|Rolling a new Zed.
I restarted the galaxy, now a little wiser to its ways. In this new game, I maxed out Zed's luck - the only stat which can't be boosted with drugs - leaving the rest at their default of 30/100. Right away, I completely refueled, repaired, and refit my space ship. That last task is made rather tedious by the drag & drop interface and other quirks.
|Buying replacement parts
|...and installing them
Controlling what is basically a mouse cursor with a joystick is already kind of annoying just because of a senseless scheme based on the stick's absolute analog position, where if you want to click on something in the upper-left quadrant of the screen, you've got to push the joystick partway up and to the left and wiggle it around in that vicinity to get it where it needs to be, and if you release the stick so that it returns to center, the cursor snaps back to the center of the active window as well. You get used to it eventually, but it's never convenient, and there are further inconveniences.
- Ship stores are cash-only, so you've got to withdraw from the bank, and whatever you withdraw, you risk losing to muggers.
- The store view shows you a bunch of arcane icons representing each ship part, and it doesn't tell you what each part is or what they cost until you click on them. Doing this prompts you to buy the component, and if you don't, the shopkeeper gets annoyed and stops talking to you (and gets rude if you re-initiate dialog).
- You can only carry four objects. And with all that cash you're carrying, you might want one to be a gun. You probably will need multiple trips to the store and back.
- Why, oh why, does the act of walking require me to fiddle
with weird joystick controls to move a cursor and then click when it's
pointing in the direction I want to walk? I'm already using a joystick.
Just let me walk with the joystick!
Before leaving, I queried prices at the exchange. As I mentioned in the last post, you won't get a complete picture. However, I found that the deals you can view will rotate each time you enter and leave, and by doing this repeatedly, I got prices on ten different commodities at a variety of grades.
Following the advice of commenter MorpheusKitami, I started exploring the planet rather than trying to warp to others. This can be done by leaving the city grounds, and it's best to do this in your pod. I first transferred my food and medicine from the ship stores to the pod - a tedious process that must be done in batches of four items at a time - and then drove off into the wilderness.
half-expected random encounters, but found none. The world maps are
pretty barren. The only threat here is running out of stamina, which you
aren't warned about - you just fall asleep in your pod. You've got to
eat too, though if you forget, you'll probably pass out well before you
starve to death, and this shows your vitals onscreen when it happens,
likely reminding you that you need food. It's better to check your stats
manually once in awhile and eat before sleeping.
Exploring around, the first town I encountered was Obburg, which seemed to have the same economic properties as Jondd - same general prices, same black market goods, just no starport to buy fuel at. Repeating the exercise at the exchange, I found these prices:
Running art objects from Obburg to Drahew seemed like it might have the biggest profit yields, but just because you can get B-grade art objects at Drahew for $17,600 a load doesn't mean they'll sell that much, so I kept exploring the planet.
The next town I discovered was interesting.
entirely of an exchange-like complex and a nonfunctional building, I
figured this must be the lost colony! Still, my initial goal remained to
explore the planet, gather commodity prices, and then use them to make
I scouted out the remaining cities - Esposito, Darvilton, and Dramming, and found them all to have the same economic factors as Drahew and Obburg. Esposito had a cryogen stashed in its warehouse, which I noted but ignored. After querying commodity prices everywhere, I compiled a list of planetwide prices using grade 'A' values, estimated where exact prices were unavailable.
From this list, my best bet for making a profit seemed to be running hand weapons from Darvilton to Esposito, so I went there and picked up a load, throwing in some stock embryos for good measure. Then, checking to see what the local sell price was, I was caught by a big surprise - they sold for more than what I paid!
The hand weapons, at grade A, cost $13,800, and the stock embryos, grade B, cost $4,800. Turning around and selling them right back, they netted $18,200 and $6,400, respectively.
New strategy - buy every offer if it's well below the planetary going rate, and then immediately check the sell price and sell it right back if it turns a profit!
My trade logs over the next session:
did not sell the stock embryos or furs at a loss, but held on to them
with the expectation that they'd fetch a profit somewhere else. This
pirate-free, zero-fuel exercise made me $8,800 richer without having to
go anywhere, and I had two loads of cargo potentially worth much
more than that. But I also learned something about SunDog's cargo
economy, even if it raised more questions than it answered.
The buy and sell prices took a real journey! There doesn't seem to be any connection at all between a good's buy and sell price, but I took a look at price trends, using the assumption that each good's grade is worth 90% of the grade above it.
- Art's purchase price relative to quality went up, as did its sell price. The value of grade 'F' art was noticeably higher than I expected it to be.
- Clothing's purchase price spiked twice but ended exactly where it started. The sell price zig-zagged.
- Fur's value tanked after I bought the second load of it.
- Hand weapons were the most commonly traded item, and here you can see quite clearly that C-grade weapons' purchase price went up and down while the sell price stayed the same. The overall buy and sell prices crested and dipped seemingly independently of each other, though in all cases I was able to sell for more than I paid.
- Stock embryos' purchase price went up with each purchase, sharply so after the last one, while the sell price free-fell after my third purchase.
- Fruit prices, interestingly, dropped a bit even though I never touched the market.
I took one last look at the sell prices of my cargo, and the stock embryos at gone up in price to $6400, the same price that I sold the first load for! But this time I didn't sell, and took my pod on another tour around the planet to check prices.
|Stock embryos B
I sold both of my loads on Obburg for a handsome profit, and then repeated the exercise of buying stuff and selling it back, which apart from the cost of buying two C-grade stimulants which would sell at a loss here, earned me $14,400. Sadly, these stimulants, though much cheaper to buy in Obburg than Drahew, turned out not to sell for a profit anywhere on the planet, and I sold them for a combined $6,200 loss. But I learned that stimulants are a market drain, and soon after learned that so are biochips and pharmaceuticals.
racked up $120,000, my last big haul coming from a delivery of two loads
of hand weapons to Dramming, and I decided it was time to get on with
the game. I picked up the cryogens from Esposito, plus some more hand
weapons (see Ferengi rule of acquisition #292), brought them to
Banville, and took a look at the exchange ticker to see what else was
needed; a list of materials unavailable on the planet.
- Rare earths
- Exotic materials
I went back to Dramming to sell my hand weapons for about a $10,000 profit, where I amazingly saw two loads of fur priced at a total of $34,000 which I sold on Obburg for $53,100! With nearly $150,000 in the bank, and the sights of Jondd getting pretty dull, other worlds beckoned.