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WilsonMG

[Suggestion] Balancing Nations via Rewards

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Everyone keeps talking about the current imbalance of the game thanks to a few nations having the majority of the ports and active players.  I don't want to get into all of the reasons for the imbalance, as I prefer the game's current mechanics over what has been tried in the past--even as a member of a nation that is currently being attacked by literally every other nation at the moment--but I had a thought that might help balance this out in a reasonable way, that doesn't involve taking anyone's hard work away from them with arbitrary wipes or resets, as those would simply alienate the playerbase and ultimately kill the population.

Think about this... when you get pushed back to only a few ports, you're often left with the inability to build good ships, the need to recover income and resources, and you have enemies hunting you on your doorstep that make it difficult to gain XP.  Conversely, when you own the world, you have access to the finest ships, you want for nothing, and can sail for hours in near-complete safety within friendly waters while generating large amounts of income, resources, and XP.  Why not balance that out a little by rewarding or penalizing players based on these facts?  It may even encourage more fluidity within the playerbase, as it would entice people to switch to smaller nations so that they can earn more for their time investment.

Here's the idea; what if the rewards, i.e. the Reals and Doubloons gained from completing missions and XP gained from damage and kills, were based on a formula that was directly related to the total number of ports a nation controlled combined with the total number of active players in each nation over the last week?  The eleven nations would be ranked based on these two values and the adjusted rewards might look something like this...

  1. -50% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -25% penalty for XP
  2. -40% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -20% penalty for XP
  3. -30% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -15% penalty for XP
  4. -20% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -10% penalty for XP
  5. -10% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -5% penalty for XP
  6. No adjustment
  7. +10% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +5% bonus for XP
  8. +20% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +10% bonus for XP
  9. +30% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +15% bonus for XP
  10. +40% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +20% bonus for XP
  11. +50% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +25% bonus for XP

Someone suggested to me that they didn't like the idea of penalties; the same goal could be achieved by instituting only bonuses, like so...

  1. No adjustment
  2. +5% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +2.5% bonus for XP
  3. +10% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +5% bonus for XP
  4. +15% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +7.5% bonus for XP
  5. +20% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +10% bonus for XP
  6. +25% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +12.5% bonus for XP
  7. +30% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +15% bonus for XP
  8. +35% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +17.5% bonus for XP
  9. +40% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +20% bonus for XP
  10. +45% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +22.5% bonus for XP
  11. +50% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +25% bonus for XP

Sure, there are ways this could be abused with additional accounts and "alt" characters, but that problem already affects every mechanic in the game, so it can't be the primary argument against something like this.

EDIT 1: Updated to include XP bonuses and penalties.

EDIT 2: Updated to include an alternative model.

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I like the idea.

We've had multiple suggestions in the past similar to what you're aiming to. Generally it seems we all want to create incentives for smaller nations/groups and penalties for larger nations/groups. 

To be clear, are you suggesting that all rewards, from experience, kills, missions to be affected?

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14 minutes ago, Teutonic said:

I like the idea.

We've had multiple suggestions in the past similar to what you're aiming to. Generally it seems we all want to create incentives for smaller nations/groups and penalties for larger nations/groups. 

To be clear, are you suggesting that all rewards, from experience, kills, missions to be affected?

I was only considering the economic rewards of Reals and Doubloons from missions.  If XP from damage and kills were to be factored in, I would make the bonuses and penalties half that of the ones affecting income.  For example...

  1. -50% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -25% penalty for XP
  2. -40% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -20% penalty for XP
  3. -30% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -15% penalty for XP
  4. -20% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -10% penalty for XP
  5. -10% penalty for Reals & Doubloons / -5% penalty for XP
  6. No adjustment
  7. +10% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +5% bonus for XP
  8. +20% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +10% bonus for XP
  9. +30% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +15% bonus for XP
  10. +40% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +20% bonus for XP
  11. +50% bonus for Reals & Doubloons / +25% bonus for XP

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I think this is a great idea, but what about missions that have you deliver to your own nations port? I think those should be much lower, which they usually are but I'm just saying it might be worth noting those into the equation as well.

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That and make each point of a port, up to 55p, dependent of investments so as it's not "given" from the start which ports are 55p ports but a question of clan investments.

Or remove port bonus' entirely.

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I like the port bonuses, as anything that adds variety to ships makes the game more interesting to me, but that is a topic for another thread... 😎

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Can we have a serious conversation about implementing some kind of incentive system like this before the major nations drive everyone else from the game?

The Russians have now set their sights on Baracoa, which is the last port that Pirates have to build competitive ships at.  Instead of uniting with us against a common threat, every other nation is content to join in on the attacks, or to simply sit outside of Mortimer Town and Baracoa to get their PvP kills, while blissfully ignoring the fact that they will soon find themselves in our position, once the few remaining Pirate holdouts can no longer be bothered to log in.

