Not really a trading game at all :-)

Not sure that this thought is going anywhere really insightful, but: I am struck by how completely I have moved away from trading as a motive for action. Money comes in much, much faster from exploration (i.e. sea-monster kills and price crews); the early-game Echo grind of trading is almost completely gone. Sure, I’ll throw some honey and colonists in the hold if heading North; but that’s about it - the rerun just isn’t there, nor needed, and the hold space is precious.[li]

Are others seeing the same shift in gameplay?

Yup. Though also scintillack harvesting.

I don’t know how I should feel about it. I enjoy the action thing, but the changes to action means making a new game more difficult

I must admit that I was looking forward to an ‘Elite’ type experience - look for profitable trade routes and get a little side-money from pirates on the way. The margins on trade are impressively low, so that really is just a waste of time. One has to wonder how many supply ships are traversing the various ports, to keep the prices so even.

[color=#009900]The effectiveness (and perceived effectiveness) of trading is going to oscillate a lot as we add in and amend ports, still more so when port locations start changing between games. More than that, there is quite a sticky problem: trading with stable trade routes tends to be either not profitable enough to bother, or profitable enough you feel compelled to grind it. There isn’t much middle ground.[/color][color=#009900]
[color=#009900]In Elite, Taipan and our other primordial forebears, it didn’t much matter if you ran a deep rut between Lave and Tionisla, or wherever, because the destinations were all but identical and there was no story to speak of. In SS, if you only ever visit two ports, then you’re missing most of the game and you’re going to feel cheated, even though it’s your choice to visit the ports. (This is a problem that has a more formal name in game design that I forget, but round here we call it ‘butterfly singing’ - search for ‘butterflies’ in this link to find out why :) )[/color][color=#009900]
[color=#009900]My current draft solution is to allow trade, but not stable trade routes. There are at least three ways to do this - fluctuating prices, scarce purchase opportunities, narrative-driven trade - running roughly from least interesting/least dev effort to most interesting/most dev effort - but it’s gonna be best implemented after we have a couple more ports, anyway.[/color]
[color=#009900][edit: wrong link!][/color]
edited by Alexis on 6/12/2014

And here I was thinking that it was a feature :). [That is, I can see a design approach that would have (say) London-Venderbight as a repeatable, reliable, low-rerun option that permitted either caution or slow advancing to better ships/weaponry/whatever, with the wilder Zee being less trade, more exploring, more risk - that doesn’t seem like a bad choice to me. (If I understand things correctly, that’ll happen anyway because Venderbight is not going to move but (the Khanate or wherever may?)]

It would not have occurred to me that someone might both (i) choose SS as their game of choice but then (ii) decide never to venture past Venderbight yet (iii) whine about it :-).
edited by Ewan C. on 6/12/2014

Really, we can’t have a trade network until more ports’ shops are implemented, and there’s no reason to implement those before the mechanics of sailing are implemented, so it’s not the least surprising that exploration and combat are emerging before commerce!