As far as I'd always herd (see what I did there?!), there was only 1 actual Herdship in the game. Rostar owned it for a while and used it for Centrepoint Mining to move some materials around. When he left it went to Togan I believe.
There are a few wrecks out there, I know Tycho owns one or two, and I seem to recall Asa/Terra Strikers Inc owning one, but I'm not sure where that one went to.
Shame about the limited number of them, they're among my favorite ships and are awesome for roleplaying purposes.
It amazes me that while the game is generally moving forward, when it comes to DCs the thinking is as old fashioned as it was 15 years ago =P The fact a single faction can dictate prices for a product without any sort of competition was a factor in the inflation. You only have to look at how prices dropped for Medical Nebulon after the DC was available in unlimited numbers.
I certainly understand the desire to keep Herd Ships a bit less common. It doesn't make sense for there to be TOO many out there.
Yet at the same time, perhaps it's something that could be considered as an award for community games or events? Similar to what Redbat used to do with modifications for the yearly anniversary/Christmas.
The reason (I'm assuming) Rostar was given the herdship was the fact Centrepoint not only held Ithor, but he was also one of/the only prevalent Ithorians at the time.
Lilith, its hardly old fashioned if it makes sense. It's simple supply and demand. If I own the entire supply, I can demand whatever the hell I want, and people do so. The way to eliminating that is as you mentioned, handing it out to multiple groups. Given the type of ship we're dealing with, that's a fairly terrible idea. They're pretty much entirely used for RP and shouldn't as Weylin said be common.
Per community games, I'd be very hesitant to give out prizes as large as Herdships or Mods. Winning a uno tournament shouldn't result in a prize that could be the equivalant of billions of credits, which either of those rewards would amount to.
I wouldn't mind doing smaller rewards/prizes or some kind of community event, but they take a lot of planning, a lot of time to run, and a level of activity that I don't think is possible right this moment.
You know Jesfa, you could link it in with the quests. Already there are plans for smaller items to be gifted out, so maybe a more expansive, epic quest that would result in such a thing being given out. If sufficiently long winded not everyone will have the time or will to go and do it, but for those that do, it would be a very nice reward.
Ellias: As soon as the first curious person went through it and got the awesome price - everyone would jump at it.
Then again, it wouldn't be a ship worth billions by then, because pretty quickly, everyone would have one >_<
Ben, hence why I said to make it an epic long quest. Ie something that would take several months just working at it to make it finish. Not the ones that are being looked at that would take maybe a few days.