Elite Dangerous: Updates to Crime and Punishment

With the next update to Elite Dangerous (Beyond Chapter One) now downloading to our PCs and consoles, it’s time to start looking even deeper into what will soon be in the game. Earlier this month the team at Frontier provided extra info on how crime and punishment will change and the original post on the Frontier Forums can be found here – I’ll also copy the post below too.

It’s great to see the details laid out like this because it now presents some clear consequences for players who break the rules. Being denied services at a station could be the least of your problems. Carrying a large bounty on your head now means you can also face the wrath of more advanced security vessels and find yourself having work harder to fund your pirating lifestyle. In the when you lose you’ll find yourself in a detention centre having to pay off all the bounties on your head in addition to the costs of your lost ship.

In the end this just feels like making sure that players who make a mistake will get a fair punishment and a means to resolve it that doesn’t stray too far from the current process. For those who go “beyond” that and start killing players… they’ll find it’s now a much riskier way to make money and is going to require them to work a lot harder if they want to keep themselves out of sight from the law.

Crime and Punishment in Beyond Chapter One

Greetings Commanders,

With Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter One approaching (keep an eye on our social media channels and the forums for a release date), we’d like to take a moment to remind everyone of how Crime and Punishment will work when 3.0 is released. There have been a few changes made during the beta, so we wanted to summarise it in one place to make it as clear as possible.

Essentially, the new crime and punishment system will add appropriate consequences for criminal activity, make the crime system more legible and easier to understand, there will be new rules for bounties and fines, and new rules for respawning after ship destruction.

Bounties and Fines

  • Bounties and fine are applied to the ship you’re in.
  • Fines never mature into bounties.
  • Bounties never become dormant.
  • Bounties never expire.
  • Fines can be paid off at security contacts
  • Bounties can be cleared by Interstellar Factors when your Notoriety is 0
  • Claimed bounties for the jurisdiction you died in must be paid when you re-spawn at detention centres.

These changes aim to simplify crimes. You will now have more control over your criminal status risk and reward. You can store a ship with bounties on (a hot ship), hiding your criminality, but at the cost of not using the ship. Bounties are now more significant as you must use Interstellar Factors to clear them, which can be expensive.

Notoriety and Murder

  • Commanders gain a Notoriety rating, a value between zero and ten.
  • Notoriety increases by one whenever a Commander commits a murder crime.
  • Notoriety decays one unit every 2 hours of time when you’re logged in the game back down to zero.
  • For each level of notoriety, murder bounty values are increased by a fraction of the perpetrator’s rebuy cost – the higher the notoriety, the bigger the fraction.
  • If the victim is a Commander (a player rather than an NPC) then you pay 10% percent per point of notoriety of the difference between your base rebuy cost, factoring in engineering, and the victim’s rebuy cost. If your cost is less than your victim’s, this will be zero. This is to de-incentivise destroying smaller ships than your own. This number, as well as others in the Beyond update, will be revisited and tweaked after launch to make sure the game is as balanced and enjoyable as possible.
  • In addition, Commanders that are destroyed have their rebuy cost reduced based on the notoriety level of their murderer – the more notorious the assassin, the bigger the discount on rebuy cost for the victim.
  • Notoriety is linked directly to the Commander, regardless of which ship they fly in.
  • Any Notoriety means the interstellar factors cannot clear your fines or bounties.
  • Around starports, any death that results from collisions will not apply to the notoriety penalties nor will it increase Notoriety. This is to prevent small ships being destroyed by excessive ramming. Ramming and combat logging are two examples of other things that we’re giving specific care and attention to – keep an eye on the forums and on social media for any news relating to these topics.

These changes ensure that Commanders can’t completely shed their criminal status by swapping to clean ships. It also addresses the seriousness of the murder crime, especially against other Commanders, as well stopping people from attacking smaller ships unnecessarily.

Hot Ships and Modules

  • A ship with bounties on it is hot.
  • A hot ship cannot be transferred to a port in a jurisdiction where the hot ship is wanted.
  • Elsewhere – ship transfer costs are increased for the hot ship.
  • Modules taken from a hot ship are hot modules.
  • Hot ships can be cleaned using Interstellar Factors, at a cost.
  • Hot modules can be cleaned in storage for a price based on the module’s value.
  • Hot modules cannot be placed in a clean ship.
  • Hot ships and modules can be sold at a mark down.

These changes mean there are more consequences for criminals, to close off potential “laundering” exploits.

Friendly Fire and Reckless Weapons Discharge

  • The tolerance for friendly fire has been increased – you can deal more damage before you gain the assault crime.
  • A new crime has been added “Reckless weapons discharge”, which triggers at the old friendly fire threshold, and is only a fine.
  • These changes reflect the potential increased consequence for a bounty, allowing more leeway before one is issued.

Anonymous Access Protocols and Detention Centres

  • When in a hot ship, port services are restricted in jurisdictions where the ship is wanted – your ship logs in anonymously.
  • Fines prevent access to all services except missions in progress, security contact, Interstellar Factors and black markets
  • Bounties prevent access to all services except missions in progress, Interstellar Factors and black markets.
  • When a hot ship is destroyed where it is wanted, by a ship that has detected it as wanted, the Commander will respawn at the nearest Detention Centre that is aligned to the faction that the bounty was given by.
  • There are lots of detention centres in human space.
  • When respawning at a detention centre, a Commander *must* pay off their bounty or fine for the jurisdiction where they were destroyed in addition to their rebuy cost – all other bounties and fines remain attached to the ship. Players are forced to pay off bounties only, and only if the bounty was claimed.
    This helps to make sure there are consequences for your crimes.

Power Bounties

  • Crimes committed between Powerplay pledged Commanders generate power bounties instead of normal bounties.
  • Power bounties can only be detected and claimed by Commanders pledged to the power that issued them.
  • Commanders destroyed for their Power bounty are not processed as criminals and do not pay any additional costs during respawning.

Authority ships will no longer get involved with Powerplay. For example, A Hudson Commander can still attack a Patreus Commander with impunity in a system controlled or exploited by Hudson. However when the Patreus player fights back they will get a Power bounty and no authority ships will be summoned.

Advanced Tactical Response

  • Authorities now have access to new security vessels: ATR (Advanced Tactical Responders)
  • ATR ships are kitted out with top tier hardware, in exclusive, customised configurations. They are extremely competent pilots.
  • ATR ships can be summoned once a Commander has committed enough crimes in a jurisdiction.
  • The security of the system determines the level of crime before they are summoned
  • ATR ships arrive with full knowledge of their target and are pre cleared to arrive “weapons hot”.
  • Once ATR ships respond to crimes, they will continue to respond until the Commander leaves the system.
    Another piece of the crime consequences puzzle, ATR should also help mitigate Commanders attempting to exert excessive influence in the background simulation.

Non Crime Destruction

  • When your ship is destroyed and you were not wanted, you can now respawn at a nearby starport if there is one available that is not faction hostile to you.
  • If there are no appropriate starports, you will respawn at the last port you were docked at.
  • If in the unlikely event you are also wanted there you will be sent to the nearest detention centres and have to pay your dues.

This change makes the crime flow more consistent and means you will not be trapped by re-spawning in a station you are wanted.

Kill Warrant Scanner

We are continuing to look at the functionality of the Kill Warrant Scanner (KWS) after receiving your invaluable feedback and engagement on the forums. We’ll update you with more information as soon as it’s available. Thanks again for your continued support on all of the above.

Elite Dangerous is out now for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Chapter One of the Beyond update should be live as you read this.

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