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Capt Aerobane

Replacing Hostility Missions With More Interesting Ways to Set PBs.

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Most people don’t really like hostility missions, and I have found them incredibly repetitive on the few times I did do them. With the recent changes to ports and the addition of port management, customization, and a real reason to own them (awesome changes btw!) it opens the door for much more interesting port battle setting mechanics.

I propose getting rid of the hostility mission system and replacing it with any one or combination of the following ways to set a port battle.

Blockades. The premise simple, the details more complex, a large group of players sail to the port they want to blockade and when a sufficiently large battle group is near the port, they can trigger a “blockade” event. To successfully blockade a port and either set a PB or complete one step in setting a PB, the attacking team would have to prevent the defending team from bringing more than a certain amount of “relief supplies” –food supplies and gunpowder for instance— into the port. Lineships and frigates would not be able to carry relief supplies, only merchant ships and smaller vessels; the defenders must protect a big merchant (Indiaman) or create a distraction allowing several light ships to sneak through. The blockade would have to be kept up for a standard amount of time, probably somewhere between 1 and 2 hours, but if the defenders do not show up and get at least one ship within a certain range of the port within 30 minutes, the blockade is counted a success so that people don’t have to sit in the blockade for hours waiting for nobody to show up.
“But aero you noob, it’s impossible to blockade a port in NA because you will just get screened out and people can sneak by once ur in an instance, also tagging mechanics make blockades so hard!”

 


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Here is the big trick: the blockade is an instance of its own. If you trigger a blockade, a battle instance is created in and around the port. The open world continues somewhat normally, with players who aren’t involved coming and going like normal. The catch is that if you want your supplies to count towards breaking the blockade, you must drop them off into the port from the combat instance, having sailed into the port through or around the blockade while they can chase or block you. When the blockade is triggered, all ships in the attacking clan/attacking alliance of clans are pulled into the instance based on their relative position to the port in the open world. When the defenders join the instance, they join also based on their relative position but at least 10 minutes sail (in the battle instance mind you) away from the supply drop off point, which would be right in the center of the port. The wind in these blockade instances will always be set to a neutral position so that nobody spawns in down wind with 0 chance to make it to the port.*a small caveat is that the blockading ships might need unlimited chain or sail repair mechanics may need to be nerfed in these particular instances, to stop spamming and sail repping as a cheesy break-through tactic.

In this type of engagement, port defensive batteries and towers will actually be extremely important because the closer you can bring your blockade to the port, the easier it is to cover all the gaps and stop a small ship sneaking through. Enormous and expensive shore batteries can destroy warships at long range, creating a “safe zone” for blockade runners that will be very difficult to prevent them from reaching, as opposed to a port with no defenses where the blockaders can keep shooting the supply ships even as they are slowly unloading their supplies into the port.

If team composition and size is unrestricted, it will be extremely easy to break a blockade because the defenders have the advantage of being able to use any one of multiple strategies ranging from a powerful fleet to smash the blockade, to a swarm of blockade running lighter ships to shotgun the defense and hopefully make it through. Because of this teams would have BR limits, with the blockaders getting more BR so they can bring a combination of powerful warships and interceptors. Also remember that depending on the layout of the port and any spits of land with defenses, the attackers may be required to bring a mortar brig to neutralize particularly problematic shore batteries. Ideally, the BR limits are shaped for each port so that a fully exposed port with no defenses is easy to blockade, and a heavily protected port that the clan has invested in is very difficult to blockade without some way of destroying the defenses first... This would require fine tuning on the BR limits for each side.

Raids and Assaults. Been suggested a million times before, and other people have put a lot more thought into it so take what I write here as a general idea. The premise is simple, but here the details are pretty simple too. You show up with a bunch of ships and you start blowing shit up right way, mainly those defensive fortifications. Defenders trying to break up the raid spawn in at any time from the moment it starts and with any ships they want. They would spawn rather close to the attackers. Towers destroyed in these attacks would not be available in blockades and PBs for the next week or so. So yeah. Show up and start blowing shit up, guaranteed action, high chance of PVP. You don’t even have to do it because you want to launch a port battle, you can just do it because you want a fight, or just because you don’t like the clan that owns the port and you want to give them a head ache.

