Solution to Balance Insured Ships and Pirates
November 24, 2012 at 4:58 am #100082
OK, how about this. Please read all the way through to understand this intricate system of checks and balances before you reply.
We don’t want ships being too strong/advantages with lifetime OR in-game purchased insurance and also to avoid fraud. We need to balance the ship owner and the pirate that wants said ship.
When a ship is disabled and then boarded, followed by the owner being killed/removed and the pirate takes the ship, the insurance company is automatically informed the ship is stolen.
This puts a 1 week timer on the ship. The pirate can fly and do as he pleases for 1 week but has some issues. Any systems/areas with police/enforcement will pursue the pirate player if in the pirated ship. Also, the ship cannot be sold at normal shops nor be upgraded; it can only be sold or upgraded at black market locations. You get considerably less at black market shops for a hot/stolen ship.
The pirate can also have the ship “cleaned” at a black market, which removes the “scuttle/bomb” that causes the 1 week timer and also replaces the ships “VIN” and creates fake documents to have the ship no longer be hot since scans would show it is “legit”. This would cost 80% (or some percentage deemed by CR and team) of the price of the ship brand new and 80% on each upgrade as well). This percentage goes up (starts costing more as time passes) since it is harder to “cleanse” the ship and create docs. The cost increases from 80% after 1 hour to encourage quicker turnover so the insured player gets his ship back sooner than the 1 week.
This heavily minimizes fraud with friends because the friend that “steals” the ship only gets to keep it if he pays the 80% (or more if it takes him longer than an hour to get it “cleansed”). Sure, friends basically can dupe a ship at a discount but this still requires a lot of funds to do. You and your friend must also risk going to pirate territory to cleanse the ship, which is an additional risk of doing this fraud.
As for selling stolen ships before your 1 week is up, the sooner you sell a stolen ship on the black market, the more credits received. Also, selling a highly upgraded ship nets you much more credits as well. This will make pirates target more capable/harder-to-capture ships (and ships that obviously have skilled pilots and not janking noob players). Pirates can target noob players/stock ships but net little from black market, or be more risky and take on highly upgraded ships with good pilots for a better reward if successful.
So pirates can build a nice fleet of stolen ships and make money with more capable ships (like stealing a mining ship and risk mining for 6 days and then selling it before the 1 week timeout) but it’s only temporary (or they can turn around and sell quickly to maximize payout of the ship on the black market).
The player only gets his replacement ship once the original ship is destroyed, sold, “cleansed” or the 1 week is up. This encourages players with insurance to be less risky because they could lose a ship for up to a week (AND LOSE ALL UPGRADES since insurance only gets you a STOCK ship and nothing in your cargo) but a little more risky than someone without insurance.
Here is a cool part. The player who got his ship stolen can put out a bounty/repo contract on his ship for a repo player to take. The player and repo man who take a contract get a tracker that gives an approximate location of the stolen ship. This is good for the player who got his ship stolen and the ship was heavily upgraded. If the player never gets his original ship back, he loses all his upgrades/cargo. To upgrade a stock ship to what it was, let’s say it costs the player 30,000 credits (and still lacks his cargo). The pirate could sell the stolen, nicely upgraded ship to the black market (doesn’t matter if parts are sold separately or installed on ship, same price) for only 10,000 credits if sold within 1 hour of stealing (and loses value quickly after and costs more and more to “cleanse”).
This makes an insured player get his ship back sooner in several cases where a pirate wants a quick and decent payout or wants to cleanse a ship as cheap as possible (and avoid repo players having time to get them). Anyways, the player can offer a bounty/repo contract to a repo company (remember example amount of upgrades to be repurchased was 30,000) for 20,000 credits or 12,500 credits if the returned ship lacks any upgrades it had when stolen. The contract must be fulfilled AT LEAST 3 days before the 1 week timer is up to encourage a quick return of a stolen ship that has no upgrades (Player is basically paying to get his ship back a little sooner).
A repo player can take the contract, board the pirate and take the stolen ship into his possession. If the repo man gives the ship back to the player, the player saves some cash because instead of spending 30,000 creds to restore his replacement ship to what it was and a good bit before 1 week, he gets it back for 20,000, OR 12,500 creds with some or no upgrades.
