Jump to content
Game-Labs Forum
Powderhorn

Re-imagining Old Mechanics for New Port Battles

Recommended Posts

We have had a number of mechanics to manage port battles in the past, all of them with various positives and negatives.  The current iteration moves away from a realist base, and instead favors abstraction:  If you control a majority of the circles around a port, you control the sea lanes, and therefore, the port.  This is not bad, per se, but it is so abstracted from the subject matter that it feels disconnected.  Setting up the port battle is an exercise in mass AI farming, taken from the idea that "people need to do something in order to create the port battle."

And so, I present a series of ideas that hopefully are easy to implement (I will point out the sticking points as I go), remove a layer of abstraction, and hopefully make the battles more dynamic by introducing more options.

1.  Return of the old flag system to initiate hostility.  Instead of simply taking a mission, launching a flag could once again be done in isolation, or with a whole fleet escorting.  It should be physically carried, and announced as it was in the past.  This brings the first aspect of the port battle back:  Fleet actions at sea, heading off the port battle in its inception.  I would encourage these flags to cost doubloons, in order to have big-ticket items that are consistently purchased, keeping them moving within the economy.

2.  Generate Hostility via economy.  Instead of grinding bots with a massive fleet, I would encourage basic supplies moved into the port.  This can be abstracted from siege equipment, bribing locals, what have you, but I would encourage the goods brought not be trade goods, but instead, actual crafting goods.  Hemp, Oak Logs, Iron Ore, etc.  Things everyone needs, and everyone uses, which in turn would encourage privateers to hunt the waters (and in turn encourage escorted merchant vessels, which in turn leads to larger, task-force sized engagements).  Further, I would cap the rate of hostility generation at 25%/hr., in order to prevent simple spiking of hostility - this would allow for time for people to gather and fight.  The lower end, I would recommend at 10%/hr., forcing a faction to commit to at least 4 hours of setting up a port battle, at most 10 hours.

3.  Add a craftable "Shore Party" item weighing 100 tons.  This will come into play later, but simply adding the item should be easy.  The reason for 100 tons is to limit them in quantity, while having a palpable effect upon ship handling in battle.  Further, merchant ships should be allowed into the fight in order to carry more shore parties.  (This will be important.)

4.  Reduce the three circles to one circle in front of the port.  This is abstracted to represent storming the town itself.  This is partially where the shore parties come in.  Each shore party is one "unit."  Much like the game of Diplomacy, you need one more "Shore Party" than the defending side to take the town.  Shore parties, ideally, would only be active when the ship is going less than 3.5 knots.  This would take programming, but could loan from the "boarding initiate" parameters.  I am not certain how easy this would be to code in.

5.  Add circles near to shore batteries.  Exactly as above, one more "shore party" than the defenders, and you can seize the tower for your own side.  This adds to dynamism of battle, increasing options from "destroy fortifications" to "destroy fortifications" or "seize fortifications" for each fortification the port has.  (This mechanic was present in Naval Action:  Legends, but simply used the ships as abstraction for shore parties, without an item representing those shore parties.)

6.  Destruction of the Enemy Fleet, or Total Absence from the Port Circle would result in the town's capitulation.  This mechanic would remain from current mechanics, that way even if no shore parties are left, the defenders cannot simply kite away and leave the town.

In a nutshell, this brings the focus of RvR back to economics, which is of course the whole purpose of naval presence in the Caribbean.  It re-diversifies both the lead-up and execution of the port battle, creating a more dynamic event - largely re-using old mechanics in new permutations.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Powderhorn said:

forcing a faction to commit to at least 4 hours of setting up a port battle, at most 10 hours.

Four hours to flip a port? Please...kill me now...

