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Anolytic

On the current Economy of Currencies and Permits

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This suggestion is part of a comprehensive review I have attempted on the Crafting and Economy currently in Naval Action. This part is where I address the Economy and Currencies. You can find my topics on Crafting Woods here, and my suggestion on Labour Hours here.

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I have two main concerns with the current state of the Naval Action Sandbox. Currencies and «rare woods».

Given the knowledge that devs are currently working on changes to crafting, they may already be in the process of addressing all or some of my concerns, I still feel the need to give feedback on the current state of things as they are now.

I know there are other topics also addressing permit prices as they are, but in this topic I try to look broadly at of all the currencies in the game.

First of all, we now have 4 currencies in-game: Reals, Doubloons, Victory Marks, Combat Medals.

Reals

This currency is pretty straight forward. You earn them from trading, missions/battles (limited), and from selling stuff (upgrades, books, repairs, guns) on the market to other players. You use them to buy/extract crafting resources, and to buy upgrades, books, ships, repairs, cannons on the market from other players. Even to buy other currencies. So this is sort of the base currency.

Doubloons

You get them from PvE or PvP, and you use them for buying upgrades, books, labour contracts, and in ship-building. You also use them to extract essential woods for ship-building from clan-missions. They are more of a PvE-reward, but you can also get a fair amount of them from PvP - if you are lucky enough to be in a situation to actually loot. 

Because of their use in ship-building they push some grinding on players interested in participating in end-game content. 

But because of their use in extracting rare woods - also for shipbuilding - they force egregious amounts of grinding on players looking to participate even moderately in end-game content, i.e. RvR.

Victory Marks

Victory marks are gotten from participation in (successful) RvR. They are spent on permits for some RvR-ships. But a lot of important RvR-ships, including L’Ocean now require only other currencies and no Victory Marks at all. On the whole, Victory Marks seem to have lost their place. They are not a specialised currency anymore, but just a weird supplement. RvR-players hardly even need them.

Even more, some important RvR-ships are now without obtainable permits except through RNG-drops from chests. 

Combat Medals

You get them from PvP - AND from PvE…

Even combat medals are no longer a specialised currency. And you spend them on almost everything. From upgrades, to ship permits, to books, to figureheads. Combat medals need to be grinded, and the typical players would need to spend 2-3 evenings in the patrol zone to buy a surprise permit. So some players farm them in patrol zones, others in PvE-missions, and yet again others in front of Mortimer Town or KPR.

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Exchanges

The only one of these currencies that are somewhat exclusive now is Victory Marks. They are acquired only through participation in RvR and no other way. They used to also be the exclusive currency to buy permits for RvR-ships. Now none of the most commonly used ships in RvR are purchased with Victory Marks. Only Victory, 3rd rate, USS United States and St. Pavel are bought with Victory Marks. In other words, the currency you are rewarded for participation in RvR no longer lets you replace the ships you loose in RvR. Two of the most commonly used ships being L’Ocean and Bucentaure, which cost Combat Medals. Not to mention Santisima which is now a rare drop RNG-permit and cannot be bought for any currency.

In the current system, Victory Marks serve no meaningful role. They have become an utterly useless reward for anyone interested in RvR.

Combat medals on the other hand need to be farmed. Because they are used for everything, and the prices are ridiculous. But even they have lost their place. Because it is much more effective farming combat medals through PvE than PvP. What seemed to be introduced as the new PvP Marks and a PvP-exclusive reward, has morphed into just a new type of Doubloons.

When we had Combat Medals as the PvP-exclusive currency, it made sense that Doubloons was something in-between. Now doubloons is the less valuable sibling of Combat Medals. However, the problem with doubloons is mainly their uses. For woods and in lineship recipes. Leaving alone the fact that this means we seem to be paying twice (why not only use doubloons for the woods, or only in the crafting receipe?), the prices of 50 000 doubloons for 5000 white oak are ludicrous. That’s days and days and days of grinding PvE to build just a couple of ships, or weeks and weeks of PvP.

Prices

The wood prices are not the only problem. All the prices in the admiralty are heavily inflated. 15 combat medals for a surprise permit. In practical terms that means anyone who wants to craft a surprise has to buy the Hercules DLC and do patrol zones for three days. Or do approximately 2 PvE search and destroy missions. For L’Ocean permits it is 50 Combat Medals, which compared to Surprise permits doesn’t seem that unreasonable, but considering the effort needed to gather that, it is.

