Seeing as the developers still have failed to come up with a good plan to allow smugglers to smuggle for other players, I have felt I waited long enough to write my ideas about the profession I have been playing ever since launch in July'03 and have finally come up with the following vision on how to make it work:
1. High-end contraband
In addition to the current low-end contraband like sliced weapons, sliced armor as well as low-level spices, all High-end loot will be labeled high-end contraband and thus be illegal to carry and bring from the planet it is found to another planet. This loot will include, but not be limited to untuned lightsaber components (pearls, crystals), legendary loot weapons, nightsister armor segments, tusken Robes and other loot items that would be considered illegal in this point in time in the Star Wars Universe, like holocrons, padawan braids and spice as well as rare resources, other rare loot and more.
+ The inclusion of real contraband will make smugglers useful for other players
+ Classifying high-end loot as contraband will make high-end loot even more special
2. Contraband scanning crews
Contraband scanning crews inside Starport arrival locations as well as the regular police and faction type NPCs that are currently present in cities will all look for this contraband in the scans. Also, there will be ships in space that perform the same duties as the ground NPCs.
Once a smuggler is scanned, there is a chance that the contraband will be found (explained in section 3.). If high-end contraband found, the smuggler is attacked by the contraband scanning crew and their allies. Once the smuggler is incapacitated by the scanning crew or his ship destroyed/disabled the high-end contraband will be confiscated.
If low-end contraband is found, the smuggler is fined and attacked, but the item is not being confiscated.
+ Possible confiscation of items will make people think twice before running around with contraband without the help of a smuggler
+ It will make possession of high-end loot items even more special
3. Smuggler skill will dictate the chance to avoid contraband from being found
The chance to avoid contraband being found on a smuggler will be dependant on the smuggler’s underworld skill. Here is the chance for the smuggler to avoid contraband:
Novice Smuggler: 20% chance to avoid contraband from being found
Underworld I: 30% chance to avoid contraband from being found
Underworld II: 40% chance to avoid contraband from being found
Underworld III: 50% chance to avoid contraband from being found
Underworld IV: 60% chance to avoid contraband from being found
Master Smuggler: 90% chance to avoid contraband from being found
+ This will underscore the need for master smugglers to smuggle a valuable contraband item for players
4. Creating and accepting a player smuggler contract
Players with high-end contraband will be able to give the contraband to a smuggler via the secure trade window. Once the trade of such contraband is initiated, a new smuggler contract window will pop up. In this Window, the client will be able to state several terms of the contract. A window similar to the travel window will appear where the client will choose the destination planet and city the item will have to delivered to. The city will have to have a Starport for it to work. The client will also have to choose a time limit (may last from several minutes up to a week) and enter the amount of money he or she would like to pay the smuggler for the delivery. Once both sides have agreed, the trade will take place, a waypoint created in both the smuggler’s and client’s datapads and the time limit will begin to tick down.
+ This will allow the smuggler and his or her client to work out the exact terms of the smuggler contract
+ It will increase immersion and interaction
5. Lay-low timer
After the smuggler arrives in the target city, he or she will have to stay within the city limits for a lay-low timer of 20 minutes until he will be allowed to access the smuggler deposit terminal (see section 6. ) of the city and deliver the contraband to it. This timer will be halfed to 10 minutes, if the smuggler launched into space (not using the travel option at the starship terminal!) with his ship and hyperspaced and landed at the delivery planet, therefore risking being scanned by authorities and rival smuggler NPC ships in space.
In this time, the smuggler may be scanned several times and has to hope to avoid those scans. Simply camping the terminal will not do, as it will be patrolled by police and faction type NPCs, so it will be best to keep a low profile and avoid potential scanning crews before heading to the deposition terminal.
Once the 15 minutes are up, the smuggler will be able to access the deposition terminal.
+ The lay-low timer will prevent smugglers from being able to just run to the terminal as fast as they can to deliver the goods and put them in a little danger
+ Halfing the lay-low timer when actually using the ship to smuggle will encourage smugglers to fly their ship and thus increase immersion in the Star Wars Universe
6. Smuggler deposit terminal and paper forgery
There will be a smuggler deposition terminal placed in every city with a starport.
When the smuggler delivers the high-level contraband to the terminal, there will be an option to ‘forge registration papers'. This will remove the contraband status of the item and register it to a certain player. That way, everybody will only have his high-end loot smuggled and equipped with forged registration papers once and never again. Only if the registered item is sold or traded to somebody else, it will be turned to contraband again (it will be high-end or low-end, just like it was before) and the new owner will have to once again contract a smuggler to smuggle it to another planet and forge the registration papers afterwards to make it legal again.
