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  1. Hey Developers and Community, We have been thinking the last weeks about the current PB system and the proposed 7 Day cooldown on captured ports. This post is rather long and elaborate, but please hear us out. Historically Naval Powers first needed to "win" a seazone. This works to our knowledge by an attack-fleet with supplies and ground forces stationed in a strategic port with infrastructure. Frigates, Brigs and even Sloops are the communication and scouting ships. Also they tried to break and harass enemy trading and supplies routes. When hostile forces were discovered invading and interfering in an area, usually major battles on open sea would follow to establish naval superiority over that area, or sea region/zone. If the invading navy won these battles and established a military advantage, this would open up the land installations, ports and territories in that area for invasion and conquest, often by the establishing of blockades of big harbours. Currently in Naval Action, ports change hands in a rapid pace. Nations can attack one day on one front, and then leave it undefended - or defended only by an impossible timer - the next day while they concentrate on another flank. This way lots of ports change hands uncontested one day, and then back the next day. It is a race not of winning PvP battles, but about who is able to bring flags and organise the capture of the most undefended ports. So, who is the fastest nations at defeating AI defences? Only when invading another nation’s immediate home waters, next to their capital, can you expect some PvP over those ports. Though even then it is much easier for the invaded nation to let the invader capture a lot of ports, and then take multiple flags from the capital the next days and because of the short distance capture the ports before the enemy even has time to sail there and defend. Moreover it leads to forces sitting and waiting to defend in a geographically important port, for an attack that never happens, often by a fake flag, while the enemy captures all surrounding ports without defence. This is not the way to good PvP and big battles in Naval Action. Even if this game grew to player numbers where nations beside Great Britain and Pirates could field enough forces to defend multiple ports simultaneously, it would only mean half or more of the forces would be waiting in futility for a battle that never happened. Players eventually tire of this. PvP and big (or small) battles between combat ships should be the goal of this game, a lot more than real time strategy and the clamour for holding the most ports. Yet if the strategy element is implemented correctly, it would facilitate PvP. The timers that were implemented do not alone work to ensure defended port battles. Probably 70% of ports which change hands every day in this game are undefended. So we wish to offer a suggestion for how to ensure more PvP and more meaningful port captures in this game. Based on the historical idea of maps divided into strategical regions to be controlled by a nation seeking naval superiority and to support conquest: The idea behind our suggestion comes from looking at a German U-boat coordinating system for the Atlantic. Working from the coordinate map as an example, we can think of the navigation zones as map regions to control: As you can see the map is divided into square regions named with letters (CC, CD, CE etc.), and each region is divided into 9 smaller squares. If you think of this in terms of conquest rather than navigation, to control the region you have to control the 9 zones. So what if we copied this idea onto the Naval Action map? -Some sort of grid system like the German one could be added onto the Naval Action map. -The size of each region should be carefully considered, and it could possibly vary from region to region. Let’s say somewhere between 3 and 7 ports in each region. Each region should have one regional capital - because it makes sense and to have somewhere for the controlling nation to store ships of the line in preparation to defend. This is just an example to illustrate: -Say a nation wants to conquer a region. They first need to establish naval superiority in this region. This is done by a show of force between the fleets of the nations contesting the area. Sort of a Trafalgar battle in open sea. The invading nation buys a flag, or in some other manner announces 24 hours ahead that they intend to invade. To add another layer to this, the opportunity to buy this flag could be only achieved by accomplishing certain missions in advance, like raiding trade routes, scouting, and fighting open world PvP in the area in question in advance. Once these prerequisites has been fulfilled, the invader can buy a flag, which announces to the current possessor, and the entire server, that they are moving into that area. 24 hours later, both sides can have their fleets ready, and somewhere in the middle of the contested region there is a generated event (with crossed swords above the sea) that both forces need to enter within the timeframe to initiate the battle. Say these crosses appear and are open for 2 hours, and in those 2 hours the forces have to enter. By the end of those 2 hours, or at an assigned time, the battle starts. The fact that the battle happens in the middle of the region held by the defender gives the invading forces a disadvantage, as they can be picked off and intercepted on their way to the battle. -In this open water Trafalgar style epic battle, where both nations have had the time to organise 25 players for the battle, every size of ship is allowed (except if some regions are made entirely shallow water, i.e in the cays, in the Bahamas, etc), including 1st