The current price of woods, even through clan-missions, are such that gathering resources is meaningless. And the prices of permits on top of that means that for most players crafting ships is out of the question. If it wasn’t for all the ships that we had stored up from before these changes were made, and the knowledge that all will be wiped soon anyway, nobody would be sailing anything but DLC-ships now - if they bought those. On the other hand, I know many players that refuse to buy the DLCs now, simply because they believe unless prices for permits are completely overhauled and significantly lessened, the game will not succeed past launch. I do not disagree with them.

Edited by Anolytic
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My Suggestion

First of all, when there are so many currencies, they should each have a distinct use and purpose. Secondly prices need to be within reasonable bounds, or nobody is going to feel they can afford spending them. When it comes to woods, I plan to address that elsewhere, but the short of it is to get rid of the clan-missions idea altogether.

Reals

They work pretty well as they are. The currency for trading on the market, and acquired mainly through trading with ports or with players. My only suggestion for change would be to slightly reduce the profits on the best trade-goods. Maybe reduce the base price of any trade goods worth more than 6k reals ( based on lowest buy price) by up to 20%, and increase the base prices of trade goods worth less than 5k accordingly. To reduce the largest profits and distribute profits more evenly.

Doubloons

I think looting is a mechanic that really need to be fixed, and I think PvP should reward more doubloons. Currently I end up leaving most PvP-battles with little or no doubloons, compared to easy thousands of doubloons if I resort to doing some PvE. You rarely can loot in chaotic and heavy PvP-battles, and even if you are free to do so, chances are low that enemies die in a position where you can get to them.

As a currency, doubloons could make a lot of sense as the main reward for interaction. Reals can be accumulated fairly passively by trading, but doubloons are rewarded for interacting with the world of Naval Action. By doing PvE or doing PvP. If only the reward for PvP was higher, or less reliant on the flawed loot mechanic, then doubloons would be a very good mechanic.

Victory Marks

Victory Marks should be the valuable RvR-reward as they used to be. They should be exchangeable for permits for all RvR-ships. As they used to be. Prices per permit should be severely reduced. It should not be more than 2 Victory marks for a 1st rate permit. And one Victory Mark for 2nd rates. 3rd rates should not require any marks for permits. On the other hand, the ability to hoard Victory Marks through accumulation of Lord Protectorates should be limited. At the moment you can earn up to 5 victory marks per week by having enough Lord Protectorates. You should not be able to earn more than 3 victory Marks per week per character.

Combat Medals

Combat Medals should revert back to the PvP-mark offspring they were. They should again become a PvP-exclusive reward. However, the rewarding of them should change drastically.

When Combat Medals were introduced I thought the name made sense, and my connotation is some collective terms for diploma or medals received by the captain and crew for bravery in battle. Hence it makes no sense to me how we can get so many medals for single actions like sinking a single ship? How much bravery can be shown by a captain in just a single battle. 

My idea would be to stop rewarding Combat Medals for individual kills. 

And there should be no Combat Medals rewards for PvE on the War Server.

 

Instead, combat medals should be rewarded through these methods:

PvP Hunt-Missions:

Where you get from the Admiralty, say, 20 combat medals for accumulating 10 player kills AND/OR assists on 1st-3rd rates (in any ship). 15 combat medals for accumulating 10 player kills AND/OR assists on 4-5th rates - provided that you are in a 3rd rate or lesser rate when doing the kill. 10 combat medals for accumulating 10 kills AND/OR assists on 5-6th rates - where you have to be in a 5th rate or less for it to register.

Why should assists count? Because the player who got only an assist could have shown more bravery with his ship than the one who got the kill.

Daily PvP-leaderboard

The top 15 players on the PvP-leaderboard every day should be rewarded for their prowess and fame by the admiralty with a payment of combat medals. 3 for top 5, 2 for top 10 and 1 for top 15.

Weekly events

Similarly there should be a weekly events for Lineships, Light ships and Frigates respectively where 10 player kills in a category within a week would give X combat medal, 20 player kills would give 1.5X combat medals, etc.

I think Patrol Zone rewards should be given in Doubloons, not Combat Medals, but they would still be a good place to go in order to complete PvP Hunt-Missions and the weekly events.

Edited by Anolytic
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Permits and PvP-rewards economy

Given that the circulation of Combat Medals would be much less than it is now, I would drastically change prices, something which is needed regardless.

The other issue to address is what specific rewards can be exchanged for Combat medals in the admiralty shop. With PvP-marks we had the problem that very upgrades and books, that greatly advantaged the someone in combat, were only accessible for PvP-marks. Hence to be able to compete in PvP you needed to farm enough PvP-marks to buy those best tools. And this is a system that encourages farming - alt-farming and friend-farming. We had this issue massively after the introduction of PvP-Marks.

