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Jeremiah O'Brien

Solutions for Ganking

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A post Amp made in the Ganking Petition thread gave me an idea. As he said, many RL factors protected smaller ships, i.e. storms, the cover of night, and the vast ocean itself. Now, rather then making game mechanics all about creating even battles, why not incorporate game features that give smaller ships their historical, real life advantage?

IRL small ships had the cover of night, cover of storms, cover of the expense of operation of a big ship and most of all a VAST ocean to "get lost in" ---- in this game we are elbow to elbow compared to that and ganking has become such a problem partly because the smaller ships have very little cover ----- like they did IRL. :o

 

Feel free to post ideas you might have that will give small ships a realistic advantage while keeping out, to an extent, the gamey mechanics that cause so much controversy. There's more than one way to solve this problem and keep (mostly) everyone happy.

Let's try and stay on topic, folks :)

Edited by Jeremiah O'Brien
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I remember discussing different "weather" settings. Say 50% is calm, 150% is very rough weather. Different ships would perform better based on the wind setting - I'm not entirely sure what it ended with but Maturin had some great ideas!

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I think a simple step would be to change "hail" to "query lookout" or "ahoy aloft" as it was done - then the lookout gives you very basic info such as #ships, general size of them, most likely nationality ------- but never the Captain's name.

 

How would a lookout even know such info without a "magic" (2015) raven whispering in his ear?

 

Perhaps a few very famous Pirate's would be recognizable by their ship?

 

Those that only want to grief human players would be stymied - while those who want to use "asymmetrical" warfare as a tactic would not as they wouldn't care if it was human or bot driving the ship, you know if it was "in the way".

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Agreed. To counter the usage of assymetrical warfare to an extent, by shortening the hailing, or more appropriately, "lookout" distance, players would be unsure of the number/size of ships, causing them to think twice about whether they really have the advantage or not. They would need to commit to the possibility of a battle, thus rendering gankers at a disadvantage, because their tactics require definite numerical superiority.

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Wouldn't that lead to unintentional ganking also? "We're on top of him now, so lets just kill him and move on..."

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Wouldn't that lead to unintentional ganking also? "We're on top of him now, so lets just kill him and move on..."

It's possible, but it will be less likely because players will be less inclined to take the risk in the first place. Regardless, it will prevent players from "hailing" a ship miles away on the horizon and immediately knowing the captain and the ship type.

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If you want people sailing reasonably sized ships in reasonably sized groups then all you need is a realistic upkeep cost and econ system.  They didn't sail around the Caribbean in 1st rates and pirates seldom used rate ships.

 

Cost and upkeep

 

You can careen a small sloop sized ship on any nice beach in the Caribbean. Lets see you try that with a 1st rate or even the USS Constitution.  You need dockyards for these and big ones and they cost $$$. 

 

Crew aren't slaves and neither are marines.  You got a ship 1000 men on it you got a huge food and pay bill that gets paid whether that ship is in combat or not.  Even Blackbeard found the need to downsize when he couldn't afford to pay the crew/squadron that grew to big.

 

So lets say your Constitution breaks the main mast during a battle?  You're not going to fix that on a ship that size without a serious yard with cranes and support.  But break a mast on a sloop and you can probably figure it out just about any town.

 

Of course, this could lead to roving hordes of pirate Lynx's scouring the Caribbean.  Seriously though, early in EVE the cost of a dreadnaught was so outrageous it really slowed down they're use for RL years.  Its a proven formula.  Draconian forced computer moderation of battles is also a proven formula. Proven to fail, its hasn't worked at all for the past few years in POTBS.

Edited by Bach-EVE/POTBS
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I think a simple step would be to change "hail" to "query lookout" or "ahoy aloft" as it was done - then the lookout gives you very basic info such as #ships, general size of them, most likely nationality ------- but never the Captain's name.

 

How would a lookout even know such info without a "magic" (2015) raven whispering in his ear?

