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Author Topic: No Survivors!  (Read 1495 times)

Plantissue

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2019, 04:15:56 AM »

In that case I would expect every fleet that is bigger than you including those massive main faction trading fleets or even bounty fleets to remorsely attack you as soon as they are out of comm range in hyperspace. Seems only fair. Afterall, no one will know what they did, as long as they completely obliterate your ships.
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LucusLoC

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2019, 07:41:00 AM »

Seems like a pretty easy thing to balance to me, just make it a bit harder to mop up all the fast little ships that flee. Make it difficult enough for the auto-resolve to do that and there will be no in lore incentive for most factions to try it, but gives another way for the player to potentially stand out as special.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2019, 09:18:28 AM »

In that case I would expect every fleet that is bigger than you including those massive main faction trading fleets or even bounty fleets to remorsely attack you as soon as they are out of comm range in hyperspace. Seems only fair. Afterall, no one will know what they did, as long as they completely obliterate your ships.

You would expect if you are out of comm relay range and there are no fleets in visual range, then fleets that can defeat you with minimal loses and ensure that no ships can escape would consider attacking you.

Fleets that will take any significant loses to kill you would lose more than they gain, even if they succeed. Most fleets also don't have the specialized ships required to hunt down every last ship in the retreat phase. Faction fleets are also likely on someones payroll meaning there would be someone wondering where all those supplies went or why they are a week late for delivery. Also, at least some people are likely to have a conscience.

Btw, Independent fleets already sometimes switch to pirates and attack you if you are far from the core so this mechanic already exists to some extent.
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Plantissue

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2019, 12:45:35 PM »

Only the salvage fleets attack you. I've never seen prospector do so, though it might be because they are too weak. But if trade fleets have at least some people are likely to have a conscience, then why don't yours? They can be the ones to tell people what you have ordered them to do, whether by accident on on purpose.
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LucusLoC

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2019, 01:52:02 PM »

Only the salvage fleets attack you. I've never seen prospector do so, though it might be because they are too weak. But if trade fleets have at least some people are likely to have a conscience, then why don't yours? They can be the ones to tell people what you have ordered them to do, whether by accident on on purpose.

Because the player does not need to employ a conscious to kill pixels. At some point the "then why does the player. .  .?" argument breaks down, because the player is operating with stuff the NPCs can never have access too. If the player chooses to treat those fleets with respect so they can RP a decent and moral commander they are free to do so, but there is zero reason the player needs to adhere to any moral code that may be imposed upon the NPCs.

"Faction fleets font randomly attack everyone because they abide by a basic moral code" is a perfectly valid in lore reason for why uncontrolled space is no a perpetual bloodbath. IF the player wants to make the space around them into that bloodbath that is their prerogative, and the fact that their fleet follows orders is just good game mechanics. You can rationalize it any way you want, from "the player is the most charismatic tyrant ever" to "the player brain wipes all subordinates", but at the end of the day "because it makes for better gameplay" is the only real reason needed.
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Plantissue

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2019, 02:21:17 AM »

In the first place, placing that pixels have consciousness, but your pixels don't have any to reduce your reputation somewhat breaks the suspension of belief. The player doesn't have to follow the same moral code, but it's a bizarre justification that people have a conscience but somehow your own crew will not. But in the end it doesn't make for better gameplay, for reasons I already described.
Getting no rep change from destroying every ship seems a bit "gamey". If you attack only because you expected to destroy every ship but do not, then you will feel like you failed. There's no reason why the attack couldn't had been broadcasted or recorded in data storage like flight recorders when the disappearance of a fleet is investigated.
The out of place morale justification came afterwards.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 03:59:46 AM by Plantissue »
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2019, 09:33:26 AM »

The commanders of the fleets are really the ones who would have to abide by a moral code, the crew are chosen by them and follow their orders to some extent at least. If the player wants to be a psychopath, he would presumably try to choose crew that won't rat him out, and the factions will presumably not hire only psychopaths as their commanders.
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Amoebka

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2019, 09:42:08 AM »

Some NPC fleets take advantage of anonymity and attack, some don't.
Some players will take advantage of anonymity, some won't.
Don't see much of an issue here. Crew not having morals is hardly a problem - if those 500 DP """salvage""" fleets can find enough pirates to crew their ventures, so can the player.
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bobucles

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2019, 09:45:04 AM »

Don't forget this is a post-collapse setting. Most of space is poorly governed, and small independent governments are littered everywhere. It's largely a wild frontier out there, so if a fleet disappears there are few parties who would know or care.

