Page 1 of 12 1236 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 171

Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.
Thread: "War, poverty, cruelty, unnecessary violence" Factions and Causes in Elite: Dangerous

  1. #1

    "War, poverty, cruelty, unnecessary violence" Factions and Causes in Elite: Dangerous

    Hi guys,

    It's Friday again, and we've got that Friday feeling that makes us post proposals!

    This weeks proposal ties in strongly with the background simulation, and how factions behave and change with regards to it, and what you, the players, can do to change the structure of the Galaxy.

    Hefty stuff I'm sure you'll agree, but have a careful read and then give us your thoughts. Deep breath, here we go:

    ELITE DANGEROUS – FACTION CAUSES AND THE BACKGROUND SIM

    GLOSSARY OF TERMS
    System – A collection of stars, planets or other astral bodies under a single collective name, e.g. “Lave”, and requiring a hyperspace jump to reach.
    Faction – An organisation that adheres to a single set of laws and that has a relationship with other factions. Factions can control single systems (such as independent systems) or multiple systems (such as the Federation)
    System Authority – All inhabited systems are controlled by a faction in the form of a system authority. System Authorities can adopt statuses and causes.
    System Statistics – Statistics and data about a system authority.
    System Statuses – Broad stroke conditions that effect a system, e.g. war, poverty, economic boom
    System Causes – Sets of missions and events with a theme relating to a specific Status.
    Tick – A variable amount of time that determines when background simulation data is collated, and system statistics are updated.
    System Assets – These are the various objects, resources, and points of interest in a system.

    WHO RUNS A SYSTEM?
    Every inhabited system has a system authority, representing the physical presence of the dominant faction in the system (or representing lack of governance in case where no faction is in control). The system authority has a number of system statistics:

    • Wealth – a rating of the system authority’s capital
      • Between 1 – 1000. 1 represents low average wealth, 1000 represents a high average wealth
    • Standard of Living – a rating of the wellbeing for the population under the care of the system authority
      • Between 1 – 1000. 1 represents a low standard of living in squalid conditions, 1000 represent utopian living standards
    • Development level – a rating of how technologically and materially advanced the system authority is
      • Between 1 – 1000. 1 represents very low development and facilities, 1000 represents the highest development and facilities
    • Security – a rating of the system authority’s military capability
      • Between 1 – 1000. 1 represents low security, with the faction owning few combat capable ships, 1000 represents a highly secure system with a large faction fleet
    • Population – a representation of the number of inhabitants under the care of the system authority
      • Between 1 – 1000. 1 represents severe under-population, 1000 represents severe overcrowding
    • Government Type – a description of the method of governance used by the system authority (some factions specify a government type)
      • None (the system is unpopulated)
      • Anarchy
      • Commune
      • Communism
      • Corporate State
      • Religious Cult
      • Democracy (Independent, Federal, Alliance)
      • Theocracy
      • Dictatorship
      • Feudal
      • Imperial Colony
      • Imperial Protectorate (part of the Imperial interstellar faction)
    • Major Economy Type – the most prevalent type of market controlled by the system authority
      • Agri
      • Industrial
      • Criminal
      • Extraction
      • Military
      • Services
    • System Authority Owned Assets – a list of points of interest under the control of the system authority
    • Non-System Authority owned Assets – a list of points of interest not under the control of the system authority
    • Neighbouring Authorities – a list of nearby system authorities close enough to be deemed “neighbours” and able to affect the system
      • Each entry logs the factional relationship between the two system authorities


    These system statistics can change based on player activity and statuses (described later). Importantly, they are collated and interrogated every meta-game tick to determine how the system evolves.

    The faction behind a system authority determines the laws of the system, as well as determining diplomatic status with other factions. Such diplomatic status affects all systems controlled by a faction.

    The system authority and its associated stats determine the welfare of the system and what things happen in it.

    WHAT HAPPENS IN A SYSTEM?

    Each tick, by interrogating system statistics, system authorities are assigned any number of statuses and a single cause.

