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Jack Lowe

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About Jack Lowe

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    Landsmen
  • Birthday 05/15/1974

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    New York
  1. Jack Lowe

    No full wipes for PvE peace server - a plea to devs

    Well although I disagree with one counter claim for not wiping the PvE server, and I'll explain in s moment. I do think that a full wipe, as the devs have laid it out, specifically on release day is not the best idea for the overall health of the game moving foward from that day. First why wipe anything from the PvE server. The PvE server is a unique beast from a testing and data stand point. It is essentially like a sanitized laboratory environment. Which provides alot of good "uncorrupted" base data. This is because of the lack of the more complex interactions that occur due to PvP and RvR on the war server. Each server provides it's own unique set of data that taken together helps determine areas of deficiency. This along with feedback from players is what determines many of the adjustments and priorities for future development. In the case of a major patch which will fundamentally change mechanics and there interactions such as this upcoming econ patch having a clean slate to start from can be necessary for both servers. This is because they provide two different unique types of data. Now when I say wipe that should not be interrupted to mean toss out everything. Only those things that will possibly corrupt the testing data needs to be reduced or removed. Its not a matter of the devs hating on us and cruelly taking away our toys it's an unfortunate necessity in order to get the best possible game they can produce. Now as for the release wipe. I think in the first place a wipe on release day itself is probably a bad move. When the game is released new players should come into a vibrant living world with a community in game willing and , more importantly, able to help them along there grind. However we dont want to drag in things from old ideas or exploits that will start us out on a bad foot from day 1. I like the idea of allowing us to keep 3 to 5 ships as well as all experience and knowledge. I just dont think allowing each player to pick is practical. The game has sold over 100,000 copies. Even if only 10,000 place their desired choices that could be an overwhelming task for such a small team draining all resources from other endeavors for days or even a couple weeks. Also what of those who didn't get the message and thus didn't get to put in their request. Thus here is what I think provides the best compromise. The player base will vote on a number of ships they would most like to keep as a community. This should equate to the overall most popular models. They may get to choose 1 SOL, 1 Frigate, 1 shallow or any other combination as determined by the devs to be fair. Those ships will be given as redeemables after wipe. They may not be gold and all might not be each players favorite but there should be something there for everyone. Second wipe should occur 2 to 4 weeks prior to release. During this time RvR is suspended so we have a fresh start on release day. All other OW ROE is in affect. This short period allows us all time to get things prepared so we will on be ready for war and second ready to help the influx of new blood we expect to receive. I believe that provides the most seamless transition from test to launch. We get some starting ships, which is all any enterprising captain should need to make his fortune. We have time to get ready for each other as well as our new and returning mates, and on launch day players coming in should find what they expect a world that's already prepared for them to jump into and immerse themselves in. They will also find a community ready and able to do what they can to get them off to a good start and having fun as quickly as their skill level will allow.
  2. Well to attempt to answer your question, and in this case indirectly agreeing with Christendom let me tell you how weather is probably implemented. Imagine a object that has no shape or form. Unity calls it an empty game object. Place it level with the ocean plane. Create two, or more spheres that have no model attached so also invisible. Call this storm. Next add two simple trigger events to each sphere. When your ship touches the outer sphere edge the OnTriggerEnter event is called and a special effect that you precieve as rain start in front of your camera. Enter the second sphere and it changes to heavy rain or storm. When your ship leaves the inner sphere OnTriggerExit is called checks the logic and returns you to light rain, leave the outer sphere sunshine. Also we already have a mechanism in place that enables and disables the sextant depending on whether you have the perk or not. Depending on whether they hacked it in or not maybe at most another 5 lines of code added into the trigger events will enable/disable the sextant when entering either sphere or only the inner sphere at our choice. Really IF they didn't do some backdoor hack job to put in the sextant, which is possible if they aren't sure whether it will be permanent. Then enabling disabling the tool in game should be no more difficult than triggering and stopping the rain you see.
  3. Jack Lowe

