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John Jacob Astor

Economy bottleneck solution - Improve Buy / Sell Contract Visibility

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Spotted this quoted elsewhere and what follows is a possible partial explanation and at least a partial solution.

I am not a zero-risk player but I started on PvE.  I am a long-term Civilization player and I rather blundered into NA while looking for something more interesting than Sid Meyer's Pirates.  I've never done anything even remotely similar to NA or online multiplayer.  The US nation on PvE was a place to sort out the game mechanics.  

But there is structural obstacle in the economy that frankly contributes to boredom on PvE.  It affects the Caribbean server as well, but less obviously so.  I've posted about this before.  There seems to be very little interest in the community on the matter.

The bottom-up view on this is that the inability to see contract activity without visiting a port creates a functional bottleneck in player economic activity.  It is probably not an issue with high server populations.  But in a low population environment, either on the server as a whole, or in a particular region, it is going to be a game killer.

The effect on PvE is that a player very rarely can get a contract filled outside of a national capital.  At any price.  It is a feedback loop.  Since since the econ activity is in the Capital, that is where you do the contracts, and resulting in very little buy/sell activity outside of it.  Which means a PvE player really can't get very far from a national capital if they are interested in at least some interaction with other players.  I circuited Cuba scouting the area (from Charleston) and the Caribbean region was pretty much a player desert.

My opinion, is that at a minimum, player buy/sell contracts need to be on equal footing in the trader tool with the port stock.  I watch port stock looking for reasonable consistency in availability before I spend time sailing any distance.  The same thing ought to be true of buy / sell contracts rather than the current complete crapshoot.  It would be nice to see the same thing with ship sales but making contracts visible would remove the bottleneck.  The econ activity would be present elsewhere to actually support shipyards outside the green zone.

In the PvP environment it is possible to kludge around the problem by maxing out outpost permits.  But addressing contract visibility would help here as well.  Player activity would start to spread out beyond the green zones and at least some of the argument about green zone mechanics and OW incentives would become irrelevant.  Including the argument over taxes.

Would like at least a yes, this is on our radar, or we have this alternative in mind, or no.  An explanation would be nice, but I can live with a flat no, and I will not quibble with that, or any explanation you offer.  I suspect this is not a trivial coding project and it is your game.

 

Edited by Marcus Corvus
clarification
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1 hour ago, Marcus Corvus said:

admin_question.thumb.png.c871f93e1b9ba2099275c6450bfc84ae.png

 

Spotted this quoted elsewhere and what follows is a possible partial explanation and at least a partial solution.

I am not a zero-risk player but I started on PvE.  I am a long-term Civilization player and I rather blundered into NA while looking for something more interesting than Sid Meyer's Pirates.  I've never done anything even remotely similar to NA or online multiplayer.  The US nation on PvE was a place to sort out the game mechanics.  

But there is structural obstacle in the economy that frankly contributes to boredom on PvE.  It affects the Caribbean server as well, but less obviously so.  I've posted about this before.  There seems to be very little interest in the community on the matter.

The bottom-up view on this is that the inability to see contract activity without visiting a port creates a functional bottleneck in player economic activity.  It is probably not an issue with high server populations.  But in a low population environment, either on the server as a whole, or in a particular region, it is going to be a game killer.

The effect on PvE is that a player very rarely can get a contract filled outside of a national capital.  At any price.  It is a feedback loop.  Since since the econ activity is in the Capital, that is where you do the contracts, and resulting in very little buy/sell activity outside of it.  Which means a PvE player really can't get very far from a national capital if they are interested in at least some interaction with other players.  I circuited Cuba scouting the area (from Charleston) and the Caribbean region was pretty much a player desert.

My opinion, is that at a minimum, player buy/sell contracts need to be on equal footing in the trader tool with the port stock.  I watch port stock looking for reasonable consistency in availability before I spend time sailing any distance.  The same thing ought to be true of buy / sell contracts rather than the current complete crapshoot.  It would be nice to see the same thing with ship sales but making contracts visible would remove the bottleneck.  The econ activity would be present elsewhere to actually support shipyards outside the green zone.

In the PvP environment it is possible to kludge around the problem by maxing out outpost permits.  But addressing contract visibility would help here as well.  Player activity would start to spread out beyond the green zones and at least some of the argument about green zone mechanics and OW incentives would become irrelevant.  Including the argument over taxes.

Would like at least a yes, this is on our radar, or we have this alternative in mind, or no.  An explanation would be nice, but I can live with a flat no, and I will not quibble with that, or any explanation you offer.  I suspect this is not a trivial coding project and it is your game.