There will be a menu (similar to the guild member menu in guild management terminals) that pops up that will let the smuggler register the item to two names: The name of the client that gave him the contract, second the name of the smuggler.
If the smuggler chooses to forge the registration papers to register the item for the client, the item will be transferred into the smuggler deposit terminal and the credits agreed to upon acceptance of the contract will be transferred from the client to the smuggler immediately. Only the client will be able to pick up the now legalized contraband from it now and will receive an e-mail about a package being delivered for him including a waypoint to the smuggler deposit terminal.
If, however, the smuggler chooses to register the item to his/her own name, the now legal item will stay in the smuggler’s inventory and the smuggler will not receive any monetary reward.
+ Forgery of high-end and low-end contraband registration papers to make it legal will only call for a smuggler once for each high-end contraband item unless it is sold
+ It will make smugglers useful again if somebody decides to resell the contraband
+ It will allow smuggler keeping the items and selling them to the highest bidder (including the former client) and thus increase immersion
7. Failing to fulfill player smuggler contracts
Once a smuggler fails to fulfill his or her contract, either by not delivering the legalized item to the designated Smuggler deposit terminal within the time limit agreed upon, getting caught by NPC scanning crews while smuggling and thus having the contraband confiscated or forging the papers to register the item to the smuggler’s own name and thus stealing it, the client will get a mail that will state that the Smuggler [Name] has failed to fulfill his or her contract and that you may now use the command /placeplayerbounty to put a Bounty on his or her head.
In addition, a smuggler who steals items that way will undoubtedly build a bad reputation in the player community for doing so which will ruin his business in the long run.
+ This will allow clients to contact the smuggler first to perhaps come to terms before placing a bounty
+ It will make smugglers think hard before attempting to steal an item
8. Placing a Bounty on the unhonorable smuggler’s head
All players will have access to the new command /placeplayerbounty , which will be explained to in the mail they receive.
Using the command will pop up a window with the names of the smugglers that have failed to fulfill a contract for you and you have not placed a Bounty on yet. The double-crossed client will now be able to chose the name of the smuggler and click ok. Subsequently, a new Window will appear where the player will be able to type the amount of credits to put on the smuggler’s head. This amount can be as high as the credits the player has in his or her possession. After confirming the amount, there will be a small window where the mission giver will be able to describe why he placed the bounty on his head. After doing this, a confirmation window with a summary will appear. Upon confirming everything, the amount of credits input as a bounty will be deducted from the player’s account and a new player bounty mission will appear on the bounty hunter terminals for exactly that amount of credits with the description of why the bounty was placed. The rest will be handled just like a regular (Jedi-) player bounty is handled now.
When a Smuggler is killed by a Bounty Hunter, the player smuggling mission he may be on a the time will still be valid, but it’s payout will be reduced by 75%.
+ This will discourage smugglers from botching contracts
+ It will increase immersion and incorporate the classic Star Wars Theme of Smuggler vs. Bounty Hunter
9. Hidden smuggler compartments
Existing Clothes, armor, multi-passenger ships (can hold more than one hidden compartment), vehicles and droids will be upgradeable with smuggler’s compartments by masters of the respective crafter profession (Master Tailor for clothing, Master Armorsmith for armor, Master Artisan for vehicles, Master Droid engineer for droids).
These compartments will hold only one item and will increase the chance to successfully avoid a contraband scan for the item in it by 5%. This bonus will be applied no matter if the person using the compartment is a smuggler or not. So a non-smuggler will have 0%+5%=5% chance to avoid contraband in the smuggler compartment from being found, a novice smuggler 20%+5%=25% chance to avoid contraband from being found, a master smuggler will have a 90%+5%=95% chance to avoid contraband from being found and so on.
+ This will increase immersion by having smuggler compartments
+ It will allow crafters to contribute something special to smugglers
+ It will allow smugglers to greatly increase their chance to smuggle high-end contraband
10. Trading non-tradable items
Master Smugglers will be able to trade any inventory/datapad item/schematic that is otherwise non-tradable (including biolinked/character specific items). This will be another instance of "illegal moving of goods" (aka smuggling ). With the non-trade reward and loot items possibly coming with the expansion, since it's said you can't slice the new loot/reward weapons anyway.
+ It would make many people happy
+ This will give smugglers another purpose
Message Edited by Glzmo on 10-18-2005 01:52 AM