Missions *might* affect war outcome now.

This thread follows on from discussion here: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/index.php?threads/pacifism-and-minor-factions.512386/post-7829438

tl;dr I'm just reporting a single observation over the course of two ticks... so I'm not saying "Missions definitely affect war outcomes". What I am suggesting is that we should revisit whether or not missions affect war outcomes with some anger to get a better sample size.

So, a war between two factions broke out the other day. They're relatively minor in the scheme of things, but I can't guarantee freedom from interference by other pilots. I decided to do a brief "test" of running missions during a war state.

The premise for this is an observation I made during a recent election when running missions for that faction. I noticed that despite there being an "influence" reward (noting influence can't change), on submission of a mission, any influence effects were missing from the table of results. This kinda made sense as there was a note in some patch notes about the outcomes of conflicts just being... "redirection of influence". Of course, missions didn't affect things at that time, because missions don't affect influence in war, and do in election. The patch notes go on further to say that there's now "... a new, different measure for war effects", or words towards that end.

Either way... we know missions help Elections, so the "disappearing influence bar" from the table suggested there was some other effect being recorded. Then, I noticed the same effect when handing in missions during a war. That felt odd, because if missions had no effect in war, and influence is locked, then why change anything?

So for tick 1 of this war, I ran one mission each for the warring sides, both with the same number of influence +'s. One was a "strategic data transfer", the other a "Boom time delivery" (as that faction is in boom and war). Both had the "missing influence bar" on submission, so I decided both were "affected" the same way by that war.... I was trying to determine if there was any difference between the type of mission run, during a conflict (this was actually to determine if running a "Boom time" mission in a election would function the same as an "election" mission; answer is yes in this case).

After the tick, the factions remained at draw. This meant either:
  • Nothing I did had an effect, and nobody else affected the war in any way.
  • The missions I did balanced each other out, and nobody else did anything to affect the war; so no change.
  • Either of the above, but there was balanced activity from other players
The latter seems unlikely, (i'm not going to sit here explaining the geopolitical situation... other than it's unlikely for these factions to be supported, let alone both supported in a balanced way)... so I assumed the missions either had no effect, or a balanced effect.

Before the most recent tick, I picked the less likely (geopolitics again) faction to support, and ran some strategic surface scans, and "kill deserter" missions which occurs in external systems. I did not enter any conflict zones or destroy enemy ships. Today, that faction is at close victory (i.e they won that day). Of course, somebody might have supported them, but considering the lack of activity either way the preceding day, that seems unlikely.

So, yeah, it's an anectodal observation at best, so that's why I've put it up here so others might test. Of course, some might say "Oh, we've recently tested this and found no effect."... well... test again, please. We know FD seem to be tweaking things here and there, maybe this change has been here for a while, or only the last day or two.

EDIT: In today's test, a faction in war in one system delivered to a faction in war in another system, and both had the same "missing influence" bar... so possibly it had an effect for both wars.
 
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The last time I tried something similar, back in March this year, I noticed a similar effect for war-themed missions. As above, my testing wasn't in a completely controlled environment. But over 5-6 systems it certainly looked like the missions were giving positive results.

EDIT
I thought it may be useful to add these quotes from the March BGS Update patch notes:
Player actions affecting a daily Conflict score

  • Previously, the day's score was determined by diverting faction influence inputs (subject to the usual rules of combat actions affecting War and Civil War and non-combat actions affecting Elections). However, we've now changed faction Conflict scores to be driven by their own set of equations.
  • We've kept the relative balance of how each action is weighted against others, but it should now be much harder to lose a day in a Conflict by accidentally putting positive inputs into your opposing faction.
Balancing player actions for War/Civil War

  • Winning Conflict Zone objectives is the most obvious way to help win a war.
  • Most combat missions, combat bonds, bounty hunting and violent crimes will all contribute towards a War or Civil War.
 
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So result from last night, I did two "Strategic Data Transfer" (courier) missions for the other side, and today the factions have returned to a Draw. Again, purely coincidental perhaps, but so far all ticks have reflected my actions

  • Day 1: Do an equal amount of missions (including inf +'s) for both sides, Tick 1: No change
  • Day 2: Do five missions (Assassinate Deserter, Strategic surface scan for Faction A, Tick 2: Faction A Close Victory
  • Day 3: Do two missions (Strategic Data Transfer) for Faction B: Tick 3: Draw
Today I'm going to do nothing. This is to revalidate that nothing else is going on in the system.

Interestingly, it seems to contradict Will's statement that "... most combat missions..." will contribute towards winning a War or Civil War.
 
