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<H3><A NAME="s3">3. Merchants</A></H3>

<H3><A NAME="ss3.1">3.1 Experience</A>

<P>Gaining experience in Merchant Empires allows your merchant to:<br><br>
(1) increase weapon accuracy<br>
(2) increase individual rank<br>
(3) increase aggregate alliance experience<br>
(4) participate in racial politics<br>
(5) increase user ranking<br>
(6) scan for lower ranked cloaked merchants<br><br>
Experience is gained by:<br><br>
(1) Executing trades that are to your advantage.  Both the amount of goods
traded and the price that the merchant negotiates effect the amount of
experience that is gained through trading.<br>
(2) Killing an enemy ship.  The level of the merchant that is killed affects the
amount of experience gained.  High level merchants that kill low level merchants
receive little or no experience for their efforts.  Retrieving bounties and military
payments also adds experience.<br>
(3) Exploring and movement.  Exploring unknown sectors will usually give your
Merchant additional experience.  There is a smaller chance that movement through
already mapped space earns experience.<br>
(4) Navigating enemy mine fields.  There is a chance that everytime your merchant
successfully navigates enemy mine fields that experience will be earned.<br>
(5) Building planetary structures.<br><br>
<H3><A NAME="ss3.2">3.2 Relations</A>
Each merchant maintains a history of interaction with the other races in the universe.  This relational
attitude affects the processing of trades between the merchant and each port.  Good
personal relations need to be maintained.  Overtime (with fading memories) extremely good relations between a merchant
and a particular race will tend to drift back to a neutral state.<br><br>
Each race has a relational attitude towards the other 6 races.  A state of war exists between
two races if their relational attitude falls below -300.  (See politics below for how this relational attitude
rises and falls.)<br><br>
Personal relations cannot decrease below -500 or increase beyond 500.

<H3><A NAME="ss3.3">3.3 Alliances</A>

<P>Alliances dominate the economic and military fabric of Merchant Empires.  Merchants of the
same alliance:<br><br>
(1) cannot attack each other<br>
(2) are not affected by alliance members forces<br>
(3) may land on alliance members planets<br>
(4) may share maps between alliance members<br>
(5) may cooperate in joint attack/defense actions<br>

Treaties can be formed between different alliances.  Treaty types:<br><br>
(1) Free Movement.  Two alliances that form a Free Movement Treaty are not attacked by each other's mines.<br>
(2) War.  War is declared uni-laterally.  Individual merchant alignment is not affected when one merchant kills another if a state of war exists between the two merchant's alliances.<br>

<H3><A NAME="ss3.4">3.4 Politics</A>

<P>A select group of merchants (the 10 most experienced members) form a race's ruling council.  This ruling
council has the power to degrade or improve global races relations with another race via a daily council vote.  The vote of
each council member is worth 10 postive or negative global relational points.<br><br>
A racial Overlord (the highest ranking good (alignment > 100) council member) has the power to call for a council vote declaring war or
peace with another race.  When the Overlord calls for such a vote, the council is given 3 days to
support or veto the Overlord's desired state of affairs.  After 3 days, if the majority of the council
supports the Overlord's choice, then war (-300 relational attitude) or peace (+300) is declared.<br><br>

Global relations cannot decrease below -500 or increase beyond 500.

<H3><A NAME="ss3.5">3.5 Turns</A>
<table border=1>
(1) Jettison cargo<br>
(3) Land on a Planet<br>
(4) Buy and/or sell goods<br>
(5) Offer a rejected bid on goods<br>
(6) Enter a starbase<br>
(1) Hitting Mines<br>
(2) Attack Forces<br>
(3) Attack a Planet<br>
(4) Attack a Port<br>
(5) Attack a Merchant<br>
Galaxy Warp
Jump Drive
Each ship in Merchant Empires uses a fixed amount of turns to move from sector to sector.  Ships that are larger will use more turns
per sector.  From lowest to highest, the scale of turns per sector:<br><br>
Speed 4 - 4.5<br>
Speed 5 - 4.0<br>
Speed 6 - 3.5<br>
Speed 7 - 3.0<br>
Speed 8 - 2.5<br>
Speed 9 - 2.0<br>
Speed 10 - 1.7<br>
Speed 11 - 1.5<br>
Speed 12 - 1.3<br><br>
<H3><A NAME="ss3.6">3.6 Alignment</A>

Alignment in Merchant Empires is represented along a simple linear scale with 0 as true nuetral.  Goods actions (trading in
traditional goods, the destruction of evil players) raise a merchant's alignment, while
evil actions (trading in contraband, attacking good players, raiding ports) lower a merchant's
alignment.  If a merchant is sufficiently evil ( < -100 alignment ), he/she is able to trade in contraband.
Merchants of sufficent goodness ( > +100 alignment ), have the ability to purchase Imperial warships of
great power.  Some weapons can only be used by sufficiently good or evil merchants.<br><br>
You can examine the alignment of another merchant if you have sufficent experience in comparison to
the merchant that you are examining.

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