Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Yakarue

The State of Harbor Building | Thoughts and Suggestions

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
Hey there, my name is Yakarue and I like to build harbors. I’m pretty okay at it and sometimes I like to go overboard. In S4 we held off quite a few attempts to get into our harbor and in S5 people stopped trying. But today I’d like to talk about the current state of harbors in Atlas. I think it should be challenging to construct an impenetrable harbor and I believe a well-constructed harbor should be incredibly difficult to breach. As it stands, it requires too much snap count and global tame limit to make a thoroughly defended harbor and the changes to land artillery damage to boats heavily exacerbates this.
 
The harbors themselves (the overall size, depth, opening) are not conducive to making efficient harbors.
Tons of island layouts have a great harbor shape and opening but the harbor itself is too shallow to fit any boats into it. Far too many islands have zero harbor at all. Some islands have massive harbors where 80% of it isn’t within the claim zone so it doesn’t get peace time protection (like my harbor this season where I've spent over 80 hours securing it because of this). There are only a small handful of islands that are of usable size, have a manageable mouth, and are deep enough for boats to get in and park. The severe lack of natural harbors in this game results in gross amounts of snap count abuse, which kills game performance and enjoyment. On new islands I’d like to see smaller harbor mouths with deep, large harbors behind them. On existing islands, I would like to see the team make sure each large harbor is deep enough for boats to fit in them. And the black rocks that we can now build pillars through should be fully removed from the game or reworked so that players can’t swim through them. They should just act as the floor.
 
Submarines.
The amount of work needed to prevent your harbor from being griefed with a submarine is incredibly unreasonable. The source of the problem is that Submarines are classified as Ships. So if you have your harbor defenses set to fire on Ships Only (which you should) a Submarine can sail past them and bait those defenses into firing. But since cannonballs have very low penetration into the water, they can just sit at a depth where the defenses will fire at it but won’t hit it, effectively draining and wasting the defense’s ammo. This can be done in peacetime as well. To defend against this, competent harbor builders go to ridiculous lengths to keep submarines out of their harbor—harbor walls going all the way down to the ocean’s floor and elaborate, slightly submerged gate systems with cannons above them that force submarines close enough to the surface to be hit. It results in a massive amount of maintenance work and snap count usage. A very simple fix to this would be to reclassify Submarines so they aren’t considered ships and/or add an additional option to the pinwheel for targeting.
 
Harbor structures.
Pretty disappointed we didn’t get a gate large enough to fit galleons through with the last patch/wipe. Not only would a structure like this save on snap count but it would just be a massive QOL change as well. It’s also another partial solution to the issue with sub griefing. I would also like to see a harbor specific defensive emplacement. Something with greater water penetration and significantly increased damage to boats and limit the number of these someone can place per island. Artillery damage to boats has been in a really bad spot for a long time now. Galleons with 350% or more resist + armored up with ceilings could stay alive nearly indefinitely despite being pounded by mortars and other harbor defenses. Last season I made a cannon wall with 420 large cannons. In part as a joke but in large part because that’s what I needed to build to keep the harbor secure. And even then it took over 2 minutes to sink a sub 300% resist galleon. Give us harbor gates for galleons and better artillery options specific to harbors.
 
Armored docks.
Last season they were in an awful place because of how easy they were to acquire. It made building a harbor borderline pointless. This season they seem to be in a slightly better place due to how constrained resources are. But by the end of the season we’re still going to see harbors full of them and I don’t think that’s healthy for the game. Islands should limit how many of these can be placed for force companies to choose which boats are their flagships and deserve extra protection. Armored Dock spam on owned islands is awful for game health.
 
Land artillery damage reduction with the last patch/wipe.
This change baffles me. I don’t know where the direction came from or what the purpose was. For the last several seasons (ever since boat resistance was introduced), land-based artillery has tickled boats. This includes Mortars, Medium Cannons, and Large Cannons. Currently a Medium Cannon does 74 damage to a 300% resist plank. A common galleon plank has 12K health. You would need 162 cannons to hit precisely that one plank to take it out. Large Cannons and Mortars are in a similar state. I drove my 0% resist sloop past a small cannon wall where it ate fire from around 10 large cannons. The only thing to die was the bed. One plank was down half HP. A SLOOP. This change needs to be outright reversed and then land artillery needs a buff beyond where it has been sitting for the last several seasons.
 
