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Thread: Mercenaries of Mikunn - Results after three months of work and needed repairs to the Background Sim

  1. #1

    Mercenaries of Mikunn - Results after three months of work and needed repairs to the Background Sim

    Our Merc of Mikunn three week thread was in dire need of an update. It wasn’t really fair to Frontier to have a thread about stuck influence values popping up, as that hasn’t been a problem for some time; however we have discovered major gameplay stopping bugs in between then and now, that merits a new thread since the old one will be closed. Below are the relevant links as well as an amazing compilation of developer responses.




    Background

    Three weeks into our test on expansion for the mercs of Mikunn we came to the conclusion that it was impossible to raise our influence values as we had been stuck at 9.1 percent for those three weeks without any movement. The developers responded and the issue was fixed pretty quickly and they answered many question about the background simulator, which was greatly appreciated. For those interested, the bugs that were keeping the influence from moving was a mission backlog that wasn’t being applied, along with mission values being applied to the wrong system.
    It is now three months later and so far the only thing we have been able to do is raise our influence values as it has become near impossible to start a civil war, except between factions already present in the system. It is important to remember here that we are a faction that wasn’t originally in the system, but rather we expanded into it. We suspect this is the source of the majority of our problems. Never the less, we view the ability for factions to grow and expand as being crucial parts of the background simulator – otherwise influence really doesn’t mean much.


    Our Current Problem(s)

    Before I start here it needs to be said this isn’t a thread intended to bash the devs. We appreciate that they have been willing to interact with us so far, so if you want to 'vent', please do it elsewhere. The purpose of this thread is to bring issues to the fore that have literally stopped us from getting anywhere for two and a half months, despite literally hundreds (maybe thousands?) of manhours, to no result. I was going to wait a bit after wings before posting this, but morale in our camp is a tad low as people are understandably frustrated to see nothing for their immense effort.

    Issue 1: Influence From Missions not Counting

    Problem:
    We are unsure whether or not this is an issue for all factions or just factions that have expanded into another system. Either way, it certainly is an issue. In this experiment we tested influence change from missions versus combat actions in the system. Missions here are what is given to you by the station where as combat actions are bounty hunting NPC’s or alternatively just killing system authority or any ship you see (GTA in space). We found that missions do little to nothing. Below is a very useful graph.

    Proof:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    At the beginning, we started with a blockade of Dynamic Commodities and then Law Party (in that order) killing any ships trying to enter except Dukes ships. We saw a massive increase in influence while both Law Party and Dynamic Commodities dropped. Twenty to thirty pilots were involved here. The graph shows an expected change. A decrease for Dynamics.... then a decrease for Law as we switched over.

    Then we switched to testing missions. Again twenty to thirty active pilots pushed missions, while one person fought against us doing only combat, by turning in NPC bounties. Over this time we tried every type of mission conceivable, including back stab missions, but the result was the same. The one guy who was fighting against us was able to hold off twenty to thirty pilots running missions by himself…. Solely by bounty hunting.

    Then for the third part of the experiment we went back to killing system authority, and the results clearly change. Bam! Just like that we start gaining again.

    Implications:
    The results are very clear, missions (at least for factions that have undergone expansion) do effectively nothing when it comes to influence. As a result there is no direct way for anyone to help a faction that has expanded into another system, such as trading or mission running. We were forced into piracy by destroying all the other faction’s ships. When you do this influence is spread evenly to the other factions, and as the Dukes were the only one not getting hit, they are the ones that gained. This means that any faction that wants to expand literally has to be pirates, there is no other way we found, and many of us tried for a long time.


    Issue 2: Influence Report Bug

    Problem:
    The Dukes have entered three systems now; however, we noticed this bug after entering the second system and after the introduction of 1.1. At that time, the Dukes held a system where they hold 100% influence and another where it was from 9% to 35% depending on what time period we are looking at.

