• Play
  • About
  • News
  • Forums
  • Yppedia
  • Help
Welcome Guest   | Login
  Index  | Recent Threads  | Register  | Search  | Help  | RSS feeds  | View Unanswered Threads  
  Search  


Quick Go »
Thread Status: Normal
Total posts in this thread: 7
[Add To My Favorites] [Watch this Thread] [Post new Thread]
Author
Previous Thread This topic has been viewed 4416 times and has 6 replies Next Thread
ponytailguy

Member's Avatar


Joined: Aug 20, 2005
Posts: 8963
Status: Offline
Ocean Concept: Empire vs. BKs Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

NB: This is a concept for an entirely new ocean, from the perspective of a player who has only ever played on subscription servers. It is not necessarily intended to replace any existing oceans, although that'd be cool. In all cases, because of how differently this ocean would function, it would be unwise to convert an existing ocean to this new model.

I've been meditating upon four related problems:
1. How do we deal with island depopulation? How can this be addressed in a fair and consistent manner? Can we devise systems which cause the size of the populated ocean to expand and contract in response to player activity?

2. How can we re-centre the game? How can we bring it back to a tighter cluster of activities, instead of dividing the players across such a wide range?

3. How can we bring an ocean-level story back into the game?

4. How can we make core game activities, especially pillaging and shoppekeeping/merchanting/economy-ing, more engaging, rewarding and vital?

So I've come up with a concept ocean. Here's a map of how it might look.



This ocean is divided into two basic zones of control: the Empire, and the BKs. Both factions are essentially neutral to players: you do not have to join either side, and you are not in any way punished or limited in your scope of activities by the presence or involvement of these factions. (It's not like World of Warcraft where you pick one or the other.)

The Empire owns the core group of islands, and has established strong fortifications on each of them. These islands will never leave Empire control, nor will they ever be decolonized. The Empire grows and expands its influence by driving back the Brigand Kings and expanding into uncontrolled territory:

1. Colonizing islands.
2. Conducting patrols between colonized islands, and -- occasionally -- into uncontrolled territory.
3. Conducting raids on BK flotillas.
4. Amassing resources, especially raw materials.

The BKs control the outer reaches of the game map, but do not colonize individual islands: they inhabit flotillas which are kept in slow-but-constant motion in the world's safe zones. These flotillas are equipped with inns, housing, ramshackle shoppes and black markets: players may visit, and even live on, a BK's flotilla.

Instead of colonizing islands, BKs seek to expand their influence by:

1. Conducting raids on Empire-controlled islands.
2. Decolonizing Empire-owned islands. (Remember, the core islands cannot be decolonized.)
3. Driving back Empire patrols.
4. Amassing resources, especially finished products which cannot be manufactured aboard a flotilla.

-----

How do the factions do these things?

Every colonized island and flotilla is assembling fleets: there's always a Defense Fleet, and -- sometimes -- an Expeditionary Fleet. These fleets consume finished goods, and every shoppe will produce at least one type of good which is of interest to these fleets. For example, shipyards build ships, which fleets will purchase; ironmongers build cannonballs; distilleries make rum; and so on. But furnishers will make crates of Fine Furnishings, apothecaries will make Rations, tailors will make Uniforms, etc.: these commodities are not of interest to players (you can't "wear" a uniform), but can be sold to Empire and BK fleets for a profit.

Defense Fleets consume goods at a given rate, and must be continuously topped off. This fleet defends the island or flotilla against blockades and raids, and -- if in surplus -- will launch patrols to clear enemy vessels out of the water, raid merchants affiliated with the other faction, proactively seek to prevent raids and blockades, and clear the waters for their own allies.

Expeditionary Fleets are significantly larger, and stockpile goods until they reach a fixed level of preparedness, when they go on a raid. The whole fleet decamps en masse, sails to a fixed location, and blockades it. In general, the Empire will only blockade islands which are very close to islands they already control, and will only raid flotillas they believe to be weak and poorly-defended.

If the Empire blockades an island, the BKs will collectively decide whether or not they wish to defend it. If they lack for resources, they won't, and the Empire simply takes it; if they've got plenty to go 'round, they will.

If the BKs blockade an Empire island, there is always a defence, built around that island's defense fleet; ditto for Empire raids on Flotillas.

Players can job in these blockades. But they can also sail a ship up to it and get involved, pledging support to one side or the other. This does not permanently bind you to one team or the other, you're just picking a side for the blockade. As you blockade, you accrue points for influencing buoys and sinking enemy vessels.

