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Thread: Dev Update (07/01/2016)

  1. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #1

    Dev Update (07/01/2016)

    Happy New Year everyone,

    I hope you all enjoyed a good Christmas and New Year! I managed to complete my journey to Sagittarius A* and am now back in civilised space – I didn’t quite make Elite for it though. For the first dev update of 2016 I shall go into some of the details of the galaxy simulation to help guide the ever increasing number of players backing minor factions. Don’t worry if this is all new to you, I’ll start with the basic concepts and expand from there.

    Minor factions are political entities with star systems that vie against each other to control assets within the star system. Assets of a system include starports, outposts, surface ports and surface installations. The strength of a faction’s presence in a system is displayed as their influence level. Influence levels are increased, or reduced by player activity such as completing missions, trading and bounty hunting. Whichever minor faction controls the primary starport for the system is considered the controlling faction for the system.

    The minor faction that owns a port will determine the laws for the jurisdiction for that port. This is commonly dictated by the superpower allegiance of the minor faction, and its government type.

    Currently there is little direct linkage between minor factions and powers, although powers can influence certain aspects like laws and markets within their dominion and grant state and influence bonuses to allied minor factions. Conversely minor factions that are diametrically opposed to a power make that system more costly to control. This connection between powers and minor factions is something we’d like to strengthen during season 2 and beyond.

    There is a cap on the amount a Faction can change in influence per day, which is determined by: the size of population (the bigger the harder), the faction state, the amount of player activity that day, and any Power influence on that system. Influence is calculated on an approximately daily tick.

    As well as affecting influence, player actions also drive the state of that system which can include a range of effects from famine through to lockdowns, the following actions have different strength effects on economic states:



    Ownership of an asset can change at the conclusion of one of the following states:


    • War
    • Civil War
    • Elections


    These conflict states take priority over economic states and are triggered by the factions’ influence level relative to other factions in the system. Conflicts cannot end before their minimum duration. Conflicts that reach their maximum duration are considered to end in a ceasefire, and no assets change owners. A faction can only take part in a single conflict, no matter how many systems they are present in.

    Player activities shown in the Actions Table above, and through related missions, push the faction towards and away from economic states by adding points to pools. Once the pool is large enough it will queue the state with a countdown after which the event will trigger, assuming it has the largest pool.


    State Flow

    When a state triggers, all other economic state pools are reset to 0 apart from Outbreak and Famine which are halved, unless it is Famine or outbreak when they are all reduced to 0.

    All States have a countdown before they trigger, a minimum and maximum duration, and a cool down before which the state cannot occur again, even if it has been interrupted.



    When certain states are active, they can modify which player activities can affect the faction’s influence:



    States also modify the “wealth”, “security”, “development level” and “Standard of living” stats if the faction controls a star system. The prices and production of certain market goods are also affected when economic and conflict states are active.

    There’s still quite a lot we want to do to develop the socio-economic simulation further. Better population modelling and effects is one major addition we’ve discussed. There’s also a desire for greater feedback for the player in their interactions and in the longer term, we are looking at automated colonisation and lots, lots more!

    For fun here are the minor factions who are currently present in 8 or more star systems:


    • Sirius Corporation
    • Kalkinja Blue Brothers
    • Alioth Independents
    • League of Amemait
    • Sanuma Gold Dynamic
    • Purple Natural Incorporated
    • Noblemen of Rikbakara
    • Innocent Cult of Syntes
    • Dukes of Jotun
    • The Dukes of Mikunn
    • People's Kurukujiali Confederacy
    • Liu Behueno Empire Party
    • Monarchy of Kedones
    • Ayorente Independent Union
    • Crom Silver Boys
    • i Bootis Democrats
    • Imen Coordinated
    • Workers of Fan Gong Partnership
    • Kaurareg Silver Public Corp
    • Noblemen of Tacare
    • Defence Force of Wheemehimo
    • HIP 95973 Advanced Ltd
    • Attada Posse
    • Luyten 347-14 Prison Colony
    • HIP 2452 Prison Colony
    • Taoshan Crimson Ring
    • HIP 2327 Prison Colony
    • United Allo Free
    • HIP 84696 Systems
    • Gogonir Corp.


    Will one of these minor factions become a power over the coming months? :-)

    Thanks!

    Michael
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  2. #2
    Nice! Thats good to know!
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  3. #3
    Now, the minor factions need to come up with more names from the Crayola Crayon Box.
    "Are you people working under the assumption that playing Elite is meant to be fun?"

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  4. #4
    Thank you, thank you, thank you Michael....
    This dev'update is very important for all groups leader

    Happy new year.


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  5. #5
    Directs a suspicious and judging eye at Sirius Corp.

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  6. #6
    That's all well and good, but... how does any of this affect players in any way? Apart from minor changes in certain statistics that only the most obsessive players would worry about, most of which only have to do with trading, none of this has any real effect on what players experience in the game. Even civil wars, which one would think would be a pretty big deal, have zero effect on players who don't enter combat zones. There are no visible differences in what NPCs spawn, what happens in USS, what missions spawn (unless it's a war, and even then it's very limited), etc. To the average player, who doesn't obsess over what happens in the faction information panel, the background simulation seems to pretty much solely exist for its own sake, with everything they actually see, apart from the economy, being for all intents and purposes completely random.

