Planetary Takeovers & Macro/Micro Politics

Wilbon

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So, Eggroll, myself, and a couple others have been discussing some possible thoughts regarding factions and the way territory/planetary ownership may be extended in depth. Our ideas intentionally go beyond the way things were done in FoM, and go beyond the current scope. We don't necessarily see these being as the way things work in the next update, but potentially how things could work in the game closer to launch.



It starts with a way to do planetary takeovers. It is imperative to mention that in this case, TDC + Corps can only own planets. While CPC + Clans can own territories.

Our idea was to expand it beyond the way territory takeovers work. Where Bio intends conflict over territory to be more like 'skirmishes', planetary takeovers could be more like long-term military campaigns. The sort of conflict that doesn't run its course in a single day, where a faction cannot take 4 planets in a week. The idea is that it will take planning, time, and coordination in which factions launch a proper 'campaign' against a planet to seize control over it.

To take a planet, an aggressor faction may need to gain enough influence out of three distinct categories. This could be as simple as gaining majority control in 2 out of 3 categories in order to start a final battle, or a combination of all 3 surpassing a certain threshold deemed to be sufficient 'influence'. The three influence categories are Economic, Political, and Military.

Economic Influence
is rather straight-forward to acquire. Making use of the various economic areas on a planet, the resources on those planets, investing into territory upgrades on those planets, etc etc all count towards economic influence. One way to judge the effects of a faction on their economic weight in a planet is to track the UC that flows throughout the colony for the factions that are capable of generating economic influence on the planet. The faction that spends a lot of time mining, refining, producing and flowing UC through the planet's services are going to gain a lot of economic influence. This type of influence will take a lot of number crunching to balance, and determining how economic influence would be generated.

Political Influence is achieved based on those who own territories on the planet. Those that own territory on the planet can pledge those territories (at the TC) towards one of the 4 factions capable of owning planets. If the majority of territories are pledged towards a particular faction over another, that faction will hold a high amount of political influence in the planet.

Military Influence is achieved different to territory control. Bio has also stated that he would like to keep something similar to the FoM way of Power Plants & Colony Control rooms, and we believe we have a way to incorporate those elements but to expand on the way those conflicts work. Maps could have a certain number of power plants, depending on the size of the map. Each power planet harbors a certain amount of territories that are associated to them, split evenly with the other amount of PP's on the planet. Whichever faction has control of a power plant gets pseudo-control over the territories it harbors, in the sense that the planetary taxes for those territories goes to the faction that owns that power plant rather than the original planet owner (which forces the planet holder to focus on maintaining control over power plants as other factions controlling them effects their bottom line — this can also be a spot FoE can siphon from). This may be another area in which the PP owner could influence the way the territories work, maybe such as allowing them to add/remove certain upgrades to territories, bypassing the owner (not all though).

Owning PP's and killing enemies, on-planet, will grant military influence. Killing enemies should yield a significantly smaller amount of influence, but reward some, and should not be possible on other planets that aren't the ones with active campaigns on them.



When enough influence is generated, this could lead factions to launch a 'final battle'. Final battles should be huge, and not only should they take a considerable amount of time, but should affect everything on that planet. In a sense, the colony should be a chaotic combat zone in which more or less anything goes. By this point, it probably wouldn't be just between two factions and their associated mercs, but also the gangs/sects/cells with territory and stake on the planet (more on that later). The status quo on the planet should be rather different during the conflict.

The whole 'campaign' process should take time. Multiple days, which do not necessarily need to be completed all at the same time. Factions can choose to focus on gaining political and/or economic influence, and once they reach their desired amount they could then choose to get aggressive and start engaging in military battles and open conflict. Until then, it may be a matter of politics between their factions.

This also gives defending factions the impotence to develop counter-insurgency strategies, or ways that they can focus on reducing the political, economic, and military influence of other factions. Contingency plans and ways to combat a faction attempting to aggress and take a planet.

If this is done right, this shifts the focus of a war over a planet to be focused on that particular planet. In FoM if one faction wanted to take a planet from another, it launched a series of retaliatory campaigns in which 4 or 5 planets were constantly being fought over/traded. In this case, factions would probably focus on the one planet. The attacking faction will primarily be focused on their attack strategies, where the defending faction will be focused on their defense strategies. This will continue until the attacking can win this large-scale macro campaign to take the planet and win the final battle, or when the current planet owner can hold it enough until the attacker concedes and forfeits their campaign.

Macro vs. Micro Politics

This creates two distinct levels of politics, where you've got factions like TDC and corporations managing politics on a macro level, for planetary levels and ensuring none of their competitors gets necessarily too much power and is unhinged, while also having a relevant level of micro politics, where those same factions work with and create deals with the factions capable of owning territory. You also have the influence of these factions influencing politics in the senate and other forms of political bodies.

