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Captain Hammered

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  1. Possible, but if @DeRuyter was precise enough to record mast hits, saying he 'did demasting wrong' is both premature and unhelpful. We've seen that Pandora has a fairly unique gunnery profile; I would prefer to see solid data and accurate information before making judgements.
  2. Agreed completely and thanks! I haven't fought in small ships for a dog's age, I'm used to the more sedate pacing and timing of Capital ships and it shows. I doubt I would ever take Pandora into PvP; it's simply not 'ma thang' - though I'm positively bristling at the chance to unleash Rattvisan on the War Server this weekend LOL. I'm going to continue testing and opening book-slots on the lass; I'm fairly confident that with sufficient knowledge and RL experience, the pretty beastie will be able to duel an Indef - I'm placing that as the upper limit at the moment until I truly learn its abilities. I'm glad you liked the video; I'm going to work with the suggestions offered to my post in the Guides forum to produce much better, slicker videos - I hope at least. Cheers!
  3. I've started testing the Pandora - LUVVERLY little ship, I must say! Excellent turn, speed and accelleration; to be expected for a ship its class. I find it similar in many ways to a Surp; it would hold a similar role. I made a video of an engagement near Nassau against a Privateer - tiny little thing; good for target practice. As others have noted, the top-deck swivels do aim high, and draw the other guns with them. I'm just not sure it's a major issue - as I say in the video (I narrated this one lol) it seems less of a bug and more of a condition of those specific guns. In short, they'll take practice to learn but I'm happy with them. Here's the video: Not the best fight of mine by a longshot; but excellent practice and good experience. Cheers!
  4. I agree in principle - it would be great to have a widely-varied and complex AI system that could include - if I'm reading you right (and how I personally imagine it) specific AI behavious such as: The Aggressive Captain, The Wary Captain, The Fearful Captain, The Undisciplined captain, etc. - personality traits for Captain and crew that would define how the AI ship fights. An AI Bellona might, for instance, be overly concerned about the status of his armour and not engage too closely, or even run - or he might be suicidal but incompetent, or brave and highly skilled, etc. I'm just not sure how it would work in practice - it sounds like it could require a complete teardown and rebuild of the AI protocols. I've no idea how complicated that could be; as far as I know computers are magic boxes with little green imps inside pressing buttons.
  5. o7 folks! You know, some folks on here make superb videos of their NA gameplay, I really enjoy watching them, and I would like to do a few of my own. Unfortunately, both my tools and skills at video recording are...well...crap. I used to use Bandicam and Micro$oft Movie Maker back in the Win95 days, but there HAS to be better technology available. (And, apparently, M$MM doesn't exist in Windows any more. Figures.) If anyone could offer tips on programs, techniques and thoughts, I'd really appreciate it. FWIW, here's my latest attempt done with Xsplit: No title, no narration (I was really having to concentrate on the fight), dark and blurry. In other words UGH - I'd like to do much better. Thanks folks
  6. More feedback on the Rattvisan. Just for fun, I recorded a fight in the patrol zone between myself and an AI Wasa. Poor quality unfortunately - just a Twitch video. I'm no good at making films in NA (Tips would be great lol - some of your vids are AWESOME!) At any rate she's tough, capable, a confident fighter and easily the match of any Class 3 ship. Enjoy:
  7. I agree with this. While I prefer the much harder, more challenging AI, new players are going to have a problem. I've also felt right from the beginning that class 7 ships are overpowered historically, both in firepower and performance - even the dinky little Pickle is no 'Barrett's Antelope' as it were. I've restarted my game and character about 3 times now - 4 full grind-ups to RA rank and every time I'm surprised and perturbed how difficult the first three ranks are to achieve - and that was before the changes to the mission system. Now it's going to be much, much harder. Quite personally - and this is merely a personal opinion - to assist new players I'd love to see the return of Rookie Brigs, placed on short runs around national ports in OW - only attackable by Class 6-7 players, though I doubt that's possible. Players in Class 6-7 ships anyway - that is do-able. They would represent new AI officers in the best ships they can afford (in other words cheap, leaky crap), just learning their trade. Lousy - if any - loot to discourage experienced players, but just enough XP to give new players a solid and pleasant learning experience.
