Hugh Latham

Fleets revisited

51 posts in this topic

Indeed it was somewhat risky. Still the payback for successful trade voyages were worth the risk. That's maybe why so many, so so many, took to the risk of sailing cargo back and forth... alone. Quiet and quick and fearful of God, etecetera.

Oh, apparently it was like it is in game. With a degree of risk and nice payback. The worst case scenario is being raided properly 1 out of 12 attempts. That's a very small margin and I did test it well as many others did it.

So you make 12 runs and lose 1 cargo. I am sure you are still on top by far.

Remember many merchants had to carry their coin in their ship, we don't. Our coin is somewhere in the ether.

Whatever is decided there is too much life being sapped out of the OW, I want to be provided with a solid challenge of risk/reward content in a living west indies with ships going all over doing their chores with respective rewards for their efforts, not a hoarding experience of "warbands" chasing each other. That's gang warfare, not age of sail.

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3 hours ago, Kloothommel said:

I like fleets. Sailing solo with valuable cargo is too risky.

It is risky, but if you sail with the right ship for the right job it isnt that bad.   

Use an armed trade ship for runs that you may run into hostiles... I know it isnt much but it is better than nothing.   

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11 hours ago, Hethwill said:

Indeed it was somewhat risky. Still the payback for successful trade voyages were worth the risk. That's maybe why so many, so so many, took to the risk of sailing cargo back and forth... alone. Quiet and quick and fearful of God, etecetera.

Also, insurance.

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On 12/28/2016 at 8:51 PM, admin said:

Ah yes yes.. we have seen this before (with fine woods) which was done to reduce number of first rates and achieved this by - add fine woods, remove players, remove first rates as a result. 

Don't you see that removing fleets will remove solo traders from the game, which will in turn remove your privateer style from the game anyway? 

 

 

Sail to pvp event zone - no fleets there. 

 

This response pretty much sums up why this game is currently on life support.  Sail to the pvp zones.... it's almost as if the devs have zero idea as to why people want to play this game.

 In the month or so that these have been going on they are absolutely played out and what little population boost was seen by them is long gone by now.  The shallow water event is full of alts and the deep water event is full of 5+ person gank fleets.  Prior to the PVP events the server would be close to 100 folks on in the late evening for the US folks, now it's under 100 every night.  EVEN during a holiday week.  I thought the pvp zone areas were going to rotate around the map?  Basically the same 2 places a couple times a day...everyday.  Such a lazy idea.

The allure of this game to me has always been in the hunt.  Sailing around for an hour just to find that one indiaman or lone third rate out cruising.  The thrill of the chase puts fans in the seats and you've taken that away by giving out free teleports, free ship chests and basically printing free money after the fine woods fiasco.  

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On 29.12.2016 at 2:51 AM, admin said:

 

Don't you see that removing fleets will remove solo traders from the game, which will in turn remove your privateer style from the game anyway? 

 

 

Cant agree more !!! +1

...maybe we dont have so dumb devs as some people are thinking :P

 

To all the naysayers ("burn the dreadful ai fleets"):

I dont get it why YOU want to force every other player to YOUR preferred playstyle !!

Not every player wants to be in a clan, not every clan is a big clan and even in big clans there are times when you want to do your cargo run and noone else is online to escort you...and even when many players are online, people will mostly run their own business !!

So many times you are dependent on your AI companions...

So pls stop to limit the options of solo players/traders ! Thanks

 

...and to your ganking argument:

For a trader it doesnt make any difference, if he get ganked by 3 human players all in one ship or one human player with 2 ai warships !! So this argument isnt valid...sorry

 

The only idea i would agree on, which wouldnt let traders helpless on the sea is, allowing cargo also on fleet ships (as mentionend earlier):

This way, a trader could decide whether he would go risky with 3 Indiamen full of cargo...or protecting his AI Indiaman with his warship, driven by his own

 

 

Edited by Sir Max Magic

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@Sir Max Magic

 

Sail faster trade ships.

