Stations make use of a variety of different wares as ingredients for producing new wares, and moving them all around is a potentially lucrative activity. Wares come in two basic varieties; harvestable resources and manufactured wares. The latter being make up of combinations of the harvested resources and/or simpler manufactured wares. Ultimately, wares feed into the production of ~100 ships, ~50 stations, weapon turrets, drones and missiles.
Generally speaking, a player will acquire harvestable resources via mining, although there are also a few unique stations dotted around the galaxy offering some of the harvestable resources (spoiler link). Other items may be manufactured by player or NPC stations.
Types of wares
There are approximately 6 tiers of wares, with each generally made from the preceding tier:
- Harvestable wares and Energy Cells*.
- Food-related wares and water, used in combination to make Food Rations* or Bofu*.
- Refined materials predominantly made from harvestable resources (e.g. Cut Crystals and Ion Cells).
- Advanced items, such as Quantum Tubes and Chemical Compounds.
- Ship Components, such as Fusion Reactors and Reinforced Metal Plating.
- Ships, stations, surface elements, drones and missiles**.
* Used in every subsequent tier above the tier in question.
** Using varying combinations of Tier 4 and 5 wares.
The prices we need to pay for any given ware may be modified by a range of possible discounts:
- Supply and demand (modifies price by how much a station has/needs relative to storage capacity).
- Faction discounts (the more a faction likes you, the less their wares cost to buy).
- Discounts gained from NPC on a station (rewarded by successful smalltalk; stackable across multiple NPCs).
- Discounts occasionally gained while flying around stations, viewing iPoints, docks etc*
If you've 'scanned' an NPC station to 100%, random discounts/commissions will become available again if you rescan after leaving the zone & returning. This does not apply to Beholder drone station scanning, nor to simple scanning via the Skunk's station scanner; it simply means that if you fly near** certain points on a station (whether previously scanned or not) there is a random chance that a discount/commission will appear again
<**within ~500m? Dock points become useable at 750m (I think that's also the discovery range); what's the 'discovery range' for iPoints? (Trojan hacks/Beholder3 scans points at 100m).. the 'discovery' ranges need checking - Snafu>
Illegal Wares & licensing
Some ware types require Faction licences to trade in appropriately controlled zones with no penalty. If the player lacks the licence to trade a specific ware in a zone it may be lost without compensation during trade (10% chance during sale only; the 'illegal' wares are ejected from the ship in containers allowing you to pick them up again if you're quick!). Almost all illegal tradeable wares (ie by playership traders) are secondary resources for various production methods, therefore are not essential to produce products but can make production more efficient and economical.
Some licences have low reputation requirements and can be fairly cheap to purchase*. After a licence for a certain ware type is owned, <ware> will no longer be highlighted as illegal (ie flagged orange in your Trade screen) in the relevant System (NOTE: Albion requires licences from both HoA and PMC to gain this status!)
*Licenses can cost from around 100KCr to around 1.5MCr & depend upon faction rep; a /permanent/ rep loss taking you below the threshold will result in the automatic loss of the licence! Discounts apply from the individual license dealer if successfully smalltalked; I'm unsure as to whether rep discounts also apply. Either way, don't expect to be able to buy all licenses at the beginning of any gamestart! See the Notes column in Reputation effects for some details - Snafu
Economy Analytics Software
Economy Analytics Software, graphically represents trade information that can be selected by location, type and ware.
- Object: Info is available for individual CVs and stations we have knowledge of trade offers for.
- Map: Alternatively, All info is available for all trade offers within entire zones, sectors, systems or the galaxy,
- Trade Offer Prices
- Trade Offer Amounts
- Storage Levels
- Management Accounts (player property only; Manager and/or Architect)
- Trend lines for up to 4 wares can be displayed simultaneously.
- Wares are grouped into several sub-categories for easy of location and/or avoiding clutter.
Gaining information about trade offers
|Actions||Information gained||Benefit of a Trade Computer||Benefit of a Trade Agent|
|Player visting stations|
Approaching a station's Trade Port unlocks offers available at that Trade Port (several per station):
(Special Trade discounts/commissions remain time-limited and snapshots)
(The Trade Offers Menu does not update in realtime so to refresh that, you will need to close and reopen it)
|Player scanning station Info Points|
Can Unlock knowledge of modules, such as on ware storage and manufacturing processes*. Capability to scan some hardened modules to 100% requires:
|n/a||All storage modules* are automatically unlocked by Trade Agents.|
|Traders doing manual trades||When these ships initiate docking and trading, we gain a snapshot of all the station's trade offer.||None.|
(Trading Captains are the equivalent of a player with a TComp).
|Manual trades can only be ordered when we have knowledge of trade offers so the benefits above apply here.|
|Traders subordinate to Managers|
Managers can be considered to have access to their own network of Trade Agents since subordinate Captains have full and automatic knowledge of all trades within their station's trading operation range.
* Note that unless a manufacturing module's info is unlocked, a ware will not be listed in storage info if there are zero items remaining (RAVEN.myst).