  8. Update - Testing goes on with the RattV and while that's not the focus of this thread, the behaviour of the AI is. I'm finding the total effect of the new AI to be excellent. Numerous one-on-ones vs. Class 3 ships have given me a strong appreciation for the individual skills of AI Captains; and HOW they apply their protocols dependent on ship type. For example, the 3rd Rate is slow, awkward and trends to downwind tactics - its captain undoubtedly knows that going into the wind is not helpful with such a lumbering vessel. She hits HARD though, and WILL try to suck the player into close-range action where it can pump a broadside into your hull. I was caught by surprise when it suckered me into following him into a downwind parallel; I lost quite a bot of armour before gaining separation - and gave up a ton of structure through the stern. Terrifying in the moment - an excellent tactic for the 3rd Rate. The Bellona is of course always a tough fight, and unlike all other Class 3's is largely impossible to kill without at least one rep - for me anyway. They're using a mix of upwind and downwind tactics and can be extremely canny when it comes to forcing the player into a potential head-to-wind stall - while maintaining the inertia to capitalize on it, either with a broadside or boarding. They haven't managed to complete the trap yet; in the first case I managed to squeak past at 4.1kts, thanking Poseidon that the RattV accelerates well. They hit hard AND accurately, targeting your ship for maximum damage. They'll also hold fire if you're angling off, and blast when you round to fire. BLOODY tough. While they have wide firing arcs, I don't see a particular increase in firepower - which is good, since they're already nightmares at the broadside. I haven't lost to one yet but it's been DAMN close. Like...THAT close. Wasas are the dogfighters of the Class 3's; again a unique set of tactics emphasizing their maneuverability and quick firing. Very canny, VERY frustrating when attacking from upwind. They'll round up, spoiling your hit on his sides. They'll 3-point, giving you both broadsides in double-quick time. They'll sucker you in, trap you, force you into unneeded damage. One thing I've noticed with them: they can get rattled. Last fight, my enemy was tough, crisp and accurate, until I blasted him down to 1/2 armour, gave him a solid stern rake and his broadside bounced off. Then he seemed to become uncertain, firing wildly, keeping his distance, making mistakes. It didn't last long, but it really seemed that his cool was blown for a few minutes. Connies are...well...Connies. Upwind-fighting, evil, sneaky insta-boarding bastards that have perfected the upwind ram as much as an AI possibly can. Staying upwind on these buggers is critical, but they're fully capable of rounding up, closing the gap FAST and forcing you into the wind where they WILL take you - every time. I lost a beautiful Gold Indef to one; I'm no beginner at boarding but it took me down - I need to take defensive boarding lessons from Tenet; he's a bloody master at it. So far I haven't lost a RattV; its manoeuverability and high-fighting ability trumps the Connie's excellent upwind fighting and trapping skills. Results: I am LOVING the new AI. The same old boring 'Steer-him-off, broadside-then-rake' predictable AI are gone; replaced by a much cannier, complex AI that is still predictable, but takes much greater advantage of ship-types. While I DO see that all ships have wider firing arcs, they're not nearly as wide as some people fear. Also, I still see no indication at all of increased firepower or accuracy. If there IS any change, it's minimal, to maximize an individual ship type's advantage against the player. So far, I give the new AI 4 out of 5 stars - there's always room for improvement but it's pretty excellent. Cheers!
  9. Uh - huh - not to put TOO fine a point on it, but could you expand a bit on what the technical issues were? Thanks.
  10. I've had a few battles in the Ratt; most notably a couple of solo Wasas and a 3rd Rate. I LOVE this ship! Decent speed, excellent turn, good punch - as yet I only have one deck loaded with Longs, the rest with Meds (with carros at the stern). Relatively good crew protection and angle armour. And - as previously noted - she looks GREAT. (Though a Swiss Guard would look REALLY good on it, you know? )
  11. My own thoughts: I just got the Rattvisan and tested it out against a 3rd Rate I tagged just N of Cap Fracais. Tough fight, but not seriously threatening. I was quite impressed with the 3rd's attempts to counter my weather-gauge advantage - sailing at the high-reach and trying to get me to chase him downwind. Frankly, I never seem to see the 'magic accuracy' of AI's fire; they can be spoofed, faked out, predicted, like any enemy. Put your stern to him and you should expect to have it nailed. If you're not slewing wildly until you're out of his gunnery arc you're asking to be hit. The next two large ships - both solo Wasas - were quite interesting to fight, because they were bringing a particularly frustrating tactic into the fray. My typical approach is to attack on the beam, keeping a 45 degree angle until he fires - and now sometimes they don't. They hold their fire until I round up. Excellent! (Well, it sucks - but it's a damn good improvement on their behaviour.) On the other hand, they'll occasionally fire wildly; spreading their fire far ahead, over and past my ship with little damage. They'll also round up into the wind, spoiling my broadside and trying to get me to fire at their bows. It's a simple counter - Depower and back the yards FAST, hold in position until he comes around, then blast him, C-turn before he can hit your broadside and nail him again - but it shows a good improvement in AI tactics. Overall, I'm very pleased with the changes. Now - there ARE some issues with AI gunnery. They do have a very wide firing arc (Bloody Pavs still have 40 damn turreted blister guns a side) and apparently autoloaders but here's the thing: I'm cool with it. It should be bloody tough taking on a larger ship and while there is NO way I'm taking on a Bellona any time soon in my Rattvisan (at least until I've got a stockpile of spare guns for it lol) I can handle the other ships in that class with relative comfort. I'll try out the AI's 2-ship behaviour tomorrow - I'll look for a pair of 4's or something, and come back to describe the result. Thanks!
