Heathen Engineering's Terran presents its questions, missions and stories through 'events'. Events are presented to the player usually through the Notification system of the ITS Dashboard and can be 'engaged' or ignored in a number of ways, each having a unique impact on how the event will shape the galaxy.
When the pilot is not actively 'processing' and event either not out in space or not interactive with galactic events through the ITS; then time in the galaxy is nearly paused. Every event has a period of time it is available and a range of time the various 'engagements' cost to execute however this is not usually presented to the player as a number or exact measure and may not be expressed at all e.g. unknown duration.
Because time does not really progress when the player isn't taking any actions, the event system can be treated like a pseudo-turn based system. Additionally the player can 'hibernate' allowing a predetermined amount of time to simulate effective immediately. This feature is not presented as time control and the player cannot reverse or rewind time. During hibernation periods the gamer is still considered in-play and is vulnerable due to their inability to act.
Aside from time management the event system also allows the player to immediately take action in a desired event. There is no time based flight between locations - once selected the pilot immediately 'warps' to the area of interest and is given direct real-time control over the ship and fleet (if any) via the Observer. Assuming of course the event has an engagement option calling for combat or other space flight scenarios.
Events do include options with no 'flight' element to them. For example, political events which take the form of dialogues with various NPCs though the ITS like a simulated chat or web conference. Other events such as weather events may not have any engagement options at all and are purely notification the event has occurred, these will often signify the availability of hidden events or precede special environmental events.
Hidden events are simply events that do not appear on the Notification list in the ITS Dashboard, the player will need to discover these through interactions with NPCs, the galaxy itself and possibly through items such as logs and reports.
The Notification events the player will see in the ITS can be grouped into the following categories: Bounty Contracts, Crime Opportunities, Company Tasks, Faction Missions and Environment events. Descriptions of each follow below.
Bounty Contracts Edit
A bounty contract is a special event that unlike other events, will have no direct impact to faction relations for the player (Bounty hunters are kept anonymous). Through completion of contracts, the player’s hunter rank improves which will open new contracts. The player may also participate in hunter tournaments once they have achieved a sufficient rank and through this they can take the title of top hunter gaining access to the best contracts.
The AI also actively competes for top hunter, and even when the player has obtained the top rank other AI hunters will challenge and position to take the top title. Tournament challenges are a unique event type; for the player who wishes to challenge the next rank up the event is always available and has no end time. However, the higher ranked player who is challenged by the lower rank MUST accept the challenge or forfeit - likely losing rank.
Crime Opportunities Edit
A crime opportunity, like a bounty, has no direct impact to faction relations but does carry indirect impact via infamy. The more infamous the player, the more opportunities handed to him by the various crime syndicates. The higher the players ranks with the syndicates, the more available and more difficult the missions become while 'legitimate' events become less available and less profitable.
Crime Opportunities generally have a very short availability window, they expire quickly, however they generally unlock additional less time restrictive events when the initial opportunity is engaged.
Company Tasks Edit
A company task is an event only available to employed players or players who own and operate a company. These events take the form of sacking or defending company assets, eliminating key targets such as rogues, or in clearing out unsettled areas for development.
Civil events in this category include hiring and possibly firing staff, meeting with governments, other companies and occasionally hunters and criminals and in scouting and harvesting or salvaging of resources. Civil events like crime opportunities are generally very time restrictive, however often continue on opening up less restrictive civil events similar to a quest chain.
Faction Missions Edit
A faction mission is an event issued directly by a faction government or military and takes two forms.
The first type are open calls to any who have a non-negative standing with the faction in question and may result in an offer of commission; the player may be able to join the faction they supported on completion of the event.
The second type occurs for players that are a part of the faction in question and are 'orders' the player must complete. If the player does not complete (ignores) an order they may lose rank and even have their commission stripped. If the player does complete the order they may gain rank and even obtain command of the whole of that factions fleets over time.
**Note that players commissioned by a faction cannot commit crimes and cannot be employed by a company other than a faction owned company without serious repercussions up to and including becoming an enemy of the faction.
Environment Events Edit
These events reflect the results of the AI performing some form of action, such as AI criminals assaulting regions, as well as true ‘environment’ events that the player can participate in.
Environment events in particular offer the player the opportunity to change his/her course. Non-interactive environment events generally indicate areas or topics the player should consider looking deeper into and may suggest a hidden event.