ATF Start - Fair?

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Seathal
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ATF Start - Fair?

Post by Seathal » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 00:38

I'm planning on ""cheating"" myself an ATF startup for a semi-roleplay game as newbie ATF Officer. What would you think it's fair?

[EDIT] Now you can download the following ATF start in here http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php? ... 16#2722216 Enjoy!

- Start in The Moon sector
- ATF Lunar Access 0%.
- USC Rank Senatorial Advisor 0%
- Commonwealth's races notoriety low (Shoot on sight in core sectors)
- Goner notoriety reasonably high
- Opportunist and Harmless 0%

- An M5 Valkyrie with:
- 5x1MJ shields
- 2xEMPC's
- SETA
- Duplex Scanner
- Video Enhancement Googles
- A few rudder and speed boosting (at 25% maybe)
- 5 Poltergesit missiles

- 1000 credits

Roleplaying restrictions (After all I'm an employee, so far):

- ATF agents can capture enemy ships but cannot keep them (preferntly they should be delivered to our research stations for further study on Alien technology.
- ATF agents can not buy any ships from other races
- ATF agents can not attack Terrans by any means
- ATF agents can not attack Commonwealth ships for diplomatic reasons, unless it's self-defence (Or plot-related)
- ATF agents must not take part in military action on behalf of another government
- ATF agents must not leave behind any trace of Terran technology that could benefit another race over our interests. No ship nor weapon forged in our space must be left behind or sold outside the Solar System (not even Heretic's End). Our technology must not fall into the wrong hands.
- ATF agents must prevent their ships from being manipulated or altered by other races beings. Thus all engine, steering and cargo bay updates on ATF and USC ships must be carried on Terran facilities only. All other upgrades shall be double-checked for anomalies before being installed by ATF personeel only.
- It's not Dead Is Dead but cannot restart if a ship/facotry/asset/mission/reputation is lost
- Nemesis: Terraformers (Xenon). Their existence must not be tolerated, their ereasing will be consdiered as a primary objective, no matter the risk. Once enough combat power is gathered every sign of them must be eliminated.
- Of course no cheats or unfair scripts.


What do you think of it? It is a compensated startup?
I'm thinking I could enable myself the ATF ships smaller than M6 at a higher prize than usual until I can reverse-engineer them (not sure if I'll get that far). Larger ships could be (exceptionally) captured or paid twice the prize for them, we'll see that, not gotten that far.

What do you think? Fair enough? Comments, Ideas?

Thanks to MegaJohnny, Gothsheep and KillerMonkey for their useful comments and suggestions.
Last edited by Seathal on Sat, 10. Jan 09, 16:55, edited 8 times in total.

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MegaJohnny
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Post by MegaJohnny » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 00:45

Sounds good but I'd make the Commonwealth races a bit unhappy with you. Slightly.

The ATF trusts nobody with anything, and the public of other races is probably a bit intimidated/weary of them as a result.

Also, if you're going to try and kill off the Xenon, I'd recommend getting an addon that lets you take over the sectors, so that you can literally wipe them out.

And maybe get yourself an ATF shipyard addon. I'd imagine at least an ATF guy would be allowed to buy the ships.

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Seathal
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Post by Seathal » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 00:51

MegaJohnny wrote:Sounds good but I'd make the Commonwealth races a bit unhappy with you. Slightly.

The ATF trusts nobody with anything, and the public of other races is probably a bit intimidated/weary of them as a result.

Also, if you're going to try and kill off the Xenon, I'd recommend getting an addon that lets you take over the sectors, so that you can literally wipe them out.

And maybe get yourself an ATF shipyard addon. I'd imagine at least an ATF guy would be allowed to buy the ships.
Hehe yeah I had those two scripts in my early game (though I didn't buy ant ATF ship, I jsut used it for the stations).

Your suggestion with the Commonwealth ranks is totally right, I think I'll lower myself so I can't dock at their core centers at least. Also I'd guess that Yaki and Pirates quite uncomfortable with someone from a new powerful race scouting around their sectors and hideaways, so I think I could make them agressive against me.

Oh and maybe "bounty hunters" from the other races' secret services or whatever? Willing to grab my ship and its database to gather info from the Terrans, but I serously don't know how to do that (of course the Terran sectors should be completelly safe).

Is there a way to create sucha custom start from scratch? Or will I have to use scripts for creating such a start? (Cheats for putting in/away money and ships and ranks).

[Edit] To make things even harder I think I'll lower my relationship with all Commonwealth's races to the point they don't let me dock anywhere and shoot me down on sight at Core sectors, except with the Goner, that should be quite high despite their uncomfyness with the methods of ATF (Someone coming from Earth anyways, like Kyle in the past).
THing is that start should be like one of the first proper contacts between Terrans and the Commonwealth, but of course due ATF and USC methods this mentioned contact would be carried on by military units and even the envoys wouldn't trust their own grandmother, so it should be an interesting point of view.

