[BGS] Backgroundsimulation, New Superpower Bounties Mechanic and Bountyhunting after 2.3.

words of warning: this is a post detailling mechanics of the backgroundsimulation concerning influence and bounty hunting, trying to make sense of severe problems some player groups are experiencing since 2.3.

if you are not familiar with the backgroundsimulation, check this thread: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/193064-A-Guide-to-Minor-Factions-and-the-Background-Sim
and if you are not interested about the mechanics of a factions influence, skip it.

as the backgroundsimulation is a blackbox, I’ll use concepts tested and approved by many commanders playing the BGS long term, which are only moderately backed up by remarks of fdev. all numbers in this post are just for modelling. but if you think the general concepts applied are wrong, I’l ask you to run or show tests in no-traffic systems yourself, to proof your claim, as the concepts detailed here have been tested before 2.3.

as for the mechanics after 2.3., those are assumptions only, build on the mechanics before 2.3. and recent experience of several player groups. the situation is too severe imho to wait further testing.

also, check the conclusions.

I would be delighted to be proven wrong.

EDIT 22.04. 13 pm IGT

the following calculations apply 4 principles of BGS mechanics to the 2.3. superpower bounty change. while values and calculations might be wrong and/or off, the effect/conclusions would be more or less the same, if the following holds true (which most BGS players will approve):

1. Influence effect of bounty hunting is massively weighted on number of transactions/redeems.

2. It is easier for a low influence minor faction to gain influence, then for a high influence faction.

3. Influence gains are distributed as losses to all other factions relative to their influence in system.

4. more actions in a system diminuish the single effect of all actions in a system.


___ edit end

EDIT 14.05. 1700 IGT


further tests following the comments of the developer Adam Waite in this thread have shown, that there is in fact no "multiplication of actions" in place, therefore superpower bounty redeems DO NOT multiply actions in systems, if more than 1 superpower alligned minor faction is present. While dimuishing returns for systems with more actions apply, cashing in 3 superpower bounties creates as much actions as 3 minor faction specific bounties.

The first part of the post, "The Problem of Independent Factions in System with Superpower alligned Minor Factions." is therefor NOT correct.

The second part, "The Problem of Superpower alligned Controlling Factions" describes what we are seeing in the game.

The problem of many player groups not being able to move influence is therefor mainly down to some extend on 1.), but more prominently on 2.) + 3.) in the previous edit:

"It is easier for a low influence minor faction to gain influence, then for a high influence faction."

and

"Influence gains are distributed as losses to all other factions relative to their influence in system."


Patch-Notes 2.3.

the patch-notes mention three changes having an effect bounty hunting and influence gain or loss:

a)
“Faction influence change increased from redeeming bounty vouchers “

b)
“Faction influence change reduced from murder, interdiction and assault crimes”

and

c)
“Distributed effects from redeeming vouchers from super powers amongst all minor factions in that system aligned to that super power”

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/341916-2-3-The-Commanders-Changelog

a+b) was introduced as an answer of groups request, that it was impossible to counter system security shootings in their systems

a) is straight forward.

b) has also an effect on bounty hunting in so far, as shipkills during bounty hunting do not reduce any pirate-spawning factions influence anymore.

yes, shooting wanted ships reduces influence of their faction, even when that effect is easily countered by a single bounty claim.

especially in systems with a RES and “RES-Farmers”, the permanent influence loss of factions was mainly distributed to the controlling faction (as influence losses are shared to all other factions in relation to their influence in system)

you can see my own test from 1 year ago in a no-traffic 2-factions system here: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/193064-A-Guide-to-Minor-Factions-and-the-Background-Sim?p=3721127&viewfull=1#post3721127

c) is what this thread is mainly about.

note: it looks to me, as if bonds work pretty much the same. factions in wars/civil wars gain influece from all other factions by redeeming bonds.


The Problem of Independent Factions in System with Superpower alligned Minor Factions.

The most important number in influence gains by Bounty Hunting is the number of Bounty redeems. Redeeming 10 times 20000 cr is vastly more effective, than redeeming 1 time 2 mio (10 times the value!), or 5 times 40000 CR etc. you can see my own test from 1 year ago in a no-traffic 2-factions system here: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/193064-A-Guide-to-Minor-Factions-and-the-Background-Sim?p=3721127&viewfull=1#post3721127

while i personally like that design generally, as it allows an commander in an Adder to make a difference nearby as much as a commander in a corvette, if it still is in place, superpower bounties claims are a problem.

assuming that every superpower redeem is treated as a bounty redeem for every single superpower alligned minor faction, that means an Independent Faction would need 4 bounty redeems for them to counter a single Superpower Bounty Claims in a system with 4 superpower alligned faction.

furthermore, this does not only aplly to bounty claims - generally the Independent Faction would need to do ~4 times any positive influence action, to counter a single superpower bounty redeem (in a system with 4 superpower alligned factions). of course that concrete number depends on the type of any other action, and might be higher (especially since bounty influence effects are buffed) or lower.

i think, that the experience of many independent groups that they can’t move influence anymore in systems with a lot of random traffic and superpower alligned factions, even when running hundres of missions, is an effect of the above.

add to that coatsilvers excellent theory of bucketsizes: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/193064-A-Guide-to-Minor-Factions-and-the-Background-Sim?p=3778282&viewfull=1#post3778282

which leads to:
if the number of actions in a system goes up, the effect of a single action goes down.

if the backgroundsimulation treats a single superpower bounty redeem as an action for every superpower alligned faction, the effect of any other positive influence action goes down, as the number of superpower bounty redeems is multiplied by the number of superpower alligned minor factions.

now - i could live with that, even if it is frustrating for those player groups which are independent, but nobody said that being free comes for free. a good reason to join a superpower, no?

actually no, i’ll detail below why.

The Problem of Superpower alligned Controlling Factions

Let us assume a system called “Empire Star”, with 3 Imperial Factions only, “Patrons of Empire Star” at 60% influence, “Empire Star Ltd.” at 30% influence, and “Empire Star Grace” at 10% Influence.

In the system an imperial bounty hunter wing is active. They cash in 10 Superpower Bounty Claims only (for the fun of it).

Pre 2.3., cashed in at a station controlled by “Patrons of Empire Star” that would have been 10 bounty redeem for “Patrons of Empire Star”. “Patrons of Empire Star” would have gained something like ~9% Influence.

after 2.3. the following happens:

1. the higher a factions influence is, the harder it is to move.

again applying coatsilvers theory of bucketsizes and assuming the system Empire Star has an Influence Bucket of 100, and each bounty redeem is 1 point (so 110 points on this day):

current influence + positive influence gain/influence bucket size

“Patrons of Empire Star”: 60+10/110 = 64% Influence, + 4%
“Empire Star Ltd.” 30+10/110 = 36% Influence. +6%
“Empire Star Grace”10+10/110 = 18% Influence +8%

as you can see, the smaller factions gain much more of a superpower bounty redeem than the controlling faction. it is a matter of time till “Patrons of Empire Star” and “Empire Star Ltd.” equalise and a system control conflict is triggered.

enemies of the superpowers, rejoice!

now, we can’t have more than 100% influence, which is why we have to apply a second effect.

2. Influence gains are distributed as losses to all other factions in relalion to their influence.

Going back to 60%, 30% and and 10%, that means, if only the 10% faction “Empire Star Grace” wins 10% influence, “Patrons of Empire Star”, previously at 60%, would loose 6,6%, and “Empire Star Ltd.” at 30% influence would loose 3,3%.

leads to

“Patrons of Empire Star” +4% -> -2,6% “Empire Star Ltd.”, -1,3% “Empire Star Grace”
“Empire Star Ltd.” +6% -> -5,4% “Patrons of Empire Star”, -]0,6% “Empire Star Grace”
“Empire Star Grace” +8% -> -4,6 “Patrons of Empire Star”, -2,3 “Empire Star Ltd.”

combined:
“Patrons of Empire Star” +4% - 5,4% -4,6% = -6% = 54% Influence (yes, they loose influence!)
“Empire Star Ltd.” +6% -2,6% -2,3% = +1,1% = 31 % Influence
“Empire Star Grace” +8% -1,3% - 0,6% = +6,1% = 16 % Influence

which means, by redeeming imperial bounties, our wing has massively reduced the influence of the imperial controlling faction.

enemies of controlling factions, rejoice!

if we apply again

3) if the number of actions in a system goes up, the effect of a single action goes down.

we can do the math, of how much more work the bounty hunter wing would need to do to get 9% for “Patrons of Empire Star” if they also redeem superpower bounties.

pre 2.3. they would have needed 10 superpower bounty redeems, or 10 bounty redeems for “Patrons of Empire Star”.

now, if they cash in 10 superpower bounty redeems, they would at the same time need to cash in 40 bounty claims for “Patrons of Empire Star”, to get a 9% increase. that's 4 times the effort!

Conclusion:

If the mechanics pre 2.3. are the same after 2.3 beside the changes detailed in the patch notes:

1. The changes to superpower bounties, which were meant to help superpower alligned factions are in fact undermining superpower aligned controlling minor factions, and we will see much more elections and civil wars/wars in the superpower core regions

2. the changes to superpower bounties minimized the effect of any action to back any minor faction in a system with more than one superpower aligned minor faction present (where random cmdrs cash in superpower bounties)

3. the changes to superpower bounties introduced an uphill battle for independent minor factions, which most player groups are.

4. the changes of reduced effect of shipkills also reduced the stabilizing effect of RES-farming


5. If you are part of a player group: redeem superpower bounties where you want to destabilise a controlling faction, but never cash in superpower bounties in a system you work at.


___

FDEV is looking into it, as you can see here https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?p=5413898&viewfull=1#post5413898 and here https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?p=5399742&viewfull=1#post5399742 - i do personally hope they can either confirm i'm wrong and something else is actually going on, or change something about it in the upcoming patch.
 
No more than superpower-aligned factions in systems with other superpower-aligned factions, which is most systems.

Summary for those who don't want to read long text: everyone is screwed!
In systems where there are multiple superpower aligned factions but an independent controller, all four superpower aligned factions gain, cancelling one another's losses, while the independent controlling faction takes a loss for every super-power aligned faction. Essentially, to use the example above, let's say Revolutionary Empire Star Resistance is the system controller in Empire Star, and you turn in Empire bounties.

Empire Star Grace picks up, Empire Star Patrons pick up, Empire Star Ltd. picks up. All three gain, mitigated by hits to one another, but RESR gets hit 3 times, with no mitigation.

It's no good for anyone, but it's almost impossible for Independent factions to hold systems in space where the majority of factions are not Independent.
 
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Summary for those who don't want to read long text: everyone is screwed!
one of the weirdest effects is, that generally you shouldn't redeem superpower bounties in a system with more than 1 superpower aligned minor faction present, where you want to move influence. in fact you'll only diminuish all your other efforts and make the system harder to move.

It's no good for anyone, but it's almost impossible for Independent factions to hold systems in space where the majority of factions are not Independent.
the joke is, if the math above is right, it is very hard to hold systems for major faction aligned minor factions, too - if you have cmdrs redeeming superpower bounties.
 
I agree, the spread is weird.

We should be able to choose which faction to funnel the superpower bounties influence towards instead.

Also, regarding Indies, do people forget that Indies will never produce superpower bounties when hunting within their jurisdiction? So when they are the ruling faction, they produce more of their own bounties.

(no, KWS is not bounties from that faction. It's bounties from other factions within the same system. Which is why you can get penalties for attacking previously clean ships that revealed a bounty with a KWS)
 
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Paramemetic is correct.

Independent factions that are controlling a system that includes Fed/Imp/Alliance factions will find it impossible to maintain control now. The only exception would be where there is no other player activity, thus no randoms cashing in Fed/Imp/All bounties.

Independent player factions, or just independent factions supported by players, are therefore borked. I actually think this is intended by FD, as the drawback to not being aligned to a power, i.e. the price you pay for being 'independent'.

That may make sense from a RP perspective, but it essentially eliminates any desire to be/support independent factions.
 
Anyway, this shows that removing the bounty distribution effect should restore order. A more, um, thought mechanism can be reintroduced later.
 
Anyway, this shows that removing the bounty distribution effect should restore order. A more, um, thought mechanism can be reintroduced later.
There was never any order with superpower bounties being useless.

If you bounty hunt in an indy system for 100M, all 100M will be for the indy faction.
If you bounty in a superpower system, not all 100M will be for the ruling superpower faction. Depending on the patch, superpower bounties were either completely ignored or benefitting the owner of the station regardless of allegiance. Both outcomes being ridiculous.

So indies had an advantage in the past. But it's not an issue unless it's the indies themselves who get to suffer a drawback.

Superpowers just got something back in return.
 
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Also, regarding Indies, do people forget that Indies will never produce superpower bounties when hunting within their jurisdiction? So when they are the ruling faction, they produce more of their own bounties.
that's interesting, I'll re-test with a system controlled by indipendents but superpower factions present.

if true, the uphill battle would only apply to gaining control - and if you have a lot of players bringing in superpower bounties.
 
There was never any order with superpower bounties being useless.

If you bounty hunt in an indy system for 100M, all 100M will be for the indy faction.
If you bounty in a superpower system, not all 100M will be for the ruling superpower faction. Depending on the patch, superpower bounties were either completely ignored or benefitting the owner of the station regardless of allegiance. Both outcomes being ridiculous.

So indies had an advantage in the past. But it's not an issue unless it's the indies themselves who get to suffer a drawback.
yeah, but the new situation is, at least if my post is correct, that superpower bounties are now hurting the superpower aligned minor faction with the most influence, at least if it is the minor faction with most influence in the system and more than 1 superpower aligned minor faction is present. an effect which i can already see in some superpower aligned systems with a lot of bounty hunting activities. the influence of the controlling faction erodes.

we will see a lot of wars/civil wars/elections in the superpower core regions with a lot of cmdr traffic...
 
yeah, but the new situation is, at least if my post is correct, that superpower bounties are now hurting the superpower aligned minor faction with the most influence, at least if it is the minor faction with most influece in the system and more than 1 superpower aligned minor faction is present. an effect which i can already see in some superpower aligned systems with a lot of bounty hunting activities.
Just part of the ebb and flow. Nothing wrong with it.

This also means that when expanding, you will be able to use stored superpower bounties for an early boost post-expansion within the new system.

As someone who supports a superpower, this is perfectly controllable from my point of view. Not everything has to reward mindlessly dropping grinded numbers on a system.

Give and take.
 
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There was never any order with superpower bounties being useless.

If you bounty hunt in an indy system for 100M, all 100M will be for the indy faction.
If you bounty in a superpower system, not all 100M will be for the ruling superpower faction. Depending on the patch, superpower bounties were either completely ignored or benefitting the owner of the station regardless of allegiance. Both outcomes being ridiculous.

So indies had an advantage in the past. But it's not an issue unless it's the indies themselves who get to suffer a drawback.

Superpowers just got something back in return.
It was evidently enough of an issue that someone thought a fix was needed. The point is that the 'fix' instead made the problem worse for everyone, so the first action should be reverting to a stable, working mechanism, then rethink the fix learning from the experience.

- - - Updated - - -

Just part of the ebb and flow. Nothing wrong with it.

This also means that when expanding, you will be able to use stored superpower bounties for an early boost post-expansion within the new system.

As someone who supports a superpower, this is perfectly controllable from my point of view. Not everything has to reward mindlessly dropping grinded numbers on a system.

Give and take.
Well I support a superpower and it is completely uncontrollable for me. I have no control over who chooses where to bounty hunt.
 
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It was evidently enough of an issue that someone thought a fix was needed. The point is that the 'fix' instead made the problem worse for everyone, so the first action should be reverting to a stable, working mechanism, then rethink the fix learning from the experience.
That's quite an assertion there.

I'd call it a minor inconvenience at best, sprinkled with a bit of overreaction on top.
 
Just part of the ebb and flow. Nothing wrong with it.

This also means that when expanding, you will be able to use stored superpower bounties for an early boost post-expansion within the new system.

As someone who supports a superpower, this is perfectly controllable from my point of view. Not everything has to reward mindlessly dropping grinded numbers on a system.
the problem i see here, that once you have expanded, or generally working a system, by cashing in superpower bounties you make the whole system harder to move at all, as you are creating more actions (each superpower bounty redeem multiplied by number of superpower alligned factions present) and diminuish any effort.

the effect of cmdrs working systems and seeing no effect despite effort (for exampel the hutton truckers reporting having done several hundred of missions), down to "mindlessly dropping grinded numbers" or random traffic, doesn't look good to me. especially, because it is not about countering "mindlessly dropping" 1:1, but 1:4, or even worse if the mindless drops go up.
 
That's quite an assertion there.

I'd call it a minor inconvenience at best, sprinkled with a bit of overreaction on top.
-26% in the first war, now 2 days into the second already -11%. This is not a 'minor inconvenience', is a g catastrophe.
 
-26% in the first war, now 2 days into the second already -11%. This is not a 'minor inconvenience', is a g catastrophe.
I'd support changing it by giving the ability to funnel them to an affiliated faction of your choice for what the argument's worth.

Previous model, not a big fan of. I do not enjoy having 2 hours of my work completely nullified because RNG decided to give me superpower bounties alone. Of course Indies never had to know the pain of that.
 
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Let us turn bounties in "on behalf" of a faction. That faction pays us, and our Rep with them increases. but they get the Influence, since they in turn hand in the bounties.

There. Nice and Easy.

Moreover, let us sell Cartography info to the faction of our choice.

Basically, when we visit a station, we need to be able to choose who we interact with, faction wise. If I want to help Sirius, I'm.going to their part of the station. Doing my business with them. Make it so, please.
 
Let us turn bounties in "on behalf" of a faction. That faction pays us, and our Rep with them increases. but they get the Influence, since they in turn hand in the bounties.

There. Nice and Easy.

Moreover, let us sell Cartography info to the faction of our choice.

Basically, when we visit a station, we need to be able to choose who we interact with, faction wise. If I want to help Sirius, I'm.going to their part of the station. Doing my business with them. Make it so, please.
Been preaching this since forever. How all factions should have access to the marketplace, contacts, etc.

Make it so, please.

P.S. And make influence changes reflect changes in market volume on a per faction basis.
 
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