Station Missions

MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 248Member ✭✭✭
edited April 4 in Feedback
There's a tl;dr at the bottom!


-- Updates - #165 -------------------------------------------------------------
Date:     04/03/2019 at 20:55
Author:   Garryn, the Reshaper
SubjectStation missions.

Station missions are now available! Each factional station has three subsystems -
hull, shield, and life support. Every now and then, the subssytems require some 
maintenance.

You can use STATION STATUS while standing in it to see the status of its subsystems -
if a subssytem gets too low, the station may start malfunctioning, and should any go 
below 10%, you will not be able to dock at it at all.

To repair the station, you need to complete a mission to obtain the necessary parts.
You can use the STATION MISSION LIST command to check if there are any missions open, 
STATION MISSION <id> SHOW to see details, and STATION MISSION <id> COMPLETE to 
complete it once you have performed the task. The first two commands are available 
anywhere, the third one can be performed at your homeworld or the factional station 
only. Missions are available to faction membes only.

To complete a mission, you need two things. A specified amount of commodities in your
storage, and a specified item. These items are available from shady shops that spawn 
in random locations around the game ... If the mission has been active for 24 hours, 
its description will also tell you the area that the sought item can be found at. 
Items from other sources can be used as well, though!

We will be expanding on this system in the future, adding more features and mission
types - for now, the basic functionality is in so we can make sure that the system is 
running smoothly.

As always, please report any issues in the usual way.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So! Station Missions are in. Initial thoughts: I love that we have more things to do as a faction. On top of cosmpiercers, we have our new Storytellers, and now this. That's really great - with group bashing being sub-optimal, there wasn't much mechanical reason to do stuff as a faction. This is a step in the right direction.

However, we (at least, the Song players I've spoken with) have seen some problems with the system. First, there's no real reward for completing missions. The "reward" is you can dock at your faction stations. Basically, we're constantly fighting off disaster and not really gaining anything.

Furthermore, the system adds more pressure to faction marks, plus more demand on the overall resource economy. The only supply of faction marks are from cosmpiercers (which are inadequate; you need to hold a cosmpiercer for around 10 RL days, from my last check, just to break even with what you've spent in terms of ship supplies) and from donations of citizens. As for the resource economy, I think the problem is more on the supply side (specifically, the tediousness of gathering resources) rather than the demand.

With that said, there are some solutions which we've been developing.

First, instead of a punitive reward for Station Missions (that is, if you don't do it, you get a penalty), make it more of a formative one. First, allow factions to set a tax on docking and setting up a shop. Let's take Danica Station, for example.

Song sets a docking tax of 500 marks. There's also a tax of 100 marks to set up a shop at the Danica trade terminal. Song can also set discounts for groups, such as for citizens or for allies. Now, let's say Danica station is at full station health (hull 100%, life support 100%, shield 100%, average of 100%). That means Song gets 100% of the 500 marks it taxes for docking, and 100 of the taxes for shops.

But, suppose that Danica's hull goes down to 50%, for an average of 83% (50%, 100%, 100%). That means that, for example, Nykara would pay 500 marks to dock at Danica, but only 83% (415 marks) actually goes into Song's account. The other 85 marks gets lost to wherever.

This would solve a few things; that is, it'll add to factional mark income, and make station missions more of an actual reward to complete. Plus, it won't actually generate new marks into the game (it'll still be a net drain); the marks that the faction would get would be from the players. The problem is that I'm not sure if just taxes would make station missions justifiable; it looks like station systems decay too fast and require a lot of resources to maintain (as the system currently works). It might be cheaper to just let them decay.

This brings up a tangent: right now, station systems seem to decay too quickly, and there's not enough materials in the economy in order to upkeep them. This leads us to problem #2, which, I'll admit, is a broad issue with the economy of the game.

Basically, gathering is a pain. It takes a ton of time and much tediousness to scoop up a gas (you need to slow down, make tight turns) or tether an asteroid (you can only do it one at a time, so you need to go back and forth to a station between each one). The supply itself isn't really the problem; I've seen a lot of asteroids and gases while flying. The difficulty of gathering is the issue.

I've already posted this in another thread (and hashed out the idea on Discord), but here are my quick fixes (maybe?):

First, make multi-tethering possible (again). So instead of going back and forth to a station each time, you can just tether a bunch of asteroids and then drop them all off at a refinery in one go. To prevent someone from tethering something like 1000 asteroids, just make each tethered asteroid slow down the ship. Bigger ships are less affected (superhaulers power!).

