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Exploration gameplay

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As we come closer to finalizing our initial line up of ships and basic combat mechanics, we would like to talk about our first principles of non-combat gameplay in our sandbox game. We wanted to bring our thoughts to your attention earlier so we can get your feedback and ideas, before we start coding them.

 

Our first post is about Exploration and Adventure gameplay.

 

 

Guiding principles

 

•    Pure explorer gameplay must be viable and profitable

•    Famous explorers must have the same status as famous admirals, privateers, or pirates

•    Explorers can provide significant benefits to other professions

•    Adventurer role must be interesting and educating

 

uCQHMA6.jpg

 

Discovering new lands

 

Most of the world will be Terra Incognita. There will be no in game maps and players will have to explore and discover the coastlines and oceans themselves.

 

Except for starting areas, every port will have to be founded by players or player guilds. We will seed the world with some native villages that players can capture to speed up the shore development, but most of the map will be uninhabited.

 

Explorers will be able to name coastal towns that will appear on map after Royal Courts, or Admiralty approvals. The world creators will name key landmarks – but explorers could chart and provide naming for smaller islands.

 

Some time ago, we discussed the opportunity of creating a completely new world "a-la Civilization" map to provide the real feeling of exploring the unknown, feeling that explorers of the 17-18 century experienced when they went to sea. That idea received a mixed response – but we think it could be discussed again.

 

Expeditions.

 

Players will be able to send expeditions to islands, or continents if they have hired officers with necessary skills. Depending on the skill level, an expedition can make a number of discoveries starting from animals, to plants, to historical artifacts.

 

oJYoX4ml.png 4PsI9DIl.png

 

Explorers will be extremely useful for trading and combat oriented guilds/companies, because they can uncover shifts in resource pools across the world provide necessary information for crafters and traders.

 

Archives and Books

 

The world will witness a lot of combat; ships will be lost at sea. Explorers will be able to search the archives for maps of shipwrecks and raise them to surface. Most lucrative shipwrecks will most likely be in dangerous waters, so it will be useful to bring a friends if you are raising the treasure.

 

Discoveries and collections are crafted into books or atlases. Explorers then submit them to Geographic or Royal Societies for rewards: titles, rare items, and ships. We plan to use real historical data for the discoveries that could make this profession entertaining and educating. 

 

 

Let's discuss

 

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Well, this game looks also fun! I really like this era the 18th century, sometimes I wish I could have live in that era but yeah every era has its pros and cons. About the game, I really like the idea, i think this could be very good game, I just don't know is it going to be multiplayer or only singleplayer? I like the multiplayer games much better to play with real people, but i don't have an idea about how could we make a game 18th century explorer&adventurer game and we would have to discover the hole place. But I think if it would be a multiplayer which I think it will be  :D,

I think the game should be third-person, and we should be able to make ports, islands and the the first explorers could capture them and then Name them maybe? I don't know but this kind of game sounds very good for me for sure. I also support the idea regarding ship wrecks, on the island we could look for treasuries too. Trading is a must have in this upcoming game my opinion, ships must have, maybe in the oceans there could be some type of "dangerous animals" which could be a threat maybe for the ships. There could be native tribes, maybe you could be able to negotiate with them for lands, or you could take them away by force.I like also the idea about making it historical,being historical i think is pretty important, and I like the educational idea too, that makes the game good quality I love the history too. Ships also should be historical I think depending on the era. Ships should be customizable the cannons, looking, decorations, etc.. In the game there should be a lot of wildlife, animals, spiders, and every kind of "living" creatures that were existed in that time. I think we should also be able to go hunt, with muskets, or bows or whatever is your weapon of choice in that time, go to fishing on the shores, or on the the ships, for now thats all I can think of, but I really support this upcoming game too with the Naval Action! Both sounds awesome!  :D

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Wow! I Can't wait! So excited. I Feel like I can't wait any longer. This game is going to be amazing and by far the best age of sail game ever made! :lol:

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Excellent! Love it! Some thoughts on new discovery maps created by an explorer.

Each discovery or map will only be shared with that faction and not all factions.

Maps from any ship captured would be shared with the capturing faction. Or a portion of their maps are shared or none of their maps are shared. Random?

if I am a French explorer the English faction will not " immidately" have access to the Frech maps, correct?

However, if the English navy captures that French exloprers ship, does it mean that the English would then have access to the French maps?

I see a couple of areas for further clarity / options here. Using the above French/English example:

1. The French explorer returns to its home port and those maps are "registered" with the French Admiralty for some cash in return based upon a calculated value.

At that time:

1a. The Frech Admiralty decides to share the map with all French ships

1b. The Frech Admirality decides NOT to share with all French Captains at that time and keep it "private"(?) until they put together an expidition to settle the areas discovered at which time all French ships will get the explorers map

1c The French Admiralty will sell "access" to the map(s) to French or other private enterprises OR countries.

