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Print at Jul 2, 2020 11:33:36 AM

Posted by scupperer at Dec 13, 2011 5:37:22 AM
Re: Give the (meta) game back to the players.
- AI has become so entrenched because most people (or so the Ringers seem to think) don't like competing against other real people, but have no problem if they are beaten by bots (see also PvP, which I eventually gave up trying to convince them to fix).

I don't have a problem with AI being part of the game, and I don't believe it should be removed - it's just that ultimately, it's not *the* game. It's certainly not why I ever logged on - not to battle the new brigand AI's, or to test my nav skills in Atlantis. Even for those who truly enjoy such things, I imagine once you've mastered it, the enjoyment that remains is with the people in the game. I just think that too much focus has been given to it, to the detriment of the other meta-games. This game has already proven it doesn't *need* such things to succeed, because the game was already peaking before those things existed.

People can say they hate competing against other people, yet ultimately we are all compelled by such interaction despite (perhaps because of) the strength of our public outcry. However, the amount of enjoyment/aggravation that is achieved relies greatly on the rules and guidelines. I never saw anyone complain about being ranked on the puzzle rankings - yet it is still a form of competition, even if not face to face.

Another example, the popularity of the much-despised parlor games (which I happen to enjoy) is exactly people competing against each other within a specific set of limited rules. Make a blockade more like a NFL game, with 11 ships vs 11 ships, and suddenly you'll have 15 blockades every week with 32 flags participating, and full stadiums. Want certain islands to be more important and more difficult? Fine; code it - but you have to start smaller. The opportunity needs to be there, and the outcome needs to be more determined by talent than mass.

Too much importance (by the design, not just the players) has been levied on the possession and stability of the islands, which, ultimately, isn't all that important - they're just pixels. To the players, let them decide the importance - it funds the defense.

The Ringers have always seemed reluctant to move away from their idea that people should need lots of mates to help them sail their ships

Let's just convince them to add a qualifier of *wildly successfully* to the end of that sentence. You're always more likely to retain crew if the ship is moving, even if partially damaged, when a jobber joins than if they have to wait around for even 3 or 4 people. There's also the much recognized problem of poker hoppers and other such nonsense that has greatly increased the difficulty of fielding larger ships. But if poker is what keeps them playing them game, no reason to remove it.

As for new puzzles, there have been player designed puzzles sitting around for years ready to be implemented but who knows why they're not here yet.

Perhaps put in a beta parlor table to test out the finished ones. Even if they ultimately don't find a place in the larger game sphere, such a recognition of player participation goes a long long way.

I just see a renewed development attention to the game with such a massive move as merging oceans; I'd like to capitalize on that attention.
I believe that we are all, openly or secretly, struggling against one or another kind of nihilism. - Ellen Willis

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