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Nemo
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Socialist NPPs Reply to this Post
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After much deliberation, the Union of Seagoing Non-Player Pirates have mobilized to better meet the needs of both player and non-player alike. The new rules of the sea for NPP swabbies (as will be present in the new release) are as follows:

NPPs will not be hired from the pool of "villager" NPPs wandering about the island. Villagers will still respond to challenges and engage in their usual witty banter.

Hired, seagoing NPPs (swabbies) will all be the same rank across the board. They will also all charge the same union wages. They are different in name only.

Swabbies will be hired by using the "hiring" button from your vessel. Note that this simultaneously offers jobs to player pirates as well.

As long as the "hiring" button is active, swabbies will automatically be hired to fill out your crew to optimal numbers (up to the maximum number of swabbies allowed for that vessel type--see below). Crews will need players to field larger complements.

If a player is hired (and raises your complement above optimum) while you have swabbies on board, one swabbie will leave per player hired. Players may be hired in excess of optimal crew numbers up to the maximum crew number.

As long as the "hiring" button is active, if your crew ever dips
below optimal sailing complement (when a player has to leave), swabbies will automatically be hired to meet optimal crew numbers (up to the swabbie maximum).

Swabbies may be fired as before, without limit.



Optimum Max Swabbies Max Players
Small Sloop 3 2 7
Large Sloop 5 3 12
Merchant Brig 8 4 20
War Brig 10 4 30



Example:

Nemo takes out a Large Sloop. His crew is 1. Nemo hits the "hiring" button and immediately 3 swabbies come on board. 3 is the maximum number of swabbies he can have and all are hired because he is still below optimum (5).

Nemo can sail if he wants, but he decides to have Peghead join him.
Peghead comes aboard. All 3 swabbies stay because the crew has still not exceeded optimum. They set sail.

A player responds to Nemo's "hiring" posting at the Notice Board. Nemo hires him and he comes on board. Immediately a swabbie leaves because Nemo's crew has moved above optimum. If Nemo hires more players, one swabbie will leave per player until no swabbies remain. Nemo could hire players up to his maximum crew of 12.

After some sailing, Peghead has to leave. Nemo's hiring button is still active. When Peghead exits a swabbie comes aboard to replace him because the crew complement has dipped below 5 (the optimal number for Nemo's large sloop).

The player decides to leave also. When he leaves the ship there is no change to the number of swabbies on board because Nemo already has the maximum number of swabbies (3) allowed for his vessel type.



This solves many problems and refines the roles of NPPs in the game to better reflect their original intent: to fill gaps in player crews, not to be player-commanded armies.

-Nemo
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[Jun 3, 2003 2:52:18 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Rengor



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Arr while the rest of us have been finding Nemo, Nemo seems to have found Lenin.

Sounds pretty interesting with this clone army of swabbies alright!

Will navy ships and brigands remain diverse, or will they also be taken over by the clones?

The large and small sloops should be ok with just swabbies onboard (although not knowing their skill level yet), but the merchant brig and the war brig can't really be sailed with that amount, but Im guessing that's on purpose and actually just fine with me.
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[Jun 3, 2003 3:08:07 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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This is not so bad for those of us who are on when there is a crowd on, but it's going to make life difficult for people who are on primarily when only a few other pps are logged in. It'll be interesting to see how this evolves people's behavior.
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[Jun 3, 2003 3:13:46 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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Will navy ships and brigands remain diverse, or will they also be taken over by the clones?

Navy and brigand vessels will remain populated with diverse crews of NPPs. Some are worse than the swabbies, some are better.

 
the merchant brig and the war brig can't really be sailed with that amount

Precisely. You will need to locate a crew of four humans to sail a merchant brig (it can actually be sailed by three players and four swabbies, but that's cutting things down to the wire). The large vessels are for large groups of human players, if you want to sail by yourself, you are limited to the smaller boats.
[Jun 3, 2003 3:26:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post   [Link]  Go to top 
Rengor



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I do like the potential in that it'll be the crews owning the seas instead of a rich player with unknown amounts of NPPs.
Im hoping its not too soon, there does seem to be a constant amount of players on, perhaps the days when I was the only one on is forever gone??

