Paper Trades

Hey there!

So, I have been playing for a while now and I’ve been taking notes on what seems to work well and what seems to staunch the retention of new players. The most obvious thing is the rate of gameplay. The game is slow, and that’s actually not that bad for this type of game. The issue is really with the fact that this game is only slow. There is no optional content that allows someone who would normally love this game but can’t stand the slowness to play at relatively their speed.

This is where Paper Trading comes into play. Paper trades are non-physical buy and sell orders in real time. Typically, when you deal with the CXs IRL, you’re not always buying physical commodity and usually deal with futures or lots. This allows a company to purchase 10 million in rations in China, and sell that 10 million in Europe at 12 million without having to actually move the Rations themselves.

Since we’re looking at going to off-world CXs, now is a good chance to introduce a paper trading system like this. Allowing companies to buy lots or futures of a commodity, based on the total amount supplied to the CX, and sell it at any other CX without having to move it themselves. When a company wants to collect on the lots they have purchased, they either send their own ship to collect it or they hire a shipping company to pick it up and move it for them.

This does not allow you sell inventory from your base to the CX without moving it to the CX first.

The idea here is, you can get some day traders that join the game and work to move resources around the CXs to perform arbitrage, collect money, and stay engaged for longer. It gives shipping companies more importance in the long run, and it gives LMs a whole new use.

LMs would no longer be pseudo-CXs with less functionality, and rather they would become a direct market vs. an indirect one. As a shipping company myself, I might be contracted to pick up someone’s lot at a CX and move it across the universe to some far off planet. If the LMs are a direct market, producers on that planet might sell their goods at a much lower price than the CXs do allowing me to purchase a return cargo to the CXs.

This makes CXs great for shippers, because that’s where the contracts will come from, but it also means that LMs are great for producers because shippers will buy up their stuff. I already do this to an extent in the current system, but there are many LMs that have good deals on them but are just way out of my way to waste the time to fly to them just for pick up. Paper trading would give players a faster gameplay option, that has trickle down value.

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LMs have been used for future’s trading. Future’s trading is not popular because using the LM is such a pain. Its unsortable, unfilterable, and too easy to click the wrong ad.

Yeah, I can understand that. However, this new system would not be futures sold on the LM but rather on the CX and be based entirely on the supply amount at the CX.

So if Taco ships 10k RATs to his closest CX and sells them at 45. I should be able to purchase a futures lot of 5k RATs that I can just sell at a different CX without having to move any cargo at all. The trick is, the RATs are still at Taco’s CX. So anyone at my CX who buys RATs and wants to collect them, has to have them shipped from Taco’s CX to their own base.

This just adds to the functionality of the overall market system for both CXs and LMs, and it gives the game a bit of day trading behavior that makes the markets move.

For terminology, I don’t think Futures is a good term to use for these because they’re really Lots. So perhaps we use Lot or Stock? I’m not sure what would work best terminology wise, but it’s not really the futures we’re used to doing right now on the LMs.

Would that not be a Stock Exchange?

This would also require a overhaul of the current CX UI.

It would also require a way to skip those “outside” offers. Because when I buy something from the CX I expect it to pick it up right there, and not 20 systems over!

A stock exchange conveys the idea of trading stock in a company or corporation. Not really what I’m going for with this idea.

IRL, the Commodities market puts the burden of shipping on the purchaser, not the seller. (Not in all cases, but this is the norm from what I understand of the system.) For PrUn, I imagine that it would create a heavier reliance on shipping contracts overall as the game progresses, with us being reliant on our own ships in the early game.

The best balance is to utilize the existing Supply/Demand metric to know if your order can be fulfilled on that CX. If the CX supply is below what is available for purchase, than you would know that delivery from another CX would be required. It honestly would not impede your normal gameplay, but it would give the CX more functionality by adding real time trading for micro-arbitrage. It would make market domination more interesting.

Early game, you rely on your own ships and that there is supply on your chosen CX for specific goods. (Already a system we use now, having to travel from CX to CX in order to find the right prices and quantities for the things we want.) Late game, you’re liable to either have more ships or have the resources to contract out for shipping. You’re also more likely to be self-sufficient for the vast majority of things currently traded on the CX.

Paper trading increases functionality, supports a specific industry and play style, and doesn’t dramatically impact normal, current gameplay while making intended changes post-reset less impactful.