Bounty Hunting: Thoughts and ideas

So I have been digging though the RSI/SC forums to see who’s saying what about bounty hunting and the current feelings. Commentary thus far seems to fall into two categories, the first being nothing more than a whiny bitch-fest, and the second being nothing more than a series of kill this, find that, kill another thing, rinse repeat ad nauseam.

In its current iteration I am not very impressed, though I feel there is room for something more multifaceted that would bring the profession of bounty work into a more challenging and rewarding. Having done beta testing & feedback for a number of games over the years the one thing I have learned is that Devs utterly despise half ass write ups but more often than not are willing to give honest responses to well written proposals and concepts.

Having actually engaged in this profession during my 20’s & 30’s and on occasion still do, there are a number of things that I think would take the in game concept to a much greater level and really make for a sub area of game play that could tie into great many areas.

To this end I have started a proposed work up but I would also like to hear everyone’s idea’s, thoughts and feed back on what i will be posting up over the period of the next 6 - 8 weeks of the first write up.

At this point the only real bounty ship in the game is the Cutlass Blue due to its default prison cells configuration. Which other ships do any of you feel that would make for BH work aside from the “blow holes in the target and gimme my money” thought process?

Avenger Stalker as well. Plus the Hawk. I’m hoping the bounty missions do flesh out. Curious on how we will disable personnel to get them into the paddocks , cells, seat.

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Not sure it will make it into live play, but the brochure for the Super Hornet states the second seat can be used to restrain a prisoner.

I love the Stalker. However, both it and the Blue suffer from the same problem: too many prisoner pods which amount to wasted space. As a lone hunter it’s unlikely I’d accumulate six prisoners before turning them in. And even with a buddy the Blue looks able to carry 12 (two beds per cell).

The biggest problem I have with the Stalker, Blue, and especially the Hawk is that they are so purpose specific. Everyone in scanner range is going to know exactly what you’re there to do. Which will make it very hard to keep a low profile while you’re stalking.

I’m hoping there will be some sort of computer blade or something that can make your ship appear to be a different ship on routine scans. At least that would help until you’re VIDd.

I’m also hoping for prisoner pods that can be inserted into any SCU grid.

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This is exactly what I was wanting to hear in order to flesh out this initial write up. Keep throwing this kind of perspective and consideration at me. :+1:

The Blue was not intended as a BH vessel. It CAN fill that role, but as I understand it, it was designed as a system security boat. With cells. Think combo of SWAT assault plus paddy wagon. Or given a size comparison for a 2-person squad car over 900 years, instead of a single backseat, it has 6 cells, and they solved the problem of the restrained individual being able to either kick the driver’s seat or help a fellow restrainee from escaping.

Personally, I think the “cells” should be removable. Leave the prisoner in the cell, transfer the cell from ship to ground transport, to cell block, and let them out in a controlled environment. Would work for the Blue and the Stalker, and possibly even as a retrofit on a ship with a cargo grid.

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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.

A lot of thought it this, some interesting ideas I’d not thought of. With what you put out there, what happens if you track on foot? or, if you locate and the mark is with others? Never mind all of a sudden you stumble to an orgs location. Might have to think in teams. The options can be endless with this.

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You nailed exactly part of what i’ll be proposing. Bounty Hunting needs to have full spectrum activity from ships ranging from small to capital as well as planetary & lunar outposts, caves and in some cases abandoned or dispossessed stations and perhaps even asteroid colonies, hidden jump paths to unknown pocket sectors leading to other known sectors. Tracking should include work on the ground when a bounty lands then having to run him to ground for the termination or capture.

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The beauty here is also linked to info running, and parts of exploration… all three work hand in hand with. Each can possibly feed to the growth of the others, from locations, items, paths, etc.

Here is the initial outline that will include what I have already posted up previously. Its still an unfinished outline at this point while i’m note taking but with any luck the full outline will be up by next Friday and the initial full write up by the week after. So please start throwing feedback at it and give me more thoughts and ideas.

Bounty Hunting: A Conceptual Proposal for Star Citizen

Its our Verse, help us make the most of it from the professions by helping you.

  • What is Bounty Hunting by the modern definition?

  • Bounty Hunting from the 1600’s through the early 20th Century

  • How can this be applied to Star Citizen?

The Basic workings of Bounty Hunting in Star Citizen

  • Termination vs Capture Contracts

  • Termination – How & Why

  • Capture – How & Why & When

Equipment – The right tools for the job

  • Lethal – Ships & Personal Equipment

  • Non-Lethal – How close do you really want to get?

