galcop's

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galcop's

Post by barge411 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:29 am

Is there any way of making the Galcop's more realistic.
Police do not usually allow someone to commit a crime and leave a station before doing anything. At least not every time. Also they would surely capture the people who are selling the illegal items.
Most would only know if you landed at a station and had your cargo checked at time of arrival.
Also they seem not to care to much about pirates who are every day criminals and who attack even inside the Galcop station zone.

Would it not be better if there was a random stop and check by Galcop - rather than this automatically knowing that you have commited a crime. But not doing anything about it until you have left the station.

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Re: galcop's

Post by Disembodied » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:47 pm

The basic problem is that, as the legal system is an inheritance from the original Elite, players need to be able to dock and trade at the main station, regardless of their criminal rating - otherwise a whole range of "lifestyle choices" become unfeasible. There are two ways to fix this: the first is to prevent criminals docking at a main station (or hand out large fines to Offenders, and jail sentences or worse to Fugitives), and instead provide an alternative network of black-market stations where those players who wish to be criminals can dock, repair, refit, refuel, trade and (most importantly) save the game. This would have many benefits, but would require a huge amount of design and programming.

The second way to "fix" it is to alter the assumptions about the way the law, and Galcop, works ...

Firstly, the ease with which you can buy and sell narcotics, slaves and firearms suggests that these are not "illegal" goods at all: in fact, the only way to get a criminal rating from trade in these commodities is to leave a main station with them in your hold. So buying and selling them isn't a crime - just transporting them from a main system station without (presumably) an appropriate license.

Secondly, the fact that you can dock, trade, refuel etc. within the station, despite being a wanted criminal, suggests that the remit of the police does not hold up within the confines of the station itself. We know that the various planets in the Co-operative all have different governments, so we know that the Co-operative does not "rule" these star systems. It would seem that the Co-operative itself is more of a series of trade agreements than it is any sort of government. Its laws are brutally simple: any transgression, from destroying hundreds of civilian ships all the way down to accidentally launching from a station with one ton of salvaged narcotics on board, makes you an outlaw, puts a price on your head, and means that anyone can kill you with impunity (and will indeed be rewarded for doing so). There's not much room for legal technicalities there! It's a code designed to be understood across hundreds of species and cultures, and all it concerns itself with is shipping and trade. The police Vipers are there to keep the trade routes open, nothing more. That same simplicity might easily limit the authority of the police to interplanetary space within a star system, and might well stop at the boundary of each planet's stratosphere, and at the gates of the main station.

The exact relationship between the various planetary governments and the Co-operative is hazy: it's not clear whether the stations are owned by the Co-operative, or owned by the individual planets. It's also not entirely clear what the relationship is between the legal arm of the Co-operative (the police) and with other parts of the same organisation that might deal with trade and interplanetary relations. There are historical parallels, e.g. with the various American and Caribbean colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries: while officially deploring piracy, a number of towns grew rich on the proceeds, and even some colonial governors turned a blind eye rather than see the lucrative trade move elsewhere. A strong, centralised government and police force might be expected to crack down on piracy and smuggling; the conclusion I draw from the state of the Co-operative is that it's neither strong nor centralised!

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Re: galcop's

Post by JazHaz » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:20 pm

Oh, and Galcop is not the name of the police force, rather its the name of the Galactic Co-operative that runs the trade of the Galaxy, owning the space stations etc.
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Re: galcop's

Post by barge411 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:02 pm

I wanted it more realistic.
At the moment they are mind reading the craft as it leaves the station.
As such they might as well mind read before you enter a station and make you a criminal before you buy illicit goods in the first place.

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Re: galcop's

Post by Diziet Sma » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:11 pm

barge411 wrote:At the moment they are mind reading the craft as it leaves the station.
No.. they're scanning your cargo containers for the RFID microchips installed in them. If the results don't match the manifest you submitted when you requested clearance to depart, or if the records show you don't have the requisite permits for the 'contraband' on board, then you get an offender or fugitive tag, depending on the severity of the offence.
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Re: galcop's

Post by Disembodied » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:18 pm

If you want a more proactive Galcop/customs, you could try the [wiki]Illegal Goods Tweak OXP[/wiki].

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Re: galcop's

Post by Svengali » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:06 pm

JazHaz wrote:Oh, and Galcop is not the name of the police force, rather its the name of the Galactic Co-operative that runs the trade of the Galaxy, owning the space stations etc.
It depends on the context, I'd think. The term 'GalCop' may be used for the Galactic Co-operative and for its police force (see [wiki]GalCop[/wiki]).

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Re: galcop's

Post by Amaranth » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:10 pm

I like Illegal goods tweak. Very handy if you have scooped up a load of cargo after a dogfight and forgotton that you have picked up contraband. And it removes the get rich extremely quick method of buying narcotics or slaves at a Seedy Space Bar and flogging them at the main station.

