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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:17 pm 
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The more I think about it, I don't really like the idea of dumping the free market and just having cargo contracts. I think that finding that juicy trade route is exciting and fun. Cargo contracts don't allow that. They take away the "find it yourself" factor. Dumping cargo contracts basically takes away the only exploration type on thingy from the game. Which brings us back to the original (?) problem. With a static system, this fun happens only once. Then you know the good route or planet pair.

So, since ECOs set the prices, ECOs should change over time. Not too fast and not too slow. That's easy, right :mrgreen: ? It might work with a random function that periodically iterates over the map randomly selecting systems and randomly changing ECOs up and down one step at a time. This would be quite easy to OXP, if some-one wants to test such a dynamic system.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:23 pm 
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It would also require making the illegal goods the most profitable items, because of the greater risks involved.
Makes sense to me. I seem to recall purchasing extremely cheap narcotics back in my elite days (er, in-game narcatics that is :mrgreen: )
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Again, a good idea.
Don't worry, I'll be back to my usual self soon :P
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This would work well with taking commodities further = higher profits: each jump you make adds value to your cargo, but increases the chances of meeting pirates who are specifically hunting for you. Perhaps this could be modified: each time the player docks, the chance of attracting pirate attention goes up by 10%; if they jump without docking, it only goes up by 5% (or some similar set of numbers). There could even be an increase based on the amount of time the player stays in a station, for e.g. repairs - the longer you hang about, the more likely it is that someone will find out about your lucrative cargo and probable next system.
Yes, I like that.
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And I want, too, to be able to do normal trade without time limits and without having to make difficult choices.
Yes, I rather like it, it just gets stale very quickly.
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So nerf the free trade market and buff the cargo contract market. Famous Planets sometimes talk about the speciality of the planet. I propose that most planets have their own speciality, for which there's demand throughout the galaxy (sector). Hence the cargo contract market.
I'm not even sure that a 'nerfing' is required but the speciality idea I quite like but maybe done a little differently - tricky not to get a little too complicated here.

How about simply restricting availabilty of commodities on a system by system basis.
Perhaps not every rich industrial can offer you computers, or at least no more than 5 cannisters or so.
  • Sure you can buy computers at Leesti but no more than a cannister or two. We specialise in Machinery here. You won't find cheaper within 20 light years and we can offer you over 50 TCs of the stuff! Ship that to Diso and those feline's will just lap it up, I guarantee.
It doesn't even have to be that cheap! As long as it's available in a way that more profitable cargo is not then you can no longer fill your hold (at least as a MkIII pilot) with computers. Instead of computers-furs, computers-furs, computers-furs, we start to get some variation. Leesti-Diso might be machinery-furs; Zaonce-Isinor computers-liquor/wines; Isinor-Ensoreus liquor/wines-luxuries; even if nearly every trip you still get the odd tonne of computers or furs available. So trade becomes more varied not due to changes in pricing but due to changes in availabilty.
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So, since ECOs set the prices, ECOs should change over time. Not too fast and not too slow. That's easy, right :mrgreen: ? It might work with a random function that periodically iterates over the map randomly selecting systems and randomly changing ECOs up and down one step at a time. This would be quite easy to OXP, if some-one wants to test such a dynamic system.
If it were as a result of mission or announced in game as unusual then I think I'd like it. However to have the effect you seem to be suggesting, economy changes in a cross galaxy sense (a very small galaxy in the case of oolite) would be changing all the time.

Edit: Actually, changing one step at a time doesn't sound too bad, especially as they would have a chance of changing back too...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:19 pm 
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Disembodied wrote:
This would work well with taking commodities further = higher profits: each jump you make adds value to your cargo, but increases the chances of meeting pirates who are specifically hunting for you. Perhaps this could be modified: each time the player docks, the chance of attracting pirate attention goes up by 10%; if they jump without docking, it only goes up by 5% (or some similar set of numbers). There could even be an increase based on the amount of time the player stays in a station, for e.g. repairs - the longer you hang about, the more likely it is that someone will find out about your lucrative cargo and probable next system.
Yes, I like that.
I like it too. I created my (shameless plug) the [EliteWiki] DMD to experiment with the idea of more lucrative long range trade routes. It features an element of exploration to find the distilleries. Another OXP could take this a lot further by limiting profits in all but a few sectors, eg nanosteel from the Iron Stars might only be profitable to transport to the Xexedi Cluster. If contracts for these custom commodities could be restricted to routes that would be profitable it would help the player learn where the best routes are.
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Perhaps not every rich industrial can offer you computers, or at least no more than 5 cannisters or so.
Limiting base commodities this way could help nudge players towards looking for custom contracts.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:58 am 
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So why has this conversation died, just when it was getting interesting?

A thought, perhaps we could trawl through this entire thread, pulling together the most promising ideas, and turn them into a spec-sheet that could then be used as a rough-draft foundation for a proof-of-concept OXP.

