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Are cannonball rakes strong enough?

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Just wondering what other people thought about cannonball rakes.

 

Grapeshot rakes are devastating against crew, but what about cannonball rakes as damaging to the ship? I feel like given the choice, you are still better off whacking a target's side armor rather than raking his ship. Side armor hits are easy and will eventually result in sinking while raking fire quickly dissolves the rear armor and then seems to have almost no impact on the rest of the fight.

 

I get this feeling every time I'm in a fight where I get to rake someone multiple times. It just doesn't seem to do anything. In the long run they sink when I bash their side armor down. It's like raking fire isn't harming their structure?

 

I had this reinforced recently when I was trying to clear out some outposts by expending my 1 dura 3rd rates in Small Battles. I would enter the Small Battle and usually end up solo against a bunch of players in smaller ships. They would do a pretty good job of staying on my stern and raking me repeatedly and it really just seemed to have no effect. I didn't get any serious leaks. The rudder generally held together well enough. I learned to basically just ignore the rakes and bash everyone's side armor down. I didn't really get into trouble unless they got my side armor down.

 

I have never sunk someone or felt in danger of sinking while having full side armor (and not being rammed). Six blasts against empty side armor means someone is sinking. Six full cannonball rakes from point blank against an armorless stern seems to do very little.

 

 

Is this working as intended?

 

I know raking fire was buffed recently but I don't notice it except for crew kills.

 

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Just wondering what other people thought about cannonball rakes.

 

Grapeshot rakes are devastating against crew, but what about cannonball rakes as damaging to the ship? I feel like given the choice, you are still better off whacking a target's side armor rather than raking his ship. Side armor hits are easy and will eventually result in sinking while raking fire quickly dissolves the rear armor and then seems to have almost no impact on the rest of the fight.

 

I get this feeling every time I'm in a fight where I get to rake someone multiple times. It just doesn't seem to do anything. In the long run they sink when I bash their side armor down. It's like raking fire isn't harming their structure?

 

I had this reinforced recently when I was trying to clear out some outposts by expending my 1 dura 3rd rates in Small Battles. I would enter the Small Battle and usually end up solo against a bunch of players in smaller ships. They would do a pretty good job of staying on my stern and raking me repeatedly and it really just seemed to have no effect. I didn't get any serious leaks. The rudder generally held together well enough. I learned to basically just ignore the rakes and bash everyone's side armor down. I didn't really get into trouble unless they got my side armor down.

 

I have never sunk someone or felt in danger of sinking while having full side armor (and not being rammed). Six blasts against empty side armor means someone is sinking. Six full cannonball rakes from point blank against an armorless stern seems to do very little.

 

 

Is this working as intended?

 

I know raking fire was buffed recently but I don't notice it except for crew kills.

 

Depending on the ship I'm using, I've noticed a lot more guns knocked out and knocked out consistently on enemy ships during raking, to the point where I'll end a battle with close to 30 guns knocked out on an AI 3rd rate. It seems to be a much faster way to reduce your opponents firepower, and ball will still kill a decent amount of crew on a good rake as well. The only other time I consistently knock out guns is when the opponent's armor is completely gone.

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I fully agree and have a similar sense.  Raking is hard and has limited effect - not to mention that I constantly have to discipline the crew on it poor aiming skills.  That said, I am really looking forward to targeted model damage implied din the new patch notes.  It sounds like targeted strikes will play an increasingly important role - and perhaps - introduce a new factor for skill based play.

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Raking is for doing crew and component damage (rudder, pumps, guns and--hopefully someday--masts), not sinking.

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Raking is for doing crew and component damage (rudder, pumps, guns and--hopefully someday--masts), not sinking.

 

 

Rakes on the front seem to be especially ineffective.

Edited by Yar987

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Raking is for doing crew and component damage (rudder, pumps, guns and--hopefully someday--masts), not sinking.

 

Makes sense, although I would swear there is a bug with this too.

 

I've had pumps and rudders go from red to yellow and I didn't hit any repairs. It actually seemed to improve by being shot at. Commented on this in a support thread but not sure what came of it.

 

I would swear it has a greater chance of starting fires but fires seem remarkably tame these days so kind of a non-benefit.

 

 

I've mostly stopped cannonball raking people because it doesn't seem worth it.

 

I've lost 1 on 1 fights before and I'm pretty sure the reason I lost is actually because I was outsailing him. If I rake him 10 times and side armor shoot him 5 times and he rakes me 0 times and side armor shoots me 10 times, he's winning. I outsailed him, got more shots and got excellent rakes but that basically didn't count for as much as another side armor hit would have. I would have literally done better to just sail side by side and trade broadsides with him.

 

Even raking crew isn't that great unless you're going for the board. Focus gunnery, get people out of the sails and he can do a pretty good job of running his guns even with 1/3rd of his crew dead. Which I'm fine with, but it does diminish the value of raking overall.

