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Found 32 results

  1. Not sure if this has been suggested before, but I would like to see a representation of elevations on the map. In other words, so you can see hills on the map and once you get within viewing distance of a landmass you can work out which hill is which. Not asking for much detail just a rough representation. Don't get me wrong I like the no aids Navigation in the game, I actually use a protractor to navigate, but a hill or two would be nice to help find your way when you are near the coast.
  2. A simple question: Are leeway and magnetic declination simulated in the open world navigation? Leeway is the amount of drift motion to leeward of an object floating in the water caused by the component of the wind vector that is perpendicular to the object’s forward motion. Magnetic declination or variation is the angle on the horizontal plane between magnetic north (the direction the north end of a compass needle points, corresponding to the direction of the Earth's magnetic field lines) and true north (the direction along a meridian towards the geographic North Pole). This angle varies depending on position on the Earth's surface, and changes over time. Both effects are big problems for realistic navitation with just a compass. A sailboat isn't always moving in the direction it is pointing and the needle of the compass isn't exactly pointing north. A boat is always pushed a bit sideways by wind and/or current. The longer the distance and the more tackings the bigger the effect. If these effects are omitted in the simulation of the open world, then it's simple. But would'nt it be a challenge? What tools would we need?
  3. Der Titel sagt es schon: war schonmal jemand in bermuda: wie leicht sind die zu finden, wie realistisch sind die Koordinaten? Wie langte ungefähr braucht es in OW um dorthin zu segeln, muss man sehr suchen? Durch die wechselnden Kartenmaßstäbe fällt es mir in OW schwer zu koppeln. Bisher navigiere ich nur per Landmarke und Kurs. Kommt der Wind gegenan, wird nach Gefühl gekoppelt. Auf kurzen Schlägen kein Problem, aber nach Bermuda... Deswegen wollte ich mal nach Erfahrungen fragen. Dank und Gruß Burkhard
  4. So, as everyone playing the game knows, you can outfit your ship with officers, I've got a few suggestions and would also ask for some player feedback into what officers roles should be and how that would affect your sailing; if they go down with the ship or have a chance of getting onto the longboat and paddling to the nearest pirate port, whether they can be injured, gain XP and rank up just like you; or just simply be modules you plug into your ship, leaving all the captaining and micromanagement to you, though captaining a ship would be no easy task. Firstly I'll take a look at navigation. What I'd propose is, with an officer who fills the role of your navigator is access to your captains quarters (though in a 'locked' isometric position) where you would get to see your map spread out over a table, along with all the ports and their flags. When asking a basic/low level navigator where you are he would simply reply "Nearest to <portnamehere>", however as you got better navigators (or your navigator got better) a circle would appear around your ship on the map like GPS on your phone with bad sattelite reception, as the navigator gets better and better or the best one is got the circle would shrink until you had a very reasonable idea of where you were, along with the navigator telling you where the nearest port is provided it's on the map. Officer of the watch - This officer would stop you having to buy a 72" 4k TV to tell if there is a ship in the distance. Of course like the navigator not all officers are as good as others so you may still have to keep an eye open for ships he might miss. However, he would be tasked with one other important thing, logging ships and fleets into the ship's map a lower-level/rarity officer would have them as lines coming out from the ship indicating heading, but not exact distance, somewhat like the sonar map in silent hunter; as he gets better he will begin to mark the lines red, white or green according to whether they are neutral, an enemy or an ally (He would start with black lines), eventually he would work his way up the skill/rarity tree to map the ship's approximate location, heading and speed he would also give call when land is spotted and if it's uncharted you could have him and your navigator draw up a rough shape (accuracy dependant on how skilled both officers are) of an island that was not on your 'original' chart. As a pair the navigator and officer of the watch can map out shallows and put them on your map too. Bosun - (or whichever way you want to spell it), generally keeps the morale of your crew up and gives shipwide bonuses if morale