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John Jacob Astor

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About John Jacob Astor

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    Washington State, USA

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  1. John Jacob Astor

    Resources slots bigger than 10000

    Well then. Let's get some shipping on the water. Let's stop treating upgrades like they have no mass and put them in the hold where they belong. Then all the raiders with the upgrades can chase each other around the resource drop ports. A good bit of the current green zone argument might away. Oh wait a minute. I forgot about this.
  2. John Jacob Astor

    Resources slots bigger than 10000

    This is the problem. But the warehouses might be the wrong lever. I'm not saying it doesn't aggravate things but its not the core of the matter. Several Econ 101 structural issues. Which appear to be an afterthought in patch design. This is not exhaustive. 1) Game mechanics compete DIRECTLY against player production. This is most obvious in ships and repairs. Thank you to @Jean Ribault for pointing out the latter item. Crafters for sale build ships. And buy resources to do that. If they can't make money selling ships, resource purchases are limited to what they need to build them for their own use, or for a clan. 2) Players (the base as a whole) have an asymmetric relationship to the market. With alts and the admiralty DLC players have the ability to sell and avoid buying much, if anything. There are not enough different types of necessary buildings in the game at present to mitigate this. In principle I like the idea of decay, but decay and warehouse reductions fix nothing if the player has the ability to restock at will. This wasn't noticeable when it was just the alts. It ought to be blindingly obvious now. Contract markets in the US pretty much crashed after the DLC release. It's settled a bit and there's still activity, but a good deal less than before. 3) The Euro Trader throttles returns on player-produced resources to well below that of dropped trade goods when the labor hours are factored in. This significantly reduces the incentive to produce for sale. It clobbers the demand side. 4) The necessity to put into port to see contract activity stovepipes player-to-player transactions inside of ports that are already populated. @Wraith has a good take on this but at a minimum, contract activity ought to be on the same footing in the trader tool as the port stock. Kludges like the ET wouldn't even be necessary if seller contract activity was visible. I am hoping the economy re-balance addresses one or more of these. The player-to-player economy could probably tolerate one of the above. Or one and a half, which was sort of the case before the DLC releases. But certainly not all of them.
  3. John Jacob Astor

    True Economy: An Experiment and Vote

    Which is the kind of stuff that keeps me interested in the game. I am actually still attempting to be one of those enterprising individuals. And in consequence I find myself smacking into game mechanics that seem designed to throttle growth in player-to-player transactions. Or designed for something else and Econ 101 is an afterthought. It's hard to tell. This is my first MMO and I really have nothing to compare it to. Still in the game, but we'll see what happens with the economy re-balance.
  4. John Jacob Astor

    True Economy: An Experiment and Vote

    I'm quite curious as well. I've been playing primarily and economic game for about eight months now so it clearly isn't necessary for anybody but very, very new players. Players in clans don't need it. Players with alts don't need it. Players with the Admiralty DLC don't need it.
  5. John Jacob Astor

    True Economy: An Experiment and Vote

    The ET is a set of training wheels for new players. The mechanic probably ought to be limited to ports in the immediate vicinity of a capital. It's another form of safe zone, only in the economy. Its effect on the the player-to-player economy is to throttle average returns on the sale of basic resources to well below that of dropped trade goods. Which discourages new production. Labor hours become impossible to factor into the return from the transaction. Experienced players do not need it. Couple changes to this with putting player contract activity on the same footing in the trader tool with port stock and we might not need it at all. Any potential price gouging goes away when the player can see contract availability in a nearby port. Training wheels. Which I needed my first 30 days in the game. I haven't used them since. Even when I was running solo.
  6. Crafted ships compete with captured AI, ship notes, and DLCs for the same thing in the economy: dock spaces in the acquiring player's inventory. If a DLC is similar at the same rank, or provides significant capabilities unavailable at at the same rank (i.e., Le Req.), there is less reason for buying a crafted ship. This is unlikely to have a positive effect on player-to-player transactions.
  7. John Jacob Astor


