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Historical Range (Time Period)


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What is the the historical time frame or range for this game? Will the Developers include the early period of the Age of Sail and Cannon? The 1500s? The 1600s? The 1700s?  Is the Napoleonic Age the end time or the only time? I'd like some clarification here. This is a period of 300+ years and a lot of developments occurred during this time.

Note: I observe that almost all illustrations and references appear to be 'Napoleonic', however, where exactly, timewise, will this game begin?

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So far, vessels ranging from 1720 (HMS Greyhound) up to 1820 (HMS Beagle, Brig Mercury) have made it into the Ships you want to see in-game list.

There where earlier and later ships in suggested in the above mentioned thread, but they are not available as a choice in the poll.

Not a very precise time frame, but so far the best we have.

~Brigand

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Please do stop at the 1820 mark.

Reason being that beyond this point, the newer generations of warships made prior warships entirely obsolete because of the advent of explosive shells and steam engines.

The gap between a 1750 vs an 1800 manufacture frigate (of similar tonnage) was a LOT smaller than the gap between an 1800 and 1850 frigate (using state of the art technology in either case). In the latter case, the older vessel would be completely outclassed.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paixhans_gun

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We definitely stop at 1820 mark yes. +-5 years. 

Initial model line up range from 1680 till 1820. 

 

Going earlier than that might make line battles look strange (with old galleons alongside modern 2nd rates)

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Think it's gonna look a bit strange as it is... Although the odds are high everyone's gonna end up in the same 2-3 vessel types I guess.

 

Any plans to have dedicated period and open servers/arenas?

 

I dont think it will look all that strange. On the open sea you'd have a huge diversity of ships which is nice, otherwise things would be boring, while in PVP and possibly large scale PVE societies will want their members to bring set fleets. I think you'll begin to see similarities between this game and EVE when it comes to multiple people per side PVP fleets.

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We definitely stop at 1820 mark yes. +-5 years. 

Initial model line up range from 1680 till 1820. 

 

Going earlier than that might make line battles look strange (with old galleons alongside modern 2nd rates)

Ships can sometimes live a long time, and outdated models can be built after their obsolescence.

 

But what about the date for the online gameworld? 1740 vs 1720 doesn't make a lot of difference for naval architecture, which was very stagnant over those two decades, but it makes a hell of a lot of difference for piracy in the world!

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Sorry Theo mate, it's mostly a personal thing I'm sure - I'm all for diversity, but there is scope for plenty of that without mashing two centuries together, which I would find jarring and detrimental to immersion. I think it's really cool for the combat module that's coming first, can't wait to see how the 'feel' of the vessels change from the start to the end of the period covered. But for the 'open sea' mode planned for late, I think it'd be a crying shame not to pick a decade and try to model that properly. No less diversity, just more depth :)

 

Maturin, that's true, but exceptions rather than rule. Outdated designs could be built, but weren't until about 20 years ago when the replica scene started to exist... Pretty good ballpark averages look something like 10 years for a fishing boat, 20 for a merchantman, 30 for a warship, and not all of those years would be in commission. Not sure if HMS whatever serving as a prison hulk, then coal hulk, then school ship, then cadet accommodation before finally being 'restored' and offered to the public as a 100-200 year old frigate really counts ;)

 

And a very valid point about dates for the game, and the balance between exciting times for ship design and exciting times for ships themselves! For me, the 1820 end of the spectrum rather than 1680 is what I'm hoping for. Less romance, true, but better sailing vessels, tighter framework within which to build the game, more research resources, more novelty (a proper naval combat simulation would be a real breath of fresh sea air after years of pirate bollocks) etc...and the boats were prettier :)

 

Baggy

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Sorry Theo mate, it's mostly a personal thing I'm sure - I'm all for diversity, but there is scope for plenty of that without mashing two centuries together, which I would find jarring and detrimental to immersion. I think it's really cool for the combat module that's coming first, can't wait to see how the 'feel' of the vessels change from the start to the end of the period covered. But for the 'open sea' mode planned for late, I think it'd be a crying shame not to pick a decade and try to model that properly. No less diversity, just more depth :)

 

 

I really like what your suggesting here. A game that is set in a particular point in time, and incorporates a myriad of different ships from that specific time. As you say, no less diversity but a little bit more realism. The trouble is in my mind that is it in the developers best interests to limit themselves in such a way? Where famous ships of one period cannot be included because they do not fit the narrower window? I'm envisioning years from now, a 20 page thread of people asking the developers 'why isn't such-and-such ship in game?'

