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John Page

Observations on the state of the game and possible solutions

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Crafting and economy when another nation takes over.
https://forum.game-labs.net/topic/31150-port-bonus-for-all-for-a-clan-set-crafting-tax-on-crafting-materials-pls-read/
What happens when an enemy nation captures your nation's ship building and crafting ports? Short answer, that economy ceases to exist. Long answer, your outposts remain, you cannot teleport to them, you cannot produce resources in them, all of your crafting materials are still in the warehouse (1000s of goods, possibly more than 4 Indiamen full), and you cannot use your level 3 shipyard to produce ships, which took many hours to collect the capital investment of 4.25 million reals and 85000 doubloons total. If this is your nation's only shipyard port with bonuses, now what? You cannot craft to even the RvR odds, hell you cannot even craft because you like to. Part of the game is now closed to you until you either relocate all your buildings somewhere or retake the port.

For example, the pirates recently took Santiago from Great Britain. Before I go any further, I want to make clear this part is not about me, but about the potential fallout caused when something like this happens. Many players, including myself, lost all production capability overnight. For a casual player like myself, crafting is an enjoyable part of the game, but it took me 2 months from launch to get a level 3 shipyard, just 2 weeks before Santiago was taken. I honestly do not look forward to that grinding process again. Some have joined the pirate nation to keep their buildings to avoid this and I think some have even quit the game altogether. What I want to point out is: what happens if this was a smaller nation that does not have other shipyard ports like Great Britain? Will this cause more players to quit the game? Will they switch sides to be on the 'winning' side? Both effectively kill a nation's population and how can you be an effective RvR nation without anyone to fight?

Another example is the current clan port ownership system where only those on the friends list are able to produce ships with port bonuses. I believe this system was introduced to eliminate enemy alts from accessing a ports bonuses. In reality, it punishes those that aren't part of the friends list for whatever reason (whether there isn't enough room for them like happened in GB, or like the Pirates have done at Baracoa where clans have to pay tribute or have been blocked if they are part of certain clans). I don't think it has actually solved the alt problem.

Possible solution
Allow other nations to craft when enemy controls the port. These national crafters would be taxed and controlling nation (clan) would be able to set taxes differently for different nations. In order to prevent abuse, only allow warships to be towed out like currently (i.e. trade vessels only in/out of enemy ports).

The port bonus content will need to be tweaked somewhat. My suggestion: Instead of Port Bonuses being tied to port bonus investments, allow the shipbuilder options based on the level of port development. Higher development levels allow a crafter access to use better port bonuses. In essence, make them economic bonuses and allow Crafters regardless of nation or clan access to use that port's infrastructure. Clans/nations can invest in the infrastructure and players can invest in their shipyard to produce certain builds. Only certain combinations of port bonuses can be used as they are currently (port point system remains, but shifted slightly). For example, it would only be possible to have Hull 4, Gun 4, Sail 3, Crew 3, and Mast & Rig 1 at a 45 point port (15 + 15 + 7+ 7 + 1 = 45), but someone else could build a different shipyard with Hull 4, Gun 3, Sail 4, Crew 3, and Mast & Rig 1 in the same port. This still requires the port to be developed, but it doesn’t punish individual crafters too much if the port is lost (e.g. the tax may rise, but they can still produce ships with bonuses they need to stay relevant in the RvR scene).

Clans can set the tax levels for each individual nation. (GB, France, US, etc.). Setting a higher tax rate for a nation discourages them from using the port. All tax revenue goes to the controlling clan to help pay for the port costs (timers, development, defenses, etc). I do not believe tax should be in materials like Sir Max Magic suggests, but clan should get the tax income.


Front line mechanics
https://forum.game-labs.net/topic/31347-frontline-system-success-or-not/
Another issue is the front lines mechanics. If a nation wants to attack another but there is another nation in between they must first attack the in-between nation if they cannot get the mission from a freetown or a port they own. This is a major problem if a small nation like Sweden or the United States wants to attack a big nation like Russia or the Dutch, they are limited to, at maximum, the 3 closest enemy capitals, not always owned by the same nation.

Possible solutions
The more ports a nation owns the more the hostility missions available against its ports, based on certain thresholds, up until all capitals are available.

Or

Make all hostility missions against capital ports available.

Or

Make all county ports available to unlock the capital. For example, a certain percentage of the ports (51%?) must be taken before capital is unlocked for hostility. Like several have mentioned already (not my idea, but it has merit).


Screening
Being screened out of a port battle, with no chance of ever getting in, I believe, is a real problem. Although I enjoy screening battles, there needs to be a limit to how many screeners one can employ. I have heard of as many as 75 players show up on one side to screen people out and the port battle never took place. The current mechanic makes it near impossible to have a port battle for smaller nations or clans that want to participate in RvR.

Possible solutions
Limit the number of screeners. For example, one battle group of 25 players.

Or

Allow players from clan and friends list to join their scheduled port battles from port, eliminating the need for screening entirely (probably unpopular).

 

Sincerely,

Edited by John Page
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3 hours ago, John Page said:

Screening
Being screened out of a port battle, with no chance of ever getting in, I believe, is a real problem. Although I enjoy screening battles, there needs to be a limit to how many screeners one can employ. I have heard of as many as 75 players show up on one side to screen people out and the port battle never took place. The current mechanic makes it near impossible to have a port battle for smaller nations or clans that want to participate in RvR.

Possible solutions
Limit the number of screeners. For example, one battle group of 25 players.

Or

Allow players from clan and friends list to join their scheduled port battles from port, eliminating the need for screening entirely (probably unpopular).

 

Sincerely,

Everything regarding PB's is too akin to heavy system shock. Within a day, a mere blink you can log in to find a multiflip took your most valuable ports. This is not a risk/reward dynamic, it's a stick of dynamite ready to blow for the unlucky nation who finds himself in this situation. If there's one thing we should've learned by now is that our worse possible fears are likely to be realized. US knows this well, losing ports to treachery is not uncommon. Players are susceptible to total demoralization.

Why PB's and RVR have been such a problem it's a Lobby-Style battle trying to fit itself into an Open World Sandbox. Logically speaking there's every reason for a side to bring 75 player captains to a defense. Screening has never been acknowledged as a feature. It's always been just a part of RVR, never a mechanic. If screening was an official stage of RVR like hostility is then maybe we could get a grasp on how it plays out. Pure sandbox terms, you block out people from escaping into the alternate Arena-scape

Your second solution is more viable, we could double down on PB's being purely Arena-content in the same way NA:L is. Problem though is the transition between the OW Sandbox and the PB Arena will always be rough. If you want the most seemless transition with the least amount of room for error, go full sandbox and make PB's a series of battles near and around the port, less immediate than a single battle, more room for player involvement, greater variety in tactics, less transition problems. 

That's my take.

 

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

Everything regarding PB's is too akin to heavy system shock. Within a day, a mere blink you can log in to find a multiflip took your most valuable ports. This is not a risk/reward dynamic, it's a stick of dynamite ready to blow for the unlucky nation who finds himself in this situation. If there's one thing we should've learned by now is that our worse possible fears are likely to be realized. US knows this well, losing ports to treachery is not uncommon. Players are susceptible to total demoralization.

Why PB's and RVR have been such a problem it's a Lobby-Style battle trying to fit itself into an Open World Sandbox. Logically speaking there's every reason for a side to bring 75 player captains to a defense. Screening has never been acknowledged as a feature. It's always been just a part of RVR, never a mechanic. If screening was an official stage of RVR like hostility is then maybe we could get a grasp on how it plays out. Pure sandbox terms, you block out people from escaping into the alternate Arena-scape

Your second solution is more viable, we could double down on PB's being purely Arena-content in the same way NA:L is. Problem though is the transition between the OW Sandbox and the PB Arena will always be rough. If you want the most seemless transition with the least amount of room for error, go full sandbox and make PB's a series of battles near and around the port, less immediate than a single battle, more room for player involvement, greater variety in tactics, less transition problems. 

That's my take.

 

I agree with this. Timing is also an issue that is mitigated to some degree by PB timers. However, you see instances where (for example in GB nation) for one reason or another captains aren't available to respond to a sudden attack or blitz. A recent example is the past week's activity in and around Georgetown and Santiago De Cuba. I wonder if another option might be that attacking players raise hostility over the course of a week and defending players run counter hostility missions. These could both be PVE but with the addition that PVP kills within an instance are weighted significantly more heavily for hostility/counter hostility. At server reset at the end of the week, the team with the highest number of hostility points either defends or flips the port. I think an advantage in this approach is week long content and the opportunity for time poor captains to participate.