Now sure, the repo man could sell it on the black market, but he could only sell it for whatever black market would pay at that time (Remember, the timer starts AS SOON as a player is killed/removed from his ship and the ship is still intact; this timer is always counting down from that point, even if a pirate pirates a pirate, etc), which will likely be less than the 10,000 credits. This encourages the repo man to restore the ship to the player who made the contract since he is GUARANTEED 20,000 credits/12,500 if any upgrades missing. The player gets his upgraded ship back (or not upgraded if the pirate sold some/all parts before it was repo’ed) before the contract expires which is 3 days before the 1 week timer.
Some more ideas on this:
-Selling a ship in the same system it was stolen nets a pirate less credits since it’s so hot and CANNOT be cleansed in that system.
-Death Cost: To cause a slight punishment to a player with a stock insured ship from ramming players or otherwise being reckless. If the player actually dies, he must pay 10 percent or some percentage deemed by CR and team to be appropriate, of his current credit amount. This is similar to Borderlands 1 and Borderlands 2 respawn system. This punishes new players lightly and experienced, wealthy players, more heavily.
-Loaner ship: While you don’t have your ship, your insurance company provides a small loaner ship instantly while you get to see how soon you get your original ship back or your replacement from the insurance company.
*This was co-authored by myself and fellow Star Citizen, IrishPub.
Please try to point out flaws and improve further, Thanks!November 24, 2012 at 5:24 am #100118
“The player only gets his replacement ship once the original ship is destroyed, sold, “cleansed” or the 1 week is up. This encourages players with insurance to be less risky because they could lose a ship for up to a week”.
Sorry this won´t work imagine a player who has just one ship and got bad luck to run into a well organised group of pirates.
Then one week later he gets back his ship and has the bad luck to meet these guys again. The player won´t play this game anymore. The rest of the idea are quite good and very close to the one mentioned in this topic : http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/forums/topic/ship-boarding-life-time-insurance-fraud/page/5/November 24, 2012 at 5:33 am #100134
You could be provided with a loaner ship when yours is take I suppose, lets you play during the 1 week.
Same as insurance companies do now with hire cars while your one is repaired.
Although what happens if you just let the hire ship get stolen…..November 24, 2012 at 5:35 am #100139
The lifetime insurance was announced with a statement that “you will always have your pledge ship”. This certainly does not mean waiting for one week before I can play again.
Anything that prevents players from actually playing the game is a bad and counter-productive solution and would only result in players quitting the game.
I support PvA: Player vs All.
(PvP and PvE seamlessly and dynamically combined together)November 24, 2012 at 5:48 am #100160
Watchdog to get your ship instantly back with no downside is way worse. That just promotes careless suicide runs where you don’t care at all if you live or die. The insurance should make sure you never lose your ship, but shouldn’t be promoting retarded playstyles. No consequences, no tension, no excitement, no fun.
If the first thing you do is get your constellation carelesly blown up, I hope the game makes you play in the starter ship for a while. Would make you have a greater appreciation for the expensive high-end ship you would get back for free in a few days time.
November 24, 2012 at 5:56 am #100171
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Amblin.
Pledge players should not get insane advantages over non pledge players. Plus, my solution concerns insurance, be it life time or in-game purchased for limited time.
I love the idea of getting a clunker or small loaner ship that is so small that it can’t be boarded by pirates while you wait to get your original back or replacement.
Pledgers, like myself, get life time insurance, not a guarantee to fly your ship every second.November 24, 2012 at 5:56 am #100173
AcHiLLeSSubscriberNovember 24, 2012 at 6:03 am #100178
How about we save ideas on balance for the alpha test phase? It’s good to be excited about a game, but with it so far from being ready, commenting about aspects that aren’t even implemented yet fosters misinformation about the game. We just gave Chris close to 7 million dollars, it shows we have trust in his abilities to create a game we want to play – pirates, traders, and all.November 24, 2012 at 6:19 am #100201
I like this idea
The thing with insurance is it gives you money (I would expect), with the vanduul fighter, if you lose it, you will get a bunch of money to buy another, but there may not be another to buy (no more have been captured / are being sold).
