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robert4818

MMO NPC Factions (A look at Shadowrun Corporations)

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If anyone has played the Shadowrun game they know how the game is set up. It takes place mostly in one city (for arguments sake lets leave it at Seattle) Players play puppets for those in power and thier actions may or may not result in a change to the game world, however thier actions will change the way the game world reacts to them. There are numerous powerful factions in the game that are at odds with eachother: -The big Ten corporations (all at odds with eachother) -The criminal organizations (Against eachother, police, and some corps) -Political organizations etc. I'm primarily going to focus here on The Big 10 corporations and talk about Factions. In most MMO's the faction system is soley there to guage how certain NPC's react to the players characters. Its usually pretty simple in terms of your faction with one group goes up, while your faction with another may go down. But it doesn't have an effect on the game. Part of this has to do with the fact that the world is spread out so that the factions are seperate from eachother. Faction A is in this zone, while Faction be is in this zone. In Shadowrun this is not the case. The Corporations are ever present, just like 10 seperate big brothers...all vying for power against eachother. This of course is how the shadowrunner earns his bread and butter...doing the dirty work in the chess game that is corporate politics. Helping one get a leg up on the other. To Capture the feel of Shadowrun, the MMO Should not (and I would go so far as to say CAN'T) use a static world approach. So I suggest the following: In a nutshell as you perform missions the balance of power changes, and the world changes as a result. You might not change the world by yourself, but with the playerbase working on things you can topple one corporation, or try to make another one ultra-powerful. How does it work? Well in number terms you start off with a common faction pool of about I'd say 1,000,000 points (All numbers are subject to change and are pulled out of my *^%.). When the game starts off, each corporation gets an equal share of the pie. 100,000 pts apiece. As players start to do missions from one corporation or another, the point totals shift, 1-10 points at a time, from one corporation to another. The total # of points (1 mil) doesn't change, but the portions do. As a corporation's power shifts so does its effect on the city. Some stores change owner ship, others change prices and/or goods. Security at sites beef up as they try to slow thier descent. As a corporation starts to decline missions offered start becoming more powerful in terms of impact (5-50 points a mission) the difficulty goes up, but the payment amount decreases as the corporation becomes more strapped for cash. However the XP gained from such missions goes up. The Opposite starts to happen as corporations get more powerful. When a corporation loeses points from its total, its focus turns on to getting revenge (its hate total for corporation faction towards the other corp goes up by the same amount as its total faction points went down) And whichever coroporation has the highest hate from say corp A becomes corp A's primary target. Missions from corp A towards its targets start to be towards the upper scale of its difficulty (on a 1-10 point mission these tend to be above 5) This sort of faction between NPC organizations creates a dynamic world that I think would add in some life to the game.

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I been musing over this post for a while now, just be patient with everyone else since it is still early in the morning. I get what you are driving at here but how in your mind would these "Control Points" (CP) be distributed. Is it a direct opposition model? Say I did missions for (going on the Shadowrun theme) Mitsuhama Computer Technologies, would its CP going up be taking from Renraku Computer Systems faction pool? Or is it based per mission? If I take a mission from say Aztechnology to steal information from Draco Foundation, CPs from Draco would feed into Aztechnology's pool based on the ammount of CP payment for that mission, and so then there is a hate point added to Aztechnology on Draco's list? Once I understand your thought on this I will continue to jump back here and expand on this with you.

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The basics of it go along the lines of. this. Renraku hires you to do a mission against Saeder Krupp. This is a 5 point mission, you do your mission and succede Renraku loses 5 points of control and Saeder Krupp gains 5 points. On top of this should Renraku find out some way that Saeder Krupp was responsible for this mission (for whatever reason) Renraku's hate level goes up by 5 points against Saeder Krupp. Should renraku's hate level against Saeder Krupp be higher than it is against any of the other top ten, then Renraku will begin to focus more Missions against Saeder Krupp.

And I do apologize for the second post...i'm typing from Japan right now and I tend to forget about the time difference....

[Edited by - robert4818 on November 12, 2004 6:52:03 PM]

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So the hate list technicaly speaking becomes a "I know I lost at least these many points of control to you" as these corps will now target that or better to get a foothold over the other (to regain back). There may need to be a system in place to seek a tapper off point once they regain what they think they lost (and maybe then some), otherwise it will be this massive growing back and forth of who is in power in a short time. I know the goals of these megacorps is total control, but a "stand-off" balance can be good. Once they think that it has been enough time that their once major rival they were at war with has dropped its guard, they can go at it again (based on, of course, what the players decide to do).

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of course. If I do a 10 point mission, then the mega corp loses 10 points of hate because it has done a 10 point retrobution....

One thing I'd like to note, is that this whole point system, should be invisible to the players...they don't need to know how many points renraku is taking from saeder krupp, or even the fact that they are working for one, and hitting the other...since their should be massive amounts of missions going on...the best way for players to keep tabs on the status of companies would be a "stock market" Well that and the other changes that happen...

Also keep in mind...the target of interest is going to be whichever company has the highest hate...not just the last one that hit it. So with a large amount of players going on there could be many missions that resutl in a multitude of different changes going on at once.

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Original post by robert4818
The basics of it go along the lines of. this. Renraku hires you to do a mission against Saeder Krupp. This is a 5 point mission, you do your mission and succede Renraku loses 5 points of control and Saeder Krupp gains 5 points. On top of this should Renraku find out some way that Saeder Krupp was responsible for this mission (for whatever reason) Renraku's hate level goes up by 5 points against Renraku. Should renraku's hate level against Saeder Krupp be higher than it is against any of the other top ten, then Renraku will begin to focus more Missions against Saeder Krupp.

And I do apologize for the second post...i'm typing from Japan right now and I tend to forget about the time difference....


ok.. this is a confusing, Renraku hires you to hit a rival company, which if they find out they hired you to do it they'd hate themselves?

Or do you mean: Renraku hires you to do a job against Saeder Krupp, and you succeed. Saeder Krupp loses 5 points of control, and Renraku gains 5 points. On top of this should Saeder Krupp find out that Renraku was responsible for it (however that may happen), Saeder Krupp's hate level goes up against Renraku. Should Saeder Krupp's hate level against Renraku be higher than it is against any of the top ten corporations, then Saeder Krupp will begin to focus on missions against Renraku.

Other things might influence the kind of missions as well, such as blood feuds between specific Vampire Clans, or gangs/groups who want to kill vampires. Or even Shaman spirits who are opposed to each other and guide their Shaman's into a smack-down.

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Original post by Gyrthok

ok.. this is a confusing, Renraku hires you to hit a rival company, which if they find out they hired you to do it they'd hate themselves?


Ok corrected that you were correct. I didn't see that. Yes and this could be used for the different gangs in Seattle, the Mafia, the Yakuza, and the Triads. Between the different Princes on the Tir council, different Great Dragons, Between Political Parties etc. Also certain game Story Arcs could influence the hate level that all parties have against a certain company...

Once one company gets too strong the other companies would want to bring it down a notch.

Renraku may have just developed a new computer program...this makes them targets for missions where NO one hires the runners.... In this case the players get the majority of the hate (If they are discovered), and whichever company ends up with the product and sells it becomes the company that gets the points for the mission.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
no more suggestions?

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Quote:
Original post by robert4818
There are numerous powerful factions in the game that are at odds with eachother:
-The big Ten corporations (all at odds with eachother)

Big Ten? I'm still playing in 2053, you insensitive clod! Thanks for spoiling it... hmph!

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