  • Pre & Post Equipment for Ships & Bounty Hunters

Bigger Challenges require the skills, kills, the captures & occasionally team work

  • Bounty Hunter Ratings – How good am I for the work I want?

  • Contract Risk Ratings – How much pay is worth unnecessary risk?

  • Bounty Hunter vs Contract Ratings: I made it this far I want bigger prey

  • Specialized Contracts – I don’t like teams or groups, why can’t I just work alone?

Bounty Hunting in Star Citizen and its relation to other profession fields

  • Data Gathering, Intelligence & Time Sensitive Data

  • Medical Services: Basic to Advanced, why do we care?

  • Recovery Teams: Solo, Duo, Strike Teams and Operations? Wait what?

  • Prisoner Services: Who gets to keep all these law breakers?

The Solo & Duo Tracking Process

Solo Contracts

  • Termination – Fast Money or Lost Opportunity

  • Capture – How much risk are you

Duo Contracts

  • Multi-Bounty Terminations

  • Multi-Threat concerns for a single bounty a.k.a. your good, but not that good solo

Small Team Contracts

  • Multiple bounties on a contract aren’t always in the same place, but time is crucial

  • Buying time for the capture, while holding off bounty associates

Information is crucial and data gathering makes the difference

  • When you need more information but don’t have the ships, gear or time

  • Finite value of relevant information, how it works for & against you

  • How information and data cache’s work for you but sometimes everyone else

Large Teams & Organization Contracts/Contracting aka Big fish means bigger help

Large Team Bounty Contracts: Who can & Who can’t

  • Termination – Outposts, Caves and Capital Ships Oh My!

  • Capture – The pay had better be worth it at the end of this because……

Organization Grade Contracts – Disrupting Criminal Groups and Organizations

  • Termination – You got on the horse to lead now what are you going to do?

  • Capture – We got the bounty but are these other idiots are worth money too?

I wrote something up a while ago and never posted it on Spectrum. Among my hopes and desires was that the Bounty Hunting career needs to be largely ship agnostic. It needs specialized equipment, not specialized ships.

Elements I’d love to see developed for BH:

  1. SCU prisoner pods.
  2. Hover restraint beds (similar to Apollo’s medevac drones) that follow you from your ship to a ground target then carry that prisoner back to the ship. This could even be a break away module from the SCU prisoner pod.
  3. Long range comms.
  4. Scalable (Ship borne to man portable. Maybe one use items) Comm Jamming equipment (targeted and blanket effects).
  5. Tracking beacons that can be attached to the hull of a ship.
  6. Panic button and location transmitter.
  7. Lock picking and electromagnetic/biometric lock breaking equipment.
  8. Fake ID and ship scan spoofing game mechanics.

And probably a few more things I can’t think of right now. These would be usable as applicable for both hunters and the hunted to enrich gameplay.

I also agree that bounty hunting should present a series of branching options that could lead to a multitude of varying outcomes, benefits, and consequences.

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Will be interesting to see how they will allow or have the movement from pickup location, to transport, to detention/prison/station/hospital/Org brig. I look at the Org brig from the standpoint of a infiltrator/spy, for interrogations. BH has many facets that lead to splinter missions. Much interest for sure.

GraniteHand, this is a good write-up on the subject. There is some additional bounty hunting gameplay on the roadmap for 3.7. https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/board/1-Star-Citizen/card/567-PvP-Bounties My recommendation would be to keep an eye out when this is dropping in a month or two. There is a good chance the CIG devs will be asking for feedback at the time and might even create an official Spectrum thread on the topic. When that happens, I’d recommend providing your insights like you have here, and give us a heads up here and on Discord so we can chime in and give it some visibility.

Alternatively you can create your own thread there and still do the same thing. I also recommending reading https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/12879-Death-Of-A-Spaceman . While not specifically about bounty hunting, there are aspects of this that guide where CIG is going with regard to players being captured or killed. This will greatly affect where they will or will not take bounty hunting.

Nom

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@Tselakal you and I are very much on the same page with those thoughts. The yin vs yang possibilities with equipment alone would make things highly interesting for PVP & PVE. Your idea of Fake ID & IFF spoofing is actually one I hadn’t considered but upon seeing it I had about 6 spin offs and counter spins for it. That is an absolutely awesome mechanic to have in play potentially.

