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William the Drake

Pirate Havens, Port Security, and Trade Regulations

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A fair warning that I tried to compile this in a way that it would work across multiple topics, however it makes more sense if it is all together, as such, this is a bit lengthy, but all ties together. So lets get to it:

 

I have to give credit where credit is due: DazednConfused beat me to the punch in some of the main concepts I'll be showcasing here in his Shades of Grey post. 

 

At the current moment, port accessibility is limited by faction alone. There are no other means to enter a port unless it is of the same faction or if it is neutral (except for pirates). Neutrals also act as a sort of reverse pirate faction, though with little reason. Here are a few concepts that I think would create a more dynamic atmosphere and allow for more accessibility to ports and possibly even make trade and smuggling more adventurous.

 

First off:

Remove ALL Pirate ports- Pirates should not have any need or use for any type of major economic port. In fact, there should be no permanent pirate ports at all, otherwise, nationals will know exactly where to go to camp pirates. Then where will pirates go to repair and sell stolen goods? I suggest these two alternatives to permanent pirate ports:

  • Pirate Camps: Camps set up by any Pirate player with over X amount of crew. these camps are temporary and will only remain for [X amount of time] after a player leaves (if another pirate enters the camp, the timer resets). Camps provide very minimal ship repair capabilities: only small ships (say lynx to brig) can be repaired here. The camp will also provide minimal crew recruitment/replenishment. Camps have no economic power whatsoever: Ships or equipment cannot be purchased but can be sold. No Warehouses can be built. No fleets can be purchased.
  • Pirate HavensHavens are quasi-ports that are generated automatically based on pirate activity in a given area. Havens are limited in number by area (i.e. Bahamas area can only have X havens at one time, whereas the Antilles can have Y havens), however their location within these areas are dictated by where piracy happens the most in said area. Should there be little pirate activity, then havens may not be generated (i.e. if the Bahamas has little piracy, it may only have 1 or 0 havens even though it can hold 2). Havens provide moderate ship repair capabilities: up to (say) Cerberus/Mercury and can provide the optimal amount of crew recruitment/replenishment. Havens have moderate economic capabilities: small ships and equipment can be bought here, all items can be sold, and havens provide small amounts of common trade goods. Small ships can be purchased for fleets.

For both of these encampments, there is no option to defend in the event of a siege: if a National force is strong enough, a Pirate Camp or Haven is automatically dispersed. (Camps require X Battle rating to Disperse, Havens require Y Battle Rating, Y being greater than X)

 

Next, is to allow pirates access to all other ports. In fact everyone should have access to all ports regardless of faction. Dazed touched on the idea of "Loyalty" that dictated the accessibility of foreign ports. I like this idea very much, but lets take it a step further:

 

Port Security- The level of port security dictates the ease or difficulty of a non-faction player (and Pirates) to enter a port. Port Security can be increased in a number of ways, all that draw from the port's wallet/economic success: things such as building a Fort or Prison, stationing a Garrison of troops, ordering sea patrols, etc. will increase Port Security (all of these will also require an initial purchase price and subsequent upkeep price). The Higher the security, the harder it is to sneak into a port.

 

Levels of Port Security:

  1. LawlessThis is the closest thing to a permanent Pirate port that you can get. There is almost no security whatsoever, and it is very easy to sneak into a port. 
  2. Patrolled - There is a low level of security: some small ships patrol the waters, and there are a few troops stationed here, but it is relatively easy to sneak into port.
  3. Orderly - Moderate level of security: medium ships patrol the waters, there is a sizable garrison of troops an possibly even a small fort. Sneaking into port will be somewhat of a challenge
  4. Organized- High level of security: there are a number of patrols in the water, a large garrison of troops patrolling the docks and streets, a few forts. Sneaking into port will be rather difficult.
  5. Secured- Extreme level of security: Large ships patrolling the waters, a huge garrison patrols the streets, and a number of large forts dot the port. Sneaking into port is almost impossible

Port security is directly effected by the port's economic success: the more money the port makes/the larger the port, the more resources can be allocated to security. So Havana will probably never be lawless (although excessive neglect could allow this to happen) and an obscure port will probably never reach the Secure level. Capitols are automatically set at the secure level. 

