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    Able seaman

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  1. I think that your research on the feasibility of the NAL's existence as a stand alone game lacks validity (as in you are not measuring what you think you are measuring). If I understand you correctly, you wanted to measure how a stand alone battle arena type game focused solely on the NA combat model would fare and whether it would hold players' interest. You are using players' playing times and progression as a measure of engagement with the game without taking into account a multitude of other factors, which results in a spurious relationship between progression and engagement. There is a very good chance that your conclusion that the battle system alone without the open world will not hold players' attention is false. NAL was not a pure test of the battle system - the battle system alone is superb, however, you also have several factors that you did not account for such as the progression system, cannon grind (most likely the greatest cause of loss of interest as it guaranteed losing), matchmaking system, player population (you took people who were used to the much larger ship and upgrade variety and asked them to enjoy less variety and to work extra hard to be able to sail a very limited number of ships that they could not design or customize to the degree that they were used to)... I believe that when you account for all of those factors and find out how great of a detriment to player retention each one of them was, you will find that NAL could have a life of its own with removal of or tweaks to the "fun reducing" factors. For me personally cannon grind and the lack of a greater variety of ships and upgrades drove me from NAL back to NA, while I did enjoy the arena setting and the quick availability of a fight even though the matchmaking was not always working as well as I would have liked it to. If your new goal is to fill the NA world with players, please consider investing time into PVE content. You have to build the foundation first in order for the high end content to thrive. Fill the forest with deer and rabbits by giving them plenty of nice green grass and the wolves will grow fat and happy when the prey becomes plentiful... You have a wealth of player suggested PVE ideas that would also fill the empty seas - please consider using those ideas to build a more thriving ecosystem for the beautiful game that you have created. If you build it they will come, if you force them into content they don't want they will leave for greener pastures.
  2. Random

    Player name display

    Very small suggestion - please add an extra space between player's rank and name as they appear in OW - the way it is set up right now if a player is not in a clan the rank and name form a single word (clan membership breaks that word up by having brackets around the clan tag). My apologies if this has been pointed out already.
  3. I have just over 2000 hours in NA, so I'm not entirely new to the combat system of NAL. I have played NAL for the last week and got to a Reno so far. Here's some feedback I'd like to share: 1. Interface and information delivery While I understand that a tutorial is in the works, since I don't know what will be included in the tutorial, I figured I'd list my concerns here anyway. The leveling system for both the captain and the officers is very unclear. I figured out that I do eventually gain levels and get more officers when my rank finally changed. Until it changed I had no clue when and if it was going to happen. It shouldn't be that hard to provide information on leveling, NA already does it fairly well. Similar to above, it is very unclear what the red book represents. I was able to figure it out eventually, but interface should not be a puzzle for players to solve... 2. Ships and cannons progression I am not a fan. I would much rather prefer ships to be unlocked by class. This will give players options to choose between ships according to their play styles. For example, while a brig can be an introductory ship to 6th rates, once a player gets enough experience in it, Snow, Navy Brig, and Mercury get unlocked. Those are somewhat balanced and provide good alternatives to each other depending on whether you want to tank, have more speed, or have an option to use heavier carronades. If you don't do that, you are taking what is so great about all of the ships available in the game and throw it away. Variety and choices are what makes players happy, rigid progression and grind make them quit and leave bad reviews... As it is right now, the Snow is terrible. Part of that is due to the locked cannons of higher caliber (another part is that it is rated higher than other 6th rates even though it is very squishy and the game has no open world where Snow is actually valuable due to chasers and speed). That dooms new Snow captains to failure and makes little sense. Why can't I take the same 6pd-ers that I used on the Brig, Navy Brig, and Mercury, and use them on the Snow? Progression is great at keeping players engaged, but it should not force them to resign to failure and to grind, grind, grind until they can have an even chance in battle. I can outsail my enemies, but if I can't hurt them, my sailing prowess is useless. Give players the tools they need to be successful and let natural propensities, learning abilities, and persistence sort them into PvP gods and cannon fodder, there is no reason to force that issue. 3. Basic cutter If that is the only fore and aft ship available and you are not going to add Privateer and Lynx to the game, you might as well take the Cutter out. It is never going to be a viable choice that players will go for and thus is only used to impose restrictions on players. It needs to be in a class with viable alternatives similar to the example with 6th rates above. 4. Upgrades/modules There needs to be more of a variety in those - again, NA already does it very well. NAL is not giving me a lot of options to customize my ship. When I unlock all five slots, I can have a fighting ship that is slightly better than stock, or I can have a boarding ship. NA has a lot more options than that - Speed vs Tanky, Boarding, Turning overload, Indestructable masts... all coming with drawbacks, allowing for a much larger range of customization. Again, variety and choices make players happy, let us customize ships to a greater degree. 5. Bugs/features So far I have had a rough time keeping my rudder out of yellow in a Mercury. Every second magical broadside from AI hits the rudder. One time I gently side swiped an AI ship and my rudder got damaged even though it never came into contact with that ship. Similarly, I've had a rough time with the pump on the Snow, somehow it gets hit very often. I've had a few instances when I received a notice that I sank even though I did not. Once it happened completely out of the blue while I was not engaged in any boarding action and had plenty of HP and Structure left. In that battle I also got a notice that an enemy ship sank even though it did not, it won a boarding. The fake "sinking notification" after successful boarding seems to be a recurring issue. Instead of a number I often have a line going through the icon where the number of loaded guns should be displayed. Not sure what that is... Perhaps there should be a "fight AI only" option so that players don't have to wait 5 minutes when population is low to fight AI only battles. In the long term if the game succeeds and has high population, it can still serve as a training mode since battle instances close automatically and players can't practice maneuvers. AI has shot through my ship on a few occasions. I first though that it was a bug and AI was doing some green on green damage, but I have seen this issue reported on these forums. I think that's it for now. Thank you!
  4. Random

