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  1. I know devs are dealing with NPC behavior and intend to teach them "new tricks". I applaud to anything on that field, if even present NPC act very convincingly at times. We are used to call AI "dumb" in the tradition of three decades full of examples given by game industry history, but the NPC in Naval Action are quite an exception which makes hope for the future. Still, we can shape their behavior for more human likeliness. Fleeing is a reasonable human reaction when things go wrong and the opponent is stronger. We have traders fleeing per definition, which seems right. But what about war ships which are apparently outgunned and outclassed? Why do they always fight till death when any sane mind as captain would disengage and retreat? So what I ask for is: (1) Diversity. There would be warship captains always willing to fight, even larger vessels (of players), like now. But there would be a percentage which would turn and attempt to run. The bigger the difference in class to player ship, the higher the percentage of a random decision taken in favor of flight. (2) Situation-related switches. A NPC captain who was bold enough to fight us, even if he commands only a frigate and we have a 3-decker, would realize the odds are strongly against him, after receiving 2 - 3 broadsides and realizing his hull armor is done for. So introduce a (still random) decision by AI to break off the fight when it becomes pointless and threatening for their ship. They will turn away and attempt to flee. (3) Numbers matter. The strength in numbers in a NPC fleet could be of significance. People who see themselves as part of a group act more courageous than when being alone. Obvious why - chances are simply higher for a crowd, every wolfpack knows this. So larger NPC fleets should show more courage than little flotillas or solo ships when facing players. Means, the decision to switch to flight attempt is less likely to happen among bigger groups, except when odds are really hopeless (fleet of 7th rates against bunch of lineships). NPC are also proud captains, they fear being called cowards by their colleagues. But after you sank half of them, their assessment of the situation should somehow change and a retreat being ordered. -- Now players will most likely whine they want easy targets and no more NPC running away, as it is harder to sink them then. On the other side, the challenge is higher and the fight more enjoyable if you don't face suicidal squads but more appropriate human-like behavior. Also human player fleets need then new compositions. Not only heavy-weight brawlers hitting suicide applicants, but a mix of tanks and fast chasers (like it is done on the PvP side of heaven), where the accompanying hunter frigates chase the fleeing opponents and try to keep them in battle (shooting sails, tagging, maybe destroying them by themselves when they are strong enough). So more versatile NPC behavior including decisions to retreat creates more tactical fleet composition, other than the usual group of x L'Oceans, and decisions in battle on players' side. Like registering when a NPC decides to run away and what to do as response. In the sum, more interesting fights than just "sealclubbing" small fry NPC. -- Like most of my late proposals, this suggestion mainly is directed to PvE Peace Server environment. I leave it to others to think about how this would work out on PvP War Server.
  2. Purpose of this suggestion: No restrictions on side of clan who organizes hostility mission or port battle, regarding who is participating in their conquest activities. After all, players of different nations are not seen as enemies here. That should reflect in the choices we have in teaming up. We should find agreements with them and enter them in our list of allowed participants of hostility missions and port battles (right now it is still possible to join into hostility missions but we have a thread in support section which talks about ending this by decision of admin, due to exploits on both servers). That means: - clan can invite ANYONE who is asking to a group which does hostility mission or enters port battle against Neutrals. Also foreign captains, who adapt his flag, just like in OW battles. This way large instruments of help are opened, or contract options, mercenary services, whatever people invent. The power of a few major clans will get shattered, who are now dividing up most of the map among themselves. That ends: - restrictions of admission to clan, clan friendlist, fellow nationals. Which is the reason small clans have no chance to get a port as long as they don't agree to terms of a big clan, in exchange of help. A great way to dictate conditions to small clans or abuse them anytime as big clan sees fit. That also prevents: - abuse by alts of hostile factions, because they still stay outside. YOU will be personally responsible WHOM you invite into the event. When you have been fooled, next time don't allow him to join. It's pretty much the same responsibilty which is on you when inviting people into clan and giving them rights over the inventory. -- With access for small clans to other human resources than what major clans and their "alliance system" may have to offer, competition for same major clans will increase. The field of conquest will less likely given to them exclusively. Effect is more diversity on the map, less power to major clans, more freedom to small clans. Or just a better negotiation standpoint for them, as they may anytime call cooperation with the big ones off and seek assistance somewhere else, if this suggestion of opening up their teaming options would come true. Offenders will be singled out individually, as they will get known by name. It will be micromanagement on a personal level and not much room left for foul play. But then you would have to ask yourself how you could be duped to invite them in your group list, in the first place. No blame on game mechanism possible.