Know your best point of escape (google escapometrix)

Be attentive while sailing

 

I am in a very small clan and do not use AI fleets or paid escorts when doing trade. 

I'm also a solo trader hunter. AI fleets kill my style, so I'm quoting you, 'why do you want to force every other player to play to your style'. 

 

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Remember - it's not an all or nothing thing, and it sounds like, at some point in the future, fleet ships will be tied to perk points.

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Fleets on the PVE servers are fine. Low risk / no risk trading on a PVP server is bad. You worry about players quitting because they get attacked while trading. What about players like me who quit because there's nobody to attack?

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48 minutes ago, Koujo said:

You worry about players quitting because they get attacked while trading. What about players like me who quit because there's nobody to attack?

Believe it or not, there are some [I will dare even say many] player who prefer sailing with a fleet, both defensive and offensive. 

 

On 31/12/2016 at 2:15 AM, Anne Wildcat said:

I'm also a solo trader hunter. AI fleets kill my style, so I'm quoting you, 'why do you want to force every other player to play to your style'.

Not eexactly same league ......  Anyone can choose NOT to have a fleet,   the #NoFleet bandwagon wants to make imposible playing with them to those who really enjoy it.

In fact , I suspect current number of forts and big circle sucking IA in battle hurts "solo privateering" more than player fleets...

but you have a big point here , currently  gamewise is [virtually] allways better have a fleet , so they are [virtually] compulsory

 

On 31/12/2016 at 3:30 AM, Powderhorn said:

 

Remember - it's not an all or nothing thing, and it sounds like, at some point in the future, fleet ships will be tied to perk points.

 

In the end all comes to balance the cost/risk of choosing to have a fleet, Powderhorn´s option (heavy points perk) can be a solid one, and easy  to implement... a wage on crew/sailing day (instead the current on contract unique payment) can help too (and double as incentive to use small ships)

 

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I'm of the personal opinion that, at least on PvP servers, sailing out from a port with fleet ships should be impossible unless you are in a trade ship. Even then, given the unwillingness of the devs to respond to calls to reduce the NPC warship presence it may be good to remove fleets there as well.

I argue that fleet ships should be reserved for capping only, and all capped/fleet ships I would like to see sailed back to port. No teleporting to friendly port with capped ships/fleet. Let's get ships back out on the open world in meaningful ways. Right now you have raiding parties that sail out to capital harbors and if they're lucky catch a newb and grab his ship, then just teleport back to safety, repair and come back for more. If they're unlucky and run into coast guard, they tag an NPC fleet, escape, and then teleport to safety. There's is currently zero risk in this type of behavior.

If you want to sail with multiple ships, find a friend, hire an escort, etc. I'm not a pirate but given the lack of real pirate mechanics I'm speaking up for the solo hunters out there as fleets have hugely put a dent in their content.

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I like having fleet ships with me, don`t impose what you like on me. If you chose to not take fleet ships fine it`s your choice but it`s not for me.

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I don't like AI ships in PvP battles.  Stop imposing what you like on me.

Edited by akd

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1 hour ago, Capt Roberts said:

I like having fleet ships with me, don`t impose what you like on me. If you chose to not take fleet ships fine it`s your choice but it`s not for me.

We are all just expressing opinions here, I don't think anyone is trying to impose anything on anyone. That's up for the dev's to decide, we're just trying to make sure all sides of the argument are heard. But I am curious if you could articulate what it is about fleets that you think you'd miss if they were gone?  What type of play style does it facilitate that you couldn't get with other players? Are you a trader? I assume you're a relatively low rank player? A PvP'er? I think i't important to express these concretely as those of us have done who feel fleets are reducing the quality of the play.

I've been on both sides, and as a new player definitely spent most of my time doing missions trying to level and I felt that fleet was good because it let me run missions that I couldn't otherwise. NPCs would split their broadsides between fleet ships and me, giving me more time. But as soon as I started to PvP it was outrageously obvious that the AI was atrocious and just got in the way. This is compounded when you play with other friendlies and most groups of experienced players will never run AI.

