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Introduction Building castles in the sky! I have just about 200 hours invested in this game. Most of that during the sea trials phase when there was no open world. I have spend 40-50 hours in the open world now. I have yet to actually win a PVP fight, or buy/craft a first rate. I'm not very high level.Nor have I played any other games similar to Naval Action, or worked on a dev team. Now, having said all that, here are my thoughts on what I would like this game to be in my own personal Utopia. If you agree with any of it, please comment, and maybe we will see it implemented in future. If you disagree, please keep it civil. Nations [N] I understand the desire of many people to sail under the flag of a certain nation. I love being able to fly the flag of my mother country myself, something that I'm not able to do in a lot of games. Having said that, I'm enough of a history nerd that seeing the "wrong" nations present bothers me. I'd like nations restricted to their historical starting positions. See [OW2] for ideas on nations. Having said all this, if we get a Baltic Sea "area" implemented, and the Russian nation decides to sail over and occupy Haiti, that's fine by me. Each nation should have a national government which should be made up of representatives from each of the three organizations. [See N 4-12 for organizations]The national government should have the ability to decide national policies through a voting system incorporated into the UI. This system would enable a player to make a suggestion, with a time limit for his fellow members to vote yay or nay. A majority of yays would mean the policy could go into effect on expiry of the timer. National policies - A limited list of ideas for what these could include: Raise / lower national taxes on x goods by x%. Create / cancel trade tariff of x% on x goods for x nation(s). Declare war on x nation. Sue for peace with x nation. Accept reject peace treaty / alliance with x nation. Offer alliance to x nation. Announce blockade of x nation's ports, making it illegal for citizens to trade with x nation, and making neutral ships within x distance of each port legitimate targets for citizens of blockading nation. Cancel blockade of x nation's ports. Issue warrant for player x with a reward of x for his capture. Each nation should be made up of players belonging to one of three organizations; the navy, the merchant marine or private captains. Clans should not be limited to players of a certain type, but should be able to recruit all kinds of players. The Navy - The navy should have a rank hierarchy. To rank up would need xp gained from missions issued by the ai navy, or from fighting foreign navies, much like xp are gained in-game now. Each rank would allow you to command larger ships, just like it does at the moment. I would like to see a few differences though - each rank should allow you to add more and or bigger ships to your fleet. Also, a navy player should not be able to command the largest merchant ships, and the rank requirements for merchant ships should be higher for each ship comparet to a player in the merchant marine. The ranks would also determine a players ability to initiate port battles and conquests, with larger battles reserved for the higher ranks. Battle and other groups should be limited in size by a player's rank. Players of the highest rank would be eligible for election to the national leadership. The national leadership of the navy would be responsible for setting priorities for the AI controlled national fleet, issue contracts for ship construction, and send representatives to the national government. The size of the leadership would be determined as a % of the number of players belonging to the navy and updated at intervals. AI fleet priorities - These would dictate the behavior of AI warships, and would be set by the leaders of a nations navy within the limits set by the national leadership. They could include trade protection, defensive patrols in x province, blockade duties of x ship type [warships/merchant ships] in x province. The priorities could be set as a % of each ship type assigned to the various duties. The decisions would be voted on by the navy leadership at regular intervals, and decided by a simple majority vote. AI ship construction - The navy leadership would issue contracts for warships, to be payed for using the national budget as determined by the national leadership at regular intervals. The contracts would be open for a set time, during which player crafters could build and sell ships to the navy at the set price. At the expiration of the timer the contract would be filled by AI crafters according to crafting capacity, and assuming the navy leadership set a price per ship that allows the AI crafters to make a profit. Player crafters, of course, could choose to meet orders at a loss, should they choose to do so. Player owned warships - Individual players would acquire their ships by crafting them, buying them on the open market, or buying them from the navy. Ships sold by the navy should be offered at ai determined prices, forcing the national and navy leadership to provide them at a loss, thereby making taxes and tariffs etc more relevant. The Merchant Marine - This organization should have an appropriate name in each nation. For example, the British merchant marine could be called the Honorable East India Company. Ranks in the merchant marine should govern the maximum crew and fleet size, as well as how many and what type of commercial orders can be created by a player. Merchant marine players should not be allowed to command