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Marcus Corvus

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Everything posted by Marcus Corvus

  1. Marcus Corvus

    Patch 25: Preliminary Patch Notes.

    @admin, are any changes planned for contracts? Such as making player contract activity visible without having to visit the port, the way port stock sales are? Right now there are places on the map where you cannot get a contract filled at ANY price. This stovepipes economic activity with the result of channeling it back into the capital regions, which are the only places where contracts reliably get filled.
  2. Marcus Corvus

    Name 5 things you would like to see in NA

    Ragequit... People play games because they enjoy them. Not so they can get the crap kicked out of them whenever they log on. At some point the experience ceases to be fun. I am not talking about losing 1v1 fights. I am talking about getting clobbered repeatedly at long odds. I am not suggesting that is something you do as we haven't encountered each other, however.
  3. Marcus Corvus

    Name 5 things you would like to see in NA

    I am not suggesting that you skip them. Nor am I casting aspersions on what any particular player does or does not do. As a merchant I run OW risks and expect to be chased and caught now and then. All I am doing is describing what the overkill looks like from the receiving end. I might suggest that you all as a class of players consider a bit of restraint. What happens when you succeed in driving that 80% of your content from the game?
  4. Marcus Corvus

    Name 5 things you would like to see in NA

    I am reading the series. One way or another the captured ship gets sent to port. And the raider gets to crew it. It costs something. Right now the merchant eats all the costs for a prize you get to swallow whole without any further effort. No reduction in crew. And no further risk. Combat has zero upside for the merchant. And apparently zero downside for the raider. No wonder we are PvP targets. There is no sense in which this can be considered balanced. But maybe that sort of balance is impossible and I am playing the wrong game.
  5. Marcus Corvus

    Name 5 things you would like to see in NA

    Which is the point. You had to do something with the ship. What would the Admiralty give you if just showed up with a log entry and a bit of mast from whatever you sunk? Sure, credit and glory. But what about that gold from Panama? They didn't care about that? To have prize money you must have a prize. Without the ship and cargo how exactly is the prize agent supposed to get you paid? This didn't happen by magic in the middle of the ocean. You didn't simply get to slap on your repairs and move on to the next victim. You want PvP marks from combat with my trade ship? Fine. You ought to have to sail it to port to claim them. My little boat did not appear on the water by magic. You should not be able to magically dispose of it and pocket your goodies. This is what balance ought to encompass. And no it's not balanced. Because you are correct. A player will sink my trade ship because he can. And it's easier than sinking someone with a similar battle rating. I've been playing the Caribbean server since February. From this merchant's point of view, most of what I am seeing in this pure PvP game appears to be currently about whacking traders and inexperienced players off the mouth of the Charleston harbor. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not looking for a risk-free activity. But at some point if you zero out the payoff there is no merchant game to be had. Or it is about political squabbles between clan leaders. So much for this whole clan nonsense and the support that's supposed to provide. And for this newish trader that's getting very, very old. I got hooked on this game but there might be better things to do with my time.
  6. Marcus Corvus

    Name 5 things you would like to see in NA

    What the current PvP implementation means is players like you get to work players like me for marks. What I get for escaping a battle instance is my intact ship and cargo. If I stand and fight I get clobbered and take big losses. You get paid. The PvP marks rather unbalance the incentives. You really ought to have to actually figure out what to have to do with my cargo. I certainly had to figure out how to get it in the first place.
  7. Marcus Corvus

    Name 5 things you would like to see in NA

    Regarding the economy comments, if you all want an actual economy then: 1) most everything that is used in player crafting needs to come from sort of player production. What you have now is, for all practical purposes, an inelastic command economy with with resource drops functioning as the production targets. Doesn't work, and only those with privileged access can compete. In this case alts enable a form of privileged access. Which seems to be used to completely airlock certain upgrade commodities. Dynamically expanding the drop volumes in response to player activity might work as an alternative. But my suspicion is that this will create boom / bust waves in the economy. Unless quite a lot of developer attention is devoted to monitoring the results. Player production buildings open the airlock. There is no alt monopoly in cotton. 2) player contract activity needs to be visible without having to visit a port. At a minimum this means having the information on the same footing as the port stock currently is in the trader tool.
  8. Marcus Corvus

    Port Ownership Controls

    Having been into Little Harbor and actually seen the contact activity I am inclined to agree about the effects of the alts. But I have some question as to whether applying controls will have any more than a short-term effect when the incentive to use alts in the first place appears to be structural, and created by what appears to be an inelastic supply of the dropped resource. When the player count in the game goes up (assuming this happens following release) a defending clan may need to be quite large to maintain control over one or more strategic ports. How do you prevent alts from joining a large clan? At least, how do you do it without assigning someone to police member behavior? And who wants to do that? The use of alts needs to be de-incentivized before any sort of controls will actually work, which means removing the ability of an alt player to lock up a resource by camping on the drops. Either 1) the supply of the dropped resource needs to dynamically expand in response to port contract activity in the target resource, or 2) the drops need to be replaced with some sort of player production building. Regarding the latter, there is no alt monopoly in cotton.
  9. Marcus Corvus

    The top 10 problems of NA, my view.

