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As we all know Colonies solved none of the problems that Empires had, save for offline raiding. On PvE servers it serves little purpose but to advertise your island on the map. I feel like it has it's place but it could be SO MUCH MORE. With all this talk of Factions I have my own extensive ATLAS OVERHAUL that should see surges of returning players. Functionally, these are minor changes... just to get it out the door and working. To tie it all together, though, it's a big undertaking. I haven't seen other threads tackle this kind of system yet, so I am going to bring my own ideas to the table. I am not going to be touching on QOL issues in this thread, that's for another day. Sorry. 1: The Nations System Overview Currently, the colonies system works by allowing players to join a company, and then an alliance of companies. This would not change. Companies and Alliances will still be critical to the game. Emergent Player to Player scenarios drive sandbox games like Ark, Rust, and EvE Online. The current claim system does little to provide the player with a "bucket and pail" to tackle the sandbox with. Currently without any tools or encouragement there is no reason for cooperation; therefor, the fun of the current sandbox is had by shoving handfuls into someone's shorts and eyes. Ergo, Mega clans, griefing, raiding bambis, and tears.... lots of tears. Due to it's limited nature the current system is pretty punishing for players. Another issue I find is that: everyone I know hates playing in a mega or simply not playing for themselves. I am the same way. While, I enjoyed my time with the likes of GypSEAS, Uganda, No No No, and TC I can not say it was ideal. I never felt like I was actually having fun. It felt more like a social obligation; one which only was needed to protect my meager stash of tames and a ship. The social aspect is and was a huge draw; and part of the reason I stuck around. However, once I got a taste of playing for myself on Private Servers/PvE/SP it changed my views quickly... it was FUN. Exactly the same gameplay... minus just about all of the problems. Players have made the system punishing. The issue is that players and even the devs carry the same ideals and gameplay philosophy that works for Rust, Minecraft, or Ark but does NOT work for something like Atlas. Atlas, has more in common with EvE Online than any other game, and thus; it should do as much as it can to try to emulate it. Therefor, the claim and PvP system should function in a similar way. Colonies already does this for claims (vulnerability window + wardec), which is great for large alliances; it is not great however, for solos or part time players. It drives player interaction toward raiding... and just raiding. No trade, no intrigue, just raids. I think a good way to reconcile this is to allow hardcore PvP, PvE and casual PvPers to exist on the same server. Alright, here we go: Players will be able to chose between four main Nations, all four of which are split into alliances. Players may also chose to not affiliate with a single nation or faction They may even chose to remain hostile to all four if they like. Each alliance decision has different drawbacks or benefits. Each nation and faction has it's own ideology, special blueprints, cosmetics, and benefits. The Nations are as follows: Eastern Empire Western Kingdom Norse Republic Southern Syndicates Pirate Cartels Eastern and Southern Empires form the "Golden Empires Collation" Faction. Norse Republic and Western Kingdoms form the "Western Trade Companies" Faction. Pirates will ignore and defend players who prove bloodthirsty enough, but this comes at the cost of Navy attention. The presence of the Nations has lead to different levels of "security" in the waters. National/Empire Waters: PvE except for players enrolled in Faction Warfare, pirates, or those under a PvP war declaration. (More below) Lawless Waters: Basically nothing changes. Outside of player alliances: anyone can attack you, you can attack anyone. Resources are the most abundant, wild animals spawn at higher levels and are difficult to tame, sometimes lesser mythic mobs (gorgons and yetis) spawn here. These areas surround Powerstones, rather than Freeports. International Waters: This is the same as standard zones under the current system. Semi-open PvP, any player can claim, decent resources, better wilds, less dangerous islands. Homestead Waters: These are regions hosted on the player's personal computer. Only they and people invited can access this area. (More below) Sovereign Waters: An extended version of island claims, this sets an entire grid to PvE and taxes all islands to a central bank. Once waters become Sovereign the company or alliance who owns the water can not be removed. (More below) Powerstone Waters: Only slight changes here. Convert zones to PvE and allow temporary builds. Allow taming of all non-mythic powerstone spawns if the player has the powerstone for said island. 