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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: New music for Galatia Academy (06/12/24)

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Messages - Eji1700

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Blog Posts / Re: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 1
« on: March 19, 2022, 12:57:19 AM »
Adding 3 new capital ships in a single update looks a bit like giving up on preventing capital spam.

The two seem completely unrelated, no? One is how many ships of a given type exist, and the other is how many ships of a given type are in a specific fleet.

To be fair to the point, I think myself and others would like more "elite" frigates and destroyers.  The options are much better than they used to be, but I'll admit i raised an eyebrow when i found out the Ludd's were getting 2 more capitals.

That said, they're amazing, and fit super well.  But I do see the point that faction diversity doesn't just need to be tied up in super capital ships.  The idea that there's some ludd swarmer destroyer that lets them mount 3 perdition wings or a frigate that's nothing but engines and forward facing missile slots would also do a lot to push their "old tech in massive amounts" doctrine (probably not perfect examples but you get the idea).

Balance from campaign level will only make high tech strictly better than low tech
Isn't that exactly what "high tech" entails? Superiority? I don't have a problem with high tech ships performing better in battle than midline and low tech ships, but they should come with some sort of disadvantage - lower availability, higher costs, less reliability.

There's a few levers you can mess with in theory.

Option 1: Scarcity-

Keep high tech roughly better per ship, but make them harder to obtain.  The difficulty with which you get most ships in the game, especially since blueprints, is roughly equal?  Either you need a commission/blueprint, or you need some luck to find it to salvage/black market it.  Some more luck than others, but ultimately its rng.  There's a little bit of weight to it in that obviously you can go to specific areas to find what you're looking for, but beyond that it's the waiting game.

I'll admit i haven't had time to play too much since the most recent patch, but with relationships becoming a thing, having this be another avenue to better ships, while locking down other access might help limit the availability of high tech.  I STILL think salvage should be looked at (massively dropped, ship prices upped, skills to increase salvage made more useful) but that's another story.

I will say i think this is risky.  It's really really hard to gate content properly this way.  The most memorable and relatable story to this would be Escape Velocity Nova.  The polaris ships were, by design/plot, just better than everything else.  Now in player hands it wasn't hard to build something game breakingly busted anyways(and several of the plot ships were also just bonkers), but polaris tech/toys were always the easiest way to do it.  The game basically just shut 90% of that tech out unless you committed to that plot line...buuuuut you could usually capture the hull you wanted and at least start from there.  Starsectors systems, as they are now, are not really setup for this.

Option 2: Maintenance-

You see this mostly with phase ships (having become high tech part 2?) but the idea that a high tech ship is great...if you can keep it working.  Unfortunately this shows in CR, which is kind of an unfun way to deal with it.  It works well for phase ships due to their hit and run nature, but having the entire high tech class limited by this is unlikely to be fun.

If new systems are added, the idea that you REQUIRE things like volitiles, rare ores, and what not, to keep a high tech fleet running could be a neat way to do it.  As of right now trades goods are money with extra steps for the most part, so having more use for the various goods (also in building/restoring ships imo) would do wonders for the economy (another outlet besides cash conversion).  Have the right pipeline to keep your fleet going?  Great.  Don't?  Well then you probably don't want to load up on tempests or whatever.

This one is actually INVERSELY unfair to low tech right now, since they favor armor tanking.  You'd think that the "held together with spit and rage" fleet would be cheaper to upkeep, but since they take real damage the supply cost adds up.  I could see low tech being the "constant but low repair costs" but this really should be offset by high tech being the "you probably won't have any thanks to shields, but man when you get hit you're going to pay for it" side.

Option 3: Ship cost-

Another way to do this is to make high tech ships very expensive to replace in relation to low tech ones.  This is kinda there, in theory, but in practice it doesn't do much.  I can field more buffalo mk2's per dollar than medusa....but not that many more.  Further they both restore/repair/salvage about as well post combat, despite one being SUPER hard to lose and the other being a poor mans space catapult.  Comparing to slightly more similar ships doesn't do low tech any favors either, as the cost advantage drops off fast.  There's not too much to say here as ship cost is mostly a function of its size, when i think tech level should play more of an effect than it does now.

I'll also add that "losing ships and buying replacements" isn't really a thing for most players anyways unless you choose to let it be.  Both with how combat tends to work, and again how salvage does.  And if anyone is losing ship it's low tech.