Plus, those same factions are having political affairs with the factions capable of owning territory, as there will be many gangs/sects/cells/cpc capable of owning territory and operating with their own set politics. Those factions will have political affairs with the planetary owning factions while also having political affairs with other groups in the micro level.

With such a large amount of different political spectrums, it's entirely possible for two factions to be engaging in certain politics and your faction/gang to be completely oblivious to it, because you have your own political affairs with various gangs and factions. Rather than having just one massive political conversation/world that all 8 factions are involved in, there will be a bunch of political strings between factions and department-level groups.



Examples:

A.) NSM owns mars. TDC wants it. Various SYN gangs and FOE sects own territory on it. TDC have to strategically plan to take Mars, and have a few options.

They're unlikely to be able to beat NSM in an economic battle of sorts, so they've got to focus on Political and Military influence. Military for them, with their relevant faction perks, is rather straight forward. But political influence leaves them a couple options:

1. Try to sway various gangs/sects to support them. Depending on those groups, they may be successful or not.
2. Try to bribe/pay for support from the territory owners. Costly but possible.
3. Use CPC and support CPC taking territory from the gangs/sects, in which CPC will flag for TDC.

In this example, we see how the politics between the different gangs/sects can influence the strategies for an attacking faction to accomplish their goals.

B.) AE owns mars. NSM wants it. Various SYN gangs own territory on Mars and have different relationships with NSM and AE.

TFC and HH allied with NSM. Ronin and Devlin allied with AE. NSM creates deals with TFC and HH to get them to move in and take more territory on Mars, so that NSM can have further political influence. As a result, Ronin and Devlin go to war with TFC and HH. While the various SYN gangs are fighting over territories, NSM and AE are fighting each other over power plants.

In this example, we see how the individual groups of the clans will have their own politics and how they may be influenced to fight one another for more power, by having the backing of a larger megacorporation. It also expresses the Macro vs Micro level of politics between factions, where corporation-influenced gangs may fight others for territory (micro) while corporations fight for planetary (macro).

C.) OZ owns Cliea. SYN owns a lot of territory on Cliea and are rather criminally aggressive, with multiple gangs at war with one another and lots of innocent crossfire, making Cliea a rather lawless planet and the OZ CorpSec forces cannot contain it.

OZ wants to bring order to the planet, so they have multiple options:

1. Plea to the senate for the Terran Union to step in and help lawfully regulate the planet, by providing financial/equipment support in return for TDC/CPC's assistance. CPC may or may not normally be able to properly regulate Cliea and maintain it as a lawful place, but with OZ's financial and CorpSec backing they can extend their reach of law to the planet, albeit at resistance from the gangs already running amok on the planet.

2. OZ works with other gangs not on the planet and encourages them to seize control from the currently inhabiting gangs, provided they will follow the rules and wishes OZ has for the planet, that those with territory already do not follow.

Additionally, you may have NSM who would prefer the planet as a lawlessness cesspool, and wanting to assist in ensuring that the gangs make it a ruthless place because they have some benefit from it.

In this example, we see how territory owners on a planet may not necessarily support the faction that controls the planet, in which the owning planet seeks outside assistance in controlling the planet from those with territory. Consider in this example that there may be conflicting politics between planetary owners and territory owners, and different groups with political ties may oppose or support the current reigning planetary owner.



So that's the rather elaborate concept some of us had been discussing lately. Granted, we discussed a lot in Voice and it's possible that some concepts were missed or that we explained them in a way that may need to be clarified further. It's also worth noting that in our talks, we discussed a lot of subjects that aren't even necessarily related to Planetary Control and Macro/Micro politics but are connected to these concepts, but we forego choosing to include them due to it being an already long post and probably best in another thread if anything.
 
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Egroeg

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TL;DR In general providing more in-depth mechanics to the game to allow for more micro/macro-politics/gains would allow MR to become more in-depth and different than FOM (while staying in-line with what FOM was) in a better way.
 

Shiro Ryoshi

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Fight that lasts days sounds good. With active and passive phases, so people don't need to stay up all night but also giving all timezones chance to participate.
Against PP and their pseudo control. That's just siphoning, probably without extra steps lol.
Honestly prob don't need military to have it's own category. Just kos enemy ecoers and get enough eco influence or support friendly clan or CPC to take over turfs and gain poli influence.

TL;DR In general providing more in-depth mechanics to the game to allow for more micro/macro-politics/gains would allow MR to become more in-depth and different than FOM (while staying in-line with what FOM was) in a better way.
pretty bad TLDR, might as well write "good stuff"
 

Egroeg

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Fight that lasts days sounds good. With active and passive phases, so people don't need to stay up all night but also giving all timezones chance to participate.

Basically yes as well as so planets aren't always changing hands and not so easily that proper planning and such is needed for such a goal vs heat of the moment stuff (which is fine for territories, not colonies).


