Happy New Year everyone,
I hope you all enjoyed a good Christmas and New Year! I managed to complete my journey to Sagittarius A* and am now back in civilised space – I didn’t quite make Elite for it though. For the first dev update of 2016 I shall go into some of the details of the galaxy simulation to help guide the ever increasing number of players backing minor factions. Don’t worry if this is all new to you, I’ll start with the basic concepts and expand from there.
Minor factions are political entities with star systems that vie against each other to control assets within the star system. Assets of a system include starports, outposts, surface ports and surface installations. The strength of a faction’s presence in a system is displayed as their influence level. Influence levels are increased, or reduced by player activity such as completing missions, trading and bounty hunting. Whichever minor faction controls the primary starport for the system is considered the controlling faction for the system.
The minor faction that owns a port will determine the laws for the jurisdiction for that port. This is commonly dictated by the superpower allegiance of the minor faction, and its government type.
Currently there is little direct linkage between minor factions and powers, although powers can influence certain aspects like laws and markets within their dominion and grant state and influence bonuses to allied minor factions. Conversely minor factions that are diametrically opposed to a power make that system more costly to control. This connection between powers and minor factions is something we’d like to strengthen during season 2 and beyond.
There is a cap on the amount a Faction can change in influence per day, which is determined by: the size of population (the bigger the harder), the faction state, the amount of player activity that day, and any Power influence on that system. Influence is calculated on an approximately daily tick.
As well as affecting influence, player actions also drive the state of that system which can include a range of effects from famine through to lockdowns, the following actions have different strength effects on economic states:
Ownership of an asset can change at the conclusion of one of the following states:
These conflict states take priority over economic states and are triggered by the factions’ influence level relative to other factions in the system. Conflicts cannot end before their minimum duration. Conflicts that reach their maximum duration are considered to end in a ceasefire, and no assets change owners. A faction can only take part in a single conflict, no matter how many systems they are present in.
Player activities shown in the Actions Table above, and through related missions, push the faction towards and away from economic states by adding points to pools. Once the pool is large enough it will queue the state with a countdown after which the event will trigger, assuming it has the largest pool.
When a state triggers, all other economic state pools are reset to 0 apart from Outbreak and Famine which are halved, unless it is Famine or outbreak when they are all reduced to 0.
All States have a countdown before they trigger, a minimum and maximum duration, and a cool down before which the state cannot occur again, even if it has been interrupted.
When certain states are active, they can modify which player activities can affect the faction’s influence:
States also modify the “wealth”, “security”, “development level” and “Standard of living” stats if the faction controls a star system. The prices and production of certain market goods are also affected when economic and conflict states are active.
There’s still quite a lot we want to do to develop the socio-economic simulation further. Better population modelling and effects is one major addition we’ve discussed. There’s also a desire for greater feedback for the player in their interactions and in the longer term, we are looking at automated colonisation and lots, lots more!
For fun here are the minor factions who are currently present in 8 or more star systems:
Kalkinja Blue Brothers
League of Amemait
Sanuma Gold Dynamic
Purple Natural Incorporated
Noblemen of Rikbakara
Innocent Cult of Syntes
Dukes of Jotun
The Dukes of Mikunn
People's Kurukujiali Confederacy
Liu Behueno Empire Party
Monarchy of Kedones
Ayorente Independent Union
Crom Silver Boys
i Bootis Democrats
Workers of Fan Gong Partnership
Kaurareg Silver Public Corp
Noblemen of Tacare
Defence Force of Wheemehimo
HIP 95973 Advanced Ltd
Luyten 347-14 Prison Colony
HIP 2452 Prison Colony
Taoshan Crimson Ring
HIP 2327 Prison Colony
United Allo Free
HIP 84696 Systems