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All modules repair a tiny bit over time, but only enough to go from red to yellow.  If a rudder turns red, it will eventually turn yellow.  Using a repair is to immediately turn it from red to yellow, or save it until it is yellow so you might be able to turn it white.  Or you can use it to repair when it is still white but still damaged.  That isn't bugged, but how it has always been since I have been playing.

 

 

Raking is a learned skill set, and extremely effective.  In the Tester Forums we have the same topic.  Does ball rake do enough?  I think the consensus is that more cannons could be destroyed.  One reason ball might seem so ineffective is because grape raking is so extremely effective.  Some people think raking with ball could kill more crew and do more damage, others think it is fine.

 

Really, you would probably never just fire grape from a cannon.  You would most likely fire ball and then grape loaded on top, and so really, grape should probably do a bit of structure damage since ball would be fired at the same time.

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I think that 'not sinking' from raking fire may change slightly with the 9.7 change to emphasise leaks from location and waterline.

Not 100% sure, but there could be a (and should be) a change in this direction.

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When I lose 200 people in a single crew raking I suddenly feel the power of raking in PvP. There is utility in aiming at other parts of a ship rather than just its side armor, as demasts can greatly change a battle from impossible to a win in your favor. A Surprise can take on a more powerful ship by annihilating its crew, then focusing on the rest.

 

Outside of crew rakes, stern/bow shots are generally ineffective. I find when I'm raking an enemy from behind I use that opportunity to find the perfect angle and unleash a broadside into all 3 adjacent masts for great effect.

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Raking with ball is powerful enough at the moment in my opinion. For example (when fighting against a 3rd rate) in addition to killing decent amount of crew (5-20 per rake) you also destroy a lot of guns (2-5 per rake) and have a good chance of destroying rudder/pump or causing fire. If the ball rakes are not doing anything then they are being shot from a bad angle, the ball must travel the entire way through the target ship and in level with the gun decks (just as with the grape shot).

 

Historically sinking a ship would rarely be a goal of naval combat so I'm okay with the ball-rake not being great at sinking the enemy as it was aimed more towards killing the crew and destroying "modules". Sinking large ships with small ships would be too easy if it was enough to just pound the stern long enough. Raking in the game is more of a phase where you can reduce the crew and guns of the enemy to a point where you can risk being hit by what remains of his broadsides and start shooting the hull itself (if you are not planning to board).

 

I wouldn't mind a slight increase in the crew killing efficiency of ball shot (I don't think the shrapnel effect from splintering wood is modeled) but if anything the maximum efficiency of grape shot could be scaled down a little. You can kill/incapacitate over 200 crew from a 3rd rate with a single lucky/skillful close range grape-rake in constitution. I find that hard to believe even with all the crew standing in nice lines on the open gun decks.

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In my opinion ball rakes should kill a little more crew, while grape should kill a little less as it does currently since grape wouldn't travel as far through the ship as balls would do. Maybe well executed stern rakes could get a slight buff by causing reload shocks even at SoLs to represent the Chaos they caused in real life. I never had a reload shock in a ship bigger than a Surprise and it would maybe lead to players stop ignoring stern rakes.

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Grape should devastate whatever is at the rear of the ship, but like eye of the storm said beyond that not as effective. Ball should kill slightly more crew but also damage guns and magazines depending where they are located

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I did a test run of a trinco exclusively shooting ball shot from long guns into a 3rd bot's stern.

I have no politics or hypothesis to prove with this, I only mean to quantify the viability of high velocity ball rakes.

Note that my maneuvering was to get the best possible rakes and not to protect my own ship vs. beating the bot in the least amount of time.

Just before the timer ran out I had done close to 100 fair to good rakes and this is how the bot felt:

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(In addition to rakes I did shoot chain with the chasers to make it more docile)

It is absolutely impossible to sink a 3rd with trinco rakes. Notice the bow damage, all that comes from balls flying the length of the ship with enough energy to pen (if that's how it works).

Since 100 rakes are a silly high count I recorded the 20 first rakes:

173c292f93917763bc41e9f39d538e6e.png

9 guys died and 1.75 guns were disabled per rake.

You'll notice that when the rake was really good it amounted to about 20 guys and 5 guns.

Score after boarding action just before the timer ran out:

7ab2cfb5f880dbe5faf981bd34c48ad1.png

00ed61d1ffaafd130f4c9f9d2dc1ec81.png

Is ball raking too strong, fine or too weak in regard to crew, gun, leaks and hull integrity (sinking)?

What about playability vs. realism?

In your experience, is carronade raking more or less effective and how should it work?

Source (not meant to be watched, included for science):

(I'll add some thoughts in the next post)

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IRL a single ball from the stern was a horrific occurance. The ball would travel the length of the ship tearing through men and equipment mutilating numerous men. It has been testified to have been a truly dreadsome experience.

Edited by Tretton
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Stern and bow raking in this game is nowhere near what it should be.

