Trade and Economy idea

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    Trade and Economy idea

    (warning this is quite dense and covers quite a few aspects of the game so try and read it all so you don’t get confused)

    OK so, we all know that universe 2 is the next big thing for starmade changing hopefully several issues and rebuilding how the galaxy is navigated for all parties involved. But there has been little focus and change on how starmade is being changed form an infinitely dead expense to a living breathing universe. As such I was thinking on this issue for a long time and how to fix it and I finally had an idea that if added into the game can change Everything hopefully for the better, this one idea I have is all revolving around Credits in starmade and its basically non-existent economy.

    Trading in starmade has remained basically unchanged since 2014 the shop system is still widely available and well used with alternative systems like trade station and NPC factions there but rarely working properly or as intended, for example the trade shipment system. It is very easy to make the maximum credit cap in under several hours by just mining resources, refining and selling them at as many shops as you can find, drain their funds and buy as much as you can carry in parts to build up your empire. This system is well working and all but is only needed early and mid game, where at that point you have all you need to field a server side army to beat back pirates and begin fighting hostile players. But the system is also so limited in its use, you're stuck with whatever supplies the shop in question has, and that there are so many shops in question that effectively there are infinite amounts of resources in any given system to buy.

    Now for this idea wrap it up into a single idea so Schema if you read this (I dam hope you do this is for you after all) you can just pull apart bits you like if you like the idea. As well as this ill also be tailoring this system the current starmade galaxy, as I don’t know much on how universe two will handle sectors and travel so it’s just easier than guessing. Now then to the point

    Now the idea is focused on improving 3 Key areas which will all tie into one another, this being Trade, Galaxy factions, and Pirates. Each will symbiotically provide a better more returning experience to the game and breath life into the much needed starmade galaxy.

    Now I’ve gone over how it works currently this is my idea. Bin the current system and forget about it for now it will just confuse things. The New system can be made In a way that makes both Trading guild and pirates more important in the goings on of the galaxy as a whole, as well as the 3 NPC factions and if on server players as well. For starters each star system would need a much lower degree of stations and shops for now need to be pushed aside. We are going to focus for now on how trading should work. Having 2 levels of trading in the game is key, as lower end small local scale system, and a larger galactic scale system. Now to do this the universe itself needs to be ripped apart, for now remove the idea that station and shops exist in the galaxy. You have your 2 main entities, the trading guild, and pirates, and your 3 NPC factions, your traders, scavengers and outcasts.

    The galaxy is split into systems as usual but there are 3 stats of systems, faction claimed, inhabited, uninhabited.

    Uninhabited systems are barren and are much like the everyday system you run into now, it may contain an abandoned station or 2 and maybe a pirate base but that’s it, no shops no trade stations and no large amounts of stations in the system. (for reference it can include or not include a star system resources and planets, it’s a term to describe if the system is connected to the greater economy of the galaxy)

    Inhabited systems contain a trading guild presence, most likely you will find a trade station that is regularly stocked and operates with a fleet of ships ( a mix of miners and trade ships) that will periodically supply the station with resources and protect the station. This station is connected to the galactic exchange and players can order or find the location of this station and buy resources from it. Unlike shops trade stations will hold large amounts of 1 category and specialise in selling bulk amounts of it. For example hulls, or general power systems.

    Faction claimed systems, are owned by the player other players or NPC factions which will be able to be claimed anywhere which is nor already claimed (this included inhabited space) these areas will attract shops overtime to setup which will offer small amounts of everything a maximum of 3-4 shops per system to avoid overcrowding) shops are not connected to the galactic exchange.

    From these 3 systems states we can build our trading network.

    Everything revolves around a single system this ill call the Exchange tab. this is basically a galactic Amazon.com where every trade station or ones in a specific range broadcasts its trade items on the market and its current supply price. If I am a player and I want one million blocks of grey hull for example, ill enter the system search grey hull, and it will show the total grey hull on the market. I can then have two options. If I am a loner ship then I can process locate in navigation which will allow the player to pilot his way to the station that sells the grey hull he/she needs. Or if you have a shop system setup on your station you can press Order. This instructs the station to transfer the shop inventory purchased by the player into its assigned trade ship, and the trade ship will make its way to the player base where it will arrive get in range of the shop and transfer the items into the shop inventory and leave. The flight time and way it does this is similar to how fleets are moved in and out of loading distance as of now, and the ship can be intercepted by other players or trying pirates if needed.

