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Forculus
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On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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We're excited to announce some big plans that we've been working on for Puzzle Pirates later in 2017. We are going to be adding a new Ocean as part of a release that we're calling...



The Plan:
The goal for Dark Seas is to introduce an entirely new ocean where the rules are a bit different. This shadowy new ocean is a volatile place full of more danger and unexplored frontiers. We are going to introduce some new theme and story elements involving an insidious darkness that is invading the ocean, affecting the appearance of the world and the very nature of the pirates who live there. Some of the gameplay changes we're looking at including are:
  • All players will be required to choose an alignment in the dark vs. light battle, and PvP between these two factions is automatic.
  • Shops can be demolished as part of the island takeover process, encouraging a robust turnover of managers and territory.
  • A new ocean layout to accompany the dark vs. light story, with some newly created islands to explore.
  • A Sea Monster Hunt rotation so that only one type is available at any time, to help concentrate player activity and voyages into a more condensed area of the game.
  • Poker will have greatly reduced buy-ins on this Ocean.
  • Dark Seas will be an isolated doubloon ocean where doubloon trades with our current oceans will not be enabled.
  • The ocean will be accessed via Steam and will not be connected to other doubloon oceans.
In addition to the gameplay changes, there will also be new scene art connected to the Dark Seas theme. Here's an early example of this:



The Reasons:
One of the main motivations behind this release is to bring more players into the Puzzle Pirates community, and these are some of the ways we think the new ocean can help with that:
  • We want to introduce Puzzle Pirates to players who have perhaps never played the game before, and there will be much greater exposure to new players with a standalone release on Steam.
  • By launching a fresh new ocean, new players will have a chance to get started on an equal footing with everyone, rather than being many years behind the established players.
  • This new Ocean also allows us to experiment with some changes to the core mechanics of Puzzle Pirates that might be too disruptive to the established oceans (such as shop destruction, limiting poker, and increased PvP).
  • The new release exposure on Steam will give us the opportunity to bring back former players who may have retired, but would be excited to try something new and different in the world of Puzzle Pirates. We expect there will be many players who return to check out Dark Seas, but will also want to revisit their old pirates on the other oceans.
  • A separate ocean allows us to continue to update our current oceans separately, though many of the changes and improvements we make for the Dark Seas release will be applicable for all oceans.

Your Feedback!
We will of course still be updating and supporting all of the oceans. We'd like to hear your ideas on what sorts of changes should be included as we develop this content in the months ahead, as well as any improvements we could make to help the game as a whole be more welcoming to new players. We're excited for the future of Puzzle Pirates, and we thank you for joining us on the adventure!

Edit to add a link to the Dark Seas: FAQ update thread.
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Cronus at Apr 24, 2017 9:19:47 AM]
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xelto

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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Just to make sure I understand a couple key points:

1) This ocean is accessed through Steam exclusively.
2) Doubloons will not be transferrable from the existing oceans, and subscriptions will not exist at all.

Correct?
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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Could you implement that a Greeter gets a notification when a new player starts? As of now new players have no idea that Greeters even exist, and Greeters don't know when a new player starts who needs help.
Would be nice to have assigned/dedicated Greeters :)

The first game impression is very important thus said players that stumble upon our game might leave when they feel neglected/overwhelmed.
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majestrate :
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Vepar7 at Dec 15, 2016 1:14:51 PM]
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farmboy236

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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Will there be a one week buffer period where certain pirate names were protected, akin to ocean releases of the past?

I really don't fancy someone else doing a better job of being a John Thomas with my pirate name.
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jlh0605

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Interesting concept, great idea!

Few questions:
1) Is gameplay any different if you choose light vs. dark (other than who you'll be battling)? I.e., will light-aligned players have access to different activities/areas than dark?
2) Is the light vs. dark a permanent choice?
3) You mentioned making changes on this ocean that are too drastic for production ocean changes (accurate assumption, IMO). Will there be changes like this after the ocean has been released? Or will changes only occur while the ocean is under development, and be locked once the ocean is released?
4) Only accessible through Steam - does that mean a new game, different from the existing client (though obviously with many similarities)?
5) Somebody is going to ask, so it may as well be me - will previously-banned players be allowed to play on this new ocean, provided they follow the new ocean's rules? If so, will it allow all previously-banned players, or only some?
6) SMH's will rotate availability. Roughly how often? Weekly? What will happen when we're within 8 days of the rotation, and someone wins an SMH map? Will the map have less than 8 days left at the time of winning? (Hey, I'm curious)
7) Many gameplay mechanics will be different on this ocean. Will any rules be different?
8) I look forward to seeing the ocean design, and seeing that may answer this question, but will the size of the ocean somehow scale based on activity?
9) Will BK's/Flotillas/BK Cades stay the same on the new ocean?
10) (Obvious question): Roughly when do you anticipate opening this ocean? Q2 2017? Q3? 2018?

