It would certainly be interesting to see a faction designed around having relatively combat incapable ships, like the Tuffli.
You'd have to be creative there, of course, and I'm not sure how well it would work out.
Perhaps better trading contacts for commodities, access to unique ground and space consumables and perhaps engines/shields/deflectors; though what would you really do without those things?
If you were going to create a civilian faction, I imagine one would have to see some kind of Star-Trader-esque layer placed over the galactic map to go with it.
I don't see this as a bad thing at all, really; I think the mechanics necessary to create that sort of environment would allow for an amazing expansion of the exploration mechanic, among other things.
Something vaguely like this is what I had in mind...
Every planetary system is classified with a percentage of faction and perhaps a percentage of 'rogue'. Each planetary system is given a generated 'contact' which can be hailed from that system- much like how docking with starbases is done right now.
Behind the scenes, there are two separate primary systems:
1. The trading system; each system contact lets you buy and sell all basic commodities, at various rates. To start with, these rates could be random, within a specific range. Medical supplies, for example, could range from 60-180 EC each, depending on the system.
2. An "events" system, propagated with a variety of random events and places, which uses the current quest system. "Captain, will you deliver supplies X to system Y?" or "Captain, can you go to System X and kill the Space Dragon?" "Captain, can you deliver this esteemed passenger to system A?"
So you might show up at ESD, which has a rating of 98% Federation, 2% Rogue. When you come out of warp, right away there's a roll on the faction table, and then you roll on an event table.
So for example, if you roll Federation, 70% of the time, nothing may happen. 25% of the time, a Federation starship may drop out of warp beside you and have you play a 'customs inspection' dialogue minigame (much like at Acamar) or fight. 5% of the time, you may run into a random 'special event' and get to help or not; say a Miranda-class ship appears followed by a Klingon BoP, and if you help fight off the Klingons you get a reward. If you roll Rogue, then 50% of the time you'll be attacked by random rogues (strength rolled again on a table for variety); 30% of the time you'll get a random trade encounter with a shady figure...etc, etc.
Once you get close enough to ESD, you'll get a "hail" contact. This contact will have a trade window, allowing you to buy and sell common commodities, and then a window for "news" or something similar, where you can find either randomly generated meaningless stuff (Weather report in San Francisco, or even better- random statistics about what's happening in STO- "Today, 75,000 bridge officers were reassigned to Federation starships!") or quest messages "This person needs to be delivered to Starbase K-7, can you accomplish this?".
With the random quests, presumably the reward would be specified at the beginning, with a variety of potential rewards from fleet marks to dilithium to items to EC, depending on the kind of mission.
As the system began to get cranked up, you could link in reputation influences to alter the 'roll tables' when you appear in a system (so for example, showing up in a Romulan system when you have high NR rep would give you 'better' rolls than showing up with worse rep), and such.
It could even be rolled out in stages fairly straightforwardly, I imagine.
1. System Contact for resource trading
2. Random Appearance Events
3. Updated Quest/Exploration minigame system
4. Reputation Interface
It would also neatly lead into a "ground control"-esque game, because you could link in the "do our quests" and the results of them with the control fraction of the system.
For example, you go to the Veyga system in the Pi Canis sector block. This has a 'base' factional influence of 5% rogue, 55% Federation, 40% Klingon, expressing its relative 'borderness'. A Federation player showing up would have a 55% chance to 'assist' starfleet and/or a 40% chance to "fight off" the klingons. Successfully assisting Starfleet or fighting off the Klingons would increase Federation allegiance, whereas failing would decrease it (and the inverse for the Klingons). Similarly, successfully completing the missions granted by that system's contact would increase allegiance for your faction.
For balance's sake, you would probably want to make it so that the further toward your faction the allegiance tipped, the harder the missions got (i.e., therefore creating a constant pressure to bring it back to its 'base' faction allegiance).
I could definitely see how you could integrate that kind of Star Trader-esque game to make a less combat-oriented faction more viable, and how the mechanics necessary for it could boost all factions and increase the general interest of the game.
I don't think a purely civilian faction would work unless the game got some additional mechanics. The game's current set up doesn't provide many avenues for play. Still, not everyone wants to play as a Federation or Klingon officer.
I think a good way to expand the game in that direction would be to add an "independent" faction. These are your smaller political powers, unaligned worlds, pirates, and independent traders. Not just civilians, though they would certainly represented.
Game-play wise, the independent faction could be used in a few different ways to add some depth and alternate forms of play to the game.
First, independent faction ships could offer unusual play styles that don't fit in thematically with any other faction. They don't have the resource base that the big powers do, so the improvise. Cruisers with only port and starboard broadside cannon slots. Lightly-armed "escorts" that carry swarms of armed marauders. Underarmed, underpowered pirate frigates with a "squadron" hanger that brings along another two, roughly equally powerful ships into the fight as pets. False flag consoles could be added to let a ship appear appear as an ally or an enemy until they choose to strike or help out. It's a great place to try out all sorts of new things.
Second, an independent faction could be a great way add visual variety to the game and let players kind of go wild with customization. Rather than coming up with a "line" of similar ships, the art team could come up with a ship type and four or five wildly different "costumes' for them that let players mix and match to create some unique designs. No reason you can't sell them more.