I’ve had enlightening discussions about this with @HachiRokuand others, and you cannot base a system to prevent alt-farming and the like on players «snitching» on each other. You have to design a system that does not encourage exploitation, and the only way to do that is to make the rewards purchaseable for PvP-marks mostly cosmetic. So that great PvP-players get something they can show off, and less successful PvP-players have something they can work towards, but do not feel they need to acquire right now in order to be even competitive with the elite. I remember from when we had PvP-Marks, that those players who were the most successful PvP-players advocated for this, despite that the system as it was, greatly advantaged themselves.

Therefore I would shift the currencies in the admiralty shop towards more rewards costing doubloons and Victory Marks, and fewer costing Combat Medals.

Combat Medals should be used to purchase cosmetic upgrades, certain Upgrades that are equivalent to the upgrades that PvE-players and traders can collect, and convenience items.

That is to say that with Combat Medals you should be able to buy:

  • Special PvP-flags such as the Second Muscovy Flag in Russia, for 50 Combat Medals, instead of 50 000 doubloons as you do now.
  • All of the upgrades that are roughly equal to other upgrades collected in-game. So for, say, 1-2 CMs you could buy Navy Planking or Navy Gunpowder, rather than trading and PvE-ing to collect Cartagena Tar, Guacata Gunpowder and Treatise on Saltpetre to create the roughly equal upgrades.
  • All Lineship permits that as previously mentioned would should be available for Victory Marks, should also be available, at a very slightly higher price, for Combat Medals. That way captains who do not participate in RvR could still earn the right from the admiralty to sail Lineships through PvP, by exchanging their Combat Medals. So a permit to build a Lineship would cost maybe 3 CMs.
  • Shipnotes should be reintroduced. And some few ships should be redeemable from the admiralty shop in exchange for some amount of Combat Medals (say 5 per note). Just like players were previously able to redeem L’Hermione and Bellona Notes for PvP-marks. This would be another great way to reward active PvP-players with a convenience feature that would allow them to spend a little less time crafting, and sometimes go out immediately again in a redeemed ship when they sunk. Even if they do not own the DLCs.
  • Special Paints could also be added to the Admiralty shop for Combat Medals.

On the other hand, all standard and mainstream upgrades that every captain should be able to, and afford to, equip their ship with, should be priced in Doubloons in the admiralty store rather than Combat Medals. That goes for all Bowfigures for instance.

Edited by Anolytic
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10 minutes ago, Anolytic said:

Daily PvP-leaderboard

The top 15 players on the PvP-leaderboard every day should be rewarded for their prowess and fame by the admiralty with a payment of combat medals. 3 for top 5, 2 for top 10 and 1 for top 15.

Very well thought out and delivered analysis.  About the only point I would argue against strongly is the above.  The leader board is almost always stacked with the same players.  Their reward is reaching the pinnacle and they should need nothing further.   

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23 minutes ago, Angus MacDuff said:

Very well thought out and delivered analysis.  About the only point I would argue against strongly is the above.  The leader board is almost always stacked with the same players.  Their reward is reaching the pinnacle and they should need nothing further.   

Reset leader board every week. 

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Im a bit tired right now to read the Bible so here are my proposal for currencies and permits.

 

Small Tweaks instead of new systems:

-Decrease the prices of all permits in the Admiralty (-30%).

-Decrease the prices for ALL woods (-50%). We are grinding 3-6 times more than before.

-More variety in the clan delivery missions (500, 1000, 2500, 5000 logs)

-More ships available without the need of permits (reno, rattlesnake, wappen, rattlesnake heavy...)

-Some economy missions should grant only doubloons while others can be rewarded with a mix of reals and doubloons or only reals.

 

 

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There is one thing that you dont recon with in the discussion about combat medals for PVE. And that is that i am 1000% sure that the Devs when they created the Patrol Zone event specificly with PVE in mind, and with intent included PVE. Why? To get more PVP!

Think about it. What has made the PZs such a success? It is that you find battles easy there. And why do one find battles? Because players come there. And what is the reason that people come to the PZ-events? That you can get fights where you earn the precious Combat medals there. In short: one of the main reasons as to why people come to the PZ event is that there is always an opportunity to fight there. If there are no players there are PVE.

Thus: the more players that go there for PVE the more players there are for PVP oriented people to kill in PVP. I would be VERY sad if the Devs change this and only focus rewards in the PZ on PVP. The PZs would no longer be the success it is today.

