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scupperer

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Give the (meta) game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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I'm glad to see OOO's taking efforts to prolong the life of the game, and while I have no plans to return to the full blasting insane hard-core play mode I enjoyed before, I will probably be returning to have quiet fun trading & naving & memming. These self-challenging things are what drew me into the game to begin with, and kept me long enough to be sucked into the meta game.

Having been away a while, I have some thoughts I'd like to share. And since I'm an ego-centric author with delusions of self importance and self righteousness, I've started my own thread with glorious suggestions I'd like to see ignored implemented. Maybe this belongs in game design, but I'm seeking to appeal to the player base as much as any ringer who happens upon it.

With the recent acquisition by Sega, and the ocean merger standing as proof of purpose towards preservation of YPP, I'm hoping they're willing to look at the game with the same "fresh" view they took when originally creating it.

AI Game:
Hooray - there are sea monsters, BK's, haunted & cursed this and that. But honestly, I've always considered these distractions from the real core of the game. Basically, they're quests, with trinket rewards - which is fun, for a while, but in order to keep player interest, will always demands *more*, turning the game into little more than any other game of questing for this and that. IMHO, these are ultimately dead ends. In fact, I found Atlantis to be a great, tiring bore after about a week of it, and haven't tried any of the new spin-offs and probably won't.

Perhaps that's just me, but I'll stand by my opinion that, however entertaining they are, the AI games are not substantial to the draw or survival of the game, and in fact detract from the player meta games that evolved prior to their arrival and kept people hanging around in much more substantial numbers.

Economy/Shops:
Give the economy back to the players. Turn the "trading post" into a real shop - have people offer prices for trinkets, put in a puzzle to make the special doohickeys out of them. Do the same thing with the palace shop, for items that shouldn't have been put in the shop to begin with, like medals, cards, etc (but not badges).

Create a real trading post, and/or allow existing shops to buy and resell used items automatically. Get the hawkers out of the inns (if they still bother doing this) and forums and give them a tool to take a proper risk.

I'm excited about the market upheavals that are going to happen with the ocean mergers, but it's going to be temporary and will balance soon enough to regular old plodding economy.

Did I mention, put in more puzzles? Even if they're just place-holder puzzles, use them to expand market/game functionality.

Treat the game like it's in Beta again.

Pillaging/SMH & etc:
Allow all ship sizes to fill up with swabbies so you can move them right away. Waiting 1/2 hour+ to fill a ship really blows. Being abandoned to float a full bilge ship back to port really blows. The game shouldn't blow - so fill the ship up. Worried about people moving fruit and goods with swabbies? So what? It'll just even the playing field for people who can't log on and float crap during the reboots. Fine, make it *difficult* - just don't make it impossible.

Let people join a journey even when they're on the board in a fight, or in Atlantis, or a blockade, and whatever else has been added in my absence. The mechanics are there to split the chest according to time/effort - why keep the restriction? Remove it.

Make it as easy as possible to get player-run journeys/events going. Did I mention - give the game back to the players? Ironically, more swabbies will accomplish this.

Crews/Flags
Not much to say here - I think the mechanics work fairly well and have for a while. I still think the war mechanism should be changed so that it's used as part of the meta-game more frequently, instead of an obstacle that must be faced before blockading. Hopefully something along the lines of my recommendations, if someone wants to Faulkstone that ancient thread.

If crews & flags are to be more than glorified hang-outs, they need a method of competition between each other. Blockades provide some of that, but there's little for the smaller groups to aspire towards.

Blockades
Blockades need big fixing. I still believe they need to have more fixed boundaries; #ships, #players, $pay. They're simply too big, and too easy to lopside. That's no fun. It's a tired argument, certainly, but I can tell you it's why I retired.

With fixed limits, planning will be more fun, playing will be more fun, paying will be less painful, and as a result, more blockades will happen. I don't care how attached people are to their blasted islands and status - islands need to be challenged and flipped and be open to a much wider berth of players, and it shouldn't be done by an AI. In fact, I'll bet the AI has just entrenched the island holding flags even more, since they're the only ones who can stay organized enough to defend against the somewhat random BK strengths.

While I appreciate the talent involved in garnering 1/2 the active players to defend/attack, whatever - it shouldn't be sole determining talent.

Impermanence
Titans never happened, did they? Are they gonna? If so, good, but that's an AI solution, which is only 1/2 a solution.