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MegaJohnny
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Post by MegaJohnny » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 01:18

Seathal wrote:Hehe yeah I had those two scripts in my early game (though I didn't buy ant ATF ship, I jsut used it for the stations).

Your suggestion with the Commonwealth ranks is totally right, I think I'll lower myself so I can't dock at their core centers at least. Also I'd guess that Yaki and Pirates quite uncomfortable with someone from a new powerful race scouting around their sectors and hideaways, so I think I could make them agressive against me.

Oh and maybe "bounty hunters" from the other races' secret services or whatever? Willing to grab my ship and its database to gather info from the Terrans, but I serously don't know how to do that (of course the Terran sectors should be completelly safe).

Is there a way to create sucha custom start from scratch? Or will I have to use scripts for creating such a start? (Cheats for putting in/away money and ships and ranks).

[Edit] To make things even harder I think I'll lower my relationship with all Commonwealth's races to the point they don't let me dock anywhere and shoot me down on sight at Core sectors, except with the Goner, that should be quite high despite their uncomfyness with the methods of ATF (Someone coming from Earth anyways, like Kyle in the past).
THing is that start should be like one of the first proper contacts between Terrans and the Commonwealth, but of course due ATF and USC methods this mentioned contact would be carried on by military units and even the envoys wouldn't trust their own grandmother, so it should be an interesting point of view.
That level of hostility sounds quite harsh indeed but it does actually sound a bit more like what would happen in real life. Despite that I've seen Cerberusesuuesus cruising through Cardinal's Domain on their way to Aladna Hill and the local military doesn't give a damn. Hostility like that might make for some interesting stories, though.

And I've never tried scripting besides that one time I gave myself a huge box of fighter drones to play with in Reunion, but I'm pretty sure you can define your own custom starts, since ApricotSlice made a thread about his own custom-made start. I don't know where it is anymore though, I'll try and find it.

About the bounty hunters, I've never beeen on wrong terms with a race but aren't they in the vanilla game when you're on the wrong side with people?

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Seathal
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Post by Seathal » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 01:27

MegaJohnny wrote: That level of hostility sounds quite harsh indeed but it does actually sound a bit more like what would happen in real life. Despite that I've seen Cerberusesuuesus cruising through Cardinal's Domain on their way to Aladna Hill and the local military doesn't give a damn. Hostility like that might make for some interesting stories, though.

And I've never tried scripting besides that one time I gave myself a huge box of fighter drones to play with in Reunion, but I'm pretty sure you can define your own custom starts, since ApricotSlice made a thread about his own custom-made start. I don't know where it is anymore though, I'll try and find it.

About the bounty hunters, I've never beeen on wrong terms with a race but aren't they in the vanilla game when you're on the wrong side with people?
Thing with hostility is that, with such a start, the immediate "gate to the universe" is Omicron Lyrae, a core sector. You can either do things harsh and, probably die or lower your rep even more, or try to get to know your new Argon friends in Heretic's End or Circle of Labour, doing jobs for them. That could be interesting to start with.

I'll search that threat too, I'm eager to do my own custom start. Thanks for the comments and the info!

And about the bounty hunters... That could be right, I guess they are related with your relationship with corporations or the Pirates? Or maybe when you get along really bad with a race. I don't really know.

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Post by Gothsheep » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 01:28

I would also add a roleplay restriction that no military action should be taken on behalf of another government. The Terran might is -not- to be squandered in assisting in petty squabbles between the Split and Boron.

The exception, of course, being that any action taken against the Xenon should NEVER be refused, regardless of odds.

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Seathal
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Post by Seathal » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 01:30

Gothsheep wrote:I would also add a roleplay restriction that no military action should be taken on behalf of another government. The Terran might is -not- to be squandered in assisting in petty squabbles between the Split and Boron.

The exception, of course, being that any action taken against the Xenon should NEVER be refused, regardless of odds.
Right, such as assasination, convoy killing and such missions you mena? That sounds perfect, adding them!

I added your suggestions and the following:

- ATF agents must not leave behind any trace of Terran technology that could benefit another race over our interests. No ship nor weapon forged in our space must be left behind or sold outside the Solar System (not even Heretic's End). Our technology must not fall into the wrong hands.

