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Author Topic: Faction Relationships  (Read 40639 times)

Alex

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2014, 10:50:10 AM »

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.

Right, "as long as the appropriate risks are present" etc - therein lies (at least some of) the rub. The other part is that, thinking about it today, this would very much be creating an alternate "economy" to make black market weapon sales workable, instead of eventually incorporating weapons into the existing economy and gonig from there.


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

Thank you, glad you got something out of it :)


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?

The rep levels and their names are not moddable. Implementation-wise, they're an enum - like weapon size/type are. Everything else about it is moddable - the actions, the reputation changes, etc.

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?

It depends. If you use the default submarket implementation, it "just works". If you have a custom one, you have to do a tiny bit of tracking so that it feeds the right data into the the external part that makes it happen. I might actually change how it's implemented, though, so that's not entirely set in stone. Changes would likely make it "just work" in more scenarios, not less, though. And the part that actually applies the rep changes is moddable - it's a hidden "event" that gets kicked off in SectorGen.

And how these enemies will actually understand that you are doing that?

I'm not sure what you're asking. You "why does that make sense"? If so: word just gets around, if whatever is going on is significant enough; it doesn't strike me as a stretch at all.


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.

Thinking about it in similar terms, though the details are pretty different. Want to actually get it working before talking about it much, though :)


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

I sure hope so :)

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.

Right now, there's a "your relationship with $theFaction is well-established and isn't affected" type message.

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?

Not right now, no. I'm not sure whether automating that completely is a good idea, or to what extent to automate it. It makes sense for overtly hostile actions, but not necessarily for something like trade - or maybe it does, but to a lesser extent. Basically, still thinking that through. I don't think it needs to be fully in place by the next release.

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).

Hmm. With the way it's set up, you'd just be getting a point or so and it wouldn't be immediately after a trade. I'm not sure the diminishing returns are obvious enough to require an explanation - from the player's point of view, it's just going to be a trickle of points until it stops (due to the relationship going over "favorable"). There, it's a question - to keep sending "you relationship didn't change" messages every month or so (spammy), or send nothing? Might be a good idea to send one last "didn't change" message and then stop, perhaps. Let me write that down.


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

Thinking about those, though I'm not going to say one way or the other until trying it :) I wll say that the events system is set up in a way that should make it a natural fit for missions, though.

(for instance a three-way battle with options attack A, B or both, or even wait it out and attack the winner)?

Definitely no on 3-way battles. Too much of a mess in many different ways. Battles involving multiple fleets, though (but with only 2 sides), I do want to look at eventually.


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.

Maybe? I mean, with these types of ideas, it's just a question of picking a set of them that works well together and does the job it needs to go, design-wise. More isn't better, especially when you consider that everything needs to be explained to the player somehow, so it can't just be "oh hey, the price is less here and nobody knows why".

For example, with faction standing already giving you access to better weapons, does it add much if those weapons are also cheaper? It might or it might not, depending on how other mechanics interact (e.g., if these same weapons are available elsewhere, with different requirements etc). It'd have to pull its weight to be added.
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2014, 06:35:29 PM »

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.

Maybe? I mean, with these types of ideas, it's just a question of picking a set of them that works well together and does the job it needs to go, design-wise. More isn't better, especially when you consider that everything needs to be explained to the player somehow, so it can't just be "oh hey, the price is less here and nobody knows why".

For example, with faction standing already giving you access to better weapons, does it add much if those weapons are also cheaper? It might or it might not, depending on how other mechanics interact (e.g., if these same weapons are available elsewhere, with different requirements etc). It'd have to pull its weight to be added.
Maybe make it somewhat like this: When you unlock the next "tier" of weapons, the previous tiers get a slight discount. IE at the Cooperative level, the discounts would go like this: 9%, 6%, 3%, 0% with the first being the lowest tier weapons
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Taverius

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2014, 11:28:49 PM »

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.

Maybe? I mean, with these types of ideas, it's just a question of picking a set of them that works well together and does the job it needs to go, design-wise. More isn't better, especially when you consider that everything needs to be explained to the player somehow, so it can't just be "oh hey, the price is less here and nobody knows why".

