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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#16
Hyper, your perspective on balancing might be off by a little bit. I'll try to explain.

In most closed systems, finding balance is a very difficult task involving fine-tuning features. Anything outside of that tends to spiral out of control. A good example, for instance, is an MMO. As soon as someone discovers a flaw, exploit, or glitch that suddenly gives you an advantage, all players will begin using this flaw/exploit/glitch. Keep in mind, most MMOs are meticulously balanced. Terribly balanced ones hardly exist - and why? Because they aren't interesting enough to play, and those who do play and say "It's easy, just go to the witch's house after 5 PM, sleep, repeat until you're god level" scare everyone else off.

In other words, unless systems are in place to prevent a faction from becoming overpowered, a faction will become overpowered.

An alliance system is a good example of a system that prevents a faction from becoming overpowered. If there is an enemy nobody can defeat, different factions can ally to defeat it. Of course, there has to be a system in place to prevent alliances from becoming overpowered as well, in that case, or else you'll end up with A. an alliance that spans everyone in the galaxy and nobody ever fights again, or B. a massive alliance that kills all their enemies and gets rid of any galactic diversity.

In short: everything is unbalanced by nature, and only through well-placed restrictions and/or careful fine-tuning can you achieve balance. (Unless you're some kind of balancing god that manages to balance a game on your first pass, which is practically unheard of)

But you were right, at least, about the pirate snowball death ring being a rare occurrence. It would happen once, and then never again, because nothing would be left. :D
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#17
From an economic perspective, I would say that it would be impossible for piracy to expand infinitely. At some point, there would be no producers left because A) There were all destroyed, or B) There is no incentive to be a producer anymore. Without production, there is nothing to pirate. Production requires at least some stability, and every system being inhabited with pirates destroying everything is most certainly not stable. At some point I imagine the pirates would become more like a normal government. You could probably establish a government using piracy, but you couldn't sustain it long term. At some point there simply is not enough left to pirate and you have to settle down and produce on your own.
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#18
masseffect7 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:17 pm
From an economic perspective, I would say that it would be impossible for piracy to expand infinitely. At some point, there would be no producers left because A) There were all destroyed, or B) There is no incentive to be a producer anymore. Without production, there is nothing to pirate. Production requires at least some stability, and every system being inhabited with pirates destroying everything is most certainly not stable. At some point I imagine the pirates would become more like a normal government. You could probably establish a government using piracy, but you couldn't sustain it long term. At some point there simply is not enough left to pirate and you have to settle down and produce on your own.

What if it were possible to start a game of LT like this, where every NPC and every faction is piratical?
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#19
I agree with masseffect7 on this point. A pirate faction can not form into a massive snowball because it would burn up its resources without production facilities and trade of its own. I think the concern about alliances is noteworthy but not realistic. What I mean is that in the real world there are major powers (those with nukes) who still have disagreements but seldom go to war. This permits a global economy to exist which benefits all nations. When one nation steps out of line sanctions can be placed on the offending nation which can encourage it to act in a way deemed proper. The exact same thing can and should happen between the factions in Limit Theory.

Is it fun? It can be if you take the time to learn the weaknesses of the factions and find ways to make one faction turn on another.
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#20
Flatfingers wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:15 pm
masseffect7 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:17 pm
From an economic perspective, I would say that it would be impossible for piracy to expand infinitely. At some point, there would be no producers left because A) There were all destroyed, or B) There is no incentive to be a producer anymore. Without production, there is nothing to pirate. Production requires at least some stability, and every system being inhabited with pirates destroying everything is most certainly not stable. At some point I imagine the pirates would become more like a normal government. You could probably establish a government using piracy, but you couldn't sustain it long term. At some point there simply is not enough left to pirate and you have to settle down and produce on your own.

What if it were possible to start a game of LT like this, where every NPC and every faction is piratical?
Well, in Civilization there is typically a setting where all civs are at war for the duration of the game. Maybe you could have a similar setting for factions in LT? I'm curious to find out what the inter-factional diplomacy will look like in LT. For example, if I am a member of a faction and I consistently attack members of another, will a formal war be declared eventually?
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#23
While I don't think a traditional "pirate" type faction could expand forever, for reasons already explained in the thread, I do think some sort of expansionist empire could potentially do just that, if there aren't factors like corruption and in-fighting implemented.

But I feel like all this is moot because if I see super galactic empire of 5000 suns coming at me I can always just hit a couple of hundred jump gates to stay ahead of them. That actually seems like cool gameplay to me, trying to stay ahead of an unbeatable fleet of ships while making a living at the same time.
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#24
Which reminds me: I remain really curious to see what "hiring" looks like for factions in LT.

Let's say a character formally creates a new faction (however that works). How are new NPC members added to that faction?

And -- importantly -- how can this mechanic work for both a faction of two characters and a faction containing thousands of characters?

We've previously discussed some ideas about this -- in Factional Organization Management and Player Factions, for example, and Talvieno came at it from a different direction in On Hiring Factions. Furthermore Josh Himself made things, um, interesting :D when he brought up the Scope-of-Hiring Problem on April 5, 2014, and the very next day proposed a wild response to that problem in the idea of "High and Low Detail," now better remembered as his plan to implement NPCs as either executives who can do Big Planning like the human player (note: Josh's original term for executives was "players") and workers who perform specific, "atomic" level actions: move, mine, shoot, trade, etc.

