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Open world, global map and related topics

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*snip*

 
Meatpukk, please do me the favour of not putting words in my mouth, mate. I basically grew up crewing my grandfathers J22 on weekends, I love sailing. 
However, what we're discussing here is gaming, not sailing. I no more want to spend 8 hours watching the games skybox pan past than a Prison Architect player wants to get raped in the shower. Or a Call of Duty player wants to get his head shot off.
 
 
 
Back on topic, 
What I consider to be boring is long periods of little to no activity with an interactive entertainment medium.  I don't see that the world being accessible is a negative thing. You can use game mechanics (supplies, size of ship, crew moral, prevailing winds) to ensure that large long voyages are begun with care and have a difficulty barrier attached to them. There's no reason to bore the hell out of the players. Having a world be large doesn't make it interesting. Content does that. Content which the developers and the players contribute to the game. Long periods of inactivity in a interactive medium is not going to attract a large player base. So arguably, long travel times will lean to less content and an even less interesting world. 
 
To be honest, mate, the 1000 trips to Gibraltar sounds a lot more fun than 8 hours of babby-sitting my ship, but not doing anything. At least with the 10000 trips, I can take alternate routes, trade different things, make choices. If I wanted to spend 8 hours watching the most boring movie ever produced I'd attend a parliamentary discussion. 
 
And even in Eve Online (Which is considered by many to be the dullest game in existence) allows the player to interact with the game on long voyages. On the 3 or 4 occasions I've tried to get into the game, there was always jump gates to be navigating, Skills to be training, or objects to be scanning. None of this is relevant to Sea going vessels. Except for ensuring the AI doesn't run your ship aground or Pirates don't attack (babbysitting), you wont have to touch your keyboard or mouse for hours on end.   
Where's the fun in that?  Why not just watch a movie then if its an non-interactive experience that's sought?

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well most of what you said there are opinions. and my opinion is that a long trip is more enjoyable than doing the same route a thousand times over

eve is a succesfull game, even when many consider it to be the spreadsheet simulator, it is probably the game with the most meaningful pvp and best economy.
and to have those things you have to have long travel time
and time is the clue here, not distance or difficulty, its time.

 

Why not just watch a movie then if its an non-interactive experience that's sought?

Who's putting words in others mouths?

anyways I think Sailing can be more engaging than EvEs autopilot + alt tab.

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I want all the towns to be next to eachoter, dayum!

You ever played Potbs, eve? Guild wars? wow? Minecraft?

Well, lets just take eve as an example, you spend how much time traveling from one end of the universe to the other?

Still, its one, or, have been, one of the biggest mmos out there!

(sorry, didnt see you already brought eve up :/)

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Who's putting words in others mouths?

 

Not me. I said that if person wants a non -interactive experience, then there are mediums that cater to that (watching a movie).  I didn''t say you should watch a movie because you like boring stuff (which doesn't really make sense anyway). I apologize if you misunderstood me. 

 

Doesn't the Eve economy have rampant hyperinflation? I'm not sure sure if I'd classify that as a successful economy, TBH. Not unless my surname was Mugabe.  And as I understand it a real player controlled economy hasn't been confirmed as being in the game.

Anyway, Eve's successes or failures are kind of beside the point.  I agree that making a long voyage (i.e a trip to India from Western Europe) should require an investment of time, in-game resource and patience.  I disagree to the value of the time required should make it prohibitive to all but the most hardcore of gamers.  The average adult gamer only has about 2 hours a night to play a game. He's not going to bother if it means logging in to watch his ship bounce about (and nothing else).

 

 

So a trip from London to Gibraltar at 13 knots is 101.84 hours (real world), which is 4 days travel. Lets say we'd want to do that in 10 minutes. Lets say 24 minutes for a day, that would mean the that the current world size would mean a 100 minute journey. To get that down to a 10 minute journey you Shrink  the world to 10% of it's current size. This would mean the 500 x 500 miles of Western Europe would be 50 x 50 miles.  That's a lot more palatable than the 3 x 3 you had previously.  