Second, turn gas scoops into gas vacuums. Point a ship in the direction of a cloud, and everything inside the ship cone gets sucked. You could clear a cloud in maybe 2-3 hits, which would cut down scooping time from 10 minutes to maybe 3.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SO! IN SUMMARY;
  1. Turn the reward of Station Missions into an actual reward via improved tax collection.
  2. Tweak the numbers on station decay and mission requirements; they're a bit too quick or too high.
  3. Make multi-tethering of asteroids possible.
  4. Turn gas scoops into gas vacuums.
Thank you and good day. :)
itsa Mereas!
RhindaraVegaReeloc
«13

Comments

  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 248Member ✭✭✭
    I forgot to add this little tidbit!

    I understand the wariness at introducing more supply to the resource economy. Other IREs have suffered from just this problem. However, this is not like Achaea or Lusternia where you can store hundreds of thousands of commodities in a city or shop rift for no cost. We have storage fees to limit that, plus, producing resources in Starmourn already costs a lot of marks. There are enough limits and demands in the game as it is that we can afford to loosen the supply faucet considerably.
    itsa Mereas!
  • GrekGrek Posts: 30Member ✭✭
    Station missions should reward you with a good pile of Captaincy XP.
    TiaseMogarcheVaughn
  • TiaseTiase Posts: 59Member
    umm....I like the idea of a docking tax. But here's the issue, 500 marks is a good chunk of change for a lot of new players. Please remember to keep the docking fees consistant with the economy. 2200 marks buys you one credit! keep all non-faction owned stations free of docking fees at least for new players up to level X 
  • IkchorIkchor Posts: 34Member ✭✭
    edited April 4
    My own thoughts:

    1) Please make materials be drawn from faction storage instead of personal storage, this is primarily just a personal gripe as I am short of sleep and sometimes cannot brain as I have the dumb.

    2) Restrict the shady shops from appearing on faction hub linked stations. Makes it too easy to find imo, and maybe up the amount of items in those shops or increase the restock rate? All the ones I found except for two of them were completely cleared out which makes repairing annoying.

    3) I saw FT history that there is some sort of enviromental/ambient indication of external damage to stations? Maybe make it so any who are on-station take damage for it. Nothing lethal, just enough to make people go 'oh this is actually happening and not some room message i've never seen before, perhaps i should do something about this.'

    4) Suggestions for other missions:
    Constant type: Maintenance - Maintenance quests trigger for any subsystem that is between 100% and 90%, and subsystems degrade steadily at this rate making these missions semi-permanent. Maintenance request missions require people to go to find specific areas in their respective stations to go bash a channeled repair command at until it is repaired up to 99%. Get faction rep for it? Requires junk? (if there's a way to specify non-organic junk, that'd be best thematically IMO. No repairing the life support systems with bits of fur!)

    Alarm type: Commodity missions trigger when Maintenance requests get ignored long enough for subsystems to degrade below 90%, works pretty much as we have now. Just that material requirements are taken from factional pools instead of player pools. We players can add to this pool anyway so it's not like we can just loaf around waiting for this to happen, it just redirects(?) the effort to stockpiling somewhat. Commodity missions could also trigger from environmental damage like asteroid strikes, solar flares, leviathan attack, or player sabotage.

    Critical state: This is when SHTF, and will require what is essentially both maintenance AND comms at the same time. Critical state missions result in faction NPCs commenting over FT that things in the associated station are getting extreme on a regular basis. ('Hard to breathe.' 'S'flakkin' dark up here, I keep running into things.' 'Our orbit is starting to decay', 'Lot of hazards', similar statements like that?) Mission info will have spots listed that require some clearing of broken equipment, debris, dead bodies so that commodity based repairs can actually work.


    Player sabotage: Cause havoc in other faction stations by sabotaging subsystems. Gain faction rep, uses class resources to perform. Flavor text for doing it? (Engineer shorts out some key systems, scoundrel just starts ripping out cables, BEAST physically destroys equipment, etc?)
    Attacks are logged in the factionlogs, or the current ground forces leader gets notification/messages about it.


