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  1. I see it like this: PROBLEM1 New players (and the more casual players) get "ganked," "seal-clubbed," or otherwise sunk by an enemy(s) and leave the game. Population drops, there are less targets for hunters, hunters begin to leave the game, we have a "dead server" (or one where PvP can only be found by those who already know where it is [clan affiliations, experience, etc.], and not the average player). SOLUTION1 Safe Zones!! Big protected areas where you can call in the mega bot fleet as soon as the battle starts to save you from the certain loss of your Insert random ship here to my paper-thin hunting Endymion. Sailing in these waters is almost guaranteed safety. That kind of works, but introduces... PROBLEM2! The majority of players won't leave the safe zones. And why should they when they can get every resource and do all their missions right outside their capital. Talk to players and I bet you'll hear a story similar to this: I haven't left the safe zone alone for any reason since the map-wipe except to hunt PvP, set up PvP outposts, or to sail to my alt's outpost (about 20 minutes from my main character's capital). I have no reason to leave the safe zone other than those or some clan-affiliated action. Think about it: I can get every resource that I need right there in the protected zone, or else from my alt; I can do all the combat missions I would want to right there as well, why leave it? To be a target for some other PvPer? No way, I like to be the hunter not the hunted, I will go out of my way to not be a target for enemies any more than I have to be. This causes an equally bad problem: PvP goes down, player population goes down, hunters stop playing, we might as well re-name the server PvP light (mostly PvE but some PvP occasionally). OVERALL SOLUTION Maybe its been suggested before or maybe it hasn't (I don't recall seeing it yet, but if you came up with it before me, say something so I can give credit where credit is due), but here is my suggestion to fix the problem. Assume all other ROE stay the same (3 minute join, invisibility, cooldowns, etc.) BR-based reinforcements in the safe-zone: If you are the defender in your home safe-zone (did not press "attack") and you have less than 1.5x the BR of your attacker, you can call in AI reinforcements to give you up to 1.5x the BR of the attacker. You can only call those reinforcements after 3 minutes and the battle is closed, preventing teammates from joining your side, but no later than 4 minutes into the battle (so you have a 1 minute opportunity to call AI reinforcements). This gives defenders a chance to call on AI to help them if their fellow captains cannot assist them in time, but it still encourages players to sail with others so that you aren't working with a 1.5x BR AI limitation in the battle. If you are the attacker in your home safe zone (you pressed "attack") you do not get any AI reinforcements, no matter what the BR is. If you cannot fight that enemy, then you should not be attacking it. The Admiralty frowns upon incompetence and does not intend to supply you with a fleet to attack enemies near your capital. AI reinforcements are for defensive purposes of weaker targets only. If you are the defender in your home waters (did not press attack) and you have more than 1.5x the BR of your attacker, you cannot call in AI reinforcements. The Admiralty frowns upon incompetence. AI reinforcements are for defensive purposes of weaker targets only, and the Admiralty hopes that you can handle a ship that you out-rate by more than 1.5x BR. Lets see a few examples of this: Pirate in Surprise at Charleston (US): 140 BR attacks US in Endymion 225 BR. No reinforcement available, since the Endymion has more than 210 BR (1.5x the BR of the Surprise). Pirate in Surprise at Port Royale (GB): 140 BR attacks GB in Trader's Brig 10 BR. 200 BR of reinforcements available to the British captain, since 210 BR - 10 BR = 200 BR (the difference between the defender's BR and 1.5x the attacker's BR). In this case, the British skipper may get any combination of ships (AI gets to decide by using the lowest number [therefore, largest ships] of ships that will reach that BR [maybe there can be some kind of allowance for + or - 10 BR either way on the AI reinforcements, with the decision being made by using the least number, but largest size of AI ship that will fit the requirement]) that add to 200 BR. In this instance, he would get an Essex and a Lynx (180+20BR). Pirate in Surprise 140 BR attacks French Bellona 400 BR in the Mortimer Protected zone (Pirate). No reinforcements available: don't attack what you cannot fight and then expect the admiralty to save you. With that system: You protect the defenders in their home waters (as long as they are in a ship that needs additional protecting from their attacker). You allow the attackers to still have their PvP if they are a bit more cautious. You encourage players to work together and help each other out, but provide protection for when they don't (most people would prefer to have unlimited player reinforcements jump in within that 3 minute time that the battle is open rather than deal with the "creative" AI on their side). You prevent the griefing that would arise if a home-waters captain could use a smaller ship to tag a larger enemy in the protected zones and call on AI reinforcements to waste the hunter's time. You discourage the PvP hunters from attacking new players because those new players can call on heavy reinforcements to combat their attackers. Possible tweaks: if 1.5x BR proves too little, or too much BR, then it may need adjusting. I think the "sweet spot" would be between 1.5x BR and 2x BR of the attacker. I'm sure there are a lot of threads about this, I've read a few of them, but I don't recall seeing a suggestion quite like this. Lets try to keep this thread civil and not start calling each other noobs or "bad at the game because you can't handle AI" or "killing the game because you PvP near capitals" or anything like that. I have noticed that quite a few of these combat mechanics suggestions regarding PvP near capitals often devolve to that kind of discussion. Lets do our best to avoid that in this discussion. Thoughts?
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