    This will work vice versa and the player will be able to add his / her stations inventory to the market as an end game option and sell that way by assigning trade ships to the station.


    SIDE NOTE: transferring cargo is a big ask in docking and unlocking for AI mechanics so the simple idea is to just have the shop system work like it does for players where they enter a specific range and wireless transfer the stuff that way to reduce AI brain power needed.

    Now this will work well for mid to end game transactions and trade stations will also buy this way for resources they need, adding your resources on the market may make trade stations buy reserve stocks of ore or refined materials which they will collect and buy from you if they need it in their production.

    Now these trades will show on the map and can be intercepted and raided if your ships are powerful enough to overcome the trade ships defences. As well as this pirates will now target trade ships and player trades (more on that later)

    Now how do the NPC and player factions fit in? they will have access to this and can add themselves on the market, seen as NPC factions and player factions have Home base, they can be used as trade Hubs, NPC factions will generally sell a cut of their empires resources on this market that they have made and players can do the same. Having additional sectors and also provide space for more trade stations (one trade station per sector which is basically a station with a shop module on it then assigned by faction module)

    You could affect this overall trade system yourself by selling items at the standard or set lower / higher than current standard price which will allow for a hand of experience when trading. (by this I mean the standard selling price everyone uses which changes on supply demand values overall, having your shop use a system that allows you to set X material sell 3 credits lower than standard price, means you don’t need to micromanage everything you sell constantly it will automatically adjust when a change is detected on the exchange) or you can affect it by destroying trade stations and trade ships transferring trades across the sectors. Exterminating trade stations will make material shortages and players and NPC factions can profit off this by building and exploiting that market.

    Now this brings me onto shops now, as starting off in starmade shops are instrumental in setting up and they offer a small or decent amount of everything. I think they should remain but in a different use. Shops are not tied to the exchange tab and will not be connected to it nor have any trade ships assigned to them; they stay the same function as normal but generally reduced values of materials to not exceed 5 figure values on all items. And with this a change that will make shops a more unique and valued resource in the galaxy.

    Shops do not spawn in uninhabited or inhabited sectors and only generation 1 – 4 per system in faction territory, (so Player claims or NPC claims) this may seem like a bad thing but remember trade stations can still be used like shops and visited that way. Doing this also means that players can shelter in NPC or player territory while they set up and when they place their first station and claim territory, they gain their own set of shops in their system to gather general materials from and use as selling machines.

    This is also to balance out shops as they currently are the go to common place for materials and to encourage the use of the exchange and provide a good early game to endgame transition for players the shops are valuable still in the range of things they offer.

    So as you can see the quick explanation is

    Shops: a small amount of everything.

    Trade stations: a large amount of 1 category.

    Now for galaxy scale before I move onto the AI side of it, I was thinking well and long about how this should be laid out, but an 80 / 20 split between uninhabited and inhabited systems. This seems expensive, but in the grand scheme of things the current galaxy size is massive as it is with 20% of that galaxy open for trade it’s still a lot. as well as this it will provide duplicate productions in systems across the galaxy so local resources are a thing.

    Now the tricky bit which this area is more could be cool if, section. By this I mean that while what I have put above is what I intend to be the core of the idea, this is more throwing the idea out more and branching of some ideas additionally. If schema was to take this idea into the game, I would say that getting the stuff above is more priority, than this stuff below because I can see the ideas below being a super pain to code in and can be safely left to a later date.

    Looking at how AI and pirates can fit into this, is a bit some and some. Making pirates agro and target trade ships is a big ask but would be cool. I would not really know how to go around that which is why I have left it in a meh region, but some of the idea I had that I liked the most is down below.

    So the idea I had is making pirate stations much more severe and strong in design, more weapons and a force that defends to that station constantly, though making the spawn rate of a station very low. Meaning when one is around it’s a powerful target. The station will overtime build up a raid force which generates over a set period of time, for example 1 raid force per hour, this force might be launched for a raid, where that force will attack and attempt to destroy and loot its target. Or it might stay and build up severity, based on a 5 level system 5 being Very hard but a very low chance of happening and 1 being very low severity but a common occurrence. If the raid succeeds and the station or some of the ships are destroyed, the fleet will de-spawn and claim the stations total inventory of selling items. All that inventory is added to the loot count of that pirate base. The larger its loot count gets the more common higher level raids are. For example the station has a victory on a trade station creating hull parts with a level 1 fleet, and then it’s more likely that a higher severity forces is generated rather than a lower one. This can stack up to 5 times which his shown on the map where the base is, when reaching 5 its highlighted as a priority target and a AI bounty is placed on it as well which is a large credit sum alongside the massive amounts of records the station is hoarding.

