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Thread: "Chewie here tells me you're lookin' for passage" Passengers in Elite: Dangerous

  1. #1

    "Chewie here tells me you're lookin' for passage" Passengers in Elite: Dangerous

    Hi all,
    You get an early update on passengers today, as I'm hitting the ferry to go and see the F1 Belgian Grand Prix tomorrow. Having gone over your feedback from the first proposal, this is the revised take on it:

    PASSENGERS IN ELITE: DANGEROUS

    Players can carry passengers between destinations as a way of earning money (or other valuable resources) in Elite: Dangerous. Players can carry passengers in their ships cargo hold, in stasis tubes or in rudimentary cabins, but this is considered a fairly rough way to travel and allows players to transport passengers from A to B for a basic fee.

    Passenger liners represent the state of the art in terms of luxury travel. Liners can be fitted with a range of high quality cabins. These can be fitted with a range of high end passenger cabins, and feature a number of features to keep passengers comfortable and entertained. The player can also fit their liner with a large number of basic cabins to use it for mass transit.

    Passengers that are not in stasis will offer the player missions to complete while they are on their journey. Passengers travelling in higher quality cabins will offer the player missions to the player more frequently, and for greater rewards.

    CABINS AND QUALITY OF TRANSPORT FOR PASSENGERS
    The player can fit their ship with a number of different cabin types. Some ships can only fit the most basic types of passenger transport, but luxury liners are free to choose from the entire range. The better the quality of the cabin the more a passenger will be willing to pay to travel, but the more expensive, spacious and heavy the cabin module will be (Occupying more space in the players ship, and limiting the player's options to fit other modules)
    The types of cabin available are:
    • Class 1 - Stasis tube Rack
      • This is a powered cargo rack that the player must fit in their cargo hold. It allows the player to carry two passengers per rack, transported like cargo
      • Passengers in stasis tubes will not offer the player missions en route
      • Stasis tube racks can be fitted in any type of ship
    • Class 2 - Basic Passenger Cabin
      • This powered cabin allows a single passenger to be transported in a conscious state. The cabin features rudimentary facilities
      • Passengers in basic passenger cabins have a low chance of offering the player low paying missions en route
      • Basic Passenger Cabins can be fitted to any ship type
    • Class 3 - Travel Cabin
      • This powered cabin allows up to two passengers to be transported in a relatively civilised state. This is the equivalent of travelling second class today
      • Passengers in basic passenger cabins have a chance of offering the player medium paying missions en route
      • Travel Cabins can only be fitted to Liners
    • Class 4 - First Class Cabin
      • This powered cabin allows up to Four passengers to be transported in high quality surroundings. Players have a number of facilities and services available to them, automated by the room
      • Passengers in First Class cabins have a good chance of offering the player medium to high paying missions en route
      • First Class Cabins can only be fitted to Liners
    • Class 5 - Luxury Cabin
      • This powered cabin allows up to Four passengers to be transported in absolute luxury. Years of research into human pleasure has resulted in the pinnacle of luxury travel arrangements
      • Passengers in luxury cabins have a high chance of offering the player high paying missions en route
      • Luxury Cabins can only be fitted to Liners


