This is a starter as to what i’m working on. Keep in mind this is a very simplified and very incomplete initial work up I have thrown together in the last 4 -5 hours of random thinking.
Bounty Hunter Proposal – 1st iteration
For many of us here in Star Citizen the idea of Bounty Hunting holds a particular appeal, however the current variation in which it operates have left many of us feeling underwhelmed. The potential for this particular sub-profession in the game actually has the potential to play deeply into a number of aspects of the game aside from the Law & Order aspect. Amongst these is exploration & data gathering, solo & team work at both small & large player group/organization levels. At this time most players are currently caught in the loop of getting a contract via the job board or NPC’s currently, track the target, terminate the target, thus rinse & repeat ad nauseam. I felt that fielding a detailed proposal to be reviewed for commentary and hopefully support by both the players and the CIG development team might perhaps provide a more expansive approach to this profession into the future of the game.
The first thing I want players to understand for those who only have played games that have bounty hunting professions in various games, it’s not a mere hunt & kill kind of job in the real world. It is from this basis that I am construction this proposal.
From the 1600’s and into the early 20th century bounty hunting carried with it a number of sub professions. Among these was information gathering, interrogation, following leads, cultivating contacts, lots of foot work, and a whole lot of hurry up and wait for something to happen. But unbeknownst to many, the bounty hunting profession during those times also involved a great deal of exploration of unknown territories, social outreaching to new discovered towns and areas during the pursuits of criminal elements.
Such things at times led to the uncovering of larger more dangerous groups that the sought-after criminal was associating with and in some cases even a higher-level member of the newly discovered group becoming available as additional bounty marks. Situations such as these required the bounty agents to call in other members of the profession, or most commonly it required contracting the services of local law enforcement, militia or citizens.
Not every contract was to kill the target but many times the order was to capture if possible, interrogate and then return for sentencing, a termination order was most often the option of last resort. To terminate a bounty target was to take a reduction in payout for the bounty agent. Thus, the means and tools to capture and/or terminate a target would be a necessary to have on hand. As it currently stands there are already ship ready weapons that can disable a target for the short term, but there becomes a necessity for ship based weaponry that can provided a longer term crippling effect to the ship as well as personally wielded equipment that can neutralize the target, as well as transporting to a holding cell, interrogation methods and options.
To this end Star Citizen has the potential, and I believe the ability, to implement factors and conditions as those briefly described above. Given the discussions put forth by the CIG staff and its intent behind the procedural generation system I see the possibility for deep in-depth mission lines that can be designed for just a single player looking to work a solo operator mission line, yet that same mission line having the branching capability to lead to larger missions requiring teams or in special cases the necessity for an entire strike team involvement to see the mission line through to completion. These mission lines can be available based on an number of factors, foremost among these requirements being reputation & skill ranking
To give a sample idea of the ideas to be proposed here allow me to give an example.
A player that currently holds a low-ranking reputation in the BH profession accepts a bounty mission from Miles Eckhart at Levski. The job is to either capture or terminate the assigned target, the payout being commensurate with the solution applied. Now for the ability to capture/terminate a target we need either lethal or non-lethal means to be selectable. If the player is looking to just make a quick stack of UEE then the target is tracked and terminated. However, the player has the option to capture the target for a higher payout, but to succeed at this the risk for completion jumps dramatically. While the player might be able to disable the ship, they still need to board it and extract the target alive, if necessary, apply short term medical aid to stabilize the target, transport to the players ship into a holding cell. Now we come to a number of possible junctures in what a player might opt to do.
The variety of options that may be available are as follows:
A) Depending on the level of medical need the player may need to do one of the following. Apply additional low level medical if the equipment is on hand. However, it might be incumbent on the player to contract the service of players that provide enhanced medical services such as those rendered by the Apollo Triage, Apollo Medical, Cutlass Red or even an Endeavor that’s been outfitted with a full medical suite.
B) Begin the interrogation process with the lure of medical aid to coerce the NPC to divulge any information they may have. Keep in mind that what the NPC might divulge may not always be truthful simply to get the player to render aid.
C) IF medical aid isn’t necessary or has been fully rendered with little result the potential for financial bribery becomes an option, thus the player has a list of potential payouts to present the NPC with that depending on prior action or the bribe offered it could result in viable/non-viable information. Be cautious however, present too high a payout too soon and the bounty mark might just sucker you because once you make the offer, the payout will auto transfer if they tell you what they decide to tell divulge.
D) Tell the mark to settle in for a nice long ride to the local security office for processing
E) Upon the notification of option D there is the potential for several events to occur. The bounty mark might simply go sit down and await their fate. Optionally the bounty might attempt to bribe the player with information about other events occurring, targets with greater payout from rival factions, hints or leads on materials, equipment, salvage or previously unknown locations or mix of any of the aforementioned.
F) If one of the prior listed events occurs the player is then presented with a number of options. Pay the bounty a “broker fee” for the new information, but keep in mind that data might be bogus. Alternatively, the NPC might broker for their release in exchange for the information, agreeing this makes termination of the NPC cease to be an option. The bounty would then give the player a local system drop-off destination. Thus, the contract is scrubbed as incomplete/target lost or where about unknown. The penalty for this is potential loss in ranking and reputation that may in turn affect the grade of bounty missions in the future.
G) Should Option D be the players final decision there becomes and transit to the local security outpost is occurring the player may receive contact via another ship in the area or a MobiGlass comm. This contact may provide a number of decision paths. The first being if associates of the bounty are in ships that have arrived they may threaten for release, or offer a payoff greater than the original bounty payout or additionally offer information as to other opportunities. Again, agreeing to any option that would release the NPC, the option of termination or turn in ceases to be. The bounty would then give the player a local system drop-off destination or the contact making the offer might dock ship-to-ship and take on the bounty mark aboard or give a drop off destination. Thus, the contract is scrubbed as incomplete/target lost or where about unknown. The penalty for this is potential loss in ranking and reputation that may in turn affect the grade of bounty missions in the future.