    Players can attempt to try and destroy pirate bases but will need either teem work-based fleet action or well-built ships to destroy a pirate station and steel its resources. The higher its threat level the more reward you will receive upon destroying it stored inside it. As well as this the existing defence force will grow in size depending on threat level.

    There could be an option to make Raids a thing for players as well, meaning that they could be targeted by the local pirate base if unlucky enough to setup near one.

    This was more of an idea to make pirates a more meaningful force in the game and a more mid to end game enemy you can deal with. As well as this I wanted to bring back the older station mechanics where a pirate base would have a large reward upon defeating one but in a harder and more refined system pirates can become a valuable and fun ongoing engagement in the galaxy.

    summary:
    As a whole this idea looks at making a supply and demand system into starmade this is both simple and autonomous and requires minimal Player interaction running in the background as the ongoing of the vast galaxy you inhabit, the guild will trade between itself and supply higher tech production station from lower tech ones, much like NPC factions in the game currently.

    As for Pirates, he idea is basically making a content force to fight against, though servers still continue to continue, Player V player battles are rare and always 1 sided, this is not provide a risk and reward corporate challenge for the player to overcome, making specific station harder to defeat and will require friends or a really big ship to overcome but for a ton of meaningful rewards upon success. basically a starmade version of a raid boss, because if you don't deal with it it will just get more powerful, multiply and terrorise the open market.

    Anyways this is my idea, and i really do think it if added would madly benefit the game, adding in some much needed from to the game and an somewhat end goal or challenge to beat, for new players the first time they finally beat a pirate base would be a really big reward for them and it gives the game a story of flow to move towards as well as this a trade systems like this would be incredibly beneficial on server in my opinion as more vulnerabilities of a faction if at war with one another is general expansion and hijacking trade ships, to starve player or NPC trades and weaken them as a force.
    Most importantly though i think one of the main points from this idea if implemented into the game would be a much larger groundwork to build AI automation off of, like fleet mechanics and empire building, things that have been requested so many times but are to big or too complex to add in one go could be spring boarded of this baseline trade system for the game.

    Let me know what you think, oh and Schema leave a comment when you read this, just want to know what you think?
     
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    So the idea I had is making pirate stations much more severe and strong in design, more weapons and a force that defends to that station constantly, though making the spawn rate of a station very low. Meaning when one is around it’s a powerful target. The station will overtime build up a raid force which generates over a set period of time, for example 1 raid force per hour, this force might be launched for a raid, where that force will attack and attempt to destroy and loot its target. Or it might stay and build up severity, based on a 5 level system 5 being Very hard but a very low chance of happening and 1 being very low severity but a common occurrence. If the raid succeeds and the station or some of the ships are destroyed, the fleet will de-spawn and claim the stations total inventory of selling items. All that inventory is added to the loot count of that pirate base. The larger its loot count gets the more common higher level raids are. For example the station has a victory on a trade station creating hull parts with a level 1 fleet, and then it’s more likely that a higher severity forces is generated rather than a lower one. This can stack up to 5 times which his shown on the map where the base is, when reaching 5 its highlighted as a priority target and a AI bounty is placed on it as well which is a large credit sum alongside the massive amounts of records the station is hoarding.
    What I'd like to mention is that for war (PvP and PvE together) pirates are a very clear milestone. You can't go attack any other player if you're not sure your ships can at least defeat easily or tank forever the NPCs. Because all other players did not stop improving their ships (even unarmed miner drones) until they got rid of the constant threat of random pirate ships spawned in roid fields or coming from the nearest pirate base to your base for a chat and some recreation. So, literally, no ship can be weaker than pirates, no ship is a warship unless it can wreck a pirate station and its spawns alone.

    Knowing this milestone has this role in the game, knowing the NPC combat capabilities are actually the border between building for (and doing) PvE or PvP, are you sure you want to raise this limit even higher?

