News Notice - Background Simulation (19/02)

Will Flanagan

Community Manager
Staff member
Hello everyone,

We understand that there has been a lot of reports and feedback regarding the Background Simulation, and wanted to just ensure that the information, shared by Adam Bourke-Waite here, wasn't missed.

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to poke my head in and say that we do recognise that the BGS has a number of issues that we are looking to address. We’re currently in the process of investigating fixes for some of these issues and work is ongoing to return to a state of stability.

More specifically, we are currently looking into:

  • The balance between the different activities, for example, how much Influence trade activities provide compared to that of missions.
  • Ways we can decrease the number of active conflicts (Wars, Civil Wars, Elections) and the impact conflicts have on the BGS.
  • How the BGS trends away from factions being stuck in Civil Liberty and Investment states.
  • Finally, we are also investigating player reports that their actions are not resulting in the results they are expecting during a conflict. We’d like to thank you for providing numerous reports on this and any additional examples that you have encountered will provide us more data for our ongoing investigations. Please report them with the following details:
    • The system
    • The factions involved
    • The dates of the conflict
    • The actions performed including the name of Commanders performing them
    • The expected results
    • The actual results
We understand that ongoing issues with the BGS are not ideal, and the impact these issues have on Commanders and factions, and would like also thank you for your patience as we investigate these issues.

We currently do not have an ETA on when these issues will be fixed, but will try to keep you updated on the progress.

Thanks,
Adam
If you have any questions or would like to share your feedback, please let us know in this thread!
 
Thanks Adam and Will.

Would it be possible for fixes to be reported as and when they're made, with enough detail to tell how the fix is expected to work, without having to wait for client-side patch notes to include them?

e.g. "Fixed systems being stuck in Investment + Civil Liberty states by applying a return-to-zero force of increasing daily strength" (no idea if that's how you intend to fix it or even a good idea, of course) would let people know roughly why and how things would be expected to work, without giving away precise numbers.

Otherwise you could end up with a situation where your bug fix just generates more bug reports because it gets mistaken for more instability. "We're putting more and more trade into this system and the economy slider is still slipping - are our transactions being counted wrong?" sort of thing.
 
Great, Wouldn't mind if you posted a list of known bugs that you are working on so we can help make sure you aware of them ;) I can't when I can get other high grade materials than only Imperial Shielding
 
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The basis of the bgs conflict problem is polity, that you should not be able to have wars in a system without the involvement of the government. Related issues are that tiny systems with a few thousand population should not be able to expand or have wars at all, how can you have a war with no shipyard, or where the fleets have more than the entire population? Also famine and outbreak need to affect systems, not factions.

A solution is to have the governing faction own all of the stations. Wars and elections would only be for control. Only a controlling faction could suffer famine or outbreak. Tiny systems would not exist in their own right or be expansion targets- they might be contested by the controlling factions of nearby systems. Then you have far fewer wars, and they are all relevant.

The missions are imbalanced to each other, they need another balance pass for both credit reward and influence. It is silly to have, for example, a courier mission valued at five influence and a terrorist mission at two influence. Why randomise the influence rather than base it on skill?

I would remove the pick up and transport missions entirely, while the courier missions should be against the clock. Pirate missions should be in the same system, why should a faction pay to help their neighbours? Having far fewer missions, by eliminating the non-skill missions entirely and limiting spawn per day, might be a huge improvement. It would be good to have trade routes return to the game, rather than the current situation of the trade and mining economies being overwhelmed by huge credit rewards for missions which have no relation to the value of transported goods!

I prefer the term 'civic trust' to civil liberty, which seems odd under some government forms. Having men with hearts full of neutrality is never good even as a placeholder solution, how about having both extreme levels of security lower investment and both extreme levels of investment lower security? As the Thargoids can damage stations, why not also allow stations to fall into disrepair- and even stations abandoned for a long time to be removed?
 
Having far fewer missions, by eliminating the non-skill missions entirely...
Don’t elimate the non skill missions. Don’t want this part of game play only available to hard core players. Leave it open so casual and low skill players can still participate. Yes work on how much influence missions have, but let them still participate, and even get a few high reward/influence missi NZ every now and then.
 
A solution is to have the governing faction own all of the stations. Wars and elections would only be for control. [...] Tiny systems would not exist in their own right or be expansion targets- they might be contested by the controlling factions of nearby systems. Then you have far fewer wars, and they are all relevant.
I think you've just invented Powerplay here, haven't you? System control is absolute and encompasses nearby systems, fewer conflicts between factions but more relevant ones, system population very relevant to the strategic worth of the system, etc.
 
Powerplay needs major changes, however in the current failed design you don't have absolute system control nor is there direct conflict between factions. System population has a crude relevance, however if you can have a sphere with several tiny systems they would represent more control points than a single system of a billion plus.

If you remove tiny systems which shouldn't be able to support infinite warfleets or security, it is true that you add power based on population as a factor. Small player groups should still be able to control systems if the minimum criteria for a polity is a million plus population with a shipyard?

Alternatives to single faction control of a whole system leave us with conflicts based on conflict zones, you don't get the feeling that a system at war is threatening, just the occasional flavour text.
 
