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Slamz last won the day on February 24 2016

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  1. I don't think any trader buys anything without already knowing the answer to this. I see widgets are being bought for 1000 here and then notice they are being sold for 500 there (or maybe I can make them myself for 500), so there's my new route. This is also, incidentally, why we need good, up-to-the-minute insights into what's for sale, who is buying, how much and where -- to take some of the guesswork out of trading and make it more attractive to the casual player. I guess the counter-argument to this is that we should be sailing around, making our own notes, old-school style, figuring out the good trade routes that way, but I feel like that's a niche audience (old school pencil and paper note-keeping) inside of a niche audience (haulers) inside of a niche game (Naval Action). Might be one niche too deep. I want trading to be player based but I do think it needs better tools and visibility.
  2. I would say it's to give a point to the open world. Without an economy, the open world doesn't make any sense that I can think of. Or, at best, it turns the game into Planetside: people running around fighting each other purely for the sake of fighting, but I'm not sure how well that works in a game that has such slow paced combat. I think if I'm going to be in a potential 90 minute battle with some people, I want there to be a point -- because such a long battle, in my mind, requires a little more justification than "for fun pewpew" -- and the economy delivers the point. I am in this fight either to make their economy more dangerous or to make mine safer. It matters if I win or lose because of the economy. (This is why I will probably not play Arena much, except to test ideas or ships. Without a point to winning or losing, I have no real interest in it.) But I'm not sure that the answer to this dictates anything about whether NPC trading is good or bad. Ideally, whether we allow NPC trading or not, there should be able the same number of traders/haulers on the open world, moving stuff around. It's just that instead of a trader looking at his options and seeing something like: * Haul Player A's logs for 10 profit per log. * Haul Player B's iron for 12 profit per iron. * Haul NPC widgets for 15 profit per widget. ...and then deciding, of course, to do the widgets, we would just take that NPC option away so that whatever he ends up trading and hauling, it comes from (and goes to) a player. Actually, maybe there is an argument here that getting rid of NPC trades is good for the game, because it will help make the player economy run smoother and therefore there will be more OF a player economy. Ideally, we want lazy people to be able to set up basic resource production, produce it and throw it on the market for sale, locally, for cheap enough that some hauler can make a decent enough profit by hauling it. But I wonder if that can work if buying from and selling to NPCs is always more profitable for them. Of course, the people who want the wood can raise their asking price so much that eventually it becomes more profitable than the NPC trading but I don't like the idea of players competing with NPCs for hauling prices. That is, until your logs out-profit those NPC widgets, nobody is going to move your logs.
  3. With an NPC economy, I believe that's going to be a game of endless whack-a-mole. I will be surprised if Admin can identify and fix all possible ways of making easy money via NPC trading, which just undermines player trading. I believe that if you are buying, you should be buying from a player. If you are selling, you should be selling to a player. My assumption is that PvE players actually like buying from an NPC, sailing and selling to another NPC for money -- but I believe the mindset of a PvP player is more that all things should be player driven. Player vs player combat but also player vs player economy, without the NPC interference. My fear is that NPC trade runs (buying from an NPC, sailing and then selling to an NPC for X amount of profit) will damage the player economy by setting a "must be at least this profitable" barrier to entry. If buying my logs, hauling them and selling them to players does not make at least X, you'll never do it. The NPC trade profits are putting my log sales out of business! It's basically "economic PvE" as I have to compete with NPCs to set prices. It should be economic PvP, at least on the actual PvP server. Not sure if I'm misunderstanding your message here but that IS the purpose of money: so you don't have to trade directly with resources, which is a pain. Bob makes iron and needs wood. Sam makes wood and needs gold. Tim makes gold and needs iron. These three people have no means of direct trade. Bob needs wood and Sam makes it but Sam doesn't care about the iron Bob makes so no deal. Money is just the universal translator between all goods. All goods are worth money therefore they can each sell the thing they make for money and then buy what they want with money. You're right that you cannot set a contract for "buy 1000 wood in exchange for 500 iron" but that would not be as useful as just using money anyway.
