One of the questions in the game is "what about new guilds?" And, on a related note, "what is this guild we're in?"
Another clue to it was dropped this afternoon:
This confirms the TE Wiki and its list of ranks.
So, the Chancellor started the game with a "fake" guild- a single guild he created and populated. he made Aristotle Landry (does that name sound familiar??) its Leader, and installed a number of subordinates under him. (Bethany Frankle, Interplanet Janet, and more) This gave him a hundred to two hundred open slots to put actual people in. I'm told that these "alts" or "bots" are always online, and that they always reward subordinates who refuse bribes. (ah, an example to us weaker and more fatigue-limited mortals!) One of the more disconcerting things is that one can move from one bot to the other with no notice or warning! (Are they being quietly dropped from the game? With no standings page, who knows!)
But back to our situation. Our Guild Leader is Aristotle Landry. Under him one would find Directors (and how many ships does that take?) who pay 100 credits per ship commission.
This brings up an interesting quandary. When I was heading for Princess in Tiny Empires (so so long ago now...) I realized something that seriously worried me! If I were a Princess and I had a Princess under me, I would pay one gold per acre to my liege, and I would get one gold per acre from the Princess under me... I break even! No net income, no matter how many acres my subject Princess has. It meant I could have huge holdings, and no income!
My fears proved groundless, for two reason. One, the Federation HUD came out. Though it started out as a fiscal bloodbath, it did eventually become profitable- I could get one and a half times the normal homage income due me, but paid only the usual amount. Second, if I had a Princess under me, she only paid me one gold per acre in homage, but I actually received one and a half gold! (And the federation multiplied that by another 150%)
Now, as we start this new game, a similar situation may be developing. As a Broker, if I have a Broker below me, I get no income from that Broker. I pay 400 credits per ship in commission, and get 400 credits in commission. On the other hand, buying colonies is based on rank/total fleet size, so I'm being offered expensive Class 6 and 7 colonies (50 million and up). Now, as a Mogul, I'd make money on my Broker, until she's a Mogul as well.. but in the meantime, my Mogul superior suffers the same loss of income- she gets nothing from my thousand ships, in commission income, since she passes it all up the line.
Is there some sort of "get a bit more that you don't pass up" trick hidden in TE3K? If so, and it is limited to the highest rank, that's a Director, which requires some absolutely huge amount of ships (20,000???) I suspect that a lot of people who got in early and enjoyed instantly huge rank increases either are coming to regret, or may regret, not being able to go a bit slower and grab some small colonies on the way. Having some more income sources is a great idea when all of your huge holdings net you nothing in commission income!