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Acharis

Emperor and pirates

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Since the rebel topic got somewhat sidetracked by negotiations, talking, being a nice emperor, etc, let's first talk pirates :) No negotiations, no ethics. You just need to eradicate the scum and that's the right and the only way to deal with them (and no, don't even try suggesting to hire them or something similar, I want a pure bloodshed in this topic) :)

 

Typically pirates are implemented in a completely nonsense way: there is a base of pirates, they are super strong and the player fears them, then the player gets stronger, eradicates pirates in one battle and there is no more pirates ever again. Total, utter nonsense :D We need to fix it.

 

First, pirates want profit, so they don't want to fight the player's fleet (even if they are stronger), they want to pry on unarmed merchants or pillage planets without defences and demand tribute "or else" from small colonies. Second, you can't get rid of pirates, there is always someone new thinking it's a good career path, so if you destroy pirates completely, after a longer/shorter while there should be new pirates (same with bases, these definitely can pop up again after being destroyed or something).

 

 

Ideas how exactly it should work?

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Since the rebel topic got somewhat sidetracked by negotiations, talking, being a nice emperor, etc,

 

Oops... that was my fault.

 


Ideas how exactly it should work?

 

We need an index to your posts -- I was trying to find out if there was the possibility that any ships from a squadron can survive a losing battle.  If something can escape without blowing up, maybe they can start forming loose pirate groups since they no longer have the safety of their original fleet?

 

Mal from Firefly was a space pirate (sorta).  Make them like him -- he'd do it for the money, a bit of revenge, but he also knew when to cut losses and keep moving!

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We need an index to your posts -- I was trying to find out if there was the possibility that any ships from a squadron can survive a losing battle. If something can escape without blowing up, maybe they can start forming loose pirate groups since they no longer have the safety of their original fleet?
I make post quite separately (don't be limited to what I wrote previously).

 


Step 1 - Create Frontier Zones. A frontier zone is at the edge of your territory or in far enough away from your core worlds that maintaining a strong military presences is difficult.
Yes, the player starts in the center and the core worlds are quite protected while edges of the map are breeding grounds of monsters, pirates, aliens and other scum.

 

I wonder, should pirate bases be spawned only on non colonized planets?

Also, should the player know the location of these bases? And how these bases work (spawns pirate ships that move to nearby planets (cap to distance), or spawns pirate ships directly on target planets (distance based))? Shoud these pirate ships move around or just wait, while orbiting the planet, for being destroyed by the imperial fleet (in the meantime robbing the local trade)?

 


Step 3 - Add shipping routes. Frontier Zones need to ship resources back home and wages and goods get shipped to them.

Step 4 - Lack of security, wild crazy frontier attitude produce all manger of rogues and pirates. Small time pirates may capture a single ship and take whatever is inside. As they steal resources their hidden strength score goes up, that score is used to "buy" ships, asteroid and moon bases and even subvert corrupt governments.
Too complex. I don't want it that bloated, simplier. No single ships or trade routes. I would like to reuse planets for this. Like pirates are orbiting the planet and disrupts the trade there (-25% to income, -30% to happiness) or pillage the planet if strong enough or enforce tribute.

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I think pirates are a good balance to prevent concentration of force.

 

Your game assumes you can control a limited amount of seriously large fleets. Use that!

Wherever there are no fleets currently is a good 'soil' for pirates.

 

Then, look within. What planet is currently unhappy with your rule? How likely are you to face a Han Solo going Solo?

 

Mix the two:

If a planet under your rule is currently days away from any fleet (military presence), and its morale is low (and whatever form of security), then some people are likely to steal ships and go out.

Now, one man is hardly a pirate fleet, so ignore the small scope, but keep a hidden value of how strong the current piratery is in the region. If this planet is close by an enemy system, give this value a bonus.

 

Ultimately, when the value reaches a certain point, create a new pirate.

 

Pirates should move from unoccupied sector to unoccupied sector and avoid your military fleet as much as possible. They should prey on your weaker planets (assuming that, when within range X of a planet and out of range Y of any of your fleet, they can wreak havoc freely on that planet's economy by attacking freighter lines).

 

This system keeps it simple, prevents from having to define trade routes, etc.

 

There are several flaws to this system however, and having to keep your fleet on the move to reduce piratery in all of your system is both fun/realistic and tedious, so you need to carefully weight whether this 'annoyance' is worth the fun. I personally like to be kept from resting on my laurels, and thinking about having a portion of my military to do 'police duty' feels on-theme, but it may not be to everyone's taste...

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Allow for charismatic pirates.

 

Structure your code so you can have random events, you really need that to keep a game spicy.

 

When the event is randomly generated, increase the production of pirates and have them tend towards a randomly remote location.

 

You can have a lot of fun creating news reports of "Jack Black the famous pirate was spotted last night in a brothel on Rigel 7. Excentrica Galumbitz described him as 'the best bang since the big one'"

 

Or "Jack Black last night crashed a party held by the Third Arctonis Legion to celebrate the 150th year of their formation. After stealing the legions colours and dancing with the Lord Generals wife to a local remix of "Aint no thing but a chicken wing on a string from Burger King" by Sproad the Wet Sprocket, Jack flew low over the poor quarter dropping gold coins. 30 individuals were hospitalised in the incident , most with injuries caused by gold coins landing on their heads."

 

If you don't allocate enough forces (or maybe a special investigation team) to the problem he can build a fleet large enough to take control of one of your planets.

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Step 4 - Lack of security, wild crazy frontier attitude produce all manger of rogues and pirates. Small time pirates may capture a single ship and take whatever is inside. As they steal resources their hidden strength score goes up, that score is used to "buy" ships, asteroid and moon bases and even subvert corrupt governments.