rates. -If the defending nation wins this big battle for superiority, then the invader has to withdraw their forces for a while. The defender has established their naval superiority and the region cannot be invaded by the same enemy nation for a set number of days. Say 7 days. After this period, the enemy may again start doing missions in the area, which if successful opens up the opportunity to buy a flag for the region. -If the attacker wins, they have established naval superiority in the area and destroyed the enemy fleet. But they have not yet conquered the entire region in question. The ports in this region are now open for the invader to raid, assault, blockade and/or conquer. This opportunity is held for as long as the naval superiority is held by the invader. This could also be set to 7 days. So over the next 7 days the invading nation has to attempt to conquer all of the ports in that region. These ports would be shallow ports and deep ports like now, with 6th rates and 4th rates maximum in the Port Battles respectively. By capturing these ports the supply lines to the regional capital is cut off and it is weakened sufficiently to be assaulted. In the fight for the regional capital all ship sizes would again be allowed. -While the conquest goes on, the ports in the region are marked as contested from when they are captured by the invader. This still gives the nation holding them some time to evacuate their assets from those ports before warships and production is locked down. If the attacker captures all ports within the region after establishing naval superiority, including the regional capital as the last one, the region switches ownership to the new nation. Possibly there would be a mechanic that for 7 days after being captured it cannot be assaulted again, either by the nation that lost it nor any other nation. -If the attacker does not manage to capture all ports within 7 days, their conquest has failed, the region and any contested ports are reset to the defending nation, and the offensive nation has to establish again a new invasion from scratch. This would be realistic and historical, as the supply lines of the nation on the offensive would be stretched, and supplies would not last long enough for a nation to keep the conquest going if they were denied a decisive victory for long enough. Further details to consider implementing with this system are: That the attacker, when the “Trafalgar-battle” is done and naval superiority is established, can set the attack timer for the ports in the region. Meaning there are defence timers like today except they are set by the attacker, letting the defending nation know in which timeframe their ports in the contested region will be under assault. That when a nation has successfully conquered a region, all players of that nation gets an active bonus for some days, like increased XP gain by some percentage, better prices from production building/NPCs/etc in the conquered region, very cheap prices on a resource produced in that region, simply a visual bonus like a flag on their ship, or something else. It could also be considered that a nation fighting to defend a region could have some very slight bonus to the morale of their men due to being closer to their supply lines and so on. Tl;dr -Divide map into regions/sea zones -Trafalgar style epic battle to initiate conquest of a region -Capture all other ports in a region to allow assault on regional capital -If regional capital isn’t captured within 7 days from start of conquest, defender keeps the region. Thank you for reading, and thank for this fantastic game! PVP1, Danish Kontreadmirals Bartas11 [VIE] Anolytic [RDNN]
  2. Having thought of port battles, I just thought "How could port battles be more attractive for the casual gamer"? Imagine, you have a job and kids, have a spare 2-3 hours per evening, might be more flexible on weekends, how could you ever enjoy this game? Well, having experienced "empty port battles" (including sailing there for 2 hours) I decided never to do it again. How could I be assure that there is a meaningful port battle (or other form of PvP') for me on a Saturday evening? Log in every weekend, ("hey, clan leader, any port battles tonight?"...."Eh, no not tonight...maybe tomorrow, but not sure...but we could do some PvP...or XP fleet") One solution might be: - players can qualify somehow for port battles (for instance, contests for regional capitals) by sinking AI fleets of the enemy, capturing traders or doing PvP - some port battles are "announced", so it is for sure that there will be a port battle at that specific time and you might qualify or pay for a spot to be in there (not unrealistic, as big ship battles had been well known to happen days before) - only the "best" might qualify to go in port battles for regional capitals, making it real PvP and this could be broadcasted, I´d really like to attend those broadcasts and watch my "nation" to fight for The problem with "screening fleets", hmmm, I have no solution right now. I think, intelligent game design could bring better gameplay then buying 4 flags at the same time, misleading the enemy and then sheer numbers decide. I believe, good gaming is also about the "quality of the players". I am not saying I am in it, guess I am too old for this. But I´d like to watch it (thinking of the old Starcraft 1 tournaments) and then tell my boys later on what all went wrong.. I think, one could implement it for a certain amount of ports. What do you think? And please, don´t answer this question (Imagine, you have a job and kids, have a spare 2-3 hours per evening, might be more flexible on weekends, how could you ever enjoy this game?) with "don´t play this game then".
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