Livestream Discovery Scanner 6 - Reshaping the Simulation

1. What's the nature of the relationship between a Commander (Player) and a faction; subsequently what's the nature of relationship between a squadron and the faction they're pledged to? Are they just an "external contractor/contractor group" or are they "part of" the faction?
I like this debate because it does talk to any groups sense of being their faction and counting BGS achievements as belonging to them as a group. To suggest that this is not the case does detract from having your group represented in the game in the first place. Further to this, I believe FDev could go further with the interface between Squadron and faction by introducing more control and gameplay - I so want to play the role of System Authority in my PMF systems 🤞...
 
I wonder if it were possible to map the populated systems for their economy, population, security, etc. and derive a area influence out of that that affect the base tendencies of states in the nearby systems to introduce more location dependent tendencies for system states. Such a map would be mostly static unless you change systems, like the Witch Head Enclave, so upkeep would be low cost.

For example a system with no agriculture nearby but a high population would be prone to famines or a system with industry but no extraction systems nearby is more prone to busts or a system far out and surrounded mostly by empty anarchy systems more prone to pirate attacks, etc.
The existing market data could already do this - make economic states dependent on the proportion of the system's demand for goods which gets fulfilled, and systems closer to agricultural worlds will naturally get more agricultural goods traded to them by players without anything needing defining explicitly (while players could run food convoys to more isolated systems without needing to have a specific "run food convoy" task coded into the game)

There would need to be a fair bit of adjustment to supply and demand levels for the various goods (much lower across the board than now, but also more equalisation between supply and demand), and probably stronger price-based incentives for players to supply the "right" goods, to make sure that normal trading levels were sufficient to keep the economy going.

I don't know whether it would actually be a good idea - lots of people call for more realistic economies and a more detailed and meaningful trade system, but I suspect they'd be less happy about it if it meant they personally had to trade 1000t every day to keep their region's economy going.

...

Which leads into another potential question for the livestream, I guess:

How do you manage the balance between people who want their actions to have meaningful visible consequences, and the people who want reliable access to gameplay options without having to do other things to set them up?
(Obviously this is a much wider question than just the BGS, but it's the BGS side of it I'm most interested in the answer)
 
I very strongly disagree with your assertion that there's any differences between NPC and PMF factions, other than the fact FD let players name one. But there's plenty of threads over on the BGS forum where we can debate that.

But for this thread, well, inspired by this discussion... some questions for the stream:

1. What's the nature of the relationship between a Commander (Player) and a faction; subsequently what's the nature of relationship between a squadron and the faction they're pledged to? Are they just an "external contractor/contractor group" or are they "part of" the faction?

2. Does that relationship change based on whether it's a PMF or a procedurally generated (NPC) faction?

3. Perhaps not BGS related, but where do "registered groups" (i.e those used to back requests for PMFs) sit now that we have Squadrons in the game?


For context around questions 1 and 2, opinion can vary that a commander is never more than a "mercenary" taking on open-contracts, right up to "They are a full-blown member of that faction", while opinion on pledged squadrons vary from being nothing more than an issue-motivated group who supports that group, right up to "The squadron is that faction". Opinion around PMFs also varies just as wildly, from "Just another NPC entity which players were allowed to name" right up to "That faction belongs to our group, and provides a measure of authority over it".

Opinions on these relations between Commanders, Squadrons and Factions, and the distinction (if any) between PMFs and "NPC" factions generally underpin very divisive discussions about the general mechanics of the BGS, the intent of the BGS and the level of control players should have, so it would be great to get some clarity on this issue.
I was under the impression you are an issue-motivated group who supports that group.
 
I like this debate because it does talk to any groups sense of being their faction and counting BGS achievements as belonging to them as a group. To suggest that this is not the case does detract from having your group represented in the game in the first place. Further to this, I believe FDev could go further with the interface between Squadron and faction by introducing more control and gameplay - I so want to play the role of System Authority in my PMF systems 🤞...
I can respect what you want to get out of the BGS, and in a world where the intent of the BGS is for player-group competitive gameplay and where FD and laid down the basis for players to deliberately join factions, it would make sense.

I just don't believe that was ever FD's intent, no matter how players adopt the BGS mechanics, and that there's substantial evidence (again; best saved for the other posts about this topic on the BGS) both in terms of in-game to support the fact the BGS is just the backdrop that we all play against and that, fundamentally, we're nothing more than members of the (Independent) Pilot's Federation, which more supports the idea that we're, as rubbernuke says:

I was under the impression you are an issue-motivated group who supports that group.
Tangentially, I don't think not being an explicit member of the faction diminishes any achievements, but that's a matter of roleplay I guess.

FWIW, most of my opinion is based off FD's statements from old BGS livestreams like the one I linked before... if FD want to countermand some of those statements, I'm all ears to hearing it :)
 
I can respect what you want to get out of the BGS, and in a world where the intent of the BGS is for player-group competitive gameplay and where FD and laid down the basis for players to deliberately join factions, it would make sense.