    Join Time/Space Solution

    I have a possible counter proposal. Let's leave aside the join timer issue for the moment although there are some good ideas germinating on that I think. Let's look at the endless revenge gank issue which seems to cause a rather large problem by forcing people to stay in game much longer than some would like or can afford to spend. Now it's my understanding that when you exit a battle instance you appear on OW at the point and with the heading you had when the battle started. If this is not so then just ignore the rest. Assuming this is so then with invisibility and speed buff there is still a fairly finite area to search which is what makes serial ganks possible. We go into battle instance at a point and heading that corresponds to our OW position. Seems logical to me that we should return to OW from battle the same way. We should be at the point and heading from which we exit. Now the thought just occured to me reading this thread so there maybe some obvious exploits I'm not considering, however it would help mitigate revenge and serial ganks by creating a much larger area to cover looking for the target also the escaping ship gets the right by having evaded his opponent to have more choice over where and with what heading to make his OW escape. After a battle ends he has 15 minutes to run of course that might need to be shortened. On the other hand if his opponent wishes to chase him the full hr. thirty that is the aggressors choice knowing he can't catch him. The defender still can pop at anytime he feels he has the advantage. There are still I imagine some issues to be had but I do think that most gankers have something better to do than a hopeless chase for over an hr. Thoughts?
  4. Jack Lowe

    Join Time/Space Solution

    Old navy guy as well. I just decided to make learning some programming and development a hobby in my spare time. Curiosity really, still enjoyable hobby. Unity is a nice platform. No insult intended just to say any idea can be made digital reality. o7 mate.
  5. Jack Lowe

    Join Time/Space Solution

    Is it codable yes of course it is. Practically anything is codable. In the scenario you mention MacDuff it's fairly simple. The crossed swords is a unity game object. We won't go into all that that means just to say it is an object we can attach code to directly to send or receive information like your mouse over it or a left click. In this case we would need the swords to do a range check to a certain distance the moment they are created. Anything within that range gets flagged as insight. The swords will be active for those players or visable. Meaning also those players that can see the swords can interact with them, click and enter battle. Anyone outside that range the swords are inactive or masked and player interaction disabled. Those players can't see them can't click them they shall not pass. Nothing terribly crazy.
  6. Jack Lowe

    Peace Server Overhaul

    In truth the peace server is not a copy and pasted version of the war server. It's a striped down version of the war server. No RvR, nor Pvp in fact it requires minimal interaction with the environment from the player, and player to player interaction is optional. Really it's quite different. The devs in my view from reading the forums have considered the peace server a bit of a bastard child. They wanted to close it down the community out cry helped convince them to keep it open. I think the devs would have made a big mistake to have closed and by ignoring its potential continue to make a mistake. The peace server offers some unique opportunities. It creates the ability to test all mechanics and features in a near perfectly controllable environment while still allowing player interaction with the created environment. Major design and programming flaws can be found and addressed before any new content is introduced to the war server and at the same time creating a much more interesting and vibrant game world to interact with. Here are some examples off the top of my head that would add, IMO, slot of content to the peace server and allow testing on mechanics and features to the war server. 1. Allow NPC's to attack one another, and allow players to jump into these fights as they wish. There would need to be an extra layer of AI to govern the NPC's ROE but imagine that a friendly trader carrying goods that are needed to a trade hub. (I'm visualizing the new economy patch here). Those goods can help not only the player but the productivity of the port as well, or hurt it if they dont arrive. The player jumps in to help keep trade the life blood of any port moving. An enemy could also do this to help prevent it. When one side or the other engages the other side can no longer join. Thus no possibility for PvP. The affect could be small but they can also be meaningful an extra 500 WO logs being traded to the port would certainly not be turned down, as an example. 2. Once this is done RvR could be simulated and completely controlled by the devs either manually or by algorithm. Ports could change hands war fleets could be sent out to attack a port and a defense fleet assembled. A simple ROE could be created to determine which nation could attend each fight and could be in line with different ways the devs want to test changes. Any players jumping in would be met by an AI of equal BR. The devs get to see how resource distribution and flow is affected in different scenarios as the map changes. They also get to see what ports player perceive as important enough to defend. As well as a basic idea of ship choices and what not. Devs could also make it some situations harder perhaps the friendly AI fleet starts out numbered 2 to 1 or more meaning the players will need to fight greater odds in some battles. Either way it's more content and things to do on the PvE server and the devs get something useful for the time invested. 3. Port and trade mechanics could be played around with. Ports might rely on certain levels of supply of different goods. Some ports might require different things allowing more individualization and uniqueness in the ports. Being under supplied might cause penalties increase in amount of LH needed for that port. Increase in price of labor contracts. Of course if port is under supplied in a needed good the price would become inflated and that inflation increase would be additive the more under supplied the port became. In turn it creates trade opportunities for the enterprising player. Having surpluses in goods might also provide benefits to the port. The bonuses and penalties can be set up according to good type and individualized from there if desired. This gives players a good bit of control not only in influencing the economy and increases, albeit indirectly player to player interaction, but to shape the ports to some degree as well. That alone would add considerably to the game experience on both servers but it would boost content on the PvE server drasticly in particular. That's just some ideas, as always they are rough. Still I believe they are solid in concept at least. Some really shouldn't be very difficult to implement as they generally coincide with current development goals. I had more but this is quite long enough already. Feel free to agree or not and pick them apart for flaws as you will. I'm not that sensitive.
  7. Jack Lowe