is high (almost as if you had added more crew), he keeps you aware of your crew's status, if any are sick (if this is added in the future) or if they are annoyed to the point of mutiny due to a series of failed encounters and not having a captain of the correct rank controlling the vessel. Your bosun could also double as a carpenter or surgeon, the carpenter getting more effectiveness out of repair kits and allowing you to repair about 20% of your armour if in survival mode, though patching a ship up with bits of shattered ship takes time. Him doubling as a surgeon would reduce crew loss in battle and reduce crew loss during boarding and regain some crew who would have otherwise died during boarding, they would mend slowly over a matter of days depending on their injuries. If he is acting out other roles then shipwide bonuses would Gunnery Officer - Pretty simple this one really, firstly you can set him to fire broadsides if you wish, possibly manning starboard and firing salvos at an easily hit ship while you pick off the little guy in a gunboat. If he isn't on firing duty he would assist with aiming, giving you somewhat of a trajectory arc, as all other officers some are better than others. As well as that a modest increase in gun damage would be nice as well as the ability to have him suggest where to shoot (eg armor, rudder, sails; though this may be very difficult to code) if trajectory arcs are a bit too Assassin's Creed for you then let him widen the little red line, essentially adjusting guns on the fly to hit where you may have just missed. Just to add a quick edit here. Should ships with multiple gundecks benefit from only one gunnery officer or should you have to have one for each gun-deck or set him as a ship-wide gunnery officer who's task is just to maintain the guns and keep the firing crews trained, giving less bonuses to all the guns on your ship than say 3 gunnery officers for each gun-deck of the HMS Victory who would actively be running fire control for each deck. Edit: one more thing he would do is tell you how close your ranging shots are to the enemy ship rather than you having to fire and get a spyglass on the ship (a feat impossible/very very difficult in real life if you are controlling the gunner's aim first) naturally as the officer got better by way of experience he would be able to tell you how far you missed by, by saying "Your shot missed her" at the beginning to "You hit just short/long of her cap'n" to giving more accurate descriptions of how much you missed by such as "You only missed by a few yards short cap'n" as well as letting you know how well you are damaging the ship from telling you whether you scored a hit to whether the shot hit her sails (though ball going through sails would not count as a hit when he feeds back to you), her mast or her hull (higher levels would be able to tell you if you hit her on the waterline and higher levels yet would tell you if you have created a leak) essentially a high level gunnery officer takes you away from mundane tasks and allows you to focus on things like manual sails. Boarding commander - takes care of boarding tasks, gives a modest increase in turn rate and fire rate prior to boarding(once again increasing with experience or rarity) during boarding he gives a recharge rate bonus as well as a morale and damage bonus. If there are any roles I've missed, let me know and let me know how you feel about things. Main questions would be: - Should officers be bought from the store as an item or hired from the tavern (Yes I got most of those roles from Age of Pirates 3 City of Lost Ships; a great game with mods, though it is somewhat buggy). - Should officers require pay to function (a good bosun would lower their wages by keeping them and the crew happy)? - Leading on from this, if officers have an XP based levelling function should they level automatically (thus requiring you to pay them more) or should you need to promote them. However officers that have gone a long time with max XP and no promotion may get a little annoyed and demand you promote them or you part ways next time you make port. - Should officers die upon sinking? Or should those that make it to a boat in time (wounded officers are slower) so having "fill boat" and a countdown running until all officers are on board (at risk of your ship sinking and you losing all your officers if it's taking on water fast) then a command to "Scuttle ship and escape" Any and all feedback is much appreciated, even if it's a link from a devblog going deep into officer mechanics and you calling me a fool for not finding it (I used both the forum search and Google, neither turned up anything like this so I'm sorry if I'm making you read the same stuff twice) anyway, that's all I've got to say for now until I retreat to the batcove and think of moar stuffs.