    Stuck might be too strong a word. But I think it rather a lot to expect someone a few weeks into the game and still sorting out how the economy works (such as it is) to have to sort dodging enemy vessels so they can get at their shipyard or associated resource production. As the loss of a port might very well be accompanied by the collapse or dysfunction in whatever clan they are in, a fairly new player might be suddenly without much in the way of resources or support. Six months later I would not see this as an insurmountable problem. But it's easy to forget how confusing this game was when I first started playing. This is what is fundamentally wrong with the player economy at the moment. Something I am hoping is addressed by the upcoming patch. Players with alts do not really need to buy much, if anything from other players. Nor do single-account players with the new Admiralty DLC. Both alts and the DLC allow players to have a completely asymmetric relationship with the player-to-player economy. They might be sellers. But they do not need to be buyers. I completely agree. The player economy is what attracted me to the game. But all sellers and few buyers results in not much economy at all. Regarding dispersion, put player contracts on the same footing in the trader tool as the port stock and the dispersion might happen all by itself, without much fiddling with the economics of the reinforcement zones. And as I said above a good bit of the green zone arguments might just become irrelevant.
  8. John Jacob Astor


    What about starting everyone on the PvE server and allowing a character transfer (below a certain rank). Possibly simpler to code? I don't have an opinion on that but it might be an alternative. Then the Caribbean server could be wide open.
  9. John Jacob Astor


    It actually is dependent. Possibly not if the new player is a mostly PvP guy, but most definitely if the new player is going to craft ships and sell resources/goods at contract. Clan collapses or just can't get it together and the port goes away. And you get to figure out how to retrieve your stuff. And start over elsewhere. If the debacle in my first clan had also cost me access to what I had spent a month learning how to put together, somehow I doubt I would be still playing the game. Which I could support. Then a new player could actually learn the game. But this is not the zero crafting I was responding to. I am all for this.
  10. John Jacob Astor


    I'm not advocating for zero risk. But zero crafting in protected zones is not a recipe for new player retention. Outposts with shipyards and other buildings are not trivial acquisitions for a brand new player. Starting up in capture-able port makes the new player's game hostage to the misfortune of being recruited by an incompetent clan. With all their stuff stuck in an enemy port. If you actually want zero crafting in the green zones, new player activity in the open world needs to be less dependent on a clan's ability to hold a port.
  11. John Jacob Astor


    Perhaps I am misunderstanding you but what do new players who want to do crafting do? I've been playing as a crafter/merchant pretty much since I started. Without that capability in the green zones I would have never gotten off the ground.
  12. John Jacob Astor


    If I could see contract activity without visiting a port I would be hauling to markets all over the map. Rather than being stuck doing contracts in the small handful of locations where they actually get filled. You place a contract for repairs, I bring them to fill it. Of course there needs to be actual player buyers, something which I assume the economy re-balance is going to address. Which means getting rid of the game mechanics that compete directly against player production. Like repair drops. And the Eurotrader. Which becomes irrelevant if a buyer can see a lower contract price in a nearby port. There would be some actual organic dispersion of players. And some of the current green zone arguments might also become irrelevant.
  13. John Jacob Astor

    Storm weather in port battles?

    Most folks I run into in the US nation appear to have no idea there is a developer forum. If they read anything at all it's on Steam. But usually not even that.
  14. John Jacob Astor

    The state of the game and how we might move it forward.

    There is a fair bit of magic in the game, and not just in the reinforcement zones. Like the notion that ship upgrades are like software and have no mass. If there is going to be an actual connection between warfare and financial loss there needs to be an economic incentive to actually take the cargo. Create a game with some old-school mercantilism involving some actual strategic thinking and you will have my complete attention.
  15. John Jacob Astor

    Captin, we're safe! .. Are we?

    Seriously. I have heard this before. And have yet to see it actually work in practice. What exactly would you charge to escort my single t-brig from the Bahamas to Charleston? What would you consider a reasonable payout for that? If the raiders were actual thieves this would make sense to me. But you all get to pocket your magic PvP rewards, slap on repairs, and move on to the next target. How about a bit of realism and deliver an actual prize to collect?