Portalus Games

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Portalus Games, founded in 2012, is an online games developer.

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Ship Test Event Sunday August 3rd

We will be hosting a ship testing event on our Test server this Sunday August 3rd starting at noon Pacific time (3pm EDT/7pm UTC/11pm MSK) to test the new partner structure ships for the 2.15 build.  The event will feature a nation based red zone race with skirmish battles occurring between the different legs of the race.  Each nation will be attempting to deliver a specific cargo across the overall event for a final event winning nation.  Prizes include titles for winning team members and ship deeds and/or Burning Sea Points for various individual achievements during the races and skirmishes.

 

GM’s will be available on the Test server one hour prior to the starting of the race to assist players in getting setup for the event by providing ship deeds, levels, items and consumables necessary for the event.  We ask that players in need of setup assistance please arrive as early as possible as we do not wish to delay the event’s starting time.  We look forward to seeing players who are able to attend this event as well as their feedback and comments regarding the new partner structure ships.

Two New Heavy Frigates

As the last bit of tuning on the 2.15 build is taking a bit longer than expected we've decided to go ahead and release a couple of ships that are not dependent on the 2.15 build today.  We are releasing to the Test server the 34 gun Vulcan Frigate and the 32 gun Eagle Frigate.  Both premium frigates are available to all factions and careers and can be found for testing in any Port Captain’s Treasure Aisle Item Test Shop.  We appreciate any feedback or bug reports sent to support@portalusgames.com regarding these ships. 

If you want to try out the new Vulcan and Eagle frigates please download the Test Server client here!

NOTE: If you're installing the Test client for the first time DO NOT install it to the same directory as your Live client, as it will overwrite the files there and prevent you from playing on Antigua and Roberts.

 

Watch for an announcement regarding a 2.15 build test event during the next week featuring the new partner structure ships. 

Live Server Maintenance

Right now we're doing some important server maintenance related to the unexpected downtime on Roberts yesterday.

Currently we expect all servers to be brought back online by 2:40 PM Pacific time (9:40 PM GMT). Updates will be posted here if that time changes.

Update: All servers have been brought back online, fair winds and happy hunting Captains!

Live Server Update Tonight

We will be updating Antigua and Roberts to version 2.14.34 tonight starting at 12 am PDT (7 am UTC), with the servers being locked half an hour before. This new version includes both the updated accuracy curve for cannons as well as a new mission that can be found on the Swampcats Pirate Errol Dauterive and in the Seasonal Piece of Eight exchange!

At the same time we will be performing some server maintenance tasks and we expect the total downtime to last around one hour. Updates will be posted here as maintenance progresses.

Test Server Down Time

Test server will be unavailable for about 30 minutes during the evening of June 22 so we can push a change we are making to the base accuracy curve for cannon in game.  This change is based on a combination of data, feedback and suggestions regarding the curve originally introduced in build 2.14.  We want to make sure this change is working properly before adding the long and short cannons that are part of 2.15.  In general this accuracy change will improve accuracy of basic and prized cannon considerably between 200 and 500 yards with smaller improvements to extreme short and long range. 

 

If the accuracy curve change tests well over the next few days we may advance the change to the Live servers sometime next week, (ahead of the 2.15 build).

 

 

 

Status Update

We’ve experienced a number of delays in the past week that have had an impact on our development schedule.  One of the realities of developing with a very small team is any change in priorities generally results in delays.  Every unexpected illness, family emergency, hardware failure or sudden opportunity requiring attention can take time from planned development.  The past week has been a bit of a perfect storm in this regard for us in that several of these all aligned and combine with previous delays ran our schedule into a pre-planned and well deserved vacation for Half-Hitch.  Consequently we had to delay 2.15 development work for a few days during the past week to address the most pressing issues and now that we’ve had the opportunity to address them we can provide an update as to the effects of the delays and what we’re doing to address them.

 

To help out with the work load while Half Hitch is on vacation and beyond we’re going to bring back one of PotBS’s most experienced game masters – GM Swabbie.  Swabbie will be joining Portalus immediately to take over customer service duties as well as provide an in game GM presence when possible.  We feel very fortunate to bring someone with Swabbie’s experience both with PotBS and its player base back into the fold and look forward to working with him once again.  Swabbie joining the team will allow us to dedicate more time to development which is badly needed to get the 2.15 build moving forward faster.

 

To help move 2.15 development forward we’re also going to reduce the scope of the Loot side of the economy in the 2.15 build down to the new loot tables and move the rest of that portion of the economy revamp to the 2.16 build.  Reduction moves the vast majority of what would have been in the Loot Economy overview to build 2.16.  We are going hold off on posts about the Loot economy in the 2.16 build until that gets closer.  We’ll put up a post explaining what the new loot tables contain shortly before the next 2.15 build gets pushed to the Test server. 

 

As to when that Test server push may occur we’re reluctant to say at this point simply because we haven’t been able to be accurate with any previous estimates.  The team is small enough and there are enough other priorities requiring attention at this time that it is difficult to determine how many actual hours of any given day can be dedicated to new development.  That uncertainty makes estimates difficult and error prone.  We can’t really offer much information at the moment other than we feel the push is not far off with some development time (days not weeks), we apologize for the delays to this point and we will move the build to the Test server as soon as we possibly can.

