PMFs: data, charts, and the coming galactic player wars...

Thank You, Mangal Oemie! Your charts are a great fun and motivation for the Likedeeler. Congratulations to all big player factions for their progress!
 
You can see that for an active BGS group it is often difficult to understand whether a PMF is actively being supported or is simply a vanity project to get something named in the game.
Even more difficult to understand when a faction is just being "supported" but claims all the recognition of a PMF. Almost like a BGS group wants all the benefits of moving into a system without any of the effort of using the expansion mechanic - "I want system X, Faction Y are already in it. Why bother to expand when we can just 'support' Faction Y and take it over"
 
I know it's somewhat late to reflect to the economy type analysis, but the maximum number of dockable Agricultural assets per faction is 17 rather than 10 and the controller faction of these is not in the charts. ;)
 
Even more difficult to understand when a faction is just being "supported" but claims all the recognition of a PMF. Almost like a BGS group wants all the benefits of moving into a system without any of the effort of using the expansion mechanic - "I want system X, Faction Y are already in it. Why bother to expand when we can just 'support' Faction Y and take it over"
And this is why I've always insisted that us Commanders have zero control over PMFs in-game terms. In out-of-game terms FD have claimed certain things groups who submit PMFs can do with those PMFs compared to rando people, but to be honest, I think FD were utterly foolhardy to allow PMFs in the game at all, so FD's action's there are shaky ground to start with.

When FD first announced player-factions, or adopting existing factions, I instantly thought it was going to be like herding cats for FD, alongside community Galnet articles and player-submitted Community Goals. Of course, I submitted stuff for all three of these, mostly because I wanted to try my hand at some creative writing and who knows, get some nifty activities in the game. "Claiming" my group's own faction in the game and trying to exert "dominance" with it was never part of our intent, it just fell out that way.

Look where we are now. Players can't submit Galnet articles anymore because the left hand could never talk to the right hand, and who knows what Community Goals will look like, but if anyone ever wanted to claim the BGS was ever a "strategic chess game" with factional ownership, they certainly couldn't do so while supporting player-submitted CGs existing just for the significant impacts and advantages they can have, depending on their outcome. I would argue the only reason PMFs continue to exist is that player activity surrounding them is so entrenched these days, just like with Powerplay which, let's face it, just needs to be burnt down and started again.

A squadron, regardless of how it's pledged, is still a group of Independent Pilot's Federation Commanders who, for one reason or another feel that furthering the political power of that faction is a good idea, and have arranged themselves as a group of such pilots. And that's the case for any of us... regardless of which factions we support, or how many we support... we do not own those factions, we are not members of them, and we do not control them, no matter how thick we layer the RP. Factional representatives will always continue to refer to you as an outsider and offer you just "mercenary work", because that's all you ever are to them.

This is the only thing we are members of. It's as inescapable as the fact that in, say, EVE Online, you're a clone pod-pilot and revered in the galaxy as a demigod.

I remember a quote from one of the FD staff in a livestream, I believe it was the first one they did about the BGS, and paraphrasing it, but they were "surprised" about the emotional attachment people got to the minor factions in the game, which suggests to me that they never thought factions would be anything more than background noise for the player's activity. That's furthered by the fact of the many oversights they had when the first tranch of PMFs went in, being putting them in:
  • Permit Locked systems
  • Rare good systems
  • Lore specific systems
etc.

There's countless examples of FD tripping over themselves with this, and even in the more recent BGS livestreams, and definitely in the first livestream, FD talk about how the background sim should be in the background... if it's in the forefront of your mind (which for probably 100% of us in this forums, myself included, it is), then they've done it wrong.

Urgh.... *throws that soapbox out the window, goes back to Factorio.
 
All right @Jmanis . But a squadron pledged an MF? What does it mean?
The word pledge can mean quite a few things... none of them imply membership, ownership or a binding allegience though. I could give many, many specific and relevant examples, but they all cover way too many touchy political things. Paramilitary organisations are a general example of groups who "pledge" to a cause, but not by-default representatives of the government whose nation they would claim to defend.

A pledge is just a promise or an undertaking, and doesn't require any consent from any parties to whom you might "pledge allegience" to. For another example, an insurgency group within a country may "pledge allegience" to another nation, though that nation is under no obligation to recognise that group as citizens of it's nation.

Pledging service to an entity is no more binding than pledging to be vegetarian.
 
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And this is why I've always insisted that us Commanders have zero control over PMFs in-game terms.
You might not have, but plenty of groups do - I've been involved in taking over systems, balancing systems, expanding from systems, retreating from systems ... in what way is that having zero control?
 
You might not have, but plenty of groups do - I've been involved in taking over systems, balancing systems, expanding from systems, retreating from systems ... in what way is that having zero control?
Poor choice of words perhaps, is the short version, though what you listed is no example of control really either. You're just influencing that faction no more than a somewhat glorified lobby group would... or alternately, you're not exerting any more control over the faction than someone "controlling" a cat using a toy. It'll chase that toy for a good hour, but if it's had enough, it'll just stop and want some food, or sleep.

Let me rephrase that sentence instead as "And this is why I've always insisted that us Commanders have zero ownership of PMFs in in-game terms.". Any claimed "Authority" in the actions of, or "Representation" of a faction by a Commander is simply not true, and not represented in-game at all, only of Squadrons.

