*coughs loudly into apparently empty room* Hey so watching some of your videos on org tactics and ideas for security etc. gave me some inspiration for a system I came up with. It has been established that probably the single most important part of the SC economy will be transportation, in all of it's shapes and forms. If anything, the latest presentation at Citcon has solidified the scale of the universe and just how big and important of a job it will be to transport, well, everything. The biggest most expensive limitation here will not likely be the number of people willing to transport things, since it will be so profitable. The biggest problem will most likely be security for said transportation. There are lots of solutions to this, ranging from splitting up your cargo to minimize risk, etc. but I don't think that even small individual transports will be all that effective using this solution, since the smaller you are the easier it will be for pirates to pick you off, and I don't think that scaling up a convoy will be effective over long distances both because of the cost, but primarily the struggles and expenses of organizing a reliable group to help you guide your cargo safely. My point is, there is a simpler solution to this problem and we know it works because it has been done before in real life. This concept is known as the Caravan. Used throughout history, but most famous in the middle east, traders would cover vast distances to make their profits, without knowing for certain the strength of the threats they would face nor their nature. The solution was something called a caravan, where a caravan master would hire mercenaries or private guards to defend all of the clients of the caravan, who would be random traders or anyone in need of transportation. The caravan master was able to scale up the defense of the caravan for more dangerous journeys, or when he had a large amount of people to defend. A caravan typically operated either on a set route, or it would change its route but when it reached a city it would tell the inhabitants where they were headed, and charge a fee for if someone wished to travel with them under their protection. The market of scale allowed for more efficient protection, since once a caravan gets above a certain size it doesn't need a proportionately bigger defense force since it is already so much bigger then any group of radars could ever contend with. If we applied the same concept to star citizen, here is a scenario: you could be an independent trader who needs to get from Terra, where you have picked up a a cargo of supplies for the Vanduul war effort, and you need to get to Vega, a long journey with many dangerous systems along the way. From Terra, you look for a caravan headed to sol. Even though this trip isn't overly dangerous, it is a common route and there are always tons of inexpensive, large and well defended caravans leaving regularly from Terra for Sol. You pay a small fee, a fraction of what it would be to pay for your own entire defense force, and are able to fly your Hull D unmolested by keeping with the caravan until you arrive in Sol and you are within protected space. From here, you simply look for another caravan that is either traveling directly to Vega, or at least has a stop at the Vega military base. Once again, despite flying through dangerous space, you are able to pay a fraction of the cost it would be to hire your own entire defense force and if anybody is foolish enough to attack a large caravan, they will face a hefty defense force and sheer numbers will make any single given transport ship an unlikely mentality, it is the same reason so many prey animals travel in Herds. This system works out extremely favorably for everyone involved, except the pirates that is. The traders get more efficient, more secure, less expensive transportation. The Mercenaries have reliable way to find jobs, it probably pays more then the standard protection job since there is so much more pay in, and the universe gets a more secure transportation infrastructure. That said, this system is only effective for common routes with lots of demand for transportation and security. While I can see caravans still on occasion going into less used areas, it would be less common/reliable, only organized by orgs with a lot of demand to supply a particular outpost or something, and it would be less efficient/more expensive. For off the beaten path supply jobs, conventional security/protection would probably be necessary, but for a lage percentage of transportation being in a convoy essentially means waiting for a specific time to leave for your destination and paying a reduced price for security. The primary obstacle to this idea is organizing the caravans to begin with. I have been considering developing an app that would allow transporters to simply check to see if there are any convoys going between their place of departure or destination, if there are any convenient ones scheduled ahead they simply time their departure for then and pay in. Ideally the app would provide a similar but reversed functionality for mercenaries who want to defend said caravans, and of course the ability to create a caravan. The other major obstacle is how CIG ends up implementing instancing, but this remains to be seen as technology develops toward the final game. Let me know your thoughts! The reason I post this here is to bounce my ideas off others opinions.