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Included in Build Salary

Discussion in 'Features Archive' started by Tingyun, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Tingyun

    Tingyun Corsair Storm Modder

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    At the outset, I want to clarify that I am not advocating making salaries larger in general (we all can of course easily do that or not with the options). Any changes that would come from this discussion could be coupled with other changes to base rates to preserve balance. In other words, this is not about trying to increase difficulty. ;)

    I think it is worth talking about two aspects of salary calculations that seem less than ideal.

    1) First, the player is currently modeled as a miser, who intends to greedily exploit and abuse his crew by repeatedly cutting their pay even as he himself becomes more successful and wealthy.

    By which I mean, the Iron Will perk and leadership skill cause a drastic reduction in crew/officer salary. Crew hire cost in taverns is 1/2 their monthly pay for a month with an average number of days (monthly pay differs by days in that calendar month), so easy to test out the effects, and we also have the formula from characterutilite.c: float leadership_factor = 1.0 - makefloat(leadership)*makefloat(1 + iron_will)/40.0;

    So for example, going from level 5 leadership Captain to level 10 leadership + iron will perk Captain cuts salaries to 57% of what they used to be, for both officers and crew. Meaning that in a natural amount of progression from early to mid/late game, the player will start paying his crew and officers only a little more than half as much as earlier.

    Personally, I would rather not have my character give his loyal men a 43% pay cut after they made him successful and wealthy.

    From a gameplay perspective, I also don't think the late game, when money seems to become more plentiful, is the time to give the player a salary deduction--better to smooth it out and give lower than current salaries in the early game and let them be a little higher in the late game.

    Perhaps we should consider Iron will and leadership slightly increasing in morale effects, and base pay being reduced from the beginning, and eliminating this particular influence on salary?


    2) Officers are paid very high multiples of a crewman's salary.

    Currently, an officer of the low 20s in level makes well over 20 times as much as a normal sailor. Even a low level officer will still be making around 10 times as much.

    Granted, it is only a very rough guide, but for comparison here are some salaries from the royal navy during some snapshots of the napoleonic period: Pay in Britain's Royal Navy : Napoleonic Wars : Napoleon Bonaparte :

    For the 1793 pay rates, surgeon would only make around 5 times the wage of an ordinary sailor, and a boson would only make about 3 times. In 1806 surgeons are being paid at a higher multiple, but other officers show a similar trend, carpenter at about 3 1/2 times the pay of a sailor, etc.

    Now, I'm not sure about privateer pay, but to use the article examples we have as a rough guide to what salary multiples might have been Articles of Agreement Between Captains of Privateers and Their Crews We see that the officers are generally making no more than 3-6 times as much as the landmen, and 2-4 times as much as the able seamen.

    From a gameplay perspective, I also think shifting some salary from officers to crew would make sense. In particular, it might make the vessels that can be manned with a smaller crew a bit more attractive (right now, crew salaries are so low I'm not sure that would ever be a consideration, when for a merchant it should be something to consider as affecting their profits). Meanwhile, lower salaries for officers might allow the player to retain some interesting companions they might otherwise feel financial pressure to get rid of.

    EDIT: Adding files:

    EDIT 2 added comments to files
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  2. Tingyun

    Tingyun Corsair Storm Modder

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    One note: As I mentioned in the modding forum, about to leave for a couple of weeks and swamped with preperations starting tomorrow. So although I will check back at least once tomorrow night, I will probably miss all of the discussion and debate given how fast paced things are. So please ignore me and just come to whatever decisions and consensus naturally form regarding the ideas.:)

    (For reference, if any part of the above ideas are to be explored, the relevant files are characterutilite.c for the iron will/leadership effect, and the internal settings for the ratios of base crew pay to officers.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  3. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    You might have a point there.

    But what logic would there be for salaries to go *up* throughout the game?
    I could understand if they remain the same.
    And better officers should get better pay, so that could indeed increase.
    But not the crew salaries, right?
     
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  4. Levis

    Levis Find(Rum) = false; Staff Member Programmer Creative Support Storm Modder

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    the game is still mostly build so it possible for lower and higher level players to do the same things while still being balanced (sort of).
    If we where to freeze the salaries probably in early game you will be forced to sail with a ship which has few crew untill you can make more money. I'm personally not agains this idea because I like it when you "grow" into your position, but I can imagine this screwing up some storylines if at the start of the game you are not able to sail with much crew, this could make boarding very hard.
     
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  5. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    At the very least, salary going down as the game progresses also means that the game becomes exponentially easier on that account.
    Money income increases, salary decreases, so it becomes less challenging throughout. Right?
     
