NPC Trader measuring / suggestions?!

Hey NPC Traders / Customers,

I want to talk with you about this feature.
On the one hand I was thinking that we turn this soon into an “OCD Trader”. The items will be taken from your OCD instead having it infinite from the server.

Is this good or bad? Wouldn’t be this same as trading over marketplace more or less?

So maybe keep it as it is but brainstorming about prices.

My recent idea had 2 new points to make it better for calculations:

  1. every slot you want will be added with 1000 credits in the sell price. So let’s say you have made a NPC package with 17 slots and want to sell this package for 50k credits. This would in the end mean 50k + 17k = 67k credits for sale. Like “quality over quantity”.

  2. your theme will be considered. For the beginning I thought:
    2.1 Resources: + 300 credits per slot
    2.2 Weapons / Ammu: +100 credits per slot
    2.3 Survival stuff (e.g. medi): +200 credits per slot

Just some ideas. NPC Traders should be overall more expensive as the real marketplace prices and different things are considered. But how can we measure it in a better way?


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The current implementation is not exactly ideal as you already know from me.

TLDR: I do agree that we need a change but I’m not sure if this is the solution. Hopefully someone will come along with a better idea. I sadly have no better idea :frowning:

But your suggestion is also hard to balance. Don’t forget that some people have to spend 50-150 pentaxit just to visit the elemental market and also gotta go through PVP areas. If you just need 10 medkits (base price 1k) and you now get a 30% discount on that, then I would personally not bother going to the elemental marketplace but would just go to Eleon’s market.

+300 credits per slot for 999 ores (or ingots maybe) is pretty bad. Ores cost between 4000-30000 per stack and the +300 = joke. For za-ore that would be a grand total of 1% discount (not taking into account 10% market fee from Eleon)… No thanks I rather go to Eleon’s. This would require balancing per item type. Making it undoable for admins especially with the prices constantly changing.

Also in larger quantities this can not really compete against the other HWS market where you can sell items. There you can simply chose the exact ore you want instead of a package with everything including some stuff you do not need.

Perhaps if you would not be required to visit the station but you can buy up to 3x a day from any station anywhere in the universe it would have somewhat more chances. But this could perhaps lead to other imbalances… I just don’t know I’m sorry.

For ship trading it would be nice if we could add pictures. Or that I can upload a blueprint + resources and if someone buys the ship the resources are taken out of my OCD for that ship? Mmm… But could lead to exploit to circumvent the blueprint timer…

I will share my ideas for NPC trader with the community:

  1. All NPC traders are based in the Elemental market sector (all in one location)

  2. Seller receives 25% of cost (as you are not putting in the resources)

  3. Packages have limits/restrictions

-No epic weapons
-No 999 stacks of hard to obtain items
-MUST follow some kind of theme.

  1. The packages should not be more expensive and must be attractive than Eleon marketplace…why bother travelling to NPC otherwise?

5.Players are limited to how many they can buy, and there is a max. EG

All factions (exclude trader) 5 packages a day
Trader 5 packages plus 1 added package for every 20 rp (max of 15 total packages)

  1. Like player ‘Whizzle’ Mentioned, A mall/shopping centre for all NPC shops. Add more role play and less scoping around everywhere looking for a NPC. (taking into account space for each zone)

  2. Max cost of package. No godmode packages that give you everything for 500,000. Players can come up with unique but realistic packages and then the Admin can give a price range. They then choose the price inbetween.

  3. HWS can already be a pretty daunting place, Tax,OCD, AM commands etc…We dont want to make processes so complex with having things such as slot x number / RP * play hours - player color + tax paid = NPC price :wink:
    extreme but you get my gist. Over complicating = not understanding = Cry :wink:

Summary, NPC trader is a donation feature. To make it so it comes from OCD would basically make it a ‘nothing’ feature as this is something players can do already like Rex mentioned (through marketplace)

It is very OP as it stands as the NPC owners do nothing but can get very rich, or can use the infinate supply (even at 77% thats very cheap resources/items etc)

The packages should be desirable, realistic and a good price. Players will be more willing to buy knowing the majority of the money doesn’t get circulated back to a single player…75% going to the server and 25% going to the NPC owner.