For example, with faction standing already giving you access to better weapons, does it add much if those weapons are also cheaper? It might or it might not, depending on how other mechanics interact (e.g., if these same weapons are available elsewhere, with different requirements etc). It'd have to pull its weight to be added.
Maybe make it somewhat like this: When you unlock the next "tier" of weapons, the previous tiers get a slight discount. IE at the Cooperative level, the discounts would go like this: 9%, 6%, 3%, 0% with the first being the lowest tier weapons

That makes sense - I bet nations do the same when selling weapons to "favoured trade partners" and other nations they are friendly/would like to have close strategic ties with. Probably true of PMCs too, and the player is (or will be, once we can own stations outside of exerelin) somehow between the two.
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Steven Shi

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2014, 11:33:31 PM »

I think the icons on the top right corner of the trader screen is way too complicated to show what each represents at a glance. Wouldn't a simple 2D design along the lines of our smartphone icons be way more intuitive?

Sorry about being off tangent; I just really don't like overly complicated iconography.   :P
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2014, 12:52:39 AM »

I think the icons on the top right corner of the trader screen is way too complicated to show what each represents at a glance. Wouldn't a simple 2D design along the lines of our smartphone icons be way more intuitive?

Sorry about being off tangent; I just really don't like overly complicated iconography.   :P
I'm pretty sure that Alex said that those are just placeholders for now. And if you look closely, you can see that there are many icons that are from hullmod icons
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Gothars

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2014, 01:49:15 AM »






I think the icons on the top right corner of the trader screen is way too complicated to show what each represents at a glance. Wouldn't a simple 2D design along the lines of our smartphone icons be way more intuitive?

Sorry about being off tangent; I just really don't like overly complicated iconography.   :P
I'm pretty sure that Alex said that those are just placeholders for now. And if you look closely, you can see that there are many icons that are from hullmod icons


Number 1,2,4,6,7 are new and, I believe, no placeholders. I agree that some of them appear pretty noisy and are not easy to identify. My hope is that they will make more sense once we know what they are supposed to display.
I'm not sure that simplifying them would help much. With smartphone icons we know what function hides behind them because we know what a smartphone can do, market conditions are mostly new concepts.


Might be a good idea to send one last "didn't change" message and then stop, perhaps. Let me write that down.

Optimally "didn't change, and further action of this type will not change it". I'm pretty sure that otherwise there would be cases where (stubborn) players speculate that you now have to do 10 trade runs to get a relationship point, or test different amounts, or different merchandise...



One question/suggestion:  Will the standing you have with a faction be recognized by fleets not belonging to that faction? For example, an independent fleet (neutral to Hegemoney) might think twice about attacking you in a Hegemoney system if you are cooperative with the Hegemoney. Or a bounty hunter thinks it's the perfect opportunity to attack you when you pass through the Sindrian Diktat system, because you are hostile to the Sindrian Diktat and won't get support here.


By the way, will the dialog options get an overhaul for the next release?




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harrumph

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2014, 04:15:44 AM »

Quote
[discussion of black market weapon prices]

I like the idea of common weapons being cheap on the black market and rarer ones very expensive. Could it be linked to scarcity across the system? If legitimate merchants have a total of 50 Harpoons for sale, the black market might offer Harpoons that "fell off the truck" at a big discount—so the player will always be tempted to buy basic weapons illegally. If there isn't a single Tachyon Lance for sale anywhere in the system and a black marketeer gets his hands on one, he'll sell it at a 300% markup or something (and the player will be tempted for different reasons).
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cardgame

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2014, 05:54:02 AM »

I have an idea on how to handle Independent relations.

Each Independent station is, of course, independent - its own entity. They decide their attitude toward you on their own, but are in a loose coalition, and attacking one independent fleet is the same as attacking them all - enough to have them all declare you a threat. Perhaps similarly, killing enough pirates might raise the collective opinion, but trading is more station-specific.
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SatchelCharge

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2014, 10:44:26 AM »

Another fine blog post. I am very excited for this upcoming update.
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Megas

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2014, 11:41:07 AM »

Quote
Optimally "didn't change, and further action of this type will not change it". I'm pretty sure that otherwise there would be cases where (stubborn) players speculate that you now have to do 10 trade runs to get a relationship point, or test different amounts, or different merchandise...
A good idea since other games can be cruel and have an event triggered by only one activity... at a low percentange chance.  For example, kill the final boss for a chance of a top-tier item drop, but the chance of it dropping is only 0.1%.  The remaining 99.9% drop is vendor trash.