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Post by KillingMonkey » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 01:53

You have to post a script/mod (or whatever) for this startup plot when it's done... It's cool... But I've got some suggestions:
Make the player be able to buy small ATF ships, not all of them, just til the frigates and the TL. Presuming he's an Military Officer (today standards), he should have access to M6/7 class ships. And, since he's and employee, give him, if possible, a salary of... something reasonable for his rank, according to his rack I mean... Maybe 100000 per gained rank with the Terrans (both USC and ATF)... For the ATF maybe 300000, cause it's harder to go up the scale...
About the ship buying restrictions... They're pretty much ok... By 'cannot keep them' do you mean they won't go into his control or that he has to sell them or deliver them to a shipyard/all-dockable station?
And what about the AGI? They can't be left wandering the X-Universe, spreading destruction...
I'm thinking I could enable myself the ATF ships smaller than M6 at a higher prize than usual until I can reverse-engineer them (not sure if I'll get that far). Larger ships could be (exceptionally) captured or paid twice the prize for them, we'll see that, not gotten that far.
This isn't a bad idea, but twice the price could be too large a price even in the later stages... So why not make them permission-based. Same price, but you'll have to get permission from a certain character, who would give you a mission to test your skills in order to grant you the permission. That character could also be plot-entwined with the plot requiring you to get a certain permission to continue... Preferably different characters for different ships.
Is there a way I can create a custom start myself? (choosing the conditions and status of the start?).
I think a mod adding the plot should take care of this... But I'm not a specialist, so...
To each, his own.

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Post by (/\)arped » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 02:28

KillingMonkey wrote:And, since he's and employee, give him, if possible, a salary of... something reasonable for his rank, according to his rack I mean... Maybe 100000 per gained rank with the Terrans (both USC and ATF)... For the ATF maybe 300000, cause it's harder to go up the scale...
Or maybe making it per-Xenon kill he gets an extra payment bonus?

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Seathal
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Post by Seathal » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 03:09

KillingMonkey wrote:Presuming he's an Military Officer (today standards), he should have access to M6/7 class ships.
Hmmm yes and no. An officer can be a sub-lieutenant, and you won't find any of those commanding a frigate. In the Air Forces every pilot's an officer, so being one doens't mean you get to play with the big toys :wink:
(/\)arped wrote:
KillingMonkey wrote:And, since he's and employee, give him, if possible, a salary of... something reasonable for his rank, according to his rack I mean... Maybe 100000 per gained rank with the Terrans (both USC and ATF)... For the ATF maybe 300000, cause it's harder to go up the scale...
Or maybe making it per-Xenon kill he gets an extra payment bonus?
Sounds good and I'll keep that in mind, but so far I'll be happy to know how the hec* can I open the start.xml files and modify them, trying to sort it out. Anyways You're mixing up my role-play intentions with the start. USC Commander means the guy's with the USC but noone gives you cash when ranking up, although it'd be logical. I note it down.
KillingMonkey wrote:About the ship buying restrictions... They're pretty much ok... By 'cannot keep them' do you mean they won't go into his control or that he has to sell them or deliver them to a shipyard/all-dockable station?
Here I was talking about the role-playing too. I mean If I cap a enemy ship I'm not gonna keep it, since the reglamentary ships are restricted to the Terran ATF and USC constructions. But that the best thing to do would be to deliver them to Terran shipyards so they can be studied in depth for a small reward (In short: to sell them to Terran shipyards).
KillerMonkey wrote:And what about the AGI? They can't be left wandering the X-Universe, spreading destruction...
And they won't!
- Nemesis: Terraformers (Xenon). Their existence must not be tolerated, their ereasing will be consdiered as a primary objective, no matter the risk. Once enough combat power is gathered every sign of them must be eliminated.

Killing Monkey wrote: Same price, but you'll have to get permission from a certain character, who would give you a mission to test your skills in order to grant you the permission. That character could also be plot-entwined with the plot requiring you to get a certain permission to continue... Preferably different characters for different ships.
In short: I have no frigging idea how to do advanced plots like that. I guess the easiest way would be to find a way to gain ATF reputation (adding NPC's with missions to an ATF facility or something) making it quite hard to get high and therefore be able to buy their biggest ships.

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Post by Sandalpocalypse » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 03:37

I would grab the Bounty Boost script. That would give you a bit of income just from combat, which should be a decent enough salary.

Would sure be interesting if someone made Operation Final Fury style missions for the ATF. Hmmmm.... need to poke around in the director again.
Irrational factors are clearly at work.

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Post by Gothsheep » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 13:25

I do like the idea that any caped ships must be delivered to Terran shipyards specifically. So if you capture a ship down in the southern Boron colonies, you'd better have a way to transport it or be prepared to send it on a very long, lonely walk.

Along that vein, you could also say that no non-Terran is allowed to preform work on your ship. Buying and installing upgrades should be alright as the pilot and crew would be able to install the upgrades themselves, but things like repairs and tuning would have to be done at Terran facilities.

I always liked the idea in the game that the Terrans weren't so much just cutting you loose when you left to do your own thing, but had rather assigned you to integrate yourself into the Commonwealth so that they had an agent on the inside. And to do this, you were given limited autonomy to form corporations and PMCs (Para-military corporations) in order to create regional dependence on both your good and your protection.

