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TL;DR - I propose Labor Hours become "Real Hours" or "Real Time" in that we do away with Labor Hour generation in-game and instead setup functions where you want X to be built or extracted. So it'll take Y time to finish (i.e. I want a lynx to be built, it takes 32 minutes to finish a Lynx being built. so When I click "create," 32 minutes later a Lynx will be finished and I can then "finish the job" and bring it into my shipyard.) How Crafting and Resource extraction is currently setup In order to Craft or take resources out of a building you need to wait until you have the required amount of labor hours. Labor hours generate at a rate of roughly 42 labor hours fr every hour. I am proposing that we get rid of labor hours and in it's place we add "real time." This would very much be similar to how you craft ships and materials in Eve Online. Explained further below. In Eve Online, there IS NOT a labor hour limit, but there IS a limit to how fast things can be created. Something as small as a Frigate in Eve Online could take 20 minutes to finish building, whereas a Super-Carrier or Titan can take 2-4 Months of real time to finish being produced. I propose that a player should be able extract resources from a building whenever they want and however much they want BUT it would take time to do so. similar to an assignment you may hire a contractor to re-model your kitchen or bathroom and they would come back saying "it should take about 2 weeks." FOR BUILDINGS every resources would have an "extraction rate" for example, for ever REAL hour spent in life, you would be able to extract 200 Iron Ore from an iron ore building. You may only have 1 Job running per Building you own (so you cannot have 5 different jobs of extracting Iron Ore from a building, they would do 1 job at a time). 1. You setup your Iron Ore Building 2. Through a game function, you request X amount of Iron Ore to be extracted from the Mine/Building. In my example of 200 Iron Ore is extracted for every 1 Hour of real time. a player can request the Mine to extract 3,000 units of Iron Ore, the game would prompt the player that in order to extract the 3,000 units of Iron Ore it would take 15 hours to fully extract. the player could adjust the amount of iron ore they want extracted, resulting in less time to wait or more time to wait. 3. Once the "contract" is accepted, the player waits until the job is finished. You could stop, or delete the job but you would not get an reimbursement, or partial extraction, you must wait the time of the job to finish. 4. Once the job is finished, you would "redeem" the job after paying the "labor costs" from the building, and the Iron Ore would jump into your warehouse. Essentially what this would do in the game is allow folks to Request for "Long jobs" to keep on going if a player does not expect to be online. A player could say "Hey, I won't be able to be in-game for a couple days due to real-life circumstance, so let me create a job to extract some resources while I'm gone, and by the time I come back I should have X amount and be ready to craft a ship or mod once I get back home and playing Naval Action again." FOR CRAFTING You have resources as we do know, but instead of waiting for the right amount of Labor Hours to generate, you now wait an X amount of time for the construction of a mod, of Cannons, or a ship is created. This could be of varying times and I definitely don't have the answer for what times would be best, but i'll place some examples: A. It could take 15 minutes to craft a Spanish Rig Refit B. It takes 1 hour to craft 10 - 12 pd Cannons C. It takes 5 hours to craft a surprise Crafting would be similar to how extracting resources would work, you'd wait for the job to finish and then be able to take the item or ship to your warehouse or docks once it is complete. There are a few differences though. 1. You can have as many Jobs created for different tasks. I.E = you could have 4 module jobs, 6 Cannon jobs, and 3 Ship crafting Jobs happening at once OR you can have a numbr of jobs happen at the same time up to a limit of (lets say) 10. 2. Labor Contracts could "speed up" the process. Before you start the job, there could be an option to "increase job productivity" and you would input X amount of labor contracts to speed up the job process. Not sure by how much, but for an example, each labor contract could decrease the time it takes for a job to finish by 5-10%. 3. Current player-owned port enhancements could further reduce the time it takes to make items or ships I believe there is both pros and cons to this method. Pros - --Allows players to extract resources on their terms and on their schedule. --Allows the player to know that they will get exactly X amount at a certain time. --During extraction a player can be doing other activities in-game, such as sailing, trading, battling NPCs or players. --A player can have ships and equipment being built while they do other activities Cons - -- European Trader would most likely have to go, be erased as a mechanic, or changes to also be a "Real time wait" - being able to instantly get resources now from the EU trader I feel is a "cheat" to get past the irritating Labor Hours limitation and it just covers up an issue with how crafting works. --May make resource extraction and equipment/ship production feel "longer." It may make people feel that things take longer to make instead of being able to click "craft" and done. (we already sort of wait anyway) --Further on players having to wait, it may make lineships take a long time to finish. it could be that a 2nd rate "job" would take 10 days to fully complete. --It is possibly a waste of Dev time to convert to this method as overall it doesn't make crafting "faster" it just changes the method of how materials and ships are crafted. I.E. = Now we wait for labor hours and then craft, this method would be that we craft and then wait for the job to finish. Overall my goal of this suggestion was considering those who believe the Labor Hour generation limits crafting in a negative way as well as players considering Labor Hours to be "more useful" when used in one way instead of another. I want to promote the ability to not be limited to a particular "resource" that forcefully limits players from building or crafting certain things. Instead (and I know it may be ironic) I am promoting the ability for a player to be delayed (or not delayed) by time BUT be able to crafting anything they want on any day with the only limitation being the resources they have in their warehouse. My other goal was to "level the crafting playing field" and promote players who play more casually or "not everyday" to be able to run extraction or crafting jobs and not feel like they are "wasting" valuable labor hour generations. if someone hasn't played in 5 days, and we assume they are level 50 crafting, they have "lost" a possible 3,000 labor hours to work with, whereas someone who has played everyday for 5 days is ahead of that plays by roughly 3,000 labor hours. Maybe that is alright in some people's eyes, but I believe it creates a growing gap between these players and then is further exaggerated when a "casual players" loses a ship versus a hardcore everyday player.
All hauling MUST be done on the open sea. At least thats my opinion. Therefor it does not matter if stuff is hauled by NPC or PPL. I am aware of the impact a fully AI driven real time hauling system can have on the server, so I recommend to limit NPC hauling ships to a fixed amount, i.e. 10 or 20 for each port (it really depends on the server load). Those hauling NPCs should not have a specific base harbor, they will do the hauling as it is scheduled by the players. To prevent players stacking hauling contracts, each player can place one hauling contract every 30 minutes. Example: A player places a hauling contract from Port A to B wich will be placed in the schedule. The server looks if there is a hauler available. If all haulers are in use. If a hauler is available, a ship will be generated by the server and starts to travel from A to B, having exactly the cargo on board, that was ordered for delivery. If the hauler reaches its destination, the server will "delete" the ship and proceeds with the next hauling contract in the schedule. While this is gonna happen, the player might get notified, once the procedure starts and once it arrived or - in worst case - once it was lost on the OS. [optional] Escorts: The player should also have the possibility to decide whether he wants to add an escort to the hauler or not. Escort should cost an extra fee. [optional] Insurance: The player should also have the possibility to decide whether he wants to have his haul insured or not. Insurance should cost an extra fee. So instead of having all the NPC ships sailing around without having anything to do and beeing just there for the grind, make an AI with a job. If you can do so - and I bet you can - you will solve 2 issues at the same time: Having NPCs sailing around acting as a target for player and having a proper "real time hauling system". For the player this system will be easy to use, so i cant see any game design issues. If i missed something feel free to show me. Cheers and happy dicussing. Brog