My first governorship centered around the attempted destruction of an island, and it was *fun*; I believe for more than just me. Unfortunately, it broke the game and so far as I know, palace dusting hasn't been allowed since. This is a shame. What should happen is everything should go dark, and every shop on the island will dust in 30 days if a new palace isn't rebuilt. Or something that riles up the players.

But it's not just my desire for chaos and destruction that makes impermanence an important part of the game. Just as with items that decay and dust, it creates an air of constant renewal where each player feels they can leave their mark on the game, even if only temporarily. Titans, if ever implemented, were supposed to provide that - but trust me, players would be more than happy to play that role as well.
--------------

Anyway, that's my take on how to breathe new life into the game - it's certainly not with more AI. It's with a better framework and expansive limitations(sic) for the meta-games that pit players against each other and themselves. I have no interest anymore in suggesting specific mechanics or details on how to achieve any of it, since such efforts generally fall into the forgotten pit of retired game design threads.

Maybe I'll go nav now. Either way, I doubt I'll be doing much more than that until the AI isn't a focus of game development and the players are brought back into it on a more substantial level than trinket collectors.
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I believe that we are all, openly or secretly, struggling against one or another kind of nihilism. - Ellen Willis
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by scupperer at Dec 12, 2011 8:48:22 PM]
[Dec 12, 2011 7:17:19 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.scupperer.com [Link]  Go to top 
Quitex

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Re: Give the game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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AI Game:
Hooray - there are sea monsters, BK's, haunted & cursed this and that. But honestly, I've always considered these distractions from the real core of the game. Basically, they're quests, with trinket rewards - which is fun, for a while, but in order to keep player interest, will always demands *more*, turning the game into little more than any other game of questing for this and that. IMHO, these are ultimately dead ends. In fact, I found Atlantis to be a great, tiring bore after about a week of it, and haven't tried any of the new spin-offs and probably won't.

Perhaps that's just me, but I'll stand by my opinion that, however entertaining they are, the AI games are not substantial to the draw or survival of the game, and in fact detract from the player meta games that evolved prior to their arrival and kept people hanging around in much more substantial numbers.


This is a null point. They are there, but OOO is in no way forcing you go to those "dead end quests".

 
Economy/Shops:
Give the economy back to the players. Turn the "trading post" into a real shop - have people offer prices for trinkets, put in a puzzle to make the special doohickeys out of them. Do the same thing with the palace shop, for items that shouldn't have been put in the shop to begin with, like medals, cards, etc (but not badges).

Create a real trading post, and/or allow existing shops to buy and resell used items automatically. Get the hawkers out of the inns (if they still bother doing this) and forums and give them a tool to take a proper risk.

I'm excited about the market upheavals that are going to happen with the ocean mergers, but it's going to be temporary and will balance soon enough to regular old plodding economy.

Did I mention, put in more puzzles? Even if they're just place-holder puzzles, use them to expand market/game functionality.

Treat the game like it's in Beta again.


Please explain me, when players have not run the Y!PP economy? The only thing I aghree with is more puzzles, and please not another variant of bilge/TH/forage/bejeweled.

 
Pillaging/SMH & etc:
Allow all ship sizes to fill up with swabbies so you can move them right away. Waiting 1/2 hour+ to fill a ship really blows. Being abandoned to float a full bilge ship back to port really blows. The game shouldn't blow - so fill the ship up. Worried about people moving fruit and goods with swabbies? So what? It'll just even the playing field for people who can't log on and float crap during the reboots. Fine, make it *difficult* - just don't make it impossible.

Let people join a journey even when they're on the board in a fight, or in Atlantis, or a blockade, and whatever else has been added in my absence. The mechanics are there to split the chest according to time/effort - why keep the restriction? Remove it.

Make it as easy as possible to get player-run journeys/events going. Did I mention - give the game back to the players? Ironically, more swabbies will accomplish this.


No. This is not meant to be a quest, this is a Multiplayer game, and by filling a GF with 150 bots = fail. Things are OK the way they are. If you're left alone in a full-bilge sloop, then you shouldn't be driving one in the first place.

 
Crews/Flags
Not much to say here - I think the mechanics work fairly well and have for a while. I still think the war mechanism should be changed so that it's used as part of the meta-game more frequently, instead of an obstacle that must be faced before blockading. Hopefully something along the lines of my recommendations, if someone wants to Faulkstone that ancient thread.

If crews & flags are to be more than glorified hang-outs, they need a method of competition between each other. Blockades provide some of that, but there's little for the smaller groups to aspire towards.


What do you want to see implemented? More OCL limited to members of the same flag?

