Carribean: Pirates (personal mod discussion)

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kalarhan

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Carribean: Pirates

I am planning a new personal mod for this fun game. It won't be made public (available for download).

Inspiration:
It was fun to play the storyline, but after 20 hours I don't feel like playing another campaign. The game has a lot to offer. Interesting setting. Nice scenes, ship models, and special missions (like attacking a fort from the sea). Engine with improvements for polearms, sea combat, ...

I just feel that the game tried to be a MB: Pirates game, instead of a Pirates game. What does that mean?

1) Respawn rates: too high
2) Ships parties: too many of them, and they have too many ships, in special military ships
3) Field combat (boarding or land) is too fast (damage is too high, AI ability in melee too low, agents die too fast)
4) Ship combat is too fast
5) Time makes no sense (a campaign last only a few days/weeks)
and so on

Its a similar problem we see on MB mods. They try to follow the Native rules, which is fine, but gets tiring after you play too many hours :XD. I don't want a hybrid RPG-Strategy-Action-4x-Whatever. I wanted a more focused experience.

The lack of feedback/discussion and released mods means I can't check other players opinions easily, so I thought that sharing this my inspire a few of you to help me make this mod better  :grin:
Note: this is my opinion, I don't expect any other player to agree on any of these points.


Design:
So what I would like to see/do for my own edition of the game (and can be done in ~20hours of modding)

0) Remove all features from the game to start from zero (scratch).
Keep the scenes, models, sounds, shadders, etc.
Remove scripts, triggers, troops, ...
(I will copy/bring back individual features with tweaks as needed. Working my way up, instead of down the code. So no useless code, or million lines of code to search for what I want).

1) Setting
Player as a pirate, member of weak pirates alliance. Similar to the TV Show Black Sails (no way to form your kingdom, join another kingdom, etc). You are a pirate. And you will die a pirate (or retire!).

No RPG. No 4x. Its a action (combat) game, with elements of strategy (world map interaction, and management of your crew/ship).

Companions as ship officers (quartermaster, medic, first officer, bodyguard, etc).

Nassau will be the "free city". Any other location will be removed/given to European powers.

No king or marshal in your faction (Pirates).

As a member of the pirates council, from time to time you may join a alliance mission like "Raid Town X", "Hunt Down Treasure Ship", etc, which would allow you to join forces with other pirates (form a fleet).

You can only control 1 ship in combat. You may capture another ship, but that one won't be used in combat.

2) World
Low respawn rate (for lords, etc)

No bandit parties (land), with exception of natives in the continent.

Same world map from vanilla. I will test a new scale (make it bigger), depending on my tests with travel speed x passage of time

Time should reflect closer to real life. I would like a campaign to last a few years. Combat should only happen in rare ocassion and be special.
--> by changing travel speed and passage of time you can keep the same rate for the player, but change how the calendar works.

3) Economy
No enterprises, building stuff, etc

Rebalance ships cost, repair, upgrades

Economy is based on trading (caravans making to towns) and prosperity. Simple system, more akin to Warband/Strategy games.

4) Pool/manpower
1) Military Ships:
  A pool for ships in the Carribean world. How many military ships should be available at any time, and how they are distributed.
  Example: at game start you would have:
      1 ship-of-line
      1 second rate frigate
      3 third rate frigates
      10 fourth rate frigates
      ...
  Economy, passage of time, and events will add new ships to the pool
  If a ship is sunk in combat, it is lost (removed from the pool), and will not be replaced (magic respawn)
  Change game balance from sinking ships to focus on capturing them to your faction, or to upgrade your own ship (apply to npcs and player)

  The idea is to keep high ranking ships rare

2) Soldiers:
  Manpower will limit how many soldiers each faction has available.
  Economy, passage of time, and events will increase/decrease manpower
  (this means that a economy war will weaken the faction defenses, making it easier to attack their towns)
  Garison and faction armies are from the manpower value, besides other factors like wages

  Example: rich town could pay 150 elite soldiers, but there are only 100 normal troops available for the faction. So they can only hire those 100.