    FINDING AND ACCEPTING PASSENGER CONTRACTS
    Players can find passenger contacts in a number of locations around the galaxy by docking and checking a locations bulletin board. Passenger contracts will appear there.
    • Players must dock at a station or other location in order to accept passenger contracts
      • The player selects the bulletin board from the menu once docked and selects the travel page
      • Available contracts are listed here and can be filtered by distance of destination, reward value, # of passengers, deadline, previously flagged etc.
      • Each of the passenger contracts will have a small number of relevant details listed under itís heading
      • Selecting a contract will open a page with all the details of the job including:
        • Contacts name (the name of the NPC that posted the contract
        • Departure Location (This should be the players current locations unless there is some special pickup condition attached to the job)
        • Destination (With the distance from the departure listed
        • Deadline for delivery
        • Money Offered
        • Number of Passengers
        • Minimum class of transport
        • Deadline for completion of the contract
        • Other Information
    • From the details page of a job the player can select to either flag the task (highlighting it for later) or can select to contact the poster of the job
      • By communicating with the original poster the player can begin negotiating the terms of a passenger contract
      • Players can discuss the following terms:
        • Negotiate price
        • Negotiate Deadlines
        • Time of payment (on completion, half advance, full advance, based on reputation)
        • Information on any Expected Risks
        • Information on any missions passengers might have
        • Any required permits (The passenger will provide one if they can get it, although they may ask the player to enter an illegal area without)
        • Deadline for completion
        • Accept or Reject the contract
      • Different clients may be more or less flexible on certain aspects of their contract
      • When the player selects to accept the contract the passengers will be loaded into the players ship
        • If the players ship does not meet the requirements for the contract (e.g space for passengers, facilities etc.) the contract will be cancelled and the player will be informed of the cause for cancellation
    • The player can accept as many contracts as their shipís capacity and facilities allow


    DELIVERING PASSENGERS
    Once passengers are loaded into a players ship they must deliver them to their desired destination to complete their passenger contract. Passengers in stasis are delivered simply to their destination, however passengers who are being delivered in liners will have additional missions to offer the player along their delivery
    • With Passengers in stasis the player must fly them to their destination within the time of the deadline for completion
      • Players must fly to and dock at the destination specified in the contract
      • Once docked the passengers will disembark
        • The players will receive any payment due and a message from the passengers
        • The players reputation for passenger delivery will increase
    • With conscious passengers the player still has a destination (or multiple destinations) to deliver their passengers to
      • Once on board passengers will offer the players missions to earn rewards
      • Players can acquiesce to a passengers mission or can ignore them
        • Passenger missions can trigger certain events, such as ambushes or pre-arranged meetings with other ships
        • Passenger missions can chain into a sequence of connected missions
      • Passengers may make requests to the player based on events the player encounters
        • E.g. Passenger is a Federation Officer. Will ask the player to intervene with any Federal requests for aid
      • The player may receive multiple missions from passengers on a journey
    • If the deadline for completion should pass without the player completing the contract the passenger contract is failed
      • Depending on the players proximity to the passengers destination and current situation (surroundings, ship status, and previous extensions). They may offer the player an extension on the contract with a re-negotiated reward
        • The player will lose a small amount of reputation for being late
      • If the player is too far from the destination, or in an undesirable situation the passengers will demand that the player delivers them to the nearest settlement
        • Failure to allow them off your ship will result in a crime being logged against the player
        • The player will lose a larger amount of reputation for non completion
    • If the players ship is destroyed with passengers on board the passenger contract is considered failed
    • If passengers are on board the players ship when it is destroyed they are killed
      • The player will lose a large amount of passenger delivery reputation if passengers are killed while on their ship
      • Players can order passengers they have on board to abandon ship
        • Passengers will enter escape pods. These can be collected like cargo containers for a short period, allowing the player to continue the passenger contract after the danger has passed
        • If the playerís ship is destroyed while passengers are in escape pods they will be recovered to the nearest safe location (like the player if they use an escape pod) and won't die
        • The Passenger contract will be over and the player will not receive a reward, but the playerís reputation will not suffer either


    DISCUSSION POINTS

    Thanks for all the passenger archetypes from the original thread. I really enjoyed the Prisoner and Prison Guards. I like the idea of the prisoners trying to pay off the player to create an escape opportunity while the guards try to do damage control. The retired Federation Officer who is always spoiling for a fight is a good one too. The Nuns and the Rock band made me chuckle.

    Please keep any suggestions for passenger archetypes and missions coming, they're very useful for when we come to flesh out and develop features for the passenger system.

    What happens when passengers are not who they say they are? Can we have passengers who are secretly marines or terrorists lying low? What about pirates who try to take over the player's ship? What other examples can you think of?