    This problem could be mitigated by de-incentivizing their use. Players with time on their hands can camp on top of drops and pretty much airlock the economic activity in a given upgrade resource. All it takes is a couple such campers and the odds of getting in on the drop fall very rapidly. Huge incentive to use alts. Only possible way for non-alt players to compete is by using the coming outpost DLC but you STILL have to have time on your hands. I actually tried when Little Harbor was open. I do not have time for that. Good way to suffocate player interest in doing econ in the game which already is considered hard-core because of the time it requires elsewhere. If this is viewed as a real problem in the economy then EVERYTHING that goes into player crafting ought to come from a player production building. Probably by adding something like a "crown trading concession" or some other such building for locations that currently have drops but no historical basis for production. That opens the airlock. High-priced commodities will attract new player production. And the prices come down. Econ 101. Couple this with giving owning clans the ability to restrict the nation of who can open a building in a closed port. Alts will still get used. No way to stop that. But they will need additional copies of the game to cover the additional nations. Or be churning the Proflic Forger every 30 days and pulling up stakes. Actual player-driven econ will also reduce the need for #6.
  10. Marcus Corvus


    Alts are ALREADY p2w. Doesn't solve having to compete against Alts but it does level the playing field somewhat for the rest of us who don't have time or inclination to screw around with additional copies of the game. 100% chance of my buying this.
  11. Marcus Corvus

    Ship value estimates

    If you don't have the blueprint get someone who has it to run you out a materials list. Then do some math based on what it would cost you to get the resources. This will give you a baseline production cost. Twice production cost roughly accounts for the labor hours and amortization of a shipyard, which cost a minimum of 2.6M to get to an L3 building. Much below 2X and the crafter is giving his stuff away. But if the crafter has to buy labor hours and marks in the market the costs go up. Way up. You might be surprised by how much things actually cost to build. But those bonus crafts you are asking about blow up the baselines. As Banished points out something is worth what an actual buyer is willing to pay for it.
  12. Marcus Corvus

    Newbie protection suggestion: make PvP marks tiered to ranks

    I can see this actually working as it addresses another problem which is the unbalanced relationship between PvP rewards and the value of a trader's ship and cargo. If actual merchant activity is actually wanted in the game this might help. Mercantile-focused players are likely to have a lower Elo and be in lower BR ships.
  13. Marcus Corvus

    New player experience

    I am inclined to agree. I get my intact ship and cargo on escaping a battle instance. Which I accept. That's the game. But a shellacking if I stand and fight and the other guy gets paid. The latter is a bit annoying. Definitely not an incentive to stand and fight. So it's been awhile since I've been caught. The last time I made him sink me rather than be boarded. If we're interested in any realism it seems like the victor should have had to live with whatever he could fit in his hold from the salvage.
  14. Marcus Corvus

    New player experience

    Probably depends on what you mean by causal. I am well under the likely 20 hours a week the game probably requires and it WAS difficult. But if you are either trading or crafting you do not need the support of a clan. I am currently in one but the clan structure does not seem to be particularly friendly to merchants -- it's possible to do without it. And you do not need alts. Or AFK sailing, for that matter. But yes, you do need to plan. This is a hard core game. The only thing that alts are actually necessary for is competing in the air-locked markets for some of the upgrade resources / materials. So I don't bother.
  15. Marcus Corvus

    Game Reviews on Steam

    I am hoping. Would really like to see it succeed. But without accessibility by a broad range of players the game may be in a demographic blind alley. The desktop / gaming laptop market is not getting much bigger.
  16. Marcus Corvus

    Game Reviews on Steam

    Not quite that simple. I am on clan number two and as a newer player (this year) the whole teamwork thing has been something of a mixed bag. Part of it is time zone and play-hour incompatibilities. Part of it is that the person doing the inviting may have expectations of what they are inviting a new player to do that are somewhat at odds with what the player is interested in doing. We don't all have 20 hours a week to spend on a video game. The game is in dire need of an actual clan directory in the new UI. And not just a the leaderboard that was articulated in the plans. Then new folks might get a better sense of crew they might actually want to be teamed up with.
  17. Marcus Corvus

    limitation of wood classes in the construction of boats.