We flipped a port that's a first rate grind using 2nd rates 2 weeks ago. It took about 4 hours. On a Saturday. Never again. (@Tiedemann)

 

Regarding war supplies, I wouldn't mind having them back to circumvent the AI-grind. But it is a system that is even easier to manipulate than the conquest flags, and I'm not sure we need to go in that direction. Though some variant of it could be considered. I've analysed that idea before myself and came up with something that mixes war supplies with conquest flags as part of this write-up:

I also mention single circle battles here, and I've always wanted a system with one circle, about the same area as the 3 circles we have now combined, positioned close to the fortifications, where defenders have to make sure they stay in the circle, and attackers have to push the defenders out or kill them to gain control of the circle and get the necessary points.

My greatest issue with the current PB system, apart from the fact that I miss the good old 25v25s, is this:

Not enough ships sink in PBs. With 3 circles people go to the 2 circles where the enemy has none or less ships, and try to keep the main enemy fleet busy by sending a small kiting ship into their circle to deny them points. PBs now are all about avoiding the big clash, and even when a fight is going a certain way, the points accumulation means that if you captured the circles the battle will be over long before any significant number of ships have sunk. This has devolved into gamey tactics, where if there is a big disparity in skill between two fleets the superior party will actively avoid taking circles in order to give themselves more time to sink the enemy. 

Controlling circles gives too many points and killing ships give too little, but at the same time, if we changed this, then the defending side could simply avoid the engagement to slow down attacker's accumulation of points.

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flags, warsupplies were removed for a reason. The first one has been discussed so many times that im bored to hear it again.

Holy shit, so many hours to flip a port.

3 circles adds more tactical deph than just a massive brawl in front of a decorator with land, a city and forts.

But capturing forts or towers is interesting. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the "shore party" idea, as long as they add some visuals to it ( dudes rowing to shore in boats and maybe even have ships be able to fire upon and sink them? ... even a bunch of soldiers charging the tower / fort would be enough ). If they add permanent destruction of forts and towers and a building cost for them, "boarding" or capturing enemy fortifications to avoid the rebuilding cost would make a lot more sense. We even have models for destroyed forts and towers in game already. This could be yet another real/doubloon sink, add more realism and be easy to implement.

@admin

Please consider making towers and forts cost something to build ( after every destruction ) but make it optional - so clans can choose where they want / need forts and towers but have to pay for it. Maybe even add the possibility to build more than 2 forts at big / important ports. Ports should have higher maintenance cost with more fortifications or less without ( whatever you deem more balanced ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4-10 hours of hostility would kill RvR actually.

The history of the game showed that fast action is prefered to long time grinding. (entire RvR fleets vanishing with introduction of the hostility mechanic)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sovereign said:

I like the "shore party" idea, as long as they add some visuals to it ( dudes rowing to shore in boats and maybe even have ships be able to fire upon and sink them? ... even a bunch of soldiers charging the tower / fort would be enough ). If they add permanent destruction of forts and towers and a building cost for them, "boarding" or capturing enemy fortifications to avoid the rebuilding cost would make a lot more sense. We even have models for destroyed forts and towers in game already. This could be yet another real/doubloon sink, add more realism and be easy to implement.

@admin

Please consider making towers and forts cost something to build ( after every destruction ) but make it optional - so clans can choose where they want / need forts and towers but have to pay for it. Maybe even add the possibility to build more than 2 forts at big / important ports. Ports should have higher maintenance cost with more fortifications or less without ( whatever you deem more balanced ).

And one could argue that it would need transports - merchantships transporting the troops necessary to capture a fort.. That needs to be landed..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 'shore party' concept is interesting in that, it could, if modeled right  open the door to  mini campaigns to take  ports culminating in a port battle. If over a period of causing damage to port defences, to the point where the owning clan cannot afford to repair, then, port battles become a case of sinking the defending fleet and landing troops to secure the port. It also opens the door to nuisance raiding which costs the clan to repair damaged defences, but may not necessarily end in a port battle, it would however provide both PVP and structured RVR , it would also provide content for traders to attempt to get supplies into besieged ports in order to repair the defences. The PVE faction could also be involved sinking NPC ships trying to resupply as long as they are willing to accept the risks of interception by players. New players could explore the lower tiers of PVP/RVR by conducting reconnaisance and commerce raiding/transport sinking around the port while learning the inherent risks of interacting with veteran players on their own terms.  

