It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.

  • It's pretty bad. Well, really bad.

    I'm kind of curious about the history of pioneer feedback regarding the MA. I feel like there are such obvious design flaws in the way MA quests and traps are completed and managed that immediate concerns would have been raised during Pioneer play sessions. I mean, I'm fairly average when it comes to discussing game mechanics, but I noticed the blatant design flaws after my 2nd quest. At the core, you have two other vendor reputations that create this game play flow, a seamless transition from one quest to another, and then you have the Merchant Alliance mechanics that place a massive wrench into the game play cogs. It makes things not fun. In fact, things become really damn boring to the extent that players during the beta were using workarounds for cage management and quest completion. That's not a good sign. Did none of the Pioneers bring up the obvious issues or did Rare simply not listen? I feel like there should have been an open beta with this content a long time ago, not 10 days before the release.

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  • I think that the easiest way to fix this is for the cages to spawn somewhere on the ship. Maybe with the help of magic or something, so that it makes sense.

  • if we could do the treasure hunting missions at the same time as the animal capture missions, the thing would be more interesting. In which we left the port already with 8 empty cages, even if they were bought with gold.

    Another detail, if we could accumulate cages independently of having missions, in the same way we do when accumulating treasure chests of ships sunk or lost in islands could be more interesting even for the PIRATE theme. For we could find a ship with 5 chests and 10 cages.

    Also, while we would be looking for treasure chest on an island, another crewmember might be collecting animals in a less cast form than I did in open beta

  • @martijngamer12 said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    I think that the easiest way to fix this is for the cages to spawn somewhere on the ship. Maybe with the help of magic or something, so that it makes sense.

    Yeah, that would fix part of the problem. The quests also need to be removed from the Voyage table once you pick up the last animal. I get there's probably some kind of programming logic issue here with the game knowing that you're on a voyage and the voyage table and the NPC remembering that you're on a certain voyage. Rare needs to clean this logic up.

  • Yesterday someone said to me: "We can buy many 0 gold quests to get many cages". After a few hours we had +/- 10 golden chickens, 5 red chickens, 5 black chickens and 5 white chickens and there were still empty cages on our ship. That's almost enough for 2-5 Merchant Alliance voyages without doing anything for it.

    Cages should disappear (or something else) when you cancel a Merchant Alliance voyage.

    Besides that... You should only be paid after you sold EVERY chicken or pigs. Our mission was to deliver 2 golden chickens and 1 black chicken. We just sold the 2 golden chickens ($$$) and after that we canceled the voyage. It's possible to get the gold.

  • @clarkalii said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    The quests also need to be removed from the Voyage table once you pick up the last animal.

    But there is a time limit so that wouldn't make sense, unless you remove the time limit.

  • I'm just hoping they aren't REQUIRED for Pirate Legend and that, hopefully, I can just ignore the faction all together. I found the second day on the Final Beta much more enjoyable by simply ignoring the Merchant Alliance's existence.

  • @martijngamer12 said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @clarkalii said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    The quests also need to be removed from the Voyage table once you pick up the last animal.

    But there is a time limit so that wouldn't make sense, unless you remove the time limit.

    EDITED for clarity (hopefully)

    Right, that is why they need to make the timer / voyage independent of the voyage table once you pick up the last animal. It's still active, but not on the table. Basically, the game needs to know that you're on the voyage even if that voyage isn't on the table.

    An example:

    If you pick up the last animal, remove the voyage from the table, but keep the voyage paper in the radial menu and still have the NPC remember that you're on that voyage. This way, you free up the voyage table for other quests but still retain the to-be-completed voyage and its timer in the radial menu.

    Like I said, the logic just needs to be cleaned up for the MA quests to allow this, as I suspect the quest logic is currently programatically tied with current and active voyages that are on the table, the NPC turn-in destinations, and the fact that you can't turn in MA items willy-nilly like you can with Gold Hoarder's items.

  • tbh, in my view we shouldn't be gathering at all or at the very least have that as a side option for earning gold.

    I was hoping for a real merchant system. They have a chance at adding different gameplay than another flavor of fetch quests.

    When I heard about the merchant faction I thought these missions would be about delivering cargo and timer missions, you know, you load up your ship at the docks and set out to safeguard it to its destination in time for delivery.

