Jump to content
Game-Labs Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

701 Excellent

About surfimp

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Location
    PVP Global

Recent Profile Visitors

1,002 profile views
  1. I think it's a good suggestion and definitely worthy of being tested.
  2. Captain TP to free port makes it easy to setup flash gank mobs or PB fleets in enemy waters, lets traders have far easier access to monopolize trade goods, and allows revenge fleets even more opportunity to initiate "retag of doom" cycles. So many of the mechanical problems in this game have teleports as a primary contributing cause. Edited to add: I don't sail anywhere in a Basic Cutter. What if you randomly cross paths with a trader and you can't cap him? No thanks. I'm always hunting, even when I'm moving.
  3. The time spent patrolling really varies... sometimes I get lucky and spot someone right away, within minutes of leaving port, and other times I sail for much longer without seeing a soul. It also depends on how active the server is, which factions are operating in the area, which regions have hostility grinding and/or port battles going on, and a bunch of other variables that are hard to predict or characterize in a vacuum. Suffice to say, when the area I hunt feels "safe" for traders, based on no reports of pirate activity nearby, and the server population is good, then you'll find them out in strong numbers. Especially when the Pirates have a port battle scheduled for somewhere far away As far the combat part goes, that varies also. If the player trader is AFK (and stays AFK) then it's quick. Likewise if they choose to surrender. But if they fight, it can take 20-30 minutes or more, depending on how much of a fight they put up, how good (or bad) my initial tag was, how much cargo they're carrying (and hence how fast they can run, if they choose to run) and so forth. Overall, I'd say that unlike grinding PVE (warships and/or NPC traders), you can't really very easily put a number on finding player traders. I devote a few hours a night to playing, lately more than in the past, and I've been having a lot of fun. Last night I was completely skunked, but on the weekend I cleaned up. It sort of averages out.
  4. You've been saying this for at least a week, and in that time I've made over 1M gold from capping player traders with my Privateer. So... I just don't agree. I think the privateering/pirating game is better than it has ever been, even with the revenge fleet stuff. Find a different hunting ground, they are not all created equal.
  5. I would love to see Pirates have unique mechanics that were both better and worse than what nationals have to work with. Some ideas: - No capture of land, port raids only - Limited number of "Pirate Den" uncappable homeports spread throughout the map (Mortimer Town, etc.) 6-8 in total, spread around the map. - Maintain current access to free ports, including creating outposts in them if desired - Permanent "Smuggler" status - can enter any port of any nation with a trade vessel - Can create purchase contracts in any port they enter - Can only create production buildings / shipyards / workshops in pirate dens or freeports - Cannot craft ships larger than 5th rate - Have a hard limit on their maximum crew size, say 400 crew: enough to sail a squadron of 2-3 unrated vessels in fleet, but not enough to properly crew anything bigger than a 5th rate - Additional Pirate -exclusive versions of unrated vessels with various small boosts to speed / turn / etc. - Access to additional faction-specific skill books and/or ship upgrades (i.e. "Terrifying Reputation" skill could grant melee attack bonus, etc.) I don't support teleports of ships for anyone, and would be fine with teleports of captains (between outposts) being removed, too. It's an OW sailing game, I think people should sail, and I firmly believe that all of the other mechanics (trade, RVR, etc.) do not work properly when fast travel can be used to circumvent them.
  6. How about... no teleports at all. I have never gotten my ship stuck to where I cannot get it unstuck. I'm not genuinely convinced it's anywhere near enough of an issue affecting players that we need an entire game-breaking mechanic to "fix" it.
  7. And in fairness, people who just grind NPC fleets to level up may be not much better at PVP, either. PVP is so different than playing vs AI, the only way to get good at it, is to do it. With that said, having a "gold faucet" turned off does help keep inflation for everything else somewhat more under control. We're a month plus post wipe and there are lots of 1st rates in the world, but the low level ships are now much more affordable than in the past. In fact, as more and more crafters get up to speed, there is good price competition at the low end, making decent ships stay pretty affordable. I actually think that side of things is working reasonably well, though I get that it takes a few hours for new players to figure out how to acquire a steady income.
