Dev Diary #5 - Shape of an Org

In previous dev diaries we have talked a bit about the organizations of ORG and the five categories to which tasks, ships, agents, and facilities in the game are all defined by.

One thing we haven't gone into much depth about, however, is the organizations - the orgs, if you will - themselves. What makes one player's org different from another player's? What are the various ways an org can be styled, and what are the implications of that?

Every player starting out must select one of the five categories - Commercial, Cultural, Military, Political, Research. - that is their org's preferred category, and one category that is their org's disadvantaged category.

Tasks of org's preferred category will take less time to complete while tasks of an org's disadvantaged category will take more time to complete. (The other three categories will sit in the middle with no change to their base time to complete). Preferred category tasks will also have a modest increase in their chance of success; similarly, disadvantaged category tasks will have a modest decrease in their base chance of success.

Finally, while every org may have up to 20 tasks active at any one time, there are some restrictions:

  • 5 of these 20 task slots can only be filled by a category of an org's preferred category.
  • 2 each of the 20 task slots can only be filled by the other three non-disadvantaged categories.
  • 9 of these 20 tasks slots can be filled by any category - including an org's disadvantaged category.

For example, a player wants to create a traditional commercial corporation styled org, so chooses a preferred category of Commercial and a disadvantaged category of Cultural:

  • Any Commercial task the org runs will take 20% less time to complete and have about a 10% greater chance of success.
  • Any Cultural task the org runs will take 20% more time to complete and have about a 10% less chance of success.
  • Of the org's 20 task slots, 5 are reserved for Commercial tasks.
  • Of the org's 20 task slots, 2 are reserved for Military tasks.
  • Of the org's 20 task slots, 2 are reserved for Political tasks.
  • Of the org's 20 task slots, 2 are reserved for Research tasks.
  • Of the org's 20 task slots, 9 may be used for any task - including Cultural tasks.

This is intended to give players a reasonable amount of flexibility, encourage experimentation and cross-category synergies, but at the same time encouraging a theme and general direction for every player's org.

There are a number of ways to think about an org's styling. While the traditional commercial corporation is a mainstay, there are actually a lot of other options available. Take these examples to give some ideas of what can done:

  • Corporation Preferred: Commercial, Disadvantaged: Military
  • Trade Consortium Preferred: Commercial, Disadvantaged: Research
  • Mining Cooperative Preferred: Commercial, Disadvantaged: Political
  • Political Party Preferred: Political, Disadvantaged: Research
  • Illuminati Preferred: Political, Disadvantaged: Military
  • Social Movement Preferred: Cultural, Disadvantaged: Commercial
  • Religion Preferred: Cultural, Disadvantaged: Military
  • Secret Society Preferred: Cultural, Disadvantaged: Research
  • Aid Organization Preferred: Cultural, Disadvantaged: Political
  • Mercenary Company Preferred: Military, Disadvantaged: Cultural
  • Military Contractor Preferred: Military, Disadvantaged: Political
  • Militia Preferred: Military, Disadvantaged: Research
  • Resistance Group Preferred: Military, Disadvantaged: Commercial
  • Research Foundation Preferred: Research, Disadvantaged: Military
  • Archaeological Institute Preferred: Research, Disadvantaged: Commercial

The way a player chooses to play an org and focus its efforts even beyond questions of category can also have immense differences.

For example, a corporation might choose to focus specifically on the mining and refining of raw materials, or ship manufacture, or even commercial product manufacture and distribution. A corporation could also focus on purchasing items from other players and reselling them on the market. A cultural preference could represent a recruiting firm focusing on recruiting agents essentially for sale on the market. A social movement might be a political action group, or even an ethnic paramilitary.

As well, any of the above could have their disadvantaged category (or preferred category) shifted to something else to better represent the intentions of your org.

Region and orbit, too, can play a big part of this. While organizations can expand their influence into other regions, there are a lot of benefits to focusing on only a few regions, and even more benefits to focusing on only one or two orbits. (Of course, it is possible to see advantages in spreading out across multiple orbits - trade consortiums and orgs that want to avoid being unduly affected by a powerful alliance in an orbit might see a benefit to spreading themselves thinner).

As a Commercial-focused org, you might want to think about what part of the supply chain or what resources you might like to focus on. For example, you could focus on one or two raw materials from mining through processing through manufacture of items primarily using those raw materials. Alternatively, you might choose to focus on just mining, but for every type of raw material.

As a Political or Military-focused org, your org's Reputation with particular national polities will become very important - do something that one polity likes, and you'll upset that polity's enemies and please its friends. As one of these types of orgs, you may benefit from picking one (or two) polities in particular to focus on and be friends with. Alternatively, perhaps you might want to take a more mercenary approach as a Military-focused org, acting as a privateer for whatever polities happen to currently be at war - when one peace treaty is signed, it just means it is time to move your focus to another war.

Perhaps, instead, you might want to focus on a single region and thoroughly dominate it in the player rankings to the point where you dictate its destiny. As well, as an alliance, dominating an entire orbit is not out of the question.

There is a great deal of leeway to shift your focus and efforts depending on the political landscape and relations with other players and events, but it can be worth your time to keep an eye on a niche - it's just not possible to be everything in every category and every region, so choose, but don't be afraid to shift your efforts as opportunities present themselves.