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Thread: Factions - A gameplay proposal by leading BGS groups

  1. #1

    Factions - A gameplay proposal by leading BGS groups

    For half a year now, leading BGS player groups* have brainstormed, discussed, disputed and agreed on a way to have the BGS players voice be added to the development process.
    This document has already been made available to Frontier Development. This is a joint effort and where we disagreed we have made it clear to state both sides of the view.

    I will quote the executive summary and have a link ready to the full document at the bottom.

    Things we want to see in ED :
    • Pledging to factions
    • Colonization
    • Diplomacy system for squadrons
    • Growing and shrinking stations with the economy
    • A faction control center with existing information
    • player made missions



    0. Executive Summary
    We, the signing groups, enjoy playing together as a group and enjoy playing the background simulation (BGS) and faction mechanics in the Elite Dangerous (ED) Universe. The BGS has come a long way and is now an enjoyable and predictable, yet complex feature. We enjoy the long term motivation it provides and how it leads us to use almost all gameplay elements in the strategies evolving around it.
    To further improve this feature as part of the redesign of core mechanics for ED 3.0, we propose to implement additional features that strengthens the faction and BGS gameplay.

    0.1. Pledging to a Faction
    Pledging to a faction is our core proposal. It has broad support throughout the player base and is a prerequisite to a plethora of additional gameplay and information options. We already play with and for “our” factions, especially the Player Group Minor Factions (PMFs).

    0.2. Information about our factions
    We are using a variety of out-of-game tools to manage our factions. There are hardly any easy ways to do so ingame. Therefore we think that the BGS, that we enjoy playing, is an existing gameplay system with long term enjoyment that is hidden from most players. We’d love to have more information at our disposal in game. Examples are influence charts over time or easier access to pending state information. We’d even enjoy even additional - already existing - information like crime levels, development levels or the next expansion target.

    0.3. Managing our factions
    After we have pledged to a faction or have a player group faction, we’d like ways to manage it within the game. We currently do so with out of game tools like missions on inara.cz, chat on Discord or additional custom tools.

    0.4. Improving Faction Gameplay
    The current gameplay elements concerning the background simulation and factions include almost all activities that exist in the game. We would like to build onto this strong foundation and complete it, then expand it. We’d like to propose including PvP as a viable BGS tactic, as well as having additional ways to individually form, grow and manipulate the factions in the galaxy. Examples of additional gameplay elements are PvP Attacks, Colonization of new systems, expanding and shrinking stations, building new stations and changing population of systems. We think that being able to colonize the galaxy and create little mini-bubbles of self sufficient or mutually dependent systems will be an interesting long term gameplay element.

    0.5. Squadron Mechanics
    We want to flesh out which squadron mechanics like communications and ranks we deem necessary. We think that a clear differentiation between squadrons and factions is necessary to maximize the gameplay value for all players.
    Read the full document at
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    *the groups that were involved in the creation of this document are
    AEDC, Aid, Communism Interstellar, Da Vinci Corps, Delta Squadron, Guardians of Harmony, Interstellar Communist Union, The Mercs of Mikunn, The Winged Hussars

    Endorsers: Sacra Oculus, As one Cooperative, Likedeeler of Michel and Colonia, Kuun Lan, Loren's Legion, German Pilot's Lounge

    If you are passionate about the BGS and minor factions and agree with the content of this document, please express that in this thread. If you are passionate about the BGS and can't endorse any or all of it, please explain what changes would be needed to make it endorseable. Thank You.

  2. #2
    I hope stating the bleeding obvious works. Even with squadrons, which was yet another opportunity to achieve a similar thing, fd seemed totally oblivious.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Dommarraa View Post (Source)
    I hope stating the bleeding obvious works. Even with squadrons, which was yet another opportunity to achieve a similar thing, fd seemed totally oblivious.
    We have full trust in the capability of FD to deliver enjoyable and fun content. We are not in a hurry, either (we are BGS groups, after all).
    For us it is important to make the background simulation a growing part of ED, as we have the feeling that it offers long term motivation and has many people playing it, just judging by the amount of player factions that are actively cared for. (and the amount of emergent gameplay and drama it can create.)

  4. #4
    Pledging to factions is an issue here as it degrades the BGS interaction to a PP clone.

    Personally, and I know I am not alone, the spirit and primary modus operandus of Elite is, as it has always been, that of lone CMDRs or small groups interacting with the Elite lore universe as independent entities.
    The presence and subsequent actions of PMFs (and some of the undersigned above are prime offenders), distorts the way the BGS works in ways that are immersion breaking at best, and ludicrous at worst.