 

I completely agree with you that the late 1600's are a little on the early side, but if it's just one or two ships, while the rest are nearer the other end of the scale, I personally could live with that.

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Maturin, that's true, but exceptions rather than rule. Outdated designs could be built, but weren't until about 20 years ago when the replica scene started to exist... Pretty good ballpark averages look something like 10 years for a fishing boat, 20 for a merchantman, 30 for a warship, and not all of those years would be in commission. Not sure if HMS whatever serving as a prison hulk, then coal hulk, then school ship, then cadet accommodation before finally being 'restored' and offered to the public as a 100-200 year old frigate really counts ;)

Not replicas, of course, but might it have been possible for backwater ports in the Carribean to continue building outdated designs for a few decades after everyone else moved on? Not really sure here, just speculating.

 

As for a ship from 1820 appearing in 1750, that just can't work.

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The trouble is in my mind that is it in the developers best interests to limit themselves in such a way? Where famous ships of one period cannot be included because they do not fit the narrower window? I'm envisioning years from now, a 20 page thread of people asking the developers 'why isn't such-and-such ship in game?'

 

I'm kind of assuming the combat module will carry on existing as a separate module even after the open world launches. So my suggestion would be that the combat module represents any period that the community or devs wish to model sailing vessels for. No reason, in my mind, why there shouldn't be trireme (real Greek/Phoenician ones, none of this Roman guff!) battles in one server, a running recreation of the Spanish Armada running battle on another (although please could we still the entire Channel Map for that one?!) in another, and American ironclads doing live fire training in a third. I appreciate the huge amount of work required for those particular example - but the point is I don't see why there should be any age limit on the combat stuff. The devs have already said there's a pretty robust matching mechanic so those just looking for quick action should have a good balanced match.

 

Open World I'd like to see sticking pretty tightly to a ante-quem date, and focused on the designs and shipping for the decade or so leading up to that date.

 

 

Not replicas, of course, but might it have been possible for backwater ports in the Carribean to continue building outdated designs for a few decades after everyone else moved on? Not really sure here, just speculating.

 

As for a ship from 1820 appearing in 1750, that just can't work.

 

Sorry, I slightly misunderstood you and misrepresented myself - post fail! I see what you mean, and you are entirely correct that design methodology largely changed slowly and was geographically patchy. Worth pointing out with your example that very few Western-designed large vessels were built on station in the Caribbean though. Those built in colonies (thinking of the large British shipyards in India), contemporary designs tended to be used for warships and Indiamen, locally influenced designs for coastal and inshore craft.

 

Better examples might be things like the Humber keel, the mallet, the Severn trow on the merchant side and the coble and Beer luggers on the fishing side - these designs were built for centuries with little change. My misunderstanding stems from the fact that, to me, these designs are not outdated - they continued to serve their purpose better than any other design, so were just as cutting edge as they would have been when first developed. In the same way, I don't see the coelacanth as a living fossil - it's still a perfectly valid evolutionary approach, and is just a fish (albeit unchanged for a long while), not a 'living fossil'.

 

Does this make my standpoint a little clearer?

 

Baggy

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As for a ship from 1820 appearing in 1750, that just can't work.

 

Well its age of sail. Not 1750 of sail  :). We are recreating the times and their general feel and atmosphere. In game you will only know the date - not the year. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm going to voice my own concerns and general agreement with Baggy on "pick a date [or at least a decade] and don't go past it!" It gave me fits and starts whenever I saw a "galleon" in PotBS and was already rather a stretch using vessels designed in the 1740s alongside ships from c. 1680. 

