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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

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Author Topic: Faction Relationships  (Read 40643 times)

Thaago

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2014, 08:31:06 PM »

I am really excited to see this! The biggest thing that limits replayability right now is that the sector is so static... all this together is really going to make things feel alive.

Have you thought about placing a few procedural worlds on the fringes? I know a while back you wanted to do a core of hand made content and a few procedural worlds to fill it out - it might make the next version really interesting to have just a few worlds subtly changing the trade relationships for each playthrough. Might become a balancing nightmare though, and I wouldn't want to push back the release! ;)

Question: does attacking enemies of a faction improve your rating with them? Or would they have to 'authorize' you first? Maybe one way of being bumped up to cooperative is if your faction relationships match that of the faction (the Hegemony only really trusts you once you've well and truly shown that you are anti-trytach... and back if up with battles/destabilizing smuggling).
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Alex

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2014, 09:10:22 PM »

I hope the rewards for higher tiers of friendship isn't only bigger ships/weapons. What I mean by this is that if the player goes out of his way to max a friendship status with a faction, say a faction that is very hard to please even, then the reward should be very rewarding. So far from the mods and from the game I've been seeing a lot of people trying to balance the game so no ship would be inherently OP, which is fine, but if we're going to introduce a progression system into the game then I hope the ships/weapons/etc we get from this are actually better than the stuff you can find elsewhere. They should still be very expensive, but maybe they are a little better than the other ships when it comes to the Supply/Power ratio or have an unique ability that makes them special while using them in combat or very useful.

Yeah, that's a fair point. I don't think that ships/weapons are going to be the sum total of faction reputation rewards, though they largely will be for the next release.

As far as vanilla weapons, they were already built with an eye towards progression, though the better versions tend to be expensive and not better in *every* aspect. For example, in the "small kinetic" line, you've got Light AC -> Light Dual AC -> Railgun -> Light Needler. I think this line in particular is a pretty solid progression, even if you account for the higher OP costs.

That said, separating weapons out by availability in this way actually opens up the opportunity to have some that *are* straight upgrades, or just bigger upgrades. Definitely need to keep an eye on that. I don't think too many new weapons are needed, but a couple more in key spots would be nice. So, right, good point all in all.

How is the reputation required to buy a good determined?

For weapons, it's "tier" in weapon_data.csv. 0->favorable up to 3->cooperative. Almost makes it look like I've planned this out from the start, doesn't it? Muahahahahahahaha*cough*.


I feel like it would be cool if the black market offered a way to buy fancier weapons/ships than a faction is otherwise willing to sell you (equal to a reputation boost of x amount). Prices for weapons would generally be higher than legally acquired ones, and you might take a small relations hit if caught. More hostile factions might impound your ships until you pay a certain fee... could be an interesting way to lose ships/money when you get caught smuggling. Outright hostile factions will try to impound your ships/not let you dock regardless of whether you're dealing on the black market or not.

Kind of how it works, actually - the black market gets fewer weapons, but they aren't tier-restricted. As far as prices, they're actually lower on the black market because there's no tariff; the standard tariff elsewhere is 30%. The idea behind no tariffs on the black market is to encourage the player to smuggle/offset its risks. Weapons don't participate in that at the moment, but they probably will eventually, so it might not work out. Hmm. Let me write this down and take a look. The idea of "higher prices for weapons on the black market" makes sense, just need to think through how it works with everything and make sure there isn't some giant loophole where it results in free money. And also if it's easy to make work that way.

The consequences of getting caught, still working through - you're not actually caught in the act, but there's reputation loss due to suspicion, the possibility of an investigation event with more dire consequences, etc. Where it's at might be good enough for now, but I need to take a good look at smuggling, and that's likely related.

You could even have a skill in the "industry" category that give bonuses to black market trades. Each rank in the skill is equivalent to +10 faction relationship for the purposes of black market trading and reduces the chances and consequences of getting caught. Ranks of the skill would also improve your ability to sell weapons/ships/cargo on the black market and increase your selling price (factions might not buy weapons from you if they don't trust you). Likewise, just being outright friendly with a faction gives you opportunities for better deals and other side missions.

Yeah, there's lots of room for trade-related skills here. Definitely not in the cards for this release, though - staying away entirely from changing/adding skills.

The logos for the Ludd factions/Diktat seem a little uninteresting. The Hegemony and Tri-Tachyon logos, on the other hand are rather fabulous and spiffy (OMFG I LOVE THE HEGEMONY ONE).

Aw! I like 'em, but they might not be final.

Also not sure how I feel about having 3 very closely related factions all with "Ludd" in the name. They might feel a little more different if the names were changed so that only one of them was the "Ludd faction" and they had different colors/insignia.

The names, I think make sense. The colors/insignia, they other two currently use the one for the Luddic Church as placeholders; I'd imagine they'll all end up with their own (though similar/related). The Path doesn't actually have a presence in the Sector just now, so it might not make an appearance quite yet.

re: 3 ludd factions

would it be cleaner to have them sorted by alliances? Like having a "Luddite" alliance for these 3, then the "star patrol" (mentioned somewhere in the lore) being rolled together with the Hegemony, along with whatever allies or vassals they might have. That could get messy if really complicated faction relation webs start forming though....

