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  1. This is the last staff post in this thread. #1

    Default Elite Dangerous - Trading

    It's been a good week for the internal process! Here's another finalized topic, thanks again for all your input.

    Goals

    • Simple to use – the actual mechanisms of trading should be easy for the player to grasp. The complexities in trading come from the choices that the player makes.
    • Provide interesting choice – trading should provide the player with interesting, but understandable choices.
    • Risk/Reward – trading is a risk vs. reward activity and should provide the opportunity for players to balance risk with potential rewards.
    • Impact the game world – player actions should have a noticeable effect on the game world. They enable player choices to determine the fate of aspects of the galaxy.

    Markets
    • Markets are where the majority of trading takes place
      • They can be space stations, very large ships, or any other suitable structure
      • Markets come in a variety of types which determine which goods can potentially be present – ie not all markets include all goods categories
        • Space Stations – trades commodities and essential ship supplies
        • Shipyards – trades limited commodities, ships, ship modules, ship supplies
        • Factories – Specialist markets for particular commodities.
        • Black Markets – private markets accessible based on player reputation, trades illegal commodities, requires contact to access, can be part of a legal market
        • Pirate Bases – ignore fines and bounties, commodities, trades illegal commodities, requires contact to locate
        • Smuggler Bases – ignores fines, but not bounties, trades commodities and illegal commodities, requires contact for location – the background simulation determines some properties of a market
    • The list displayed for the market is determined by:
      • Legality: Commodities of allowed types only are shown
      • Profile: Commodities appropriate to the location are shown
      • Supply/Demand: How much is for sale and what the current demand for an item is at the given price
    • Some markets will be indicated as specialist in some way. This usually means the availability of rare items.
    • Prices shown on the market:
      • Prices on the markets are fixed, based on the price for the displayed demand
      • Markets will have different modifiers and mark-up values
      • Players can attempt to change the offered price (for buy and sell) by contacting a dealer in a specific good. This can also mean that the supply (or demand) values can be exceeded – ie a dealer may be prepared to buy more than the demand level at a lower price. Specialist items that fall into a standardized category should be sold through a dealer as otherwise they will attract the standard price for their category.
        • Using the negotiation changes the price by a value derived from the trading reputation too – as long as the amount is worth their while (this will be a settable value – probably if over 50% of the market demand)
    • Freight missions available from markets for transporting goods for a reward
      • Missions to be discussed in detail in future topic.
      • Although a reasonable spread of missions will always be available.
    • To determine a market’s properties the background simulation takes into account the following system data:
      • Supply and demand based on market location, e.g.
        • Agricultural location
          • Supplies Food
          • Demands Machinery, Fertiliser
        • Politics/laws
          • Determines which commodities are illegal
        • Population size and standard of living
          • Increases supply and demand of specific commodities
        • Meta events like conflicts and disasters
          • Affects commodity availability and prices
          • Can be generated by player actions
        • Aggregated Player trading in the system
      • Market data availability
        • When docked all available market data is available
          • This may be modified by ranking
        • When in system market prices are available
        • Outside the system only general information is available
        • Player’s trade history is available in detail
        • Newsfeeds provide useful economic data for all systems
      • Market Data Content
        • Historical data will be aggregated
        • Full price data for limited time
        • Then aggregated for full timeline
      • Players can cancel a trade before leaving the trading screen
      • Players can dump cargos at substantially reduced value if it cannot be sold through the market normally.
        • Some dangerous cargos may need a fee to offload
        • Jettisoning cargos within a defined distance of a station is illegal

    Commodities

    • There is a list of different commodities
      • Each commodity has a baseline price
        • This is the starting price for the commodity in this market
        • This value is modified by background simulation
        • This value is modified by player trading
        • Buy and selling price is modified by the quantity of a commodity being traded
          • Repeated sales of the same commodity by the same player in the same market will be blocked
        • There are caps on prices to prevent unrealistic extremes (no negative values)
      • Based on background simulation data, rare alternate commodities can be generated
        • These commodities’ value increase the further the player is from the origin system
          • Value rarity modifiers are capped
      • Quantities of commodities that are purchased are limited by the player’s currently active ship’s cargo capacity.
      • Modules can be traded (although not when equipped)
      • Some commodities require specialist ship equipment
        • Attempting to transport commodities of these types without said equipment has effects:
          • Spoiling – the commodity is ruined
          • Alteration – the commodity changes type
          • Contamination – the commodity becomes hazardous
          • Packets of information can be obtained and traded like commodities
            • Tradable information includes:
              • System locations
              • Market locations
              • Resource gathering locations
              • Mission/event locations
              • Information packets automatically update the player’s galactic map as needed when they are acquired
              • Using a purchased packet means it cannot then be resold.