Now people have actually paid quite a bit of real life money to get them, so they will probably want to be guaranteed to always have one – one will be in stock to buy with their insurance payout.
Maybe the way to give the idea of limited supply do it would be some form of waiting list if none are available. If there are none available to buy in game (because none have been captured / no players are selling captured ones) You pay the ticket price (credits – the insurance payout) for the fighter, and get an digital IOU ticket indicating your place in the queue.
If a player sells a captured one to a ship dealer, then the first person in the queue gets that ship. If the person in the queue has waited over a week(?) then the navy will just happen to capture one and sell it on the market and that player will get it.
That way if you lose a rare pledge ship you do lose it, but only for a little while – the ship you paid real life money will always be with you (except for the occasions it’s not).
Since everyone who bought one of these ships will also own another ship, it’s not like they’ll be stuck without a ship for a week.
TO SEARCH THESE FORUMS https://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/forums/forum/forum-category-2/?ts=search+term
We’ve all got our preferences, so why be forced to choose?
I trust Chris Roberts, too. Radix malorum est ignorantiaNovember 24, 2012 at 6:19 am #100203
Elfwyn (Centurion Vice Admiral)Subscriber
When devising rules for capturing vessels and avoiding fraud, I would only implement those
that do not break the immersion in the game. A timer that everyone knows exists is a timer one can work around to exploit the game.
I think it is better to have minimal artificial feeling rules in place only to avoid fraud. This will only further tensions between people wanting to trade using expensive ships and people wanting to make a living of capturing said ships.
The best way to avoid fraud and exploits is to have exploiters kicked out and loose everything, so they will always be in fear of beeing discoverer by the admins and loose everything they think they would gain – and more.
I think there should be powerful analytics working in the background to detect fraud or point admins at possible fraud. There is an endless number of ways to detect fraud that are more effective than applying some strange rules that would break immersion.
But here are some things I would implement wich do not break immersion and still help avoiding exploits:
(many of those are NOT my ideas, but simply restated ideas that I would agree to)
- Stealing Ships is an act of piracy – so this would raise their bad reputation
- The Insurance Company and/or the Player himself is able to place a bounty on the retrieval of that ship or on the head of the pirate if he knows him
- A stolen ship would be recognized in civillized space until it is cleaned (but this should not be unrealitically expensive)
- Even a cleaned ship should be able to be identifiable (Maybe with a really deep individual scan) as stolen goods.
- If the stolen ship was returned the Insurance company would exchange it with the hull you gained through insurance (to take duplicates out of the system)
Just think of theft in the real world and there will be countless ways to make this an exiting experience for the pirate as well.November 24, 2012 at 6:51 am #100262
Well this is as concise as I can get it. I’ll try to edit it later with a TL;DR
the beta is 1 year away. Throwing around gameplay mechanics ideas seems perfectly reasonable. And I don’t trust CR like some sort of all knowing god that can see into all of our wants and dreams. He has been humble enough to even say there are things he doesn’t yet know how to solve. So giving well thought-out ideas in the forums shouldn’t be frowned upon.
@Rear Admiral Net
This is easy to implement with my proposed idea. Since there will be pledge players with lifetime insurance on the vanduul fighter (or other rare ships that can’t be bought readily), just make it so these are unable to be “cleansed” which is the only way to “duplicate” through insurance.
Remember that a player with an insured ship would only get his stock ship back if the ORIGINAL ship is destroyed, sold to black market, 1 week timer (which is the scuttle/bomb put in place by insurance companies) and cleansing. Cleansing is the only place where there is duplication.
If destroyed, player get stock ship, no extras. If timer is up, it is destroyed/scuttled. If sold on black market, the insurance company recovers the ship. Only though cleansing does a pirate keep the ship and the insured player gets a stock one which causes there to now be two ships.
