Black Market Influence, countermeasures and balancing

Greetings Cmdrs!

With some friends we are currently supporting the leading (non player) - faction of a system in order to consolidate and expand their influence. This faction is an independent democracy and therefore has a black market in all systems it controls.

This black market is now being used by one (in numbers: 1) enemy to destroy our BGS efforts.
We know this because we have been told that this is going to happen.
Basically it's legitimate gameplay, but as it is not happening in Open, but in a PG or Solo, we can't actively work against this CMDR (e.g. interdiction, shooting down, etc.) Nevertheless, its effort on the black market is enough to reduce influence by 3-4% every day, even though 10 pilots generate about 10-15 points each of influence every day.
In addition, we have also tried to counter the black market with profitable sales of 150t/goods on the "white" market. But even this does not seem to have the same effect in any way.

Keyword BALANCING:
Is there a countermeasure against the seemingly immense impact of the black market? (eg. CRIME >< BOUNTY)
Can the black market be closed somehow?
 
Is there a countermeasure against the seemingly immense impact of the black market? (eg. CRIME >< BOUNTY)
all positive influence actions can counter the black market -inf.
trade, bountie redeems, exploration data, missions.
it's not unbalanced in any way imho - owning a station you got more positive influence action buckets available than the opposition has for -inf.

Can the black market be closed somehow?
there are certain states and circumstances that close a black market. lockdown does so for exampel. depending on base stat of security and your factions goverment civil liberty might disable the black amrket as well.

generally your story doesn't really compute on my side - i think you have been tricked to believe the -3 % inf is down to black market action.
last time we got us into a BGS conflict, despite a black market available, it was near equilibrum - something like ijnfluence delta getting smaller at 1% each day, and that was with massive efforts of 200+ from missions, exploration data, trade and regular bounty redeems. wing of player countered by a single dedicated player.
i assume you don't use all tools at hand.

This black market is now being used by one (in numbers: 1) enemy to destroy our BGS efforts.
what does the traffic report at any station in system say in the systems you are talking about? how much of that traffic is down to your group?

how does the influence change? if it is only BM trade, all other factions should gain relative to their influence in system only. if they gain more or less, that's a strong indication of mission running and/or bountie hunting for the smaller factions. pushing low inf factions to reduce a high influence factions influence is a very strong tool, which i would use in that case.

check the bountie reports as well. all this info will give you a clearer picture of what is actually happening.

We know this because we have been told that this is going to happen.
well, in a conflict it is always good to make the opposition believe they know what is happening. as black market trade isn't such a powerfull tool in my experience, i think it very unlikely it is the case. more like making you believe it is the case.

Basically it's legitimate gameplay, but as it is not happening in Open, but in a PG or Solo, we can't actively work against this CMDR (e.g. interdiction, shooting down, etc.)
you have to understand, that interdiction, shooting down etc. WOULD HURT your controlling faction. PVP is no tool in a BGS conflict. in best case it would waste your time, in most cases it would hurt your controlling faction influence and states. If an opposition would deploy a ship in open in a BGS conflict against us, we would look at it as bait or banter. If you are in it for such interaction, BGS isn't for you.

Nevertheless, its effort on the black market is enough to reduce influence by 3-4% every day, even though 10 pilots generate about 10-15 points each of influence every day.
as said, i don't think it is black market trade only. traffic reports and bountie/crime reports migth tell.
i'm also pretty sure, it isn't one player - traffic reports will tell.
and your group isn#t using all different tools at hand to gain influence. do so, and things migth look differently.

In addition, we have also tried to counter the black market with profitable sales of 150t/goods on the "white" market. But even this does not seem to have the same effect in any way.
how much trade did you do? how much profit?
if unopposed, depending on population size, my guesstimate is 2-3 t9 runs with 3 commodities of ~2000 cr/t profit to outlast the trade bucket , or 4-5 trade python runs with 1 commodity at ~2000 cr/t profit unopposed.
if you are doing 1 run with 150t of some profit - no, that won't have much effect.

i'll be most interested to read traffic reports and bountie/crime reports of those systems!
 
This black market is now being used by one (in numbers: 1) enemy to destroy our BGS efforts.


Basically it's legitimate gameplay, but as it is not happening in Open, but in a PG or Solo, we can't actively work against this CMDR (e.g. interdiction, shooting down, etc.) Nevertheless, its effort on the black market is enough to reduce influence by 3-4% every day, even though 10 pilots generate about 10-15 points each of influence every day.

that is not possible. I wish it would ;-)
 
@goemon : Thanks for your comment, very much appreciated! I will discuss that with my fellow CMDRs!

we have noticed a lot of traffic, but since two thirds of the ships are cobra mk 3 (a ship that is rather unused in our group) and we are near the beginner zone, we assume that these are actually beginners visiting their first systems outside (Epic?). Or someone is using the Cobra to smuggle goods to the black market....
Granted, I don't know if passing CMDRs also generate influence or not.
(In fact, these beginners could do some missions für gaining influence for others than the controlling faction, but because it is an INDEPENDENT - System, there would be no benefit for them doing so. Nothing to gain, when becoming allied. There is no easy-making-money stuff in the system, so it is very unlikely, that a new pilot is doing some relevant missions.)

