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Hermes
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Pillaging Payouts Reply to this Post
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This thread is for player feedback on pillaging payouts, as mentioned in the blog post here. What we're most interested in is your feelings on the status quo and whether you can concisely pinpoint any specific issues with payouts that would be beneficial for us to address.

As always, however, note that while we really appreciate your feedback in this area, we cannot promise the adoption of any particular suggestion in this thread, and this is not intended to be a 'vote' on what we implement next. The goal here is for us to get good comments collectively from you folks so we can better tackle any changes that we feel need to be made, not to have a hundred different people drown each other out with essays on how they feel pillaging should work. Collaborative, Constructive and Concise Feedback wins the day!

All that said, we look forward to your comments!
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Strider399

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It'd be nice if when a person leaves your pillage (or multiple people in the case of larger ships), it doesn't kill your booty ramp, or cause a massive down-ramp.
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basso

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It'd be nice if when a person leaves your pillage (or multiple people in the case of larger ships), it doesn't kill your booty ramp, or cause a massive down-ramp.


QFT, I think this is one issue in particular that makes pillaging less desirable. I don't like to job on pillages as much, because I know I will be hurting the crew if I have to leave after a few battles. If this game is to be "casual" in nature, the jobber churn aspect of the ramp should be changed.
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Grinfish

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It'd be nice if when a person leaves your pillage (or multiple people in the case of larger ships), it doesn't kill your booty ramp, or cause a massive down-ramp.

Seconded.

If a drop in payout occurs, it should be proportionate to the amount of pirates who left, and no more. For example, if 2 leave a brig of 20, I would expect payouts to be no more than 10% lower. Ideally, if 2 people board before the next battle, the ramp should remain untouched.

Also, touchy subject, but a little more reward for solo/ undermanned pillaging would be nice. There are quiet times with no jobbers, or where you either just want to solo or 2-man it, and the ability to obtain a noticeable ramp in payout (without being TOO exorbitant) would be great. After all, pillaging undermanned is asking more of those on the ship, for less money.
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Thirded on both points above..
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[Jan 30, 2009 6:18:05 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Strider399

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Grinfish wrote: 

Also, touchy subject, but a little more reward for solo/ undermanned pillaging would be nice. There are quiet times with no jobbers, or where you either just want to solo or 2-man it, and the ability to obtain a noticeable ramp in payout (without being TOO exorbitant) would be great. After all, pillaging undermanned is asking more of those on the ship, for less money.


SecondedFourthed(?). It's a shame to get 600 poe for two people who are fighting Imperials.


Edit: Sniped :(
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Strider399 at Jan 30, 2009 6:20:32 PM]
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HiimEric2001

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I agree with what's been posted so far. One thing that has annoyed me a lot is how much losing kills your ramp. It's reasonable for a loss to lessen the ramp a little bit, but it pretty much makes the pillage not worth doing anymore.

If you lose in the first 3 battles, forget it. You just aren't going to ramp up reasonably, even with a good crew. The common practice is if the first battle is a loss you need to port and divy to reset the ramp. That's a waste of time and not fun.

I made a thread dedicated to this, here.
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Strider399

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I agree with what's been posted so far. One thing that has annoyed me a lot is how much losing kills your ramp. It's reasonable for a loss to lessen the ramp a little bit, but it pretty much makes the pillage not worth doing anymore.

If you lose in the first 3 battles, forget it. You just aren't going to ramp up reasonably, even with a good crew. The common practice is if the first battle is a loss you need to port and divy to reset the ramp. That's a waste of time and not fun.

I made a thread dedicated to this, here.


And again, I agree completely. A single loss on a large ship (Baghlah or Brig) a few battles in already takes a large amount of poe from your booty chest (50k+ depending on your booty ramps/battles won).... That's a LARGE chunk already being deducted, plus your next 2 or 3 battles will be considerably less then what you've been getting.... It's kinda like a double wammy.*

*I am not complaining about booty being taken from the chest - that's completely understandable... but when a loss makes it so you have to do 2 or 3 battles to get back to near where you were, it really does ruin any pillage.

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HiimEric2001

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Also, it would be really nice if there were a commod as rare as blood used to be. Hell, my personal preference would be to make blood much rarer than it is now and add another more common commodity to fill the space vacated by blood. I've suggested doing this with silver ore before, but it could be anything of course.
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sweetnessc

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1) Jobber churn effect: It costs you a lot of poe to have your jobbers come and go as casually as Cleaver intended. The ramp reset is severe.

2) Low level payouts too low: Experienced players sacrifice quite a bit financially by going out with lower skilled players. I'm all in favour of charitable acts, but it's difficult to be charitable often while still meeting other financial goals of a flag, etc.

