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Ocean Geography Reply to this Post
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I could start this with some preface about having always had an interest in ocean layouts and such, but I'll save myself the effort and move onto what I'm looking for.

What do you think goes into the planning of an ocean? Do you think there are layouts that, through a variety of factors, are more conducive to blockading, widely or narrowly distributed populations and economic activity? Do you think an ocean's layout can determine its longevity? Would you suggest anything different from what has already been put out there?

As far as I'm concerned, the layout plays a significant role in all of what I have listed above. I am familiar with the development of several oceans and not so much with others but the results are there for all of us to see. This is a matter of opinion but I feel fairly objective in saying the following, why does Sage seem to see so many more blockades and willing participants? Why have so many dubbed Hunter and more recently Malachite as inferior from the start?

I may be wrong but looking at the oceans, Sage and Midnight seem to have, aside from the central hubs of Admiral and Alpha, fairly decentralized layouts that have (ignoring Midnight's slump due to other factors) allowed for more enduring and consistent blockade activity. Meanwhile, Viridian and Hunter have enjoyed their respective spells of blockades while also enduring significant droughts. Is this due to a lack of "worthwhile" islands when compared to Sage and Midnight? Is this the root of the lack of enthusiasm about Malachite?

Do you think a fusion of the existing layouts would be best? Do you think that one layout is flat-out better than another? Do those whose gameplay depends on the layout prefer one over another?

Personally, there's something about the more archipelagos-less islands layout (per archipelago) that appeals to me. That "sense of world" does it for me, I guess. There's also, from what I can tell, more economic diversity, heterogeneity, more opportunities to take advantage of it. Also, as someone that has run a ton of fruit and other commodities on Viridian, the long interarch routes are also a pain. Lastly, although I was never a big pillager, the concept of high-end pillaging in Osprey and Ruby also seemed cool* and lacking on Viridian.

I don't know who works on the designs, but it would be cool to get some input from that camp as well.

*-I think I remember someone saying this became somewhat obsolete after certain pillaging/targeting tweaks, but I'll leave it there because I may just be confusing it with something else.

Edit: Fixes here and there.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by kenjennings at May 8, 2011 8:01:41 PM]
[May 8, 2011 7:50:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 

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Re: Ocean Geography Reply to this Post
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A lot of planing does go into the layout of oceans.

Specifically, commodity spawning, inter arch routes, and the like. Island designers and the devs work together to map an ocean that creates difficulty, but also attempts to stimulate economic growth, and blockades in the ocean.

For me personally, I dislike Viridian only having three arches, being from Hunter, I like having many arches and not being able to quickly island hop.
It seems more adventurous to me, even if all you need is a whisking potion.
Mask - Hunter Ocean
Island degisner
[May 9, 2011 11:51:41 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 

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I think the problem with Hunter is not the physical geography so much. It's the way the population and economy is centred on Aimuari Island and Orion. Orion contains the two starting large OM islands (Quetzal and Chachapoya), and then had all of its other colonised islands opened (Pukru, Aimuari and Saiph) and was fully colonised by the end of 2006 with only a couple of outposts elsewhere. There weren't any other large islands opened until spring 2007 and I think by then it was too late. Aimuari is arguably one of the most worthwhile islands to own on any ocean though, so you'd expect a bit more competition for it.

The problem with Malachite is that it opened just before a big decline in the game's population and therefore never got a big enough population going to get started like the others. The layout with the lack of large islands would probably have had a big effect on its development, but without enough players you can't really draw any conclusions.

Hunter and Sage seem to have pretty similar layouts. They're both made up of 7-8 medium sized archipelagos. The extremes are a big further apart on Sage but I don't see that having a major effect, certainly not enough to make one ocean "inferior from the start". The big difference with Sage seems to be that the starting OM islands are in different archipelagos.
[May 10, 2011 2:58:46 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 

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I like the Midnight style, where basic commodities are readily available within each archipelago, but the rarer the commod, the rare the place to find it. Coblat and Viridian, with huge oceans, not so much.

I realise that this isn't GD, but I'd love to see the additional question: What layouts would be ideal for deliberately short-lived oceans? be answered in addition to kens.
[May 10, 2011 3:48:44 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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