Option 4: More power to other tiers-

I'm not a huge fan of "nerf high tech".  It's a valid playstyle and outside of things like the ion pulsar tempest drone, probably shouldn't be nerfed too hard.  Instead I do think that the supposed advantages of low tech need to...well..exist.  I LOVE the mora.  Nothing is more epic, to me, than a combat carrier dead center in the middle of a melee holding on when it has NO right to, but it's one of the few ships in the game that I feel emphasizes the low tech doctrine perfectly (and is often my player ship when trying to stick to low tech only, after switching from a venture).  I know there's changes that are coming in the pipeline to hopefully help this, but in general the "brawling" playstyle could use some love.

I also think "that's cute i've got 30 more" playstyle of cheap/expendible needs WAY more love.  I'm talking a better ship system for keeping crew alive on suicide ships, and being able to deploy 15 buffalo mkII's over the course of a fight because that's how low tech could fight (i know that's really more of a trash ship from design pov, but I think the point stands ).  Just throwing cheap ship after cheap ship at the problem until its solved.  One of my favorite things to do early game is load up some condors with piranahas as one of the most cost effective ways to go station hunting, and again I think that's a really cool example of the low tech doctrine working super well, but stuff needs to support that more.  Cheap, efficient weapons that while hard to setup, payoff insanely well (hell I'd kill for a low tech way to hold ships still for a pirhana run.  Some sort of literal space harpoon pls? Gonna nab me a space whale?)

Option 5: Explicit Synergy-

This is something mods do more than vanilla, but skills or maybe hull mods that somehow reward you for sticking with low tech/high tech/midline. The game, as it stands, really doesn't give a damn how ragtag your fleet is.  You can have a completely 100% doctrine following fleet, or you can have one of every single ship, doesn't matter.  It would be nice if there was some bonus for staying in theme.  Treat it like set bonuses from games like diablo.  X deployment points spent on low tech gets you fleet bonus 1, Y gives you bonus 2...ditto for the other techs.  Granted that's a whole new system so unlikely ,but something along those lines (just to encourage thinking about sticking with a style, not enforcing it) would be fun.

Overall these all have ups and downs, and the ideal answer is probably "all of them or at least parts of all of them", so we'll see where it goes.  Ignoring my grand theories on the SC economy, I think just reworking supply costs for high tech/low tech ships, and making the repairs not nearly as brutal for low tech in comparison would do a lot (while making high tech FEEL more expensive would help).    Breaking the games economy isn't hard, so players could still "do what they want", but it'd at least make the low tech players feel less punished for, right now, what feels like a sub optimal decision.

Suggestions / Re: How do we make crew losses matter?
« on: June 03, 2021, 08:06:22 PM »
Mostly numbers rebalancing and a larger bonus for fully crewed and a more gradual curve for losing crew, and more ways for enemies to target crew.

As it stands crew feels mostly binary.  It's a passive tax and then mostly a "i have enough" or "i don't have enough"...and very rarely does the second happen.

I know there's technically more that's going on, but it's so rare that you notice becuase "do i have a enough crew" is a VASTLY smaller concern than supplies and fuel.

If there were weapons that were known to kill more crew, or situations where crew death was higher, it might incentivize protecting them in the first place.  I know there's lots of stuff that helps with that, but in practice the only time you really ever care is on carriers.

Actually going for crew murder as another way to deal with ships could be interesting (i believe the AI plays by the same rules there?), but it does seem like something that will obviously affect players more.

Blog Posts / Re: A Tale of Two Tech Levels
« on: May 28, 2021, 12:27:26 PM »
As always i really like the approach that's being taken to solve these issues. 

The new frigate looks fun and opens some really interesting design space, and of course i'm really excited to see how the burn drive changes work out (Especially in AI hands).

In general though i'm just excited for "moar ships" in vanilla.  God knows we've got a ton of great mods to expand the roster, but i'm happy to see some of the niche's being filled in more and more without it.  Really helps keep the flavor right in the base game, and hopefully moves away from "high tech best tech" mentality that it can leave you with.

I have some nitpicks/issues but the new system is better overall.  It's going to take some polishing/balance but putting points in "industry" so you can choose industry skills was just bleh.