I'm sure I'll think of more questions, I'll post as I do.

Edit: 11) Will ship repair be a thing? That alone can help equalize the disparity between newbie and established player. Maybe don't sink the ships if they're not maintained, but don't allow them to sail until they are.
12) Going with Gurndigarn's question, will current/future subscribers get automatic badges and/or a certain amount of dubs per month? Or will it be completely doubloon-based, giving nothing to current subscribers?
13) How specifically will the seas be more dangerous? A level of brigand/barbarian above Imperial? Being engaged at least once after leaving an SMH?
14) Automatic PvP between light and dark - sinking or non-sinking?
15) Will crews/flags be bound to light or dark? If so, Can light-based flags ally with dark-based?
16) Will there be neutral areas of the map, where all ships can sail safely? Low-risk, low-reward areas. No SMH's, no markets on islands (or make markets bound to only basic/ship supplies). This could allow new captains to practice bnav/pillaging in a place free from sinking/PvP.
17) Will there be any carryover AT ALL from existing oceans, or to existing oceans? My understanding is no, but it'd be nice to have that confirmed.
18) As mentioned above, how safe are existing names?
19) In-game mail system? (Time-consuming, but hugely beneficial, especially to new players)
20) In-game auction house system? Or designated place to barter/sell? Maybe only one inn per ocean (or one per light/dark side)?
21) Shoppes can be destroyed, what about other buildings? Attractions? Palaces? Inns? Bazaars? Docks themselves?

Edit:
22) Will we finally get puzzles for the last few crafting jobs? Construction, furnishing, and tailoring come to mind, but cartography could be huge here, giving maps potentially in places where there are no shipyards.

I know some of what I mentioned would be very time- and resource- intensive, and I'm certainly not banking on the "final version" of the ocean at release. I'm just asking generally for plans in these areas. I don't have a "right" answer already in mind.


Edit: This only just came to mind... the few active YPPedia editors (including myself) would have their hands full with this....
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[Edit 7 times, last edit by jlh0605 at Dec 15, 2016 1:32:42 PM]
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Forculus
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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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xelto wrote: 
Just to make sure I understand a couple key points:

1) This ocean is accessed through Steam exclusively.
2) Doubloons will not be transferrable from the existing oceans, and subscriptions will not exist at all.

Correct?

That's correct.

Vepar7 wrote: 

Will exploits (especially competition issues) get addressed?

We will be fixing general issues that affect all the oceans, such as exploits. We'll be prioritizing the bigger issues that have the largest impact on the game as a whole.
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wuppypuppy2

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What would happen if a drastically different number of pirates choose one side over another? Are there rewards for being on a winning side?

I'm assuming crews are entirely one one side or another-- if light vs dark isn't permanent, would you convert to one side or another upon joining a light or dark crew? And if it's permanent, will you be forever excluded from joining opposite-side crews?

Will stuff like forum contests be open exclusively to either traditional YPP or Dark Seas, or is it something that will sort of stand as an ocean? I know, it's something just a small number of us care about, but I'm curious.
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[Dec 15, 2016 1:12:56 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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As long as your changing fundamental issues with the game, how about fixing labor? The current badge and online/offline labor system is... kludgy.

---------
How I would do it:

1) drop offline labor.
2) ships out pillaging can find captives to rescue. These captives will stay on the island/in the archipelago for a certain amount of time, and will take jobs at local shops. The better they get paid, the longer they will stick around. They will have a preference for the crew or flag that rescued them, but can be 'outbid' for by other shopkeepers
3) shopkeepers have to do one "training session" every X days (probably 10) to show their employees how to do it. The higher rank the active pirate is, the more employees he can keep under him.
4) Online labor works the same way it does now.

On a vaguely related note, removing 'reserve labor' and putting racks in each shop would be nice.
---------

Of course, that's just a thought I had. ANY fix would be nice.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by xelto at Dec 15, 2016 1:32:00 PM]
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jlh0605

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As long as your changing fundamental issues with the game, how about fixing labor? The current badge and online/offline labor system is... kludgy.