There could be something in the concept for all players which would not be a bad thing for the game, even pirates could get get in on it, what pirate would not be able to resist picking off merchants and transports from both sides, or a clash with either or both navy's involved?  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Powderhorn said:

1.  Return of the old flag system to initiate hostility.  Instead of simply taking a mission, launching a flag could once again be done in isolation, or with a whole fleet escorting.  It should be physically carried, and announced as it was in the past.  This brings the first aspect of the port battle back:  Fleet actions at sea, heading off the port battle in its inception.  I would encourage these flags to cost doubloons, in order to have big-ticket items that are consistently purchased, keeping them moving within the economy.

The flag mechanic was the best of all ideas and was thrown away too fast. It should have a come back incl. a rework.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Sven Silberbart said:

The flag mechanic was the best of all ideas and was thrown away too fast. It should have a come back incl. a rework.

Honestly I believe the flag idea was poor.. We all remember the nights that 50+ flags was pulled.. Or the night when the border between UK and DK/NG was moved from Santo Domingo to Tiburon in a single onslaught.

The flags had three primary problems: 1) The false flags. 2) The speed at which a flag could be pulled, planted and the port captured. Basically it enabled a shit ton of empty PBs and I for one didn't find empty PBs any fund. 3) The borders moved so fast that if you were off-line for 2 days your ships could be deep inside enemy territory req huge efforts to get them out again.

I wouldn't mind the flags if there were mechanics that limited or removed the problems with them. A second thing is the dispersion of ressources - basically all crafting ressources should be craftable in all ports, this would limit the negative impact of RvR on ppl ability to play the game, RvR however would loose importance. This could be solved by giving the owning clan wider econ powers and make RvR a question of controlling trade routes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

How about :

1. the attacker buys a hostility flag to set a hostility start time (minimum of 30 mins from purchase but must be within the port timer settings). This notifies the server at large which port is threatened with attack and the time the hostility battle swords will activate.

2.  Any attacker battle group is immune provided it carries the hostility flag (usual clan friends list applies for attacker and defender). The flag need NOT be taken for entry to the hostility battle, its just an aid against screening (optional).

3. The hostility battle swords become visible to both attacker and defender (open for one hour) at the port entrance from the hostility start time set when the flag was purchased.

4. A single circle hostility battle (no forts active) takes place based on points, first to 1000. A PB is raised if the attackers win. If a 1000 points are not raised by either side, the side with the higher number of points wins the hostility. If attackers win the hostility the PB time is set for the following day and the existing PB mechanics apply (i.e. no flags involved).

Anti screening/revenge rule option: Any attacker battle group carrying the hostility flag is immune from attack by a screening or revenge fleet from any nation. This is an RvR mechanic not a PvP option. However, the attackers battle group carrying the hostility flag cannot attack anyone either (i.e. its for RvR not PvP). The hostility flag expires when either it is destroyed by the attackers (with a cool down timer of 10 mins) or the ship carrying it docks. Ships leaving the flag battle group have 10 minute cool down no-attack timer.

This removes the grind and replaces PvE hopefully with RvR.

 

Buster (10 mins worth)

 

 

 

Edited by Busterbloodvessel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Anolytic said:

I also mention single circle battles here, and I've always wanted a system with one circle, about the same area as the 3 circles we have now combined, positioned close to the fortifications, where defenders have to make sure they stay in the circle, and attackers have to push the defenders out or kill them to gain control of the circle and get the necessary points.

My greatest issue with the current PB system, apart from the fact that I miss the good old 25v25s Devs hello kittyed up the BR so its a Bucentaure meta, but with BR rebalance I would guess we could see more 3rd rates as main ships in fleets topped off with 1st rates or 2nd rates, today its only 2:3 ratio so imo 2nd rate br should be doubled and 1st rates should be increased 25% in BR, is this:

Not enough ships sink in PBs. With 3 circles people go to the 2 circles where the enemy has none or less ships, and try to keep the main enemy fleet busy by sending a small kiting ship into their circle to deny them points. PBs now are all about avoiding the big clash, and even when a fight is going a certain way, the points accumulation means that if you captured the circles the battle will be over long before any significant number of ships have sunk. This has devolved into gamey tactics, where if there is a big disparity in skill between two fleets the superior party will actively avoid taking circles in order to give themselves more time to sink the enemy. 