I think NPC packages need to be greater value for money than the market, but people shouldn’t be able to dominate (ie not able to get their hands on hard to obtain items easy) and also the owner i agree should not have to supply the items, yet they should take a much lower amount from sales.

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I must add that I also feel that the ZA & Erestrum from the donation packages should be lowered from 999 --> 50 ores or something. They alone supply you for all the za/ere you need for an entire major patch. Especially now that we don’t build Offline Protections anymore.
They give up to 20k (smelted ingots) of each super rare ore at 100 playhours…

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First, let me share, that I pray for removal of market and OCD as it is implemented now.

Imagine universe, where there are markets per planet/orbit and traders really could do their job and move resources from planets with rich resource deposits to planets where resources are not available at all.
Imagine how different prices in regions could really start trade, transports, escorts. Current situation makes transport and trade completely useless. But it could be achieved by:

  • Removal of market as it is now, or setting up huge tax on market prices. (transfer of resource across systems should not be cheap.
  • Change OCD as local storage only in one system or multiply it to separated OCDs per every system
  • Implementation of local markets (by developers) or temporary filling this gap via NPC traders but of course without possibility to destroy NPC trader
  • Keep availability of resources on faction planet/orbits only to basic resources, but also remove this resources from other parts of universe where rare resource are available. This should create demand for both types of resource.
  • Also, it would be great, if individual valuable resources are spread across more orbits so there is need to travel and of course fight or hide during travel.

So wherever you live, you will provide some supply of some resources and also create demand for other resources. Or, you will transport your resources to planets where prices are better and bring back cheap resources from other planets.

But lets back to topic: NPC trader in current state of game

Option 1: I prefer general principle, that donation should save you some effort or time, but not create value from nothing to avoid pay to win and also avoid impact on economy. I do not know, if package is only technical possibility way how to implement NPC trader, but if possible, I would like to put anything from my OCD on sale and also setup price by myself to reduce admin effort to minimum.

  • As benefits for donators I could imagine:
  • No expiration of item on sale
  • No fees
  • Auto restock from OCD
  • Marketing messages on entering system ,)

Option 2: Current package system with created value from nothing:

  • should not provide too much money to donator (25% payment is solution probably)
  • should not destroy market prices (so prices must be around ± market level, which is always effort for admins)
  • should still be interesting for customers (maybe things which are not available on market or customers could pay by RP, not by credits)

Option 3: If NPC trader purpose is just additional opportunity for donators to earn credits, consider change it to:

  • Private lotteries where donator could configure payout, invest own credits
  • Commodity traders where donator could “invest” in some commodity (will guess which one will be more traded) he will receive some percentage based on investment and amount of sales but divided between more commodity traders if they invest in same commodity
  • Simple tax collectors for chosen type of commodity (tax will be reduced if more donators will chose same commodity)
  • Warp tax collectors. They choose warp line and collect tax, but share tax if more donators choose same warp line.
  • Banks. Donators will invest money and other players could take loan which will be paid with interest during per hour credits earning.

Sorry, maybe some are too difficult to implement, but maybe it will be inspiration for other ideas.


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On what is already said:

  • Balancing based on number of slots and/or item types is a no-go. Prices are too dynamic and even differ significantly between EU and NA. What is cheap there may be overpriced here and the other way around. Suppose we’ll see some minor patch that changes some constants, say, introduces a T3 drill or makes autominers actually drain ores. Or even simply some player-driven supply&demand play. Prices will react quickly, but re-balancing fees would be impossible.
  • Trading from ocd will ruin the feature. If you remove HWS market, that would make NPC traders valuable, but in a minor way. Enough time has passed that I can say with confidence that HWS market is used much less than Eleon one, even in terms of trade volume, not speaking of the number of trades. Making a market segmented into several traders will make it even more inconvenient and very few people will actually use it.
  • @Achilles your ideas seem reasonable, but the limitations you suggest seem arbitrary to me. Why a ban on epics? What is considered “hard to obtain”? Theme is a purely roleplay requirement, nothing to do with economics of it.
  • @Erdisk I’m against removing features without providing something convenient in exchange. Removing ocd won’t create courier jobs. Instead it will kill trade and make everyone keep their personal/factional stash and mine/transport/craft their stuff themselves. Not fun at all.