1d The French Admiralty gives, trades, or sells the map to allies

2 If the French Explorer is under attack before returning to home port;

2a That French Explorer Captain must decide to either destroy the map at the outset of the English attack so that his maps do not fall into English hands or to keep them and hope to either evade or survive the English attack

2a1. It the French explorer kept the maps and the explorer ship is captured by the English then the English get the map

2a2 if the ship is destroyed no one gets the map

3 instead of returning to its French homeport the French explorer could choose to sell the map, allowing other factions to bid on it but would then lose it's French status and become a privateer / independent explorer

You can replace French / English with company/private enterprise "A" and company "B", guild, faction, etc..

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So I take it this is treasure hunting in one long post. :P

 

Sounds very fun I can't wait to see how it looks ingame.

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Expeditions.

 

Players will be able to send expeditions to islands, or continents if they have hired officers with necessary skills. Depending on the skill level, an expedition can make a number of discoveries starting from animals, to plants, to historical artifacts.

 

What about resource discoveries? Gold, coal, etc.
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Great ideas!

 

Some time ago, we discussed the opportunity of creating a completely new world "a-la Civilization" map to provide the real feeling of exploring the unknown, feeling that explorers of the 17-18 century experienced when they went to sea. That idea received a mixed response – but we think it could be discussed again.

 

 

Why not a combination of both?  Historical continental landmasses, but procedurally generated islands in the "open ocean".  So France would be France, etc., but the open Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans would contain uninhabited islands that could be potential sources of high value, low volume resources, as well as strategic bases once developed.  These could periodically be reset (e.g. following some sort of win condition for the server) so that there will always be new things to discover.  Discovering and charting these islands should be high risk, high reward.  Likewise, far north and south could contain randomized pack ice that would make certain areas (and resources) accessible and inaccessible each time there is a reset, providing reward for dangerous polar exploration.

 

Also known landmasses could still have unknown and randomized elements, e.g. native settlements and resource locations, that would provide lower risk exploration activities.  Perhaps even in safe "home waters" there could be an opportunity for hydrographic surveys as a starting exploration activity.

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Excellent! Love it! Some thoughts on new discovery maps created by an explorer.

Each discovery or map will only be shared with that faction and not all factions.

Maps from any ship captured would be shared with the capturing faction. Or a portion of their maps are shared or none of their maps are shared. Random?

if I am a French explorer the English faction will not " immidately" have access to the Frech maps, correct?

However, if the English navy captures that French exloprers ship, does it mean that the English would then have access to the French maps?

I see a couple of areas for further clarity / options here. Using the above French/English example:

1. The French explorer returns to its home port and those maps are "registered" with the French Admiralty for some cash in return based upon a calculated value.

At that time:

1a. The Frech Admiralty decides to share the map with all French ships

1b. The Frech Admirality decides NOT to share with all French Captains at that time and keep it "private"(?) until they put together an expidition to settle the areas discovered at which time all French ships will get the explorers map

1c The French Admiralty will sell "access" to the map(s) to French or other private enterprises OR countries.

1d The French Admiralty gives, trades, or sells the map to allies

2 If the French Explorer is under attack before returning to home port;

2a That French Explorer Captain must decide to either destroy the map at the outset of the English attack so that his maps do not fall into English hands or to keep them and hope to either evade or survive the English attack

2a1. It the French explorer kept the maps and the explorer ship is captured by the English then the English get the map

2a2 if the ship is destroyed no one gets the map

3 instead of returning to its French homeport the French explorer could choose to sell the map, allowing other factions to bid on it but would then lose it's French status and become a privateer / independent explorer

 

well thought out

1a-d the victor is part of the french Navy where duty dictates he turns over the map to the admarility

a privateer or pirate may wish to share it with his society of sell it on the market (3) or keep it for himself

 

admin

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Posted Today, 02:59 PM

Most of the world will be Terra Incognita. There will be no in game maps and players will have to explore and discover the coastlines and oceans themselves.

 

kinda like age of empires where everything is blank until you explore it?  or 

will we need to / be able to make our own maps for the Admiralty or our selves to sell?

 

love the idea of exploration 

if i find an island that is easilyto defend with good and sheltered anchorage my society could build defences and use it as a base of opperations

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some great ideas in there. Can i throw out some food for thought on expoloration as a long term content deliverer...

I think to be done properly you may have to commit to gradually expanding the outer edges of the available game world over time rather than releasing the final 'map' per se at the beginning. 

This has a double benefit. for you as the developer you can enlarge your game world incrementally and do it real justice by not having to rush it out the door on release, and from a content perspective it means new discovery events and opportunities become available with each map update. This would help you meter the exlporation role to be useful in a strategic sense for longer.