Now a good idea would be (although it would clash with the illegal goods tweak) to have an option to buy a license to trade illegal goods for a set period of time, (i.e mechanics wise, the game would ignore the cargo scan on departure whilst the permit is active)
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Re: galcop's

Post by Walbrigg » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:07 pm

Another point that's a bit unclear is why the level of policing by GalCop in any given system is so dependent on the type of planetary government, given that the actual rules being enforced are GalCop's and not the locals'

Once you start talking about realism, the thing that gets me is the actual volume of trade. I've sat by a station for an hour watching the ships go in and out, and I would say a couple of hundred ships a day capable of carrying a hundred tons or so of cargo each doesn't amount to an economically significant amount of interstellar trade for a planet with a population of billions.
If you choose to take that seriously, it puts space travel into context: after all, the nature of the game is that even very cautious trading is extremely profitable and extremely dangerous. Systems are practically self-sufficient, and GalCop's control of piracy and Thargoids is so limited that every interstellar journey is a life-threatening adventure. The way to look at GalCop is not as some supreme galactic government, but as an ad-hoc alliance of spacers just barely managing to make space travel possible. Most of the other ships you see are flown by adventurers who've been in space for a matter of days or weeks and will be dead within a few more weeks. The fatality rate for journeys from a witchpoint to a space station means that has to be the case -- if you make 150 jumps a year and there is even 1% chance of dying on any given jump, then you have less than one chance in four of surviving your first year in space.

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Re: galcop's

Post by Disembodied » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:55 pm

Walbrigg wrote:Another point that's a bit unclear is why the level of policing by GalCop in any given system is so dependent on the type of planetary government, given that the actual rules being enforced are GalCop's and not the locals'
The assumption I make is that the Vipers are provided by the Co-operative, so that all systems have access to the same police technologies despite differing tech levels (it's not at all clear whether TL1 means "just capable of FTL spaceflight" or "just capable of metalwork", or some point in between: personally, I tend towards the "just capable of metalwork" interpretation, but that's just me). But although the Co-operative provides the Vipers, their upkeep and maintenance is paid for by the planetary governments (or, in their absence, by collectives of planet-based traders) - so poor, disorganised systems have hardly any police craft, which barely ever leave the station aegis.
Walbrigg wrote:Once you start talking about realism, the thing that gets me is the actual volume of trade. I've sat by a station for an hour watching the ships go in and out, and I would say a couple of hundred ships a day capable of carrying a hundred tons or so of cargo each doesn't amount to an economically significant amount of interstellar trade for a planet with a population of billions.
If you choose to take that seriously, it puts space travel into context: after all, the nature of the game is that even very cautious trading is extremely profitable and extremely dangerous. Systems are practically self-sufficient, and GalCop's control of piracy and Thargoids is so limited that every interstellar journey is a life-threatening adventure. The way to look at GalCop is not as some supreme galactic government, but as an ad-hoc alliance of spacers just barely managing to make space travel possible. Most of the other ships you see are flown by adventurers who've been in space for a matter of days or weeks and will be dead within a few more weeks. The fatality rate for journeys from a witchpoint to a space station means that has to be the case -- if you make 150 jumps a year and there is even 1% chance of dying on any given jump, then you have less than one chance in four of surviving your first year in space.
I think that the 17th- and 18th-century European colonies in the Americas and the Caribbean make a good historical model for Elite/Oolite, and not just because of the prevalence of piracy. Colonies might wait weeks or even months between trading ships, especially ones coming from Europe, and the volume of cargo such ships carried would usually be pretty small compared to the population of the colonies. The colonists would be pretty much self-sufficient, and most of the population wouldn't be able to afford expensive imported items like tea: such luxuries would be the preserve of the wealthy - but they were still eagerly sought-after, and financially very worthwhile. Which explains why people were willing to sign on as sailors on trading vessels, even though survival rates for a single voyage on the triangle trade could be as low as one in three (this also helps explain why so many sailors took willingly to piracy: it could be thought of as "a merry life and a short one", as opposed to just a short one).

