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Privateer

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Privateer last won the day on September 27 2014

Privateer had the most liked content!

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About Privateer

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    Landsmen
  • Birthday 02/17/1995

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    Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Sailing, naval strategy, and the history of both.

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  1. That's a good point. Servicing ships-of-the-line required fairly sophisticated infrastructure and a lot of manpower. Certainly not the kind of things you'll find readily lying around Nassau. The cost and quality of maintenance should reflect this, and I believe this, in addition to the ship being naturally difficult to acquire in the first place, would be sufficiently restrictive in and of itself.
  2. I believe a number of large East Indiamen were often painted to have phony gunports, with their profile modified in such a way as to give the illusion of a large warship at spotting range. British East India convoys could at times be heavily-escorted, and genuine naval battle groups were commonplace, so anyone looking upon a convoy and spotting a handful of frigates and three or four men-o'-war in disguise would be none the wiser. Perhaps the best example in history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pulo_Aura
  3. I'm of the belief that the game should, and will, regulate this naturally. Pirates didn't have ships-of-the-line because they tended to be very well escorted, or docked at well-protected harbours, and their massive crews were in no shortage of skilled marines: the guys who existed to prevent that kind of thing from being possible in the first place. If you can successfully hijack a man-o'-war I say good on ya', you deserve that ship. You're going to have a hell of a time getting it to safety, much less using it in the future (ships-of-the-line aren't called ships-of-solo-combat for a reason). No reason to impose artificial restrictions, methinks. Certainly nothing on the order of PotBS-style regulations. That would be detrimental to the game experience for some players.
  4. Precisely. Set an arbitrary high-water mark for "virtual" currency, below which the player cannot lose money involuntarily. Above this, most is fair-game. For the casual player who doesn't want to be troubled all the time, and cycles their money quickly through trade goods, ship/crew, and other tangible essentials, there is nothing more at stake than would be otherwise.
  5. That's an interesting thought. Individual and clan treasuries could be physical stocks of the sort, with large fortunes actually requiring a great deal of coordination and force to protect. Large clans might appoint treasurers to manage the bullion in a particular harbour, or oversee its movement between harbours. The transfer of bullion could result in treasure fleets of considerable strength, and warring clans might seek to blockade and sack enemy treasuries or intercept the treasure ships themselves while underway. Alternatively, the treasurer(s) could be working an inside job, and sail into enemy waters with the intention of bolstering the coffers of their true allegiance. The way I see it, the pros of this system are immersion, emphasis on teamwork and coordination, and the opportunity for real piracy (or privateering, in the context of clan wars). What's better than capturing a ship laden with gold? Of course, there are also the cons: This would be a fairly cumbersome system if implemented at every level, and I can see a lot of players not enjoying having to move and defend every scrap of coin, so the individual player shouldn't be burdened as such. Let the individual player maintain a safe and modest savings at all times, but above some threshold of wealth it becomes cargo. The system in this fashion is thus only demanding of very wealthy individuals and clans with stockpiles and trusts, and even then some insurance should be offered by holding those reserves in unconquerable harbours, if possible (though levying a tax on doing so would offer plenty of incentive for people to keep their stocks at risk for the sake of good old-fashioned tax evasion). Thoughts?
  6. Doubloons and pieces of eight are, in my opinion, a bit cliché. Every knock-off Caribbean pirate film and game seems to default to them and I can't help but associate them with stereotypical piracy as a result, regardless of the authenticity of such relationship. I have to wonder how many other people do, too (could just be me). I fancy an unbiased, generic catch-all. It avoids the unnecessary and inevitable scrutiny otherwise imposed on the implementation of "genuine" era-currencies (values, exchange rates, degree of circulation and legality); unlike the modern market, the value of one currency over another was hardly a fixed rate in any given location at any given time, depending on how readily it could be traded for other commodities, with whom, and to what extent. Gold/silver/copper gets my vote. Ultimately, at the end of the day, the playerbase will want one simple name to reference the currency system as a whole. If not given one officially, they will think of one, potentially to the exclusion of all others (if everybody is calling it gold, there's no sense in abstracting it as gold/silver/copper). I think this social aspect should be well-considered.
