Smugglers - The Galactic Underworld

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Contents

Introduction

Historically, in both the original Elite and therefore in Oolite, there were three illegal goods: slaves, narcotics and firearms. These were illegal to export from all GalCop stations, and there was no variation or flexibility in those items. This OXP aims to expand what goods are illegal, making it far more variable. There are new interface screens to show what items are illegal and where, a new Black Market available from Rock Hermits and other stations, and new equipment items to aid in smuggling cargo.

Background

It started with a single system.

Ceedra, an insignificant confederacy in an unfrequented arm of galactic sector 1. They had been receiving some contaminated imported food from the nearby Anarchy system Isdibi, possibly random or possibly intentional as a way to destabilise the government, it was difficult to tell. But a request was made to GalCop to put an import ban on food and force any traders that bring food to the station to hand it over for destruction.

The impact was almost immediate. Traders were outraged that their harmless cargo of wheat and grains were being taken away, which had never before happened in GalCop history, plus they received a bounty for doing so, doubling the pain. Messages were sent, trade delegations made an outward show of force, but GalCop's hands were tied. This was the decision of the planet in question, and under GalCop law they were perfectly entitled to impose import restrictions, beyond the export restrictions that had long been in place for slaves or narcotics.

Suddenly the floodgates were opened. System after system found reason to ban goods, from basic staples like food or textiles, up to the traders standard fare of computers, furs and liquor. Even precious metals were banned in some systems, often for rather obscure reasons. And always, once a ban was in place, the price would hit the roof.

Some commentators have suggested there is evidence that certain systems were requesting a good to be made illegal purely for the jump in price that naturally follows and the bump in traffic that accompanies extra profits. While GalCop have been sought for comment, none has been forthcoming, and nothing appears to be able to bring a halt to the practice. If systems are indeed creating spurious trade legalities, GalCop is not preventing them.

Somewhat inevitably, at almost the same time, an entirely new market emerged, beneath the radar of GalCop's far-seeing eyes. As soon as a good was declared illegal to import the price of that good sky-rocketed, and the temptation to circumvent the restrictions GalCop was forced to impose was too great. Dock masters became a particular target, being offered high sums to fiddle manifest registries. Shadier stations began to offer customised smuggling compartments that provided a way to hide cargo from the customs scanning equipment. Contracts to move illicit cargo were also available from these locations.

While it was always present in some form or another, now the Galactic Underworld became almost mainstream. The galaxy had changed.

Overview

This OXP aims to broaden the scope and appeal of illegal goods in a number of ways.

1. Illegal goods

Illegal goods can now be any of the 17 different commodity types. So food might be declared illegal on one planet, computers on another. These things might change as well, so computers might be illegal for a few months, and then conditions are lifted and they are back to normal again.

Also, illegal trade goods will now be illegal to import(*). If you arrive at a GalCop station with visible illegal goods in your hold, you will be fined and your cargo will be confiscated. See also the section below on Bribing Officials.

Even if you plan to stay on the right side to the law, this OXP can add variety to the way illegal goods are handled by the game, and make the process of shipping cargo across the galaxy more interesting.

Illegal goods notifications can be viewed on the F7 System Data screen, as well as via the F4 interface screen (see below). The F6 Galactic Chart will highlight systems within 7 LY that have illegal goods. Systems with just firearms as illegal will be shown with an orange diamond. Systems with other commodities, or with multiple commodities, will be shown with a yellow diamond.

(*) Slaves remain illegal to export, and they are the only commodity that is illegal to export. The reason for this is that some escape capsules end up being transported as slaves, and it's unfair to penalise the player for potentially rescuing downed pilots. It is recommended the Illegal Goods Tweak OXP be installed so that captured slaves can be released.

2. Smuggling Compartment

To help traders to work around these import restrictions a new piece of equipment, the smuggling compartment, can be purchased at non-GalCop stations (Rock Hermits in particular, but also other docking ports) in TL4 or greater systems.

Cargo can be moved into and out of the smuggling compartment via an F4 Interface screen "Smuggling Compartment Configuration".

The smuggling compartment has, in most circumstances, around a 25-40% change of being detected, based on tech level. This chance improves slightly once the "Phase Adjustment" equipment (available at TL7 or greater systems) is installed. With the phase adjustment equipment installed the phase setting of the hold to be adjusted, which can improve the chance of being undetected considerably. Phase settings can be picked up at black market noticeboard (which might be unreliable), or they can be purchased for a considerable cost. See also the Phase Scanner (below).