LucusLoC

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2019, 10:38:13 AM »

In the first place, placing that pixels have consciousness, but your pixels don't have any to reduce your reputation somewhat breaks the suspension of belief. The player doesn't have to follow the same moral code, but it's a bizarre justification that people have a conscience but somehow your own crew will not. But in the end it doesn't make for better gameplay, for reasons I already described.
Getting no rep change from destroying every ship seems a bit "gamey". If you attack only because you expected to destroy every ship but do not, then you will feel like you failed. There's no reason why the attack couldn't had been broadcasted or recorded in data storage like flight recorders when the disappearance of a fleet is investigated.
The out of place morale justification came afterwards.

Actually I think you are the only one here who thinks it would not enhance gameplay. Most everyone else thinks it would.
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Plantissue

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2019, 04:22:20 AM »

You are supposed to say why you think something would enhance gameplay, rather than to merely state it will.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 07:00:47 AM by Plantissue »
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bobucles

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2019, 05:42:51 AM »

Would the distance from the core worlds matter? Blowing up a massive trade fleet inside hedgy space is suspicious even if there are no survivors. Would nearby fleets be able to investigate after witnessing a battle? Just because the victim can't report a battle, doesn't mean no one else saw it. Gigantic explosions and burning hulls have a way of showing up on space sensors, after all.

Picking off every single ship to the last man is also not a trivial affair. Fleet pursuit battles involve a pile of fleeing ships, but some of them can still get away. Are any escaped ships an automatic failure? Are your crew guaranteed to keep their mouths shut in the space bars? Rumors have a way of spreading around, even if there weren't any survivors there is always a circumstantial trail of evidence that will make your own fleet suspicious.

I think the idea brings up more questions than it does answers. Also, chasing down a shattered fleet to shut them up doesn't sound like a lot of fun.

LucusLoC

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2019, 08:19:01 AM »

Would the distance from the core worlds matter? Blowing up a massive trade fleet inside hedgy space is suspicious even if there are no survivors. Would nearby fleets be able to investigate after witnessing a battle? Just because the victim can't report a battle, doesn't mean no one else saw it. Gigantic explosions and burning hulls have a way of showing up on space sensors, after all.

Sensor range indeed does factor into it:

Quote from: Histidine
- System has working comm relay: rep loss no matter what you do, since the enemy fleet transmits distress signals and other information about the battle
- System has no comm relay, some enemies escape: rep loss due to survivors reporting back
- System has no comm relay, no enemies escape: reduced or no rep loss
  - Nonzero rep loss could result from rumors leaking from your crew
  - And if we want to overengineer this, the chance of such leaks is based on your fleet size/crew count

I would say nearby fleets definitely factor into this calculation, provided you account for factional issues (e.g. if you were witnessed by pirates killing their enemy, they probably would have no incentive to either look at the fight closer nor report the findings back to the victim faction, meaning virtually no change to the rep calculations other than maybe a slight boost to the chance of "rumors"). If, on the other hand, you were in sensor range of another fleet of the same faction the risk of "rumors" or even outright discovery goes way, way up, unless you also manage to "disappear" that fleet before they get back within coms range too.

Quote
Picking off every single ship to the last man is also not a trivial affair. Fleet pursuit battles involve a pile of fleeing ships, but some of them can still get away. Are any escaped ships an automatic failure? Are your crew guaranteed to keep their mouths shut in the space bars? Rumors have a way of spreading around, even if there weren't any survivors there is always a circumstantial trail of evidence that will make your own fleet suspicious.


already accounted for in the original comment. Yes you need to get every ship, and yes, there can still be minimal rep loss even if you are 100% successful due to other factors. If you want to put all that under more direct player control you could invent skills for things like "sec ops" that minimizes own-crew rumors and needing to clean up the debris field (as someone else salvaging it cold reveal your misdeeds). Some of these would invite whole new mechanics be added to the game, which I am not opposed to in the slightest, but the suggestion seemed to be made withing the bounds of the current game scope.

