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Spaceempires.net :: Commerce Port Bill #24134-1 :: View topic
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Commerce Port Bill #24134-1
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Kana
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 15, 2005

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Commerce Port Bill #24134-1 Reply with quote

The purpose of this bill is to help with the distribution, record keeping, and stimulus of commodities items at various planets through out the Federation.

With the passage of this bill, all interested parties that wish to have a standing inventory of commodity items for sale, must build a commerce port in orbit to store for purchase or sale of said commodities.

This will allow interested customers to know exactly what is available for sale at any given port of call, and if there is room for them to sell any available goods they may wish to sell.

If you do not wish to sell an item, then it shall not be in the cargo of the commerce port.

If you have no desire at a certain time to not purchase items, you can then mothball the port.

There are already examples of this being used currently, and I believe that it will help stimulate commerce.

What do the other senators think of this proposal?


FSL Kana/CNO F.W.S.N/FNS Brawler (PBC IV)


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puke
Space Emperor


Joined: Jun 08, 2006

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good idea, but it will make things more difficult for poorer colonies. worlds without shipyards, which produce only units for sale.

Also, it would make it impossible for population waiting for a ferry away from the planet to be a part of the regular breeding populace.

Though I do think it is a practice worth encouraging where possible, making it mandatory would likely hamper some of the less developed worlds -- those most badly in need of trade revenue.


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dumbluck
Space Emperor


Joined: Sep 22, 2007

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a response to SL Puke's concerns, perhaps a token unit, describing the number of colonists available, could be placed in the commerce port.

Uh oh.

*dumbluck exit's to the left as Alikiwi's security guards spot him from the right hand portal.


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Alikiwi
Space Emperor


Joined: May 09, 2007
Location: Tasmania

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Damn, I thought I'd get him then. Hm better hire faster guards...*

Quite frankly I can't agree with this idea at all! I mean, we do have a commodities listing, how hard is it to check that for the current price structure, then check the planet/s for available commodities?

Why build a seperate commerce storage facility in orbit to do what the planet does a whole lot better at no cost? Whist this is minor for the secure core worlds, the outer colonises may not want to take the risk of said orbit commerce port getting plastered by those enemy ships that keep getting in!

As for passing a bill to force the issue, you must be kidding! If individual System Lords and CEO's want to do that, - fine. They already do!

I certainly see no need to pass a bill to tell us what to do, yet again!

* Quickly walks out the door, last seen used by Senator Dumbluck...*



Venturing into the unknown


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puke
Space Emperor


Joined: Jun 08, 2006

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed.

I am in favor of promoting commerce and trading. You can do so by reducing barriers to trade. Likewise, you discourage commerce and trading by putting barriers in place.

In objective analysis, i see that this proposal will promote trade by:

- placing all tradeable goods in a seperate storage area where they are not to be confused with non-tradeable goods, and make it easier for approaching ships to determine what is tradeable without checking the federal registers -- though they must still be checked for pricing.

The proposal will discourage trade by:

- raising barriers to entery, making it so only worlds which are capable of building an orbital facility can trade. likewise, only System Lords who can afford construction of these bases (or can afford to move all of their goods to bases like this) and can also afford the ongoing maintenance of the bases, will be able to trade at all.

In the end, it will make it more convenient for mercants and military forces to buy goods from large, established Corporations and System Lords. At the same time, it will make it much more difficult for the smaller players to put their goods on the market at all.

In the end, I think this will cut off entire sectors of our economy as it consolidates wealth and power amongst a few.


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Combat_Wombat
Space Emperor


Joined: Nov 04, 2003
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe a regional trade hub planet where people can ship the stuff they want to sell to and buy there as well

Co-Lead of the FrEee project an open-source Space Empires IV clone

Author of Invasion! for Space Empires IV


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Kana
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 15, 2005

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alikiwi wrote:
check the planet/s for available commodities?

Why build a seperate commerce storage facility in orbit to do what the planet does a whole lot better at no cost?


What if you have commodities on the planet you don't want to sell? Like a specific type of fighter or troop? Then some customer can come by and purchase it right out from under you.

If it is in a orbital commerce port, then the customer know exactly what is available for purchase, and what is not.

Combat_Wombat wrote:
Maybe a regional trade hub planet where people can ship the stuff they want to sell to and buy there as well


Also a very good idea. If anything this is stimulating discusion on trade and commerce.

