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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.





 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Crowe Coups Self

The IMP Viceroy Tiberius Crowe has finally achieved something in his unremarkable tenure by relinquishing even the semblance of wearing big boy pants and instead, appointed Jack Jones as Patrol Commissioner, salty spokesperson and policy maker for the Empire. Crowe will now join CIA Director Laton in riding the special bus to work where the two of them will enjoy long pleasant afternoons sipping cups of tea. Actually, just tepid fruit-scented water as neither of them can be fully trusted with a hot kettle. Occasionally, they might be visited by equally dynamic war “veteran” Admiral Bridge to enjoy mimes presenting the latest comics from the Howl. Meanwhile, Jones is putting pressure on the FET and will soon no doubt find a pretext to deploy his vast mercenary forces against anyone else who is seen working too closely with his most hated of enemies, the HEX.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Highlord Aadolf Loses Control As Dewiek Break Peace Treaty

Around one hundred DEN warships have launched an attack on a small GTT destroyer squadron of forty ships in the Daggern system. Two GTT ships were destroyed and another fifteen suffered noticeable damage. CEO Xavier Fox issued a restrained but angry statement demanding the DEN explain themselves. Highlord Aadolf’s buffoon-like response amounted to “Dewiek be Dewiek, let’s drink and forget about it.” Cold comfort for the dead crew onboard the GTT ships and their families. Especially, as seems likely at this time, the Empire will settle for some bloody money instead of retribution.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

The Worm Turns

The FET have reduced relations with the IMP to neutral. Sneezy boss Cu Chulainn took the bold step of putting 1 and 1 together by linking recent mercenary attacks in their systems with the IMP scouts seen loitering for some time and refusing to move. Even bolder, hints that they believe “a certain Imperial citizen” is responsible for Edward Lowe’s entire underhand operation were voiced loudly enough that the handsome but hard of hearing Tiberius Crowe had to take note. He was seen grappling in trademark fashion with his skin tight jacket, pulling it down over his partially concealed middle-aged girth, as he sat to issue a terse public statement. Exactly who this citizen may be was left unnamed and no news channel subject to Imperial laws would dare unmask the villain. Luckily dear readers, we are not subject to phony Imperial laws. It’s Jack Jones everybody. Jack Jones, butcher of Naplians and fancier of silver long johns.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

”Necessity hath no law”

Lord Cromwell of the DOM slapped a fleet of privateers, on charges of "knavery", "bad manners" and "poor sportsmanship." Such offences carry the death sentence in the Dominion, a nebulous territory neither part of the Empire nor apart from it. At least thirteen Armadillo class ships, typically sold by the DOM, were destroyed at a location Cromwell was unwilling to disclose publicly. Bloodthirsty Dewiek as well as "prince of peace" Yahn Wodenzoon were quick to congratulate the DOM for their merciless carnage. It seems the consensus in the galaxy’s ruling class is that not presenting valid identification is a crime worthy of the murder of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unfortunate crewmen. This is all just another indicator that the political elite are far removed from the lives of ordinary people who are seen as little more than meat inventory. It is telling so-called “man of the people and the downtrodden” Wodenzoon so readily aligns himself with this grisly concord. Meanwhile, the archaic elocutionist Cromwell further establishes the recent trend of mild exertions of power by the cold-blooded DOM.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Return of the Fox

The galaxy is still digesting news of the return of Xavier Fox to the boardroom of the GTT. The ailing corporation's share price began a sharp rally after a six month downward spiral under Ike Krieger, credited with being the worst CEO in the megacorporation's history. The only surviving board member from Fox's initial tenure as CEO, and perhaps across the entire GTT board, is Antt Tilton the Research Director. The reclusive Tilton is the brains behind the ascension of GTT technology, particularly in the field of antimatter weapons and super-heavy dreadnought size ships, Tilton offers a small measure of continuity during this tumultuous time. Mr. Fox has therefore resorted to a broad appeal for new blood to join the ailing firm. So far, the result has been a number of two-dimensional "Yes" persons being promoted to the C-suite. Still, key stakeholders were upbeat with one commenting, "Fox is the man to turn this bloody disaster around. He knows how to put a great team together and where to bury the bodies of the non-performers."


 
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Welcome to the latest version of ESNN, giving the news and views from the ESNN's reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, making this the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe,

And so with the news,
 
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******Empire Syndicated News Network (ESNN) ******

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Welcome to the new version of ESNN (formally CSNN), giving the news and views from the former CSNN's reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, making this the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe,

And so with the news,
 

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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.

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