At one point fleet ships were limited by rank, and I would entertain a return to this system. But it still hinders certain play styles, especially for traders v. pirates, and I would like to see no fleets except for capped ships tested as a mechanic.

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We must understand the multi-player nature of the game - let me point it out; multiple players / persons / humans grouping together in game to help each other doing whatever activities they plan for a session.

Making a balance between historical credibility and gameplay we can make an analogy.

Solo trader/hunter player style make up a uncertain amount of population. I'd estimate, by collection clues, about 70% in a 18k players universe.

Shipping in the west indies during our timeframe was composed of about 90% lone ships.

Why ? Maritime trade outside the Trade Companies was "at own risk". Even the Indies companies did have to "force" the navies to assign forces to, most of the time, protect the trade routes. Read: protect trade routes most of the time and NOT hug the traders.

But given it is a game and we are the ALL MIGHTY, ONMISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT, OMNIPOTENT Read Admiral, Trade Tycoon, Armateur Excelsious and Protectors of the Realm, all in one, with 230 ships on our own personal fleets ( 8 outposts, 46 ships, 230 durabilities ) we might think we are entitled to even more.

As a Clan we may try to act like a India Trading Company and leave organization to ourselves. Without Fleets it makes the multiple player universe to have a purpose. It was no surprise that many small hauler armateurs and traders did eventually "sell" themselves into one of the India Companies and other similar organizations. It should be similar to clans.

As a solo player the fleets should be tied to something else. I dislike perks so a natural limit could be worked as I envision:

1. No player owned ships can be used for fleet purposes. All fleet ships are one use only, meaning they are hired for ONE cruise - being a cruise a sail from a port to a port. Costs are equivalent to market NPC ship.

2. ONE perk / module / permit per captain ranging from 1 to 10 points.

3. Those points can be used to hire rates: 1st rate - 10 pts, 2nd - 9 ptc, 3rd - 8 pts, 4th - 7pts, 5th - 6 pts, 6th - 5 pts, 7th - 4 pts, trader - 1 pt

4. Trader fleet ships can haul cargo.

 

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the present 2 ships fleet limite applies, of course.

 

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I still want to keep my escorts. Not only for traders but also for lineships to guard against op frigates, It might not be much, but having a surprise camping your stern isn't that accurate either.

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15 minutes ago, Kloothommel said:

 

I still want to keep my escorts. Not only for traders but also for lineships to guard against op frigates, It might not be much, but having a surprise camping your stern isn't that accurate either.

 

It is indeed the flaw I see on hethwills proposal...., combat vessel "perk/module value" is too much biassed in favor of having only merchant fleets, to promote PvP,  imho limiting the escort ship to only one and allways of a lesser class than yours makes similar job  while allowing escorts for lineships (allways if the fleet ships is allowed to carry cargo)... my  own table would be something as :  1st rate - Not available as escort, 2nd - Not available as escort, 3rd - Not available as escort, 4th - 5pts, 5th - 4 pts, 6th - 3 pts, 7th - 2 pts, trader - 1 pt

btw  "Costs are equivalent to market NPC ship." are not only too high as to make it prohibitive.... but arbitrary being fixed.... I think a percentage of that multiplied by "days at sea" when you hit port could be more appropiate (accounting the fleet you sailed with, not the arriving one...to avoid abuses)

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My reasoning was exactly the "prohibitive" price to hire/order a consort or escort ship back in the day. That's why the huge percentage of shipping sailing on their own and now and then eventually banding together in loose convoys.

State Business and Trade Companies did engulf most of the escort resources not the private solo pink/snow owner.

We have a huge chasm in play regarding the gameplay balance in regards of the world we try to mimic . Money is cheap in NA.

There's no "point" in decision making, hence we can do it all.

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2 hours ago, Hethwill said:

 

My reasoning was exactly the "prohibitive" price to hire/order a consort or escort ship back in the day. That's why the huge percentage of shipping sailing on their own and now and then eventually banding together in loose convoys

 

As I understand it, main problem with fleets is they are virtually mandatory, a mistake,  making them at the cost you suggest make them a useless feature, another mistake. 