If your compartment is damaged during a battle, cargo may be lost, the same as with normal cargo. You will need to find a non-GalCop station to repair the damage, otherwise the entire compartment will be discovered and removed, and you will receive a bounty. If you have a ship overhaul performed at a GalCop station with the smuggling compartment, it will be discovered and removed, and you will receive a bounty. See also the section below on Bribing Officials.

3. New equipment

Apart from the smuggling compartment and phase adjustment tool, this OXP also introduces the following equipment items.

** Phase Scanner **
TL8 or greater Anarchy systems will sometimes have a Phase Scanner available for purchase. The scanner can, when aimed at GalCop main stations, detect what phase setting the manifest scanners will be susceptible to. Once you know what the phase setting is for a particular government and tech level they can set the phase of their smuggling compartment and it will be almost undetectable to GalCop manifest scanners.

The Phase scanner is used by targeting the main station, priming the equipment and then activating it. It will take a few seconds to perform its job, and will consume a large amount of energy in the process - a naval energy unit is required. If you are too close to the station, or you are moving too slowly, the station will detect the scan and a bounty will be placed on you. If you then dock at the station the scanner will be removed. If you are too far away from the main station the scanner will not operate. If a police vessel catches you performing a scan you will receive a bounty and may find yourself under fire.

If your scanner is damaged you must get it repaired at a non-GalCop station, otherwise the equipment will be confiscated and you will receive a bounty. If you have a ship overhaul performed at a GalCop station while the equipment is on board, it will be removed as part of the overhaul and you will receive a bounty. But see also "Bribing Officials" below.

** Tech version upgrades **
Technology improves every day, and the scanner resistant technology used in the smuggling compartment needs to be updated to keep in step with the times. So, the tech version upgrade will keep your smuggling compartment up-to-date. Available at TL5 or greater systems.

** Import Permits **
While some goods might be declared illegal, you can still purchase a permit to import that good from the planet in question. Usually these permits are quite expensive.

Permits can only be used once, and will automatically be removed after use.

4. Bribing Officials

If your smuggling compartment is discovered during a renovation or when damaged, or you dock with illegal cargo in your hold, you can attempt to bribe the station officials. You will be asked to enter the amount of the bribe. If you pay attention to what the official says you can get an idea on whether a smaller amount will be required, but larger amounts will have a greater chance of being successful. If you are successful you will be able to keep all your cargo and equipment. If you are unsuccessful you will lose all smuggling-related equipment and may end up increasing the bounty on your head.

The Black Market noticeboard (see below) can be useful in finding systems where the dock master and other customs officials can be bribed for a reasonable amount.

5. New Interfaces screens

** Black market **
When docked at most non-GalCop stations, and GalCop stations in some systems, you will find a new interface screen called "Black Market". This interface provides access to a number of options:
a. Noticeboard: View some of the messages from the black market news boards. Some are good, some aren't.
b. Smuggling contracts: These contracts will be smaller cargo quantities (less than 20t), and they will all be illegal at the destination system, so there will be a high degree of risk with each one. However, the rewards will be substantial, more than double what the cargo would be worth at the destination.
c. Purchase fake import permits: You can purchase fake import permits that may or may not work at the destination system. The chance is only a slightly better than 50%.
d. Purchase Rock Hermit waypoints: Finding Rock Hermits is important, as they are the primary location to access the Black Market. Waypoints can help you find a Rock Hermit in a given system.
e. Purchase phase scan settings: Not always available but occasionally a trader will offer their settings for a price.
f. Sell phase scan settings: If you have discovered a phase scan setting, you can sell it for some real coin! This will only be available once you have purchased a phase scanner.

Please be aware that GalCop have been known to run sting operations at some Black Markets. If you are caught buying illegal information or goods through a Black Market while a sting operation is in place, you will be penalised. Pilots should take take to look for signs that a sting operation is in place before making use of the Black Market's services.

** Dock master **
When docked at a main station, and when the dock master is available (he doesn't work 24/7!) from this interface you can ask him about any good milk runs he/she is aware of, or you can try to bribe them into changing your cargo manifest for you.

** Illegal goods information **
Illegal goods are changing all the time. To try to keep track of the potential chaos, this interface screen will initially show you the latest changes to illegal goods in the sector, plus it offers the following options:
a. List of all illegal goods in the galaxy. Here you can see it all.
b. List of all illegal goods within 7LY of your current system.
c. List of illegal goods on your current course. If you have a long, cross-chart trip planned, this option will tell you what's illegal on the way, and flagging which ones you have a permit for (if any).
d. List of all import permits. This is what you are authorised (legally or not) to import.
e. List of all Rock Hermit waypoints purchased.