This is why Squadrons are not Factions, and why (when they eventually come), Fleet Carriers will be Squadron assets, not Faction assets, just to give example of one of many things proving the two are very separate constructs.

Put it this way. When the next Children of Tothos type thing happens in your faction's home system, you think they'll care what you think? FDs record says they won't.

Edit: and put it this way. How did those expansions and retreats happen? Did you direct the faction to explicitly do that? Or did you just selectively run a few missions here and there... That's hardly "control", just influence.
 
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I've been involved in taking over systems, balancing systems, expanding from systems, retreating from systems ... in what way is that having zero control?
Imagine a group doing exactly the same things as you - taking over systems, balancing systems, expanding from systems, retreating from systems - since the early months of ED going live. This was before players were permitted the vanity of proposing a MF with a personalised name, this group had no other choice. It remained - and remains - loyal to this MF (although a better word might be “habituated” since there is an arbitrary element to the choice) and expanded it to control 20 or so systems. It was all a bit easy and they took on another MF to keep busy when the original MF was tied up in some way. Then another player who had been doing the same thing in adjacent systems joined them and groups merged.

So, has this group been getting one over on other players for four years? The implication in your argument is that not playing by your rules is cheating; the only way for BGS players to be legitimate is to support an inserted PMF. Or are there more shades of grey in the galaxy than you had considered?

Whatever the argument, ED fails the reciprocity test. While you may have some effect on the fortunes of MF or PMF, neither knows who the hell you are or what the hell you’ve done. You’re never welcomed as the saviour of Sangria, the liberator of Lilliput, the party that brought Empirical enlightenment to Walker Crisp or Federated the Braemar system. You’re just another schmuck who had better abide by the internal rules when visiting a station.

When you’re allowed to play in somebody else’s universe, you don’t get to make the rules.
 
Does a government have more control over a country than a player group over the PMF they pledged to? Are those more successful in formulating and implementing grand plans than PMFs? Do people know which extremely skilled ministry clerk prepared the decrees or legislation substantially affecting their lives one way or another?
The traffic control praise you when you request docking permission from a friendly faction. That's the maximum you would get in life too.
 
Even more difficult to understand when a faction is just being "supported" but claims all the recognition of a PMF. Almost like a BGS group wants all the benefits of moving into a system without any of the effort of using the expansion mechanic - "I want system X, Faction Y are already in it. Why bother to expand when we can just 'support' Faction Y and take it over"
That's not my experience at all. What I do see is different play styles.

One thing I will fight until my final fume of hydrogen fuel is that somehow PMFs are "special" and more honorable, when in fact there are NPC factions supported by the oldest groups in the game since before PMFs existed in the game. Many NPC factions have been cared for and loved by their supporters for years, and are among the biggest factions in the game. Our group was founded on the basis of supporting Alliance factions in the game at a time PMFs did not exist. An NPC faction is even AEDC's official PMF (this was possible as an option when PMFs were first introduced).

But similarly, any day CMDRs can decide to support any NPC faction or PMF faction. In the game, apart from a rule favoring PMFs that other PMFs cannot be inserted into systems one is already present, there is nothing that makes an NPC faction different from a PMF faction, and even the PMF creation tool makes that clear.

People play the BGS for a variety of reasons. To support a particular allegiance, a particular government type, an affinity with a certain region, to support the free flow of rare goods, for lore reasons, for powerplay reasons, for personal role playing reasons. And some create a PMF to play their BGS. Some even choose to support no faction, but prefer to fight others that do.

All are legitimate. Trying to separate "good" BGS from "bad" is a fool's errand and gets you nowhere.

Don't forget that the biggest contributors to BGS movement in the bubble are CMDRs who don't play the BGS at all.
 
100% agree there's no difference between a MF and PMF.

Would still be nice if there was an easier way of finding who actually was doing the MF supporting. It is certainly easier with PMFs as they normally have distinct names, and when I was trying to be nice to my neighbours I could find those on inara and make contact. There's definitely some CMDRs supporting some MF near me and I've never figured out which one or whom.
 
I know it's somewhat late to reflect to the economy type analysis, but the maximum number of dockable Agricultural assets per faction is 17 rather than 10 and the controller faction of these is not in the charts. ;)
All data comes from EDDB.io. I don't manually edit data. Is this faction and their ownership of 17 agri systems in EDDB.io accurately?
 
100% agree there's no difference between a MF and PMF.

Would still be nice if there was an easier way of finding who actually was doing the MF supporting. It is certainly easier with PMFs as they normally have distinct names, and when I was trying to be nice to my neighbours I could find those on inara and make contact. There's definitely some CMDRs supporting some MF near me and I've never figured out which one or whom.
Yeah, this can be annoying. I wish there was a way for the game to give more insight into who is working against your interest. It's too easy for a group of players to attack you (and avoid murder to get on the bounty board) and hide while doing this, evading retaliation. маскировка (maskirovka) is alive and well in Elite BGS.
 
All data comes from EDDB.io. I don't manually edit data. Is this faction and their ownership of 17 agri systems in EDDB.io accurately?
I did not think or suggest that you edited data or that it was intentional. I think the devil is in the sampling. I just counted agri stations on eddb and there are exactly 17 dockable ones listed for the faction in question.
 
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