 

Perhaps a few very famous Pirate's would be recognizable by their ship?

 

Those that only want to grief human players would be stymied - while those who want to use "asymmetrical" warfare as a tactic would not as they wouldn't care if it was human or bot driving the ship, you know if it was "in the way".

 

Definitely agreed. Sometimes very well known ships were known by her allies ("Is that the Victory? I think it is....") but even then it would be rare until it got very close. At best they might know the class of ship, and a really sharp eye might recognize paint or pendants once it's close; But by the time it's that close I think it would be fine to have that information.

 

I would love to see a system where smaller ships were harder to see farther away than larger ships, and where being hull down mattered on the open seas. Time of day, weather, &c. are also all very good ideas.

 

 

If you want people sailing reasonably sized ships in reasonably sized groups then all you need is a realistic upkeep cost and econ system.  They didn't sail around the Caribbean in 1st rates and pirates seldom used rate ships.

 

Cost and upkeep

 

You can careen a small sloop sized ship on any nice beach in the Caribbean. Lets see you try that with a 1st rate or even the USS Constitution.  You need dockyards for these and big ones and they cost $$$. 

 

Crew aren't slaves and neither are marines.  You got a ship 1000 men on it you got a huge food and pay bill that gets paid whether that ship is in combat or not.  Even Blackbeard found the need to downsize when he couldn't afford to pay the crew/squadron that grew to big.

 

So lets say your Constitution breaks the main mast during a battle?  You're not going to fix that on a ship that size without a serious yard with cranes and support.  But break a mast on a sloop and you can probably figure it out just about any town.

 

Of course, this could lead to roving hordes of pirate Lynx's scouring the Caribbean.  Seriously though, early in EVE the cost of a dreadnaught was so outrageous it really slowed down they're use for RL years.  Its a proven formula.  Draconian forced computer moderation of battles is also a proven formula. Proven to fail, its hasn't worked at all for the past few years in POTBS.

 

Upkeep is also important, agreed, but I see no reason why a pirate horde of Lynxes is a bad idea. Masts can be jury-rigged, but going to port should be the way to fix something really broken (although I suspect the game balance will dictate that won't happen).

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Wouldn't that lead to unintentional ganking also? "We're on top of him now, so lets just kill him and move on..."

 

It wouldn't any more than the way it is does. I don't know if any one thing will cure ganking, heck, I'm not even sure ganking is always "bad". I think it is fair for the fans of "asymmetrical" warfare to have some reasonable ability to wage it - at least in large fleet actions.

 

If Spain and GB are at war and I am in a small Spanish ship sitting in a pass that a British fleet is working to take control of - I should skedaddle or expect to be sunk by that fleet - weather I am a bot or a human.

 

That is different than being hunted "because" I am a human Captain - ie: griefing/ganking

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I like that you keep putting "asymmetrical" in quotes.

 

E: I re-read the definition and I may have misused the term originally (although I think if one is being pedantic, it still works). But the definition might actually inspire some counter-gank ideas, so here it is:

 

noun

1.
warfare in which opposing groups or nations have unequal military resources, and the weaker opponent uses unconventional weapons and tactics, as terrorism, to exploit the vulnerabilities of the enemy.

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I like that you keep putting "asymmetrical" in quotes.

 

E: I re-read the definition and I may have misused the term originally (although I think if one is being pedantic, it still works). But the definition might actually inspire some counter-gank ideas, so here it is:

 

noun

1.
warfare in which opposing groups or nations have unequal military resources, and the weaker opponent uses unconventional weapons and tactics, as terrorism, to exploit the vulnerabilities of the enemy.

 

 

Hahaha I was the one who proposed that newer players in a lynx have a "kaboom" button where they can kill themselves AND the ganker ganking them - now that's asymmetrical.

 

----

 

As I understood it you wanted to come up with a name for the "white" use of a greater force to help secure a victory (and where all parties are pretty OK with it) - so as to separate it from the "black" use of greater force just to ruin a solo player or small group of newer player's day - correct. I thought "assemetrical warfare" (in quotes) would be a reasonable placeholder for white ganks.

