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van Veen

Player defined NPC fleet

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Objective is to reduce long hours of sailing for players and populate the world with meaningful NPC fleets that transport goods which are needed.

When in harbor, players should be able to assemble a fleet, equip the ships, add items to the hold and define a destination for the fleet. When launched, these ships appear in the open world and sail the specified route towards their destination. Once they arrive, the ships can be found again in the player's dock. In open world these fleets work exactly like current NPCs, they can be attacked, sunk or captured. Numbers of random AI NPCs could be reduced accordingly. 

Players could send their trade goods, resources or ships to a remote port without sailing themselves. They can choose to escort their fleet in open world or let it sail alone. There is a risk to it, but potential benefit is that no personal time in front of the computer is required to sail long distances. This mechanism could be used to boost economy somewhat. Trade hubs would emerge which in turn will be targeted by pirates. Tow function is not required anymore. 

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This feature requires good NPC routing between ports. Since AI routing is not optimum right now (NPC sailing across/through land), this might be a good opportunity to fix two problems in one go. There are a few approaches I can think of (there might be more automated ones).

  1. User waypoint definition. User defines a list of waypoints freely on the map. 
  2. User waypoint routing. User defines a list of waypoints from a list of pre-defined waypoints on the map. 
  3. Pre-defined routes between ports. User selects destination only. Route between the ports is pre-defined in the background. 

What it all comes down to is that a grid of waypoints must be pre-defined in one or another way. This is tedious hand labor, but I am sure there are volunteers here in the community who are happy to lend a hand or two. 

Edited by van Veen
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I could see people arming NPC fleets to escort in a pb fleet or help with screeners. 

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16 hours ago, van Veen said:

Objective is to reduce long hours of sailing for players and populate the world with meaningful NPC fleets that transport goods which are needed.

When in harbor, players should be able to assemble a fleet, equip the ships, add items to the hold and define a destination for the fleet. When launched, these ships appear in the open world and sail the specified route towards their destination. Once they arrive, the ships can be found again in the player's dock. In open world these fleets work exactly like current NPCs, they can be attacked, sunk or captured. Numbers of random AI NPCs could be reduced accordingly. 

Players could send their trade goods, resources or ships to a remote port without sailing themselves. They can choose to escort their fleet in open world or let it sail alone. There is a risk to it, but potential benefit is that no personal time in front of the computer is required to sail long distances. This mechanism could be used to boost economy somewhat. Trade hubs would emerge which in turn will be targeted by pirates. Tow function is not required anymore. 

Should've been implemented long ago really..

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4 hours ago, Lars Kjaer said:

Should've been implemented long ago really..

Agreed. The idea is not new, but still good ;)

 

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12 hours ago, Wraith said:

That sounds like content @van Veen, you know we can't have that! ;) Might as well just recreate the wheel with a new damage model instead. 🙄

I just wonder what will be the next big thing. I hear they are adding more new resources and redistributing them across the map. I am sure this will be a game changer ;)

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Great Concept.

So it would be player ships which are entered into automated trade fleets (with or without escort)? Or we send merchandise via generated ships which are not part of our dockyard? Both seems possible to me, even besides each other. Think of a DLC for players who are dedicated to trading, which gives additional dockspace only for such automated trade fleets for whom you set the waypoints. Imagine they are freelance captains you hire for transportation tasks without owning their ships.

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