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214
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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
GTT step forward to control protection and peace in the Stellar Empire.

With the retirement of Jack Johns and various lower-level IMP officers from public life, the Imperial Services were left on the verge of being unable to fill their role as protectors of the Stellar Empire. Due to the serious nature the Imperial Services found itself in, the Emperor recently travelled to GTT HQ to attend a board meeting with the directors of the GTT.

With Galactic Trade and Transport being one of the few remaining loyal Imperial Chartered affiliations, who also supply well over half of the war material to the Imperial Services, the Emperor sought the position of the GTT with regard to the Imperial Services becoming overburdened with bureaucracy and lacking effective leadership. Effectively the Imperial Services were at the point of collapse. A position highlighted when an opportunistic supposed ally subverted four Imperial Outposts in the Inner Empire, thinking their asset grabbing would go unnoticed.
 
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  Star Date: 221.30.5

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RAGNAROK COMES

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A Forlorn Hope

The seat of Dewiek Government has fallen. What began as a small group of Architect ships picking up retreating DEN forces, amalgamated into a much larger force. The bombardment fleet comprised dozens of Adult ARC ships plus several Planet Killers. The force made short work of the impressive fortifications of the planetary orbit of Newstart. Multiple heavily armoured and maximised deflector shield platforms crumbled. They did so only after releasing their volleys of antimatter and nova weapon batteries. Any DEN warships that remained from earlier encounters also stood the line. But within the week, the last defence was gone.

Bombardment of Wolf Lair starbase proceeded without further resistance from the Dewiek. ARC Plasmas ripped through starbase shields. They demolished tens of thousands of factories and research facilities. The ARC demolished the huge military recruitment and training facilities on the planet. Over half a million trained troops evacuated from deep bunkers, leaving a token ground defence.

The ARC were not satisfied to burn the facilities and murder the workers. They deployed repeated salvos of their Virus Bombs on the wider population. Reports began to arrive of civilians of the world regressing. Leaving settlements and returning to nature. Much as the Dewiek found themselves some decades ago when they started to recover from the First Great ARC-DEN War. This time there was no High Lord Magnus willing to obliterate the world to save a remnant of the people. Newstart was already lost.

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Newstart is lost

 
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  Star Date: 221.27.2

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RAGNAROK APPROACHES

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End Game Lost

A short-lived period of peace followed the Dewiek Elder Nation’s historic and Saga-worthy defence against the Architect Planet Killers. A handful of the more typically encountered ARC ships were spotted picking off DEN support ships in Forlorn Hope before more than forty of them appeared back in End Game.

While the ARC “Adult” class ships, as the DEN had previously classified them, were eight times smaller than the “Planet Killers”, they were still as big as the largest ships any other species has managed to produce. Including the otherwise technologically advanced Dewiek.

Forty-four of these Plasma armed organic vessels smashed through the DEN forces left circling the orbit of Beacon, End Game. The mass of ARC weapons bombarded the DEN Shipyards at Ragnorak with their superheated ionized gas, razing the entire outpost to the ground.

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ARC Plasma weapons devastate End Game

 
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  Star Date: 221.22.5

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RAGNAROK BECKONS

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Assault on End Game

The ancient Architects have declared war on the Dewiek Elder Nation. The first sign of the conflict was subspace transmissions in a remote system in the Pocket Periphery. This followed reports that the ancient Ragnarok shipyards on Beacon were malfunctioning. In response, the Wolf Mother sent urgent orders to several Dewiek scout ships to patrol the End Game system.

The Konungr Smidamadr was the first to encounter the gigantic, “Planet Killer” class ARC ships. Measuring in at thirty-two hundred heavy hulls and armed with a hundred ARC plasma weapons, the ship was more like a mobile armed platform. It is certainly the largest vessel ever recorded. The scout ship was vaporised instantly.

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ARC Planet Killer dwarves largest DEN warships

 
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  Star Date: 221.11.4

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Caste Apart

The Flagritz Republic is (very nearly) no more. In its place, a single Hexamon and Flagritz power has arisen. The new Collective has absorbed much of the Flagritz holdings with only a handful of Clique-caste Flagritz systems choosing instead to align with the other Elder species, the Dewiek.

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Flagritz and Hexamon Hybrids - A hope for the Future?

 
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  Star Date: 221.3.3

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Meklanmania

Meklan scout ships continue to be seen around the Orion Spur periphery. These cyborg creatures in service of hidden ancient masters appear to be terrorising the Wimble Nation in particular. Despite public lamentations against the hardship of defending themselves, the Wimble leadership have not yet responded to our request for comment.