These are a few things that have been on my mind over the last season and especially this season with the change in damage to boats from land cannons. What do you think about the state of harbors?
Edited by Yakarue
formatting
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Yakarue said:
Hey there, my name is Yakarue and I like to build harbors. I’m pretty okay at it and sometimes I like to go overboard. In S4 we held off quite a few attempts to get into our harbor and in S5 people stopped trying. But today I’d like to talk about the current state of harbors in Atlas. I think it should be challenging to construct an impenetrable harbor and I believe a well-constructed harbor should be incredibly difficult to breach. As it stands, it requires too much snap count and global tame limit to make a thoroughly defended harbor and the changes to land artillery damage to boats heavily exacerbates this.
 
The harbors themselves (the overall size, depth, opening) are not conducive to making efficient harbors.
Tons of island layouts have a great harbor shape and opening but the harbor itself is too shallow to fit any boats into it. Far too many islands have zero harbor at all. Some islands have massive harbors where 80% of it isn’t within the claim zone so it doesn’t get peace time protection (like my harbor this season where I've spent over 80 hours securing it because of this). There are only a small handful of islands that are of usable size, have a manageable mouth, and are deep enough for boats to get in and park. The severe lack of natural harbors in this game results in gross amounts of snap count abuse, which kills game performance and enjoyment. On new islands I’d like to see smaller harbor mouths with deep, large harbors behind them. On existing islands, I would like to see the team make sure each large harbor is deep enough for boats to fit in them. And the black rocks that we can now build pillars through should be fully removed from the game or reworked so that players can’t swim through them. They should just act as the floor.
 
Submarines.
The amount of work needed to prevent your harbor from being griefed with a submarine is incredibly unreasonable. The source of the problem is that Submarines are classified as Ships. So if you have your harbor defenses set to fire on Ships Only (which you should) a Submarine can sail past them and bait those defenses into firing. But since cannonballs have very low penetration into the water, they can just sit at a depth where the defenses will fire at it but won’t hit it, effectively draining and wasting the defense’s ammo. This can be done in peacetime as well. To defend against this, competent harbor builders go to ridiculous lengths to keep submarines out of their harbor—harbor walls going all the way down to the ocean’s floor and elaborate, slightly submerged gate systems with cannons above them that force submarines close enough to the surface to be hit. It results in a massive amount of maintenance work and snap count usage. A very simple fix to this would be to reclassify Submarines so they aren’t considered ships and/or add an additional option to the pinwheel for targeting.
 
Harbor structures.
Pretty disappointed we didn’t get a gate large enough to fit galleons through with the last patch/wipe. Not only would a structure like this save on snap count but it would just be a massive QOL change as well. It’s also another partial solution to the issue with sub griefing. I would also like to see a harbor specific defensive emplacement. Something with greater water penetration and significantly increased damage to boats and limit the number of these someone can place per island. Artillery damage to boats has been in a really bad spot for a long time now. Galleons with 350% or more resist + armored up with ceilings could stay alive nearly indefinitely despite being pounded by mortars and other harbor defenses. Last season I made a cannon wall with 420 large cannons. In part as a joke but in large part because that’s what I needed to build to keep the harbor secure. And even then it took over 2 minutes to sink a sub 300% resist galleon. Give us harbor gates for galleons and better artillery options specific to harbors.
 
Armored docks.
Last season they were in an awful place because of how easy they were to acquire. It made building a harbor borderline pointless. This season they seem to be in a slightly better place due to how constrained resources are. But by the end of the season we’re still going to see harbors full of them and I don’t think that’s healthy for the game. Islands should limit how many of these can be placed for force companies to choose which boats are their flagships and deserve extra protection. Armored Dock spam on owned islands is awful for game health.
 
Land artillery damage reduction with the last patch/wipe.
This change baffles me. I don’t know where the direction came from or what the purpose was. For the last several seasons (ever since boat resistance was introduced), land-based artillery has tickled boats. This includes Mortars, Medium Cannons, and Large Cannons. Currently a Medium Cannon does 74 damage to a 300% resist plank. A common galleon plank has 12K health. You would need 162 cannons to hit precisely that one plank to take it out. Large Cannons and Mortars are in a similar state. I drove my 0% resist sloop past a small cannon wall where it ate fire from around 10 large cannons. The only thing to die was the bed. One plank was down half HP. A SLOOP. This change needs to be outright reversed and then land artillery needs a buff beyond where it has been sitting for the last several seasons.
 