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Dear @John Page, even though I consider your description of the consequences of a loss of production ports to be correct, I do not share the possible conclusions.
No nation is defeated because it loses its production ports, but because their captains do not have enough courage or are too comfortable to deal with the new situation.
I hope these crybabies leave the game as soon as possible and that there is a player base that is willing to try to master such situations.
Because if we do not fool ourselves, there will always be something in a game like NA that seems too hard for people. It would have helped us a lot if a common saying from EvE Online "adapt or die" would become the official game motto.

Edited by Georg Fromm

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32 minutes ago, Staunberg said:

I doubt the future of this game is the war server. But do thing with a little effort from devs, the peace server can boom in pop.

Best would be to make a (big, 25-50% of the map) pvp zone on peace Server. But i fear the hard core PVEers would defend their 100% PVE-Status as obstinatly as the "hard core PVPers" their "this Game is made to deliver easy prey to hunters, go Peace-Server If you dont want it" on War-Server.

Best would be a third server from the release on ... but this train has departed ... now only a few would change servers because of made investions, clan loyality and friends ...

Edited by Gilles de Rais

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ahh I love the smell in the morning of a new thread regarding the declining playerbase, little is getting done to fix the problems and the usual suspects are to deluded to admit the game is in a decline.

Have a great day everyone, and good luck with the suggestion! :)

Edited by Wyy
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11 hours ago, John Page said:

Being screened out of a port battle, with no chance of ever getting in, I believe, is a real problem. Although I enjoy screening battles, there needs to be a limit to how many screeners one can employ. I have heard of as many as 75 players show up on one side to screen people out and the port battle never took place. The current mechanic makes it near impossible to have a port battle for smaller nations or clans that want to participate in RvR.

The answer to screening is to use a lobby, I think.  Allow enemy ships to enter the port any time after hostilities are completed, and to sit there until PB time, and allow both sides to join from inside port.  Either side can still employ a sort of blockade at any time during those 24 hours, but it won't be the disruptive mess that are the 30 seconds before a port battle when an entirely unconnected nation swoops in and changes the balance of power...  sometimes as a prearranged assist and sometimes just to troll.

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Disagree with op ... Friends list is vital to stop rogue clans  in nation ,,, if a rrogue clan appears in nation we have some control over what they can achieve ,, a better soloution is increase the number of friends available

allowing enemies to continue building ships in a port you take is also a bad idea ... whats the point of attacking a port if it doesnt effect your enemies ship building capacity

your front line mechanics idea is polar opposite to your ship building complaint ... this would  allow anyone to attack a nations ship building ports  and lead to what ever nation is zerg at the time to control  all ship building in the game

for example if at the moment russia controlled all ship building ports they could dismantle all port bonus in ports that are  used by other nations while keeping bonus in the ports that are exclusively theirs .. whats the point of a lvl 3 shipyard that has no port bonus

Santiago is an oddity its a good ship building port  55 points but will always be on the fron line  and open to attack ,,, those that built lvl 3 shipyards there should have understood the dangers ..

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11 hours ago, Wyy said:

ahh I love the smell in the morning of a new thread regarding the declining playerbase, little is getting done to fix the problems and the usual suspects are to deluded to admit the game is in a decline.

Have a great day everyone, and good luck with the suggestion! :)

Warning issued for abusive behavior. - H. Darby

Edited by Henry d'Esterre Darby
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Why players leave the game?

Well looking at Steam reviews:

- The full wipe, still players log on and see that devs lied and logs of never to log in again.

- The grind

- The lack of content, which is ironic because this is one instance where I actually agree with the devs.. It IS a sandbox, hence the content should come from the players. Epic battles, hard won wars. Unfortunately the grinding req for the first makes the latter impossible and thus players leave.

- Economy, just as ppl need a war ppl need risks. Atm u can make millions upon millions without any risks enabling the no-lifers and their alts to drive prices up for upgrades etc. perceived, with some reason, to be required in order to be competitive.. Upgrades that is not readily available and due to the unbalanced nature of mods will hardly ever be available for the casual player.

- "RvR matters", the more RvR matters, the less players we have.

- Crafting, locking players out of crafting simply for not having the right friends.

- The grind

- Long sails with little to nothing to do.