 

That said, I'll also note my personal preference is even before what Game Labs seems to be considering -- to wit, circa 1660. Not only was that the "Golden Age" of piracy; not only were the English and Dutch slugging it out at sea and re-defining the very nature of warfare; but IMHO the mid 17th century saw the construction of the most beautiful ships known to all history.

 

Plus, both the early 18th and early 19th centuries have been treated extensively in the genre. Why not try something 'new'  ;)

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In game you will only know the date - not the year.

I really can't fathom how that's possible. You have USS Constitution in the game! Is it the ship of an independent country or 13 British colonies?!?

 

Plus, both the early 18th and early 19th centuries have been treated extensively in the genre. Why not try something 'new'

Because everyone hates spritsail topsails and loves frigates. :P

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I'm going to voice my own concerns and general agreement with Baggy on "pick a date [or at least a decade] and don't go past it!" It gave me fits and starts whenever I saw a "galleon" in PotBS and was already rather a stretch using vessels designed in the 1740s alongside ships from c. 1680. 

 

That said, I'll also note my personal preference is even before what Game Labs seems to be considering -- to wit, circa 1660. Not only was that the "Golden Age" of piracy; not only were the English and Dutch slugging it out at sea and re-defining the very nature of warfare; but IMHO the mid 17th century saw the construction of the most beautiful ships known to all history.

 

Plus, both the early 18th and early 19th centuries have been treated extensively in the genre. Why not try something 'new'  ;)

 

For the open map we initially thought of all players starting at 1600 something and then researching and developing their fleets using science, economy and trading to 1820. But it will still create situations where Constitution could sail alongside Galeons.  We cannot get around this puzzle yet by not dropping some historical accuracy in favor of gameplay. 

 

Another idea we thought about was similar to what DOTA2 has but on a slower scale - where players start at certain very early time period until they win the map. And after map is won everything resets including port positions and resources, all property players gained.. Nations and clans that were slower in development would sail older ships. (in dota your skills level within the match only - after match ends you start again)

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Are you guys dead-set on a global map? Because it seems like a waste of resources to model every little island in the East Indies, where no one will often go. (Indiamen and that's it.) Why not cut the world into slices and assign dates to each separate server region?

 

You could have a North Atlantic and Mediterranean server/gameworld for main econ and RvR, with a set date of 1790 or so. And restrict the vessels appropriately, to a 50-year range.

 

And then a separate 1600s Madagascar piracy server restricted to that region.

 

And a British Channel/North Sea 1600s server for the pre-line of battle Anglo-Dutch Wars and more heavy piracy with the Dutch Sea Beggars. This would let the pirates have some real importance, as opposed to being bullied by battlefleets and superior frigates in the Napoleonic era.

 

 

 

By the way, do you have many vessels from 1700-1750?

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Are you guys dead-set on a global map? Because it seems like a waste of resources to model every little island in the East Indies, where no one will often go. (Indiamen and that's it.)

Traders go where there are resources. Pirates go where there are traders. Privateers go where there are pirates, and navy goes where ever the action is. I think every region will have a lot of activity, so long as each region has a reason for people to go there. Mainly, resources.

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For the open map we initially thought of all players starting at 1600 something and then researching and developing their fleets using science, economy and trading to 1820. But it will still create situations where Constitution could sail alongside Galeons.  We cannot get around this puzzle yet by not dropping some historical accuracy in favor of gameplay.

Speaking personally I don't like the idea of starting in one era and eventually "resetting;" I suspect a lot of players would be quite upset if, say, they joined the game in 1819 and a few days later =poof= it's 1600 and everyone's starting over! I also suspect, in addition to driving the history buffs batty, it would be extremely difficult to balance -- less so if there is a "universal game time" around which nations' technologies vary only by +/- about 5-10 years. This kind of mechanic seems more suited to a single-player RTS than anything else, IMO.

