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Everything posted by Wraith

  1. All things come to an end. You think without a subscription that Naval Action servers will stay live for ever? That's the failure of this particular business venture in my opinion.
  2. @Vernon Merrill This is one of the things I continuously rail at @admin for, and is the example of the need for meaningful content that integrates the PvE and PvP sides of the game. NPCs absolutely should be the vehicles for port drops. This would make escorting NPC trade ships and economic warfare against nations by sinking NPC trade ships a reality. Add in a leaderboard by port and nation that tracks NPC traders arrived and sunk by nation/clan/player (or imagine, a heatmap that's been suggested just under a billion times) for NPC and PvP activity, and you have the beginnings of that meaningful content.
  3. I think you are overlooking the fact that EVE has thousands and thousands of players, with a "healthy" mix of PvE at the bottom of the food chain which feeds a very hardcore, rabid PvP-focused base at the top. This is mirrored in other, very successful MMOs with OW concepts and role playing bones. PvP alone should never and won't support a player population large enough to fill the Naval Action game world for the simple reason that PvP in NA is too costly and too high stakes in terms of player time and investment. Now, you may say, why not just go out and buy a storebought, throw some mediums on it and have some fun? Well.. for the simple reason that most players can't be competitive doing that and it's not sustainable economically (the cost and availability of repairs alone precludes doing that). And this hugely interacts with the fact that dev's have never figured out a way to make losing rewarding in this game. There's no incentive at all to go out and lose. And there's nothing that whittles away at player populations more than feeling like you're wasting your time and not being rewarded for your investment. And so you have a bunch of PvP'ers looking for non- or consensual PvP, and then you have a bunch of people who are avoiding it all cost while they try to get towards the middle where they think they can afford it (time- or real-wise), and it becomes like shooting fish in a barrel. And the new model where battles last less time while putting all those PvP'ers in first rates just so they can sail without fear of numbers won't fix that. Only content that encourages those younglings to keep at it until they want more consensual PvP, RvR, etc. etc. will create a sustainable population.
  4. Where did I equate content with mechanics? These are fundamentally different game areas and you're putting words in my mouth. Mechanics like combat models and RoE are a completely different issue than stuff to do, and the motivations for doing it. And most games that I play I engage with the community in some way or another and provide feedback to the developers when that avenue exists. And the treatment from developers that we as testers receive is by far worse in NA than any other community I've engaged in. And I think you only need to look at the Steam Reviews to confirm that many players, many of whom with 1000s of hours in game, feel the same way. Not all ideas are created equal and I wasn't claiming that all of those suggestions are worth considering. But as "testers," it is clear that the ideas that gain traction with the developers are usually from a very small and narrowly focused group of players and play styles within this community, and most of those changes that have ever been tested have not resulted in new or better content that facilitates new/casual player attraction and retention.
  5. Seriously, could you be more obtuse? I'm not going to go back through thousands of posts from the last three years and provide every piece of suggested content that I and others have proposed to help eke something viable for new and casual players out of the game. I've already provided you with very concrete categories of content that are missing in my earlier posts in this thread, it's not my fault you choose to ignore them. 🙄 Your point is very clear in that you feel like the game is just about ships and combat. And that would be fine if we did away with the OW and made a lobby game that people wanted to play. But the fact of the matter is that the huge majority of people who bought NA don't want to play that game (see Legends' fate again). SO.. I'll turn that back around on you: What's your point? What's the point of this thread? I've given you a very general and adaptable definition of "content" which in my words is the shit that holds the game together between combat instances. You claim that it's all about sailing, well, if we start there then sure, sailing is boring af. There are thousands of ideas out there that could make sailing less of a grind and give people something to do. There have been hundreds of quality of life features that have been proposed to ease that grind and provide "content" other than point your ship in a direction and alt-tab over to Netflix for a couple hours (e.g. navigation tools, access to crafting and econ while at sea, exploration and gathering tasks, random events, etc. etc. etc.). I just don't understand what it is that you're looking for out of this thread other than to bitch and moan that we aren't all happy with the thin broth we're being fed, and falling over ourselves being thrilled that we're continually asked to test the same shit we've already tested a thousand times before, and found it wanting the last 999 times. I mean... there's an ENTIRE forum section devoted to suggesting "content," the vast majority of it just goes ignored and uncommented on let alone implemented by developers. Which is their prerogative but don't say that the ideas about that "glue" aren't out there because I and many others have been throwing them out there for years.
