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Wind

Naval Action needs a good story.

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   @admin Naval Action foundation is nearly complete and I would like to strongly suggest an interesting story of a young sailor who works through missions, events and adventures to fame and glory. I am a big fan of Patrick O'Brian novels and I want to point out that developers haven't lost all hands just yet. Game development is like a good old ship fight. You can't see your opponent actions through the thick smoke of cannon fire... it's simply a gamble of two Captains. Wrong move can cost you a ship. 

   Developer would need to hire someone who can write short stories that would piece together into a long interesting novel inside NA game. These stories would need to be scripted and translated in all languages with grammar check. No animated avatars needed, just simple pictures with text and scripted missions that would support a solid story. This approach would be very welcomed on Asian market as well as US and Europe.

   You would start as a young sailor with low rank and ship and would be offered starting missions with rewards that later would become more adventurous and challenging. Story would include - deliver, sink, protect, escort, sell, raise contention, participate, loot and so on..

   When foundation with this is set, there is a very valuable catch here - expansions. Paid content to continue the story of your character. New adventures, missions, events and most important item content and ships. 

   I would like to hear Developer opinion on this, as this is the key to NA success. With all respect I hope you will listen to this suggestion and make the right decision in the upcoming months. It could be that you already made them, but need more ideas and here they are. 

   I've put a lot of thought into all those requests for more content, but not a single new ship or a new fleet mission will secure NA with players. They will come and go, write bad reviews, return product and such. This suggestion is by far the best solution to NA revival. Base story would be offered as a requirement to all newly created characters and as an option to all existing ones. Every mission must provide rewards based on rank and difficulty level this includes at least 5 free ships through the story line. Expansions would be paid content for those who would like to continue their adventure and continue to grow their Characters. 

 All passive content - treasure maps, exploration, dynamic events and so on can easily be branched to already existing story line or story missions could randomly drop such passive (side content) to make leveling and game play interesting and not flat and boring. 

P.S. I have pages of written mission content ready to roll out on request and I am sure you will find many talented novel writers on these forums or elsewhere as well. I propose a catchy story that will grasp every player and won't let it go ;)

 

-Wind

 

Edited by Wind
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My bet is on more varied content. Everyone ends quite exhausted of doing the same.

It is not really needed to have a player driven story but multiple small stories about going to explore a location, look for a lost ship, fish some rare species, buy a rare object in one port and deliver it... When all in this game is so simple and uninspiring that you can solve everything with firing cannons, people get bored.

Edited by Intrepido
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A "story mode" in AAA games provides content for what, 50-75 hours?

In an MMO the "real" content is interaction with other players, be it as PBs or ow PvP. So lets focus on making these more enjoyable - there are some good ideas ingame already but not with the right settings (e.g. patrol zones).

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A story mode is designed to get you from the checkout screen to the sandbox intact, excited and wanting more.  Something this game sorely lacks and it's inclusion I imagine would of resulted in far more new players turning into older players.  We've gone down the path of making PBs and PVP about as enjoyable as they can be.  The reason why they currently aren't is because we don't have any damn players.  Certainly not enough to fill the map.  Getting those new players revolves around including new content and guiding players into the sandbox equipped to enjoy it fully.  

It doesn't need to go down the role playing path too deep, but just enough to allow players to get the basics.  Think of it as an expanded tutorial.  Sail to port x, build a shipyard, sail to port y and collect resources to sail back to X.  OR sail to x marks the spot on the map and recover an abandoned trader and bring it back to port.  ANYTHING would be currently better than what this game offers it's new players....which is nothing.  

If you build it they will come.

Edited by Christendom
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36 minutes ago, Liq said:

A "story mode" in AAA games provides content for what, 50-75 hours?

In an MMO the "real" content is interaction with other players, be it as PBs or ow PvP. So lets focus on making these more enjoyable - there are some good ideas ingame already but not with the right settings (e.g. patrol zones).

Yah but even MMO's have epic events and missions you can do with your friends.  We have a few Epic Fleets that are kinda bland and the biggest complaint is you have to spend all day looking for them as they move around a bit.   Even than if some one else beats you to it than it's gone for the day.  I would love to see more events and missions to do in game that you can team up to do.  Also achievements that gives rewards in game.  Things like:

Visit all ports in game.

Explore the whole map (still think the map should be fog of war other than capitals until you visit them).

