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Thread: The STATES of the Background Simulator - And a Poll on the Background Sims Importance

  1. #1

    The STATES of the Background Simulator - And a Poll on the Background Sims Importance


    Before you read answer the poll!
    I want people's opinions, before they read.


    How important is the Background Simulation to you?
    Option 1: Very Important
    Option 2: Somewhat Important
    Option 3: Neutral
    Option 4: Somewhat Unimportant
    Option 5: Very Unimportant

    >>>Vote here<<<


    This is a rehash of an old poll we took months ago. I am interested in seeing if there has been a change in player outlook since then.


    The topic I want to describe here has been plaguing my group for a long time, and with introduction of Power Play, it will plague many more groups as they try to reach Power status (if it isn't plaguing many already). One of the earliest threads I wrote for my group mentioned this issue, but I did not know enough about it at the time to discuss it with accuracy so I briefly mentioned it; however, now it has become an old nemesis. Let's talk about the state of the background simulator... Or more accurately, the STATE mechanics within the background simulator.


    Why now? Power Play is coming out, won't state mechanics change with it? I've seen a lot of people talking about this in the forums, and it's important to manage our expectations. From what I understand, Power Play is a mission overhaul, and includes many things which will extend to the powers... But don't necessarily apply to the minor factions. For example, as it stands right now, I doubt Frontier will have time to address the State mechanics. They are delivering a major piece right now, and these other issues are far from top priority... And it should be, until power play comes out. So what better time to talk about what should be changed than now? When power play is finished, and they are ready to address states, they will have something to look at to better understand what frustrates the community.


    Unfamiliar with the problem? If you care about your actions affecting the background sim, it should concern you. Let's take a look at a recent example. One of many, for us.


    The Problem:
    When we took over HR 7327 it was through an election. The cooldown lasted 28 days and is applied to all systems in which a faction is present. This means we can't have an election, war, or civil war in any of our systems for 28 days. While we waited for this to end we maintained influence around 70% in Sukua. By the time the cooldown finally ended the Dukes had enterered a boom, which also blocked our civil war in Sukua. When this finally ended, over the next two days civil war critical was reached, and remained for a total of 48 hours before the faction we intended on going to war with entered a boom. This of course blocked our civil war, again. While we were waiting for boom to end, a Mikunn Lockdown started. Currently we are working on the lockdown…


    As you can imagine this is very frustrating. Frontier is aware of the issues, but as I stated above, time isn't on their side at the moment.


    Solution:
    One of the reasons cool downs exist is to ensure that factions don't spread across the galaxy like an infection. One system becomes 2, 2 becomes 4, 4 becomes 8, and so on. In this scenario, a cool down that applies to all systems makes sense; however, being unable to have a boom in one system because a different system had a boom less than a month ago doesn't make sense. In fact, I think this extends to election, civil war, and war as well. To illustrate this point, let's say that cooldown for expansion is galaxy-wide with civil war cooldowns being system-wide. Factions would still be limited to only one new system per month assuming the met they benchmarks, but civil wars wouldn't block status changes in other systems. You only need to put a galaxy wide cooldown on expansion to prevent an exponential expansion effect.


    Another thing that needs to change is that states can't be interrupted. Instead of a civil war starting, everyone patiently awaits for the other factions boom to end before starting a civil war, because you know, it would be impolite. It should be possible for states to interrupt one another.


    OR even a system where you could have two states.... Perhaps the combination of two different states would have interesting results.


    Wrap up:
    Whatever the solution is, it is desperately needed. This has been strangling my faction for months. This may not be your opinion though, OR you have a different solution.... And that is what I want to hear. I want to pose to the community this question - In your opinion, how would states ideally work? Also, for the factions that aren’t powers, what can be done to provide a more immersive, developing, and interactive experience?