  5. OK Midshipmen, Here is a cabin for those boys new to the ship, where we learn what it takes to captain a vessel. I'm hoping this topic will become a nice Q and A area where we can bring our newest Midshipmen up to speed. First: What is a midshipman? A Midshipman was a boy of about 12 years of age, educated, and often of the upper class. His role was to learn how to be a good officer, and eventually a Captain. A Midshipman had command rank above most sailors, who were legally bound to obey the Midshipmans orders or face disciplinary action. Midshipmen however would merely face the switch if they failed in their duties. At the end of their stint as a midshipman, they could take the officers exam to become a lieutenant at age 18. How is a Midshipman different that a powder monkey? A powered monkey is a boy with little or no education from the lower classes, who carries gunpowder and is learning a sailing trade. Midshipmen served in their respective navy. They had a collective (very small) cabin aboard most ships. In the cabin they could work on their lessons, or relax in their time off. (I'm writing this as we sail between ports) Frederick Bunnington III
  6. Hello fello skippers, I miss the sound of a crewmember shouting; 'LAND AHOY', when passing an island still far away, but visable.... or yelling : 'SHIP at 12 O'clock' , when a sail is spotted in the distance right in front of you.... i would love to see that feature get inplemented into the game.. Maybe make it skill-related... so in a lynx or privateer you can't put a crewmember in the mast, so therefor on those little ships it is not possible... but if you start climbing the ladder more options come available... 1th level, you'll hear only 'Land Ahoy' 2th level, you'll hear 'ship aproaching' 3th level, you'll hear 'Land Ahoy at ** o'clock.. 4th level, you'll hear 'Ship aproaching at ** o'clock 5th level, you'll hear Énemy/friendly/pirate aproaching 6th level,, enemy/friendly/pirate at **o'clock.... and so on.... kind regards.. T. McQeck
  7. I've been reading devs would like to make exploration something worth experimenting in NA. As I agree it could hardly become a main feature of a game that is supposed to be played in the long run, I think it would add to the immersion – and immersion is important in an Age of Sail game. Exploration is linked to navigation, which at those times relied on observation and techniques. Devs said they're fine with a navigation map like the PotBS one. That brings up questions about the possible ways to deal with travel time scale, seasons duration, and all the situations where distance has to be taken from reality in order to provide an entertaining gaming experience – while maintaining a close relationship to immersion. I'll guess the map used is the map of our world. But basically, everything could be translated into a fantasy world. 1. World maps, views and mini-maps To keep things clear, I'll use this distinction between the different representations of the environment: - the world map is the map the captain has in his cabin - the navigation view is the perspective of the player when navigating - the navigation mini-map is where the player can display a map when in navigation view - the local view is the perspective of the player when fighting other ships - the local mini-map is where the player can display a map when in local view There could be different types of world maps displayed on the mini-maps: - an approximate world map (drawn by amateurs, or deducted from rumors) - a cartographer world map (more precise and giving the best possible information) - a landscape map (corresponding to what a captain on the deck could draw when looking around) The approximate world map and the cartographer world map would be used on big scale and small scale, as the landscape map could only be used on small scale (for tactical navigation moves). I'm not sure how far it would be interesting to go with realism. Maybe some maps could be purchasable, salable, or shareable within a society or a nation. Maybe some maps could be lost. But that doesn't matter much yet. 2. A quick look at navigation techniques from 16th to 18th century The purpose of sea navigation techniques is to determine where a ship is. There are two factors that make it an approximation when one leaves sight of the shore: the wind and the current. Because of those, the true course of a ship (course over ground) can't be determined without further calculations than the observations given by a speed log and a compass. In dead reckoning navigation, only a speed log, a compass and an hourglass are used, and a correction is applied, estimating the influences of the wind and the current. The position is estimated from known land, point after point. The more time spent at sea, the less precise the estimated position will be. In celestial navigation, the position is determined whatever the time spent at sea. It can be separated into two parts: latitude determination and longitude determination. The latitude of a ship is the angle between the pole axis and the straight line passing through the center of the Earth and this ship. In the northern hemisphere, it can be determined with an astrolabe by measuring during the night the angle between the northern horizon and the Pole Star. From the end of the 15th century, the latitude was quite easily determined by measuring the Sun meridian height and using a declination almanac. The longitude however, was more difficult to determine (because the Earth is turning). In astronomy, the longitude is the difference between the hour angle of a star at the actual point and the hour angle of this star at a reference point (usually the Greenwich meridian). The hour angle of a star at an actual point could be quite easily determined, but the difficulty was in determining the hour angle of the star at the reference point. There are