I have to overhaul a few things. Mainly the phrase/talking engine. This will all be handled properly via scripts. I will still use the phrase engine, which turned out to be a pretty good system for generating dialogue based on some inputs, however what I'm getting rid of is the "talk" engine. Instead, what a person says (in general) will be handled dynamically via lua scripts. This is a lot cleaner and easier to work with, and definitely better for gameplay. What a person says (in specific) is handled by the phrase engine. So for instance the lua script basically says, "tell the player that we're in a bad mood and want them to leave", but the phrase engine decides exactly how to do that.
I am changing the idea I had about two axis fear and favour. It will just be one axis, with negative leading to fear and positive to favour. You can't have both at the same time, but certain things will trigger changes in a person. Unlike most other parameters, these ones are unbounded except by gameplay. I.e., they are points-based, not percentage-based. I think that instead of "spending" favour/fear points, what they will do is basically open up more options. So if a person likes you a lot, you can maybe ask them to tune your ship up. However, asking that might cost you just a little bit of favour, since it's kind of a lot to just ask somebody even if they do like you. So it might require that you have 15 favour points before person X will offer to install new thrusters for you, but it only loses you 2 to ask him to do it.
In general, having fear points doesn't gain you too much with that specific person, though they might capitulate to you if they really don't like you. Or... i'm not sure. Anyhow, the main bonus I guess is that if you get somebody to strongly dislike you, then it may make their enemies like you.
I am toying also with the idea of a "familiarity" scale. Basically, one of the important things in dealing with NPCs is finding out stuff about them. They all have parameterizations. For instance some are more religious than others, some more moral. This affects how you can persuade them. For instance if you know a person is of religion XYZ, then if you show them a relic of XYZ you will gain a lot of favour. But if you show them the wrong relic, well then oops.
So how do you find information about an NPC? One way is to ask them, of course. But asking them doesn't jive with reality. You don't walk up to a person and ask them how ruthless they are. But if you know them very well, THEN they may let you know that they are really heartless (directly or indirectly). Also you don't just go up to somebody on the street and ask them who their best friends and worst enemies are (and this is important information to gain about somebody). But if they know you fairly well they will tell you. So maybe a familiarity scale 0..1 where, at 0 you can really only ask them their name or whatnot. And doing certain things, for instance if you join their religion, will increase your familiarity to them. Just a thought.
OOh, i really have to do something =) In vex there are lots of houses that are vacant. I think you ought to be able to buy them. You could stash cargo, items, or even park ships (though these ships would be much more expensive to have taxied to you on another planet, to encourage you to use garages.)
Heheh, that would be a cool idea. If you buy a house it's like your own personal mini-garage.