About the huge chasm in play regarding the gameplay balance in regards of the world we try to mimic   ... I fully agree ..... but mainly because  back on the day ships were not even remotely asas cheap as in the game  ... and as you superb explain  " ...ll in one, with 230 ships on our own personal fleets ( 8 outposts, 46 ships, 230 durabilities ) "   .... and   lone "Prey" risked their cargo but lone "hunters" risked maybe more... 

 

2 hours ago, Hethwill said:

Money is cheap in NA.

I expect current inflation is temporal , and devs said time ago current cash flow is to allow speed testing (i.e. no more gold x damage).... currently even the perk points cost would be  negligible too , but perk free swapping will not be here for ever (I hope)

 

2 hours ago, Hethwill said:

There's no "point" in decision making

My point is that it should be a viable option having a proportionate cost to its benefits... reducing benefits is one way , making you invest a good share of perks points another, I am sure others can exists, but punishing solo players only because it is a multi-player game and the best experience comes from playuing in group seems not a good commercial tactic...

 

5 hours ago, Hethwill said:

We must understand the multi-player nature of the game - let me point it out; multiple players / persons / humans grouping together in game to help each other doing whatever activities they plan for a session.

Most  problems with fleeting are endired by  players who enjoy playing "solo" ( I hope everyone of us agree that a merchant with an IA  escort is not comparable to two players playing as a group).  

Fleets could  even be made an equalizing tool to create better PvP (as opposed to ganking)  ... as an example they could be modified to not participate in player vs player battles if their BR makes the battle "unfair"    it does not seems very costly to develop (they are now excluded from PB and BR is checked in newb zones)....... this way  no more maintenence costs than currently would be needed

 

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You cannot balance with money cost, or you just turn it into a feature for the rich to have advantage over the poor, you turn something that is obligatory into something that is obligatory for the rich, and you further stack advantages in favor of high level players against lower level players.  The only balanced proposal so far is a huge perk point cost.  Fleet ships, even the smallest, represent massive increase in player DPS (compare added AI ship DPS to +5% reload of 6 point perk and you begin to see the absurdity), so even Hethwill's proposed perk costs doesn't really result in true balance.

Under current system I would propose  a 10 point perk to play with AI fleets on PvP server and -1 knot on OS regardless of fleet composition (coordinating a fleet would require ships to not only sail at the speed of the slowest ship, but also somewhat slower to account for communications, coordination and not stressing the slowest ship). You must give up all solo PvP advantages to bring huge AI fleet advantage to PvP battles.  That would be more balanced, but still not truly balanced between players that opt for fleets and those that do not.  True balance would require much more extensive compromises.

Edited by akd
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I think your fleet ships should take your officer and place him in command of the NPC fleet ship with you.  

If you have one officer, then you have ONE fleet ship, if it gets capped, your officer loses a life, if it gets sunk, your officer loses a life.

And you lose ALL perks that officer has while he is in command of that ship.

So it is a trade off.  You want a fleet ship with you, you lose your officer while he is commanding that ship.

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11 minutes ago, akd said:

You cannot balance with money cost, or you just turn it into a feature for the rich to have advantage over the poor; you turn something that is obligatory into something that is obligatory for the rich, and further stack advantages in favor of high level players against lower level players.  The only balanced proposal so far is a huge perk point cost.  Fleet ships, even the smallest, represent massive increase in player DPS (compare added AI ship DPS to +5% reload of 6 point perk and you begin to see the absurdity), so even Hethwill's proposed perk costs doesn't really result in true balance.

Under current system I would propose  a10 point perk to play with AI fleets on PvP server and -1 knot on OS regardless of fleet composition (coordinating a fleet would require ships to not only sail at the speed of the slowest ship, but also somewhat slower to account for communications, coordination and not stressing the slowest ship). You must give up all solo PvP advantages to bring huge AI fleet advantage to PvP battles.  That would be balanced.