    If the player does end up in a situation where they can't complete a passenger contract because their passengers are not who they say they are, how do we reward players?

  2. #2
    Originally Posted by Tom Kewell View Post (Source)
    If the player does end up in a situation where they can't complete a passenger contract because their passengers are not who they say they are, how do we reward players?
    reward them for what ?

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Novastar View Post (Source)
    reward them for what ?
    Sorry, wasn't clear.

    The problem is the player took a passenger job expecting a reward, then events meant that the passenger job is cancelled (say they were pirates and the player fought them off). At this point the player is essentially down, they've used fuel, spent time, getting this far.

    We could just make it that those are the breaks and the player should be more careful with whom they allow on their ship.
    We could give the player a large boost to their reputation for handling the situation.
    We could reward the player with loot, prizes, whatever for completing the event that cancelled the contract.

    Just wanted your thoughts on the problem.

  4. #4
    Loving the OP.

    Prisoners etc should be an issue if the ship is scanned.. they should have the similar effect as the dodgy cargo.

    High Sec prisoner is going to show up on the lowest level scan, etc etc.

    I would suggest that upon detection the commander can try to evade taking a huge bounty, OR can give up the prisoner either by escape pod or at the local station. something along those lines.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Tom Kewell View Post (Source)
    Sorry, wasn't clear.

    The problem is the player took a passenger job expecting a reward, then events meant that the passenger job is cancelled (say they were pirates and the player fought them off). At this point the player is essentially down, they've used fuel, spent time, getting this far.

    We could just make it that those are the breaks and the player should be more careful with whom they allow on their ship.
    We could give the player a large boost to their reputation for handling the situation.
    We could reward the player with loot, prizes, whatever for completing the event that cancelled the contract.

    Just wanted your thoughts on the problem.
    Well if it was a pirate presumably they've been fought off in one of the following scenarios;

    Player kills them - the pirate's assets are seized by the authorities - as a proceeds of crime type scenario - and the player is reimbursed for his losses plus a bonus for eliminating a pirate/criminal.

    Pirate is fought off but escapes - normal bounty system applies - again player gets a share of the seized assets when pirate killed/captured (as well as the bounty hunter getting his fee).

    ETA: Liking the OP proposal too

  6. #6
    My favorite idea of my own was the 'Rich Guy with a Bucket List'

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by Tom Kewell View Post (Source)
    Sorry, wasn't clear.
    The problem is the player took a passenger job expecting a reward, then events meant that the passenger job is cancelled (say they were pirates and the player fought them off). At this point the player is essentially down, they've used fuel, spent time, getting this far.
    We could just make it that those are the breaks and the player should be more careful with whom they allow on their ship.
    We could give the player a large boost to their reputation for handling the situation.
    We could reward the player with loot, prizes, whatever for completing the event that cancelled the contract.
    Just wanted your thoughts on the problem.
    ah, understood now.
    i would be wary of anything but the "those are the breaks" option being common. success is hollow without the realisitic and looming threat of failure.

    the matter of people boarding, who are not what they seem, is problematic because the player has no way to combat it that I'm aware of.
    I'd suggest that it should be removed or the player given some ability to research or analyse the authenticity of those on board.

    i suggested many months ago that you consider a generic reputation system where any entity in the game can be assigned any appropriate reputation value according to various in-game authorities (govs, npcs, player guilds etc).
    something like that could give a rich background for playing with identities and deception.

    All the above comments are based on the assumption of automatically generated missions. Hand-scripted missions would be a different matter, where the deception might be a key part of the plot regardless of the commanders ability to detect it.

  8. #8
    The options for passengers seem a little polarised.
    Either 3rd class or worse on a cargo ship ..... or...... something in a "state of the art" liner

    why is there no low-budget liner with 90%2nd class cabins and 10% first class providing economical travel for the working masses ?

    i wonder if it will be profitable to run a liner unless it is using high-end cabins ?