two ways to achieve this: either doing measures at the actual point and using an ascension almanac, or keeping the precise time of the reference point. The first way has been used by measuring the angle between the Moon and a star, and using a Moon almanac. However, this method wasn't reliable: any error in the measure results in a 30 times bigger error in the longitude estimation. The second way just requires a precise stopwatch, which didn't existed yet during those times – and an error of 0.1s results in an error of 46m. So basically, from the 16th to the 18th century, the sailors had a quite precise estimation of the latitude, but only very rough data about the longitude (that explains why some maps look so strange). Many traders, to reach a destination, just sailed to the latitude of that destination and set course full east or full west, correcting it every day to stay on the same latitude until the end of the trip. 3. How to make navigation exciting My guess is navigation in games usually rhymes with boring travels. That's because we know exactly where we go: our position on the map is our position in the world. By making the position on the world map different than the real position (when leaving the sight of the shore), navigation becomes exciting. After an oceanic trip, I get to an unknown land. Until I reach a port I know, the information displayed by the world map might be inaccurate: I drifted during the travel, and either my sextant isn't precise enough or my pilot skilled enough. If I can recognize the land I see, I'll find my way easily. If I don't though, I'll have to sail blindly until I reach a place where I can resupply. And we are running short of hardtack... For that to happen, there has to be two parameters that make a ship drift: winds and currents. The surface currents often match the winds because they are partly created by them. Some currents are quite stable during the year. For example, the Gulf Stream (discovered in the beginning of the 16th century, mapped in 1769) provides a drift to the north east on the north of the Atlantic. The equatorial currents however, can change depending on the seasons. The monsoon for example, provides in the Indian Ocean a drift to the south west in winter and to the north east in summer. How does that translate into the environment representations ? Quite simply, by drawing an estimation zone around the ship in the world map. Using dead reckoning navigation, this zone would be a circle, and using celestial navigation, an ellipse. I won't put the formulas here, but they are quite simple. I don't know if sailing in a battle will feature wind drift, but if it doesn't it might be better to remove it as well from the navigation. Then there would be only currents, represented by arrows on the map. There should be an option to force the ship positioning on the world map if we have a more precise idea of our position than the one given by the estimation. Finally, even if the arrival might become surprising, the travel itself would still be boring. That's why the oceans should be shortcut, and maybe continents as well. It wouldn't remove so much to the immersion (it might actually add to the immersion), but would add so much to the gaming experience. Also one last thing that could make oceanic navigation less boring: a news system. I guess that with port building, economy in general, conquest (maybe diplomacy ?), the world would change quite fast. Everyone would be interested into how it changes depending on their interests. What if each time we reach a supply port, we got news to read about the mainland or the zone we are heading to ? That might be tricky to implement though, and may be circumvented by Team Speak especially concerning conquest. Still a possible feature. On the main trade routes, many other players could be met anyway. 4. What to explore ? Players would quickly get bored of exploring if there is only land visuals to explore. To make exploration exciting, interesting and useful, the game has to feature the use of land or sea characteristics that can be discovered, remembered and exploited. The first characteristic is of course the land visuals. The navigation map should feature a “fog of war” that would disappear when we sail in a zone. If we navigate in an unknown zone, our range of sight would be the horizon i.e. quite a small part of the navigation view. There would be no indication of the land beyond. If we navigate in a known zone however, the navigation view would be almost fulfilled by the landscape over the horizon. Then there are the weather and sea characteristics that could be actively observed and measured. Winds, currents, but also seabed heights depending on the tide, or ice floe limits. This exploration is more about local weather than oceanic weather. It gives information about how to sail next to the coasts. Is it possible to reach that trading post in the lower Kaveri river during spring ? Where does it become dangerous to proceed up the St. Lawrence during winter ? Will my frigate be able to flee from this 4th rates patrol if I sail around those reefs ? Should I set sails to load my smuggling shipment tonight or wait for a favorable tide current ? For example, the Iroise Sea in the west of Brittany contains lots of reefs. When zooming in on the approximate world map, those reefs would be approximately displayed with a map code such as ^ ^ ^. When zooming in on the cartographer map, they would be displayed as a slightly red zone whose limits would depend on the tide height and the draught of the ship. This way, a well informed captain engaging a battle would have more safe tactical options at his disposal, or could take more risks. Observing the winds, measuring the currents, plumbing the shoals should be done passively when navigating. The observed zone should be a circle around the ship. For immersion purposes, maybe