To put that into context, Arma 3 map is only 16 x 16, and it's massive.  What's wrong with that?

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If the game does in fact end up much like PotBS is which there is an open world in which to travel and then smaller battle maps, then long travel times will be imperative to make sure the player understands the grandeur of the distance he is traveling and of the world around him. 

 

In this case, it is my opinion that a single world map in which players travel may end up being too large (if the game takes in the areas of the Caribbean as well as the British Isles and European costs)

 

Instead, what would be a more manageable option would be to have separate zones in which players travel between. In effect, you would have 3-5 separate open sea maps with separate populations of players, say like "The Caribbean", "The British Isles and Europe", "The Mediterranean", "The Barbary Coast" and "The Orient"

 

This division would also allow for a type of player/ship management that would supply different playable environments that are also historically accurate: The British Isles and Europe would allow almost no pirate population, but would be able to hold an immense amount of Naval Lineships, as apposed to the Caribbean where Lineships where almost never dispatched due to their value and importance fighting other Lineships, not hunting pirates (for example).

 

But players would be able to move between and visit all sectors regardless of class or ship. If the English population, for example, the Mediterranean, was full, an English player could still visit that area, but would only be able to do so in a (rented?) non-combat ship. 

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So a trip from London to Gibraltar at 13 knots is 101.84 hours (real world), which is 4 days travel. Lets say we'd want to do that in 10 minutes. Lets say 24 minutes for a day, that would mean the that the current world size would mean a 100 minute journey. To get that down to a 10 minute journey you Shrink  the world to 10% of it's current size. This would mean the 500 x 500 miles of Western Europe would be 50 x 50 miles. 

I don't get how you calculated that, unless you were talking about using a map travel mode.

if you make 4 days at 13 knots  into 10 minutes for 10% of the distance:

133/0.16=831 knots.

thats pretty fast.

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I'm not sure we can get this topic back on the productive talk track, but let's give it a try.

 

There are a few assumptions that hamper this discussion.

1. sailing long distances is boring due to lack of content.

2. the need to be able to make long distance voyages for interesting gameplay.

 

In essence, those two points are the same: the underlaying assumption is that it would be boring to just sail around in (for example) european waters. That to counter this and get an intersting gaming experience, you need thus to sail to (for example) India. But sailing such a long distance would be boring due to lack of content in between Europe and India (the 'open ocean') and that, in order to minimize the boredom, travel times should be compressed.

 

What if, sailing to India from Londen would (just for discussion sake) take 4 hours for the one-way trip. And, at the same time, there would be enough content and interesting stuff to do within European waters?

My guess is that a large bulk of the players would just hang around and trade in Europe (and like it there). Some players would go for the long distance hauling in hopes of higher profit, less crowded waters, carving out their own nation or whatever else picks their fancy.

 

It would introduce some intersting 'problems' to the player community to work with. What if your friends/allies get attacked in the Caribean. They notify you instantly, but, while you have a fleet of 7 warships ready to help them out in the English Channel, it would take them too much time to reach the Caribean to be able to participate in the battle that is happening now. (you could offcourse go there anyway and pay them a visit of revenge :angry:).

 

Maybe there is exploration content to be found when sailing a long journey from home. Don't discard the idea of interesting long distance sailing because you have not yet seen it in some other game :).

 

I'm not saying that we should sail these ship in real time. I'm just saying that the assumption that a long distance trip would be boring is, as of yet, not based on anything, other than our expectations of how good a job Game Labs will do at developing us an intersting game.

 

Just my two cents,

Brigand

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I may not like hauling long distances but a balance between short sails and long sails I believe is necessary. No well rounded game is going to go for 100% accuracy but in a game like this realism is necessary to differentiate it from a kids game and to remind us that we are dealing with the age of sail game where things moved a little slower. Would it be realistic and fun if you and your friends set up a secret attack on a port only to have everyone on the other team arrive in minutes even though they had to sail 1000 miles? Realtime is of course over the top and I think we all would agree with that or we just couldnt get anything done in the game.