    Contracts are massive AFK

    Well imo lo,wo and several of the other woods should be player produced in any case. Having us spoon fed certain materials and the general dumbing down of the economic side of the game is most of the reasons I find it stale boring and lifeless. I really dont feel like I'm interacting with other players in any meaningful way. Essentially were all just interacting with the AI which is more A almost no I. The game hands out the goods at certain designated and we all clamor for them like a bunch of starving street urchins. Well I suppose that economic model worked for Stalin. It is simple enough to exploit if I were so inclined. In part because of the low player base. If that player base were to rise by any reasonable amount the current system would collapse. Larger numbers mean larger more varied fluctuations in server population. What's here would never be able to adjust to that. The economy would be hopelessly broken inside of 2 months. I would expect the current economic model from one of my old commodore 64 games. I absolutely agree it takes little effort to design something more interesting. Hopefully better is coming, it sounds so but seeing is believing. I almost have to expect some sort of improvement as I stated earlier this system really won't survive anything close to a successful release. If what comes doesn't drastically improve things were in trouble.
  8. Jack Lowe

    Peace Server Overhaul

    This is actually an interesting topic in general. How to deal with the to servers with such a difference in player expectations as car as game play experience goes. I tend to think of these to servers as to different player bases or potential customer types. Harecore or PvP only and casual or PvE only. Thinking of them as hard left and hard right at there extremes in this argument is helpful. They will literally never agree as they seek very different experiences from the game. I not going to agree or disagree with the OP instead I'm going to offer a radical idea to improve both servers as well as allow each side of the argument their own space as I doubt they will ever really be able to share the same space peacefully for long, those on the extreme edges I mean. First I would suggest two different maps one for the Americas one for Europe or some portion of it. There is made a means to travel between the two maps in game. Effectively you can sail to a point and switch servers with your current ship or fleet. One is still PvE one still PvE. Second we set up a schedule say two months just for a place holder number. Americas are at war, Europe is at peace. After the two month window or whatever method to trigger is decided there is say a 48hr period of peace and then they swap. Now Europe is the war server and the Americas are at peace. Now the PvE only players will be setting up the peace map for their faction for the next outbreak of war. The more daring will be able to attempt to funnel needed supplies and ships to their brethren slugging it out in the war server. Of course the most lucrative rewards can be found in these very hazardous forays. They can also choose to stay on the peace server where profits are much more modest simply building up things in preparation. Similarly the war server now has new goals attempting to establish and maintain trade routes to Europe or Visa versa. In short don't segregate the two play styles incorporate them together while allowing each their own separate space to enjoy their own unique play experience. Also in this very rough and brief proposal were not ignoring that they each side does look for a vastly different game experience and include smoothly those who are more in the middle with their expectations. I think in the near term these changes add tremendous content to both servers. In the longer term they may well cause serious revisions to RvR making port capture a more drawn out affair perhaps but also much more epic and meaningful. This is mearly a rough idea and food for though in probably after release. In the near term efforts should be focused on the economy and ensuring the rewards in taking a port are worth the risk and effort.
  9. Jack Lowe

