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  1. How exactly do you choose which guns are the best to use? This is probably one of the first things you think about when starting your design! This will be a pretty long post, but I've spent a couple of days (slowly) gathering the data and darn it if I'm not going to share! If this has already been done, my apologies! I'm going to split this into a few parts on this post, so feel free to jump around. CONTENTS: What are the stats that affect gun effectiveness? Which of those are the best guide for a designer? How can one test this? Conclusions and Suggestions for Game Improvement Further Research or Information needed PART 1: Elements of gun effectiveness I am neither a programmer, a mathematician, or a developer, or even a particularly skilled player in terms of datamining or minmaxing stats. However, there are some interesting coincidences and game design elements that made me want to crunch some numbers and do a few tests! First, it is boring game design to just make the biggest guns the best, or the most guns the best. So is there a "sweet spot" where, all things being equal, you should start a new build? On the flip side, as a game with so many scenarios and possibilities, if you have an obvious "sweet spot" that is objectively the best way to build, you lose a lot of creativity in the designer as the player thinks they MUST do certain things! I will argue in this post that, yes, there is a sweet spot, and also, yes, there is an element of maximizing is better, but also there is a remarkable flexibility, so you won't be failing too much if you get this wrong, either! I would say overall this is pretty well set up. With that out of the way, here we go! Accuracy: Obviously, we want the ships we shoot at to kindly sink or explode or not shoot at us anymore, so one would think accuracy is the most important thing. It is certainly important, but focusing on it exclusively is not ideal either and leads to some...weird builds (see videos of players maxing kill rate with single 18" guns for example. This will be debunked in this analysis). There are two caveats to this number: Note that in the game, accuracy is percent of shots that are on target at a given range BEFORE bonuses are added. You can see changes to BASE accuracy if you add equipment like towers, but weather, speed, aiming progress, and other bonuses won't show up on the gun info screen. It is given per single shell. So when you look at the penalty of using triple or quadruple mounts, you aren't getting a less accurate weapon overall, it's just each individual shell will scatter more. The real question is does the extra shell downrange make up for the loss in accuracy? Rate of Fire: This is the other interesting one, and the same caveats apply. We want to send as much explosives down range as quickly as possible to make the red ships go away, preferably in spectacular explosions. Rate of fire isn't really affected (yet) by in-battle conditions as far as I can tell, so what you see after applying your technologies and mods is what you are going to get. Note that once again, the reload time is per barrel. So even though a dual turret might reload in 30 seconds and a triple might reload in 35 seconds, the dual turret is firing at 4 shells per minute (2 barrels x 2 rounds per minute), while the "slower" triple turret is firing a bit over 5 shells per minute (3 barrels x 1.71/min) This analysis is thus going to focus on how rate of fire, barrel number, and accuracy come together to create guidance for you beleaguered designers! Penetration: This is a very interesting one. Generally bigger is better, but knowing when and where "plunging fire" happens is important. I haven't looked into this yet, and remember that while penetration is based on range (how much horizontal armor vs how much vertical armor it will defeat), the armor schemes in game are a bit convoluted and as I said, I'm not a dataminer! Penetration is the MOST affected by little things like range and angle of armor, so it's quite difficult to explore without tightly controlled experiments or digging around in the code. It does apply, and I'll explain at the end, but for now we'll leave it behind. Damage Dealt: This is assuming a full penetration. Partial pens and fires do not count here for this number. It is affected by shell weight and technologies as well, and those numbers do pop up on the information card. Modifiers: Towers, Propellant (Explosives), and Shell Weight all affect the gun barrels stats. Aiming time is affected by towers, turret techs, and reloading buffs, but once the guns are dialed in, the shells will hit with the same accuracy, penetration, and damage. Therefore, I'm not too concerned about aiming time here. Note that things like aiming time, 3 and 4-barrel accuracy and reload penalties are applied EQUALLY regardless of gun size. So all we're interested in here to choose your gun type and layout is really just accuracy vs. rate of fire. The rest will make it better or worse, but it won't change you your gun decisions stack up against each other, all things being equal Picture Break! (figure 1.1) ! Here we see a graph of the 9" mk 5 gun in terms of accuracy and penetration. Note how quickly accuracy really falls off. Finding the best range to fight at depends on how well the penetration values match up with actually being able to hit anything. Note that larger weapons (15"+) actually do reach a point where the vertical pen will exceed horizontal penetration. If you aren't clear about what "plunging fire is", that's what it is. The tables also might help you determine how much deck armor your ship will need. PART 2: Which Elements should figure into weapon choice? As we've seen, there are so many possibilities, and the developers have really done a great job of making them all viable. But, how can you tell if some are "more viable" than others? What is the "best" design? First, let's focus on accuracy, rate of fire, and equipment. Spoiler alert: All things being equal, there is a best gun to use and a best turret size. However, most will work well. So you want to get the best firepower you can before you start to make compromises on rate of fire or barrel number. Triples are indeed better than duals, so if you can fit triples up to 16", but need to switch to duals to fit 17" on your ship, better to stick with the triple 16's! The same goes for auto reloading. If you can fit auto reloading on 15" turrets but can't on 16" turrets, stick with the ones you can get auto reloaders for. The "Why" gets a bit interesting, and here is our experiment! Because some equipment works across all gun sizes, to control for that we'll need to ensure that our test ship will have the same equipment fit regardless of weapon choices. If you were to look at French triple turrets, with no modifiers (no tower installed, no auto reloading, same propellant), and compare the accuracy across all ranges, you end up with a chart that looks like this: (Figure 2.1) Accuracy for main battery weapons from point blank to 25,000 yds. Note that to spread out the results at effective battle ranges, we are looking at a logarithmic scale for the vertical axis. Takeaways: "Mk" number may refer to an in-battle bonus, it does NOT affect accuracy on the info card. You can see that the smaller guns run out of range before reaching 25Kyds, while some have better accuracy at longer ranges. You