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Author Topic: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives  (Read 27903 times)

Deeplurker

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2018, 10:19:54 PM »

Nice addition. Been waiting for some good loving for the sector's biggest (Non-REDACTED) baddies.

Are there in-game factors that might influence pirate bases to spawn/not spawn at certain places - like ruins of previous stations, near to debris fields of major battles, etc? Eg: build a station near enemies, then abandon it, so pirates might take over and proceed to raid enemies. Or would they spawn in semi-random locations, being less predictable, and less controllable by the player?

Are there any ideas about scaling raids? A few raids from that get swatted by security would be understandable. Pirates aren't known for their strategic thinking, and their experienced commanders probably tend to have short lifespans. But multiple cycles of pirates throwing their ineffectual fleets at the same station dozens or hundreds of times might break immersion. Angry leaders occasionally building up for a large determined attack or decreasing frequency from losses might make more sense.

With the planned mechanics, what would you guesstimate the odds are that players might end up using pirate raids' salvage as a primary income source?
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Alex

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2018, 10:26:41 PM »

Means it can be destroyed, I assume?
Also: can another, strong pirate base spawn in core world?

No, and no, ...

On that basis, and considering

You can actually land there and trade, if you manage to avoid the fleets, but I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's mainly a consequence of those being set up as proper markets on the back end.

: will the major factions build colonies of their own for players to interact with?(in limited numbers of course)

and no :)

(To clarify the first answer: the combat portion of the station can be taken out, but the hab portion will remain and the combat section will eventually be rebuilt. Stations are a stack of rings, basically, right? And in combat, you see the combat section. Pirate bases are "special" in that they do get despawned on being defeated.

To the last answer, I could possibly see this happening as a few one-offs, but it's not a priority or anything near being "planned". More a potential tool to solve a gameplay issue that might get solved by it, or if it just seems like a particularly good idea for a specific reason.)


Are there in-game factors that might influence pirate bases to spawn/not spawn at certain places - like ruins of previous stations, near to debris fields of major battles, etc? Eg: build a station near enemies, then abandon it, so pirates might take over and proceed to raid enemies. Or would they spawn in semi-random locations, being less predictable, and less controllable by the player?

There are some factors; i.e. pirates won't establish bases in REDACTED systems. I'm not sure how much the player would be influence it, I don't imagine establishing and abandoning a colony would be something to undertake lightly.

Are there any ideas about scaling raids? A few raids from that get swatted by security would be understandable. Pirates aren't known for their strategic thinking, and their experienced commanders probably tend to have short lifespans. But multiple cycles of pirates throwing their ineffectual fleets at the same station dozens or hundreds of times might break immersion. Angry leaders occasionally building up for a large determined attack or decreasing frequency from losses might make more sense.

Yeah. Still working through the details here but, right, those are all considerations.

With the planned mechanics, what would you guesstimate the odds are that players might end up using pirate raids' salvage as a primary income source?

Pretty low. I'd think pirate raids wouldn't be that frequent and that reliable and that weak. Plus, combat by itself - without bounties - isn't all that profitable in the first place, and especially not compared to what else you might be doing.
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Cyan Leader

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2018, 11:46:15 PM »

What is the worst that can happen to a player colony if the player doesn't do anything? Would it only affect stability or can our stations actually be destroyed? I'm a bit worried over how much babysitting we'd have to do (pirates + whatever else might threaten your base), but I suppose once you upgrade your station well enough it won't be an issue.
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Histidine

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2018, 11:52:14 PM »

Is there a strategic-level AI governing the response to raids and counter-raids? Like, if I drop into a system unnanounced with an Onslaught for a doorknocker and a pirate fleet spots me, will they gather nearby fleets and attack me? Pull back all fleets in-system to defend the station? Or, if the forces are lopsided enough, simply abandon the system? (I better still get paid in the last case)
Will this change if I have my transponder off? (Maybe I'm just coming to trade!)

If the player leaves a pirate base alone long enough, will it ever go away on its own? Might one of the major factions could mount their own expedition to destroy the base?

Might the player gain the benefits of a faction's objectives through a commission or some other channel?
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xenoargh

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2018, 01:22:25 AM »

Overall, these new game systems look like they'll add a lot of depth and interest to the game!  Definitely excited :)

I think there are a lot of devils in the details, however:

1.  If players don't have strategic-level control of fleets and can't take command of fleets remotely, how is the game going to avoid becoming Whack-A-Mole?

2.  If build-times are a thing, then players will get stuck defending every single Outpost until it has Pirate-proof defenses, most likely.  Won't that be pretty boring?  Shouldn't players be off doing something fun and letting their underlings get on with it?

3.  What happens when players are, to put it gently, at the point where these Pirate groups aren't scary to their fleet at all, but can still (somehow) do relevant damage to their interests?  I mean, most of what was in the screenshots wouldn't scare me past early game; getting this idea to scale well is probably pretty crucial, because having to chase off a collection of Destroyers / Frigates that wouldn't be a real threat to my main fleet in a straight fight sounds boring.

4.  If some Markets are immortal, doesn't that more-or-less detract from the game being a sandbox?

5.  Shouldn't a player be able to bribe Pirates into raiding elsewhere? Paying barbarians to harry somebody else's borders is almost always better than fighting them, IRL.

6.  Shouldn't player patrols discover Pirate bases being built in nearby Systems?

7.  If that's so, why aren't they wiping out the bases during construction?

8.  If this works for the Pirates, economically, why doesn't it work for players or Factions?

Anyhow, just some thoughts.  Not sure why you aren't just building a single model for player vs. AI interactions at the strategic level, rather than this model where Pirates are exceptional, grow their empires, etc. is a good idea, frankly; I think that ultimately it's best if these systems are consistent and sensible. 

For example, if the Pirates can build their "raiding Outposts" quickly enough to be a real threat (and profitable, too), it stands to reason players and the Factions should be able to do the same; but that speed implies that there really should be quite a lot of border-war stuff going on between the Factions, where they're constantly trying to erect "raiding bases" to harass one another.

Perhaps a good solution might be that new Outpost Stations, complete with desired defenses, can be bought and transported by players, Factions, Pirates, etc., then moved around with a fleet and "booted up" wherever is appropriate.  This would get rid of a lot of Silly (like, why do players have to sit around building things, when Pirates suddenly get a Station up without any notice) but let players build well-defended colonies if they want, right from the start (if they're willing to pay the costs) ala the late-game in MOOII, where players built colonies with defenses instantly upon arrival in a new system.

Anyhow, just some thoughts on this, in terms of possible places where this might go awry, etc.  I'm very excited to hear how this part's getting fleshed out and I'm really excited about this update :)
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Kanil

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2018, 04:15:06 AM »

How does the whole "pirate base spawns near player colonies" thing work out if the player colonies are in the core systems? First thought would be Penelope's Star, but could also apply to some randomly generated worlds in inhabited systems that might be colony-worthy.

Hopefully near the player colonies is still far enough away to not be silly in such a situation.
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Ceosad

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2018, 07:54:36 AM »

How easily and readily is the new system moddable? Let's assume that I want to make the Luddic Path use the same system for pirate bases. Could having multiple factions with pirate bases cause trouble such as excessive raids? If player is friendly with a Pirate faction, the AI probably understands that it does not need to spawn pirate bases near player's colonies, right?

(I am asking mainly due to my plans of making a submod for Nexerelin with various minor factions added by splitting the Pirate and the Independent factions.)
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Sutopia

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2018, 09:10:46 AM »

Can't factions set up small automated defense platforms to fend off players from the objectives? Otherwise I'm can imagine players spam transverse jump right after they've done sabotaging.

I'd imagine such condition: auto defense system engage you if you try to sabotage/take over the objective and there will be a big countdown in the battle indicating: "enemy reinforcement arriving in XX:XX". If you fail to kill the defending platform fast enough you get in HUGE trouble fighting some armada.
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Megas

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2018, 09:50:42 AM »

Transverse Jump assumes Navigation 3, which is a hefty price for a skill that has no use in combat, although better fuel use at 2 and +5 to SB at 3 are good (for a QoL skill).  Plus, the cooldown it got made it less useful as a shortcut move.  I would take Navigation, except I do not due to lack of skill points (too many other skills compete).

If skills were unchanged aside from addition of skills governing administrators and colonies, the skill point squeeze is even worse than it is now, and it is bad now.
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TheDTYP

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2018, 10:03:38 AM »


There are some factors; i.e. pirates won't establish bases in REDACTED systems.