    What I meant is once I enter a server, I may have a weak free starter ship or none at all and very few blocks and money to build myself one.
    With this ship, I'll mine and use what I mine to craft what I need or sell the mined stuff to NPC shops and buy from NPC shops what I need. I'm still small, my needs are small so the tiny amounts of everything in NPC shops can still cover my needs. No matter how careful I am, sooner or later I will run by or jump close to a pirate station or ship and then cry a little inside. I'll learn very fast to fear those encounters. But nobody likes to live in fear, so I will definitely build my next ships able to withstand such an encounter and either tank either defeat in combat first the pirate ships (who might be custom or default) and then the next step would be to have a ship or fleet able to remove the pirate bases close to my hombase entirely. Only then I can relax and play freely, building or doing whatever I like in StarMade. This first step is mandatory for all players, be them peaceful builders or aggressive PvP players or anything else.

    Now, if I want to be able to PvP, I already know that all players went through the same frustration and fear like me when I was new to the server. So even if they are not PvPers and only build for the beauty of it, I am sure all their ships (warships or civilian) are made to be able to survive both these encounters: Pirate Ships and Pirate Stations. I will never meet a player in a ship too weak for those when I go PvPing them unless I am fighting a newbie who spent less than 24 hours on the server and is still in the "fear everything, if you see something strange, run like hell!" phase. So, for PvP, I must as a minimum have ships or turrets or fleets or literally whatever capable of overheating in combat at least ships made to survive the pirates. (Of course, people that build almost exclusively for PvP could have ships or fleets that are orders of magnitude stronger than the poor pirates and if I want to have a chance to defeat them I must build my war machines taking that into account.)

    And one more side-note: If you can't face a danger alone and you need to team up with others, it does not only mean together you are stronger, it also means you are dragging your group down slowing your group down, being weaker than them. Only if you can face the danger alone just fine, then you can group up with other people like you for the fun of doing things together and be sure you are not a coward weakling for doing so. That, about the fleets/raids so big that players need to team up to succeed or defeat them. And this is also true in real life, not just in virtual.

    So, the pirate strength is the milestone. Nothing can actually be weaker than them, not even a Statue of Liberty RP replica if anyone ever builds one. Making pirates stronger will only move this limit higher, changing nothing else.

    Are you sure you need to push this limit higher, literally forcing every player to build bigger just to survive the environment, on a multiplayer server? Is this a beneficial change for a server? Is this change beneficial for singleplayer worlds?

    The
    rest of your ideas exposed here are pretty cool, honestly.

    Important note: I am not Schema or anything more than a player, like mostly everyone here and this is my own opinion.
     
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    What I'd like to mention is that for war (PvP and PvE together) pirates are a very clear milestone. You can't go attack any other player if you're not sure your ships can at least defeat easily or tank forever the NPCs. Because all other players did not stop improving their ships (even unarmed miner drones) until they got rid of the constant threat of random pirate ships spawned in roid fields or coming from the nearest pirate base to your base for a chat and some recreation. So, literally, no ship can be weaker than pirates, no ship is a warship unless it can wreck a pirate station and its spawns alone.

    Knowing this milestone has this role in the game, knowing the NPC combat capabilities are actually the border between building for (and doing) PvE or PvP, are you sure you want to raise this limit even higher?

    What I meant is once I enter a server, I may have a weak free starter ship or none at all and very few blocks and money to build myself one.
    With this ship, I'll mine and use what I mine to craft what I need or sell the mined stuff to NPC shops and buy from NPC shops what I need. I'm still small, my needs are small so the tiny amounts of everything in NPC shops can still cover my needs. No matter how careful I am, sooner or later I will run by or jump close to a pirate station or ship and then cry a little inside. I'll learn very fast to fear those encounters. But nobody likes to live in fear, so I will definitely build my next ships able to withstand such an encounter and either tank either defeat in combat first the pirate ships (who might be custom or default) and then the next step would be to have a ship or fleet able to remove the pirate bases close to my hombase entirely. Only then I can relax and play freely, building or doing whatever I like in StarMade. This first step is mandatory for all players, be them peaceful builders or aggressive PvP players or anything else.

    Now, if I want to be able to PvP, I already know that all players went through the same frustration and fear like me when I was new to the server. So even if they are not PvPers and only build for the beauty of it, I am sure all their ships (warships or civilian) are made to be able to survive both these encounters: Pirate Ships and Pirate Stations. I will never meet a player in a ship too weak for those when I go PvPing them unless I am fighting a newbie who spent less than 24 hours on the server and is still in the "fear everything, if you see something strange, run like hell!" phase. So, for PvP, I must as a minimum have ships or turrets or fleets or literally whatever capable of overheating in combat at least ships made to survive the pirates. (Of course, people that build almost exclusively for PvP could have ships or fleets that are orders of magnitude stronger than the poor pirates and if I want to have a chance to defeat them I must build my war machines taking that into account.)