  3. OK I get it. Devs don't want international cooperation in Port Battles on Peace Server. Either it is a holy cow that PB should only allow nationals and their befriended clans, or it's the standard argument "but the alts" which ruin the idea. We have stressed often enough the fate of small nations or small clans, or the combination of both (sic!) namely Poland, Russia, Prussia, when they cannot defend against 21 neutral ships attacking their ports, if... IF THEY EVER WERE ABLE TO CONQUER ONE AT ALL, in the first place. So we are reduced to small numbers in PB. But what about the attacking NE fleet [raiders], could they not be stopped in open world? - Nice try. I have done the effort and positioned myself next to a port owned by national AI which was to be attacked by NE attack fleet. We saw nobody coming. Suddenly at the appointed time, the crossed swords appeared in front of port and the battle was (mathematically) waging: 21 attackers versus zero defenders (!). Suppose the same come when this port would be in human hands. What will Poles do, when they have maybe 5 people of various rank available, if at all? But there is a solution. Or at least a hope. This suggestion. It's rather simple. I don't think big deal in programming but would be so much help. We know from PvP War Server Port Battles the custom of setting up a screen fleet which tries to take out as many attackers as possible before they reach the port. Often this is done by befriended nations or at least some befriended clans in other nations who sent an auxiliary force. Nice. But why not the same on PvE Peace Server? You don't allow us international cooperation in Port Battles, so allow us international cooperation in screen! For this you have only to change one thing: don't let NE attackers miraculously spawn in one math calculation at port, but let them spawn physically at some distance from port in OW and let them sail to their destination, so any players can attack them. Yes, any player. Defender nation or international supporters they have summoned. Like it is possible in any OW battle. Fact that NE are neutrals even does not exclude a single faction. So allied forces do the screen battle and what comes through nevertheless the national defenders in Port Battle will have to deal with. Problem solved. Theoretically now EVERY LITTLE NATION or clans without friends can defend their ports, asking other nationals for help. If all will be coming, is another question. Leave that to diplomacy.
  4. After the success of our "Impossible Gunboat Mission" contest in may 2019, of which a second will be planned for sometime later this year, French clan 'MDRA' is proud to present a new type of contest for players on PvE Peace Server. This time it is: "Light my Fire!" (Painting "Fireships on the Hudson River" by Geoff Hunt. A scene from the American War of Independence, 1776.) As you can guess or read in the headline, this is for fireships. This first time 4-5th rate fireships, to be precise. Players can take part with a 4-5th rate ship of their choice, if equipped with fireship upgrade or not is also their choice, we will not demand it, but it certainly will help you fulfill your task as fireship and make you burn or explode as intended. The admission fee for this event is 5000 doubloons and 10 combat medals, paid in advance to Cetric, Comte de Cornusiac, the organizer of this event on behalf of His Majesty's French Navy. After having paid your name will be listed in this thread as acknowledged participant. If you show up or not, is your responsibility and does not entitle you to ask back the fee in case you don't. We will search and attack a target NPC fleet of similar size like the group of contestants signing up, presumably in Dutch waters around Willemstad and against Dutch NPC. This unfortunately means Dutch players this time cannot take part. You score points on enemy ships by either putting it aflame by your own ship or your cannonfire, or by damaging it by your explosion, or by destroying the enemy ship by your explosion. Multiple scoring is possible (fire + fire, fire + damage, fire + sinking) across several targets. Setting in flames, damaging by explosion and sinking by explosion are scoring differently and in increasing rewards. But be careful with using cannons: ships sunk by cannonfire will not bring you score (only when they burn) and in fact it will be disadvantageous for you to sink a ship thereby, because you are depriving yourself and the others of a target for other methods which will indeed score. Your composition of guns, their number, their use of ammunition type is unrestricted. You may even go without any guns at all, but that means no inflamation by cannonfire will be possible and you harder get the attention of NPC. The choice of your tactics is yours. Scoring: (1) Each ship being set aflame by your ship earns you 10 points multiplied by remaining minutes of the battle countdown timer. (2) A ship being damaged by your ship exploding earns you 15 points multiplied by remaining minutes of battle countdown timer. (3) A ship being sunk by your ship exploding earns you 25 points multiplied by remaining minutes of battle countdown timer. Double BR of that sunk ship is added to score. Any combination of scoring methods is possible. A survival of your fireship is not producing any points, in fact fireships are planned to be lost in action. If you try to reach a top score, the best way is possibly to set more than one NPC ship aflame BUT avoid own explosion until the very last time, but then explode into the face of a big ship and hopefully sink it thereby. The sooner the better (battle countdown is influencing score). Each contestant has to run a video recording* of his performance as to prove his scoring. In that video you are obliged to hit the battle result screen (tab) each time you think you have scored by having caused a fire or damage by explosion, so the count of damage shows up in the footage. Video material has to be handed over to organizer for calculating the score. No video cutting and editing is allowed of evidence material. It may get published in this thread and you consent to that by giving to event organization. Prizes: Player with highest score will receive 50 % of all doubloons and combat medals collected from participants. Player ranking second in score will receive 33 % of all doubloons and combat medals collected from participants. Player ranking third in score will receive 17 % of all doubloons and combat medals collected from participants. Special prizes are possibly being added by donations, as specified in following posts, and add up to the assured prize. Contest organization will hold back nothing for themselves. -- Admitted players will learn about a meeting point where to assemble the fleet on sep 21st, 2019, scheduled for 3 hours after maintenance of server on that day. From there, the fleet will search an appropriate target of Dutch nationality, and event organizer will initiate battle where everyone is supposed to follow into. You only bring a single ship and no fleet ship with you. Signed: For 'MDRA', Marine du Domaine Royal aux Antilles, Cetric, Comte de Cornusiac By order of the King. *you may use open source free video recording software, such as OBS studio.