Aww man, that's a shame. I am loving the fact that there are things you can do to prepare for the battle proper with the pirate station. Kind of makes it feel like a straight up campaign rather than a one-off battle.

That being said, I hope you reconsider the pirates and REDACTED not spawning together. That would be an amazing opportunity for the player to strategize and exploit the enemy. Perhaps leading a fleet of REDACTED into the pirate fleets to whittle down their numbers and make the fight with their station easier? I feel there's a more potential for fun and variety than otherwise. Taking on pirate stations will be super fun, but I would love even more numerous ways to do so.

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Megas

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2018, 10:18:46 AM »

I can see pirates taking over AI systems and either making pirate versions of AI ships or upgrading their ships as used by deserters.

Speaking of deserters, they do not feel like pirates at all.  They feel like a major fraction with cheap red paint and a kiddie pirate sticker stamped on them.  It is like a Hegemony fleet saying "We are not the Hegemony! We are pirates! No, really we are! <Right!>"
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 10:20:20 AM by Megas »
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Alex

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2018, 11:07:29 AM »

What is the worst that can happen to a player colony if the player doesn't do anything? Would it only affect stability or can our stations actually be destroyed? I'm a bit worried over how much babysitting we'd have to do (pirates + whatever else might threaten your base), but I suppose once you upgrade your station well enough it won't be an issue.

If a station is defeated in battle, it goes into a "disrupted" state (a general thing for industries and structures) for half its build time, after which it comes back. This doesn't cost anything, but fo course the station is unavailable for combat support during that time.

As far as the worst that could happen - well, it depends. I'd imagine pirates would be interested in raiding, not destruction, though if they were particularly angry at you for whatever reason...

Let's just say that - if we expand this beyond pirates, also - that all options are on the table. The more severe outcomes would need to be more rare and signalled clearly, of course.


Also: I feel like in many of the responses, "pirate raids" are assumed to be a common thing and the main thing that pirate bases do. That's not the case; the main impact of bases is the "pirate activity" market condition, which is just a passive debuff which you can deal with by destroying the station, or by just ignoring and accepting the hit to your colony stats. Raids, which also don't exactly require player intervention, would be more rare.

Generally, the idea is that there are a lot of things for the player to deal with, and they have to prioritize what to deal with first, and what to ignore entirely until some future, more convenient time.


Is there a strategic-level AI governing the response to raids and counter-raids? Like, if I drop into a system unnanounced with an Onslaught for a doorknocker and a pirate fleet spots me, will they gather nearby fleets and attack me? Pull back all fleets in-system to defend the station? Or, if the forces are lopsided enough, simply abandon the system? (I better still get paid in the last case)
Will this change if I have my transponder off? (Maybe I'm just coming to trade!)

Bases don't shut down, no - I think that might just create problems in the name of doing some "realistic". There's some level of strategic AI but it's not particularly involved. In particular, it wouldn't do any of the things you say, but it would defend the objectives. It could be pretty easily extended to defend the base as well; basically it just creates a set of points that need to be defended, each with a weight/expiration time, and patrols/military fleets distribute themselves accordingly.

If the player leaves a pirate base alone long enough, will it ever go away on its own? Might one of the major factions could mount their own expedition to destroy the base?

Might the player gain the benefits of a faction's objectives through a commission or some other channel?

Maybe at some point? These seem very much like "optional extras".


Overall, these new game systems look like they'll add a lot of depth and interest to the game!  Definitely excited :)

:D

1.  If players don't have strategic-level control of fleets and can't take command of fleets remotely, how is the game going to avoid becoming Whack-A-Mole?

1) system defenses, 2) raids actually not being all that common, and 3) mostly not that disastrous. It's just a thing you have to prioritize responding to vs something else you might be doing.

2.  If build-times are a thing, then players will get stuck defending every single Outpost until it has Pirate-proof defenses, most likely.  Won't that be pretty boring?  Shouldn't players be off doing something fun and letting their underlings get on with it?

3.  What happens when players are, to put it gently, at the point where these Pirate groups aren't scary to their fleet at all, but can still (somehow) do relevant damage to their interests?

Again, see point re: raids not being super common. I'd also imagine pirates wouldn't find out about a brand-new colony or raid it immediately. As for the later game, I'd imagine system defenses would be strong enough at that point for minor raids not to matter.