    And one more side-note: If you can't face a danger alone and you need to team up with others, it does not only mean together you are stronger, it also means you are dragging your group down slowing your group down, being weaker than them. Only if you can face the danger alone just fine, then you can group up with other people like you for the fun of doing things together and be sure you are not a coward weakling for doing so. That, about the fleets/raids so big that players need to team up to succeed or defeat them. And this is also true in real life, not just in virtual.

    So, the pirate strength is the milestone. Nothing can actually be weaker than them, not even a Statue of Liberty RP replica if anyone ever builds one. Making pirates stronger will only move this limit higher, changing nothing else.

    Are you sure you need to push this limit higher, literally forcing every player to build bigger just to survive the environment, on a multiplayer server? Is this a beneficial change for a server? Is this change beneficial for singleplayer worlds?

    The
    rest of your ideas exposed here are pretty cool, honestly.

    Important note: I am not Schema or anything more than a player, like mostly everyone here and this is my own opinion.
    It's a good point to be honest with the pirate base idea, having the defending fleet is going to cause some issues on accidental discovery of the station early game, I suppose that's the fun of it, making it fool proof is not entertaining in my opinion, but you could counter this with a similar 1 time renforcements call from the station itself like the current system so the fleet only spawns when the station has come under attack.

    On the station difficulty, the station itself does not get more powerful as threat level increases, just making the station a little more defence capable that they currently are or have been so you don't need to use a tiny bomber ship to destroy every critical system. The only difficulty scale will be the amount of renforcements the station can call and I guess the designs if it is decided to add more pirate ship diversity into the game. (Or just use your own designs like everyone normmaly does) As well as this I don't think the difficulty scale will be high enough to really pose a threat to you everyday well versed starmade player / veteran. But the difficulty is high enough that newer players might team up against a station for the built up reward inside it, or or end up pushing there systems designs better to more effectively counter the station. Don't forget aswell this is starmade so you, for example if this concept is added or something similar, cheese this system by flying in agroing the station and drawing of the renforcements fleet while a buddy goes in and destroys the station.

    On a last point I'll say scale is a big factor because it's going to be highly unlikely you would encounter a pirate base if you followed this idea fully and the attacks it performes would be enough to make it noticeable on the trade market but not so aggressive that your beeing aggressively hunted by them from the start game if that makes sense. It's more along the idea of quality over quantity which is what it is now, having a sort of milestone for single player and a nice combat loot run for multiplayer.
     
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    • Legacy Citizen 5
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    "The station will build up a force." One could say it would have a population that grows. And a tech level based on the age of the population. Consider giving everything a population and a tech level. Those being used to set availability and pricing in transactions. Your Inhabited designation is shorthand for this? if you lost population, say when a planet was destroyed, one would feel a great disturbance in the Force?
     
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    I like the distinct large vs small scale economies and distinction between inhabited, uninhabited and faction controlled space in your model. I think it would work well with what the devs plan to do with populations and new universe generation with more distinct resource sectors that will help to drive this economy, eg. factories/trade stations for a particular category popping up where the necessary resources are most abundant per galaxy generation.

    Npc difficulty/scalability and AI intelligence is an issue that needs to be tackled in general, separate from this economic model, tbh. It's true that soloing a pirate station unharmed is used as the basis for pvp minimum effectiveness, and the fact pirate or npc faction threats can't scale up makes pve a lot less fun. We need to help Schine brainstorm a pve model that produces everything from early to late game content.

    Oh, and an important note on pirates is that it makes no sense for them to put all their eggs in one basket, you could produce more interconnected stations with multiple defense fleets at higher levels instead of upgrading only one stations defense fleet. That would help reduce the effect it has on players needing bigger ships by allowing players to stop and rest between attacking multiple stations. Loot can be spread out, or some stations/fleets can be decoys, and additional gameplay mechanics can be added.
     
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    Lone_Puppy

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    One issue here is, I was under the understanding thatthe pirates and existing Trading Guild NPC's are to be replaced altogether.
    Pirates replaced by Scavenger NPC faction.
    Trading Guild replaced by Traders NPC faction.

    With NPC factions, you can generate many (not sure if there is a limit) and multiple pirate factions can be generated in different parts of the galaxy with different growth and economic thresholds.

    For economics, all you would need to do is fix the internal/external trading within/out the faction.
    As I understand also, the resource distribution and availability will be limited/controlled at the server config level. So you could theoretically generate a finite resource based galaxy,