 

another way of making it a longer term game concept is to have shifting resource nodes that deplete from use over say 1-2 weeks. on depletion a designated explorer 'class' is the only way to discover the new sources of raw materials. You probably wouldnt do this for the more generic mass produced and domesticated crops and animal husbandry but for rarer and high value items related to medicines, drugs, perhaps explosives and rare minerals (the specific explorer class could have cartography and surveying skills for example that enable them to publish maps)

 

explorers could also be responsible for defining new 'safe' routes or paths on land which then become publicly visible on the map (or purchaseable as maps i guess)

 

your shipwreck idea sounds great 

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Sounds very interesting to say the least. It would be very fun to search for and discover new lands to lay claim to. There have been some great points by others already, but I do think a lot of thought should be put into how to do this in stages so it takes some time to complete. We wouldn't want it to be fully 'discovered' in a month or two.

 

Ultimately, it will be fully discovered at some point. Here is where the economy needs to shine to ensure longevity. As stated earlier you could have a finite amount of resources in an area before it needs time to recover. If you could somehow develop a system that evolves it will provide a unique organic environment. This ever-changing environment would cause people to seek out new areas to find resources. Whether that be by exploration or by force. Of course you need to give the players a reason to seek out resources on a somewhat regular basis for this to work. I also think that gold or whatever form of currency the game uses should be hard to come by and not easy to 'farm'. The more organic the economy and currency can be developed the more instances for natural and meaningful conflict between players. Give them something worth fighting for!!

 

The idea of treasure hunting is awesome as well. I like how ArcheAge has implemented this feature and think this game would be perfect to continue on with that concept (though I wonder how this would be implemented without player avatars). Just as resources should be evolving and organic, so should shipwrecks and treasures. To many MMO's have special items that spawn in the same area over and over and become predictable and dull. 

 

I can imagine a very powerful or well known player controlled ship. This captain has earned a very strong reputation and built a ship to be reckoned with. During a trip between ports to deliver some very valuable cargo his ship is attacked by pirates and sunk in open water. Word gets around that the captains prized vessel went down and the hunt begins to locate the shipwreck and the prizes aboard. That would be exciting.

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As we come closer to finalizing our initial line up of ships and basic combat mechanics, we would like to talk about our first principles of non-combat gameplay in our sandbox game. We wanted to bring our thoughts to your attention ..........Let's discuss

I LOVE, everything about that post. I was one of the few, who liked the fictional map, I agree with akd, Why not both?

Science can help nations and societies develop. Exploration is a limitless source of new content for the game, there is a never ending number plants and animals to discover. Who wouldn't want to discover and name Testudo Aubreii

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Love the idea of an evolving map ie the playing universe.

An absolutely perfect example of this as well as expanding Captain and ship capabilities is Star Trek online. (Launched Feb 2010 and 3.2 million players as of January 2014).

Start off as a Junior Officer and eventually can train up to a level 50 Vice Admiral. There are many (20?) ship types and if you belong to a Fleet (equivalent of a guild in this game.) even more. Each ship can be equipped differently, you can buy different upgrades at a Starbase (port) or get them from your fleet. Fleets are managed by the players but STO has the mechanics in place to let you start one or join one already launched with more capabilities.

The map has known planetary locations with different missions possible at them. Last year they expanded the Universe to include a Dyson Sphere (basically another new playable area) and next month they are adding in a delta quadrant which will add to the overall playable areas. And will also raise the Captains experience ceiling from 50 to 60. When it came out I believe that started at 40.

You can gain experiences in exploration, diplomacy, military prowess. The fleets build a Starbase up to a level 5. The fleets have supplies and upgrades, so the benefits are large to join a fleet.

There are downsides with STO as well, but my point is they have an extremely balanced game that keeps growing over the years.The play areas, ships, fleets, and Captain capabilities. Player v player, players v computer, missions etc.

Worth looking at if you are not already familiar with it, and it's free!

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I'm a really big fan of the idea of finding and raising lost ships for treasure! I imagine that it might also be possible to obtain treasure by finding exploration ships that lost their way and were somehow either beached or simply abandoned? It could make for quite the reward for finding these unmapped islands, as a bonus on top of the reward given to you by the Geographic Society for making it back alive with your tales of this new land!

 

One thing I wonder, though, is how the United States will be handled, given that it was founded on a peace of land that used to be terra incognita?

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Very nice ideas guys. 

 

Expeditions.

Add more variety to the discoveries. More items will make player interested in finding them as a collection or a profit. This should include ship loot, items, books, animals, plants and artifacts. When a collection of let's say Rare items is found, player can ether exchange it for a knowledge (skill increase) or sell it to a collector or the university. 