If your team wins the blockade, the island or BK's defense fleet (all those ships, all those supplies and resources, etc.) is divided among you in proportion to how much you helped. In the case of the Empire blockading an uncolonized island, the ally who provided the most assistance also wins the island, governing on behalf of the Empire. (Your flag owns the island, but the Empire will assemble the defense fleet, the Empire will attract merchants, etc.) In the case of a BK blockading a colonized island, the BKs split the defense fleet and a chest of PoE, dividing it among their allies. If they haven't been driven from the island a week later, they dust everything and return it to neutral. And in the case of the Empire raiding a BK flotilla, if the BK loses, the Empire will divide the defense fleet, divide a chest of PoE, and will also force the BK to escape to a new flotilla in the deepest part of the uncontrolled world, where they'll begin rebuilding.

Players can still blockade one another. The Empire doesn't actually care who runs the island, just so long as they stay with the right faction. In this case, the defense fleet will not mobilize to defend the island, because that fleet belongs to the Empire -- which is not taking sides. The defense fleet only kicks in to defend the island against BKs.

-----

For merchants, this concept ocean doesn't just offer new commodities, it also offers a new model for making money.

You see, all those uncontrolled islands are where the rare materials are -- but the only safe place to own a shoppe is in the middle of the ocean, where the BKs will never blockade. And as the BKs have no way of manufacturing finished goods -- they can hardly even manufacture rum and cannonballs -- it becomes much more economical than it presently is to make money as a merchant.



Raw materials from the outer reaches of the ocean must be shipped to the centre, where shoppes and stalls convert them into finished materials, which can either be sold at the centre (to the Empire or for whatever players are willing to pay), or shipped back out to the BK flotillas around the outer rim. (The BKs will pay a fair premium for goods they can't manufacture themselves.)

As you might imagine, this means it can be very valuable to own a shoppe or island along the frontier (easier access to raw materials, easier access to the most profitable markets, etc.), which helps to offset the risk of owning a shoppe which is in danger of being dusted.

And as a result of this renewed need for crossing the ocean to acquire supplies and finished goods, merchants -- and brigands -- will be more active than ever before, opening up new potential for pillagers. Imagine beating up on a merchant and recovering valuable commodities or crates of fine furniture instead of, like, six limes.

----

This ocean would incorporate elements of ship dusting (defense and expeditionary fleets get chewed up), ocean expansion and contraction (the faster the Empire builds expeditionary fleets, the faster the ocean expands; if the Empire's defense fleets fall behind, the ocean contracts as BKs decolonize outlying islands), shoppe dusting (if your Empire island is blockaded and nobody dislodges the BK, your shoppe disappears), more activity for merchants, more activity and rewards for pillagers, and a high-order ocean story which should appeal to those who are into that kind of thing.

There are also obvious ways to expand it even further: for example, certain items of clothing might only be purchasable by people who have accrued a certain reputation with the Empire or BKs, or certain commodities might only be redeemable at Flotillas or the central Empire palace. (Beat an Empire merchant, recover her Shiny Medals, and claim a bounty the next time you're at a BK Flotilla; beat a BK brigand, recover his Secret Orders, and claim a bounty at the central Empire palace.)
----------------------------------------
The Ghost of Oceans Past
----------------------------------------
[Edit 4 times, last edit by ponytailguy at Apr 27, 2016 12:30:46 AM]
[Apr 9, 2016 4:29:23 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
ForumBoocher

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 28, 2008
Posts: 102
Status: Offline
Re: Ocean Concept: Empire vs. BKs Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Hate it that this got no play m8.... I really, really enjoyed giving it a read and I think your ideas would make for a far more engaging and entertaining ocean than what we have currently. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put this fun concept into words!
----------------------------------------
Alexjustalex
Natural Born Chillers
Emerald Ocean
[Apr 23, 2016 7:27:31 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
christopaz



Joined: Sep 10, 2008
Posts: 1
Status: Offline

Re: Ocean Concept: Empire vs. BKs Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Very well done! Maybe this could be part of a grand-reopening or something. Or just an event of sorts. But so much better being a stand-alone ocean.
[Apr 24, 2016 4:40:13 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 25, 2003
Posts: 7328
Status: Offline
Re: Ocean Concept: Empire vs. BKs Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Looks good to me.
----------------------------------------
Starhawk of Mad Mutineers, Azure
Catalina of Twilight's Sabre, Cobalt
[Apr 26, 2016 3:21:43 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
jlh0605

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 1, 2007
Posts: 2243
Status: Offline
Re: Ocean Concept: Empire vs. BKs Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

Interesting concepts! I particularly like the fact that, as a whole, shopkeepers have a motivation to work together, since not working together can equal losing the shoppe.

