In Empyrean Frontier there is a single spendable resource (credits) used to build all buildings, ships and upgrades, there are however, 4 distinct ways to gather resources. Depending on the map and the player's tech level, any or all of these methods might be appropriate. The idea behind the different gathering methods but singular currency is to give the player more options to play as he wants, without requiring a certain play style. Some of the gathering methods will still need to be balanced compared to others, but the hope is that one specific economic choice won't necessarily be better than the others. What is shown here is still very much a work in progress and might change significantly in future builds. Comments/feedback about these ideas are of course welcome.
[see video for a short demonstration, more details below]
Method 1: Asteroid and Scrap Metal Harvesting
This is the lowest tech form of resource gathering (tech level 1) and requires a Refinery module and one or more harvester units. Asteroid fields and belts are expected to be common in most maps. Scrap metal is left whenever large ships are destroyed, and is harvested faster than asteroids.
Method 2: Trade
In Empyrean Frontier, the player will sometimes find himself in an already settled planetary system, whether in a mission or the skirmish mode. In these cases especially, trade can be a viable way to fund the war effort. If the player builds a trade station, either on his space station base or on a small moon, neutral and allied trade ships will travel to it, allowing the owner of the trade station to collect a tax on the cargo. Trade ships will plot a continuous route through all friendly space ports, the potential income at each station depends on the distance traveled since the previous station and the number of stations visited.
Method 3: Piracy
Another option whenever there are trade ships on the map, is piracy. By destroying enemy or neutral trade ships the player can get a quick score. While piracy won't have the long term benefits of setting up trade routes, it requires significantly less investment and can provide a quick early source of credits.
Method 4: Lunar/Planetary Mines
Through the use of colony ships (tech level 3) the player can claim and develop unclaimed planets or moons. By building mines on the surface, you gain a steady and endless stream of credits, making planets and moons important strategic resources.