PART 1: 'HIGH-DEMAND ITEMS'
Some items are in continual high demand, and are important for one of a few reasons:
- Items essential to people being able to make art (e-notes/e-prints, canvasses)
- Items important to certain character types (QuickTerms, tactical slings, ponchos*)
- Items that are hoarded because they represent a permanent record of the past (PhotoPlusses and FunCams)
(*Ponchos just received an update that may alleviate pressure.)
I have some suggestions above for what sorts of items may be considered 'high-demand'; others may disagree about my choices, but I think we can all agree that some of them are perennial problems.
I would propose that these high-demand items be placed in a vendor object, similar to how Progias and many other items are vended. The 'vendor' version can be at a premium.
This will alleviate pressure on 'essential' items -- I think it's particularly problematic when someone hits the game as an aspiring artist and can't create art, for instance.
The real beauty of my idea, though, is in part 2:
PART 2: NEOTRANS LOGITISTICS HUB
I would propose putting this item vendor in SPACE, in a new room in FreeSky called the NeoTrans Logistics Hub. I would describe the room as a whir of packages moving around on conveyor-belts like an Amazon warehouse, and have the 'High-Demand Items Vendor' -- which I might call something like a 'Logistics Bypass Terminal' -- emit messages like it just plucking the item out of the supply chain when it's used.
Gate this room to either all NT employees, only NT requisitions, or perhaps some new NT logistics job, and all of a sudden the company has this essential role in game-wide commerce that's real. Every fixer in Red Sector will be making friends with the NT logistics people; so will every corporate requisitions officer.
This also becomes an extendable solution. Staff has mentioned before that the Econ system is notoriously finicky, so when there's an issue items can be added to the Bypass vendor -- and beyond that, items can be added ONLY to that vendor if they should be things difficult to get. Imagine if particular high-tech vehicle or robotics parts can only come from the bypass terminal, for instance, or a new kind of fancy tailoring material, or what have you.