Small player groups should still be able to control systems if the minimum criteria for a polity is a million plus population with a shipyard?
There are exactly zero systems in Colonia meeting both those requirements. (To allow all Colonia PMFs to continue to control their home system, you would need to drop the population requirement to 2,000 and remove the requirement for a shipyard or even outfitting). Even in the bubble, ruling out just over half of the systems as independent BGS entities would have sufficiently major effects on existing PMFs that the only fair way to implement it would be a complete reset - or the introduction of it as a separate "regional conflict" layer between the BGS and Powerplay in scope.

Making more environmental things dependent on population - a small system war might have just one combat zone with only a wing of NPCs each side, for example - would I think be a good thing for diversifying the Elite galaxy. But I think it's way too late to be rewriting the BGS to be regional rather than system-based.
 
"the impact conflicts have on the BGS"

A blanket 4% for a total victory which does not take into account the population of the system needs to be changed.
4% in a 25bil system is massive. It would take a CMDR several days doing alot of missions to make 4% in a 25bil system.
4% in a 50k system is equal to one CMDR doing 1 mission. This is bad, very bad.

Increasing the 4% is not the fix!
The fix is to reward players for their time spent which is equally fair in all system sizes and in relation to the other BGS activities like missions, bounty hunting and trading.
 
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Colonia was set up to exist under its own rules though? If it only exists by a special logic you could extend that logic to exempt PMFs based in Colonia. Though when the PMFs were set up you would trust that the systems selected were ones which would become the home of billions??

It is simple to envisage a transition method whereby the tiny systems are independent until first controlled by a bigger system. Or we have to have a conflict method where it is easy for a system of 2000 population to make an armed invasion of one of 2 billion, and difficult for the reverse to happen, because it is the only fair way?
 

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
"the impact conflicts have on the BGS"

A blanket 4% for a total victory which does not take into account the population of the system needs to be changed.
4% in a 25bil system is massive. It would take a CMDR several days doing alot of missions to make 4% in a 25bil system.
4% in a 50k system is equal to one CMDR doing 1 mission. This is bad, very bad.

Increasing the 4% is not the fix!
The fix is to reward players for their time spent which is equally fair in all system sizes and in relation to the other BGS activities like missions, bounty hunting and trading.


I guess its not impossible to combine a gain equivalent to the number of full swings for the number of days won, as in 3.2, with the mechanism for winning from 3.3. That would give an incentive to win more that 2/3 days if unopposed
 
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Colonia was set up to exist under its own rules though?
The only special BGS rules for Colonia are for faction placement - the actual BGS works completely normally, given the unusual placement of the factions. The majority of PMF systems have planets which would generally not support billions (or often even millions) in population in the bubble, though they technically have enough surface area if you don't mind the lack of atmosphere.

Or we have to have a conflict method where it is easy for a system of 2000 population to make an armed invasion of one of 2 billion, and difficult for the reverse to happen, because it is the only fair way?
I think the theoretical gain in "realism" of the BGS - and the population disparities aren't the first bits I'd pick for that! - would be so massively outweighed by the complaints from the long-established groups it would disadvantage, and the considerably reduced dynamic behaviour from a "background" perspective, that I'd be very surprised if they went in that direction.
 
The only special BGS rules for Colonia are for faction placement - the actual BGS works completely normally, given the unusual placement of the factions. The majority of PMF systems have planets which would generally not support billions (or often even millions) in population in the bubble, though they technically have enough surface area if you don't mind the lack of atmosphere.


I think the theoretical gain in "realism" of the BGS - and the population disparities aren't the first bits I'd pick for that! - would be so massively outweighed by the complaints from the long-established groups it would disadvantage, and the considerably reduced dynamic behaviour from a "background" perspective, that I'd be very surprised if they went in that direction.
Population change would be a fun mechanic for bgs goals other than conquest. Populating the smaller systems. Refugees from conflicts. Building a colony system into a functioning economy. Supporting terraforming. There are a lot of possibilities. But thats potential for the future.
 
No ETA.

The other thing with "no ETA" in this game has been Powerplay since basically day 1, so right now I'm everything but confident about the BGS becoming even decent in the next few months, even considering this very late (two months!!!) announcement about the fact that the devs aknowledge that there's a problem.

Two damn months. And don't forget that we had no focused feedback for the BGS, which is unbelivable considering that the BGS was probably the single game mechanic that needed that more than anything else.

Meanwhile organised groups suffer people off with the game quitting because, apparently, the Dev Team doesn't invest as much resources to group gameplay mechanics such as BGS or Powerplay in this that, technically, should be a MMORPG.

I'm astonished that there's even people thanking the developers for this announcement, when there was plenty of time to discuss theoretically the new BGS (a whole season dedicated to fix Horizons!!!) and to test it properly (remember the beta period? when we had no tick and we couldn't technically see if there was something wrong with the BGS?).

So please. You should do much more than that. We know there are issues. And we know (well, "hope") you are working to it, because technically is the job we paid you for the moment we became your customers. We want you to tell us how you think to fix this bloody mess, so that your community can give you feedback before you even put that into the live version. The focused feedback was a great experiment, and it did work well. Bring back the focused feedback, one for BGS. We need that. You need that.
 
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