Yet if everyone is ok with the status quo, then so be it.


FSL Kana/CNO F.W.S.N/FNS Brawler (PBC IV)


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Alikiwi
Space Emperor


Joined: May 09, 2007
Location: Tasmania

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kana wrote:

Quote:
What if you have commodities on the planet you don't want to sell? Like a specific type of fighter or troop? Then some customer can come by and purchase it right out from under you.

If it is in a orbital commerce port, then the customer know exactly what is available for purchase, and what is not.


To the first part, whilst it makes sense, when does it ever happen? Who is going to buy fighters or troops anyway? The Navy to defend us, isn't that why we build them? Private companies, who, er let me think Rolling Eyes oh, I know, defend us!

So whilst the theory is correct, in practice it rarely happens if at all. If it does, then the SL could build a commerce port as per Kanas second suggestion to avoid that problem.

So in other words, "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".



Venturing into the unknown


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Combat_Wombat wrote:
Maybe a regional trade hub planet where people can ship the stuff they want to sell to and buy there as well


That's what I'm trying to do at Kartogia II. The difficult part is setting the price. It has to be high enough to attract sellers, but not so high that no one will buy.

Alikiwi wrote:
So in other words, "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".


I agree. I think the current system is fine.

If the Navy is worried about depleting planetary defense garrisons, you could always have a commerce port of your own where local SLs could sell you units.

The Navy could also have a merchant ship, with its own commodity rate, that travels to planets. If a planet has units for sale, they could just transfer them to your ship. You could have a planned route so planet/station owners would know when the merchant ship will be making a port call.


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Prophet
Space Emperor


Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Location: Taxachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I applaud the FSL's attempt. He is trying to foster growth in the commodity market, something I am greatly in favor of. I believe the current system IS broken. Most worlds are labeled "Closed" in the Commodity Listing. And I am afraid to learn how long it has been since someone updated the prices on Open worlds.

I am hesitant to endorse this exact plan offered, but it is not nearly as bad as senators are making it out.

puke wrote:
making it so only worlds which are capable of building an orbital facility can trade.

Actually, that is incorrect. There are several mobile shipyards in the Federation fleet. Dragonstar itself owns 2, the Freedom and the Green Dragon. A review of their capabilities shows it would take them 2-4 months to build a commerce port, depending on size and build speed.

These ships are available for construction.

puke wrote:
..and can also afford the ongoing maintenance of the bases..

That is the problem. Sure a commerce port is very cheap to maintain. But multiply that by every world, and it gets expensive. And what if you need multiple ports orbiting one world? Eventually the maintenance cost would limit trade.

Combat_Wombat wrote:
Maybe a regional trade hub planet where people can ship the stuff they want to sell to and buy there as well

I am intrigued by this idea. How did you picture this concept working, CW? Would there be designated trade worlds?


Prophet, CEO Dragonstar Industries


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prophet wrote:
I believe the current system IS broken.


How is the current system broken?


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Kana
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 15, 2005

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyburn wrote:
Prophet wrote:
I believe the current system IS broken.


How is the current system broken?


From a purchasing standpoint, I don't usually know what planets are offering what, and having to look at the commodities list to even see if its open, is alittle time consuming. Yet you still have to look to find the rate. Mostly its that certain places don't have inventory, or have inventory and aren't selling. Lately with the HW commodity subsidy, there seems to be an increase in trade.

Also as was stated, it doesn't matter if planets are laid bare by commerce, I think that is wrong. It might matter in a few instances, especially Frontier/Border worlds. These planets need Fighters and Troops to help defend themselves, yet also provide need commodities for further offensive aggression. Having a port at least at these points will allow for knowing what is and isn't for sale at a glance.


FSL Kana/CNO F.W.S.N/FNS Brawler (PBC IV)


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SuicideJunkie
Leaky Guru


Joined: May 28, 2005
Location: Canada!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orbital trading forts could be very convenient, actually.
The price could be specified right there in the name of the base.

There could be additional options to reduce the storage limitations too;
A flag to indicate that purchases should be delivered directly to the planet.
A flag to indicate that the shelves should be restocked from the planet with the same type of units when they're sold out.