can see there is actually quite a lot of variance, but some weapons are clearly more accurate than others. I was surprised to be honest that there wasn't more "grouping" between the different patterns (ex. all Mk 4's ALL being better than the Mk. 3's; which does not actually happen - more datamining required; is this the "guns grade" bonus in game?). I also expected to see each weapon have a point where it's accuracy was better than others. This does not seem to be happening, so the idea of building around a SPECIFIC range seems to be out the window. There are obviously differences between close and long range weapons, though! However, this is only HALF of the story. The other thing that matters is how quickly shells are sent downrange. The more shots you can take, the sooner you will score a hit, especially at longer ranges. So, I plugged the accuracy percentage into a "drop calculator" (because I don't math) to figure out how many shots must be taken to guarantee a hit (I call 99% a guaranteed hit for these charts, by the way - the math holds for lower thresholds too, so it doesn't matter here). So I plugged in the number of shots needed, divided by the rate of fire (remembering these are all triple turrets) to come up with "effective" accuracy. That number, to me, is how long you can expect to fire at a target at a given range to guarantee a hit. Basically, If you have half the accuracy, but twice the rate of fire, you are still going to score hits at the same rate. And here it is! (figure 2.2) This is the TIME taken to reach 99% chance of a hit for each gun size, using triple turrets. IMPORTANT - lower is better here, because more time taken is bad. This is to GUARANTEE a hit, not "get lucky". Of course you will score hits sooner on average, but your second hit might take a while. This does NOT count ladder aiming or radar aiming progress, target lock, etc. This is ONLY the stock guns with the same equipment. Imagine a turret on a firing range with no technology to assist the aiming. Notice that the time taken really flares up beyond 15KYD. This is basically the inverse of your accuracy curve. As long as your armor can take it, you need to get within a certain range to be hitting ships consistently. We all know this already, but it's kind of neat to see on a graph in real time! As a Log chart, we can expand the closer range and actually see what's happening here: (figure 2.3) This is the TIME taken to reach 99% chance of a hit for each gun size, using triple turrets. The log scale opens up the closer ranges so you can see that some weapons are consistently "better" at scoring hits over some ranges. Again, lower lines are better, because the less time taken to get hits the more damage you'll be dealing! So, we can start to see some winners here. Notice that the 12" gun in INCREDIBLE at getting shots on target inside of 10KYDs. At greater ranges, you see that the 9" gun takes over, until it runs out of reach, anyway! The problem, is how much damage are you doing to your targets with such light shells? If you want to look at the "heavy" weapons, you can draw conclusions as well: Note that the 13" and 15" guns are very similar. You are going to get a similar number of hits over time (at closer ranges, the 13" is a little better, at longer ranges, the 15" is slightly better) However, the 15" shell is going to hit a lot harder. Interestingly, the 14" gun is consistently worse than both! There is also a "Pack" of guns around 15KYDs. 14", 16", 17", 18", 19", and 20" are all getting hits at about the same rate. So at that range, bigger really is better. BUT - all things being equal, and assuming all shots can do damage, you can still see the 9", 12", 13" and 15" guns ahead of the pack. Against small ships, the light guns seem to indeed be better. Against medium ships, 15" is looking like the best balance of accuracy and hitting power. Against the big baddies, heavier is probably better, as long as you can control the range (and SURVIVE at 15K Yards!) PART 3: Testing Time! I was inspired by the YouTube "Taskmaster" challenges where various gamers tried to kill 10 early battleships as quickly as possible. I've done two levels of test here, so I'll share both. The first test was whether or not the accuracy and reload penalty of more barrels offset the increased fire. My thesis was that more barrels is still going to be faster, even if the guns are less accurate and slower firing. To test, we used the same 5 Turret "Test Hull" (see figure 3.1) with 18" guns, changing only the number of barrels per turret. We used 1940 tech, vs. ten 1900 BB starting at 20,000 Yds. The results were pretty compelling! (Table 1:) This was my first test, it is not as controlled as the following test and just gives a rough estimate. The results were consistent however, demonstrating the concept that even though larger turrets have reduced rate of fire and accuracy, the extra barrels more than make up for it. First, against such weak targets, the time to get the first kill was pretty much tied to getting the first hits. I was surprised at how similar the times for that were. The guns do dial in much more quickly (and much more consistently) than my "Effective Accuracy" table would predict. True, we were using the same guns, but the rate of fire was going up very consistently, which WAS reflected in the total time, but was NOT reflected in the first kill time. This suggests a bit of a tweak to the code as far as getting that first hit, maybe there is a little bonus to ensure a quick hit that disappears after that first hit. More research!) So, if you can afford them, quad barrels are best! However, what about different gun sizes? That was the point of the first bit of analysis, anyway? Well, glad you asked! Here we go for the "BIG TEST" The Test Ship (Figure 3.1) The specific stats don't really matter. This is the gun layout all of the test ships for both the preceding and succeeding tests are used. The tonnage was always maxed out (to fit the largest turrets) but armor was changed to allow them to fit. We always used a 125,000 ton hull so that we could fit quad 18's (and eventually quad 20's) for the purposes of the test. To get the biggest guns, we limited to speed to 25 knots, and cut the armor as much as needed to do so. We always used the same towers, the same explosives (TNT) and standard reloading. Because we know that quad turrets are fastest at getting the kills in this scenario, we only changed the size of the guns - 14", 15", 16", 17", 18", 19", 20". (smaller guns do not allow quads). Because the variance between what the AI builds, RNG, and different starting angles makes a big difference, we ran several tests per weapon loadout. We looked at: Time for first kill, Time to complete mission, and Time from time of first kill to the end ("effective time") Table 2: Note: The 14" was predicted to perform poorly in the stat analysis above, and after two tests it was clear that that was in fact borne out, so I did not complete the third test. Looking at this data, I believe the predictions based on the graph of effective accuracy were borne out in the results. As expected from the predictions based on data, the 15 inch gun stands out as the most effectively accurate of the heavy weapons, the 14" is noticeably worse, and at moderate ranges the other heavy weapons are remarkably consistent (but still worse). The 19 and 20-inch guns seemed to overperform, considering