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Implications of the new splinter damage

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Hello captains. 

 

We will continue tuning the splinter damage in the next week or two. In general the feedback on it was positive and players like that raking matters and stern tanking (positioning your ship with a bow or stern to reduce damage) is very dangerous.

But we wanted to discuss one implication (concern) that several captains raised.

 

In the sustained fight both sides end up with low crew significantly deteriorating the ship reload rates and performance of sails. As a result combat slows down to a halt for both sides becoming extremely slow and boring. 

 

Is this a problem and if it is how would you propose to solve it without magic (for example giving a crew repair on cool down). 

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Imo its fine as it is atm, please dont change it.

 

 

EDIT:

I recall a surprise taking 2 broadsides from a santi and being at 10% side structure. In the past you would only lose like 10 crew.

Nowadays after being absolutely destroyed, you lose around 50 -70 crew that way, which is really fun and immersive!

 

Masterviolin below raises a good point, maybe slightly adjust the price of crew, but besides that, keep it as it in. :)

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Hello captains. 

 

We will continue tuning the splinter damage in the next week or two. In general the feedback on it was positive and players like that raking matters and stern tanking (positioning your ship with a bow or stern to reduce damage) is very dangerous.

But we wanted to discuss one implication (concern) that several captains raised.

 

In the sustained fight both sides end up with low crew significantly deteriorating the ship reload rates and performance of sails. As a result combat slows down to a halt for both sides becoming extremely slow and boring. 

 

Is this a problem and if it is how would you propose to solve it without magic (for example giving a crew repair on cool down). 

Dear Mr. Admin,

 

Thank you for posing this to us for our feedback.

 

I can see where some might see things grinding to a crawl as slow and boring if both captains are losing their crew.

 

I have been in group battles like that (where one side had more numbers but their ships were so damaged that they did not want to risk losing more crew or a durability).  They decided to sail away, and we "GF" each other.

 

I think that it is part of the game though.  If both captains are skilled at raking & stern tanking, then it is what it is.

I think not every open water battle must end in a winner and a loser.  

Sometimes you acknowledge to each other that it was a well fought battle, lick your wounds, and limp away from each other, knowing that you will live to fight another day.  

 

I certainly would not be in favor of some sort of "magic" remedy. 

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Add the fact that each single fight now - starting from high end 5th rates - turns out in being a huge expense (for crew recovery) even for the winner.

 

Mabye tuning down the cost of crew recovery will make the new splinter system more acceptable for some players.

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I think, as victor says above, it is less the losing of crew and more the expense of replacing them (especially in comparison to mission rewards).

A solution might be to add crew replacements as part of a mission reward.

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A good captain should know when it's time to end the fight. We had draws back in sea trials too. Why not give winning bonus to xp and gold to both sides?

Edited by Pada

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Make the surgeon perk 70% crew recovery after a surrender / win / get away a standard game mechanic.

If you think the fight is boring then there is always the option to surrender.

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A good captain should know when it's time to end the fight. We had draws back in sea trials too. Why not give winning bonus to xp and gold to both sides?

 

A good captain should also know when a feature is likely to be exploited by almost any player.

 

If a draw counts like a win and with a draw both parties are sure they will not loose the ship ... well, I think it's clear what i mean.

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As for the crew losses, if you reduce the cost of replacing crew too much it would cease to be a game mechanic and just become a nuisance, like in the days when you could "buy" Basic Cutters to do so.

 

However this also makes the Doctor perk so essential that every single player that has any experience beyond two days of playing time will have it. And that means it might just as well be always be a part of the game.

As in, you get a passive 50% casualty regeneration if your ship survives the battle in any case because you have some sort of surgeon on board as par for the course. That value can then be further improved by some sort of perk if that is something that people want. Something like "Surgeon's mate"/"Loblolly Boy" -> You recover a further x% of your casualties if your shop survives the battle.

Or a mod like "Splinter Netting", improving the casualty regeneration or crew losses themselves because you get more wounded than outright dead crew from splinters.

 

 

As for the splinter damage itself, please keep it.

It makes combat better, it means swarming a big ship with a lot of small ones is dangerous, it means that a well used big ship can blow a very decisive blow against another big pot during a fleet engagement, in short it gives more options or refines what we already have.