  7. I agree with Flip and chappy; as interesting as it may be for some of us to limit communication, for the majority of the playerbase it would be an unnecessary restriction that would be invariably circumvented via third-party means (as it likely will to begin with, but at least it isn't strategically mandatory). A poor communication structure can be devastating to a game's reputation.
  8. 1. An arm that's three feet long, obviously. 2. Depends on how fat he is. 3. I hadn't realized that people could become flags. Do I win?
  9. If he is much larger than you, the maneuvering advantage is likely yours. You can change course far quicker than he, and if you're rigged fore-and-aft with the weather you can readily flee to windward. Fore-and-aft to leeward would be a bit more tricky, but with enough time you may be able to outdistance a square rigger on close reach. It would bring you closer to the enemy than, say, a beam or broad reach, but there's a slim chance of a Bermuda rigger outrunning a square rigger on broad reach—that is his best point of sail after all. Should you also be square rigged and hold the weather, you'll have better luck fleeing to windward than he (though not nearly as much as a cutter, but if you're square rigged facing a cutter then you shouldn't be the one fleeing in the first place), since you can maintain a steady close reach while forcing him to sail close-hauled to gain any headway. To leeward you face a similar situation, though your odds are less favourable. You might attempt to flee on a broad reach, at your best point, and he would once again be forced to sail at a less-optimal point (say, 14 to 15 points off the wind as opposed to your 12 or 13). Ultimately the outcome of this case would likely be decided by the faster hull and superior rig; studsails in light airs can make all the difference. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. It's been a while since I studied the subject in detail.
  10. PotBS had a chat command in which one party could request that another surrender a portion of its cargo. While I doubt this was intended to serve as an official forfeiture mechanic, it does bring to question the validity of conditional surrender with respect to the uncertainty of an online gaming environment. In my experience, there very little. I cite EVE as a prime example of this: ransom under threat of force, while effective in reality, is not particularly worthwhile in a game. Here are the strategic odds: should I choose to continue fighting, I am guaranteed to lose no more than that which is presently at stake, and have the potential to reduce the net gain of my enemy even if I am ultimately defeated. However, should I agree to a ransom, especially if payment is expected in some form other than cargo, crew, or ship—the assets truly at stake—(in EVE this is often direct currency, which cannot be involuntarily stolen but can be voluntarily forfeited) then I am guaranteed to lose a certain amount of money and an uncertain amount of assets on hand. If my opponent does not honour their end of the bargain, I am out the value of the ransom and the assets at stake. Here are the psychological odds: if my defeat is assured, there is no economical incentive for them to spare me; they could readily defeat me and take what they wish without the hassle of diplomacy and trust. If they are attempting to bluff, and cannot guarantee my destruction, then their gimmick will be revealed when they are defeated by me instead. All of this is not possible should I concede to strike. I have willingly acknowledged their superiority and elevated them to a position of uncontested authority. I have no assurance that my opponent will honour the deal, nor the means to enforce it. For the most part, on the internet, surrender is usually the worst decision in battle. It is a cowardly mistake made by amateurs unfamiliar with the one thing that separates virtual conflict from the corporeal: you cannot die, nor can your lasting reputation. The best course of action is to keep fighting until the last man, swim home, and avoid a similar fate in the future. To this end I believe that surrender aught to be decision made not by the immortal player but by the virtual crew who virtually can die.