I just don't believe that was ever FD's intent, no matter how players adopt the BGS mechanics, and that there's substantial evidence (again; best saved for the other posts about this topic on the BGS) both in terms of in-game to support the fact the BGS is just the backdrop that we all play against and that, fundamentally, we're nothing more than members of the (Independent) Pilot's Federation, which more supports the idea that we're, as rubbernuke says:



Tangentially, I don't think not being an explicit member of the faction diminishes any achievements, but that's a matter of roleplay I guess.

FWIW, most of my opinion is based off FD's statements from old BGS livestreams like the one I linked before... if FD want to countermand some of those statements, I'm all ears to hearing it :)
IMO my view has always been that these factions are just relabelled, behaving no different to another. Factions logically can't behave differently anyway, because the BGS has to cope being stretched over modes and timezones. If PMFs did behave differently, then that would be replacing Powerplay pretty much.
 
IMO my view has always been that these factions are just relabelled, behaving no different to another. Factions logically can't behave differently anyway, because the BGS has to cope being stretched over modes and timezones. If PMFs did behave differently, then that would be replacing Powerplay pretty much.
And that's why we got powerplay... that was meant to be the strategic overlay where players "signed up" to entities to become their enforcers and supporters.... and that was meant to distinguish it from BGS where this didn't happen. I mean, look closely, the players through their actions control where and how Powers expand to, what they control etc. in a competitive way. That's not how the BGS works.

Factions were meant to be able to rise and fall from the status of being a "Power" and I rekon the intent was for that to be the transition from a faction being merely background to being an actual gameplay element with real influence in the galaxy, but that never came to be.
 
If PMFs did behave differently, then that would be replacing Powerplay pretty much.
True, and I must admit that I am biased towards the BGS over PowerPlay. I gave PowerPlay a red hot go, but the game mechanics were so frustrating, it nearly destroyed my player group, and I personally felt a lack of significant involvement... I do wish that the development effort that went into PowerPlay was invested in a better BGS instead...
 
And that's why we got powerplay... that was meant to be the strategic overlay where players "signed up" to entities to become their enforcers and supporters.... and that was meant to distinguish it from BGS where this didn't happen. I mean, look closely, the players through their actions control where and how Powers expand to, what they control etc. in a competitive way. That's not how the BGS works.

Factions were meant to be able to rise and fall from the status of being a "Power" and I rekon the intent was for that to be the transition from a faction being merely background to being an actual gameplay element with real influence in the galaxy, but that never came to be.
Indeed. Its why I asked the question where does FD 'see' Powerplay in relation to the resurgent BGS- if PP has no future or that FD see the updated BGS as a replacement .
 
True, and I must admit that I am biased towards the BGS over PowerPlay. I gave PowerPlay a red hot go, but the game mechanics were so frustrating, it nearly destroyed my player group, and I personally felt a lack of significant involvement... I do wish that the development effort that went into PowerPlay was invested in a better BGS instead...
I can totally empathise with that.... I was all gee'd up for Powerplay, then when it landed and i realised what it entailed, it took about a month before i went "nope". Powerplay always felt like or should've been the "big kids" BGS where proper competitive BGS gameplay played out. For any non power faction, anyone could dabble in it to get effects without much issue... but ascension to the status of a power (say, at 10 occupied systems) is where things get competitive. But instead it fell well short of that.
 
I can totally empathise with that.... I was all gee'd up for Powerplay, then when it landed and i realised what it entailed, it took about a month before i went "nope". Powerplay always felt like or should've been the "big kids" BGS where proper competitive BGS gameplay played out, but instead it fell well short of that.
Although it will probably inflame this is the reason why PP needs to be Open only, as otherwise you have two BGS features chasing the same audience, with one being updated with whizzy features, the other being untouched for yonks. If both have clearly defined features and caveats then its a win for ED in general because you maximise each features footprint.
 
Although it will probably inflame this is the reason why PP needs to be Open only, as otherwise you have two BGS features chasing the same audience, with one being updated with whizzy features, the other being untouched for yonks. If both have clearly defined features and caveats then its a win for ED in general because you maximise each features footprint.
Absolutely. Open only Powerplay as that "strategic, competitive overlay" 100% makes sense. Open only BGS as some have asked for in the past makes no sense, because the BGS is just the shifting background. Dav and Adam themselves said, paraphrasing, if the BGS is at the forefront of your actions, they've done it wrong... it's then a foreground simulator, not a background simulator.

Is there a mismatch between FDs intent for the BGS and the way players interact with it? Definitely... but in that context players can only expect FDs intent from the BGS, not something it isn't.

If FD turned around and said the BGS would be replacing Powerplays function as that group vs group strategic game... notwithstanding a massive overhaul of the fundamental purpose of the bgs and it's mechanics, i can't say whether I'd like that or not... but I'd understand and acknowledge that shift in mentality and its impact on the game.
 