Kill so many Enemy's of said nations (can have one for each nation).

Travel over so much distance in game (for the world explorers).

Capture so many ships (for the boarders) 

 

You know actual missions and achievements to give folks goals to do while they play the game.

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46 minutes ago, Liq said:

A "story mode" in AAA games provides content for what, 50-75 hours?

In an MMO the "real" content is interaction with other players, be it as PBs or ow PvP. So lets focus on making these more enjoyable - there are some good ideas ingame already but not with the right settings (e.g. patrol zones).

Yes, but those takes also 50-75 hours to develop while PB's and PvP is still under developement since 2016.  Even combat mechanic which long time ago would be sufficient for final release is all the time being tweaked.

Its time to focus a bit on small fishes filling most of OW to provide everybody interacions with other players.

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This is Great suggestion. Tutorial is already a kind of such content. Having a few more achievements for players would be great, especially if they are rewarded with a bit of a story when completed. 

I would love to see some stories for first good trade run, first port battle, first large PvP fight, joining a clan, crafting a ship etc. - things that we would all want for players to experience for them to get the full potential of the game. 

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This doesn't have to go near to 50 hours of unique content, just a map of basic experiences the player should get. 

PS. A pvp rank is kind of a story on its own as well, especially if linked with achievements :)

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To much content early game will see players leaving when they see how baron the end game currently is :P


Lets focus on fixing the essentials first and adding more content to end game.

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The tug-of-war between total freedom competitive sandbox pvp and career based missions "tell me what to do" chain and achievements is a big one across the industry at this point and not exclusive of NA.

Wind has a strong point. There's plenty of age of sail potential customers which look for a more story driven open world in opposition to the total liberty sandbox.

Looking at the proposal the immediate thought that comes up is "single player" experience but several titles have tackled this but with immense resources being allocated to it. The open universes have their own lore and politics moving in the background, in a mix of automatic mechanics ( provoked by ALL player's actions whatever they might be ) and curated content by the story-making developers. This provokes attrition to the full sandbox lovers as storyline progresses and it might interfere with their achievements, especially if assets in game are affected - such as player built bases in locations that get blocked due to storyline changes.

What is true is that NA offers opportunity to the more imaginative players, there's plenty of RPers out there, but also one can only spend enough energy and time in that until it fades out.

In the end it all gets engulfed by the competitive combat mode, both OW pvp or Conquest. And all the player interactions resulting from that ( which we read all the time in these forums and #global ... ).

IMO the Tutorial system can offer an entire shell - from midshipman to commander - to offer that "single player" experience to the player - adding fluff to the mix with history fiction snippets, while presenting ALL mechanics.

I believe, also, that beyond Commander rank the player should be ready to sail out and do its own story or simply engage in competitive pvp without a care for rp.

Also trends show that majority of players nowadays "hate" text based storyline in games - "too much reading" - is the most common negative topic in many rpg's ( which are absolutely stunning if one loves a good story and well developed world )

n sum - how much energy, development time and business effort is worth to put into something like this ? Would all captains enjoy having their careers/liberty curated by the machine and being given only the ship they needed for the task ? Or do they like the liberty of doing whatever they want ?

I like the idea but I fear the vocal base of support for this is non-existant, and half a dozen sandbox RPers not gonna make a difference, let alone non existent story-on-rails aficionados :) 

( sorry for the downtone )
 

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1 hour ago, Hethwill said:

 

Also trends show that majority of players nowadays "hate" text based storyline in games - "too much reading" - is the most common negative topic in many rpg's ( which are absolutely stunning if one loves a good story and well developed world )

 

But look at the Skyrim, it keeps selling and selling and what does Skyrim carry? a good story/s. It all depends how you implement the story and NA has everything to become a major hit if one would decide to do so. 

It's much easier and cheaper to write stories vs model ships and hope they will keep players in the game.

Edited by Wind

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Just now, Wind said:

But look at the Skyrim, it keeps selling and selling and what does Skyrim carry? a good story/s. It all depends how you implement the story and NA has everything to become a major hit if one would decide to do so. 

Flagship of skyrim ( and bethesda products ) is single player and workshop :) - let's focus on the big multiplayer scene while putting aside the "wow clones" like ESO.

Also is a rather shallow story imo, but let's not that get in the way.

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1 hour ago, Hethwill said:

Flagship of skyrim ( and bethesda products ) is single player and workshop :) - let's focus on the big multiplayer scene while putting aside the "wow clones" like ESO.