 

So, I said a balance is all thats needed. Certain actions like hauling material or transfering ships to a different area of the map may require long distances and time but paying for "instant" passage to ships parked at other ports or some of wind's suggestions can allow faster travel.

 

Can we not agree that a balance can be reached.

If not, than those who argue against any long sailing times should return to their PS3 or the arcade and play those games. I think NA is looking to be more closely linked to an immersion styled game and that requires some amount of longer sails.

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I believe that some sort of long trips, most likely between Lisbon and India, like the old Portuguese times :P or between Lisbon and the Caribbean should exist. These trips aren't supposed to be done every day, they should bring a nice profit to a merchant, if he dares to do the trip, with dangers lurking behind the waves and have a feeling of adventure and exploration!

 

The only way to have a feeling of adventure and exploration of the unknown, is by making trips longer. There would be different communities from different areas and challenges!

 

For example, Player X is the most successful PVP fighter in the European waters, but if he decides to travel to the other side of the world, he might not be as successful, since there are different weather and land conditions, such as shoals or very high waves, that player would need to learn how to use his European frigate to fight off a galleon that is powered by oars, having much more manoeuvrability and the ability to go upwind faster, etc, you get my point.  

 

This would open spots to so many game play opportunities, such as maps for each area, interpreters, trading, bounties, faction wars, you name it.

 

If long trips are way too short, the sense of being an explorer will fade away, like water escaping your hands... I think that adventure is a very important part of an Age of Sail based game. 

 

I just wanted to give my 2 cents.

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If the game does in fact end up much like PotBS is which there is an open world in which to travel and then smaller battle maps, then long travel times will be imperative to make sure the player understands the grandeur of the distance he is traveling and of the world around him. 

 

In this case, it is my opinion that a single world map in which players travel may end up being too large (if the game takes in the areas of the Caribbean as well as the British Isles and European costs)

 

Instead, what would be a more manageable option would be to have separate zones in which players travel between. In effect, you would have 3-5 separate open sea maps with separate populations of players, say like "The Caribbean", "The British Isles and Europe", "The Mediterranean", "The Barbary Coast" and "The Orient"

 

This division would also allow for a type of player/ship management that would supply different playable environments that are also historically accurate: The British Isles and Europe would allow almost no pirate population, but would be able to hold an immense amount of Naval Lineships, as apposed to the Caribbean where Lineships where almost never dispatched due to their value and importance fighting other Lineships, not hunting pirates (for example).

 

But players would be able to move between and visit all sectors regardless of class or ship. If the English population, for example, the Mediterranean, was full, an English player could still visit that area, but would only be able to do so in a (rented?) non-combat ship. 

I almost kill myselft when playing on Eve, the most borin game ever. "sailing" into the open space during hours to be able to press the right click twice during my drones my the job. Then back to my home. So booooooooooooring.

In potbs, travel between point a pitre and grenville were almost a suicide. It was just about loosing 2 hours of your life babysitting your ship to avoid the island like cat island orandjtat etc.

 

Now i would like ot get different area. It could help to solve the "nightflip" problem. Different area separate by 24-48h trip for your ship. An area around caribean, an area around Europe, an area around India/africa. 3 different area desing for 3 population. Ofc we are not speaking abnout separate server but we could focus the PB etc (if there is this kind of stuff) on the time area on the different area.

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I don't get how you calculated that, unless you were talking about using a map travel mode.

if you make 4 days at 13 knots  into 10 minutes for 10% of the distance:

133/0.16=831 knots.

thats pretty fast.

 

Sorry, I should have been clearer.  I was using a combination of smaller world and speeding up time.

I'm saying that if a full day was 24 minutes (essentially 1 real minute is an hour ingame), then a 4 day journey will fit into about 100 real life minutes (4x24).  To get a 100 minute journey into a 10 minute journey you shrink the world to 10% of it's real size.  So the 500 miles becomes 50 miles. 