It will probably also mean that the amount of crews will go down, crews with a couple of players that are never on at the same time will want to merge with other crews to assure there's crewmen to take out.

Im also predicting less talking on the docks, with no need to chase down NPPs on the islands I basically no longer need to set foot on anything except shops and the ships. Actually if I could avoid loading the entire island when I step off my ship and just get a map to jump directly to a shop that would make me a little happier.
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--=== www.madmutineers.com ===--
[Jun 3, 2003 3:26:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
LonesomeCrow



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I agree with muffy. There's not much a person can do on a small sloop with only 3 people (1 PP, 2 NPPs). I would at least like to be able to fill all the sailing stations so I have a chance to get away from attackers.

Lets try an example with a small sloop.

Nemo takes out a Small Sloop, His crew is 1. Nemo hits the "hiring" button and immediately 2 swabbies come on board. 2 is the maximum number of swabbies he can have and all are hired, which puts him at his optimum(3). This means that in order to staff all sailing stations, Nemo has to hire 3 PPs, since every PP hired at this point will replace an NPP.
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Tarrna: [Insignificant] Senior Officer - Sinking Feelings

Sergio Aragones wrote: 


[Jun 3, 2003 3:31:33 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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LonesomeCrow wrote: 
I agree with muffy. There's not much a person can do on a small sloop with only 3 people (1 PP, 2 NPPs). I would at least like to be able to fill all the sailing stations so I have a chance to get away from attackers.


Aye, it will make it extremely difficult to get away from attackers, as I assume the npps will not all be fabulous sailors.

It will probably also cut down on trading runs quite a bit, as I think it will make it too dangerous to take out a large sloop (and perhaps even a small one) alone to make a fast run around the islands. This may be a desirable effect, especially given the current extreme shortage of raw materials.
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[Jun 3, 2003 3:36:44 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tw11st38r



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Sounds potentially scary... lets see how this works out...

Blackdeath
[Jun 3, 2003 3:45:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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It was my impression before that it certainly did not require all sailing stations manned on a small sloop to bring it up to speed. I haven't tried it for a while, though, so correct me if I'm wrong.
[Jun 3, 2003 3:52:06 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
Nemo
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It is relatively easy to get away from attackers when you would like to (compared to boarding). A skilled player who is running by himself with a crew of two NPPs can also play the sailing puzzle a bit while he manages the battle. As Blackdeath says, we'll see how it goes.

You do not need all sailing positions filled to reach full speed.

-Nemo
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[Jun 3, 2003 3:58:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
LonesomeCrow



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Nemo wrote: 
A skilled player who is running by himself with a crew of two NPPs can also play the sailing puzzle a bit while he manages the battle. As Blackdeath says, we'll see how it goes.
-Nemo


Really? I've often wanted to do this with Carpentry, but I'm not able to drop tokens while in any of the puzzles (other than the sea battle itself), or am I mistaken - I haven't found a way anyways

Nemo wrote: 
You do not need all sailing positions filled to reach full speed.
-Nemo


It's not so much reaching full speed that concerns me, but the amount of tokens generated by only two sailors vs three. If my attacker has all sailing positions filled, it stands to reason he will have an advantage over me.
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Sergio Aragones wrote: 


[Jun 3, 2003 4:06:43 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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homullus wrote: 
It was my impression before that it certainly did not require all sailing stations manned on a small sloop to bring it up to speed. I haven't tried it for a while, though, so correct me if I'm wrong.


For the small sloop, two good sailors or three so-so ones seem to be sufficient. For the large, three pretty good ones works. For the (merchant) brig, I've never seen it get up to full speed; I assume I need more good sailors than I've ever been able to assemble - I've had three or four players on it plus some good npps and only made it to about 3/4 speed.