that although their raw accuracy is indeed the best, their effective accuracy is hurt by their slow rate of fire and they are EXPECTED to line up with the 16-18" guns in terms of effectiveness. My theory is that there is a hidden buff to early "rangefinding" accuracy to get players hits sooner than mathematically should be happening, which then disappears after the aiming process is complete. The 19" and 20" weapons will basically one-shot a 1900 BB, so those "lucky" first salvoes are more effective than would otherwise be expected. It is also important to note that at a range of 15KYD, we should expect the TIMING of hits to be relatively consistent, so the very largest weapons are just showing the point at which the heavier shell does in fact start to overwhelm the other stats! It is also important to note for rangefinding purposes, we are sending 20-shell salvoes downrange, so there is an awful lot of "stuff" to throw at the wall. When some of it invariably sticks, those heavy guns pack a whallop! PART 4: Conclusions and Suggestions Based on these tests, a few things emerge. Firstly, how effective your fire is depends a lot on the range of engagements. If you get to around 15KYDs, you will find that the heavy guns all perform relatively consistently with each other. If you get closer, accuracy improves a lot over all weapons, and your first hits will be devastating. Also, at the closer ranges, the rate of fire really will make a difference especially if you are crippling targets every salvo. Because penalties for 3- or 4-gun turrets apply to reloading and accuracy, it is fair to ask if they are worth it. As of this patch, they are very much so. The extra shells going downrange compensate for the lower accuracy and rate of fire. It is clear that the more guns in a turret, the better! We also see that unless you are needing very heavy weapons, 15" guns work just fine at least against weaker targets. My personal conclusion: The quadruple 15" gun is probably the sweet spot for me. Against similar class vessels or less, it is probably the best overall weapon in the game. I would only use heavier weapons if I know I am facing modern or super battleships. This leads to a few design principles commanders might consider: For a given number of turrets, the more guns in a turret the better. If you can substitute triples or quads without having to sacrifice a turret, do. If you are limited by weight or costs, consider how you can get the most barrels possible. Invest in technologies to boost rate of fire and accuracy. RoF makes a HUGE difference. If you can invest in autoloaders, do so. I didn't include it here in a table, but I took out my test ship with a full 15" accuracy and ROF, and it brought down the engagement time to consistently around 20 minutes, with one run having just 16 minutes between the first hits and the last kill. Those boosts in rate of fire directly translate to expected time to sink targets. Assuming your shells can damage the target, and assuming all other things being equal, the 15" gun is the most effective, barrel for barrel. BATTLECRUISER DESIGNERS: This is a HUGE takeaway for you. Since you SHOULDN'T be engaging heavy enemies, based on this, you should probably go no larger than 15" guns. You will get more bang for your buck and slightly less dangerous shells lying around. If you are going more for a "super cruiser", the stats suggest that 12" guns may be best, at least on paper, out of the triple-only mounts. If you need to go for heavier weapons, it won't make the biggest difference as long as you can maximize the technologies. If you can get better tech or more barrels on, say 17" guns but have to sacrifice to get 18"'s, it's better to stay with the biggest weapon you can "max out". Suggestions for Developers: Based on this study, it seems that gun size balances VERY WELL with rate of fire and accuracy. As long as we choose weapons that are effective against the expected targets, there isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer as long as we consider the applicable elements. Revise how quad turrets are selected for or are possible in designs. The way the stats work right now, all things being equal, quadruple turrets are ALWAYS the best as long as they can fit and be afforded. This probably is something that needs to be addressed because we see in reality only three battleship classes ever used them, (with a few more designed and not laid down) while the vast majority of battleships used dual or triple turrets. Perhaps the weight penalty should be reexamined, so that you could fit a quad turret to replace two smaller turrets but could not fit two quad turrets in a similar area. Perhaps also turret and hull size should be considered - where guns larger than 16" simply cannot fit in a quadruple turret on anything short of the super battleship hull. That is, unlock different turrets based on hull. I would prefer something like this: Battlecruisers/Super Cruisers: 12/4, 13/4, 14/4, 15/3, 16/2, 17/2, 18/1, 19 or 20 can't fit at all Small/Medium Battleships: 12/4, 13/4, 14/4, 15/4, 16/3, 17/3, 18/2, 19/2, 20/2 Modern Battleships: 12/4, 13/4, 14/4, 15/4, 16/4, 17/3, 18/3, 19/2, 20/2 Super Battleships under 100K: all quads possible except 19/3 and 20/3 Super Battleships over 100K: all quads possible. By the way, quads of all main guns should be possible all the way down to 9". PART 5: Further Research, datamining, and Study: I would love to know how initial accuracy is figured out. It seems that ships consistently get their first hit much earlier than expected, especially on the larger guns where it should take vastly longer time to get that first hit (considering the increased time between salvoes). Is it always a hit on Salvo #2, 3, or 4 and an RNG decides which it will be? If such a system exists, what happens after the first hit? Once the first hit is achieved, performance approaches what is expected for gun size and range. Based on the evidence suggesting that more barrels is better with the same techs, I have not compared, say, quad 15" guns to triple 16" guns. The penetration vs accuracy over range curves would be interesting to plot or see for all weapons. This has not been done on secondary weapons either. This study has only worked with French pattern guns. How are other nations different? If you made it this far, Cheers! Happy Sailing, please let me know if this borne out or if I am barking up the wrong tree! -dbs1701
