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Merchandising – everything you need to know

Merchandising – everything you need to know

Everything in Phoenix can eventually be traced back to stellars. The stellar is the currency underwritten by a group of intergalactic money brokers call the Extragalactic Economic Monopoly (EEM). The EEM exist everywhere and nowhere. They have offices in various urban sectors and even a base or two, generally as a legacy from their origins as part of humanity’s Stellar Empire, though they are now pan-species with investors and shareholders existing within both civilian and affiliation circles. With over a billion shareholders, some with hundreds of thousands of stellars worth of shares, their continued grip on the intergalactic economy is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

The EEM make their money through taxation of conversion of local currency to the Stellar Standard. They achieve this through monitoring global economies of planets where merchandising and planetary sales occur and establishing the planetary exchange rate.


GM Note – We understand that it is unrealistic to have a single faction responsible for all transactions and evaluating all planetary economies, especially considering that some of these worlds lie in secret corners of the universe. It is more realistic to presume that the stellar represents dozens of different localised economies and that there is an ongoing relative value of one economy against another with factions buying and selling each other’s currency. In theory this could be a game in its own right but we have not written share and economics game, we have written a strategy and resource space opera and as such the Stellar is a simplification of a lot of potential headaches. With this in mind, attempts to manipulate the economies of species, mass produce stellars or hack an EEM account to increase wealth will always fail. At best you could hold natives ransom for guilders and then ‘launder’ them for stellars.

Further, as pirates deal with stellars, it can be argued that the EEM are supporting piracy, slavers and a whole flotilla of illegal and immoral activities. In answer, we whistle and change the subject. Some cans are best not opened. In our defence, the vast majority of players really couldn’t be arsed with taking this area of the game to the nth degree and we doubt very much it will add anything to the game.


What is merchandising?
Merchandising is a means by which a starbase (not outposts) can tap into the civilian economy of a world and thereby earn some of the local currency. This is automatically achieved each maintenance day for the starbase. The in-game mechanism by which this occurs is highly complex, relating to the Extragalactic Economic Monopoly (EEM) rating of civilian economy and general levels of infrastructure. This local currency is converted into stellars and credited against the inter-galactic account of the political faction involved.

In this article I will concentrate on looking at the merchandising values of worlds and means by which they can be changed or will change.

Merchandising requires merchandising complexes. These perform a range of tasks including but not limited to evaluating quality of local merchandise, banking and exchange of local currency and the storage and preservation of merchandise. They are also trading houses and to some degree deal with freighting goods. All these services are charged for at rates based on what the planetary infrastructure can stand.

Merchandising is defined by five values:
Global Maximum
Global Drop
Local Maximum
Local Drop
Drop Step
The maximums represent the maximum amount of stellars that can be earned through merchandising per complex per week. A complex will collect the sum of these amounts, i.e. a world with a Global Max of 50 and Local Max of 150 will allow a starbase with a single complex to earn 200 stellars per week.

The Global and Local Drops are the amount by which the revenue generated per complex decreases. This comes into effect on each multiple of the Drop Step.
Example:
Global Maximum Global Drop Local Maximum Local Drop Drop Step
50 3 150 25 10


For 45 complexes:
2,000 stellars = 10 @ 200 stellars (50 + 150)
+1,720 stellars = 10 @ 172 stellars (125+47)
+1,440 stellars = 10 @ 144 stellars (100+44)
+1,160 stellars = 10@ 116 stellars (75+41)
+ 440 stellars = 5@ 88 stellars (50+38)
Total 6,760 stellars




How are the values determined?
For worlds that are being colonised, the stages of merchandising are relatively simple. Initially the Local Maximum quickly increases with population while the global trails behind. This is because the planetary population tends to gravitate towards a starbase. The reason for this is that wages are continuously being paid to personnel and some of this will be spent outside the base in the local community.

As the population grows and infrastructure in the form of modules and tech are rolled out, the local and global max increase up to a point. As the infrastructure improves, the population are less dependent on the starbase. Instead of using starbase merchandising complexes for purposes such as brokering deals and holding goods, they construct their own and start their own internal marketing. This results in a drop in local merchandising though under most circumstances the global market continues to increase on the back of the starbase’s superior transport system and deals with virtual transactions.

The table indicates typical values at key stages of colonisation.
Global Max Local Max Drop Step

Population Global Maximum Local Maximum Drop Step
100,000 40 150 10
1,000,000 120 350 10
5,000,000 150 450 10
25,00,000 170 350 12


For merchandising purposes, the optimum population for maximising stellar return for multiple starbases is 5 Million. At this population Global Max stands at 150 stellars and Local Max 450 (give or take environmental issues). As the population grows beyond this and presuming that infrastructure also expands as necessary, local will start to drop though both Global Max and Drop Step increase. Normally, for each 10 the Global Max increases, the Local Max will drop by 50. The Drop Step however also increases by 1.

So while a single starbase on a 5 million population world with 150/450/10 will have a cap of 81,000 stellars, on a world with 25 million and 160/400/11, the cap has increased to 85,217 stellars, though the quantity of complexes required to collect this has also increased (building the extra complexes may still be worth it due to trade demand if the world is a garden world with both large life and trade demands).