New Mission - Short Downtime Tonight

EDIT: We have deployed a fix for the issue that was causing the new mission to not work for some players. We will be reimbursing the mission item to everyone who used it and did not receive the mission. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope you enjoy the mission now that it's fixed!

 

We will be taking the game down for around 30 minutes at Midnight PDT (7 am UTC) tonight so we can release a brand new mission! Errol Dauterive and his Swampcats have been busy, learn about his plans from a new item that he drops (or purchase a copy from the Seasonal Piece of Eight exchange) and then go thwart them!

Build 2.15 Update

First off I’d like to thank the players that have been reporting bugs they have been finding with the build on the Test server to customer service.  We appreciate you bringing them to our attention along with the comments and suggestions provided.  With a very small development team the additional testing and observation is essential and though the setup of the first 2.15 did not make testing easy for anyone we are thankful to have dedicated and patient players who offer the help they can.

 

The two most commonly reported issues coming in from players regarding the test build are a lack of available building materials for the new structures and recipe errors from recipes shown in F1 help.  The most common request from players testing on the server has been for a seeding of construction materials on the auction houses.  We will consider a limited seeding of items on the auction houses though we would prefer to see the effect of activating the exchanges in our next build first.  The determining factor in this decision will be the length of time to our next build.  If we feel the second build is taking too long to prepare we will do an auction house seeding.  This decision will likely be made early next week.

 

Regarding the recipes issues seen in F1 help we are filtering through these reports for those recipes that are actually actively being used by structures.  The majority of the new recipes seen in F1 help are intentionally put into an unusable state to limit testing scope for the first build.  For our production planning oriented players we strongly recommend waiting until the second build where more of the recipes will be in use and contain their complete requirements.  In the build’s current state many of the new recipes in use do not contain all their requirements as they are dependent on additional structures that were not included in build 1.  F1 help at this point also contains recipes that will not be part of the 2.15 build so building a roadmap at this time from F1 help will require some reworking once the second build is released.

 

We plan to release another 2.15 build sometime next week.  We will gather the bug reports that come through the weekend and include them in our fixes for the next build.  We will evaluate our progress early in the week and give an update regarding the second build’s release to the Test server (or when the auction house seeding will be done).  I will also continue the overview posts regarding the Loot Economy and other build 2 features later this week.

Build 2.15 Build 1

After several delays and a deep desire to get started on Test server testing we decided that we will have to break up the first build a bit so we can focus on testing smaller pieces and give us a bit more time to resolve a couple of persistent bugs.  What we’ve decided to do is go ahead and push the basic resource economy components to the Test server today and start testing.  We will move the partner economy components to the second test build.  This shift places all the ship and loot oriented economy items in the same build making build 1 a structure and recipe testing build only.

 

We appreciate players taking the time to test the new build though we are aware it can be difficult at this early stage in our testing.  The number of recipes that are intentionally turned off in new structures due to their outputs not being part of the basic economy can make some structures appear a bit empty or seem incomplete (because they are) but they all should be functional.  There are also incomplete recipes as some items used come from structures not included in Build 1.  We want players to be aware that we’re not too concerned at this point about a possibly missing recipes or components unless its absence completely prevents production.  In general recipes have been stripped down to work with what is there for early testing.  We also want players to be aware that there are intentionally missing pieces so those who are trying to map out new production lines may want to wait for the second build before going any deeper than the structures and their basic functions.

 

What we are most concerned about is any change that affects existing data (like data loss or corruption), causes obvious errors and/or client instability (pop ups and crashes) as well as the embarrassing kind of bugs like a recipe for harvesting peas producing leather.  We don’t believe players should encounter any of these issues so if anyone does we would appreciate letting customer service know at customerservice@portalusgames.com  We will drill down in our testing to the more detailed level as we approach the final test build (which is still a build or two away). 

 

The following is a rough overview of what is and isn’t in 2.15 Build 1:

 

·         There should be no partner structures available.  The missing partner structures are the Logging Company, Mining Company, Farm Estate, Foundry, Iron Works, Textile Factory and the 4 partner shipyards (Royal, Company, Haven and Cove).

·         There are no partner only produced components in Build 1.  This includes the partner created long and short cannon which will be included in Build 2.

·         Ships have not been adjusted yet.  This will be done in Build 2 when the partner shipyard ships are added.

·         Stack sizes and weights have not been adjusted yet.  This will be done in conjunction with the ship recipe changes.  Existing items should be unchanged, new items generally have been set to a default weight of 1 per unit and a stack limit of 100.

·         The Large Quarry and Finery should be the only missing basic structures.  These buildings are being moved to Build 2.  The basic Forge can create the needed components for the basic economy in place of the Finery for Build 1 with the assistance of a Blast Furnace.

·         Structures that should see no changes (at least usable ones) are all basic shipyards and the provisioner.  These structures will be updated in the same build the partner structures and new ships are added.  In Build 1 basic shipyards and the provisioner should appear as they do in the current economy.