    When was the game really good?

    Foe me the game was most fun in early months following the Steam early access release. Back then fights were plentiful wherever I went and people engaged each other with wild abandon and little regard for their ships. But I do not think that it had anything to do with any particular mechanics, but rather the novelty of the game. With time, as they inevitably do in most things, people naturally developed tendencies to game the system and the understanding that it is just pixels evolved into a burning desire to win at all cost.
  5. Random

    Learn Something About Customer Satisfaction

    If so many people "misunderstood" or "misinterpreted" your meaning, perhaps you need to work on your communication skills... I still have no clue what you are complaining about and how you would like it fixed...
  6. Random

    Learn Something About Customer Satisfaction

    Do you have any hard data other than your subjective information? You bring up several valid points, but dismissing similarly valid counter points will not help you engage others in a productive discussion. How do people who like PvP ruin the game for others on PvP server? I mostly do trading/crafting/missions on PvP server due to time constraints that do not allow me to engage in meaningful PvP. I, however, understand that I chose to play on a PvP server and that other players could be coming by to hunt my trade fleets. I welcome that challenge and that risk as it makes things more meaningful and interesting. I do not wholly understand what you are proposing. Do you want people to be able to engage in risk free PvE on PvP servers? Please elaborate and propose something specific that would alleviate your concerns and provide a more enjoyable gaming experience for all.
  7. I don't think he said that there was an agreement. It seems that he is reiterating Swedish demands, though it is unclear if anyone ever agreed to them or to whom he presented those demands to prior to posting them here...
  8. Because the point is that these basic cutter shenanigans are intended to waste time of those who are legitimately engaging in RvR. Joining such a battle would be exactly that - wasting time trying to prevent shady counter hostility instead of spending that time on generating legitimate hostility. Such exploits are antithetical to the purpose of basic cutters in the game.
  9. Given how valuable various upgrades have become, I would consider removing basic cutter's ability to tag fleets at all. I've done so and was able to collect 3-5 upgrades per battle and a decent amount of various repairs. Since I was using a basic cutter, I was not risking anything and had unlimited repairs that helped me last through the battle. That just doesn't seem right to me; basic cutters should be a learning stepping stone for new players and a last resort measure for those who have managed to lose everything.
  10. Random