 

 

I may not like hauling long distances but a balance between short sails and long sails I believe is necessary. No well rounded game is going to go for 100% accuracy but in a game like this realism is necessary to differentiate it from a kids game and to remind us that we are dealing with the age of sail game where things moved a little slower. Would it be realistic and fun if you and your friends set up a secret attack on a port only to have everyone on the other team arrive in minutes even though they had to sail 1000 miles? Realtime is of course over the top and I think we all would agree with that or we just couldnt get anything done in the game.

 

So, I said a balance is all thats needed. Certain actions like hauling material or transfering ships to a different area of the map may require long distances and time but paying for "instant" passage to ships parked at other ports or some of wind's suggestions can allow faster travel.

 

Can we not agree that a balance can be reached.

If not, than those who argue against any long sailing times should return to their PS3 or the arcade and play those games. I think NA is looking to be more closely linked to an immersion styled game and that requires some amount of longer sails.

 

You make a good point about the length of battles being longer than possible reinforcements.  I'd not thought of that.  Is suppose it'd be interesting to hear from Testers how long battles currently are, and how long we can expect them to last in future.  But I guess the pace of a battle would too be affected by the speed of the ship. I don't think you could tweak one without impacting the other.

 

I'm not sure what you mean py paying to instantly teleport you ship and crew to a new port. I'm not a fan of micro-transactions, and think such a system would be very "gamey" and easy to exploit. 

 

I also think that blanket statements anyone who disagrees with long sailing times should "return to their PS3". Calling a PC gamer a Console gamer is a faux pas on the interwebs, and I think insults should be avoided so early in the discussion.  

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I believe that some sort of long trips, most likely between Lisbon and India, like the old Portuguese times :P or between Lisbon and the Caribbean should exist. These trips aren't supposed to be done every day, they should bring a nice profit to a merchant, if he dares to do the trip, with dangers lurking behind the waves and have a feeling of adventure and exploration!

 

The only way to have a feeling of adventure and exploration of the unknown, is by making trips longer. There would be different communities from different areas and challenges!

 

For example, Player X is the most successful PVP fighter in the European waters, but if he decides to travel to the other side of the world, he might not be as successful, since there are different weather and land conditions, such as shoals or very high waves, that player would need to learn how to use his European frigate to fight off a galleon that is powered by oars, having much more manoeuvrability and the ability to go upwind faster, etc, you get my point.  

 

This would open spots to so many game play opportunities, such as maps for each area, interpreters, trading, bounties, faction wars, you name it.

 

If long trips are way too short, the sense of being an explorer will fade away, like water escaping your hands... I think that adventure is a very important part of an Age of Sail based game. 

 

I just wanted to give my 2 cents.

 

 

I agree with you that long and profitable trade journeys (ie, spice runs to India, or Sugar runs to the Caribean) should not be a daily occurrence.  However I disagree that boredom should be the only barrier. 

 

There are multiple ways to make just such a journey be the only undertaken on an exception basis by those willing to accept the risks involved. Actual investment of money would be a requirement. You'd need supplies for the journey, a well paid crew, and all the permits allowed for trade. All of which is put at risk by weather ruining your journey, Pirate attack, lack of local supply when you get there....

So I think the upfront cost of such a journey, and the risk associated with it will be more than enough to get people to only perform such trades when they feel they can risk it.   In fact, I'd argue this would make a much more interesting choice than choosing between boredom or no boredom. 

 

I like what you say about sense of exploring. But keep in mind how small Europe is compared to say, the Pacific Ocean. If the suggested time allocation of 15 minutes just to cross Normandy, we're talking house upon hours to sail between islands. Unless those hours can be MEANINGFULLY filled with game-play, I think the journey length will harm player take up. 