Players used to treadmill games (with bad drops and hideously slow level grinding) are amazingly stubborn or tenacious.
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DelicateTask

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2014, 11:44:58 AM »

All I've gained from this blog post is that everyone's a circle in space. ;D Every single faction's banner is a circle in the middle except for pirates. Not complaining, just noticing. Also blah blah, great post, new stuff blah. I'm really excited about it, actually, just don't have much to add to the discussion.

However, I would like to say that the positive faction relation names are not as obvious to me as the negative ones.
  • Favorable - a good starting point.
  • Welcoming - I find that to be a stronger term than friendly. I imagine a big welcoming hug as opposed to:
  • Friendly - Simply being friendly, at least to me, means maybe a smile and a wave, maybe a little polite chat. Friendly =/= being friends.
  • Cooperative - Not a measure of favor. I can cooperate with someone regardless of whether or not I like them.
This merely expresses my opinion, and I am aware that I may be the only one who thinks this. Still, there may be others who were confused by the designations at first glance.
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Hopelessnoob

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2014, 12:03:04 PM »

Really starting to get worried with all this feature creep, its been a year since a release almost!
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Alex

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2014, 12:12:36 PM »

Maybe make it somewhat like this: When you unlock the next "tier" of weapons, the previous tiers get a slight discount. IE at the Cooperative level, the discounts would go like this: 9%, 6%, 3%, 0% with the first being the lowest tier weapons

That makes sense - I bet nations do the same when selling weapons to "favoured trade partners" and other nations they are friendly/would like to have close strategic ties with. Probably true of PMCs too, and the player is (or will be, once we can own stations outside of exerelin) somehow between the two.

It does make sense - rather, it could - but the question is, would that be a detail that really matters? I think that it depends. If money is *really* scarce, maybe it does. Otherwise, it's overshadowed by getting access to new stuff, which is a qualitative change.


I think the icons on the top right corner of the trader screen is way too complicated to show what each represents at a glance. Wouldn't a simple 2D design along the lines of our smartphone icons be way more intuitive?

Sorry about being off tangent; I just really don't like overly complicated iconography.   :P
I'm pretty sure that Alex said that those are just placeholders for now. And if you look closely, you can see that there are many icons that are from hullmod icons

Number 1,2,4,6,7 are new and, I believe, no placeholders. I agree that some of them appear pretty noisy and are not easy to identify. My hope is that they will make more sense once we know what they are supposed to display.
I'm not sure that simplifying them would help much. With smartphone icons we know what function hides behind them because we know what a smartphone can do, market conditions are mostly new concepts.

The icons may or may not be final. The non-placeholder-ones, I mean. The placeholder ones are definitely not final :)

I think The important part re: icons, I think, is whether they're easily recognizable after you know what they are/what the conditions are. I think I could tell what the condition was something like 4/5 times w/o knowing what the icon was supposed to represent, the first time I saw them, so that's pretty good on that front.

It's also a question of feel. These are a little more painterly and almost serve as little windows into the world. I think simple, highly stylized designs could make the UI feel very sterile.


One question/suggestion:  Will the standing you have with a faction be recognized by fleets not belonging to that faction? For example, an independent fleet (neutral to Hegemoney) might think twice about attacking you in a Hegemoney system if you are cooperative with the Hegemoney. Or a bounty hunter thinks it's the perfect opportunity to attack you when you pass through the Sindrian Diktat system, because you are hostile to the Sindrian Diktat and won't get support here.

Eventually, maybe - those all sound good. Right now, probably not - it's the sort of second-degree faction relationship effect that would be good to have, but doesn't need to be there for things to work. With faction relationships not being something I was really intending to put into this release, I'd rather not expand on them too much and instead focus on things that have to be done for the release to go out.


By the way, will the dialog options get an overhaul for the next release?

Not sure which dialog options you mean, could you clarify?