 

Like people have mentioned, stern and bow raking was devistating with solid round shot. Cannonballs skip along the decks and take out crew and cannons along the length of the ship.

 

As it stands right now, given the game mechanics, it is more benifitial to hide your sides that it is to hide your stern/bow except at extreme close (grapeshot) range.

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9 guys died and 1.75 guns were disabled per rake.

 

 

I wonder if he really killed that many guns or if he was just counting each "cannon x1" as a gun kill. I'm pretty sure that just means you hit a cannon, not that you killed it...?

 

But I think it does suggest that raking is way too weak. 100 rakes should have turned the contents of that ship into jelly.

 

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if raking at least did a much higher chance of component damage. Like a solid rake should tend to do more pump damage. Since you can only fix that every 6 minutes, it could make rakes more useful.

 

 

Or maybe rakes should just be cumulative somehow.... rake #1 isn't as bad as rake #20. Rake #20 should be mulching whatever little you still had intact inside your ship.

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I'm pretty sure that just means you hit a cannon, not that you killed it...?

.

The gun tally stopped at 75, though. Doesn't that imply that it is a kill?

I think rakes should be far more devastating than they are now.

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I wonder if he really killed that many guns or if he was just counting each "cannon x1" as a gun kill. I'm pretty sure that just means you hit a cannon, not that you killed it...?

 

But I think it does suggest that raking is way too weak. 100 rakes should have turned the contents of that ship into jelly.

 

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if raking at least did a much higher chance of component damage. Like a solid rake should tend to do more pump damage. Since you can only fix that every 6 minutes, it could make rakes more useful.

 

 

Or maybe rakes should just be cumulative somehow.... rake #1 isn't as bad as rake #20. Rake #20 should be mulching whatever little you still had intact inside your ship.

1x Cannon means you took out a cannon

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Raking with round shot also knocks out cannons pretty quickly, which theoretically make a ship easier to board as it loses its ability to defend itself

 

in the actual game we are however faced with a serious problem: Fire

You are very likely to cause a fire with a well aimed round shot rake, which in turn the captain of the ship will use to attempt to bomb your fleet.

 

Survival should not be toggleable. Attempt to save the ship should always be the #1 concern of the crew.

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Pretty quickly?

Look at the table seven posts up... That is not pretty quickly.

I think only carriages hit are affected, possibly with a saving throw. The devastating effect of internal damage is not modeled.

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I've destroyed up to 8 cannons in a rake. I don't know the official jodgi approved definition of "pretty quickly".

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This is actually the worst part about ship combat in this game, as it stands lets be honest everyone Bow tanks to get close to a ship, because you can literally receive a broadside of ball shots from a line ship while sailing a frigate, and you loose a couple of crew members, maybe a cannon or two and carry one. I dont think that its even possible to sink a ship by shooting its bow with ball in this game, while in reality the damage to all the wood joints that were located at the bow, couplet with the biggest water pressure should cause extreme damage and leaking if shot at the waterline. 

 

In reality it was suicidal to approach an enemy facing your Bow to its broadsides, in this game its the most viable tactic... So yeah "Strong enough" would be a huge overstatement.

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This is actually the worst part about ship combat in this game, as it stands lets be honest everyone Bow tanks to get close to a ship, because you can literally receive a broadside of ball shots from a line ship while sailing a frigate, and you loose a couple of crew members, maybe a cannon or two and carry one. I dont think that its even possible to sink a ship by shooting its bow with ball in this game, while in reality the damage to all the wood joints that were located at the bow, couplet with the biggest water pressure should cause extreme damage and leaking if shot at the waterline. 

 

 

 

thats misinformation

 

bow or stern hits if done properly devastate opponents - but you have to hit proper areas which is hard.

cannon damage could be weaker - but its caused by the fact that destroyed cannons still can block shots

 

in addition to that raking fire was romanticized by books i think and it did not deliver consistent results in actual battle reports, because sometimes it was hard to hit the right spot at right angled (for parallel shot fly throughs). For example HMS Java raked constitution twice - cannons were fine and minimal number of men were wounded over the whole battle. But victory raked the french third rate and killed 200 men because they achieved a good shot by grape from their carronades that flew through the whole deck parallel to the floor. 

 

both cases happen often in naval action. for max devastation shoot grape at close range. cannons loss is inconsistent because of blockage (dead cannons sometimes can still block shots)

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in addition to that raking fire was romanticized by books i think and it did not deliver consistent results in actual battle reports, because sometimes it was hard to hit the right spot at right angled (for parallel shot fly throughs). For example HMS Java raked constitution twice - cannons were fine and minimal number of men were wounded over the whole battle. But victory raked the french third rate and killed 200 men because they achieved a good shot by grape from their carronades that flew through the whole deck parallel to the floor. 

Captain Broke of the Shannon (as quoted by Peter Padfield in his definitive Guns at Sea) supposed that the clouds of smoke often obscured the small target of the enemy's stern was raking fire was attempted.

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