·         All retired structures should remain functional, their existing deeds should still be usable (restrictions still apply) and retired structure deeds should no longer appear in the Draughtsman’s Office.

·         The Draughtsman’s Office and Master Draughtsman’s Office should be identical in recipe content.

·         All the map resources including the resources not yet available in Build 1 should be visible from the main map.

·         Tutorial structures have not all been updated yet.

·          There are a few recipes that are producing the correct item but not in the correct form (e.g. producing cotton instead of cotton bales).  These will be corrected in the next build.

·         The Forge has a few known issues that can be worked around with a Blast Furnace.  These will be corrected in the next build.

·         Materials as part of structure upkeep has been moved to Build 2.  Structures should only require doubloons in Build 1 for upkeep.

·         Consumables that used Teak in their recipes should show the Teak being replaced by Oak with some recipe adjustments in some recipes. 

·         Books that provided retired structure recipes should no longer give the retired structure recipes.

 

We appreciate players letting us know if you encounter issues in testing and look forward to your feedback.

Build 2.15 Update

The hardware failure that occurred a few days ago affected our development environment as well as the Live servers causing a delay in our plan to deploy 2.15 Test Build 1 to the Test server.  Whenever a hardware failure occurs our first priority is always the Live servers and their infrastructure before any work begins on repairing things like our development environments.  Once those issues were resolved development environment repairs could begin.

 

I’m happy to report we have our development environments operational again and we will hopefully push the 2.15 Test Build 1 to the Test servers sometime within the next 48 hours.  We appreciate everyone’s patience and apologize for the delays.

Unexpected PotBS Downtime - Update

Currently the PotBS servers are unavailable due to a hardware failure in our datacenter. Our technicians are currently replacing the hardware in question and we'll have the servers online as soon as everything has been tested and is ready.

Your patience while we resolve this outage is appreciated.

Update: The failed hardware has been replaced and we are performing internal tests on the servers before bringing them online.

Update 2: All servers are back online now. Again, thank you for your patience. Early next week I'll be posting a maintenance schedule for upcoming downtime windows in which we will roll out game updates and further improve our server infrastructure to prevent incidents like this from happening again.

Update 3 (5/17): The game servers will be brought offline this morning to resolve a few remaining issues related to last night's downtime, and in order to provide all accounts with 250 Burning Sea Points as a thank you for your patience.

Update 4 (5/17): We're still working on resolving the remaining issues from last night's downtime. Players have reported missing characters and we can confirm that there was database corruption on Antigua stemming from the hardware failure.

Currently we are restoring the database to a recent backup. We realize this will result in a loss of progress players who had been online this morning, however in the interest of preventing further negative effects it is necessary to start from a backup taken before the incident, the most recent of which is from around 6:30 PM Pacific Time on 5/16/2014.

Again, thank you for your patience as we continue to work to get the servers back online.

Update 5 (5/17): Restoring the Antigua database backup has completed successfully. We're doing some fixes to another internal database currently but we aim to have the servers back online within the next hour and a half.

Update 6 (5/17): I expect at least another hour of downtime at this point. Sorry for the additional delays.

Update 7 (5/17): All servers are back online now. If you have any missing characters or if you believe you lost any dura/items due to the original downtime please contact our support team via support@portalusgames.com

Build 2.15 Update

We will be pushing the first 2.15 Test build to the Test servers Friday  (May 16th).  When the build is being pushed we will post the known issues with the build.

 

Below are a few more comments regarding some questions and concerns.

 

The ships added for the first Test build are test ships needed to do some end to end construction testing only.  These “new” ships in the first Test build are not ships that are going to be appearing on the Live servers.  The ships that will wind up going to the Live servers are all in 2.15 Build 2. 

 

Some players have been expressing concern about supply for the auction house market if players are able to sell materials to NPC’s.  While the NPC market’s primary goal is to free player progression economically from a pure ship loss player market it also serves as an effective price control mechanism.

 

If players on the auction houses will only pay cost to get materials and goods then sellers will be able to go to the NPC market and get a better price.  How full the player auction houses will be is completely dependent on the price being offered for materials and goods.  If it isn’t high enough, players have other options because a minimal profit margin is assured with NPCs.  When buying from NPCs the opposite is true.  The NPC prices are so high that you can invariably find a better price from a player and have that selling player still make a profit considerably better than selling to NPCs.  This does create an effective upper price limit on many items in the revamped economy because there is a point where it may be easier or cheaper to buy from NPC’s than pay a possibly inflated player price.  NPCs assure players positive gain from participating in the economy without waiting periods while offering some protection against extreme pricing with many items.

Economic Expansion - Questions and Concerns

We've received feedback regarding some questions and concerns and while we await the first Test Build I thought I would take an opportunity to address them.  The majority of all questions, comments and concerns so far center around four basic points:

·         Concerns about the number of partner structures needed

·         Concerns about complication

·         Concerns about container use

·         Concerns about hauling

 

Of these concerns the number of partner structures needed is the easiest to address.  The number of partner structures a player will need depends entirely on what they intend to produce.  A player who is only building basic economy items, even in complete production lines of them will not need any at all.  If a player intends to produce the new partner shipyard ships then at least 1 partner structure would be required (the partner shipyard).  If that player is willing to use markets to obtain the needed materials for building the ships then no further partner structures would be required.  A player desiring the ability to build everything in the revamped economy would need a minimum of 5 – a shipyard, a foundry, and 3 logging companies due to the distribution of wood types on the map.  The rest could be done with basic revamp structures.