  8. You can cap all the AI traders you like on the PVE server. Warships, too. Knock yourself out. I've capped hundreds (at least) of AI traders and have it down to a pretty good science at this point. I agree with the others who've noted that allowing captures of NPC traders would wreck the economy - which right now sees the production and sale of Trader Brigs and Trader Lynxes as one of the main economic engines. Allowing NPC captures on the PVP server would gut that market - who would buy a crafted ship when you can have disposable ones for nearly free? We had it in the past and it killed the market for trade ships, and led to the rampant price inflation of other ships. I have no idea how they deal with that on the PVE server, but presumably it's a real problem and/or they just ignore the free NPC ships in favor of crafting their own.
  9. Yep, this is exactly the line of thinking I figured was behind the no repairs, no cannons strategy. For my part, I'm completely content with the idea that I'll at best capture one ship, so I usually either pick the player (so I get the best fight possible) or, if he/she is too far away, then the closest AI. It's a business case for me, too; I know I can't catch them all, so I just focus on catching one to make my money and be on my way. Sometimes I get skunked, sometimes the ship is full of expensive trade goods. It's all part of the fun. I'm at times tempted to ask which they care least about losing, since it's all pure profit for me I don't really care too much either way which of the ships I get, I'm making my money (and hence, sustaining my playstyle) regardless Edit to add: you can probably see that this is really about the hunting for me, not the money or any meaningful pretense to an RVR component. So long as I stay in ships and can get the stuff I need to keep going (mainly just repairs and cash), there's really not a true larger purpose behind my raiding. The materials (if any) that I capture can be regenerated quickly, the ships I capture replaced, etc. I like to think I provide a bit of excitement for the traders, and of course, I become the hunted as soon as I have to sail back my prize, so I very much understand what it feels like to have the shoe on the other foot. It's pretty darn fun, to be honest.
  10. I have made ~1,000,000 in the past 5-6 days of playing, exclusively in small ships. My biggest haul was a couple days ago, around 200k between cargo and ship. But really, as you note, it's not about the number, it's about the experience, and solo hunting in little ships is great fun, even if you're "only" capping TBrigs and TLynxes and fighting other unrated warships. For my part, I positively love schooners in real life, and how they sail in Naval Action, and for me, they are end game content. No, really. I have a couple Surprises, including one very fast one, and can do fine with manual sailing (though I'm certainly no master), but those larger ships just really don't do it for me, aesthetically or otherwise. I am completely addicted to sailing closehauled at 34kts in a Privateer and there's simply nothing I can do about it. "I'm in love" etc. I will pretty soon be able to captain a 4th rate, and I may get a Connie just for the heck of it, but honestly it will just be a harbor queen (along with the Santa Cecilia I got from participating in the AI LGV contest). My hunting ships will remain Privateers and Lynxes as they are the ships of my dreams.
  11. Really great guide @koltes, and good additions as well from @Prater, @Iroquois Confederacy and @Hodo. All players whose posts I can see great wisdom in, reinforcing my own experiences as a solo hunter. For my part, I have always played in this solo style, and while I have nowhere near as many hours as Koltes and Prater do, my ~600hrs have been dedicated entirely to this kind of play. So, I'll offer my additions / observations / opinions for what they're worth. The Neverending Puzzle One of the most interesting things about the solo hunter playstyle is how much of a puzzle game it becomes. You need to find the right places to hunt, you need to anticipate your quarry and their movements, you need to anticipate the sheep dogs and their attempts to trap you, and you need to figure out your logistics to tie the whole thing together. Koltes has given some great suggestions about how to go about sorting this out, so no need to reiterate. One thing, though: the player population is changing all the time, as are port owners, and the expansion and contraction of national territories tied to each can create and destroy hunting grounds depending on who owns them or has moved in near them. So, facts that were known a few days/weeks/months ago may still apply, or they may not. You really have to go there and do your scouting to find out. On Hunting Grounds Some areas of the map are much easier to hunt than others, due to the way the ports are aligned, the coastline is laid out, and the resources of the ports are configured. Some areas can be a deathtrap as there are many nearby ports that, if owned by the nation whose players you are hunting, can lead to the easy formation of sheepdog revenge squads that can close in on you from all