 
Blockades
Blockades need big fixing. I still believe they need to have more fixed boundaries; #ships, #players, $pay. They're simply too big, and too easy to lopside. That's no fun. It's a tired argument, certainly, but I can tell you it's why I retired.

With fixed limits, planning will be more fun, playing will be more fun, paying will be less painful, and as a result, more blockades will happen. I don't care how attached people are to their blasted islands and status - islands need to be challenged and flipped and be open to a much wider berth of players, and it shouldn't be done by an AI. In fact, I'll bet the AI has just entrenched the island holding flags even more, since they're the only ones who can stay organized enough to defend against the somewhat random BK strengths.

While I appreciate the talent involved in garnering 1/2 the active players to defend/attack, whatever - it shouldn't be sole determining talent.


Limiting blockades will make them unappealing to most of the big flags, and not saying there is no talent out there, but the small flags capable of pulling off a half-decent blockade are scarce. Things are OK the way they are now.

 
Impermanence
Titans never happened, did they? Are they gonna? If so, good, but that's an AI solution, which is only 1/2 a solution.

My first governorship centered around the attempted destruction of an island, and it was *fun*; I believe for more than just me. Unfortunately, it broke the game and so far as I know, palace dusting hasn't been allowed since. This is a shame. What should happen is everything should go dark, and every shop on the island will dust in 30 days if a new palace isn't rebuilt. Or something that riles up the players.

But it's not just my desire for chaos and destruction that makes impermanence an important part of the game. Just as with items that decay and dust, it creates an air of constant renewal where each player feels they can leave their mark on the game, even if only temporarily. Titans, if ever implemented, were supposed to provide that - but trust me, players would be more than happy to play that role as well.


There's really nothing to say about this. I think you are trying too hard to find things that you consider should be different, not necessarily things that OOO needs to change.
----------------------------------------
Quitex, everywhere, mainly Ice.
Monarch of Cows
Joly wrote: 
Someone asked why Quitex would do this as a rogue. All I can say is, well, he's QUITEX! No one knows what he will do next, ESPECIALLY Quitex.

[Dec 12, 2011 7:52:14 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
scupperer

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Re: Give the game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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They are there, but OOO is in no way forcing you go to those "dead end quests".

Indeed.

 
Please explain me, when players have not run the Y!PP economy?

Oh, they do - but the mentioned items are not part of the economy, when they could be, which would add another layer to the fun.

 
If you're left alone in a full-bilge sloop, then you shouldn't be driving one in the first place.

Since sloops do actually fill up with swabbies... I'll point out that it's not bots=fail in such situations, but a player's failure. However, I don't believe failure at the social game should be as limiting as it is. People don't like waiting in dock, and generally don't. I consider that partially a game mechanic failure, particularly when, as you mentioned, even a sloop can fill with bilge if you don't have the talent to move it.

 
Limiting blockades will make them unappealing to most of the big flags

You're wrong, of course. What it will do is allow big flags to attempt to expand their reach, without locking small flags out of the blockade game as it has... forever.

 
Things are OK the way they are now.

I've been gone three(?) years, so a couple of days back hasn't given me enough time to absorb all of the changes. Perhaps I'm just reading too much into the ocean merger as an attempt to retain a player base that's been bleeding.

 
I think you are trying too hard to find things that you consider should be different, not necessarily things that OOO needs to change

Not trying hard at all, really, and OOO doesn't need to do anything; these are just my recommendations to lift the game's permanent appeal. To me, anyway.
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I believe that we are all, openly or secretly, struggling against one or another kind of nihilism. - Ellen Willis
[Dec 12, 2011 8:24:47 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.scupperer.com [Link]  Go to top 
dale7

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Re: Give the game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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Irey Scupperer. Like you I've been gone 3 years other than sometimes logging in just to see the updates. I still firmly believe that the game lost its way when they introduced parler games. the social aspect went away.

Dump the parlor games and bring back the crew interaction. No games = more people to crew ships.

Not gonna happen but that's my suggestion.
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Fullboat Senor Officer- Gods of War - Retired -Midnight
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Fixated

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Blockades need big fixing. I still believe they need to have more fixed boundaries; #ships, #players, $pay. They're simply too big, and too easy to lopside. That's no fun. It's a tired argument, certainly, but I can tell you it's why I retired.


