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Andre Bolkonsky

Dreadnoughts Tester
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Everything posted by Andre Bolkonsky

  1. My thought is even one or two pop up screens with introductory information for the first few boot ups of a game, then click the box and make it go away forever. But at least the player has some clue about what to do next. This game is simply too good to let these little details drag it down. I am sure you agree. The main problem, to me, is the results of major battles get lost in the shuffle of paper. All this effort goes into describing the battle and then 'that happened' at the end in some cases. It isn't hard to fix.
  2. A lot of time and effort went into crafting detailed, hand drawn, well narrated intros flowing with beautiful music to introduce both the American and British campaigns. But after that, the player is left on his own to figure out the game using the clues on the screen. A few simple changes to the user interface will dramatically improve this situation. Sterner suggested I post this publicly to debate the effectiveness of this solution and seek feedback on the current mechanics to make them more easily understandable to the player. So I am asking for the opinion of those who have played the game, particularly those who have expressed they had trouble understanding the game mechanics at first glance. Age of Sails “Camp” Overhaul Age of Sail ‘Camp’ format is difficult for new players to understand. The individual battles are excellent, the ‘interbattle’ period is confusing to new players. 1.1. Camp is a holdover term from UG:CW. It needs to be immediately renamed ‘Strategic Map’ / Harbor for managing ships / Amory / Depot - all the primary pages work well but they need to be better explained and the graphic overlay merely relabeled. 1.2. On the Strategic Map, a legend needs to be positioned on the map graphically in one corner to explain the map. What does a ‘ship’ mean. What does a ‘cannon’ mean. What does a ‘?’ mean. Etc. This legend should be optional over the interface and dismissed with a click when the player is comfortable with his knowledge. The first two hours I played, I thought the ship on the strategic map was my own force. I can't be the only one. 1.3. The nondescript notification flags on the left side of the screen needs to be reorganized into ‘Urgent Dispatches’ and/or ‘Correspondence’ and 'Hearsay' to distinguish for the player what they are other than a color code they do not understand. The current format does not excite player involvement into their own progress. The messages all blend together. Reorganizing them will not only encourage a player to more carefully chose the missions he accepts or rejects, and allow the player to become more immersed in the game. 1.4. Tool tips should be added so players know what they are looking at easily Player needs a way to go back and read messages which were dismissed by accident and/or add a 'do you want to delete' button to ensure they actually read that detailed list of things the game just gave them. The Game Narrative needs to continue and when all chapters are done renamed logically to explain the story to those who might not be familiar, and help the player understand the game at all times. Research needs to be tweaked, it kind of makes no sense in its current form. You are simply given the opportunity to buy tech, there is no possibility to driving techs to match the player's style. It is kind of random and unfulfilling. Continue efforts to clean up the language problems and extract them from their hiding places - easy to say, very hard to do. This is the rough idea. Simple, effective, graphic changes that show rather than tell the player what to do. Based on your own personal experience playing the game, do you think this will help new players more easily understand the game? Based on your own experience, what do you see being most effective? All helpful suggestions and replies are encouraged and we thank you in advance.
  3. This is actually one of the smartest ways to do it knowing how the game is designed. It would correct the situation without requiring a ton of code changes. Just fine tune the method and agree on which techs are most important - and that might be the tricky part because the naval guys won't care about grenadiers and the land guys won't care about rigging weight.
  4. Ultimate Admiral: War at Sea He who rules the waves, rules the world
  5. Just the opposite. Private investments have kept it operational. And the state of Texas just pumped a large amount of state funds into the ship. The problem was not the ship, but the fact it has been sitting in salt water for 100 years. The hull is paper thin in places. The cheap way would be to encase it in cement in its current location. The strategic long term option is to invest millions of dollars in state aid to refurbish the hull so the lower decks can be safely accessesed to make it a museum ship to be proud of for the next century. It is highly unlikely to be returned to its current swamp next to the industrial farms and massive chemical plants. I rather think Tillman Fertitata will cut a deal where it will be floating in Galveston next to his pleasure peir with a massive - and I mean massive - entertainment complex built around it when it is ready to sail home. So let it be written, so let it be done.
  6. Same publisher under the same aegis, but different individuals work on different aspects of different projects. I've been tracking both projects for some time, and by the end of the day i truly believe they will both be awesome games.