Making the OXP itself would be quite a project, and it might be challenging to find somebody with the time and ability to put it together, however, maybe it could work as a collaborative team effort. We have a number of folks here with some experience and ability in the area of re-working markets.. perhaps if the load was spread around, the time demands could be lessened to the point the project was feasible to attempt.

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Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:35 pm 
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So why has this conversation died, just when it was getting interesting?
In short, some of it moved to the Oolite 2.0 thread.
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A thought, perhaps we could trawl through this entire thread, pulling together the most promising ideas, and turn them into a spec-sheet that could then be used as a rough-draft foundation for a proof-of-concept OXP.
Not sure. I think there might have been quite a few either/or options rather than so many compatible ones.

However, in the spirit of your suggestion (I hope) I'd like to look again at Britnoth's illustration:
Quote:
Image
This diagram includes half of the purchasable commodities within the game.
Were it to be implemented then an obvious question might be: what of the others?

This is where it gets interesting for me...

Of the remaining nine commodities,
  • 3 require no cargo space (at least in small quantities): gold; platignum; gem stones
  • 3 are legally controlled: slaves; narcotics; firearms

So the first three would likely still be traded by the player and the last three could be if rewards and risks were sufficiently balanced.

What about the last three?
  • Radioactives
  • Minerals
  • Alien Items

Well, minerals are a product of mining when you scoop splinters, so they would be involved in play. That is also how alien items are aquired by the player too (scooping thargons) but what of radioactives?

Another cargo type that can be scooped is alloys (from destroyed ships); could they not be swapped for radioactives in Britnoth's illustration?

I don't think it need make any less sense that way around - A poor, high tech agricultural world might need radioactives to power their systems that the low tech agricultures often do without (and the rich high tech ones would be less reliant upon trade-wise).

If that were the case you would then have a rather tidy:
  • 3 require no cargo space (at least in small quantities): gold; platignum; gem stones
  • 3 are legally controlled: slaves; narcotics; firearms
  • 3 are scooped as debris: alloys; minerals; alien items

You now have a system which incorporates a position of value for each of the 17 commodities (scoopables are valuable because they are free).

Yes, it's true that slaves can also be scooped (escape pods) but they are also rather cheap (and low-profit IIRC).
It might be nice if every system had a viable illegal trade option available.
How about narcotics as agricultural produce and fireams as industrial?
Or perhaps better:

  • Slaves as agricultural (wanted by industrials)
  • Firearms as industrial (wanted by agriculturals)
  • Narcotics as mainly industrial/mainly agricultural (wanted by the rich)

The 'mainly' systems are a bit of a last resort for traders most of the time so why not make them a little more interesting?
Some legal options for them:

  • Mainly Agricultural: gem stones produced and alloys in demand
  • Mainly Industrial: gold/platignum produced and slaves in demand narcotics in demand (farmers moving to the city and suffering culture-shock perhaps?)

There are lots of possible permutations of which item could occupy which role but with a little profit adjustment (esp. for the illegal cargoes) a player could reasonably be trading in most if not all of the game's commodities.

Furthermore this can be achieved without throwing in any more variables than econonmy and tech level, just as in Britnoth's suggestion above. It remains simple and (to a degree I think) sensible.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:38 pm 
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Narcotics as mainly industrial/mainly agricultural (wanted by the rich)


Mainly Industrial: gold/platignum produced and slaves in demand narcotics in demand (farmers moving to the city and suffering culture-shock perhaps?)[/list]
Actually, that makes little sense for game purposes: a system both producing and demanding the same commodity.
Better if it were slaves that were in demand as I had originally typed...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Thinking on this a little more I thought it could be tidied up a bit:

Image

At first glance this may appear to be exactly as I discussed last month but note that the influence of tech level has been removed.
In its place each of the eight economy types has been granted a distinctive niche.

To my mind none of the goods are necessarily high tech and that appears to be especially true for the agricultural produce (even textiles are supposed to be unprocessed if memory serves). Furthermore, the mere existence of an industrial economy suggests that they wouldn't be too far away from producing computers that could at least be of use for factory line robotics.

In any case, gamewise tech level is already well accounted for at both the shipyard and for equipment purchase.

So, as before, that would leave 3 legally restricted goods, 3 salvage materials and 3 precious minerals.

Rather than using tech level again, how about using another, little used, in game descriptor: inhabitants.

Image

Although I've added some (rather tenuous and somewhat stereotypical) reasons why such trade patterns might exist, such items could easilly be placed in a different sequence. This is just a first pass at the idea; I do rather like idea of humanoid slaves working in insect gold mines however (in a purely fictional sense of course).

As before, the single arrows only display the routes of greatest profit and the the economy influences of the previous diagram would still apply.

This would grant every commodity a clear profit route. Those within the first diagram are likely to be purchased more often (with human colonials being by far the most common group) whilst those of the second diagram are either legally controlled (and particularly profitable), require less cargo space or are more likely to be scooped.

Only one commodty is missing: alien items. It could be argued that is as it should be.

If I ever manage to sufficiently get my head around programming main station markets then I may oxp this idea...

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