QFT (do people still say that? Is this still a thing? Okay.)
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Jenx
[Dec 12, 2011 10:26:10 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
riku743

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Re: Give the game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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No. This is not meant to be a quest, this is a Multiplayer game, and by filling a GF with 150 bots = fail. Things are OK the way they are.
It's also not a game of sitting around on a ship for 2 hours waiting for people to job for you. If you enjoy sitting around on a ship for the social aspect, that's ok, but people should be able to access the game mechanics they want to access without having to depend on 70 other people to get them there. You'll still have the multiplayer aspect, since you can job people while in the SMH, it's just that you can set sail immediately. The pay would obviously be better with people on board, to encourage multiplayerness, but there's always the option for anyone to take a frig into atlantis without having to wait for it to load, and job however many people they want to while inside the SMH.

I think that the stuff described in the Pillage/SMH section is a great fix, and I've mentioned the exact same thing in previous threads. Other stuff should change, but this would be the simplest, and likely the least work for the devs so they can work on other pretty new things.

 
Limiting blockades will make them unappealing to most of the big flags, and not saying there is no talent out there, but the small flags capable of pulling off a half-decent blockade are scarce. Things are OK the way they are now.
Things are OK for the big flags the way they are.

You're kind of making his point that it needs to be fixed by saying that the smaller flags can't compete. Smaller flags are not capable because of how the blockades work right now. Limiting blockades won't make it unappealing to large flags. I don't know many, or any, large flags who don't at least pretend to care about getting small/new flags into the blockade scene.
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Nil used to play Mala.
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[Dec 12, 2011 10:36:18 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
bronzebeard

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Re: Give the (meta) game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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I have no interest anymore in suggesting specific mechanics or details on how to achieve any of it, since such efforts generally fall into the forgotten pit of retired game design threads.

You needn't deal in specifics since pretty much everything you suggested has been put through the game design mill before; some things like impermanance and swabbies for hire have been through countless times.

Some things probably won't be changed:
- 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).

- 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. I always though some sort of mercenary swabbies would have fixed a few problems in one go.

- 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.
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xelto

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No. This is not meant to be a quest, this is a Multiplayer game, and by filling a GF with 150 bots = fail.

Filling a GF with 26 swabbies =/= fail, though. It's not enough to have a successful pillage solo, but it is enough that you don't have to wait forever to get started, and if things go sour, you can get back to port with whoever sticks around.

I may be beating a dead horse, but I'll say it again: IMO, the ideal number of swabbies is 1/3 of the total stations on the ship, and the ideal cutoff number is 2/3 of the total stations on a ship. It's enough that you can get in the water quickly, but not so many that getting humans isn't highly desirable.
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TheRack

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Re: Give the game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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No. This is not meant to be a quest, this is a Multiplayer game, and by filling a GF with 150 bots = fail. Things are OK the way they are. If you're left alone in a full-bilge sloop, then you shouldn't be driving one in the first place.

150 players having great fun driving Grand Frigs > (1 player having fun driving a grand frig + 149 players having various levels of fun playing other puzzles)*

Heck, if you assume that the puzzles are equally popular:
(30 players having great fun driving Grand Frigs + 30 players having great fun playing sails + 30 players having great fun playing carp + 30 players having great fun playing bilge + 30 players having great fun playing guns) > (1 player having fun driving a grand frig + 149 players having various levels of fun playing other puzzles)*
*Assuming a zero boredom factor while waiting to load
----------------------------------------
Cephalopod, on poker, wrote: 
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: it isn't rigged.

Period. End of story.

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Quitex

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Meh. My blackberry ate the post I just wrote and I am seriously not in the mood to retype it all. But there, condensed:

If you let players, specially lower-end players who pokered their way to a ship, they will isolate themselves in their grandiose Merchant Galleon and fill the ship with swabbies because swabbies:

1. Don't laze
2. Don't leave in battle
3. Don't ask annoying questions (gun?, port?, bnav?, bacon?)
4. Give you a constant performance. Granted, not incredible, but not booched.

So you're pretty much making the game designed to be a group effort into a solo-everything.

-----------------------------------------
About flags, blockading and me proving my point:
I know there are a couple skilled flags which won't blockade now because they lack resources but, if we change this to allow them to blockade, that means that lower cost + filling ships with swabbies, a random jacckkspearw is able to win a blockade and get an island, and I will seriously poke my eyes out with venom-infused needles if that ever happens.
----------------------------------------
Quitex, everywhere, mainly Ice.
Monarch of Cows
Joly wrote: 
Someone asked why Quitex would do this as a rogue. All I can say is, well, he's QUITEX! No one knows what he will do next, ESPECIALLY Quitex.