What this equates to is that as the infrastructure of the world increases the population can as easily be served by a single merchandising starport as they can by a local starport. This means that while the overall stellars potentially available to a single starbase increases, multiple starbases are in increasing competition with each other.

Global Revenue
Unlike the local element of merchandising, global is shared between all the starbases on the world. The amount each gets is proportional to the quantity of complexes belonging to the starbase compared with the total. It is worked out by adding up all the active merchandising complexes on the world and determining the total amount of stellars this generates from global merchandising. If for example one starbase has 50 merchandising and another has 100, then the total number of complexes is 150. This can result in excess complexes for the potential amount of stellars. For example, a world with Global of 30, a drop of 3 and a drop step of 10 has a potential global stellar revenue of 1650 stellars (=30/3 x 10 x (30+3/2)). Even though both starbases have more than the required 30 complexes, as one has twice as many complexes as the other, it collects 1100 stellars while the other collects 550 stellars.

The following tool is very handy for determining what you should get and working out optimum quantity of complexes.

Merchandising Utility

Local Drop
While global drop tends to remain at 3 as this is related to the technology level which if a starbase is involved, is considered contemporary level, local drop is largely dependent on the local infrastructure of the hinterland surrounding the starbase and the settlements of the civilians. On an uncolonised world this invariably starts around 50, though will quickly decrease to 35. 35 is considered the typical starting threshold for a population of 100,000 where basic colonisation support tech has been rolled out.

Decreasing this further is largely achieved through the establishment of a cultivated and or urban sector. If a world is particularly unsuitable for colonisation or there is already a large established population, then it may be the case that more effort is required to bring the local drop step down.

Where all requirements are being met, the local drop step will generally decrease down to 25.



Atypical Worlds
The above details represent worlds that have been found to be suitable for colonisation with no significant terraforming requirements and no existing civilisation. Where terraforming has been conducted or is currently being undertaken and where a population (even natives) exists or the population has existed for a long time, the merchandising values can become skewed. Wars, slavery, uprisings, disasters both natural and induced can affect the population and thereby modify merchandising. An impoverished though huge population will have their merchandising maximums reduced though have a lower drop, while a planet of slaves may have inflated maximums but very high drops representing rich elite.

Restrictions
Where there is antipathy between the population and a starbase the starbase may have its merchandising complexes closed (by the GM). There will also be a block on either the opening or building of merchandising complexes. This represents an embargo on the starbase. It is quite rare that the entire population is at odds with the starbase. More often there will be a partial block, i.e. the starbase may be limited to 50 open merchandising complexes. The 50 complexes are likely to represent loyalists or black marketers depending on circumstances.




 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Wimbles Crisis Solved ***

The Wimble Crisis of 217 has come to an end with the human Baron making way to the wimble Grandfather Paden Mastaak. Celebrations were held in Wimbledon upon the news with crack teams of Wimble security staff guarding all the pies.

It’s unclear how long the Wimbles will enjoy this new era of peace and self-determination.

Vocal Wimble Dinasha, one of Paden’s early backers, has chosen this precarious moment to bait Dewiek, Flagritz and humans who were initially disposed to be friendly to the new administration. Whilst the Wimbles' history with the former-slave-loving Flagritz could be understood, their animosity towards the Dewiek and humans was more mysterious. One insider alluded to a rise in the number of cases of foot-and-mouth across the herd as being a likely cause.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Storm in a Teacup *** Yahn Bares All * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door ***

The stargates are closed! Reports from multiple sources indicate at least three of the stargates, all within Dewiek controlled systems, have been closed.

Two different sources have indicated that the TCA have been spotted recently in a number of systems and may be behind this turn of events. A scan sent to the SSS indicated eight TCA ships were recently spotted first in the Faery system and later near the Kasmer stargate.

Another source, suspiciously put the blame on the ARC, suggesting the ARC and DEN were working together because they “need to trap [the TCA] and try and finish them off after the DEN bodged their operation to protect the ARC while they incinerated the MEK homeworld, which ended up with several ARC ships being destroyed and the job only being half done."

However, with no public statement from the Dewiek themselves, its hard to know whether these rumours are reliable.

Lord Igor of the Dominion and Erasmus Andersen of the Garcia Family both offered public apologies at the delay in meeting their trade commitments because of the recent closures. The not-so-subtle subtext being that someone will pay with blood for this interference in their business. Or at least with a stealthy price rise.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Wimble Civil Strife * Who Sniffs the Sniffers? * Largin’ It * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Videtis quantum scelus contra rem publicam vobis nuntiatum sit? ***

The Flagritz Empire is no more! The Flagritz Republic is reborn! Quick on the heel of the collapse of the Empire, the Fessin caste declared a new era of foreign and economic policy with a rapid withdrawal behind the Black Gate.