I don't love how the skills are allocated in either system (tech/industry/fleet being generic with pilot being ship specific, and of course a random smattering through other 3). but I like the idea of "pick one, not both, unless you wrap around".

I do think that "generic" bonuses might help.  Like you get 3 points in fleet and you always get X, no matter what 3 you chose.  It would help with some of the MUST HAVE picks.

General Discussion / Re: The Frigate Bias
« on: March 29, 2021, 02:52:41 PM »
(The Tempest is basically just too good. I suspect it'll meet a nerf bat in a dark alley some day, and what comes out just won't be the same as what went in.)'s my thought-

The tempest, as is, is a great player ship (ok maybe still too much but close).  The "endgame" pinnacle of your fleet.  One of your elite ships, and it's neat that it's NOT a cruiser/capital, and isn't as obviously special as the hyperion.

However...obviously, the tempest as is CAN'T exist as something you can have 3+ of in your fleet.  I mean single player game so obviously it could, but it does warp the game to where even people who aren't trying to minmax are going to wind up with fleets full of tempests.

Just food for thought on the upcoming alley mugging.

General Discussion / Re: 0.95- First Impressions
« on: March 27, 2021, 11:17:36 PM »
Pirate base bounties are also too far nerfed IMO, 30-40k is not enough, I think a similarly difficult fight against ships would pay 2-3 times as much. Maybe 60k tier 1, 90k tier 2, 120k tier 3.

Yeah, I noticed this too. To give a frame of reference, I'm running a pretty unfocused ragtag fleet of a couple cruisers, three combat destroyers plus a couple mules, some high-tech frigates, and assorted logistics. I just completed two ~150k bounties consisting of multiple cruisers and destroyers; the second one was a bit rough but I didn't lose anything permanently.

Meanwhile, there's a pirate base bounty available at 40k, when I'm pretty sure this fleet would get rekt by even a T1 station.
It feels somewhat odd. My early game strat in previous patch was to just make base hunting fleets.  It felt "right" to basically be carting my trebuchet's around (carriers loaded with piranhas, often 6ish wings) that i wouldn't deploy to most fights, but came out to siege bases.

Even doing this, it's probably too cheap, especially given you're usually facing a fleet with it that would often be about 40k worth if it were a bounty itself.

You can zig and zag the fleets sometimes, and then the base is easy pickings, but even then 40k feels really really cheap for the hassle/specialization.  I agree they can't all be 200k, that was nuts, but i do feel that 70-80k is probably more appropriate. 

General Discussion / Re: 0.95- First Impressions
« on: March 27, 2021, 01:42:33 PM »
While i don't think you're ever going to like the game I think this has some interesting points about on boarding beginners as I felt something akin to this the first time i played.  Although I kinda don't get how you only have crusiers still?  Have you tried an apogee/hammerhead start? I think for most those should be the standard, the "joy" of getting a fleet from the cruisers is minimal imo.
The player is still underpowered and therefore has to rely on allied AI, which is a problem because allied AI is still braindead and happily suicides high-value ships into the enemy deathball.  For some unfathomable reason you can also still only give a limited number of commands to your ships; limiting the player's ability to at least marginally affect the Brownian motion of his/her ships is exactly the wrong thing to do with respect to the aforementioned AI issue.
The player absolutely isn't under-powered, but it can very much feel that way until you understand more of the games systems.  Just "getting" the flux system took me awhile (hammerhead really sold it for me), and then understanding where and when you can "push" an enemy fleet vs "yeah i can get this kill, and then die for it".  The AI is quite good, but you do have to give it orders occasionally.  They need to be cautious by default because yeah you can't have them throwing away ships, but if you don't know to throw on engage/eliminate/escort orders (or where to put them) fights can feel VERY stalemated.  Showing that you can assign ships to escort you early, as a simple "here's how you should start" i think would be very helpful in the tutorial.  That way you don't overextend as easily, and have all your power at one spot.

In general i think the game would benefit a LOT from a quick youtube battle tutorial.  You can't easily put that in game, but just on the site, showing off how an average battle could go.  You give people commands, but them limit them, and it sends a mixed signal.  The end result works REALLY well, but i fell into a similar "well how do i get these idiots to not fly off and do nothing" frustration early on.

The enemy AI, meanwhile, kites you like an absolute cowardly bastard, because nothing is more fun than being kited by AI.