Thanks to insane high end repair % on mods and mod stacking this is possible.

Controlling circles gives too many points and killing ships give too little, but at the same time, if we changed this, then the defending side could simply avoid the engagement to slow down attacker's accumulation of points.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Lars Kjaer said:

Honestly I believe the flag idea was poor.. We all remember the nights that 50+ flags was pulled.. Or the night when the border between UK and DK/NG was moved from Santo Domingo to Tiburon in a single onslaught.

The flags had three primary problems: 1) The false flags. 2) The speed at which a flag could be pulled, planted and the port captured. Basically it enabled a shit ton of empty PBs and I for one didn't find empty PBs any fund. 3) The borders moved so fast that if you were off-line for 2 days your ships could be deep inside enemy territory req huge efforts to get them out again.

I wouldn't mind the flags if there were mechanics that limited or removed the problems with them. A second thing is the dispersion of ressources - basically all crafting ressources should be craftable in all ports, this would limit the negative impact of RvR on ppl ability to play the game, RvR however would loose importance. This could be solved by giving the owning clan wider econ powers and make RvR a question of controlling trade routes.

Although the transportation of the flag to the port and the escort of the flag carrier was always thrilling :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Sovereign said:

I like the "shore party" idea, as long as they add some visuals to it ( dudes rowing to shore in boats and maybe even have ships be able to fire upon and sink them? ... even a bunch of soldiers charging the tower / fort would be enough ). If they add permanent destruction of forts and towers and a building cost for them, "boarding" or capturing enemy fortifications to avoid the rebuilding cost would make a lot more sense. We even have models for destroyed forts and towers in game already. This could be yet another real/doubloon sink, add more realism and be easy to implement.

@admin

Please consider making towers and forts cost something to build ( after every destruction ) but make it optional - so clans can choose where they want / need forts and towers but have to pay for it. Maybe even add the possibility to build more than 2 forts at big / important ports. Ports should have higher maintenance cost with more fortifications or less without ( whatever you deem more balanced ).

tbh i dont see why square forts cant be player controlled in a port battle, and if a ship rolls up under 3.5kn next to the fort it could be "boarded" which would open the boarding minigame (maybe a few adjustments considering it would be a land fight).

Instead of it also completely collapsing it should have destruction visualization like it is on ship, where there are holes in the side and masts are lost, aswell as cannons are destroyed and crew is dying from hits

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think getting hung up on the hours is a mistake.  If a 4 hour minimum is too much, make it 25% every half hour, at most.  It's really one of the smallest aspects of the whole idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe just make it one, single pre-announced battle?

 

1. Clan X select hostility mission for port belonging to clan Y

2. Clan Y has 3 (random number to discuss) hours to prepare.

3. At designated time, the battle is opened with limit of half of the BR of the port. If defenders will join, the normal PvP battle take place. If defending clan will not fill up the hostility battle, the AI will be spawned.

If attackers win, they have a proper PB next day. If defenders win, no Port Battle. All escaped ships counts as "sunk" to determine the winner.

 

Of course, with such "pre-announce" some protection should be issued for attacking fleet, to avoid beeing counter-screened with much better number than half of the BR. (lets leave this kind of stuff for next day PB)

Maybe a special status like "War Fleet" that You select before leaving port? All of the ships in War Fleet group, can only enter specified hostility mission, and cannot attack or be attacked by anyone else. The War Fleet status could be removed only in the same port they left?

 

Just another proposal to change the current hostility mechanics.

Edited by OjK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duty of the Port owner is to destroy the Invading Fleet. Orders of the Invader is to destroy opposition fleet or, failing that, gain control of the town.