  12. Hello - been playing the Testbed a few days and there are a few poor observations I can make. First, I really like the addition of the economy missions; they add a nice flavour to daily operations in the Caribbean - selecting destinations based on passenger/package needs. I'm certain the reward will be drastically reduced on the live servers; but I'd suggest not making the final reward too small, or people just won't take 'em. I like the idea of newer players using small, fast ships for courier duty; sending packages and passengers from island to island. That said - looking at the combat, well... My first thought was "What on Earth were you guys thinkin'?"; I later assumed the vast differences in firepower between ships was set up for the Testbed - to allow players to get their 25 kills quick. I just found out now looking on the forum (Sorry, I don't have time to read all 50 pages) that it's intended for the release. Wow. Look; I get the idea - the ability of a Class 3 ship (Bellona, Wasa, 3rd Rate etc.) to vapourize a 5th Rate in a single broadside is certainly fun...for the larger ship ... but going out, finding an Essex+12 and wiping them off the map without barely taking a scratch is ludicrous. It's easy enough to wipe out said fleet in the current server, but there's at least some challenge. I suspect the idea is to reduce the effectiveness of ganking fleets - I could be wrong on that; like I said I don't have time to read the entire thread. Won't work - all gankers will do is go up one ship class and attack with much greater effect. So: Next goal for testing is to take on an equal ship, to see the changes. First attempt, I came up with a Wasa in a 3rd Rate Kill mission. Went down in three broadsides. (He did, I mean. ) Total fight length: 6 minutes. Next attempt was against a lone Bellona; same type of mission. Rather than offering a description, it's easier to just show a video: It was rather an enjoyable fight; though no contest at all - just as an equal AI should be. Overall, I'm guardedly pleased about the changes to the battle damage, though I REALLY feel that the discrepancy between larger and smaller vessels is a little insane. I'll keep testing - I'd LOVE to find a 1st or 2nd Rate out there somewhere. Still looking...
  13. I have 2 Hunt missions open right now: one for 5th's and one for 7th's. Successfully completed a kill order; got the reward. I'm about as conservative as you can get - I hate ANY change. I'm still annoyed at the Devs for taking away my 5-dura Gold Bellona lol. That said, I'm overall pleased with the Testbed's mission system. There is a great deal of much-needed flexibility and the Captain retains a great deal of discretion. I think the Devs have developed a good system here, though I think it CAN be improved. First, I took the Tute and got upgrade to M&C - I've always been partial to the Frigate - but how well will new players respond to the requirements? There are currently no 7th Rate missions at KPR; I must stress that these need to be MANDATORY at Capital Ports. There should always be 7th-rate missions available for new players, IMO. While I'm taking a long time to get used to the new port UI, I'm overall pleased. There is one thing that bothers me; though I'm sure I'm alone in this: having the 3D scene focus on the dock. OK - I agree it's much better than the blue screen, but I'd like to see a focus on an Admiralty House or warehouse - something that very clearly shows you're on shore. Just a quibble; of course. Continuing to explore; I think the Devs have done good work here.
  14. I personally agree that upgraded-level ships should be rare, and that rarity should increase based on the level - but I mainly agree with the OP: the current random system is, IMO, very poor and not conducive to good crafting play. I completely agree with commenters: 4/5 and 5/5 ships should be exceedingly rare; and other attributes with varying levels of rarity - but a purely random dice roll should not be what determines the result. My personal thought - and I do understand this would be very difficult to implement; just spitballing here - would be to add a 'modification' slot to the crafting screen. A mod could be added there to provide extra levels - but those mods could be insanely difficult and/or expensive to craft. I dunno - 'cramped' (for instance) could require 'hammocks' mods to the equivalent of 10% of the ship's crew: 300 men, 30 Hammock mods...or something like that. Just offering ideas. I'd personally like to see Fine woods come back - un-produceable with buildings; must be taken from ships as before - and those woods could provide slot upgrades. A crafter could possibly require specific training (another XP list) to be able to craft a single upgrade - and be unable to produce others - indicating a specialized Master Craftsman. These are just ideas; not firm thoughts on what should happen. The point is that there are definitely ways to improve the upgrade system - a random roll just doesn't do a very good job. Cheers!
  15. Precisely - fights are all about position; and position is all about energy. I've lost many fights to a smaller, nimbler opponent because that opponent was simply better than I was at saving/spending energy in the most efficient way. A particular French player has beaten my Frigate twice in his little Surprise off Carlisle because he was better at positioning. On the positive side, a Pirate player who's killed me three times in the past went down with his Connie crushed to kindling two nights ago (VERY satisfying!) because I was able to use the wind. I love this game; different models have different abilities, each one has strengths an individual player may use to find his/her personal 'favourite' ship. Even the cumbersome Trinc could be a devastating platform in the right hands; you never know. In the end, ships have their advantages, but player ability wins out every time. Marvellous!
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