Yes, both the government and economy properties of systems are read/write.
Eeeex-cellent. <taps fingers Burns style>
... Hrm. Actually, I think I need to do some more reading to get a better feel for some aspects of the economic scales and spheres of Oolite systems. That is, if we're starting with an Anarchy, I want to figure out just how many opposing gangclan ships would need to be shot down, and/or how much money poured into one's favoured gangclan, and/or how many other kinds of missions could be done as a pilot, in order to bring the remainder to the negotiating table to set up a Multi-Government (possibly as a precursor to a Confederacy, or a Feudal system) - or to turn one's own gangclan's leader into a Dictator, or convince the people-at-large to self-organize into some form of communism or democracy, or convince external oligarchs that the place is stable enough to invest in a corporate state, etc, etc... all without losing sight of the fact that Oolite's basic philosophy involves chucking out realism for enjoyable playability when required.
Drawing a bit of inspiration from the new Home OXP, and starting with turning an Anarchy into an Archy, I'm guessing it would be simple enough to keep track of non-friendlies killed and cash donated, and when a tipping point was reached, the Politics gets switched. Maybe give the player some options in Mission screens about which direction to nudge that switch; maybe the ratio between kills and cash at the critical moment helps determine the method of the political upheaval and thus the result. Can anything think of a better model to try tweaking the details of?
Some shower thoughts:
It probably makes sense to assume that the player's pilot is a Protagonist, who happens to find themselves in just the right place at just the right times to be able to nudge various tipping points, so that their actions have a disproportionately large effect. That is: it could be perfectly okay to fudge the numbers, so that it only takes them a total of, say, ten million credits to lobby for a constitutional amendment, or a thousand kills in a single system to eliminate their faction's political opponents. (Please feel free to suggest better numbers.
If a player starts getting involved in governmental change, I have an urge to throw in some reference to the original Iron Ass, Bolivar
Some possible change methods:
Anarchy -> combat -> kill off opposing factions -> Dictatorship
Anarchy -> cash -> stabilize gangs -> Multi-Government
Feudal -> combat -> royal succession crisis -> Multi-Government
Feudal -> cash -> spreading the voting franchise -> Democracy
Multi-Government -> combat -> unification war -> roll the dice for the winning political form (if casualties are low) or Anarchy (if destruction becomes excessive)
Multi-Government -> cash -> PR campaign -> Confederate
Dictatorship -> combat -> kill off cronies -> Anarchy
Dictatorship -> cash -> buy off president, institute banana republic -> Corporate
Confederate -> combat -> sub-state privileges somehow get linked to inherited offices -> Feudal
Confederate -> cash -> lobbying for constitutional amendments -> Democracy
Democracy -> combat -> civil war -> Multi-Government
Democracy -> cash -> regulatory capture -> Corporate
Corporate -> combat -> Space-Boston Space-Tea Party and revolution -> Confederate
Corporate -> cash -> formalize and ossify family dynasties -> Feudal
A possible subset of this sort of thing: The player might get a chance to join a system's local chapter of the Industrial Workers of the Galaxy, aka the Wigglies
, contributing cash and goods (and maybe busting a few union-busters' heads) to let them put together a system-wide General Strike, thus allowing for councils of trade unions to tell the government what to do instead of the reverse... and, as is customary in GalCop, to start plastering hammer-and-sickle logos on everything in sight.