[Dec 13, 2011 5:25:03 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
scupperer

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Re: Give the (meta) game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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- 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.
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I believe that we are all, openly or secretly, struggling against one or another kind of nihilism. - Ellen Willis
[Dec 13, 2011 5:37:22 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.scupperer.com [Link]  Go to top 
Alesanaftw

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Re: Give the (meta) game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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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.


Yes, because we can realistically enter at least 22 ships per blockade (not to mention the other cades going on at the same time) assuming only 2 flags participate. What happens if a team enters 12? 13?
Many of the smaller flags cant afford to pay off 11 ships of jobbers which will make this unappealing to them leading to an ever larger division between large flags and smaller flags.
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Tjjsalt (Hunter and Cobalt)
All opinions I express are mine alone.

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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Alesanaftw at Dec 13, 2011 6:05:05 AM]
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scupperer

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because we can realistically


It was a football analogy, not a design suggestion.

Added: But... the fact that your concerns are over feasibility entirely illustrates the basic premise that blockades are too big .

As for the ridiculousness of soloing grand frigates with a bunch of swabbies; why not let the payer players who buy them and deck them out enjoy their moment in the sun whenever they feel like shining in it? If the payout's no bigger than a sloop pillage with just bots on board, and if you're foolish enough to take it into an SMH without real players and risk getting sunk, and if moving bulky goods is already broken - what is the massive permanent game damaging harm?

I once had the pleasure of seeing Shur in a sloop attacking a GF loaded with real people. A green GF on the seas would be a prime target for anyone. It would balance out.

YPP is a social game, sure; providing more solo mechanics and opportunities really isn't going to change that. Unless you just hate seeing people having fun on their own.
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I believe that we are all, openly or secretly, struggling against one or another kind of nihilism. - Ellen Willis
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by scupperer at Dec 13, 2011 7:26:10 AM]
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bronzebeard

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I know there are a couple skilled flags which won't blockade now because they lack resources but, if we change this to allow them to blockade, that means that lower cost + filling ships with swabbies, a random jacckkspearw is able to win a blockade and get an island, and I will seriously poke my eyes out with venom-infused needles if that ever happens.

It won't mean they'll win a blockade (because surely any caps wouldn't be set so low, or swabbie skill set so high that no one else could challenge a single person) but at least a small flag could have the chance to compete at, say, an outpost without having to suck up to all the big flags.

 
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.

That's slightly different, because you're not being forced into competition. You can just choose not care about your stats. It takes a lot more effort to convince some people to compete directly. Trust me, I've tried!
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by bronzebeard at Dec 13, 2011 8:46:21 AM]
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giobb

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YPP is a social game, sure; providing more solo mechanics and opportunities really isn't going to change that. Unless you just hate seeing people having fun on their own.


I never had much fun pillaging, not sure why but I think it's because:

- sitting there puzzling for an hour in order to beat a bot and receive only poe isn't rewarding or challenging enough
- I like to be in control of things (I could be the commander in a pillage, but then again I dont think beating bots is challenging enough to be fun and worth the stress of hiring and managing a crew)
- There is no bigger objective other than kill the bot

When atlantis came out I liked it cause i thought it had different objectives other than killing bots. I got bored quick, cause again, it became very similar to pillaging for me: sitting there waiting to fill then puzzling for an hour to get some chests and poe and useless items and no deeper objectives.

So all I did after that was playing parlor games which is the reason I have not quit yet. It was more rewarding in terms of poe but most importantly it was more challenging trying to beat real players on an even field.

If bnav pvp was more accessible I think I wouldn't mind putting the effort to learn it and I think it woul be great fun.

(probly rambling and being incoherent here but im in a hurry sorry)
anyway..

If YPP was purely social it would be almost exclusively PVP imo. But its not, and thats not bad, but having options to be less social wouldn't hurt.
Plus, whenever I want to be social, I usually turn off the computer. I think ypp being a social game is great, but sometimes I just want to enjoy it on my own, without having to deal with people.
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[Dec 13, 2011 8:44:09 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

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If you let players, specially lower-end players who pokered their way to a ship, they will isolate themselves in their grandiose Merchant Galleon and fill the ship with swabbies because swabbies:

1. Don't laze
2. Don't leave in battle
3. Don't ask annoying questions (gun?, port?, bnav?, bacon?)
4. Give you a constant performance. Granted, not incredible, but not booched.

So you're pretty much making the game designed to be a group effort into a solo-everything.

You acknowledge the bad behavior of many players, but argue that we should force people to endure it? Can we go ahead and convert your workplace to a day-care, then? Surely you can put up with screaming preschoolers for a few hours each day...