    The less that PFs are able to ruin the gameplay of CMDRs that are not members of their cliques the better.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Flavourless View Post (Source)
    Pledging to factions is an issue here as it degrades the BGS interaction to a PP clone.

    Personally, and I know I am not alone, the spirit and primary modus operandus of Elite is, as it has always been, that of lone CMDRs or small groups interacting with the Elite lore universe as independent entities.
    The presence and subsequent actions of PMFs (and some of the undersigned above are prime offenders), distorts the way the BGS works in ways that are immersion breaking at best, and ludicrous at worst.

    The less that PFs are able to ruin the gameplay of CMDRs that are not members of their cliques the better.
    We are player groups that enjoy playing the BGS.
    Playing the BGS is a group endeavour, as single commanders can play it but never achieve the things that a group of people working together can.

    We have explicitely stated that we want to separate squadron gameplay and faction gameplay so that BGS features will be available to all players. That includes lone CMDRs.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Flavourless View Post (Source)
    Personally, and I know I am not alone, the spirit and primary modus operandus of Elite is, as it has always been, that of lone CMDRs or small groups interacting with the Elite lore universe as independent entities.
    I beg to differ. That stopped being the case since Frontier implemented the concept of Player Minor Factions and now we're about to get Squadrons, which are essentially "guild" management tools. I know many players disagree with those mechanics and for them Elite is all about what I quoted above, but I don't think Frontier sees it that way anymore.

    You can disagree with it, but I'm afraid that you need to accept the fact that "guilds" (clans/player factions/whatever you want to call it) have been a thing in Elite for a long time now and we're here to stay.

    It's important to note that lone wolfs can still play and enjoy the BGS. But concentrated efforts of many people will ALWAYS trump a single player, there is no way around that in any online game that allows for that type of competitive gameplay.

  7. #7
    Good ideas! I wish you good luck with your endeavor. Hopefully FD will be able to create some good, emergent gameplay with the concept and consulting from established player groups.

    BUT: I can only hope that all this will not be tailored to large groups only. Small groups should also be able to play the same "game" on a smaller scale. Even a single CMDR should be able to influence very small systems in the same way. This obviously means that larger groups could just steamroll over smaller groups or single commanders. This would be no issue in a true multiplayer scenario, but in an instanced universe like ED it will create all sorts of unfair and "gamey" situations. Oh well. I don't know if I like the proposal at all after writing this :/

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by mmm View Post (Source)
    Good ideas! I wish you good luck with your endeavor. Hopefully FD will be able to create some good, emergent gameplay with the concept and consulting from established player groups.

    BUT: I can only hope that all this will not be tailored to large groups only. Small groups should also be able to play the same "game" on a smaller scale. Even a single CMDR should be able to influence very small systems in the same way. This obviously means that larger groups could just steamroll over smaller groups or single commanders. This would be no issue in a true multiplayer scenario, but in an instanced universe like ED it will create all sorts of unfair and "gamey" situations. Oh well. I don't know if I like the proposal at all after writing this :/
    We wrote the proposal with the goal to attract more players to what we think is the most fun long term part of the game.
    Especially pledging to a faction and having a new presentation layer about your preferred faction (either PMF or NPC faction, we do not distinguish) and having additional tools to manage the faction of your choice together with others will be very valuable for smaller groups.

    We large groups usually already use custom made tools to accomplish this. Like tracking states, influence movements, or having custom mission systems to generate content for our members.

  9. #9
    I have not read the full document yet and I will when I am not on a phone, but based on the synopsis I feel many of these are poorly thought out. I work with many factions in my role, being isolated to only one would be counter productive. Having PvP involved in BGS is also a poor idea, BGS is a respite for those that don't want to PvP. If you want to PvP, that's what PowerPlay is for. Finally only considering the opinions of PMFs with 25 systems is far too exclusive. Many people play the BGS without a PMF at all, they just support the ones already there. You are excluding a large chunk of the player base and making a faulty assumption that you are the majority. I can't support that kind of thinking.

    make no mistake, there are some good ideas here. Overall the tone of the post here is too elitest though (no pun intended).

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by _Flin_ View Post (Source)
    We wrote the proposal with the goal to attract more players to what we think is the most fun long term part of the game.
    Especially pledging to a faction and having a new presentation layer about your preferred faction (either PMF or NPC faction, we do not distinguish) and having additional tools to manage the faction of your choice together with others will be very valuable for smaller groups.

    We large groups usually already use custom made tools to accomplish this. Like tracking states, influence movements, or having custom mission systems to generate content for our members.
    That's the thing. I don't want to get involved with any group. And I bet I'm not alone with that.