All of this, however, assumes that you have sufficent carpentry (one Master or better is fine for the small, two Respected or better or one Legendary for the large, a bunch of good ones or three very good for the brig) to keep from taking on any bilge. The ships still seem to be very fragile. Given that you'll have to put at least one of your npps on carpentry (probably two, since I'm guessing they won't be that great), I don't really see getting up to full speed all by yourself all that easily, unless you happen to be an excellent sailor (or carpenter - I'll often take this one on myself on a lonely trading voyage, since it's hard to find an npp who is as good as I am).
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[Jun 3, 2003 4:09:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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As long as you aren't getting hit with cannons or sunk with bilge and damage from the trip, a single token placement can cause an enemy ship to overshoot you and have to spend a turn or two getting back into position, during which time ye can certainly get another token.
[Jun 3, 2003 4:11:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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homullus wrote: 
As long as you aren't getting hit with cannons or sunk with bilge and damage from the trip, a single token placement can cause an enemy ship to overshoot you and have to spend a turn or two getting back into position, during which time ye can certainly get another token.


The attackers have been getting a lot better lately, actually. You will get shot at (and possibly hit) frequently, and of course if you have all of your npps sailing, your ship will be falling apart as you flee, so you will be taking on damage and bilge from that as well. I've tried this...*smile*. I've also usually been able to escape; I'm definitely not saying it's going to be impossible, but since the update the single-token thing has often caused me to get shot up, making the overshooting afterwards less of a benefit. And, of course, making the rest of the trip that much more painful, as I now have to repair the damage and therefore move more slowly and therefore get caught more, etc. It can be a horrible horrible downward spiral.

I assume the intended effect of the revolt of the serfs is to make us go out with more players than npps. I believe this will be achieved fairly quickly. However, I also think the npp limits as set exacerbate the "all my jobbers left in the middle of the voyage" problem. I'll be much less likely to go out with anyone I don't already know and trust if I have to fear being left alone with just a couple of npps (and an inability to acquire more) somewhere in the middle of my voyage.
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[Jun 3, 2003 4:26:00 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Rengor



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Token production might be an issue yeah, if those npps have a skill of atleast respected it should be fine for tokens and speed.

And like Hom said if you do it right you can get away with few tokens too, more risky but it is possible.
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[Jun 3, 2003 4:26:32 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Vixen



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I gotta voice my concerns and side with muffy.

This will pretty much ruin the game for a lot of smaller crews and players who have to play at non peak US times.

During the UK day, there can be a total of 4 players on, even if that increased by a drastic ammount (we always gonna have a much smaller playerbase) its still gonna be hard to fill a small sloop up to a stage where you feel confident against brigand attack.

Some of us get our fun from the "plunder" aspect of the game, if I can't grab a boat and go out and terrorise something then I very much doupt I would pay cash to play it.


I also think this change will pretty much kill a lot of smaller crews, If they can't fill boats to compete with the larger crews then where is the fun in going out sailing (who command makes it very easy to know you hitting a soft target). At present with a full boat on npp's I at least can put up a small fight, maybe even turning the fight with cannons.

I know the npp thing aint perfect, but I fail to see how this makes the game fun for some of your non US players.
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[Jun 3, 2003 5:04:41 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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Rengor wrote: 
And like Hom said if you do it right you can get away with few tokens too, more risky but it is possible.


It's possible, and perhaps even probable, with bandits, but I think it's less possible when it's another, well-staffed, player ship chasing you.

Here's the scenario I see (and have experienced!):

There you are at sea, three leagues from Alpha, with your small sloop and 2 npps. All your jobbers have left you. Another ship with, say, five player pirates bears down on you. You're not getting enough tokens to twist and turn all that much, so they get a shot or two through your hull and then catch you, beat you up, and take your money and goods. (Perhaps I'm simply not as good at Sea Battle navigation as you and Homullus, but I think I'm at least above the average PP - I have to have something to work with, though.)

