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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
In order to create a viable game economy, I believe it is necessary that each faction contribute something, and that a merchant/trader faction be created for those players interested in crafting, transporting, and selling merchandise. Fortunately, the roles and contributions of each faction are suggested by Trek canon.

The Roles of the 4 Factions:

Fed Faction: Is able to Farm 'Science' components from Anomalies that occur in game. Science components are likely to be named for elements and energies such as 'Energetic Antiprotons' or 'Dark Matter Particles' etc.

Klingon Faction: Is able to collect 'Salvage' component drops from destroyed ships in the game. Salvage may be split into categories named for starship components 'Damaged EPS Conduit' and similar items.

Romulan Faction: Is able to collect 'Captured Data' component drops from destroyed ships and enemies. Captured Data may include things such as 'Engineering Drafts' or 'Classified Reports' or 'Experimental Results' etc.

Merchant Faction: This would be a new faction of civilian merchants and traders who ply the spacelanes in moderately armed merchant craft. Allowed races would of course include the Ferengi, but may be any race in the game because every race has civilian merchants and traders.

The merchant faction starter ship may be the 'Merchantman' from the Star Trek movies and TNG, perhaps culminating in the Ferengi Marauder at top tier. Merchant ships would tend to receive bonuses to shields and engines, since they will often need to travel great distances or evade hostile forces and run blockades. They may be the only ships in the game to have more weapons aft than forward, since they will tend to fight defensively and not aggressively.

This faction would receive missions such as delivering supplies, running blockades, defending convoys, building equipment, and smuggling illicit goods. They would receive no component drops (Not Science, nor Data, nor Salvage) but would receive 'recipe' drops that show how to combine drops from other races into various goods (Green, Blue, and Purple ship and personal equipment, as well as decorations that can be placed in and on ships in the future, and possibly new tailor options.)

The player economy would be revitalized with such an arrangement. Each faction would have components that they could sell on the exchange, while the merchant faction would be able to buy these components and sell back completed goods.

Finally, the merchants should be the only faction able to enter all the other faction's stations and trade at their exchanges. Thus the merchants will have a secondary role of moving goods to where they are needed. If there is a glut of product X on the Fed side it can be moved to the Klingon side, and vice-versa.

The neutral merchant stations (which already exist in game) would have all products posted for Gold Pressed Latinum, giving this currency a reason to exist. Thus any faction could visit the neutral stations to purchase from the universal exchanges there, but they'd need to convert their credits to GPL at the Dabo tables first. (Or sell their components to the merchants at these exchanges and collect GPL that way.)

Thank you for your consideration.