the largest warships, and the rank requirements for warships should be higher than for players in the navy. The highest ranked players would be eligible for election to the board of directors of the merchant marine. Their responsibilities would include setting the insurance rates as a % of the value of the cargo transported by captains who desire insurance. The money made should go into a central account from which any claims would have to be filled. Merchant ship building - Merchant ships should be bought by the individual players from AI or player crafters. Merchant marine escorts- The board of directors would be responsible for issuing contracts for the construction of escort ships to be allocated to AI escort captains or sold to Merchant marine players who wish to take on that role. The ships would be payed for with money made from insurance profits, if available. Private Captains - These captains are free to play what ever role they desire in the nation. There should be no leadership for private captains, apart from the national leadership. Ship availability and crew/ fleet size should be dependent on player rank, and players should be restricted from owning the largest warships and merchant-ships. Letters of marque - These should be available for purchase by private captains, and be required in order for a player to purchase any but the smallest warships. Import / Export permits - These should be available for purchase by private captains, and be required for trade with ports outside the player's own nation. A separate document should be required for trade with each foreign nation. Sailing without a letter of marque / shipping contract - Sailing in a warship without a letter of marque would classify a player as a pirate and make him liable to be attacked by players of any nation as well as AI patrols. Sailing without an import/export permit would classify a player as a smuggler and make him liable to be attacked by a navy player of any nation as well as by AI patrols after his ship has been inspected. Outposts should be build-able by merchant players. Navy players should be able to build naval bases. Independent players should be able to build bases. Naval bases should have increased dock-space, but be unable to construct resource buildings such as farms. Outposts should likewise be limited to more civilian / trade focused buildings. Pirates Pirates should not be a nation. Piracy should be a legal status, as as such anyone wanting to play as a pirate should simply engage in piracy. It should not be possible to start the game as a pirate, although a new character could make himself a pirate instantly by illegally attacking a ship. Pirate havens - Pirates should not be allowed access to normal ports except through the smuggling mechanic. Instead, each island/ selected islands should have a hidden pirate cove. Players would identify these by engaging a mode in-game and sailing near / around an island for a sufficient time. Once identified, a pirate cove would be claimed by a pirate as his base, providing dock & warehouse space. Smaller versions of production buildings would be construct-able in pirate coves, reflecting the illegal nature of society in these places. I'm sure some unique ones could be imagined, making some form of profitable production possible for pirates. A cove could be shared by a number of pirates, such as a clan. Such groups would still not be considered nations though. Progression Different types of players should gain XP in different ways. I have listed the various player types above. Navy players should gain rank in the navy through earning combat XP. I see no reason to change anything about the way such XP are awarded at the moment. Navy players should earn less XP through trade. Let's say a 50% reduction, just for the sake of argument. Merchant players should earn XP through trade. Just like combat awards XP based on damage done, trade could award XP based on profits earned. Not simply on money made through selling things, but on actual profit. This would incentivize players to find profitable trade routes, as well as motivate them to sail farther afield despite the risks of piracy etc. Merchant players should earn less XP from combat. Let's say 10% of combat XP from battles where the merchant was the aggressor, and 90% from combat where the merchant was attacked by another player. After all, we don't want merchants to just linger in the safe zones! Diplomacy See [N 3] for how wars are declared, etc. Member(s) of the national leadership could be designated as a diplomat. A diplomat would use a UI function to propose/demand terms in order to agree a peace treaty. Once the dipomats have agreed terms, they would become available for ratification in the national leadership UI. All this should have real world time limits, enabling offensives, victories and losses to influence negotiations in progress. Diplomats should also be able to hammer out alliances using a similar system. Alliances should enable ships from separate nations to enter battles on the same side when fighting nations they are at war with. National leaderships should be able to define separate tarrifs for trade from allied nations. Intelligence Gathered by spies and networks established in enemy ports. Each spy/network would be able to gather only one type of intelligence. There ought to be four types of intelligence: Military, Commercial, Diplomatic and Technological. Military Intelligence- This would cover the number and type of ships based at the port as well as the number of troops and forts. Commercial Intelligence - This would cover stockpiles of goods, needs, availability