 

I also don't understand how selecting an era (or eras, per server, as per maturin's suggestion) sacrifices "gameplay." Please help me out? What exactly is sacrificed beyond allowing someone to sail a galleon one day and a 44-gun frigate the next -- or is that it? Within any given decade or quarter century I'm sure there's plenty of political, military, and economic opportunity, and a vast selection of vessels to fill all different functional niches of the game. I feel like I'm missing something here, so please as time allows describe what gameplay a mixed historical setting opens up, as opposed to picking an era and focusing content therein.

 

That said, I do appreciate the desire to provide settings in a wide variety of eras -- I just would rather see them not colliding. Again, different servers seem to be the most elegant solution for this, to me; but I appreciate that would mean you'd essentially have 4-6 separate games to maintain and balance, as opposed to one (eventually) put out to several different servers.

 

Another idea we thought about was similar to what DOTA2 has but on a slower scale - where players start at certain very early time period until they win the map. And after map is won everything resets including port positions and resources, all property players gained.. Nations and clans that were slower in development would sail older ships. (in dota your skills level within the match only - after match ends you start again)

Again, I think this would be extremely hard to balance. It seems likely that whoever "invents," say, the Constitution or the Rénommée will end up having an advantage and steamrollering the rest of the factions into submission. So this seems to magnify the problem of conflicting eras and conflates it with game balance issues that would be nightmarish to resolve.

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In my IJN mod to SH4 (it's folded into lurkers RSRD campaign), I have physical changes to the units over time. So early subchasers have no radar, and none on the mast, when they get air search, it is installed. Ditto other vessels, DC throwers, aaa mounts and tubs.

Is it possible to build a relatively generic vessel of a class (start with a merchant hull), and make multiple variants by small changes? In SH4 there is a node for ship parts used by BBs to change the cage to a tripod on US ships. I got it working with masts, kingposts, etc. easier for you guys to do panning ahead...

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Another idea we thought about was similar to what DOTA2 has but on a slower scale - where players start at certain very early time period until they win the map. And after map is won everything resets including port positions and resources, all property players gained.. Nations and clans that were slower in development would sail older ships. (in dota your skills level within the match only - after match ends you start again)

I agree that this sounds better for a single player game than for an MMO.

 

I would be greatly discouraged watching all my stuff that I've built up disappear, even if it only happened once a year. Actually that might be worse.

 

I'm fine with the map resetting. I think something like that probably needs to happen. Just not a resetting of resources.

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Sad, admin's idea of the map resetting is a fantastic one, but the people that have to "keep all my stuff, forever" won't have it.

 

Do you play games like E:TW? After the end of the era supported (world 100% conquered), do you keep playing, collecting taxes, building up armies just to gain even more stuff?

 

How could the game not end at the end of the era? Given even very light (by "gamer" standards) time compression, the entire possible period in the FAQ (1600s through early 1800s) could be played through in several months. 

 

How long should the game world take to go 100 years?

 

You are NOT fine with resetting if you think you should keep your stuff. The US starts with nothing of a navy, then 6 frigates. If the US players made the USN rival the RN by 1820 on one map, should they start in 1680 the next map the equal of the RN? That is exactly what you are for.

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Another idea we thought about was similar to what DOTA2 has but on a slower scale - where players start at certain very early time period until they win the map. And after map is won everything resets including port positions and resources, all property players gained.. Nations and clans that were slower in development would sail older ships. (in dota your skills level within the match only - after match ends you start again)

 

You of course need to be careful when going down this road.

 

You can't expect players to be happy if you hit reset on a character they have spent countless hours trying to level, but if the characters level quickly, or don't level themselves at all, the point is made moot.

You can't expect players to be happy if you hit reset on a line ship they have spent countless hours trying to attain or grind rep for, but if the rep comes quickly or the ship is free, the point is made moot.

You can't expect players to be happy if you hit reset on a production line that took countless hours to set up and countless doubloons to finance, but if the crafting is dumbed down the point is made moot.

 

The problem with this is resetting things often requires you to reduce the effort needed to attain it in the first place to a point where it doesn't hurt to lose it.

It has the potential to trivialize the content and rush your character's journey to success.

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