Solo land-side content has mostly eclipsed cooperative at-sea content in this game because sane pirates don't want to endure that kind of barnacle and are tired of spending half their playtime trying to fill a ship, and then either having to give up because it just isn't happening or finally setting sail only to have have the crew hop off after the first battle. Jobbing for others carries the same risks - if not the potential loss of rum and shot, then certainly time (and lots of it), for nothing. So people don't want to job either - and that's not counting those who are tired and burnt out on it for other reasons, or those who finally got to the rank of Captain and are eager to try "the next level of the game", only to find there's no one to be captain of. Whole areas of the game are now effectively closed on most oceans for lack of participation.

I submit that pillaging was designed for an entirely different game, back in '03 and '04. In that game, there wasn't really anything else to do (except sword fight and dock tart), and the players were heavily self-selected for adults with an interest in puzzles and willing and able to puzzle steadily for hours, plural. Facebook et al didn't exist; our competition was PopCap and the like. This is not that game and these are not those players. That game design no longer works in today's marketplace, and should be either changed or abandoned and shut down. Both seem unlikely, alas, as either would require attention and decisive action; so the game will probably continue to drift along in maintenance mode, a pale shade of what it once was.
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[Edit 4 times, last edit by cmdrzoom at Dec 13, 2011 2:21:57 PM]
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Pauling

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I agree with the suggestion for more impermanence, in particular with shops/stalls. I don't think that this system was ever designed with the expectation that the oceans would last 7+ years.

Right now, there are only a few islands with any appreciable population, which makes the economy a much less exciting part of the game than it should be. And once an island is damaged by shoppe spam, it's very hard to recover- which discourages future players from building stalls in a competitive environment.

For that matter, once the shop owners go idle, you've got a fair number of shops that are dark, and taking up parcels of land so that nothing new can be built. New players should be able to pursue the same economic goals as whoever colonized the ocean first, and sometimes that means clearing parcels of land so that shops can be built without having to pave over all the island's commodity spawn points.

As the oceans merge, I think we'll see more people moving to one of the few popular islands, with the long tail of struggling shops/stalls elsewhere becoming increasingly irrelevant. There's a lot of unused capacity out there, and the picture doesn't look rosy as the oceans are set to combine.

Case in point: Caravanserai island on Sage has 23 shipyard shops, which is one per 40 residents, and every shop paying rent weekly. Several islands in that arch have 0 stalls in multiple categories, and the pelican arch is even worse. As Sage absorbs Hunter, why would anyone stay in an arch where you can't buy many basic items? The ocean should be more diverse, but, alas.
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[Dec 13, 2011 1:18:25 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chavez67

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I've been crying for:

a) more swabbies,
b) jobber/etc caps in blockades that scale with island size

...since at least 2005, if not 2004. Somehow I don't see those coming any time soon. But maybe if the game has a dwindling player base OOO might finally realize they have nothing to lose. Who knows.

The jobber cap thing was always really easy to do. You just make mediums and smalls two-team-only and put a cap on the number of pirates on the board. Leave larges as free for alls, and call it a day. Veeery simple 'fix' that gives everyone what they want.

From my GD thread, it'd be fairly easy to implement shop reduction by just burning down any shop that goes dark for longer than a month, and sticking a million poe compensation on the deed owner's character. Lots of island space would get freed up that way.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Chavez67 at Dec 13, 2011 2:29:52 PM]
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Pauling

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The jobber cap thing was always really easy to do. You just make mediums and smalls two-team-only and put a cap on the number of pirates on the board. Leave larges as free for alls, and call it a day. Veeery simple 'fix' that gives everyone what they want.


Does that mean that small and medium islands could only blockaded by people who dropped a warchest? (ie, no one would be able to take a ship in for fun/practice)

Also, how would you handle allies that came in to help one side by attacking or contesting another attacker disproportionately? The proposed jobber cap mechanic would be easy to evade.
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[Dec 13, 2011 2:48:40 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
hirsty

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Re: Give the (meta) game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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My side of the pillaging stuff:

Ive been playing PP fer quite a while, 6 years, and my main focuse has been to pillage.....this is mainly my love to bnav, yes pillages can get boring, yes you do at times struggle tof ill, which i know first hand as ive waited 4 hours to load a sloop -_-, but the waiting to load and the inconvenience of people leaving could be caused by the introduction of the new booty split system? As in every battle they get a booty share, therefore in reality that creates very little risk. Whereas before when booty was only split at the end of a pillage, it was taking more of a risk which is i think more of a reason people have stayed on the pillage, so i think that if they introduced the old system back into pillaging it would help. Especially with the new players. because atm a typical greenie could jump on the game, find out there is poker, jump on a pillage, gain some PoE, jump off, dump it on poker. This wouldnt happen with the old system. Parlor games yes, have kinda swayed people away from pillaging but yes i do understand pillying can be stressful and these can be a release of that stress. OOO has tried to improve pillaging by introducing BK compasses, which is good to an extent as the challenge of finding BK's has been taken away, treasure lost at sea IO's and vikings. Usually as probably said, pillages get boring because it can be pretty much monotonous.....granted, then make the booty gained more random maybe chuck the odd cursed chest in there......Yes its alright saying chuck something new in and itll be alright, but no it wont. Focus from the players perspective maybe place questionnaires see what people want in pillaging. My ideal pillagin: Obviously maybe adding my suggestion i had a while ago, the ability to fire x pirates on a ship to lower numbers (possibly giving the opportunity to attack a wider range of ships as if the 1v1v was won they would be thrown overboard and the next 1v1 would take plac) the old booty system.....gives a larger risk:reward ratio and more random booty splits.....to be honest the more you win cant really mean the more poe you win in a real situation, make it random! and as for more swabbies, i would vote nay as it would just help in killing the Co-operative side of the game and give more of an advantage to traders and solo blockaders.

Time for bed >.>
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PracticalM

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I agree with the original thread post and probably for similar reasons.

Flags have nice expensive content activities such as blockading islands but there needs to be more entry level and mid level flag based activities.

Yes, traditionally players have set these up with events and such and event blockades have helped. But we have environments that can support multiple ships but no flag based content forcing that to happen except blockades.

IMO, a huge miss was made on flotillas for not showing which flag did the most to banish the flotilla in a more obvious way. Yes you could go the flotilla to see, but it should have been (could still be) a tab on the notice board showing the same data.

We should have more diplomatic states between flags. War turned into a state seldom used. Some flags created rules of war and it would have been nice if some of those social rules could have been adopted into the mechanics.

Pirate raids on islands bounced up in game design and it would make sense to have something about attacking islands but not trying to keep them.

When things are in the control of the players, there will be a lot of social pressure to keep things from rocking the boat. Game mechanics are needed to keep things from going into steady state.
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[Dec 13, 2011 3:57:11 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

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I have mixed feelings about mid-voyage divvy - I used to always try to stay to the end, but I'm of the original generation of masochists. I honestly don't think the typical online player today is going to put up with waiting more than 15 minutes for a reward.
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Chiptharip

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A lot of the things mentioned here are repeats of what has been said for the better part of half a decade by some of the game's most talented and devoted players. Hopefully OOO takes this as a clue.

I'd be content with the following, in order of importance:

1) Remove 200k poker - May not seem that important but I believe a lot of structural issues stem from this. Mainly, 200k power allows unmatched concentration of wealth that creates "superflags" and fosters the unpredictability in blockades going from affordable to "holy shit who spends $8000-10000 worth of doubloons in one day". Plus, if you remove the ability of individuals to become super rich, ideally we'll see more emphasis on team based activities. Edit: Removing 200k poker would have to come with some sort of incentive for the super wealthy to burn off assets. Special familiars, PoE buybacks, etc.

2) Implement skilled swabbies

3) Hard caps, both in pay and jobbers on board, for outposts and mediums. I'd go like, 1000/seg 150 jobbers / no third parties on the board for outposts. 2500/seg 225 jobbers / 3rd parties - no alliances/not allowed to pay. Larges unrestricted
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[Edit 3 times, last edit by Chiptharip at Dec 13, 2011 5:38:48 PM]
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Quitex

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Just by removing 200k poker, you'll be fixing a lot of problems with blockades.
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Elliptic

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No.
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scupperer

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Does that mean that small and medium islands could only blockaded by people who dropped a warchest? (ie, no one would be able to take a ship in for fun/practice)

Also, how would you handle allies that came in to help one side by attacking or contesting another attacker disproportionately? The proposed jobber cap mechanic would be easy to evade.


Two-team only; observers can't enter. Wanna play? Pony up. Doesn't cost much, not anymore. Wanna move up to mediums? Prove you can win a couple of outpost blockades first. Look at your flag's blockade ranking (not "fame"); you don't qualify for larges yet.

Got no experience? Practice at the blockade simulator on the parlor table...

