Tom Kewell wrote:
It's Friday and time for an update on Injected Events!
Injected Events allow Frontier to inject situations into the Elite: Dangerous galaxy, allowing us to be reactive to player habits and actions, and to influence and direct the community of players.
- Create large scale events for all players to enjoy within the ED universe, outside the scope of the background sim.
- Use player influences and system data from within the galaxy to feed into a meta-game system.
- Provide story and content for missions and other environmental encounters.
Injected events rely on a number of systems and information:
- Background simulation – The background simulation manages changes to a systems status, based on player actions, nearby systems, events, and injected events
- Faction information – every faction will have status information, including relationships with other factions, assets owned, Government types, local specialisations & NPC hierarchy.
- System Information – Assets within a system are listed here as they are discovered. Discovery of new assets within a system may trigger different faction behaviours. Injected events may require, or create certain assets in a system
- Player influence – players will be able to influence a star system or faction through many different avenues (see Player Influence below).
This information will be held & controlled by the meta-game, and then used by the developers to create these larger events and happenings. The idea is to create injected events that are relevant to the situation.
In the future, we would hope to create a system that maintains a semi-autonomous approach to this, creating these events without the need for developer interaction, but also still allowing the team to inject separately.
The entire system will be based off of rules dictated by a meta-game system, which will look at each location and calculate a set of factors by which an injected event can best be initiated. What this will mean is taking the influencing factors mentioned above and seeing where events would be best placed.
- A colony with a large population, nearby to a newly found, uninhabited Earth-like world might colonise that planet. A colony suffering from famine or being under-populated would not.
- A star system with low wealth, low development or low standard of living levels would be more likely to suffer from pandemics, famines, governmental collapse and other serious planetary failures.
- Star systems that are contested by 2 opposing forces may suffer from war, be it civil or between factions.
This shouldn’t stop the developers from injecting more random events, such as extinction level asteroid collisions or alien influences if the need arises. Its function is to create relevance and a sense of a living, evolving galaxy.
OUTCOME OF INJECTED EVENTS
These events have the ability to significantly affect the ED universe, changing systems and locations, allowing us to keep it as interesting as possible.
The repercussions of injected events could cause long term changes to the background simulation in a system. Players may also get opportunities to mitigate changes to a system through events in the background simulation.
E.g. An Injected Event causes two factions to go to war with each other in a system. As the background simulation now has influence from the warring faction, it will generate events and missions linked to that war. If players complete missions relating to negotiating peace and ending the war, and react in the right way to events, they could stop the war and mitigate the effects of the Injected Event.
Players will be able to influence this system, since the meta-game will feed off of changes in the simulation from many different sources, including players. For example:
- Missions – generally these will have the largest positive or negative effect on the system, depending on faction, success or failure, nearby enemies or allies, the importance of the mission undertaken, and various unforeseen consequences.
- Trade – player trade will have a minor effect on the system, although a star system already under the effect of an injected event may be exploitable (i.e. food sold to a star system suffering from a famine would fetch a very good price).
- NPC interactions – attacking, defending, interacting and killing NPC’s within a star system or faction will have an effect. The everyday NPC’s met won’t be high level, so their influence will be limited to small changes. For example, killing a trader will negatively affect the wealth of his faction or star system, but not to a vast extent.
- Exploration – discoveries made by players, once sold into the system, will be unlocked for the system to use for injected events.
Players news feed will regularly refer to Events and Injected Events that are nearby to, have been interacted with by, or pertain to the player.
Injected Events can only be added to online players games. Offline players will still have changes applied by the background simulation, but will not get the broad influences of Injected Events.
Several Injected Events can be occurring at the same time in the Galaxy. They may be linked together (such as a famine that affects multiple systems), or could be unrelated and seperate. Injected Events can be linked with each other and could form a sequence of events, creating a narrative around the events that are occurring.
Backer influence over injected events will be a topic to be discussed at a later date.
Please keep your examples of Injected events coming and any feedback on the system coming!