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I would argue that boredom should not be introduced, if at all possible, anywhere. There should be content that could make the long distance journeys interesting. However I think it is useful to keep in mind that something can be perceived as fun/engaging/interesting/relaxing by the one player that would be experienced as utter boredom (or stressful) by others. PIerrick de Badas experienced EVE as boring to dead, yet some 300,000 players find it interesting enough. This is by no means good or bad, just a nice example of different preferences in game style. Some prefer the action to be close-packed and/or fast paced (let's call them the 'arcade' side for ease of discussion). Some like to relax and enjoy some quite sailing (let's call those the 'simulation' side).

 

A good good open world accommodates both types of gameplay (up to a certain extend). Although not necessarily at the same location. More crowded areas invariably move more towards the fast-paced action side while deserted areas will be more suitable for the quite sailing.

 

So, how does this impact travel times/travel speed?

I like what you say about sense of exploring. But keep in mind how small Europe is compared to say, the Pacific Ocean. If the suggested time allocation of 15 minutes just to cross Normandy, we're talking hours upon hours to sail between islands.

This could be turned into an advantage. Sail from London to Elmina Castle (in Ghana nowadays) to take in fresh water and supplies. Set out to Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), wait a bit before catching the goods winds that ensure you a speedy passage to India.

If the above trip would take a long time, but be interesting (to enough players) it could give the quite sailing experience to those looking for it, while keeping the 'content all around me' players happy in the waters around population areas.

Another option to address the hugeness of the oceans may be to compress time (speed up sailing speed) when sailing far away from any landmass.

Cheers,

Brigand

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I

This could be turned into an advantage. Sail from London to Elmina Castle (in Ghana nowadays) to take in fresh water and supplies. Set out to Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), wait a bit before catching the goods winds that ensure you a speedy passage to India.

If the above trip would take a long time, but be interesting (to enough players) it could give the quite sailing experience to those looking for it, while keeping the 'content all around me' players happy in the waters around population areas.

Another option to address the hugeness of the oceans may be to compress time (speed up sailing speed) when sailing far away from any landmass.

Cheers,

Brigand

I have to admit, this does sound pretty good. The multiple stop journey will also allow players to log off mid way trough a long journey. Ok, that covers that argument, and essentially narrows down the discussion on travel times to preferences and opinion. I guess Game Labs will just have to test and balance it.

 

My view on the matter is that any game that works as well when the player is absent from control as it does when he's in control (i.e Autopiloting, and leaving the game running while you watch a movie) is bad design. I feel that, as much fun as realism and roleplaying in a game is, it gets tiresome after a while.  When was the last time you saw a PC walk anywhere in an MMO? I can't remember, everyone runs. Its because time and convenience is more important to players than meaningless padding of samey content. 

 

 If we are to have (What I would define as) long journeys between ports, hopefully those journeys will be filled with enough for players to do. But what could that be. What would keep a player engaged for the 15 minutes on a journey between Calais to Cherbourg

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Sorry, I should have been clearer.  I was using a combination of smaller world and speeding up time.

I'm saying that if a full day was 24 minutes (essentially 1 real minute is an hour ingame), then a 4 day journey will fit into about 100 real life minutes (4x24).  To get a 100 minute journey into a 10 minute journey you shrink the world to 10% of it's real size.  So the 500 miles becomes 50 miles. 

 

 

 

You make a good point about the length of battles being longer than possible reinforcements.  I'd not thought of that.  Is suppose it'd be interesting to hear from Testers how long battles currently are, and how long we can expect them to last in future.  But I guess the pace of a battle would too be affected by the speed of the ship. I don't think you could tweak one without impacting the other.

 

I'm not sure what you mean py paying to instantly teleport you ship and crew to a new port. I'm not a fan of micro-transactions, and think such a system would be very "gamey" and easy to exploit. 

 

I also think that blanket statements anyone who disagrees with long sailing times should "return to their PS3". Calling a PC gamer a Console gamer is a faux pas on the interwebs, and I think insults should be avoided so early in the discussion.  