A couple of minutes later, they do it again. You're damaged, so you still have well over two leagues to go. You really can't get away now, so they put a few more shot through you. They can easily get you five or six times on the way home, maybe more. This can take well over an hour. You lose about half of your rum, money, and goods. (More than this if they're taking booty as well.) You limp into port with your ship torn to shreds, a substantial loss of funds, and a nasty cramp in your hand from trying to carpent. It is NOT fun. I personally will avoid doing anything that makes it likely that it will happen to me again.
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[Jun 3, 2003 5:09:54 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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What about some combination of the NPP ideas we've discussed? The "swabbies function" is a great way to ensure no pirate can be abandoned, and to make sure that somebody can take out a small boat for a little bit of any puzzle they like. If they don't take much money on the trip -- and the not-being-repeatedly-attacked fix ever makes it in -- they can get their puzzley fun.

And to be fair, the developers are by no means obligated to make things playable for any particular market or timezone. They don't need to make it workable for the UK, and they don't need to translate it into Italian. HOWEVER, it seems to me that any mechanism that makes timezone not-so-relevant could be a benefit to all players . . . not being able to play, realistically, if my crew isn't on tonight seems a bit harsh on a paying customer.

Flags may take care of some of this, where people can job with allied crews. Flags may well keep wee crews alive, which is good.

I guess I feel like people shouldn't be able to beat up on regularly-staffed PP crews with an NPP army. I also feel like people should be able to engage in some form of normal activity by means of NPPs.

What if the top-ranked NPP's won't job for players, since they're so famous?

Or -- this gets sorta number-y -- what if players can only take out so many RANKS of NPPs (depending on the ship)? That is to say, they can only take out the EQUIVALENT of what Nemo posted, but could have the ranks however they found them (so, having a better bilger at the expense of their sailing). This is done indirectly through budget, of course, but making it more direct (though not necessarily explicit number-wise) would give loner captains some options, again with the idea that they aren't taking out big ships full of NPP hordes. Basically, it would allow small crews or lonely pirates to hire a much better carpenter or sailor, and go from there, but with no better average ranking. And if enough PP's bailed, they could get swabbies still.

I take it swabbies will stop working if ye run out of money? That could be rough if swabbies aren't skilled enough to get players away from brigands, because they won't be on board enough to be a help if they aren't.
[Jun 3, 2003 5:36:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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homullus wrote: 

And to be fair, the developers are by no means obligated to make things playable for any particular market or timezone.


True, but realistically no matter where I live, I might get on at odd hours - say I can't sleep, or I'm up late, or whatever. So, I carefully form a crew of all Pacific-Time people, so that we can play comfortably for a couple hours an evening, only to find myself sleepless and logged in at 5 am and unable to go sailing. So, okay, I go read a book or log onto pogo and play some puzzles over there instead. For alpha/beta testing that's fine, but if I have to carefully coordinate with a half-dozen people every time I want to have a great deal of fun in a game, limiting the time I can do so to a few hours a day, at best, I'm unlikely to pay for it.

This is of course the situation as it stands now - I have no idea how it's going to evolve as there are more players.

homullus wrote: 
I guess I feel like people shouldn't be able to beat up on regularly-staffed PP crews with an NPP army. I also feel like people should be able to engage in some form of normal activity by means of NPPs.


I agree to both, and as my favorite form of "normal activity" is Sea Battle, I usually load up on npps and go looking for the Galleon...*grin*. A tough nut to crack, but tasty when you succeed! Why not take the smaller ship and go after smaller targets? At this point, it's often just not profitable enough, particularly as you're more vulnerable to being attacked. I still do it, but miserable experiences as described in my earlier post have made me significantly less interested in doing so unless a large number of my crew are on, which does not happen as much as I would like, though it's getting pretty good.

homullus wrote: 
What if the top-ranked NPP's won't job for players, since they're so famous?

Or -- this gets sorta number-y -- what if players can only take out so many RANKS of NPPs (depending on the ship)?
I take it swabbies will stop working if ye run out of money? That could be rough if swabbies aren't skilled enough to get players away from brigands, because they won't be on board enough to be a help if they aren't.


Well, it all depends on what problem you're trying to solve. Several issues with use of npps have been brought up here and in other threads. Specifically about the "army of npps," I still like the solution where some of the npps on board will simply refuse to fight when you outnumber the other crew. This allows you to take out a ship of whatever size you like without the "army of npps" problem coming into play.