 

Another question coming up has been the nature of the partner structure deed and its use.  The partner structure deed works just like any other structure deed in that it can be built where it is qualified to be built and once built is a permanent structure.  The structure cannot be packed up and moved so its placement should be carefully considered. 

 

We feel concerns about complication in the economy are very relative.  If you are a specialized producer of a product like oak in game now, the change this revamp will bring is seeing the common wood harvest recipe replaced by one for firewood.  There will be a new basic revamp oak camp available as an option to move into as well as a partner logging camp but they are not required.  How complicated things are beyond this is proportionate to the number of industries and businesses a single player is attempting to participate in.

 

It’s important to keep in mind a primary goal of the economic revamp was to encourage specialization in the economy.  The revamped economy doesn’t require players to assume risk by specializing in production.  In the current economy there are mountains of gravel that have no value.  It is unlikely that a player could specialize in gravel production and make a profit doing so.  In the revamped economy NPC buyers provide immediate outlets.  If a player has little time or doesn’t want to wait to gain something from their economic activity they no longer have to.  They would most likely make a better profit selling to another player but they are no longer dependent on that to make a profit.   Some folks just don’t have enough game time to wait for days for something to sell.  They can sell their gravel to a regional buyer at a small profit in the revamped economy and begin to specialize in gravel or other production reliably if they choose.  They don’t have to complicate their economy any further to get something out of it.

 

With the concerns regarding possible over use of containers there may be some misconceptions prevailing about their use.  Not all industries and businesses use containers.  Timber and metal working industries use very few and only for small items like nails and trunnels.  Mines and quarries do not use containers at all.  The primary consumers of containers are the agricultural structures like plantations and the structures that process those products.  Container use does not extend to the entire economy even within the agricultural industries.

 

There may also be another misconception regarding container use and stock piled supplies.  For example, let’s say I have a stockpile of hemp I’m sitting on but I don’t want to have to put all that hemp into bales to get it to market or manufacturing.  In the revamped economy you don’t have to put that cargo into containers unless your destination for that cargo is an NPC trader or one of the revamped structures (which use revamped recipes).  You can still list the hemp on the auction houses and you can also still use the unbaled hemp in basic legacy Textile Mills.  If the stockpiled items were intended for use in existing basic structures this can still be accomplished post revamp without needing containers.

 

Hauling concerns are difficult to address because they are case by case assessments.  Whether or not your economy will require more or less hauling to maintain depends on exactly how and where you have it set up.  In some cases hauling will go down because a resource like iron that wasn’t present in their current production port has been added to it removing the need to haul iron in.  They also may not have to sail as far to reach a market for their materials or goods.  Basic economy producers in legacy structures really shouldn’t see any change in their hauling because no current resources moved away (except Teak which was removed from the map). 

 

If a player wants to attempt to haul everything the revamp economy has to offer it will take more hauling simply because there is more to haul.  Use of player markets can reduce hauling.  Use of NPC vendors can reduce hauling as well though some NPC use comes with noticeable expense in doubloons.  We don’t want to limit the number of markets in the game purely because players choosing to engage in those markets may incur more hauling by doing so. 

 

We will discuss our 2.15 Test build push plan for this week tomorrow and I will post an update regarding that shortly afterward.

Test Build 2.15 Update

With our unexpected down time and a couple of other issues that have come up we are going to be unable to push the first 2.15 Test build to the test servers this evening.  It is unlikely we will be able to do so tomorrow as well so we are going to move pushing the build to the Test server until next week.  We apologize for the delay and will take advantage of the time to provide more information regarding questions that have been asked about the economy revamp.

 

I will also post an overview of know issues in Test build 1 the day the build is released to clarify which systems are fully implemented in build 1 and which ones fully working because they are scheduled to be part of build 2.

Economic Expansion 6 – Shipbuilding and Provisioning

In this post I’ll discuss some of the changes coming to shipbuilding and provisioning but first I’d like to start with a couple of structures that haven’t been mentioned yet as they do not really fall into any of the categories previously covered.  Those structures are the Recruitment Office and Draughtsman Offices.

 

We’re going to consolidate the Draughtsman’s Offices into a single structure with the retirement of Advanced structures.  The Master Draughtsman’s Office will be retired leaving the basic Draughtsman’s Office as the only structure deed producing structure.  All non-Treasure Aisle structures continuing forward both current, revamped and future will be added to the basic Draughtsman’s Office.  Beyond this consolidation there are no changes to the Draughtsman’s Office other than some costs.

 

The Recruitment Office really doesn’t have any changes beyond the addition of construction experts.  Construction experts are a recipe component used for constructing revamped economy structures, (differing from those used as a consumable in ship combat).  The construction experts are a small addition to items the Recruitment Office can produce and sell to give the structure more value in the revamped economy.