  2. This is mainly going to address the "two turret" system for gun aiming that is still in place. I feel like I've been a pretty big proponent of this, but here it goes: I am fully aware that for, basically, every warship ever designed with a gun turret...the number of guns were the same across each turret (like the Iowa with three triple turrets, the Bismarck with four twin turrets, the New York class with five twin turrets, etc) and the guns were the same size (both shell size and caliber). Now, from what I have seen, read and can deduce from a wide array of source material...the main factor in deciding whether or not a triple turret would fit is how wide the hull was or how much space is available below decks. Take the USS Pensacola for example: it had the two triple turrets placed in the superfiring position, with the two twin turrets on the main deck. Why? Because if they went the other way around with the twins firing over the tops of the triples, they would have to redesign the hull and widen it to accommodate the added size of the machinery required to operate the triple turrets where as if they put the triple turrets where they wound up putting them, the hull was already wide enough so they would fit without any hull altercations or redesigns though it lead to the Pensacolas being very top heavy and having excessive roll (this isn't a problem in UA:D, since so long as you have the displacement left over you can basically swap out a dual for a triple no problem). The USS Nevada, by comparison, was able to use the twin and triple turrets in the more "conventional" way of the twins firing over the triples which was an improvement over previous designs that had to use 5 turrets to carry the same 10-gun compliment, whereas the Nevada's could get away with 4 turrets. Now that the short history lesson is over, here's how it ties back into UA:D. It's no secret that the gun aiming system has it's flaws and can sometimes make certain designs unworkable or render some turrets useless due to a lack of accuracy in certain situations (just try building a USS Nevada/USS Pensacola style ship and tell me whether you like the gun accuracy/"effectiveness" at any firing angle other than broadside). It's because of the two-turret system that depends on at least two of the same turret (i.e. at least two guns of the same size and number of barrels) being able to bear against a target. Why the game treats single, twin, triple and quadruple turrets of the same gun size as different batteries with different targeting data I do not know--then again, I don't know much about developing a game either, maybe it's easier/simpler this way idk. For an example: you could build a USS Nevada style build with your twin turrets being 14" and your triples being 16" and the only difference you would get between 14" triples and 16" triples is the reload, range, weight of the turret and damage (if the guns even hit the target). Alternatively, you could build a ship that has a single, dual, triple and quadruple gun of the same caliber and the game would treat each one of those turrets as if they were all a different gun size. I've got a very hard time trying to picture somebody on the USS Nevada during WWII telling his captain, "The triples are blazing away sir, but the twin turrets are basically useless since only one of the twin turrets can bear against the target!" That defeats the whole purpose of a "unified" main battery: so long as the shell size and gun caliber (barrel length) are the same, it shouldn't matter whether or not you've got all dual turrets, all triple turrets or a mix of turrets with different numbers of guns in them. Reload times are almost guaranteed to be different since it takes less time to reload two guns than three, but that's not the issue here. Now, onto the second point: gun caliber, or maybe better known as barrel length. The Japanese Kawachi class of battleships carried a "unified" gun size of 12", but some guns were 50 caliber and others were 45 caliber (meaning their barrel lengths were 600" and 540", respectively) which also caused problems with rangefinding and accuracy of the main battery as longer guns give you higher muzzle velocity and increased range, thus leading to the 50 caliber guns having different performance than the 45 caliber ones. If your guns are the same size but different caliber, you'll have just as much luck trying to hit a target as a ship with multiple gun sizes but equal barrel length. And one last thing before I close: I'm fairly certain that in the game tips that pop up while you are looking at a loading screen, there is a tip about keeping your gun size the same to increase effectiveness and speed of ranging/aiming ant there is another tip/piece of info about the Kawachi class and their mixed gun length problem that led to them having issues rangefinding despite having the same gun size. If those are tips that are put into this game, by the creators, on the topic of "unified main batteries", shouldn't a unified main battery actually mean something? (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about those tips popping up on the loading screens) Now, I'm well aware that you could argue that playing around with shell weight, propellant amounts/materials could fix or "make better" the different gun caliber ordeal and one could also argue that if you don't want half of your main battery to be helplessly stuck in the ladder aiming process...just make each turret have the same number of guns. Well, the first argument doesn't really need to happen since we can't change barrel length in this game and the second one takes away from this game's "freedom of design" aspect that allows you to, for the most part, create what you want the way you want it. Not to mention, the second argument could be reversed and the question then becomes "if the guns are the same size and caliber, and fire the same ammo...why does every turret have to have the same number of guns per turret just to be accurate or effective?" I also haven't seen anything in the patch notes for a while on gun accuracy/this issue in general...so I don't think it's been addressed or taken care of. I realize that much of the dev team's focus has been on the campaign for a while, and while they seem to have been very receptive to feedback as of late, I feel as though this issue has been around for too long now. It's not enough to make me stop playing and supporting this game if this issue is never fixed...but it still bothers me. So I guess all there is left to ask is this: With game tips that persuade you to have a "unified main battery," gun stats that are basically identical when it comes to muzzle velocity, range, penetration, and damage between all four turret options (single, dual, triple and quad barreled) and the inability to change barrel length to effect the aforementioned stats, and no influence/limits from the ship designer in situations like the USS Pensacola's where just moving the larger turret back will allow it to fit.......when will a "unified main battery" finally mean something? I hope I'm not the only one who feels/thinks this way, and I hope this eventually makes it's way to the eyes of @Nick Thomadis and/or the other devs. I also hope nobody is dead from reading a wall of text as this was pretty lengthy.
  3. Hey Everyone, I know its been brought up before but wanted to add my voice to the discussion on enemy fire control accuracy. Really enjoying this so far just more often then not feeling fed up with my own accuracy. Several times had turrets destroyed and ship flooding within the opening 10 seconds of the battle starting, and mostly running through levels feeling as if I'm wasting my time. I'm struggling to land shells even in the vicinity after 30 mins in battle while as I mentioned very often the first and second shots from the enemy fleet is straddling. I've tried to max out my accuracy as often as possible to no avail. Also I may be performing the real time tactics wrong but anytime running a fast class - TB or BC, weaving at 32 knots doesn't seem to be affecting the enemy ships at all. Shells just following easily. That naval academy mission TB vs BB was infuriating I tell ya. Took me about 10 tries but eventually 1 TB managed to paddle its way home. Currently stuck on BC vs BB - not every level has had what I said above but this one has. Goodness knows my how gunnery officers passed their eye exams.
