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NATION INFLUENCE MECHANICS Balancing the Conquest Hi Devs, First of all I would like to congratulate you on the astonishing achievement you have done so far! We have dreamed of this game, open world, naval battles and the era… Thank you! Your game is truly amazing! Please forgive me for the comments below as I’m not telling you how to make your game. But we are your players. We are here, playing and testing the unfinished game because we care. We want to help you to shape it in the perfect game blockbuster on par with those titles out there that have millions of player base. Speaking from MMO experience Alliance-War is too linear for player driven politics. You also have nations that right now mean very little, and you have player clans that mean even less. Voting: Forcing people to do something (like voting) is generally a bad idea and sooner or later you will walk away from this model. When you announced the voting system we have already start working on how to exploit this to our advantage. Democracy or voting will not work on public level. Nation’s clans will start working together and forming alliances behind the vote system. Clan leadership will decide who they are going to be allied with and tell their players to give their votes where its needed. This is what going to happen and if some players will disagree they will be kicked from the clan. Why not give the tools to clan leadership anyway? My proposal is (if you going to keep this system) if player is in the clan, then he has no vote - clan leader decides on their behalf, if player is without the clan then he votes personally. If clan leader is being a douchebag, set vote against the will of the majority and players of the clan disapprove they will leave the clan and form new one. It will sort itself out. However I’m all against this system and here is why... Food for thought on current politics system: IMO, you are working on politics way too early. We need more reasons what to fight for. There is really only one reason so far - the territory, but it's flawed because of its simplicity and lack of tools. There is no other reason really to control territory other than to annoy your enemy. Also The Caribbean is a very small territory. With current game mechanics its easily covered by 150 people that are online and its already feels tight. What is it going to be like when you have 5k people population on the server? Free Ports will be camped and become bottlenecks of the game life. Also the War on Nation level should last for months not days. The alternative: What about Nation influenced territory and Clan controlled ports that are driven by clan’s actions and Nation influence. Clans can only control ports that have enough of their nation’s influence. The Influence: All clans contribute to their Nation’s influence through their gameplay (wealth, production, conquered territory, but also by reducing your enemy influence in the area will increase your nation's influence in the area). Each Nation have capital and 2 other key ports (3 in total) with Influence level 5 (max), which means it can’t be caped. Those ports have everything they need to survive, craft and produce, but in limited numbers as its overpopulated.. The further away the territory from the capital the less influence point it has of that nation and harder to control, but the richer the resources and faster production and other boogie woogie bonuses you might think of. The lowest is 0 influence. No ports can be set there by the nation if it has 0 influence there and all ports will be lost if influence drops to 0. The higher the influence of the nation the higher NPC defence. Distant territories require lots of work to increase influence to setup let alone hold territory. NPC defence tools: Higher influence allows to build higher level port strength, have more powerful cannons, have larger amount and ship size of NPC ships that patrol the area. The further away from the capital the harder it is to keep the influencer level, which means less defence tools available. Those ports will mainly be protected by the players themselves. Best resources and production bonuses should be in those distant territories. If you are an enemy NPC port patrol will try to chase you and sink when seeing you on the horizon. Nation and Clan politics: On Developer level (Game Master - GM) you need to be able to influence politics to be able to keep balance in the game. The nation's relationship needs to be controlled by GM. The Governors of the New World of the Caribbean's did not decide whether they are at war or in alliance with other nations. They were simply told by the rulers in Europe. Situation in Europe decided for them. GMs needs to be those “rulers in Europe”. So, GM must be in control of the politics on the nation level. This also give you the ability to bring deeper storyline to the gameplay through monthly or quarterly patches that brings news story, new nation relationships etc. Nation standings (set by GM through the storyline and 3-4 month updates): 1. Alliance (nation) - as per above your post, can enter ports , attacking give gruesome consequences, can assist in battles as long as the enemy is not an ally or at peace. Attacking an ally will flag you as crim for 24 hours and give some crim points. Sinking, caping, stealing cargo will increase those crim points. Ports that have high enough influence of your nation will have NPC patrol of your own nation chasing you while you are marked as a crim for 24 hours or when you get enough crim points and become a proper crim. Must pay fine or NPC patrols will keep sinking you until you lose equivalent in ship costs etc. Being a crim makes you a fair target to anyone. 2. Peace (nation) - can enter ports, can’t attack, can’t assist. Attacking another player that is in peace with your nation will also mark as a crim for 3 hours and give crim points, but not as much as when attacking an ally. Free-trade rules applied in relationship of trading. 3. Neutral (nation) - to enter ports must buy trade licence for each specific port to enter (expires weekly). Can’t assist. Attacking neutral player will not mark as crim, but give same amount of crim points as attacking player at peace. Accumulating enough crim points will flag as a crim permanently until fines are paid or you’ve been sunk enough. 4. Free Trade (nation) - same as Neutral, but no trade licence is needed and no ports fees paid. 5. De Facto or Pre-War (nation) - state that reflects relationship between the two states in practice, but not necessarily ordained by law. Can attack, Can’t assist. Can’t enter ports - has trade embargo on trade goods delivered from ports of Nation in Pre-war state unless flagged as contraband. Attacking will not flag as crim or give crim points. Taking cargo from Pre-War nation doesn’t flag it as stolen and can be traded without discounts to NPC. 6. War (nation) - can’t enter, can’t assist. Attacking and sinking gives glory points to player, reduce influence points of the enemy and gives influence points to your own state. Caped cargo traded normally as Pre-War. This system, controlled by GM will control player behavior in general and naturally influence gameplay balance where its needed through continues game progression and further relationships built or destroyed. Clan politics: Players must be in control of their clan diplomacy against other clans (not nations). Clan standings against each other are also driven by Nation’s Diplomatic