Monday, September 6, 2004

SWG: Orbital Bombardment and Defense of Player Cities +

Marjaliisa wrote:
What if a player city does not wish to take part in the GCW?
The more I think about it, the more it appears that orbital bombardment can only be factional combat. It's basically long-range, indirect fire PvP.

So it looks like the concept of a city's "opting in" is required for the idea of orbital bombardment and city defenses to work, since otherwise you'd be subjecting people's stuff (their structures) to PvP without their necessarily having declared a faction. The question is how you allow cities to opt in.

One way would be simple: key it off of having a city shield generator. If you plant one, then that's your city's declaration that it's factional. And if you have two styles of city shield generator -- one Rebel, one Imperial -- then that determines your city's faction.

Another (and probably better) way to let a city declare that it is a factional city would be to allow Mayors to put it to a vote -- if the referendum passes, then your city (whether you voted that way or not) goes to whichever faction was stated in the proposed "law." This way you could change your city's faction without having to rebuild/redeed a city shield generator of the "correct" type.

Marjaliisa wrote:
What if I am in a player city (just passing through, for example) that gets bombed by neutron bombs, although I don't want to participate in PvP?
One of the fundamental rules of SWG has been that you should never be forced to participate in PvP. In practice this has been interpreted to mean that no player can directly cause wounds to another player through combat actions unless both players have explicitly and deliberately signed on with either the Imperial or Rebel factions (either covertly or overtly). It doesn't matter how weird it looks; if you're neutral, no other player can touch you.

Therefore it's reasonable to expect that this rule would apply to orbital bombardment as well. If orbital bombardment is a factional attack -- and I can't see how it could not be -- then if you're neutral and strolling through a city that's in the process of being bombed back to the Stone Age, you can lie down in the street and enjoy the light show, because not a blessed thing will happen to you.

On the other hand, if you do happen to be factional, then no matter what faction you are you should take some damage from orbital bombardment striking a city where you happen to be walking. That would be part of the risk of choosing to be a soldier in the GCW.

Where it gets tricky is when we're talking about a neutral player with structures (a house, harvesters, factories) in a factional player city. Should that player's belongings be subject to damage from orbital bombardment?

I would say yes. This would depend on it having been made clear to each citizen that he or she was living/building in a city that had declared one way or the other in the GCW. This could be done through email, and possibly through posted signs and/or system messages -- "Attention! You are now entering an Imperial municipality!" Players who did not wish to be subject to orbital bombardment would have to move out of town, but maybe that's part of what a city thinks about when it decides whether or not it wants to declare a faction.

Here's another related issue: Suppose you're away from SWG for a week. You've paid up your maintenance for a couple of weeks, but suppose that as soon as you were gone your city got hit several times from space and your house lost all its maintenance. In a few days it would drop to 0% condition -- so what happens to your stuff?

Situations like this make me think there'd have to be some kinds of caps on how much damage orbital bombardment could do. It should be enough to cause some pain, but not enough to do irrevocable damage (like losing all your stuff).

Is there a better way to go than to score bombardment damage as maintenance or condition points?

Marjaliisa wrote:
some players might feel that this is just a scheme to get (or force) them to buy JtL.
Possibly. Others might see it as a way to allow player cities participate in JtL in an interesting and useful way. So I suspect this one is a wash, but it's still helpful to remind us that sometimes perceptions matter.

Marjaliisa wrote:
Other than that, seems like a cool idea. Maybe it could apply to bases, but not cities? Or cities that have bases associated with them?
I like it. The idea of letting a city declare itself as factional by associating that city with a factional base seems like another reasonable way to signal a city's willingness to participate in the GCW.