Borrowing, Loan Sharks and Debt collectors

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Borrowing, Loan Sharks and Debt collectors

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Once again, one of Cap'n H's little sig's in another thread has sparked an idea.

The idea of Oolite (other than giving your life over to it fully, oh and enjoy yourself) is to make money - you make money to buy better toys and when you've bought better toys you buy a bigger ship and more toys and continue to try and make even more money...

But that's the hard way, that's not real life, in Oolite you can't have an overdraught, you can't have debt but what if you could....

You want to trade you CMk3 in and by that Python instead - but by trading its gonna take ages and you're a right now kind of guy - jeez this is the 32nd century of pity's sake. But then you hear about this guy, he works of the concourse down by the Level 27 Club, you don't find him though, he finds you - he knows you really want that Python, he has the means to help, just a thumb print and a retinal scan on the contract and the money's yours and don't worry about the repayments the interest is very reasonable and the period is quite flexible...

So, you've got your Python, it's loaded with Computers and you're gonna make a killing on this next jump, you pat the flight console affectionately and make the jump...

...it was going so well - you were almost there and then three sidewinders came out of nowhere - you fired off every 4x4 you had and nailed two of them but the third cut you up real bad as you lumbered through space hemoraging hull plating and cargo cannisters - and for the first time you miss the old Cobra...

...but you make it, that magic 'S' lights up the smoke filled bridge with its green glow and you know you're gonna be ok - streaks of purple flash past you as the Viper I's slice up the sonofagun who hurt you and your ship so bad.

You sell off what's left of your cargo and authorise the repairs - you're in profit, just. Enough to buy some furs to go back the other way - you pray for a safer trip...

...you have a message, apparently your first payment is due on your loan, you look at the number and presume the decimal place is in the wrong place, you ask for confirmation and the number comes back the same. Your blood runs cold, your mouth goes dry - you hit 'cancel' - your 'friend' will have to wait another week - its only a week after all.

Repairs complete you launch again - your hold decidedly empty but still profit to be had if the trip goes well. You make it through witchspace without mishap but on your run in to the system you realise just what this ship is gonna cost you. He takes out your rear shields before you even realise that he's not your average trader. The only two missiles you could afford to replace are shattered by an ECM pulse the second they come of their rails.

The hull of the Python is punctured in a dozen places you're venting atmosphere at a lethally high rate - all the lights and klaxons suddenly go out as the power on the bridge fails and you'rr sat their gasping as the last of the air vacates the ship - the last thing you remember seeing as your eyeballs burst in the vaccum of space is how pretty the air looks as it freezes and swirls about in a mini ice storm outside the shattered remains of your bridge screen....

The ship and the cargo survive - after all your 'friend' is in it for the money he has an investment to recoup and nobody but nobody defaults - not even for a week, its just not how business is done...
-------------------

So that's the idea - an expansion that will loan you a certain amount of money (20K, 50K, 100K etc) and takes back a chunk of it each week/jump at a certain rate - you get the option to miss a payment but if you do - then the mother of all debt collectors is sent out after you - if you survive - you still owe double and if you default again then two of the mother of all debt collectors are sent after you...

You only get out of it when you pay back the debt (twice what you borrowed of course) or if you're really lucky (1% chance per jump/repayment) Galcop catch your loan shark and shut down his operation and your debt is cleared.

So, what do people think? Plausible, possible, useful? No matter what, I enjoyed writing the little story :)
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Post by johnsmith »

I've been fined 1000cr and sent for "attitude adjustment" whne I've only had 100cr in the bank. Ended up with 0. Not sure how the game would deal with this.
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Post by DaddyHoggy »

You don't necessarily go negative - just when you fail to meet your repayments (i.e refuse to pay or reach zero Cr) you get your a$$ kicked...
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Post by Dr. Nil »

Perhaps a loan could be 'for sale' on illegal shipyards.

But I don't know how the game would react - it would be silly to have a damaged loan.
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Post by Captain Hesperus »

Dr. Nil wrote:- it would be silly to have a damaged loan.
I dunno, want to look at my mortgage?

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Post by DaddyHoggy »

I know in the trumble "mission" trumbles become a piece of equipment - but I don't think (from my limited understanding of mission variables being saved in the save game file) that it would not be necessary to create "loan equipment" - if you could set a variable to say loan agreed and each time you dock you get asked, pay minimum, pay off loan, default.

If you pay off the minimum you're awarded negative credits (oxp checks you're not at zero Cr - if you are it sets the default flag), if you pay off the loan it sets the mission status to complete (and again checks for going to Zero credits - if yes default flag is set once again), if you default by choice or lack of funds the "send in the debt collector" flag is set and at some point you get a pasting.