 

EDIT: A pirate's notoriety/infamy will also factor into their ability to sneak into a port: The higher the "Heat" Level a pirate has, the difficulty at each level of security multiplies. So a pirate with high levels of heat will still be able to sneak into a Lawless port with relative ease (he will have it harder than those without infamy or heat) but the difficulty in higher Security ports will be compounded into almost impossible chances of sneaking into a port.

 

Security also has a few secondary effects: the higher a ports security, the greater a profit can be made during trade. This makes smuggling an interesting business: a smuggler could play it safe and smuggle into a lawless port, but only make a small profit or risk sneaking into an Orderly port and make a larger profit. Risk-Reward system in place at it's most basic.

Second, the higher a port security, the larger/more deadly NPC ships it will generate. A lawless port will not generate Constitutions.

 

Port security and sneaking into a port only pertains to pirates and the players and ports of factions that are at war. Factions that are at peace or neutral will be allowed to enter ports regardless of Security level. (Players that are explicitly aligned with a faction, i.e. members of the Navy, cannot sneak into an enemy port at any point. The Navies are folks of dignity and do not sulk to sneaking around). However, even if they are at peace, trade may be limited based on Trade regulations.

 

Trade Regulations will be any type of limitation a faction puts on another to limit trade opportunities. These are done across all ports of a faction, not a port-by-port basis. For example, Even though Spain may be at peace with England and English sailors/traders can enter Spanish ports, Spain has declared that no outside trade is allowed in Spanish ports (this actually happened), meaning that an English trader could not trade in Spanish ports (if the trader had enough trade skill, he might be able to trade by shadier means)

 

Trade Regulations can be anything from embargoes on certain goods (i.e. no Wood from non-Spanish traders), embargoes on a certain faction (No English goods) or a combination (No English Wood). They can also be across the board trade limitation such as the example above.

 

Regulations could also be taxes/tariffs placed on trade, following the above system: Tax on non-Spanish wood, Tax on all English goods, Tax on only English Wood, etc. Taxes and Tariffs, unlike embargoes, will be handled on a port-by-port basis.

 

Now, embargoes and tariffs are directly affected by Port Security: a lawless port will not be  hard pressed to enforce any embargoes or tariffs, whereas in a secure port, embargoes are the end-all-and-be-all, no exceptions!

NOTE: smugglers/pirates ignore all embargoes and taxes/tariffs! This means that highest profit is made in a Secure port with the highest level of embargoes or tariffs!

 

Lastly, neutrality should be based on a Factions actual diplomatic standing: there should be no Neutral faction, and a Faction becomes neutral when they are not at war with any other faction (duh). Everyone (technically) has access to all ports, so neutral ports are not needed. The only people that absolutely must identify with a faction are those sailing in the respected Navy or Trade company, everyone else has a varying ability to disguise who they are or not show their faction alliance. (such as not flying a flag or flying a false flag)

TL;DR:

 

Pirates get temporary camps and limited havens instead of Permanent Ports

Port Security dictates the ease or difficulty of sneaking into an enemy port

Embargoes and Tariffs affect trade accessibility and profit of traders

Smuggling can be lucrative, but there is a Risk-Reward system.

Neutrality is based on Faction Diplomacy

 

Cheers,

~William Drummond, the Drake.

Edited by William the Drake
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This was something I put up in the other threads to tie stuff together, and was my own proposal, which I think is far simpler to code, but also more robust.

This seems like a really good idea.  Basically a function of notoriety of the pirate in question and the lawlessness of the port.  Maturin raises an excellent point, so perhaps that could be resolved by having lawlessness not be a fixed number, but a variable depending on proximity to capital and proximity of / frequency of national patrols.  At that point, neutrals could be gotten rid of entirely, and if you wanted to play an "Unaffiliated" character, just don't attack other vessels which would increase your notoriety.