  6. That's crap and you know it. You think the new and casual EVE player plays because they think their sole goal is to get a Titan or own a Keepstar in their first 100 hours? Pfft. New and casual players play the game to feel like a bad ass pirate, or a trading tycoon, or a naval captain, all in the age of sail. Most don't buy the game just to sail first rates, they buy it for the experience and entertainment. I mean, do you even talk to new or casual players or even play the game any more outside of popping out of Tortue for a duel or two? Do you have any ability to think outside the narrow range of play style that you've defined for yourself? Not one person here who has described in detail what kind of "content" they're asking for equates content to grind, right? I think most of us with 1000s of hours in the game have probably spend 8 out of every 10 of those hours AFK or watching Netflix while we sail. Let that sink in for a minute. And leave for the moment the b.s. new combat model and the shortening of battles to 10 minutes instead of an hour+ and think about how that ratio of doing nothing sailing to actual combat changes and whether that's good for the game. The "content" that most people are asking for is the glue between the combat events. And it's that which the dev's have failed spectacularly at providing. The best MMO's are those that give the players the tools to create that glue themselves. And there are a handful of really great models out there that the dev's could have modeled the OW side of the game and its economy after.. but like most things in the game they decided to recreate a square wheel where someone else's round one would have worked. And instead of admitting their mistake they decide to shave a side off and go with a triangle instead of refining their current model to have a few more sides that approximates the round one. As a fan, it's just painful to experience.
  7. Just because you are ignorant of all of the specific suggestions we've all made in the past regarding content isn't an excuse to criticize us now when we make a non-specific claim for needing content or to focus developer resources on things that really matter. Again, you're being deliberately obtuse since you know for a fact that PvP alone is a losing proposition outside of a bite-size lobby game. As @Teutonic suggests we have a scaffold for a proper OW, MMO game but without any real structure or finish. This is purely because of a lack of vision and developers with the wherewithal to do the hard work of implementing it, rather than diddling around with yet more changes to the combat model. The combat model will not solve the player or the "content" problem, whether it is "Players-as-Content," which you desire, or PvE content that keeps the new/casual/average player around. Period.
  8. Exploration, an actual functioning player-driven economy with viable, non-inflation inducing trade; crafting that's deeper than one-click magic; on-demand RvR (aka raids) and PvP (instant-pvp zone creation, duel circles); traditional MMO-style gathering of resources based on active time in game; do I need to keep going? When you base an entire game around players as content, then when there are no players then there is no content. I feel like you're being deliberately obtuse here. I've said it a thousand times: The open world is the world's worst matchmaking engine, and if you don't have all of the content that an MMO with an OW should have to keep new and casual players interested while they're getting crushed on there way to gaining PvP experience then the rest of the game systems fall apart. You might as well have Legends, and well.. we see how that turned out.
  9. Wraith


    Sadly, 7-6th rates will be made almost extinct by the new combat model.
  10. I agree that this is a huge problem with the game, but it's a symptom of lack of players not the direct cause of it. There's a strong positive feedback loop between declining population numbers and declining PvP/RvR, and it's easy to focus on the result of lower population rather than the root causes of it. And this is inherently the problem when you build a game around players being content, rather than having content attract and retain players, who generate additional content, etc.
  11. Essentially, yes.. I'm sure @admin could provide the numbers, but I would guess that post Early Access we've probably had injections of new players at each Steam Sale event, driven upward by small amounts of variability in new players around holidays, post-major updates and wipes, etc. But if you take a survival analysis type of approach to new players what we see is a huge killing off of players before they get to the stage where they are active in PvP and RvR, and in the middle tier of woods/skill/ships/books/combat knowledge, etc. where the overlap with new and hardcore players is largest (see my second figure). It is this "bridging" population, the "betweeners" that is fed by game content that is not currently there (exploration, econ, trading, light on-demand RvR and PvP, daily rewards, etc. etc.) where player retention dies. Because the new players can't get to hardcore because as soon as they advance to the edge where they want to engage in PvP and RvR they get ROFL-stomped by the small, rabid hard core population that is slavering for content themselves (PvP and RvR because they have everything else, ala woods, books, ships, alts, etc.). And all of this results in a downward spiral of player population because the influx of new and casual players that is natural with Steam sales, marketing, etc. has nowhere to go to fill the middle part of that distribution. And a new combat model is not going to fix that.
  12. I feel like 90% of my posts touch on the topic of player retention and development, so anything I write here will be rehashing old opinions. But I would agree with a lot of the general sentiment about too little content development, too much focus on the details of combat, and an overall lack of quality of life features that bridge the divide between new/casual players and veterans being at the root of player population problems. I think a huge exacerbating issue has been the development whiplash over the years, that in no way constitutes real game "testing." I think this is driven by a consistent lack of vision by the developers about what they wanted the MMO, open world to be. If they had a vision that they were working toward then there would be no need for this constant oscillation between extremes. RNG in crafting giving way to fine woods and regional build bonuses giving way to RNG in crafting again are a perfect example of this. I honestly think the best thing that could have happened to the game is that the combat model was sold to a publisher with MMO chops, but that's neither here nor there at this point. And so here's the TLDR moment: What we currently have is an unsustainable MMO population due to a variety of factors, all of whose opinions are expressed here most likely have contributed. In as server population of around 500-600 we have a bimodal distribution of hardcore to new/casual players, with very few people between. The hardcore population has all the books, only sails the best ships, has a vast edge in skill and experience, and literally eats the new and casual players for breakfast. In a "Healthy" situation you have the vast majority of a large player population that exists between new/casual players and the ultra hardcore. They are the ones that primarily use mid-tier gear (think happy with white oak, oak, might have one of the good books, etc.). Without that middle range of player then the gap is too wide for new and casual players to compete and feel like they're having fun. This is unsustainable. And only through good content, that's engaging, that provides incentives for those new and casual players to rise through the ranks will you attain sustainability. And the developers have focused on all the wrong things to create this situation.