Most of us aren't like this Russian player here, happily sailing his 56 Indiamen around in perfect safety near Vera Cruz.  A lot of us only have one character, on one account, and even after hundreds of hours invested in this game (since release), we can barely rub two Reals together, let alone try to compete in this kind of environment.  I can't imagine what it would feel like to be a brand new player, this being their first impression of the game...  It's no wonder that retaining new players has been challenging, to say the least.

Against these odds, why would anyone who doesn't want to roll over and join the winning team bother to keep playing the game, when there are far less punishing options available?  There are many games vying for a person's free time these days, and eventually, even those of us who love this game and have played it for thousands of hours will reach the point where we can no longer justify the effort.

Give the minor nations some incentive to keep playing, even when we're back on our heels.  Make the time we invest more rewarding than that of someone who jumps on the bandwagon to avoid a challenge.  If a nation grows too large, it should be hit with some form of penalties or diminishing returns; that's just good game balance, even if some might not like it.

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Just wanna say, epic picture. Yeah poor pirate players that haven't already joined the Russian zerg should make a quick hop over to USA (hard) or Britain (easier) or take a long ride down to Caracas! Pirates are no longer cool since the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie tanked so.. 07

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7 hours ago, WilsonMG said:

The Russians have now set their sights on Baracoa, which is the last port that Pirates have to build competitive ships at.  Instead of uniting with us against a common threat, every other nation is content to join in on the attacks, or to simply sit outside of Mortimer Town and Baracoa to get their PvP kills, while blissfully ignoring the fact that they will soon find themselves in our position, once the few remaining Pirate holdouts can no longer be bothered to log in.

Dont make it to easy for you and pirates. First is that pirates ask for help. The whole server is wondering what's going on with Baracoa because Reverse said (?) WTF asked for the flip ...

Many rumors going around ... 

And concerning "sitting outside MOrtimer": If you stop pirates "ganking" at KPR i promise to stop brits sitting outside MT. You see the problem? No alliance will ever include normal open world pvp and last for more than hours ...

 

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7 hours ago, WilsonMG said:

Can we have a serious conversation about implementing some kind of incentive system like this before the major nations drive everyone else from the game?

The Russians have now set their sights on Baracoa, which is the last port that Pirates have to build competitive ships at.  Instead of uniting with us against a common threat, every other nation is content to join in on the attacks, or to simply sit outside of Mortimer Town and Baracoa to get their PvP kills, while blissfully ignoring the fact that they will soon find themselves in our position, once the few remaining Pirate holdouts can no longer be bothered to log in.

Most of us aren't like this Russian player here, happily sailing his 56 Indiamen around in perfect safety near Vera Cruz.  A lot of us only have one character, on one account, and even after hundreds of hours invested in this game (since release), we can barely rub two Reals together, let alone try to compete in this kind of environment.  I can't imagine what it would feel like to be a brand new player, this being their first impression of the game...  It's no wonder that retaining new players has been challenging, to say the least.

Against these odds, why would anyone who doesn't want to roll over and join the winning team bother to keep playing the game, when there are far less punishing options available?  There are many games vying for a person's free time these days and, eventually, even those of us who love this game and have played it for thousands of hours will reach the point where we can no longer justify the effort.

Give the minor nations some incentive to keep playing, even when we're back on our heels.  Make the time we invest more rewarding than that of someone who jumps on the bandwagon to avoid a challenge.  If a nation grows too large, it should be hit with some form of penalties or diminishing returns; that's just good game balance, even if some might not like it.

while personally I don't agree on smashing other nations into stone age, others seem to enjoy dominating and humilating players. ego-driven they camp the places where the easiest kills are to have and conquer major enemy crafting ports. No good. the utterly unrealistic camping could be easily stopped or reduced by a sensible repair system. no complete repair outside port and no necromancy! It would change a lot.

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18 minutes ago, Genevieve Malfleurs said:

 the utterly unrealistic camping could be easily stopped or reduced by a sensible repair system. no complete repair outside port and no necromancy! It would change a lot.

1. The blockade of a port is not unrealistic ...

2. We had this suggestion before. You really want punish the players that sail far from home and encourage staying at the homeport? Punish the active and buff the lazy? 

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11 minutes ago, Earl of Grey said:

1. The blockade of a port is not unrealistic ...

2. We had this suggestion before. You really want punish the players that sail far from home and encourage staying at the homeport? Punish the active and buff the lazy? 

Blockading a port needs support! Blockading a port has no battle-rating rules! Died sailors don´t come alive in a blockade! We have an arcade-style system right now. After the heaviest battles the ships are like freshly crafted and jump the next one. Miraculously fully crewed of course. That´s just nonsense and has nothing to do with buffing the lazy. Right now we have a big, big buff for the gankers in meta-ships.