That method of using analytics to monitor all players will require so much manpower/oversight that it will be difficult to fund for a game with a persistent universe and no subscription. I think making a system that works completely through scripts and automated systems would be best. Yes, players know the timer, hence the very plausible issues, that I listed in my original post, that could cause a pirate issues but also still give a reward. There is a balance of risk and reward. A pirate wanting little risk will steal a small, new players ship and sell right away for low risk and low reward while a more daring and capable pirate will go after a large, expensive, well-upgraded, ship with a seasoned pilot, steal the ship and either use it while he can to make money or invest and cleanse it through black market, all while having to watch out for NPC police/authorities and bounty/repo men.November 24, 2012 at 6:51 am #100263
Rear Admiral MobiusSubscriber
1 week is way too long.
In real life, if my car get stolen, I expect my insurance company to replace my car ASAP, even a courtesey car in 1 or 2 days.
The player with insurance is already penalised by having upgrades and cargos lost, no need to punish him further.
He should get a replacement within hours if there are stock for the ship, if not a temporary standard ship such as Aurora is loaned out with cash equal to the stock ship compensated to the player/replacement which comes when ship becomes available.
From Chris’s tone, for pledges, lifetime insurance means he’d always get the identical ship back, he doesn’t want pledgers who paid real money to lose any ship, that applies for limited Vanduul. That’d be unrealistic but make sense.November 24, 2012 at 7:04 am #100290
We are speaking real life money spent on the lifelong insurance, the description of which stated that you would always have your ship. Many people pledged high amounts of money because of this.
Changing the conditions may actually be a problem, since offering a product, receiving money and not delivering the product is usually called fraud in any civilized country.
I do not think Chris Roberts would ever want to give his competitors “ammunition” for claims of frauds against the playerbase comitted by him, nor would he want to anger the people who gave him over 6 million USD.
I support PvA: Player vs All.
(PvP and PvE seamlessly and dynamically combined together)November 24, 2012 at 7:05 am #100295
@Rear Admiral Mobius
I don’t think you read the whole system. First off, you will ALWAYS get your ship back. Never did I say this won’t happen. Second, 1 week is the MAX it could ever be (and could maybe be shorter, this is just a discussion). This would only be if the pirate was pretty foolish with the options he has. Several things are put in place to encourage the pirate to get the ship either off his hamds quickly so as to make more money, or to quickly cleanse the ship and make it permanent, which also ends the timer much sooner that 1 week. That’s why I focused around the first 1 hour.
Players with insurance are being penalized LESS by ONLY losing upgrades and cargo. Realize normal players have no insurance and lose EVERYTHING unless they buy some limited-time insurance.
Also, have you ever actually had your car stolen in real life? Your expectations are quite high for how quickly you would get your car back or another replacement for it. Getting a loaner, however, quickly makes perfect sense and was already mentioned and put into the original post.
November 24, 2012 at 7:12 am #100308
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Black Knight6.
Having players who pledge should not give them a type of “pay to win” sort of advantage. It is just an ease of mind that your ship is never truly lost, not a guarantee you can fly your ship in the persistent universe every single second, 100% risk free.
I think you might be looking at what CR has said and taking things too literally or be sue-happy. Those that previously pledged, are already at a huge advantage with my proposed idea where they never truly have to start from scratch.
Also, this is not JUST about life long insurance, this concerns limited time insurance purchased with in-game credits as well. You seem more concerned with having an unfair advantage through a pay 2 win method rather than balanced game mechanics.November 24, 2012 at 7:18 am #100323
I really do love a lot of your ideas, I think they should take some of these and work them into ways where people can learn the value of their ships, and still feel that level of risk. A week is a steep amount of time when some people have small designated chunks of time to play games, they don’t wanna be sitting waiting for the ship they pledged to fly. I feel that a 48 hours period would better suit the steal and sell or steal and use formula because it’s just long enough to bother you, but not completely hamper your interest.
-Anywho, Would love more ideas to be poured onto this existing framework of though.
November 24, 2012 at 7:21 am #100328
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Geno..
Any system that requires a player to be without his ship for hours or days won’t work. Players won’t accept it and I still have no idea why so many people think that ‘they’ will be these awesome pilots who will never get shot down and that others will just need to learn to play or else. Also we have not heard word one on how insurance will work. People keep working themselves into a panic over Lifetime insurance and it’s probably not even that good.