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Artist's impression of a Meklanised Wimble

However, Xavier Fox, CEO of Galactic Transport and Trade, did give us the following statement:

“We have engaged several Meklan ships, although currently the source has not been identified. GTT Directors have been running patrols and have engaged and destroyed numerous ships that have attacked outlying outposts belonging to different affiliations. The pattern of ships encountered leads us to believe there is a central source, but until that is found we would suggest any affiliation with assets in the area provide adequate defences.”

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Doomsday On Pause

At the site of the Thete anomaly, the Dewiek Nation has sent media sensation Sharon Aleman to the scene. Aleman, whose cybernetic enhancements allow her to directly interface with her ship’s sensor array, led her hardened crew into a dive of the outermost “edge” of the anomaly. After spending several days collecting and analysing data (mere minutes to the rest of us outside the anomaly), Aleman reported her shocking discoveries.

 
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  Star Date: 220.50.5

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Veil Lifted on Flagritz Home Space

As the Hellcadium ISR field continues to fluctuate, one of the newly exposed systems is Junista inside the previously hidden and inaccessible home periphery of the Flagritz Republic.

Over the past few weeks Flagritz Republic patrols and platforms have dealt with a number of scout ships from the Human Empire as the IMP wasted no time in exploiting this opportunity to poke around in their old enemy’s backyard. It is understood that at least one of these unarmed scouts was destroyed with no one willing to estimate how many more might be buzzing around.

Coincidentally, suspected IMP lackey, SSL TOAD, has also been overheard showing an obsessive interest in the Flagritz periphery. However, we have received no reports of this being anything other than his usual drug-fueled, barely decipherable mutterings at this stage.

Either way, this sudden, uninvited interest in the Flagritz Periphery has left the FLZ leadership muttering darkly about appropriate measures being taken. Defensive fleets and supporting structures are being deployed in the Junista system and beyond in expectation of further uninvited guests.

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When You stare into the Flagritz Periphery...

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Thete's Timey-Wimey Tease

Investigation into the Thete anomaly continued in the Dewiek Pocket Periphery. The anomaly was scanned from all angles by a number of the Dewiek Nation’s best sensor ships and officers. The data, collected over several weeks, was sent to one of the DEN’s most advanced scientific laboratories for analysis.

What they found will shock you!

 
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  Star Date: 220.45.1

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Perfidion Reached

Long speculated by theoretical Stellar Cartographers, Perfidion Reach finally opened in the last few weeks. Immediately, the Detinus Republic boldly staked a claim on the first accessible system, Hellcadium. Only time will tell the true value of this strategic move but their much-taunted bureaucracy may have finally proved its worth.

Early reports from scans of the system reveal a wildly fluctuating ISR field. Rumours suggest that at least one ship was destroyed as it was forced into an asteroid belt chasing a stable jump field attempting to exit the system. Casual travellers are warned away from the system at this time for their own safety. Leave it to skilled explorers and navigation officers.

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Mathematical model of Hellcadium ISR Field.

We spoke to Captain Zakiyah Ummahi via subspace link. Zakiyah led the first DEN expedition into the Perfidion Reach. "Spirits remain high but this is largely down to the extended R&R we were all forced to take immediately prior to jumping into this hole. Initial scouting reports show at least one planet with plenty of forests and grasslands which might help if we're going to be stuck here for Folkvar knows how long waiting for this damned ISR field to stabilise."

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Valhalla Stargate Reopens

Dewiek engineers and scientists have finally managed to re-enable Stargate Valgrind this week and the protective Exclusion Zone is to be lifted. If DEN investigators discovered who caused the gate to malfunction, or why, they were not willing to share it with us. Military sources, however, have announced a project to provide a significant boost to the already formidable defence platform in the stargate’s orbit.

 
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*** Inter Galactic News ***

Empire - DEN action grinds to a halt

After months of tension relations between the Empire and the Dewiek Nation, which rose to several large scale fleet actions ending in the DEN losing over 60 Direwolf warships in Solo, things appear to have moved from antagonistic to unfriendly. With the Solo system being a particular issue an agreement has been reached between the Wolf Mother of the DEN and Xavier Fox of the GTT. Since this things have become very quiet, not just because the shooting has stopped, but also because my reporters have been on their summer holidays.
 
News For Discerning Naplians!
---- Special Galactic Edition ----



(The Host sits at his desk as the studio lights dim, and a single spotlight bathes him in light. He looks straight into the camera and begins to speak: )

Host: Naambta!
Good Greetings, and welcome to the show.

This is News for Discerning Naplians, and i’m sure you are all showing much impatience to see this week’s Panel Discussion. We will be discussing religion with the Lady Ghadir of the Temple of Ya Zoon, renowned neo-naplian spiritualist Chairman TonTon, and a very special guest from our imperial neighbours, Bishop Samantha Porteus of the Brotherhood. But before we get to that...

(Looks demonstratively at his digital wrist watch. )

... it is time for a word from our sponsor.
 

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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