- Missions are unfleshed, there's room for exploration, escorts, scouting, spying etc. Why haven't we had a player mission board where players can put up an order: "Need an escort from point A at this hour, expected duration x amount of hours" or something similar.

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There is only one small problem, the game is no longer in EA, it has been released!  Too bad, some good ideas, as there have been so many in the last three years!  But the devs are not interested in the ideas and opinions of casual players, they prefer streamers and "pros"!  Result?  Soon they will remain the only ones in game.

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There might be a form of reaction when some"big" nation will take a really important port to another one, leaving the smaller nation without practical solution. Santiago, George Town are not really important. Losing them hurts, but this will not wipe a nation out of the game. 

But the loss of some particular port in game could do it. Are we ready to see several dozens of players going out in a day? Are developers ready to take this risk without anticipation and without mitigating the risk? Mode SURVIVAL ON, or OFF?

Why is this game based on this risky RVR only? Why is the possession of one of this ridiculous handful of port necessary to play Naval Action with some chance of success? 

Why are these rules of the game, which proved to be toxic, still in force? Why is all other content than RVR so reduced to almost nothing? Where are crafting, trading,  training PVP features? 

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13 hours ago, Wyy said:

ahh I love the smell in the morning of a new thread regarding the declining playerbase, little is getting done to fix the problems and the usual suspects are to deluded to admit the game is in a decline.

Have a great day everyone, and good luck with the suggestion! :)

I bring message from weeaboo car man also known as Hachi.
P.S. Hurry up Hethwill, chat is devolving into irish and job based mudslinging

HachiIsDrunkAgain.PNG

Edited by John Cavanaugh

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16 minutes ago, Louis Garneray said:

Every time I read "add pvp in peace server" I'm sad...

Please Peace Server players come and visit PVP server... we have what you want a lot of PVE and some occasional PVP.

I don't understand why they even decided to have more than one server with the agonizing pop. I'm not even a PVP enthusiast and I play on the PVP server... Absolutely no issues.

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17 hours ago, Georg Fromm said:

Dear @John Page, even though I consider your description of the consequences of a loss of production ports to be correct, I do not share the possible conclusions.
No nation is defeated because it loses its production ports, but because their captains do not have enough courage or are too comfortable to deal with the new situation.
I hope these crybabies leave the game as soon as possible and that there is a player base that is willing to try to master such situations.
Because if we do not fool ourselves, there will always be something in a game like NA that seems too hard for people. It would have helped us a lot if a common saying from EvE Online "adapt or die" would become the official game motto.

If you cannot craft ships with port bonuses, it's going to be a really tough road to hoe. Hard to adapt when you don't have any ports left... You can use your DLC ships, but then, who takes them out for port battles? You can capture 3rd, 2nd, and 1st rates now, except their wood types suck and they have not port bonuses. I did not say it was impossible, what I was getting at was, the majority of players would probably not find that fun.

 

19 hours ago, Slim McSauce said:

Everything regarding PB's is too akin to heavy system shock. Within a day, a mere blink you can log in to find a multiflip took your most valuable ports. This is not a risk/reward dynamic, it's a stick of dynamite ready to blow for the unlucky nation who finds himself in this situation. If there's one thing we should've learned by now is that our worse possible fears are likely to be realized. US knows this well, losing ports to treachery is not uncommon. Players are susceptible to total demoralization.

Why PB's and RVR have been such a problem it's a Lobby-Style battle trying to fit itself into an Open World Sandbox. Logically speaking there's every reason for a side to bring 75 player captains to a defense. Screening has never been acknowledged as a feature. It's always been just a part of RVR, never a mechanic. If screening was an official stage of RVR like hostility is then maybe we could get a grasp on how it plays out. Pure sandbox terms, you block out people from escaping into the alternate Arena-scape

Your second solution is more viable, we could double down on PB's being purely Arena-content in the same way NA:L is. Problem though is the transition between the OW Sandbox and the PB Arena will always be rough. If you want the most seemless transition with the least amount of room for error, go full sandbox and make PB's a series of battles near and around the port, less immediate than a single battle, more room for player involvement, greater variety in tactics, less transition problems. 

That's my take.

I really like the last idea. Having a series of battles is an excellent idea.