 

The other were suggesting global trade market before...No idea why @admin likes this suddenly.

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I agree that trading at capitals or freetowns is much easier and rewarding than it is on random locations. 

- Less time consuming

-less risk

- more potential buyers

- wider good spectrum

 

Sure contract visibility could solve that. But the argument against it, is information spread in the age of sail. Like there was no GPS there was no instant message flow. It's part of the age of sail experience there was only word to mouth recommendation or newspapers.

To keep it in the current game setting I would suggest to do it like the trader tool and offer a once per maintenance updated contract list. Same as the trader tool it's possible to search for contracts. 

Edited by z4ys
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+1    I also believe that the fact that the trader tool only updates once a day is a problem...  we all know that the trader tool is usually wrong as the prices change per shipment sold..   Currently (without contracts) I am looking at the trader tool telling me that in my port Oak logs are 37/128  yet when I go into the shop they are actually 37/200.

I think it would be useful if the trader tool were updated more frequently.  

I KNOW this period communications were limited and took a long time, so my suggestion would be  that current port updates in real time,  local ports update frequently and the ports further away update in x days game time.   Example..  to sail from Plymouth to KPR it takes me (on average) 6 days at sea..  if I am calculating that right, at 48 minutes thats 288 minutes or around 5 hours.

On that basis, in KPR I would like it if the prices updated at least every three hours to represent ships arriving at (fairly) regular intervals at various ports and bringing information about current prices.

I know that this would be work in the system but I do believe it would really help the trader situation.

Currently, in game time, by resetting the prices once a day in real time..  the prices are resetting in the game once a month which I believe is too long.

Edited by Moria15
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1 minute ago, z4ys said:

.

To keep it in the current game setting I would suggest to do it like the trader tool and offer a once per maintenance updated contract list. Same as the trader tool it's possible to search for contracts. 

Which would be completely fine.  Not looking for perfect information.  But some, rather than none.

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9 minutes ago, Moria15 said:

+1    I also believe that the fact that the trader tool only updates once a day is a problem...  we all know that the trader tool is usually wrong as the prices change per shipment sold..   Currently (without contracts) I am looking at the trader tool telling me that in my port Oak logs are 37/128  yet when I go into the shop they are actually 37/200.

I think it would be useful if the trader tool were updated more frequently.  

I KNOW this period communications were limited and took a long time, so my suggestion would be  that current port updates in real time,  local ports update frequently and the ports further away update in x days game time.   Example..  to sail from Plymouth to KPR it takes me (on average) 6 days at sea..  if I am calculating that right, at 48 minutes thats 288 minutes or around 5 hours.

On that basis, in KPR I would like it if the prices updated at least every three hours to represent ships arriving at (fairly) regular intervals at various ports and bringing information about current prices.

I know that this would be work in the system but I do believe it would really help the trader situation.

What about to make trader tool refresh depending on clan player visits.

Let's say whenever a member of a clan enters a port the trader tool entries for the hole clan refreshes for that specific port.

Edited by z4ys

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8 minutes ago, z4ys said:

What about to make trader tool refresh depending on clan player visits.

Let's say whenever a member of a clan enters a port the trader tool entries for the hole clan refreshes for that specific port.

nope.   that just gives clans with hundreds of alts yet another P2W advantage over the ones they already have and isolates traders who prefer that aspect of the game and are not in clans and its the traders that need the info whether they are in a clan or not..

We have AI routes that the ships take..  theoretically most(if not all) ports have AI visits..  currently their only purpose is to provide targets for players..  use them to add to immersion in the game.. and have them update info..    I was going to suggest that when an AI ship arrives.. it updates prices from its journey but thats way too much work at this stage for a small dev team..  a generic update of prices based on trading of about 3 to 6 in-game days would seem a much simpler way of doing it..  but again.. if you are in a port the trader tool for that port should be the same as the shop.

Edited by Moria15
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It sure would be convenient to see contracts and markets, but as z4ys said, the unknown is part of the era. Part of the tradersjob is to find the markets first, then gather the necessairy intel (prices, availability, etc.). So, one would have to send envoys to different ports and see how he thinks he can make his profit.

Sure, this takes time, somebody who's better in touch with the market (because they put in the work of finding out) has some kind of advantage. If information is freely available, we'd lose this kind of gameplay.

It is a bit like exploring, do you want to know in advance where all the treasure will be? It would be good if tradinggoods spawned randomly in different ports (as elsewhere suggested already), so the trader that does his work can find opportunities in unexpected places (which would make people move more around, perhaps even more out of the safezones).