Economic Warfare. As the developers alluded to in their post about port mechanics upgrades, economic sabotage in more indirect ways could play an important role in RVR and with port battles. The possibilities are endless, so I’ll only list a few ideas I’ve had.
Sinking shipping to weaken port defenses
Sinking shipping to increase PB/RVR timer window. (Sink AI merchants near an enemy port to create a window for a raid or blockade or to increase the length of the existing one.)
Sinking shipping to decrease the prosperity of a port and reduce its output of materials.
Hiring “privateer” players to go attack merchant shipping around an enemy port or to suppress piracy around your port waters. (pls I just wanna be a pirate come on).
Rewards for escorting AI merchants and for intercepting them (if on a contract to do so by a clan.)
Etc, etc. Lots of possibilities that give people meaningful reasons to go out and look for trouble, and giving them central focus points around which to focus their activity, increasing the likelihood of encounters that turn into fighting. Escort and intercept rewards would also give rewards to players even if they can’t find PVP, leading to less of those frustrating instances where you spend an hour searching the OW but find little of interest and log off with nothing.

 

Those are my three big ideas for how to change mechanics around port battles and ports to improve the conquest aspect of RVR and introduce a more “sustained” aspect, with spontaneous raids and constant economic warfare being important to weaken an enemy clan before the decisive confrontations.

Couple this with the “front lines” that admin confirmed:
https://forum.game-labs.net/topic/28606-manage-ports-and-save-time-coming-soon/?do=findComment&comment=627960
and you will (hopefully) end up with more RVR action, and a lot more different types of RVR action. My favorite part of this idea is the privateering and merchant raiding, because it’s a way to get solo players involved in RVR, and it offers a smooth transition from PVE to PVP.

I don’t think that requiring a clan to tick all the RVR boxes to have a PB is necessary either, as these mechanics could flow together. Raids and eco warfare make it easier to blockade, blockades trigger PBs. If the impact of coastal defenses on blockades are well balanced, then players will have to perform raids and destroy them before trying to perform the blockade and set the PB. Some sort of screening nerf may be needed, however, because I think if players must sustain economic warfare, conduct raids, and blockade ports to set a PB with no guarantee that they won’t be stopped by an impossibly big screening fleet or just really cheesy delaying tactics, then people may not go through the trouble of trying to set PBs.

Alternatively, blockades, raids, and merchant sinking could all work together to build hostility, so after either several blockades, several raids, or a combination of the above, a port battle could be set.

I might not have the specifics down pat, or there might be a glaringly obvious weakness in this idea that I was blind to in my excitement, but please look at this as a suggestion for a type of mechanic change, not a hypothetical set of patch notes. I fleshed this out quite a bit because its an exciting prospect to me and because I wanted to propose solutions to a lot of the problems pre emptively, not to try to tell the developers how to do their job.

Thanks for reading this and kudos to you if you actually did read most or all of it, I hope it wasn't a waste of your time. I'll check to see how people have responded in the morning. o7.
 

 

 

Edited by Capt Aerobane
Edit the formatting got scrambled when I hit post, I'll fix it in the morning.
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Sinking incoming ships is actually a good idea. But I would not make it as sinking NPC but sinking designated supply ships. When a hostility action is started  you trigger a system where you have to stop supplyships (that come from a harbour nearby) and perhaps NPC:s too (to make the process go faster.

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1 hour ago, Ligatorswe said:

Sinking incoming ships is actually a good idea. But I would not make it as sinking NPC but sinking designated supply ships. When a hostility action is started  you trigger a system where you have to stop supplyships (that come from a harbour nearby) and perhaps NPC:s too (to make the process go faster.

 

  What you are describing is how hostility used to be raised by attacking that nations ships/fleets.

  It was such a pain in the micheal jackson's preferred action,  that they introduced hostility missions.... round and round we go :D .

 

 

Edited by Dibbler
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4 hours ago, Dibbler said:

What you are describing is how hostility used to be raised by attacking that nations ships/fleets.

You realize hostility missions are just a front to supply fleets of ships to kill? You're still gaining hostility the old way by sinking that nations ships.

@Capt Aerobane
Anyway, great ideas massive +1

Edited by Slim McSauce
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19 minutes ago, Slim McSauce said:

You realize hostility missions are just a front to supply fleets of ships to kill? You're still gaining hostility the old way by sinking that nations ships.