---------
How I would do it: <insert how here>
---------

Of course, that's just a thought I had. ANY fix would be nice.
Very interesting idea, I like it. That forces shopkeepers to be more actively involved in other aspects of the game, too (pillaging, specifically). This, especially when combined with shoppe destruction, can help solve the problem of "set and forget" shopkeepers who totally change the ocean's economy.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by jlh0605 at Dec 15, 2016 1:28:11 PM]
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xelto

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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As long as your changing fundamental issues with the game, how about fixing labor? The current badge and online/offline labor system is... kludgy.

---------
How I would do it: <insert how here>
---------

Of course, that's just a thought I had. ANY fix would be nice.
Very interesting idea, I like it. That forces shopkeepers to be more actively involved in other aspects of the game, too (pillaging, specifically). This, especially when combined with shoppe destruction, can help solve the problem of "set and forget" shopkeepers who totally change the ocean's economy.


That was part of the concept. Although putting in regular shop upkeep would also solve that particular problem problem. But this causes shopkeeping to be more of a PoE sink, since labor payments go primarily to bots. It just removes the labor badge doubloon sink, which was something OOO wouldn't have been able to afford. It may be possible for GH, a non-profit, to do so, however.


Incidentally, that part about 'the better they get paid, the longer they stick around' is to act as a dynamic spawn adjustment. The more there are on an island, the lower their pay is likely to go, so the faster they leave. Each bot would probably need a "loyalty" setting (how much they will go to the people who freed them vs the ones who pay the best), an "ambition" setting (how often they check for better pay elsewhere on the island), and a "greed" setting (how low their pay can go before they take off).
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by xelto at Dec 15, 2016 1:37:34 PM]
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jlh0605

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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That was part of the concept. Although putting in regular shop upkeep would also solve that particular problem problem. But this causes shopkeeping to be more of a PoE sink, since labor payments go primarily to bots. It just removes the labor badge doubloon sink, which was something OOO wouldn't have been able to afford. It may be possible for GH, a non-profit, to do so, however.
That's a very good point, labor badges are a huge source of income on existing oceans. Maybe the bots could be paid, in part, with doubloons? One doubloon per X hours of labor, where X is what is set by shopkeepers?

The downside I see with this idea, though: Existing crafting puzzles are already done by such a select few number of pirates. This idea would mean even less pirates are doing them.
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Make it a sub ocean and Universe A is back babyyyyyyyy.
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[Dec 15, 2016 1:39:03 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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That was part of the concept. Although putting in regular shop upkeep would also solve that particular problem problem. But this causes shopkeeping to be more of a PoE sink, since labor payments go primarily to bots. It just removes the labor badge doubloon sink, which was something OOO wouldn't have been able to afford. It may be possible for GH, a non-profit, to do so, however.
That's a very good point, labor badges are a huge source of income on existing oceans. Maybe the bots could be paid, in part, with doubloons? One doubloon per X hours of labor, where X is what is set by shopkeepers?

Part of the hope was to take doubloons out of the equation. One thing I think about this game: there's too much nickel-and-diming. I think doubloon costs for each item are one thing that needs to be looked at carefully.

 
The downside I see with this idea, though: Existing crafting puzzles are already done by such a select few number of pirates. This idea would mean even less pirates are doing them.

Something to make labor more attractive would be nice.

----
And hopefully wrapping up my shopkeeping rant: remove the dub costs from paint and put them on the paintbrushes, please.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by xelto at Dec 15, 2016 1:42:08 PM]
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jlh0605

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Part of the hope was to take doubloons out of the equation. One thing I think about this game: there's too much nickel-and-diming. I think doubloon costs for each item are one thing that needs to be looked at carefully.
+1. I don't know how doubloon costs would be changed, but there are certainly imbalances now. Removing doubloons from labor is a big change, though not necessarily impractical.

 
And hopefully wrapping up my shopkeeping rant: remove the dub costs from paint and put them on the paintbrushes, please.
Also +1, though I might support having doubloon costs on gold/purple/black still.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by jlh0605 at Dec 15, 2016 1:45:35 PM]
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xelto

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And hopefully wrapping up my shopkeeping rant: remove the dub costs from paint and put them on the paintbrushes, please.
Also +1, though I might support having doubloon costs on gold/purple/black still.