@Fizbane2112 This is one of the trickier ideas I have been playing with. So far I 4 different ideas in regards to captured bounty transport and incarceration. The idea of there being a player managed or semi managed prison ship/station/colony that could provide counter missions for player criminals to stage prison breaks as well as more extensive interrogation events has the potential to provide an aspect to the game that would be very immersive.

@Nomedias I saw the posting on the new BH armor concepts and the 3.7 PVP bounties. It definitely falls in line with the image of what Bounty Hunting work might look like in the far future and makes for a nice clean delineation between the general run armors. If CIG ever gives an option to self color armor and clothing down the road I think it would be interesting to see ADI have a Bounty Hunting Division with its own armor type using ADI’s preferred color scheme. I think your recommendation with the 3.7 post up is the best way to go at this juncture unless we see something drop to the boards that would warrant posting the write up sooner. I was actually reading the Death of a Spaceman just a few days prior to my original post and it plays into what i have in mind for BH. One of those ideas is that if your original character make s name for themselves in the game lore then several months later dies in a bar fight the decendent would have the option using the parental legacy to open up few potential unusual avenues to start their career with, as to what those are I am still pondering at this time

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@Tselakal like the idea of characters to be able to have tools that will allow them to do bounties, without having to purchase a bounty purpose ships. Been able to purchase a stand alone cell, that you could store at a Cutlass Black for example, can help you blend in better while navigating populated areas and not alert potential bounties to your present. I think the Cutlass Blue will be a good ship for team effort adventures when capturing more than one Pirate or Criminal is necessary. Sending a small Swat team to clear an area or ship, and then bringing the “bus” to take all capture people back to face justice.

***Okay folks here is the near complete outline for the proposal regarding bounty hunting. At this point I am still picking away at the new section titled “The Flip Side of the Coin”, it was a last minute brain storm so i’m still working on how it ties in from the opposite side of the list for Bounty Hunters. Any ideas and feed back is greatly welcome. ***

***Aside from that start poking at this and lets throw more feed back at me. I’ve been working on the actual write up along side the outline and so far I have about 17 pages. I’ve got 2 pages of ideas between what I have and items/ideas all of you have thrown at me. ***

***So have at it and throw everything including the sink at it and i’ll keep working on the extended write up portion. Once I have that complete I will put both it and the outline together in a single posting and let you guys rip it apart to tighten it up. ***

Looking forward to all the feed back for this.


Bounty Hunting: A Conceptual Proposal for Star Citizen

It is our Verse, help us make the most of it from the professions by helping you.

• What is Bounty Hunting by the modern definition?
• Bounty Hunting from the 1600’s through the early 20th Century
• How can this be applied to Star Citizen?
• A brief entry level mission overview

Bounty Hunter Reputation Rank, Contract Rankings, Contract Grades and Unusual Contracts

A. Bounty Hunter Rep Ranking – Your rank isn’t just a number

  1. Getting Started – You’re a rookie, you don’t get the glory work
  2. Mid-Level Ranks – Your learning kid but don’t get cocky
  3. Top Rank Ratings – You’ve made a name for yourself but what does it mean?
  4. Elite Class Ranks – The Bounty Hunters of Legend, These Hunters get all the fans

B. Contract Rankings – Your climbing the ranks but the work gets tougher

  1. Welcome to the job – You may have your BH Creds but that doesn’t mean much
  2. Keep at it – You think you warrant higher rank work but quality isn’t always bigger

C. Contract Grades – Your Bounty Ranking & Performance affect Contract Quality

  1. Mission Ranks vs Mission Grade – Yeah, the risk seems the same but the targets are not
  2. Payout variance for mission grades depending on multiple factors

D. Elite & Rare Contracts – what are they, how often and who can sign on with the holder

  1. They don’t come up often, the risk is extreme but the payout, gear & salvage is insane
  2. Elite Contracts – How they might be found and who can get in on the hunt
  3. Rare Contracts – Some times you have to have a clue and stumble in the door to get it

The Theoretical Basic workings of Bounty Hunting in Star Citizen

A. Termination vs Capture Contracts

  1. Termination – How & Why
  2. Capture – How & Why & When

B. Equipment – The right tools for the job

  1. Your Basic Hunter – Ships & Personal Equipment
  2. Lethal & Non-Lethal – How close do you really want to get?
  3. Pre & Post Equipment for Ships & Bounty Hunters
  4. Specialty Gear for registered Bounty Hunters vs the general player base

C. Bigger Challenges require the skills, kills, the captures & occasionally team work

  1. Bounty Hunter Ratings – How good am I for the work I want?
  2. Contract Risk Ratings – How much pay is worth unnecessary risk?
  3. Bounty Hunter vs Contract Ratings: I made it this far I want bigger prey
  4. Specialized Contracts – I don’t like teams or groups, why can’t I just work alone?
  5. Who you work for – It may be a contract but is it for the right or wrong side of the law?