  4. Over the course of Naval Action, NPCs have bought and sold everything from raw materials to parts (like carriages) to complete ships. A lot of this was with the idea that during testing, there could be a shortage of players (and used to be there was no other way to get raws) so we needed NPCs to fill the gaps. Is any of that still needed? I say "PvP server" because I assume on the PvE server they prefer NPC interaction even for buying and selling but on the PvP server, at least, player economy and good PvP are, I believe, tied together. We want more meaningful trading and less buying and selling to/from NPCs. So what should NPCs buy or sell? I would like to start with "nothing" and then work up to the bare minimum. Do NPCs need to sell raws, like iron and sugar? No. If we need them, we make them, switching production if need be, or buy from a player. Middle-materials like planks and furniture: No. Same as above. Just doesn't seem necessary. If you need them, make them or buy from a player. Ships? Probably just the free basic cutter because you do need a free fallback ship. NPC ships for sale has been a handy convenience as sometimes I just wanted a throw-away cargo ship or I needed a particular class of ship for a port battle but maybe in those cases I should just be out of luck -- I should have planned ahead and bought the ship I needed, from a player. What about buying? You just got 237 iron from some NPC trader on the open world. I could just go sell it to the NPCs. Should that be an option? Why? I'm thinking NPCs should not purchase raws or middle materials. I do think we should have more freedom to create contracts (Maybe 5 per port??) but if you get that 237 iron you are either going to put it into a sell contract, or fill out someone else's buy contract or you're going to throw it into the ocean. There will be no NPC buyers for it on the PvP server. I would probably have NPCs buy ships but that's it. Basically if you capture a player ship or just have one you don't want anymore the NPCs will buy it but that's it. This is purely for convenience and represents an item that maybe literally nobody wants, so we do need a legitimate method of dumping them (breaking them up works but is not very convenient if you're just trying to get rid of a ship). What do you think? What should NPCs buy or sell?
  5. For the people who talk about crew cost, you should be using medkits -- or I guess as of this patch, rum. Or are you saying rum is really expensive now? I have not logged into the patch to see how the rum is used now. But previously you never wanted to buy crew if you could possibly have access to medkits instead.
  6. I don't see anything in any of the patch notes that change anything enough to make either of these be true. There will always be solo PvPers out hunting. It has always been safer and better to hunt in a group but that doesn't stop people from soloing and doing well at it. Solo haulers are taking a big risk because they're slow but solo PvP will work just fine, just like always. Why wouldn't it? As for smaller nations -- you make it sound like they're dead if they can't round up a 20 person fleet just to haul some iron. That's silly. Really so many fights in this game are purely because someone got lazy, sloppy or wasn't paying attention and sailed into a trap. I think a fleet of 4 players with just 1 sailing ahead in a Pickle looking for enemy groups will probably have an easy time doing trade runs. They don't have to fight the group of 20. They just have to spot them from far enough away and avoid them. A bigger nation can certainly blockade a particular port but they can't cover the whole map with groups of 20. Nor would they want to.
  7. I imagine if I was a new player coming into the game today I would mostly just be baffled at the empty world (and awful port UI). My review would probably be "game is dead". As it stands, I am a forum whore so of course I know what's really going on and why population is all but dead but I also know there are big guilds lined up to play the game again, maybe after this test/reset but definitely on release. This is, maybe unfortunately, a multi-player game that would only get me (and I suspect most people) only so far without any other people to talk to or play with. And I think Admin knows this -- the sooner we get this game to a release state, the better. Sink or swim, it can't be an early access title under threat of impending reset forever. Barely related question: Is there also going to be an asset reset for release day? I have been assuming "yes". That is, we are going to reset for this next test and then, if all goes well, we will reset again and release?