3) Cannons:
  Pool is also applied to cannons. You won't be forging them, so they need to be captured (taken from other ships).
  That means your ship may be lacking cannons. Or a town fort may be low on cannons. And so on.
  Economy, passage of time, and events will increase the pool.
  Sink a ship without taking the cannons, and they are lost.
  You can only carry so many cannons in your ship (not in use), as they are heavy (count as cargo). You can them store or sell them in Nassau.
  Combat will damage cannons, so you will need to maintain them (capture replacements) over time.
  The pool will be divided by calibre/rank (example: xxx 16, xxx 42). The idea is to keep high calibre rare.

4) Trade ships:
  Game will be more forgiven here, giving free access to low level ships. However, the pool will be applied to any medium-high rank trade ships. No more War Galleons to everyone.
--> I will check some sources to try to find real life numbers for them, and keep this balanced.

5) Sea combat
Should take longer (5-10 minutes of direct fire for similar ships).

Lower rate of sailors and soldiers dead

Lower hull damage

Instead of killing sailors to disable cannons, sailors will be killed/wounded.

Cannons will be damaged (can't fire), so there will be the sailor recharge rate + available cannons mechanic to control fire

Focus on capturing the enemy ship, not sink it.

Captains should surrender if ship/crew is out of action (few sailor left, no cannons, no sails, no soldiers, out of ammo, ...)

Check ammo for a ship (how many should be available)

Capture ammo when boarding a enemy ship

Capture cannons when boarding a enemy ship
--> another topic to research. How long combat took in real life. Damage. Rate of casualities.

6) Field battle
Simplify the groups to: infantry, cavalry, ranged. Only four, so you won't have 10+ icons to control on the strategic map
--> alternative is replace it with Warband Native controls for the player (move there, advance 10 paces, hold at my position, F1 control, etc).

Rebalance melee AI combat. They should be harder to kill by using defense.

Check values for guns. Recharge, accuracy, damage.

Check casualities values (dead x wounded). High impact with the manpower system.

Remove cannons from field battles. Keep them only for sieges.

No reinforcements waves.

Closer spawn (armies should be closer to each other).

Increase battle-size

7) Sieges
Review cannons damage against troops

Review cannons rate of fire

Check battle strategy. Should focus on ranged x ranged before charging with infantry? Do both at same time? Etc
--> this one is still early WIP


8.) Capturing lords
Sea battles shouldn't allow for escaping

Review chance of escape in a field battle.

Review ransom values

9) Cargo, trade goods, food
Replace morale system (RPG element).

Simplify managment of food.

Cargo should be simplier (less goods).

10) Troop trees
Review troop trees. Make them simple. Few troops for each faction, easier to balance game.

11) Items
Remove most items from the game. Another RPG element that is out.

Troops should have similar loadout among factions, easier to code/balance (French, English, ... should be clones-ish)

No more special npcs selling gear

Small selection from vendors. Rebalance prices around rest of economy.
--> a sword should not cost the same as a war ship :XD

12) Companions
Only a few

Start at higher level

No complains, personal story, etc.

Specialists (ship medic, helmsman, ..). Star Trek style. You can use generic npcs, or companions for bonus.
--> bodyguards would be a couple combat specialists

13) Game start and skills
Start at higher level (~20). You are already a pirate captain with a small ship, ready to grow your fame/infame. Background story: you were first mate of a pirate captain that died, and now you are in command of that ship and his sit at the pirates council

Your skills are focusing in personal combat (sword/gun) and leadership. Rest you will need to count on companions. Skill increase will be slow (stats/skill gained with levels).

Trait system idea will be kept. However, only applied to the player. No points gained with leveling up, but with events
--> Example: capture a 3rd rank frigate earns you XXX trait; capture a enemy lord in a field battles earn you XXX trait; kill XXX enemies with a gun and earn YYY trait



This is a WIP (work in progress). I will review this for some weeks, and use the time to read references/watch movies/etc to learn more about the time period and use them as inspiration. Also remember I plan on invest about 20 hours of development.

Any ideas/suggestion for game mechanics, features or research sources are appreciated. PM or reply here.

Have fun raiding!
 

kalarhan

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I got some interesting PMs and messages (here, website and Steam), so thanks for all sugestions!

I finished the coding and now I will be raiding with my pirate crew for the rest of the month  :twisted:
 
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