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Re: galcop's

Post by Walbrigg » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:15 am

Disembodied wrote:
Walbrigg wrote:Another point that's a bit unclear is why the level of policing by GalCop in any given system is so dependent on the type of planetary government, given that the actual rules being enforced are GalCop's and not the locals'
The assumption I make is that the Vipers are provided by the Co-operative, so that all systems have access to the same police technologies despite differing tech levels (it's not at all clear whether TL1 means "just capable of FTL spaceflight" or "just capable of metalwork", or some point in between: personally, I tend towards the "just capable of metalwork" interpretation, but that's just me). But although the Co-operative provides the Vipers, their upkeep and maintenance is paid for by the planetary governments (or, in their absence, by collectives of planet-based traders) - so poor, disorganised systems have hardly any police craft, which barely ever leave the station aegis.
Ah, but then the economy of the system should have as much effect as the government type...
Disembodied wrote: I think that the 17th- and 18th-century European colonies in the Americas and the Caribbean make a good historical model for Elite/Oolite, and not just because of the prevalence of piracy. Colonies might wait weeks or even months between trading ships, especially ones coming from Europe, and the volume of cargo such ships carried would usually be pretty small compared to the population of the colonies. The colonists would be pretty much self-sufficient, and most of the population wouldn't be able to afford expensive imported items like tea: such luxuries would be the preserve of the wealthy - but they were still eagerly sought-after, and financially very worthwhile.
Yes, I think that's roughly the way to look at it. That can also explain the original question of this thread: why stations apply a "no-questions-asked" policy to trading. If there's only a little cargo coming into the system, and 20-50% is nabbed by pirates, then if you don't trade with the pirates, you won't see that cargo: they'll just take it elsewhere. On the other hand, once they're back at sea, er, in space, they're fair game.

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Re: galcop's

Post by CommRLock78 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:26 am

I recall wondering about this topic when I first started playing Oolite.
Disembodied wrote:The basic problem is that, as the legal system is an inheritance from the original Elite, players need to be able to dock and trade at the main station, regardless of their criminal rating - otherwise a whole range of "lifestyle choices" become unfeasible. There are two ways to fix this: the first is to prevent criminals docking at a main station (or hand out large fines to Offenders, and jail sentences or worse to Fugitives), and instead provide an alternative network of black-market stations where those players who wish to be criminals can dock, repair, refit, refuel, trade and (most importantly) save the game. This would have many benefits, but would require a huge amount of design and programming.
That would be so cool to have separate stations 8) (but as you say, a huge amount of work :( )
Disembodied wrote:The second way to "fix" it is to alter the assumptions about the way the law, and Galcop, works ...
This is pretty much what I did - I just altered my assumptions about how things work ;).

Edit:
Disembodied wrote:Firstly, the ease with which you can buy and sell narcotics, slaves and firearms suggests that these are not "illegal" goods at all: in fact, the only way to get a criminal rating from trade in these commodities is to leave a main station with them in your hold. So buying and selling them isn't a crime - just transporting them from a main system station without (presumably) an appropriate license.
I'm surprised no one has ever made an OXP that creates licenses to trade the "illegal" goods :?: :idea:
Disembodied wrote:The exact relationship between the various planetary governments and the Co-operative is hazy: it's not clear whether the stations are owned by the Co-operative, or owned by the individual planets.
I always assumed they were owned by the planets - hence the reason for having different kinds of stations in different kinds of systems.
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Re: galcop's

Post by Walbrigg » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:18 am

CommRLock78 wrote:
I'm surprised no one has ever made an OXP that creates licenses to trade the "illegal" goods :?: :idea:
I thought New Cargoes did that.
CommRLock78 wrote:
Disembodied wrote:The exact relationship between the various planetary governments and the Co-operative is hazy: it's not clear whether the stations are owned by the Co-operative, or owned by the individual planets.
I always assumed they were owned by the planets - hence the reason for having different kinds of stations in different kinds of systems.
Good point. Come to that, the availability of equipment being dependent on the planetary TL points to the stations being extensions of the planetary economy rather than outposts of a pan-galactic civilisation. Though that may be down to the availability of skilled engineers, bearing in mind that nobody with a decent safe skilled engineering job would ever do something as reckless as travel through a wormhole. (Or if they were that way inclined, they would take a ridiculously lucrative job as a ship's engineer, rather than just sit in a station around another planet)

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Re: galcop's

Post by CommRLock78 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:29 am

Walbrigg wrote:
CommRLock78 wrote:
I'm surprised no one has ever made an OXP that creates licenses to trade the "illegal" goods :?: :idea:
I thought New Cargoes did that.
So it does appear! (I had even looked on the OXP list before posting that, too, because it sure seemed like something that had to be out there already ;))
Walbrigg wrote: Though that may be down to the availability of skilled engineers, bearing in mind that nobody with a decent safe skilled engineering job would ever do something as reckless as travel through a wormhole. (Or if they were that way inclined, they would take a ridiculously lucrative job as a ship's engineer, rather than just sit in a station around another planet)
Likewise a good point :).
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Re: galcop's

Post by Diziet Sma » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:25 am

CommRLock78 wrote:
Walbrigg wrote:
CommRLock78 wrote:
I'm surprised no one has ever made an OXP that creates licenses to trade the "illegal" goods :?: :idea:
I thought New Cargoes did that.
So it does appear! (I had even looked on the OXP list before posting that, too, because it sure seemed like something that had to be out there already ;))
Mind you, those licenses take a big chunk out of your profits.. :shock:

I think there's still room for a more generic licensing OXP that works for the ordinary goods on the F8 screen.
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