sides. Other areas offer easier access to escape into the open sea where you will be much harder to intercept. Additionally, areas that are active in one time zone's primetime may be nearly dead in another. You need to find that "goldilocks" combination of a reasonable chance of success combined with a reasonable population of player traders to hunt in your prime gaming time. Capping vs Sinking I personally really like the challenge of capping player trade ships for later sale to the market, so I rarely sink a ship I've captured and am in fact pretty loathe to do so unless I'm fairly certain I'll need to make a hasty escape. I will often go through the cargo if possible, discard the least valuable / heaviest items to help make the prize ship a bit faster. And then one of my favorite parts of the whole process begins: the super stressful and exciting crawl back to your base of operations, hoping you escape notice and bring home your prize. It feels like nothing so much as being a leopard on the African savanna, trying to make off with your kill before the lions steal it away from you. I love it. You won't get as many (or any) combat marks for doing this, but consider the math... if the capped TBrig sells for 40-60k at market, and combat marks can be bought for 1k each, you can potentially purchase 40-60 combat marks with the earnings from selling the ship, whereas sinking it will only net you 2 combat marks. Can you capture 20 TBrigs in the time it takes to sell one at market? Also, as I'll mention below, I sail only unrated vessels while hunting, and I do not like overloading my hunting ship as it makes it very difficult to get away. I'd rather have the captured prize in fleet, and sink it, than hobble my fast hunter and turn it into easy meat for the sheepdogs. So I keep the prizes and sell them later. Hunting Ships, Upgrades, Cannons, Repairs and Perks Because I focus on capping traders and taking them as a prize, I find I need to really focus on bringing sail repairs, as I'll need to repair not only my own sails (either during battle or afterwards) but also those of the trader who I have captured. Failing to do this means I will be much more subject to revenge interception, as the trade ship will sail very slowly unless its sails are repaired. Curiously, despite "splurging" on fir/fir builds, almost all of the traders I capture do not carry sails repairs. When you're already sailing a vessel worth 50k or more in a capital market, the idea that spending 1/10 of that value on sail repairs seems like trivial insurance to try to hedge your chances of getting away, but most seem to "YOLO" it and do without altogether, so they can maximize the amount of cargo carried. I can't say I understand it, but I guess it improves their bottom line, and certainly my own, as it makes them much easier for me to catch. Now, because I must bring enough sail repairs for both my ship and my quarry, I need to really optimize the rest of my loadout and ship upgrades. Like Prater and Hodo, I hunt exclusively in the Lynx and Privateer, with the latter being my favorite despite its poor downwind performance. I run Optimized Ballast and a Gazelle figurehead as a minimum, as well as 4lb long cannons, which I prefer to 6lb mediums as they are just a bit lighter and nearly as effective. And they reload much faster than 6lb longs, which I feel is important. You want your reload time to be less than your stern camping 180* turn time, so you can fire as soon as you've made your turn and can keep your speed lower and your s-turns tighter, making it much harder for the quarry to hit you with broadsides. I also carry some Hull Repairs and Rum, with the goal being to keep my Privateer or Lynx at 15kts max speed while still having enough repairs to do my work successfully. My preferred perks: Fleet 1, Area Control, Prepared and Rigging Specialist are mandatory for my playstyle. I am undecided about Double Charge vs Double Shot, though I think the former would be better for my small ships (every bit of extra penetration would help those 4lb longs). Fleet 2 is also tempting for those times when you hate having to choose one of the two ships you've captured. I'd rather sink neither, to be honest. Escorts in Fleet: Deterrent or Opportunity? One thing I didn't see mentioned above was that many traders will bring along a warship in fleet to provide some measure of defense. Sometimes, however, they make a mistake and bring a good upwind warship (i.e. Lynx, Privateer, etc.) along with a good downwind tradeship (i.e. TBrig). When I see this, and that the player trader is on the trade ship and leaving the AI to command the warship, then I see it as a free warship for me to capture. In almost all cases, the player will command the NPC warship in his fleet to attack me, and I will happily sail upwind - dragging the NPC warship after me - and then chain its sails and board it while the player in the trade ship escapes. Granted, the warship might not be worth as much as the player trade vessel, but on the other hand, I've just acquired a "disposable" backup hunting ship that I can use to do some extra silly / risky things that I'd rather not commit my main hunting vessel to. In