  4. I am thinking about this idea for a very long time and since I see that the complaints about demasting are on the rise again and that many mostly blame the accuracy of our cannons for this, I decided to present this Idea in a hopefully fashionable manner. Keep in mind these are just some ideas I have and want to share. I don’t insist that these should be implemented nor would I be frustrated if they won’t (I will just write a bad steam review ). I too think that our cannons are far too accurate and thus enable players to snipe for specific parts of an hostile ship. Especially at longer ranges. Also the speed of changing your point of aim, acquiring a new target and the feeling of disconnection of the cannons from the ship, bothers me. Our cannons act like they are mounted on modern turrets. You can single shoot masts and if you miss you can instantly adjust your point of aim (horizontal and vertical) and shoot again with almost no delay whatsoever. Also, the up and down motion of the ship doesn’t influence the aiming at all. Sure, heel does influence your max and min elevation, but doesn’t pose a real problem. So the main subject of my idea is, that the cannons and their point of aim really get fixed to the deck and are affected by roll, pitch and heel. So our aim bar constantly moves with the ship. The roll in the game right now is moderate to almost nonexistent because the sea in the instances is very calm. Maybe that should change too (variation). Heel can be significant but everybody should know by now how to minimize it. I don’t know if pitch plays a role, since aiming at the moment is not very much affected by the movement of the ship. Furthermore, the change of horizontal orientation and elevation of cannons should be a bit slower. Cannons were manhandled with handspikes to change these parameters. This took time and to instantly fire a cannon during this (like we can do now) wasn’t possible. So cannons in game should not be able to fire while being traversed or elevated. A simple example of how it could be shown to the player that his cannons aren't ready to fire during adjustments What will be the effects of this? Changing horizontal traverse and elevation isn’t almost instantly anymore. Adjusting your aim to snipe enemy masts in a fast manner isn’t an option anymore. To have a further option of balance. carronades could receive a buff in horizontal traverse speeds due to their carriages. Changing elevation fast to quickly aim at the waterline and right after that back at the hull or masts won’t be possible anymore. You must pre-plan your broadside. You must calculate how and where you want to aim and how to position your ship to get the best result. In fact you will mostly don’t touch the elevation setting of your cannons and aim with the ship now and keep your guns leveled to the deck and use roll to either shoot high or low. You don't wan't an arched flight path of your balls and want to keep it as flat as possible. Elevation then comes into place if you want to compensate for heel or are very close to your opponent but still want to shoot high. Also there would be a use for battle sails and people wouldn’t sail around with all sails set all the time. Full sails let the ship heel but also stabilize it against roll (although I somewhere read that higher speed makes the roll more unpredictable, sailing experts?). No sails on the other hand won’t let your ship heel as much but let your ship roll too unpredictable. Battle sails could be the middle ground between both extremes. A moderate heel and a moderate more predictable roll. I also read somewhere on the forum that the current battles sails layout isn’t exactly correct with set topgallants and royals but again, I think our sailing experts can prove me wrong on this or give better explanations. A downside with current firing mechanics in combination with my proposed idea above is that many shots of a broadside probably won’t hit due to the ship movement. Well at least if you are not right next to the enemy ship. Right now we can single shot with space bar or release a whole broadside with a mouse click, where many shots will miss and be wasted. I believe that no gun captain would fire his cannon if the target isn’t in sight (I assume he has a clear picture and is not hindered by smoke). Therefor I would like an additional way of releasing a broadside. This was an idea of @Hethwill some time ago. He suggested that, while you hold down spacebar your ship will fire a rolling broadside (front, back, random). If you release spacebar it will instantly stop and will continue at the next cannon if you hold spacebar down again. Maybe a general gimmick could be to let the player choose between 2 or 3 different rates of firing intervals. With one where almost all guns fire at the same time. This could increase the probability of a reload shock of your enemy. A downside could be that it also has a small negative effect on your structure. But that's just an extra and honestly not really needed. Until now I just made it harder to actually hit a target. I would also propose something more positive for the gunplay. As far as I know, the transparent fire sector roughly shows where the shots will land. I don’t know exactly where the aim bar is pointing but I assume it is somehow an elongation of the bore axis (of course somehow the average of all decks). I would like to keep it that way with a few adjustments. I will explain these things with a few pictures too. At first, all decks should be independent from each other. This means different point of aim and also different cannon loads per deck. You will basically see an aim bar for every deck (aiming all decks at once should still be possible). If you go into aim mode of a deck, the correspondent bar will be highlighted and a vertical axis for elevation and horizontal axis for traverse will appear. There would be middle markers (where the cannon is leveled/perpendicular to the deck) and min and max markers. This way you could load chain on the top deck and aim it a bit higher, while the two other decks are loaded with double shot. Or you are up close and preparing for a boarding action. So load your small top cannons with grape, while still pounding the gun deck and waterline with ball. Since it is a bit more complicated, I think UI wise it would be probably better to use the mouse for everything instead of smashing long button combinations (like 1 - 1 - 2 for example). no deck selected all decks selected and in aiming mode (chain loaded only on the top deck) all decks selected and traversed to the right example to show what I mean: only the lowest deck is selected and all decks are aimed differently In addition to that, captains should be able to mark up to three individual set settings on the elevation bar. You can experiment against AI or whatever you like and find some good settings that will help you in future battles. For example, you roughly know how far 200 meters are. With simple trial and error you can set the cannons of all decks to an elevation, where they will hit the target at 200 meters and roughly the same spot and mark it on the elevation bar. Doesn’t matter if the top deck consists of carronades while the other deck mounts longs. Or you keep your top deck always loaded with chain and aimed higher, because the low caliber won’t penetrate the hull of the enemy ship. example of premarked elevation settings. Deck 2 and 3 set to almost the same elevation, while deck one is elevated higher (the colors are just to make them more distinguishable) Since gunnery would be less accurate with those ideas, other things could also be adjusted. Like the thickness of hulls back to normal values. Leaks can be more dangerous (although I think they are fine as they are right now). Performance of cannons and carronades could be adjusted. Maybe introduce different firing mechanisms for cannons like flint lock and fuse ignition, which affects the delay between