    I'm all for new ways to create badly needed good gameplay, but please don't forget that ED is a single player game at its heart.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Alshain View Post (Source)
    I have not read the full document yet and I will when I am not on a phone, but based on the synopsis I feel many of these are poorly thought out. I work with many factions in my role, being isolated to only one would be counter productive. Having PvP involved in BGS is also a poor idea, BGS is a respite for those that don't want to PvP. If you want to PvP, that's what PowerPlay is for. Finally only considering the opinions of PMFs with 25 systems is far too exclusive. Many people play the BGS without a PMF at all, they just support the ones already there. You are excluding a large chunk of the player base and making a faulty assumption that you are the majority. I can't support that kind of thinking.
    Thank you for your input.

    Many of us work with different factions. That is why we want to separate the squadron from the faction. Some of us work only with one faction. For them showing their colors and being able to communicate was important as well.
    We think the BGS can be played in many ways with many different goals.

    In regards to PvP we tried hard to come up with meaningful ways to incorporate it into the BGS. One thing we want to achieve is to be able to defend ourselves from malicious attackers. When you have someone murdering your faction ships for millions of bounties, and you see him in your system, you want to be able to attack this hostile player and prevent him killing your factions ships.

    I am sorry that you do not agree on our proposals. Sometimes we didn't, either. Nevertheless the groups involved in this are managing factions in about 300-500 systems and control about 500-800 assets (stations, outposts, etc.). So we have a large trove of experience that we could put to work during our discussions. We think our proposals will make the game even better.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by mmm View Post (Source)
    I'm all for new ways to create badly needed good gameplay, but please don't forget that ED is a single player game at its heart.
    Elite Dangerous is a game to blaze your own trail. You have a sandbox and can play in it as you prefer. We happily take into account single players and do not intend to take away from their experience, neither directly nor indirectly. We do not own the game any more or less than any other player. We just feel that we have the same right to play the game our way as everyone else.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Alshain View Post (Source)
    I have not read the full document yet and I will when I am not on a phone, but based on the synopsis I feel many of these are poorly thought out. I work with many factions in my role, being isolated to only one would be counter productive. Having PvP involved in BGS is also a poor idea, BGS is a respite for those that don't want to PvP. If you want to PvP, that's what PowerPlay is for. Finally only considering the opinions of PMFs with 25 systems is far too exclusive. Many people play the BGS without a PMF at all, they just support the ones already there. You are excluding a large chunk of the player base and making a faulty assumption that you are the majority. I can't support that kind of thinking.

    make no mistake, there are some good ideas here. Overall the tone of the post here is too elitest though (no pun intended).
    I think I agree.
    While the Executive Summary sounds all fine and dandy to me, none of it is remotely new. It is all pretty obvious stuff that FD should done instead of PP.
    I am a firm believer that a suggestion should be considered on its merits, and not by the size of the mouth suggesting it. Deciding what is good for the game is something I trust, expect and pay FD to do itself. Not at all sure I want democratic game design.
    Dont the Triple Elite PMF have direct contact with FD to make these sorts of suggestions ? Making it public feels a little like rabble rousing.

    I support the proposed changes, not sure I support the method of change.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by rootsrat View Post (Source)
    I beg to differ. That stopped being the case since Frontier implemented the concept of Player Minor Factions and now we're about to get Squadrons, which are essentially "guild" management tools. I know many players disagree with those mechanics and for them Elite is all about what I quoted above, but I don't think Frontier sees it that way anymore.

    You can disagree with it, but I'm afraid that you need to accept the fact that "guilds" (clans/player factions/whatever you want to call it) have been a thing in Elite for a long time now and we're here to stay.

    It's important to note that lone wolfs can still play and enjoy the BGS. But concentrated efforts of many people will ALWAYS trump a single player, there is no way around that in any online game that allows for that type of competitive gameplay.
    Groups are the better part of player retention. And it doesn't hurt to join one. And it's no drama if one falls apart. Well, maybe it is and I want you to tell me everything about it.

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Dommarraa View Post (Source)
    Dont the Triple Elite PMF have direct contact with FD to make these sorts of suggestions ?
    The Triple Elite groups do have direct lines of contact to FD, as do various of the groups involved in the creation of this document.

    There is, however, a big difference between Triple Elite groups and BGS groups. Many of the Triple Elite groups don't even play the BGS. Therefore we wanted to make sure that the point of view of the BGS "specialists" are known.
    Making the arguments public is a good way to make the public aware of the arguments. We think the BGS is a part of the game that can be improved with comparably little effort and great impact. And we want to raise awareness for that as well.

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