From what it seems so far, the commodities trading is not the highest form of income in the game. It also isn’t the lowest. The question of who commodities trading is ultimately for is of course up to @RexXxuS and team. On some level I like that there is an alternative path to joining a strong faction to be able to generate a healthy income. I also like that it provides an element of role playing for people who are into that as the way they’d like to play the game. (As long as they come to PVP so I can role play killing them =D )
When looking at the overall game economy, as I said it doesn’t seem to be the fastest form of income when compared to mining GG but it offers three key differences. 1. It is available to all players without having to join a major faction to do it (safely), 2. It is guaranteed income (assuming you don’t get killed) 3. The risk is lower (but not 0). It seems these benefits are intended to offer low/mid-level players the ability to start making some decent money so they can start to up their server game experience while investing hours into learning routes and doing missions while giving them some tension and risk to overcome. It also seems to give late game players a game-play alternative to mining and a chance to patrol around for some combat that wouldn’t exist otherwise. The question is, was that the intent? Are high level players meant to not really participate in commodity trading except when bored? If this was intended for something for late-game players to benefit from, I would agree with @Bloomsfield that it currently doesn’t seem worth it and either higher quantities or certain items having higher profit would be the way to change it. (Keep in mind, the task of maxing out OCD and filling it is monumental and most of my faction mates have not achieved the highest levels so even late game, we have a ton to do.)
A thought I had in how to change commodity trading to slightly improve the experience has to do with the income-to-time ratio that exists in the game (any game with an economy) overall as an economy and how commodities fit into it. Whether buying limited commodities, running missions/POIs, or mining, income in the game requires time to be invested into the activity. That makes sense on the acquisition side of the materials - It should take time to get the stuff. What seems a little strange to me though is why the commodity selling is limited. Having to invest multiple trips in to selling a set of items seems like it would be frustrating. If the time has been spent to acquire the resource, why should more game time need to be spent fully offloading it? I’d suggest changing the commodity selling so that the traders can buy significantly more or unlimited quantities off the player. (Or do we need a new type of faction that focuses only on being between traders and buying commodities off of people ).
On that note - Has HWS ever had or thought about a buy-offer side of things similar to the in-game market? Commodity trading would be perfect for this as people who wanted to dedicate themselves to being traders could put in offers to buy commodities off of people who didn’t want to hassle with the trips and then people who have the item could decide whether they want to fly to the spot or sell to the buyer. I could also see this benefiting newer players as it would give them a sense of “objectives” they could go after to make money.