Commerce

There are a few basic ways that the main game, excluding the skirmish-types of multiplayer, can be played. You can go the conquest direction, you can fly off for the far corners of the arm as an explorer, or you can rejoin society as a businessman. Well, a business-robot. While the first two major play styles require little explanation, I thought, as my time and mechanical explanations were nearing an end, that I needed to discuss this third venue. As you may have noticed on the main page, I intentionally held back with this section. In the game, commerce can be an involving and fun direction to go, but I want to stress that it's not a major focus. It's just not where the game's biggest strengths are. Anyway, I was satisfied with this, my second-to-last game mechanics page. Cruise down to my rsm page.

The entire Remnant universe is built upon the resources harvested from the fringes of several expansive and dangerous treasure-troves—asteroid belts, old planets, giant wrecked ships and nebulae, to name a few. The resources extracted from these sources are immediately in play, bound for commercial trade, for development, occasionally for theft. The gears of commerce have built the civilizations of the galactic arm in which the Remnant now exist and continue to rumble in the background. While Remnants may choose to become involved with NPC politics, with militaries or revolutionaries, on quests for ancient technologies or on personal vendettas, there is always a place for the player to intervene in the commerce of the galactic arm.

NPC Mining

A significant amount of the non-aggressive vessels the player will encounter near trade centers are part of the mining process. Each NPC faction in the game will have its own network of mining outposts, resource-hauling convoys, refineries and trading posts, as well as a security force all-around. Each of these ships automatically and actually performs its duties. The mining vessels themselves fly to their source (selected by either the amount of money the source is worth, or by whether or not their faction needs that resource), use their mining devices and fill their holds, then fly back to their outpost. The resources are transferred to haulers that are accompanied by a security detail as they fly to the nearest refinery. Each ship involved in the resource harvesting process serves a unique function.

From an aggressive pair of eyes, there is a lot to be gained from attacking one such mining operation. For the revolutionary, for instance, systematically destroying the oppressive empire’s resource outposts will hinder their ability to produce ships (which don’t just appear out of thin air, after all). The ambitious pirate may see a line of haulers, heavy with resources and light on security, as an easy way to make some money. As resources are depleted from asteroids, mining operations must continue moving to more bountiful sources. Inevitably, two mining operations will decide that they both want a particularly rich belt, leading to a third source of trouble: competition. If the player wants to engage in the mining side of commerce, they will have to keep the muscle up in order to fend off personal and political enemies, pirates and competitors.

Mining Components

Mining operations typically contain two unique types of components: the mining components themselves and refineries. Harvesters are essentially the 'beam' device built into every construction drone. This is a short-range remote harvester that, by some incredible trick of physics, ‘sucks up’ the required materials from a target. The two major downsides to these types of tractor-beam harvesters is that they are incredibly energy intensive and do not harvest particularly quickly. On the bright side, any material harvested using these devices is 100% pure, regardless of its source. Choosing which type of material to harvest from a source is simple, as it appears in the weapon’s extended options as a checklist. All of the types of resources are listed; the player much check those resources they wish their harvester to acquire. Naturally, choosing only one type of resource will drastically increase harvesting efficiency

The fastest way to fill your hold with shiny new resources in the galactic arm is by making use of industrial strip-miners. These components come in all shapes and sizes and require a substantial amount of power and hull-space, including an exterior apparatus. Strip miners, though they all differ, are essentially large ‘drill-bit’ or ‘vacuum’ assemblies attached to long, flexible tubes. While being used on resource-rich bodies, these tubes extend from the hull of the vessel and the bits or vacuums attach to their target and begin to transfer massive amounts of raw resources from the body to your hold.

An important note about strip miners of all kinds is that they are best used in ships designed specifically to handle them. They take up large amounts of surface-area, if nothing else. For this reason, a Remnant player interested in strip-mining may want to create a separate ship to use as a miner, refinery and hauler while the main Remnant vessel stands guard.

While the amount of resources transferred is far greater than with standard harvesters, there is a drawback to strip miners: These resources will not be pure. Depending on the resource body itself, the quality of the strip-miner and an x-factor, each unit of resources mined will be a certain percentage ‘impure.’ Any impure resource unit is unusable (except for trade) until it is refined, with the percentage of purity relating to how long the refinement process takes and how much of a resource unit is left over afterwards.

Refinery components are typically on the large side and can be some of the largest components in the game, as they are often used in stations instead of mobile ships. Refineries require nothing more than power and access to a holding area full of resources. When activated, they will churn away, converting impure resources into pure resource units ready to be used in ship modification. The higher quality a refinery, the more of each impure resource unit will be salvageable and the faster the process will take.

Trading

While buying and selling components and resources from individual ships is as simple as agreeing on a resource or credit price, venting the resources or components into space and picking up each trader’s share, such interpersonal reactions are rare. Most of the buying and selling a Remnant player may do will be with NPC merchants aboard trade stations scattered throughout the galactic arm.

Becoming a commercial success typically involves being a central hub for commerce. Having a constant flow of ships coming and going is the key to economic success in the Remnant universe, requiring a secure, well-defended trading area along a major route.

Trader Components

The traders have to live somewhere. Trader components can be thought of as individual shops in a mall, while the trade station is the mall itself. Trade stations usually have a well-defended interior area into which ships can fly and interact with the many trader components on the surface of the hull. For a player to interact with one such component, they simply get within a certain range and either hail the trader or choose to dock with the trader. Of course, only player ships of a certain shape and volume can attempt to dock with these stations, to keep from obstructing other traffic. While docking players can make transfers instantly, vessels to big or cumbersome can still interact with the trader component nearby and wait for their transactions to be carried out via shuttle.

When accessing a trader component, a completely new UI becomes available. A database of the trader’s available components, plans, resources, etc. is made available for browsing. Whether or not a player is shown the entire inventory including ‘special items’ or not as well as the retailer markup of each item and their buy prices are determined heavily by the player’s personality emulation attribute as well as by the amount of business the player has done at this and nearby traders.

Remnant players have the ability to purchase and carry trader components in their own vessels. They may either purchase or create their own trader components (with a high enough personality emulation attribute) or convince existing traders to move on to their vessel. Doing so requires establishing a reputation as a secure commercial venture—by having a station or large enough vessel which has done plenty of business and is wealthy in credits and resources. Requesting for a trader component to move aboard can be done by hailing them from outside the station, pressing the ‘invite aboard’ button. Should they accept, the player will be taken to the ship modification menu where they may place their new trader component. The component will be hauled out of the trade station by shuttles and, once the player’s construction drones have made room, the trader component will be installed.

Settings for the trader component include the tribute you demand of them, which determines not only what cut of each of their sales you get but also how keen they are on staying aboard your vessel, as well as whether or not their beacons are active. Beacons are broadcasts given off by trader components which draw NPC ships requiring their goods from all corners of the galactic arm. Turning off beacons while traveling through dangerous areas or when an attack is impending is generally a good idea, though. The player should keep in mind that trader components require business and will abandon the player’s venue if it becomes unprofitable. Also, a pro-tip: Make sure to perform repairs on the hull of your ship before requesting that a trader come aboard. Nobody wants to move their livelihood onto a battle-scarred gunboat.

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