  7. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #7
    Originally Posted by Epicthetrumble View Post (Source)
    That's all well and good, but... how does any of this affect players in any way? Apart from minor changes in certain statistics that only the most obsessive players would worry about, most of which only have to do with trading, none of this has any real effect on what players experience in the game. Even civil wars, which one would think would be a pretty big deal, have zero effect on players who don't enter combat zones. There are no visible differences in what NPCs spawn, what happens in USS, what missions spawn (unless it's a war, and even then it's very limited), etc. To the average player, who doesn't obsess over what happens in the faction information panel, the background simulation seems to pretty much solely exist for its own sake, with everything they actually see, apart from the economy, being for all intents and purposes completely random.
    To highlight just a few: it feeds into what traffic is generated in a system, what missions are available and the markets. It also effects the laws applied in a system. I agree we need to do more with it, but it already affects all areas of the game, although maybe too subtly in places.

    Michael

  8. #8
    Wow, really a lot uf useful info here... Hope all dev updates are like this from now on... Can we get more info on how materials are distributed on planet surfaces? What i mean is which planet type + surface feature/color is likely to contain this or that material... thanks.
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  9. #9
    Excellent info for us BGS fans. Thank you.

    My understanding is there are two gates to end a election, war or civil war.
    1. minimum duration.
    2. Have at least 5% more influence than opponent.

    Is that correct?

    I have also seen reports about collecting CZ bonds during a war/civil war not having much of an impact on influence levels. I realize the impact might depend on other factors such as pop size, etc, but does collecting CZ bonds help at all, or do you have to take missions (rarely pop up ) for kills in a CZ to really have an impact?
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  10. #10
    Based on what you've shown here, the logic in the minor faction part of the background simulation would appear to be quite manageable. Yet we often hear complaints here about bugs in the BGS where players do not see the expected effect of their actions.

    Are these bugs genuine, or are they only perceived as such because players are not aware of the full ruleset (i.e. doing hundreds of missions for a faction whilst the system is in Lockdown)?

    What have been the sources of genuine bugs that have been found in the BGS? Programming errors in the implementation of the above logic, records of player actions getting lost or not applied to systems when you process the tick, or are there complex network interactions between neighbouring systems/factions/powerplay?

    For a system in isolation without NPC trading, it would seem feasible to ensure that the minor faction influence and system state game logic is correct, either by unit testing or black box testing via simulated inputs - so if there are still real bugs in the BGS, what can be done to resolve them?

    If the "bugs" are actually misunderstanding of the game mechanisms, do you think that the 'minor faction' game could be made more fun to more players by making those mechanisms more visible in the game?

    And finally, two questions about the sim itself:

    Does the simulation of NPC trading affect faction influence and state, or is it assumed to result in no net change?

    What is the difference between Wealth and Standard of Living?

  11. #11
    Two words just blew my mind:

    Originally Posted by Brett C View Post (Source)
    ...automated colonisation...


    Thanks for an excellent update overall Mike

  12. #12
    Great info. Many thanks

    -
    Pan-Galactic Mining Corp on Inara

  13. #13
    Meh!

    Not sure it makes a ha'peth of difference to the average player, but mildly interesting to know.

    Would rather like to know when the real features are planned for release. Multi-crew etc.
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  14. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #14
    Originally Posted by wstephenson View Post (Source)
    Based on what you've shown here, the logic in the minor faction part of the background simulation would appear to be quite manageable. Yet we often hear complaints here about bugs in the BGS where players do not see the expected effect of their actions.

    Are these bugs genuine, or are they only perceived as such because players are not aware of the full ruleset (i.e. doing hundreds of missions for a faction whilst the system is in Lockdown)?

    What have been the sources of genuine bugs that have been found in the BGS? Programming errors in the implementation of the above logic, records of player actions getting lost or not applied to systems when you process the tick, or are there complex network interactions between neighbouring systems/factions/powerplay?

    For a system in isolation without NPC trading, it would seem feasible to ensure that the minor faction influence and system state game logic is correct, either by unit testing or black box testing via simulated inputs - so if there are still real bugs in the BGS, what can be done to resolve them?

    And finally, two questions about the sim itself:

    Does the simulation of NPC trading affect faction influence and state, or is it assumed to result in no net change?

    What is the difference between Wealth and Standard of Living?
    Part of the reason for posting this update was to provide a bit more clarity on how the system works - some genuine bugs have been found, but there's also a lot of misconceptions, or assumptions about how it works.

    There is NPC trading in the simulation, but that's done as aggregate, rather than modelling individual ships.

    Only players can change influence and state.

    Wealth is the accumulation of resources where standard of living represents how comfortable the citizens are.

    MIchael

  15. #15
    very nice to know this.
    not so nice Frontier is influencing our movements.
    not very sandbox like.

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