Which may mean that Strategic Data Transfer is also considered a war-related mission. It is strategic after all. %)
 
Which may mean that Strategic Data Transfer is also considered a war-related mission. It is strategic after all. %)
Except two things:
- day one, where there was no change, i played a strategic data transfer against a boom-time delivery, which resulted in a draw. This suggests any mission will work.

- will's comment says "combat missions" not "war missions"... the former would seem to not encompass data courier missions, while the latter would... but it certainly wouldn't be the first time fd got it wrong.
 
Except two things:
- day one, where there was no change, i played a strategic data transfer against a boom-time delivery, which resulted in a draw. This suggests any mission will work.

- will's comment says "combat missions" not "war missions"... the former would seem to not encompass data courier missions, while the latter would... but it certainly wouldn't be the first time fd got it wrong.
They tell many things, which doesn't mean that all of this is true.
I'll try to test it as well - I know couple of factions in a state of civil war that are of no interest to anyone.
 
It's possible that there's a lower limit of 'war influence' to win a day, with just one Strategic Data Transfer mission not being enough to tip the scales on your first day.
 
Status update:
  • Day 1: Do an equal amount of missions (including inf +'s) for both sides, Tick 1: No change
  • Day 2: Do five missions (Assassinate Deserter, Strategic surface scan for Faction A, Tick 2: Faction A Close Victory
  • Day 3: Do two missions (Strategic Data Transfer) for Faction B: Tick 3: Draw
  • Day 4: Did nothing. Tick 4: No change (draw)
4 days in a row of changes consistent with the otherwise minor actions I've taken suggests to me there's no interference, and any changes I've observed are a direct result of my actions alone.

At this point I'm pretty convinced missions do impact the outcome of a war (though by how much, I'm uncertain). Of course, I understand this might not be enough to generally convince everyone else... but I don't think I could do that unless someone else verifies with further tests.
 
In my tests I did just 1 delivery mission (++) for faction A (which is currently in a state of civil war with faction B) - no changes to victory bar.
Will do 1 courier mission next tick.
 
So... Single courier mission for faction A led to nothing - bar is still in a draw position.
Gonna try to do several delivery/courier missions for same faction at once. Perhaps some sort of threshold limit is in place.
 
In my tests I did just 1 delivery mission (++) for faction A (which is currently in a state of civil war with faction B) - no changes to victory bar.
Will do 1 courier mission next tick.
So... Single courier mission for faction A led to nothing - bar is still in a draw position.
Gonna try to do several delivery/courier missions for same faction at once. Perhaps some sort of threshold limit is in place.
It's worth noting you're testing Civil War, where I was testing War. While functionally similar, they are different states outright, so maybe one works and the other doesn't? (and which way round that is i'm not sure)
 
3 more courier missions for faction A (8 pluses in total) didn't change victory bar. Still draw.
Yes, Civil Wars may differ from Wars in this case, who knows, but that's what i see in my tests.
 
I'm doing a civil war right now but kept silent about it cause unfortunately I'm not alone anymore in this system. It's good possible that the other one (must be in Solo all the time or somewhere in China) works in the same direction as I do. Which would be a very odd coincidence, but nothing I could exclude. Other than that the war is now on total victory after 3 ticks, I only did one lo CZ in the beginning. All others where missions related to the civil war in their description text.
 
FWIW, I must have come in late to the conflict I was testing with, because I did a 5th day of nothing, and the war finished the next tick (One side actually won, so I guess there might have been some influence on that day)
 
There are non combat mission that are both marked in the title as being related to a war (civil war in my case), and in the flavor text refer directly to helping in the current war.
So I keep figuring that those would be odd if they didn't affect anything. However, I suppose it could be something left over that FDEV hasn't cleaned up yet.
 
There are non combat mission that are both marked in the title as being related to a war (civil war in my case), and in the flavor text refer directly to helping in the current war.
So I keep figuring that those would be odd if they didn't affect anything. However, I suppose it could be something left over that FDEV hasn't cleaned up yet.
I tend to believe they do - but the last evidence is still missing. It's not quite easy to find a virgin system to get clean results...
 
There are non combat mission that are both marked in the title as being related to a war (civil war in my case), and in the flavor text refer directly to helping in the current war.
So I keep figuring that those would be odd if they didn't affect anything. However, I suppose it could be something left over that FDEV hasn't cleaned up yet.
My experience so far suggests that it's any mission whose "action" (i.e any positive/negative inf effect) would normally occur in the system which that faction is at war in.

e.g my initial test with Boom vs Wartime mission. They both seemed to behave the same way (in terms of display, and effect)
 
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