5.  Shouldn't a player be able to bribe Pirates into raiding elsewhere? Paying barbarians to harry somebody else's borders is almost always better than fighting them, IRL.

Did think about it; another "optional extra" that might be nice at some point. On the flip side, it's got the "optimal play avoids combat" issue if it's cheap enough. Could possibly be an over-expensive option that you might take if you're in a bad position otherwise and can't respond to everything.

6.  Shouldn't player patrols discover Pirate bases being built in nearby Systems?

Was thinking that you might discover the location of a base for free at some point, yeah, if you've got a system with patrols nearby.

7.  If that's so, why aren't they wiping out the bases during construction?

8.  If this works for the Pirates, economically, why doesn't it work for players or Factions?

This seems to be coming at it from a "realism" perspective, which imo is not very useful. As usual, there are all sorts of reasons for why something might or might not "make sense". E.G. I'd imagine that whoever is constructing the base has enough firepower that patrols - which don't go out of the system much anyway - spread thin enough to comb multiple systems - would simply have no chance. Or maybe they do wipe some out.

I'm sure I could come up with plenty of other reasons as well. And I'm sure one could come up with plenty of reasons for why this - or anything else - *doesn't* make sense. Ultimately, it's up to the player to decide which they want to do. IMO, any sort of sandbox experience requires this sort of "cooperation" from the player, in terms of the story they're telling themselves.

The real reason is "it would be bad for gameplay".


How does the whole "pirate base spawns near player colonies" thing work out if the player colonies are in the core systems? First thought would be Penelope's Star, but could also apply to some randomly generated worlds in inhabited systems that might be colony-worthy.

Hopefully near the player colonies is still far enough away to not be silly in such a situation.

I guess it'd have to be a bit further away. Haven't gotten to coding this part yet, but there's nothing fundamental preventing pirate bases from operating from across the Sector if need be.


How easily and readily is the new system moddable? Let's assume that I want to make the Luddic Path use the same system for pirate bases. Could having multiple factions with pirate bases cause trouble such as excessive raids? If player is friendly with a Pirate faction, the AI probably understands that it does not need to spawn pirate bases near player's colonies, right?

(I am asking mainly due to my plans of making a submod for Nexerelin with various minor factions added by splitting the Pirate and the Independent factions.)

(Hi, and welcome to the forum!)

This is very moddable, yeah, though excessive raids might indeed be a problem. I'll see if I can make that tunable somehow, but no promises.

As far as the player being friendly with pirates, I don't know. In theory the code should handle it, but game-design-wise, that possibility is becoming more and more troublesome. Frankly, I could see just hard-locking the player-pirate reputation to -50 at some point. You don't need to be friendly with pirates to be a pirate yourself - or to deal with pirates - and since pirates cover *such* a huge range of possibilities, it doesn't make a lot of sense to be friendly with them in the first place.

(Also: I may or may not have plans to do something mechanically related with the Luddic Path.)


Can't factions set up small automated defense platforms to fend off players from the objectives? Otherwise I'm can imagine players spam transverse jump right after they've done sabotaging.

Hmm, this doesn't really seem like a problem - more like things wworking as intended - and a clean getaway doesn't require a transverse jump anyway.


That being said, I hope you reconsider the pirates and REDACTED not spawning together. That would be an amazing opportunity for the player to strategize and exploit the enemy. Perhaps leading a fleet of REDACTED into the pirate fleets to whittle down their numbers and make the fight with their station easier? I feel there's a more potential for fun and variety than otherwise. Taking on pirate stations will be super fun, but I would love even more numerous ways to do so.

I hear what you're saying, but what would most likely happen is just a bunch of non-stop random fights, with the pirates getting the short end of the stick. It wouldn't be the (neat) strategic thing you're envisioning.

Speaking of deserters, they do not feel like pirates at all.  They feel like a major fraction with cheap red paint and a kiddie pirate sticker stamped on them.  It is like a Hegemony fleet saying "We are not the Hegemony! We are pirates! No, really we are! <Right!>"

Again, "pirates" covers a wide range of possibilities. It's really anyone outside the law in the Sector, as defined by the major factions.
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SCC

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2018, 11:45:39 AM »

As far as the worst that could happen - well, it depends. I'd imagine pirates would be interested in raiding, not destruction, though if they were particularly angry at you for whatever reason...
I think that making a target colony (or one of them, since it targets star systems) decrease by one order of magnitude would be sufficiently punishing, but recoverable.