In this scheme, it seemed that executive NPCs could be factional leaders, while workers would simply be the worker bees within a faction. Josh's later comments on structuring projects as composed of goals and actions followed this concept of multi-part plans that are broken down into atomic-level actions.

So where does all this thinking stand today? How do projects accomplish macro AI? How do factions create and execute projects? How are NPCs "hired" into (and "fired" from) factions?

And in the most desperate attempt to stay on-topic, is it possible to create a factional hiring mechanic that works for both law-abiding, high-trust factions such as corporations and law-breaking, low-trust factions such as pirate gangs?
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#25
Flatfingers wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:13 pm
Which reminds me: I remain really curious to see what "hiring" looks like for factions in LT.

Let's say a character formally creates a new faction (however that works). How are new NPC members added to that faction?

And -- importantly -- how can this mechanic work for both a faction of two characters and a faction containing thousands of characters?

In this scheme, it seemed that executive NPCs could be factional leaders, while workers would simply be the worker bees within a faction. Josh's later comments on structuring projects as composed of goals and actions followed this concept of multi-part plans that are broken down into atomic-level actions.

So where does all this thinking stand today? How do projects accomplish macro AI? How do factions create and execute projects? How are NPCs "hired" into (and "fired" from) factions?

And in the most desperate attempt to stay on-topic, is it possible to create a factional hiring mechanic that works for both law-abiding, high-trust factions such as corporations and law-breaking, low-trust factions such as pirate gangs?
I think hiring will be in a similar form to how "quests" work in LT. I imagine that every so many cycles NPCs from the developed planet in the region decide to leave their homes and look for work in space. This shows up as a NPC listed at a station, along with any property and employment history it has. Other "Players" can choose to hire the NPC by paying a small fee and then assign the NPC a task (and a wage if needed). For huge corporations looking to hire hundreds or thousands of NPCs, I imagine that the leader of the faction would delegate the task to lower level "Executives" who would worry about fulfilling the hiring criteria.

If a faction can be made up of several executive NPCs then it should be possible for particular executives to be provided with particular hiring tasks which may be more complex than the standard job. If so, such "players" could hire specific NPCs carrying particular characteristics to achieve specific goals. Trust is but one of these characteristics which should be able to be looked for when hiring.
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#26
If I'm being honest... I never cared much for the executive/worker distinction.

To me, that has always felt like a bit of a hack. Absolutely I can understand if, back in the Long-Ago Time, it was considered necessary for performance reasons... but with today's CTypes delivering so much performance, is this design quirk still required or somehow beneficial?

Why not just let all NPCs be "players?" It's not in any way demeaning or wrong if some are content to be miners -- hey, maybe they're just introverts! :D

This simplifies all NPC interactions from both the human and NPC perspectives, including hiring. An NPC either does or doesn't have the desired qualifications -- whether she or he is a worker or an executive doesn't seem all that important.
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#27
I didn't really understand the split myself, to be honest. I think the big thing is that it permitted the miners and such to have less-intensive AI. But AI shouldn't be intensive to begin with - especially not on that scale. There's plenty of space between asteroid and space station - what does the AI even need to be doing between those points? Same for between asteroids. Maybe if something "happened" like a pirate attack, but the AI shouldn't need to be constantly active. Limit Theory isn't that sort of game. It has long, open expanses of flight and empty space - as all space games should have.
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#29
masseffect7 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:01 pm
This might have already been addressed somewhere else, but will the NPCs have any sort of "morality score"? For example, an NPC with a low score might be more likely to resort to pirating and raiding than NPCs with high scores. Also, will NPCs choose to join factions, or will NPCs simply spawn already members of a faction?
I believe, and have speculated about, the possibility of all NPCs belonging to a specific faction. I believe it should be literally impossible not to have a faction of origin. This doesn't mean that you can't go about doing your own thing in some sector of space, it only means that there are some inherent factors at play which affect the degree of which other NPCs trust your character. I have a feeling that NPCs will have a morality score, and I also seem to recall something of the sort in update video 21. Granted, that information is now very dated.
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Re: uncontrolled piracy (you should really open these maybe very good questions)

#30
Talvieno wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:30 am
I didn't really understand the split myself, to be honest. I think the big thing is that it permitted the miners and such to have less-intensive AI. But AI shouldn't be intensive to begin with - especially not on that scale. There's plenty of space between asteroid and space station - what does the AI even need to be doing between those points? Same for between asteroids. Maybe if something "happened" like a pirate attack, but the AI shouldn't need to be constantly active. Limit Theory isn't that sort of game. It has long, open expanses of flight and empty space - as all space games should have.

Because you dont constantly look at the map, market, your assets or whatever thinking about if theres something better to do than just following the plan you already formed.

Few things require your full attention after forming a plan, but you can and will always iterate over potential plans.
Or do you just sit there staring at your ship while it trundles through space all the time?


You do different things, not nothing.

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