  13. Um... kinda seems closer to reality than the flat colors you're describing:
  14. You went the wrong way. Head N past Swannsborough and sail under the land.
  15. Why you and I play it clearly are not what a majority of players who’ve left the game want. And I’d argue what they want is content. Solo ships for grinding some income is exactly that: content for new, casual, players.. and as long as they’re mostly outside of protected zones then it creates yet more content for hunters, sheepdoggers, etc. etc.. The old damage model and combat is the best thing about the game. Yes it’s not perfect and can always be tweaked, that’s not my contention. My point is that if we all acknowledge that the game is dying for lack of players then attracting and retaining new and more casual players through providing them content should be the only development focus.
  16. Where do you get 10 members? I think you're underestimating the number of players/alts we have. But this only happens when there is an extreme skill gap. And that's what I really don't understand. Why would anyone want to narrow the ship gap when such an extreme skill gap will just exacerbate the outcomes experienced by the new and casual players? Can anyone explain that to me? I feel like everyone magically thinks that you put the less skilled player in a bigger ship and they'll fare better. (HINT: They won't when you're forcing the more skilled player to sail the same ship!) I hope you're right but his comments about how it's a big challenge to sink a snow in a cutter with the new model, and how much he loves that makes me worried.
  17. I think you mean "week," not month. And every week. VCO between members and alts easily pulls down 180 marks a week and that's with a far reduced load of ports we hold now than we would after the initial gold rush of neutral port flipping. So I don't think amassing a couple thousand victory marks over two months is unrealistic at all do you? Except that average and new players right now can still get shit done with numbers and frigates, as opposed to having neither numbers or line ships to compete against vets in line ships under the new model! And it's that much easier right now because PvP is relatively cheap. Sigh, you should just admit you like to feel like a bad ass by sailing line ships and don't like to get ganked by players in frigates. You're one of those fan boys and that's fine. But things aren't going to change for you when you get ganked by players in line ships, other than the fact that you can't rely on a revenge fleet of frigates manned by average players to help you out. And even in your most ignorant moment you should be able to see that making life harder for new players in 6th and 7th rates, which Admin seems so proud of, who are trying to rank up by grinding AI and capping some traders, is a recipe for Steam refunds. It's just dumb.
  18. Heh, all that would prove is that poor Wraith is an average PvP'er against two, much better than average lineship captains. But I guarantee that @Christendom would lose at least a couple masts and @William Death would steal his kill in the end from Chris. Joking aside, why would you assume that a trash ship like the Victory is even close to even odds in that scenario (e.g. uneven numbers added to a significant skill gap, and a huge disadvantage in ability to bounce shots and maneuver due to ship quality and build)? This isn't the scenario I've been railing against and you know it. If it were two players of my skill in Bellonas against @William Death in that Victory then it would most certainly be in his favor. And that's the point. Currently players can make up for what they lack in skill, mods, books, and gear with numbers. And this is how it should be. Because though a clan like VCO will be sitting on thousands of Victory Marks a couple months after wipe your average casual who grinds his way up to Rear Admiral and maybe gets a few marks a week through buying them will not be able to afford to sail around line ships willy nilly, and the better captains among us will erase them off the map as soon as they do. Then? They quit.
  19. Ironically, the way @admin desribes it, its also supposed to be for no-skill but high-rank players who want to feel invulnerable just because they ground out enough play time to get into and sail a first rate solo. This is to protect them from the VCOs, ROVERs, and @William Deaths of the world who would hunt them mercilessly in smaller ships. In other words, the new damage model hurts everyone who hasn't max-ranked deeply. And most wickedly, once they've rushed to max rank it particularly disadvantages the no-skill and casuals because it will be beyond their means to recover from losing one or two of their precious first rates against said hunters who are now also sailing first rates to hunt with. Those players will then have zero options available to them (they can't revenge gank in large groups of smaller ships because first rates are completely invulnerable to them). What will they do then? Quit.
  20. I agree fundamentally with you.. as a policy I don't review any Early Access game I play as I feel like they are in Early Access for a reason and we're just testers. But I think the response that you typically see in the reviews of Early Access games, and in this regard Naval Action isn't different, is that those reviews are about the developers and development process, not the game itself. And in that regard, the Steam reviews are telling.
  21. Any chance you could break both sets of those numbers by server and players in EU and US primetimes?
  22. 6. Mass exodus of new and mid-rank players due to them getting wrecked by AI and players in slightly larger ships?
  23. Just because you say it doesn’t make it true. I can say that we’ll get a functioning, player-driven economy, proper no-, limited-, and free-for-all PvP areas, clan-managed ports and diplomacy, and all the other content that are basic MMO 101 fare before release, but that doesn’t make it true. At least while we support decisions to constantly reinvent the wheel and rework only the best parts of the game instead of focusing on the shit that’s truly broken.
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