This was something i absolutely remember feeling when I was learning.  Having my slow wayfarer try and chase a pirate wolf endlessly around a battlefield not getting at all what the hell i was supposed to do. They wouldn't retreat and i couldn't catch them , so what do?   I still think that "beginner" enemies like pirate rabble should have a "moron" AI that's overly aggressive in spurts to keep these endless benny hill chases from occurring.  Again once you understand the game better this basically stops, but it's so easy as a beginner to wind up with a fleet that can repeatedly get stuck in this situation.  This behavior is obviously required in "real" battles because so much of the combat is about right place right time stuff, but this is a brutal hill for beginners.

The skill tree is still saturated with boring "+10% to whatever" choices; some even have conditions now that make them lose effectiveness as your fleet grows, because nothing is more exciting than getting a skill that has planned obsolescence built in.
This...just isn't true in practice, but it is the sort of thing that's somewhat poorly conveyed.  As an example "-50% weapon recoil".  This has a problem on several levels.  First of all, wtf is weapon recoil?  If you're a beginner many of the starting ships/loadouts don't even make it obvious it's a thing, and certainly not a thing you should care about.  Worse, is -50% huge or nothing? The skill is amazing, but you can pick it up and not even know WHY its crazy, and build in ways that take barely any advantage of it.

It's a damned if you do/don't situation, but personally I think skills like this should just say "Drastically reduce weapon recoil" with a hover for details (-50%), or hell even a toggle to get the details shown.  A beginner doesn't need to know exact %'s because that makes them think it's just some incremental thing, but in reality this is gameplay changing.

Ideally, i think basically every ship skill should have a small clip associated with it, showing an ideal "before/after" showing what it's going to effect (at least if it's got active effects), but to be fair that's not super simple to do.

The map movement is still incredibly rubberbandy and frustratingly unresponsive, with a whole bunch of movement abilities that serve no purpose other than to annoy you. Hyperspace is still filled with clouds and storms, because navigating between those with the aforementioned controls feels just oh so good. I could go on for a very long time like this.
Yeah navigation needs work.  Recent skills/quest changes are helping (going dark feels like it has a purpose, and a skill makes it not annoying to use), but the nav skills feel at odds with what you actually do.
I still spend 90% of my time on 2x speed, free camera, max zoom out, with my fingers over the 4/5 key so i can, if something requires it,
1. Pause
2. Hit 5
3. Manuver on a dime
4. Hit 5 again
5. Continue.
Optinal. - Hit 4 and run.

I have never used interdiction, because 90% of the time enemies are too slow to get away (because piloting a slow fleet sucks, so you just aren't slow) or running at you.  I spend almost all my time in max burn, because of course, making me wonder why it's not the normal, and I've made a suggestion to sort of integrate the 2 rather than force 3 key presses as we do now.

Active burst is a "oh i'm exploring, ok" thing.  It rarely ever matters that it forces you to slow down, so it feels annoying that it does?  I think it too could stand to have better use, but again i've made topics on such.

I think this is an area that is RIPE for tons of gameplay with some work though, and i've made posts about such.  As it is, yeah it's tedious, and i'm glad it's less tedious as everything moves faster, but I'm hoping this is an area slated for some more polish.  It's super weird to me you can get other tabs of nav skills when i've barely ever used the ones i have.

I don't know what improvements and/or additions may have been made in other areas, and I'll probably never find out, because I have no more patience for this. I reached level 10 with a bunch of cruisers in my fleet, and I'm done. I was hoping this update would mean I could start recommending Starfarer to people again instead of warning them against it, but sadly not. Two years of waiting for... this. I should've spent the money on a burger instead.

Your choice. Game is good. It's not well signposted, but while i understand how you have the impression you have, most of it is wrong.  Nav is tedious/underdeveloped (better now though), but the combat is some of the best i've ever messed with.

General Discussion / Re: 0.95- First Impressions
« on: March 27, 2021, 04:35:32 AM »
For me, what really annoys me with the skill system is how 2 skills that a player is going to want are right next to each other and mutually exclusive, like sensors and navigation on tech. Navigation is great at all times during the game, and sensors if of particular use for early game “the target is in the heart/edges of a system” missions. Yet to get both, I have to wait until level 6 at the least to get both.

