The merchant is a character who uses his or her credits, contacts and guile to trade with the people of the station and turn a profit. While merchants are not NanoTrasen employees, they are not Antagonists either, and must be sure to conduct their business in accordance with NanoTrasen's Station Directives and Corporate Regulations. Merchants who are found to be in severe violation of NanoTrasen's trust may have their docking privileges revoked. That's bad for business!
The merchant role is not guaranteed to be available in every round. Additionally, characters in the merchant role cannot also be employed at NanoTrasen in a regular station job. To play as a merchant, make sure you've clicked ready at the start of a round, and that you have return to lobby if job is unavailable toggled on your merchant character's occupation menu.
How To Run an Honest Business
When you start the round as a Merchant, you spawn at the merchant outpost instead of the station, with nothing but the clothes on your back, a merchant's pass, and a nifty scanner that will tell you the price in credits of anything you scan with it. To get trading, you'll have to acquire goods, load them onto your ship, and pilot it out to the station.
Take a moment to explore your surroundings:
- You have an office with a shuttle recall computer, a holster to attach to your clothes, and a
totally sweet gunweak energy weapon that you should keep concealed, and use only for personal defense while on the station. You also have access to cryogenic storage and some basic medical supplies.
- Nearby, your bedroom has a mirror that allows you to change your character into a Vox if you decide you want to roleplay a Vox merchant. If you choose this option, there's no going back for the round, so think hard about it first.
- There's a storage room next to your bedroom that contains a hacked autolathe, some metal and glass, and a large amount of randomly generated items. These can be used to barter directly with the crew, or they can be traded/sold to your outpost contacts.
- In the hallway outside the storage room, there's a teleportation pad, a computer that you'll use to do business with your contacts, and a table with several thousand credits on it. This money can be used to purchase items from the crew, or you can deposit it into a remote account to purchase items from contacts.
- Your ship doubles as a showroom, full of display windoors and racks for showing off your wares. The windoors will only open in response to your merchant pass, but any bald assistant can smash them if you let them! In the cockpit of your shuttle, there's a wall recharger for your
sweet gunpersonal defense weapon.
The Merchant's List
Chances are that the items you find in storage aren't the greatest wares. To truly attract the station's interest, you'll want to deal with NPC contacts first.
Your outpost is within teleporter range of numerous traders. To access them, configure your computer by selecting the Merchant's List program. The main menu gives you a number of options, but the first thing you should do is connect the teleporter to the computer with the Connect Pad button. Once connected, you can deposit your credits into a trading account by placing them on the pad and sending them with the Deposit Money button. The amount of money in the account is what you have to trade with your contacts. Retrieve it with Retrieve Money if you want to have spending money on the station.
Once you're ready to trade, Open Communications from the main menu and start looking for deals.
Browse through the available contacts and hail the ones that sound interesting. There will always be a couple of shops that stay within range of your outpost, but many are on ships that will come and go, meaning that business opportunities and inventories change as the round progresses. Once you've hailed someone, the following options become available:
- List Goods: Reveals the inventory of the merchant that you can trade for or purchase. Ask Cost will reveal the cost of a specific item, Offer Money will deduct credits from your account and place the item on your teleportation pad if successful, and Trade will send any items of value on the telepad to the contact, in exchange for their item.
- Sell Items: Teleports items on your telepad to the contact in exchange for credits. Note that contacts typically want specific things, and will not buy any random junk. If your pad has unwanted items (or yourself) on it, the transaction may fail.
- Compliment: Transmits a flattering comment. It may be possible to manipulate contacts with a nice word, but too much talking may disinterest them.
- Pay Them To Stay Longer: Time is money. For every 100cr you spend on this option, a merchant will remain in contact for 1 extra minute.
- Ask What They Want: Contacts may need more than just credits. Some may want to purchase things from you instead, or may only trade in items. This button lets you find out.
- Insult: Transmits a rude comment. It may be possible to manipulate contacts by provoking them, but too much talking may disinterest them.
NPC contacts have different needs depending on who they are. A pizza shop is unlikely to want to trade anything but pizza for your credits, while a Vaurca hive is much more likely to trade in k'ois than a Tajaran shop is. Experiment and hunt for the best deals!
Dealing With The Station
So you have a ship full of exotic and expensive wares, some pocket money, and an urge to haggle? To the Aurora!