either case, the "threat" the fleet warship is meant to represent is not interpreted by me as anything to be afraid of, but rather as another opportunity for gain. It Is Better To See Than To Be Seen Whenever I am in the open world, I am constantly swiveling my camera 360 degrees and clicking on every sail I see. I used to assume that this is what everyone does, but with time I've realized that many, especially when they are in their "safe" home waters, get a bit lazy about this. They are not AFK per se, they are simply "cruising", like how sometimes happens when you're on a long drive on the highway and you realize you've been driving for a few minutes without any consciousness of doing so. Maybe they are tabbed out, maybe they are chatting, who knows, who cares. This has many implications: I can sometimes simply sail up to someone, get in position, and tag them and they only react once they see the circle go around their ship. Other times, it means I can tuck my ship into a part of the coastline where I am more-or-less in plain sight, yet I will watch as ship after ship sails right past me, without taking any notice whatsoever... because, in their mind, there's "nothing interesting" about that stretch of coast they've sailed past countless times, and they somehow fail to even think that something might be hiding there, waiting to pounce, so they don't bother even looking (they're probably scanning the other way, to the open sea, or who knows what). It's kind of amazing and adrenaline-pumping when it happens, and it happens a lot! Likewise, because I am constantly scanning, it is extremely rare that I am myself caught by surprise, and I often see other people well before they've seen me. One thing I learned while hunting around Jamaica with @Jarlath Morrow is that you really want to avoid being seen if at all possible. Smart players will quickly announce your position via their National chat and then all the traders will bunker down till you've been caught or left the area, and the sheepdogs will come out in full force hoping to kill you (as they should). Which means that I'll often tack or gybe away from a player character I spot, extending off in the other direction in hopes that they'll have missed me and fail to report my position. Quite often, it seems I am successful, as I later find traders sailing nearby, seemingly without any awareness that a pirate is operating in the area (of course, reports to national chat are only helpful if you actually read them). The Myth of the Defenseless Trader There is a great deal of arrogance and disdain expressed against those who hunt player trade ships, as these hunters are believed to be attacking "defenseless easy prey" and the ensuing fight to capture the trader prize is "not PVP." Based on my experience, when I hear someone make these claims, I am pretty confident they have never tried done much if any hunting, certainly not in a 7th rate, nor as a solo player, with only the ship and upgrades they have created/earned/grinded themselves (i.e. without the benefit of their clan's community resources). Really, if you've never hunted alone, in enemy waters, with no clanmates to back you up, you are in no position to say anything about what this kind of hunting is like, because you simply don't know. Those who hunt know better, and do not say such things. So let me come out and say it: even prior to the patch that allowed traders to be fully armed, they were far from defenseless. I have had traders try to ram and capsize me, I have had them try to break my bowsprit off, I have had them engage in all kinds of wild behaviors as they throw caution to the wind and do anything and everything they can to stop me, by any means necessary. And this was before they had cannons! Very few are passive and most will never surrender no matter how hopeless the odds, happy to see their ship sink or explode or otherwise, if it means depriving me of a prize. The Lynx continues to be very easy to capsize and the danger is greatest when you attempt to turn the trade ship into the wind. If you mistime your push, you can easily get caught under the bow of the trader and in only a matter of 2-3 seconds be on your side in an unrecoverable broach. Is is especially dangerous if you have not sufficiently chained down the trader's sails, but even then the danger persists. The Privateer is a bit better but not immune, though its greater mass means the margin for error is a bit higher. Obviously, a Surprise is a different kettle of fish altogether, and these issues facing the unrated ships are not considerations. However, Koltes has done a good job of describing the many challenges facing the Surprise captain - as the ships themselves are so competent, they are guaranteed to draw revenge fleets, so they come with their own set of issues. And while I have yet to capture a player trader in an LGV or Indiaman (as I very rarely see them), I am sure it presents a genuine challenge to the Surprise captain and isn't simply "easy meat." In any event, now that traders can be fully armed, they can be quite dangerous to unrated hunting ships fitted for speed, at least if their captains are competent at sailing and shooting. The