In essence, the Terrans sent you out to weaken the Commonwealth by having them rely more and more on your military and civilian fleets. They wouldn't feel it, because you're just taking pressure off them. From their point of view, it would seem like you're helping them.

Unless the Terrans suddenly had you stop, leaving them with a gaping hole in both their logical resource supply lines and their local system defenses.

In order to do this, however, they would need you to distance yourself from the USC and the ATF, because the Split or Paranid are never going to trust an ATF agent, but they might jump at the chance to enlist a private company who happens to be using ATF technology, and never realize that they're two sides to the same coin.

(EDIT: As for big ships, I don't know. It depends on how realistic you want to go with it. When you get down to it, it isn't like Star Trek, where the military gives the captain a ship and tells him to have fun. Maybe makes a suggestion that he should probably check out this or deal with that occasionally, but mostly it's up to the captain where the ship goes. The military usually wants to control exactly what their big ships are doing at all times.

That being said: If you want to play it like the Star Trek model, then it's not unreasonable to think that the ATF might say, "You've proven to be one of our most capiable agents. We're putting you in charge of an independent task force. We're not going to just put ships under your command, though! No no. You have access to our shipyards, but you'll have to pay the price for their construction yourself. However, the tradeoff for that is complete anatomy. They're your ships. You staff them, you command them. Good luck, captain. Or Admiral, I guess you'd probably be now. I don't know, just get going, kid. I have a lot of other guys to promote today." )

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Post by KillingMonkey » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 15:43

I like Gothsheeps' idea about the bigger ships( capital class and probably frigate class)... You could make it so that you're given a capital ship, stripped to the basics of course, in order to complete a certain plot mission (probably in late game). After that you're left in charge of the ship but have to, during random intervals, do certain routine missions with it or you'll be stripped from your privileges (loose the ship)...
I always liked the idea in the game that the Terrans weren't so much just cutting you loose when you left to do your own thing, but had rather assigned you to integrate yourself into the Commonwealth so that they had an agent on the inside. And to do this, you were given limited autonomy to form corporations and PMCs (Para-military corporations) in order to create regional dependence on both your good and your protection.

In essence, the Terrans sent you out to weaken the Commonwealth by having them rely more and more on your military and civilian fleets. They wouldn't feel it, because you're just taking pressure off them. From their point of view, it would seem like you're helping them.

Unless the Terrans suddenly had you stop, leaving them with a gaping hole in both their logical resource supply lines and their local system defenses.

In order to do this, however, they would need you to distance yourself from the USC and the ATF, because the Split or Paranid are never going to trust an ATF agent, but they might jump at the chance to enlist a private company who happens to be using ATF technology, and never realize that they're two sides to the same coin.
I also like this part... You could make plot-based missions that require you to make certain level contacts with different organizations, like the NMMC... Also there could be a parallel plot-entwined sequence missions, given to you by a wing of the ATF, of course, that requires you to blend and go 'undercover' in various pirate (and other) organizations that provide a certain threat to Terran space... In general I like, and so promote, the basic idea of a middleman co-op/undercover agent....

And as I said you probably don't need to tweak the start file, you'll probably delete all other starts (not that I have any doubts about you, seriously)... All you need is a mod that adds this start to the menu... A script can't add that kind of complicated stuff... I think...
To each, his own.

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Seathal
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Post by Seathal » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 15:52

Added this to the Valkyrie:
- Video Enhancement Googles
- Duplex Scanner
- 5 Poltergest Missiles
Added this condition also (Gothsheep's suggestion):
- ATF agents must prevent their ships from being manipulated or altered by other races beings. Thus all engine, steering and cargo bay updates on ATF and USC ships must be carried on Terran facilities only. All other upgrades shall be double-checked for anomalies before being installed by ATF personeel only.
Last night I messed with the codefiles that define the starts and I think I got a grip of it, but can't make it load up into the game itself... hm I'll have to try harder.

I love all your suggestions and comments, but about the ship rewards... I have no idea of how that could be done, I have little expeirnece with scripts and wouldn't know how to do a brand-new plot. For now I'll try to do the start hehe :wink:

KillingMonkey
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Post by KillingMonkey » Mon, 5. Jan 09, 18:26

Well... Since during missions, combat ones, you get extra for every ship you kill, the code should be similar for adding a 'salary' for every Xenon/AGI ship killed... Probably just tweak a few lines... To do a 'brand-new plot' with movies (cutscenes, I mean) and plot-related characters, you'd probably need a mod (I hate repeating myself) that adds this as a storyline.... I just don't see a way for a script to do such a big job... I've heard of ones that add missions and special restrictions to a 'custom' defined game, but not entire plots and storylines...
To each, his own.

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