  11. I agree that it's not as straightforward as I made it out to be. I should have been more clear in my explanation regarding PotBS: it would seem that stern camping is the dominant skirmish doctrine against lineships in a small (especially 1v1) environment, barring intervention by other ships that may thwart one's attempt to camp. In fleet action stern camping isn't particularly reliable (you may get some excellent raking broadsides in during a fleet melee, or when the opposing line comes about), but for the most part, in my experience, a line battle consists of a lengthy exchange of broadsides until one of the lines exhibits major weakness, and/or when both fleets have closed in to the point where breaking the line is inevitable. You raise an excellent point concerning frigates. In many circumstances an agile frigate can bring both broadsides to bear in the time it takes a lineship to reload once, which not only improves the frigate's effective firepower but its survivability as well, even in a strictly broadside-vs-broadside encounter. My points regarding "negligible emphasis on the pilot's own intuition" are primarily with respect to EVE's fleet combat mechanics, in which the type of ship and its outfitting play a greater role than the pilot's ability to use that ship. For example, a frigate pilot can still be a formidable opponent in a battleship despite possessing little experience with that class of ship, if they have good character skills, a solid fitting, and can follow instructions. This is not the case in small-scale skirmish environments (such as 1v1), in which the player's tactical acumen has a more dominant role in dictating their survival. I believe that in a real-world setting, there would be much more emphasis on the pilot's ability to use the ship than the game chooses to acknowledge. A frigate pilot may be used to a small, tight-knit, specialized crew and a broad range of responsibilities, as well as quick feedback from a small and maneuverable vessel. Placing this pilot in a battleship environment would demand the cooperation of hundreds of men and officers, through which orders would flow much more slowly and feedback would be equally delayed. The pilot, incapable of being everywhere at once (figuratively), would have a far less intimate relationship with his ship and company, relying more on the reports and discipline of others to conduct routine, much less combat, operations. When the smoke fogs his view, the splinters scatter his crew, and the incessent rolling of gunfire (all of which are much more pronounced on a large ship) add additional layers of difficulty to all of this, simply following the instructions of the fleet commander as if he were aboard a frigate would require a lot more work than that with which he is familiar. I hope that better explains my position on the matter. (Does it?)
  12. On the subject of large ships, though this may not be the most appropriate of places, I would be interested in seeing the overall difficulty of operation scaling with size. While this may be intrinsic to existing mechanics, a viable method of limiting the effectiveness of men o'war, I suspect, may be in requiring extensive knowledge, preparation, and attention to detail during their operation. Perhaps a sloop or schooner is far more forgiving in most conditions, and requires less multitasking to use effectively. Conversely, a first rate is an incredibly expensive monster that requires a very large, well-trained crew to function, and is much more susceptible to environmental hazards such as shallows, gunports coming awash, and strong headwind during tack. The crew's responsiveness to commands may be considerably slower for large ships, especially in the heat of battle, which may become a compounding issue when casualties mount. Citing EVE and PotBS as prime examples, the scale of the vessel does not adequately (in my experience) dictate the amount of skill required to use it effectively. I find that EVE's titans and dreadnoughts—roughly equivalent to ships-of-the-line in their respective environments—certainly require a lot of preparatory commitment from their operators, and necessitate a great deal of strategic coordination leading up to the battle, but in the heat of battle itself are not particularly demanding. The pilot can rely on their character "skills" and the quality of their outfitting, as well as the tremendous effort of their entire team, to see them through battle safely. There is, by contrast, negligible emphasis on the pilot's own intuition; FC calls targets, spam F1 through 8, wait til the thing dies or moves out of range. Smaller ships have the luxury of keeping the thing in range more easily, but are otherwise ostensibly the same. Small skirmishes are a different matter, though capital ships and small skirmishes rarely coalesce, thus the comparison is moot. PotBS (again, in my experience) seems to tell a similar story. Ships-of-the-line demand different tactics than their smaller, nimbler counterparts in an asymmetrical skirmish environment, but on the symmetrical fleet level the difference appears manifest only in tempo. When everyone is sailing first and second rates in a port battle, it's essentially a frigate battle but at a slower pace. The alternative invariably devolves into bouts of "stern camping," which I find equally dissatisfying. Granted, I'm not the most skilled or knowledgeable player on either front, but I do speak from several years of experience. Does any of that make sense? I suppose the crux of the issue is EVE and PotBS lack the grandeur associated with capital ships. They feel like larger and slower versions of everything else, but little more. They aren't particularly difficult to use, and tend to have very high intrinsic survivability by virtue of numbers, rather than commander skill, alone.