Quote
I think the idea brings up more questions than it does answers. Also, chasing down a shattered fleet to shut them up doesn't sound like a lot of fun.

The mechanic is aimed squarely at people who want to play the "clean pirate", who maintain high rep yet prey on targets of opportunity out beyond the range of civilization. It enables a very specific play style that should not be easy. It also allows players with a more normal play style a somewhat-less-than-ethical option for dealing with certain problems the game presents so long as they are willing to see it through to the end (i.e. mopping up any survivors before they find someone to report back their folly). This could be a very attractive "out" for use in these rare situations that are currently not handled well within game.

It also certainly opens up the door to other ideas like espionage and double agent styles of play, as well as things like secret trade wars and such. Giving the player the ability to hunt fleets for a potential zero rep loss with the targeted faction opens up a whole host of opportunities that do not exist with the current simple fixed-rep-hit for transponder-off attacks, and allows for more flexibility with the attack setup (you could, for example, attack with the transponder *on* and still suffer no rep hit, so long as you were committed to 100% cleanup of the mess both during and after battle. This means maybe you do not have to chase down a faster fleet, but also means bigger risks if something does escape). 

It would also allow for the implementation of other good ideas from mods to take a more sensible foothold (like infamous ships, for example). If you had escapees from a fleet of well know ships your rep hit would be *much* higher due to you being easily recognized as the culprit regardless of your transponder status, but a fleet composed of a bunch of scrap yard salvage would bring you virtually no rep hit with or without survivors due to no one really having seen any of those ships before. And such a mechanic would invite a tie in to things like espionage, where players and AI entities would attempt to mimic infamous ships to frame each other for crimes, which itself would open up whole game-pay loops where the player, for example, needs to hunt down an impostor fleet to clear their good name and restore any rep hits it caused (and maybe also avail themselves of the ability to commit a crime or two to blame on that same impostor when they do bring them to justice).

This mechanic really leads to a nesting doll effect for other ideas and game-play styles and is a great foundational mechanic for that reason. It is so much more nuanced than the simple "fixed rep hit for attacking a fleet (smaller if transponder is off)" mechanic we have now, and that ultimately means greater player agency (which is a very good thing to have in this context).
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TruKave

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2019, 12:25:30 PM »

Would the distance from the core worlds matter? Blowing up a massive trade fleet inside hedgy space is suspicious even if there are no survivors. Would nearby fleets be able to investigate after witnessing a battle? Just because the victim can't report a battle, doesn't mean no one else saw it. Gigantic explosions and burning hulls have a way of showing up on space sensors, after all.

Sensor range indeed does factor into it:

Quote from: Histidine
- System has working comm relay: rep loss no matter what you do, since the enemy fleet transmits distress signals and other information about the battle
- System has no comm relay, some enemies escape: rep loss due to survivors reporting back
- System has no comm relay, no enemies escape: reduced or no rep loss
  - Nonzero rep loss could result from rumors leaking from your crew
  - And if we want to overengineer this, the chance of such leaks is based on your fleet size/crew count

I would say nearby fleets definitely factor into this calculation, provided you account for factional issues (e.g. if you were witnessed by pirates killing their enemy, they probably would have no incentive to either look at the fight closer nor report the findings back to the victim faction, meaning virtually no change to the rep calculations other than maybe a slight boost to the chance of "rumors"). If, on the other hand, you were in sensor range of another fleet of the same faction the risk of "rumors" or even outright discovery goes way, way up, unless you also manage to "disappear" that fleet before they get back within coms range too.

Quote
Picking off every single ship to the last man is also not a trivial affair. Fleet pursuit battles involve a pile of fleeing ships, but some of them can still get away. Are any escaped ships an automatic failure? Are your crew guaranteed to keep their mouths shut in the space bars? Rumors have a way of spreading around, even if there weren't any survivors there is always a circumstantial trail of evidence that will make your own fleet suspicious.


already accounted for in the original comment. Yes you need to get every ship, and yes, there can still be minimal rep loss even if you are 100% successful due to other factors. If you want to put all that under more direct player control you could invent skills for things like "sec ops" that minimizes own-crew rumors and needing to clean up the debris field (as someone else salvaging it cold reveal your misdeeds). Some of these would invite whole new mechanics be added to the game, which I am not opposed to in the slightest, but the suggestion seemed to be made withing the bounds of the current game scope.