    I forgot I was going to call myself Ike while in chargen, so now I'm Zarrach.
    Tiase
  • TiaseTiase Posts: 59Member
    I nix the player sabotage on key faction stations (danica/reynolds/iota). I think Omni should be Y'saari funded, and so never need player maintenance. It gives the factionless and the new players a place to go.

     the IG reason is that it's too well defended. Sabotage sounds fun, but it could devolve into very, very toxic fighting OOC and IC. Seen it happen one too many times on other IRE muds. Game play will not be affected should a station break down completely if you keep omni and key faction stations free of player run sabotage. Failure from a lack of parts, that's another issue. :D

    I suggest you CAN everything else, up to and includin:chuffed: play run refineries and factories set up on other planets. Put a cool down on sabotage. Say, if CA decides to sabotage  X number of key refineries and stations (not reynolds) in Scatterhome. They can only do it, um..once every three days. Or so. Anything within their own sector they can destroy with impunity. So if Scatterhome sets up refineries/stations within CA on a deserted planet, it's fair game. No cool down timer. 
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 154Member ✭✭✭
    Ikchor said:

    Player sabotage: Cause havoc in other faction stations by sabotaging subsystems. Gain faction rep, uses class resources to perform. Flavor text for doing it? (Engineer shorts out some key systems, scoundrel just starts ripping out cables, BEAST physically destroys equipment, etc?)
    Attacks are logged in the factionlogs, or the current ground forces leader gets notification/messages about it.
    Not even guard kills are logged, that has to change before this kind of ideas are implemented. Just saiyan'. Generally good thinking though.
    Now on to the main thing: station missions aren't a bad idea, but by themselves they don't do anything to address the underlying problem.
    The problem with Starmourn is that the economy still doesn't work. The problem isn't on the manufacturing end - well, except for economy bonuses being bugged and not working. Did you know economy bonuses are bugged? Because they are. Manufacture 10 things in a station with 20% bonus, you'd expect 12 things. Nope, you get 10. My ranting aside: if that bug was fixed, manufacturing would be fine. It's a mostly automated process, some initial investment but with economy bonus it could generate a profit.
    No, the problem is on the mining/refining end. Matlkael said it, there's enough demand, the issue is supply. Barely anyone does any mining because mining doesn't generate money. You need to find an asteroid or gas (investment of time), scoop or haul it back to the station (more time), order refining (even more time, and money), and what do you get in the end? 300-500 marks' worth of resources, and that's assuming someone was benevolent enough to set up a market order.
    That's laughable. 500 marks is 3 minutes bashing quartz creepers in the desert. Don't be afraid to make resource gathering more profitable. Mobbing earns 10k+ per hour, incursions even more so. Increasing resource yields won't break the system.

    I know, the system assumes we'll have a large number of inexperienced players working as mining drones, gathering resources for small profit so big name players who crap out money like nothing can then manufacture them into goods to use for guards or whatever. But here's a reality check: the system doesn't work. This isn't EVE Online. We don't have the playerbase to maintain this vision. I don't think all IRE games put together would.
  • TiaseTiase Posts: 59Member
    actually, if you guys upped the price per unit for the market orders, would be damn happy. If you keep costs of refining very very low. then I think you'll get more folks mining. 
  • TiaseTiase Posts: 59Member
    right now, 20 marks per unit for gas on a market order just about gets a tiny profit. 25 and above is a heck lot more comfortable.
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 50Member ✭✭
    edited April 4
    @Matlkael Actually cosmpiercers are quite decent on the long run since Y'saari pays to the faction and to those who have joined the cosmpiercer captures. Individual payment does not look bright, but consistent participation really adds up providing a nice daily bonus. And cosmpiercers also work as a great sink in my opinion, any prolonged war will cause economical damage to the both sides. 

    Anyways, hauling should be definitely more consistent and easier hence I agree with gas scooping ideas presented. And there could be even common places where you can find certain raw materials consistently. Some things could spawn with more chance at open-PK places to emphasize on greater risk greater reward scheme. Providing captaincy XP would be a decent mechanical motivator.

    Also it would be a decent boost to factions to grant all credit purchase bonuses retroactively after enabling the system (if it will be enabled ever). 

    Though as a supporter of player-incentivization with enough demand on faction-side, players will propogate towards establishing reward schemes. We are still early on the economy and factions do not have all of the alluring weapons at their hand right now. 
  • VegaVega Posts: 46Member ✭✭
    @Zhulkarn even considering the funds you get per month, it doesn't even cover the cost of ammo from every person needed to take down those piercers. So if factions used the money they got from cosmpiercers, it is still a donation from the players, since they are footing the bill. That's Matlkael's point. 
    Character: Vega
    Faction: Song Dominion
    Class: Engineer 

    note: I am always up for RP, antagonistic or friendly. If she's being a bitch, it's because you're from Scatterhome or she's trying to meet a deadline and has nothing to do with whether I want to RP with you or not. Thanks in advance for the RP!


    Mogarche
  • MeldMeld Posts: 4Member
    These are new, so maybe they're still in testing mode. Maybe once all is working as intended, there will be some sort of reward system.

    If not, these do seem like busywork. Which is not fun.

