Siberian wrote:The problem here (for me at least), that it will not put my brain to work harder to achieve better results. With the approach you described that would be again just pure luck (to be at the right place at the right time) and training of reflexes in space combats. I would like to see the proportional challenge to my intellect not only to my reaction to be able to advance in the game, and that can be done if there's some logic (and better to be complex enough to provide enough interest) behind economical changes, not just pure randomization.
I am definitely for making trading more interesting, don't get me wrong. There has to be an element of randomness, of luck, though, because that's fundamental to risk-taking. It's the calculation of risk versus reward that requires the brains. I wasn't clear enough, I think, in my previous post. When I was talking about time-limited opportunities, I didn't mean that the player would get a message telling them that if they got to system X before time Y then they could buy Z cheap or sell Z dear: what would happen would be that the player would get a message telling them that prices for Z have crashed/soared on system X. Why knows how long the opportunity would last? The player could then look at the chart, see how far they were from X, and choose to gamble – or not – on making a profit on the deal. This wouldn't work very well with the standard trade goods, because they can be bought and sold anywhere: however there are developments afoot in the field of OXP-generated special cargo items, which can be unique to a single planet (Laveian Tree Grubs, say), which might cost a lot of money to buy and which might, if you take a calculated gamble and it pays off, make you a big chunk of money – or you might end up stuck with a hold full of stuff you paid a small fortune for and which you can barely even give away.
Combine something like this with, say, an auction system – which makes the buying more interesting too, especially if there are several types of auction to try to learn – and trading could get a lot more interesting, and start to require a lot more forethought.
I think this would work fine with a bit of random events – not purely random, of course: certain types of events would be weighted towards certain types of systems. We don't need to try to simulate an interactive galaxy to give the single player caught inside it the impression
of an interactive galaxy.
However: Oolite will always remain, at heart, a first-person dogfighting game. That's just the way of things. Games which try to do everything, to let players truly do whatever they want, fail. They become neither one thing nor the other, just some lukewarm mixture. Trading can be made more challenging and enjoyable, but it's never going to become the central element. It's always just going to be the excuse as to why we're flying starships around and zapping bad guys with lasers. It's still worth working on, mind you!