 

Shipyards

 

There are no revamp basic shipyards.  The existing basic shipyards are all carried forward into the revamped economy with any new needed additional ship part recipes added to them.  There are four new partner shipyards added in the 2.15 build – the Royal Shipyard, Company Shipyard, Haven Shipyard and Cove Shipyard.  These shipyards are not career restricted but Royal and Company Shipyards are only available to French, Spanish and British characters and the Haven and Cove Shipyards are only available to Pirate characters.

 

The differences in partner shipyards and basic shipyards have a lot to do with what ships they build and the materials they are built from. 

 

Let’s start with what ships they build.  Currently the basic shipyards are capable of building basic ships, partner recipe ships and premium ships. 

 

Basic ships - are the ships that were in the game before it was free to play.  These ship recipes are either a property of the basic shipyard the player owns or added to the player’s character usually by loot or exchange books. 

 

Partner recipe ships - are those like the San Fernando where the recipe to build them comes from Treasure Aisle and is added to the character.  Once the recipe is added to the character the character can build any number of them in the same manner as basic ships (no further Treasure Aisle component is needed).

 

Premium ships – are those like the Sovereign which require a builder to get the partner recipe from Treasure Aisle in addition to a premium component such as a First Rate Keel to build them.  Once the recipe is added to the character they can build any number of premium ships but each premium ship built requires its own premium component from Treasure Aisle.

 

This basic structure of ships remains unchanged by the revamp.  The differences in the materials the ships are built is where the difference between a basic shipyard and a partner shipyard are found.

 

Basic shipyards (all the shipyards currently in game) use a limited palette of materials in their shipbuilding.  Although many new types of wood are being added in the revamp the basic shipyards and the ship recipes that come with them only use oak, fir, ironwood, pine and roble for the construction of their ships.  All the other wood types being added are used in partner shipyard construction so players who wish to focus on basic shipbuilding really do not have to worry about acquiring resources like live oak or mahogany.  They can focus on the more limited set of oak, fir, ironwood, pine and roble, usually only needing one or two types in building any particular basic ship.

 

Partner shipyards come with their own ship recipes using many of the revamped economy items as well as all the ship recipes that are part of the basic shipyards.  In all cases a partner recipe ship or a premium ship can be built by any shipyard (partner or basic) qualified to build that size of ship.  We will continue to add partner recipe ships and premium ships to the game as we move forward in the same manner as we have but we will also be adding new ships to the partner shipyards automatically that are part of the shipyard rather than a property of the character.  Partner shipyards will be focused on building new master craft series ships as well partner shipyard refits.

 

Shipbuilding

 

The largest change in shipbuilding in the 2.15 is the addition of new ship parts in ship construction.  How and where the new ship parts are applied is similar to the shipyards in that basic ships work with a limited palette of parts in comparison to ships that are built only by partner shipyards.  In general smaller ships also use less part types than larger ones which keeps starter ships simple to build with few part types to focus on.

 

For basic ships the largest amount of changes are focused specifically on the hull assemblies.  The hull assemblies gain sternposts, rudders, futtocks.  Rigging gains spars and bowsprits as new parts.  For basic ships all sternposts, rudders, futtocks are made of oak and all spars and bowsprits are made of fir.  This constitutes all the changes to basic shipbuilding when it comes to new parts.  Recipes for the new items are added to the basic structures needed to produce them automatically with the revamp.

 

Partner shipyard ships use everything the revamped economy has to offer for shipbuilding.  They use all the parts in basic ship building as well as others such as bilge pumps, steering mechanisms, capstans, binnacles, lanterns, window glass, and cabin furniture.  Not all ships use all parts.  Smaller ships tend to use less types as with basic shipbuilding while a future first rate from a partner shipyard would use every part type available in its construction.  It should be noted there is no plan for a new first rate in the 2.15 build.  The first rate here is only mentioned as an example of a ship that would use everything in its construction. 

 

Provisioning

 

Provisioning in general has few changes.  The Provisioner structure remains the only provisioning structure in the revamped economy with the biggest changes being the removal of bread (to the Bakery) and cheese production (to the Farm).  It also gains some new provision types that combined with a general change in the economy revamp significantly increase the demand for provisions.

 

Revamped structures use materials and goods are part of their maintenance in the revamped economy.  Rather than have players collect all the individual items needed for maintenance themselves provisioners are able to bundle these items into structure provisions to provide most maintenance.  The structure provisions generally combine with only one or two special items a structure uses to fulfill maintenance needs.  Some structures need no special items at all (only provisions).

 

Structure provisions are broken down by business type.  All revamp logging camps use Camp Provisions just as all revamp mines use Mine Provisions.  Structure provisions are all generalized into four basic types - Camp, Mine, Shop and Store. 

 

Provisioners still provide ship provisions for ship construction as before but ship provisions also come in various different types in the revamped economy.  Most basic ships and small ships use the Ship Provision currently being used in game (with some recipe item changes).  Other ships may use Naval, Merchantman. Privateer or Pirate provisions generally based on whether or not the ship is career restricted or not.

Unexpected PotBS Downtime - Update

Update: The issue has been resolved and all servers are online again.