@Capt Aerobane
Anyway, great ideas massive +1

 

 Yes they replaced the old way, but man finding national fleets was such a pain lol.

 Maybe would be different now that AI routes been changed though.

@Capt Aerobane
Good idea's though in general :)

 

Edited by Dibbler
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I like these ideas.

I think though that folks are unhappy with two things.

1. Hostility taking "too long" - Hostility is faster with more people, but unfortunately many of nations don't just have the ability to get it done. But the qeustion is "what is too long?" I would say anything more than 2 hours is really pushing it.

2. It's not dynamic - the suggestions you bring here seem a lot more fun and dynamic. Hostility as it is, is repetitive, but it is important to make it fun to do, and currently to many it is not.

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On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 11:55 PM, Capt Aerobane said:

Blockades.

This would be in effect a mini PB in itself.  That's actually a very good thing with regards to content.

 

On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 11:55 PM, Capt Aerobane said:

Raids and Assaults

This and the Blockade suggestion are great but what about timing?  I can see an evil clan doing this when they know that the owners aren't present.  There would have to be timers, I think.

The Eco warfare could happen at any time, though.  Really good thought put into this.

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7 hours ago, Angus MacDuff said:

This would be in effect a mini PB in itself.  That's actually a very good thing with regards to content.

 

This and the Blockade suggestion are great but what about timing?  I can see an evil clan doing this when they know that the owners aren't present.  There would have to be timers, I think.

The Eco warfare could happen at any time, though.  Really good thought put into this.

I think timers could work for this just like normal PBs, at least until a different system is devised. Eco warfare at night might not be very fair to a clan, so I think allowing clans to limit the general spawn times for their port's AI would be fair.

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On 3/10/2019 at 4:55 AM, Capt Aerobane said:

When the blockade is triggered, all ships in the attacking clan/attacking alliance of clans are pulled into the instance based on their relative position to the port in the open world. When the defenders join the instance, they join also based on their relative position but at least 10 minutes sail (in the battle instance mind you) away from the supply drop off point, which would be right in the center of the port.

I like the idea of a blockade mission available in the mission screen similar to hostility mission. The spawn is very similar to the port battle entry circles. Attacker (blockading ships) should join/spawn inside the outer, but outside the inner circle. Blockade runners can either join from outside outer ring to bring supplies into the city or join from the docks (inside inner circle) to escape from port and safe valuables from being captured. 

 

On 3/10/2019 at 4:55 AM, Capt Aerobane said:

Raids and Assaults. Been suggested a million times before, and other people have put a lot more thought into it so take what I write here as a general idea. The premise is simple, but here the details are pretty simple too. You show up with a bunch of ships and you start blowing shit up right way, mainly those defensive fortifications.

Sounds like fun. But everything you mention here is already included in the blockade mission described previously. Basically, a blockade mission without blockade runners trying to get in or out is just what you describe. 

On 3/10/2019 at 4:55 AM, Capt Aerobane said:

Economic Warfare. 
Sinking shipping to weaken port defenses
Sinking shipping to increase PB/RVR timer window. (Sink AI merchants near an enemy port to create a window for a raid or blockade or to increase the length of the existing one.)
Sinking shipping to decrease the prosperity of a port and reduce its output of materials.
Hiring “privateer” players to go attack merchant shipping around an enemy port or to suppress piracy around your port waters. (pls I just wanna be a pirate come on).
Rewards for escorting AI merchants and for intercepting them (if on a contract to do so by a clan.)

Some very good ideas here. I agree there should be more different types of missions that affect port/clan wealth. I have proposed some time ago that ports should have wealth, i.e. money you can plunder. So, highly valuable ports are more attractive than others. Every hostile action should reduce the port wealth and adversely affect the productivity. 

Do I understand you correctly that these missions should drive up hostility and port battles remain as is?

 

8 hours ago, Capt Aerobane said:

I think timers could work for this just like normal PBs, at least until a different system is devised. Eco warfare at night might not be very fair to a clan, so I think allowing clans to limit the general spawn times for their port's AI would be fair.

Oh well, timers and timezones... a total different story.

What about notifying clans of hostility on their port as soon as the mission is drawn? This gives defenders some time to prepare. Obviously, attackers only have a preparation advantage when starting the mission fast, so that attacking distant ports has less chance of success. This would enhance frontlines. 

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