Gold/purple/black use up the paintbrushes faster.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
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Paulisma

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Are people who have been excluded to play the ''normal'' ypp ever again able to play this ''YPP 2.0'' without having the risk of getting banned as so called ban evaders?
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Paulisma at Dec 15, 2016 1:50:22 PM]
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Forculus
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jlh0605 wrote: 
1) Is gameplay any different if you choose light vs. dark (other than who you'll be battling)? I.e., will light-aligned players have access to different activities/areas than dark?

We don't necessarily want to limit access to gameplay based on alignment, but there may be some areas that are accessible to you based on whether the dark or light side is in control. There will be island "base camps" for each side.

 
2) Is the light vs. dark a permanent choice?
We want it to be a meaningful and impactful choice, but it's probably not practical to make it permanent. We're considering rogue marks as a way to allow changing alignment.

 
3) You mentioned making changes on this ocean that are too drastic for production ocean changes (accurate assumption, IMO). Will there be changes like this after the ocean has been released? Or will changes only occur while the ocean is under development, and be locked once the ocean is released?
We'll still be making changes on all the oceans even post-release. Disruptive changes (like shop destruction) will be in place before the ocean launches, though.

 
4) Only accessible through Steam - does that mean a new game, different from the existing client (though obviously with many similarities)?
It will be a separate client install which only has access to the Dark Seas ocean. It will still function the same and mostly look like the normal client.

 
5) Somebody is going to ask, so it may as well be me - will previously-banned players be allowed to play on this new ocean, provided they follow the new ocean's rules? If so, will it allow all previously-banned players, or only some?
Previous bans are still enforced on this ocean. As usual though, players can send in an appeal regarding old bans.

 
6) SMH's will rotate availability. Roughly how often? Weekly? What will happen when we're within 8 days of the rotation, and someone wins an SMH map? Will the map have less than 8 days left at the time of winning? (Hey, I'm curious)
We're currently looking at roughly weekly rotations, where maps will spawn for only 1 SMH are during that period. However, if you have an older map for a different area, you can still use it.

 
7) Many gameplay mechanics will be different on this ocean. Will any rules be different?
If you mean rules related to behavior and enforced by OMs, then no, there won't be changes to those rules.

 
8) I look forward to seeing the ocean design, and seeing that may answer this question, but will the size of the ocean somehow scale based on activity?
There aren't currently plans for dynamic scaling, but we can always make adjustments over time as needed, just like the regular oceans.

 
9) Will BK's/Flotillas/BK Cades stay the same on the new ocean?
These are areas that can be improved as part of the release. There have been requests for flotilla improvements which is a likely candidate for changes. If you have specific suggestions, feel free to post them in this thread for discussion.

 
10) (Obvious question): Roughly when do you anticipate opening this ocean? Q2 2017? Q3? 2018?
There isn't a fixed date, and a lot will depend on player feedback as we're developing it. Possibly mid-to-late 2017.
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So many things I don't like about the plan....

1 You work on a shop and it gets destroyed
2 Pvps are automatic so if you don't want it don't sail
3 Only onr type of SMH at a time cause some people aren't overly selective anyway
-how will the NEW players even get jobbed (try making a new player and joining one now. No tells of who your main is.
-May have 30 min to an hour to KH or CI not 3-4 to Lantis, Cit or HS
4 this will only increase the clicks in the game
5 I don't want to start over I spent a few years building what I have
6 Had steam hated it deleted it don't want it back
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I know it's being talked about a lot lately, but will this come with new advertising?

My other main concern is,
 
A Sea Monster Hunt rotation so that only one type is available at any time, to help concentrate player activity and voyages into a more condensed area of the game.

I pretty much exclusively job on/for Cursed Isles. Do I just not log for the other 3 weeks, I feel like this idea may push more people away than it brings it. A large proportion of the player base also seem to either only play Kraken Hunt, or avoid kraken hunt like the plague.

The only advantage I see of this is possibly less elite Sea Monster Hunt runs, since everyone may want the flavour of the week.

If this were to happen, Haunted Seas needs a tweak, puzzling for 2 hours without being able to take a break - that won't ruin your chests in the booty division - is not fun. Pillages have breaks for frays, Atlantis has breaks for Cits. Even just tweaking the booty division to not punish you so harshly for lazing for 5minutes in a 2 hour run would help. I feel like this is largely to do with the small number of divisions you get in a HS run though, only usually about 5, compared to nearer 10 for the average Citadel run.
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Forculus:

Thanks for the answers. I look forward to more discussion.
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We're excited to announce some big plans that we've been working on for Puzzle Pirates later in 2017. We are going to be adding a new Ocean as part of a release that we're calling...