    STATUSES
    Statuses give the player general information about the system authorities’ current system stats in the form of a broad, system-wide condition.
    Different combinations of stats will lead to different statuses being awarded to a System Authority. For example, in order to receive the ‘Famine’ status, the following conditions must be met:
    • Populations Stat must be 9 or more
    • Standard of Living Stat must be under 3
    • Agricultural Assets must be fewer than residential assets

    System authorities can be awarded any number of statuses, as long as their system statistics meet the requisite requirements when the tick occurs. A status can have discrete positive and negative effects:
    • Adds one or more causes to the potential list from which a single cause is chosen each tick
    • Determines a list of statuses that cannot be selected whilst it is in effect
    • Generates stories added to the news feed


    CAUSES
    Causes add themed missions and events into the mission/event creator.
    Causes dictate what the majority of events and missions are that will be available in the system for that tick. They represent a theme associated to a status. For example, the “famine” status might have two associated causes: “exodus” where people are generally attempting to leave the system, and “food drive”, where people are making extra concerted efforts to obtain food supplies.

    Each tick a cause is chosen at random, with statuses adding weight to their related causes.
    Missions generated by a cause are in addition to other missions generated by the mission/event generator.

    RESOLVING STATUSES

    As players perform actions in the system, and react to the available missions and events, their actions will be recorded and logged.

    When the tick ends all the aggregated data for all player’s actions in that system are collated, and the system authority’s system statistics are updated accordingly.

    These updated system statistics are compared against exit thresholds values for active statuses. Each status may have a number of exit thresholds values that could result in different outgoing effects. If the system statistics match a particular set of exit threshold values, the status is removed and any outgoing effects are triggered.

    OUTGOING EFFECTS
    Status outgoing effects can have a positive or negative effect on a systems stats and assets.
    When a status is removed it may trigger outgoing effects:
    • Automatic activation of a particular new status
    • Alteration to system statistics
      • Creation, destruction or alteration of a system asset
      • Alteration to system statistics numerical values
      • Changes to government type
      • Changes to factional relationships


    NEWS FEEDS AND STATUSES
    Statuses and causes will determine the contents of a systems news feed.

    When a status is awarded to a faction, a story pertaining to that status is added to news feed for the system.

    The Stories headline gives a brief description of the details of the status, with the story itself adding information on locations involved, what kind of events and missions to expect, specific details of the status and give clues to what player actions can affect that status.

    When a status is resolved at the end of a tick a story should also be added to the news feed, giving players information on what the resolution of the status was as a headline, and details of the effect of the resolution and any changes to the faction’s stats and statuses in the article.

    The Faction’s Selected Cause should be the main story for that tick, with news stories updated every tick.

    EXAMPLE NEWS STORY
    Status: Aware of Mineral Resources. Cause: Secure Mineral Resources
    Federal Democracy of Sol Plans to Acquire Gold Resources
    A recent discovery in the Sol system (add ‘By <Player Name>’ if player was involved in discovery) has urged the Federal government to move to secure the Gold rich asteroid field at <Asset Location> for official government use. If successful they will put an end to the unofficial mining operations that have been taking advantage of the mining opportunities, and secure the resources for the Federation.
    In a statement, <NPC Government Spokesman> said, “We will be sending security forces to the area to ensure the area is safe while our construction crews begin work on creating mining facilities in the area. We’d like to ask any pilots in the area to co-operate with federal forces in their efforts to secure the area, and report any illegal mining operations to security forces.”.
    Several prominent pilots have spoken out against the Federations claim, saying that the resources should be free for private organisations to mine. Some extremists have threatened to attack federation forces in order to hinder the construction of mining facilities. Others are taking the opportunity to mine as much of the precious resource as they can before the federal clampdown takes place. With mining equipment readily available from a number of ship yards around earth, the Federal government must be expecting something of a gold rush.