Quote
[discussion of black market weapon prices]

I like the idea of common weapons being cheap on the black market and rarer ones very expensive. Could it be linked to scarcity across the system? If legitimate merchants have a total of 50 Harpoons for sale, the black market might offer Harpoons that "fell off the truck" at a big discount—so the player will always be tempted to buy basic weapons illegally. If there isn't a single Tachyon Lance for sale anywhere in the system and a black marketeer gets his hands on one, he'll sell it at a 300% markup or something (and the player will be tempted for different reasons).

(I think I mentioned this earlier: weapons aren't hooked into the economy right now. I'd like to see how that works out first, before looking at how stuff like this might fit in.)


I have an idea on how to handle Independent relations.

Each Independent station is, of course, independent - its own entity. They decide their attitude toward you on their own, but are in a loose coalition, and attacking one independent fleet is the same as attacking them all - enough to have them all declare you a threat. Perhaps similarly, killing enough pirates might raise the collective opinion, but trading is more station-specific.

What you're saying, basically, is they hate you jointly, but only like you separately? Yeah, that makes sense. A lot of this comes down to ease-of-implementation, though. It *might* be easier to end up generating dynamic one-off factions for independent markets - which could work much in the way you describe, if those factions were allied with each other, and actions towards one affected other ones in the right way... hmm.


Quote
Optimally "didn't change, and further action of this type will not change it". I'm pretty sure that otherwise there would be cases where (stubborn) players speculate that you now have to do 10 trade runs to get a relationship point, or test different amounts, or different merchandise...
A good idea since other games can be cruel and have an event triggered by only one activity... at a low percentange chance.  For example, kill the final boss for a chance of a top-tier item drop, but the chance of it dropping is only 0.1%.  The remaining 99.9% drop is vendor trash.

Players used to treadmill games (with bad drops and hideously slow level grinding) are amazingly stubborn or tenacious.

Good point.


All I've gained from this blog post is that everyone's a circle in space. ;D Every single faction's banner is a circle in the middle except for pirates. Not complaining, just noticing. Also blah blah, great post, new stuff blah. I'm really excited about it, actually, just don't have much to add to the discussion.

Hah, hadn't realized. The Diktat isn't!

However, I would like to say that the positive faction relation names are not as obvious to me as the negative ones.
  • Favorable - a good starting point.
  • Welcoming - I find that to be a stronger term than friendly. I imagine a big welcoming hug as opposed to:
  • Friendly - Simply being friendly, at least to me, means maybe a smile and a wave, maybe a little polite chat. Friendly =/= being friends.
  • Cooperative - Not a measure of favor. I can cooperate with someone regardless of whether or not I like them.
This merely expresses my opinion, and I am aware that I may be the only one who thinks this. Still, there may be others who were confused by the designations at first glance.

Hmm. They make sense to me, but then of course they would. Anyone else care to chime in?

(The thought behind "cooperative" being the highest is it's the first and only word that conveys a willingness to *do* something, thus being qualitatively stronger than the other words...)
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Sleepyfish

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2014, 12:40:47 PM »

I feel that cooperative has a negative connotation. Perhaps Allies? Although, Close Allies would better describe the willing ness to help, but it has TWO WORDS (it ruins the simplicity/unified feel IMO)!
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SCC

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Re: Faction Relationships
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2014, 01:10:11 PM »

All I've gained from this blog post is that everyone's a circle in space. ;D Every single faction's banner is a circle in the middle except for pirates. Not complaining, just noticing. Also blah blah, great post, new stuff blah. I'm really excited about it, actually, just don't have much to add to the discussion.

Hah, hadn't realized. The Diktat isn't!
Hussar polandball it is! :D

*something something* Perhaps Allies? Although, Close Allies *something something*
I suppose that you aren't allied with them, rather a cooperative stance means that they will actually help you sometimes, instead of "meh" when you've gotten into some serious... stuff. Being allied with someone means that you have to help them and vice versa, and probably some other things (like making plans together). Alliances are rather faction thing, not player... But well, if the mechanics of building star empire work then it is possible to come back to this... But now? Nah, IMO it feels it's too early to talk about such stuff. Cooperative is better word for the stance.
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