I hope they borrow Star Wars Galaxies public listings of private vendors.
What I mean is, in SWG, you could use a public auction house terminal, and browse listings of EVERY vendor on the server... but you couldn't buy it then and there, it would only give you a planet/waypoint, and then you'd have to physically travel to the vendors location. Vendors were usually NPCs that the owner could 'program' phrases etc., and located in their house or guild hall within their guilds playermade city, which was usually decorated.
Being an trader in SWG who never participated in combat was viable, and commonplace. This was possible in part because EVERY item of value (guns, armor, consumables, ship parts, droids, vehicles; Everything) was player crafted, and had a durability that was damaged with use. Most anything could be repaired, but then suffered a loss of maximum durability.. IE, a gun has 100/100 durability, I use and abuse it down to 25/100 durability, and then repair it, but now its 90/90. Therefore, everything needed replacing eventually... unlike most MMOs where once you have your fancy sword and board, you have them forever... not in SWG.
Thst being said, it wasnt as much of a slog as that may seem (if you're unfamiliar with SWG). Things were semi balanced, and a gun or piece of armor would get considerable use before needing to be permanently replaced... but eventually, inevitably, would need replacing... which meant someone who wanted to play as a trader, would have constant demand for his items. It also helped that traders had a great deal of control over the quality of the items, on top of a 'chance' to get bonus stats on a craft. High quality resources meant a baseline high quality product, with some RNG sprinkled in. "Demand" was high because of durability, so "Supply" was a viable way to play the game, and even earned you renown on your server.
For example, I could browse for listings of armor, and receive a waypoint to the vendors location. I'd have to travel to that planet, find the nearest shuttle port (usually within the player made city that the vendor was located). Vendors/shops could be operated bare bones, and be just a terminal or static NPC in an empty room... but more often than not, the entire shop was decorated with display shelves, armor stands, dancing twileks, etc... some cities had multiple traders, and you could find there guilds 'mall' of vendors... shopping for new gear was often an enjoyable experience, and a way to meet new people accidentally.
I HOPE starbase will have something similar...
An example might be: working my next ship, but I need custom framework that's cut at an irregular angle to make my design look smooth. I browse listings, and find that someone has setup a factory where they cut and sell structural beams with the angles I need. He's located in his Companies station, which I now need to fly to. Once I arrive, I get to his 'shop' (rental plot?) and see that he has exactly what I need, and then some. He also hollows out beams, adds pipes/wires, and sells them. So I buy a bunch of those to retrofit into my ship. Now I see that his neighbor sells modular generators that are way more efficient than my setup... but wants more credits than I have... I waypoint his shop, and plan to come back when I can afford one.
Of course, I have no clue if this ideal is anywhere close to how starbase will/can function, but I hope its something similar to my example...however, I'm a tad worried about how the Blueprint system will/can affect this.
So, I hope they DO NOT borrow the blueprint mechanics of say, Space Engineers.
Basically, if I buy a whole ship, or even modular pieces, and can easily replicate it via a "pay credits to print" mechanic; then the economy will be lacking... because i would have Zero reason to ever visit the factory that I bought those custom frame parts from ever again, if I could just "print" a second ship (assuming I could afford it) and gut it, or sell it.
Considering this game doesn't have a 'durability' mechanic like SWG; then how will supply and demand function?
Basically, I hope that you can only "easy print" ships you have designed yourself with the offline editor. I'd even go so far as to say that this should be disabled for ships made online in "survival" mode, and should not be able to upload ships found elsewhere.
My reasoning is that if I can just buy a cool ship from shipwright guy; how easy would it be to reproduce it? Can I just blueprint it, and then 3d print more, and sell someone else's work? Even with some form of blueprint copyright protection; what would be the threshold of changes until I can then blueprint a ship that is 75% stolen designs, and reproduce/sell it?
I want blueprints and ship construction to be extremely restricted and controlled, to prevent copy cats, and in turn would only aid a player driven economy; by forcing you to actually have to shop for parts (or whole ships), and therefore need to revisit that shop/person you originally purchased it from when you want/need another...
That would mean that if I want to be a shipwright, and sell custom ships, I can; and dont need to worry about copy cats.
I like the vendor list thingie.
Especially if resources are stored in physical crates in hangars.
I wouldn't oppose finite durability either, as that usually lowers initial cost of parts (so less initial grind before fun).
Easy print could require you to physically bring required resources (for plates and beams) and modules.
I'm not too worried about blueprint stealing. Current system doesn't allow taking blueprint of physical ship, and that feels like enough protection. Blueprints can be created only in ship designer (station module within online game world).
i would like to see a part where you can liek go check out the planets and have some confusing and tricky stories as well ! an example of this sort of game is the trick questions which is so fun to play in a group environment.
Space Engineers' player and armor block skins. Basically, armor skins were special textures you could apply to your ship's blocks in the same way you paint them. It let you make a ship look rusty, overgrown, frosted over, or even change what material it looks like. You could make a wooden spaceship, or apply a crystalline texture to your ship's highlights. I'm not sure how well that world work with SB's voxel-based parts, but it would be fun to see regardless.
The same thing also applied to your character in SE. You could apply skins to your engineer that would change their appearance, either by simply reskinning them or in some cases altering the model. There were basic ones like a camo pattern, but also more creative ones like one that made you look like a mummified astronaut or like your armor was made of volcanic rock. Starbase already has a good selection of armor, but letting people change the textures of their Endo's armor would be the icing on the cake.