3) The woohoo! effect: It used to be such a thrill to win a bucket of blood, because it was rare, prized, took a fair bit of skill, and was very expensive. It's still an 'oh, nice', but I miss the big thrill of it being so valuable that we wanted to run for port to protect it. Perhaps a chance to win a pillaging treasure chest that gets divvied in port might replace this factor without needing a whole new economy? Special, rare stuff is fun to win, even if it's useless stuff.

4) Losses very punishing: In two ways: a) It breaks the ramp if it happens quite early, meaning the voyage is a bit of a write-off. And b) I personally find the new instadivvy + loss of 40% of the booty chest quite discouraging. It means that if you get in over your depth and start to lose a couple of battles in a row, I end up with the nothing's left/why-bother feeling, instead of the yay time to port and rummage through our gold! It leaves the voyage feeling like quite a letdown when there's not really any reason to not just abandon the ship at the next league point. I'm not sure what is intended to be accomplished with this setup, since the effects are a bit too exponential. For me, it's important to my personal enjoyment of a pillage run to get a 'happy finish' of a worthwhile divvy at the end - I think it comes down to the psychology of how things end staying with you more while things that happen in the middle get deleted by your brain.

5) Time: Long stretches of sailing between battles are just no fun at all, and feel like unpaid labour (since, in effect, it is). Having to wait for an opponent to spawn, or having to hang around while an undesirable opponent goes away, feel like a pointless use of time. More battles in a shorter time period means more variety and so more fun (and more pay per time as well). Personally I find the higher randomness of the new AI leads to personal dissatisfaction since you can do everything 'right' and have no greater chance of not prolonging the battle, but I understand that that's my personal issue. :-)

6) Expenses: The cost of stocking a voyage has gone up quite a bit, but I don't think payouts are adjusted to oceanwide stock costs.

7) The slow ramp to China: As a result of the new ramp, short pillages are underpaid, and to get good pay takes quite a long voyage. Pillaging for less than a couple hours isn't terribly profitable.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by sweetnessc at Jan 30, 2009 9:02:10 PM]
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Discflicker



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In the event that you win a battle and nobody leaves or joins your pillage, the next spawn should absolutely not yield significantly worse booty.
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[Jan 30, 2009 9:43:39 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

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I agree with everything Sweeti said.
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wokbok117



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I agree with everything Sweeti said.

Seconded.
[Jan 30, 2009 10:17:12 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Maialiana

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I agree with everything Sweeti said.

Almost, but not quite.

 

5) Time: Long stretches of sailing between battles are just no fun at all, and feel like unpaid labour (since, in effect, it is). Having to wait for an opponent to spawn, or having to hang around while an undesirable opponent goes away, feel like a pointless use of time. More battles in a shorter time period means more variety and so more fun (and more pay per time as well). Personally I find the higher randomness of the new AI leads to personal dissatisfaction since you can do everything 'right' and have no greater chance of not prolonging the battle, but I understand that that's my personal issue. :-)

6) Expenses: The cost of stocking a voyage has gone up quite a bit, but I don't think payouts are adjusted to oceanwide stock costs.

Having a break between battles is sometimes necessary to repair, I would not appreciate ship after ship if we can't handle it. Maybe we should change the auto-target feature into a 'ship bait' feature, that calls out for more spawns when wanted. (And this should probably go under pillaging misc, not payouts.)

I haven't experienced any issues with the expenses on Viridian, of course I don't know how it is on the other oceans, however. Assuming I don't have a huge loss towards the end of my pillage, my restock cut usually covers restocking costs. Unless I have a green name aboard of course....

What I hate most about the pillaging payouts as they stand is the fact that I have to avoid hiring pirates with green names if I want to earn anything decent*. It's not much of an encouragement to welcome new players to the game at all.


*Decent meaning at least 300 poe per pirate on the auto-division, where "elite" pillages bring 500+, and green names aboard mean under 200.
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draco9

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This seemed like the best spot to put it:

Make the payout of the spawn be more reflective of the risk/boat size. As it it now, I try to get away from any baghlahs while on a sloop, because they don't pay worth the effort>2-7k isn't worth it when the fully maxed bagh still manages to extend the battle beyond 45+ turns because it somehow still generates mystery moves without you lsm-ing; continuing to put shots in it as it runs away doesn't seem to slow it down at all.

If a sloop wants to go after anything bagh or bigger, the payout should reflect a higher risk/reward. Mbs are in the gray area of risk/reward- they are bigger, but at least they slow down enough when hit 1-2 times, even by small cbs.