    Franco-Danish Trade Wars

    In case zee Germans come...
  11. Random

    Franco-Danish Trade Wars

    From whom would you defend France from Basse/Grand Terre? That location makes little strategic sense and two regions are definitely not required for "defending France". Sounds like a bunch of hastily produced bull to me...
  12. I like the idea of such a system, but I think that it can use some work. I would suggest creating categories of fore and aft ships, brigs and so on. A ship from each category can gain xp for that category, but a certain amount of xp in lower category is required to sail higher category ship. I would also propose creating tiers of upgrades and letting players decide if they want to learn a new upgrade or upgrade the knowledge of an old one. For example, I can learn a low level version of Pellew's sights and have some xp to spare, or I can upgrade my pumps to the next level. The "grind" element is still there to keep people playing, but it opens up opportunities to specialize without having to achieve max levels.
  13. Random

    Fleet issues and suggestion

    I know that, but that's not always the best route to take for them... Say I have three traders lynxs, they can all go in a different direction and have a good chance of escaping, but there's no way to make them do so right now.
  14. Random

    Fleet issues and suggestion

    I went into a mission sailing my Surprise and having a Brig in my fleet. We had one Essex to fight and I figured that I'll have the Brig put a couple of broadsides into the Essex and then escape. But then it happened to me again... My suicidal fleet ship attempted to board the enemy and lost. This time, however, I explicitly told it to follow me as soon as the battle started. The fleet map/fleet interface acknowledged my command, but as I passed the enemy ship on its port side and turned hard to starboard, I saw my Brig lower its sails and come in on Essex's starboard side to initiate boarding. That's issue number one; why did it not follow me as instructed? Issue number 2 has already been voiced several times: why did the AI trade a slightly damaged Essex for a Brig when it won the boarding? Issue number 3 is where did the rest of AI crew go since only 110 of them went to the Brig and none were left on the Essex? Issue number 4 is why could I not retrieve whatever the Brig had in its hold? The interface told me that it had 22.9 something of something on board, but there was nothing displayed in the window (both of us were at a complete stop when I searched it). Issue number 5 is me getting double the PvE marks and gold. It appears that the system treated the battle as me having defeated both the Essex and the Brig, while I only really fought my own Brig since the Essex just sat there with 0 crew after taking over my Brig. This can probably be exploited in many different ways such as figuring out a way to have large AI ships board a small fleet ship for a much easier fight and quick PvE marks/gold/loot rewards... Now on to my humble suggestion: We have several perks that are geared towards helping individual players in combat. We also have fleet perks that do not give any bonuses to individual players, but instead allow them to add AI ships to their fleet. This is a great feature for traders as that allows them to transport more cargo in one trip. AI, however, is pretty dumb. On top of that, controls that we are given are severely limited. If I have three trader ships in my fleet and I tell them to escape, they will all go in the same direction; there is no way for me to tell them to split up other than to have one or two of them follow me. See above regarding my hesitation to tell AI to follow me from now on... What if by expanding fleet commands we opened up a whole new way of playing? What if we had not just skilled individual players, but also skilled fleet commanders? I would suggest adding options to tell AI to keep it's distance or to close in (for long gus vs carronades loadout), to use different ammunition instead of just "demast", and to be able to set course for each fleet ship similar to the way protractor works on the map. Add a wheel that players have on their screen to the fleet/map screen and have it show the direction of each fleet ship as it is selected. Add to that wheel a control tab that player can drag to set the course for that ship. I think that this will greatly increase capabilities to command a fleet in battle, while still being fairly difficult to master and time consuming in battle.