A few hours ago some of the central infrastructure in our datacenter suffered a hardware failure. We're currently working to fix the issue and get the game back up and running. I do not have an ETA at this time, unfortunately. We'll keep posting updates about the progress here, however.

Economic Expansion - Pirate Economy Question

We’ve received numerous questions about Pirate economy production in the economy revamp and I’d like to clear up some misconceptions in this regard.

First and most importantly Pirates will be able to make every end product they can make now after the revamp.

Pirate players are not forced to turn to national free traders for items in the revamp economy.  If a production item is necessary for basic ship production or manufacture there is a basic structure that has the ability to make it.  For players managing entire production chains there may be adjustments that are needed such as adding a basic, unrestricted Cooper’s Shop in addition to your Lumber Mill but those additional needed buildings for basic production are always available to all factions and careers without any Treasure Aisle items.

 

As a brief example, if you can currently produce a Hercules frigate (a basic ship) post revamp you can still produce it without needing anything from Treasure Aisle (just more slowly and at less cost).  You may need that Cooper’s Shop in the case of block production if you refuse to buy blocks from other sources but additional items needed such as a futtock or rudder assembly for the Hercules have those recipes added to the Lumber Mill you most likely already own as part of the revamp. 

 

Those same recipes are mirrored in better form in the revamped structures but they are paying higher maintenance costs for that production boost.  The unique items produced by revamp and partner level structures that are not proliferated down to basic structures are for revamp and partner recipes and are not part of basic ship production.  Again anything needed for basic ship production can be produced by a basic structure.

 

Partner level structures (not partner level recipes) are always available to all careers and factions.  They are intended for players looking for higher production output with minimum economy slot usage.  That type of production isn’t desired or needed by every player so many players may be able to meet their economy needs without Partner structures.  Partner level structures are an option for players who want to do large scale production but don’t want to manage an excessive number of economy slots to do it.  Players who don’t want to do high capacity production may find they have no need for partner level structures at all but would probably benefit by moving to revamped basic structures in most cases.

 

On the subject of economy slots – we are going to allow accounts to expand beyond the 10 slot limit currently in place.  This isn’t going to be in the first build to the Test server as our first tests are primarily concerned with resource production and integration with existing structures.  More information will be provided regarding this when we begin discussing the contents of the second Test build.

 

Pirate production at this point has not been mentioned in detail because basic production is being maintained and Pirates already have access to that and can keep using it.  The focus in this Resource Economy section of the revamp overview heavily features free trader production and how it integrates with others as free traders are intended to be the primary manufacturing career in game. 

 

We are currently on schedule to move the first 2.15 build to the Test server on Thursday May 8th with plans to move the second build to the Test server the following week if possible.

Economic Expansion 5 - Mining and Metal Working

In this post I’ll cover some of the changes coming to mining and metal working, which will include information regarding quarries in the economic revamp. 

 

Basic Process – Ore to Ingot

 

The largest change to the mining and metal working industry is in the processing of ores into workable metals.  Currently ores are harvested by mines and smelted by forges to become workable metal except for sulfur and saltpeter.  In the revamped economy all minerals that come from ores use the same process - ores are harvested by mines; the ores are reduced and then smelted.  Reduction is achieved by crushing the ore with hammers.  Reduction is a process that concentrates ores while reducing their weight for transport.

 

All mines in the revamp produce raw ores which will need to be reduced (or processed in the case of saltpeter).  Several structures have the ability to reduce ores but the partner Mining Company is the only mine that can.  Most mines will either sell the raw ore which does have regional market value or they will rely on two other structures that can also reduce ore – the Forge (currently in game) and the Stamp Mill.

 

Once ores are reduced ores they are ready to be smelted and in the revamped economy there are three smelting structures – the Forge (currently in game), the Blast Furnace and the partner Iron Works.  Smelting for the most part always involves the use of flux materials such as limestone, charcoal and sulfur.  Iron is already processed in this manner in game with limestone as its flux and in the revamped economy the other metals require similar additional ingredients in smelting.  Smelted ores produce workable materials in the form of pigs or ingots.  Iron has a unique smelting processes in that it can be smelt into wrought iron (called simply iron in game) and pig iron which is semi processed iron form used by multiple structures.

 

In implementing this process there were two changes to mine outputs – sulfur mines will produce sulfur ore and guano caves will produce guano.  Sulfur ore processes in the same manner as all the other metals.  Guano caves operate a bit differently in that guano is not considered an ore in the revamped economy and the Guano Cave is able to process the guano into saltpeter without the assistance of an additional structure.  Guano conversion to saltpeter can be accomplished more efficiently with the use of a Boilery. 

 

Industry Structure Changes and Additions:

 

Mines

 

There are few changes to the mines in game.  Outputs remain the same with general adjustments to higher labor and in some cases lower costs.  There are revamped versions of each mine (except the Guano Cave).  These Large Mine revamp versions have different outputs and costs and have higher maintenance needs than Basic Mines.  There is only one partner mine – the Mining Company.  Like the Logging Company the Mining Company can harvest all mine resources at the port it is located.  The Mining Company the most efficient mine is available to all careers and factions.