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3 minutes ago, Moria15 said:

 that just gives clans with d isolates traders who prefer that aspect of the game and are not in clans and its the traders that need the info whether they are in a clan or not..

 

One upcoming change will be that everyone has to join a clan. Therefore why not rally all the lone traders and build a west Indies company? With all their benefits? Wouldn't be that awesome and realistic?

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4 minutes ago, Eyesore said:

It sure would be convenient to see contracts and markets, but as z4ys said, the unknown is part of the era. Part of the tradersjob is to find the markets first, then gather the necessairy intel (prices, availability, etc.). So, one would have to send envoys to different ports and see how he thinks he can make his profit.

Sure, this takes time, somebody who's better in touch with the market (because they put in the work of finding out) has some kind of advantage. If information is freely available, we'd lose this kind of gameplay.

It is a bit like exploring, do you want to know in advance where all the treasure will be? It would be good if tradinggoods spawned randomly in different ports (as elsewhere suggested already), so the trader that does his work can find opportunities in unexpected places (which would make people move more around, perhaps even more out of the safezones).

a lot more was known than people give credit for...   for example..  in the period of this game..  ships docked in Portsmouth before heading to London so the semaphore could get information to London 2 days before the ships arrived.

There was a simpler, but effective, system of information across Jamaica..  ships docking and sending messages before completing their journey.

A trade price in KPR would be known in Saint Ann in less than a day as couriers used horses to carry trading info back and forth  (48 minutes in game)

Ships travelling distance brought news about the local prices etc where they had come from.    That is measured in days  whereas the info in game currently is presented in months...  that';s not good :)

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2 minutes ago, z4ys said:

One upcoming change will be that everyone has to join a clan. Therefore why not rally all the lone traders and build a west Indies company? With all their benefits? Wouldn't be that awesome and realistic?

no.

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5 minutes ago, Eyesore said:

It sure would be convenient to see contracts and markets, but as z4ys said, the unknown is part of the era. Part of the tradersjob is to find the markets first, then gather the necessairy intel (prices, availability, etc.). So, one would have to send envoys to different ports and see how he thinks he can make his profit.

Sure, this takes time, somebody who's better in touch with the market (because they put in the work of finding out) has some kind of advantage. If information is freely available, we'd lose this kind of gameplay.

It is a bit like exploring, do you want to know in advance where all the treasure will be? It would be good if tradinggoods spawned randomly in different ports (as elsewhere suggested already), so the trader that does his work can find opportunities in unexpected places (which would make people move more around, perhaps even more out of the safezones).

My practical observation from having played both servers is that there needs to be at least some advance information or folks burn out sailing from lack of contact with other players.

There may be other ways to do it, like trade bulletin boards or other player advertising mechanics.  But the trader tool seemed like a logical approach since the mechanic is already in place.

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A few more words might help me to understand @Moria15:)

Edited by z4ys
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Just now, z4ys said:

A few more words might help me to understand :)

sigh...  ok let me break it down.

1)  Many traders are a clan of 1 so they can get those benefits such as warehouse.

2)  Because of the hours spent sailing, traders are more of a solo breed.

3)  I haven't seen anywhere that says players MUST join a clan (even in the future)..  I believe that would lead to a lot of players leaving.

4)  A GOOD trader probably has their own infrastructure laid out and is unlikely to want to share all that info.

5)  a GOOD trader wants to deal with all people in the game including many clans rather than join 1

6)  There’s nothing inherent in the term “massively multiplayer” that says you must be be teamed up at all times or be social and many want to exist and participate in an online world   without necessarily joining the equivalent of the cool kid fraternity

okay?

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13 minutes ago, z4ys said:

One upcoming change will be that everyone has to join a clan. Therefore why not rally all the lone traders and build a west Indies company? With all their benefits? Wouldn't be that awesome and realistic?

I don't think is a "have to" as much as a strong push. 

I've actually thought about doing this but I don't play enough hours in a week to run one.  It would have to be paired with a Steam group to actually work, so there is a place for unrestricted communication between people in different time zones.

But the big problem with a trader clan is that is unlikely to have the muscle to take and hold a port.  Would need to be some sort of a mixed operation.

Edited by Marcus Corvus

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3 minutes ago, Moria15 said:

3)  I haven't seen anywhere that says players MUST join a clan (even in the future)..  I believe that would lead to a lot of players leaving.

 

 

On 4/19/2018 at 9:05 PM, admin said:

Captains.
Next 2 patches 3 important things await us.