    Player to Player Trading
    • Players can trade directly with each other
      • The player trade interface is available when both players are docked at the same market
      • The player trade interface is available when two players dock ships
    • The player trade interface is a secure swap allowing players to transfer credits/cargo
      • Both players must accept the trade before it occurs
        • Acceptance must be redone by both parties after any change in the trade
      • Trading occurs in real-time and can be interrupted (for example by being attacked) unless taking place at a space dock
      • Either player can cancel the trade at any time up to the point both agree

  2. #2

    Lightbulb GUI request

    (edit: message deleted)

  3. #3
    Very nice. Hopefully the distance to the space station where jettisoning cargo becomes illegal is a variable distance so that for major places like Sol, the whole system is protected (ie illegal to dump) while a small system might only have a restriction within the gravitational field of the planet so that debris does not affect the station etc

  4. #4

    Default Look of the thing...

    Just my 2p's worth...

    Not totally crazy about the look of the trading screen. It's functional and graph based, which is fine, but also a bit dark and impersonal.

    Would be cool to add a more human element - eg views of the dock-side markets with all the hub-bub of people and robots coming and going.

    Pilots will have spent a long time cruising the empty reaches of space - trading should feel a bit more like a crowded human activity (think trading floor crossed with Morroccan Souk!) with exciting products from across the known galaxy!

    Would be cool if the trading screen reflected that in terms of look and feel...

    Just my opinion...

  5. #5
    "Repeated sales of the same commodity by the same player in the same market will be blocked"

    Can you please explain what this means, and why it is needed/wanted?
    Taken to the extreme, this would forbid trade routes. I assume that is not the intention.
    FOUNDER! (She was hiding in the bushes.)
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mysturji View Post
    "Repeated sales of the same commodity by the same player in the same market will be blocked"

    Can you please explain what this means, and why it is needed/wanted?
    Taken to the extreme, this would forbid trade routes. I assume that is not the intention.
    I think it's to ensure that people move on with their cargo, rather than just sitting at a space-station. Otherwise a group of players could buy up the total supply of fuel/missiles/whatever, and then just sit there extorting other players. That's not really what trading's about, so is discouraged.

    As long as you have moved your cargo some distance from the space-station you bought it at, you should be fine. (Assuming my interpretation/recollection is correct, that is).

  7. #7
    "Repeated sales of the same commodity by the same player in the same market will be blocked"

    It would be my desire that this could be discouraged by an "AI" or "Trade System" mechanism: rather than a "Block". For example an "AI" might show up with the horded commodity every time the player tried to sell same.

    Quick fixes causes other problems. If this is an anticipated exploit of the trading system, the team has time now to fix it... in a more interesting way.

    Maybe roosting at a dock with a precious commodity might attached thieves...

    Maybe there might be a problem at the dock moving the cargo...dock strike...

    Maybe the hold gets infested with vermin...or best before date pops...

    The point is: creating rules to protect flaws in a systems, defeats the point of the system.

    That just IMHO

    Preon
    Last edited by Preon; 02/08/2013 at 8:47 PM.

  8. #8
    It actually makes fairly coherent sense from a fiction point-of-view though. In real life, a market wouldn't let you behave that way, as you'd be messing their system up. Who's going to return somewhere they've previously been ripped-off at? Unless the space-station is seeing a cut, logically they wouldn't allow that kind of behaviour.

    Bear in mind that the space-station owns the loading/unloading equipment, so it's realistic that players will have to operate under terms and conditions.

  9. #9
    Quantities of commodities that are purchased are limited by the player’s currently active ship’s cargo capacity.
    I don't see why there is a limitation such as this. Practically, buying something means it only changes ownership but doesn't necessarily have to move physically. The items are stored on that planet or station anyway (maybe for a fee), the owner tag just changes. It only changes locale when i actually start shipping it somewhere else. And since i'll be able to rent hangars it doesn't make sense why i can't store larger quantities of items, too.

    How the engine handles things like this is an entirely different matter of course, but i see this as a rather arbitrary limitation of the trading gameplay. So could somebody please elaborate what the thinking behind this mechanic is?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kleinholz View Post
    I don't see why there is a limitation such as this. Practically, buying something means it only changes ownership but doesn't necessarily have to move physically. The items are stored on that planet or station anyway (maybe for a fee), the owner tag just changes. It only changes locale when i actually start shipping it somewhere else. And since i'll be able to rent hangars it doesn't make sense why i can't store larger quantities of items, too.