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Alikiwi
Space Emperor


Joined: May 09, 2007
Location: Tasmania

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually some good ideas there. Not that there's any need for a bill to force the issue, but I'm sure people could use these ideas and build what they want, where they might think its a good idea.

Talking of which, say what about a commerce port in a nebulae right under the enemies nose? Oh, hang on, I was gunna do that anyway
Wink



Venturing into the unknown


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Kana
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 15, 2005

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SuicideJunkie wrote:
Orbital trading forts could be very convenient, actually.
The price could be specified right there in the name of the base.

There could be additional options to reduce the storage limitations too;
A flag to indicate that purchases should be delivered directly to the planet.
A flag to indicate that the shelves should be restocked from the planet with the same type of units when they're sold out.


Now thats the kinda input I like to hear...


FSL Kana/CNO F.W.S.N/FNS Brawler (PBC IV)


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Prophet
Space Emperor


Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Location: Taxachusetts

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyburn wrote:
Prophet wrote:
I believe the current system IS broken.


How is the current system broken?


The Commodity Market system has been in place since 2407 (see http://www.spaceempires.net/ftopict-3344.html for details). Six years later, what do we have?

- Only 80 of 140 worlds listed
- Of those, 32 worlds are officially CLOSED

Even a review of the worlds participating is not encouraging.

- Number of Worlds "Selling" (110% or less) -> 35 worlds
- Remaining 13 Worlds and their Prices
    125% - 4 Worlds
    130% - 5
    140% - 3
    145% - 1


It is clear that system lords are not using the commodity system, at least not to the extent it needs to be used to allow traders. This is further evidenced by the increase in the number of purchase contracts for fighters and troops. The Commodity Market was supposed to make these obsolete. If the Market is not broken, why bother with these contracts?

The solution has been before us all this time. Borders worlds need to raise their prices to cover maintenance costs of transports. Yet it has not happened. Why?

All this suggests to me that there is some wrong with the system. The market was hailed as this big step to streamlining the economy and flowing units from inner worlds to the borders where they will be needed. Instead we have piles of fighters sitting idle far from the warzones. We have trade ventures start up only to stop when there are no profitable routes.

The system is not working as intended. In my view, it is broken.


Prophet, CEO Dragonstar Industries


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SuicideJunkie
Leaky Guru


Joined: May 28, 2005
Location: Canada!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not broken so much as withered on the vine?

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Prophet
Space Emperor


Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Location: Taxachusetts

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SuicideJunkie wrote:
Not broken so much as withered on the vine?

It is broken in that it does not work. For some reason it never caught on. Is it too expensive for system lords with outer worlds? And what is their incentive for waiting for units they could just build themselves? Are system lords afraid nobody will buy units at 150% or 160%?

In my opinion, the center of the problem is the cost of transportation. Travel time from the homeworld to the borders (at speed 5) is 8-12 months, and that is only going to get longer as we advance. That is alot of maintenance costs to re-coup. And if traders cannot re-coup, the market grinds to a halt.

Under the origin plan, the market would take care of these costs through high enough prices. But it doesn't. There were a few destinations in the past six years (and those places did see trade traffic as a result). But that is it.

Any attempt to jolt life into the market should directly address this issue. Is it wrong for the market to assume transportation costs? Do system lords need independent advice on setting better price ranges (which reminds me, where did that Fii representative go...)? Am I making any sense? Does anybody else smell that?


Prophet, CEO Dragonstar Industries


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Khizlek
Space Emperor


Joined: Oct 07, 2007

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prophet wrote:
SuicideJunkie wrote:
Not broken so much as withered on the vine?

In my opinion, the center of the problem is the cost of transportation. Travel time from the homeworld to the borders (at speed 5) is 8-12 months, and that is only going to get longer as we advance. That is alot of maintenance costs to re-coup. And if traders cannot re-coup, the market grinds to a halt.


It's not just that, it is the low needs, and relatively smaller cashflow of non-SLs. If we had large fighter/troop losses (which none of us want), or if non-SLs had larger budgets then the transaction/trasportation costs wouldn't matter as much (as they'd be spread over a greater number of fighters and divisions). I consider it ironic that our military success is leading to our trading failure.

Oh, and I wouldn't even buy fighters or troops for 145%, not when I can simply wait a few months longer and get it for a much better price.


System Lord Khizlek of DynaCorp Industries (PBC SEIV).


