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vnork



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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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The only reason there were ~7 frigs was for the ~40 minutes where the defender would greatly outnumber the attacking ships, thereby causing them to lose resources at a greater rate. The optimal strategy for the defender becomes grounding their own jobbers, but finding ways to retain them for the next round.

That's fine for a round or two, and most flags pull out entirely from the blockade when it's that lopsided, but when it's done systematically to reduce resources, 3 times a weekend for 6+ weeks, that crosses a line to me. OOO has a long history of protecting jobbers, and I think this falls under that umbrella.
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by vnork at Feb 10, 2010 9:23:54 AM]
[Feb 10, 2010 9:22:20 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Culiford

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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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Hang on, so... by your lights, it's perfectly okay for me to try to make this game unfun for you, even drive you out of it, as long as I can demonstrate I'm making a serious/genuine/sustained effort to do so? o.O


My argument is that playing the game as it is meant to be played (i.e. legitimately contesting a blockade) should never drive anyone away from the game nor become unfun no matter what the attacker's intent is. The defenders obviously like blockades because they own an island. If at some point there are just too many blockades and the defending staff becomes tired, they should take a few weeks off from blockading and have some new people step into the key blockade roles.

 
Start of the round: CC sends in 8 frigs, BtV sends in 7 frigs.
After 10 minutes: All BtV ships have been sunk.
From 10 minutes through 1 hour: BtV decides to "regroup" for next round sending in no ships or 1 ship every 5 minutes for the rest of the round. CC has to choose to give their jobbers something to do and drain their resources on jobber pay, or ground hundreds of jobbers on land.


Okay, while that's lame, I think that if a flag is willing to lose 21+ frigs every weekend then they should be allowed to do so. Their navigators are obviously terrible (or CC's are really, really incredible) and they should find new people. My question is this: how did it take 6 weeks for CC to get BTV to stop blockading? That's 126 frigates lost, plus the pay they used to get them on the board.

While BTV may have been annoying here, that's certainly not a no-show. I'd also like to point out that after a flag loses all 7 of their frigs in quick succession at the start of a round, this gives the 8 defending frigs time to rack up a ton of points while the attackers get jobbers onto new ships. And because there's no evidence that the attacking navs can do the reverse to the defending ships, the attackers will never gain the lead in that round. Therefore, it makes sense to try again the next round.
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[Feb 10, 2010 9:26:36 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
vnork



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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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And because there's no evidence that the attacking navs can do the reverse to the defending ships, the attackers will never gain the lead in that round. Therefore, it makes sense to try again the next round.

That makes sense when both sides are trying to win the blockade outright, but not in the context of a resource war, which was openly admitted by the attacking monarch. When the goal of the attacker is to have the defender spend as much time on the board as possible while grounding as many jobbers as possible, and the only logical response for the defender is to win the round while grounding as many of their jobbers as possible, that justification no longer works.
[Feb 10, 2010 9:32:33 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
NickScorpio

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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Seven frigates a round is not a real effort? That's not even a blockade of attrition, that's sending lambs to the slaughter. But if you want to ban that sort of effort, you want to ban basically all blockades. That's not even nearly a no-show.


Once? Absolutely not. 6 straight times? That's a much different story.

And I'm not sure anybody is really calling for a ban, per se. The incident is obviously over and done with. I think we're trying to have a cross-ocean discussion about acceptable tactics.
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[Feb 10, 2010 10:41:13 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BobJanova

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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'Not acceptable' (when you bring ringers into it for sure) means 'we want bans/suspensions for it', though.
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[Feb 10, 2010 10:59:10 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
NickScorpio

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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We might be talking about different things, Bob. 14 months ago, we didn't care how it stopped. As long as it stopped. If that required the banstick, that was all right by us. We were obviously aware that was one possible consequence of the petition.