and prices. Diplomatic Intelligence- This would cover any treaties, wars, orders, etc. currently in force. Technological Intelligence - This would cover the currently available technology, and perhaps give a chance to acquire same. Employing spies- Spies would be open world NPC's with skill levels and experience. They would be employable by players, nations, and companies. The employer would be charged a salary cost every day/month/year to keep the spy in his employ. Networks- A group of spies deployed in the same port by the same employer would form a network. The larger the network the more information it would be able to provide. The larger the network the easier it would be to detect. Counter-intelligence- A police chief/policemen would be other employable NPCs in the open world. They would limit the amount of intelligence enemy spies can gather, and also give a chance of capturing the spies working in a port. Ports and Capture Port capture should take place in phases. Phase one would require a declaration of war on the nation owning the port. Phase two would be a port battle as they are currently present in the game. In case the aggressor is victorious the next phase is enabled. Phase three would involve landing a force of soldiers to take control of the hinterland. The soldiers would have to be transported in on merchant ships, and there would be a timer for this activity. The troop transports would be intercept-able by defending ships. The number of soldiers necessary would be determined by the size of the target force, as well as any defending troops. If a sufficient number of troops are landed in phase three, the port is considered occupied. An occupied port contributes taxes to the occupying nation, and any buildings/ships are inaccessible to players from the original nation, except as per the smuggling mechanic. To gain permanent ownership of a port, it has to be ceded as part of an official peace treaty. This would slow down & hopefully limit zerging. Each port should have a governor. The governor would be responsible for local taxes and docking fees. He would be able to use this income to construct defenses and improvements. Possible improvements include infrastructure, such as roads which would give a bonus to any production buildings present. Housing, which would give a bonus to population growth. The governor could also invest in crop diversification, or introducing new industries, each of which would result in new production buildings becoming available. Each effort would have a real time implementation period, as well as a resource and money cost, and would have a chance of failure. Economy All ports should have a maximum capacity for buildings, determined by their population. Players should have priority in taking up this capacity, but any unoccupied capacity should be filled by AI producers. All goods should be produced in buildings either by players or AI. No goods should "drop" at any port. Goods should be transported by AI traders to meet first basic needs of ports lacking that good, and secondly luxury & production needs. Goods not produced in the Caribbean (or any other area)should need to be imported to that area from an area where such goods are available. All production buildings should be construct-able by players in ports where production of that good is possible. Production buildings should have needs. These could be basic, e.g. food for the workers, as well as advanced needs, e.g. a sugar farm would need slaves and fertilizer. These needs combined with the needs of the general population of the island would dictate prices in the local market. AI traders and small craft should follow routes designed to meet the needs of the cities. Sinking them should be a means of economic warfare, and protecting them should be important for players. The triangular trade was of enormous importance to the major powers at the time of the game. Thus I'd love to see it represented in-game. In case political correctness is a concern, slaves can be referred to as indentured labor. African indentured labor should originate in Africa, obviously, and Chinese indentured labor should be available from American ports. Historically the Chinese laborers arrived a bit later than the game period, but i suppose that can be forgiven. Players should be able to set up contracts offering loans of all kinds of money which would be repaid with interest determined by the lender. Players should be able to send trading ships on runs under AI control, to help keep important ports supplied. If a ship is lost under AI control it is destroyed. Goods transported this way would be sold to the shop in the target port, or delivered to the player's warehouse, depending on the player's choice when setting up the trade run. It should also be possible to ship owned goods from a warehouse in this way. More than one player should be able to join their AI ships together, creating convoys that sail together. It should also be possible to define the route taken by a convoy, and to drop off ships at ports passed. There should be an option to purchase insurance for any cargo. Insurance rates should depend on a player's history of successful or otherwise delivery of cargoes during his career. It should be possible for players to sell insurance to other players as well, at any rate desired. Crafting & Ships Each nation should rely mainly on ships historically employed by that nation. Blueprints for non-national ships should be more expensive to get - perhaps only obtainable through technology espionage. Upgrades should be craft-able, and dependent upon crafting level, so that only an expert crafter is