And the combat zones would not be a success without a reward like the marks.

I agree with much of what you say Anolytic but i think that the combat marks ad victory marks should remain very much as it is today. But I would make it so that ship permits could be bought  for both combat medals and Victory marks. And the ships used for Port Battles should definitely be possible to buy with VMs.

Edited by Ligatorswe

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14 minutes ago, Ligatorswe said:

And that is that i am 1000% sure that the Devs when they created the Patrol Zone event specificly with PVE in mind, and with intent included PVE. Why? To get more PVP!

Think about it. What has made the PZs such a success? It is that you find battles easy there. And why do one find battles? Because players come there. And what is the reason that people come to the PZ-events? That you can get fights where you earn the precious Combat medals there. In short: one of the main reasons as to why people come to the PZ event is that there is always an opportunity to fight there. If there are no players there are PVE.

Thus: the more players that go there for PVE the more players there are for PVP oriented people to kill in PVP. I would be VERY sad if the Devs change this and only focus rewards in the PZ on PVP. The PZs would no longer be the success it is today.

None of this addresses anything of what I write about in the OP. 

Of course an important aspect of Patrol Zones and even PvP in general on the OW is contingent on people going there for PvE and finding PvP when they are there. This doesn't change anything about my analysis or my suggestion.

14 minutes ago, Ligatorswe said:

I agree with much of what you say Anolytic but i think that the combat marks ad victory marks should remain very much as it is today.

This doesn't make sense though. You can't say that you agree with me, yet in the very same sentence disagree with me.

54 minutes ago, Intrepido said:

Im a bit tired right now to read the Bible so here are my proposal for currencies and permits.

Sorry that I used a lot of words. I've tried cutting it into manageable portions. But I'd still ask that you try to read what I wrote before commenting, otherwise you might as well post in another topic or create your own. Rather than posting off topic here.

Edited by Anolytic

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12 minutes ago, Anolytic said:

Sorry that I used a lot of words. I've tried cutting it into manageable portions. But I'd still ask that you try to read what I wrote before commenting, otherwise you might as well post in another topic or create your own. Rather than posting off topic here.

Not offtopic at all since we both target the same subject.

But I agree, I will try to read carefully later all your proposal.

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I am backing the idea of special ships, hard to acquire this way or another. Instead of trying to balance ships combat wise, balancing their economic values is much more interesting and immersive. However, DLC ships in their current form don't fin anywhere in any economic scenario. 

I am advocating from very beginning that PvP should not be rewarded. If you win you are already rewarded by weakening, demoralizing your enemy, may be capturing the cargo or ship. The award can be titles, cosmetic items and such. Gaining everything you can imagine from single activity kills the purpose of other activities like trading, shipbuilding, exploration, pve hunting ect. which should have important part in game content. PvP targets limited audience and there is no need to push everyone there. PvP'ers will find them anyway :)

I believe that nonconvertible currencies only exist to balance non existent economic balance. As soon as we have "economy" one currency to rule them all is optimal solution. 

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Pvp with fame. 

MostarP (p for pink). Farms noobs in front of KPR with her sister. 

So they climb up pvp leaderboard. But next to them shows bounty on them which is combat medals or dubloons on them, which can not be destroyed and must be redeemed only at friendly port. You can redeem only half of what you have gained in one trip out of your port. 

When you redeem half, remaining half stays on you plus your next prizes on that next sailing trip. Total amount you gained locked on your character is send to your chest after server maintenance and bounty is reset. 

MostarP and her sister keeps farming, their bounty increases. Who ever captain or captains sink them, gets the bounty on themself. 

This is an incentive to push pvp players on fighting each other. Casuals if they succeed tı sink guys with bounty will get big rewards, they will have reason to try. 

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OVERALL GOOD SUGGESTIONS. But too complex, economy needs to be much simple, bank system with currency exchange rates controlled by devs to balance the currency. 

Victory marks should be the permit currency for all lineships. Who needs vm now? 

Rng permits for only few ships. 

5th rate and below should not need permits to boost pvp and crafting. 

Sabicu / mahogany / caugarian should not be rare woods. 

But we have The DLC ships so just flush what I am telling, go redeem your teak/white oak rattvisen :(

 

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I would honestly bring back cargo/people delivery missions in just rewarding doubloons again.

That would go a long way towards fixing the imbalance. I think reals and victory marks are in a perfectly fine area, it's doubloons and combat medals which are out of whack. Even more so why did we add combat medals back when doubloons worked fine...

 

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