It might be worth noting that the ramp is messed up enough that I've gotten a reverse ramp once before, where the first payout was nicely high, but oddly, subsequent battles went down in pay, with no turnover or losses- that one I could not figure out and it baffled my hearties and others aboard.(If I remember right, it was 15k w/kb, 9k, 8k then 7k)
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brokeboy

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maybe also try and make it so that apart from poe and fruit and that, you can also get some old swords and ropes, that seems to work from atlantis and CI :)
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false_dmitri

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draco9 wrote: 
2-7k isn't worth it when the fully maxed bagh still manages to extend the battle beyond 45+ turns because it somehow still generates mystery moves without you lsm-ing; continuing to put shots in it as it runs away doesn't seem to slow it down at all.


Nothing to do with lsm. You're hitting it with low damage and it's repairing too quickly to take much notice. The AI is also good at storing up moves, so if you see it stop here & there, figure it's stocking for some 3 token moves.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by false_dmitri at Jan 31, 2009 1:07:49 AM]
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akueh

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Bigger mobile ships = harder. Should get at least 2k each, say.

Spawns take ages to appear.
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nargon_forum

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Sometimes it takes a few battles to get up to the top of the ramp, especially if you get a mixture of brigands or barbarians since both ramps are separate. A faster ramp up would be great.

Losses practically kills the ramp. Make the effect less severe. When reengaging, make it so that the winning booty includes both the booty lost and also the booty that would have been won if the battle was won the first time around.

If someone was initially dnaving to give the ramp a kickstart but stopped later in the pillage, the payout usually drops! Once the pillage is spawning ships of certain difficulty, it should stay that way even if the dnaver stops dnaving.

If dnav is supposed to be a factor in determining spawn type, stop penalising the dnaver due to short or interrupted dnav sessions. Let the dnaver keep their sparkle after battle.

Sometimes, even when winning consecutive battles and fighting only our own spawns (and the crew is unchanged), the booty payout bizarrely keeps decreasing. Having more consistency would be great.

Stop penalizing the booty payout when having greenies on board a ship. Treat the greenie just like any low stated yellow name alt.

When fighting ships that are overpowered, eg. sloops vs baghlahs, the payouts needs a boost to reflect the increase difficulty.

Discourage the lazy merchant hunters that encourage laziness in new players. Disallow attacking a lower ship class with a stronger ship. ie. Make it impossible for a WB to attack a sloop. Or at least severely reduce the payouts of any such actions. (Not sure if i posted it in the right place)
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by nargon_forum at Jan 31, 2009 1:32:30 AM]
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darhand

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Most of what I see for suggestions here are calls for better payout. However I like the fact that it takes skill to run a very profitable pillage. Of course it's easy for me to say as I have mastered this skill with sloops. I'm not sure how many people have trouble making profitable pillages, but I expect the percentage isn't too high. If I am wrong then the payouts should be increased though...

I usually don't have trouble finding spawn either. Just wanted to add something from the group that is happily pillaging with the current implementation.

The only thing I agree with is the influence of jobbers leaving on the ramp, with a sloop this is reasonable as it has a large effect, but with bags and wbs where there are usually far more people leaving and coming back this effect should be reduced. Maybe the spawn should depend more on the previous wins than on the changes in the crew.
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DreadedChris



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(moving a comment from variety to here, although now .... well, ok, it's a little of both, but here it stays.)

I am reminded to whinge once again about the 'big ships = bad pay' problem. You ramp up, you start spawning only big ships that pay out badly. You will almost certainly get terrible booty for attacking a baghlah or a brig from a sloop despite how hard the fight is. This is a particular problem with brigand kings, which ought to be part of the variety of pillaging but mostly we will avoid the ships that might be brigand kings because they pay badly; and that aside, it squashes a whole range of potentially interesting battles.


Fix this payout issue, and you bring small vs big ship and brigand king hunting back to life.
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cmdrzoom

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Suggestion:
Now that high levels of jobber churn are a fact of the game, consider removing its effect on the ramp entirely.
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false_dmitri

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I've probably posted all this previously. Also agree with pretty much all of Sweetie's comments above, although if you sneak some occasional items into those treasure chests, *please* keep in mind the impact on shopkeepers.

Add a payout multiplier for enemy ships based on how many full volleys they need to give the player's ship maximum melee damage. Could also factor in player ship's firepower versus their hull, but by far the most significant variable is the computer ship's raw damage potential. If done correctly this would resolve low pay in situations like sloop vs. baghlah or baghlah vs. frigate, encouraging people to rise to the challenge more often.

Penalty from losses is very steep. Sweetie and others covered it earlier.