    However, it is good to have things to bring faction members together. Especially since at the moment there isn't much.
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 50Member ✭✭
    Vega said:
    @Zhulkarn even considering the funds you get per month, it doesn't even cover the cost of ammo from every person needed to take down those piercers. So if factions used the money they got from cosmpiercers, it is still a donation from the players, since they are footing the bill. That's Matlkael's point. 
    In CA we do not pay for ammo. Ammo pay for us!

    But I understood the point of Matlkael and answered despite that. It is a long term strategy, one you have to invest initially and it will pay back over time of course depending on your strength to hold onto them. Like investing in a dividend share, that is boring but potentially has solid return on the long run. After all the game has ample amounts of peace time too. 
  • VegaVega Posts: 46Member ✭✭
    Zhulkarn said:
    Vega said:
    @Zhulkarn even considering the funds you get per month, it doesn't even cover the cost of ammo from every person needed to take down those piercers. So if factions used the money they got from cosmpiercers, it is still a donation from the players, since they are footing the bill. That's Matlkael's point. 
    In CA we do not pay for ammo. Ammo pay for us!

    But I understood the point of Matlkael and answered despite that. It is a long term strategy, one you have to invest initially and it will pay back over time of course depending on your strength to hold onto them. Like investing in a dividend share, that is boring but potentially has solid return on the long run. After all the game has ample amounts of peace time too. 
    True, but it doesn't really pay the players back, ideally, it would, but I don't see that happening with how scarce money for Factions is unless it comes directly out of player pocket.
    Character: Vega
    Faction: Song Dominion
    Class: Engineer 

    note: I am always up for RP, antagonistic or friendly. If she's being a bitch, it's because you're from Scatterhome or she's trying to meet a deadline and has nothing to do with whether I want to RP with you or not. Thanks in advance for the RP!


    Mogarche
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 50Member ✭✭
    Hey I cannot give out all the mathematical and financial secrets of Ascendancy! 

    Besides lawyers and accountants of Ascendancy are more dangerous then the battleships and orbital strikes as far as we are concerned. 
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 248Member ✭✭✭
    Tiase said:
    actually, if you guys upped the price per unit for the market orders, would be damn happy. If you keep costs of refining very very low. then I think you'll get more folks mining. 
    Not for NPC orders. NPC market orders generate new marks into the economy; furthermore, they compete with player orders. They're actually in a good spot, in that they start low (so you either lose or break even on the investment you made into refining a resource), but give it enough time and the price goes up.

    Player orders, meanwhile, don't directly generate new marks; instead, they take them from marks that players already have (via incursions, questing, or bashing).

    Here's a snapshot of the current market (text version: https://ada-young.appspot.com/pastebin/4PH5oRJn)



    There's still a bunch of resources that are facing shortages (granted, it may be that players simply exchange them privately).

    Diamene, titanium, vandium, tritium, and duramine are all facing some considerable supply shortages. Titanium, for example, is used in almost everything from repairkits to batteries. Supply at the very first stage (gathering) is where a problem in the economy exists.
    itsa Mereas!
  • RhindaraRhindara Posts: 5Member
    I don't hate the idea of station missions, but my main issue with them in their current state is that they are too costly, too frequent, and too tedious, with the onus being on players to reward completion if they want to incentivize people outside of the IC implications of their home station being derelict (and the very minor implications of not being able to dock there). I'd initially had a much better-written post that got eaten by the editor, so I'm going to try to make the rest of this as brief as possible.

    Too Costly:
    As expressed above, each mission requires commodities, which require gathering and manufacturing to produce. If there's a dearth of gatherers and manufacturers, you're out of luck. Again, the issue here isn't demand, it's supply, and the meager incentives (or lack thereof) of station missions aren't going to fix that.

    Too Frequent:
    This morning when I originally wrote my post, there were six station missions for Song, including one that we actually completed out of curiosity. It repaired just 2% (as advertised), meanwhile decay and missions keep piling up (albeit with increasing repair amounts; that doesn't change the frequency), along with the increasing demand for commodities that I don't think we're going to be able to reasonably meet. For reference, there are now eight station missions sitting around waiting to be done.

    Too Tedious:
    We found out that the mission items seem to only show up on stations, which really narrowed our search from 'anywhere in Starmourn' to just a few dozen areas, which is great. Unfortunately, it appears to be *all* stations, which includes those that require flight to get to, like Maqbahassum. In addition, each mission spawns its own shop which spawns just one of the required item, which after being bought seems to be out of stock forever. All this means that a) every time there's a new mission, you get to check every single station hoping you find a shop that has *your* item(s) in stock and b) other people can buy your items to effectively block you from completing your mission, while possibly having an extra item on-hand to complete a future mission that requires that item.

