This stuff is pretty common in a variety of open world simulators, and I personally believe that a BGS can really add a lot of depth to any game. Instead of grinding goods from point A to point B, I'm hoping that something such as this will force players to think about where exactly they want to go, and how to deal with any risks or setbacks that may come with their planned ventures.
My ideas for a possible Cosmoteer BGS:
- All factions gain a hidden bar that indicates its relationship with every other faction.
- Player actions and/or occasional random events may influence a factions' relationship with others.
- Factions with positive diplomacy will allow each other's ships into their borders, and have slightly reduced trade tariffs for commodities imported/exported between them.
- Factions with a somewhat neutral relationship will no longer open their borders to each other's military vessels.
- Factions with a negative relationship may start a trade war, inhibiting trade and travel between them.
- Factions with a super negative relationship may declare a war. Trade will continue, though there will be significantly fewer civilian ships. Starports may be attacked and/or destroyed, and will take a bit of time to repair. Damaged starports have significantly higher tariffs and fewer commodities, docking slots, and services on offer, depending on what modules are destroyed.
- Factions may occasionally start planetary colonisation or starbase construction/expansion/repair efforts. The player may attempt to increase their reputation with that particular faction by supplying such endeavours with resources or personnel.
Economy and trade:
- Starports and warp gates will be populated by a variety of civilian and military vessels, most of which would be aligned to the installation's controlling faction. The occasional freighter, bounty hunter, or patrol group may also be found in deep space.
- I guess it doesn't really matter whether the ships are simulated for real, but civilian and/or military freighters will regularly arrive at and depart stations, their holds full of goods. They will then plot a route toward a different station. These ships can then be followed or intercepted by the player. Basic supply and demand will affect the prices of commodities in station markets.
- Civilian ships will also regularly supply any special endeavours started by their aligned faction (e.g. a station upgrading project).
- A faction's diplomacy state will affect what civilian ships go where. One at war is unlikely to get any foreign trade, for example.
- The state of a local starbase will also affect who comes to do business. A damaged one, for instance, might have more military vessels and repair ships than anything else. (And probably pirates.)
- Tariffs will also affect what is traded. Something with literally no tax is likely going to end up everywhere.
EDIT: Fixed a typo that has existed for days