    Why is the background simulator so important to me? I’ve always liked strategy games, and I know I’ve been treating elite dangerous like one; however, I understand that this isn’t everyone’s playstyle. But…. after the initial experience, the average player is looking for a purpose. Why are they here? At the moment, if you don’t make anything of it, elite is very one dimensional, you progress or “level up” by accumulating wealth. Beyond that, it is up to the player to make his or her own experience, and that can be a wonderfully immersive thing. The more the game reacts to the player ‘blazing their own trail’ - playing with the player and helping build their own individual story - the more enjoyable it is. Players begin to find homebases, identify with factions, and make player created events like blockades or border disputes. Each corner of civilized space has players creating their own stories and experiences. The less curated and the more the game responds automatically to stimuli, an increasing number of groups will benefit, particularly the smaller and more casual ones rather than the vocal. Those are the groups that are the most important - the old group of friends who played back in ‘84, playing elite:dangerous over a drink and skype where different life paths and distance are removed, or the couple that is overly fond of science fiction. The back ground simulator is too complicated, curated, and crippled for those groups to enjoy this part of the game themselves.

    And there is nothing wrong with a developer curated story, in fact, I find it highly enjoyable as I am one of the vocal ones, but.... there needs to be an alternative for those groups that are not. Fixing states and making it less confusing for the average player would be a good start. And don't forget to have a crack at the question above! My experience is most likely far different than yours, and you will have encountered problems that I have not. I have a lot of my own opinions about what the background sim could change, but for the sake of everyone reading I will be cutting myself off here.


    Post if you are from a larger group, just play with your friends, or by yourself. I will link some of the well thought out responses in the original post here:
    Communism Interstellar
    Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps
    Aliance Elite Diplomatic Corps 2
    PCI
    Cosmic State
    Lugh
    Elgered

  2. #2
    Interesting... We at Pand are a small group with only two systems, but have gotten to see some of the problems you describe already. Right now we are at war critical for almost a week, and no idea what might be blocking it finally triggering. I do hope they fix something over this in 1.3, despite the other changes...

    My guess is that Power Play will mix strongly in code with factions, so they might have to change some things in the background sim anyway...

  3. #3
    We (Communism interstellar) have been mightily frustrated with not just the mechanics of the background simulation as you describe, but also with bugs in the backgound sim which prevent it from performing as intended. I can't speak for everyone in CI, after all we are a leaderless collective, but for me the opportunity to interact with the background sim in a meaningful way is the primary and possibly only reason why I have put so much time into playing ED.

    I'm struggling to recall a single takeover attempt of ours that wasn't affected by a bug in the simulation. I'm not talking about the intended annoyance having to wait about for states to end, I'm talking plain and simple bugs. We have one system where no states or pending states changed, despite us working hard on the system and getting it to 75% influence for a month. Another where we hold 85% influence with the controlling state entering a boom state despite losing a huge share of influence. Its a closed (permit) system with no traffic apart from ourselves. We've seen instant Civil Wars won by the faction with the least influence. We've seen a civil war where the effect were inversely proporional to efforts. We started with a huge influence advantage, which we lost rapidly as we fought ever more intensely. Then when we tried an experimental ceasefire, our influence shot up again and the war finished.

    These are just three examples off the top of my head. It makes the whole thing terribly dishreartening.

  4. #4
    Why an off site poll? <.<

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Joe Spivey View Post (Source)
    Why an off site poll? <.<
    Polls have been disabled here.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by SteveLaw View Post (Source)
    Polls have been disabled here.
    Thank god for that !

    --

    Apart from that the BG simulator is the single most important piece of code for ED. The whole premise of the game was sold around the fact that you could as a lone wolf or a group of players (wing ) affect the galaxy based upon your actions. Interaction with NPCs & factions would slowly in time cause changes to the rest of the systems.

    Docking / trading / exploring / combat / etc are all important to the game to make you believe you are doing something (activities within the game) but the knock on effect of those activities is controlled by the BG sim.

    The only part that I am quite sad about is that commodities are banded - that's a shame as once you have enough wealth the lower value goods are not traded by players (why bother hauling Hydrogen and make a few credits/ton profit when you can shift Gold for 1000 credits/ton ?). If they decoupled the commodities such that the price was proportional to the supply/demand that would create a slightly more volatile trade arena. Or, if this is not possible, introduce new states in the BG sim that influences prices - how nice would it be to arrive at a star system to find the planet is starving, needs food, willing to pay 100x the price and you happen to be carrying some

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by SteveLaw View Post (Source)
    Polls have been disabled here.
    Really? Wow. What was the reason given?