Featured clans and rookie order list

  • In addition to combat tutorials all freshly minted Master and commanders will get a short mission list that they will have to next
  • One of the orders will be to join a clan (this will only be provided to players who are not in a guild).
    • Featured clan list will be added to game and only top clans will be on the list based on pve or pvp or conquest or epic event achievements. 
  • We also request veterans and large clans invite people who passed the final exam to guilds and fleets (you can see their names in chat) he/she is definitely good enough to go straight to pvp. 
     

Open world UI update
Partial UI update will be added to game for testing mostly covering the open world functionality and the map

Real currency and denomination
Current name for in game currency is outdated (it was always only for temp name).
The game will move to a Caribbean currencies of the 18th century

  • New currencies
    • In game gold will be replaced by Real (or Spanish reals)
    • Pieces of eight will be introduced (or 8 Reals Coin or piastr)
    • Double Escudo or Doublooon (or Lous D`Or  or Pistole) will be introduced
    • Silver 8 Reals and gold double escudo will be freely convertible between each other, but they can only be received from the government (as rewards for battles or port battles or from mint)
  • Money will be denominated (huge denomination will be applied reducing prices to the 18th Century Caribbean levels)
  • New building will be introduced - mint. Mint will be required tomake coins and will require victory marks to build
  • Crafting blueprints updated for ships and shipbuilding materials
  • Mission rewards/pve rewards/pvp rewards changed
  • Old legacy coins and ingots removal
    • Current Gold Coins and Silver Coins will be removed from game (you can start dumping them or use for craft if you have huge stocks) and stocks left will be compensated at denominated prices
    • Current gold ingots and silver ingots will be removed from game and mines will be removed (and building costs compensated)

 

I marked it red

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1 minute ago, z4ys said:

 

I marked it red

 

Might be helpful for admin to clarify that.  I assumed it would be possible to dismiss, like the tutorial is now.  Which incidentally I've started and am nibbling away at.😊

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4 minutes ago, z4ys said:

 

I marked it red

Yeah well on that basis, I would join a clan to do the mission then immediately leave again.    Forced clan membership is bad any way you look at it..  dictating how I MUST spend my time in any game is a huge turnoff, no matter the possible advantages.  If I could raid the clan warehouyse before leaving though, I would.

Edited by Moria15

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I'm not opposed to some information, it just has to have a delay (like you said), there is no 100% certainty that the deal will still be available when your ship actually gets there (the information may be outdated already, while you were at sea). Ofcourse there was some kind of network to share prices and things related to trade, there was still some chance involved (especially in ports less frequented) where things have changed and that may not have been included in your financial reports. The actual/agreed price or availability could still have changed due to some local circumstances (natural or pirateraids or war) or be very volatile

I think the update at maintenance is enough. You can already see on the map which ports produce most tax, so you can geuss where most of the contracts will be.

With as little an amount of players we have, it is ofcourse obvious that there will be less or even no contracts in backwater ports.

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28 minutes ago, z4ys said:

A few more words might help me to understand @Moria15:)

Just wanted to add another point... :)    Clans are nation specific..  I don't know about others, but .. how do I put this...  a good percentage of my trading is done cross nation..  I bring British stuff to a neutral port..  they bring their nations stuff to the same neutral port..  we trade and then take the other persons stuff to our home ports...

I have one outpost in a port that has quite a few other nations traders with outposts in the same port so we can just meet up when we need to and transfer stuffs :)

Theres so few people on the server that it's not really even a risk to do those short runs if you pick your time of day sensibly.

Short runs.. big profit.   A clan can't help with that :) 

Edited by Moria15

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I think the clan-joining-order in tutorial is only to tell the new players that it is wise to group up, not everybody is a masochist    🙂

I think clans have enough advantages already, if there is something interesting in some port, wouldn't their ts or discord or whatever means of communication suffice to distribute the information to their clanmembers?

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When ports outside the capital zone dont give you any advantage this happens.

If ports like San Juan for the danish or Gasparilla for the spanish give you +25% chance of getting a purple-orange ship the entire server would change (for the better). We would see a lot more ow activity outside the safe zones.

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14 hours ago, Intrepido said:

When ports outside the capital zone dont give you any advantage this happens.

If ports like San Juan for the danish or Gasparilla for the spanish give you +25% chance of getting a purple-orange ship the entire server would change (for the better). We would see a lot more ow activity outside the safe zones.

We had all this before and it didnt bring more players into game. Problems are elsewhere, not in bonuses where you get a 5/5 ship.

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4 hours ago, Fenris said:

We had all this before and it didnt bring more players into game. Problems are elsewhere, not in bonuses where you get a 5/5 ship.

I disagree. RvR was much more interesting when we had crafting regions.

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