Or whatever they decide to do... the details don't matter as much as the premise.

 
I honestly don't think the typical online player today is going to put up with waiting more than 15 minutes for a reward.

They aren't! So why should the pillager/trader/smh'er be forced to be the masochist in order to play?

 
I've been crying for ... since at least 2005, if not 2004

 
repeats of what has been said for the better part of half a decade

Time to pipe up again, is all.

"We want more character of content, not more content for our characters!"

 
When things are in the control of the players, there will be a lot of social pressure to keep things from rocking the boat. Game mechanics are needed to keep things from going into steady state.

You state this like it's a given fact, but honestly - that's a profound, counter-intuitive observation about gaming that OOO would be wise to consider.

 
unmatched concentration of wealth

You know, having been one of the 1% in game, I don't necessarily have a problem with high concentrations of wealth in regards to game/team play, or even how that concentration comes about. If it weren't poker, it'd be something else. Wealth allowed me to do a great many meta-game things I would never have been able to do, and not just the never ending string of blockades. Maintaining such an income, though, is quite tiring, and led as much to my burn out as the broken blockades.

You are correct though, with the way blockades are now, that such a wealth concentration can be an obstacle to others entering the blockade game (power seeks to protect itself). Changing the mechanics of blockades so that they don't require a megawealth player to fund would solve the problem more certainly than attacking the wealth, and still allow the wealth to be used in a manner that contributes to the meta-game.
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Chiptharip

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If it weren't poker, it'd be something else.


True and I'm not trying to be a revisionist and say that pre-poker didn't have wealth disparity. I'm simply saying that the gap and concentration wasn't as extreme. And really, I'd much rather have the game's superrich be pillagers or puzzlers (now that foraging is fixed) rather than poker players. I'd rather most politically active flags be involved in some form of sea activity rather than solely a handful of poker players.

 
and still allow the wealth to be used in a manner that contributes to the meta-game.


The difference is, I don't really see most superrich (50-100mil minimum plus 10-30mil per month earning power) doing things that contribute to the meta game in a positive manner. Simply blockading doesn't necessarily benefit the ocean; there is often a link between being poker-rich and having bad blockading practices (at least in my opinion, I may very well be in the minority). Sitting on the wealth doesn't contribute, nor does selling it illicitly to other blockaders, but that's a different story.
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Lylax

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My view on the PvP front has always been simple - I hate it. I hate PvP because I hate unfair fights, especially when I'm forced into the side that can't win.

When I run a Pillage, I don't want to be attacked by ships so far out of my league I can't possibly win. That's the case with pretty much ALL PvP ships I might run into. Thus, I want to deny them the option of attacking me.

I want to take part in the Blockade game, but once again the same problem applies; the flag I was in that attempted to Blockade a small island with a dead crew owning it was skull-fucked by the uber-rich, ultra powerful allies of said dead crew who swooped in with overwhelming resources and whitewashed us.

That isn't fun. It will never BE fun, and even after the merger the odds of being able to rise up from nothing to a position where you can become an island threatener without A) getting pally with the very Flags you want to see kicked off their islands or B) Becoming a professional Poker player are so small they may as well be zero.

That's a big part of why I abandon this game for months at a time; there's no prospects for advancement anymore. Islands are full of dead shops, being commanded by 10% of the flags who have 90% of the ocean's wealth, and there's nothing in place to bring them back into line.
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Chavez67

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Re: Give the (meta) game back to the players. Reply to this Post
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The jobber cap thing was always really easy to do. You just make mediums and smalls two-team-only and put a cap on the number of pirates on the board. Leave larges as free for alls, and call it a day. Veeery simple 'fix' that gives everyone what they want.


Does that mean that small and medium islands could only blockaded by people who dropped a warchest? (ie, no one would be able to take a ship in for fun/practice)

Also, how would you handle allies that came in to help one side by attacking or contesting another attacker disproportionately? The proposed jobber cap mechanic would be easy to evade.

Small price to pay. They can always go to larges or event blockades.

Allies can't come either. Just the two primary parties. Again, I'd only apply this limitation to outposts and mediums. Or hell, maybe just outposts.

Islands are like soccer fields. Flags with smaller jobber draws need some place to play too, that can't be griefed by some poker asshole dropping 100 mil on pay.
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Chavez67

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If it weren't poker, it'd be something else.


This has been proven definitively false. Before poker there wasn't anything remotely like what's going on now, in terms of wealth buying islands and wallpapering game play. In YPP social engineering, the community organizers should reap the most rewards, not the solo pokerers.
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