  13. That makes sense. I wasn't certain as to how NA was handling heel. The topsails are less likely to take hits and are comparatively easier to trim (ideal when able crew is in short supply), and with further reading I gather that staysails were more reliable in heavy weather, as their use was more conducive to precision heading when the squares became quite cumbersome. You could aways time your shots with the roll of the waves, failing all else.
  14. Poyraz raises an excellent point, and I commend the citations. The weather gage is a key advantage in fair weather, but under extreme conditions can be to one's own detriment. Apart from reduced firing elevation, lower gunports can become awash. This reduces the number of effective guns that can be brought to bear while underway. If I recall, the ship's moment of force depends primarily on the distribution of sail area. At full canvas the ship experiences the greatest amount of heel not only because of an increase in overall force, but as a compounding effect of an increase in the moment of force. Consider a mast with only its course set, all others furled. The moment of force will be low on the mast, close to the hull (and, thus, the center of mass). Conversely, a mast with only its topsails set will experience a higher moment of force, well above the center of mass, and higher still for gallants and royals, etc. It stands to reason that, for an equivalent amount of sail area, the course will impart less heel than gallants or royals in arbitrary conditions, meaning that a leeward opponent would (in theory) favour the use of upper sails with the inverse true for the opponent to windward. In practise this may not be the case, as the reliability of rigging is roughly inversely proportional to its distance from the hull. Am I correct in assumption?
  15. I'm in accord with BungeeLemming on most points. Some noteworthy aspects of collision as far as bowsprit/rigging interaction are concerned (insofar as I am familiar): First and foremost (pun not intended), the bow of a sailing vessel is very unlike its oared counterparts. Galleys with rams could rely on strong prows without rigging getting in the way, to put it simply. A sailing vessel with a bowsprit is a comparatively fragile machine, the existence of which generally precludes any possibility of unilateral damage upon collision. If the bowsprit comes in contact with another hull at considerable speed it will likely shatter, potentially penetrating if the victim's timber is sufficiently weak. Should the bowsprit become lodged in the hull (or rigging, in the case of a two- or three-decker ramming a sloop or frigate with significantly less freeboard), the ramming vessel will be torqued orthogonal to its present heading (in the case of a right-angle collision) as the kinetic energy of the victim transfers to the rammer. This will assuredly destroy the bowsprit and impart a violent force on associated rigging, potentially disabling the rammer's foremast entirely and compromising the bow structure itself, depending on the intensity of the collision. The effect of the ram on the victim, I conjecture, will depend primarily on the point of impact. Should the bowsprit of the ramming vessel become entangled in the victim's shrouds, the resultant torque may be sufficient to collapse the affected mast. Under normal conditions the shrouds counter the positive force of the wind with negative tension, with respect to the ship's heading, but the considerable surge in negative force (as the rammer is torqued in the direction of the victim's heading—Newton's laws coming into play) may overwhelm the rigging. A similar effect renders hazardous a tack in heavy weather, where the sails may be taken aback as the bow crosses irons (producing strong negative force on the rigging) in which case wearing ship is the preferred maneuver. Ultimately, I see ramming as tactically undesirable. It is tantamount to mutually-assured destruction if the conditions aren't strongly in the rammer's favour, and the risks are significant. In all likelihood it is a case of "trading a mast for a mast," should you compromise your own foremast in an effort to destroy that of your opponent. If the rammer possesses a tremendous size advantage over its opponent these risks may be mitigated, but if the opportunity for man o'war ramming sloop arises in the first place the fight can assuredly be decided by other, more orthodox measures (either the sloop is disabled and thus unable to adequately fight back or the sloop's conn is incompetent/AFK/what have you). All to say it's ill-advised, but certainly not without merit, in my opinion.
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