the command to fire and actual release of the round. So a rough overview of what these ideas can change Pros: no more easy mast-sniping (especially at long ranges) no more easy waterline sniping long range chaining very difficult - easier to escape a purpose for battle sails positioning and maneuvers are even more important more difficult to get the perfect rake (also affecting long range rakes) individual loadouts and aiming of every deck possible reintrodution of reasonable hull thickness because it is harder to hit consistently also adjustments of cannon damage possible to make up for worse accuracy (a really good broadside should have a big impact) Cons: too complex and over-complicating mechanics too difficult can be frustrating no real difference with current calm and invariable sea states/ship movements many others I bet.... Swivels. Since we introduced swivels with the new pirate refitted LGV I thought about a way to implement them to all ships. Every ship should have some places where you can install swivels if you want. An example is shown in the picture below. To fit swivels to your ship you have to select in port where you want them on your ship. Maybe limit the number of swivels so not every point can be equipped with them. The player could also be allowed to switch the positions during the battle. This should take some time of course. To man the swivels in the battle instance with crew, there should be a second option in the boarding menu (like press 9 and then 2 for “man swivels”) to fire the swivels you can switch between them and aim them personally at your target. I made some example pictures with a swivel aft and one at the fighting top. This can be a nuisance to smaller ships who like to stern camp your SoL. Those swivels can also be used in the new boarding mechanics if the devs are still on it. So, this was it. Remember, these are just some ideas I had.If everything stays as it is, fair enough
  5. How it works The chance to be hit is multiplied by approximately 164.2% - 4.15% * speed in knots, but not greater than 100% and not less than 10%. (For the modifier displayed in-game, subtract 100%.) I derived this by watching AI enemies until their Target Fast Speed modifier stopped increasing, then recorded their modifier and top speed. It's possible that the AI runs their ships at cruise speed rather than top speed, but even if so this doesn't change the broad conclusions. I did not record any very slow ships (< 16 knots) but What is going wrong Many people have complained that fast ships are too difficult to hit. It's not hard to see why---the cap is hit at about 37.5 knots, which is attainable by many ships in late game, and makes them 10 times as hard to hit as a ship of 15 knots. Furthermore, the curve has a strange shape. Here is a plot of the hit difficulty (i.e. multiplier to the average number of shells needed to score a hit, which is inversely proportional to the chance to be hit above) versus speed. Going from 16 to 19 knots only makes you 1.15x harder to hit But, going from 34.5 to 37.5 knots makes you twice as hard to hit. But, going from 37.5 knots to 40.5 knots (or even to 49 knots) doesn't make you any harder to hit at all. This is the problem with using negative modifiers to a value whose reciprocal is important; at some point, you get an ultra-sharp rise that quickly either reaches a cap or infinity. How to fix it If we are going to stick with a product-of-factors model of accuracy: rather than using a decreasing multiplier to accuracy, use an increasing divider. For example: 2 / (1 + speed / reference_speed) If you want a stronger effect of speed, you could square this, effectively applying the multiplier twice. For example: (2 / (1 + speed / reference_speed))^2 For example, if you set reference_speed = 15 knots: The square version resembles the current curve up to about 28 knots, but doesn't have the sharp takeoff after that that we currently have.
  6. We all know that the accuracy system is in desperate need of an overhaul. Here's my idea of a system to replace it, which should be feasible from a programming point of view and accurate to history. I think the best way to describe my proposed system is by example: Ship X fires at Ship Y. Upon firing, the game calculates the flight time of X's shells and predicts where Y will be that many seconds in the future based on Y's current speed and heading. At that point (a literal point on the XY grid representing the predicted center of Y) the game will generate two dispersion circles. The first circle, called the Fire Control dispersion circle (FC Circle) represents the accuracy of X's FC systems and is centered on Y's predicted location and generates a point using a random dispersion algorithm (this generated point is where X thinks Y will be). The second dispersion circle is generated on the point created by the FC Circle, this is the Gun dispersion circle and all shells from X will land there. As the shells are physical objects in the game the game can track which compartment the shell hits, if it hits, and do the pen/damage calculations there. Modifiers for the FC Circle: Base accuracy determined by Tower(s) First ranging shot (200% debuff) Second ranging shot (100% debuff) Shots on target (25% buff) [% probably needs adjustment] Under fire (40% debuff) [% probably needs adjustment] Weather (debuff ranging from mild to severe, reduced by radar) Technology modifier (Highly variable buff) Primary FC destroyed (technology buff reduced by 1/3) [located in hull behind main belt] Secondary FC destroyed (technology buff reduced by 2/3) [located in hull behind main belt] {some ships, like CLand DD, don't have a sec FC; in that case if the FC is hit both are considered destroyed} Rangefinders damaged (50% debuff) [Primary OR secondary tower destroyed] Rangefinders destroyed (100% debuff) [Primary AND secondary towers destroyed] {If ship has only one tower the rangefinders are destroyed with the tower} Conning Tower destroyed (20% debuff) Turning beyond 5 degrees resets ranging shot count (need to fire first and second ranging shots again) Ship obstructing view of target (50% debuff) Smoke obstructs target (200% debuff, negated by radar) Radar (150% buff) [Has a chance of being destroyed by battleship caliber guns (12" and higher) firing, the larger the gun the higher the chance. Gen 2 radar has reduced risk of being knockedd out by own guns firing] Radar destroyed (radar bonuses removed) [caused by own guns firing, critical hit to main tower(?), or main tower destroyed] Modifiers for Gun circle: Base accuracy determined by gun Ship instability (variable debuff derived from fore/aft and starboard/port offsets combined with hull base value) [battleships are naturally very stable, CLs and DDs are naturally quite unstable] Damage instability (variable debuff derived from amount of flooding damage) Sea state (debuff ranging from milld to severe) Turret(s) damaged (# of turrets damaged/100% debuff) [Turret indicator at least yellow, I.e if a ship has 2 turrets and one gets damaged it takes a 50% debuff. If both are damaged its a 100% debuff] Swamped (25% debuff) [turrets taking water due to low freeboard, possibly caused by flooding damage or very rough seas] Notes: Each gun caliber has its own dispersion circle. Primary batteries and Secondary batteries have separate FC systems in order to allow for independent targeting. Close readers will notice that its possible for ships to dodge incoming shells by altering course and/or speed after being fired on. That is both intentional and historically accurate, and it means that small, fast, and nimble ships, like CL and DD can dodge main gun batteries of capital ships at long range. However the shorter flight time and higher RoFs of smaller caliber guns, like 4", 5", and 6", are much harder to dodge. For those wondering why you'd need to make ranging shots again after turning, that's exactly what captains needed to do IRL after turning.
