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Planetary Sales

Planetary Sales – everything you need to know

From a game concept point of view (if not currently in the mechanics) Trade Goods are distinct from Life and Drug item types in one fundamental way. They do not change society, insofar as they are not considered an investment into the planetary infrastructure and they do not have any detrimental effect on society.
As it is our intention to change how Life and Drug item types will be dealt with in the not too distant future, this article deals purely with Trade Goods.

Trade Goods are consumable items that are sold to a civilian population through merchandising complexes. The sale, though complex banking transfer mechanics converts payment in local currency into stellars.

It is presumed that the sale of items is based on what the market will tolerate and accounts for all standard methods of ensuring maximum return, i.e. the first batch may be sold for more and the last batch less; there may be loss leaders or bulk discounts and all manner of manipulations. This is a space opera game not a marketing game. While adding all these little features is possible, it is very doubtful it would add anything to the game beyond unnecessary complexity in an already somewhat murky field.


Trade Demand (indicated as Max Income on starbase manifests)
The weekly amount of stellars available to purchase goods is based on the population. The larger the population, the greater the amount of stellars available for the purchase of Trade Goods. The amount is not linear for two reasons:

  • Small populations have few means of creating trade goods internal to their society and as such are prepared to put spend a greater proportion of their wealth/wages/income on importing things.
  • Large populations have greater reserves of wealth however they also produce many trade goods themselves through markets within the society and as such that civilians have a choice of where to spend their money. In other words as the population grows it internalises more of their commercial transactions.

A population of 100,000 will have a trade demand around 12k while increasing the population to 1M only effectively doubles demand to 25k. There is a slow tapering and by 5M the demand has increased to 70k.



The numbers above are under standard conditions which presume steady colonisation of an unpopulated world by a single species using contemporary technology. As such they are not consistent throughout the Peripheries. There are instances where a small population can have a higher demand than a world with a much greater population. The reasons are manifold though include things such as a large native population or social events for instance recent emancipation or liberation and even environmental factors may play a role. Colonising hi-tech ruins or incorporating and uplifting a native population will skew the above progressions.

Sale price of individual Trade Goods
Now that an idea of how much stellars a world has to spend on a weekly basis is known it is necessary to determine how much they are prepared to spend on individual items. This consists of four elements:
  • Base Value of Item
  • Population Affluence and Market Tolerance (Trade Multiplier)
  • Distance from Trade Goods Origin
  • Racial Modifiers


Base Value of Item
Items generally have a unit value between 0.1 and 1.5stellars/mu. There are a few items outside this range, though they are quite unusual. This is in effect the fundamental value of the item when sold between civilians. In the case of Trade Goods produced through resource complexes, it is often related to the yield. For example, resource produced items with a base value of 1stellar/mu generally have yields around 15. For outposts and starbases this equates to roughly breaking even with respect to complex personnel running costs. Profit is therefore dependent on selling items at more than Base Value.

Population Affluence and Market Tolerance (Trade Multiplier)
When a world is colonised, the modest population has to compete with the big worlds and their vast trade demands. Not only are they prepared to pay a greater proportion of their wealth on Trade Goods(as explained in the section above), they are prepared to pay over the odds just to get them. This equates to a starting Trade Multiplier of x2 for newly colonised worlds with populations of around 100,000. As the population grows there is greater internal production of local trade goods and as such the population is able to choose whether to spend their wealth on local goods or purchase from off-world sources. This results in an attenuating decrease in the trade multiplier.

The trade multipliers for the populations in the table below are consistent with the previous section insofar as they are based on colonising a world and ensuring that all technological needs are accounted for as the population has expanded. When a native population is discovered and shown the benefits of trade, it will have a Trade Multiplier of 1. It can be seen that a large technological advanced civilisation is prepared to spend 40% more per person on Trade Goods. This reflects lower living costs and therefore greater disposable income.
Pop Trade Mod
100000 2.00
1,000,000 1.80
5,000,000 1.50
25,000,000 1.44
100,000,000 1.40
Native Population Uplifted to Naplians 1.25
Native Population 1.00


Worlds lacking in certain areas of infrastructure are likely to have reduced trade modifiers as are worlds with cultural slants (xenophobic etc.)

Distance from Trade Goods Origin
In simple terms less accessible items are perceived as more exotic. In basic terms it is presumed that items brought from the other end of the Peripheries are understandably rarer and as such are sold at a higher premium.
The default multipliers are as follows:
Distance Trade Mod
Same World 1
Same System 3
Same Periphery 8
Adjacent Periphery 12
Separated by a Periphery 14
Separated by 2 Peripheries 16

It is however the case that each system can be independently set with respect to every other system for the purpose of determining its trade multiplier and is capable of being modified both up and down. Generally speaking x16 is considered the maximum trade mod.
Examples of modifying the trade mod include:
  • Proving that an affiliation is only selling goods from distant locations (will reduce distance mod for specified system down from x16 to x14 or even x12).
  • Proving that a source is not the true source (modify item origin appropriately).
  • Selling items brought from warzones or other hostile places (increase mod by one or more steps).
  • Heavily advertising goods from a specific system (increase mod by up to one step).


These actions may require agent and operative work to determine trade goods present in a base or interaction with the civilian population (seeing what stuff is available on the street and through which starbase it arrived). There are costs involved in the form of bribes or tech (media for example). The cost is invariably a function of the size of the population. A small population is much easier/cheaper to influence than a big one. Finally the cost is proportional to the current modifier. So increasing a value from x14 to x15 is significantly more expensive than x8 to x9.

Racial Modifiers
It is in the stereotypical nature of specific species to enjoy certain items. As such they are prepared to spend over the base value to attain it. In most circumstances however the base price of the item is such that it is only equivalent to other trade items if it is being sold to a world with a pure population appropriate for the item. For example, grub worms have the same yield and 10% drop are trimple loin though half the base value. They are however flagged as naplian, which means naplians equate them to trimple loins, seeing no obvious difference in their value.




Value Threshold
The final value of an item at the location it is being sold determines whether it is classed as high, medium or low value. This means that what may be classed as low value at its source will invariably fall into the high value category when sold at the other end of the Peripheries. The clear benefit of doing so is that more stellars per mu of the Trade Good can be realised.

The threshold between low and medium value is initially set to 4 times the Trade Multiplier. For a newly colonised world this will invariably be 8 stellars. The threshold between medium and high value is double this (8 times the Trade Multiplier). Which equates to 16 stellars for a newly colonised world.

The weekly trade demand for the civilian population is split between high, medium, low and any, each being assigned a quarter of the demand. For example, a newly colonised world with a trade demand of 12,000 stellars will buy 3,000 stellars worth of high value Trade Goods, the same on medium and low. The final 3,000 will be assigned anywhere. What this means is that if there are still items on starbase markets after the 9,000 has been spent, they will be purchased up to a value of 3,000 stellars.

Care should be taken to ensure that a range of items are being sold to ensure that there isnt a shortfall in any category. This can occur when only items from distant origins are being sold. In these cases even low value at source items, when multiplied up due to distance can end up in the high value category.

It is possible to adjust the thresholds though it is far easier to lower them than increase them and changing them by more than a stellar is highly expensive (and proportional to the trade demand). The reason for doing so would be to try to move items from an oversubscribed category. Typical costs for a trade demand of 50,000 stellars is the exhaustive use of a media tech to increase one of the thresholds by 1 stellar. There may also be a cost in modules reflecting improving trade links with the civilian population and reducing their costs.





 
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