Since you reduced the at the start plain ridiculous amount of crew losses to the current levels I've been nothing but loving it. Had a PvE engagement yesterday where I lost 300 crew to a Surprise in my Buc because I got arrogant and was punished for that. Just as it should be!

 

 

/edit

"mechanic" was obviously meant to say "nuisance".

Edited by Hagen v Martius
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I actually do enjoy being punished for a mistake but three problems persist with it.

 

1. Crew cost is a massive pain now - should in any case only be a pirate mechanic as a captain of the Royal Navy would ahve his crew replenished by the admirality. (I do udnerstand it's purpose for draining money but considering some captains have about 250million at this point you only really ahrm the new and less rich players.)

2. Occasionally weird numbers keep popping up in side to side engagements at longer range - I get the pen being high and with lots of pwoer at close range but at long range I should get 5 crew kills and then suddenly with one shot 37.

3. Against AI it is the most annoying thing to deal with. AI seems to be entirely focused on shooting and for that is entirely willing to get stuck into the wind for the rest of the game. In fact I have lost far less crew to PvP battles currently then to PvE due to AI moving around like a muppet and shooting in addition still at rather weird angles(points to which I wouldn't be able to move my cannons!!!). Add to this the single fire at a fire rate that isn't given to players using the spacebar which also seems pretty laserguided to me and you will lose too much crew due to the weird maneuvers of the AI.

Edited by JollyRoger1516

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Fine as it is honestly. Encourages being more careful, and the press gang perk is actually useful now.

 

If it has to be adjusted, I think the suggestion above about some kind of 'built in' doctor perk would work. Say 50% is always recovered, and having the doctor perk will raise that to 75-80%.

Edited by Elouda

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I don,t feel its balanced yet, one shot in someone,s ass can take out 30 crew, but a full broad side into another ship sometimes results with just one or two crew loss. I think being on the wrong end of a full broad side needs to be more dramatic, and taking single 9lb shots on the stern a lot less dramatic, 

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I don,t feel its balanced yet, one shot in someone,s ass can take out 30 crew, but a full broad side into another ship sometimes results with just one or two crew loss. I think being on the wrong end of a full broad side needs to be more dramatic, and taking single 9lb shots on the stern a lot less dramatic,

We want to get away from stern and bow tanking, so only a few kills in a broadside is good. You will get more kills if the hp gets low.

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I will look to it in a different perspective.

 

We have now a mechanism that is credible in simulating the "battering the enemy into submission". Crew casualties.

 

It results mostly from rake passes across the bow or the stern.

 

Some hints are given, not every fight has to be fought to the death and it comes down to the captain to know when he has been defeated and surrender.

 

I see the loss of wind and subsequent carnage on a rake as the crippling and decisive factors in combat, as opposed to the continuous monotonous broadside-to-broadside.

 

But not everything is great. The streamlining of most ships, especially at the 5th rate, when running and reversing and turning wind position warrants a review.

 

I feel that everything happens too fast on the turns plus there is no real and decisive effects on the rigging shock - such as releasing the yardarms loose.

 

I feel it is not the casualties per se but the way to get into position to get those casualties that needs a review.

 

I'd suggest looking to the Wind strength ( especially on the turns, no idea if i'm correct but I have a feeling that the sails should bleed more wind ), maybe reviewing any opposite forces like , rigging shock provoking yards to go default abeam.

 

 

 

P.S. - Crew prices are okay.

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In the small battles over the last few days we've had between 15-25 ppl and the battles haven't been noticeably longer. We've had a few 5th rates knocked down to 80-120 crew but they've been taken out very quickly. By the time crews are knocked down to these sort of levels the ships are either badly damaged or stupidly easy to board.

 

It certainly stops bow/stern tanking tanking and taking the wind becomes the priority.

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As for the crew losses, if you reduce the cost of replacing crew too much it would cease to be a game mechanic and just become a mechanic, like in the days when you could "buy" Basic Cutters to do so.

 

However this also makes the Doctor perk so essential that every single player that has any experience beyond two days of playing time will have it. And that means it might just as well be always be a part of the game.

As in, you get a passive 50% casualty regeneration if your ship survives the battle in any case because you have some sort of surgeon on board as par for the course. That value can then be further improved by some sort of perk if that is something that people want. Something like "Surgeon's mate"/"Loblolly Boy" -> You recover a further x% of your casualties if your shop survives the battle.