 

Forge

The Forge is essentially the same in that it continues to produce everything it currently produces and gains essential production part recipes such as rudder irons needed for basic shipbuilding.  The Forge’s low maintenance costs and high versatility result in increased labor costs and some inefficiency in processing. 

 

Stamp Mill

The Stamp Mill’s primary function is as an all-purpose ore reducer and pig to wrought iron converter.  The process of converting iron ore to ingots is faster if the ore is reduced to pig iron by a Blast Furnace and then wrought by the Stamp Mill than going directly from ore to ingots (the methods used by the Forge and Finery).  In addition to its function as an ore reducer and pig iron converter Stamp Mills are also capable of producing some iron work more efficiently such as hoop or bar iron.  The Stamp Mill is a basic structure available to all careers and factions.

 

Blast Furnace

The Blast Furnace is the high efficiency smelter intended to be a supplement structure to the Finery and Foundry.  It is for the most part a single purpose structure that is also the source of one of the few mineral resources being added – lead which comes as a byproduct from smelting other metals.  The Blast Furnace is a basic structure available to all.

 

Finery

The Finery is a semi replacement to the retiring Advanced Forge in that is can do everything the Forge can do more efficiently.   It is also capable of producing additional items produced by some of the other structures though not as efficiently such as bolts, hoop iron, and copperware.  Its strength is similar to that of the Forge in that it is capable of ore to finished product production for many items.  The Finery is a free trader only basic structure.

 

Foundry

The Foundry a partner level cannon producing structure.  Basic cannon are still produced the Forge for use on basic ships.  The Foundry can produce basic cannon as well as the newer cannon – the long and short cannon.  The Foundry will also produce bronze cannon though those will not be part of the first build to the Test server later this week.  The Foundry is also capable of producing most of the items that are produced by the Finery with more or less efficiency (depending on the item).

 

Iron Works

 

The Iron Works is a partner level combination structure that combines the functions of the Blast Furnace, Stamp Mill and Foundry into a single structure with a smaller slot footprint that the three other structures combined.   

 

Pottery

 

The Pottery is a new basic structure being added that produces clay based products and glass.  Clay products such as brick are used in structure construction and shipbuilding while others such as retorts are used in ore processing.  Glass production is similar in that it is use predominantly for structure and ship construction as well as some agriculture applications in the form of vessel glass.

 

Clay Pit

 

The Clay Pit is a new resource structure that produces two new materials - Clay and Sand.  Clay and Sand are used primarily used by the Pottery but are also used in some ore processing and other structures as recipe ingredients.  The Clay Pit is a basic structure available to all.

 

Quarries

 

Quarries have a reduced role overall in the revamped economy as granite and marble usage in shipbuilding is reduced.  In the revamped economy quarries are reduced to a single Large Quarry structure which is capable of quarrying any stone found in the port it is located.  Current Marble, Limestone and Granite Quarries will be retired in that new deeds can no longer be produced in the 2.15 build.  The existing structures will continue to function and deeds currently held can either be used or exchanged. 

Economic Expansion 4 – Agriculture and Textiles

In this post I’ll discuss the changes coming to the agricultural structures consisting of all structures using organic resources other than wood and agricultural processing structures that use those resources such as the textile industry.

 

One of the most significant changes involving the agriculture and textile industries is the use of containers for shipping.  There is no assumption that storage containers are made as part of harvest or production and agriculture resources in particular almost always require a container in the revamped economy.  Unless a recipe specifically utilized a container in production such as rum or wine currently do, existing stocks of agricultural products will need containers in order to be shipped in the 2.15 build.

 

As for the rest of the changes they vary depending specifically on what structure is being discussed.  In general the agriculture industries follow a model where initial resource harvesting is can be done by any faction or career but the processing of those resources is heavily a free trader only enterprise for nationals.  Pirates are moving toward their own resource usage model that will allow them to make everything they need but is focused more on raiding and pillaging than building infrastructure. This system will be explained in more detail with Provisioning and Shipbuilding and in the Loot Economy posts.

 

For a brief look at the rest of the changes to the agriculture and textile industries we’ll start with Plantations as they are the most numerous of the agriculture structures.

 

Plantations

 

Some plantations in general change little in comparison to lumber oriented structures.  Cacao, coffee, cochineal, and cotton plantations as well as vineyards and pastures all maintain their current places in the revamped economy as the producers of those resources.  Few of their outputs are changed, labor costs are increased (this is general to the economy as a whole) and costs rise or fall depending on the specific crop being produced. 

 

The Sugar Plantation, Tobacco Plantation, General Plantation and all Advanced structure deeds are being retired.  The existing structures will continue to operate producing their primary crops though less efficiently than their replacement structures in the revamped economy.  Existing deeds for these structures can be exchanged or still be used.  These plantations are being replaced by the Sugar Estate, Tobacco Estate and Plantation Estate structures.  These three plantation estates are all free trader only structures.  Estate structures in general combine harvesting and processing of their particular crops or provide new crops.  New crops being added include Flax, Rice, Maize, and Peas.

 

New structures also being added into this category of resource producers include:

 

·         Farms which produce Pigs, Poultry and Butter as well as having Cheese production moved to them from the Provisioner (which becomes a purely provisioning structure).  Farms are basic structures available to all factions and careers.