Thirdly, it can act as a great way to bring crafting back up to snuff. Independent fleets could build "trading hubs" instead of fleet bases. Higher tiers could let them build and craft higher level weapons and items or even more exotic high level ship that other players could buy from them, either directly, or by visiting the base. Special resources could ONLY be acquired by running exploration missions or patrols in lightly-armed and armored trading ships. Members could requisition bind-on-acquire BOffs from independent races to fill their crew. They can build these bases by running trading dailies where their ships battle through blockades or even capture NPC ships in boarding actions. Lots of neat stuff. It doesn't require too much tinkering with the current crafting system and gives independent players something unique to do.
And, you know, it could work for the Bottom line. Cryptic games are all about customization and, here, at least, players can not only create their own unique alien race to adventure in, they can create unique, alien starships. They can ab it more room for their own vision. And you can sell them all sorts of unique ship costumes, gamma quadrant races, and pretty much all the other stuff they may want, but doesn't necessarily fit in with the Federation or Klingons.
Last edited by squatsauce; 02-21-2013 at 04:19 PM.
I'm confused, weren't Federation civilians basically pacifists ? And in the Klingon empire if you're not military your either an aristocrat or a slave. So basically none have heavy weapons except the military.
...A government that doesn't fear it's citizens. Hmmmmm....
KBF Lord MalaK
You're gonna upgrade my Chel Grett for FREE but charge me $30 to upgrade my Kamarag ?
You sir are getting the idea! What some have failed to realize is a civilian faction would not, and could not be a "full" faction per say. A player would still be part of the Federation or Klingon factions (or what ever comes along in the future) but would simply be a 4th carreer track.. TAC, SCI, ENG, CIV...*grin*
with access to entirely different ships, and mission types. Also, much smaller crews over all... (DOFFS maxed at no more then 50 for the very largest of civilian ships..thats with buying extra DOFF slots.. I would expect the starting DOFF slots to be no more then 30..civilian crews tend to be much smaller..only sufficient to run the ship..)
Civilian characters would have a new DOFF mission track.. "Commerce" those that achive max level could visit the opposing factions "homeworld" locations and bases.
Perhapes thier could even be a "Mercenary" Doff track (ehm, security services if your fed)
so that players could aquire "military" starships (limited to tier 3 ships, which can be deadly dangerous when fitted with Mk XII gear...even with thier lesser BOFF slots) or perhapes custom Armed Auxillury civilian ships. (hey, its Trek, ats still all about the ships you know!)
As for a civ facxtion being limited.. May it be noted for the record that the KDF faction started far more limited in many ways then this proposal... yet people have stuck with the KDF and continue to play them.. in spite of foolish mutterings from certain of the fan base that the KDF shouldn't even be in a trek game. Roddenberry would have been unadmiring of such a limited view of HIS creation.
Ok, gotten behind on this thread, So I am not sure how much of my comments would be answer/shot down at this point.
But I wanted to say, I find this idea intriguing. Not sure how it would work as a Career Option. I mean the more you describe the more it would probably fit into a faction rather then career option. But both do indeed have merits.
The problem with a career option though is trader ships are typically greatly outclassed by the standard "military" ships. Look at the Tuffli class in game. That is pretty much a-typical of a trader ship. They aren't going to fit into a heavy combat storyline. Which is why a I think a Faction with a different story track might be better (Of course as I said before, I would want the other "military" factions first, and of course KDF on par with the FEDs)
The space trade/mini exchange would be an interesting Idea in the game. I could see people enjoying being floating exchanges quiet a bit. But it would again take more thought, as what would you do with all thoughs energy credits on a character who (assuming we are taking a faction again) probably doesn't need it as the game is currently combat oriented.
I see great possiblities to be honest, but again I would say this is way down the line. Want my Romies, Cardies, and Dominion first (And Finished KDF )
I was thinking that possessing Civilian PCs with a certain proficiency in the same account as with their Military PCs (Tac, Sci, Eng) would grant certain bonuses. You can say they're friends, relatives, partners. Think of it as Insights.
A Civilian with Trading proficiency would give bonuses such as receiving discounts buying or additional mark-up selling items to the Military PC (Tac, Sci, Eng). Now the reverse would be the Civilian would be receiving bonuses from the Military PCs in the form of combat perks or ship passive bonuses. The bonuses will depend on how recent or how often the characters themselves are played.
All a Ferengi faction would need is a way to gain XP through sales on the exchange. I'm serious. Those are their missions.
It would be a non-combat faction that purely relies on the great river via the exchange, crafting, anomaly farming, etc.
Maybe they could have their own doff system that consists of slave girls and refugees, etc.
That is really all that they would need, with the exception of Ferenginar.
A Ferengi would start out with only some basics, have to sell his gun for Saurian Brandy that sells for 20 at SFA and resells on the exchange for 125 to 250.
XP is granted on the percentage of profit for that sale. So even if it's a small amount of ECs, getting 2000 ECs for a hypo that costs 350 at a vendor is respectable for an aspiring Ferengi.
Eventually, as he ranked up, it would unlock the ability to sell slaves, or start a gun racket, etc.
Most of all the components of a Ferengi faction are in the game. I see players standing at the exchange all day reselling hypos and regenerators.
The mechanics are there. I rolled a Ferengi that way, and it was a lot of fun.
Maybe they could also have a pimp house as their starbase.
I really support this idea and have wanted a Ferengi Faction for a long time. There is also an opportunity to revamp the GPL currency into something meaningful. We don't want worthless EC. Also, Fleets & Starbases, could be Corporations with holdings such as Bars and Manufacturing sites
/throws pie in the sky
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