This is very moddable, yeah, though excessive raids might indeed be a problem. I'll see if I can make that tunable somehow, but no promises.

As far as the player being friendly with pirates, I don't know. In theory the code should handle it, but game-design-wise, that possibility is becoming more and more troublesome. Frankly, I could see just hard-locking the player-pirate reputation to -50 at some point. You don't need to be friendly with pirates to be a pirate yourself - or to deal with pirates - and since pirates cover *such* a huge range of possibilities, it doesn't make a lot of sense to be friendly with them in the first place.
I think that limiting raids to just 1 at the same time, per faction, should do the trick, doubly so if the mechanic doesn't end up being available for all factions.
As for pirate reputation, I'd just shift their behaviour 50 points to the right, so that the player can't gain as much good will as with other factions, but can gather much more wrath, if the scale goes -150 to 50.

SafariJohn

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2018, 01:36:00 PM »

In any case, something like say Kanta's Den:
1) remains a standalone station, and
2) has a (in this case) "star fortress" industry

Since the game is aware of the primary entity being a station, it doesn't spawn a separate "station" entity around it, but treats the primary entity as if it were the station, for purposes of combat etc. Hope that answers your question!

the combat portion of [Kanta's Den] can be taken out, but the hab portion will remain and the combat section will eventually be rebuilt. Stations are a stack of rings, basically, right? And in combat, you see the combat section. Pirate bases are "special" in that they do get despawned on being defeated.

If a station is defeated in battle, it goes into a "disrupted" state (a general thing for industries and structures) for half its build time, after which it comes back. This doesn't cost anything, but fo course the station is unavailable for combat support during that time.

So if I'm reading this right, attacking a station results in one of the following:

- If the station is a battlestation orbiting a planet market it is destroyed, but the market's "battlestation" structure/industry will remain and eventually a new battlestation will appear.

- If the station is a market station, like Tigra City or Citadel Arcadia, it can be attacked, but only the combat section can be destroyed. The station will remain and eventually the combat section will be repaired.

- But certain market stations (such as the pirate stations featured in this blog post) are instead completely destroyed.

- Then there are stations with no association with a market, such as [REDACTED] stations, that are completely destroyed like the above pirate stations.


Of course, there's nothing preventing passive, invincible stations like the current ones. Will some vanilla stations still be like that?
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Sutopia

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Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2018, 07:00:33 PM »


This is very moddable, yeah, though excessive raids might indeed be a problem. I'll see if I can make that tunable somehow, but no promises.

As far as the player being friendly with pirates, I don't know. In theory the code should handle it, but game-design-wise, that possibility is becoming more and more troublesome. Frankly, I could see just hard-locking the player-pirate reputation to -50 at some point. You don't need to be friendly with pirates to be a pirate yourself - or to deal with pirates - and since pirates cover *such* a huge range of possibilities, it doesn't make a lot of sense to be friendly with them in the first place.
I think that limiting raids to just 1 at the same time, per faction, should do the trick, doubly so if the mechanic doesn't end up being available for all factions.
As for pirate reputation, I'd just shift their behaviour 50 points to the right, so that the player can't gain as much good will as with other factions, but can gather much more wrath, if the scale goes -150 to 50.

I don't think pirates even HAVE any kind of central authority or universal intel network thus I don't think a universal reputation applies in first place.
A possible approach would be let there be a general "pirate" faction but when a pirate raiding outpost spawns it generates itself a sub-faction and run a semi-independent reputation system.
The initial reputation it spawns would be -50+(0.5 x general pirate rep) (or whatever factor fits in there) and they still can show partial hostility at rep 0 but much less than at -100.
After all pirates are still humans, they just want money and cargo and whatever valueable for them to have better life, maybe you'll be able to negotiate with pirate outpost boss at subfaction rep 0 and give them something they ask for to temporarily stop them from raiding. (They may also ask you for warships and weapons and later cheat on you... who knows lol)
Anything you do to pirates (including subfactions) now will have little impact on pirate general rep but they still do stack up, allowing more dynamic strategy against pirates.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 07:02:14 PM by Sutopia »
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