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is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:43 pm
by Drew458
Just kind of scratching my head here. I really can't figure out how the points get awarded for Damage, Health, and Speed when I upgrade my ship. Sometimes the next level up is a lot more points, sometimes it isn't many at all.

I just finished a long session with the Traveling Merchant, who was happy to relieve me of several million gold ... 600 or so chests got me several levels up for my ship, but the last 3 ups for the cannons and the sails were not just pretty small, but decreasing each time. So I'm wondering if there's a maximum that I'm approaching, say about Tier 5 level 160, and while each level up requires more and more upgrade cards, the awarded increases go asymptotic, and approach zero. I know the last 2 ups for my sails were 97 and 95, because I was watching and taking notes. It's so easy to get into a zombie like state when pushing the buttons hundreds of times in a row. I think the last 2 ups for my cannons were like +1 or +12 or something really tiny. The little green "+ XYZ" goes by so fast, by the time I was aware of it they were gone. Meanwhile my hull, which is about 14 so levels behind the other two ( and is also stuck on Tier 4 forever until you guys get around to fixing that "upgrade/Switch/Cost" issue), goes up a thousand points or more per level. I just don't get it.

Sure would be nice to have a chart to refer to, so I know if my program is working correctly. It does do odd things sometimes, but apparently I'm the only "lucky" one they happen to.

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:40 am
by Meg
Hi Drew458! I tried to get an more extensive reply for you from our developers, but they told me to ask you to keep tuned for our version 2.6.0 update, as that will completely change the way upgrading and tiers work. 2.6.0 will be our update that is ready for the Christmas event and we plan to release early December. I am trying to convince them to make a chart/graph for the new system, so we can have it in our guides on the forum! :)

As for now the only reply I can give is that there is no maximum level for ship upgrades, it's just that the current numbers to get to a high level are SO high, that it may seem like you make little or no progress, but it does count!

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:55 pm
by Drew458
Well I sure would like to know how it works, because I just got screwed over AGAIN.

Hoping against hope, that FINALLY, after months of waiting, at least 3 releases, and now the 2.4.1 point release, it looked like your crew finally fixed the Switch/Cost issue on the ship upgrade. The one that's kept me at Tier IV on my hull for nearly half a year now. I was so hopeful, because at last I finally saw an actual positive number in the cost textbox when I wanted to switch my Tier IV hull for a Tier V hull, and combine the insanely massive Tier IV hull to it to make it a Tier V. So I did it, and it cost me about 220 MILLION gold.

And the thing did give me a Tier V hull. And screwed me to wall and left me bleeding. I went from a Tier IV level 143, with Health of nearly 89,000 to a Tier V level 17 with Health of about 3400. For the small price of more than 220 million gold.

I'm sick of it. Your algorithms are grossly in error, and you never correct them. There is no possible way on earth, or anywhere in the Galaxy, that such a Switch is even remotely equitable. I played your game in good faith, and it ripped me off. I give up.

I can live with the sucker quests that you claim to have fixed but didn't; your "9000 cap" is a bad joke. I can live with the out of control battle quests, where "Defeat 1478 Spanish ships" gets me a pathetic 32,000 gold, when even defeating 20 ships (fleets actually, another issue you refuse to address) is more than enough to start an all out war and slaughter half my affinities in the process, along with the reality defeating 1478 fleets is probably about 50 hours of actual combat if the fleets are lined up back to back. They aren't. It can't be done, ever. Period. I can live with the game resetting my Pirate's Cove buildings to Tier 1 when I install your updates and making me rebuild everything, leaving me only the map quest artifacts that get me back to Tier 5 buildings. I can live with all the other weird stuff going on, from the silly blinking ships to all my Affinities being reset to Neutral whenever I fight a couple rounds of Endless when I go in with perfect Affinity. I can live with the false features of Power Ups and Achievement Awards and the BS about the magical items available at the Cove when I get the schematics. None of this exists, nor has ever existed. I could go on and on, because I've been finding bugs and oddities and reporting them to your team for months. I can even live with the "it's a balancing issue" and "it only happens to you!" responses to everything wrong I find, even though you don't ever correct any of that balancing. I'm wasting my time.

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:51 am
by Drew458
And the reason I'm saying that the algorithm is grossly flawed is because your programmers used the wrong number in the calculation.

The Damage, Health, and Speed of a ship is made from 3 parts: the basic specification of that particular ship, the total amount of points awarded to me for all the upgrade levels completed so far for a particular component (e.g. the Hull), and the bonus amount given by my choice in First Mates. They used the awarded upgrade levels completed points. What they should have used was the total of the upgrade card points necessary to get to that level. In my case, this is a number about 8 times larger than the levels completed points that I had. Whether your game keeps this number in a static array, or a database table, or can/could calculate it on the fly, running the Switch/Combine with the approximately 77,500 awarded points for Tier IV level 143 to a Tier V Hull was wrong ... if the Tiers are actually functional, and not just eye candy ... and the total upgrade card points used instead, the result of going from Tier IV to Tier V should have up leveled my hull to about level 153, plus or minus, which is pretty much where the cannons and sails are at this point. Which would be a nearly fair deal given the extreme cost of the transaction.

I could go on and on about statistical distributions, average number of cards per category per chest, and so forth, but after many thousand Legendary Equipment chests worth of upgrades, it is my observation that the level ups for Damage, Health, and Speed at the same Tier tend to level off with each other, with the lower Tier staying almost exactly the same amount less. Even though the awarded points are vastly different for each component, the levels are nearly the same because it all evens out in the end. Which leads me to have renewed faith that the Tiers do actually do something.

So I guess you could say this is yet another bug report. Please fix it. Please fix it for me, and for anyone else who finds themselves stuck in this unfortunate situation. Thank you.

PS -- I saw that 77,500-ish number flash on the screen in green when I executed the Combine, so I'm pretty confident that my analysis is accurate.

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:13 pm
by Drew458
With my ship downgraded to an anemic T5 lvl 18 hull, I can no longer survive Endless for more than a couple seconds. I had been at Wave 640, and able to just take hits all day, winning battles without even raising the sails. I'm getting mauled in combat in the regular game too, Level 4950, coming away with barely any health left after encountering just 3 ships. Basically, the game is over for me.

Very sad, because I had gone to great lengths to build the ultimate ship to dominate in PvP.

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:52 am
by Meg
Hi Drew, we are very sorry to hear about your disappointment regarding how the current balancing works. Our programmers know it's an issue and have been spending a lot of time on it in the last few months to correct it. Unfortunately fixing it is not as easy at it may look, and many new formulas have already been tested, scrapped and re-done again.

A completely new system for how upgrades work is going to be implemented in v2.6.0, the version in which our multiplayer Alpha goes live. So with the current version and upcoming version 2.5.0, we unfortunately will not have this fixed yet. I really do hope you understand that this is something that is being worked on with high priority, and it's something that can't be done rushed as that could generate worse results than our current formula.

However, because of your inconvenience and extensive reports, which we really appreciate, I want to send you a Small Gem Pack as a 'thank you and sorry'. :D I will send it to you in PM shortly after this message.

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:05 pm
by Drew458
Thank you for that. I just logged on to apologize if my comments were excessive or condescending. That wasn't my intent. I had considered just quitting the game and walking away, but I've decided to fight on. Life, and android apps, sometimes give you setbacks. You don't quit. You get back on your feet, get back in the fight, and move forward.

I was wrong about the total upgrade card points. Trying to rebuild my hull, I've gone from the T5 lvl 18 it handed me, back up to T5 lvl 23, and have seen that even those low levels require more than 3000 upgrade card points to achieve. So getting to level 143 must have taken a huge number. Millions perhaps. I'm glad to hear that your team is working on this issue, because it is a bad one. It seems to violate the Commutative Law of Mathematics that we all learned as little kids, that A + B = B + A. And "up Tiering" my ship should NEVER result in a loss of 95% of it's power. That's wrong.

Whatever your new system for upgrading is, I hope that it lets the player purchase upgrades for Gold, without having to purchase some type of Premium membership. I still have a vast fortune, and I can keep adding to it until your next releases come out. Not that I don't already have a Premium membership.

Thanks for your understanding response, and I look forward to receiving your gift, even though I don't know what "PM" is. Pirate Mail? Arrgggh!! :D

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:17 pm
by Drew458
If your coders are looking for ideas, here one that might work. It's a "kludge", a programming term for a cheap and dirty fix for a code problem until an elegant solution can be found. If a kludge is really good, you never have to find the elegant solution, because that takes lots of time which you never have enough of!

If cost of switch/combine is greater than what the textbox can display, (so this doesn't work for low powered situations)
Then give them the new higher Tier at the same level as what they had at the lower Tier, and assign the power that the higher Tier/ same Level gets.

Pretty much guaranteed that will be a significant power increase. After that, they're up leveling at the new Tier rate.

Might want to write some more code that won't allow a user to "down Tier" ever, and for players at the beginning levels you could write some code that would automatically do an "up Tier" swap when encountered. That would keep this situation from ever happening. As far as the cost for it, I have no idea. A lot of gold, but nothing that the Cost textbox can't handle!

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:36 pm
by Drew458
Another way would be to look at it from the other end, which might work better for a player who is trying a big Switch/Combo of several Tiers. ( Like, they kept their Tier 1 cannon status but added a big bunch of upgrade cards to it, reaching Tier 1 level 500 maybe, before figuring out that they could switch. It can happen; there aren't many instructions in the game. [ Come on, I've been playing for many months now and I just noticed yesterday that all the settlements have a "Tier 1" mark next to their names when you visit them ashore. No wonder all these folks are writing in asking how to upgrade their settlements! ] )

Take their current power, find the value just larger than that on the new Tier's level/power list, and give them that. Even if that power value is associated with a lower level in the new Tier, it's still more than they had going in, and they have the new higher Tier.

The cost for this one would be pretty small, no more than if it was a one upgrade card swap. Everybody's happy!

The elegant solution going forward would be auto-swap when a higher Tier upgrade card is encountered, so you never have this problem again. Naturally, you'd also remove the Switch button from the upgrade screen.

Re: is there a maximum level for ship upgrades?

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:22 am
by Meg
Hi Drew! No problem, apologies were not needed! We can understand and want to thank you for the kind words back. :) We hope you have found the 'Private Message' with the code in the meantime! :D Your new feedback has also been noted of course. Our team is aiming to make the new upgrade system more fair and fun for everyone!