 

My idea of a white gank would be US can only raise 13 SOL while GB has 17 ----- they go at it anyway because GB manages to get in position to tag. US pretty obviously wanted to play "fleet action" - and heck with Levithan, Prater, Chustler, Hodgegobblin, Red Hen and Raatha Et al ----- they might well win that battle :)

 

I think it is only the black ganks that are needing curbed.

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Yeah basically that. Griefers who want to abuse newbs and lowbies suck, but I don't like the idea of closing out the concept completely with heavy-handed rules because there are legitimate uses for "ganking."

 

Hence this thread I guess!

 

Basically my belief is that it should be possible, assuming the heavier force is willing to take the high-risk/low-reward for doing so.

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Yeah basically that. Griefers who want to abuse newbs and lowbies suck, but I don't like the idea of closing out the concept completely with heavy-handed rules because there are legitimate uses for "ganking."

 

Hence this thread I guess!

 

Basically my belief is that it should be possible, assuming the heavier force is willing to take the high-risk/low-reward for doing so.

 

That is where some sort of "fleet joining" would be cool - if US was "joined" into a fleet of 13 - we would know they were looking for a certain type of trouble and I would be OK with the game locking them out of all 13 jumping a solo player in their way - but 1 or 2 could peel off and chase off or sink that player in the way and then rejoin the fleet (is what I envision). Also when they are cruising around "fleeted up" if a heavier  British fleet of 17 jumps them ------ oh well should have brought a bigger gun to the party!

 

edit: Do need a mechanic for "joining fleet" and a reward for doing it (greater XP and gold?) compared to just cruising as a gaggle. ;)

Edited by ampaholic
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I think a simple step would be to change "hail" to "query lookout" or "ahoy aloft" as it was done - then the lookout gives you very basic info such as #ships, general size of them, most likely nationality ------- but never the Captain's name.

 

I would like to test something like this, but would much prefer the spyglass and looking to see what flag was being flown. I was against the proposal to remove names from traders, but a universal removal would be something to test.

 

Being able to run a false flag combined with an honor system would work.

 

Example: 

Dutch Frigate captain has an honor of 90 (out of 100) so with 90 he's losing 10% XP per battle, the items in port are costing him 10% more. He was at 100% but he attacked 2 Lynxes and sunk them, incurring a 5% hit to his honor each.

 

He sees a Bellona bearing down on him and decides to run up a neutral flag. The Bellona captain uses his spyglass to inspect the frigate, sees the neutral flag. The frigate captain takes a 0.5% hit to his honor for running up the false flag, so does the bellona captain who is running around with a neutral flag as well.

 

Based on his officers skill level, the bellona player is told in the UI that the frigate is rigged and running like a Spanish ship, but it's 50/50, player must decide.

 

Bellona player lets fly his French colors and bears down, prior to tagging the player, who also lets his Dutch colors fly, during the OW countdown timer, both players avoiding the -20% honor hit for flying their true colors, prior to attacking for the bellona player and prior to the instance starting for the Dutch player.

 

The Dutch player could have gambled and left his neutral flag up, taking the honor hit, hoping the bellona player would abort the attack at least 10 seconds before the instance starts.

 

The bellona sinks the frigate, he takes a -3% honor hit, the frigate player stays and fights however, does not flee and only surrenders after he's used a couple of repairs and dealt all the damage he could, he regains 5% honor for fighting a larger ship that 'ganked' him.

 

Bellona player now has 97% honor after the battle, loses 3% of the XP and gold, goes to port to buy a Pavel, she costs 3% more.

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Two questions Northern:

 

1: Would one lose honor for "ganking" bots - say attacking a Trader Snow fleeted with a snow in a Frigate?

 

2: Would there be things a player could do to raise their honor # besides giving a ganker a good fight?

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Those are up for debate, I think the honor penalties should be less or even nonexistent for hitting bots, just lower the reward significantly for 'ganking' a small bot.

Coming to the aid of a fellow national player who is in a lopsided battle, where you both lose or take severe damage should be an honor boost. 

 

So if a Surprise is hit by a Frigate, there is very little honor reduction for the Frigate, because of similar sized ships, and thus if a Brig jumps in to help the Surprise he would get a small bonus, but if that same Brig jumped in to help a Surprise versus a Constitution then he would get a much more significant bonus, the Connie captain would have taken a small hit for attacking the surprise.

 

If the Brig player jumps in to help a Surprise vs a Surprise then neither the Surprise or the Brig gets anything out of it and the lone Surprise would get a tiny bonus. 

 

So basically tie honor bonus/reductions to battle rating, increasing much more dramatically as the ship size differences get massive.

 

Honor hits the bank and would even affect morale, so a Captain with 100 honor would have small reload/sail/repair speeds bonus versus a crew whose captain has 60 honor.

 

Overall I'd envision it reducing ganking, but not making it impossible, but it would make someone whose day to day way of playing as a ganker be very, very expensive and inhibit his ability to maintain large ships or many ships.

 

No lobbies, no controls, less ganking, everyone wins.

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A post Amp made in the Ganking Petition thread gave me an idea. As he said, many RL factors protected smaller ships, i.e. storms, the cover of night, and the vast ocean itself. Now, rather then making game mechanics all about creating even battles, why not incorporate game features that give smaller ships their historical, real life advantage?

Feel free to post ideas you might have that will give small ships a realistic advantage while keeping out, to an extent, the gamey mechanics that cause so much controversy. There's more than one way to solve this problem and keep (mostly) everyone happy.

Let's try and stay on topic, folks :)

 

I already posted

Most detailed reply  http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/6211-new-roe-discussion/page-16

 

Visibility Range.

Basically allow larger rated ships to be visible on the OW seas at greater range when on board smaller rated ships (Allowing smaller ships the option to change course before being seen by larger rates).

 

Shallows.

Introduce true, by ship rated shallows near to some coastlines whilst leaving others historically accurate. This allows smaller rated vessels the ability to remain in shallower waters for some or all of their journey depending where on the map they are and where they intend travelling. I am NOT advocating shallows everywhere to create HUGE safe zones.

 

Both of these give the player realistic and historical tools to use, to sail sensibly and a give a greater chance to avoid combat if they keep their eyes open and use their head.

 

Although I have posted here I would prefer not to dilute the larger thread my link takes you to, otherwise all forum discussions will be repeated on every single new 'Ganking idea' post.

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@Crankey- I agree, having realistic shallows areas is a must. It also needs to be possible for larger ships to run aground if they enter a shallow area. That could work in a number of ways, but I suppose it could keep them their for a set amount of time, simulating repairs, attempting to move the ship, etc. It could also simply say something along the lines of, "Your ship has run aground," for the loss of a durability.

Northern, I really like the honor system idea. That's just the kind of thing we need to simulate the social expectations of the time period, where captains were expected to act honorably as a gentlemanly rule. It also gives players a reason to fight against unbalanced odds or go to the aid of an outnumbered player. The fact that such a system requires no additional mechanics is great as well.

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Instead of enforcing terrible rules and unrealistic and limiting systems. Why not go the eve route and make a sort of semi safe waters?

Around the capital and certain ports, have heavy AI patrols and a guarantee that If attacked in these areas AI will come to reinforce whatever nation the waters belong to? Even if no AI are in sight.

Call it "patrolled waters." If you want to attack someone there, you can, but you are going to meet a whole lot of angry AI.

Sprinkle it a few enemy AI to farm for new people, and missions eventually. And you can then leave them in peace, and have the absolute rest of the map free for the anarchy of unrestricted PVP.

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Or we could enforce awesome rules and realistic systems that only limit in a manner that makes sense in real world terms (even if abstracted somewhat).