The two level 5 perks of command are really good for colonies and building up your industrial base. But to get both you have to run through the command tree twice. This has a nice synergy with Tier 4, as you get more and better officers. Thats actually good. Tiers 2 and 3 are a mess, as your forced to spec into frigate focus and carrier focus. So to optimise your colonies, your forced to waste skill points on specializations that at least one of which you’re probably not going to use (unless you are a massive fan of the Shepard).

Because picking a Tier 1 skill means I’m locked out of the other Tier 1 skill for 5 levels, it’s now extremely hard to pick even starting skills. Yes there’s respec, but I feel like continuously switching my skill between navigation and sensors is extremely exploity and not at all how the system was intended to be used.

Upside though, I’m glad I no longer have to invest 6 skill points in salvaging before I can salvage research stations and the like.

I think some of this is an example of jumping the gun/new patch old expectations.

The higher speed of everything in general makes navigation less mandatory in my eyes (especially with built ins) while the +3 burn to slow moving opens huge doors for going dark stuff.  I haven't messed around with it much but this seems like a much more legit choice than people are currently giving credit for.

Further I do think it's very much supposed to be somewhat like character classes, and I think it's a pretty good "build your own" style.  Clearly you've got your "pure" classes and it's expected you'll go down a few trees and be some sort of hybrid, and while there does need to be some tweaking i'm sure (yeah built ins seems realllllly good) I think how much you like that style just comes down to taste.  As i said i hate games where you're just going to get everything anyways.  I like distinct builds. 

Obviously either solution can be modded into, i feel like the "get everything" one is easier to mod into from the current system, but I haven't poked at it.

As for "getting both choices" I don't hate that you have to wrap around.  It has an elegance to it, but I do wonder if it shouldn't just be "have to pick the next tier or two before you come back" sort of thing.  Loses elegance but is certainly less frustrating.

General Discussion / Re: 0.95- First Impressions
« on: March 27, 2021, 02:42:49 AM »
derp, missed the edit button.

General Discussion / Re: 0.95- First Impressions
« on: March 27, 2021, 02:40:09 AM »
Decided to full out play straight vanilla on a wolf + shepard start.  I've never been great and am still very much in the EARLY game so some thoughts-

1. I'm mostly ok with the skill system.  Capstones might need tweaking, but I like that it's "build a character" not "grind whatever you want", and you can respec in game.  I personally dislike skill systems that just become "Grind long enough and get EVERYTHING!".  I think they should encourage playstyles, and i'm hoping we see more of that.

2. Early game is still..rough.  I think for beginning players Hammerhead/Apogee should just be labeled "normal" start and wolf/wayfarer should be labeled "hard" or something.  I know we can nitpick all day about how true that is, but for a beginner who doesn't want to put the game on "Easy" and miss out on content, labeling it that way probably cuts down significantly on growing pains and lets people start out in something that's more robust and less likely to evaporate.

That said I don't find the "build my fleet" phase all that enjoyable still.  This comes down to a few things.


Combat is REALLY punishing.  I was just cleaning up a pirate wolf after a tough battle, wasn't paying attention, and ate a reaper to the face on my shrike and welp that's probably a save reload.  Early on resources are tight enough its not that fun to play through a major ship loss, and it's sooo easy to get out of position and die as an actual beginner (as opposed to my laziness) that i can imagine it happens a lot.  It might not actually be that punishing, but it can feel like a setback. 

Now i'm NOT saying change the combat.  It's great.  I also had a wonderful moment where my shirke had to zoom over to save my stupid pirate carrier and managed to only just block the shots in time leaving it on essentially 0 hull, and in the mid/late game the "dance" combat feels like is so rewarding.

That said I still wonder if "early game", for a beginner, should be under the wing of some company/group.  Given ships that aren't yours and will be replaced as a way to make it go smoother and expose a first time player to some of the larger ships, and what they should be thinking about (and how screwed they're going to be on the other side of this equation).  Just kicking around ideas though.  Don't think any of this is "right now" content, and the apogee/hammerhead do enough.

RNG shops continues to bug me.  "oh cool i've got 100k credits and am heading to a large hegemony military world, i have no commission, and meh rep but that base shop should have......nothing i want....welp lets roll the black market...which has WAY more stuff at a higher quality for some reason.....and yet still nothing great". 