Would there be any player-owned shoppes on the central Empire islands? Maybe only stalls instead?

I can't decide which idea I like more for a potential new ocean: this one, or the one mentioned earlier with central ringer-controlled islands and then zones for BK's/Empire/etc.
----------------------------------------
~Jamesh on Emerald
Avatar by PixelPixie

Galene tells ye, "You are awesome."
[Apr 26, 2016 9:38:43 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Hidden to Guest [Link]  Go to top 
ponytailguy

Member's Avatar


Joined: Aug 20, 2005
Posts: 8963
Status: Offline
Re: Ocean Concept: Empire vs. BKs Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

 
Would there be any player-owned shoppes on the central Empire islands? Maybe only stalls instead?
The Empire islands are essentially Ringer islands by another name, and could certainly have shoppes through the existing systems. (But, yes, definitely bazaars and stalls.)

Incidentally, this model also means that, along the frontier islands, shoppekeepers must take an active interest in the island's politics and well-being generally: you've got to pump goods and ships into that defence fleet and keep it topped off, or the BKs will come knocking. (And that, in turn, implies a degree of cooperation between shoppekeepers and governors which is absent at present.)

The trade-off is that, to make this easier, you would need more passive NPC merchant traffic -- but this also means that players are likelier than ever before to encounter NPC merchants, and attack NPC merchants, and recover actual useful commodities and goods from those NPCs, instead of going to all the trouble of a sea battle to recover a few stacks of hemp and some grog.
----------------------------------------
The Ghost of Oceans Past
----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by ponytailguy at Apr 27, 2016 12:38:22 AM]
[Apr 27, 2016 12:32:48 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
ForumBoocher

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 28, 2008
Posts: 102
Status: Offline
Re: Ocean Concept: Empire vs. BKs Reply to this Post
Reply with Quote

I like this idea of two NPC factions, so that regardless of the state of PVP politics (it can be as stagnate as it wants, even if thats not the ideal) there is still conflict on the ocean, meaning blockades and a followable storyline. I think as the ocean grew those PVE storylines might become less important, as bigger flags and coalitions started running the BK off the outside islands, which would make for very stiff competition and an interesting dynamic!

The whole concept of BKs becoming more than just kinda names associated with the blockades and flots, turning their fleets into a presence in the pillaging scene around their islands, and making their politics important is very attractive. I've always thought that the game would take on a whole new level of excitement if players were able to band together against a larger stronger force (Like the old 40 power BK cades but on a broader scale) and making the BKs a more solid entity, along with the empire in this example, could accomplish that I think.

Theres also the idea of flags allying themselves with one faction or another (I don't know how the system of alliances/wars would work with NPC flags, it could be a payment option or sink a certain number of one governor/admiral's ships etc), or declaring war on one of those factions to take the island from one of them... Pillages engaging a certain BK-affiliated bot suddenly become very exciting and very dangerous... could give them much higher payoffs to make them worth it? Allying with the empire... Could mean that within the empire safe zones, you're basically unmolested on trade runs? Very very few brigands or anything attacking you? Maybe other trade related benefits, but the Bks don't like that and hunt you down when you start to venture out into the reaches?

Another tangential idea... get rid of regular brigands, mostly, and have most or all of the brigs/barbs be connected to a BK (and another class of basically the same connected with the empire). Could be some kind of reputation system that could earn you access to special items etc that you mentioned earlier within each faction/BK.

Haha, rambling, but it would be even more cool if basically there were BKs on the empire side. Like Admirals in their navies/ governors of islands that the BKs develop special rivalries with and that influences the reputation stats even more or brings about special opportunities etc etc. I'll shut up now.

This concept is quite excellent, and has really grabbed my imagination. Thank you for that!
----------------------------------------
Alexjustalex
Natural Born Chillers
Emerald Ocean
[Apr 30, 2016 7:07:32 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
[Show Printable Version of Thread] [Post new Thread]

Puzzle Pirates™ © 2001-2020 Grey Havens, LLC All Rights Reserved.   Terms · Privacy · Affiliates