able to craft the best upgrades. I do like the book system that we have now, so perhaps upgrades could be "learnt" from books, and then require a certain level to craft. Crew/Marines/Soldiers Crew should be recruit-able in ports subject to limitations of population size. Crew should be divided into categories according to skill levels - Landsmen (a small malus to re-load times, sail setting etc), Seamen (no bonus or malus), Able Seamen (a smal bonus) and priced according to their skill level. Lower leveled crew should be upgrade-able once they gain some experience. Crew should require food and water to be carried in a ship's hold. Lack of either should lead to crew deaths. Food and water should be consumed over time, limiting a ship's radius of action without replenishing these supplies from a port. Related to the above, relevant illnesses, such as scurvy, should be modeled, along with preventives, such as vitamin c rich fruits. Marines should be recruit-able for navy captains subject to the same limitations as crew. Soldiers should be recruit-able by port governors for defensive purposes subject to the same limitations as crew, and the availability of defensive buildings with spare capacity. They should also be recruit-able for merchant and private captains, subject to the same limitations as crew, for the purpose of port capture. Soundtrack I would love to be able to listen to a soundtrack of period music, including both instrumental/classical music popular at the time as well as shanties and sailor's songs in general. To make this even better, the soundtrack ought to reflect your nationality, so that a British captain would hear, for example, Hearts of Oak, but a Danish captain would not. Open World (OW) Spotting distance- I would like this to depend on the mast height of your ship, as well as the mast height of the other ships in the area. A cutter would not be as easy to spot as an SOL, etc. Related to this, I would like national flags to be rendered on open world ships, and I'd like the ability to fly a false flag. Just like in history, it should be illegal to fire at another ship while flying a false flag (unless you happen to be a pirate!), and there should be penalties for doing so. This would necessitate the creation of a system like the RN's private signal, or, in modern terms, IFF. A hotkey ordering the crew to hoist the private signal would do. The other ship would then respond, or not. A nice ( and i hope) simple way to introduce some more tension! Further, it would be nice if ships sank below the horizon, or vice versa, rather than pop in and out of view range. Size- this is definitely utopian, but hear me out. I'd like the world extended to the west coast of Africa and Europe, as well as southwards along the coast of South America. This would have several benefits. Portugal could become an in-game nation. The safe zones could be moved to the European coast for most nations. See other relevant sections for more detail. Alternatively a sort of off-map boxes could be used to achieve the same effect without having to create a huge map with all the problems that entails. Such a system could also be used to link a series of smaller maps, or theaters. The Caribbean would obviously be one. The Mediterranean could be another, the Baltic a third. Perhaps the English Channel and part of the North Sea would also be a nice addition. Off map boxes - These should rely on a teleportation mechanic that charges money and is not instant. I.e. to send a ship to the Baltic from the Caribbean could cost 50,000, and take 1 hour of real time to arrive. It should be possible to teleport ships with cargo in the hold when traveling to/from off map boxes. The same mechanic could be used to travel between separate map areas. This teleport should not work directly from port to port. Rather it should create a random-ish exit point on your current map. Once you reach that exit point the UI should prompt you in the same way it does on approaching a port, and by cicking the prompt you'd initiate the teleport. The player should be prompted to return to his outpost, like after losing his ship in battle (if the time delay mechanic is implemented). Winds- I would like the wind to be more closely based on actual weather patterns. With somewhat predictable winds, players will be channeled into certain routes/choke-points where PVP combat will naturally occur. Of course, due to the speeding up of time, real world patterns would not work well in game, but something similar to them, with an element of randomization would be very nice indeed. See here for animated wind map: http://yachtibis.com/caribbean-weather/ Ship inspection - Navy players and AI patrols should be able to perform an inspection by remaining close to a ship in the open world for a certain amount of time. Only after such an inspection is carried out should any smuggler status be revealed to the inspecting fleet. Ports- Each port should have a population. The size of the population would dictate the needs of the port, which in turn would dictate prices in that port's market. Shortage- A shortage of essential goods in a port should lead to a decrease in population in that port. Workforce- the available population should dictate how many production buildings can be constructed in that port. Exploration - The Caribbean was more or less fully explored in the geographical sense by our period. Exploration should follow the idea of the historical artifact good available now. These should be sub-divided into, for example, Mayan artifacts, Voodoo dolls, etc., as well as natural history artifacts, such as new species of insects etc. These