I'll probably have a larger topic about that later since i'm always harping on the economy though, and i think just numbers tweaks can fix a lot of that (even ignoring some of the more substantial changes I advocate for).  Some of this is also just the lack of ships in vanilla.  Getting a decent destroyer ASAP is so vital to getting the game rolling (although i haven't messed to much with the new skill and escorts so maybe that's changed), and so you're kinda rolling for a few specific ships.

3. Quests help a lot.  It's a much more obvious way for a beginner to make money and it works pretty well.  I've only done a few but "do the thing, get paid, oh also look loot along the way" was some of the signposting the game had been struggling with.  There's always the bounties and missions that are randomly given out, but I think this works well.

4 THANK GLORIOUS GOD THE GAME IS FASTER.  I instant picked navigation as my first skill just because i'm so used to always getting it in the old game because of how slow everything is.  I think the map game in general is an area that could use more love, but it helps soooo much that i'm not forced into taking skills just for the sake of my IRL time.   Might repsec and test sensors instead (especially since i'm still in frigate/destroyer territory).

5. Story points are great-  It's a very good idea, and while you may need to tweak them to be more scarce, i think it's much better if you're handing them out like candy, at least early on.  As with any "limited" resource it's almost always going to be instinct to hoard it and that's a huge waste.  Maybe an obvious hard cap, say of 15, to encourage beginners to really test them out?  Built in hull mods are CRAZY powerful, and probably the best use i've seen, but i love some of the other options so far (disengage, talk your way out, etc).  I think some of these should be locked behind skills maybe to put some more depth on that?  Or perhaps some skills upgrade them, so you can spend 1 story point to disengage from an enemy fleet, but with the right skill you can spend 2 and force a lower point engagement so you can peck at their forces a bit?  Stuff like that.

So yeah, rambling thoughts.  As always super happy to see a new version and love the quality improvements.  Very curious to see what's been done with colonies and some of the spoiled content.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: March 26, 2021, 06:38:57 PM »
Loving the update, but built-in hullmods feel absurdly powerful right now. Maybe they should require a scaling number of story points based on OP cost or something..? I dunno
A hard cap might be less weird.  I think ideally you categorize them and give different ships different slots for it, but that's pretty out of scope right now.
I am a moron, they are hard capped.  I forgot i lost the ship and got a new one.  Still, suuuper good with some mods. Fun though.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: March 26, 2021, 05:26:45 PM »
Loving the update, but built-in hullmods feel absurdly powerful right now. Maybe they should require a scaling number of story points based on OP cost or something..? I dunno
A hard cap might be less weird.  I think ideally you categorize them and give different ships different slots for it, but that's pretty out of scope right now.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: March 26, 2021, 03:05:15 PM »
Only just started (and died a few times, it's been awhile since i've done a "fair" start), but holy hell is the speed increase a beautiful QOL change.

Love the new skills/descriptions as well.  Stumbled into "a plot?" by just accidentally winding up at the station that starts it, so that's nice (helps that they have a system bounty as well).

General Discussion / Re: Thoughts on Trading
« on: March 19, 2021, 12:51:53 PM »
Having recently come back to the game (last played v0.8 ), I feel like the economy is much better than it was before, but (non-smuggling) trade has never felt particularly viable compared to things like bounty hunting and exploration. The UI improvements and excess/shortage system make commodity trading much easier in terms of figuring out where the opportunities are. So here's my thoughts on the current state of trading:

I believe the following should be true of commodity trading (buying/selling commodities for a profit):
  • Trading on the open market should not be profitable under normal conditions

In general agree, i'll give a small caveat on 1, in that "normal trading covering operating costs" doesn't strike me as a terrible idea.

Starsector is somewhat unique compared to other games in the genre in that you have very real operating costs.  The constant bleeding of supplies can feel smothering when you're learning, but as a way to get players to "dip a toe" in trading, it would make sense to have your spare space before you leave filled up with commodities that you can sell for a profit upon landing.

I will say that thinking about it trying to work this into the current system in a way that is elegantly clear, and doesn't just lead to risk averse players "grinding" their creds for an hour is possibly not worth it, but I do think it's at least worth considering.

Right now commodities are just credits in another form, as only volitiles have any other use, and since the econ game is pretty complicated it's not exactly worth the hassle vs just bounty hunting/exploring for your money.  Giving beginners an "in" into the trading system might help.[/list]

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