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  6. Levis

    Levis Find(Rum) = false; Staff Member Programmer Creative Support Storm Modder

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    I think this is added because in the early game you will only have a small ship but in the later game you might have an armada of 4 warships with a lot of crew. So probably thats why the salary per crew member goes down quite a bit so you can still afford a very large crew.

    I do agree it might be worth looking into if we are able to tone it down a bit because personally I'd say if you have such a large fleet you must either be a very succesfull merchant or you must be very good at capturing ships because else you shouldn't be able to pay it at all ...
     
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  7. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Yep, if large ships and fleets are prohibitively expensive to maintain, then that gives players a challenge in the later game.
    But if it is easy, then that challenge isn't really there. It should be possible to do it, it just shouldn't be very straightforward to manage it.
    After all, there is a reason why Pirates hardly ever operated fleets of large ships.
     
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  8. Levis

    Levis Find(Rum) = false; Staff Member Programmer Creative Support Storm Modder

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    @Grey Roger and @Bartolomeu o Portugues and @Jack Rackham and @Hylie Pistof do you see any problems if the salaries wouldn't go down so much so it's harder to maintain a full fleet in the later game?
    Would it screw up any storylines or something like that?
    Capturing forts should normally be doable with 2 large ships right? And also in the tales of the seahawk the last battles should be possible with 2 or 3 ships or am I wrong?
     
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  9. Grey Roger

    Grey Roger Sea Dog Staff Member Storm Modder

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    I don't see a problem with salaries staying at the same rate throughout for one very simple reason. If you can't pay by salary, there is always the option to switch to payment by division of plunder. :rpirate

    Besides, unless you've been playing with the new variable limits, you can't have more than three companion ships in total. And indeed, if they're all big battlewagons then you're going to have a lot of expense - that's why, in reality, big battlewagons tended to stay in port unless they were really needed, and most work was done by frigates. Which means you can have a few big ships, berth them all, then pull them out when you're about to raid a fort.

    As for storylines:
    • Tales of a Sea Hawk: requires one big ship to take on Bridgetown fort. The final battle is certainly possible with 2 ships because that's what I normally use - a flushdeck frigate which I captured earlier, and one of Silehard's battleships from the Bridgetown counterattack, leaving me with two free slots to capture Sovereign of the Seas and Black Pearl.
    • Assassin: the super-xebec which you receive early on is so awesome that it's the only ship I've kept from start to finish of a storyline.
    • Bartolomeu: gives you the ships which are needed for the storyline. Nothing particularly large until you get the San Martin near the end.
    • Hornblower: for much of the game you're not a captain and don't pay salaries at all. When you do, you're in charge of relatively small ships, ending with a 6th rate frigate.
    • Ardent: you get a tier 6 ship early on, capture another one shortly after, and after that it's up to you what you want to use. A mission against a convoy puts you in charge of four ships including a couple of tier 4, stuffed with expensive cargo so you should easily be able to pay salary. Anyway, you're a pirate so why haven't you signed articles? :beer:
    • Woodes Rogers: if I remember correctly, this is mostly puzzle-solving and your ship is just a way to get from one place to another. Big, expensive ships should not be necessary.
    • Gold Bug: no idea, I haven't played that one yet.
     
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  10. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    So you agree it might be OK if salaries don't go down as your skills increase (as they do now), but it's a simple fixed rate per crewmember per day instead?

    You never command a ship in there at all.
     
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  11. Grey Roger

    Grey Roger Sea Dog Staff Member Storm Modder

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    Yes. Partly because it makes sense, and partly because there's an alternative if salaries become too expensive.
     
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  12. Tingyun

    Tingyun Corsair Storm Modder

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    Pieter, to your question about why I say salaries should be higher in the late-game, it was just that I worded things stupidly.:) Currently the leadership_factor formula I posted above from characterutilite.c begins at 1.0, and then is 0.5 when you have ironwill and 10 leadership.

    I would say we don't just eliminate it, because that would meaning double salaries in late game from where they used to be, but instead we effectively set it = 0.6 or something (or set it to 1.0 but adjust salaries elsewhere to be the equivalent result), meaning in the early game a player is getting lower salaries than they used to have, and in late game slightly higher than they used to have (but with under the new calculation a consistent number start to finish). Or just set it to 0.5 and have the lateagame ironwill and 10 leadership number from the beginning.

    But then with Part 2) of the proposal, we raise the base_crew salary default, so that the officer multiple of crew salaries goes to something more reasonable than the current high multiples (perhaps to something just a bit closer to the historical examples listed, where 3-6x average crewmember salary was the norm for officers, rather than the current game 20x or so).