    Contracts are massive AFK

    Yeah ghosts the hitch to the system your either not mentioning or not aware of. If I put up a buy contract for teak logs at say 15 reals ea. Then go play another game. Now you come in behind me and put up a contract for those same logs at 17 reals ea. Your contract goes to the top and gets filled first. The only thing I can do is come back and see that I'm out bid and not getting my teak. Then I need to pull my original contract and place a new one out bidding you say 20 reals ea. It is a tedious time consuming set up as you need to keep going port to port periodically particularly if your short a material to ensure your rush order get filled. Just means manage your resources get your orders in early, and be prepared to pay inflated prices for non producable goods. It's not exactly the free market at work but it's hardly an unfair system. P.S. I would prefer and hope that eventually we will have a fully player controlled free market economy. I just deal with this as an unfinished system for now, as it seems mostly boring, and lifeless, but it serves as the place holder system it is.
  10. You did pay money to play a game. When Naval Action reaches 1.0 or release it will then be a game that you payed for. Until that point it is not really a game it's a late stage prototype which you agreed to test and provide feedback on. What you get right now is the ability to shape the development of what the game will be as well as an early sneak peek and head start of how it will work. Wipes happen in testing they have to after any major changes to a fundamental part of the game they are necessary at times to prevent corruption of data collected on the changes otherwise they can't properly find the weaknesses and problems to address them properly. In short they wind up with a broken game. That's why we had wipes during combat development maybe to few or many only the devs know. Economy is another pillar system of the game that ties PvP and RvR together. A wipe will almost certainly happen in order for it to be properly tested. What Sir Texas is saying is that the wipe should happen sooner rather than later. He's saying the changes in the upcoming patch are drastic enough that holding off further on the upcoming wipe will not allow proper testing, cause corrupt data due to the dearth of money and materials players have from the old system. The discussion is not whether another wipe will happen to test the new economy. It's about when it should occur. Everyone gets attached to their "stuff" although at the end of the day that "stuff" is really nothing more than ones and zeros on a memory chip somewhere. Testing is a grind losing your progress over and over takes a toll in discouragement and frustration. Still this is beta testing it is what it is. Perhaps the devs will disagree and decide a wipe isn't needed yet. They've already stated another will come before release and another on release. I find it more fruitful to discuss the best point for that pre-release wipe to occur. Other than argue a point that's already been decided. I say wipe sooner than later now seems like an appropriate time.
  11. Jack Lowe

    Soft Wipe

    I disagree with this. Although the currency changes caused an upheaval for the players it was really only a step in the transition from the old economy to the new. The upcoming update is where a wipe should take place as it puts the final parts of the new base economy in place. Retaining vast resources and cash imo has a larger chance of resulting in bringing old problems into the new system giving deceiving or outright faulty data and feedback. This can result in development choices that harm or worst case wreck the new system. Some will disagree others will argue who cares I just want pvp and the economy doesn't interest me nor does it matter beyond giving me new ships to sink/fight with. They are wrong the economy is in my view at least as important as good combat to this game. A well developed economy provides reasons for players to get out to make money to acquire resources for new toys. Evidence of this exists now the current economy is lackluster, at least we can agree it needs work or is missing something. Posts to this effect are out there from ports lacking enough value to encourage RvR to not being able to find good PvP opportunities. Yes low pop and other arguments that are advanced are factors as well but to deny the importance of the current economy plays in this is a mistake. In this game as in reality the reason we fight is simple money, power and control. People will achieve that thru different avenues and have different ideas on how to achieve those goals, but diluted down the motives are the same. Combat is essential to this game we can have all the reasons to fight but if the combat isn't engaging or hopelessly broken the game fails. Combat still has its problems but it's good enough to keep people engaged. The economy simply is not. It's not doing its job to get people out fighting and helping support and give meaning to RvR. If this new economy similarly fails due to poor development choices this game will do what the doom sayers keep crying everytime something happens they disagree with, die. IMO the best chance to ensure good data and thus good development choices for the new economy going foward is to wipe removing variables that can corrupt data and feedback.
  12. Jack Lowe

    Soft Wipe

    Actually I was right now player count is pretty low across all time zones. If we had even say 800 to 1200 max players I would be more cautious a about backing this horse. However with max 300 ish on at any given time really how many more do we have to lose. Impact is fairly minimal at this time and a fresh start may inject some new blood and actually encourage higher player. Count long term.
  13. Jack Lowe

    Soft Wipe

    Wipe, reset the map and start from scratch. I'm good with that. I think it will allow better quality data and feedback. Sure some are going to get upset. That's bound to happen anyway. Devs already stated another wipe will come before release. If they cry now or cry later what's the difference. The most important thing at this point is making a good quality product. So whatever needs to happen to do that I'm good.
  14. First looking foward to this. Looks like some much needed improvements that should add considerably to the game experience. Second SirTexas got the jump on my question/ suggestion. I'm not sure a full or partial wipe is required, although I'm not against it. I was thinking with the repositioning of resources and effects the other changes will have on port value. Would a map reset be in order. A fresh start would allow us and the team to see how these changes will effect the map much easier/faster allowing identification of needed tweaks to the system quickly and with greater reliability. Also allows us to provide hopefully better feedback.
  15. I agree with this as well but I also believe to implement it correctly will require some additional time in design as well as coding algorithms. Determining for example how accurate the base "free" sextant should be. How much any additional books, perks, or upgrades should affect it. Which ones should affect it. I think speading it around to all the above areas or at least most, with a simple less accurate version available to all is the correct final implementation. Rather like the basic system used for repairs. Not to say repairs dont need improvement. Just that the same basic design structure will probably yield the best results. This would however require resources that I dont believe the dev's currently wish to divert from other tasks atm.
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