Welcome to some more Star Citizen today I wanted to talk about something integral to the core of Star Citizen, The Dynamic Mission System, what is it, when is it coming & how does it work.
The goal of the Dynamic Mission system is to have procedurally generated variable interesting tailored missions. Having Player & NPC actions or Economic factors that affect the Universe that then in turn generate missions appropriate to a load of dynamic factors that are suited for that area.
Currently in Star Citizen we have a variety of missions but they are static & pretty linear, they might have a couple of variants, counter missions & a few different locations / enemies. They might be given to players based on reputation in their personal
It’s far from what the dynamic mission system is planned to be & are not affected by the economy.
The Dynamic Mission System is a culmination of various parts some of which are on the Roadmap and bits will be added to the system from patch to patch.
In Alpha 3.8 (December) – Economy Generated Missions
“The Dynamic Mission System allows content to be dynamically tailored to the current environment. The Dynamic Mission System allows missions featuring specific locations, rewards, and other parameters to be dynamically dictated based upon guidance from the back-end simulation and player actions, which in turn enables a more systemic universe.”
This will mean missions generated based on what is happening on the server & its economy but it’s the first early implementation.
They could have it that if players are buying and selling widow, slam, etam, neon or other narcotics then missions could be generated to shut down their production OR intercept players ferrying it.
If certain items are bought OR ships need replacing then missions to mine particular minerals might be generated OR the value of these minerals will rise.
Dynamic Pricing of items is heavily tied to this.
We will have missions that are more appropriate to what is going on, on our server, if lots of outlaw missions are succeeding we should see more missions generated & with better rewards to counter this.
For Alpha 3.9 (March 2020) – Mission Generation along QT Routes
This part of the Dynamic Mission System will further allow for the real-time customization of mission content based upon direction from the macro economy including the ability to vary where missions are offered, in what quantity, and the payment. It will also allow mission templates to be injected with environmental information at run-time, enabling the creation of content that’s both more diverse and that more accurately represents the simulated universe at that moment in time.
This could more specifically see pirates appropriately Quantum interdict cargo ships.
NPC Distress signals generated in more appropriate areas
Missions in more obscure locations.
You should see missions much more appropriate to the area you are in & will see more parts of the Dynamic Mission System come together.
Beyond the Roadmap
Eventually all the Dynamic Mission System, missions will be built out of a variety of modular and procedural pieces & encounters.
So you’ll have a huge amount of variety even with missions that appear to be very similar in their type and description.
A Delivery Mission could have various locations for pick up and drop off.
Various Encounters could happen in QT or on site.
The Item you are trying to pick up might of been stolen OR not where you thought it was.
You’d have to then find it or go and take it from who took it (this could be NPCs or a Player)
You have to search for the item in a warehouse of other items, before bringing it to the drop off location.
On the way more encounters might happen, you could even get double-crossed or some other interesting part of the
Counter Missions – Some of the mission generation factors will be based on other players taking missions, thus generating a counter or competing mission or even a supporting mission. This happens even now in 3.4.3 / 3.5 with the Downed Satellite mission & the Twitch Pacheco Maze Mission for example. In the future though expect a more complex system.
NPCs will be able to take missions, get involved with them. Counter Missions might not be directly competing against another player JUST generated because you took or completed another mission. In general as well failed and completed missions will affect what missions are generated too.
The generation & events during a mission will be affected by probability volumes, basically a lightweight simulation of the NPC Population. Some areas will have more pirates OR have NPC trade routes / haulers.
NPC Bounty Hunters coming after players is an example of focused NPC generation, physicalizing an NPC based on these probability volumes..
Missions will be offered at locations where there is an actual need for it or where the economy has determined there is a reason to generate one & rewards appropriate for them.
NPCs can answer your Service Beacons too.
Mission Difficulty doesn’t scale based on your ship or party, missions will be described and have rewards appropriate to the sort of amount of effort they have, they should suggest if you need a particular amount of cargo space or if you might need a large ship, multiple ships or a group to do them HOWEVER, you could technically do some hard group mission solo MAYBE, working out what ship you should take, loadouts and how many party members are appropriate will be up to the players. Though there could be some surprises on the way even for prepared players.
There will be General Mission Improvements & bug fixes each patch too, making the missions have a bit more depth. Expanding them out to new areas, if a particular area is busy then missions that are unfulfilled in another area may get more of reward. The Dynamic Mission system is very much tied to the greater economy, supply & demand, and location driven factors all working in concert BUT all of these pieces will come online one by one.
SSOCS, New Planets/Locations/Ships/Gameplay Loops, Full Persistence & time will all greatly affect what missions are available in the future. The Twitch Pacheco Mission has some awesome features, they lend you a ship that you have to collect, you then have to clear out a bunker, search for a correct crate based on a description of that crate before bringing back and delivering it. The counter mission has you going to the same location and destroying as many of the crates as possible there.
There is also the downed satellite mission on Hurston, that has you search a downed satellite for a particular component that you have to check to make sure it the correct one BUT could have you recover it from other locations or enemies, again there is a counter mission to destroy the component. These missions have little glimpses of what the future might hold with less grind & more variety & interaction.
When taking missions even in 3.5 I recommend reading them fully BUT once they start to implement the Dynamic Mission System, reading them will be incredibly important, you might need a fighter, cargo hold of a certain size OR a group to complete a mission & some missions are going to be much more dangerous that others.
If you want to know more about Probability Volumes, the Star Citizen Economy & Law/Order and Subsumption I’ll link my Summary of the Tony Zurovec Panel from CitizenCon 2018 down below, he talks about these systems more in depth.