  8. #8
    ....and to answer your main question, I'd like the arcane background sim to be a lot more intuitive. I know that frontier have been very careful to keep the way the sim works a secret - but in the end that doesn't really help with making the game compelling to play for anyone with an interest beyond a bit of pew pew. ED will live and thrive on its ability to interest players who want to engage with the politics of the system. At present we are lost in a sea of guesswotk, mythology and counterintuitive requirements.


    I'd like control changing states to be related to just the one system involved, balanced by it being a whole lot harder to trigger the states (to minimise the virus effect). Decouple the states of one faction in mutliple systems. It should be possible to have a boom state in a system that you've invaded, assuming youve been trading your off and running missions while slipping into civil unrest at home (if you've taken your eye off the ball). It should be week's or even month's worth of continual effort from a group of people working together on a common goal to trigger and election or war - but that should be a certain result without hoping that a boom in an unrelated system or a lockdown in a 4th system ends.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Joe Spivey View Post (Source)
    Really? Wow. What was the reason given?
    https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showth...=1#post2250327

  10. #10
    I do not think that it should be easy or even possible for a couple of PCs ( even several hundred ) to take over a System with millions ( or even billions ) of inhabitants in less than a year.
    It should however be possible to do the same in Systems which are unsettled save for a small outpost.

    I fear that atm the game is going towards the to much to fast route with which I mean:
    - Its to easy to make loads of money ( even without cheating/using loopholes ) while being perfectly save and legal
    - I would hate if changing a System would become sth. you do in an afternoon

  11. #11
    Thanks. Wow, seems a bit heavy handed. I wonder how long it will be before creating forum threads is disabled because they are being 'abused'.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Dielos View Post (Source)
    Interesting... We at Pand are a small group with only two systems, but have gotten to see some of the problems you describe already. Right now we are at war critical for almost a week, and no idea what might be blocking it finally triggering. I do hope they fix something over this in 1.3, despite the other changes...

    My guess is that Power Play will mix strongly in code with factions, so they might have to change some things in the background sim anyway...
    See, a lot of people are guessing that. This would imply the way states are handled has changed. My guess is that this is not the case.... yet.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Jane Turner View Post (Source)
    and to answer your main question, I'd like the arcane background sim to be a lot more intuitive. I'd like control changing states to be related to just the one system involved, balanced by it being a wholle lot harder to trigger the states (to minimise the virus effect). It should be week's worth of effort from a group of people working together on a common goal to trigger and election or war - but that should be a certain result without hoping that a boom in an unrelated system or a lockdown in a 4th system ends.
    I kinda like what you say - but I think a certain element of randomness should be kept.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Han Brannigan View Post (Source)
    I do not think that it should be easy or even possible for a couple of PCs ( even several hundred ) to take over a System with millions ( or even billions ) of inhabitants in less than a year.
    It should however be possible to do the same in Systems which are unsettled save for a small outpost.

    I fear that atm the game is going towards the to much to fast route with which I mean:
    - Its to easy to make loads of money ( even without cheating/using loopholes ) while being perfectly save and legal
    - I would hate if changing a System would become sth. you do in an afternoon
    Perhaps there could be background sim mechanics small groups could mess with... they might not be able to change a systems politics.... but what about the politics within a station?

  15. #15
    Hi Walt,
    I can understand the Devs wanting to limit expansion rates in the exponential fashion you mentioned. However, I think they are missing a point to be honest.
    You have approx 150-200 members in your group.
    For each expansion it gets harder to either maintain your existing systems in equilibrium or expand further unless your group numbers expand equally exponentially. Obviosly that wont happen and things will settle down.
    The first couple of systems will end up stable with your faction as rulers and you will most likely concentrate on the new one or two systems that you are trying to expand into.
    No groups have the numbers to expand too quickly after an initial burst of activity. Say you get quickly to 8 or 10. You'd be diluted down to nothing in no time at all if you tried to expand everywhere at once.
    Its the antithesis of the miliitary idea of "he who tries to defend everything, defends nothing".
    Once you expand into a Major faction's system you might decide to back off and see if you can expand elsewhere, or you will end up with a major war with supporters of the Major Faction. Not a good idea given how its panned out at Lugh.

    I agree that each system a faction holds ought to be able to interact with its environment separately. If they are worried still then they could use a rule of , say 10 % of your planets may be in a favourable state at any time, or my preferred option would be using the square root of the systems.
    It would force the group to concentrate on one system at a time when small, and have a more strategic goal as they expand later on.

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