  7. I'm a 20-year-old who has been fascinated with maritime history for over a decade. I love this game! Nevertheless, here are some suggestions to make the game more realistic. Suggestions for Endymion: Redesign her rigging and sails: Lead the tack of the innermost jib(Foretopmast staysail) to the Bowsprit cap (not to where the spritsail yard is). Lead the tack of the middle jib(jib) to the end of the jibboom( not to the cap of the bowsprit), and the head of the sail to the foretopmast crosstrees (not the topgallant) and make this the largest of the jibs. Add flying-jib-boom and extend the outermost jib(flying jib) to the end of the flying-jibboom(not to the end of the jib-boom), the head of the sail should lead to the top of the topgallant masts(not the end of the poles for royals) delete the spritsail topsail and spritsail topsail yard add a single (as on Trincomalee) or double (as on USS Consitution) dolphin striker. (Different ships carried different styles, but every frigate carried one Add a middle staysail (peak leading to the main topmast crosstree, knock to the middle of the foretopmast, and tack at the foretop platform) Delete the lowest staysail between the fore and mainmast, this sail would only be carried in a hurricane, in normal conditions it would interfere with the working of the riggning in the waste rendering the ship unmaneuverable in battle. Lead the peak of the highest staysail between the masts to the main topgallant (not to the top of the pole). Add a knock to the mizzen staysail(lowest staysail between the Mizzen and Main) Recreate the sizes of the sails and spars to fit those listed of HMS Endymion. Here are the parts of the sails listed above: Here is Endymion in the game: As compared to the rig of a 36-gun frigate built around 1795 (given the billet head instead of a figurehead, this was only used few ships for a short period between 1795-1797). Note the middle staysail lowered between the fore and main mast. Some sails that a ship of 1795 omitted on the model: Royals would be set on long poles above the topgallant sails(highest sails on the model) in light weather and the all the mizzen staysails and the main topgallant staysail are left out too. The lead of the martingale-stays suggest that the spritsail was rarely used and is indeed omitted on the model. Hence by 1797 Endymion would have rarely carried a spritsail. The spritsail topsail was obsolete and no longer rigged by 1795 and is omitted on the model. Notice the long dolphin striker similar to that of HMS Trincomalee. Here are the spar dimensions of the Endymion from 1808. Note all measurements of the length of the spars are in yards and inches separated by a hyphen. While the diameters are in inches Masts: Main: L 32-0, D 30+1/4 topmast: L 19-6, D 17+1/4 Topgallant: L 9-21, D 9+5/8 Pole (extension of the topgallant mast to carry royal sails): L 5 D 9+5/8 (dimensions not officially listed, but I reconstructed them from the spar plan of the modified Endymion class frigates) Fore: L 29-13, D 27+1/4 topmast: L 17-0, D 17+1/4 Topgallant: L 8-18, D 8+1/4 Pole: L 4-24, D 8+1/8 (dimensions not officially listed, but I reconstructed them from the spar plan of the modified Endymion class frigates) Mizzen: L 23-2, D 20 topmast: L 14-3, D 11+3/4 Topgallant: L 7-6, D 7+1/4 Pole: L 4-24, D 9+5/8 (dimensions not officially listed, but I reconstructed them from the spar plan of the modified Endymion class frigates) Bowsprit: L 19-19 D28. Jibboom: L 14-0, D 12 Flying jibboom: dimensions not listed, despite not being an official fitting, every frigate from about 1795 carried one. Yards: Main: L 28-26, D 19+7/8 topsail: L 20-24, D 12+7/4 Topgallant: L 13-8, D 8 royal: L 9, D 5 (dimensions not officially listed, but I reconstructed them from the spar plan of the modified Endymion class frigates) Fore: L 28-26 D 19+7/8 topsail: L 18-20, D 11+5/8 Topgallant: L 11-11, D 7+1/8 royal: L 8, D 4+1/2 (dimensions not officially listed, but I reconstructed them from the spar plan of the modified Endymion class frigates) Mizzen (Crossjack): L 28-26, D 19+7/8 topsail: L 18-20, D 11+5/8 Topgallant: L 11-11, D 7+1/8 royal: L 7, D 4 (dimensions not officially listed, but I reconstructed them from the spar plan of the modified Endymion class frigates) Spritsail: L 18-20, D 11+5/8 (same as foretop) Spritsail topsail: L 11-11, D 7+1/8 (This yard was obsolete never put up and should be omitted as it but instead carried as a spare for the topgallant yard, In fact, it was used so rarely that is was abolished issuing it by 1815) Dolphin striker: (Although not part of the official listings on spar dimensions, by 1795 Frigates had extended the flying jib with a flying jib boom that required a long dolphin striker with martingale-stays provide the downward force to prevent flying jibboom from braking, the very same martingale stays prevented ships from using the spritsail topsail as it was obsolete). Endymion might have had a double Dolphin striker like the USS Constitution and HMS Acasta (A British frigate of similar size to Endymion also built in 1797) Boom(spanker): L 20-24, D 11+5/8 Gaff(spanker): L 13-6 D 11+1/2 Note: Measurements of lower masts are from the mast-step not the deck. Also the masts would overlap at the tops and topgallant crosstrees. These can be seen in the spars of the modified Endymion class frigates (They had spars of reduced dimensions and greater diameter beacuse the ships were made of softwood): External Appearance: Add a large full body all white painted figurehead and delete the two rails running down the side of the waist not shown in the sheer plan. Paint scheme as of 1797 (The only one that doesn't require also redesigning the forecastle barricade,) The inside of the barricades were not red as they are in the game. This fell out of fashion in the 1780s. By 1797 they were blackyellow ochre. It is extremely unlikely that the Endymion was ever painted as she is in the game! The broad yellow band that extends between the wales and the rail above the gunports should be narrowed and lowered to the rail that is the height of the middle of the gunports to follow what was most common in 1797 (it is what is shown in most paintings and on most models). Compare the Endymion in the game to the model and note which rail the yellow band reaches on the profile draught: The unlikely alternative to this paint scheme for HMS Endymion 1797 would be a thin yellow band below the gunports similar to how HMS Shannon (and USS Chesapeake though not British)was painted as of 1813 and HMS Terpsichore was as of 1796. Here are the Shannon vs Chesapeake and Terpsichore vs Mahonesa: Stern: Her current stern in the game has a single curve over the transom which was a French and Spanish feature during the 1700s and early 1800s. British frigates by 1797 distinctly had separate curves over the galleries that protruded outside the ships hull and round stern gunports on the quarterdeck. They even went to the extent of redesigning the sterns of the ships they captured such as HMS Amelia ex-Proserpine. Here are examples of the Narcissus class 1801 and the Pallas class 1793: Furthermore, all