We track our system by means of the BGSapp and update the data regularly via EDSM,
Bounties and Crime - Reports are checked repeatedly to detect any anomalies and the values are quite low.
The amounts are in balance.
Nevertheless, security for our faction is going down, which in our point of view points to weapon-deliveries on the black market or even passenger deliveries of terrorists. If it were direct attacks on NPC ships of our group, our opponent's status would very soon be "hostile" and this would make any station-based action rather difficult (and it would be notable at the station board)

What do we do:
Influence missions (5+, many!) of different nature
trade for profit (700cr/t and in batches of 150t) and always trade several goods at once
Bounty Hunting
Accepting missions for other factions and then let them expire.
Visit signal sources in the system and complete any emergency call and missions FOR the controlling faction.

As there are many other things that are possibly important in real life right now, I can't say with 100% accuracy who of my squad does how much of the above mentioned things and when, but I for my part always try to work through all items on the agenda one after the other. Sometimes this works better sometimes worse. But no matter how, the influence is going down.

I did not expect to have to turn just one screw. But as this field is so extensive, any input is helpful.

And we know, of course, that it always makes sense strategically to mislead the other.
But we know our enemy... ;)
 
to keep the leading faction up needs a lot more work, than doing work for the lower ones.

If you have 6-7 factions against you, all lower, it is very easy to do work for someone against you. It gets harder as your percentage rises.

Try to get those factions into war or votes to each other to block them percentages and use that time to push you own faction. Do this some while, and your enemy will get tired.

Endurance is everything.
 
I sincerely doubt that working the black market is all they are doing. The way negative influence seems to work these days is that instead of directly subtracting from a faction's influence, it just means more of their inf is put up at stake - positive actions still need to be taken to claim it. So even if someone did purely negative actions against your faction, if all the positive actions that tick were for your faction, you'd get all the influence back.
 
we have noticed a lot of traffic, but since two thirds of the ships are cobra mk 3 (a ship that is rather unused in our group) and we are near the beginner zone, we assume that these are actually beginners visiting their first systems outside (Epic?). Or someone is using the Cobra to smuggle goods to the black market....
Granted, I don't know if passing CMDRs also generate influence or not.
(In fact, these beginners could do some missions für gaining influence for others than the controlling faction, but because it is an INDEPENDENT - System, there would be no benefit for them doing so. Nothing to gain, when becoming allied. There is no easy-making-money stuff in the system, so it is very unlikely, that a new pilot is doing some relevant missions.)
If the new pilot is still in a Cobra III by now, then they're probably not following the "How To Be Optimal In Just Seven Days" guide.

So they might well be running some missions because they look fun and when you're in a Cobra even 50,000 credits is big money, and they don't know (or care) that there's no real long-term benefit to them for running that mission instead of a different one.

A combination of significantly increased mission completion (for everyone, including you, but you benefit less because your influence is already high) from that, plus a black market attack to encourage influence redistribution away from you, could easily be pushing your "default" influence level downwards from what it was before.

As station/system controller you'll probably also be getting some trade+exploration+bounty benefits from all this passing traffic, but as they're all in Cobras probably not very much.
 
Just remember, if you're the dominant faction, it's far easier for someone to undermine that single faction than it is for you to counter-support it.

If I'm supporting a faction on 10% influence and your faction is on 60%, for every action I do,you need to work at least 3-4 times harder to counter it.

Ninja'ed by screemonster... but no attacker would limit themselves to just the black market, though I'd smash that hard too if it was there. Last time I tried about a month or two ago, I was still able to single-handedly knock a faction down by about 12% in a single tick in a 1m+ pop system.
 
can you give us a ballpark on how much traffic?
a system with 100 ships visiting is very very hard to work.
Usually there was around 100 ships/24h.Over the weekend with 400+ (200 Cobras... => I know, that is not exactly 2 thirds... :D ) But it was weekend AND Elite was free of charge. We will see today at the tick, whether there is a downward movement because all the CMDRs moved to SOL/ATROPOS/CEOS/HYADES...
 
