Recently it was confirmed that in the next iteration of our beloved game that Commodity Exchanges (CXs) would be moved ‘off-world’. I have made no secret before this confirmation and since that I think this is a terrible move for the economy and, primarily, the gameplay. I obviously have no true power over this, and I will certainly give anything a genuine chance, but I feel that such a major change to the gameplay (and it is) should have some weighty discussion.
Disclaimer 1: This is a LONG post (broken into separate posts for more easy discussion), but that’s because I think it’s VERY important. There is broad summary’s on each post and a very short summary at the end. I do want discussion, so do reply!
Disclaimer 2: Nothing I say/disagree with is intended as a ‘take down’ or criticism of anyone, especially not any developer. I will simply be trying to highlight arguments of varying sorts and analyse them.
On and Off?
Firstly, it would seem prudent to clarify the main terms which I will be talking about:
- On-World CX.
This is what we have currently. The Commodity Exchange is located on the surface of a planet. Bases on that planet are able to immediately trade and purchase items listed. All other planets’ bases have to fly to the CX planet to trade. Due to the nature of flight currently the base planet is hugely favoured and 1 ‘jump’ systems favoured moderately, with in system planets disadvantaged.*
- Off-World CX.
This is what we will likely have next. The Commodity Exchange is located orbiting around the Star in a system. No bases are able to immediately trade. All trades will either involve rentable storage or a parked ship. To access the CX a player must fly all goods. Due to the nature of flight currently 1 ‘jump’ systems are favoured moderately over any in system planets.*
- Orbital CXs.
This is what I had imagined was meant by Off-World, although similar there is an important distinction between the other usage. (Suggestions for better names welcome) The Commodity Exchange is located orbiting a planet. No bases are able to immediately trade. All trades will either involve rentable storage or a parked ship. To access the CX a player must fly all goods. Due to the nature of flight currently 1 ‘jump’ planets and the planet being orbited are favoured moderately, with in system planets moderately disadvantaged.*
*This is taking averages of orbital mechanics. In system flight can be very advantageous based on orbital alignment, but 1 ‘jumps’ can also hugely benefit. Considering orbital mechanics are a large mystery and after 2 years on the current server no player has openly expressed regularly taking advantage alignment it is unlikely this will change without a major overhaul of orbital information.