NPC trader is now a way of generating resources for credits using one-time donation.
The problem, as I see it, is that by creating infinite supply of a resource at a fixed low price NPC traders make “ordinary” means of obtaining these resources too time-consuming for anyone to bother.
So the system that we need to keep the wolves sated and the sheep intact should a) permit creation of resources by magical “NPC” means and b) motivate the NPC operators to keep the prices high enough for “ordinary” way resource-mining to be viable.
I have two ideas on how this may work.
1. Make NPC packages require some sort of fuel. At first glance: measure an approximate time to get a resource (e.g. a stack of common ore is about 40 seconds, a stack of rare ore is about 5 minutes, a stack of energy pills is 10 hours - just ballpark estimates, needs a forum discussion if we go this way) and calculate fuel requirements for the desired package. So if you have 100 fuel, you can sell 100 small packages or 10 x10-larger packages, but the total amount is fixed.
1.a Fuel may be fixed per NPC per day. From the roleplay perspective this may be buying a squad of intelligent drones that gather the chosen resources and then provide them via market. You get your 100 hours of drone-time and you get to decide what will they gather for you.
1.b Fuel may be an in-game item, but it should be sufficiently hard to get and cannot be sold by NPCs. Off the top of my head I only can suggest gold, but I’m not sure if creating another major demand for gold is a good thing or not. Maybe some other item would be better suted. From the roleplay perspective it may be like having an inter-galactic black-market supply channel from alliens, who take pay in the resource designated as “fuel”.
2. Make NPC trader owners monopolists in what they sell. Just like we have a limited amount of available donator planets, there may be a limited amount of NPC trader packages - one for every item/resource. And when someone buys the right to NPC-sell, say, iron ore, noone else may buy it. Then the monopolist will keep the prices high enough to get the most money without the price competition with other NPC owners, but low enough that it will be still affordable.

The bottom line is avoid price regulation on part of admins, but instead create incentive for the NPC owners to keep goods expensive.

The difficulty I have with any kind of player defined NPC system is that another donator could undercut the price of another package and essentially steal all the sales. And the packages should be balanced, but it is often difficult to approximate rates for some things on the market. So older packages can be overvalued and then sales decline.

So what about a completely different idea…
What if there were, say, 10 defined packages. Built by the HWS server geniuses.
All relatively equal in value…with various functions. Starter packages, advanced packages, etc…

And then players could buy shares in these packages to gain profit.
They could buy shares using credits, resources, or donations.
Limit the amount of shares a player could own of each package.
And then define a set value of gain for each share and package.

Could also be integrated into the faction system… i.e.give traders a + % bonus on profit, pirates a - %.

Just a thought…

A problem might be that the system then changes from a trading-system to a speculation-system at first. And then people find out what packages sell well and only buy shares in those. The final result would be that this is just another income without the traders doing anything for it and everybody having all their shares in the same package(s) and goods still being created from thin air.

I don’t like punishing pirates for having an npc trader…

I do somewhat like the idea of shares though but making it work… Hard…

I have a friend that owns a trader and I’ve been considering donating for this feature as it is currently implemented. If you’re going to change it though, I may wait to hear the decision on the change. Here are my thoughts as a potential investor:

  1. I wouldn’t donate for the feature if I had to supply the trader with materials.

  2. I would want the ability to place the trader in a marketplace location other than the Elemental marketplace. (I was hoping to build a bazaar in another system). This allows traders to differentiate based on location as well as package.