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Tom Kewell View Post (Source)
    Sorry, wasn't clear.

    The problem is the player took a passenger job expecting a reward, then events meant that the passenger job is cancelled (say they were pirates and the player fought them off). At this point the player is essentially down, they've used fuel, spent time, getting this far.

    We could just make it that those are the breaks and the player should be more careful with whom they allow on their ship.
    We could give the player a large boost to their reputation for handling the situation.
    We could reward the player with loot, prizes, whatever for completing the event that cancelled the contract.

    Just wanted your thoughts on the problem.
    The obvious ideas that come to my mind are:

    -Bounty for killing the pirates
    -Gathering loot the pirates were carrying, i.e. small stolen items like jewelries, which you could then either sell to a criminal contact, or try to find the original owner of in hopes of a reward and/or a reputation boost. The latter could perhaps be a mission in itself.

  10. #10

    Mission Idea

    This mission only offered to ships with 2 or more cabins.

    Pick up a passenger requesting transport to another system in a 2 person cabin or better. During the journey the passenger informs you that they are a telepath and want you to pick up a particular passenger from system X. They need to telepathically obtain some information from this other passenger. The telepath is willing to share some of the information obtained, but not all.

    The passenger to be picked up may need some convincing to accept passage with you by suitable negation of price etc. You may need to convince them to share a cabin with the telepath or even accept transport in a stasis chamber; the telepath will guide you here.

    You should be able to learn something from the telepath before the end of the journey so as to evaluate its worth.

    The telepath may want you to pick up other passengers to gather more information; this all depends on how you deal with the mission and the telepath.

    The information, assuming it is provided, could lead you to a rich source of minerals or an alien device giving you some advantage in combat, defence or some other area. It may lead you to an amazing discovery in an uncharted area of space.

    This type of mission could continue for quite a while allowing a number of artefacts to be obtained and discoveries made.

    Your success in this mission will cement your relationship with the telepath for a future time when it's you that needs their help.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Tom Kewell View Post (Source)
    Please keep any suggestions for passenger archetypes and missions coming, they're very useful for when we come to flesh out and develop features for the passenger system.
    A strange old sect on Tibecea,
    believe it noble to be turned into tortilla;
    Nouveau riche show their Federal power,
    by serving them hot with baked cauliflower;
    Mission: one-way to Eta Cassiopeia.

  12. #12
    I might be bring in odd ideas. Working on updates on it.

    1 Attacking a ship with cargo hold Passengers. Rescue & capture (Like Capturing a Fugitive or Rescue a ambassador from another ship.)

    2 Maybe Add Prisoner transport Cabin with a chance prisoner escape. Taking over your ship or sending out a call to the nearest Prate for rescue. Ejecting out in a escape pod and leaving your ship disable for a few mins. Maybe stuck on full throttle for a few mins.

    3 Maybe the trip dose not have to be transport. Like Sight seeing or be able to view a real life combat from your ship and feeling the action in real life. Kinda like Riding with a cop on a real patrol.

    1 Tour guide Sight seeing flying in a nebula or close to a Planet or flying in asteroids. Or ancient combat sites with ship wrecks, or viewing old space ships that are not use anymore.

    2 Action Combat Destroy a kinda like ride with a cop or Military flight.

    3 Exploration Where people can pay to explore a new area. Like where to build a space station.

    4 ambassador negotiation mission where you take the passenger to a neutral system and meet up with other ships with ambassador so they can talk peace or war and Trade agreements. Which could come out good or bad.

    (a If negotiations work well. Everyone fly's home.)
    (b If negotiations get hostile It Either Fight to the death.)
    (c Get out of alive or rally behind the other ambassadors to combat the treat.)
    (d Then there could be pirate attack while in negotiations.)

    5 Mining mission. Where the passenger can survey an area for ores. This could lead with a trade agreement with you and the passenger later on.