a light speed debuff could be applied. But basically this activity would be boring and should be made easier than in reality. Lastly, the characteristics of the land regions and the port locations could be explored. I guess the map would contain many possible port or beach sites all over the coast. When entering one of those sites, the player would become aware of the region resources and the build-able port or military infrastructures. How well the port would be protected from the weather by natural things such as a bay ? How high would be the seabed next to the coast ? Would there be heights around the harbor ? All those kinds of information would be critical regarding the possibility of building high-end infrastructures in this location. Finally, the players should be given the possibility to jump on the local view when they want to. It would be great if the local maps would superpose to the navigation map. Also there are two things that would help exploration to remain interesting in the long run: a big world map, and tuning the economy (especially the infrastructure costs) so that the world would always have some uncontrolled territories left. 5. Immersion After our main trading post of Ambon in the East Indies has been conquered by the Swedes last week, the United Provinces lack a supply port to provide cloves to our mainland market. Since our military forces are held back in the Northern Sea to fight against Britain, my society decided to find a discrete port, give it economical infrastructures and restore this lucrative trade. We set sails from Amsterdam with three Indiamen and two 44-gun frigates. An escort of four 3rd rates has been provided by the Dutch Navy until we pass the British coasts. They help us to sail safely to the Iroise Sea, and we leave sight of the coast. One of my society mates knows the trip to the East Indies. To avoid any patrolling British force, we pass a long way offshore of Gibraltar. Sailing with the Canary current in the west of Africa, and then the Alizées around the Equator, we head to the east of Brasil. When we reach the 33°55' south latitude of Cape Town, we proceed full east with the West Wind Drift, and reach the Dutch port where we can resupply. Since we are in mid-spring, the monsoon can help us to cross the Indian Ocean. To avoid any risk with the British, we won't resupply in India. And since the Admiralty told us that the Malacca Strait is also controlled by the British, we will reach the East Indies by Java. We pass Madagascar by the south and leave sight of the shore once again. When we get to 10° south, we sail full east all over the Indian Ocean, and eventually discover some unknown land. As we are about to set course to a fishing village, we spot sails on the horizon. We turn back as soon as we discover this is a Swedish fleet ! We sailed too far to the east and reached the zone controlled by them. Fortunately our ships are faster, we manage to get out of sight and set course to the north west. We eventually find the town of Cilacap controlled by the Banten Sultanate, who welcomes us and proposes to resupply our five ships. They are cloves here, but they aren't cheap ! Conquering this town would for sure decrease the prices, but the garrison is strong and we don't have enough men. Since the monsoon can bring us here regularly, we decide to observe the local winds and currents, and plumb the shoals around the coast while looking for a good site. After a few tries we land on a location further east in the southern coast of Java. There are many cloves in the hinterland, and the shore presents a deep lagoon, difficult to identify from the open sea. That port will be called Orange Town. We'll come back here with a bigger expedition tomorrow. But for the time being, the winter monsoon is coming, and we decide to go back to Cilacap to load a cloves cargo. It will sell for 300% profits anyway. 6. Scales and travel times I'm not sure how much time trade players would be willing to spend navigating. If a player has one hour of play time, I think he should be able to sail to the East Indies. This trip would give the best profits, but shouldn't be required to become rich. In reality, the back and forth travel took about 20 months. The fastest captains could do a one-way run in 6 months (including stops). In PotBS, sailing from one edge of the map to the other took about 20min, and sailing from Whitby to Matthew Town took about 1 min. If sailing from London to Amsterdam would take 1min, sailing to Cuba would take 20min, and to Indonesia one hour. With the use of currents and cut oceans, maybe the duration could be divided by 2 or more. This could give a 30min trip to Indonesia, or a 2min travel to Amsterdam. Crossing the Mediterranean from west to east would take 10min. Anyway, I'd say the minimum could be 30min to sail to Indonesia (1 year per hour), and the maximum could be one hour to sail to South Africa (1 year per 4 hours). The seasonal currents would fit to either. If a year duration is too short, players may find unfavorable winds after a long battle. Then the night/day cycle shouldn't be displayed on the navigation view (at best there would be 40sec per day). The tides could be random for open sea fights, and chosen by attackers in port battles. Even if the global map would be the map of our world, the coasts could be drawn with more fantasy, in order to create interesting battle maps. One complaint of the PotBS players was the lack of port battle maps. With tides, winds and currents changes, there would be no need to create more maps in order to provide a diversity in tactical options. All the proposals aren't meant to be core features of the game. I just wanted to mention those possibilities. Still, it is the sum of every little added feature that will create the global immersion of the game.
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