  3. 77% profit on sales does seem high. 25% profit still seems reasonable as others have mentioned and I would still donate.

  4. Limitations will keep the marketplace and resource gathering alive. I agree with no epic weapons and a max amount of ZA/ER (~50) or products containing it (~4/ea). Perhaps even limits to SA/NE/PR & Fuel (~5 stacks).

  5. Faction package purchase limits should be useful, though you don’t really want NPC traders selling single items (direct competition with marketplace items). I like the idea of discouraging massive packages with a premium (~1000cr works) for each slot over 5 in a package.

Package pricing is also very delicate and needs a consistent strategy. I’ll outline my thoughts on that later.

Here are some more of my thoughts on how the NPC Traders can fit into HWS universe:

  1. To differentiate the NPC Trader from the HWS/Eleon marketplace, they can sell packages of items (instead of individual) and be more reliably accessible. If the NPC traders are going to be used, they have to be cheaper than the Eleon marketplace to warrant the time/BC cost of travel to them. The HWS marketplace can respond to the traders in terms of pricing and item selection/quantity offering lower prices, but the NPC Traders should not be expected to respond to the market. This means NPC trader prices should be treated as a baseline.

  2. To not discourage actual resource gathering, NPC Traders could have soft limits on how much of any given resource can be acquired by them per day. Escalating price for extra stacks of items beyond a base amount can help encourage this (IE: 1000cr per stack more than 5). Static limits or escalating fees on number of stacks of rare/processed items can also help.

  3. NPC Traders should be a resource particularly useful for Trader faction players. Trader players can make the most NPC package purchases. They should be able use this to fuel their own trading/delivery network. If Trader players were given 25 blue crystals per purchase (to accommodate their transportation to/from places) or were given their ‘buy bonus’ as a bonus % to the amount of products they get from a purchase as well, that would help them make a profit through their role-play purpose.

  4. NPC Traders need to be differentiated from each other. This can be done via package contents and/or location. If all traders only exist in the Elemental Market, there is no incentive for more people to donate once a decent variety of packages are available. Alternatively, customers want to be able to access several traders in the same place. This could be accomplished by the tax on any NPC Trader outside the market.

  5. The packages should be balanced cost wise so there is not an overt advantage to one more than the others. Since this cost will likely end up a baseline for the HWS market, there should probably be a full table of item baseline values to calculate package values from.

To create a fair baseline to implement across all NPC trader items, I recommend creating a table of mineral values based on their actual deposit frequency across the galaxies and the relative danger level of the environments they are collected in. Fabricated products could add up the element cost + 10% (for constructor time). One PvE accessible deposit could be worth ~10 PvP deposits on a macro-economic scale.

Example: If there are 100 iron deposits on PvE planets and 100 on PvP planets, but only 10 ZA deposits on PvP planets, the value ratio of ZA to Iron would be [ 10 : 100 + (100 * 10) ] = 1:110. Essentially, whatever baseline price is determined for Iron, ZA should be worth 110 times that. There could be more than one risk tier if desired.

Key every other element off of Iron like this for a full table. Get the initial value of iron from the lowest per-unit cost on the Eleon marketplace averaged out over a month (will require documenting for 30 days prior to this implementation) and subtract 20% to make sure NPC Traders will be worth the travel.

This would require a bit of set-up work, but if we create a calculator script that knows the amounts of all the elements required for all products, it could print out a total package value given a list of package items and quantities. The risk tier value multiplier and constructor time modifier could be configurable attributes adjusted as the admins desire.

Some great ideas there, really. But we need also feedback from admins to evaluate ideas and split them between improvements easy to implement to current system and long term improvements.