 

Items based on skill level

 

-Basic 

-Common 

-Rare

-Exceptional 

-Unique 

 

Skill Level

 

Level 1 - Basic -            drop chance 100%

               Common -      drop chance 25%

               Rare -             drop chance 15%

               Exceptional - drop chance 8%

               Unique -         drop chance 4%

 

Level 2 - Basic -            drop chance 100%

               Common -      drop chance 35%

               Rare -             drop chance 17%

               Exceptional - drop chance 10%

               Unique -         drop chance 6%

 

Level 3 - Basic -            drop chance 100%

               Common -      drop chance 45%

               Rare -             drop chance 19%

               Exceptional - drop chance 12%

               Unique -         drop chance 8%

 

Level 4Basic -            drop chance 100%

               Common -      drop chance 50%

               Rare -             drop chance 25%

               Exceptional - drop chance 15%

               Unique -         drop chance 10%

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it will surely better than potbs i know it!

no more sail to large neon X on open sea, club 5-10npcs totall and wola profit.

atleast i hope it doenst turn out this way

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Reaching certain science levels could allow access to new equipment, like better diving bells, microscopes, even balloons.    Deeper salvage, newer species, even more science.

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Are expeditions going to be similar to "crew missions" in games such as SWTOR? Where you send them out and in x amount of time they return with items etc?

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very good news once again!!prety good ideas!but please  I do not forget the treasures, both remote islands and shipwrecks .

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A few questions :

 

1/ Will the game be a never ending campaign or after a certain amount of time, the the campaign will be be reboot.

 

2/ I like the idea of players founding ports, cities. This kind of features would make Naval Action a great game, and not only a pew pew game a la WOT.But can the players found them in any places (of course not under water or in a volcano) suitable for a colony, or only in places defined by developers ?

 

 

 

As it was said, the real European continent with a "fantasy" new world/America continent would be the best compromise.

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A few questions :

 

1/ Will the game be a never ending campaign or after a certain amount of time, the the campaign will be be reboot.

 

2/ I like the idea of players founding ports, cities. This kind of features would make Naval Action a great game, and not only a pew pew game a la WOT.But can the players found them in any places (of course not under water or in a volcano) suitable for a colony, or only in places defined by developers ?

 

 

 

As it was said, the real European continent with a "fantasy" new world/America continent would be the best compromise.

I was hoping for an accurate east coast of the Americas and added fictional elements for the Pacific,maybe because I'm an American...

BjDiEFCCAAAof5T.jpg

the real Pacific is huge and empty, not fun gameplay and plenty of room for islands or even continents.   Someone else posted this, long ago...

shipping_1750_1800.png

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Like the idea of new features in the Pacific

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I'd like a generally realistic map with the continents and major cities depicted accurately. Adding islands in the med or major oceans seems reasonable to me as long as its not overdone.

 

I'm slightly concerned with some elements of your exploration plan. Guilds create ports seems to be a fun idea but how will this look in the long run. Is it possible that on one small stretch of land thats centralized on the map will have side by side ports from horizon to horizon or will there be a limit on ports in a given area? Does this mean that friendly guilds can't co-manage a port of common interest? What happens to ports started by a guild and then the guild disbands? Are there gonna be any historical ports? Will there be a dynamic that allows the selling or ceding of a port to another guild that could manage it better?

 

Also, and maybe I need to read the post again, but are explorers going to be able to craft and sell their maps to others. If I'm a pure pvp player I'm not gonna want to spend all my time removing the black from the map. I'd much rather pay someone to do that for me. Also, I hope the world map is huge so that explorers could play for months and not map the whole world so that societies could contract explorers to map specific areas of the world that would be advantageous to them.

 

We've talked about PvE players having a role in the game that is meaningful and respected. This idea of exploring is definitely a move in the right direction for them if they can at least share their knowledge with their society mates.

 

People have suggested that ports run out of resources. I don't like this idea. It will cause the map to fluctuate to much I'm afraid. Pirates and privateers make their living hunting the common trade routes that won't exist if ports are constantly running out of resources. This will remove an aspect of immersion that I believe the developers are trying to create. Running out of resources will cause pirates and privateers to camp ports instead of camping trade routes since they won't know where the trade routes are from day to day. So, to compromise a little, lets have the longevity of the resources be dependent on the infrastructure of a port. If you take an Indian village because of it gold that they find in creeks than that resource should run out unless you build a tier 1 mining operation. You eventually create an infrastructure that insures a constant supply.

 

Ports shouldn't be founded initially as ports. They should simply be exploratory outposts. The guilds outposts should grow to be "ports" only if the guild can support the infrastructure of a city. Also, ports that loose infrastructure due to poor management should reduce over time as the population dwindles and could ultimately disappear off the map if it gets low enough.

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