Honestly prob don't need military to have it's own category. Just kos enemy ecoers and get enough eco influence or support friendly clan or CPC to take over turfs and gain poli influence.

Probably don't, but having multiple influences needed allows for colony takeovers to have multiple angles and it could even be a percentage in each so you might not need some military might but should be a thing as mentioned TDC will have trouble winning on the eco portion aginst a corp even kosing their ecoers (as you can queue shit and dip).


pretty bad TLDR, might as well write "good stuff"

I helped Wilbon word a lot of this so I know what it is, but my reference to a TLDR is because there's a lot here where some won't read lots. So the general concept/idea where all this spawned from was us discussing the fact that MR is wanting to be a bit more in-depth and providing a bit more in-depth with the colony takeover+other things will allow MR to be a nice more in-depth FOM that benefits the game entirely and allows it to survive easier along with being more open to more different players.
 

Wilbon

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Fight that lasts days sounds good. With active and passive phases, so people don't need to stay up all night but also giving all timezones chance to participate.
Against PP and their pseudo control. That's just siphoning, probably without extra steps lol.
Honestly prob don't need military to have it's own category. Just kos enemy ecoers and get enough eco influence or support friendly clan or CPC to take over turfs and gain poli influence.

Agreed. There needs to be a way to avoid ninjaing with these sorts of things and to make these battles mean something. As it stands, territory battles are intended to be like small skirmishes, and as such its super easy to swap ownership of a territory. Even as slow as you can do it, you can completely change territory hands in two hours. Where planets wont change hands as often because they'll be more like a full on campaign and require a lot more, but have a lot more to gain from doing so. And it means if you have a particularly peak timezone, you may have your members avoid that planet/lay low until you have a comparable zerg to actually take fights. In a perfect population, it wont be some timezone oriented but until then it'll be a factor.

Which leads to part of why PP's were described as so. It's one part the fact that Bio expressed wanting to have a PP system similar to FoM, and part because the factions who own planets don't have the benefit of owning territory. And if done right, taking a power plant isn't going to be as simple as a hack and 20 minutes of time fighting whoever owns it. It'd be a considerable act, and an act of war, to try to seize control of a power plant for the sake of profiting from it. In that case, it would make more sense to actually siphon the thing (as we listed as a potential option) if one wasn't going to try to take the PP in order to take the planet in a campaign entirely.

We mentioned the idea that PP's could be siphoned because in that sense it has an area where someone can siphon from a PP and ultimately siphon from all of the territories under it. However; they now make enemies with both the planet owner and everyone who owns territory associated. Big risk, big reward vs siphoning individual territories. That was kinda the thought behind that.

When we mentioned planetary owners having control over territories via the PP, we mean at most pseudo-control in the sense that they get tax money, as already intended, and maybe upgrades (because in this system, NSM/AE/OZ cant own territory thus they cant use their relevant eco perks on the territories normally).

The point of having military influence as another category is to create more options for strategy to the campaign. If we only have eco influence and poli influence, it shortens the amount of strategies that can be deployed. Some factions (such as TDC) will be naturally better off focusing towards military and poli influence, where some corps may be better off with eco and poli influence.
 

Hepopotan

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Most factions currently don't even have close to the population or economy required to pull off a slow-bleeding system like this. Not only that the examples shown generally follow: corp/TDC factions --> middlemen territory owners factions --> takeover structure. In this case, it puts TU at a disadvantage since TU really only has CPC and TDC wombo combo to work together and rp/lorewise, would be inflexible to work with SYN or FOE gangs while corps would be more flexible in this regard, making them unlikely to pledge to TU for political influence.

Not only that, but TU would really only excel at military influence which would make takeovers more difficult since a corp could utilize both military (ie. why ask for TU help when you can just hire mercs/their own lil security departments) and economic influence factors. Also, the military influence system sounds like complete ass, its literally territories 2.0.

All-in-all, its not a bad proposition to flesh out colony/territory ownership, but in that case the 3 modes of influence need to be fleshed out and balanced better and we need a population capable of competently running the entire thing (which would be way bigger then our current).
 

Egroeg

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Most factions currently don't even have close to the population or economy required to pull off a slow-bleeding system like this.
we need a population capable of competently running the entire thing (which would be way bigger then our current).

See quote below
We don't necessarily see these being as the way things work in the next update, but potentially how things could work in the game closer to launch.

This is a pre-alpha, we understand pop is low, were just testing shit rn. This will obv be for full-release, fleshing out ideas for colony takeovers when pop is much bigger, and even then it's more a feature where pop shouldn't be much a factor.

