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While I'm ordinarily a simple potions professor....I feel like something needs to change in the ability to make ports FFA with little to no consequence. So I present a fairly simple solution. Make opening a port FFA cost the same as putting a timer on the port. Presumably a FFA port will get more traffic and more tax revenue to supplement the costs. In reality they are just being opened by Rogue/Disgruntled clans to cause disharmony within the nation. Case and point - The gulf by Vera Cruz. Not 1, but 5 ports owned by a different clan than the clan that actual owns and pays for the region with zero ability to change this. A clan should not have the ability to hold others hostage in this fashion with zero cost. A better ability would that the owner of the region has to approve all timer/port entry options, but that might be too elaborate of a change. If a clan wants to go rogue or be dicks, fine....but they shouldn't be able to do it for free while the owner of the region shoulders the burden of paying for it. Thoughts?
As a new(returning) player, I looked forward to build and sell my wares across the land. Sadly I soon discovered that it was not possible for a couple of reason. - Short duration on contracts - exorbiant fees for placing contracts - contract limit of ten So I suggest that contract duration be at least a month, and that that they are changeable. Creating a contract is just a flat fee around the one hundred to one thousand mark. The fee to change a contract (pricing) should be even cheaper, maybe one hundred reals. The contract limit should be at least one hundred, maybe even a thousand, ensuring that a player is able to do business. That the taxes only be paid by the customer, and the tax amount is doubled (resulting in the same amount of taxes being paid on a purchase as the old system, thus preserving the real-sink that the developer have carefully calculated to be correct). Having alot more contracts, that can be cheaply placed, and with changeable price will allow the players that enjoy this sort of gameplay to really dig into it, and by doing so, making the game better for all. Buy contracts should have the full amount of reals needed placed in escrow, with remaining funds returned to the player on expiration or cancelation of the contract. Please add a comment.
Suggestion: Introduce taxes for stockpiling in the warehouses. Details: all player warehouses and clan warehouses will have to pay taxes on each used slot every maintenance cycle. If player cant effort to pay the taxes local goverment will size the goods till missed fee + additional charge is payed sized good penatly payment increases each day up to a maximum of xx. A clanwarehouse at a port that the clan owned has no tax cost. Pros: Money drains reduces stockpiling by players "meaningful eco?" + pressure rvr Cons: Can be bypassed by using ship cargo slots to reduce taxes players have to pay taxes (oh no)
The 16th, 17th and 18th were the centuries of new economic doctrines, central banks development, trade monopolies and joint stock companies. Although I think it wouldn't be interesting to go too far into economics, basing some game features on those historical facts and their consequences could help creating deepness and diversity. In the Age of Sail, the major European states were trying to develop their economic power in the homeland and in their colonies. In order to protect their territories and discourage the potential aggressors, they built and armed fleets for war. War fleets weren't cheap, and finding the money and supplies to afford them required to protect the trade routes and levy taxes. In a game based on naval combat and conquest, a complex economy wouldn't only fit well the period, but would also reinforce the main features, providing a strategical environment - and the needed preys on the oceans. A quick look at economics during the Age of Sail Three economic doctrines shared the favours of the state governments during those centuries. Mercantilism (wealth in trade) called for the working up of goods within the country, an abundance of money, and a favourable trade balance. Physiocracy (wealth in land), promoted a circular flow of income, taxes on landowners instead of farmers, and free trade. Classical economy (wealth in labour) advocated the production of goods, maximum flow of wealth, and no trade regulation. To combat the multiplicity of currencies and their approximate value (especially due to the wear of the metal), the Bank of Amsterdam was created in 1609. It was a deposit bank which allowed to withdraw safe money in exchange of a charge. Amsterdam would become the centre of the European exchange market, before a market krach and a financial scandal prepared its closure in 1820. Helped by the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (overthrow of the catholic king James II of England by the Dutch army of William of Orange), the British financial revolution started by the creation of the Bank of England in 1694. It issued bank notes, facilitating the development of multiple country banks. The public credit was supported by the parliamentary monarchy which defended the property rights of the creditors. The history of trade and Navies is related to the development of banks. In 1602, the general assembly of the United Provinces decided to unite the multiple Dutch companies under one single flag : the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie was born. After the discovery of the East Indies by the Dutch sailors, it was necessary to break the competition between small companies in order to support the war effort against Spain and Portugal. The VOC, first multinational company, « state in the state », had the trade monopoly in the East Indies (4700 ships armed in two centuries), disposed of the regal powers (police, defence, justice) in its territories, nominated governors, did its own diplomacy, and possessed a war fleet supported by a land army of 12000 men. After a decline due to too much dividends, trade evolution and corruption, it was dissolved in 1798 when the United Provinces were invaded by the Napoleonic armies. The Bank of Amsterdam provided credit to Holland and to trade, effectively financing the VOC. A lot of the VOC shareholders also possessed shares in the Bank of Amsterdam. The Bank of England was a creditor of the state. The public borrowings (« Navy bills »), voted by the parliament, mostly financed the development of the Royal Navy. Some high trade taxes and the Land Tax also helped developing the arsenals of Portsmouth and Plymouth. The number of ships in the Navy would increase accordingly to the British debt. The British financial revolution also promoted joint stock companies instead of monopoly companies. In 1697 has been founded the Jonathan's Coffee House where stock prices were displayed. It has been renamed as London Stock Exchange in 1777. In 1688 has been founded the Lloyd's Coffee House in London, where sailors, traders, ship owners and shippers agreed upon assurance contracts. Many joint stock companies would further develop maritime assurance. That's it for history. I think some systems such as different currencies, cash/non-cash money or public borrowings might be uninteresting to implement, because not adding to the gameplay, too complex or difficult to balance. But I may be wrong. Also I won't speak too