Well by the "paying to instantly teleport" comment I am specifically thinking of how Potbs does it. I try to avoid, when I can direct reference to another game, cuz this game should be its own but since you asked... In Potbs you are allowed 5 ships. You can port these ships anywhere you want to. You can take "passage" to get to any of your ships no matter where those ships are. This is instantaneosly. We often refer to this as porting or teleporting. Call it what you like. Initially you have to make the long sail to put your ship in a far away port but once its there you can transfer instananeously to any port that you have another ship at regardless of how far away they are.

 

I guess there was a little jab at the PS3 players but there is a point to the statement. Console gameing in my experience has a different design in mind for the ebb and flow of its games. Its about constant movement, action, and storyline. PC mmo games are designed around immersion... almost a lifestyle with player defined involvement, roles, pace, and commitment. So I guess my point is, dont try to turn a PC mmo into a console game. If a console game is what you want stick to the console game.(yes i understand these are stereotypes and that exceptions can be found on both sides)

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I agree with you that long and profitable trade journeys (ie, spice runs to India, or Sugar runs to the Caribean) should not be a daily occurrence. However I disagree that boredom should be the only barrier.

There are multiple ways to make just such a journey be the only undertaken on an exception basis by those willing to accept the risks involved. Actual investment of money would be a requirement. You'd need supplies for the journey, a well paid crew, and all the permits allowed for trade. All of which is put at risk by weather ruining your journey, Pirate attack, lack of local supply when you get there....

So I think the upfront cost of such a journey, and the risk associated with it will be more than enough to get people to only perform such trades when they feel they can risk it. In fact, I'd argue this would make a much more interesting choice than choosing between boredom or no boredom.

I like what you say about sense of exploring. But keep in mind how small Europe is compared to say, the Pacific Ocean. If the suggested time allocation of 15 minutes just to cross Normandy, we're talking house upon hours to sail between islands. Unless those hours can be MEANINGFULLY filled with game-play, I think the journey length will harm player take up.

I agree with you, in the long run, players will enjoy the rewards and adventure, the main problem (boredom) happens in the short run i.e while sailing.

Some ideas to tackle this are, time compression in the huge oceans, as suggested by Brigand and the Potbs system of porting.

This has to be balanced and that is the main problem here.

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Well I like the porting idea, especially if there are many different "zones"(med, asia, caribean, etc.) because I wouldnt want to be locked out of a zone cuz its simply takes to much of my time to get there and I'm based somewhere else. I think that you should have to pay ingame currency for your "passage" but it need not be burdensome. Just enough to keep you honest.

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Personaly I am all in favour of realism within the "battle map" (or however this game will do it), but excesive realism on the world map is to be avoided.I have followed pre release and played MMOs with very large worlds and long travel times in the past, e.g. Vanguard, Darkfall, Eve.

 

From this I have observed a trend, that I also tend to follow myself: in the pre release hype on the forums, long travel times receive considerable support - I think this is because people are so excited they can't imagine not wanting to play the game, even the somewhat tedious bits. However once the game releases, after the first couple of weeks people's opinions change radicaly, once you have ran from one town to another for an hour a few times you really just want to get there quickly, and the MMO is forced to accommodate some form of quick travel.

 

I think, especialy for a game with a small dev team, it would be a good idea to skip the first phase entirely and have reasonable travel times avalible out the box. So how do we do this? I have seen a number of people sugest a Sea Dogs/AoS style system, which would be perfect if it was possible. Unfortunately we have yet to discover the secrets of time travel, so a time compresion system is sadly not possible in a multiplayer game. If we can't manipulate time we are left with two options: speed and distance.

 

It is tempting to build a full size map of the world and use accurate spotting mechanics on it, but this is a terrible idea. In order to get to destinations at a reasonable speed on a 1:1 scale map, ships would have to be traveling at close to or over 1000mph. Combine this with a spotting radius of aproximately 12 miles, and you wouldn't even be able to register the presence of another ship, let alone react to it.