 

I'm not opposed to safe waters in some cases, but I think there are better options.

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Instead of enforcing terrible rules and unrealistic and limiting systems. Why not go the eve route and make a sort of semi safe waters?

Around the capital and certain ports, have heavy AI patrols and a guarantee that If attacked in these areas AI will come to reinforce whatever nation the waters belong to? Even if no AI are in sight.

Call it "patrolled waters." If you want to attack someone there, you can, but you are going to meet a whole lot of angry AI.

Sprinkle it a few enemy AI to farm for new people, and missions eventually. And you can then leave them in peace, and have the absolute rest of the map free for the anarchy of unrestricted PVP.

 

The anarchy of unrestricted PvP?

 

Men, for ages immemorial have shown (proven) they only "want" to fight when they have some sort of advantage over their proposed opponent.

 

That's why they invented knives, and then swords, and then guns, and then cannons and then nukes - always to have the upper hand in a fight. It's why some study Tae Kwon Do, or boxing, or other martial arts. It's why cops carry a gun, and many criminals for that matter.

 

Unrestricted PvP pretty much results in two things =

 

1. the lesser (less armed) players trying to hide from the bigger badder players - and getting "ganked" when that fails.

2. The more advanced (better armed) players hunting all over for players they can have an advantage on = an easy win.

 

it becomes unfun for all pretty quickly.

 

------

 

A few simple easy rules and or mechanics that push gently against that very natural tendency to "Only stand and fight when I have an advantage or am trapped" would help game play a lot! (or at least might be worth testing)

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So then an honor system that rewards honorable fights and punishes lopsided ones, but doesn't ban by a set of mechanics, also create a shallow draft area along all the coasts (deep water ports would have channels into them) where the smaller ships can have a 'road' to move along and where the larger draft vessels must 'stand off' from the 'road'. (much used naval terms of course).

 

The shallow draft ships can operate safely, but still must make that exciting run to jump from one road to the next, Keys to Cuba, Cuba to Haiti, etc.

 

Larger ships can see them and can lurk, but can't get them unless they catch them in open sea, which of course will happen, but then there is the honor system which impacts the wallet, players choice.

 

Big ship attacks, he takes a hit to honor, little ship runs he gets no honor, if he stays and fights, he gets honor.

 

The channel into an out of the deep water port is also a safe zone, in fact this is the sheltered area most traditionally known as the 'road'.

 

A combination of these two, honor system and shallow draft corridors, would deepen gameplay and please those who want more protection from groups or bigger ships and it would please us who don't want gamey controls, lobbies and limits.

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Maybe this honor system is 1 to 1000 and players start at 500, all items are priced as is. 1000 instead of 100 may be too complicated, but it would just allow for a more nuanced set of modifiers.

 

Players at 1000 honor get a 40% discount on everything and have access to every single neutral port. Player at 300 honor is banned from certain neutral ports, all of his items cost 20% more. 

 

Something like this?

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I do think a multi faceted approach might be more painless for the "asymmetrical" warfare fans - the four areas of approach could be:

 

A. Mechanics/tuning - removing the magic (2015) ravens from the crows nest so they can't tell the lookout who the Captain of every human Captained ship is.

 

B. Community leverage - Honor metric, pretty much as Northern has described (at least to start).

 

C. COST -- a soft limit of 3v1 - if you try to attack with greater than 3 to 1 odds (ship count or BR) - you still can - you just get a warning and you get ZERO XP and ZERO gold and pay your own repairs - as well as the honor hits.

 

D. Serious COST -- every time you attack with greater than three to one odds - the game rolls a hidden die for you - you have a 1 in 6 chance of exploding on your first shot fired. ;)

 

---- A. would be much more realistic, B. Also realistic C. Would simulate the fact that IRL Frigates rarely ran in "packs" D. would simulate the fact that NO fight is a SURE THING and magazine explosions "happen"

Edited by ampaholic

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