Making Illegal Activities more Fun and Viable

The biggest impediment to illegal activites are:-
1. Low payouts that are not at all commensurate to the risks taken
2. Overzealous, overcomplicated and oversensitive Crime and Punishment system that actively discourages any sort of infraction whether major or minor (and therefore makes illegal activities a chore)

The biggest issue relates to the onerous nature of bounties and the ease with which they are accumulated. Therefore, I would like to propose a few changes to make illegal activities such as assassinations, privateering and smuggling, along with other general wet work, more viable funa and accessible.

Suggestion 1: allow ships to turn off or change transponders.

This one is the simplest of the lot. Anyone participating in illegal activities tries to hide their identities, even real ships carrying illegal cargo operate under changed names and flags to prevent their original identities from being traced. I would like to propose that players be able to do the same when conducting illegal activities.

This could be done in 2 ways:-
1. General Option: Simply switching off the transponder in order to not reveal their identities. This would only be possible in deep space (to avoid witnesses) and make these ships an immediate target for any system authority ships that scan them. However, as their identities are concealed, no bounties would accrue when operating with their transponders off. SRVs would always have their transponders set to the same state as their parent ships; making stealth work in SRVs a more viable option instead of just immediately accruing a bounty.

2. Mission Specific Option: Operating under a false identity. This would be an option when doing illegal/covert activities for any faction. The faction would supply the player with a false preponderate tag that they could switch to when inside the station. While bounties would accrue as normal, they would only accrue onto the false identity, and would then die once the identity is removed on mission completion (therefore removing all bounties accrued under the false ID). In order to prevent abuse of such identities, these IDs would only last while the mission associated with them is active and any profits or bonds (or any other such funds) collected under the false ID would also be lost along with the ID since they accrued to the false ID.

Suggestion 2: give more context to smuggling

The reason people smuggle is because they can make extremely large profits on the goods smuggled. The problem with smuggling is that you're not really making a lot of money doing it (except for imperial slaves, which really makes no sense as those should count as passengers and not goods).

Smuggling should be operated under extremely profitable contracts issued by criminal faction inside their controlled systems. These would work like standard delivery contracts, with the difference that the player will have a chance of being targeted by competition and the goods involved being highly illegal. The better the relationship, the more profitable contracts would become available.

Once the player makes contact with any criminal faction in any system, the faction would list out items that they want smuggled in by the player. The items specified by the faction in question would be capable of being sold to them for large profits by the player. As relations with the faction increases, they (the criminal faction) would pay the player more for already demanded items and allow the player to know of more exotic and valuable items that they require (criminals letting trusted associates into more profitable ventures), which could be sold to them for even greater profits (and overall money).

This would make good relations with criminal factions an important factor in player interactions with them; especially since criminal activities generally tend to operate on trust.

Suggestion 3: make relations matter and criminal factions secret

Criminal enterprises are built on trust and criminals tend to not advertise in the open.

As explained above, missions for criminal factions should be even more significantly impacted by relations with them.

Criminal factions should not be so easy to find as just looking on the local notice board. The only place where criminal factions should be listed on the notice board should be anarchy or controlled systems. Otherwise, the only way to find out about the local criminals should be through existing contacts, such as already known criminal factions telling the players about other factions that they know about.
 
I agree with this, i always thought it was very silly that i could basicly look up a drug kingpin in ED's verion of the phonebook.
The payments are not worth the risk for being shot to pieces cuz my passenger is a criminal, or my holds full of tobacco.

though i'd change something, or add to it at least.

the identy stuff

Why not make it so that if you have a good relation with the criminal faction in that system, you can purchase a false ident for a tidy sum of credits? im talking in the mil range.
And it only works as long as you havent been scanned more than X number of times in a system, after so many scans {or criminal behaviour such as assult or murder} your false ident is broken and the player starts reciving the bounties. basicly a system by system basis..

(and i have to cut this short cuz i have lightning falling around my house! D: )
 
Problem with willfully doing illegal things is that, unlike IRL, there's nothing pushing us toward them. There's little reason to smuggle when source missions are at least as profitable, if not more--the thrill of being a criminal notwithstanding. Wetwork contracts are just assassination missions on clean targets, but unless they were offering a considerable premium, why would we take them?