D. Bounty Hunting in Star Citizen and its relation to other professions & possible sub professions

  1. Exploration, Data Gathering, Intel & Time Sensitive Data
  2. Medical Services: Basic to Advanced, why do we care?
  3. Salvage – You burned his ship but is it still worth anything?
  4. Recovery Teams: Solo, Duo, Strike Teams and Operations? Wait what?
  5. Prisoner Management: Who gets to keep all these law breakers?

The Solo, The Duo & Small Team Contract Operations

A. Solo Contracts

  1. Termination – Fast Money or Lost Opportunity
  2. Capture – There is more to it than a set of flex cuffs

B. Duo Contracts

  1. Multi-Bounty Terminations – The bounty can’t watch us both at the same time
  2. Multi-Threat concerns for a single contract a.k.a. your good, but not that good solo

C. Small Team Contracts

  1. Multiple bounties on a contract aren’t always in the same place, but time is crucial
  2. Buying time for the capture, while holding off bounty associates

D. Information is crucial and data gathering makes the difference

  1. When you need more information but don’t have the ships, gear or time
  2. Finite value of relevant information, how it works for & against you
  3. How information and data cache’s work for you but sometimes everyone else
  4. What you find might be more than you know
  5. Should you hold onto data & interrogation results and try to piece it all together or are you better off to turn it over to see if anything might tie in?

Large Teams & Organization Contracts/Contracting aka Big fish means bigger help

A. Large Team Bounty Contracts: Who can & Who can’t

  1. Termination – Outposts, Caves and Capital Ships Oh My!
  2. Capture – The pay had better be worth it at the end of this because……
  3. Large Team Missions – Penalties, Violations and Percentage Payouts, huh?

B. Organization Grade Contracts – Disrupting Criminal Groups and Organizations

  1. Termination – You got on the horse to lead now what are you going to do?
  2. Capture – We got the bounty but are these other idiots are worth money too?
  3. Org Bounty Missions – More Penalties, Violations and Payouts? Oh my!

C. Elite Grade contracts for Large Team & Organizations: Planets, Systems and Sectors

  1. Planet Wide Contracts – Make sure you carry extra supplies
  2. System Wide Contracts – They might run or they might lead you to a trap
  3. Sector Wide Contracts – You might just be stuck looking down a very large barrel

The Flip side of the coin

A. Criminal Enterprise – Sometimes it’s the player, other times it’s the NPC

  1. NPC actions for contract generation - Somebody has to be bad guy
  2. Player actions for contract generation - You can’t let the NPC’s have all the fun

B. Criminal Actions generate contracts – Someone saw you do it

  1. Robbery and other low-level criminal activity – Being a bad has it perks
  2. Ship Jacking -
  3. Raiding –
  4. Extreme Criminal Enterprise -

C. Criminals can make good informants – The bad guy can be useful at times

  1. NPCs can be double dealers -
  2. Players might???
  3. The criminal has been around and might be looking to retire

D. Criminals come in all shapes and grades

  1. Place Holder
  2. Place Holder
  3. Place Holder

E. Even the bad guy needs Equipment & Resources

  1. Place Holder
  2. Place Holder
  3. Place Holder

A Short Walk through of several types of Bounty Missions

A. Basic Contracts from the “Job Board” or NPC’s

  1. Basic Contracts that spell it out
  2. Emergency Beacons -
  3. Overheard Conversations

B. Criminals caught in the Act

  1. Player/NPC actions that auto generate contracts
  2. Black Market Contracts & Events
  3. Players observing Players

C. Contracts Generated from Compiled Data Fragments

  1. Follow the Bread Crumbs
  2. We each have a piece of the puzzle but who gets the contract
  3. Rumor has it, But the UEE has a bone to pick

D. It is Dangerous to go alone, take the gang with you

  1. You know who that guy is right? You need a bigger boat
  2. Wait, you want us to do what? Where?
  3. You said it was one guy not a damn army!

Conclusion

A. Restate topic
B. Summarize main points
C. Revisit introduction or tie all ideas together

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Looks good and I hope they follow your outline in a similar way making Bounty Hunting a real job instead of a half baked idea or just words on paper or web portal because it sounds cool. And I don’t even mind waiting after the game goes Gold as long as it is done.