should not be available in shops, unless they have been sold to the shop by a player. Instead, there should be fetch quests along the lines of the current sealed bottle mechanic. These should come from buildings available to governors to construct in their port. These buildings would be named after, for example, The National Geographic Society, depending on the nation. They could also be generated by ship's officers, with the relevant skill. Navigation - At noon each in-game day the ships position should be marked on the map. This should be weather dependent and in-exact to a degree. AI ships should spawn at ports, and require resources to build. Hence, if I sink an AI snow, the owning port would spend enough resources to rebuild that ship as it re-spawns it. AI ships should have proper missions. Hunt merchants, escort them, protect an area, etc. AI ships on a protection mission should attack players and other ai that intrude on their turf. There should be enough AI ships in the world to keep the economy going, but not so many that players can make no difference. Not that the role of the AI ships should be to keep the ECONOMY going, so simply to spawn as random targets! NPC Characters All NPCs should have appropriate skills, and be able to acquire more through leveling up. The employing player should be allowed to control the leveling up process, but if the NPC leaves his employ and is subsequently hired by a different player, it should not be possible for the new employer to re-arrange skills already gained. NPCs should be randomly generated and become available to employ in ports according to a logical system. A national capital should have more NPC available than other ports. The numbers generated should also depend on the type of port and the population level. NPCs should be transportable, just like the trade goods representing various persons we have in-game at the moment. There should be employable officers with a portrait and name available. Each ship should have slots for an appropriate number of named NPCs, effectively replacing the perk mechanic. Officer NPCs should give bonuses in suitable areas, according to the experience level of each officer. Each officer should have a chance of death in combat, and in case of capture should have a small chance of becoming available to the capturing player. Buildings should require NPC managers, with skill levels governing the output of a building. Each NPC should have, and gain as they level up, skills relevant to their position. The skills should provide bonuses and maluses, giving the officers a sense of personality. Example skills could be natural scientist, which would generate mini-quests that give the player a chance of acquiring valuable goods such as "insert name of rare butterfly here". More examples to come. Player Characters Avatar - Each player character should be represented by an avatar. I love the art style of the game so far, and I'd really enjoy a full length portrait of my captain wearing the appropriate uniform for his nation, rank and organization. Name - I'd love for each character to have a first name, a family name and a nickname. There should be some form of personalisation or role-playing aspects to a player character. The ability to buy a home in a port, preferably with a nice piece of art to enjoy. To find a wife, even if she is nothing but a portrait. To have children once a wife is present. These children could then grow up to be NPCs in their own right. In-game Encyclopaedia I would like to see one. I would like it to contain entries on the nations in the game, the history of their presence in the area, as well as entries on ports containing a brief history and perhaps basic information such as what production buildings are available there, populations size and type, current owner, etc. Sailing I'd like to see leeway modeled in the open world. I'd like to see the open world ability to sail directly into the wind changed to more realistic behavior. PVP I can't state strongly enough the belief that artificially encouraged pvp doesn't work well in an open world game. If you want merchants for pirates to attack you need an economy with appropriate game-play loops for traders to engage in. Rewards to motivate people to take the risk of being attacked by pirates. The economy is the bedrock on which the rest of this game should rest. Damage & Repairs In addition to sail damage I'd like to see rigging damage. To repair this would necessitate a new type of consumable. Crew damage should be split up into the various crew types outlined above, and dependent on hit location. Thus, chain to the sails and rigging would be much more likely to kill topmen. Damaged and destroyed cannon don't seem to have any impact after a battle at the moment. I'd this to be changed. I'd like to see weather damage to rigging and sails, as a consequence of raising too much sail in strong winds. Missions Passenger mission. Port to port. Fishing contract. Catch x amount of fish. Issued by ports lacking in food and at risk of population shrinkage. Ships Fishing vessels. Ability to convert traders cargo space to horse/cattle transport. Add passenger capacity to all ships. Ability to convert cargo hold to troop transport I'm done for now. I reserve the right to add more ideas, should any occur to me.
Mr. Mercanto posted a topic in General DiscussionsAs the title suggests, I am wondering if there is a published soundtrack for Ultimate General: Civil War? I absolutely love the music of the game. While there's not enough music to fill a full album, I would love to have what music is here on my iPod! Is there anyway to make that happen?