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Faction Development and Research

#1
Continued from Four Branches of Research:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
BFett wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:21 am
A player is "born" into a faction when they start the game. Otherwise the player is on uneven ground with other NPCs.

Basically, I assume that all NPCs and the player start from somewhere which has some history with respect to the region they start in. I suppose the only way the player could have absolutely no allegiance would be if the player was an outlaw who just escaped from prison and who has lost contact with any allies in the area. It's possible to be neutral towards other NPCs but it is nearly impossible to be faction-less.

Do you have a counter example in mind?
Cornflakes_91 wrote: Like, for example, being a random planet dweller who just aquired a ship by any means?
The locals prolly wont have anything against you, but you are no member of their organisations either.
If you are a planet dweller who just acquired a ship then you belong to the faction of the colony which you originated from. If this isn't possible then you acquire the faction of the IFF system the ship is built with. If the ship doesn't have an IFF then the first people who think they can take advantage of you are considered hostile, and based on that information faction standings for other groups can be derived. (I think it should be almost impossible to be a nobody without some very good tech and a government contract. Assassins anyone?)
Cornflakes_91 wrote: Also, when you say that the player is "part" of a faction, how would that work? How does the player get to own his own stuff?
Think of it as leaving a job, the player loses work related equipment and security privileges but maintains contacts and work experience. The money earned doing activities (in LT) can be used for purchasing assets, and other things which are owned by the player (or executive NPC).
Cornflakes_91 wrote:How does he get out of the faction without losing ownership of the one ship or making enemies by stealing?
The one ship is either paid in full (if it was loaned), sold, or just kept if the player owns the ship from the beginning. I think it should be VERY clear what assets are loaned and which are owned by the player. It could be something as simple as a tag stating "this item owned by employer". All items owned by the employer are returned on resignation from the particular faction (or kept if that's how the contract is set up). Of course the player would have the option to steal the assets, which would likely end in disaster.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:How does the player get to make his own research?
The player gets to make his own research when he acquires a research module equipped to a station or a ship. Then the player just has to choose the area of research to start in and the game takes care of the rest.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:How does the player aquire the data to get to approximate research parity if he gets to be independent at some point?
Through scanning of minerals and materials; reverse engineering assembly chips, items, components and materials and finally purchasing or stealing blueprints.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:How is everything else handled when you are part of that faction? Do you have your own assets? Do you have money? Do you have to be a drone just following orders or be shot down?
and so on.
The game plays as you'd expect it to for the most part. The faction you belong to determines default IFF settings for legally sold ships among other quality of life things. You own your own assets, earn money from your sub-faction (assuming you've made one) and the assets within it. Executive NPCs which work for you may resign from working for you and start up their own enterprise using the money they've earned. You don't have to fear being a drone since disobeying orders is more likely to get you fired from your job than blown out of the air. Granted, this depends on your starting faction and ethics.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Last but not least: what kind of idea is it in such a freedom based game like LT to start the player out as bound to some entity he didnt chose which actively limits the player freedom?
If we think of large factions as governments and smaller sub-factions under those as businesses there really isn't a limit to what you can do. If you want to join pirates go right ahead. Want to make your own assassin squad? Sure, go for it. Nothing I've outlined is set in such a way as to prevent the sandbox from being fully explored. Instead, I'm setting the groundwork for what would hopefully become interesting faction based interactions which develop naturally over time.
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Re: Faction Development and Research

#2
BFett wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:53 pm
Cornflakes_91 wrote: Like, for example, being a random planet dweller who just aquired a ship by any means?
The locals prolly wont have anything against you, but you are no member of their organisations either.