2: Waters Explained. National/Empire Waters: These areas are owned by the corresponding nation, and take the current place of Freeports and Lawless islands surrounding them. Players are completely safe from PvP when in these zones unless they are at war with each-other or in faction warfare. Waters are patrolled by NPC pirates who attack ships and players on islands. Occasionally spawns WPE's. Faction Warfare most often happens in these areas. Players with sufficient reputation with either/both the Nation and the Faction Navy may claim certain islands. Faction Navy members get access to larger, better, yet cheaper islands that give more resources once claimed. (Areas owned by Pirate Factions also function in a similar way but are hostile to "good" players. ) Players who's companies are at war are able to attack each-other in these zones. Limited verity of resources spawn in these areas. Travel to other areas required to make anything better than FINE bps, thus encouraging trade, travel, and piracy. Homestead Waters: Meant as a starting point and offline storage area, Homestead Waters host a single grid containing an island with a pre-built small shipyard, low quality map spawns, and crew recruiter. Homesteads provide every Freeport resource. Homesteads do not spawn useful creatures, but do however allow the player to breed any creatures regardless of conditions at a cost to the baby's wild level. Players may store up to TWO personally owned ships. Nothing stored at a Homestead decays and remains in stasis unless the player is present. All NPCs and Tames brought here are fed/paid at no cost to the player. Companies can not store company owned ships at a Homestead. As was mentioned before, this is just a place to start and tuck things away when you go offline for a long time; or a place for absolute casuals. Homesteads provide NO experience. Players are also granted access to a "lumber mill" which provides unlimited wood building pieces, and deployables only placeable on the homestead (not boats). Players must have unlocked desired deployables. Sovereign Waters: As mentioned before, a sufficiently advanced Company or Alliance can purchase a token from a friendly faction or nation to convert an area into a PvE area that can only be attacked under a war declaration or by an opposing navy. These areas can still be raided, however, the residing company/alliance can not be removed, nor do damaged structures remain damaged (boats and tames however do not regenerate) anything popcorned/left in bags is deposited into the claim flag. By default, only allied companies can build in these areas. Companies may have ONE sovereign grid. Declaring a zone Sovereign spawns uncontrollable NPC ships belonging to the player's company and allied navy. Players can be attacked in open water in these zones. The residing company must remain at a certain level of activity, pay gold upkeep, have settlers, and appease its allied Nation/Faction to maintain control of an area. Piracy: Areas claimed by pirate players spawn extra resources but are in PvP mode longer than normal grids/islands. They also attract a larger and more powerful than average Navy presence to the area. 3: Better NPCs "Drone Better. People make problem. Trust me... drone better." - Ivan Vanko This is going to be a quick one. NPCs don't do enough. NPCs should repair ships when at sea, be able to help farm, watch animals, etc. Make special vendors or quests to acquire specialty NPCs/crew. Allow players to place their own crew recruiter/NPC quest giver. As was mentioned earlier, more NPC factions are needed. Less reliance on mega groups to enjoy the game to the fullest. Having the ability to assign an NPC to a ship and it automatically patrol/escort the player would also be spectacular. NPCs need to preform anything players can do; busy work wise (raising tames, resource gathering, etc) Solo players should not need other players. Instead, players should always be better at what NPCs can do; rather than being a requirement. 4: The Content is the Reward. I've noticed that playing this game without PvP changes it's nature. In a PvP setting, PvP is the reward for 'content'. Doing a games content for a reward is a poor way to play a game, and a big reason this game ( and WoW) is doing so poorly. Playing the game should itself, be a reward; and it is only that way for PvE /local/Single Players right now. Rewards should be things that make content more fun; tames and buffs are on the right track for that. As you may have gleamed by now, under this system player actions result in the ability to do the same content faster, better, and in more fun ways. 5: Naval Battle + Ships. Deplanking in its current form looks bad and feels bad. Planks shouldn't disappear. Instead, they should form holes and catch fire/splinter depending on the damage taken. But, never be "lost" instead, they are repaired as needed. When "deplanked" they begin to leak as they would now. The option to surrender and turn over the ship/portion of resources to encourage piracy would be a boon. As an anti-griefing and a "fun insurance" measure ships sunk should have the option to re-surface them. For anchored ships, this is just a resource fee. For ships lost at sea, it should require the Submarine and a special token/feat. 6: Faction Rewards What would alliance be without benefit? As was mentioned before working for a faction/nation rewards you with reputation (or negative rep) used to unlock BPs, powerful ships, tames, NPCs, land rights, and cosmetics. Conclusion: I do hope you can see how all of this plays together to encourage ALL types of players. No one is left out under this system. Small groups, solos, and mega groups are each rewarded in their own way. Every form of player interaction is encouraged, and maximizes fun. Even with our current player-base this system would still benefit the players. I hope that even if this system is not utilized that the devs consider some aspects of it. I know if I were developing this game, this is the system the game would have come out with.