The new ecologically-friendly Prime Minister Kayxaer, asked for patience as “economic” reforms were undertaken. It remains to be seen whether there will be any price to pay for the dramatic changes being made by the reclusive Flagritzi or whether it will all be sunshine and rainbows going forward.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Large at Large * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Bravo for Freedom ***

Naplian Forces have attacked three human pirate outposts in the Morroglyph system. A spokesperson for Naplia HQ told the press that the plucky duct-tape loving free people would continue their war against slavers and pirates in their home periphery.

One salty Naplian libertarian told the SSS, “The people of the Naplian Home Periphery are sick and tired of human criminals coming here just because their homeworld is an overcrowded hell. It’s time for them to go back home.”

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Igor of Fang and Horns * Admiral Loves Dick Turpin * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

.What is It?
..a wOrmhOle?.
…No.. worse..
….the KANG singularity!…
…..It pulls us IN…..
……lOOks sO familiar……
…….yet so strange…….
……..what is……..
………that?……..

*** Flagritz Liberalise Economy ***

In good news for all the galaxy the Flagritzi have vowed to liberate all slaves across their Empire. Furthermore, the hectapods have given up eating other sentient species; taking up a strict diet of veganism and soy chai lattes. Sales of turtle neck sweaters and Forbidden Fruit laptops have skyrocketed.

The news was cautiously welcomed by the benevolent Felini Tyranny who looked forward to reducing the War phase of their daily Nap-Lick-Nap-War-Nap-Eat-Sleep cycle to a perfunctory forty winks.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Baron Womble * A Short History of the DPP * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Empire Strikes: Solo ***

A massive fleet of some 1600 warships, including large numbers of super-heavy capital 300 and 400 hullers, attacked the DEN in the Solo system, catching them with their metaphorical pants down. The DEN gate platform and some two hundred DEN freighters were subject to antimatter missiles amongst other high tech ordinance.

Jack the lad, Viceroy of the Empire, claimed a victory for freedom and the Imperial (right of) way leaving the sullen Dewiek unusually unresponsive.

With DOM platforms firing on CIA ships, will the IMP now demand the DOM add them to the Do Not Fire lists as well? And what exactly is the nature of the DOM and DEN alliance in light of the sustained attack from the Empire? And will the DEN’s alien friends stand idly by as the Empire fleet camps in the vital gate system of Solo? How will the DEN retaliate for this action or are they ready to roll over and have their bellies rubbed?

All this remains unknown. All that is certain is the “feel good” factor across the DTR has increased, with citizens reassured that for some time yet, they may continue in their slumber with the easy assurance that their number is not coming up anytime soon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * New BHD Guy * DOM Statement * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** To Ur Is Dewiek ***

Dewiek forces had a hefty smackdown against the mysterious living ships known as the T’Cath (TCA). Seven adult TCA 400 hull capital ships, each firing eight of their notorious plasma cannons, were killed by a DEN and DOM fleet of some 700 ships.

Of the minimal losses suffered by the DEN / DOM, one-eyed Magnus and Nevets Motnhap of the FEL were amongst the dead.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Caribbean Congo Continues * Ur Witness Report * * Hive Briefing * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** The Long Quiet Season ***

Listen…
There’s no sound of anger or of annoyance,
There’re neither cruisers racing on the jump lanes
Nor there jump lanes for them to race on,
There’re neither monks chanting on the battlegrounds
Nor bells calling us to the True One.
There’s neither the lightning cracking of the sky
Nor the persistent Naplians pattering on my roof.
There’s no Dewiek arm in arm to admire the magnificent view
There’re no war drums to feed Human ears
Nor Hive sirens to steal the boredom away
There’s no unfamiliar wing creeping underneath the Falconian sun
Nor floods to enshroud the Aquaphid grounds
The land lies lonely out here
On this lazy summer’s day
There’s no pollution to poison the airs of Inversion
Nor forests to give them life
All I hear is the hushing sound of the wind
Assisting the sand to fall into beautiful undulations.

Whilst we’ve been away: * Operation Giantslayer * Naplian Liberation * Back in the DTTR * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Falconians Saved ***

The Imperials have cunningly saved the Falconian Republic from being consumed by the Dewiek Elder Nation and at no small cost to the DEN either. Whilst the new pro tem Consul crowed about the “victory”, all former FCN systems besides Acropolis have been taken over by the two warring Empires - Human and Flagritz.

Was it all worth it? For the IMP / GTT it clearly was, for the movement of a few hundred thousand troops is surely nothing to the cost they endured trying to and failing to knock the DEN out of Solo after the fact. The FCN now plucked off most of their navy and wider assets are a tiny nothing of their former self. The DEN may have resorted to some dirty namecalling but can the costs endured to save an enfeebled FCN have really been worth it? Time will tell.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * INDignation * FELicitous Caribbean * Nah Plan for Naplia * Mercs Trouble DEN * &etc

 

Free Ship when you sign-up
Complete missions for in game rewards
Control everything, up to an entire empire
Dedicated human moderators
Player and Moderator driven plotlines
Discover new worlds to explore, exploit & colonise
Over 20 years of content development
Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG)

I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic