Is The Game Rigged Or Is It Just Me?

I'm sure I remember something way back about mining missions being altered to not show up if you have a hold full of that cargo, to stop people mining and then cashing in. You had to take the mission before going out. It started happening to me quite a lot.

Could be just conspiracy theory stuff though
It's certainly been hypothesized, but as usual in such cases nobody has ever done the work to prove it so...
 
I have a Python outfitted primarily as a cargo runner, packed with as much cargo racks as possible. Armed basically just for evasion and defense. I also have an Asp Explorer set up primarily for exploration and salvage, with a quite limited cargo space (38 units max if I recall).

What peeves me and I've noticed this A LOT, is whenever I'm in the Asp and I come to a station, there are almost ALWAYS tons of high paying cargo missions. Multi-million credit missions. I see 2-3 million credit missions quite often, and sometimes even more. These are missions that far exceed my Asp's capacity but they fall well within the capacity of my Python's hold.

Switch back to the Python and these kinds of higher paying missions suddenly become quite rare and do not turn up that frequently at all. Get back in the Asp, and voila! They're miraculously back and appearing all over the place again!

WHAT GIVES?
It's a time honored gameplay mechanic in mobile gaming.

/smokebomb
 

Dominic Corner

Dangerous Programmer
Frontier
It's certainly been hypothesized, but as usual in such cases nobody has ever done the work to prove it so...
Hi there,

People have asserted it, but it's not a thing.

The mission system is not and has never been aware of your ship or cargo while generating missions.

All it knows about any particular player before the mission list hits the client is their ranks, reputations, and unlocked engineers.

After it hits the client, it makes missions available or unavailable due to the player's ship, but it doesn't typically hide anything, it just stops you from accepting the mission (e.g because the ship is too big to land at the target market).

Thanks,
Dom
 
After it hits the client, it makes missions available or unavailable due to the player's ship, but it doesn't typically hide anything, it just stops you from accepting the mission (e.g because the ship is too big to land at the target market).

Thanks,
Dom
Can't you let us take the mission? We commanders might have a med or small ship that can still accept the mission, but when we switch ships, the missions go away.

If our ship is too large, then give us a warning saying that your ship is too large so we can accept it and switch ships.
 
EDIT: Just to further clarify the above... in a Boom state you might get "Assassinate Pirate Lord"... in a War state you might get "Assassinate Deserter"... but these are the same, as they're both "Fly to different system, find wanted target, kill them"
Not sure that these are the same - Pirates and Pirate Lords have the usual mission USS and can also appear by interdicting you / appear in other mission USS as extra targets / appear at Nav Beacons.

I've never seen that happen for Deserters (I've done a load, and it sticks in my mind as you always seem to need to visit Deserter USS, whereas Pirates are better to stack as you don't have to travel to all the USS).

of course it all depends on whether you count that as a difference, but that's what I've seen (and I'm sure someone will now have examples of Deserters doing the same :) )

Late edit: Of course the rewards are also distinct - Pirates / Pirate Lords give -Eco, Deserters give -Sec
 
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I disagree missions aren't purely random, based on pre- and post- board flipping removal observations.

A key thing I want to assert to start with is the general distribution of missions on an arbitrary mission board is no different before and after mode flipping was removed. A general observation about that distribution is inline with what you're suggesting, which is that mission board generation is "blobby"... once the mission board picks a type to populate, it tends to populate lots of them.

The reason mode-flipping worked was that there were two mission servers, one for Solo Players, one for non-Solo players (Private Groups, Open Play). These two servers had unique seeds, which meant the random generation of missions would be different, but generate the same missions within the 15-minute validity period (i.e every 15 minutes, the boards generate new missions, noting this is 10 minutes today post-removal of mode flipping). This could be proven by flipping from Solo to Open, then back to Solo, without bridging two validity periods.
  • (In Solo) Mission board would generate a set of missions, say, S1
  • (In Open) Mission board would generate a new set of missions, say, S2
  • (Back in Solo) Mission board would generate the original set of missions S1 [1]
The only difference between these two servers was the seed; all other information, state, government, economy, anything else, is common between those two servers, as it's the one BGS for both open/solo. Now comes the kicker...

For all conditions held static, including the validity window, I could generate one mission listing in Solo and get, say, a bunch of delivery, salvage and source missions, and then mode-flip to Open, and get a bunch of assassination, massacre and mining missions. Of course, sometimes they'd be the same, but it'd be fair to say that the difference between the two boards was always somewhere on a slider ranging from "No difference" to "Completely different in all ways". Also remember; all other conditions are common between the two servers, only the seeding of those servers is different. This creates two possible conclusions:

  • The generation of missions is totally random[2]; or
  • The generation of missions is not random, but the impact of the random seed on the server is so significant that it renders all other conditions meaningless.
I lean towards it being random, under the following conditions:
Assertion: Mission Server has a hard limit of =~ 100 missions per board generation... the actual number may be different.

Step 1: Distribute 100 "missions" randomly between the factions in system. This doesn't necessarily have to equal the hard limit, but it cannot exceed it
Step 2: For each Faction with Y allocated missions
Step 2a: Randomly pick an available mission type from a weighted list[3]
Step 2b: Generate an amount of missions 0 < X < Some Fraction of Y or a fixed value Z, whichever is higher

This would bias generation in favour of multiple missions of the same type, at the unavailability of others.

[1] FD reported this was the expected behaviour, though sometimes through chance you could force a new generation through enough flipping.

[2] I'm drawing up a chart and slowly gathering evidence... but people seem to think that Economy, State, Government type have impacts on the availability of mission types; it provably does not. That is, Massacre, Delivery, Source, Courier, Surface Installation, Assassination, Salvage etc. are all available from any combination at any time. It only affects flavour text and the underlying theme of the mission (Deliver Food in famine, vs Deliver Medicine in outbreak, or Massacre Pirates in Non-war states vs Massacre Enemy Ships in War). Note there are some parameters which do affect the availability of missions, but Economy, State and Government type are not factors... except for Criminal Anarchy factions.

[3] It is true that on some occasions, certain types are more commonplace based on state, such as source missions in outbreak/famine, or massacre missions in War, the latter mostly a by-product of a misreported bug meaning FD have guaranteed a minimum amount of massacre missions spawning now... so some weighting of mission types occurs.
I just logged in and this is what's waiting for me (5 delivery and 7 covert link missions):

136170


The other faction has 9 courier missions and 4 planetary scan jobs as follow-on missions.
 
Hi there,

People have asserted it, but it's not a thing.

The mission system is not and has never been aware of your ship or cargo while generating missions.

All it knows about any particular player before the mission list hits the client is their ranks, reputations, and unlocked engineers.

After it hits the client, it makes missions available or unavailable due to the player's ship, but it doesn't typically hide anything, it just stops you from accepting the mission (e.g because the ship is too big to land at the target market).

Thanks,
Dom
Off topic: How much of the game is written in Delphi?
 
I just logged in and this is what's waiting for me (5 delivery and 7 covert link missions):

View attachment 136170

The other faction has 9 courier missions and 4 planetary scan jobs as follow-on missions.
If only those kinds of missions could be done covertly, but these places have omniscient boarders that know exactly who you are the moment you cross them and when you interact with these sorts of devices, netting you bounties for your efforts.

So far I’ve seen the potential to add the makings of covert operations - some planetary facilities have force-fields that can be disabled to allow passage. There are number of “Interactive objects” already that could serve as a means of keeping us covert.

We have systems for anonymous access to station, but we really need a means to access these sorts of facilities undetected. I have a number of ideas here, as well as some additional mechanics that I think we’d all consider fun. I’ll post these in their own suggestion thread.
 
It's not just missions that are rigged but pve too, I'm fed up of flying into a res site in my conda to find only Sidewinders and adders as targets only to return minutes later in a small ship to see an abundance of juicy anacondas and clippers with fat bounties that I cannot claim, due to a lack of firepower.

I change ships in order to maximise challenge, because any idiot can kill adders in an annaconda, the game gets boring quickly. Yet when I come back with an Eagle, Adder, Cobra, Viper, etc I either get nothing i can kill or stuff not worth killing.
 
Hi there,

Economy, state, and government type are the primary factors on availability and prevalence of mission types at a given market.

Thanks,
Dom
I’m sure that’s what is intended.

So how is your Dev minor faction growing?
Are you in 30 systems yet?
Are you spending a lot of time on the mission boards?

I’m sure you can point to the code that sets the dependencies.
But I’m also pretty sure you’ve missed the factor that makes this disappear under RNG noise.
 
I just logged in and this is what's waiting for me (5 delivery and 7 covert link missions):

View attachment 136170

The other faction has 9 courier missions and 4 planetary scan jobs as follow-on missions.
I rub my hands together when that happens :) But yeah... blobbyness in action. BTW
If you want to have more data, tell me and I'll gladly document my efforts.
BTW my current home system is an anarchy.
99% of what I have is either
  • screenshots; or
  • non-formalised, undocumented rambling in my head.
My main area of effort is collating different mission types in screenshot form for different states. This also includes, inadvertently, different government types, since Communism assassination missions have different flavour text to most, and the gov-specific flavour text seems to be preferred over state-based flavour text.

