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I would like to propose a new system for Starmourn’s economy:
Introduce 12-20 new commodities that are purely for trading between stations for different prices. Things such as: various foods, water, batteries, fuel, construction materials, gasses, alchohol, clothing, etc. You know, things that the denizens need.
Now, each station should have an NPC that buys and sells these commodities, and each station should only offer 5-8 different commodities. Every station should have varying prices, and each station should also have 1 commodity that is in high demand that would be bought for higher than average, and one 1 commodity that is in low demand that is sold at below average. The prices, what’s in demand, and stock available should change every day (probably at sync).
So, let’s start at Omni station: You speak with the NPC and are offered the following:
Station is SELLING:
1000 Water for 2 marks each ←-- low demand
50 Oxygen for 8 marks each ←-- high demand
250 Epoxy for 3 marks each ←-- average
250 Synthleather for 4 marks each ←-- average
300 Synthcloth for 3 marks each ←-- average
100 Fuel Cells for 25 marks each ←-- average
Station is BUYING:
100 water for 1 marks each ←-- low demand
800 Oxygen for 10 marks each ←-- high demand
300 Epoxy for 3 marks each ←-- average
300 Synthleather for 4 marks each ←-- average
500 Synthcloth for 3 marks each ←-- average
250 Fuel Cells for 25 marks each ←-- average
300 Batteries for 12 marks each ←-- average
500 Argon for 8 marks each ←-- average
200 Space Juice 3 marks each ←-- average
This would be the current stock for the station of Omni for the day. So, wanting to make a profit you buy 300 water since it’s cheaper than average, then check the COMMODITIES MARKET <commodity> for prices at stations currently offered until you find a station that has water in high demand. Let’s say Izaren has a high demand for water for the day and is buying water for 4 marks each. Let’s also say that the 300 water almost fills your light freighter completely. If you don’t have a freighter, you can only move around 15 or so at a time, so this would be an activity mostly for people with freighters.
You arrive at Izaren with your 300 units of water, and sell it for DOUBLE your investment, making 600 marks in an agreeable amount of time. Water would probably be the most prevalent and available commodity, therefore making a small profit. Some commodities could in general be more rare than others, therefore being more inherently valuable. Such as a specific building material selling for 10 each at lowest, and 30 each at highest; but is rarely available to be bought.
I feel that the commodities offered each day at each station should be finite and the amounts shared by all. So, if Player A buys all the water from Omni, Player B will have to either go to another station (where it may or may not be in low demand) or wait until the next day to see if it spawns more water.
That takes care of the typical commodities, but what about illegal contraband?
Let’s say that occasionally, a station will offer illegal commodities that are much higher value than typical commodities offered. And, on the same day another station would be buying that commodity for a very generous profit. So,Tranquility deepness would be selling 50 units of glitter for 250 marks each and Iota would be buying glitter for 400 marks each: a profit of 7500!
But, carrying illegal goods means being marked for open pvp – Anyone can attack you at any time and steal your cargo and sell it themselves. (if they themselves aren’t blown up before reaching the buyer). The pirate would make a cool 20,000 marks if they had the space to haul it all. But, most likely they would have to make several trips, or divide the cargo between several pirates, or have a freighter nearby that can haul it for them.
And there you have a
virtual economy that is engaging, fun and most importantly,
profitable to participate in. Simple buy low, sell high tactics to make a fair profit, hauling, and piracy!
TL:DR Introduce commodities that are only bought and sold by stations. Each station having varying prices, commodity types, and demands that would change every day. Commodity units would be LARGE and a few hundred would completely fill a freighter. This system would be COMPLETELY SEPARATE from the current economy, and would simply be a different way to generate marks. Also, smuggling illegal goods for higher profits and pvp.