From: Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
@Roger, re Market Price.
I'm afraid I don't get exactly how to play the free trader game. For me the prime parameter that drives a market is availability. i.e most of the time, things are cheap when they abound, and they are costly when they are rare.
I have a case where Earth was in severe shortage of Carbon, whereas a young colony on a Swamp world had some 4000 in stockpile. So free trader... Except no. I ended up with carbon that had been more pricey to buy from this swamp world than the selling price at Earth. It makes no sense to me.
Now, you'll tell me the prices also vary with taxes. Except in this case Earth is at 15%, and the young colony at 0%. So it even adds insult to injury somehow!
My parameter in bacon setting is on default for the market stuff, so in theory an 'easy market', but definitively no.
Perhaps this is another example of my poor documenting skills. That tax is only applied when a resource is SOLD. You can buy at high tax planets and it doesn't affect the price. Ideally you should be selling to smaller colonies where the tax rate is zero but, of course, they have a lower market liquidity so you may have to inject some cash by buying something there as well.
Scarcity is only lightly modeled. If a location has a shortage the price is increased. Also, if a location is under trade sanctions the price will be increased. Also, independent planets always have a tax rate of zero. They are good places to sell.
If you really want to play the free trader game, make several free traders (free trader company) and have them at different locations at different times so you cna check prices.
Side note, I see as an unnecessary constraint to change prices for a free trader having mining module. Why do that. If I'm a miner, why should I not get 'free money' from mining? It is not free money, I pay the upkeep on my ship. And if you fear any exploit, it is already possible to do a lot of exploits with state freighters. But that's my 2 cents, as this is your work and code, if you believe that's the best way, I'll rest my case. I just had to try convincing you, once!
I don't think the ship and crew maintenance covers the full cost of extracting a resource. I don't have the code in front of me right now but if I recall correctly, the game subtracts something like 95% of the galactic market price from the resource to account ofr other costs. That assumes most people with contracts are making a 5% profit. Any planet with higher than average price for that commodity should be a planet where you can make a profit, assuming the tax rate is low. The whole free trader free miner system is far from perfect. It was just a one-off thing I wanted to try... like my Bacon Mining Company scenario. Anyway, glad you are playing it. You might be the only one.
Can't resist posting this one. This huge constructor (see the others freighters around) has only an interest of being so oversized because of the Bacon mod. It holds 65.000 cargo units, has 50 thrusters, the armament of a cruiser and redundant systems on ECM, ECCM, etc. Also 8 marine detachments (boarding pods) make sure intruders will have a bad time.
So why it's of interest? Because I got bored of seeing my constructors plant a facility, then move back 2 sectors to a planet with enough resources, rinse and repeat. This ship is tagged as Free Trader, and has enough resources in its hold to build several installations in a row in a distant system. It makes much more sense to me. Is it too powerful/exploitive? well given I play against hard AIs and with self imposed house rules on diplomacy and colonization, I can do that without remorse I believe
Your mega-constructor is great. Another way to avaoid having to head back to pick up raw materials is to have a state-run freighter supply your constructor. I often send a freighter to a far off constructor with materials and a !note message to remind me once it has been resupplied. Its a little micromanagement but that's the balance for a feature teh AI can't use.