    How the engine handles things like this is an entirely different matter of course, but i see this as a rather arbitrary limitation of the trading gameplay. So could somebody please elaborate what the thinking behind this mechanic is?
    Although you can rent hangars, you cannot store goods in them, only ships, and only EMPTY ships at that... you cannot even store goods in ships you're not actually using.

    There is a lot of discussion of that in this thread... and also posts from the devs as to why they don't want you to stockpile goods... which is probably pertinent to your original question.

  11. #11
    Thanks for the link, jabokai. I read through almost all of the 13 pages, and it seems most opponents of an "item hangar" are just worried that the ability to store cargo would open the possibility of exploiting the economy.

    Personally i understand the point and it's probably valid if you have a very small amount of systems with only a few places to trade. It would be easy to just buy all charges of an item and wait for its price to rise due to supply and demand mechanics. However, the universe of Elite should be "a bit" bigger and therefore it should not be possible to influence a market that way, maybe locally but not on a bigger scale - there are just too many retailers. Also, as an example to remedy this situation, having to pay storage costs for items (costs depending on amount of storage space used) on a daily basis could quickly void any returns of goods stored for a longer period than say two days, making it useless to stockpile. The storage costs could even be bigger for exotic items (since they have to be protected or cooled, for example) in order to avoid players to stockpile them anyway. However, while thinking about this a bit more, it's probably not such a good idea in the end since costs for everyone rise, not just for busy traders. Maybe a "trading license" with different levels might be a solution, which maybe limits the amount of items you are allowed to buy on a per-day basis. I don't know, but i'm sure there are ways to avoid that market-play.

    In the end, there is no reason why a game that will feature complex things like planetary landings, walking in ships and on planets and a huge procedurally generated universe doesn't give me the freedom to have something simple as storage space. Sorry to say that, but this is not 1984 anymore, it's silly. I'm not a trader, but i'd like to have the option to stockpile some equipment and goods, and i don't want to have to use a workaround like storage chars to get around it. That's the Freelancer way, ten years ago.


    I'd love to hear some constructive ideas on how to handle storage space vs. economic exploitation, because i'd really like to see some form of storage space in the final game. A discussion about the usefulness is welcome, too (maybe i'm just spoiled by other games).

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    Just my 2p's worth...

    Not totally crazy about the look of the trading screen. It's functional and graph based, which is fine, but also a bit dark and impersonal.

    Would be cool to add a more human element - eg views of the dock-side markets with all the hub-bub of people and robots coming and going.

    Pilots will have spent a long time cruising the empty reaches of space - trading should feel a bit more like a crowded human activity (think trading floor crossed with Morroccan Souk!) with exciting products from across the known galaxy!

    Would be cool if the trading screen reflected that in terms of look and feel...

    Just my opinion...
    Mike Evans wrote this in another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Evans View Post
    It'll be extremely likely that all interfaces in the game will belong to the ship. There shouldn't be any out of game interfaces sans the main menu screen most likely. Thus I don't think there will be the option for multiple monitors being used to display interfaces because there will be no interface to display that way if you get me.
    In other words. Every GUI (trading, starmap, hardpoints of the ship etc...) will be a part of the ships own holographic HUD. A bit similar to the different holographic screens you can see in "Deadspace". They will most likely be shown as a semi transparent overlay on top of your view, which means that you will probably still see out through the cockpit windows into the interior of the station eventhough the "screen" is projected in front of you. As Mike says, you will never be "taken out of the cockpit" and put into another "screen" as such. So all the activity in the station will still be visible around you at all times. Way more immersive IMO.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    Just my 2p's worth...

    Not totally crazy about the look of the trading screen. It's functional and graph based, which is fine, but also a bit dark and impersonal.

    Would be cool to add a more human element - eg views of the dock-side markets with all the hub-bub of people and robots coming and going.

    Pilots will have spent a long time cruising the empty reaches of space - trading should feel a bit more like a crowded human activity (think trading floor crossed with Morroccan Souk!) with exciting products from across the known galaxy!

    Would be cool if the trading screen reflected that in terms of look and feel...

    Just my opinion...
    I agree Gee; anything that increases immersion.

  14. #14
    I think trading between players should depend on system ie proximity to a base. You can only transfer cash if there is a bank nearby to receive it
    Even today, money is mostly just data in database on a secure server.

    In frontier worlds trading should really, only be bartering.

  15. #15
    There are games that allow station storage of player-owned trade goods and a Market that is completely accessible remotely, including placing buy and sell orders. why this isn't the standard in every game that includes trading as a game mechanic is not understandable.

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