standings, but in some cases can be overruled by clan’s standings. For example the fight between two clans from different allied nations over a territory is still possible if clans declare war. Declaring war is like buying a flag and lasts for 7 days making clans at war a fair target to each other. Example: France and England are allies, but French clan A declares war on English clan B and despite that two nations are allies in general these two clans can freely attack each other for 7 days and are treated as if they would have been at war on nation level. Clan standings are set by clan’s diplomats and used as a diplomacy tool only, while Nation standing still apply. Example: France and Holland are at war, however diplomats from French clan A and Dutch clan C decided not to attack each other despite that their nations are currently at war. They both have set their standings against each other’s clan as a Peace. This makes their clan members to see Peace flag on their ships when they meet out in sea. Attacking them will have normal consequences designed by politics mechanics and current political state between France and Holland (War), however this might bring a tension between the two clans or maybe even punishment from your own clan for attacking an ally. This system has multiple flows, which can easily be flowed by having enough alts in the opposite faction allowing significant influence on voting in favor of one faction and on GM level you can’t even control this. Pirates Because pirates are not a nation, a pirate character (born or made through gameplay) should have nationality. Pirates is a faction that has various pirate professions or types of activity. Profession is picked at any free port much like current smuggler tag and gives specific to this profession bonuses and has 24 hour cooldown before another profession can be picked. Filibusters - in service of no one they free roaming the sea. True to their name they hunt lone traders, trade caravans and even military fleets. You can become a pirate or born a pirate (same as now). Picking up this profession flags you as fair target to everyone. Filibuster gets bonuses in exploration, ship speed and maneuverability in the open and in battle. Corsair or privateer - in the service of a specific nation. Letter of Marque gives them license to kill a particular enemy nation. His black flag will be accompanied with the flag of nation he serves. For each player ship sunk corsair receives payment from the crown. Corsairs can also be hired by player clans to help them fight other clan. Corsair is treated as a member of the nation where he received the Letter of Marque until it’s expired. Note: This profession can also be picked by a member of any nation without becoming an actual pirate. Head hunter - if there is a bounty on someone’s head Headhunter can take the job and claim the prize. This does not apply when the prize is for another pirate’s head. Headhunter is able to track his target down, pinpointing his location on the map Raider - a pirate who is set to attack and plunder settlements. Receives extra rewards in successful capture. The are no Neutral ports. There are only Free Settlements that claimed freedom from the crown and answer to no other nation. Because of that they are a welcome refuge for any pirate. Because Pirates are not a nation, but a faction they cannot claim any ports. Instead they have access to any free port that cannot be captured. Pirates make leaving through combat in the open sea, capturing traders and raiding ports for plunder. They also have easier access to rare “treasures” such as Pearls, lost Crowns etc. All that allows them to buy necessary resources to cover their ship expenses. Using a network of smugglers they are able to secretly trade with all nations. Pirate faction also has their own influence just like the other nations. Higher level of influence allow them to enter more Free Settlements and have there better prices. The Map Right now travel is done in two phases. Long and annoying sail to a destination, then a “save” of location through creation of outpost and fast travel. Sooner or later we have a nation or a faction that covers the entire map and can zip around real fast. Massive sea space becomes very little as life is now based around those Free Ports. Access is everything. It determines the value of the ports. Those ports that are closest to the free ports are valued more than the others. With the proposed Influence System there will be a zones that are harder to conquer, but have better resources and productions. This will make larger points of interest that attracts players so you don’t have to roam around for hours to find targets or any other p2p activities. ---------------- Other little things that would make this game a real pearl. 1. F2P will always attract more player base, but we do understand that you need to make revenue. Game could sell things that don’t have impact on the combat efficiency, so players who spends lots real money won't be in advantage. Instead Naval Action Store (NAS) could sell customization items for the ship and your character. Needless to say that all customization needs to be within the spirit of time. You can sell for real money even ship customization slots for each ship. For example one slot can allow you to customize sails, another name of the ship. All customization is bound to a specific ship and gets destroyed when the ship losses last dura. 2. Identification in the open sea. Simply clicking on the target is easy… too easy. Would be nice to have a spyglass that gives you the information of the ship you are looking at. The information received and the maximum distance is determined by the quality of the spyglass. Besides you could sell in the NAS componentry for decent spyglass. Among the current information we get from selecting the target the good spyglass should tell the speed of the ship and the quality. While looking at the ship through spyglass the assessment bar is filling in. It could take some time for the bar to fill in completely and to “assess” the ship. Once done you should be able to see more details such as how many dura left, upgrades installed etc. At the end of the day those things would have been visible in RL. Maybe even create Assessment Perk that will allow you to assess ships faster. Lots of cool food for thought 3. NPC trade caravans as mission for Pirates. Takes cooperation and lots of pirates to take on fully protected caravan, but rewards are also great. 4. Port battles done vs actual forts on land 5. One of a must have customization is a ship name and various designs of the carving that can be applied to display given name 6. Nation flag on the ship in the open sea. It is much better to look through spyglass and try to recognise the flag of the ship that is chasing you instead of simply clicking on the ship and get the lazy info. 7. Trader’s Network (TN) aka auction house. If you really want to drive player economy this is a must have. Make it more interesting. In order to get the info player needs to buy and maintain pigeon post. TN does allow you to buy remotely and place delivery contract so other players can pick it up and deliver anywhere you required. This promotes player trading, smuggling, and of course piracy. I can probably think of another 2-3 dozen of things but you get my drift. ------------------ More than happy to discuss in private all of the above if you decide you want to use any of these ideas. Im off to hunt me some traders. Yarrr! [bLACK] Koltes