 

So let us look at the opposite extreme, a very small map but with ships traveling at maybe 20 knots maximum. This would work better, but it still not a workable idea; areas like the channel which should be one of the busiest areas in the world would be unavigatable as they are so narrow.

 

Therefore we are left with a mixture of options two and three, a reduced scale map (say around 1:4 for argument) with ships traveling faster. This is the approach that PoTBS took, and despite negative comments on it, I feel that the Open Sea map was one of PoTBS's strong points; it wasn't perfect but it was a solid compromise that got the job done well enough. If Naval Action was to be restricted to a single theater I feel it should use a very similar idea.

 

However, assuming that NA is intending to cover all or most of the world, the system will need considearble reimagining. The primary reason for this is density of content. PoTBS takes part only in the caribbean, so they can get by with a plain scaled down map becuase the craibbean is full of ships and pirates and islands and towns, in short: content. Even when a player is sailing from one end of the map to the other in PoTBS, he always has plenty of content avalible all around him if he should get bored, or he can sail in a few minutes to the nearest town to log off.

 

NA however must address the issue of oceans, as well as seas. To sail from Mexico to Guyana takes quite a while, but it is an interesting voyage with plenty to see on the way. Sailing from Mexico to Cadiz is at least twice as long, and once you get past the Bahamas there isn't much to see or do crossing the Atlantic. So how can we solve this?

 

The obvious answer is just to make more content in the Atlantic, but I don't think this is a good idea. Why does the chicken cross the Atlantic? Is it to fight the ships in the middle? Maybe, but far more likely it is because he wants to get to the other side, adding more ships into the Atlantic would just prove a fustration if he had to fight them, or irelevant if he didn't. I think the Atlantic has to be compresed somehow. The obvious solution is to have some kind of currents or trade wind system, sail along this specific path and you will get a speed boost. If such a solution is implemented I feel it is important to do so properly, PoTBS for example had a very half assed current system. It shouldn't matter where you join the current stream, or even what heading your ship is sailing on, the effect of the current should be aplied to your vector regardless.

 

The best alternative (or prehaps suplement to) this system that I can think of is to divide the world into discreet theatres the caribbean, the mediterranean, ect, with some kind of "travel box" system inbettween. The advantage of this would be being able to set the scale of each individual theater semi independently (couldn't have the scales too diferent or it would look weird), and have the scale of the theatres in general larger, since you don't have to worry about the bordeom of sailing across oceans. To travel from one theatre to another you sail to the exit box and wait a few minutes. The server would calculate the chances of you spotting any other ship also in the box, then either output you at the exit box of your destination, or place you in a battle.

 

Whilst option 2 has many desirable options, I feel it is not really suited to an MMO; paticuarly the potential to abuse the fast travel system in pvp - camping the box entrances/exits, moving reinforcements across the Atlantic in a few minutes, ect. A hybrid system has its attractions though. The world is true scale (maybe with a lensing effect applied to areas of interest like Europe or the Caribbean) with currents to cross the oceans. Crossing the oceans still take signifigant time however, maybe upwards of an hour to cross from New York to London. This would rapidly get tedious for a player who crosses often, and as I have explained above I don't think there is really much we can do about this. The alternitive is to ensure that a player doens't want to cross very often, so we add an NPC courier system. All the large ports in the world have a shipping office where a player can choose to book passage for himself or for his goods. If the former he appears instantly in his destination, if the later an NPC ship is spawned carrying his cargo, which sails across the ocean to his destination. The only event he would have to make the crossing himself was if he wanted a large ship like a 1st rate in the Caribbean, where they cannot be built. In such an event he would be forced to sail it himself, but that is a good thing as his eneimes can try to intercept him whilsts his friends escort him.