Now? Well, it may be our own faults that this thread has focused too much on this one example but that's not what it was all about. The last thing we're after is a retroactive ban over a matter that is long since closed.
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[Feb 10, 2010 11:34:26 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
rhandom

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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Well, it was the obvious example.

But really, there aren't enough serious blockades. This is because the bar for "serious blockade" is in the thousands of pirate-hours and hundreds of real dollars before you even drop the chest.

We're not talking about World Cup levels of prep, but definitely Regionals.

And you have to be able to win the Regionals to be able to set up a Wednesday pick-up game...
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[Feb 10, 2010 11:53:20 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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But to use the same argument I keep hearing from others, isn't it a bit much to require that kind of investment in something that's "just a game"?

Either blockades are (intended to be) serious enough to plan your weekends around, or not. Which is it?
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[Feb 10, 2010 11:59:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
NickScorpio

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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Either blockades are (intended to be) serious enough to plan your weekends around, or not. Which is it?


Why can it be both? It's a big game with lots of islands on all the servers. If people want to devote the prep time Hahvahd mentioned, so be it. Set your sights on a large island and go shoot at the best a particular ocean has to ocean.

If you don't want to devote that kind of time but still want to play the game, every ocean has islands that can accommodate that type of blockading.
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[Feb 10, 2010 12:36:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
sweetnessc

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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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Oh dear. Much as I both sympathize with and understand the goal of wanting to hold an island interrupted for as long as possible, having been the monarch of a flag that held an island not just from the day it opened but from the day blockades opened that was subjected to bi-weekly drops for just the reason of ending our record, I cannot get behind the theory that fielding 350 jobbers is some kind of insufficient effort that ought to warrant OM intervention. That 7 frigs turned out to be insufficient is reflective of the choice of the powers-that-be in Hunter to develop a single large, largely unassailable power base. Under the current game design, I simpy cannot support any kind of argument that the decision to opt for a political set-up that ensures a jobber win condition should be codified by adding some kind of exemption from being blockaded if 350 of your fellow players are willing to show up to blockade you.

I could get behind a game design request to add some kind of cooling-off meter to have every third weekend off, but not a disciplinary approach.
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[Feb 10, 2010 12:53:45 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BobJanova

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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We might be talking about different things, Bob. 14 months ago, we didn't care how it stopped. As long as it stopped. If that required the banstick, that was all right by us. We were obviously aware that was one possible consequence of the petition.

Now? Well, it may be our own faults that this thread has focused too much on this one example but that's not what it was all about. The last thing we're after is a retroactive ban over a matter that is long since closed.

I don't think you want the previous 'culprits' banned, but I do think you want a precedent set that would make people who did the same thing in future get a suspension or ban.
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[Feb 10, 2010 1:22:31 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
123Jackpot

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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It would be nice of OOO were clear with their rules or at the very least clearly define what the spirit of the game is. It would be nicer still if one or more judgments created a precedent which other people could site should they encounter the same situations. And yes it would be absolutely fantastic if OOO would just come out and say one way or another if blockades of attrition are valid or not. But I don't think it's going to happen, it's just interesting to see what other people think and debate a bit about it. No one is calling for anyone to get in trouble for anything.
(I am having a nice chuckle that the opposing argument seems to be by and large it can't be a rule because it's not a rule we know already.)
[Feb 10, 2010 1:51:41 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Dorien

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Re: Blockades of Attrition: Yes or No? Reply to this Post
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Hi! Long time listener, first time caller!

It's my understand that in a sandbox time game the complexity and scope of Y!PP precisely has a "Spirit of the Game" clause as well as other sometimes ambiguous terms and rules, specifically to BE more flexible catch-alls (or catch-somes). As all the different interactions and activities that could take place would be neigh-impossible to legislate.

This allows for the powers that be to do just as they did in this and other examples, and determine things on a case-by-case basis. Only setting "precedent" when they are actually able to clearly define something as "unacceptable" for the community, which in some cases is an easy task, and in many is a much more grey area.