Obv when I do this I've not been controlling for government type/economy, but despite that, I've had no major issues finding almost all missions for all states.

I'm sure I remember something way back about mining missions being altered to not show up if you have a hold full of that cargo, to stop people mining and then cashing in. You had to take the mission before going out. It started happening to me quite a lot.

Could be just conspiracy theory stuff though
Definitely not the case.

What does happen is the mission board prevents generation of mining missions requiring cargo which is currently available on the market.
e.g You'd never get a mission to mine Gold from an Extraction economy because gold is (well, almost always) in supply.

But shipping Gold/Silver/etc to an Industrial economy is one of my regular trade routes, and when I get there I always look for mining missions I can top-off with that cargo.

I’m sure that’s what is intended.
...
But I’m also pretty sure you’ve missed the factor that makes this disappear under RNG noise.
Yeah... I think it's meant to matter, but it doesn't matter enough.

It's a bit like back in the beta where long-range courier/delivery missions were introduced in the game, and I reported an issue because too-often my boards were full of long-range missions and nothing else. Or even the old "too many wing missions" complaint.

Regarding the former, I remember Adam reporting he'd tweaked them down, but people continued to report getting boards full of them, yet Adam wasn't able to reproduce it, and also added that if he tweaked the spawn rate down any more they'd become virtually non-existent. That's when they got moved to tourism-only economies (which, lol, there's one example where economy influences what missions get generated, but that's a bit of an outlier)

I'd just never expect a Democracy to offer Political Assassination missions during Election, which they do all-too-regularly. I get that "there might be the odd 'democracy' which does that" therefore lets have democracies do that, but I'd argue two things:

- At that point, they're no longer a democracy, but a dictatorship (coincidentally, Dictatorships in election should have political assassinations a-plenty, yet I can never find them when my Dictatorship faction goes to election... it's always couriering poll data!)

- You can always play "what if"... but it gets to the point where you're saying "Well, Joe Bloggs, who's only ever jokingly thought about killing someone, and Jane Bloggs, who's a mass-murderer, probably both have a point where they'd kill someone, so let's give them both a chance to kill.",, and then suddenly they're both making offers to kill people. At that point attempted diversity actually creates homogeneity, because everyone's got a chance of doing everything. That may well be a tenet of ED (Blaze your own trail etc) but I think it misses the mark by not having that distinction more clear in the game.

Eh.... I think I'm going to continue my research now anyway. Dom's suggested that there are differences in mission types based on those conditions, so I'm going to try and track them down, but stuff I've done so far suggests if there is a difference, it's not obvious... and whatever outcomes I produce will hopefully be useful either way.
 
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Hi there,

People have asserted it, but it's not a thing.

The mission system is not and has never been aware of your ship or cargo while generating missions.

All it knows about any particular player before the mission list hits the client is their ranks, reputations, and unlocked engineers.

After it hits the client, it makes missions available or unavailable due to the player's ship, but it doesn't typically hide anything, it just stops you from accepting the mission (e.g because the ship is too big to land at the target market).

Thanks,
Dom
You guys need to get rid of the feature that prevents a player from accepting a mission just because his ship is too large.
Because the moment I change ship, that mission is gone. Flipped. Changed.

Just let the onus of the mission failure fall upon the player if he can't dock.

Should be a fairly easy change to make, no?
 
The gaming gods can be fickle and sometimes just plain malicious. I remember back in the days of GTA: Vice City, one of the side missions was stealing cars to order. All of a sudden a relatively common model would seem to all but vanish from the mean streets of Vice City, only appearing when you were otherwise occupied and usually not in a position to steal it. The easiest way to beat it was to get a guide and pre-emptively steal and store the requisite models before starting the mission.
All the gta's seemed to have the weird phenomena of spawning lots of whatever you tended to be driving.
 
Re the earlier posting from the Dev, if I land at a station in my T10 which is equipped with purely defensive weapon levels, why then do I continually see a plethora of Kill, Kill, Assassinate etc. etc. missions. Not interested. If I'm flying a trading ship, then I want cargo runs. Likewise, I only run in Solo, so I have less than zero interest in forming up with a wing to deliver 5000 or 6000 units of a commodity. Tailor the demand to the capacity of my ship, or at least what can be done in a couple of round trips.
 
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