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Nation: Pirates. 
Difficulty: Hard (or whatever says in the Nation Selection screen)
Nothing to complain about - everyone saw that message. Pirates in the middle of the map. There always was gankers around Mort because of La Tortue and 4(3 - excluding shroud cay) patrol zones nearby. It always was like that and that's never going to be changed. Pirates has to deal with it. 
>Nation A safely sailing near X group of ports
well, no one stop another nation to take those ports and do the same.

About balancing nations in general: 
- Need to wait until the next patch to see how that works (As far as I get it - it should reduce amount of ports controlled by biggest nations. Amount of controlled ports going to be fixed depending on amount of players capable to defend their ports vs NPC fleets).
- No point to give some kind of bonuses 'cuz of low population. No one going to change their nation often (it cost a lot - 100k doubs and over 5-7mil reals to build everything once again)
I'd said that devs should focus more on bring new players and keep them in it first. Another story - thats their first project, so its a good place to get as much info as possible to be able to create even better game later.
No one cares about super complicated nations balance logic when we have ~500 ppls online. Moreover, probably it will take months to develop and probably wont help anyways. no one going to throw away thousands of bucks on that. Simplifying life of regular players - do (eg more ships, more content, more dlc to have ships with one click. Devs should know better what exactly keeps players in the game, probably even better than players themselves. They should have statistics and it is not going to lie)

Edited by Red Tail
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8 hours ago, WilsonMG said:

The Russians have now set their sights on Baracoa, which is the last port that Pirates have to build competitive ships at.  Instead of uniting with us against a common threat, every other nation is content to join in on the attacks, or to simply sit outside of Mortimer Town and Baracoa to get their PvP kills, while blissfully ignoring the fact that they will soon find themselves in our position, once the few remaining Pirate holdouts can no longer be bothered to log in.

Wasn´t it Pirates who took Remedios, the only crafting port of the spanish.

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53 minutes ago, Barents said:

Wasn´t it Pirates who took Remedios, the only crafting port of the spanish.

Regardless. Whenever a nation is rendered uncompetitive it's playerbase doesn't switch to the larger faction. It just leaves the game. I wonder why player retention is so low in this game...

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1 hour ago, Barents said:

Wasn´t it Pirates who took Remedios, the only crafting port of the spanish.

If I remember right, it was an unscrupulous pirate clan that moved to Russia later, VCO. 

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Im not Sure If this: "never kill a nation" doctrine dont do more bad than good ti the game ...

Nations just rely in this godwill of russians (and other nations) and because of this they feel No need to agree to alliances. If they all had some death-fear that would alliance making easier ...

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1 hour ago, Earl of Grey said:

Im not Sure If this: "never kill a nation" doctrine dont do more bad than good ti the game ...

Nations just rely in this godwill of russians (and other nations) and because of this they feel No need to agree to alliances. If they all had some death-fear that would alliance making easier ...

Go ahead and test it... Nobody is stopping you from doing it...

 

https://steamcharts.com/app/311310

Edited by Lars Kjær

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5 minutes ago, Staunberg said:

Go ahead and test it. Nobody is stopping you from doing it.

 

4 minutes ago, Lars Kjær said:

Go ahead and test it... Nobody is stopping you from doing it...

 

https://steamcharts.com/app/311310

So you are evil twins? Or the one is just an alt of the other? Almost same words postet within 2 minutes ... wrong Window tabbed i guess 😆

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Guys, everything is much simpler. The capture of Baracoa is just a small conflict between the WTF and the BF.

We decided to show that the WTF are not as cool as they themselves write every day on my streams.

 

Baracoa may soon return to the pirates. What will happen to the buildings remains to be decided.

But in any case, the WTF are "pro pvp players" and will be able to re-build port bonuses. Truth?

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1 hour ago, Captain Reverse said:

Guys, everything is much simpler. The capture of Baracoa is just a small conflict between the WTF and the BF.

We decided to show that the WTF are not as cool as they themselves write every day on my streams.

 

Baracoa may soon return to the pirates. What will happen to the buildings remains to be decided.

But in any case, the WTF are "pro pvp players" and will be able to re-build port bonuses. Truth?

But the port battle was actually pretty much balanced, similar number of sank ships on both sides :P

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On 10/10/2019 at 6:54 AM, Earl of Grey said:

 

So you are evil twins? Or the one is just an alt of the other? Almost same words postet within 2 minutes ... wrong Window tabbed i guess 😆

Exposed.  That's funny stuff. :lol:

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I don't like XP bonuses, specially since one can switch nations with no penalty. And it seems unfair to have different xp rates depending on the nation. 
I'd imagine a more indirect XP modifier : a Russian player would only see russian AI ships, so no enemies to target, so no XP. They'd have to get in more danger, go into enemy waters to XP.
Also, remove the incentive to club seals. Hunting and sinking 6th rates should not be encouraged and rewarded with missions (grabbing a trader's cargo seems enough of an incentive to me, but that would imply a proper trade system) ; and if it is to remain as a mission, make it so the ship used has to be of a similar BR.

 

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