So will the ocean be called Dark Seas, or is that just the name of the release?

If Dark Seas is not the name, will we be able to vote on what the new name will be, like when the ocean merge happened?
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So many things I don't like about the plan....

1 You work on a shop and it gets destroyed
2 Pvps are automatic so if you don't want it don't sail
3 Only onr type of SMH at a time cause some people aren't overly selective anyway
-how will the NEW players even get jobbed (try making a new player and joining one now. No tells of who your main is.
-May have 30 min to an hour to KH or CI not 3-4 to Lantis, Cit or HS
4 this will only increase the clicks in the game
5 I don't want to start over I spent a few years building what I have
6 Had steam hated it deleted it don't want it back


You don't have to play on the ocean then. Emerald and Meridian are still an option.
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majestrate :
Hera is a guy though, so....maybe not Housewives
[Dec 15, 2016 2:02:23 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jcmorgan6

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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3) If they are banned for harassment: Ok c'mon now. People cry over everything. If a player is harassing you, then be smart: log off and shut down your computer. You don't need to ban people for that!


Take this from someone who has been temporary banned for Harrasment. I stopped the other player from being able to run their expo run by constantly engaging their boat, and just wasting their, and all their jobbers time. This was obviously ban worthy.
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Jjc on Emerald
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[Dec 15, 2016 2:03:45 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Paulisma

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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Seeing PvP is quite a significant part of this new ocean, I'd like to say that the pillage board for a PvP is way too big right now. It's so easy to run for people and therefore a PvP is barely ever succesful and mostly just a waste of time. This is also a reason, however not the biggest, that PvPs are barely ever occur these days. A good change would be to decrease the board so ships are forced to stay closer to each other, or maybe add something like flags (first to 25 points for example), like blockades, so you are somewhat forced to stay close to them to be able to win the PvP. Maybe even another ''mini-game'' that I can't think of right now that gives you a way to finish a PvP without actually sinking/grappling the opponent.
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[Dec 15, 2016 2:04:45 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Filthyjake

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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3) If they are banned for harassment: Ok c'mon now. People cry over everything. If a player is harassing you, then be smart: log off and shut down your computer. You don't need to ban people for that!


Take this from someone who has been temporary banned for Harrasment. I stopped the other player from being able to run their expo run by constantly engaging their boat, and just wasting their, and all their jobbers time. This was obviously ban worthy.


Now it won't be your fault it will be a game mechanic auto pvp's
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Filthyjake all oceans (Obsidian Primary)
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[Dec 15, 2016 2:06:09 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Forculus
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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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So many things I don't like about the plan....

1 You work on a shop and it gets destroyed
2 Pvps are automatic so if you don't want it don't sail
3 Only onr type of SMH at a time cause some people aren't overly selective anyway
-how will the NEW players even get jobbed (try making a new player and joining one now. No tells of who your main is.
-May have 30 min to an hour to KH or CI not 3-4 to Lantis, Cit or HS
4 this will only increase the clicks in the game
5 I don't want to start over I spent a few years building what I have
6 Had steam hated it deleted it don't want it back

We definitely understand that these changes won't appeal to everyone. That's a big part of why we decided to limit the more disruptive changes (like the ones you mentioned) to just the new ocean. Those changes won't affect the current oceans.
[Dec 15, 2016 2:06:26 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jcmorgan6

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As a counter suggestion to the SMH ideas.

"jc you could suggest increasing the booty for certain SMHs weekly instead" - Karthika.

I feel like this is a good compromise between your current plan, and what I feel is best for the community.
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[Dec 15, 2016 2:06:38 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Whysa1



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I simply don't get it. What is the point of making a new ocean when we can't even get ~100 players on the oceans that are already out there.... Meridian had 50 players online last night...

What we really need is 1 ocean!! So whenever someone new starts this game, they are all connected with everyone at the same time! Why are we splitting the population by making 500000 different oceans!!! lol.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a stupid idea? Godddd help me.
[Dec 15, 2016 2:06:50 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Forculus
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ak62 wrote: 
So will the ocean be called Dark Seas, or is that just the name of the release?

The release is called "Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas", and the ocean is named Obsidian.
[Dec 15, 2016 2:08:31 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
jlh0605

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Re: On the Horizon: New Ocean, Big Changes! Reply to this Post
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Forculus wrote: 
ak62 wrote: 
So will the ocean be called Dark Seas, or is that just the name of the release?

The release is called "Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas", and the ocean is named Obsidian.
Obsidian ... I like that.
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