    If you are familiar with the 1.1 update you will remember that it introduced a new mission completion screen showing how much influence the faction had that you were helping. We found that if a player did a mission for the Dukes no matter the system, it always reported it for the Dukes in Mikunn rather than our second system HR7327. In other words, if you did a mission in HR7327, no matter the mission, and turned it in, it would always say the Dukes had 100% indicating Mikunn, rather than 9% to 35% as it should be in HR.

    Once we expanded to our third system all missions report Sukua values, no matter which system of our three you take missions from. Meaning 9% is always reported. Despite this there has been no movement save for a .1% drop, so the fact that all missions report influence increase in Sukua does not seem to be helping us there.

    Proof:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This depicts a courier mission from the Dukes in Mikunn to Kwatee. What is wrong with this picture:

    • As you can see the Dukes are hurt for some reason in Sukua even though it came from Mikunn.
    • A random faction in Sukua also benefits even though this is Mikunn to Kwatee
    • Two factions in Kwatee benefit, one of which is completely uninvolved with the mission.


    Its hard to show where this mission was taken from but its an easy proof. Come do a mission in Mikunn for the Dukes and see for yourself that every mission now reports Sukua. So far the bug has been 100% repeatable for us.

    Implications:
    I only can think up two options here though there could be more: either missions are going the right place and its reporting it wrong or its reporting it correctly and missions are still being applied to the wrong systems. Alternatively it could be both as well. I feel that its probably both because if it was only the latter we should at least see an increase of influence from mission in Sukua, if everything was actually going there.
    Also this may be an indicator to a larger problem that may also be responsible for why we saw no influence change from missions as described in the first problem.


    Issue 3: Overlapping Statuses:

    Problem:
    One of the reasons we believe we have been unable to initiate a civil war to gain the Dukes a station, is because faction statuses are faction wide rather than local to a system. This means if we get a boom in Mikunn, it occurs for the Dukes in all systems. The problem arises from the fact that a faction can only have one status at a time. As a result a boom from trade in Mikunn can block a civil war in HR 7327 from occurring for up to three weeks, by which point the back ground sim may decide there is no longer a reason for civil war OR the faction which Mikunn may want to have a civil war with may go in a boom itself by the time the Dukes of Mikunn frees up, making the Dukes of Mikunn politely wait for the other factions boom to finish, because you know, interrupting a boom with a civil war would be considered rude.

    Proof:
    This comes from the devs themselves. Here is a relevant quote.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean this is the only reason we are unable to start a civil war.

    Implications:
    We were having problems with system statuses like boom blocking civil wars when we only were in two systems. Now we are in three. I can’t imagine what will happen when we are in 6 or 12. Each system will have to take a turn having a system status for a month. Oh, one wants boom, you all must wait for a month… oh one is having trouble from pirates even though all are thriving? You all get lockdown, sorry….. So yes we see this as a major and increasingly important problem, even though it has only just begun to effect us.



    Purpose of this thread

    Our intention here is to point out that the background simulator is in dire need of attention. The players desperately need an update to this part of the game from the devs. As of right now it is impossible to trust whether or not your actions in game are counted at all. Without the background simulator the game loses a large differentiating factor which distinguishes itself from other games. Without the background sim, Elite Dangerous is just another space flight simulator, although a very beautiful one.

    Ideally, we would appreciate it if the devs were a little bit more upfront about the state of the background sim. It should be easier for the devs to find these issues than it is for us, because they have access to the black box of the inner-workings of the background sim. For our group to find these issues we have to locate a problem then go through a month or so of testing while putting in a considerable amount of man hours. We shouldn’t be where we were two months ago. What I want to know above all, is what is being done to fix these issues, which we have coped with for three months.

    So if the devs do decide to come in here and address these issues, like they did last time, remember it’s a priveledge for us and 100% voluntary on their part. Keeping the conversation constructive benefits us both. Criticism is welcome as long as it is serves a purpose and is in good taste.