  5. It has been stated before: the Idea of "consensual duel" is very popular on PvE Peace Server, given the precondition players still stay safe all the time in open world. Or else it would not be PvE Peace Server, the place to enjoy "calm, tranquility, relaxation", any more. Some players resent the idea of consensual duel or NPC being entitled to become aggressive and attack them when AI smells a chance of success. I was looking forward to the latter, but as this part of admin's announcement has been crossed out, it seems it will not get implemented. Or maybe it could, while everybody is kept happy? In the first place, those dissenters need to be assured they won't get bothered by attacks they don't want. So this asks for a switch. A switch would have to be installed in game settings which regulates two things: (a) On/Off settings for being able to be asked by other nationals for a duel in OW. They still can decline the offer and nothing will happen (cool-down time ten minutes). (b) On/Off settings for NPC enemy either seeing this player as a viable target in OW for aggression or ignoring him completely. -- I can further imagine the 'consensual duel' setting being diversified for a sub-option, which determines whether this duel will be fought by this player with all bloody consequences (you can lose your ship by getting sunk or captured by your opponent) or it will be mock duels with ships staying intact afterwards, like in tournaments we had. With this sub-option, it becomes necessary to give two infos about this player in OW encounters: if he is open for duel and if he had chosen full duel risk in his settings. Simple: a red crossed pistols/swords symbol or a white crossed pistol/swords symbol in one corner of his sighting window for risk, or no risk involved. A player will only be able to duel other nationals who chose the same setting. For example, a player with a white crossed pistol/swords symbol (no risk) will not be able to fight another with a red symbol. In addition we can agree on nationals of the same side (like two Frenchmen) only being able to do white crossed pistol/swords duels. Even if one of them or both have the red symbol set, their OW duel agreements still will be executed following the rules for risk-free, damage-free, non-capturable fights. Maybe exclude pirates for their lawless scum life conditions . Let's not forget: even with a red full risk symbol set you can decline the duel. Nobody is being forced. Make this consensual duel on PvE Peace Server so, that battle immediately closes and nobody else can enter, also no group. It is a duel, not a fleet battle. -- Meanwhile, the setting for NPC aggression regulates your general safety in Open World. Afk sailing will be possible with aggression being set to off and no attack will happen, player stays invisible to NPC fleets, while he still can initiate combat from his side as always. However, if you set your account to aggressive NPC, you have to look out for stronger NPC formations of other nations which see you as weak enough to try an attack. What would be nice is, if they capture your ship during their attack, it will not disappear after battle but really get incorporated into that NPC flotilla, so players can try to capture it back later (have it repaired by AI and crewed up after battle so it is not too weak in next battle), until next maintenance when all NPC traffic will be reset and the captured ex-player-ship will finally disappear and cannot get retrieved any more. -- To spice the whole thing up a bit, a duel leaderboard on PvE Peace Server would record the outcome of duels and do an evaluation of the battle performance. If duels would get announced like a few days or weeks before, in form of an "scheduled" entry on that board, other players could even bet who will win and who will lose, with effects on their bid (losing it or winning a profit). For the PvP War Server community: all this helps train unexperienced PvE players in fighting players without forcing them to leave the server, so you may hope they like it so much you later will see them enter your ganker's world more likely. All others have more fun on PvE Peace Server while peace is preserved at all times. Nobody will unwillingly see a disadvantage, because if he does, he has agreed to it by having set the preconditions himself.
  6. So I read yesterday here "PvE (peace server) is boring/stupid". Which it isn't, when you are inside and know by own experience. One of the factors assuring this has ceased to exist with the big patch. Fleets are no longer 1+24 size (large or medium ships), now maximum we observe is 1+10. Fun as seen in attached images. The French Faction on PvE hereby asks devs to bring back the superlarge fleets (all others are fine) as they served so well for clans going out on the hunt together. They were inviting independents like me to participate. Now no more, as 11 is just enough to serve the clan members exclusively. I am confident the situation is similar in other nations on PvE and you from those other PvE Peace server nations are invited to express your feelings here, too, if you want 25 ship fleets back in OW. -- Le Nerval and others also want to use other means to contact devs about this, but I think a forum suggestion post is the best way.
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