It's unfortunate that sometimes their "rulings" on particular cases can take a long time to be deliberated, but I honestly do believe that where they are able to make hard and fast lines they do so.

A few more ambiguous rules are maintained to be used an important tool in being able to deal with players who would and do push the boundaries of hard limits, as well as leaving room for changing culture and actual gameplay.
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[Feb 10, 2010 2:05:06 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
vnork



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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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Oh dear. Much as I both sympathize with and understand the goal of wanting to hold an island interrupted for as long as possible, having been the monarch of a flag that held an island not just from the day it opened but from the day blockades opened that was subjected to bi-weekly drops for just the reason of ending our record, I cannot get behind the theory that fielding 350 jobbers is some kind of insufficient effort that ought to warrant OM intervention. That 7 frigs turned out to be insufficient is reflective of the choice of the powers-that-be in Hunter to develop a single large, largely unassailable power base. Under the current game design, I simpy cannot support any kind of argument that the decision to opt for a political set-up that ensures a jobber win condition should be codified by adding some kind of exemption from being blockaded if 350 of your fellow players are willing to show up to blockade you.

You can't look at jobbing numbers to determine any kind of mandate to repeat blockade.

The only reason it was anywhere near that close was because CC allowed BtV to pay around 100-500 poe higher than them. At even pay, things were much, much more unbalanced. In a war of resource attrition, it works best to pay as little as possible while maintaining a jobbing force large enough to ensure victory. Also, jobbers are motivated by varying reasons; plenty of jobbers probably started jobbing with BtV simply because they wanted injuries.

That's not the point though. The point is that the strategy focused on trying to keep enough jobbers to force the other side to try to ensure they had more jobbers, while keeping those jobbers on land as much as possible to retain resources, and trying to bluff so that the other side keeps the most ships on the board. I don't like a style of attrition where innocent jobbers get screwed over week after week.
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by vnork at Feb 10, 2010 2:57:23 PM]
[Feb 10, 2010 2:45:54 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Dylan

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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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In a war of resource attrition, it works best to pay as little as possible while maintaining a jobbing force large enough to ensure victory.


The Gladiators would agree with you. Bwaha.
[Feb 10, 2010 2:54:48 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
vnork



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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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In a war of resource attrition, it works best to pay as little as possible while maintaining a jobbing force large enough to ensure victory.


The Gladiators would agree with you. Bwaha.

Unluckily for CC, the Gladiators got to play with a force that was much more creative.

Maybe this would help explain what I'm saying: I would rather BtV have dropped 12 weeks in a row where, after losing their initial wave of ships, they pull out and tell their jobbers they won't be seriously contending, while keeping a few ships in round 2 and 3 to keep CC on their toes, instead of blockading 6 times in a row and holding jobbers on BtV ships for half of both round 1 and round 2, and forcing the other side to do the same.
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by vnork at Feb 10, 2010 3:11:19 PM]
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sweetnessc

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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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The only reason it was anywhere near that close was because CC allowed BtV to pay around 100-500 poe higher than them. At even pay, things were much, much more unbalanced. In a war of resource attrition, it works best to pay as little as possible while maintaining a jobbing force large enough to ensure victory. Also, jobbers are motivated by varying reasons; plenty of jobbers probably started jobbing with BtV simply because they wanted injuries.


The mind boggles that I think you're suggesting that a force of half that, or even a quarter that, would be insufficient to be a real blockade. Which makes me wonder whether we are starting from some radically different underlying premises for that to be the case.

Here are some questions for you, then:

1. Do you think blockades are good for the game? Do you think blockades ought to be encouraged?
2. Do you think mega-alliances or SMAs are good for the game? Do you think the development of an alliance sufficiently large to outnumber all attackers ought to be encouraged?
3. From a game design perspective, what methodology should opponents use to take down a flag that has grown to hegemony size?
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My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~ Jack Layton

Sublime is shame.
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by sweetnessc at Feb 10, 2010 3:33:24 PM]
[Feb 10, 2010 3:22:30 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
vnork



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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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Here are some questions for you, then:

- Do you think blockades are good for the game? Do you think blockades ought to be encouraged?
- Do you think mega-alliances or SMAs are good for the game? Do you think the development of an alliance sufficiently large to outnumber all attackers ought to be encouraged?