Not only that the examples shown generally follow: corp/TDC factions --> middlemen territory owners factions --> takeover structure. In this case, it puts TU at a disadvantage since TU really only has CPC and TDC wombo combo to work together and rp/lorewise, would be inflexible to work with SYN or FOE gangs while corps would be more flexible in this regard, making them unlikely to pledge to TU for political influence.

Well a perk to TDC can be earning Military might faster or obviously not needing as much eco/political for a final battle to take over. As said by Wilbon, we think the different influential points should be a certain percentage of each to trigger, and maybe depending on faction taking over or whatever factor that you wouldn't need as much in one area or that if you're dominating one that you can get by with not as much in another area, but still need SOMETHING.

You also got to remember SYN/FOE will be split-up so at times SYN will beef each other and might find it beneficial to even alliance with The Agencies to help TDC take a colony from a corp if let's say that corp is taxing that family to hell and TDC knowing this promises them low taxes if they allegiance with them politically-wise. Basically not asking them to beef but helping in those political points will help TDC secure the colony as said CPC can only do so much as far as bringing the law. So they might have to rely on some SYN families to even keep the peace, as even major-ganking is bad for business and I can see some deals struck "behave and we won't come here" type shit from CPC to some SYN families. Thus giving an overall reason for some of the clan groups to assist TDC versus a corp and not totally negating them.

Not only that, but TU would really only excel at military influence which would make takeovers more difficult since a corp could utilize both military (ie. why ask for TU help when you can just hire mercs/their own lil security departments) and economic influence factors.

I dunnnoo...OZ had some TDC help with merc hirings and SYN held its own....So I can see corps at some point asking TU for assistance if a bunch of different SYN families are going at it on their colony and driving business away due to all the beef and it's kind of out of CPC's reach/resources. They could benefit to plead to the senate with additional funds to the TU (as lore-wise corpos are pro-TU anyway, at first) to step in on their colony and bring peace.

Hell, maybe there's not much SYN presence on a colony and the TDC can play dirty and hire out a family or some mercs to sabotage Economic influence against the owner as they bring up military might and sway territory allegiance over to them (or CPC take and allegiance).

Also, the military influence system sounds like complete ass, its literally territories 2.0.

Kind of, yes, but open to other shit, was mostly suggesting off Bio once stating trying to keep colony takeover as a version of FOM's with PP's and CC's so...But it's not entirely as owning 2-3 Major Plants that 'oversee' a bunch of territories sounds fine and fighting for one of those is different vs a territory. As territories would switch hands easily and offer minor buffs, PP's are against a colony and multiple territories so it could bring major consequences vs beefing on a little territory.

All-in-all, its not a bad proposition to flesh out colony/territory ownership, but in that case the 3 modes of influence need to be fleshed out and balanced better

We agree, whatever influence is needed or whatever balance it comes out to be, it needs to be fleshed out just like everything. But basically, our proposal is having a multi-influential multi-step/longer process for taking colonies as those shouldn't happen as often or be a serious campaign than the ninja-mega wars FOM was.

Open to even more modes of influence, the more the better it could be as it could mean more avenues of play/strategy and allowing the takeover faction to not need as much in one or two they lack in as they secure influence in the other areas.
 

Banjo

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In general it is a Good proposal, I like how you extend with more specific mechanics on top of the Colony/Terriotry macro/micro system that me and cadonez were talking about in an older thread.
The 3 category influence split seems fitting as those are the 3 main mechanical pillars of FOM, and baking them into the colony take over will hopefully enhance the core concept of the game. There are ofcourse still open endings for Bio to fill out, such as how exactly does final battles work and how to integrate this with the remaining features and balance.
The biggest flaw I see right now is kinda what Hepopotan relates to, which is the inherent idiolodical differences between factions in each split.
For example TDC should probably not take over colonies just because they "want" to as per your example, as their job from a RP perspective should be to stabilize and not to just conquer and fuck over the corps. Perhaps TDC wouldn't even control a colony in a peaceful world. That is ofcourse minor and doesn't break with your proposal. However, when we look at the contestants for territories we have the 3 clans and CPC, which gives an edge towards unlawful / chaotic politics.
At the moment there is really no distinction between lawful, neutral and unlawful factions apart from gmop, where each faction have the opportunity to meta game the system outside of their factions intended RP if needed.
This distinction is of-course not to be solved through the colony take over, but should be taken into account for balancing purposes.
Perhaps a more varied political agenda could be accounted for, by giving all factions a vote balanced to their stake in the colony. Clans and CPC would be given perhaps the majority votes based on owned territories, while other factions may own political influence through some kind of aggregate activity and wealth spent on the colony. This is likely to be way to similar to economical influence and other ways may need to be found to get a more varied political game. The current split of clans and CPC does however seem to favor a more unlawful style of political promises, and more thought should be taken on how to flesh this mechanic out.

Other political options to consider:
Senate vote,
Popular vote,
vote between all active users of the colony,
more needed.
 
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