If you are a planet dweller who just acquired a ship then you belong to the faction of the colony which you originated from. If this isn't possible then you acquire the faction of the IFF system the ship is built with. If the ship doesn't have an IFF then the first people who think they can take advantage of you are considered hostile, and based on that information faction standings for other groups can be derived. (I think it should be almost impossible to be a nobody without some very good tech and a government contract. Assassins anyone?)
So because i bought my ship as a private person from a private shipyard i become a state employee getting a state ship loaned? Right.
Bfett wrote:Think of it as leaving a job, the player loses work related equipment and security privileges but maintains contacts and work experience. The money earned doing activities (in LT) can be used for purchasing assets, and other things which are owned by the player (or executive NPC).
What activities? Im employed by the faction and do what im ordered and get a wage, nothing independent there.
When and how would i do my own stuff when im in a state owned ship that is intended to be utilised maximally?
BFett wrote: The one ship is either paid in full (if it was loaned), sold, or just kept if the player owns the ship from the beginning. I think it should be VERY clear what assets are loaned and which are owned by the player. It could be something as simple as a tag stating "this item owned by employer". All items owned by the employer are returned on resignation from the particular faction (or kept if that's how the contract is set up). Of course the player would have the option to steal the assets, which would likely end in disaster.
So instead of just making the player independent from the start you introduce a whole host of possible confusions
Cornflakes_91 wrote:How does the player get to make his own research?
The player gets to make his own research when he acquires a research module equipped to a station or a ship. Then the player just has to choose the area of research to start in and the game takes care of the rest.
BFett wrote: Through scanning of minerals and materials; reverse engineering assembly chips, items, components and materials and finally purchasing or stealing blueprints.
So your solution for "how do we archieve that the player doesnt have a gigantic tech disadvantage at the start" is "shackle them to a faction and dont give them tech"?
The game play wrote:s as you'd expect it to for the most part. The faction you belong to determines default IFF settings for legally sold ships among other quality of life things.
What quality of life things? all you outlined was shackling the player to a random faction at start.

Also, wtf is a "default IFF"?
The IFF only says "This ship belongs to X"
I dont need some weird default IFF when selling ships.
Before i sell it it bears my IFF, after i sell it it bears the IFF of the buyer.
Corncorp -> Randomcorp
It doesnt matter where im from or where the buyer was brought into existence.
BFett wrote: If we think of large factions as governments and smaller sub-factions under those as businesses there really isn't a limit to what you can do. If you want to join pirates go right ahead. Want to make your own assassin squad? Sure, go for it. Nothing I've outlined is set in such a way as to prevent the sandbox from being fully explored. Instead, I'm setting the groundwork for what would hopefully become interesting faction based interactions which develop naturally over time.
Except the player cant join someone else because they'd lose all their assets the second they leave the faction to do their own thing.
That doesnt sound fun or free in any way.

How are subfactions handled?
How would it be fun for the player to be in a subfaction? (Aka bound to them, not having own assets, etc)
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Re: Faction Development and Research

#3
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Like, for example, being a random planet dweller who just aquired a ship by any means?
The locals prolly wont have anything against you, but you are no member of their organisations either.
BFett wrote: If you are a planet dweller who just acquired a ship then you belong to the faction of the colony which you originated from. If this isn't possible then you acquire the faction of the IFF system the ship is built with. If the ship doesn't have an IFF then the first people who think they can take advantage of you are considered hostile, and based on that information faction standings for other groups can be derived. (I think it should be almost impossible to be a nobody without some very good tech and a government contract. Assassins anyone?)
Cornflakes_91 wrote: So because i bought my ship as a private person from a private shipyard i become a state employee getting a state ship loaned? Right.

No, you get the attributes of the faction you are starting the game under. You are not employed by them. Again, consider real life, living in a country does not mean you work for the government of that country. Consider that the ship is essentially the player's avatar. IFF tells you who is good and who is bad. That means there must be a faction which owns the ship's IFF because a pirate's ship would detect law enforcement as hostile while the inverse would also be true.
Bfett wrote:Think of it as leaving a job, the player loses work related equipment and security privileges but maintains contacts and work experience. The money earned doing activities (in LT) can be used for purchasing assets, and other things which are owned by the player (or executive NPC).
Cornflakes_91 wrote:What activities? Im employed by the faction and do what im ordered and get a wage, nothing independent there.
When and how would i do my own stuff when im in a state owned ship that is intended to be utilised maximally?

This is probably where the confusion is. The player doesn't necessarily work for the state faction when they enter the game. However they are a citizen of that faction. The player has the freedom to choose any sub-faction, or even the main faction to work for (assuming trust is high enough) or they can start their own sub-faction. Chances are that the ship isn't state owned, however if that's not the case then the income you earn is what you keep. I suppose a purely communistic government type could have everything government owned and ran, but that's an edge case.
BFett wrote: The one ship is either paid in full (if it was loaned), sold, or just kept if the player owns the ship from the beginning. I think it should be VERY clear what assets are loaned and which are owned by the player. It could be something as simple as a tag stating "this item owned by employer". All items owned by the employer are returned on resignation from the particular faction (or kept if that's how the contract is set up). Of course the player would have the option to steal the assets, which would likely end in disaster.
Cornflakes_91 wrote: So instead of just making the player independent from the start you introduce a whole host of possible confusions
How are you defining independent?
Cornflakes_91 wrote:How does the player get to make his own research?
The player gets to make his own research when he acquires a research module equipped to a station or a ship. Then the player just has to choose the area of research to start in and the game takes care of the rest.
BFett wrote: Through scanning of minerals and materials; reverse engineering assembly chips, items, components and materials and finally purchasing or stealing blueprints.
Cornflakes_91 wrote: So your solution for "how do we archieve that the player doesnt have a gigantic tech disadvantage at the start" is "shackle them to a faction and dont give them tech"?
What? You get to use the tech the faction has developed. Earn your own money and go buy whatever you want.
The game play wrote:s as you'd expect it to for the most part. The faction you belong to determines default IFF settings for legally sold ships among other quality of life things.
Cornflakes_91 wrote: What quality of life things? all you outlined was shackling the player to a random faction at start.

