I think this is a great time to be talking about CXs, particularly how we envisage they will be used in the next test. +1 for you Bob.
I feel that the CX concept provides a good base for further development and I’m hoping that the dev team will see fit to iterate on their designs.
There are multiple locations where CXs can be emplaced - on a planet, orbiting a planet, and orbiting a star. Each offers a particular set of benefits/trade-offs.
I think @molp’s concerns that
it would simply lead to many, very small commodity exchanges with low volume brokers
are valid and is something that is to be avoided. That said, I wholeheartedly disagree that the solution is to prevent CXs being constructed by players. I feel that the concept still has many avenues that could be explored.
To be clear from the start, I am in favour of players being able to construct CXs in any and all of the 3 locations I’ve listed - on a planet, orbiting a planet, and orbiting a star.
CXs should be complex and costly to build and maintain
I am very much in favour of the module CX ideas that have been floating around the galaxy.
A standard CX configuration could consist of (examples):
- CX Core Module
- CX Habitation Module
- CX Storage Module
- CX Trade Module(s)
- CX Warehouse Module
The CX Core Module should come in various sizes and should be upgradeable through the various sizes. The CX Core Module provides a limit on the number of modules that may be attached to the CX.
The CX Habitation Modules provide staffing for the CX. Staffing must be maintained in the same manner as colonies.
The CX Storage Module should come in various flavours similar to ship cargo bays. This module would provide the storage space for materials that are listed on the CX. We should not have “unlimited space” CXs.
The CX Trade Modules provide the capability to list items from the category which the Trade Module represents. Eg, a Trade Module designated for Basic Consumables will allow the Basic Consumables to be traded.
The CX Warehouse Module would function similarly to the planetary warehouse. I don’t envisage this being utilised on a planetary CX as it would be more expensive to construct and maintain than the planetary warehouse.
All modules should require staffing and upkeep materials (like OFF).
Who manages the CXs?
The governor of the planet may appoint a CX Administrator.
The governor of the system may appoint an orbital (planetary) CX Administrator.
The governor of the system may appoint an orbital (stellar) CX Administrator.
Who gets the fees?
Planetary CX fees go to the planetary governor.
Orbital (Planetary) CX fees go to the system governor.
Orbital (Stellar) CX fees go to the system governor.
System governors could impose a % tax on all planetary collections. EG, the planetary governor collects 1000 in taxes/fees. With a 10% system tax, 100 would be paid to the system governor.
Having the flexibility of building new CXs in multiple locations would be a fantastic game mechanic. Whilst I understand the risk associated with allowing players to build CXs, I feel this can be greatly mitigated by making CXs expensive to build and by imposing staffing and upkeep requirements - this will cause more resources sinks as CXs compete with each other. (Yay! Capitalism??!!!) Higher levels of Core Modules may require staffing by higher tier workforces.
I feel that orbital CXs (planetary or stellar) will be a fantastic addition to the game and allow a greater degree of trade whilst minimising the impact on ship degradation. Ship degradation is going to be a massive factor in the next test, and I envisage scenarios where smaller ships acting as barges can ferry goods between planetary and orbital CXs, whilst much larger and less protected ships move between system CXs. Ship degradation is going to be expensive, and it will likely be worthwhile to implement such a system when the volume of shipping reaches a certain threshold.
Orbital CXs (without planetary CXs) allow free players to utilise more planets as they are currently restricted to not using LMs. I feel this restriction should also be lifted, but with a limit on the number of active contracts and ads.