Currently the only method to earn credits is through taxes, and if you’re Syntis then the only way to increase income is to increase population.
For resources I can collect them in a variety of ways:
-Mine planets, and even deep mine when deposit is out
-Mine asteroid fields
-Collect minerals from empty planets
-Kill pirate/player fleets
-Steal from another player planet
-Invade a player planet
But credits only have taxes. Out of credits? Well you need to just wait.
I know there’s been talk of buying/selling/trading resources, so I’ll skip that as a suggestion as it’s been documented.
Idea #1: Add bounty to pirate fleets. Based on the level of a pirate fleet you collect a credit bounty for killing that fleet.
Idea #2: Introduce trade goods. Planets can produce consumer goods/materials that can be sold for a profit. This could build in a supply/demand mechanic which would alter the buy/sell price. Additionally, a planet well stocked with consumer goods should get a temporary happiness boost.
-Idea #2.1 Create some level of manufacturing. Something like a factory that consumes 2 beron and 1 ziryl per hour and produces 100 units of consumer electronics. Power/pop usage would be low, but this would provide additional credit and happiness options to players, as well as more micromangement options. Each planet should have a limited number of factories to prevent one planet from self-fulfilling all needs.
-Idea #2.2 There should be a mechanism that increases selling prices relative to distance traveled, so the larger the distance between origin and destination the better the profits. This would encourage players to actively ship trade goods around their empire.
-Idea #2.3 Since players might be hauling large quantities of trade goods it opens up a huge opportunity for player piracy. If you are lucky enough to catch and defeat a trade fleet you can collect a portion of the trade goods, and sell them on your own.
Idea #3 Similar to the option to steal resources, give the option to steal credits. A new ship class would be used to “hack” into the target system’s financial system, and siphon off credits. This could either be a Syntis specific thing, or perhaps the Syntis get a more efficient hacking module. For this to work a the hacking ship would need to be in orbit around the planet, and the hacking would need to be activated. An example of the formula for this could be something like (0.5 x total_credits / #_of_colonies x hacking_efficiency). A planet should be protected from hacking for 24 hours after a successful attempt.
Idea #4 Some amount of credits should be left behind after an invasion. When an invasion is successful all resources, structures, and surviving population convert to new ownership. There should be some amount of credits left on the planet too. The formula for hacking would also work here, just removing the hacking efficiency from the calculation.
Idea #5 Create a salvage module that can be used in a wreckage field. The salvage module would allow the player to collect valuable salvage materials that could be sold for credits. Presumably the current method of salvage is to just melt things down to base minerals. A salvage module would allow you to sift through wreckage (similar to mining) but instead of resources you get credits. I’m not sure if there should be a relationship between salvaging for minerals and credits (meaning if you salvage all the minerals, then you can’t salvage for credits) or if the two should be separate. Also, like mining there should be improved salvage modules that increase the speed.
Idea #6 Create a new resource type, like gold, platinum, diamonds, etc where the resource is strictly used for credits as opposed to structures. Make it rare, and more costly to mine than current minerals. Then create a structure for selling this material.