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Lit Why is Bacta not the most valuable trade good in the GFFA?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Gorefiend, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2004
    The stuff is a pure miracle fluid that can be used to heal just about anything, be it poisons, injuries, diseases. You can work it into healing patches, injections, use it for submersion treatments, inoculations and besides curing/healing you it will apparently also improve your general health. It getting used up during the healing process (guarantying even higher demand) and having a rather limited supply, because only the Vratix can make it, should lead to insanely high prices for the stuff, yet it apparently only cost 20 to 100 credits a liter, whilst something like Aurodium (which has no know use) is worth some 300 million credits per small ingot.
     
  2. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Republic regulation of the galactic health care system, perhaps.
     
  3. Tim Battershell

    Tim Battershell Jedi Master star 5

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    Sep 3, 2012
    Do the Vratix really want (or need) Credits, Gorefiend? Bacta manufacture was described as something of a religious undertaking for them.
     
  4. Darth_Culator

    Darth_Culator Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2005
    They don't really need as much bacta or ryll or bota or kolto as you'd think. 100,000 years of selective breeding for sapients adapted to the rigors of spaceflight. Their answer to most things we'd consider crippling or fatal is "walk it off!"
     
  5. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

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    Sep 8, 2004
    Palpatine to Dooku: You call yourself a Sith Lord? Quit crying about losing your head! Go walk it off!
     
  6. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

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    Oct 23, 2004
    Hmm good point, if they really just start to price gouge the other worlds would likely force a „solution“ and in the days of the Empire the Bacta cartel was only allowed by the Emperors grace anyway, and likely got prices dictated to them like other Imperial suppliers. Though you still have to wonder why other merchants don’t try and sell it in the Unknown Regions or other less well connected parts of the galaxy at extensive markup.
    As they are not the ones that actually sell or transport it across the galaxy they won’t be able to dictate the price, though yes they apparently are completely altruistic and just produce it to help as many people as possible.
     
  7. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Do we have anything that says they didn't? Could be plenty of intrepid merchants out there selling miracle fluid to primitive worlds.
     
  8. Tim Battershell

    Tim Battershell Jedi Master star 5

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    Sep 3, 2012
    Wasn't there something of a re-organisation at the end of The Bacta War, with the Vratix given a much larger say in how the operation was run?
     
  9. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

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    Oct 23, 2004
    Hmmm.... not that I could recall.
    Yep, as it was the main aim of the Asher Rebels and the Vratix apparently also had more influence before the Cartel got as much power as it did.
     
  10. COMPNOR

    COMPNOR Jedi Master star 3

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    Aug 19, 2003
    Maybe GalFactorial (bacta refinery on New Cov) and Verkuylian BactaCo (Verkuyl) deliberately undercut the Bacta Cartel by flooding or threatening to flood the market with bacta?
     
  11. Riven_JTAC

    Riven_JTAC Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 28, 2011
    My first two thoughts are: 1) government subsidies (but these would apply hardly everywhere, and, in the Republic and New Republic era, would not apply in large swaths of the galaxy); or 2) widespread availability of other medicinal substances that are significantly cheaper and are targeted for specific problems (the idea being that since the things for which bacta alone work or for which bacta is so ridiculously better are small in number, the bacta supply actually reasonably meets demand and keeps the price down).

    Do we ever hear anything about counterfeit bacta? Could make the supply appear much higher and drive the price down.
     
  12. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

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    Jun 29, 2003
    Interesting thread. I'd say we'd discover how important bacta really is if an author were to write a story about a bacta crisis, similar to the kolto.
     
  13. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    This seems likely to me as well. We know Isard was able to engineer a galaxy-wide bacta shortage by getting a few tens of billions of people infected with the Kytris Virus at most. That's not a large portion of the galactic population, so it's hard to see some vast general use application of bacta to the populace.

    We mostly see bacta in a military context - probably because of its speed rather than its efficacy. Military ubiquity can be justified by being faster than other treatments rather than being better. This becomes a particularly effective justification if bacta is better than alternatives only in a few key military-relevant categories - like blaster burns.
     
  14. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Sep 29, 2005
    I'd see competition as a factor. If bacta is sold at high prices, its effectiveness will mean that it gets bought, but only as a product for use in extreme situations that call for its potency and by those few that can afford it (high-end clinics for elite patients, etc). For the 90% of stuff where it doesn't make a huge difference that bacta is better than kolto, everyone will just buy the cheaper kolto. But by pricing their more-effective product reasonably, bacta corners the market on healing substances and puts kolto out of the game. They can charge a thousand credits and make a billion sales -- but as much money as that is (a trillion credits), it's less than charging ten credits and getting a trillion sales (ten trillion credits).
     
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  15. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

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    Oct 23, 2004
    Thing is those can only produce Bacta because the Vratix provide the raw mats and know how to mix it, as the only thing Verkuyl grows is Alazhi.

    Also can’t imaging the Emperor being too fond of such an undertaking outside of the Core.

    Yep it is a kind of “luxury medicine” for certain capacities, which should actually push the sales price; precisely because it’s special (two class medicine and all)

    Edit: Or we will just listen to Havac ;)

    Mercy Kill has a rather nasty scheme in that regard. You can apparently mix materials called Vradium and Ambori with Bacta that has gone bad (i.e. been used beyond usefulness) and it will stand up to tests and appear to be normal Bacta, though it is likely to actually kill the patient when used.

    Well there are is the events arround the Bacta War and the Harrsk Hyperspace War which apparently caused prices to shoot up rather drastically. Though a nice titbit I found flipping through Far Orbit – Black Market Bacta goes for 2000 to 100000 (!) credits a liter a few weeks after the Battle of Yavin
     
  16. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

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    Jun 29, 2003
    Yeah, Bacta itself was never in danger. If there was suddenly no more magic cure-all health potion for anyone, what would the folks in the EU do? Learn better medical practice?
     
  17. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jul 24, 2005
    We need an entire sourcebook on this, I think.

    "Bacta Basics"
     
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  18. AdmiralWesJanson

    AdmiralWesJanson Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    Bacta can be reused, but it goes bad over time, per Specter of the Past and Mercy Kill respectively.
    Bacta War also shows that there are various grades of bacta, some much more effective than others. The low priced bacta that you mention could be very low grade stuff.
    Bacta comes in many forms, from full sized immersion tanks for major wounds- major trauma plus shock and blood loss for many blaster wounds, likely major trauma and possibly severe frostbite for Luke in ESB, to bacta soaked bandages and sprays for lesser injuries.
    Bacta comes in two colors at least, an electric bluish, and a reddish pink. In ESB, we see the bluish color when Luke is in the tank, nearing time for removal, while we see the pink color in the background while luke is not in it- perhaps there is a color change as part of the process?
    Bacta can be mixed with other chemicals and medicines, notably Ryll.
    Kolto used to have a similar effect, though from a different source, perhaps they share a similar chemical or molecular composition, which leaves open the possibility that there are other substances with similar abilities, though of lesser strength.
     
  19. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

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    Oct 23, 2004
    Interestingly Bacta Basics (a WOTC article) sort of hints at that Bacta and Kolto are related as the Vartix in past apparently modified Alazhi plants with Kolto to create Bacta.

    Properly adept as time goes on, though it would likely be are rather nasty downer for GFFA Medical technology.
    PS: That should have been the Stark Hyperspace war of course :p
     
  20. General Immodet

    General Immodet Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Where is Kolto when you need it...