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I've seen several threads on criminal activities, usually involving weapons or drugs... While I find the smuggling aspect of a game extremely enticing (if you haven't ever wanted to be Han Solo are you even real!?), how can a developer set up a system that is balanced and not overwhelming for newcomers and underwhelming for established players? How do they create real reasons for a community ban on something, while simultaneously creating a hidden desire for said thing? Looking at the drugs & weapons arguments here I just see too many issues with creating balanced yet enticing game mechanics. For my answer, I pose something that threatens us IRL. And before you jump to conclusions and start battering me, please have enough respect to read out this entire post. I don't want this to be weighted heavily towards the criminals, I wan't this mechanic to create a multi-faceted game mechanic, that has a push and pull on both sides of the isle. Identity theft! (Well kind of...) What if there was a module that you could sneak into someones base, and secretly link it to their stored inventories, bypassing permissions and allowing you to steal a small amount of materials from them. It would of course be balanced and the module would "burn up" only after a few units of resources. Plus the process should take a while to complete. Ship/Cockpit modules could be available too. Maybe there could be a couple different module types. One that would stay in place allowing you to leach a very small amount of currency over time instead of resources, forcing the victim to find and destroy the module. Another to read and copy LUA codes so you could use and sell them as your own, this one might "burn up" just after a few lines of code, forcing the attacker to use many modules to get a whole code set. The modules would no doubt become highly illegal in certain sectors. Also the production of these modules would be expensive and require multiple process'. This would allow true manufacturing and smuggling of "illegal" components used in these modules. There could be an entire "underground" manufacturing network, being constantly raided by cops and other "criminal" enterprises. Also on the flip side, there could be an entire market of Anti-theft devices and coding being manufactured and sold. Think about infiltrating a group, pretending to be friends all the while slowly leaching resources and money. Think about the counter-intelligence operations that would be set up. It would create internal political and social security systems. It would also allow subterfuge between groups of players. I would not want this to be a get rich quick scheme for the "criminals", but could still be a lucrative enough to be worth the risk. At the same time this would create high risk situations during the manufacturing, shipping, selling, and installing of modules. Let me know what you guys think.
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