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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
04-27-2009, 01:20 PM
GVK: How is resource gathering handled in the game will there be salvage in space?

There will be a variety of ways to gather resources. Rewards for completing missions and tours of duty will be a big part, as well as gathering, crafting and trading.

There will be some salvage in space or on planets – you might find a cool piece of technology that you want to study or find a way to use on your ship – but Federation captains don’t loot corpses.
Is some of that new, or have I just not been paying attention?

I'm leery of the word "gathering" in that second paragraph. I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of Starfleet captains (or Klingons, for that matter) mining asteroids so they can sell the minerals on the auction house, but it sounds to me like that's the direction the economic aspect of the game is taking.

A starship is not well-suited for pulling resources from space and transporting them in large quantities. Its cargo holds are too small relative to the amount of resources it takes to keep one running. Even putting aside military pride and speaking in purely economic terms, you'll lose money using a starship to run cargo. A starship's cargo bays should be reserved for military missions such as transporting military supplies, carrying humanitarian aid supplies, or using them as a staging area for science and engineering projects (like reverse-engineering alien artifacts that get beamed on board--where else are you going to put them, in Engineering, next to the warp core?).

Cargo ships, on the other hand, are almost nothing but cargo space--you can fill one up to the roof with valuable goods, fly it to market, and resell for a good profit relative to the expense of the operation. If it's in the Federation's interest, they can assign a starship to escort a freighter or patrol a particular shipping lane, and in that way Federation captains and Klingon warriors can honorably assist their faction's economy.

There are other ways of fulfilling that goal, too: exploring captains who bring a new star system into their faction through either diplomacy or conquest are opening up a new stream of resources back to Earth or Qo'noS for which they can be credited. Factions could conceivably even send starships to capture one another's resource-carrying cargo ships as they travel the supply lines--shoot up the escort, board the convoy, and install a new crew to fly it back behind friendly lines under your watchful eye.

I'm glad the game won't have us looting corpses--that's a good call on Cryptic's part. But if they have us using our starships as freighters, I still think they're taking the easy way out.