 

On the face of it this might appear perfect, but there is still one aspec we need to examine: what happens if the NPC courier is intercepted and sunk? If it is sunk we have an easy solution: insurance equall to the value of the lost cargo is paid to the merchant, which he can use to purchase a new cargo adn try again. Or is this so easy? In effect the merchant has no sold his goods, and with little to no effort he has converted his cargo to cash without the fuss of finding a buyer, and more importantly this cash was generated into the economy rather than being existing cash transfered from a player. Th obvious soloution is to under insure by say 15%, enough to insure the merchant doesn't have a friend sink the NPC on its way and claim the insurance, but still pays out enough money that the merchant doesn't go broke.

 

A fresh problem arrises if the attacking player doesn't sink the courier but isntead captures it, if the insurance agent pays out then as far as the economy is concerned 10,000 florins of sugar just became 10,000 florins of sugar and another 8,500 florins ontop of that. Unfortunately I don't think there is really anyway around this problem, the answer lies in making it hard to interecpt a courier. The best way to do that is make it appear no diferent from any other NPC merchant sailing around, sometimes people will get lucky but most of the time the courier will make it through and the conomy will not suffer from infaltion cuased by excesive insurance payouts.

 

Apologies if this has ended in a rant on economics, however the two are criticaly linked - in order for the economy to function goods must be moved, and in order for the goods to be moved travel must either be fast or else less boring methods of moving goods must be offered to players.

 

To actualy answer the question posed in the OP, I think from Calais to Cherbourg should take one or at the most two minutes with a good wind - if this game was focused on Europe it would be diferent, but we must keep in mind the global scale of the game and adjust travel times accordingly.

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I agree with a couple of your suggestions here, and I believe that a divided world map; one divided into separate sections/theaters. (I suggested this in an earlier post I think) 

 

I also agree that quick travel would be incredibly abused. Perhaps there would actually have to be a wait period to transfer between sections. This would make proper and considerable planning if you wanted to change theaters. A trip from the Caribbean theater to the English Channel would take (for example) 15 minutes, whereas one to the Mediterranean would take 20 minutes.

 

This could also allow for different routes to take with variable danger to them. For example, one leaving the Caribbean to the orient could have two options: 1, to go around Africa taking 40 minutes but much safer and less resupplying stops. Or 2, go around south america: much more dangerous and requiring more supplies on board to make the trip.

 

(And further down the road) players may even run into events (that would be saved for when the player logs back in or at the soonest time) such as maneuvering through a storm, or even dealing with a mutiny!

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I quite agree with Rudi. (BTW, Rudy. China called. they want their wall back.  :P  )

 

I've backed Star Citzen quite a bit, and have firmly been in the "immersion" camp.  I've campaigned for opening door animations, and step climbing animations, and sitting / standing transition animations.....

...all of which I wish I could now skip. When I tot about with my ships in the hangar I get frustrated that I have to watch my character's 1/2 second animation  (albeit for the millionth time) as he boards his ship. 

 

 

I like what you say about currents and trade winds, I was thinking of a very similar system myself actually. I think the Zone system is best, inside each zone the sea should be broken it "parts"

 

The "Part" of the sea closest to the shore (, ie, within viewing distance, or just beyond) ships travel at "realistic" speeds. Moving out further away, they can get swept up in a "current" pushing them along faster. 

 

I reckon this will still alow for relatively realistic sailing for the most part, but longer journeys are less arduous. 

 

Of coarse the downside is that a trip from Portsmouth to Cadiz could end up taking up less time than a trip from Portsmouth to London.   <_<

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The Pacific Ocean is rather huge and empty, I for one, would not mind if the developers added a lot of new islands to discover, chart and perhaps colonize.   :)

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I quite like the whole multiple instance suggestion. Having things like the British Isles and Northern Europe, the West Indy's, Eastern North America (Boston, Halifax, etc), the Med and north Africa (including Gibraltar), etc.

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Pour les voyages très  long.

Exemple : La rochelle (French port) vers port royal ou un autre ports,10 à 15 mn.

Arrêt possible, pour sauver un équipage ou une mission à faire ou prendre une cargaison abandonner.

Aussi faire un combat naval. 

Et arriver prêt d'une île, passer en simulation pour explorer. Même rapide!

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