    And as always thanks for your time! I know it was a long read. If you have any concerns about the background sim, I would like to hear them! Maybe we will even perform an experiment to test something you bring up, or perhaps we can answer one of your questions about the background sim.

  2. #2
    Well an issue from recent happenings is what determines which station is the object of a civil war. Since the Law party appears to have been the aggressor in the conflict why was the fight over Hiraga rather than Friend. In the Lugh experiment they didn't immediately go for system station back around Xmas. Does this mean we can go directly for Hiraga ourselves? As a sidenote if neither side has a station is there any point to a civil war?

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Jerzy7 View Post (Source)
    Well an issue from recent happenings is what determines which station is the object of a civil war. Since the Law party appears to have been the aggressor in the conflict why was the fight over Hiraga rather than Friend. In the Lugh experiment they didn't immediately go for system station back around Xmas. Does this mean we can go directly for Hiraga ourselves? As a sidenote if neither side has a station is there any point to a civil war?
    That is the object of one of our current tests we are about to implement, but you already saw that =p

  4. #4
    + rep
    Thank you for all your time, you and your team. You're doing a great job with tests and more important FACTS about the background sim state.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Walt Kerman View Post (Source)
    That is the object of one of our current tests we are about to implement, but you already saw that =p
    Hah yup but I thought id get the ball rolling in this thread with something just about anyone involved in testing the persistant universe would be interested

  6. #6
    Thanks a lot guys for your work on this!!

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Walt Kerman View Post (Source)
    The purpose of this thread is to bring issues to the fore that have literally stopped us from getting anywhere for two and a half months, despite literally hundreds (maybe thousands?) of manhours, to no result. I was going to wait a bit after wings before posting this, but morale in our camp is a tad low as people are understandably frustrated to see nothing for their immense effort.
    If the background sim is fixed and improved as a result of your efforts, then rather than seeing nothing for your immense effort, you've actually probably had the most significant influence on the system as a whole and for the rest of the existence of the game. I salute you for your efforts - so long as the developers take action you're helping the ENTIRE community not just your faction. I hope you don't get discouraged and that you continue your excellent work.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Walt Kerman View Post (Source)
    Issue 3: Overlapping Statuses:

    Problem:
    One of the reasons we believe we have been unable to initiate a civil war to gain the Dukes a station, is because faction statuses are faction wide rather than local to a system. This means if we get a boom in Mikunn, it occurs for the Dukes in all systems. The problem arises from the fact that a faction can only have one status at a time. As a result a boom from trade in Mikunn can block a civil war in HR 7327 from occurring for up to three weeks, by which point the back ground sim may decide there is no longer a reason for civil war OR the faction which Mikunn may want to have a civil war with may go in a boom itself by the time the Dukes of Mikunn frees up, making the Dukes of Mikunn politely wait for the other factions boom to finish, because you know, interrupting a boom with a civil war would be considered rude.

    Proof:
    This comes from the devs themselves. Here is a relevant quote.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean this is the only reason we are unable to start a civil war.

    Implications:
    We were having problems with system statuses like boom blocking civil wars when we only were in two systems. Now we are in three. I can’t imagine what will happen when we are in 6 or 12. Each system will have to take a turn having a system status for a month. Oh, one wants boom, you all must wait for a month… oh one is having trouble from pirates even though all are thriving? You all get lockdown, sorry….. So yes we see this as a major and increasingly important problem, even though it has only just begun to effect us.
    I can confirm this in Keries as well. Initially, we were getting good gains by pirating all ships in neighbouring Tilian, but this triggered a Lockdown state in both Tilian and Keries.

    Whereas the Dukes are not an anarchy faction, the above ended up working against the Keries Camorra since all anarchy factions lose influence while in a Lockdown state. It actually got bad enough that the Keries Camorra dropped from 100% influence to 90% in the home system as well.

  10. #10
    In the beta test server, I've seen a change in Influence after doing a few missions for the Dukes in both Sukua and Mikunn. I've also seen Dukes and another faction go to Civil War Critical when matching Influence. This is something we haven't seen yet in the "real universe."