If you want to trade, you can load up your brig with npps who will keep you repaired, help you sail, etc., but if you try to pillage with them, only enough to make it an "even" fight on both sides (selected at random, either by numbers or skill or both - numbers is probably easiest) will fight. If, on the other hand, someone tries to pillage you, you can go two ways with this. One is to let all your npps fight (they're your caravan guards or black-ship-equivalent or whatever), hopefully discouraging attackers, the other is to again make it an even fight, adding to the risk of trading but giving pillagers in smaller ships more of a chance to make the big bucks.

This "evening out during battle" option makes the use of cannon much more interesting and important, as well.
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[Jun 3, 2003 6:10:04 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tw11st38r



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Which brings up a question that I've been wondering about for a while... Will NPPs ever be able to cannon?

Blackdeath
[Jun 3, 2003 6:16:31 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BootyLubber



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I agree with Vixen. I sail with her all the time and at most we have four players on board the ship. How will we be able to attack? Is there any way you could just make the NPP's dumber and keep the limit higher? Most the NPP's we can afford are the cheap and "able" ones anyway, and are basically used as sheilds in sword fights. I really can't see us sailing with just four players on board and catching anything. I know that the Widows and I are going to be in bad shape with this limit.
[Jun 3, 2003 8:12:40 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    robotcho [Link]  Go to top 
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Vixen wrote: 
This will pretty much ruin the game for a lot of smaller crews and players who have to play at non peak US times.


There will be significantly more players at all hours.

Vixen wrote: 
Some of us get our fun from the "plunder" aspect of the game, if I can't grab a boat and go out and terrorise something then I very much doupt I would pay cash to play it.


Yes. Engaging in piracy is the central theme of the game. The only other theme that rivals it is community. Slapping a bunch of brutal NPPs together and playing the numbers is not.

Rengor wrote: 
Token production might be an issue yeah, if those npps have a skill of atleast respected it should be fine for tokens and speed.

And like Hom said if you do it right you can get away with few tokens too, more risky but it is possible.


On our DEV server I have been playing all day on a small sloop with 2 NPPs. I lost once, and that was more from choosing my targets poorly than anything else. I made a surprisingly large amount of booty and was able to evade, attack, and defeat opponents regularly.

Brigands are not an issue. You can avoid/defeat the ones who might attack you with very small numbers.

muffy wrote: 
It's possible, and perhaps even probable, with bandits, but I think it's less possible when it's another, well-staffed, player ship chasing you.


This is the real issue. But this release also contains the second-layer buffer that was discussed a long time ago. If a ship defeats you, it cannot attack you again for much longer than the 2-minute buffer that will still exist regardless.


As I said, I've spent all day playing with it (we've also tried 3-players against 1-player with 2-swabbies and such) and it seems to be a well-functioning plan. Letting it loose with you crazed bucannears will be the true test.


-Nemo
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[Jun 3, 2003 8:22:31 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
loftling



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More NPPs does not protect you from brigands! Reply to this Post
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More NPPs does not (necessarily) protect you from brigand attack.

Brigands decide to attack based on your "might". (The circle of color surrounding your ship). If you have less NPPs on board, then you will not get picked on by the big brigand crews. You will get picked on by smaller brigand crews, who likely will be a better match for your ship.

Don't decide that you hate this change until you've had a chance to play it for a while. We all like it here at the ringer HQ.

The two major advantages:

- Player crews will have more power. Not rich pirates that have invested 30 minutes pre-voyage wandering around an island finding the best NPPs.
- you will never be stranded for help unless you are out of money. You can instantly teleport swabbies to your vessel to help you sail home should your crewmates log off.
[Jun 3, 2003 9:05:56 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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loftling wrote: 
More NPPs does not (necessarily) protect you from brigand attack.

Brigands decide to attack based on your "might". (The circle of color surrounding your ship). If you have less NPPs on board, then you will not get picked on by the big brigand crews. You will get picked on by smaller brigand crews, who likely will be a better match for your ship.