I'm starting to suspect that our answers to those two questions are radically different.

And as an add-on: From a game design perspective, how do you propose that a flag that did grow into a hegemony size should be taken down by its opponents?

Can you propose something that doesn't lead naturally to flags convincing jobbers to sit on full ships at port during live blockade segments for 80 minutes per blockade? I think it's possible, but I'll have to think over it longer.

To me, jobber abuse trumps blockade game balance. If you think the ability to take down SMAs is worth wasting thousands of hours of OOO's customers at port, then we are using completely different thought processes.
[Feb 10, 2010 3:35:31 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Dylan

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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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I just read your edits in the post before last, vnork.

As I understand it, you are saying that the attackers deliberately kept jobbers waiting - and so did the defenders.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if jobber fairness is the issue, surely BOTH sides should have a good talking to?
[Feb 10, 2010 3:42:16 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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3. From a game design perspective, what methodology should opponents use to take down a flag that has grown to hegemony size?

Inform the Ringers that Flag X has decisively won this round of the game, and petition for an ocean reset.
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[Feb 10, 2010 3:44:59 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Culiford

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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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The jobbers are choosing to have their time wasted. You'd think after the first couple of weeks of blockades, they'd realize that they aren't getting properly compensated for their time and would stop jobbing.

The social puzzle is a big part of this game, and especially the blockade game. You suggest that by mistreating their jobbers BTV was losing the social game, but apparently this is not the case if they had jobbers for 6 weeks in a row. Also, what Dylan said.

You can't set up hard rules for blockade abuse because they have to be taken on a case-by-case basis.
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[Feb 10, 2010 4:04:10 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
vnork



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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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The jobbers are choosing to have their time wasted. You'd think after the first couple of weeks of blockades, they'd realize that they aren't getting properly compensated for their time and would stop jobbing.

So if jobbers are redirected to lower pay, they are choosing to have their time wasted by not double-checking how much they're being paid? Perhaps, but that's not the precedent.

 
The social puzzle is a big part of this game, and especially the blockade game. You suggest that by mistreating their jobbers BTV was losing the social game, but apparently this is not the case if they had jobbers for 6 weeks in a row. Also, what Dylan said.

BtV did lose a lot of support, but pay trumps politics on green oceans, period. CC is one of the very few examples where it even comes close. If you match pay, then you're accelerating a paywar which favors the flag attempting attrition. If you don't, then even Charles Manson could get nearly even jobbing with you.

As for what Dylan said, I don't think it's strictly punishable. In any blockade, there's situations when a jobber is not compensated for puzzling, or a jobber could be puzzling but is stuck on land. If the spirit of the game were up to my discretion, then maybe, but I don't really blame either side for doing what they did. It's just that jobber treatment tends to be overlooked, and I've always tried to bring it to the forefront.

 
You can't set up hard rules for blockade abuse because they have to be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Oh I agree completely. The thing is that attrition can seem attractive on paper as a method of balancing the blockade game, but in practice, it can get ugly in unexpected ways that I think many people wouldn't be very comfortable with. I think any discussion in this thread should take that more into account.
[Feb 10, 2010 5:11:58 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Culiford

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BtV did lose a lot of support, but pay trumps politics on green oceans, period. CC is one of the very few examples where it even comes close. If you match pay, then you're accelerating a paywar which favors the flag attempting attrition. If you don't, then even Charles Manson could get nearly even jobbing with you.