You have prior authorization from Central Command to dock at the Aurora and conduct your business, but you are still expected to inform the station that you're arriving before you get there. After all, there may issues or concerns to the station that you should be made aware of. The airlock you arrive at is on the surface level, across from the cargo office.
Aboard Your Vessel
As the captain of your own vessel, you have absolute authority over what goes on aboard it. You can take measures to protect your property and your safety, and order any visiting guests out if they're causing trouble. You can also defend yourself from violent action, but it's probably a very bad idea to do so with lethal force. Killing NanoTrasen employees, even in self-defense, is bound to strain your relationship with the company to the breaking point.
You may arrive and dock with the station in a ship full of items that may be considered contraband by the crew. As long as those items stay on your ship, you cannot be harassed by NanoTrasen security for possessing them. You can also sell these things to whoever you like, but if the things you sell start to cause problems aboard the station, Command might ask you to stop or leave.
There are two major exceptions to the above guidelines: security can board your vessel to enforce regulations in order to resolve disputes between NanoTrasen employees, and they can also board you if you're being a hostile and violent threat like any run-of-the mill heister. Use common sense and don't start firefights if you don't want to end up in the brig, or worse.
Aboard The Station
If you choose to disembark, keep in mind that anyone can just walk into your ship and start taking things! It may be a good idea to ask the station's crew to have the AI lock down your airlock or something. Note that as a non-crewmember, the AI is not required to listen to your own requests.
While aboard the station, you are generally bound by NanoTrasen's corporate regulations. You may be detained by security if you're causing trouble, and in severe cases, Command Staff may contact Central Command and request that your docking privileges be revoked. Command Staff may also ask you to leave for other reasons. It's usually a good idea to listen to them.
If you brought a
sweet gun defense weapon aboard, you should keep it concealed unless it absolutely has to be fired. Command Staff has the right to prohibit you from bringing personal weapons aboard (though they shouldn't do this unless they have a good reason), and they may also impose restrictions on you that are not otherwise listed in the regulations or directives. You are a visitor on a very fancy research station - treat it and its crew with respect.
With all this in mind, buy and sell fun items to other players, take their money and their stuff, then head back to your outpost to buy more!
- Look for NPC contacts that will buy common items that you can purchase from the crew in bulk - or maybe even produce in your autolathe. This ensures a steady income of credits.
- The laws of supply and demand apply! If you see that the station is sorely lacking something, you'll be able to charge a premium for it. Talk to the crew and get a feel for what they need or want.
- Make imaginative trades, and don't be afraid to haggle on price. Who knows how much that cow cargo is trying to pawn off on you is worth to someone?
- Since credits do not persist between rounds (yet), it may be more satisfying to spread interesting items around to other players than it is to objectively do good business. You have access to a lot of rare pieces of equipment, depending on your luck - use it all to shake things up!
- As someone not employed by NanoTrasen, you are not beholden to any specific age or skill requirements. However, you are still expected to create and roleplay a believable character per the server's rules.
You have automatic access to a sweet gun, a hacked autolathe, a decent amount of money, and a traitor uplink. For two telecrystals, you can acquire Operations Funding worth 10,000cr to spend with your contacts. With access to a rotating stock of destructive equipment you can cause a lot of damage, but you also lack any kind of station access. Remember that the AI and cyborgs on a default lawset aren't obligated to serve or protect you like they are to a traitor crewman - subverting them somehow (or successfully faking being part of the crew) will make life much easier. Bribing someone for their ID may be worthwhile if you intend to do your own dirty work. You also have plenty of assets to rally some of the crew to your side, arm them, and turn them against their fellow employees. Think smart, and make attractive deals.
Jobs on Aurora
|Command||Captain - Head of Personnel - Head of Security - Chief Engineer - Research Director - Chief Medical Officer|
|Security||Security Officer - Warden - Detective - Forensic Technician|
|Engineering||Station Engineer - Atmospheric Technician|
|Medical||Physician - Paramedic - Psychologist - Pharmacist - Scientist|
|Research||Roboticist - Scientist - Xenobiologist|
|Supply||Quartermaster - Cargo Technician - Shaft Miner|
|Civilian||NanoTrasen Liaison - Assistant - Bartender - Chef - Chaplain - Librarian - Janitor - Botanist|
|Non-human||AI - Cyborg - Personal AI|
|Special||Merchant - Emergency Response Team - Foreign Legion - Rat- Miscellaneous Roles|