Notes

  • This OXP updates the "oolite-contracts-cargo.js" file with a new version of the _initialiseCargoContractsForSystem function that excludes illegal goods from being selected for standard cargo contracts.
  • This OXP also changes the logic of the "Legal" column on the F8 Market screen. Previously, goods that were illegal to export were marked with "Im", and goods illegal to import were marked with "Ex". This logic has been reversed, and the column relabeled as "Ban" to indicate what type of ban is in place.

Special Note

This OXP is what is called a "work-in-progress". What that means is, what you have in your hands may not be the final version of the OXP. In fact there might be parts that are broken and could potentially unbalance the game. This isn't by-design, and hopefully there aren't any issues like that, but be aware that in many ways this is an experimental OXP. I'm changing a lot of core functionality which opens the door for all sorts of unforeseen consequences, particularly when it comes to other OXP's. If you decide to help me in the process of polishing this package, please report any bugs or unexpected outcomes. Don't assume someone else has noticed it - if two people report a bug it makes tracking the bug down so much easier!

And it goes without saying that I'd like to hear from you if you have any suggestions on how the OXP could be improved.

Incompatible OXP's

At present, this OXP is incompatible with the following OXPs:

  • New Cargoes: The system of permits, how it stores cargo, and how it controls illegal goods are all potentially conflicting.

These conflicts have been recorded in the manifest file, so if you have any of them installed the "Smugglers" OXP will not load.

License

This OXP is released under the Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share Alike 3.0 license. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Skull and crossbones image from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skull_and_crossbones.png.
Warning image from http://simpleicon.com/warning-3.html.
Chat image from http://simpleicon.com/chat-2.html.
ID image from http://simpleicon.com/id_card.html.
Lock image from http://simpleicon.com/lock-2.html.
Cupboard image from http://simpleicon.com/cupboard_4.html
Candle image from http://simpleicon.com/candle-2.html.
Form image from http://simpleicon.com/admite_form_1.html.
Map marker image from http://simpleicon.com/map_marker.html.

With the help of:
Layne, Stormrider, Norby, cim, Diziet Sma, Cody, and all the people on the BB who offered suggestions and ideas to make this OXP as good as it could be. If the OXP fails in any way, is it because of my limitations as a programmer, not because of the paucity of your ideas and contributions!

Download

Download Smugglers.oxz v1.1.2 Smugglers.oxz (downloaded 1511 times).
Download Smugglers.zip (OXP to extract to AddOns folder) v1.1.2 Smugglers.zip

Installation

Place the 'Smugglers.oxz' or 'Smugglers.oxp' (extracted from the ZIP file download) into your 'AddOns' folder and when you start the game, hold down 'Shift' until you see the spinning Cobra.

Version History

1.1.2

  • Added code for putting smuggling contracts on the Bulletin board system if the Contracts On BB OXP is also installed.
  • Code refactoring.

1.1.1

  • Fixed some spelling mistakes.
  • Added "machinery" to list of commodities the "Visible As" property of a smuggling compartment can be set to.
  • Fixed issue with not being able to move machinery into or out of the smuggling compartment.
  • Fixed issue with not being able to purchase or sell machinery directly from the smuggling compartment.

1.1.0

  • Additional info on F7 screen is now only available when docked to stop the information from overrunning the HUD.
  • Corrected use of "techLevel"/"techlevel" on systemInfo objects.
  • Re-fixed issue with amount of gold, platinum and gemstones taking up the same amount of smuggling cargo space as normal cargo space.

1.0.0

  • Bug fixes.

0.9.0

  • Added new Black Market option, enabling the sale of rare or expensive equipment items (eg naval-sourced equipment)
  • Added ability for 3rd party OXP's to add items for sale to the Black Market.
  • Fixed incorrect label in descriptions.plist.
  • Fixed issue where a smuggling compartment repair item was being displayed when the unit wasn't damaged.
  • Add ability for sting ship to respond to cloaked attacks.
  • Better handling of interstellar space conditions.
  • Some values were not being reset correctly after a galactic jump.
  • Police ship model used on all police-related screens displayed at that station will now be the same model.
  • Sound effects added for mode/activate functions of phase scanner.

0.8.1

  • Fixed issue where opening the "Purchase Smuggling Compartment" screen was turning off the HUD and not turning it back on again.