Interarch payouts are generally fine if you duty nav. I don't see 20k fight after fight on a sloop, but they are usually rewarding as long as duty nav is scoring high, even with crew turnover. I can break even with a late-pillage loss on these, and I shoot a ton and have restock cut set to 25%.

Green route pillages can be very difficult with regard to restock, even with duty nav near solid red. With just one late-pillage loss or a couple battles that take excessive stock, money isn't always there to cover the cost of supplies, even on a war brig. I can see this turning off average-skill pillage leaders. It's not unusual to break even on restock with an unbroken string of victories.

One thing in particular always bugged me about enemy ship strength and associated payouts, *if* it actually works this way. If I take a ship onto a red route with a balanced crew aboard, I don't expect it to get shot up so badly that I need a legendary carpenter and bilger aboard for every fight. I expect to put heavy demands on sails and guns and avoid damage as much as possible. I don't know what the enemy ships look at these days when they decide their own station output. I personally wouldn't mind an enemy using our sails and guns to decide their own overall performance, ignoring carp and bilge completely.

I also wouldn't mind having all ramping replaced by fixed-strength enemies with different characteristics depending on the route they travel. Keep the might rings, and pay based on their strength, but do away with ships that scale to our performance. That way, if you think your crew can take on the toughest opponents in your ship class, you can head straight for them. Increase the total number of brigands sailing around to compensate for the lack of customized opponents. This has some downsides, so if it doesn't happen I won't be miserable.
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[Edit 3 times, last edit by false_dmitri at Jan 31, 2009 3:13:14 AM]
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Gillie017

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All of the above and...

Some spawn would be nice. There's nothing worse than heading out on a pillage and seeing no spawn for ages.

It seemed at times that we were spawning more during the recent races on trade setting than we do on pillages.
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selgnij



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So I guess I'm going to be the person disagreeing with everything, well, not everything.

Starting with what I agree with:

People leaving killing the ramp: A little tweaking here would certainly be nice. I can't think of any system that would not be exploitable and/or cause as many problems as it solved. Perhaps just increase the number of people that need to leave before there is any major impact on the ramp.

Solo payouts: Please, some changes. I know that most ships spawned for a solo player SHOULD have low payouts, as they go DITW in a hurry. My biggest grievance is that if a solo player goes up against a ship that is meant for 3 or 4 skilled players, and wins, the payouts are still terrible.

Oh, and as they both require ship skills outside of rumble/SF, barbs and brigands shouldn't have totally seperate ramps. Personally, I don't see why they have seperate ramps at all.

Sort agreeing time:

Kinda agree with Sweetie's fourth point on a late loss being a heavy impact. However, its not so much that a late loss is oh so terrible, you only lose ~20%, but its very disheartening. One loss at the end of a pillage, and suddenly 40% of what you had to look forward to at port is gone. Kinda takes a lot of the joy out of the divy, even if your still getting about 80% of what you won. Although its not as bad as it seems.

On small ship vs. bigger ship: Personally, I feel the payouts need to account for three things: the increased risk of damage, the increased difficulty of maxing the opponent, and how easily a ship will run out of moves. A sloop vs. a Baghlah is a nerve-wracking affair. It takes all of 1 mistake, and a sloop goes from 0-Max. Conversly, a Baghlah needs to be shot 12 times to be maxxed. The payouts should reflect that added risk and difficulty. Opposing that, there are times when being big is just a hinderence. A ship that is going DITW after being hit by 2 smalls is less of a threat that a ship with 1/3 the firepower but lots of mobility.A little decrease in payouts if the brigand ship is BADLY undermanned isn't uncalled for.

OK, disagreeing time:

Time between engagements (kinda off topic): A little time between engagements isn't always a bad thing, especially if you have some damage to repair. Also, its a rare time that there isn't a spawn for extended periods of time, rare enough to be memorable, while all those times the spawns were already waiting when a battle ended (slight exageration) are forgotten. Having Dnaving increase spawns on a pillage (or increase the effect if it does already) would still be a nice touch though.

The effect of having a couple of less skilled players along doesn't hurt all that much. It does mean the first one or two battles will have truely low pay, but after that things usually improve. People with green names still hurt the payouts per person a lot though.
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basso

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Question, is there a technical reason why the ramp is separate for brigands and barbarians? I can't think of any practical reason why this should be so, unless it is some sort of annoying technical issue.
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Mads wrote: 
OK, now I'm convinced. The problem here is that you cannot understand plain English.

[Jan 31, 2009 7:41:18 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
spinbad

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Finer grained, absolute might differentials tied to payouts. Read: No ramp.