only time I've been sunk by another player since wipe (roughly 200hrs of gameplay in which I've captured dozens of player trader prizes) was when I persisted too long in attempting to capture a TBrig sailed by a very competent British player who was an excellent shot, too. I could and should have broken off my attack, but I kept going for "just one more pass" rather than taking a cold and rational look at my ship's condition and realizing the capture was hopeless. Suffice to say, if you come across a competent captain, that trade ship can be a very worthy opponent. I've had better fights from armed traders than I have from warships, by far. Much more tactical, much more challenging, much closer of a match. They are defenseless only to the extent they choose to be. Which brings up another interesting observation: like with sail repairs, many traders chose to go unarmed, or with only stern cannons. Why this is the case, I have no idea. I've also seen instances where a trader has cannons, but forgets to use them. Far be it from me to tell him otherwise, but it still sort of boggles the mind. I suppose it's a sort of min-maxing theory: no repairs, no cannons, full cargo, damn the horses and go for it. Works for me. Stick To Your Plan (Or You'll Plan To Fail) It takes time and practice, as Koltes notes, to come up with a system for capturing ships successfully. While learning to tag, or prevent ships from escaping, or to chain sails, or to grape, or whatever, you will fail many times. Sometimes you will sink. Many times you will be mocked in battle chat as your quarry slips away and you find yourself, due to the mistakes in your approach and execution, incapable of doing anything about it. Prepare to be humiliated, as this is part of the learning process. Later, once you've got things sort of figured out, and you feel like you know more-or-less what you're doing, you may start thinking you can improvise, or "do things a little different this time." Actually, you probably can't. The system you developed through all those failures is probably a good one, and better than what you try to make up on the spot, and it's one you should stick to in most cases. Failing to do so is courting disaster (see my anecdote about getting my hunting ship sunk above). Most importantly, know when to call off an attack - be it at the tagging phase, or during battle, or when you have to sink a ship to get away (be it in battle instance or later in the OW). Your hunting ship is the most important and hardest to replace tool in your arsenal, and you must try to protect it at all costs. You will always be able to find new prey, probably just a few minutes later, but it might take hours to replace a heavily customized hunter, especially if playing solo. Try to stay cool and calm and make this choice - to break off the attack or not - a business decision first and foremost. Summary I've gone and written a small book, and apologies for that. But this thread was long overdue, and I'm very pleased at the high quality of content presented. Kudos to @koltes for the initiative. I hope my own contribution is helpful for those considering the truly solo hunting approach. The rewards are well worth it; it is a unique and singular experience within Naval Action, one that few allow themselves to experience. So much the better for those of us who do... but, the world is out there, and it's yours for the taking, if you're captain enough to do it.
  12. I play solo. I don't have any conquest marks and almost certainly never will. Just passed $1,000,000 earned entirely from solo piracy in the last few days (since I began keeping count). Had a prize worth 225k just this morning... Why craft ships when you can just take them? Why grind missions when you can sell booty? Solo play is as good or better than it's ever been right now, imo. I created the clan tag SOLO for the purpose of advertising same.
  13. It was! I stayed close because I wanted to see what would happen. I was sailing a capped Privateer so I didn't have much to lose :-) o7
  14. Ditto. Just this morning I logged on, set on patrol, and came across a TBrig with 2x TBrigs in fleet. They were all armed and he put up a hell of a fight! I had to use a couple hull repairs and sail repairs, but eventually managed to cap him. 185k loot + ship was not a bad haul at all. Yesterday I capped a TBrig, a TLynx, a regular Lynx, and a Privateer and had an amazing hourlong+ battle with another Privateer that ended in a draw, with me having about 1/3 structure left and him with 12 crew and 2 cannons. Hell of a fight, one of the best I've ever had in the game. TLDR I'm having more fun NOW than ever before in this game. And this is playing on PVP Global during US Primetime, with only around 250-300 players peak. The action is out there, if you're not finding it, try doing something else because you WILL find it if you go looking for it.
  15. I have a job, wife, children, home, income property. I'm doing pretty well at real life. I enjoy whatever time I have to devote to this game. Sometimes it's a lot of hours per week, sometimes it's none, sometimes I leave for a year and don't think about it while I'm gone.
  • Create New...