 

I think that's the biggest point.  You can't balance fleets to be "fair" without considering what's fair for anyone else.  The idea of having your cake and eating it too is exactly why people are so frustrated with fleets.  Fleet ships add so much benefit over every other perk that they are impossible to balance, making it "mandatory."  There is no viability for the player who does not want AI in his group.  Everyone is so concerned about making things "fair" for the non-PvP player (or even the PvPvE player, as I think Kloothommel is advocating for?) that they are unconcerned about making it fair for the true "solo" PvPer.

I like akd's proposal, and I hope it's the one adopted.  The issue I see with people assigning an officer to a ship for a fleet is that then they are still "having the best of both worlds."  If sailing solo, take officer with self.  If sailing precious cargo, assign officer to fleet ship.  No good.  Real gameplay requires real choices.

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I like the idea of fleets, but I'd rather it be a loaded trader or two with me in the escort ship. Don't trust no stinkin' AI. Warships should be handled by players.

 

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Haven't had time to read the whole post, but surely all the issues with fleets (and 1st rate spam by the way) are solved by adding ship maintenance costs?

E.g. for every escort ship you take, you have to pay X amount of gold per distance sailed. A Snow escort could be fairly cheap, but a Connie escort would be more expensive and so on. In addition, the further you sail, the more you have to pay.

  • People hauling coal from one port to the next probably wouldn't bother paying for an escort as they won't make as much money as if they sailed solo -> more PVP possible since there are unprotected ships sailing around.
  • People hauling something very valuable might decide to pay for an escort(s) to reduce the risk of being attacked - but by doing so they are clearly advertising the fact they are trying to protect something, which -> makes them a target and increases PVP.
  • People hauling something valuable realize this, and don't take an escort -> more risk, more excitement, might get attacked anyway!
  • PVE players who really want to avoid PVP can take an AI fleet if they want too (they just have to pay for it) -> no one is 'blocked' from playing the game how the want to play.
  • People in clans don't just automatically add fleet ships because there is now a real downside (cost) -> more people traveling solo or compensating for the lack of AI fleet by moving in player groups. Player groups give more engagement with the game and improve enjoyability.

Added to this, 1st rates can be made expensive to upkeep (and therefore rare), 2nd rates less so, and so on, to give a more realistic balance of ships in the game.

Most importantly, all of this acts as a gold sink so players don't become infinitely wealthy.

So:

  • Less fleets because they cost gold -> more PVP.
  • But, fleets are still possible at a price -> PVE players can have some protection, at a cost
  • And, ship upkeep costs increase with the ship rating -> No more 100,000x first rates in the Caribbean.

 

While I'm rambling away:

Add cannon crafting, cannonball quantity limits in battles, cannonball crafting & port cannon ball replenishment to allow variation in gun & ammo quality (minor increase to accuracy for instance for a massive increase in cost of higher grade cannons / balls) -> more gold sink & more crafting opportunities -> more trade -> more traders & PVE -> more targets -> more PVP.

Thanks,

Ed.

 

Edited by randomtaskkk

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On 29.12.2016 at 6:02 PM, Powderhorn said:

I've been talking with admin on this issue.  As many of you know, game development tends to focus on one item at a time.  However, fleets will be visited in the future, there will likely be some minor penalties and perk point costs associated with them.

Knowing that now, it is on us to be patient until they get to that point, while they work on many of the other things that they have on the development plan.

Is it so much work to just remove it for now, or go back to the point only low ranks had access to small fleets?

The purpose was to support solo trader/player, this failed. Why keep it now as it is?! Okay they put some work in it, but thats not our fault. If they had thought this out, outcomes would have been predictable.

And what was the reasoning?! Trade ships are super fast and not defenseless. The LGV can give a good fight to a surprise or renommee, while it outruns larger ships. Defensive tags allow easy escapes, and about ships without chasers traders dont need to care in general. We also had lots of traders before fleets.

And please stop this perk mania... 

Edited by Fargo
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6 hours ago, Fargo said:

And please stop this perk mania... 

What?!  And turn this into a game of skill?

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