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Usually there was around 100 ships/24h.Over the weekend with 400+ (200 Cobras... => I know, that is not exactly 2 thirds... :D ) But it was weekend AND Elite was free of charge. We will see today at the tick, whether there is a downward movement because all the CMDRs moved to SOL/ATROPOS/CEOS/HYADES...
well, with 100 ships, a single opposing commander is the least of your problems. with 400 ... that's just nuts.

best you can do as Max Bothin brought up is to lock the lower inf factions into conflicts with each other (that assumes, they have assets to get in fight over).

if of those 100 ships usual traffic 50% do something for any other faction than yours, and 50% do something for the CF, as Jmanis put it with 3-4 times the effort for the controlling faction you are looking at (100-50)*3=~150-200 station visits to counter. with a group of 10 players (!) that's already 3-4 hours per tick per player in best case (as in best case you can manage roundabout 6 dockings per hour). if you are 5 players, you are looking at 6-8 hours per tick just to counter random traffic...

bind them into conflict, and stay patient.
 
(i personally would consider such a system as "unworkable" in the meaning of: i'd just work it, if the states allign nicely, if it is time of an event drawing random traffic elsewhere, like a CG or patch etc.)
 
traffic report is imho the most important info when considering how hard a system is to work.
Definitely.

For an example for the original poster, here's a system near me with ~100-300 traffic each day, depending on the day of the week and other factors.
With the exception of that brief spike in mid-June 3306 (which was Frontier's fault for seriously miscalculating what should have been a minor rebalance, and then reverting it), since the current BGS balancing was applied in mid-March 3305 the influence of the controlling faction has not moved outside the 40-50% range, most other factions have wandered around the 5-15% range, and the local Anarchy faction has rarely got above 1%.

There's a substantial amount of activity in the system - daily bounty claims are generally in the 5-25 million range, it's a popular destination for missions and offers decent ones itself, there's a nice high-tech Coriolis very close to the primary star - and the overall effect of this, despite the system population being just 133,000, and therefore movements of 10-20% a day being theoretically possible, is to very strongly stabilise the influence levels to a "preferred" amount.

It's quite possible that a big influx of new players doing "new player things" has changed that "preferred" level to something else - the good news is, if you own all the interesting stations in the system, you're still likely to end up well ahead on influence when it restabilises, and one person attacking you is probably going to get lost in the noise.
 
This sounds exactly like the new influx effect thanks to the Epic giveaway. We have two systems where the traffic went bonkers and it’s all cobra 3’s and Type 6’s. Obviously one of the starter systems is giving out missions which affect another faction(s) other than your own - which is what happened to us. We dropped 10% in 2 days despite working it - if we hadn’t worked it it’d probably have been the maximum (either 9 or 10% IIRC) each day. As it’s not a hostile takeover bid by another faction we’ve decided just to ride it out until the new influx calms down and once traffic returns to a more usual level we’ll work the system to regain any assets lost. Fortunately we are over 40% ahead of the other factions in the systems so we’ve got some breathing room for now.

Depending on the system/station/state a good idea might be to stock a carrier up with whatever’s selling, put it up at a good price & hope! With any luck the passing traffic will pick up on it and see the opportunity to make quick credits with very little (& short) travel time and do your job for you. You may even get a drought etc. if you’re lucky and certain commodities may sky-rocket.
 
Many thanks to all who took the time to reply!
I am now also convinced that it is pure coincidence that the "black market threat" and the Newby swarm happened at the same time. This has of course caused some unrest.

This sounds exactly like the new influx effect thanks to the Epic giveaway. We have two systems where the traffic went bonkers and it’s all cobra 3’s and Type 6’s. Obviously one of the starter systems is giving out missions which affect another faction(s) other than your own - which is what happened to us. We dropped 10% in 2 days despite working it - if we hadn’t worked it it’d probably have been the maximum (either 9 or 10% IIRC) each day. As it’s not a hostile takeover bid by another faction we’ve decided just to ride it out until the new influx calms down and once traffic returns to a more usual level we’ll work the system to regain any assets lost. Fortunately we are over 40% ahead of the other factions in the systems so we’ve got some breathing room for now.

Depending on the system/station/state a good idea might be to stock a carrier up with whatever’s selling, put it up at a good price & hope! With any luck the passing traffic will pick up on it and see the opportunity to make quick credits with very little (& short) travel time and do your job for you. You may even get a drought etc. if you’re lucky and certain commodities may sky-rocket.

yes, we will ride it out too, we also have enough influence distance fortunately (and still between 300 and 400 ships traffic every day ...)

But I saw this screenshot of the Dromi - System, so I'm not in wonder anymore... o_O
sidewinders.jpg
 
How does one bring down another's influence in order to start a war?
What missions should I be doing and who for?

I'm wanting to reduce my Controlling Factions Influence enough to start a Civil War in order to gain more ground in my system. There are no player factions in here so I don't wish to upset anyone by impeding their progress.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
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