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SirWillyLongShank

Ideas for a Balanced Black Market

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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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@SirWillyLongShank I think criminal and smuggle will appear in DU even without your module. Why? well i will give some reason:

 

First: You can steal item from org either by hacking ( This feature only say by dev and we do not know many thing about this ... yet and you can steal it as a member of that organization ) . All of these item will have organization tag so you either have to do something about it or just sell it to someone who can do something about it. And where do we sell, of course to third party, smuggler, black market,... So if an organization want to keep their stuff they have to micro manage and that will create more job, interesting heh.

 

Second: Aside from steal item, one more thing can be interesting to smuggle is ban item. I will give you my best example i can think of ... top military gear. You see every org will have a race in military technology because ... everything can be deal with military as a tool for politic, who got big bad gun than will have more strength in politic even in our real world ( those country who dont have nuclear weapon always weak in politic than those have it ). Everyone love to have top gear military, but what happen if most of rebel and pirate also have it ? Disaster for big Org who is fighting them. After all none big Org want those fellow they are fighting have the same top military gear as them so just like real world, those top military gear or any top gear will be very limit to those org and their alliance org.

 

And that thing can apply to embargo. If and org or alliance org that cover most space or have the only transport to a system that an org occupy and they ban all item that org produce to stress and make them follow the big alliance org what you think will happen. Smuggles will happen. ...

 

All of it, very flexible in DU. The dev have provide a lot of very basic tool but flexible so that every thing can happen. All of it is do you want to do it ?

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I don't think I share your confidence in the gaming public @ShioriStein. I think that relying on organizations to police and control the flow of weapons, or "drugs", or any type of cargo or data, will be lackluster at best. It will simply won't happen, or at best won't stick around. Us hardcore gamers sometimes forget this isn't real life and the consequences just aren't high enough to invoke that kind of fear. If an organization bans something that the players want they will just leave to get it, and those that will stick around won't want whatever "IT" is. I just don't see the long standing motivating force behind bans as the game stands...

 

I do agree with you though on that theft and hacking point. Theft and betrayal will be a very real aspect of the game. I was just thinking out loud, maybe trying to find a way to enhance the game. By creating an actual component that needs to be manufactured (possibly in several steps) it adds a whole illegal infrastructure that can be combated by the good guys, or accelerated by the bad guys. Resources gathering, manufacturing, transporting, LUA coding, selling, implementing, fencing the stolen goods. It would create a lot of jobs. Think of it as a criminal stimulus package! 🤣

 

It could lead to an epic back and forth.

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@SirWillyLongShank

The thing i love in DU is that you dont have to do something you dont want, a game is mean to be fun. If they want micro manage, yes they can, if they dont want ? They dont need to. But if you compare between 2 org, one is micro manage most thing, other is not so micro manage, which org do you think will have more output and stronger ? But the 2 org still can work as fine.

 

The bigger an org is, the more effective micro manage will be. Let's compare, you can say the loss of 10% of total profit is due to poor manage , poor personnel manage, poor optimize convoy route, ... You can see with small org, 10% of total profit wont worth so much like make 10 so you only lost 1. But what about big ORG, or MEGA ORG (which likely is umbrella org ), 10% of total is worth so much.

 

And about craft component, yeah Dev said they will make it interesting and complex, easy to learn basic but hard to master. Industrial Player will always have better hand =]].

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On 1/20/2019 at 9:57 AM, SirWillyLongShank said:

I don't think I share your confidence in the gaming public @ShioriStein. I think that relying on organizations to police and control the flow of weapons, or "drugs", or any type of cargo or data, will be lackluster at best. It will simply won't happen, or at best won't stick around. Us hardcore gamers sometimes forget this isn't real life and the consequences just aren't high enough to invoke that kind of fear. If an organization bans something that the players want they will just leave to get it, and those that will stick around won't want whatever "IT" is. I just don't see the long standing motivating force behind bans as the game stands...

 

I do agree with you though on that theft and hacking point. Theft and betrayal will be a very real aspect of the game. I was just thinking out loud, maybe trying to find a way to enhance the game. By creating an actual component that needs to be manufactured (possibly in several steps) it adds a whole illegal infrastructure that can be combated by the good guys, or accelerated by the bad guys. Resources gathering, manufacturing, transporting, LUA coding, selling, implementing, fencing the stolen goods. It would create a lot of jobs. Think of it as a criminal stimulus package! 🤣

 

It could lead to an epic back and forth.

I can see large orgs putting a limit on exports and imports in areas they controll but otherwise smuggling will just be transportation with high end security

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