Aye, I'm aware - I often go with a tiny crew when I want to do a very quick trading run for this very reason. However, if they DO decide to attack, I really can't run very well, and often have to take my chances in the battle. Which is distressing if I have a cargo, especially these days when there's already little or no profit in cargo.

loftling wrote: 
- Player crews will have more power. Not rich pirates that have invested 30 minutes pre-voyage wandering around an island finding the best NPPs


That was update before last...*grin*. These days, I just nab the first several I see, though I do give preference to great carpenters. I generally go for cheap as well, else there's little profit in the voyage.

loftling wrote: 

- you will never be stranded for help unless you are out of money. You can instantly teleport swabbies to your vessel to help you sail home should your crewmates log off.


We can already do this in part, by whisking to home island and then popping back on board with a following. I'll wait to see what it's like, but while the immediacy is excellent, the being left at sea with a tiny, medium-quality crew still sounds scary.
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[Jun 3, 2003 11:16:20 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
berk



Joined: Jan 16, 2003
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This makes me nervous Reply to this Post
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Yes. Engaging in piracy is the central theme of the game. The only other theme that rivals it is community. Slapping a bunch of brutal NPPs together and playing the numbers is not.


I like being encouraged to socialize but I hate being forced to socialize. If running a ship by myself, which I do often, becomes impossible, well that would certainly lower my enjoyment of the game significantly. Slapping together a bunch of brutal NPPs to go pillaging was a lot of fun and was the only remaining way to make fat loads of cash.

I'll wait until I've tried the results before getting into too much of a tizzy, but I must admit I am highly concerned about this change. I don't mind all NPPs having the same stats or charging the same fees, that seems like a fine simplification. Being able to hire NPPs mid-trip will be great for when a fiend loses connection or his wife gets home and makes him stop playing. Encouraging player crews instead of NPPs is fine, any MMO game should encourage socialization. The part that scares me the most, however, is that you consider forced grouping to be viable design option. You should never force your players to do anything, they are perfectly capable of determining what they enjoy all on their own.
[Jun 3, 2003 11:23:46 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Nemo
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Re: This makes me nervous Reply to this Post
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berk wrote: 
The part that scares me the most, however, is that you consider forced grouping to be viable design option. You should never force your players to do anything, they are perfectly capable of determining what they enjoy all on their own.


This is only considered "forcing" because we gave you the opportunity to approach it differently before. We are forcing you to play puzzles in order to accomplish tasks. We are forcing you to wear piratey clothes. We are forcing you to choose a character that looks like a cartoon.
It is a gameplay decision to focus the game around player cooperation, just as it is a gameplay decision to make the game about cartoon pirates and puzzles. The NPPs as they were undermined this decision, so we are changing them to bring the focus back to groups of players (and solve some other things as well).

berk wrote: 
Slapping together a bunch of brutal NPPs to go pillaging was a lot of fun and was the only remaining way to make fat loads of cash.


It is interesting that your statement effectively argues both your point and ours. The conflict lies within the goals. You want to engage in the largest monetary payoff in the game without dealing with other players, and have player cooperation be a secondary option. We want player cooperation to yield the highest monetary payoff, and single-player seafaring to be a secondary option. As such, our approach to NPPs will never agree.
To qualify that, we also don't want to alienate players who do not wish to cooperate with others. That would be fiscally unsound, above anything else. As you have wisely said, play the change, then get yourself in a tizzy.

At the very least, with this change we will be approaching the situation from a better angle as it pertains to our original design goals. We will be saying "how can we make our cooperation-based game still be rewarding for single players" instead of the other way around.

-Nemo
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[Jun 3, 2003 1:07:07 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
berk



Joined: Jan 16, 2003
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Re: Socialist NPPs Reply to this Post
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Again, I agree with your desired result of encouraging socialization, but my fear is that you will have made a single person crew impossible. I'm 100% in favor of making multi-player-crews more profitable than solo crews but with one player and two NPPs it is impossible to make money on the open seas. Maybe the economy will eventually get straightened out to where trading is profitable and maybe trading will be possible with a small solo crew but this change seems to directly prohibit solo pillaging. If you want to encourage player crews why not simply add a cash bonus to the booty obtained by a larger crew? Perhaps a 1 person crew only gets 5% of the hold and 4 person crew gets 20% of the hold?

