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Print at Feb 23, 2020 10:07:46 AM

Posted by zanreth at Jul 17, 2017 9:55:38 AM
Obsidian, Hemp and Grey Havens
Ahoy all,

So far I think Obsidian has been a success. The ocean is up and running, it has drawn old pirates back, it has brought some new pirates through word of mouth. Pvp is beginning to happen, there is a feel to each of the factions. The island design is exquisite. Some things are different, such as merchant hunting, while Wild Seas pillages are exciting - although personally, I wonder if a little underpaying. In fact, pillages right now do seem to have oddly imbalanced pay outs - merchants in the only non-sinking arch give practically as much poe/hour as pillaging in the Wild Seas if you're good at grapple chucking. Perhaps a touch less.

However the elephant in the room with Obsidian is Hemp. There have been no hemp deliveries, whatsoever, since the 7th of July. At least to my knowledge. Nobody in my flag [Versus Terminus] has received any, from observing the buy offers, nobody at any stall is being delivered any - apart from the odd one won from a bot that a player has previously lost.

It has been said to us that the merchants are working fine - they are not delivering hemp because it is a bulky good that is not worth their time transporting.

Yet this hardly adds up to reason.

For one, when the bots were delivering hemp, it was only 35 per unit, and at that time wood and iron were both more expensive than they have been at points during the last ten days. This means the bots were delivering the hemp even though it was less profitable at the time to do so.

Or perhaps the bots did deliver hemp back then, but decided against doing so later, re-evaluating their calculations for whatever reason... Hemp is sixteen times heavier than iron (but weighs less than wood, which has been consistently being delivered for less than hemp is currently ordered at dockside). Given that iron has been delivered at five per unit quite happily by the bots in the last week - although not 24/7, and the price has risen in the last 24 hours - hemp should be being delivered for 80 poe, right? Except it isn't. Far from it.

Maybe there is an argument to be made that the sheer quantity of iron orders mean that bots, preferring an easy life, choose to fill only the iron orders because of the knowledge it is a guaranteed payday. Perhaps this holds true - but should this really be true for the entire merchant fleet of the ocean? Not one of them seeks out the fortune to be made selling hemp at 2500 a unit, when it is routinely delivered in the single digits elsewhere? Furthermore, surely the merchant algorithm recognises the needs for certain items to be delivered in different quantities than others. If the merchants are capable of delivering the correct amount of Madder, for example, as well as a reasonable amount of iron and wood, how can they not fit hemp onto their boats?

Perhaps the bots are working properly. Perhaps we still have not cracked the reason why they do not deliver them. I however find such a conclusion deeply troubling. For ten days now, the oceans tailors, weaveries and shipyards have been at a virtual standstill, aside from lifeboats. Apothecaries, distilleries, furnishers all have their production options severely limited.

There is the old saying, "this is a testing ocean," and then there is a "we aren't testing anything."

One wonders how long it is acceptable for the economy to be permanently booched. On Malachite, there was slightly under two months between the first island being opened and it being blockaded. Now, while it is very possible for an organised flag to crank out a huge number of ships everyday, this is still a short space of time to put together a fleet for a blockade. Not to mention; with no items being delivered, GH make no money, as the demand for doubloons surely falters.

The other option that exists is the possibility that hemp has been turned off. This is something of a conspiracy theory; yet with every passing day, I find myself more and more tempted to believe it.

I believe that OMs have twice now intervened with the bidding at Port Venture to keep wood affordable, and the rum/cb economy chugging over. Why have they not made some effort to alter the hemp problem?

I think there is a bigger issue here than just the hemp. Maybe it will fix itself in ten days. Maybe it really is just booched.

But we have seen almost radio silence from Grey Havens since the initially encouraging announcement post, thread and opening day. Some OMs are nice enough to visit the docks if they have time during their day, and that is appreciated. I would like to strongly encourage more of this behaviour from Grey Havens.

One other massively popular MMORPG in existence right now, which is similar to YPP in terms of age and glory days, is 'Old School RuneScape' (or 2007scape/OSRS to some). An old game like YPP which is enjoying a new lease of life with a development team just as passionate about their game as Grey Havens clearly are.

I am making this post because Grey Havens are making decisions that are encouraging: altering the doubloon price for ships being a prime example.

What the developments of OSRS excel most at is communication with their players. I don't expect Grey Havens to overnight transform their business model; and I appreciate that they must work as hard as they can bear to get Obsidian ready to ship. But I think it would massively improve player satisfaction to see more channels of public communication opened. Not just conversations with a lucky few on the docks, which is then transformed by hearsay across global chat in the next few days, or by answering petitions to the few (or many) players.

I appreciate that Grey Havens want to keep some things close to their chest. Perhaps there is not much more they can say about the merchants that they have not already said in the past decade or so, and we truly have to work this one out on our own. But something to cling to to look forward to would be greatly appreciated. Right now, player enthusiasm for Obsidian is at a height. With everyday the economy stands still, I feel my own fall a little and I am sure I cannot be the only one.

There are solutions to the hemp problem. Forced spawns, forced deliveries, or my preferred, a new market bidding - at either Mitjana or Melanaster, which would solve the problem, reward pirates willing to ship commodities and stimulate pvp.

Above all though, I want to see Grey Havens show they appreciate those of us who love the game so much to be on here day after day, by simply responding to the current big issue on the ocean with their thoughts in a public way on the forums, and I hope that in future they can continue such an open development process - which I believe is the best way to engage a community and which I think OOO failed to do in the declining years of YPP.

Ten minutes after I made this post, Merchant Galleons started spawning from Cavum Ridge..
Okay, we have confirmation that hemp is being delivered.

TL;DR - made after the post. Hemp is officially being delivered by MGs now, so the ten day wait is over. I still hope that Grey Havens will open up their communication with us in future.
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Albert, Obsidian, Defiant Armada
Calicojack, Emerald

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