Hi everyone! I've been playing Priv since 1994 and I wanted to start contributing to the project. I can see that there are still a lot of bugs to be worked out, but all in all, a lot of progress has been made. I remember I downloaded your version a few years ago and kept getting killed. I'm excited to see what progress has been made.
Anyway, I have a lot of ideas regarding the remake, a potential Privateer 2.0, (not to be confused with Privateer 2). Some of my ideas you may not like, but don't throw out the baby with the bath water, there are some good things. Sorry for the length, but I had to be thorough for future reference's sake.
-Real-time interactions, flying in the same universe
-real time commodities exchange.
The commodities exchange should fluctuate in prices depending on how much of a certain commodity is sold/delivered. For example, if 50 ships all sell a ton of grain to a mining base, the price should drop for a while. If no one has delivered grain for a while, the price should rise. Perhaps merchants (if members of the guild) should be able to see real time prices on all the stations/planets to plan where they want to deliver their goods.
-join any group (pirate, merchant, confed, militia, retro?)
You should be able to join any of these groups, with the proper contacts, of course. If you're a merchant, you should be able to request protection from the guild or that they put bounties on players that harass/ destroy you. You should be able to identify players by a username or a serial number. Another idea would be to let only the ships be identifiable by a serial number. That way you can theoretically ditch your ship if it gets too "hot" for you. Of course that might cost you a pretty penny... unless you're dealing on the black market.
more on joining pirates and the confed in a bit...
You should be able to offer bounties that are displayed on the mission computer for any player to pick up. Multiple players can accept the mission, but only the one that gets the kill gets the credits. This way you can get rid of players that harass you. Or you can be the player that collects the bounty. You have the freedom to choose your path.
-buy and sell directly, if desired
you should be able to buy and sell directly to another player, forgoing the shipdealer, commodities exchange, etc., if you so choose. You lose money selling items back to the dealer, but another human may give you a better price. Instead of selling your whole ship with extras to the dealer, there may be another human who is interested in buying your ship- for the right price. Whatever it is, ship parts, commodities, contraband, maps, ships, you should be able to buy and sell directly.
-sit at a bar
You should be able to sit in the bar and talk to any other humans. It's important that this not be a chat, or a window where you can see what everyone is saying. This is a bar, not a chatroom. You have to speak to people individually. That's what keeps the intrigue of the bar. You never know who you'll bump into and what kind of deal they may have for you. It might be a neat idea to have a 2D sprite of you sitting at one of the tables in the bar. Then if someone clicks on you, they can talk to you. The sprite is based on a simple avatar with a few changing variables for your characteristics that you select when you start the game. The nature of the dialogue I haven't decided on yet, so I'll need some feedback on that. It can be a free for all camera chat, or you selecting from a short list of statements like, "wanna trade?" "are you interested in a mission?" "seen any pirates?" "how's life treatin ya?" etc.
You should be able to join with another human to complete a mission and split the credits reward. You can team up with another ship for a bounty mission or any other mission and when the mission is complete you split the credits, no matter who pulled the trigger that destroyed the ship. You could potentially recruit a whole band of ships to wreak havoc/defend the helpless
-buy multiple ships
for those who have the credits, you should be able to buy more than one ship and leave it in the shipbay until you need it.
-transport/be a passenger
if you have business on another planet, why should you risk your ship flying somewhere else? You should be able to leave it safely behind and book passage on someone else's ship. Transporting passengers is another way you can make money.
-lose your ship
The great thing about Multiplayer Priv would be that you can pick it up anytime or stop anytime without missing out on too much. But if a player doesn't log in for a year, his ship should be auctioned off, unless he pays some kind of long-term storage fee.
-hire others/run a commodities business
If you're rich and you have the credits, you should be able to hire others to do your dirty work. You can even supply freight and make others do your cargo runs and collect a percentage of each run. If you have a lot of people doing runs and you make a profit on each run, that can add up to a lot of credits. You should be able to own a warehouse on a planet/station that has a cargo capacity beyond what your ship can hold.
-be a pirate
You can be a pirate that trades on pirate stations, that gets protection from other pirates, and that recruits and posts missions for other pirates to join you. It might be dangerous to fly into Troy as a pirate with all the "friendlies" there, but then again there might be a freighter worth picking off. If you fly in a pack, you might succeed. You should also have the option of not having to reveal you're a pirate to anyone but pirates. That way you can be a contraband dealer and a killer, but if no one identifies you as such, you can proceed. Also, Pirate station shipdealers should sell Talons and any other ship they can get their hands on. Maybe even a Kilrathi ship...
-be a confed
If you don't have any credits and no ship, but you've always wanted to fly a cool ship like a Stiletto, the military might be for you. The military supplies you with a standard ship that holds no cargo and can't be accessorized. But you get paid for completed missions and you get to keep the quadrant safe. The military supplies you with arms and everything you need. But in order to join you must have a good track record and prove your character. This might involve flying some entry-level missions to see if you can cut it as a confed.
Give a loan/take a loan
If you have a lot of credits you should be able to make a loan and charge interest. Likewise, if you are poor you should be able to take out a loan. Make repayment mandatory so as not to let anyone escape repayment.
-browse the Oxford library
I've always thought that Oxford could be so much more. I'm sure others have great ideas on how this planet could be made more interesting/intricate. This is one for which I don't really have any ideas.
So anyway, I know I wrote quite a lot. It all just kind of came to me tonight. I think this could really improve the game and make it a joy to play. These are just some of my ideas. Any feedback would be appreciated!