  8. Yeah but that's because the old system was awash in money and durability. I always had more ships than I had places to put them, so I just wouldn't waste dock space on a less-than-ideal ship. We would actually build a gold ship and then throw it into the wood chipper if it didn't get the right RNG attributes because "just make another one" was so easy. Maybe that will still be true but now that ship cost is higher (with cannons) and ships are 1 dura, and hauling is riskier, I'm thinking that maybe a 1/10th-cost captured Frigate might look pretty good, especially if I'm just trying to fill out a fleet and need a sacrificial ship to maybe throw at some enemies. If I can only make or afford 1 Frigate dura per day and I'm losing more than that then I guess I'll buy that low grade captured ship, if for no other reason than something to grind out more cash with. Just sayin', I can imagine cases where it's going to be useful but it does depend on how the new economy plays out.
  9. Isn't it? I mean, either I get a lot of XP and gold because I sunk you OR I get your ship, assuming I wanted it. Both are pretty good rewards. That is, if I walk away with 0 XP, 0 gold and one new 1st Rate because I captured yours then...great! If I sink your first rate and walk away with a pile of gold and XP then....great! I don't see the problem? And as for abuse really the tradeoff is that "sunk ships can be traded for gold and XP". If someone wants to craft ships in a corner of the map and have their alt account sink them then..... ok, I guess? They're basically turning labor hours (and probably gold) into XP. Not sure if that's worth worrying about. But trading a ship back and forth for XP and no loss would be a real problem.
  10. Why is that? That would have been true a year ago. Not much market for a 1 dura captured ship. Now that all ships are 1 dura, and costly to make, you might actually find a market for captured ships, assuming you get a popular model. Obviously this won't work well on test server but in the real, live game I suspect it will be a real thing.
  11. What you are really thinking of is the amount of ballast required to keep a ship stable. You actually want the ship as light as possible but you do need a certain minimum amount of ballast to keep it stable. If you add 500 pounds of goods you could take out 500 pounds of ballast to keep the minimum weight the same, so the ship doesn't roll over, while also keeping the ship as light as possible -- your cargo has become your ballast. (In practice I have to imagine this is complicated though because 500 pounds of less-dense cargo is not going to give you the same, correct center-of-mass as 500 pounds of dense ballast. I can imagine a captain deciding to throw out his 500 pounds of ballast, thinking it'll be fine with 500 pounds of wool until his ship rolls over in the first wave.) If your ship can carry 5000 pounds maximum, you do not load it with 5000 pounds of rocks because you think you always need maximum weight. That will only slow you down (or in modern ships, waste fuel).
  12. I don't think hunters will do that. It's a waste of perk points for them. NPCs are useless for chasing down a fleeing enemy and with ships being expensive it's 4x the risk for them if they get busted by a bigger, better gank group. NPC fleets are decent for helping you escape but I don't see them becoming a meta for hunters. (I think hunters might do 1 level of the perk and fleet with a 6th rate though, to potentially provide cover and a little extra cannon fodder but we'll see how it plays out.) I'm not sure what the meta for trade fleet combat will become but I imagine you would command a trade ship, run away immediately, order the other trade ship to run away and then use one or both warships to try and throw off pursuit while you escape. (And then, probably, frankly, disconnect on the summary screen and log back in later when your hunters have gotten bored and wandered off.) The object of the warships isn't to win the fight but to cut enemy sails and let your traders get away. But I also don't think it's a bad thing to run solo acts out of the trading business. Old Naval Action created a habit of "everyone is a hauler, everyone is a crafter", which really meant it was hard to make a profit. You can't sell widgets if everyone is hauling and making their own. It was too easy NOT to do your own hauling and crafting. I think I'm looking forward to the idea that crafting and hauling may be more of a specialty. The best advice, though, may be to learn who's who in your nation and make some contacts. I mean, I'm thinking if someone asked me (like via tell, in game) to escort their ships from A to B and I didn't have anything else specifically planned for the day, I would probably do it and could probably round up a body or two to help, and we would do that just for the fun of it to see if we run into some pirates. From my perspective as a hunter, traveling with a fat LGV fleet means pirates who might not have risked the fight might now risk it and commit and I can get a real fight where otherwise they might have just run away from me. So I'm interested. Of course, if you can sweeten the deal by paying us, that will motivate us to hop to it quicker in the future... (If your shipyards are in the same place as ours, we would probably even take payment as a percentage of whatever raw materials you were hauling. You're hauling 5000 logs? Well pay us 500 of em. We might even bring our own haulers to do the run with you, at the same time, because we do the same runs you do anyway.) You COULD start your own hauling guild but if you pay attention to the world you should get to know your nation-mates and start landing contacts with existing, reliable guilds and it will take away a lot of your risk and pain. Are you excited? I'm excited. might just be these 4 cups of coffee talking, though