There's no motivation to be a professional criminal in ED. We don't get cool hideouts, fake identities, or hidden backroom deals; we can't hack station security to sneak in under a false guise; there's no credit shortage forcing us away from "honest work" and into a life of crime; there's no tyrannical overarching rulership choking the common people and necessitating shadow games--nothing but our desire to be deviant for the sake of being deviant...or for ing off other players because we're bored. Even when we do, we're still doing the same things--shooting, scanning and hauling--but now we're getting a bounty that attracts every bloodhound and his grandma to kill us on sight and forces us to go toward more criminals if we want to clear our name and get on with the game.
 
This is something that have also noticed to be lacking a great deal in the game....


I am all in favour of making a career as a pirate/smuggler etc Which we cannot really do today, and we are all in Pilots Federation.... we need an alternative to Pilots Federation for those choosing the alternative career path....
So just copy Pilots Federation, and give it a new name, place their headquarters in system that is permanent locked as anarchy...For the time being,. lets call this organization Maffia

To gain access to the criminal path, players have to pledge allegiance to Maffia.
Doing so would give them these perks:
*Access to Maffia home world
*Be able to buy every ship (not exclusive ships) in the game at Maffia home world, and a random selection at stations operated by pirate factions. Same goes for modules. These ships are "stolen", so they come with a premium price tag, the bigger the ship the more expensive it gets, small ships range from 10% to 30%, medium ships from 30% to 100%, large ships 150 to 200%. So buying a stolen Corvette/Cutter is double the price.... god that Maffia pays well... Modules are always 50% more expensive
*Maffia homeworld, you will also get access to all powerplay and tech broker modules/weapons, so this is a perk to Maffia, these does come with a 200% cost.
*Access to Special mission section in Anarchy controlled stations/bases for all the illegal kind of missions. On other stations/bases everyone have access to a limited version of these, for when the other factions have some dirty stuff they want help to do... like wetwork missions etc, stuff that are illegal...
*You will have a parallell ranking system



So doing Maffia mission will pay alot better, so you will be swimming in credits in no time, if you survive...
Once pledged to Maffia, all you ships you fly from now on, will be hot! To be able to visit stations etc in systems that is not anarchy, you have to have a hacked transponder, impersonating a "clean" ship, and these range from cheap and badly hacked, to very expensive and almost impossible to detect. These are all time limited (based on ingame playing time), so you have to "renew" if you want to fly "safe" in medium/high security systems, otherwise, you have have to dodge security ships...


Buying those stolen ships in Maffia systems, these are permament hot and can be bought by any player. Only that non Maffia player pays an extra 50% on top of the Mafffia price, so that Corvette/Cutter would cost you 250% if you are not Maffia.. This will of course mean higher rebuys...


How to fly "hot" and "stolen" ships in medim/high security system, you need a hacked transponder, these come in the following variants
Grade 0 - That is included, that will grant you safe passage in low security systems, default, no time limit
Grade 1 - 10% of rebuy, 50% chance of detection in medium security systems, 100% in high security systems, time limit 40 hours
Grade 2 - 25% of rebuy, 10% chance of detection in medium security systems, 20% in high security systems, time limit 30 hours
Grade 3 - 50% of rebuy, 0% chance of detection in medium security systems, 10% in high security systems, time limit 20 hours
Grade 4 - 100% of rebuy, 0% chance of detection in medium security systems, 0% in high security systems, time limit 10 hours

If detected, the transponder hack is useless and a new one must be bought.
So the only safe hack is the Grade 4. and it is also the most expensive one.

Using one of these while doing piracy in a High security system, and security arrives and scans you, it becomes useless, even a Grade 4!
Time limit is based on flying time, ie, you are not docked, so sitting in a station does not count your time.



So the idea behind this is that make piracy a worthwhile endevour that pays great, and comes with some serious dangers...


Engineers, do not care, if you get there and do not shoot at their base, you are welcome, also remote engineering works for pinned blueprints.
Getting there could be a challenge!

Changing back to Pilots federation.... You cannot change pledge for 30 days since the last change of pledge.
All your ships are hot, and needs to be cleaned, this can be done at any faction that you are allied with (except Maffia factions), and it is based on rebuy value, this comes up as an option under contacts)

Stored modules must also be cleaned, and it is a fixed value based on their cost.

