RealTic wrote:That's basically the point I was trying to make. There has to be enough price stability in the low-risk/low-paying cargoes for new players to be able to survive, but there also needs to be enough price randomness to allow for the high-risk/high-paying cargo runs that can make a player wealthy (and legendary). The high-risk cargo opportunities should be rare, and they should fail to pay off more often than not -- the frequency needs to be just high enough so that every now and then there's a story about some individual player who got rich, but not high enough to materially affect any galaxy's economy.
there should be a way to make an easy buck. But there also needs to be a level with high risk that comes with a high reward. Random is good. I played Earth and Beyond for some time, the trade system in that game got stale very fast...Why? Because the best way to make cash on trade runs was to run the same route over and over again.
There needs to be a few ways to do it. The easy/low paying way to the very hard /high paying way.
One new feature that might help accomplish this could be space-based resources -- basically, asteroid mining. If certain resources necessary for building starships or ship components could only be found in space, and if the spawning of those resources was properly controlled (through spawn rates, spawn locations, NPC/creature guardians, etc.), that would allow an extremely dynamic supply-and-demand system of the type we're discussing.
A good dynamic economic system with prices determined by supply and demand would allow both the common low-risk/low-paying and the rare high-risk/high-paying cargoes that could make space commerce a viable gameplay option.
The fact that this would probably include and improve the ground-based economy as well is a nice bonus.