Sane smuggling

I'm having a very hard time taking smuggling seriously in this game. The stations appear to have a significant ground crew available for each and every ship that lands, given the architecture. But if I ask permission to land and then suddenly disappear off the radar then they can't spare just one person to eyeball the slot? That just seems daft. It ruined immersion for me a while back when I was smuggling for the Chupacabras CG. Especially since I was overheating due to turning silent running on too soon and dropping narcotics all over the place from my T9.

It would be much more realistic, in my opinion, for smuggling to require connections. You don't just smuggle to some "black market" that everyone knows about. That is not a black market at all. You smuggle to some faction that you have an existing relationship with. Maybe the controlling faction is corrupt enough to accept bribes from pilots they know. Or they just consider their allies above the laws designed to keep down the masses. Maybe a rebellious or underground faction can open a cargo hatch somewhere on the outside of the station, or if their influence is high enough they can get you past security. Or you could use surface trucks to unload to a settlement without an official dock. And maybe another player can vouch for you, risking their own reputation with that faction.

I'm looking forward to the new exploration and mining mechanics. But with all these installation interactions providing some of the necessary mechanics, it seems like a good time to give smugglers some love too.
You would of thought in 3304 that every ship would be cargo scanned in and out as routine in all but anarchy stations anyway! I might be wrong but an anarchy faction needs to be present at a station for a blackmarket to exist. Agree that it isn't very pleasing how the blackmarket and smuggling happens in the game at present. The "connection" idea would work, perhaps getting a certain amount of rep with the anarchy faction(s) might be a good twist. Or doing a smuggling mission for a faction would open up the blackmarket.

I made a suggestion a while back also about specialist cargo racks engineered for smuggling, where depending on the ratio of cargo being carryied their was a percentage chance of a cargo scan not detecting contraband. I.e. the more legal cargo the less chance of the illegal items being detected.

Anyway I hope FDEV have a little look at blackmarkets before Beyond is finnished!
Yes, building rep with anarchists is the sort of thing I meant. But it would also be fun to smuggle weapons to an anti-fascist underground movement, e.g. a democratic or communist faction in a fascist system. That sort of thing. A black market is not a place that you go to.

And I do love the idea of smuggling through the back door somehow. Historic smugglers would often deliver their goods to a beach instead of a dock to avoid searches for example.
Smuggling weapons to factions is already a thing in the game it just goes through the mission board. I agree it is some gameplay you can get your teeth into though. There are signal sources that ask for weapons etc. outthere in also which cmdrs can sell to also. Blackmarkets are the illegal equivalent to the commodities market I suppouse but they should be made a little bit more edgy.
Here's a thought which is fairly classic in terms of scifi: sensor spoofing. If we had a way to broadcast a false scan reading to throw people off our cargo or wake signatures, smuggling might very well be a real thing that's taken seriously. It would require a little retooling of the way scans function and how info is presented, but being able to present a false read for people or authorities scanning you would open up tremendous layers of potential stealth gameplay, especially if the false read gives subtle clues that the observant player may still see through.
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