0.8.0

  • Fixed Javascript error when opening the market info details screen for a commodity in interstellar space.
  • Added $isGoodIllegal function to Smugglers_Illegal.

0.7.9

  • Fixed issue where docking will illegal goods and rescued escape pods was not allowing the player to bribe the station officials.

0.7.8

  • Fixed issue where illegal good definitions were not being applied correctly in every situation.

0.7.7

  • Fixed issue with smuggling compartments of various sizes appearing on the equipment screen.

0.7.6

  • Better handling of situation where another OXP removes the smuggling compartment.
  • Fixed issue with contracts where a Javascript error could occur in rare circumstances.
  • Fixed Javascript error with script attached to police sting ship.
  • Improved sting ship compatibility with other worldScripts.
  • Really (hopefully, maybe) fixed vector error in Blackmarket script.
  • Changed "==" comparisons to "===" for performance improvements.

0.7.5

  • Fixed Javascript vector error in Blackmarket script.
  • Added code to make use of enhanced F7 screen features in Oolite 1.83/4.

0.7.4

  • Reconfigured the cargo contracts fixes to work with the default contract code and with Switech's cargo contract mod OXP.
  • Removed unnecessary "requires.plist" file.
  • Extra checking for the presence of the sting ship to prevent null errors.
  • Fixed issue where smuggling equipment was not being offered for sale anywhere.
  • Fixed issue where the phase scanner was not being offered for sale at any time.
  • Fixed issue where going into the smuggling compartment purchase page multiple times without actually purchasing something was deducting money anyway.
  • Adjusted the price of the phase scanner.
  • Tidying up of some equipment installation rules.
  • F7 screen was turning off HUD when in flight in some circumstances.

0.7.3

  • Fixed issue with incorrect text showing on F8F8 commodity info screen.
  • Included current system in list of planets shown on "Illegal imports on current course" option.
  • Fixed issue with the Black Market welcome text, which was not being correctly reset upon docking.

0.7.2

  • Fixed loop variable pointer error in Black Market script.

0.7.1

  • Fixed timer setup bug in Black Market script.

0.7.0

  • Updated all bounty changes to use "setBounty", rather than just updating the bounty directly, so a description can be passed to other OXP's.
  • Expanded the use of the "properties" element of illegal definitions, so that multiple options can be entered (eg "cuisine,meat,steak").
  • Added a couple of extra illegal goods definitions.
  • Added the ability to sell illegal cargo on the Black Market, for a reduced price. Plus some extra things...
  • Added Seedy Space Bars to list of stations that have a Black Market.
  • Moved a lot of static text into descriptions.plist and missiontext.plist.
  • Fixed issue with only 500kg of gold or platinum taking up 1t of smuggling cargo space, and 500000g of gemstones.
  • Removed redundant items from equipment.plist.
  • Fixed bug when using a HUD that doesn't implement the "Big GUI" option, where the HUD was being turned off when displaying some mission screens, but wasn't being turned back on again.
  • In Oolite 1.83 the bugfix relating to damaged equipment items that take up cargo space is resolved, so code has been added to switch to using the in-built repair methods, rather than keeping a long list of "Repair" equipment items. For backwards compatibility with 1.82, however, those items are still present.
  • Adjusted the costs of repair items to be more in-line with how the core system handles repair costs.
  • Improved integration with Illegal Goods Tweak. When docking with slaves, IGT will always run first, and Smugglers will be called afterwards.
  • Updated screenID's to enable BGS background sounds.
  • Renamed background overlay images to prevent possibility of future duplication.
  • Added checks for null value in station allegiance.
  • Updated the check for "Allow Big GUI".
  • Cleaned up sound function to avoid the need to check for BGS.
  • Toned down overlay images.
  • Code refactoring.

0.6.2

  • Fixed bug with checking for and removing used permits.
  • Fixed issue where Constrictor hunt mission hints were being pushed off the System Data screen by all the illegal goods notifications.
  • Added extra overlay image for purchasing Permits.
  • Added extra overlay image for Rock Hermit waypoint list.

0.6.1

  • Using escape pod will now empty smuggler's compartment.
  • Pared down "trade-goods.plist" to only contain required information, hopefully making it compatible with "Risk based economy" v2 OXP and BlOomberg Markets OXP.
  • Removing the smuggling compartment or phase scanner at a Rock Hermit (or other non-GalCop station) will now refund the full cost, rather than just 70%.
  • Changing the size of the smuggling compartment will refund the full price of the old size first, before purchasing the new size.
  • Fixed bug when starting new game.
  • Fixed issue where the message about delivering illegal goods via a cargo contract was appearing incorrectly.