Currently the player only gets a class of ability (Sailor-Imperial) and a relative might (blue-red). Taking ships that are not "ones spawn" leads to lower payouts and the infinite moves scenario regardless of the ships indication of might. Typically my pillages start and stay as imperials, however there is an enormous difference between the first and the last battle. Reset the ability meter to more accurately scale to player ability.

The scenario is that a player ship that is sailing a route would see an inbound ship. The absolute rating would be Sailor-Imperial as it is now (reset and redistributed), but the relative might would be indicated with a color and with a number of icons (barb or brigand, 1-3) indicating where on that curve, for that ship, they related to the player ship using initial might calculations. The player ship would have the ability to make a quick assesment of the bots ability. The player would, in effect, control their own ramp by selecting bots of rising relative difficulty. The higher the differential from initial might, the better the booty payout.

The relationship between Absolute might and Relative might would be a check against players using alts to game the system. Absolute might ratings would be the base with the differential in relative might being the multiplier limited by the Absolute might.

Payout would be base (absolute might) with a limited multiplier (relational equation). I am thinking (absolute bot might+relative player might differential)/(absolute bot might-relative player might differential).

**Theoretical numbers**
Might 1-1000. Top Tier Imp 1000. Base 1000/player
2 Players sloops, staffed to 5 . One with mains=500. One with alts=100

Mains: 1000 * (1000+500)/(1000-500)=3000/ player. 15k payout, normal divy rules apply

Alts: 1000 * (1000+100)/(1000-100)=1,222/player. 6k payout, normal divy rules apply.

There is still lots to hammer out on the idea such as tieng absolute might to the number of useable stations on a ship to make large class ships attacking medium class ships not pay well. I was tossing around the idea of (potential) manned station differential to be a further penalty only. For instance a bagel attacking a sloop would further decline the payouts by 7/18. I think this would make engagements more transparent and give pillagers the ability to go for the "sweet spot" right out of the gate. In my opinion that would allow pillages to be more casual because players wouldn't be depending other players to stay abaord through the low payout start of the ramp.
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A Nefarious Miscreant
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Truvie wrote: 
Just remember...Ignorance can be cured with education. Stupid is forever!

[Jan 31, 2009 7:51:10 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
HiimEric2001

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I don't really have a problem with the percentage of the booty you lose with a loss. In fact I kinda of like it, as it tends to push pillages towards not being unreasonably long.

There comes to be a point where what you can win from an additional battle is less than what you can lose. That's when it's time to port.
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Cire
Good Omens, Riot

 
Nemo says, "Cire has figured me out..."

[Jan 31, 2009 8:03:52 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Cire Arodum [Link]  Go to top 
tlz_allen

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I agree with everything that has been said, but would liek to add that I think one of the reasons that pillaging has lost a great deal of its luster is that its payouts are so disproportionate to the other things that have been added (Atlantis/CI/Flotillas). Yes, the nature and excitement of pillaging need to be fixed, but that's another thread.

But a large part of that excitement comes from the payouts, which are just sickly compared to other ship-related revenue fountains. Do to the nature of this game and its theme, pillaging should be THE primary poe fountain. Unfortunately, things like CI and Atlantis not only have a shiny factor but pay substantially more for a great deal less work. And while CI has seemed to become the elitist new playground, I have proven time and again that taking in lesser players on even a short 3-and-out speed run into CI can be very profitable.

But as has been pointed out here, the effect of jobber churn and how a single loss can severely effect a ship's overall ramp are crippling. But there is a third item that I think bears consideration, and that is battling an opponent that is decidedly tougher than you.

There seems to be almost no reward for a sloop taking on a WB and beating it down. As the current sits, as a ship gets farther and farther into a pillage, and continues winning, the ramp simply does not match the level of opponents a ship is fighting. It maxes out at some point and becomes something of a disappointment. An example would be a Ruby WB pillage that we had just this week. Our fourth battle in we beat down a very orange WF and got 35K for it. This after we had just won 50K on our previous battle against a yellow WF.

I realize that there was some cap placed on payouts some time back. But just doesn't seem right or fair to the efforts being put forth by the mates aboard. And the automatic cut awarded to jobbers is, in my opinion, far to large to keep them aboard. There needs to be a better system of rewarding jobbers for staying aboard a ship and staying with a pillage long term.

I love the idea of some random events being added to pillages and those should include items and events that can ONLY be acquired through a pillage.
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TlzAllen
Captain, The Dawntreaders
[Jan 31, 2009 9:18:03 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    tlz_allen2 [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

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I also agree with everything TlzAllen said.
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Starhawk of Mad Mutineers, Azure
Catalina of Twilight's Sabre, Cobalt
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