    EXAMPLE STATUS
    Status: Economic Boom
    A large amount of wealth distributed among a relatively smaller population leads to economic booms. Expect events and missions relating to trading, with players offered special prices and opportunities to acquire rare goods and services cheaply.

    Required Stats: Wealth >700
    Population: <800
    Associated Causes: Construct new Trading Post, Buy <Trade Good>, build trading ships, build navy ships, subsidise trade

    Resolution 1: The bubble bursts
    Required Stats: Wealth <800
    Population >800
    Effects: -250 to wealth, -100 to population

    Resolution 2: The Boom Continues
    Required Stats: Wealth >800
    Population >900
    Effects: +100 to wealth, +100 to population, Economic Boom status injected to next tick

    Economic boom increases a systems wealth and population. Players can help to prolong the economic boom, and will get missions and events that allow them to purchase things cheaply or sell for a high profit margin while it is active. When the bubble eventually bursts the systems wealth is greatly lowered, and the status is removed.

    Notes and Issues

    So, it's a complex system, apologies if it's a bit confusing. It should mean that systems are constantly changing and evolving. As statuses are acquired and resolved they should alter systems stats and create a narrative for systems as they change over time.

    Players should be able to perform actions in systems and have significant changes in a system. Players should be able to look at the statuses a system has and, with a little player knowledge, perform actions that promote the result they want.

    We need a good selection of statuses that System Authorities can get, with end conditions and associated causes. If you guys can suggest any ideas you have on those lines that would be a great help. If you have a good idea of what the stats would be associated with your example then all the better, but if not post it anyway, we can figure them out later.

    This attachment is a flow diagram of how stats, statuses, causes and player actions are processed.



    Thanks for reading, really looking forward to your feedback!

  2. #2
    Looks awesome,


    gone forever are the days of grinding the same mission day in and day out without it ever having an affect on the universe. It really will feel like every action you take can impact on the outcome of your immediate locality and ripple out through the Universe. This. is. awesome.

    It's what I've been looking for since grinding my 100th rat in Everquest all those years ago. It will, I hope, become something of a staple in online (and single player) RPG. Well done Frontier Developments, you've done it again.


    I do have one question - you rate the scales of 1-1000, but the stats you talk about >9 etc...

    Will we get to see the actual "score" between 1-1000 and if so, is it necessary that all scores are out of 1000? If we get to see them, and they aren't just system variables, then seeing 1000 as a population will be seem pretty arbitrary, why not 10,000,000 or 100,000,000,000.

    But yeah, otherwise, I think I get what's going on here, and if I'm right, my mind is entered in to a zen like state of infinite possibility. So, thanks




    Here's an example of what I think you're looking for:

    1) Newly founded agricultural planet requires farm machinery, and is importing food. Both are at a relatively high price.
    2) 2000 players deliver farm 600000 units of farm machinery over 1 month
    3) Exit point 4 weeks later - the economy is no longer looking for farming machinery
    4) Exit point 10 weeks later - the economy becomes a net exporter of food.



    So that would be like:

    Status: Colony world
    A new world on the periphary of explored space, but still under the influence of NPC control. Always demanding food and agri supplies to ensure settlers have food. Events, missions relating to trading food and farm machinery and higher than average rates bringing people across the galaxy to take advantage of demand.

    "news item: a new world is opening for business, and they need your support. The 1000th shipment of agricultural machinery has been made by <player> and the system's governor on behalf of <faction> is celebrating with a massive fireworks display in teh main port town of <name>. Sources tell us that this crazy demand for farming is because of the rich soil that will, in years to come, combined with the unique sunlight, develop some of the most amazing grapes. Investors are streaming in to take advantage of this on the sunlight slopes of <world>."

    Required Stats: Wealth <3
    Population: <2
    Development level <1
    Associated Causes: Construct new Trading Post, Buy food & agri supplies, subsidise trade

    Resolution 1: The Colonists are struck by terrible dissease
    Required Stats: Wealth <4
    Population <3
    Effects: -3 to wealth, -2 to population

    Planetary disease decreases a systems population. Players can help to stem the tide of disease by importing medical supplies and medical personal, including science equipment.

    Otherwise:

    Resolution 2: The Demand grows Continues
    Required Stats: Wealth >5
    Population >4
    Development level >2
    Effects: +1 to wealth, +1 to population, +1 to development level. Population Boom status injected to next tick

    Resolution 3: The plateau
    Required stats:
    Wealth >5
    Population >6
    Development level >3
    Effects: Change of economic demand, now exporter of some food stuffs, buy price drops on agri to something more "averag" (certainly not worth making the long haul for) and some food stuffs drop in buy price, but increase in sell price.

  3. #3
    Hmm is that flow chart attachment just tiny for me?
    I can't read it.

    This will require some thought...

  4. #4
    Still digesting the logic, but could you clear up a little ambiguity:

    The background simulation proposal went out of its way to talk about "entities" instead of "systems", so as to leave room for entities that spread across greater or less than one system. Are "system authorities" synonymous with "entities", and if so can we discount multi-government systems or entities reaching out to govern a nearby dark system?

  5. #5
    This sounds like a real world economy type system.

    Will there then be missions to take populations to planets? If there is a population of 1 or 2 it would make sense to be able to increase the population some how..



    Oh and any chance of making that JPG just a little bigger so we can read it????

  6. #6
    Standard of Living: Wellbeing and standard of living seem to me to be two quite different things. So this description could do with being more precise. If you lived in a system with a regime that gave little personal freedom, but which nevertheless meant that you lived in luxury, I would argue that the 'standard of living' would not be as high as in a system with much more personal freedom, but lower level of luxury. So what is this measuring?

    Population and overcrowding are quite separate things, since the level of overcrowding depends on the space available. One system may have twice the number of individuals than another, but much more space. So what are the population scores?

  7. #7
    I can't tell if the population stat is really the raw number of people or is the ratio of the number of people compared to the available living space? There's a big difference between 10 million people spread out over a country and 10 million people in one city. The former likely wouldn't be overcrowded, the latter would be. Is a high population stat just lots of people or is it more people than space to live?

    If "population" is capped at 1000 (or 10), is there any way to model more people coming to the place? This is likely to be a period of huge expansion in humanity, since travel is so fast now. New living space and agricultural expansion would seem to be pretty easy to make, from new space stations. I could imagine the populations of core systems just growing and growing - will this be modelled? Is the maximum stat of 1000 really a relative statistic? As in the system with the largest true population gets a stat of 1000, and everyone else is scaled appropriately? Or is it on a logarithmic scale?

    The other thing that strikes me about this proposal is the lack of anything exponential. Population growth and wealth growth tend to be exponential unless some external influence (such as famine, lack of resources or lack of space) stops them. Things very quickly getting out of hand can lead to surprising future effects, such as stock market crashes and so on.

    Although maybe we don't want exponential things going on:

    Originally Posted by Prof. Al Bartlett
    The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.
    It may be actually more realistic, but it could feel unrealistic and "random", and be too hard for anyone to predict or control (just like real life).

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Andrew Sayers View Post (Source)
    The background simulation proposal went out of its way to talk about "entities" instead of "systems", so as to leave room for entities that spread across greater or less than one system. Are "system authorities" synonymous with "entities", and if so can we discount multi-government systems or entities reaching out to govern a nearby dark system?
    I was just about to ask the same thing. From this proposal it seems that the lowest entity simulated is a whole system, which is a quite large entity to be honest. A consequence is that you cannot have events such as civil war, or one planet recede their alliegance to the system authority (effectively creating two different entities). I'd really like to see entities that are both larger and smaler than a whole system. Imagine a civil war between two planets! That would be something to partake in.

    I'll be back with some statuses later.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Tom Kewell View Post (Source)
    These system statistics can change based on player activity and statuses (described later). Importantly, they are collated and interrogated every meta-game tick to determine how the system evolves.


    RESOLVING STATUSES

    As players perform actions in the system, and react to the available missions and events, their actions will be recorded and logged.

    When the tick ends all the aggregated data for all player’s actions in that system are collated, and the system authority’s system statistics are updated accordingly.

    These updated system statistics are compared against exit thresholds values for active statuses. Each status may have a number of exit thresholds values that could result in different outgoing effects. If the system statistics match a particular set of exit threshold values, the status is removed and any outgoing effects are triggered.
    Couple of questions / comments.

    If one was to remove player input, would there be a progression int he simulation, or would the "universe" essentially stagnate?

    The comments above appears to be driven toward the latter option as it appears that only player action data is collected and aggregated to compare against a decision table. For the simulation to be less susceptible to exploits, the players inputs should be less than 50% in all cases to an aggregated input decision.

    Besides, in the size of the simulation and population players can only be a tiny minority of the whole and so their inputs (by and large) should be minimal.

  10. #10
    statuses that System Authorities can get, with end conditions and associated causes.

    This is really massive, I hope I'm not overthinking it - it's hard to know where the boundaries might be, so I'll just rattle a few out to see if it's along the right lines.

    Status: Tourism boom
    A rare artifact from an ancient age has been discovered. Travellers from around the galaxy are keen to be taken to that planet. Population increases, but number of passenger requests to and from that world increases


    Status: Science discovery
    Boffins in the labs of this planet have discovered a cure for a common human heart condition. Life expectancy increases in allied systems. Population increases.
    Developmental Level >8
    Wealth >8
    Government type has to be Communism, Corp State, Democracy, Imperial. Economy type has to be industrial or military.


    Status: Coup d'état
    War has overturned the government. The failed state is now a dictatorship.
    Security >9
    standard of living <3
    Wealth >8


    as well as "average" wealth, could also have
    Economic equality: 1 - 1000: 1 represents an even spread of wealth. 1000 represents vast majority of system's wealth in the hands of very few

    Although perhaps that would be catered for by having Weath >9 and standard of living <1 with the appropriate government and economy types.

    Originally Posted by Andrew Sayers View Post (Source)
    The background simulation proposal went out of its way to talk about "entities" instead of "systems", so as to leave room for entities that spread across greater or less than one system. Are "system authorities" synonymous with "entities", and if so can we discount multi-government systems or entities reaching out to govern a nearby dark system?
    Neighbouring Authorities – a list of nearby system authorities close enough to be deemed “neighbours” and able to affect the system
    Each entry logs the factional relationship between the two system authorities
    If "Neighbouring Authorities" were the same authority, then the factional relationship would be positive. This allows for larger entities to exist. But as a pilot can deal deal individually only with one planet (and yeah, it has to go down to planet level, surely?!) what we're seeing is only the ripple of the neighbouring systems. If a neighbouring system status switches from Food Security to famine thanks to the Spotted-Toad Swarm, then that might affect the system you're in if they are allied, but if it's a neutral relationship, then perhaps they would be left to starve in the hope of eventual conquest.

  11. #11

    Proposal wording

    May I make a polite suggestion in respect of the wording of the proposal?

    It's to do with the word 'cause' as used here. This proposal has a great deal of 'cause and effect ' about it's structure. Using the word 'cause' in the sense of having a cause to pursue is, I suspect, part of the reason why people might find it confusing. May I suggest a more distinctive word such as 'motive' or 'purpose', or 'goal' perhaps?

    It may be that nobody is having any trouble with it, and if I'm barking up the wrong tree then fine and let's continue the discussion.

  12. #12

    Ticks

    Hello,

    You mention that Ticks occur at variable system times, please could you give an indication of some typical examples of these?

    Disease has already been covered, but I thought of:

    System Status: Economic Recession
    Wealth<100
    Development<200
    Population>700
    Standard of living<50
    Government type: Democracy

    Associated causes: Exodus, increased trading in illegal goods, demand for narcotics, alcohol etc

    May not be perfect and I'm sure it wouldn't just be democracies that get this, but the idea's there in principle.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Andy Kappa View Post (Source)
    May I make a polite suggestion in respect of the wording of the proposal?

    It's to do with the word 'cause' as used here. This proposal has a great deal of 'cause and effect ' about it's structure. Using the word 'cause' in the sense of having a cause to pursue is, I suspect, part of the reason why people might find it confusing. May I suggest a more distinctive word such as 'motive' or 'purpose', or 'goal' perhaps?

    It may be that nobody is having any trouble with it, and if I'm barking up the wrong tree then fine and let's continue the discussion.
    I didn't read cause this way. It took me two reads, but I read it as: something happens (status) which causes (cause) <insert cause here>...

    There may be subsequent effects, but it's the status that causes the cause in this case I believe. If that's the case I don't think 'Motive', 'purpose' or 'goal' are quite right in the way you've suggested. e.g. a status wouldn't cause a goal. It's not the goal, purpose or motive of a famine to have an exodus if that makes sense?

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Andy Kappa View Post (Source)
    May I suggest a more distinctive word such as 'motive' or 'purpose', or 'goal' perhaps?
    Yeah, the word cause seemed wrong to me too. I like "goal".

    Not much to say as it looks like another great proposal, for me, you just need to make sure there is plenty of variation both in the things that can happen and the possible outcomes, this will be important so that people can't always predict exactly what path the simulation is going to take.

    In the newsfeeds themselves, there'll need to be some variation in the construct of the stories - so if you take the gold rush story from the OP, if we have two or three gold-rushes happening simultaneously in inhabited space that are effectively the same event, the newsfeeds will look fresh and different.

    Finally I would like to +1 to the suggestion that there could be a smaller unit than a system. I'd like to see the potential for two factions each with a planet in the same system, either cooperating or fighting for whatever reason - it makes sense to me that a criminal faction might be more likely to be contained in a small area such as a moon or base, rather than owning an entire system (after all, you can't have a 'criminal' regime if its making the law....) - although in some circumstances, an entire system (with few inhabitable bodies) might be 'criminal' in the eyes of its neighbours.

  15. #15

    what the..

    I'm really keen and interested in this area but this is extremely hard to read.. Not being negative at all but ... Andrew Sayers to the rescue?

    EDIT: I understand how hard it is to write these points down especially after being totally focused upon it for some time.

    I got up to some term, 'exit thresholds' that wasn't defined and my mind went pop. I shall make a few comments, but in general the proposals should be a bit more readable than this.

    I. Issue
    P/Q. Point or question

    Faction


    I. Faction - has a relationship to other factions.
    P. A faction should be able to exist with no relationship to another faction QED.

    System

    I. The system is run by one authority exclusively.
    Q. Why can't a system's control be mixed? Perhaps with competing factions? Perhaps with some in a coalition.
    EDIT: To embellish a bit, I also meant why can't a system be at odds.. say 1/5 tories (nightmare) 2/5 lib dems (imagine pres cable or clegg ) 1/5 labour, 1/5 UKIP. There would then be a very real way in game to change the 'local politics' of the system, rather than it being one big slam dunk.

    Government Types

    Need more, i.e. Scientific, Atheist, Republic..

    EDIT: and how about a combination, i.e. Scientific Republic (/drool).

    Economy

    Need more, Finance, Knowledge based..

    Edit: again, think a combo could be useful.

    Tick


    I like the idea of the tick but could use some tuning.. Surely each area should have a tick that isn't represented by a 1 or a zero. EDIT, I mean perhaps a bit more gradual.


    Causes


    I. Causes chosen at random.
    Q/P. Causes should not be chosen at random. I would suggest they should be a bit more diverse but according to what is going on.


    Now I deserve a whiskey.. brb

    p.s. I did like the glossary of terms, that was pretty useful

Page 1 of 12 1236 ... LastLast