    Michael Brookes stated in the beta 3 change log they wanted to see what happens in Lugh and Mikunn over the weekend. We appreciate you guys looking into this.

    We don't know if these changes in the system are due to player influence buffs in the test server, the devs sliding levers, or player actions from the real universe being applied to the test universe states.

    Can the devs clear this up so we know if we should be doing some testing in the beta server?

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by carniak View Post (Source)
    I can confirm this in Keries as well. Initially, we were getting good gains by pirating all ships in neighbouring Tilian, but this triggered a Lockdown state in both Tilian and Keries.

    Whereas the Dukes are not an anarchy faction, the above ended up working against the Keries Camorra since all anarchy factions lose influence while in a Lockdown state. It actually got bad enough that the Keries Camorra dropped from 100% influence to 90% in the home system as well.
    I like your signature.

    - - - - - Additional Content Posted / Auto Merge - - - - -

    Originally Posted by Soda Popinski View Post (Source)
    In the beta test server, I've seen a change in Influence after doing a few missions for the Dukes in both Sukua and Mikunn. I've also seen Dukes and another faction go to Civil War Critical when matching Influence. This is something we haven't seen yet in the "real universe."

    Michael Brookes stated in the beta 3 change log they wanted to see what happens in Lugh and Mikunn over the weekend. We appreciate you guys looking into this.

    We don't know if these changes in the system are due to player influence buffs in the test server, the devs sliding levers, or player actions from the real universe being applied to the test universe states.

    Can the devs clear this up so we know if we should be doing some testing in the beta server?
    Its a good question.

    On a related note I didn't mention your work this in our results because I'm not sure if the influence changes in that server are a result of your missions or the devs playing with values.

  12. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #12
    Originally Posted by Soda Popinski View Post (Source)
    In the beta test server, I've seen a change in Influence after doing a few missions for the Dukes in both Sukua and Mikunn. I've also seen Dukes and another faction go to Civil War Critical when matching Influence. This is something we haven't seen yet in the "real universe."

    Michael Brookes stated in the beta 3 change log they wanted to see what happens in Lugh and Mikunn over the weekend. We appreciate you guys looking into this.

    We don't know if these changes in the system are due to player influence buffs in the test server, the devs sliding levers, or player actions from the real universe being applied to the test universe states.

    Can the devs clear this up so we know if we should be doing some testing in the beta server?
    The only relevant things to test are what was in the change log. Nothing has been changed other than that.

    Michael

  13. #13
    Some fantastic work there, a few things of Note:

    1.2 Patch has some changes that may resolve some of these issues as stated by Michael on Fridays update.

    if you missed it here's the snippet from Michael Brooks.

    We've copied across the minor faction states from the live galaxy to the PTS, so we should be able to test these background sim changes over the weekend, in particular, I'd like to watch Lugh and Mikunn to see if those systems correctly change control.
    Plus 1.3 Powerplay by all indications seems to be aimed at the background simulator, but that's pure speculation.

  14. #14
    After blowing up countless authority ship in Ngaliba during the recent civil war I saw absolutely zero change in faction influence, either through missions or just entering a conflict zone and blowing them up. Something is definitely wrong here and it NEEDS to be fixed because one of the main perks for me in this sim is the ability to make things happen and steer systems on a path to Federation control. If this system isnt working then what is left to do? Trade? Ugh.

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by bAdbUd View Post (Source)
    Some fantastic work there, a few things of Note:

    1.2 Patch has some changes that may resolve some of these issues as stated by Michael on Fridays update.

    if you missed it here's the snippet from Michael Brooks.



    Plus 1.3 Powerplay by all indications seems to be aimed at the background simulator, but that's pure speculation.
    Yeah, I believe thats what powerplay is as well. But I know the majority of my reasoning behind it is based on hope . Your quote about the PTS is exactly what Soda was referring to in the previous post.


    Thanks for responding Michael. We were wondering about that one.

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