    In result, we essentially use the old lategame lower officer salaries, with the old early game higher crew salaries, but fixed to those numbers throughout the game. (Or something close to that)

    The end result would be that the economic burden on the player is somewhat similar, but is more weighted towards crew size than officers (giving rise to the interesting strategic points of Grey Roger's regarding making choices about the size of the fleet, which can better occur over crew number that rises linearly instead of officers which usually have a more modest increase, just rising by +1 to captain the ship often)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  13. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    I'd imagine that Crew salary per crewmember per day remains the constant throughout the game.
    Officer salary can vary, I suppose, depending on the Level of the officer.
    Would that make sense?

    The actual numbers is something you guys can figure out better than me, so I'll refrain from commenting on that part.
     
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  14. Tingyun

    Tingyun Corsair Storm Modder

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    Pieter,

    Certainly, officer salary should still change by level (not propsing any change to that mechanic).

    I think you are right, I need to propose specific numbers to make clear what I am saying.

    Goals:
    1) fix salary rates for crew throughout the game
    2) shift some economic burden to crew cost from officer cost for the strategic interesting choices Grey Roger's mentions
    3) achieve more realistic and historical relative pay among officers and crew, not the around 20x ratio currently in the game for low level 20 officers
    (historical sources for 3-6x ratio of officer to crew member pay:
    privateering: Articles of Agreement Between Captains of Privateers and Their Crews
    royal navy: Pay in Britain's Royal Navy : Napoleonic Wars : Napoleon Bonaparte : )

    Proposal:
    CHANGE
    characterutilite.c: float leadership_factor = 1.0 - makefloat(leadership)*makefloat(1 + iron_will)/40.0;
    TO
    float leadership_factor = 0.5 (or, equivalently, eliminate the factor and adjust the base values in internal settings)

    CHANGE
    #define BASE_CREW_PAY 12 // INT - Base salary gold paid to each crew member, not adjusted for skills, perks & difficulty. POTC Stock: 12
    TO
    #define BASE_CREW_PAY 36

    Result: compared to current balance

    In the early game, officers will be 0.5 as expensive as they used to be, and crew will be 1.5 times as expensive as they used to be. On balance, the player will have less cost.

    In the late game, officers will be the same expense (1.0) as they used to be, and crew will be 3 times more expensive than they used to be. On balance, the player will have more cost



    Worth noting that according to internal settings, the ratio of officer to crew pay was never changed in the build mod from Stock POTC. So this will be our first attempt to balance that ratio.
     
  15. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    How does crew go from 1.5 times to 3.0 times?
     
  16. Tingyun

    Tingyun Corsair Storm Modder

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    Pieter,

    leadership_factor = 1.0 - makefloat(leadership)*makefloat(1 + iron_will)/40.0;

    That means under the current variable system,

    current early game
    leadership_factor = approximately 1.0

    current late game (from iron will and high leadership)
    leadership_factor = 0.5

    New fixed system
    leadership_factor is always = 0.5

    So salaries used to go down to half in the late game. Now we keep them fixed, which means we removed the discount and relative to the previous late game balance we are doubling salaires.

    But we raised base crew salary from 12 to 36.

    Or, directly:

    old early game crew salary factor= 12 x 1.0= 12
    new early game crew salary factor = 36 x 0.5 = 18

    early game new fixed system higher by 1.5 times

    old late game crew salary factor= 12 x 0.5 = 6
    new late game crew salary factor = 36 x 0.5 = 18

    late game new fixed system higher by 3.0 times compared to old variable system.

    Of course, the lower officer salaries compensate a great deal for the higher crew salaries in terms of economic burden on the player.

    The numbers are fixed, the multiples are the result of comparing to a previously variable game balance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
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  17. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Oh, it is because you're comparing to the old system which DID differ.
    I got it. :cheeky
     
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  18. Tingyun

    Tingyun Corsair Storm Modder

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    Ok, there seems to be general support for some version of this.

    I propose as an initial iteration of change we implement the proposal I made several days ago (which has seen no objections). Full details a couple of posts above, but basically it only involves setting the salaries throughout the game to what they would normally be when iron will perk gained and leadership at 10 (so setting them to 0.5) and then tripling the base crew salary. Details of how this would work out in practice in the posts above.

    If there are no objections, I will post the files here and then we can implement that for now. We can then tweak based on feedback later, or make the implementation more complex if we wish.
     
  19. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    From what I read above and still remember, this makes sense to me. Go for it! :onya

    When the files are ready, you can add it to the "Build Fixes" thread and this thread can be marked as "Mod Release".
     
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  20. Tingyun

    Tingyun Corsair Storm Modder

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    Will do!
     

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