    My suggestions off-hand are to reduce the costs and the frequency, and probably take a look at how the shops/items are being spawned. The tedium would already be reduced a lot if there weren't such a sheer number of them to look for at any given time, but I'd still want some assurance that my organization isn't going to get blocked out of completing its missions without some way to retaliate (say, make carrying a mission item mark you as Open PK or something). Additionally, there should be some kind of bonus awarded for keeping your station in tip-top shape, as opposed to a mechanically negligible but ICly punishing malus for letting it drop to a certain threshold.
  • GrekGrek Posts: 30Member ✭✭
    To put the whole 'too costly' thing in perspective, my math suggests 75k (35 credits!) PER DAY to cover the mission maintenance fees.

    Rhindara
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 248Member ✭✭✭
    What I'm really interested are the admins' thoughts on this (the economy as a whole). It'd be easier to formulate ideas when we know the overall Vision. :3
    itsa Mereas!
  • YayehYayeh Posts: 21Member
    The experience I had yesterday with them was tedious. Granted, it took us awhile to figure out that shops were on stations (and we wasted a bunch of time trying to search every single nook and cranny in cities, deserts, forests, etc.), however when it came to manufacturing, basically it turned into my responsibility to manufacture everything, due to being the only active manufacturer. I can't be in the game 24/7, so while more missions pile up while I'm away, I feel really daunted at the thought, "Wow...if we don't have any other manufacturers, the only thing I would be doing every time I log in would be trying to repair a station that I know I just can't keep up with."  Yes, that's a bit extreme --- I do see the game progressing and improving, but still, that's a really disheartening thought to have. In an ideal world where there's a larger player base and more manufactures, something like station missions would seem more fun. I loved how everyone searched and worked together, and I can see manufacturing duties being split up to make it more manageable. Song as a faction just isn't there, yet.  I think the station missions would be more awesome if they were optional, but instead of repairing them to prevent the doom of not being able to dock, they would instead give some sort of extra ability to the station or faction bonus of some sort. This would be a positive incentive for everyone to work towards gaining, rather than doing something to prevent something negative.
    RhindaraMatlkaelTiase
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 248Member ✭✭✭
    Yes to positive reinforcement!  =)
    itsa Mereas!
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 50Member ✭✭
    Yes, despite all the financial models that come to my mind the costs of maintenance can be quite high to incentivize from playerside in current state.

    Though we should not be averse to negative reinforcement entirely, because most IRE games get swamped in too much positive reinforcement they end up with buff inflations and their underlying mechanics becoming irrelevant after awhile. A bit of impending doom is helpful. 

    Any positive reinforcement should balance out the provided effort for most satisfying outcome. 
    Yayeh
  • PaquPaqu Posts: 42Member
    @Garryn please listen to the qualms.
    I'm Vianou, by the way.
  • LhundrupLhundrup Posts: 35Member ✭✭
    As one of the many players waiting for improvements to the economy to begin playing more/again - this update really seems to be a step in the wrong direction to me... I agree with many of the others' comments in this thread, and can't really offer any further feedback that hasn't already been said. I hope a resolution can be found soon.


    I am Xylem.
    Jassaet
  • GarrynGarryn Posts: 52Administrator Starmourn staff
    Making some changes, just noting that the requested items should restock every RL day.
  • GarrynGarryn Posts: 52Administrator Starmourn staff
    And the changes are in! We'll be adding some more mission types too once the kinks are worked out with the current ones,
    RhindaraMatlkaelVegaSlander
  • YayehYayeh Posts: 21Member
    I love the changes!!! :D 
    TallulahMatlkaelSlander
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 248Member ✭✭✭
    Definitely a huge leap forward! This is GREAT!  :3
    itsa Mereas!
    SlanderVegaTallulah
  • TiaseTiase Posts: 59Member
    edited April 6
    Loving the changes so far!

    @Garryn can you work out a system manufacturing the components gets broken down into stages. So new players who only have scoop and tether can get rewarded for bringing back and refining materials. Players who don't want to mine but need material to manufacture (and can't wait, because no one wants to mine) can get access to this material to make station components. make it accountable so if you take a mission, you'll have to finish the mission or suffer a penalty of some sort. 

    two: any excess material can just sit around for the next station mission or get sold on the open market. This could also function as a form of control for the commodities market. 
  • TiaseTiase Posts: 59Member
    if you want co-operative play, I think this is the way to go. @Garryn
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