Station commodity market capacity

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Judebert
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Station commodity market capacity

Post by Judebert »

I've been carting around platinum for the longest time. (I hate having idle money.) Finally found a place that wanted it, and tried to sell it all.

No good. The station can't hold more than 127kg, even though I easily can. Additionally, I went on to sell them gold, too, right up to the 127 unit limit. What's up?

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Post by Star Gazer »

Yes, I'm afraid that is the limit set on the amount of platinum, gold and gems that you can sell to a station - to avoid flooding the local market with high value items and causing economic problems!
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Post by Timm74 »

Hi,

had the same problem.

What kind of economic problems are created for a whole planet by buying more than 127 g of gem stones? That is roughly 2500 Credits.

They would buy 750 tons of computers (up to 75000 Credits) or whole ships.

To say it in a different way: Can't the limit be a lot higher?

I run into problems if I invest my money into gems, platinum etc and want to buy a new ship.

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Post by another_commander »

This is not a bug, it is legacy from Elite, where for technical reasons the station could not have more than 127 units of any commodity.

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Post by Disembodied »

Or alternatively, the standard market in the station only represents those restricted selling opportunities available to the small lone trader, and not the demands/requirements/purchasing power of the whole planet. After all, on the F8/F8 contracts screen, you can ship many, many tons/kilos/grams to a single destination and pass them on to the contract customer -- but none of the big boys want to see major price fluctuations just because one lone pilot breezes in from nowhere and dumps several hundred grams of Ceerdi tonestones onto the open market. It's protectionism, pure and simple.

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Post by TGHC »

:lol: :lol:
Even the universe is inhabited with capitalists!!
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Post by Captain Hesperus »

TGHC wrote::lol: :lol:
Even the universe is inhabited with capitalists!!
Except in the Communist Systems, Tovarish. The only Capitalist scum are flying mining pods.

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Post by Disembodied »

Yeah, but the Commies are just as bad as the rest of them when it comes to guarding their markets. The whole thing's one great big stitch-up between the major shipping lines and the various GalCo-op governments. It makes me madder than a yak in heat, sometimes, the way we have to pass all our trade through the Coriolis bottlenecks, where the prices are always artificially stabilised and we all just have to like them or lump them... no wonder we're called F8alists.

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Post by Disembodied »

...although, of course, other trading stations are available. The AstroFactories in various industrial Dictatorship systems, for example, are often eager to buy up precious metals and stones. Still the same GalCo-op-enforced selling limits, of course, but it does give a guy a few more options to turn an honest credit.

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Post by Commander McLane »

And to make it clear: There is no such thing as stations buying 750 t of Computers.

The limit of 127 t is hardcoded for all commodities. And the amounts for sale are even more limited. No station can ever have more than 63 t of any commodity for sale, when the market is created.

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Post by Hoopy »

I was just wondering...

These limits are obviously there due to the initial version of the game only using a signed 8bit number.

We've since moved on from there but decided to kepp them and added a nice bit of flavour in saying that the limits are because it's a grey market.

And added further flavour by having a bulk market where you can build a reputation and deal in very big quantities.

So couldn't we make them variable?
- Anarchies could have higher limits as they don't care about breaking the economy.
- High GDP worlds could have a higher limit as they're market deals with bigger volumes.
- Low GDP worlds would similiarly have lower limits.
- Communist worlds could have low limits as they have a tighter grip on the economy.

In this case maybe the minimum could be 63t and the maximum could be 255t with the average staying at 127t. Or maybe even 31-511t?
What do you think?

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Post by Disembodied »

It's a tricky question... it all depends on how you see the economy (or economies) of the ooniverse.

The fact that gold, platinum and precious stones exist as tradeable items, and that the prices of these items are not generally linked to the planets' economy types, suggests that they're not used for industrial processes, much, and they are desired principally for their rarity. This raises another question, namely the nature of the Credit. I think that the Credit is a GalCo-op currency, used solely for trade between planets. The various planets (and substates of planets) will probably have their own currencies. The majority of planets lack reliable single governments: hence I wouldn't be surprised if many of them use precious metals as currency, or at least base their currencies on precious metals (if you can't trust your government, you can't trust the value of the money: there has to be some other, exterior system you can trust, e.g. the measurable levels of gold in the Tibedied Groat). If this is the case then there are good reasons for controlling both the import and export of these items. Although on Anarchy worlds such niceties probably don't count for much: mostly they'll be using a mixture of barter and main force...

There could be a case to play with the import and export quantities of other products, though. As well as modifying quantities by planet type, it might be sensible to do this on an item-by-item basis too. Cheap stuff, e.g. food, textiles, and ores, could be traded in far higher quantities than computers or machinery or furs.

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Post by TGHC »

Lets not make it too complicated, I'm all for enhancements, and I know the trading side has its limitations, but there are surely enough new ways to make a good profit without changing the fundamentals of this brilliant game.

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Post by Commander McLane »

@Disembodied: Oh, the prices of Gold, Platinum and Gem-Stones do depend on economy type, just like all other prices, in the same direction as for Food and Textiles: cheap in poor agriculturies, expensive in rich industrials. This is, however, partly obscured by the fact that in general the prices for precious things are more volatile. Especially in the case of Platinum and Gem-Stones the random component may easily outweigh the difference caused by the economy. So the dependency is not that obvious, but it is there.

And generally I agree with TGHC: Let's not make it too complicated. The market is (as the whole game is) designed to re-create Elite's features. And as long as we don't come up with another solution that is so good that it makes us forget Elite immediately, I don't think it is going to be changed.

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Post by Disembodied »

Commander McLane wrote:Oh, the prices of Gold, Platinum and Gem-Stones do depend on economy type, just like all other prices, in the same direction as for Food and Textiles: cheap in poor agriculturies, expensive in rich industrials.
Ah! Never really noticed this... so there probably are industrial uses for the precious metals and stones. And agricultural worlds will have a more distributed population, and therefore probably less internal commercial activity. The population would be self-supporting sons of the soil, rather than the specialised interdependents that you'd get on an industrial world.
Commander McLane wrote:And generally I agree with TGHC: Let's not make it too complicated. The market is (as the whole game is) designed to re-create Elite's features. And as long as we don't come up with another solution that is so good that it makes us forget Elite immediately, I don't think it is going to be changed.
True, and to be honest I think rationalisation of the existing state of play is vastly easier than new programming. Oolite's additional feature of contract haulage makes owning an Anaconda a commercially viable option -- otherwise, there's no point in having that amount of cargo capacity.

I do think, though, that it's worth keeping these things in mind. The Elite numbers are not so much features as the legacy of a previous technology. This is not of itself a bad thing! But in terms of gameplay it would be good to consider some ways of giving the player a few more decisions to make: the option for a few smart deals here and there, based on local conditions -- otherwise trading is in danger of becoming automatic.

The other dockable objects, admittedly, do provide some variation. I find that I often make trade decisions based around where I can find Convenience Stores and AstroFactories.

The Ambrosia game Escape Velocity had a nice wrinkle in it where random events would drop or raise prices of certain commodities for short periods of time on certain planets. I always enjoyed meeting other traders in the game and having them ping me with market information. A similar feature for Oolite would be a very attractive option. Do you know if the main station commodity prices are open to OXP manipulation?

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