Also is a rather shallow story imo, but let's not that get in the way.

Do not look at the big picture that is not the point, my point is that stories keep players in game. I played potbs and I did every mission that was available in the game on all my 10 accounts (when game released) and never got bored. I played ESO (top 5 most populated games)  and same thing happened there.

Let me tell you why, it clearly showed me my rewards. It was interesting and random. It dropped random loot. Mission could branch into another few missions and then take a turn back. I could pvp on the way to my mission. I sailed because of the story. I grew my character by doing stories. on and on and on...

It was MMO with a brilliant and simple story design. That is my friend a key to a healthy population and NA success. Not UI or new ship will bring players back. It's sadly proven by time. 

It's not difficult to write 3 paragraphs and script a mission scenario with reward in the end. So many possibilities. 

 

Edited by Wind

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Yep, totally agree with you. Stories are a integral part of games. Can be stories within the game or stories about the game - like telling how a sessions went, what adventures transpired, etc.

Let's say for example, a milsim, war of rights for example, Dunker's Church. What's the story ? We all can read about the battle, but in essence our actions in the game will make the new story and then all that play can reccount it, how the lines advanced, how the flanks collapsed and how great time it was with everyone acting great and good humour :)

Same happens in a tabletop game, or a paintball session. We all tell tales of this and that event and how it happened and have a good laugh.

All story in games. What I try to say is that you can't have storyline developed game with total freedom sandbox. Players will dump the story for the greater power - sandbox. It is the fastes way to get their hands on everything without being dependent on game rules.

P.S.- I'm backer of ESO ( sadly! ). Never became what I envisioned. Collects e-dust on a e-shelf.

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20 minutes ago, Hethwill said:

Yep, totally agree with you. Stories are a integral part of games. Can be stories within the game or stories about the game - like telling how a sessions went, what adventures transpired, etc.

Let's say for example, a milsim, war of rights for example, Dunker's Church. What's the story ? We all can read about the battle, but in essence our actions in the game will make the new story and then all that play can reccount it, how the lines advanced, how the flanks collapsed and how great time it was with everyone acting great and good humour :)

Same happens in a tabletop game, or a paintball session. We all tell tales of this and that event and how it happened and have a good laugh.

All story in games. What I try to say is that you can't have storyline developed game with total freedom sandbox. Players will dump the story for the greater power - sandbox. It is the fastes way to get their hands on everything without being dependent on game rules.

P.S.- I'm backer of ESO ( sadly! ). Never became what I envisioned. Collects e-dust on a e-shelf.

Try Crowfall. 

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3 minutes ago, Wind said:

Try Crowfall. 

Checking. Not a fantasy fan though.

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23 minutes ago, Hethwill said:

Checking. Not a fantasy fan though.

But you said you supported ESO. 

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The problem heth is this doesn’t need be a one or the other type of game.  It could be both very easily.  This game, at least up until the tutorial, just drops new players directly from the steam cart and into the sandbox with little to no info.  It’s overwhelming and unfortunately most players just are not patient enough to figure it out on their own.  I know when I started I poured through YouTube to find instructional videos, most of which even back in June of 2016 were outdated and their creators already gone.  I’m pretty sure the only reason I stuck around that first week or 2 was directly because of Jeheil and Olavs videos.  

Most games have more of an expanded tutorial and starter quests to get people’s feet wet.  Our current tutorial is good for the combat aspect, but I think the OW and it’s ever changing set of rules and systems are far more daunting and most likely the lack of info explaining it is what puts off most new players.  Figuring out what to do I’m combat is easy.  Getting to that point.. not so much. 

We badly need a new player quest line where they sail from one point in the map, collect something or tag something, dock up, put up a building and contracts and then haul it back.

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I think the 1st iteration of the tutorial system is promising :) given it is all instance based and can be used for a multitude of purposes, including quest chain to explore and learn with the OW map and port UI. Oh! and the final battle exam is very O'Brien'esque if you think about it.

Reminder: main end of the game is the naval combat between players.

 

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6 minutes ago, Wind said:

But you said you supported ESO. 

Yes. Not a fan of fantasy though. The same way I'm early backer of Elite Dangerous ( sci fi  fantasy ) but give me the last anytime. Player actions do mould the universe along with dev curated storyline. ( plus full loss system with insurance )

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