 

9 hours ago, shunt said:

Disagree with op ... Friends list is vital to stop rogue clans  in nation ,,, if a rrogue clan appears in nation we have some control over what they can achieve ,, a better soloution is increase the number of friends available

allowing enemies to continue building ships in a port you take is also a bad idea ... whats the point of attacking a port if it doesnt effect your enemies ship building capacity

your front line mechanics idea is polar opposite to your ship building complaint ... this would  allow anyone to attack a nations ship building ports  and lead to what ever nation is zerg at the time to control  all ship building in the game

for example if at the moment russia controlled all ship building ports they could dismantle all port bonus in ports that are  used by other nations while keeping bonus in the ports that are exclusively theirs .. whats the point of a lvl 3 shipyard that has no port bonus

Santiago is an oddity its a good ship building port  55 points but will always be on the fron line  and open to attack ,,, those that built lvl 3 shipyards there should have understood the dangers ..

RvR mechanics would not allow for zerg nation to do that. Russia already controls more than half of the 55 ports already... Santiago is not an oddity, as Santo Domingo, San Jaun, and Nassau can all be attacked from a free port, and, funnily enough, only the ones in the gulf that Russia owns cannot be.

You missed my suggestion on the shipyards and port bonuses entirely. They would not be able to dismantle port developments for your shipyard once it's built so, if they were to take over, the only thing they could do is tax you more. I think that's a fair trade off.

Please explain the issues of a rogue clan and how clans friends list solves that. It seems to me that it is causing way more issues than it solves.

 

 

Edited by John Page

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The "KISS" principle would fix this game. "Keep It Simple Stupid". This game has gotten WAY too complicated. 

How about returning the economy to resource-based trading (not free, no-risk cargo), with prices profitable enough that you can accumulate wealth in a reasonable amount of time. Simple.

Do away with "super-ships." Not a level playing field. If you want a better ship, add upgrades, or cap one. Too much politics in clan shipyards, friend lists, etc. Simple.

Speaking of politics...Clans go away. In-fighting is killing the game. It's enough to belong to a nation. Real navies don't have clans. Highest rank leads a port battle (unless he defers). Simple.

Return the system of points for crafting most items. The stores will soon fill with competitively-priced upgrades. Simple.

Make port battles straight-forward. Attack any port you wish. If you win, it's yours (except the protected home ports). Simple.

Rules have unintended consequences. Keep it Simple.

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13 hours ago, Quiet Assassin said:

The "KISS" principle would fix this game. "Keep It Simple Stupid". This game has gotten WAY too complicated. 

How about returning the economy to resource-based trading (not free, no-risk cargo), with prices profitable enough that you can accumulate wealth in a reasonable amount of time. Simple.

Do away with "super-ships." Not a level playing field. If you want a better ship, add upgrades, or cap one. Too much politics in clan shipyards, friend lists, etc. Simple.

Speaking of politics...Clans go away. In-fighting is killing the game. It's enough to belong to a nation. Real navies don't have clans. Highest rank leads a port battle (unless he defers). Simple.

Return the system of points for crafting most items. The stores will soon fill with competitively-priced upgrades. Simple.

Make port battles straight-forward. Attack any port you wish. If you win, it's yours (except the protected home ports). Simple.

Rules have unintended consequences. Keep it Simple.

 

This is the best post I have seen on this forum in about 12 months.

+ 1

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14 hours ago, Quiet Assassin said:

Rules have unintended consequences. Keep it Simple

The current rules didn't come about in a vacuum. We have experienced that lack of- or loose rules also have unintended consequences.

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21 hours ago, Quiet Assassin said:

The "KISS" principle would fix this game. "Keep It Simple Stupid". This game has gotten WAY too complicated. 

How about returning the economy to resource-based trading (not free, no-risk cargo), with prices profitable enough that you can accumulate wealth in a reasonable amount of time. Simple.

Do away with "super-ships." Not a level playing field. If you want a better ship, add upgrades, or cap one. Too much politics in clan shipyards, friend lists, etc. Simple.

Speaking of politics...Clans go away. In-fighting is killing the game. It's enough to belong to a nation. Real navies don't have clans. Highest rank leads a port battle (unless he defers). Simple.

Return the system of points for crafting most items. The stores will soon fill with competitively-priced upgrades. Simple.

Make port battles straight-forward. Attack any port you wish. If you win, it's yours (except the protected home ports). Simple.

Rules have unintended consequences. Keep it Simple.

Are you going to actually discuss the solutions I presented? If you want, you could go make your suggestion in it's own thread instead of as a reply here.

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