    I'd really like them to have ways of spending gold on cargo that you can sell at other outposts. Each outpost could have some unique crate/demand for a certain supply. voyages could make you buy the supplies, and profit off selling them elsewhere if you make it safely. something kind of like the trade pack system in archeage.

    idk. I'm just bummed these emphasized the gathering bit instead of the merchant/delivery bit. we have enough gathering in the gold hoarders quests.

  • Don't forget about the material chests (banana, wood plank, etc.) that are also in Merchant Alliance quests.

    I'm sure they're going to limit canceling quests so you can't keep doing it for more cages.

  • you can find empty cages on islands. my first 2 MA voyages I didn't even grab any cages from the vendor, just went to an island, looked for chickens and found some cages sitting around. they're clearly pretty valuable. hoard em!

  • @cwarrick66
    Ive also found them floating after sinking a ship.

  • I thought the batches would be bigger. Both for skeleton forts and MA quests. More chests / animals each selling at lower values. I imagined crews loading up batches of 10-15 animals at once to earn the same as 3-6 decent chests, but being much easier to find. Then you sell them, but you only get a bonus if you complete the entire order.

    the MA really hasn't recieved ANY good reviews on here, and looking over footage, it looks super hollow. I thought there would be more fun / shenanagins in capturing the animals, but you just walk u to them and press a button (or key).

  • Eh, I liked it. :)

  • @meingott77 said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    tbh, in my view we shouldn't be gathering at all or at the very least have that as a side option for earning gold.

    I was hoping for a real merchant system. They have a chance at adding different gameplay than another flavor of fetch quests.

    When I heard about the merchant faction I thought these missions would be about delivering cargo and timer missions, you know, you load up your ship at the docks and set out to safeguard it to its destination in time for delivery.

    I'd really like them to have ways of spending gold on cargo that you can sell at other outposts. Each outpost could have some unique crate/demand for a certain supply. voyages could make you buy the supplies, and profit off selling them elsewhere if you make it safely. something kind of like the trade pack system in archeage.

    idk. I'm just bummed these emphasized the gathering bit instead of the merchant/delivery bit. we have enough gathering in the gold hoarders quests.

    As long as the trade routes are still somewhat randomized, the trade pack system in archeage became a nightmare later on.

    I think actual trade missions would be an awesome addition, (sure, keep the find 2 chicken voyages for the early ranks), but a voyage like "cross the ocean with these 20 kegs of rum in a day"

    and as someone said earlier, voyages need to be able to be stacked. I wouldn't mind finding 2 chickens and a pig if i was also looking for the X on the map. The radial menu is large, and could be expanded.

  • @clarkalii
    So what did you not like about the MA quests?
    It's all well & good saying you were bored & there were design flaws, but fail to explain why & what!
    & you do know that the pioneers don't test everything, Rare do have their own internal testers!

  • @logansdadtoo said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @clarkalii
    So what did you not like about the MA quests?
    It's all well & good saying you were bored & there were design flaws, but fail to explain why & what!
    & you do know that the pioneers don't test everything, Rare do have their own internal testers!

    Respectfully, you didn't read my posts. I did say why.

  • @clarkalii
    Respectfully, i read your original post where nothing was explained!

  • @logansdadtoo said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @clarkalii
    Respectfully, i read your original post where nothing was explained!

    Posts.

  • @clarkalii
    Yes, but after reading your initial post which was just complaining without giving a reason, i couldn't be bothered to read more! No offence intended!!
    Surely if you added the info further down, wouldn't it make sense to also add it to the OP.

  • @logansdadtoo said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @clarkalii
    Yes, but after reading your initial post which was just complaining without giving a reason, i couldn't be bothered to read more! No offence intended!!
    Surely if you added the info further down, wouldn't it make sense to also add it to the OP.

    It's weird that you had a massive issue understanding me when other posters did not. In my original post, when I talk about an interruption in game flow compared to the other voyages, what do you think I could possibly mean? Can you think for a minute about the MA mechanics? It is obvious. Everyone is complaining about MA for the same reasons.

  • Of course it is, we are BETA TESTING.

  • @clarkalii Calm down with that pioneer blame. You don't know what we tested, when we tested and how we tested.
    Now as for the MA, i love 'em. All I think is missing is that pressure, they give you a little too much time. Each time I did a voyage, I still had like 4-5 days left, which is ridiculous.