  7. This is the answer you are looking for I have been working with these guys on multiple projects for a while now. They are very small team, and very good at what they do. They are always, always, always collecting information and data feedback from the players; but they only really speak when there is something to say.
  8. USS Texas is no longer open to visitors. As of October 1, she will no longer allows visitors aboard. She is in process of being packed up, her moorings cut away, and will be towed to a dry dock in Alabama large enough to scrape her hull and repair the armor plating which has been in salt water since it was launched and is paper thin in some places. When the repairs are done, she will be towed back to the Houston area. Whether she will return to the cesspool of the Ship Channel in the shade of the San Jacinto Battleground is very unlikely. A new berth will be built for her in a better location, such as Galveston, and the museum ship will reopen to the next generation of visitors.
  9. The short answer is 'yes'. If you possess the skill to mod a game, there is very little anyone can do to stop you. It is their game and their choice. But considering that DarthMod is a valuable member of this gaming concern, I assure you the devs respect the skill that goes into making a quality mod that others might want to play. And if you make a mod so outstanding it drives people to buy their base game to play your mod on top of it, more power to you. I've seen the quality these guys put out; it's hard to beat them, but you are more than welcome to try.
  10. Yes, it is not difficult to win, but you need to pay attention to the details. The key is the quality of the torpedoes and the speed and acceleration of your ships. Slow ships will be sunk before they get into range, small torpedoes will bounce. If you use cheap torpedoes, you'll get cheap results. Meanwhile, one or two good hits with a legit torpedo will stop the dreadnought dead in the water and allow water and time to do their thing and sink the boat with minimal loss to your own crews.
  11. Please, keep reporting all you see, it is very helpful. I admire your passion, but counsel patience. Torpedoes are already being prioritized, and I rather suspect will be again several more times before the end. If you think all will be fixed with one patch, you might be disappointed. Trial and error, trial and error. You document hits, but not the size or type of torpedo, or mention the armor quality they are impacting. Surely you don't think a generation I 'Fish' torpedo would punch a hole in the USS Texas? Quick example: I invite you to revisit the US Mark 14 torpedo and its real world teething problems when the developers refused to believe the field reports regarding problems. Torpedoes are tricky beasts, and have come a long way since Admiral Howell instituted the first successful US torpedo development program back in 1890 because it was too expensive to buy them from Britain. I'm not speaking for Nick, but this a matter of balancing armor quality and warhead efficacy based on technology. And it isn't happening in a vacuum, there are innumerable moving parts to this issue. This will remain one factor in a massive balancing act until the end of development. Because whenever you change this, it will affect not only what you are looking at but about 12 other things as well. Lots of minor tweaks happen behind the curtain. Game development is a marathon, not a sprint. Some patience is required or you will burn out hyper-focusing on this one issue in a week rather than following the pack to the finish line. Just a suggestion on patterns I have seen before. Good luck, and I hope to see you with us for some time to come.
  12. Autoresolve was kind of hit or miss, more of a placeholder until they turn their full attention back to that aspect of the game. The campaign has a basic form, but it is far from polished. It was an intriguing glimpse at what is coming next. If I am guessing how Nick will procede, he is going to get the basic mechanics working first and then move up the chain of difficulty while constantly shuffling to keep everything balanced. While he was designing The Civil War, I watched him put an AI on the field that was a pushover. It became so ferocious at one point the humans didn't stand a chance, and that evolved into the incredibly fun and well-balanced game we know today. He is exceptional at trying things, listening to feedback, and tweaking what needs to be tweaked. What I like best is he believes in the word 'game' as something that should be fun and as historically accurate as possible without sacrificing enjoyability or play balance to secondary technical concerns. If its not fun, no one cares. Period. Give him some time, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I can't wait.
  13. Regarding the campaign: Strategic control of the seas rather than tactical mastery is what I anticipate enjoying about this game. Like a TW campaign, I only fought the crucial battles and autoresolved the rest. But I spent hours crafting the kingdom from which those armies marched. At one point, we had access to the embryonic campaign, and I played it as much as anyone. Each major nation is represented and has a political/diplomatic element, a resource/production element, a research/design element, amongst other details. You design new ships. The dockyards produce them using the national resources and financial resources available to that country to both create and sustain an ocean navy. The world map is very sharp looking. All major nations / seas / areas you would expect to find are represented. Production and technology factor into ship design and production. Upon christening, the ships join the designated fleet with a green level of experience. Basic training over time can bring that to regular level, but elite levels of training can only be accomplished under enemy fire. Your fleets do as you tell them. These fleets protect your shores, or raid the distant shores of far away lands. Commerce raiding, shell a port, many fun ways to keep your enemy busy in many places. What I have not seen is a naval training program, a ship captain promotion system, an admiral creation system, and many other possible enhancements; but I hear rumors. Command and control needs to be tweaked, and will be. When small groups can easily be controlled, we can move to task groups, task forces, and full Jutland size fleet operations that sometimes look like two barbarian hordes running at each other across the open prairie. It should be a very fun ride.