·         The Salt Pen produces Salt which is used in provisioning and many resource processes.  The Salt Pen is a basic structure available to all factions and careers.

·         The Buccaneer’s Camp is a special Buccaneer only structure that focuses on the unique relationship Buccaneers have with native resources.  The Buccaneer’s Camp has the ability to produce some of the same resources as other structures while also having some unique resources such as Turtles and Shellfish used in Pirate only recipes.  The Buccaneer’s Camp will be covered in greater detail in the Loot economy posts as it is one of the few structures that straddles both the resource and loot segments of the economy.

·         The Farm Estate is a new partner level structure that combines the outputs of the Farm and the Plantation Estate into an agriculture super structure capable of producing the widest variety of agriculture resources.  The Farm Estate is available to all factions and careers.

 

Meat and Hides

 

With the addition of pork being added greater distinction was desired regarding meat production as it affects provisioning requirements explained in a later post.  The change required that meat produced from game be distinguishable from beef and pork so an item such as cured meat is being removed from the game.  All existing supplies of cured meat can be exchanged for cured beef regardless of their origin in the revamped economy at local junk dealers. 

 

Slaughterhouses are being maintained with pork production replacing game and fish and additional meat byproducts such as beef fat used in the production of tallow being added.  Hides produced by Slaughterhouses are cattle hides only as pigs produce pigskin.  Game hides are referred to as skins in the revamped economy.  Their production, along with game meat is entirely done by the Hunting Lodge in the revamped economy just as fish production is entirely done by the Fishing Lodge.  This change necessitated the removal of fish curing and game hide production from the Slaughterhouse.

 

With Game hide production moved to the Hunting Lodge the Tanner is being retired in favor of the new Leather Works structure.  The Tanner will continue to function primarily as a processor of cattle hides and a secondary processor of game skins with reduced output.  New Tanner deeds will not be available in the 2.15 build.  The Leather Works becomes the primary hide processor and product manufacturer with several new leather products being added such as different types of leather, footwear, livery tack, buckets, bindings, and belts.  The Leather Works is a basic free trader only structure.

 

Other Resource Processors

 

The Tar Distillery, Rum Distillery and Sugar Refinery are all being retired in favor of a generalized Boilery structure capable of the production previously covered by all three.  The Boilery is intended to serve as an addition to structures that use distillation or boiling for concentration as part of its resource processing.  As with the other retired structures the current Tar Distillery, Rum Distillery and Sugar Refinery will continue to operate, existing deeds will continue to work but no more new deeds can be produced in the 2.15 build.  The Boilery is a free trader only basic structure.

 

There are additional new structures in the Chandler’s Shop that specializes in the production of soap and candles and the Bakery which specializes in bread, beer and ale production.  The outputs of these structures are used predominantly in provisioning and other industrial processes.  The Chandler’s Shop and Bakery are basic structures available to all factions and careers.

 

The Powder Mill is little changed beyond labor and cost adjustments common to the entire economy and receives a new recipe for Blasting Powder (used by mines and quarries) as a new product available for production.  The Powder Mill continues to be a basic structure available to all factions and careers.

 

The Winery is also little changed as it already used containers in its resource processing.  It has similar adjustments that are common to most structures in the economy revamp with some additional production options that center around container usage and a tie in with the Loot economy covered in posts regarding that portion of the economy.  No changes have been made to the Winery’s restrictions.

 

Textile Industry Changes

 

The biggest changes to the textile industry include the addition of linen based products used predominantly in provisioning and containers (sacks) used by a variety of agriculture structures for product shipping in addition to all products currently produced.  As an industry, textile production is moving to a free trader only based production model with Pirates having much of this type of production moved to their revamped shipbuilding covered in later posts.

 

The Textile Mill and Advanced Textile Mill are being retired as some of their current products are being spun off into their own businesses.  The existing Textile Mills and Advanced Textile Mills will continue to function and will have necessary recipes versions of new items added to them to maintain the ability to continue a basic production chain with them.  The new items added however will come with slower and more costly output than the Improved Textile Mill that replaces them.  Existing Textile Mill deeds can still be used or exchanged in the revamped economy.  The Improved Textile Mill is a free trader only basic structure intended to replace both current textile mill structures. 

 

Other changes to the textile industry include:

 

·         Rigging production is moving out of the textile industry completely.  The textile industry continues to produce most of the components of rigging but the final assembly of rigging in the revamped economy is done in the shipyards, (or structures like careening camps for Pirates). 

·         The Rope Walk is a new structure takes over as the primary cordage producing structure.  It is a basic free trader only structure.  The Rope Walk produces rope more efficiently than the Textile Mill as well as being a producer of cable and oakum used in shipbuilding. 

·         The Sail Loft is a new sail producing structure.  It is a basic free trader only structure.  The Sail Loft produces sails of differing sizes and strengths with its output being used in rigging construction, ship provisioning and ship outfitting production. 

·         The Textile Factory is a new partner structure that combines the Improved Textile Mill, Rope Walk and Sail Loft production capabilities in addition to the added production of clothing items used in provisioning and desired by regional markets.  The Textile Factory is available to all factions and careers.