0.6.0

  • Fixed issue where illegal flags were not appearing on secondary stations, removed need to have planetinfo.plist.
  • Removed log file debug code.

0.5.0

  • Fixed bug with selling relabelled cargo.
  • Fixed issue with delivering a standard cargo contract to a system where the cargo has become illegal after accepting the contract. The player was not being given the opportunity to bribe a docking official to clear their bounty.
  • Fixed issue where, after using the phase scanner and being discovered using it, and then docking, the player was not being given the opportunity to bribe their way out of trouble.
  • Added emails for various actions, when the Email System OXP is in use.
  • Changed skull and crossbones background image for Black Market.
  • Improved integration with Illegal Goods Tweak OXP (v2.2.0). The inital screen IGT displays will now look like an Amnesty Intergalactic screen, rather than a GalCop one, and the player has only two choices: hand over the slaves, or work with GalCop. If they choose the latter, Smugglers will include slaves as part of its import restrictions and the player can bribe as normal if they choose to.

0.4.0

  • Fixed issue where you could purchase any smuggling compartment, regardless of how much credit you have.
  • Added player credit balance to smuggling compartment purchase screen.
  • Added player credit balance to Black Market purchasing screens.
  • Tightened up which stations will have a Black Market.
  • Added government icon and TL to all purchase screens in Black Market.
  • Tweaks to the calculation of phase scan noticeboard items.
  • Improvements to the page handling for illegal goods.

0.3.1

  • Fixed mangled manifest.plist file.

0.3.0

  • Tweaks to the minimum tech level for purchasing smuggling equipment items.
  • Further adjustments to precious metals and gem stones illegal notifications for better economic balance.
  • Added overlay background images to various interface screens.
  • Smuggling compartment repair costs now linked to size of compartment.
  • Arriving in a system where you have a permit but no cargo for that permit will no longer remove the permit.
  • Routine to create new illegal goods will now exclude the current system, to prevent the issue where the engine understands a good is illegal, but the game interface doesn't.
  • Added extra checks to the docking process to ensure a good that the engine understands is illegal is also marked as illegal on the market screen before penalising the player.
  • Added police ship models to all the after-dock screens.

0.2.0

  • Made the price of RH waypoints, fake permits and phase scans related to the station price factor.
  • Bribing the same station multiple times will increase the required amount of the bribe (by 10 or 20 percent each time).
  • Added the last successful bribe amount to the screen where you enter a bribe amount.
  • Reduced the police vessel detection range for the phase scanner, as their ships wouldn't have the same range as the main station.
  • Main station market quantity of illegal goods under contract now set to zero (so, when arriving short, the player can't just buy the difference, launch and redock to complete the contract).
  • Fixed issue where you could purchase anything from the Black Market, regardless of how much credit you have.
  • Limited smuggling compartment options to standard commodities only.
  • Fixed issue where wrong illegal goods were being picked up if the player followed another ship through a wormhole.
  • Rebalanced prices for precious metals and gem stones.
  • Damaged smuggling compartments and phase scanners can now be repaired, and better handling of damaged equipment in general.
  • Fixed issue where phase scanner would not show up for purchase anywhere.
  • Fixed issue where having 0t available space would not allow transfer of precious metals from smuggling compartment to standard hold.
  • Added a new item to the Illegal Goods interface screen that lists all purchased Rock Hermit waypoints.
  • Fixed issue with tech upgrades, where the option to purchase new ones was always available, no matter how many times you purchased it.
  • Adjusted the price of the tech upgrade.
  • Bug fixes.

0.1.2

  • Added missing semi-colon to planetinfo.plist.
  • Found additional spot where techlevel was showing 1 lower than actual.
  • Fixed issue where phase scans for TL 1 systems would not show up in the list of discovered phase scans.

0.1.1

  • Tech levels on all displays were showing 1 lower than actual.
  • Attempting to bribe a dock master to relabel cargo when you don't have any cargo that can be relabeled would put the game into a locked state.
  • Spelling corrections.

0.1.0

  • Initial public release

Quick Facts

Version Released License Features Category Author(s) Feedback
1.1.2 2017-02-03 CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Equipment, Commodities Mechanics OXPs phkb Oolite BB

Gameplay and Balance indicator

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