We'll see, yeah. Right now there's no explicit support for "related" factions, as it's not strictly necessary, but that'll have to be fleshed out at some point, and adjusting this UI is part of that.

Have you thought about placing a few procedural worlds on the fringes? I know a while back you wanted to do a core of hand made content and a few procedural worlds to fill it out - it might make the next version really interesting to have just a few worlds subtly changing the trade relationships for each playthrough. Might become a balancing nightmare though, and I wouldn't want to push back the release! ;)

I did a little bit, but, uh. What you said :) I think that belongs more in a release focused around exploration stuff.

Question: does attacking enemies of a faction improve your rating with them? Or would they have to 'authorize' you first? Maybe one way of being bumped up to cooperative is if your faction relationships match that of the faction (the Hegemony only really trusts you once you've well and truly shown that you are anti-trytach... and back if up with battles/destabilizing smuggling).

Not unless there's a bounty out. Been thinking about that too, though, so that's not set in stone.

Very interesting idea re: needing similar relationships. I'm not sure that's something that's easy to express using the current mechanics, but could see this playing a part in, say, doing missions for faction higher-ups - which might, in turn, be eventually be the only way to get up to "cooperative". It might even be a requirement for getting such missions to begin with.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 09:24:48 PM by Alex »
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Taverius

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2014, 10:12:43 PM »

I feel like it would be cool if the black market offered a way to buy fancier weapons/ships than a faction is otherwise willing to sell you (equal to a reputation boost of x amount). Prices for weapons would generally be higher than legally acquired ones, and you might take a small relations hit if caught. More hostile factions might impound your ships until you pay a certain fee... could be an interesting way to lose ships/money when you get caught smuggling. Outright hostile factions will try to impound your ships/not let you dock regardless of whether you're dealing on the black market or not.

Kind of how it works, actually - the black market gets fewer weapons, but they aren't tier-restricted. As far as prices, they're actually lower on the black market because there's no tariff; the standard tariff elsewhere is 30%. The idea behind no tariffs on the black market is to encourage the player to smuggle/offset its risks. Weapons don't participate in that at the moment, but they probably will eventually, so it might not work out. Hmm. Let me write this down and take a look. The idea of "higher prices for weapons on the black market" makes sense, just need to think through how it works with everything and make sure there isn't some giant loophole where it results in free money. And also if it's easy to make work that way.

I would say it would make sense for bottom tier weapons to come at some discount, sliding to a hefty markup for top tier.

I'd imagine getting (irl) some surplus issue rifles/pistols would probably be pretty cheap, while getting hold of, say, an aa missile battery of the latest design would come at considerable cost. After all, the final cost in the black market had to include the risks nefarious individuals took to get them to the market.

It also keeps buying basic weapons there attractive gameplay wise, because "we can get you boxes of ak's, cheap"

As far as money loopholes - well, illegal weapons trading is a profitable business, and the player oughto be able to get in that - so long add the appropriate risks are present :)

Buying good weapons to sell to the black market at profit sounds cool if I risk massive reputation loss etc.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 10:17:07 PM by Taverius »
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2014, 10:40:36 PM »

Vengeful, imo, shouldn't be able to be negated barring VERY special events, off of the top of my head, here are a few possibilities:
-Change of faction leadership, likely result of the death of the current leader or the utter defeat and subsequent splintering of the faction
Yep, generally on the same page here.
Could this be done by the player? I would LOVE to do this~ *rubs my paws together evilly*

Also, I do see one potential problem the the "impossible to escape" ness of the Vengeful rep: A "stealth" death trap so to speak. I mean, by the sound of it, Vengeful would even block you from docking so it would block both the Black market and the ability to trade at all, leading to NEEDING to pirate which further sours your rep with everyone... And since not even death can get you out of it, it is basically a game over.


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PCCL

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2014, 10:42:41 PM »

vs ONE faction, that's hardly game over......

if anything, I like the consequence introduced by this mechanic
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Trylobot

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2014, 10:46:40 PM »

Nice post, Alex. Your blog is always a good read these days.
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2014, 11:08:39 PM »

vs ONE faction, that's hardly game over......

if anything, I like the consequence introduced by this mechanic
Yeah I ws talking about everyone, not just one faction
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Linnis

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2014, 11:13:22 PM »

Raising relationship to cooperative...

Multi fleet engagements!

Say, defending a mining fleet from pirates.
Or participate in a war effort in faction vs faction.

 ;D
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2014, 11:29:37 PM »

Raising relationship to cooperative...

Multi fleet engagements!

Say, defending a mining fleet from pirates.
Or participate in a war effort in faction vs faction.

 ;D
I wish! I would go NUTS if this were true!
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Okim

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2014, 01:39:08 AM »

Oh, man... I guess I`ll spend ages to accommodate Ironclads to all this new additions...

A quick questions - I suppose that all stances can be easily modded and their effects adjusted? And I have no doubt that these stances can be either 'called' by the exact number or it`s ID should I need them anywhere in the scripts?