Last edited by Khizlek on Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:15 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Combat_Wombat
Space Emperor


Joined: Nov 04, 2003
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't sell units and rarely sell shipyard time because I need it for myself thats my take on this

Co-Lead of the FrEee project an open-source Space Empires IV clone

Author of Invasion! for Space Empires IV


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SuicideJunkie
Leaky Guru


Joined: May 28, 2005
Location: Canada!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Khizlek wrote:
Oh, and I wouldn't even buy fighters or troops for 145%, not when I can simply wait a few months longer and get it for a much better price.
That's what Prophet is talking about tho.

Not only will you be waiting a few months, it will also cost you as much or more due to paying maintenance on those transport ships.
The only difference is that you're spreading the costs out over a few months and hiding half of it in the miscellaneous maintenance budget entries.


In order to reduce the transportation costs as we expand, I think we need to shift production to the midrange colonies.
If the midrange systems are producing at 110%, then the fringe prices don't have to be as high to make shipping worthwhile.
Core production could be turned to infrastructure and/or ships.


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Alikiwi
Space Emperor


Joined: May 09, 2007
Location: Tasmania

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SecState wrote:

Quote:
Core production could be turned to infrastructure and/or ships.


This is absoluetly true, the core worlds should concentrate on ship construction and building facilities. Production of fighters and troops should be closer to the front lines where they are needed, and keep transport distances as short as possible.

Mid range systems would be better suited to this production, with outer systems doing a general mix of everything. Afterall, outer systems should NOT be forced to produce facilities first when what they need is defenses, shipyards, ships etc.. However, the better ones resource wise, will want suitable facilities, whilst building a few defense units at the same time.



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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the reasons unit contracts are still common is that they spread the payment out over several months. Buying commodities directly requires a large lump sum payment, which is not always possible. Maybe adding an entry to the commodity exchange for payment period would help.

Another idea to help in profit/loss calculations for traders would be to add the number of sectors from the homeworld.

For example, here is what Kartogia II would look like:

Kartogia II (44 sectors)

* All Units
o Trade restricted to orbital Commerce Ports
o All Units
+ 145% of build cost
+ 5 month payment period

So the cost of any units bought/sold would be spread over 5 months.

EDIT: I had another idea about selling units. Instead of using the commerce port as a store, you could use it as a "display ad". You would just transfer 1 unit of the type you are selling to the commerce port. The units themselves would be sold from planetary cargo. Any units not represented in the commerce port would not be sold.

So you could sell units, but also have a planetary defense garrison that could not be sold. If you use the commerce port as a display ad, you would also be able to build a smaller port and save on maintenance.


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Combat_Wombat
Space Emperor


Joined: Nov 04, 2003
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see no purpose in this bill still. If someone is truly interested in selling something they are more than able to make it known. This direct senate meddeling in the affairs of system lords is a disgusting waste of time.

Nothing mentioned here is outside the ability of any one person to do themselves.


Co-Lead of the FrEee project an open-source Space Empires IV clone

Author of Invasion! for Space Empires IV


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Kana
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 15, 2005

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyburn wrote:
One of the reasons unit contracts are still common is that they spread the payment out over several months. Buying commodities directly requires a large lump sum payment, which is not always possible. Maybe adding an entry to the commodity exchange for payment period would help.

Another idea to help in profit/loss calculations for traders would be to add the number of sectors from the homeworld.

For example, here is what Kartogia II would look like:

Kartogia II (44 sectors)

* All Units
o Trade restricted to orbital Commerce Ports
o All Units
+ 145% of build cost
+ 5 month payment period

So the cost of any units bought/sold would be spread over 5 months.

EDIT: I had another idea about selling units. Instead of using the commerce port as a store, you could use it as a "display ad". You would just transfer 1 unit of the type you are selling to the commerce port. The units themselves would be sold from planetary cargo. Any units not represented in the commerce port would not be sold.

So you could sell units, but also have a planetary defense garrison that could not be sold. If you use the commerce port as a display ad, you would also be able to build a smaller port and save on maintenance.


While I agree with Senator Wombat that this bill has died on the vine, there are some good suggestions given above by Senator Skyburn, and would hope that interested SL's consider these options.


FSL Kana/CNO F.W.S.N/FNS Brawler (PBC IV)


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