Quote
I think the idea brings up more questions than it does answers. Also, chasing down a shattered fleet to shut them up doesn't sound like a lot of fun.

The mechanic is aimed squarely at people who want to play the "clean pirate", who maintain high rep yet prey on targets of opportunity out beyond the range of civilization. It enables a very specific play style that should not be easy. It also allows players with a more normal play style a somewhat-less-than-ethical option for dealing with certain problems the game presents so long as they are willing to see it through to the end (i.e. mopping up any survivors before they find someone to report back their folly). This could be a very attractive "out" for use in these rare situations that are currently not handled well within game.

It also certainly opens up the door to other ideas like espionage and double agent styles of play, as well as things like secret trade wars and such. Giving the player the ability to hunt fleets for a potential zero rep loss with the targeted faction opens up a whole host of opportunities that do not exist with the current simple fixed-rep-hit for transponder-off attacks, and allows for more flexibility with the attack setup (you could, for example, attack with the transponder *on* and still suffer no rep hit, so long as you were committed to 100% cleanup of the mess both during and after battle. This means maybe you do not have to chase down a faster fleet, but also means bigger risks if something does escape). 

It would also allow for the implementation of other good ideas from mods to take a more sensible foothold (like infamous ships, for example). If you had escapees from a fleet of well know ships your rep hit would be *much* higher due to you being easily recognized as the culprit regardless of your transponder status, but a fleet composed of a bunch of scrap yard salvage would bring you virtually no rep hit with or without survivors due to no one really having seen any of those ships before. And such a mechanic would invite a tie in to things like espionage, where players and AI entities would attempt to mimic infamous ships to frame each other for crimes, which itself would open up whole game-pay loops where the player, for example, needs to hunt down an impostor fleet to clear their good name and restore any rep hits it caused (and maybe also avail themselves of the ability to commit a crime or two to blame on that same impostor when they do bring them to justice).

This mechanic really leads to a nesting doll effect for other ideas and game-play styles and is a great foundational mechanic for that reason. It is so much more nuanced than the simple "fixed rep hit for attacking a fleet (smaller if transponder is off)" mechanic we have now, and that ultimately means greater player agency (which is a very good thing to have in this context).

This sounds like proper stealth mechanics.

I feel like it could be interesting if your crew acted like their own faction (a faction that starts at cooperative but can decrease as you do immoral things and can rat you out if they like you too little) which'd probably be able to extend into some kind of "rebellion" feature where your own faction hates you.
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LucusLoC

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Re: No Survivors!
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2019, 03:29:37 PM »

I feel like it could be interesting if your crew acted like their own faction (a faction that starts at cooperative but can decrease as you do immoral things and can rat you out if they like you too little) which'd probably be able to extend into some kind of "rebellion" feature where your own faction hates you.

The only problem I have with that is the mechanic ignores the fact that huge pirate fleets exists, and the fact that faction fleets will saturation bomb upstart colonies in inconvenient locations. . . "crew morality" does not seem to be a thing the game cares about tracking, and instead abstracts it out and just assumes you will hire people who are "morally compatible" with your leadership.

If the game ever does decide to go the rout of allowing crew rebellion and such, there will need to be mechanics available to select "morally compatible" crew, and/or have other mitigation options. I do not find that a very compelling game-play mechanic, but I understand if others do and will not mind it so long as it is not a huge burden to deal with (I think flying through a dozen systems to gather a dozen or so "morally compatible" crew at each system would be too much of a burden, for example. I would settle for some kind of filter that slightly adjusted the price of crew at a single station though).

The next major hazard comes from now needing to track the morality alignment of each individual crew item, which might get computationally burdensome, then there comes questions about assigning crew with certain moralities to certain ships. . . To do this properly gets complicated fast. I am not sure it is worth the hassle and we should probably just stick to leaving it an abstract concept, as embodied in the fact that "crew" are treated as a comity that can be bought and sold at will (which is a whole other wrinkle that we have not even explored. Maybe that 1000 crew you bought just to trade did not want to be offloaded on some podunk corner of the sector, did you ever think of that?).
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