Firstly, to the devs - you have made a good(ish) game - I have put 376 hours into the game already Now, i came here due to the marketing and advertising and references to the similarities of what this game is compared to EvE, and how it rivals EvE... After 376 hours, I can safely say, It is nothing like EvE, It never will be, this was false advertising/marketing at a seriously bad level... There is no economy, no market, no "Safe hubs", timers are seriously way over-timed, You don't have too much of a reason to go out and exxplore, it is forced gameplay to the point, where you literally cannot play the game how you want due to devs introducing permanent stat debuffs unless you go and do something, Age is completly screwed - In 1 month I have aged 100 years, The lack of player choice is somewhat blatantly in the face but disguised due to "The freedom to move around" - The building placements next to enemy territory, all well and good, but now I can lliterally place a cannon 8 steps away from someones building... I don't even need to think how to attack a group, I can do it solo, Just wait untill the players are asleep and then attack, 1 cannon, 50 - 100 rounds... There is no reason to group up, if you do your skill tree right you can literally have armour, cannons, etc to be able to attack ON YOUR OWN... There is no thought of consequences, 90% of the time if your not in a big group you will be grindingg 100% of the time... Fire arrows are ridiculously nerfed, 10 shots and a bow breaks with fire arrows... Its fire and cant even burn through wood without 400+ arrows being fired at it... All I see is another Ark game, falsely advertised, wrongly marketed, painted with pirates.... I am dis-appointed that I was lured here under false pretenses - The whole "Define your own character" stuff is rubbish, I age 100 years every month.... then get perma de-buff stats unless I ggo to the FOY, which I will have to do every time, just to ensure my character is not weaker than everyone else... Just to be "Normal", How can mercenaries work, when it is too easy for everyone to get the best stuff within 1 week of game time... EvE literally takes 6 - 8months to get anywhere near competitive at PvP... I am not saying the game should go full swing EvE... But it certainly HAS to turn away from ARK... This whole 18 hour rubbish to capture a ship is ridiculous... Even if everyone is dead.... There is no incentive to be a mercenary, a Pirate etc - Sure its fun going round blowing up peoples stuff, but you are building a perma grind game for all the solo players/ small groups, you are catering to the carebears of PvP world who lets face it dont have what it takes to play a game with half a brain, there is no incentives for anyone to do anything other than "Build, Build Build"... Oh apart from the forced gameplay... There is no diplomacy here, Racism is far too rife in the community, All I see is weapons getting weaker, tames getting weaker, buildings getting weaker but harder to build.... Griefingg is a serious issue, a serious issue.... But you guys don''t care... You wont divide the map to safe portions etc... you wont merge the PvP and PvE servers and just make the map 4 times bigger... You wont spread the resources proportionately.... There are currently 4 ships, and all are about the same in ease of sinking - There isn't a reason to build a galleon when it can be sunk as quick as a brig, by a brig with 30 spare planks on etc... There is rarely any PvP on the server its more PVsleeping raids.... I'm writing this, because after all the game time I have put in - I am extremely let down by the ggame, It is literally one big rip off of Ark, painted and sugar coated, and at this point, I think it might be wise if the devs / company stepped up and explained to the community exactly where they want this game going... With a solid floor plan of what is expected, and not in one months time for the next update, but for the next two years... where are you taking this ggame? what are you doing with the game? are you continously going to cater to the carebears of PvP.... I would like some sort of answer, as, as stated I was lured hear under false pretenses and marketing, The game is good, but it is not at all why I came here and has left me feeling very disappointed and mugged off, kinda like asking for a mint choc chip ice cream and given a cabbage on a stick with a bit of mud....