Another question - you said that trading with someone will have a negative impact on relations with their enemies. Is it automated or do we (modders) need to specifically adjust it somewhere? And how these enemies will actually understand that you are doing that?

Okim

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2014, 01:58:50 AM »

Quote
Quote from: Thaago on August 12, 2014, 08:31:06 PM

Question: does attacking enemies of a faction improve your rating with them? Or would they have to 'authorize' you first? Maybe one way of being bumped up to cooperative is if your faction relationships match that of the faction (the Hegemony only really trusts you once you've well and truly shown that you are anti-trytach... and back if up with battles/destabilizing smuggling).


Not unless there's a bounty out. Been thinking about that too, though, so that's not set in stone.

Very interesting idea re: needing similar relationships. I'm not sure that's something that's easy to express using the current mechanics, but could see this playing a part in, say, doing missions for faction higher-ups - which might, in turn, be eventually be the only way to get up to "cooperative". It might even be a requirement for getting such missions to begin with.

From modding perspective I`d like to vote for such linked relationships. Like, for example, getting cooperative with a military faction only if in good terms with this faction`s civilian sector (subfaction).

Lcu

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2014, 02:44:26 AM »

Would need to draw faction banners soon.....
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SCC

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2014, 03:27:14 AM »

Smuggling... How about unauthorized, but also undetected docking? I mean, when there are a lot of ships around station it gets tricky to track them all, so one or two ships can get past. Something like... 1/number of ships orbiting or near station * number of player's ships = chance of getting caught on radar (though the number of player's ships compared to others' should also count). That would force player to wait until there is a lot of ships (in worst cause, hostile) and to try then to smuggle goods. Unsuccesfull try would worsen relationship with station's owner.
IMO it would be cool if good (or very good) relationship with faction would make it possible to call for reinforcements from them if you're in absolutely *** situation (Running out of fuel on enemy's territory? Being on brink of loosing a battle with risk of permadeth/losing everything? Or maybe just cooperative raid for some bounty? Last thing would work very well with pirates. :P).
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 03:35:40 AM by SCC »
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Gothars

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2014, 04:10:50 AM »

Man, this is gonna be a grand update.  :)

The relation system seems pretty straightforward, but I really like the twist with the limits, should make for a more authentic behavior. Just don't forget do communicate clearly when and why an action has no or reduced influence on standing.


Are faction relations interconnected? E.G. does improving your standing with one faction beyond a certain threshold automatically impact your relation with enemies or friends of that faction?


Quote
the first few trade-reputation points with a faction are easier to gain, and then it levels out. ... those first points let the player know quickly that trade has this effect, and the gain is distributed more evenly as the player levels up, instead of back-loading all of it to when the player has the capacity to trade in bulk.


It might  be worth a thought to display these early bonuses as such, i.e. make it 5+3 in the beginning, dropping to 5, instead of 8 and dropping to 5. Otherwise players might feel as if you are taking something away from them later (instead of feeling like getting a bonus early on).
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Dratai

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2014, 04:56:59 AM »

This opens up a lot of possibilities, action-wise.
But I have to raise the question of whether you'll implement in-campaign missions, longer 'crusades' of fighting or even the possibility to come to someone's aid (for instance a three-way battle with options attack A, B or both, or even wait it out and attack the winner)?

I already posted a bit about it on the market thread, though late so if you haven't read it, I'll qoute it here:

Spoiler
One thought is to add in escort work.
building up a reputation for being successful unlocks bigger rewards/convoys.
It would also perhaps take you from point A to point B out of your control after a series of battles (between which you may not be regaining much CR or do many repairs on account of being on alert/guarding the important (maybe higher priority than normal) shipment)

Essentially, this way it's no longer just "guard ship X" (though it could also be) or "transport Y" to "point Z".
That and I notice with how enemies avoid stronger fleets it might seem prudent that actual pirate assaults on a player's "trade run" would be against some kind of high value target. Maybe even construct a specific battle map/type for this purpose?

(which also means you could later add in scouting battles where you have to traverse a map and get harrassed/assaulted at key points)

Because when you hit big enough fleetsize, most enemies will automatically flee, avoid you and be too weak to fight back.
This whole suggestion could mean that a player would have to hold back part of their fleet/fighting force in light of unknown enemy numbers and battles. (also allowing for players who keep a varied force on hand to maybe split into two or more task groups for the "campaign"/engagement)

but this is just a thought that struck me seeing how you want to avoid trading be simply moving from A->B
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On the other hand, I'm also curious as to if better standings will give you markdowns on equipment/ships or if you can, say, trade some influence, as it were, for a selection of ships/crew, later down the line. Those kinda things.
Also if, maybe it'd restrict you a bit in how you can oppose certain factions if you're cooperative, for instance said three way battle now doesn't give you the choice (or gives you the choice to take on everyone at once and try to pass it off as a misunderstanding with the faction you're amicable with.

Though.. this is just me throwing ideas out there, I doubt they're too feasible unless it's way later in development when you've other things in place?
Just thought I'd share some suggestions either way, I do like where this is all headed.
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