Also, wtf is a "default IFF"?
The IFF only says "This ship belongs to X"
I dont need some weird default IFF when selling ships.
Before i sell it it bears my IFF, after i sell it it bears the IFF of the buyer.
Corncorp -> Randomcorp
It doesnt matter where im from or where the buyer was brought into existence.
So buying a stolen ship compared to buying a ship with a clean record result in the same IFF transfer? Even if the ship is from a group of pirates? IFF should identify the ship's identity as well as friends and foes. You seem to argue that IFF is really only the 'I' or 'IS' as in Identify Self.
BFett wrote: If we think of large factions as governments and smaller sub-factions under those as businesses there really isn't a limit to what you can do. If you want to join pirates go right ahead. Want to make your own assassin squad? Sure, go for it. Nothing I've outlined is set in such a way as to prevent the sandbox from being fully explored. Instead, I'm setting the groundwork for what would hopefully become interesting faction based interactions which develop naturally over time.
Cornflakes_91 wrote: Except the player cant join someone else because they'd lose all their assets the second they leave the faction to do their own thing.
That doesnt sound fun or free in any way.
The only assets the player loses are those being loaned to the player by the faction. Player purchased assets stay with the player no matter who they work for or even if they choose to go independent.
Cornflakes_91 wrote: How are subfactions handled?
How would it be fun for the player to be in a subfaction? (Aka bound to them, not having own assets, etc)
Sub-factions are handled exactly the same way factions in LT currently are. The only difference is that they are now under a "governing" faction which works on the high level game-play.
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Re: Faction Development and Research

#4
BFett wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:11 pm
Spoiler:      SHOW
Talvieno wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:17 pm
Personally, I'd prefer the player start with their own faction and then join a different, NPC faction if they feel like it. The player is, after all, the only person that actually spawns into the universe without previously existing/being brought into existence, by the very nature of the game. Everything else is brought into being through the actions of another except for the player, who enters the game voluntarily. Putting them in a faction that they did not themselves choose goes against this.
Perhaps my phrasing is incorrect but I believe that when a player spawns into the LT universe (be it a NPC from a colony or the player) it is assigned the allegiance of the faction it was born into. What I'm saying is that since I'm a United States citizen I am automatically not hostile towards my own country nor are the members of my country hostile towards me (in general). By extension, the countries which are allied with the US are relatively safe for me to visit and the members of those countries are not hostile either.

Research is developed by the faction, just as it is in countries in the real world. Various technologies become available to the public over time. I think the process would be something similar to RnD-> Blueprint-> Assembly Chip (consumable object, ie # to produce)-> object-> commodities market -> purchaser.

The player can get their own things by creating a sub-faction below the main faction. This sub faction is on the business level where it can accumulate income through providing a good or service.

I also assume that the player starts out with a reasonable amount of credits to be able to make purchases (of at least a mining laser and a starting ship). Research is assumed to be a "mid-late game" mechanic which will occur from either stealing and then reverse engineering an assembly chip or blueprint.

So, in conclusion, the player is on the same ground as an executive NPC. They can work for any sub-faction (or the main faction itself if their standings are good enough.) and also have the freedom to create their own sub-faction whenever they choose to do so.



As Flat has noted this topic is primarily about how different branches of research could work together to create interesting results, so let's try to keep the discussion in that general area. I don't mind exploring factions and their role in the development aspect of the game, but if you guys really want to discuss factions in depth then it does need to be in a separate thread.

I don't believe the player spawns (or should spawn) into a pre-made faction. I think the player starts out uncontrolled by higher entities and may choose to put themselves under control of these entities... or choose not to. As for "sub-factions", that's not something Josh ever intended to exist. Rather, the player starts in the "player" faction and may do as they please. This lets them do their own research, stake out their own land, etc. If they're part of a faction to begin with, they have to first leave the faction just to access at least half of the game. I think that would be fairly poor design.