Something is clearly broken, then. In the beginning, blockades didn't even have pay, you just jobbed for your own flag or for your friends. It was all social puzzle. Then pay got added, and pay was balanced against social reasons, but politics still came first. Now it seems that on green oceans pay is all that matters, which basically means that you can be as much of a barrelstopper as you want (without breaking the rules) and still win the biggest trophies in the game as long as you have the money. Something is very wrong here.

 
So if jobbers are redirected to lower pay, they are choosing to have their time wasted by not double-checking how much they're being paid? Perhaps, but that's not the precedent.

After round 1 of these blockades it should've been clear that BTV's jobbers were only going to be paid for one segment per round. I certainly would've left at that point and helped CC or gone pillaging. And when BTV tried again the next week, I would've realized that I wasn't going to get paid for my efforts and just not job for them at all. As said above, something is clearly wrong if BTV can be this bad at the social game and still get jobbers.
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[Feb 10, 2010 5:34:42 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
dalnoth

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Re: Sweetie is a pretty cool lady (/me sees if this title catches on) Reply to this Post
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2. Do you think mega-alliances or SMAs are good for the game? Do you think the development of an alliance sufficiently large to outnumber all attackers ought to be encouraged?


Personally, I don't think it should. There are ways that the ringers could eliminate SMA's through game design and they haven't. Does that mean ringers want SMA's in their game?

For example just for starters.

Flags should be limited to 10 crews.

Flags should be limited to 4 alliances.

Blockade participation should be capped. (I.E. No more then 300 jobbers worth of ships are allowed on the blockade board at any given time.)

Third parties should be an option the defender has the ability to disallow. If you aren't declared, you can't post an offer.

Allowance of Ships on the board should be relative to what the other side has. For example, The defenders have 180 jobbers worth of ships on the board, The attackers are allowed a maximum of 200 jobbers worth of ships on the board. This balance point shouldn't go into effect until one side reaches 150 jobbers worth of ships on the board.

There hasn't been a GD change to blockades in... ever. The game is in need of serious balancing and tuning and has been for well... ever.



 
3. From a game design perspective, what methodology should opponents use to take down a flag that has grown to hegemony size?


Skill, Public Relations and Money. For every political maneuver there is a counter maneuver, and if you are confident your flag has the better pirates and blockaders in it, you can win no matter what. If your flag doesn't have the better blockaders in it, well then maybe take into consideration this isn't a "Everybody's a winner" game. You don't have a god given right to win a blockade. If your flag still loses in relatively even settings then the right flag is winning. You don't go back to the drawing board and look for peripherals to blockading (Resources) to force a loss. Just like if you can't beat someone in a swordfight; You can't take 30,000,000poe and buy a Falchion-o-matic 5000 with a better drop pattern so you can win.





Lastly, If your sole plan is to run someone broke, Just do it in one blockade then nobody could claim attrition. After-all, part of the entire argument is the "Endless War" that cleaver refer's to in his post.

Jack pay up to 9999/seg and call it a day. Don't bleed them every week non stop, with all the jerking around that went on, that's just plain bullshit.
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Dalnoth
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by dalnoth at Feb 10, 2010 5:56:18 PM]
[Feb 10, 2010 5:51:31 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://somethingawful.com [Link]  Go to top 
Dylan

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For example just for starters.

Flags should be limited to 10 crews.

Flags should be limited to 4 alliances.

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Culiford

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For example just for starters.

Flags should be limited to 10 crews.

Flags should be limited to 4 alliances.

What's to stop backroom deals and "unofficial" alliances?

The "balance point" is very interesting, and could cut down on paywars. However, how do you determine what the balance number should be? The jobber numbers in blockades on different oceans are very different. I strongly disagree on a maximum jobber cap or denying third party ships.
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Culliford on the Cerulean Ocean
Prince of Universe A
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Culiford at Feb 10, 2010 5:59:56 PM]
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Contrariety

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BtV did lose a lot of support, but pay trumps politics on green oceans, period. CC is one of the very few examples where it even comes close. If you match pay, then you're accelerating a paywar which favors the flag attempting attrition. If you don't, then even Charles Manson could get nearly even jobbing with you.



