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Recently there has been some arguing in this forum about 1st rates being used a way too much. Thier sheer number has been deemed unrealistic. I agree to that and thus suggest to implement a mechanic that regulates the numbers of 1st rates in NA: 1. Point of reference – how was the relation of 1st rates to other ships that participated in battles in the age of sail? Taking the Battle of Trafalgar as an example wikipedia states the following numbers: Type of ship* Numbers Percentage** 1st rate 7 9,5 % 2nd rate 11 15 % 3rd rate 38 52 % 4th rate 4 5,5 % 5th rate 9 12 % 6th rate 4 5,5 % Altogether 73 100 % *I’m using the ingame rating of NA here: 100+ canons = 1st rate, 80+ canons = 2nd rate, ... ** Values rounded and thus not exact. 2. Suggested mechanic: I’d implement a limit of how many 1st, 2nd and 3rd rates a player could own depending on his / her dockspace. This limit could be tied to the above mentioned percentage of ships in the Battle of Trafalgar for example. This would lead to the following restrictions (numbers not rounded): Dockspace Allowed 1st rates Allowed 2nd rates Allowed 3rd rates 5 0 0 2 8 0 1 4 11 1 1 5 14 1 2 7 17 1 2 8 20 1 3 10 With just one tow per day it would be impossible for all to get 1st rates out to sea wherever they want! And 3rd rates would actually become what they've been - sort of the backbone of the navy. Please comment and suggest other ideas of how to address the problem!
1st Rate Problem The Premise here is simple, there are too many 1st rates to be historically accurate, but more importantly too many 1st rates for them to be fun or to look forward to. Historically fleets were comprised of way more 3rd rates than 1st rates. They were there, but the ratio from 3rd rates to 1st rates in fleet composition was 9:1 i believe? (Read something somewhere a year ago, nautical warfare expert facts to confirm or deny would be great) Why? Because 1st rates were national TREASURES. They were expensive as all hell to build, maintain, crew, and arm. It wasnt cheap, and every nation, of all wealth felt it. Think of a carrier in todays world. 1st Rates in game are so numerous in fact, that no one looks forward to getting them anymore. The newbies do, sure, but when people just offer them up freely because thats how easy they are to obtain, that excitement goes away as they sail with them, face a whole horde of other 1st rates, lose them, get more, etc. This also takes out a lot of excitement of being the most bad ass in the ocean. In fact, you probably arent, having a 1st rate MEANS NOTHING in game. Which is sad. Having a 1st rate, regardless of build should be an incredible feat, 1st Rate Solution In order to make 1st rates be a late game component themselves, as they should be, acquiring them needs to be completely reworked, and when you do, they must be an awesome ship indeed. Admiralty awarding 1st rate building permits. I believe this is the right track, but not there yet. This feature in game an be exploited by alts to an insane degree, and anyone with victory marks can pool them and give out 1st rate permits and thus 1st rates to whoever and whenever they wish. Permits must be made much harder to get. In fact an upper government, not of player control (call it your actual government admiralty from Europe or trade company), should reward these permits based only on killed predetermined targets on other pvp players. Essentially players get marked based off of their performance in pvp combat, the task is to then kill pvp players to earn this permit from your admiralty as you have become a national hero. If you can't do it, you dont deserve a 1st rate of great quality. You can sail a 2nd rate or 3rd rate of any quality of your choosing. But what about the pve players you might ask, the traders, the non PVP players? Simple. They can go kill X amount of AI of X quality, such as other 1st rates, they can get a 1st rate permit that limits their build type to oak oak, something that is exactly base line.Nothing terrible, but nothing great. Or just add a generic 1st rate to the game that is smaller than all the rest cannon wise and health wise, but just above a 2nd rate. This then creates a larger amount of players sailing on 3rd and 2nd rated ships. 