My point is, when designing a game you should bribe your players into behaving the way you want rather than simply forcing them to do what you want. What I, as a player, want is the ability to make a profit larger than what I'd make solo-jobbing by solo-pillaging. I also want to be able to solo-trade. I also want to be excited when other members of my crew log on because those extra people will mean more money instead of just being another person wanting a split of the same shrinking pie. I don't want to be forced to hire random strangers who will moan about the booty cut and claim that I've robbed them regardless of how fair I am. I don't want to have D00d sp34king pre-pubescents on my ship.
[Jun 3, 2003 1:42:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Teirlap

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Re: Socialist NPPs Reply to this Post
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I, like many others, will reserve my verdict on the NPP changes until the actual patch is released and I tool around with it a bit.

However, I did have an interesting idea earlier that I thought would be worth putting to 'paper': some sort of 'New Pirate' tag which is applied to all newly created characters (although it should probably be keyed to the account age somehow to prevent exploiting). This tag, most likely found in their personal pirate page (not sure of the correct term for it, but I'm sure you know what I'm referring to), would identify them as a 'newbie' for other players to assist and/or ridicule and would serve a single and perhaps important gameplay function: when jobbing on a PP crew's ship, they would not count as part of the crew except when calculating whether or not the ship is at full capacity. What this means is that a newbie who might booch every duty puzzle he attempts is not taking up a crew slot which could be filled by a more capable Swabbie NPP. In this way, well established crews actually benefit from taking crewless newbies with them on voyages; if the newbie turns out to be somewhat competent, he/she ends up acting something like a 'free' Swabbie. Crews will be encouraged to take newbies out with them on pillages, and those newbies will take great steps toward becoming steely veterans like the rest of us.

Now, I'm not exactly sure how a newbie would get rid of their New Pirate status. My initial thought was that the privilege/stigma should be revoked either after a set amount of time had elapsed or the newbie had joined up with a crew, but Sadako made the interesting suggestion that the status might be given up once the newbie had achieved a passable standing in two or three puzzles (Distinguished or higher in Bilge Pumping and Sailing, for instance).

Anyway. That ended up being a tad longer than I wanted it to be. I suppose it's something to think about, at any rate.
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Frederico del Mar, President of the Emerald Company
'Merchants and accountants by profession, the Company's men lived by the ledger and ruled with the quill.'
~ John Keay, The Honourable Company
[Jun 3, 2003 3:10:06 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tw11st38r



Joined: May 10, 2002
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Re: Socialist NPPs Reply to this Post
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I'll post it again... we won't know how well/poorly it works until we play it.

Can't do anything but argue about it until then.

Blackdeath
[Jun 3, 2003 3:58:51 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
uzi



Joined: Apr 29, 2003
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Change is change and that is all it is. Reply to this Post
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I have my concerns about this new idea, too.
Sometimes it is frustrating finding NPPS, well most times, but it does get you in to the towns and you get to walk around and appreciate the great work the artists and designers of the game do.
When you can just click a button will we want to explore?
Things I like about the game include having my favorite NPPs to ask to sail with me. Ok, so I am a strange person. However, I have looked at that as part of advancing in the game, being able to know which NPPs are worth their POE.
Now it seems like it will take part of the thinking away from the game. When you choose a crew of PP to sail with ye it also requires some thought. Ye must ask them how long they will be with you.

I think this is going to depersonalize the game, for all of us anti-social types who rely on the internet for our life (of course I am not talking about me, quit thinking that........HAR). I mean right now it is a hassle part of the game, sure, finding NPPs and having crews abandon yer ship. However a pirate's life is not an easy one and this game with all the unepected things that can happen is so much like going sailing in real life that it can be scary or addictive. Honestly I have been sailing in real boats since I was a wee one, and if it can go wrong it probably will at one time or another. Just like in YOHOHO.

Give us some decisions to make. Don't make the game a no-brainer.

My 2 POE.
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Still hanging 10 through life and looking for the endless summmer.
[Jun 3, 2003 10:41:35 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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