I'd like to point out that you are neglecting the number one reason I heard overall from people jobbing with BTV: They were jobbing against CC on principle. I'd say politicking is alive and well.
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Pests they might be, but the young were cute and cuddly and had big eyes, which was definitely an evolutionary edge to secure survival.
-On grammasites, Thursday Next

Contrary to Popular Belief, or Mistress Mary, quite Contrary, I'll be around.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Contrariety at Feb 10, 2010 6:19:20 PM]
[Feb 10, 2010 6:14:33 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
dalnoth

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For example just for starters.

Flags should be limited to 10 crews.

Flags should be limited to 4 alliances.

What's to stop backroom deals and "unofficial" alliances?

The "balance point" is very interesting, and could cut down on paywars. However, how do you determine what the balance number should be? The jobber numbers in blockades on different oceans are very different. I strongly disagree on a maximum jobber cap or denying third party ships.



I don't have a lot of experience on blue oceans, However i have extensive experience on green oceans. Obviously the difference in oceans will require different specifications.

Third parties are a plague on Doubloon oceans, They wreck blockades.

Nothing is going to stop Backroom deals and unofficial alliances, but it will spread people out more; allow more people into royalty/monarch positions and by nature, some people will develop an over importance of themselves, people will clash because everyone will want to be in the spotlight. It's almost guaranteed.

The maximum jobber cap I should have elaborated on further; It's only a cap until both sides reach the point, Once they reach the point the cap goes up to 355, then 410, Etc. Etc.

It's quite easy to track what is on the board and what isn't. Just track jobbers by how many stations the ships have. This will eliminate the need for undermanned ships, and the need to start being wary of who you hire instead of just hiring everyone.
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Dalnoth
Novo tells ye, "Howtie removed me as a manager from her tailor, my wager swordfighting career is over :(."
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Culiford

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Third parties are a plague on Doubloon oceans, They wreck blockades.

How so? You don't have to match their pay, because they'll probably be fielding only one ship at a time. And if you can have 7 frigates per side in green ocean blockades, I can't imaging that third parties are putting much of a dent in your blockading ability, especially since they'll be attacking both sides.

 
Nothing is going to stop Backroom deals and unofficial alliances, but it will spread people out more; allow more people into royalty/monarch positions and by nature, some people will develop an over importance of themselves, people will clash because everyone will want to be in the spotlight. It's almost guaranteed.

How will it spread people out? You'll still have some really big flags with a ton of resources who will hold the power, as is currently the case on the green oceans. I'm not sure how you think hiding those alliances will change things. You already have people developing overimportance of themselves, but the "clashing" is stopped because a few flags have so much of an advantage over the rest of the ocean is too scared to blockade. The number of Monarchs has to do with the number of flags, not how flags on the ocean are allied. What you say is not guaranteed at all.

I'm still not sure about the jobber cap. If it changes based on current jobbing numbers, fine. It should be based on total jobbers in the contesting flags, however, not pirates on the blockade board. Otherwise a flag could just keep everyone off the board to force their opponents to not be able to job, and then suddenly dump hundreds of players onto the board, leaving the other side with a huge disadvantage.
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Culliford on the Cerulean Ocean
Prince of Universe A
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vnork



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Third parties are a plague on Doubloon oceans, They wreck blockades.

How so? You don't have to match their pay, because they'll probably be fielding only one ship at a time. And if you can have 7 frigates per side in green ocean blockades, I can't imaging that third parties are putting much of a dent in your blockading ability, especially since they'll be attacking both sides.

This is one of the classic blue vs. green ocean divides, maybe even Sage vs. other oceans. In short, normal blockades have 100-250 jobbers per side, and a single frig represents a 100 jobber swing that can single-handedly determine who wins an otherwise close or semi-close blockade. And a third-party attacking both sides is definitely not always the case.
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