Pirate Mechanics

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Major stuff

There are two important goals for the player to pursue when playing as a pirate:

  • Becoming a pirate legend
This entails building up reputation as a pirate until the player becomes respected and feared throughout the galaxy. This is basically the "chaos" goal that aims to present the player with a maximum of pirate activity to satisfy his desire for evil deeds. At the end of this path the player would be awarded with his own pirate stronghold, which will hopefully provide a sense of accomplishment.
  • The pirate "good" campaign
Though the pirate faction remains primarily chaotic, focusing heavily on combat against just about every faction in the galaxy, the pirates would also be involved in a greater conflict with an enemy unknown to any other faction. This could be anything, even an alien force, but it should represent a threat to humanity at large. The pirates would stand alone against this menace. The player is, of course, the key to defeating it, though he may die or be otherwise lost in the process as one of alternate endings.

Pirate activities

These are things for pirates to do, read generic missions. These all serve to raise the player's pirate rating.

  • Raid trade convoys
  • Destroy faction search parties (outside faction controlled space)
  • Abduct passengers and ransom them (or send them to slave labor camps)
  • Raid faction stations
  • Race other pirates through faction space for prestige
  • Pirate bounties (pirates would place bounties on each other too)
  • Stealing important stuff from factions
  • Double crossing factions (pretend to do a job for a faction and then keep it to themselves or sell to the highest bidder)

Pirate fame

This would be the player's fame as a pirate, i.e. an indication of how much his name is known and feared in the galaxy. The regular reputation will probably suffice for this, but unlike normal factions reputation, it only ever goes up as the result of player actions (attacking fellow pirates doesn't really make other pirates mad - you probably had a good reason! For example, maybe you didn't like their face. Happens all the time). It will, however, drop gradually over time, so long periods of idleness will make people forget about the pirate you once were. To not make the player giddy it shouldn't drop too fast, as in the floor level of faction should go up as he gains more. That, or like other factions make it easier to gain faction the higher your ceiling is. Maybe it could also only drop if the player is NOT flying a pirate ship.

Pirate fame has positive and negative effects.

  • The higher the player's pirate fame, the harder factions will try to arrest him if spotted in their territory.
  • The higher the player's pirate fame, the more bounty hunters will come after him. You didn't think you were the only one getting bounty missions, were you?
  • The higher the player's fame, the better the equipment that will be available to him on pirate worlds.
  • The higher the player's fame, the more cargo or credits ships will be willing to pay him if cornered.
  • High fame will result in bar NPCs talking about him, and even the news to run stories about him.

To avoid this becoming too much of an issue (like getting constantly harassed), fame maybe should be regionalized in a way, so the player can cross half the galaxy to avoid bounty hunters until he grabs their attention again. We want to avoid the EV:O situation where the player will constantly be attacked by a bounty hunter in a high end warship to the point it makes the game no fun. Bounty hunter attacks could be sporadic, but become more powerful as fame rises.

Brainstorming logs: