Jump to content
Game-Labs Forum
Juan Navarre

Why doesn't the map show where I am?

Recommended Posts

Not that I'm complaining mind you. It's one of the things that drew me to the game.

From the Steam Store:

Quote

"We do not believe in the various modern hand-holding markers, thus player position is not shown on the map: you will have to navigate yourself using compass, sun or landmarks."


I thought this was great, and imagined that it would be representative of the philosophy of the game. So you can imagine my surprise to discover that it was literally the only concession made to the situational awareness limitations of the 18th century, in an otherwise entirely 21st century information-age arcade.

Where am I going?: It is called a compass in the game, but that is actually a misnomer. It is actually a heading indicator. Not even one of the gyros of the 20th century that you had to reset periodically due to precession, but a full on 21st century digital heading indicator that would look right at home on a G-1000. It comes complete with a wind indicator built into the heading indicator and a digital readout of your speed below.

Part of the fun and challenge of 18th century seamanship is using an old fashioned compass set in a binnacle. The fickle thing with magnetic variation, deviation, and magnetic dip. The kind that you have to undershoot when turning from the north and overshoot when turning from the south. The kind that bounces around like the dickens, making it almost unreadable when the seas get rough.

Which way does the wind blow?: If the spirit of the game is to reproduce the charms and challenges of the Age of Sail, it seems like reading the masthead fly, looking for how the other boats heel, searching the coast for signs of smoke or fluttering banners, would be a perfect challenge to bring in some of the flavor of the days before electronic wind meters. 

How fast am I going?: If the external visual indications of speeding up and slowing down are not enough, why not have the quartermaster yell the results from the chip log over the din of battle periodically?

What is the exact percentage of enemy sails remaining?: This feature seems like it would be great in a futuristic space opera game. As far as I know, precise readouts of percentages of enemy vessels hull integrity, resources, and systems is a technology not even available yet today. I can see the holes I create in the enemy sail very well. Why isn't that gauge enough?

Conclusion: I can understand the desire to cater to folks who want fast-paced, seat-of-the-pants, instant gratification, point-and-shoot gameplay. I imagine that a dynamic minimap that shows your position and the position of your enemies would greatly enhance the gaming experience for such people.

If, on the other hand, your target audience is folks like myself who are looking for a sense of authenticity, away from the aforementioned handholding, and to get a glimpse at what the challenges of 18th century life at sea were like outside of our Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forester books, I think the sleek 21st century glass-cockpit style HUD detracts from the experience, and removes much of the gameplay challenge that we were hoping to find.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A simulator of what? It doesn't seem to be a simulator of 18th century naval challenges, for the reasons stated above. I certainly wouldn't mind if it were a simulator in the respect of simulating historical seafaring and navigation methods, but it seems to have every situational awareness tool you would expect from a modern video game other than the dynamic minimap. What exactly is it meant to simulate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Wind said:

NA is a Simulator now. Many wanted it that way and so we have it. 

It has never been a simulator and when we had the Long/Lat it was fine, just a bunch of hard core players cried about it and got it changed. Honestly most of those players where using third party apps too.  I know a lot of guys do so it really didn't change anything other than making it harder on the new players.   No one has ever asked for GPS dots on the map, just the tools you would have at that time to get your general location on charts/maps like they would.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Short answer:  1/2 the people will complain and 1/2 the people will cheer.  Like EVERYTHING else in this game. There are basically 2 very distinct camps after 3+ years of development. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Vernon Merrill said:

Short answer:  1/2 the people will complain and 1/2 the people will cheer.  Like EVERYTHING else in this game. There are basically 2 very distinct camps after 3+ years of development. 

 

 It's the same in any game when changes come, like they say can't please everyone all the time.

Nothing wrong with voicing concerns though, at end of day answer is often somewhere in middle of extremes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Banished Privateer said:

We need more tools for navigation to make both camps happy, @Vernon Merrill. There is a bunch of tools used in Age of Sail that are not present in the game.

agreed.

I'm fine with not having a dot or something show your exact location, but the tools we have currently to try and navigate are laughable at best.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Juan Navarre said:

I can understand the desire to cater to folks who want fast-paced, seat-of-the-pants, instant gratification, point-and-shoot gameplay.

You nailed it there mate.  Pretty much summed up NA.

The concepts you value; compass, chronometer, chip log, wind pendant,  enemy BDA, would enhance the game, but alas it shall never be.  NA serves a mistress known as lady combat, and she is jealous of all other content in the game.

You will find that you can turn off the UI and it is fairly easy to judge your heading from the stars and sun.  The wind direction is a challenge, but you can estimate it from the lay of your boom and the ship's speed.

The navigation is kind of fun, abeit very simple, and there are several helpful maps that players have created.  With a draw program you can easily build your own course plans and then track your progress.  Without variable winds and currents there isn't much need for more in game tools.  But a compass, chronometer, chip log and pendant would help make sailing more interesting.

It's still a good game and if you work hard you can recreate a little sense of authenticity in the age of sail.  It also helps to use your imagination.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Macjimm said:

You nailed it there mate.  Pretty much summed up NA.

The concepts you value; compass, chronometer, chip log, wind pendant,  enemy BDA, would enhance the game, but alas it shall never be.  NA serves a mistress known as lady combat, and she is jealous of all other content in the game.

You will find that you can turn off the UI and it is fairly easy to judge your heading from the stars and sun.  The wind direction is a challenge, but you can estimate it from the lay of your boom and the ship's speed.

The navigation is kind of fun, abeit very simple, and there are several helpful maps that players have created.  With a draw program you can easily build your own course plans and then track your progress.  Without variable winds and currents there isn't much need for more in game tools.  But a compass, chronometer, chip log and pendant would help make sailing more interesting.

It's still a good game and if you work hard you can recreate a little sense of authenticity in the age of sail.  It also helps to use your imagination.

Thanks mate. Could you tell me how this turning off the UI business is accomplished? They didn't cover it in the tutorials.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Juan Navarre said:

Thanks mate. Could you tell me how this turning off the UI business is accomplished? They didn't cover it in the tutorials.

ctrl+H

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Macjimm said:

You nailed it there mate.  Pretty much summed up NA.

The concepts you value; compass, chronometer, chip log, wind pendant,  enemy BDA, would enhance the game, but alas it shall never be.  NA serves a mistress known as lady combat, and she is jealous of all other content in the game.

You will find that you can turn off the UI and it is fairly easy to judge your heading from the stars and sun.  The wind direction is a challenge, but you can estimate it from the lay of your boom and the ship's speed.

The navigation is kind of fun, abeit very simple, and there are several helpful maps that players have created.  With a draw program you can easily build your own course plans and then track your progress.  Without variable winds and currents there isn't much need for more in game tools.  But a compass, chronometer, chip log and pendant would help make sailing more interesting.

It's still a good game and if you work hard you can recreate a little sense of authenticity in the age of sail.  It also helps to use your imagination.

Lets be realistic here.  There is a small percentage who would enjoy this level of immersion (including myself) but not the majority.  You almost need a realism tab in an options menu for the players of this game. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Vernon Merrill said:

Short answer:  1/2 the people will complain and 1/2 the people will cheer.  Like EVERYTHING else in this game. There are basically 2 very distinct camps after 3+ years of development. 

2? no no no... you are mistaken. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Oberon74 said:

  You almost need a realism tab in an options menu for the players of this game. 

Sounds like a great idea. 

The features that Navarre described are not extreme modifications that only a fringe minority could enjoy. It seems very reasonable that lots of us would play a game that did more to recreate the feel of walking the deck of history.

Unrealistic requests would include; sailing Open World in real time, the possibility of dieing in game, real amounts of time needed to build ships, etc.

There is nothing outrageous about having a toggle for a compass, watch and chip log or being able to control the ship while moving about it in the camera view .

There are lots of simple changes that would enhance the genuine sailing experience, but because they have nothing to do with fighting are considered unreasonable and discarded as ultra realism or useless immersion.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Macjimm said:

Sounds like a great idea. 

The features that Navarre described are not extreme modifications that only a fringe minority could enjoy. It seems very reasonable that lots of us would play a game that did more to recreate the feel of walking the deck of history.

Unrealistic requests would include; sailing Open World in real time, the possibility of dieing in game, real amounts of time needed to build ships, etc.

There is nothing outrageous about having a toggle for a compass, watch and chip log or being able to control the ship while moving about it in the camera view .

There are lots of simple changes that would enhance the genuine sailing experience, but because they have nothing to do with fighting are considered unreasonable and discarded as ultra realism or useless immersion.

The changes I suggested would affect fighting though. Combat right now seems to privilege marksmanship over seamanship. Staying out of irons is a simple matter of glancing down at the left hand corner periodically.

Skills like reading the wind and keeping your bearings, which would have been essential to captains of the time, are rendered useless by the handholding interface.

Meanwhile, marksmanship, which would have been less useful to captains who weren't manning each canon themselves, seems to be the essential skill to have in NA, so that you can snipe a headshot on those enemy masts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Juan,

You can also walk around on deck and climb the rigging.  Press Home twice, quickly to access a camera view.

Use the W,S,D,A,X,Z keys to move.  Your mouse wheel can adjust the speed.  It is most unfortunately that a ship cannot be controlled from the camera view.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Macjimm said:

Juan,

You can also walk around on deck and climb the rigging.  Press Home twice, quickly to access a camera view.

Use the W,S,D,A,X,Z keys to move.  Your mouse wheel can adjust the speed.  It is most unfortunately that a ship cannot be controlled from the camera view.

That's awesome! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/30/2018 at 8:12 AM, Macjimm said:

NA serves a mistress known as lady combat, and she is jealous of all other content in the game.

🙏 ... pure gold ... 🙏

😄

Edited by Jean de la Rochelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/30/2018 at 2:44 PM, Macjimm said:

There are lots of simple changes that would enhance the genuine sailing experience, but because they have nothing to do with fighting are considered unreasonable and discarded as ultra realism or useless immersion.

The game as it is already can be labeled 'hardcore', we should be grateful for the amount of casual-play-denying features it has.

As much as I like accuracy, historical feeling, immersion myself (yeah, let me use a sextant, too), I understand the economic interests of the studio, having to make compromises towards the gamer audience, as much as possible and excusable, in order to stay profitable. A real age of sail simulation of how to operate a ship of decent size would be too hard for many gamers and I can already anticipate complaints about what they could not cope with...

Plus, there is this sportsman type of gamer who goes all for achievements and 'marks', he does not like sailing ships per se, he does operate tanks, planes, or triangles and squares, no matter what, for making points and leading charts, publishing videos of his performances. Those players also don't give a damn about historical content. Sad thing. But the market has to reckon with them, too.

Edited by Cetric de Cornusiac
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The principle of the instrument was first implemented around 1731 by John Hadley (1682–1744) and Thomas Godfrey (1704–1749), but it was also found later in the unpublished writings of Isaac Newton (1643–1727). Additional links can be found to Bartholomew Gosnold (1571 - 1607) indicating that the use of a sextant for nautical navigation predates Hadley's implementation.

 

There is nothing wrong with knowing your position to within several nautical miles at noon every day. They should implement a sextant in the game, or, if they do things the halfassed way, as usual, add a button 'determine position' that makes you stop for 15s and takes a reading.

Edited by Le Raf Boom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Le Raf Boom said:

The principle of the instrument was first implemented around 1731 by John Hadley (1682–1744) and Thomas Godfrey (1704–1749), but it was also found later in the unpublished writings of Isaac Newton (1643–1727). Additional links can be found to Bartholomew Gosnold (1571 - 1607) indicating that the use of a sextant for nautical navigation predates Hadley's implementation.

 

There is nothing wrong with knowing your position to within several nautical miles.

If you want to go hard core even more, you can use a sextant to determine if another ship is getting closer or farther.  Simply by comparing the angle between his mast head and waterline over time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Oberon74 said:

If you want to go hard core even more, you can use a sextant to determine if another ship is getting closer or farther.  Simply by comparing the angle between his mast head and waterline over time.

You don't belong to video game world. :)

Edited by Wind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Oberon74 said:

If you want to go hard core even more, you can use a sextant to determine if another ship is getting closer or farther.  Simply by comparing the angle between his mast head and waterline over time.

Respectfully that's not hard core. And you don't need a sextant.  Marks on the spyglass will work fine, or holding up a ruler to the monitor.  The process is very simple triangulation.  A very young child could learn to do in a minute. 

There was a feature in the Silent Service games that allowed geometry as a method for determining distance to target and provided something to do while setting up. There were mods for accurate calibration of the mil graduations on the scope.   You could get good at it and do it quickly with practice.  The hardcore part was estimating the height of the mast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×