These are a few things that have been on my mind over the last season and especially this season with the change in damage to boats from land cannons. What do you think about the state of harbors?

love it

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @Yakarue. I agree to all of your points building harbors(PvP) in Season 3/4 myself and now after a brake having a look on our current builders how they do it.

Island Design changes was my big hope for the new map but unfortunately the Devs did only change the map layout like every private server can do in 1 day as well. Every island should have a bay that can be protected and used as a harbor with 1 or 2 openings that should be possible to protect. The Bays should have a water depth of 15-25m, Galleons should be able to move into at least 80% of the area. To deep water is also worse because not needed and increasing structure spam. The Peace Time Protection zone should be visible and designed to match the island and Player interest in building a "safe" harbor. Islands should have some mountains or pillar rocks next to the harbor opening to have natural strategic mortar positions. Mortars on Player strucutres are pretty useless. But I still would recommend to reduce the height of all mountains and Pillar rocks to a maximum of 100-150m. High mountains to avoid cannon/catapult tame grief are good but stupid high mountains nobody need... it's just annoying to have 3-4 elevators until you are up.

Those "rocks" underwater need to be removed or changed to be like the real floor. Swimming and building into them should not be possible. But you need to be able to place structures onto them to build your harbor.

I totally agree to remove submarines from the "ship" list and give it an extra setting for cannons/balistas to aim them. Also submarines should have collision with wood/stone pillars. This would redcue structure spam to prevent submarines just driving into the harbor.

The new tame saddles for crab and tortuga with possibility to mount torpedos will maybe change the underwater meta. I did not test yet, but if they can shoot underwater it will be very easy to "open" harbors safely. At least this is a reason to tame tortugas again on PvP.

A Harbor Gate would be very welcome. Large Gates are so annyoing even if you use a lever. But most often sloops and shooners can just drive through if you don't place celings etc. But this is agai nannyoing that every ship in and out has to demolish those and replace. In the worst case a Player with higher company rank placed them and you can't remove it if he forgot to lower the rank setting. Hopefully such a mega - large gate will not cause more crashes while placing like the current once already do^^ Maybe such a harbor gate could be a moveable metall chain like it was used in the real world too. It could consist of two placeable towers that can be placed in two steps to have it more easy for players. The towers could fit very well into current building system/walls with size 2x2 or 3x3 and a height of about 15 pieces like large gates. The width of the chain/open gate could be ajustable from 10-50 meters for example. Tower health 20-30k. It would be more difficult to destroy as the chain may not have a hit box for torpedos or cannon balls.(maybe this would be to over powered?) To breach the gate you would have to destroy/hit one of the towers that share the HP. Currently the large stone gates are way to easy to destroy. Only real protection are celings in the doorway with mentioned issues.

Armored docks are now only for the rich players/ large companys. The price for solos is much to high. While this is good as large companys can not safe all of their ships(50k Gally + 60k dock?) solo players suffer like the old days.

The harbor defences suffer from several issues. They usually do not get BPs more than blue once = may ~140% but most often less. While ships can get level 60 (increased) and may level up to more than 200% damage or like you say 300% resistance. The defence structures under perform way to much. It's even difficult to keep a sloop out of your harbor only by structures and NPCs. So what about you could place an artilary defence flag for a small area that you could fill with gold to "level" up a small area of your defence? Another gold sink for the Devs and if placed on a strategic position in the harbor design a big upgrade. For example it gives 100% more damage for land based cannons in an area of 30-50m? You are maybe restricted to place only 1 or 2 per island. It could also work for mortars :)

 

Ha, so many points Devs could do something usefull. Hopefully they have long weekends and free time in the evening to focus on this not importand stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

All good points. I've built a bunch of obnoxious harbors too - most of which were better at stopping Xbox'ers than subs. I've brought up the sub thing a few times over the past year or so, and nothing... Honestly, I think that they're not willing or able (probably "able") to remove the 'ships' classification from subs. Code-wise, a ship is 'an ocean-going object that players can ride in or on'. So, they'd basically need to create an entirely new class of object for subs or somehow flag subs as 'ship, but also a sub' and tie a new cannon-wheel option to that flag, which might not be possible (or maybe it's just too hard).

Edited by Kast
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...