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WAY TO FIX PVE (and maybe even PVP ??)

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Currently, there is no risk & reward. 
You can encounter lvl 1 Mobs or AI ships the same as you can encounter lvl 40.
I am proposing a redesign of the way the map is layed out and implement a couple of new features:

ATLAS 2.0 if you will. It offers PVP aplenty, very rewarding PVE and much much miore immersion.
It should feature:
Reputation for Players and Ships
Bounties for AI pirate ships as well as Player ships
AI Navy ships that patrol and protect the seas against Pirates (AI and Human alike) 

It might include Faction warfare and Letters of Marque
and a very transparent but open risk & reward scenario. 

The map: image.thumb.png.0c2856fbe2be36bc96a4345690e986bc.png



No matter if only 4 freeports, or more, the idea / concept should be the same. The further you venture out, the higher the risk, but also the reward. 
The further you venture out, the less influence the official "Law" - > AI Navy has on you. 

every "semi-secure map area" has one capital. its the real Freeport if you will. 100% safe from AI predators, no Ghostships, nothing. But: the law is very strict. (dark Green spots) 
the light green areas is still under Capital control, but of course on the seas their control can only go so far. the first threats are here and will kill you, unless you are high level. you can dabble in pirate acts, but of course your reputation will suffer, thus increasing the risk of attracting AI Navy ships. 
Claims are possible , BUT the faction capital taxes the claims. (high tacx rate like 40%). as a trade off, they offer a semi-protected state. meaning if you are attacked, they MIGHT be there to help you in time. but its not a givenm and not 100% reliable. its basically dependant on how faraway you are form the capital. the further out, the longer the waiting time for official reinforcements, as AI ships will be send out to help you. but they have tio get to you first... 

blue dots on the borders are smaller AI towns with tradeports and shipping services. the blue dots as well as the capital are connected via an active and somewhat regular trade network of AI ships and Navy Patrols. 

sometimes the border outposts are hit from player and AI attacks. (it is possible to raid AI towns and cities)

the yellow zones provide basically some AI patrols, but they are much rarer. So harder threats emerge. 
Traders still need to go through these areas to conduct trade with the other factions and ports, but of course, they are at risk from pirates and natural disasters. (as well as AI)

it might happen that Faction Ais at war with Faction B and the traders are not traders but smugglers. or blockade runners... 
The areas here are fully claimeable by players. no taxes (except self imposed by players and alliances). no AI support from the factions. you are on your own. 

Traders are randomly chosing ther routes so base-camping or route-camping is not feasable. you have to set sail and look for them. Beware, you might encounter pirates yourself.

The red part of the map offers siginificant challenges. Harder mobs will spawn (high level). ships are rarer but offer significant loot. Land is of course claimable. IF you can consistently defeat the mobs, you have your spots of land only players will ever attack it. 

The brownish part is endgame areas. high end and endgame mobs, the biggest treasures, the rarest of blueprints and item drops. 

The red dot in the center is AI endgame quest for powerstones. if thats still needed at all. lands there are not claimable. Only the highest ranked players with the best gear can expect to survivethere and even they will most probably die. 

players can do what they can do now. BUT they have plenty options more.
Bounty hunting for AI pirates and players.
Factional Warfare (Letters of Marque) against the other factions. One, tow or whatever number of factions (Capitals) there are in the game.
Convoy Escorts, Mercenaries...  and of course piracy. 

Trading, smuggling, etc etc. 

For example trading in between capital and border ports can be done to get your feet wet , but the profits wont ever be really high. BUT it might be rather safe (and boring)
If you engage in trading between factions, we are talking very good profits, but also higher risk. 
you can also try to trade between "diagonal" factions, but you have ot chose between sailing for freakin ever OR risk of getting mowed down while traversing the high risk areas. 
you can import goods from red to yellow or green for high margins...


 one impritant aspectof this whole setup is player and ship reputation. 
the more devious and piracy acts a player commits, the more his reputatin will suffer and he will become more and more infamous (like in Pirates! back in the day)

your reputation (which differs from faction to faction of course) dictates and factors in, ho likely it is that you get attacked by AI ships. 
so changing ships regularily will help you to stay "under cover" more. with a high enough infamy , visiting a AI settlement (or a player settlement in AI controlled areas) might have a chance to trigger a AI Navy fleet. the higher your piraterank, the more and better ships will come for you.

This Rank is also calculated for not only the individual player, but his whole company (or even alliance). so you are guilty by the allegiance you show. 
even if you have never done anything wrong, you are still considered a pirate if your other company members keep enganging in pirate acts. 

The biggest difference compared to the system we have now it the clear risk & reward aspect, as well as a much more important role of AI. 
AI means gameplay and content. it means a backstory that offers options and opportunity. 

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Love it. The current setup where level 250+ alphas spawn on beaches where noobs are still banging the rocks together is patently ridiculous. I don't see how that idea got past the drawing board. Does anything think it's fun or realistic to have these mobs around, destroying your level 30 tames in a bite or two? Players leaving dozens of corpses a day? It's ridiculous.

Having a scaled system like that with progressive difficulty, is what it should've been from the start.

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