Again: when a player spawns, it spawns in its own, entirely unique faction. The player at first goes unnoticed by other factions because the player doesn't have any "territory" to start out with. However, the player can join up with larger factions, or just play solo until they amass enough wealth to take territory from other factions. There are no "sub-factions" because that would get confusing and have all sorts of limitations and problems with it. The player could have alliances, however, that would protect them from other factions in the area.

And again, in case I'm still not clear (not sure how clear I'm being): Players "spawn" without a faction, not belonging to any particular colony, because they are not "created" - they do not exist because the game exists. The game exists because you exist, so you cannot simply have the game dump you into a random faction and expect that to hold up very well.
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Re: Faction Development and Research

#5
BFett wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:41 am
IFF tells you who is good and who is bad. That means there must be a faction which owns the ship's IFF because a pirate's ship would detect law enforcement as hostile while the inverse would also be true.
IFF doesnt tell them from where i am, it tells them who i am.
The IFF belongs to me, the owner of the ship, not to the person who sold me that ship.

If the pirates like me (and the corp which i own and command) they dont percieve me as hostile.
Doesnt matter where im from beyond the initial seeding of like values.
Bfett wrote: This is probably where the confusion is. The player doesn't necessarily work for the state faction when they enter the game.
But you said that they control all the research of the subfactions (aka the player) and that they may own my ship which gets revoked when i leave. That doesnt sound like "not employed"

BFett wrote: The player gets to make his own research when he acquires a research module equipped to a station or a ship. Then the player just has to choose the area of research to start in and the game takes care of the rest.
But you said the toplevel faction controls research, that doesnt work at all if the subfactions can just research on their own.

BFett wrote: What? You get to use the tech the faction has developed. Earn your own money and go buy whatever you want.
Me being able to buy stuff from them doesnt remove the fact that i have to redo all the research they already did when i start researching.
having to buy everything leaves the player at the same place as before, at the very bottom of the research tree.
BFett wrote:So buying a stolen ship compared to buying a ship with a clean record result in the same IFF transfer? Even if the ship is from a group of pirates?
and pirates cant build ships themself?
how should i be able to tell reliably if a ship is stolen or not?
The records aboard the ship cant be regarded as trustworthy, so how would i differentiate between a genuinely clean ship and a wiped ship?
How would you differentiate a ship whichs pilot got killed by the people who are trying to sell me the ship and a ship that was simply salvaged by them?
Its mechanically identical.
BFett wrote:IFF should identify the ship's identity as well as friends and foes.
How do you think that would work? The iff broadcasting who the owner likes and who not?
BFett wrote:You seem to argue that IFF is really only the 'I' or 'IS' as in Identify Self.
Yes, thats all what an IFF system is, an identity response.
Everyone has to know themself who they like and who not.
"I am ship x from faction y"
You have to decide yourself if you like that ship or not.
BFett wrote:The only difference is that they are now under a "governing" faction which works on the high level game-play.
Aka not independent and shackled to some faction which the player didnt chose.
the player being commanded around by some faction they didnt choose doesnt sound any fun.


Why shackle the player to anything at launch?
Let the player inherit the standings with known factions from the faction they spawned and leave it at that.
The player doesnt need to be a more or less undefined subfaction of some equally undefined faction in the area.
If the liberty navy likes the player then they can buy equipment from the liberty navy, if not, then not.

BFett wrote: Instead, I'm setting the groundwork for what would hopefully become interesting faction based interactions which develop naturally over time.
no, you arent.
You are throwing some generalities into the room without explaining any of them.

What is a subfaction?
How are they created?
Why are they created?
Who controls them?
What are their conditions to continue existing?
How much control does their superfaction have over them?
Why should they do what their superfaction ordered?
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Re: Faction Development and Research

#6
Well, there is a reason why I put that in suggestions. It boils down to an idea that I had of factions emerging and becoming independent entities while also existing within a faction which acts as a governing power.

Litteraly everything else is guess work and has not been throughly thought out. If it had been I would have better answers for this line of questioning.

Talvieno, I know that what I'm bringing up is not planned for LT and will not likely be in the game unless it is modded in.

I hope everyone understands where I'm coming from. I really don't want to be grilled on this topic further.
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Re: Faction Development and Research

#8
BFett wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:26 pm
I hope everyone understands where I'm coming from. I really don't want to be grilled on this topic further.
I liked these ideas as starting points for conversation. We still don't really know exactly where Josh & Co. will be taking factions, so we ought to be able to discuss the possibilities in a friendly way while we wait for hard information..

I apologize if any of my comments and questions sounded more like criticism than efforts to constructively explore your ideas.

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