PP needs to be Open only
Open only BGS as some have asked for in the past makes no sense, because the BGS is just the shifting background. Dav and Adam themselves said, paraphrasing, if the BGS is at the forefront of your actions, they've done it wrong... it's then a foreground simulator, not a background simulator. Is there a mismatch between FDs intent for the BGS and the way players interact with it? Definitely... but in that context players can only expect FDs intent from the BGS, not something it isn't. If FD turned around and said the BGS would be replacing Powerplays function as that group vs group strategic game... notwithstanding a massive overhaul of the fundamental purpose of the bgs and it's mechanics, i can't say whether I'd like that or not... but I'd understand and acknowledge that shift in mentality and its impact on the game.
Oh! starts drooling open only BGS would be the ultimate 😀 - to see all those CMDRs' attempting to hide their actions, but have to cope with passionate PMFs flying in the same galaxy (notwithstanding instancing 😒).
Alright, I wouldn't say PowerPlay is the "group vs group strategic game", it's far far too big. I'm sitting here right now sending diplomatic Discord messages to other neighboring PMFs trying to explain that we had another unwanted expansion from one of OUR systems. We are friends with three, and one will help us, and I know there are another four that undermines us when the chance presents itself - we see it in the graphs, but I so want to catch them in open play. We have a two week expansion time frame to kick a non-native NPC faction out of a half decent system (retreat takes a week) so it's all hands on deck to make that happen; time to be a bad CMDR again - murder a non-native NPC faction System Authority - if only we could tick NO to expansion - Oh to have that most basic and logical control 😫...
 
Absolutely. Open only Powerplay as that "strategic, competitive overlay" 100% makes sense. Open only BGS as some have asked for in the past makes no sense, because the BGS is just the shifting background. Dav and Adam themselves said, paraphrasing, if the BGS is at the forefront of your actions, they've done it wrong... it's then a foreground simulator, not a background simulator.

Is there a mismatch between FDs intent for the BGS and the way players interact with it? Definitely... but in that context players can only expect FDs intent from the BGS, not something it isn't.

If FD turned around and said the BGS would be replacing Powerplays function as that group vs group strategic game... notwithstanding a massive overhaul of the fundamental purpose of the bgs and it's mechanics, i can't say whether I'd like that or not... but I'd understand and acknowledge that shift in mentality and its impact on the game.
I think if they really wanted the BGS to work in the background then they should have added simulated NPC use too, so nothing stays static when players are not around. For me, I would have preferred that.

As to powerplay, personally I would have preferred it if it was another layer that works as part of the BGS but is the more stategic version. More powers should have been in there from the beginning. At least three for each power and a load of independents. These powers should have supported and opposed factions in there beginning systems. Having a supported faction will make it easier for the faction to stay, a non-supported faction is neutral so gets no benefit and an opposed faction (supports another power) will make it difficult for that power to stay in that system.

The powers should also make bigger changes in the systems they have influence over. Archon Delaine could make every system he has control of an Anarchy. Zachary Hudson could have any system that he has control of have a high security rating. Things like that. Make it more meaningful.

You get merits from being a member of the power and doing missions for the aligned faction in a preparation/exploited/control systems and from the power direct (not too sure about his as I have not enough experience on how powerplay works).

Something like that is how I would have liked to see powerplay. Also keep all the CC and stuff like that. So its another meaningfull layer on top of the BGS that is more strategic in its nature, but also connected to the factions that are there with meaningful consequences of what faction is in power.
 
Oh! starts drooling open only BGS would be the ultimate 😀 - to see all those CMDRs' attempting to hide their actions, but have to cope with passionate PMFs flying in the same galaxy (notwithstanding instancing 😒).
See, on the other side of the coin, to just go "Right, only actions in Open affect the BGS" would probably have us up and leave it, but for polar-opposite reasons to what you suggest.

Our group picked our home and seized systems and stations according to a plan which is underpinned by all players, no matter what mode, platform or instancing, affecting the BGS and it's states (the whole reason for the BGS, stated by FD in multiple streams). Specifically, we seized a set of stations that formed natural, profitable trade routes and other activities that are, in general, lucrative to other players. So most of the effort propping up our faction is not our own doing, but rather the contributions of a host of unseen, anonymous players who, when pursuing profit or whatever activity they saw, see our territory conveniently as a nice place to do this in. Our role is then just a lightweight one just waiting for the blocks to fall into place, and gently tapping them when they're close to.

Basically the whole intent was exploitation of as much of the passive traffic for our own benefits, because we know we're only a small group. Fight smarter, not harder. We've had whole Powers "invade" on previous occasions, and with some careful strategy, we've been able to hold them back.

That strategy would be utterly decimated by an Open-Only BGS; I hang out in our systems in Open a good deal of the time; there's never anyone around, or at least nobody I can instance with, so being destroyed by a rando player is not a concern... I cut ten years out in EVE before coming to Elite, I get a thrill from PvP. It's the loss of our entire strategy and the support of players who are invisible to us, which exploits the very purpose of the BGS that would wreck it for us.

And for me, that's always been the enjoyment of the BGS, the long-term strategising, not the short term "log on and fight".

As to powerplay, personally I would have preferred it if it was another layer that works as part of the BGS but is the more stategic version.
The biggest problem is, as I mentioned before, PP was FD's answer to players wanting "... a balanced, group vs group strategy wargame" or however you want to cut it. The BGS is fundamentally unbalanced, so it could never support a balanced game element like FD sought from PP.
 
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