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Civilian Trading Upgrade

Civilian Trading Upgrade

About a year ago with the roll out of Corewards, the new open to all region of space came Civilian Trading. This was simply the ability to buy and sell from Game Controlled civilian populations. The primary reason for its introduction was to fill a void, namely that players often wanted items but either they were not being sold or the selling positions were in places they could not visit.

The items on the market reflected the infrastructure of the world, both in terms of what they were likely to produce and what they would want from visiting traders. Part of the ambition was to give a means by which new players could get items that would be in demand by established players, thereby giving established players a reason to interact with them rather than simply ‘doing everything themselves’ as is often the case in a game where players have macros and multi-position control.

In principle the ideology was sound. Players that wanted to do their own thing on the wild frontiers could buy modules in order to build their own bases in out of the way places while established players would buy from them unique trade goods, providing them with necessary stellars for the cycle to continue until new player became established player.



In practice however it failed on a couple of points. It was overly restrictive in an attempt to prevent abuse, despite this it was still open to abuse… ho hum.

Essentially we had two issues, first the highly desired unique trade goods were listed and dealt with alongside less desirable common items and all covered by the same constraints. Second, there was no way of knowing how many civilian worlds had been visited by ships belonging to a single player within a given week and as such establishing constraints was problematic resulting in a system that forced ships to move in order to carry on trading even if it made little sense overall.

This resulted in three groups of players; by far the largest consisting of those that ignored the whole thing, a smaller group that dabbled with a couple of ships and a tiny minority that worked out that they could cycle a fleet of ships around the entire Periphery hovering up from all worlds each and every week seemingly without being bothered by pirates or privateers. This was not how hit was envisioned. Clearly the system needs fixing.

Things are about to change due to the latest upgrade which included Account Custom Data. Custom data is essentially a free-form blob of information which up till now could be attached to various positions and worlds in the game. The latest upgrade has extended this to player accounts. This blob of data can be used to store any information, allowing it to be read, manipulated and written as required without the need for pre-establishing fields and setting their constraints as is normally the case when writing code. Access to centralised data meant that it was then relatively straightforward to design a mechanism where each player could be treated individually and therefore take into consideration all their assets at once rather than having to store data piecemeal throughout the game on positions and planets with markets.

The upcoming changes therefore allows the separation of the highly desirable unique trade items available on worlds from the generic merchandise that is often on offer at inflated prices and easily undercut by a local player market (they way it should be).

Generic merchandise will therefore be present on a market that refreshes each week and is sold and first come first served basis, just as standard player markets. Unique trade goods however will now have their own mechanism called Private Sales which is discovered through the standard Contact Civilian Traders.

The theory is that the ships and captains representing the political speak with civilians and through their networks of contacts discover if there are any sales of unique trade goods on offer within the Periphery of known star systems. Any Private deals will be listed along with the trade deals for the world. If the Private Deals are for a different world, they will be listed in the Off-world.

Buying these unique goods is dealt with using the Buy from Civilian Traders just as before though the primary difference here is that the sales are treated in exactly the same manner as buying from starbases. Players can send multiple ships to buy the goods if there is too much for a single ship to handle, they can immediately off-load them to another position and return to buy the rest. There are no restrictions on how many buy attempts are made in a week providing there are still unique trade goods on offer.

Limits
While there are no limits to buying available goods we have designed limits within the availability of unique goods mechanism. First of all it is about scouring your contacts within the Periphery the Contact Civilian Traders order conducted to get the best available deal. This equates to diminishing returns based on time since last deal. Essentially the greater the time between asking for deals the better the available deals up to a point. There is a trade off such that doing deals as fast as possible will give the best returns (else why bother) though better individual deals will occur if no deals have been requested/completed recently. Currently the upper limit is five deals per week.

The second limit on the mechanism is a deadline for the deal. This is around two weeks which means that it can sometimes be a race to get to the market and possibly team up with another player if the cargo space requirement too large for the ship making the deal.

Beyond Corewards
Civilian Trading was only possible within the Corewards Periphery as this region of space was built using models that defined populations and their corresponding infrastructure (on which the future update proposed at the 2013 pubmeet was based). As part of this upgrade we have systematically gone through each system in the game assigning them a population class and in many places also ascribing them underlying infrastructure. This means that following the update ‘Contact Civilian Traders’ for the purpose discovering Private Deals will be possible in every Periphery, though of course some Peripheries such as those with plenty of populated worlds with reasonable populations will be more fruitful than others.




Price and Amounts
The basic premise is that larger populations have more unique trade items available through private deals but at a higher mark-up because there are more people on the world demanding the goods internally and therefore more local competition (and taxation). Further, the mark-up is also modified by the world trade demand multiplier reflecting the underlying economy. The main knock-on effect here is that unusually inflated markets with huge populations such as those in the Inner Empire are very expensive for the purpose of buying Unique Trade Goods. The amount may be sufficient to off-set the net profit/mu.

Tax
We are still employing the tax by starbases as per the original mechanics though now if the starbase owner is the same as the ship owner, no taxation will be forthcoming. The other difference is that starbases will also be able to purchase directly from the civilian markets (though outposts can’t). Again, no taxation benefits will be awarded. This does mean that in theory a starbase can clear out all civilian markets on a world every week should they so wish, though of course they cannot interfere with any Private Deals.





 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** 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

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Acropolis Now ***

The IMP and GTT have brought peace and stability to Acropolis.

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Goodbye Falconians ***

The galaxy bid farewell to the Falconian Republic as the Human Empire subsumed them into their expanding territories. This marks the second death of an alien civilisation at the hands of the IMP / GTT in recent years. Like the extinguishing of the nearby Ulians, no voices of opposition could be heard from other quarters. This marks a long-period of appeasement by the Detinus Republic and Dewiek Elder Nation.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DOMination * &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