"stolen" modules cannot be cleaned, they have to replaced to make a ship clean. So removing a "stolen" module from a "clean" ship, does not automatically make it clean,you have the ship inspected, it costs a fee, like 100 000 credits. So you can swap in out stolen modules as like, but a stolen module make the ship instant hot, and every time you want to return your ship to be clean, you have to remove the offending module(s) and have it inspected again, Inspection will appear as a new option under contacts, if no stolen modules are found, you ship are updated to be clean, otherwise, they take your money and tells you which modules are still stolen...
If you committed crime on your ship while having a stolen module in it, you need to clean your ship again....a simple inspection will not do in this case.



"Stolen" ships can never be cleaned. these are permanent hot.



As a maffia member, you can buy a clean ship and clean modules, you must arrive in a "clean" ship, ie ship with hacked transponder that is not detected, so a cheap sidewinder are suggested here.... Once you leave the station, the ship becomes "hot"....

So buying "clean" modules later, can be problematic, if the station do not have all the required modules!



Maffia members are not allowed in Founders world, upon entering, you will get instant ATR on you.... this makes the engineer located here unavailable, this is solved by having anothe engineer in the Maffia home world doing the same stuff.
Pilots Federation are not welcomed in Maffia Home world either, and will also face the Maffia version of the ATR.

These ATR are unfair,
There is no interdiction mini game, you instantly fail, with long cool down!
If you try to run and enter super cruise again, they will instant interdict you again.
If you try to fight, they fight dirty, think G10+ engineering on their ships.... and they are basically unkillable.
Basically they cheat.

You will always be given the option to leave, the rules are simple, there is a time limit for this, and it get shorter and shorter for every time you try to sneak away into super cruise..
* Do not open fire
* High wake out of the system

When time is up, ATR will attack, if you fire on them, they will attack. You still have a possibility to high wake at this point... they ramp up the engagement.

If Maffia killed you, you are sent to the closest non maffia system that is medium security.
If Pilots Federation killed you, you are sent to nearest detention center. (and you forced to pay your way out this one!)




So all this is to basically add structure for being on the other side of the law.


As you might have noticed, you can make LOTS of money, but you are considered an extremely unwanted person in high and medium security systems....
And hopefully this can be a rewarding career.





Powerplay and Maffia (anarchy) systems, they are not part of powerplay, and if a powerplay system switches and become an Maffia (Anarchy) system, it does not count for powerplay, but if the system is turned back and is no longer controlled by a Maffia faction, then it goes back to its previous powerplay status.
 
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Problem with willfully doing illegal things is that, unlike IRL, there's nothing pushing us toward them. There's little reason to smuggle when source missions are at least as profitable, if not more--the thrill of being a criminal notwithstanding. Wetwork contracts are just assassination missions on clean targets, but unless they were offering a considerable premium, why would we take them?

There's no motivation to be a professional criminal in ED. We don't get cool hideouts, fake identities, or hidden backroom deals; we can't hack station security to sneak in under a false guise; there's no credit shortage forcing us away from "honest work" and into a life of crime; there's no tyrannical overarching rulership choking the common people and necessitating shadow games--nothing but our desire to be deviant for the sake of being deviant...or for ing off other players because we're bored. Even when we do, we're still doing the same things--shooting, scanning and hauling--but now we're getting a bounty that attracts every bloodhound and his grandma to kill us on sight and forces us to go toward more criminals if we want to clear our name and get on with the game.
Hence the repeated suggestion for the changes to smuggling. Smuggling is carried out in order to procure goods that are:-
A. In extremely high demand
B. Can not be procured (or at least, can not be procured reasonably easily) through legal channels.

So the idea is that these 'black goods' would come in various tiers, with each tier being revealed as you improve your relationship with the local criminal organization(s). Each tier would be increasingly valuable, but even the basic tier would be enough to earn you half a million for about 40-50 units worth.

The idea would be that at any given stage, black goods would be significantly more valuable than any legal good; for example, medical black goods would be worth more than their equivalent legal medical goods in a famine.

There could also be additional context, such as theocratic systems involving a greater range of black goods (even medicines for example) and being required by a greater number of people. So smuggling could also be used as a way to destabilise autocratic and theocratic governments by delivering goods that they don't want their subjects' being exposed too.

Just about all factions would indulge in smuggling; legal factions would do it as a way to fund their covert ops, while illegal factions would do it as a matter of course.
 
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