Wildeblood wrote:So, rent a warehouse, buy some wares but don't load them aboard ship, and the next day check in to see if the price has risen and maybe sell them by remote control? Why does it seem so obviously wrong?
There's a great danger in assuming that because something is "realistic", or because it "makes sense" that the player could do something, it should therefore be added to the game. This is a perennial problem, especially with homebrew games, where the instinct is to put absolutely everything in because more is better, right? Unfortunately, what tends to happen is that you get a game where the player can poke around and do all sorts of things, in all sorts of ways, but none of them are actually much fun (the X
series, I'm looking at you). In theory, player could buy up goods, and hoard them, hoping for a price increase; they could play the planetary stock exchange; they could bet on the outcome of mud tennis tournaments, or become angel investors to startup tech companies, or put money in a savings account or buy Green Shield stamps, but you'd have to question how much fun would be generated for all the effort required to make all this possible.
I think it seems wrong because Oolite
is a game where the player is a lone-wolf, hard-bitten space trader, roaming the stars, living on the edge ... does Han Solo have a bonded warehouse? Does Mal Reynolds follow the futures markets? It seems wrong because fundamentally it's out of character. If players can make a decent living sitting behind a desk and flying a spreadsheet, why would they risk their lives out there among the laser beams?
If you want some handwavium: if this was a valid way of making money, other people would be doing it already, and on a vastly larger scale - very likely wiping out any little corner of an ecosystem where the player could exist. Sure, prices fluctuate - but (with the exception of Narcotics, a special case) they don't fluctuate that much. Any profit the player might make between today's Fur prices and yesterday's Fur prices could very easily be wiped out by the daily storage charges levied by the station, or the offworlder tax applied to delayed trades made by non-planetary residents, or by daily orbital fees, or docking fees ... Easy money - money made by just sitting there, being rich - would indeed be realistic, but it wouldn't be fun.