For quick wins (subject of admins evaluation):

  • NPC traders packages cheaper lets say 30% than average market prices (so it will be cheaper even if market price fluctuate), but harder to accessible (travel needed) and limit maximum of packages you can buy (So everyone have access to very small amount of cheaper resources)
  • NPC traders package provide small income to donators, but only up to 25% of value, or lets say fixed sum per package (like 50k payout to donator per package)
  • Limit maximum value of NPC trader package to some value (like you can combine any resources and stuff, but up to total value X of resources needed considering average value of market Xcr per standard ore, Ycr for advanced ore, Zcr for rare ores. This way there will be no packages in the value of 500k credits ,) Lets use calculation proposed by J_Mann. How about creating google sheet for admins, J_Mann? ,)
  • NPC trader package will support factions by additional discounts (resource packages discount for traders, ammo package discounts for alliance, pirates, hunters)
  • NPC traders could be placed in different orbits so you can prefer to support newbies, pirates, hunters, traders or alliance (possible in PVP orbits?)
  • Remote buy option of NPC package in different system with huge tax. Tax should be huge to keep possibility of future trade routes if local markets are implemented ,)

For long term improvements:

  • Share system proposed by Wolverdick, where players could invest in predefined general NPC packages to gain some share of sales of packages and also influence availability of predefined package. But if too many people invest and not all packages are sold, payout will be lower ,)

  • In combination with fuel system proposed by Veber where investment to your NPC trader package in gold, RP points or other resource will increase availability of your packages

  • Lets say, that other people could invest also to your NPC trader, but he will first sell all packages created by your “fuel” and only after that packages sponsored by other players will be sold and their shares dividends will be fulfilled

  • Completely new features like NPC bank where you can provide credits to NPC bank. This bank will land money to players which will pay daily from credits earned with some interest.

  • Private lottery NPC

  • Warp tax NPC collector (you can invest in warp line tax collector and than protect warp line to be safe for travel)

Can we agree on this requirements specification for admins evaluation? ,))

I wouldn’t mind helping work on a google spreadsheet if the admins decide to go the direction of wanting to create a baseline for NPC package products. It will take a long time to input every item, their components and the ultimate raw source materials into a readable sheet that can calculate everything based on mineral rarity.

I definitely appreciate the creativity of some of the share system/fuel system/etc ideas, but I am not personally a fan of them when it comes to motivation to want to donate real money for the NPC trader. Those are rather radical changes to the behavior/function of the current NPC trader and not something I would want to donate my money or time toward.

I actually like the idea of NPC Trader becoming OCD Trader, with some extra benefits to make it still worth for donators, but not too OP so that it’s overly unbalanced for free players. Here are my ideas:

  • New commands to use OCD for NPC Trader:
    • ocd:forsale:ocdslot:amount:priceperunit - Put a specific amount of inventory from an OCD slot up for sale
  • ocd:forsale:ocdslot:amount - Sets the amount of inventory in an OCD slot that is up for sale without changing the price. Only works if the OCD slot already has an active sale with a price set.
  • ocd:forsale:ocdslot:all:priceperunit - Put all current inventory from an OCD slot up for sale. More items added in this slot after will not be for sale by default.
  • ocd:cancelsale:ocdslot - Cancel all sales for a specific OCD slot.
  • ocd:cancelsale:ocdslot:amount - Removes a specified amount of inventory from the available sale inventory.

Maybe all of these commands could be processed without any fees, or with smaller fees than the regular Marketplace if that’s too OP.

To make this not have the same fate as the HWS Marketplace currently (where basically nobody uses it), maybe the seller could get some % bonus on the sale price. This would allow people to buy resources at a lower price than they would find in the marketplace, and give the seller the benefit of making more on the sale. Nothing too high so it’s not unbalanced, but enough to maybe make bigger orders worth it?

Just some ideas! I like a lot of the other ideas here and definitely agree it needs reworking from the current state.