    6 Transporting News caster. (I think I been listing to to much Laveradio.)

    7 Military Transport recruits, Officers, Spies

    (a. recruits you take them to point A. to B.).
    (b. Officers Like Ambassadors officers can be assign to meet in a Neutral system to talk about peace treaty or Strategy.
    (c Which could lead a another issues like sneak attack. Which could be part of the war or a new treat which the Officers have to decide to work together or just kill each other.)

  13. #13
    New proposal looks better, more fleshed out.

    If 'undesirables' who aren't who they say they are get on board, that's part of the fun. I assume at least until the walking around expansion, their ploy will be to either request travel to a dangerous location where a pre-arranged ambush is set up, or the more canny pirate will appear to want to go for a safe location and then concoct some mid-flight mission to get you to do a detour.

    How to handle this? Well firstly, them's the breaks. Just because you agreed to a deal doesn't mean it will come off - just like in real life. Maybe just like in real life too, there will be genuine people who will offer a genuine mission and then just decide simply not to pay when they disembark. Either situation is a good trigger for a continuing mission chain.

    The way to protect yourself early on is to look for low risk missions, see if you can get some background on the passengers that might be a clue as to whether they are being upfront. For instance special ops guys might want a huge amount of 'undisclosed' cargo to be taken with them to their destination, pirate guys might have outstanding fines, bounties or just a very sketchy looking back story.

    For low end missions, you should be able to request full payment up front early on, just like an airline would. Or maybe you can go through an escrow service which costs you a % of the fee but guarantees payment. Later on, when your rep is high, you can demand full payment from high end passengers.

    What about interactions between passengers? How would you handle a guy who decides to rob everyone else on board? Or what if you pick up a bounty hunter/assassin/agent and his mark in what you think are two separate jobs but really one is after the other and their interaction plays out on your ship? What if that's your actual mission? To facilitate a rendezvous in space between passenger A and passenger B so they can conduct 'business' off world and away from prying eyes?

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Tom Kewell View Post (Source)
    What happens when passengers are not who they say they are? Can we have passengers who are secretly marines or terrorists lying low? What about pirates who try to take over the player's ship? What other examples can you think of?

    If the player does end up in a situation where they can't complete a passenger contract because their passengers are not who they say they are, how do we reward players?
    I like how the new proposal gives ordinary traders a taste of transport, but I'd prefer enforced side-quests be reserved for liners. If I've figured out a route to get Lavian Brandy to the very most profitable place before it spoils, and I picked up a passenger without thinking, then I will not be amused if I'm nearly there and he says "take this Asp to Cuba". My loss in that situation is that I feel stupid for accepting passengers, which just discourages me from taking them in future.

    I'm fine with this sort of thing when I'm operating a passenger liner though - my choice of ship implies I want passengers to be my main source of gameplay, so occasionally losing from it is par for the course. Having said that, I'm still not clear how combat will work walking about, nor whether I'll like it when it's explained, so having my ship taken over from the inside could be a problem. At the least those missions should have a tell visible to experienced pilots. If I ask for triple the price and he says "nine thousand dubloons it is, me hearty", but I ask for some up front and he says "arr, me wallet be in me other pegleg", I know what to expect.

    On the subject of recompense, it seems to me everything has a price in the Elite universe, the wise man is merely he who knows how to sell it.

    Say a low-paying passenger assassinates your high-paying other passenger before vamoosing out the airlock. You could bundle up your logs as an information packet and sell them as evidence to the local police. Or if you can trap the assassin in a corridor mid-vamoose, you could encourage them back to their cabin by depressurising all the other corridors on the ship. Now instead of a packet, you have a passenger with a story and known-false identity papers. Do you hand them to the police for a reward? Do you ransom them to their paymaster? Do you sell them as a slave?

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Andrew Sayers View Post (Source)
    I like how the new proposal gives ordinary traders a taste of transport, but I'd prefer enforced side-quests be reserved for liners.
    You can ignore passenger requested missions.

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