Could have the oxp come up occasionally at non main stations* (like snoopes will) to stop it clashing with other mission screens - perhaps have it only occur at Pi-42s and Hoopy Casinos (and possibly pirate coves - if you survive to dock and they are all likely places for this kind of activity and encourages installation of some of these excellent oxps).

After all this is just some verbalised (texturised?!) mullings and should be duly ignored if considered silly :)

BTW, do we have illegal shipyards? If yes where? which oxp?

*So you'd have to go to these to make the payments - if the loans are illegal then the repayments should be too.
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Post by Ramirez »

While this could probably done through the use of mission variables, having a piece of 'loan equipment' may be useful: it means you could present a range of loan options using the equipment screen rather than having to set it up through a number of mission dialogues.

To represent passage of time you could have easily have a script checking and incrementing a mission variable each time you enter witchspace. Once you eventually dock at a station this mission status can be checked and an appropriate dialogue triggered. This would prevent a player being pestered for cash more than once within a system.

The main complication I see is if you want to keep track of deferred or missed installments. If you take a loan and don't dock for a while, you should really be asked to pay a couple of installments in one go; similarly if you take the loan and disappear off into space, debt collectors should start to appear after a while. It may be that a separate 'loan paid' variable would be needed to handle this.
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Post by LittleBear »

Could call the Equipment a Debtor Tracking device. A condition of the loan is that you have this device fitted to your ship, so you take out you loan in the Shipyard, getting round mission briefing screen problems.

If the price was set at -10000 C say then buying the equipment would award the player the credits and in code the game would "know" the player had a loan with a equipment found bool EQ_DEBT = YES. A piece of equipment would in plot explain why those Debit Enforcement vessals always manage to find the defaulter. If the device gets damaged then there it is, they cannot find you! :wink:
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Post by Captain Hesperus »

LittleBear wrote:A piece of equipment would in plot explain why those Debit Enforcement vessals always manage to find the defaulter. If the device gets damaged then there it is, they cannot find you! :wink:
Hmm, seems interesting.....

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Post by LittleBear »

The Bank of the Black Monks (banking with a smile and a stab) have technitions stationed at all ports who sneakley place nano-bots in the fuel supply to rebuild any damaged trackers. (loan = true, status = docked, EQ_DEBT found bool = NO, do awardequipment: EQ_DEBT).
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Post by Roberto »

I think a "loans" OXP would be great - in fact, I suggested it back in July :)

http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.ph ... sc&start=0

However, as it's actually fairly easy to make money in Oolite (laying aside the risk of getting blown up), I think there needs to be a real reason for taking out a crippling loan - hence my suggestion that there be an option for experienced players to start off with nothing.
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Post by DaddyHoggy »

:shock: @ Roberto - so you did - and here's me thinking I'd thought of something new!

Great minds and all that.

There was definitely some interest almost ½yr ago and yet sadly it has come to naught - perhaps when I've finished snoopes and teorge oxps I'll try and do something and see what people think.

As usual lots of good ideas from the masses and even a little code snippet from LB...

(oh and of course turning the study (where I'm writing now) into a nursery sometime in the next 14 weeks might take a little time too... :roll: )
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Post by LittleBear »

Hmm think I could code this:-

Comes up in Ship Yard as "Black Monk Debt Marker".

Described as "Take out a Black Monk Bank loan here. 1,000 Credits at a reasonable 400% Vig. Full payment must be made within 3 months. Our moto is repayment or revenge."

If the item is bought, the player gains 1000 C (and he'll only be able to take one loan at a time).

After 3 months of game time the player recieves a message from the Bank of the Black Monks. If he has insufficent credits to pay the message is a warning that he will now be killed for defaulting and a certain number of Black Monk ships will attack the player randomly. If all these ships are destroyed the heat dies down (The Bank writes off the debt as not worth recovering due to the cost of destroyed Bank Enforcement Vessals). If he has sufficent credits to pay then he is given a choice : 1) Pay the debt - no vengence. 2) Stuff the Black Monks - and suffer the consequences of the accursed debter.

Tweaks or ideas?
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Post by Charlie »

LittleBear wrote:Comes up in Ship Yard as "Black Monk Debt Marker".

"Our moto is repayment or revenge."

Tweaks or ideas?
Yes - don't forget to include a red hot poker or two. :)
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Post by LittleBear »

"No use using the Galactic Hyperdrive to escape them Commander Blackadder, the Bank of the Black Monks have branches in all 8 Galaxies."
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