I want to note that making traders receive lesser percentage of their sales won’t fix anything. The problem is not them getting rich, it’s removing resource-gathering from the list of ways of getting money/resources. And the traders will still be tempted to get as much sales as possible even if they get not 77%, but 25%, or even 10%. That may have some effect on prices, but my guess is it won’t do much and a good analysis requires more data than is available to me as a player. Specifically, total credits held, rates of credit emission (and, preferably, from what sources), total rate of credits spent on packages…
As my previous suggestions did not get a lot of attention, I will throw in another idea, though I like the aforementioned ones better.
NPC trading may require some uncommon item from the buyer, e.g. NPCs will only take payment in gold instead of credits.

And make SWP the only ones that can buy ?

  1. Gold is the only resource that can’t be sold by NPCs. If that changes, it can be another item. The same as with “fuel” in the previous suggestions.
  2. SWP are not controlling all the gold. The obvious other ways are HWS autominer and using the right time to mine. And I know of at least 4 more ways of getting gold without being part of SWP.
  3. If anyone actually manages to seize the full controll of the gold, it seems reasonable for them to get the benefits.


I understand your point. Even with maximum limit of NPC packages per day and maximum value of one package it is possible, that people will stop mine or buy resources from players completely. (Because they could buy daily NPC packages for ship, equipment and ammo)
They will just use NPC packages, if they are cheaper and available in all orbits.
So only newbies will mine because they cannot afford NPC package , but noone will buy their resources and their credits income opportunity is gone.

So we can:

  • limit demand of NPC packages by reducing maximum numbers of NPC package bought to total minimum like 1 package per day
  • limit availability of packages with some maximum number of NPC packages sold per day (not fair for all)
  • limit demand by introducing other currency for NPC package which is less available than credits
  • increasing price of NPC package with every purchase (will also limit earnings for players and balance earning if there are more NPC traders offering similar products (good) but if there are too many NPC traders, it will not help at all)
  • completely remove OREs/ingots from NPC package (but because blueprints could be sourced by products, it will not help too much)
  • make sure, that NPC package are supplied from players OCD (it will not solve reducing demand for resources mined by newbies)
  • keep NPC package available only in one orbit. It will work partially, NPC traders will not compete with local markets.

I think, with these options, we can create NPC traders purpose two ways:

  • NPC trader will be way how to obtain very small amount of much cheaper resources available in any systems for everyone (also for newbies) and limit maximum 1 NPC package daily for everyone. It will be like daily starter package or daily cheap ammo package …
  • NPC trader will be premium source of resources (does not matter if in all systems or only in one) available only for those, who earned special very rare currency.

Which one do you like? Or any other ideas?

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I took the time to try out the Eleon marketplace yesterday. It is so convenient that I’m not sure I understand the purpose of the HWS marketplace now. Since we can access the Eleon marketplace from anywhere it seems far superior to anything provided in the Elemental Marketplace. Do any of the NPC packages actually have much demand currently? It sounds like my friend’s NPC (Trader Dave - 5 stacks of each CV ammo) doesn’t seem to get any sales.

I think this makes for a good niche. I think the placement should depend on where the donator wants to put them, but they should try to be congregated into marketplace/bazaar areas if more than one is in the same sector.

The purchase limits could probably use balancing against NPC package sizes too. The current faction type package purchase limits would probably work if NPC Traders had much smaller packages. I think the reason why the packages are so large though is because they need to be worth the travel, and therefore need to provide reliable bulk goods. So that leaves two distinct strategies:

A. Lower package purchase limits per faction
B. Reduce the size of NPC packages

Adding an escalating fee to number of slots of items approaches a solution via option B. Maybe even something like 5000cr/slot over 3 if 1000cr /slot doesn’t do it. The more I think about it the more I like some of Rex’s original recommendations. The B path also increases motivation for more people to donate for NPC traders if packages are smaller and more specific.

In terms of requiring a special currency for using the NPC Traders, I think they already require a lot of Penaxid to use. Requiring another special currency seems like an actual concern about the availability of credits though. Instead of trying to create a new economy using a new resource, wouldn’t it just be better to fix the credit economy if a problem exists in it. I feel like this type of solution is simply a grasp at trying to reduce the general power of most very wealthy players while increasing the power of a few very wealthy players with special resources.