    I don't have an opinion on the wood. Just on the economics. IF you are going to do this then ALL of these things need to come out of some sort of player production building so the current near airtight monopolies aren't possible. Like in copper.
  18. Marcus Corvus

    Port tavern message board for all

    Really like the idea. Always wondered why an outpost owner had no way to advertise. Seems like a basic trader mechanic. With a lot of other potential uses. Might not need moderation if the messages are not persistent, and if the owning clan has some degree of control. The exception would be in the green zones where there is no clan control and the player populations are a good deal higher. Boards will get spammed. Might need to restrict posting in the green zones to outpost owners. Or auto-expire 3? days from last sign on. Or something like that.
  19. Marcus Corvus

    [suggestion] Not So Empty Bottles change

    Virtually all the bottles I've opened have yielded ship positions well offshore. Odds of accidental discovery are relatively low, provided the wreck is not allowed to sit. So don't open the bottle until you are ready to go to the wreck. Not complicated. And as for being tracked? Why on earth would anybody come to a full stop in the the middle of the ocean without first dropping to half-sail half-way there to do a heat check? That can already happen. If I am being followed and the bogie sees me stop, they already have a pretty good idea I might suddenly have goodies on board. Bonus round for what they originally intended as PvP. No need to see the the currently invisible wreck. Got an Indiaman-sized haul once. As I am in and out of shallow-water ports that is the only time I've ever had a use for one. Would have been nice to have been able take part of the load. Or sell the position.
  20. Marcus Corvus

    [suggestion] Trade hostile take-over

    In principle I would agree with this. The nationality of contract and ship sales should be restricted unless a clan chooses to open a port. Seems consistent with the mercantilism of the period. But it might put a ship seller in a bit of a fix. Would the impounded ships count against dock slots? If it did you might find your self on the other side of the map with highly restricted movement. It appears to be possible to craft one more ship than I have dock space for which seems to turn off the teleport. Only happened once and I haven't tried replicating that. Incidentally I would also support outright seizure. Provided it were accompanied by some sort of national alliance / peace / state of war mechanic. Otherwise the risk for a merchant skyrockets. You might find your stuff gone courtesy of an incompetent clan.
  21. Marcus Corvus

    Maintenance of heavily specialised equipped vessels

    As you mention this seems to me the Royal Navy had an Ordinary cost estimate for routine facility maintenance, Sea Service to support seaworthy ships with crew, and Extraordinary Repair for major rebuilds and refits. Or something like that. Fractioning out repairs, including to expensive upgrades, could easily fit into this and bring some balance back into the game regarding ship distributions. As I have said elsewhere I have been caught exactly once since February by something capable of running down my T-Lynxes near deep water ports.
  22. Marcus Corvus

    First Rates should become rare and very expensive = maintenance, baby!

    Whatever the solution the ship distribution is clearly out of balance. One of my trade routes is in and out of the Bahamas and I am exclusively in shallow-water ships (T-Lynx / T-Brig). Around the deep water ports I have been chased exactly once by something capable of catching a T-Lynx. Even anything with bow chasers. That was since moving from PvE around the end of February. The whole safe zone argument has never been an issue for me. Doesn't seem to matter whether I am in one or not. The only place I encounter real risk is in the Bahamas. No deep water ships. Regarding the solution. The notion that a ship could just sit at a dock without costing something to either store for extended periods and/or get into service has never made much sense to me. Even furled sails would rot if left unattended. IF this is the solution there ought to be some connection to the size of the ship.
  23. Marcus Corvus

    RvR fix - meaningful ports

    There might be something here. So here is my question. What happens if the approach is moved down one layer in the economy? As in, a port is allowed a fixed number of production buildings in a particular location and those are fractioned out with this kind of allocation. For instance - six buildings allowed with three for the clan, two for the nation, and one for the bootleggers. Or something like that. The actual building total might need some mechanism to push it up as the player count rises in the game. Otherwise nobody else could ever get up into the treehouse. Clan gets first crack, then nation. There could even be a provision for allowing an allied clan to build. And if they aren't interested anybody can build. But if the controlling clan / nation wants real estate that is already occupied they get to seize the asset. Using buildings instead of drops puts at least some constraint on the alts and the bootleg operation prevents a complete seal like is currently the case in the copper ports. What this might do is allow mercantilist economic activity to flow on top of realistic resource constraints, rather than attempting to control it directly.
  24. Marcus Corvus

    A Re-take to Regional Bonuses

    Or possibly incentives for clans to recruit folks to fill these roles. Like having all the specialty craft resources come out of buildings instead of from drops, the way cotton currently works. Which incidentally will make resources a good deal harder to alt-camp and monopolize. Unless there is something blindingly obvious here I am missing.
  25. Marcus Corvus

    Ingame messages - deletion

    I agree. The only reason a history would be helpful in email is to keep track of what I sent. Be nice to not need to use it at all.