Did no one else see the details of the ships they were offering for a little while before they decided to extend things? Those ships came with insurance policies running from 3 months to a year. An entire year! Perhaps everyone is getting worked up over nothing and the Lifetime insurance will just cover the ‘basic’ hull and they won’t have to pay a ‘minor’ fee for their yearly insurance.
And if no one has noticed the ‘basic’ ships suck. Take the Constellation for instance. It has ’14′ upgrade slots and ’4′ engine slots. It’s also missing 4 missile racks, 2 class 2 weapons and one of it’s class 4 turrets. Not to mention that most people will probably want to upgrade past the ‘basic’ weapons. Imagine that the ship is completely lacking armor and accessories in other games.
These items will have to be replaced. And since no ship comes with these components either players will be forced to pay inflated prices on whatever passes for the intergalactic market or make sure they stockpile plenty of spares in their garage. And that’s ONLY if there isn’t some other insurance that ‘EVERYONE’ will have to pay to make sure they keep their customizations. And if ‘EVERYONE’ is paying the more than likely MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE component insurance why waste their time waiting for ships when they can be getting back into the game?
Also how can someone learn to fly their ship when after their first failed attempt at flying it they have to wait days or a week to even get it back? What happens if the ‘thief’ just parks it in a garage somewhere? What’s to stop it from becoming a ‘legalized’ form of griefing where someone takes a player’s ship and just parks it in a garage for a week while they go about their business. And don’t think people won’t do it just to go: “HAHA! No more ship for YOU this week NOOB! L2PLAY!”
November 24, 2012 at 7:24 am #100333
Thanks! Remember though, that is why I focused on the 1 hour turn around for a pirate, once 1 hour passes, a pirate’s options start to get less lucrative and useful quickly. With value dropping for a sale to black market, cost to cleanse rising back to what it would cost to buy legitly, NPC authorities being an issue, having repo players coming onto your tracking signal, pirates will be encouraged to act quickly, hence causing the player to, in most cases, get his ship back before an hour.
And of course, the max time could be reduced to say 4 or 5 days but sometime should be left to allow for this interesting repo type of ecosystem. Even the player could use a spare ship of his own to try and get his ship back!November 24, 2012 at 7:31 am #100347
I don’t think you read through the first post. You will always have a ship to fly, a cheap, loaner ship would be available in lieu of your original/replacement until things are resolved.
If you are shot down, you instantly get your ship back. Remember, the player would get his ship back SOONER than the 1 week if it is destroyed, sold at the black market by the pirate, or cleansed by the pirate to make it last longer than 1 week. That’s why there is a huge focus on the first hour. You will ALWAYS get a loaner instantly.
Please, I encourage everyone to read the whole OP.November 24, 2012 at 7:36 am #100356
@Black Knight6: I don’t think YOU read MY entire post. Because I certainly read yours from top to bottom and as I said in my post it won’t work. Chris Roberts already said that the whole point of the pledge ships is to get the type of ship you want to play being it a fighter (Hornet), explorer (Freelancer) or a ship to share with your friends (Constellation). If I have a Constellation to fly with my fiance and friends what do I tell them for the week while my ship is in limbo?: “Sorry baby. I know I promised to show you the galaxy but you’ll just have to wait till next week because some jerk took my ship and logged off. “
November 24, 2012 at 7:46 am #100371
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Kamikaz1.
You would say sorry babe, it is a persistent universe mode and we can play private servers or Squadron 42 coop until then. Or tell her you hired a repo man to get it sooner. Or maybe it comes back in 1 hour since most pirates would exercise the options I listed which would cause an extremely quick turnaround of your ship.
If you suck and lose the ship (hell, scuttle it before being boarded so you get it instantly if you are so worried). The persistent universe mode shouldn’t be so comfy as you describe.
When couple play WoW and die and need to recover their bodies which take time, you don’t ask the game devs to not have this delay since it is inconvenient for a couple?
If you are reckless and lose a ship, you can’t expect to play in a persistent, risky universe mode and have no risk.
Also, your bit about first flight and dying. Please remember, IF THE SHIP IS CRASHED/DESTROYED, you get it back instantly. This is ONLY through boarding/pirating that delays can occur since it is about duplication/fraud issues.
November 24, 2012 at 7:49 am #100382
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Black Knight6.