 

That could further be enhanced by essentially recreating the Berlin Decree and the Orders in Council of 1807.  (If you trade with our enemies, you are subject to seizure.)  A way to do that would be to (with a diplomatic system in place) allow for trade embargos on other nations.  If a ship is seen entering or leaving a harbor, it can be attacked by the nation so embargoing.

 

This would really blur the line between smuggling and piracy, which, I think would be a very good thing indeed.

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William, your proposal is a very interesting set of bones .....

 

One thing that (I think) it presupposes is that each player is declared as a trader or a "Naval officer" - or perhaps each "alt" -- by the game?

 

---

 

Or would it just be an Honor thing - could Raatha be a respected U.S. Admiral when he is in his Bellona and still (as the same alt) grab a Trader Brig and run Rum into Havana?

 

He would be "honor bound" to fly the U.S. ensign on his Bellona - but could "select" from various flags for his trader brig? yes/no?

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This was something I put up in the other threads to tie stuff together, and was my own proposal, which I think is far simpler to code, but also more robust.

I have an early topic about "heat" and notoriety, this definitely should factor into the ability to sneak into a port. I will add this to the OP and add a link when I get to a computer.

Here is the Topic: Notoriety, Infamy, and "Heat"

 

William, your proposal is a very interesting set of bones .....

 

One thing that (I think) it presupposes is that each player is declared as a trader or a "Naval officer" - or perhaps each "alt" -- by the game?

 

---

 

Or would it just be an Honor thing - could Raatha be a respected U.S. Admiral when he is in his Bellona and still (as the same alt) grab a Trader Brig and run Rum into Havana?

 

He would be "honor bound" to fly the U.S. ensign on his Bellona - but could "select" from various flags for his trader brig? yes/no?

It depends on the player, not the ship, if Raatha is a famous Naval captain he will not be able to enter, regardless of ship. The idea is that Naval Captains and members of a trading company (NOT independent traders) will be explicitly aligned with a faction.

Edited by William the Drake

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Enough with getting rid of pirates please.

Read my post on this topic and you'll see that pirates are needed.

http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/6397-pirates-enter-friendly-side-in-battle-to-escape/

This should explain everything.

Uhm, I'm actually advocating against removing pirates... I play pirate.

In fact I have outlined in a number of posts why pirates need to be unique:

http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/5768-an-approach-to-piracy/

http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/5767-the-case-against-a-pirate-nation/

I would like to see myself as one of the bigger pirate advocates, but that's just me.

At what point do I say we should remove pirates?

Edited by William the Drake

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I had argued against pirates having ports for some time. 

This is yet another reason why pirates should not simply be sailing around in brightly painted men of war. Imagine how easily you would be noticed trying to get to port for repairs.

 

Therefore I further suggest that the larger and more man of war like the pirate ship the more likely it will be to be captured or confiscated in port....

I would also suggest that larger pirates have to revitalise at secret locations or off prizes. They should perhaps be able to exchange goods/food/water etc in sheltered coves rather than

straight out ports if they are larger pirate ships.

 

NO MORE double connies running around destroying navies!!

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As a national I love this idea!  It gives the pirate "faction" (for lack of a better term) more flavor than just a nation that can attack its own ships.  Also, it would encourage pirates to go out, and well, pirate.  My only concern is how the port security system be applied to neutrals...

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Huzahhh for this idea. this sounds familiar tho.. there was a game called Cutthroat's from Eidos. did they not had this sort of system aswell?

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I like the idea and I have proposed very similar model of security levels. But I think that spawning of random camps/havens is something which is too difficult to be done. There would be no harm probably, if these havens/camps locations will be fixed to regions. The nations will be able to close this haven for some time by attacking it, but they have to find it first (hidden locations).

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