2nd rate ships however should be made twice as expensive to craft as they currently are in game, as they are extremely competitive with the 1st rates, at least the buc is. The OVERALL affect of this. 1st rates become a true warship as they wade through a sea of 3rd rates and 2nd rates. Delivering the force of pure shock and awe with every broadside. But with their rarity, they will become massive targets as everyone will want to capture it and make it their own. The 1st rates will become their own late game, and become a true motivator for pvp combat, and fun terrorizing combat when/if you can meet the demands of your admiralty. Once the permit has been obtained you can craft said 1st rate of the quality you are allowed to craft. Once crafted the 1st rate may be traded ONE time before it is "bound" to that person and may not be traded again. It must be captured. Why would the admiralty give nelson control of HMS Victory if he was to give it to some junior admiral? Crafting Problem Crafting in game is a joke. Its more basic than starbucks' overall clientele. lv50 crafters are so bored our ports have run out of rum! (seriously though, where has the rum gone?) Crafting Solution If you thought my 1st rate solution was game changing, wait till you read this proposal. Essentially lv50 crafting will mean nothing as it currently does, up to lv50 i am proposing to KEEP the current system. But wait, there is more, all the way to lv100. An open world sandbox game, built around the age of sail. What could be more immersive than actually crafting your own ship built idea yourself? Designing your own hull, cannon loadout, rig and sail loadout, etc. What is to stop people from building the most op ships on the 7 seas? Their own stupidity, a better physics engine, and by rate. If you are crafting a 7th rate it has to be under a certain dimension and under x amount of cannon broadside weight. If that means you put 3 42 pound cannons on it, then so be it. But you only have 3 cannon slots and that reload time is going to suck. The Main limiter: Crafting level. Essentially each crafting level AFTER LEVEL 50 allow you to add more to your ship. Every level will allow you to add a bit more base hull hp, armor, and broadside weight. And every 10 levels you can start to build a new rate. So lv 50-60 you may craft custom 7th, 6th and 5th rates. 60-70: 4th rates. 70-80: 3rd rates. 80-90: 2nd rates. 90-100: first rates (will require a permit of special quality designating that you are not only a lv90-100 crafter, but also can perform in combat beyond Admiralty expectation.) Essentially the admiralty can only afford to trust you to outfit a ship based on your reputation and experience creating ships and in combat. This will of course create epic ships that truly define naval warfare. Within bounds of reason and physical capabilities. But what is to stop everyone from acquiring these ships, especially 7th-2nd rates, and seal clubbing everyone? The crafting limitations are one, but they should be more powerful than the standard ships if built correctly. But also of course each crafting level after 50 isnt some walk in the park to get. You can get to 51 the same way as you get to 50. But after this the only way to level is to craft custom ships. These ships must then perform well in combat. Like in the old days when your crafted ships earned xp towards the craft when they were used in combat, it goes to crafting xp. The jump between level to level can be linear. But at say 59-60, (every ten level jump that allows creating a new rated ship) it is parabolic in nature of craft xp. Essentially there will only be a handful of these ships per hundreds of players. More expensive overall to craft. Each custom ship built will require a good amount more material than their counterpart prebuilt ships. In gold currency, say a 4th rate takes 500k to build if you buy all the mats. A custom built 4th rate would cost 2 million. This adds more value to currency gold. Generates more open world traffic ferrying resources. This creates a massive late game for the abused crafters. Something to really look forward to, and of course these powerful ships shouldnt be shy of battle, as they are (hopefully) built well enough to be better than the standard ship of that rate. (unless of course someone got carried away with the sails and you capsize in battle, haha.) TL;DR? you are going to have to read, this was as short as i could make it. sorry As far as this not being possible to do? All of these things have at least in one game or anther been a thing, perhaps not all together at one time. But I know it is possible, and with our current engine it may take several years to do, but I do recognize that, and just believe it would be an incredible thing to implement for a more expanded late game for everyone. Ideas and thoughts are of course welcome, and perhaps i left some things out, as these were shower thoughts, and hastily put together. o7 captains, and Godspeed all.