 


You can have a lot of fun creating news reports of "Jack Black the famous pirate was spotted last night in a brothel on Rigel 7. Excentrica Galumbitz described him as 'the best bang since the big one'"

 

That's what I'm talking about... this stuff is gold.  If you aren't incorporating the above idea, Acharis, you are crazy.  That's the kind of thing that takes an interesting strategy game and pushes it to "This is awesome" heights.

 

There is a book called Under the Black Flag that provides a brief history of pirates and a bit about their tactics.  I suggest reading something like that and mining it for ideas -- I know that pirates kept the British and Spanish fleets up in arms for decades.  They could be an exciting element to your 4x gameplay.

Edited by GoCatGo

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I think pirates are a good balance to prevent concentration of force.

Your game assumes you can control a limited amount of seriously large fleets. Use that!

Wherever there are no fleets currently is a good 'soil' for pirates.

Then, look within. What planet is currently unhappy with your rule? How likely are you to face a Han Solo going Solo?


Mix the two:

If a planet under your rule is currently days away from any fleet (military presence), and its morale is low (and whatever form of security), then some people are likely to steal ships and go out.

Now, one man is hardly a pirate fleet, so ignore the small scope, but keep a hidden value of how strong the current piratery is in the region. If this planet is close by an enemy system, give this value a bonus.

Ultimately, when the value reaches a certain point, create a new pirate.

Pirates should move from unoccupied sector to unoccupied sector and avoid your military fleet as much as possible. They should prey on your weaker planets (assuming that, when within range X of a planet and out of range Y of any of your fleet, they can wreak havoc freely on that planet's economy by attacking freighter lines).

This system keeps it simple, prevents from having to define trade routes, etc.

There are several flaws to this system however, and having to keep your fleet on the move to reduce piratery in all of your system is both fun/realistic and tedious, so you need to carefully weight whether this 'annoyance' is worth the fun. I personally like to be kept from resting on my laurels, and thinking about having a portion of my military to do 'police duty' feels on-theme, but it may not be to everyone's taste...
Yes, something like this! (I loved the level of detail of your posts)

 

I'm also worried about the constant moving fleets around (not fun to me) and I would like to add pirate bases somewhere to the mix.

 

 

Maybe like this:

Pirates are not ships but tokens. Each planet has a hidden pirates value and when it grow up a small "Pirates present" token appears, which grows bigger if the value grows.

Then, if you have a fleet THAT HAS NOT MOVED IN THE PREVIOUS TURN in that system or neighbouring system it slowly decreases pirates value and could make the pirates token disappear. The amount it decreases the pirates value depends on number of neighbouring planets (pirate hunting capacity divided between these all neighbour planets).

I would also use military bases as source of pirates reduction.

 

Still no pirate bases here :D Maybe a pirate base could be randomly generated in a neutral or uncolonized planet (which could be discovered if you send some investigators team?) and it generates addtional piracy points to random planets (only on planets that are colonized) within 3 systems range.

 

Also, I would allow building one (exactly one) special builing per planet. It could be governement center, big deep space scanners, etc or pirate hunting agency which would act as a source of pirate hunting (but you use up this valuable special slot + you need to pay upkeep).

 

 


When the event is randomly generated, increase the production of pirates and have them tend towards a randomly remote location.

You can have a lot of fun creating news reports of "Jack Black the famous pirate was spotted last night in a brothel on Rigel 7. Excentrica Galumbitz described him as 'the best bang since the big one'"
:)

 

Maybe these famous pirates would be moving tokens. They appear on one planet and stay there robbing everyone. Then the imperaial fleet appears and starts tracking them (if the imperail fleet is too weak the famous pirate might fight and force the imperial fleet to retreat), if succesful the famour pirate warps and disappears for 5-12 turns then appears randomly somewhere.

 

Now events, there is a random chance you get a notice a few turns before the famous pirate rewarps like "Jack Squirrel seen on Rigel 7" and then there is a 33% chance it will appear in that location, 33% chance it will appear somewhere nearby and 33% that somewhere else.
 

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I think it would help if you had a static strain option on your economy, akin to 'spend 1000$, raise 1 space police corp'.

Police corps would not appear except in info tabs.

1 corp could deal with up to a token value of 1000 (if the value is below, it would decrease, if above, it would increase, albeit slower than without).

So, if you really can't afford moving your fleet, you can still spend your economy on these police corps, but it should be made clear they're not as efficient.

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Maybe you should explain what the purpose of pirates is in your and what they should do.

 

Is piracy just a modifier to a sector that reduces income by 25% for being near to a low moral low security sector.

Do you want to spawn pirate dread lords and bases that your military have to deal with otherwise they rampage through your empire.

Do you want pirates to be a long term complex strategic issue, that requires the investment of manpower, espionage, and resources. 

Are pirates a way of slowing growth by making colonies less secure

Are pirates a way of adding danger to the core worlds that are otherwise safe and secure.

 

What purpose do pirates fulfil in your game design?

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What purpose do pirates fulfil in your game design?
Actually, I want an early space battle :) Some military action that is not too hard, during the early game before all these nasty aliens appear. Also, I want a recurring enemy (pirates respawn), so the military must be ready all the time. And as a diversion (so you can't send all ships to fight the main enemy, you need to keep some fleet in your core territory to deal with these pirates which can and will appear).

 

So, while tokens are nice and logical, I would prefer if there was some sort of battle with ships and laserfire...

 

 

A slightly similar function rebels would have (but not that random and notorious and stronger).

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Pirates can also serve a purpose of population movements, I'd prefer living in secure player sector instead of pirate infested alien sector.

 

PS : it's Cerulian :)

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