A Defender that does not destroy ships loses the port. An attacker that does not takes indicated areas or destroys or forces 50% of the enemy fleet to flee ( whatever  loses the battle.

Different objective for both sides, having the same objective is odd.

The winner side of a port battle will see its captains which lost their ships in the line of duty, receive a note from the Admiralty for a Ship Note of the same model in their closest outpost warehouse - sadly all specific arrangements to the rigging or hulls are lost with the ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Chevalier du Ethuville said:

Duty of the Port owner is to destroy the Invading Fleet. Orders of the Invader is to destroy opposition fleet or, failing that, gain control of the town.

A Defender that does not destroy ships loses the port. An attacker that does not takes indicated areas or destroys or forces 50% of the enemy fleet to flee ( whatever  loses the battle.

Different objective for both sides, having the same objective is odd.

The winner side of a port battle will see its captains which lost their ships in the line of duty, receive a note from the Admiralty for a Ship Note of the same model in their closest outpost warehouse - sadly all specific arrangements to the rigging or hulls are lost with the ship.

You know, with 3 circles, You at least force some fleet composition.

With big brawl in the middle, it will be Bucentaurs only.

Not really a fun of single ship hello kittyfest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing about circles in my post.

Just different objectives for each side.

One goes for kills, other goes for control. One will meet the other of course, there must be combat sadly. Sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would using war supplies to change/skew the Port Battle BR be a potential use for them?   I like the shore parties and economic suggestions.  Manning forts again maybe?  Keep the ideas coming!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lars Kjaer said:

Honestly I believe the flag idea was poor.. We all remember the nights that 50+ flags was pulled.. Or the night when the border between UK and DK/NG was moved from Santo Domingo to Tiburon in a single onslaught.

The flags had three primary problems: 1) The false flags. 2) The speed at which a flag could be pulled, planted and the port captured. Basically it enabled a shit ton of empty PBs and I for one didn't find empty PBs any fund. 3) The borders moved so fast that if you were off-line for 2 days your ships could be deep inside enemy territory req huge efforts to get them out again.

I wouldn't mind the flags if there were mechanics that limited or removed the problems with them. A second thing is the dispersion of ressources - basically all crafting ressources should be craftable in all ports, this would limit the negative impact of RvR on ppl ability to play the game, RvR however would loose importance. This could be solved by giving the owning clan wider econ powers and make RvR a question of controlling trade routes.

The base idea of the flags wasnt bad. The way it was implemented into the game was.

1) The false flags.

2) The speed at which a flag could be pulled, planted and the port captured

3) The borders moved so fast

Because everyone could buy easily a flag and start a PB. That was the problem, not the flag itself. Flags must be expensive to buy or to craft (Cost dubloons and vic marks). The maximum amount of flags must be limited for a clan. Only clans can buy or craft flags (we must fight the alt problem). The transport of the flag must be done within a battle group . If the flag is at the target port, it do not start the PB immediately. Placing a flag needs time. During that time the flag must be defended by the battle group....

I am sure, there are more options to make flag system well working.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Sven Silberbart said:

The base idea of the flags wasnt bad. The way it was implemented into the game was.

1) The false flags.

2) The speed at which a flag could be pulled, planted and the port captured

3) The borders moved so fast

Because everyone could buy easily a flag and start a PB. That was the problem, not the flag itself. Flags must be expensive to buy or to craft (Cost dubloons and vic marks). The maximum amount of flags must be limited for a clan. Only clans can buy or craft flags (we must fight the alt problem). The transport of the flag must be done within a battle group . If the flag is at the target port, it do not start the PB immediately. Placing a flag needs time. During that time the flag must be defended by the battle group....

I am sure, there are more options to make flag system well working.

 

 

Use flags only to buy RvR hostility. See my earlier post.

PB only takes place if hostility battle is won.

i.e. work has to be done to raise a PB not just buying a flag. Buy five flags gains nothing if you don't attend the hostility battle.

Buster 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...