British frigates of the 1790s had 9 panes of glass in their stern windows unlike in the game where Endymion has six: Here is the example on a model of the Ex-french Pomone modified to resemble HMS Endymion circa 1815 (although the paint scheme of the model is similar to that of 1797): Endymion's stern in the game wrongly resembles a French design such as that of the Volontaire shown below with a single curve around the whole stern galleries. Ships Boats As launched, Endymion was fitted with an 18 ft clinker built cutter(a small clinker-built multipurpose workboat dubbed the jollyboat), a 32 ft barge (a long narrow carvel built fast rowing boat), a 28 ft Launch (a wide heavy-duty carvel-built boat that could be armed with a 12 pounder carronade), and two 24 ft cutters (medium sized clinker-built workboats). The jollyboat was stowed on stern davits and the rest of the boats stowed in the waist. Post-1797 modification options By 1800: Solid barricades were built around the forecastle deck as shown in the earlier picture of the model. These are clearly shown on the inboard profile of the ship and on the model(note the model doesn't have the same position of the gunports on the forecastle because the model was originally of Pomone which Endymion was based on but had slightly different arrangements: The plan is accurate) and it is possible that Endymion was actually launched with them Modifications as of 1805(at this time Endymion was armed with 18-pounders not 24s): By 1805, Quarter davits were added and the two 24ft cutters were carried abreast the mizzen mast as can be seen on HMS Victory. Additional paint scheme option. The Nelson chequer was the most likely paint scheme as of 1805. Note the yellow band is narrower and follows the gunports, not the external planking. Here is the Nelson chequer as painted on HMS Euryalus in 1805 which was under Nelson's command at Trafalgar (note the solid forecastle barricades): Modifications as of 1811(also as armed with 18-pounders): Paint scheme: An order from the Admiralty of 1811 replaced yellow paint with white paint, nevertheless some captains continued to paint their ships yellow. Here is a possibility of how Endymion was painted, note the inside of the bulwarks are green. As of 1815 after her great repair and as she appeared during her battle with USS President: Ships Boats: Many captain's include captain Hope of Endymion replaced the 18 ft jollyboat with a 24 ft fast rowing gig. In preparation for foreign service (as opposed to channel service) a 24 ft cutter was replaced by a 25 ft yawl (carvel-built equivalent). The 12-pounder carronade was carried by the Yawl instead of the Launch. Hull Modifications: The full-length figurehead was replaced by a bust and the quarterdeck barricade extended forward to accommodate an extra gunport, meanwhile an extra beam was added to the quarterdeck extending the deck forward as well. The breastworks were deleted, top-riders (large diagonal timbers on the side of the ship to give the hull strength, but actually proved to weaken the hull) deleted, and gangways significantly widened. The result was what is shown on this model mean to depict HMS Endymion: The extension of the quarterdeck by one beam and the bulwark can be faintly seen drawn in pencil on the inboard profile (note the prominent diagonal fastenings in this plan: top riders were removed in the great repair): Furthermore, the opening between the forecastle and quarterdeck was further reduced by adding light gratings over the beams in the waist to create a makeshift spar deck as shown(ignoring the rounded off edges of the opening) on this model of HMS Lacedaemonian 1812 (model shows the ship post 1815 ) Pa)int Scheme: It had been documented in writing (the naval chronical) and in paintings that by 1815, HMS Endymion was painted all black as shown in these paintings: Rigging, spars and sails: Skysails, skysail yards and skysail poles were extended above the Royals, otherwise, the rigging remained the same. Thomas Buttersworth paints Endymion with a single dolphin striker, but all paintings of British frigates with skysails show double dolphin strikers. It is difficult to tell whether she had one or two. Thomas Whitcombe painting of HMS Acasta (1797), one of the other three 40-gun frigates built in 1797 like Endymion, as she appeared in 1806 rigged with skysail poles and a double dolphin strike(note the other frigate in the background only has royal poles and has a single dolphin striker): A minor detail is that after 1811, the sails would no longer be bent to the yards themselves(attached below) but rather to a jackstay allowing the sails to cover up the front each yard they were fastened to. Armament : Note: This section is displayed copied from Wikipedia, although I am the one that wrote the Wikipedia section. I listed this armament by cross-checking records in Robert Gardiner's Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars, Theodore Roosevelt's The Naval War of 1812, Andrew Lambert's The Challenge, and William James' Naval Occurrences with the plans of Endymion and the listed modifications to her hull. It is noteworthy that the exact innovations that Captain Philip Broke of HMS Shannon used regarding artillery were adopted and used to great effect by HMS Endymion during her battle with USS President. Prof. Lambert describes the structural damage that USS President suffered which resulted from Endymion's gunfire: 5/15 starboard (where Endymion engaged) main-deck damaged to the point of being disabled and 10/15 main-deck gun crews hit despite the battle being fought with both ships in motion with a swell from the gales the night before. Multiple holes between wind and water (24-pounders could pierce through the American 44s sides unlike the 18-pounder shot that bounced off USS Constitution giving her the name "Old Ironsides"). Shot from Endymion was even found inside President's magazine (aft power room). 6ft of water was in President's hold by the time she was captured (although some could have been from the night before). Many historians fail to mention in detain the effect of Endymion's firepower or the extraordinary accuracy allowed by Broke's system. Perhaps it would be worth increasing Endymion's reload speed and accuracy to represent Broke's innovations that captain Hope adopted? (By 1815 these methods were also used on the frigates HMS Spartan, HMS Euryalus, HMS Tenedos, HMS Shannon and perhaps more) 1797: Upper deck: 26 × 24-pounder guns (11 kg); QD: 6 × 32-pounder (15kg) carronades + 8 × 9-pounder (4kg) long guns Fc: 2 × 32-pounder (15kg) carronades, + 4 × 9-pounder (4kg) guns From Nov 1803 to 17 May 1813: Upper deck: 26 × 18-pounders (8 kg); QD:14 × 32-pounder (15 kg) carronades Fc: 4 × 32-pounder (15kg) carronades, + 2 × 9-pounder (4kg) guns From 17 May 1813: Upper deck: 26 × 24-pounder guns QD:16 × 32-pounder (15 kg) carronades Fc: 1 × 18-pounder (8 kg) brass long gun + 4 × 32-pounder carronades Additional unofficial armament: Ships boat: 1 × 12-pounder (5kg) gunnade Fighting Tops: Swivel mounted smaller guns
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