OP: There’s still the matter of friends camping a pirate base, stealing each others ships and sell them immediately. You could imagine a whole clan doing this boring, repetitive stuff and earn a fortune in no time. Needs more work I think.
Also requiring the player to wait up to 1 week to play his ship again caters to griefers and trolls … that needs to go. Imagine what happens when said griefers/trolls happen to be part of a massive organization that can effectively deny a huge amount of players to enjoy their ships and the game by extension. You REALLY need to think this through and consider more worst case scenarios.
Other than that, I’m glad you took some time and I happen to agree with some solutions you mentioned. Just the two above stuck out like sore thumbs. No offense.
Just a rule of thumb: if you think you have solved a problem, scale it up and see if the solution survives contact with 1000+ player formations that are bent on exploiting the game mechanics.
November 24, 2012 at 8:01 am #100400
@Black Knight6: LOL so let me get this right. You’re saying that using your WOW reference after death I should respawn at the nearest star base in the same system that I lost my ship. Then I should be given a super fast and invisible stealth ghost ship that will get me back to my destroyed ship really fast. Then after getting to a safe spot behind some asteroids the ghost stealth ship will mystically teleport the shattered hulk of my ship to me and instantly repair most of the damage to it and I’m free to go with all my mods and weapons intact? That sounds WAY better than what you said before. Heck if we want to use WOW as an example I’d just pay a small fee at the star base and have my ship instantly teleported right there. I mean that’s how wow works. Surely any system you propose won’t be more difficult than that since you’re using it as an example right?
November 24, 2012 at 8:02 am #100403
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Kamikaz1.
Elfwyn (Centurion Vice Admiral)Subscriber
I plead for the least invasive sollution:
- no noticable cooldown on reaquiring an insured ship
- no unrealistic penalties on captured ships
That will serve both parties best.
But how to maintain balance? I think that is not as complicated as many see it.
When a ship is attacked it
A: is able to fight back
B: is able to run (jumping outsystem to a safe area)
C: is able to call for help (people nearby joining the battle instance)
So legit capture of a ship will never be an easy feat – escpecially on well defendable
big ships like the corvette. Those ship should have enough time to at least turn tails
People who are ill outfittet will keep away from insecure space.
What reains is just the exploiters, and those can be easily discovered:
- People reagulary capturing ships from related people.
- People collecting ships in their hangars for some odd reason…
- People loosing their ship too often…
- People amassing an unusual amount of credits in a short time…
My point is: Everything that makes exploiting worthwile can be discovered
easily analyzing the Main Server Data. Admins can then futher investigate and remove
the exploiter permanently from the game plus all the assets he or she created by
duplicating vessels. Even credit streams can be followed back to accomplices who in turn
wouldn’t be save from reprecussions. Loosing the LTI could be a “minor warning” and make people
think many times about trying to exploit the game before going down that road.November 24, 2012 at 8:02 am #100404
This is the first good point I have seen so far (the point of pirates selling other pirates insured ships over and over). That is definitely an issue. Besides the “insurance company” noticing a spam and refusing to replace ships after a certain amount of frequent “pirating” events and then having a cool down where you get no more ships for a while, it is a tough one to solve. Avoiding fraud in a game and making sure players aren’t without insured ships too long is a tough balancing act.
As for the second issue. There can only be about 100 players per “instance” (at least that is the high number being thrown around). It could be done in a way where someone who respawns with their ship is less likely to instanced with the pirate who boarded them if it happens in succession. Not only that, but you would respawn in an Cop/Guard NPC infested area where pirates would be chased out for battling within a certain range of that station you and your ship respawn at.
Remember, you will ALWAYS have a low-end loaner ship from the insurance company no matter what. But the actual ship insured is the only one where there might be some turn around time. Once the original ship is destroyed, sold, or cleansed, you get your ship immediately, which means there is no turn over time in the case of being destroyed instead of boarded. If pirated/stolen, you must wait till the timer is up (worst case, since 1 week long), or the pirate gets it destroyed in any manner, sells it to NPC, or cleanses it. When any of these occur, you immediately get a replacement of your insured ship.
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Black Knight6.
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