  14. So this was fun. Going through the Naval Academy exercises I stumbled upon the last mission: the modern BB. I built ONE gorgeous battleship, similar to a North Carolina but with a battery of triple 8" guns on each side. Best available options in all areas. Using all the cash and weight allotted. Game opens, the 16" naval rifles start barking at targets WAAAAAY on the other side of the map. Shells start falling among them, they scatter because they can't see me. And I"m the Bismark vs. the Hood. Foolishly, I close to get a better angle, and a couple hundred shots a minute start pinging off my hull. Like Stalin said, quantity has a quality all its own. I felt like the Yamato against Taffy III at the Battle of Savo Island in Leyte Gulf. I took some of their ships out, but they killed me in the end by swarm tactics and a never ending rain of steel from above and fish below. Next up, a North Carolina with two rear facing turrets and absolutely no hurry to catch up to the enemy with the speed to create separation quickly.
  15. @Nick Thomadis Yes, the ability to save ships would be very, very nice for people who want to save their best ships between games. A very good idea here, and I think it has been mentioned by others before.
  16. in an early version, I hit one BB with 50+ torpedoes and did not sink it and reported this to Nick as a bug, who told me to check the armor value of the target and the size of the torpedoes. The torpedoes were ancient and the armor was very high tech. No wonder they bounced. What we learned early was the size and tech of the torpedo matters greatly. Big fat torpedo sink big fat ships, small torpedos scratch the paint unless it hits a vital area. Look at this again is my suggestion, torpedoes are very fun to play with but take some finesse.
  17. Aye, it is. Look for a little bitty check box at the top right corner, iirc.
  18. This game is very good. But even after a tremendous amount of work, is still in its infancy, By the time next few months roll around it will be in kindergarten. Can you imagine what it will look like by the time it gets its PdD? Darth takes his craft very, very seriously. And for that we should all rejoice.
  19. I am loving this game! Target Practice - first ship was sleek with accurate 10" guns and failed. Second ship was slow, mounted 12" guns, and had virtually no armor. We used HE to set the enemy BB on fire, while she burned we used AP to hammer her hull. She sank like a stone. Gun Basics I - Light cruiser sunk on first try using same tactics from previous build. HUGE UPGRADE are the visuals on the left of the screen, things work much more fluidly and seem to behave as one would expect. Gun basics II - built first ship for speed and got whacked. Second ship was heavily armored, carried torpedos and accurate 10" guns with explosives upgrade. Burned him down, immoblized him, finished him with torpedoes. Speed Basics, overtook the DD on the first by maximizing propulsion and discarding armor and weaponry Speed Basics II, built a wicked fast light cruiser mounting a 5" gun that burned down the DD from behind. It was a sleek vessel and fun to design. Torpedo boats - am not doing well. I figured out how to separate the ships into separate groups, but in three tries have maybe gotten 1 torpedo hit on the BB and not close to bringing it down - suggestions? Torpedo Boats, Part Deaux: extra funds, 3x Torpedo Boats carrying 3x 18" torpedos each capable of doing 30.5 Knots. One torpedo boat lost, one damage, BB sunk by two hits and some time to allow water to do its thing. (You would almost think Darth knows what he is talking about, no?) To be continued. Early results: It's fun. And it will be a lot more fun as time goes by!
  20. Add a campaign for US Constitution. That is a fun ship to sail the open waters with. And, yes, only Anglo-American fleets matter. 😎
  21. If I am not on the list, and I assume I am, you know I can't wait to help out with this in any way, shape, form or fashion you may desire.
  22. WoWS has many good parts, but also many maddening points. In particular, the design that allows mass firing of torpedoes 'just because' and hiding, hoping they hit something. And this is encouraged. So gamey. I am looking forward to being able to field the entire fleet, from capital ships to escorts, as one coherent unit.
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