80 million now. However I have attempted to have all prices adjusted to 2014 USD when possible.
    5) All additional "costs", such as maintenance, training, parts, some weapons, and munitions are not included. This can drastically change the costs of vehicles. For example, an ATV/Flash by itself might double in cost if you mounted an automatic 40mm grenade launcher on it.

    That being said, let's see what we can find out!

    The LTATV (designed 2013), which is a side-by-side transport that comes with a LMG, has a government price of about $25,000 USD per unit, In PS2 a Flash costs50 nanites. Therefore we arrive at a $/nanite ratio of $500:1.

    A "civilian" variant of the Chenowth Fast Attack Vehicle (used but refurbished) costs around $11,500, but obviously this is the discount price that doesn't include weapons. Throw on a TOW 2B launcher and that might be an extra $180,000 to top it off. With an estimated price of around $200,000 per unit and 150 nanites in-game, this leads to a $/nanite ratio of $1,333:1. Obviously a better deal than the Flash! If we used the Flash $/nanite ratio as a constant baseline, then the Harasser should cost 400 nanites.

    There aren't too many "light tanks" today, but both Russia and China have vehicles that are similar to Lightnings. The Russian BMD-4 (designed 1990s), with a 100mm cannon, is about $4 million dollars. The 2S25 Sprut SD (also designed 1990s), with a larger 125mm cannon, is perhaps around $4.5 million dollars. But both these include ATGM launchers and a number of other goodies, and the BMD-4 doubles as a transport. At any rate that is a $/nanite ratio of about $11,400:1. If we applied the Flash $/nanite ratio, a Lightning should cost 8,000 nanites!

    The Sunderer is a basic Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle, like the Chinese VP3 MRAP. With the basic package and two weapons, you're looking at a price tag of around $545,000. Though infinitely respawning infantry and more health than an MBT is not included. :p With an in-game price of 200 nanites, this comes out to $2,725:1, and if the Flash ratio were applied then a Sunderer should cost 1,090 nanites.

    A current-generation MBT like the M1A2 is around $12 million dollars. Again, you get much more for that price sticker than you do in PS2, but them's the game I guess. This means that a 450 nanite PS2 MBT has a $/nanite ratio of $26,666:1, and if MBTs were priced like Flashes then they ought to cost 24,000 nanites (or it would take 32 players to pull one MBT!).

    Air vehicles to come... when I get around to it. :p
    • Up x 8
  2. TriumphantJelly

    Don't forget the Magrider (not really the M1A2)! 450 nanites, compared to waiting for an inter-dimensional-phase-shifting-magic-element, the best scientists around and an untold amount of money. Should probably cost... Around 450 nanites :p

    PS: Joking. Dont' hate. Please.:oops:
    • Up x 4
  3. ColonelChingles

    Of course, before anyone comes on and says, "OMG vehiclez so cheap and unbalanced, plz nerf nao", it's important to keep in mind that by far the greater cost of any military force is personnel.

    For example, in Afghanistan now it costs $1.2 million per soldier per year to support them (that's the 2013 price, in 2014 it may have reached $2.1 million). And that doesn't include training costs, a K-12 education, medical bills, or retirement either, all of which would be on the "sticker price" of any infantry.

    So if we assume that a $12 million dollar MBT might be good for 20 years, that turns out to a cost/year of about $600,000/year. Sure there's maintenance, munitions, etc, so let's add in another $400,000. At the end an MBT may cost around $1 million a year, but we see that this cost is still exceeded by a single rifleman or crewman.

    On the flipside, sustaining one soldier for 20 years would cost $24 million. The sticker price of two MBTs.

    Going by our old Flash $/nanite ratio, an infantry player should cost about 48,000 nanites (84,000 nanites by 2014 numbers) to pull (assuming a 20 year service life). :eek:
    • Up x 3
  4. f0d

    • Up x 3
  5. ColonelChingles

    That's true. If you look in my other thread about IRL vehicles, you'll see that I cite a different sort of ATV as the inspiration for the Flash. Something more like this:


    However I wasn't able to find government prices for those... so I picked the side-by-side ATV design. In terms of price, they ought to be similar. :)
    • Up x 1
  6. CipherNine

    Wow thats incredible! Could you perhaps link the source?
  7. ColonelChingles

    News report on it is here, and on that article you can find the original 17-page report.

    Essentially with the cost of one soldier in Afghanistan, we could have had:
    1) Sent 36 people on a fully paid scholarship to the University of California campuses for a year (or 9 people would get their full four year degree and expenses paid for).
    2) Fully funded 113 kids in terms of their elementary and secondary education.
    3) Treated 12 people with pancreatic cancer for a year.
    4) Given shelter to over 500 homeless individuals (ironically many of them vets).

    War is expensive. Some consider it necessary though. But either way when we do fight we have to make sure that it's for the right reasons, because to fight we have to give up a lot.
  8. ColonelChingles

    So... to finish some unfinished business...

    The ESFs may be most akin to VTOL aircraft like the Harrier jet.


    You can find one used for $1.5 million dollars, though it would be unarmed, lack avionics, and really be only good for parts. Or you can try to trick Pepsi into selling you one for $700,000 (seriously someone actually tried it).

    But a military Harrier would probably set you back $45 million dollars (not including munitions). ESFs in the game cost 350 nanites, meaning that the $/nanite ratio would be $128,571:1 (the best deal yet). If ESFs were priced like how Flashes were priced, it would take 90,000 nanites to pull, or about 120 people to pull their resources to grab a single ESF. :p

    Which is kinda silly because in the game ESFs cost as much as a Lightning. :D
  9. St0mpy

    No way would that be priced similar, not materials nor construction. Do you want to sell me a 2+2 ATV for the cost of a quad? No I didnt think so :p
  10. ColonelChingles

    It's similar. For example, if you compare a 675cc quad and a 675cc SxS, one is about $9,300 and the other is $10,300. That $1,000 difference pales in comparison to the actual upgrades that are necessary for military application and the cost of a weapons system (which by itself is about equal to the base price of the vehicle).

    $1,000 may seem like a lot to you or me, but when military equipment regularly costs millions or hundreds of thousands, that $1,000 is pretty much insignificant in military contracting.