  13. Yeah, you know, even in the heyday of the French and Pirate war I don't think I was losing 2 dura per day on average and that was with 4+ hours of gameplay per night. After the war I had more durability than I knew what to do with. With fleeing generally being an option (us or them) and battles sometimes going for over an hour, losing 2 durability per day was rare. The bulk of my lost durability came from port battles. I have never, ever come close to a point where I felt I was running out of durability and would have to scale down. Worst case, I think, the meta changes and we start seeing more 6th rates used as scouts and screens. If durability is getting tight you might have 20% of your guild sailing 6th rates and their job is really to help screen if the frigates need to run away (like your group of 5 gets jumped by a group of 8. Rather than all die, your 6th rate(s) work the sails of the fastest enemy ships while your frigates escape). I'm interested in trying it, anyway. I will actually be surprised if much changes though. Who here actually loses 2 Frigate durability per day average and what are you doing to cause that??
  14. And I think we've always had that, but the game spent a long time doing very little to throw players together. I'm really interested to see how some of the new rules play out. The rules of the old game with PvE missions, teleporting between free ports and enemy ships being everywhere including outside your own ports meant that you never knew where to find people. You want to fight the British? Well where are they? Who the hell knows! They could be pretty much anywhere. The new rules (no missions, no teleporting between free ports, enemy NPCs can really only be found outside enemy ports and you flip ports by sinking ships outside of them) should hopefully throw people together a lot more aggressively. At least I hope so.
  15. I definitely agree and this is why I have occasionally campaigned to re-examine how this game handles XP, rank and progression. Pure PvE players don't like this game because of the lack of unique PvE content, which is costly and time consuming to develop (evidence: empty PvE server -- it's always been pretty empty that I've seen, even in this game's heyday). Pure PvP players don't like this game because they don't like being forced to level up and grind out low ranks before they can realistically engage in big league PvP. So the target audience ends up being "PvP players who enjoy large doses of PvE". I actually enjoy a bit of PvE myself now and then but I don't think it should be a mandatory gateway to things like port battles (or at least it should not take so long to get through). I would rather see XP gating of ship upgrades or something, so that a new player can (assuming someone gives him one) immediately sail a full crew 1st rate and join all the port battles, etc, but he has to earn XP in that ship to unlock its upgrades and doing so does nothing to improve any other ship he may want to try later. In this way, a veteran is gaining breadth rather than depth. A 2 week old player can have full upgrades unlocked in like one 5th rate while a 1 year old player may have full upgrades for all or most ships. But at least for now, it is what it is: WOW-like. At max rank, PvE simply funds PvP which I think is fine but at lower ranks, PvP is actually gated by PvE which I frown upon. Very much agree. Magical Euro Trader fills were okay for testing but really have no place in the game. Player economy needs more emphasis and needs to be part of PvP. That is definitely a problem in this game. The French and Pirate War of PvP2 was fantastic. Some of the best gaming I've ever had. We spent the rest of the time trying to recapture that and failing. Population dropoff and just the way port flip mechanics worked made it impossible to get into that same situation again. I do think a lot of improvements made in the last year will lead to better and more frequent (and more predictable) wars but we won't really know til after the reset and hopefully people come back to try it. To me, Arena just feels like giving up, though. "Welp, wars like that will never happen again, might as well give up and do Arena!" I still feel that if we get the mechanics right, Arena will be empty just because there is plenty of real PvP in the regular open world game. "Gentleman's Duelists" will still use Arena -- these are the people who just hate unfair fights -- but I like to think they're the minority.