much about game features related to the state treasury here. Types of goods Some goods could be perishable. It would fit realism, and bring some requirements to supply the ships. A ship couldn't be sailing forever, it would have to find a friendly port before running out of, for example, food (6 months before the crew would be devastated by scurvy - funny story BTW: as the British gave lemon to their crew to counter scurvy, the French tried to copy the principle and gave them vinegar ). Some cargo would have to be delivered or used before disappearing. The ships themselves could have a lifetime, which would be made longer by refits. Some goods would be intended to build and arm ships. Wood, metals, hemp, food... Some goods would be intended to make profits only. Cloves, diamonds, tapestry, silk... Some goods could fit both intends. Thus the player-player circuit and the player-AI circuit could be linked. Regions and markets The world could be divided into regions. Each region would include one or multiple ports, and a hinterland. Each hinterland would be both a production market and a consumption market. Some crafting ports could be partly supplied by their hinterland with easy access through rivers. Some others could require fully sea supply (wood from the Baltic or from Italy). The prices could evolve depending on the offer. For example, if all the merchants of the United Provinces would sell much cloves at the same time, the prices would drop until the consumption market would have used up its stocks. Maybe the production markets could be developed by factory infrastructures, but maybe the production markets could be controlled by the AI, and only the port infrastructures would be build-able by players. Contract system Sailing a ship wouldn't require to have built and armed it. Some contracts in small ships could be proposed by the AI : trade to Amsterdam, privateer in the Channel... The player would be given either a wage or a share of the profits. Players could propose contracts as well. Maybe a programmed system would help, maybe a simple display system could just let players decide how to organize contracts. After gaining some money with AI contracts, players could choose to become ship builder, shipper, ship renter or financier. Players could decide to sail their own ships or not. Companies Companies could be different than societies. Societies would be for players who like to play together or share the same game purpose. Companies would be for players who share the same economic interests. Players could decide to have one company linked to their society, or let their members join the company they like. So there could be multiple societies in one company, or multiple companies in one society. If it's too complicated, there could be only companies or whatever the name. I guess companies would be organized the same way as usually in games. A director would have some rights, that he could share with other players or not. As well as the contract system, companies could be shaped by programming, or a simple display system would let players do it by themselves. Companies could decide to specialize into specific activities or not, as described in the contract system paragraph. Maybe assurance could be interesting to be added. Depending on where the companies would settle, the ports could become ship building ports, trading ports or ports of transit. Taxes and governors Basically there could be taxes everywhere. There could be hinterland taxes and port taxes. Taxes on buildings, taxes on goods, taxes on people. Taxes on production, taxes on trade, taxes on owning. Taxes per weight, taxes per item, taxes per time, taxes per capacity... Just Death and Taxes Where taxes would be doesn't matter much yet. The purpose of taxes is to give to some companies the money supply to build things. Things that help the players who pay taxes. So basically, taxes are power. How to choose who will decide where the taxes would be and how to use the money coming from the taxes ? I think the political power should be related to the economic power. It wasn't exactly true historically, but the economic power often influenced the political power. In the game, the economic power would be the combat power. Basically, money would be gained through prices differences from a place to another. So if you can't haul goods in dangerous waters, or steal goods, you don't get economical power. So I think it would reinforce the core features, and would be fair, to let the amount of wealth be the factor deciding who would govern. Then there could be different ways to finally choose a governor : he could be either the director of the company providing the most wealth, a representative chosen by this company, or he could be elected by all the companies providing wealth (with the weight of a vote depending on the wealth). Smuggling Since there are taxes, there is a black market … and law enforcement authorities. I'm not sure how smuggling could be represented in game. Maybe some beaches along the coasts, that would provide smuggling places with the region they are included in ? Loading/unloading goods would take some time, to let patrolling players engage a battle against smugglers. The smugglers could be caught on the open sea as well. To avoid painful board-and-inspect battle creations, each ship would be inspected on the navigation map when another ship would come very close. Or some « let me inspect your ship » requests could be sent on the navigation view. A caught smuggler who would surrender would be charged a fine and/or a reputation drop. Historically, each cargo was registered and papers were delivered by authorities to prove its legality. However, some areas distant from the homeland actually became lawless areas, and some dishonest governors accepted unregistered goods. This might be tricky to implement, but would add to the immersion and to the richness of the gameplay. Maybe a governor reputation system would fit well. Maybe this vast subject would require a specific thread. Gameplay consequences All those possible features are aimed at proposing an interesting gameplay to economy players, creating an immersive atmosphere, and supporting a strategical conquest system. The most important consequence is IMO that there is no farming needed. No PvE has to be included (but it could). Hauling means combat. The core feature of the game is the centre of the economic system. Keeping a sandbox model in mind, those features let a lot of things in the hands of the players, further increasing the game interest in the long run. Money creation and money sink The money creation would come from prices differences and stolen AI contract goods. The money sink would come from perishable goods or destroyed goods, buildings costs and upkeeps, maybe crew wages. UI representations The key point would be to create a complete and ergonomic UI. There would be specific tabs related to markets, ports, companies, taxes and other governing features. Some of those tabs should be supported by world maps. This is partly what I was speaking about when mentioning a « news system » that would give information about what happens in the world. Conclusion I guess some of the propositions could be in conflict with botting or cross-teaming. Thus each proposition should be further looked at. This is a very rough description of features that could be implemented. Hardtack for thought