  • @nuclear-duke37 said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @clarkalii Calm down with that pioneer blame. You don't know what we tested, when we tested and how we tested.
    Now as for the MA, i love 'em. All I think is missing is that pressure, they give you a little too much time. Each time I did a voyage, I still had like 4-5 days left, which is ridiculous.

    Wait. The Pioneers never tested the Merchant Alliance?

  • @d0mino28 said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    Of course it is, we are BETA TESTING.

    It's 9 days before launch, and it's really bad. It makes you wonder.

  • @martijngamer12 said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    I think that the easiest way to fix this is for the cages to spawn somewhere on the ship. Maybe with the help of magic or something, so that it makes sense.

    I agree. For me, the cages were ridiculously hard to acquire.

  • @clarkalii I would suggest updating the initial post and list some actual critique / issues that need to change. Helps to keep the discussion focused.

    Personally, I like the merchant quests quite a bit, although there are some quirks (i.e. the cage handling issue). Having several missions going at the same time will happen naturally as soon as they increase the number of washed up bottles.

  • @logansdadtoo said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @clarkalii
    So what did you not like about the MA quests?
    It's all well & good saying you were bored & there were design flaws, but fail to explain why & what!
    & you do know that the pioneers don't test everything, Rare do have their own internal testers!

    I can provide my own insights.

    1. It's incredibly tedious. Hapless island hopping in the hopes of finding what you need, then end up disappointed when they're not there is quite frustrating.

    2. It's impractical to start a Merchant Alliance voyage while not at an outpost. Don't have pens? Too bad. Go back to yet another outpost or pray to RNGesus even more in the hopes of finding a pen on an island AND that there is actually the animal you're seeking on tha tisland.

    3. Selling animals without a voyage gives literally nothing. Why? Just why? Raiding someone's ship should be rewarding. If they have MA items, you just have to leave them due to their pointlessness.

    4. It's just another fetch quest. It's like the Gold Hoarders but even more RNG and even more tedious and time limited and just not fun to do.

    5. It takes up a slot on your voyage list and the active voyage if you take it as a MA voyage itself. You are STUCK doing it. AT MINIMUM, it should be something you just can do while doing something else, like a side quest kinda thing, not an obligation.

    6. It's just plain boring. I know this is subjective but man it just feels taxing and not worth doing. I had a much more enjoyable experience, reminding myself why I liked Sea of Thieves, by outright ignoring the Merchant Alliance.

    It really is the one major thing I disdain about the game.

  • @clarkalii
    How is it an interruption in game flow?? The missions are designed to take you on a 'trade route' around the outposts collecting animals as you go! They are supposed to take longer & be more immersive, rather than just go here, dig here etc
    The Skeleton forts that take 2hrs to complete as a solo sloopist is 'interrupting the game flow'.

  • @logansdadtoo said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @clarkalii
    How is it an interruption in game flow?? The missions are designed to take you on a 'trade route' around the outposts collecting animals as you go! They are supposed to take longer & be more immersive, rather than just go here, dig here etc
    The Skeleton forts that take 2hrs to complete as a solo sloopist is 'interrupting the game flow'.

    Soloing a skeleton fort doesn't take near 2 hours. My solo runs usually last about 30-45 minutes. I don't know what you're doing but it's highly impractical.

  • @logansdadtoo said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @clarkalii
    How is it an interruption in game flow?? The missions are designed to take you on a 'trade route' around the outposts collecting animals as you go! They are supposed to take longer & be more immersive, rather than just go here, dig here etc
    The Skeleton forts that take 2hrs to complete as a solo sloopist is 'interrupting the game flow'.

    I'm just not going to respond. You don't understand the issue, and I don't have the energy to explain it to you. The fact that you think Skeleton Forts is even in the equation of this discussion says it all to me.

  • @clarkalii said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    @d0mino28 said in It would seem that the Merchant Alliance is poorly designed.:

    Of course it is, we are BETA TESTING.

    It's 9 days before launch, and it's really bad. It makes you wonder.

    It makes me wonder how good the final game will be.
    There are a lot of hours in a week. These guys work flat out.

  • @lizardheart
    Ok, well you must be a sword ninja, or are using the fence cheat!!

  • @logansdadtoo Uh, no? I just know how to kite and have a route I run to restock on supplies whilst kiting.

  • @clarkalii
    You & a few others not liking the MA is not an issue!

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