Or a mod like "Splinter Netting", improving the casualty regeneration or crew losses themselves because you get more wounded than outright dead crew from splinters.

 

 

As for the splinter damage itself, please keep it.

It makes combat better, it means swarming a big ship with a lot of small ones is dangerous, it means that a well used big ship can blow a very decisive blow against another big pot during a fleet engagement, in short it gives more options or refines what we already have.

Since you reduced the at the start plain ridiculous amount of crew losses to the current levels I've been nothing but loving it. Had a PvE engagement yesterday where I lost 300 crew to a Surprise in my Buc because I got arrogant and was punished for that. Just as it should be!

 

I do really like the suggestion of making doctor perk a mechanic that always applies, with lower percentage (40-50% of losses to start with and adjust from there, for example), and then having the actual perk just increase that bonus. Can call it "Skilled Surgeon" or something along those lines. I like where we are for crew loss to ball due to stern rakes though, as it punishes people for showing the weakest part of their ship and forces players to be much more mindful of their position and maneuvers relative to the enemy ships. I'm also happy that its causing me to actually use medkits now, as before the patch I rarely had to use them since crew loss was so low. 

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Crew kills are straight XP, right? Add a gold reward so that as long as you kill as many as you lose, you can replace your losses. If your medkits are cheaper per crew than the dock price, then you break even.

 

Otherwise I'm liking the splinters and was quite shocked when a Gros Vent's carronades blew away fifty of my Surprise's compliment. Completely changed the engagement... though not the outcome.

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How are you fighting that ends up being a massive expense? 

 

I feel that yes it could be tweaked a bit more.   It is harsh but I would be fine with a 10% reduction in casualties over what we have now.   And I feel if you are bad enough to get stern raked repeatedly and not surrender, then that is YOUR fault as a commander.

 

I also think that the penalties for casualties should be tied to type of wood used on the ship. 

 

Reading this things makes me wonder if you actually had the chance to test the new system only in engagements with traders, lowbies or carebears.

 

C'mon mate, also a normal PVE mission, with the actual splinter damage system is a goldsink even if you are not stern or bow raked by the IA.

 

Problem is not raking (that you can avoid with skill) but splinter damage (that implies crew losses much higher than before also in a "normal" carronade boardside engagenent).

Edited by victor

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Crew kills are straight XP, right? Add a gold reward so that as long as you kill as many as you lose, you can replace your losses. If your medkits are cheaper per crew than the dock price, then you break even.

 

Otherwise I'm liking the splinters and was quite shocked when a Gros Vent's carronades blew away fifty of my Surprise's compliment. Completely changed the engagement... though not the outcome.

 

Maybe this is actually the easiest solution.

Edited by victor

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I think the mechanic per se is great, but needs to be tweaked down a little.

 

Crew deteriorates too quickly such that fights become slow AND the crew damage of ball compared to grape is too high.

 

Basically there is no need for grape anymore.

 

Alos, I think it would be great if you had always multiple options to win a fight (1) sink through hp (2) sink through leaks (3) boarding (4) crew damage. Right now, not every option is similarly successful.

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Yet ... you seem not to focus on the point, which is that the new splinter damage system creates more crew loss then the old damage system (in particular with carronades). This means that players that are not superfantasticuberpropwnzrs sailors as you, may have huge loss of gold.

 

 

Is that not incentive to learn from their mistakes, figure out WHY they are losing so much crew in battle, and change their playstyle and tactics to mitigate those losses? Is that not incentive to make use of tools the game gives you (doctor perk and medkits) to mitigate the cost of crew losses and still make cash from fights? Or should we just throw everything out solely for the benefit of those that can't learn or refuse to learn?

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I'm sure some of the incapacitated crewmen can return and fight in a few minutes.

 

Statuses like killed, heavily wounded, lightly wounded, shocked would be asking too much, I know, but you get the idea.

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Splinter damage does not necessarily means raking. It works perfectly well through damaged side armor.

 

Wow .. you are actually seem to be an actual terror of the seas ... Roberts himself would have a lot to learn from you. A shiver fills my bones only imagining I could meet you in OS.

 

Yet ... you seem not to focus on the point, which is that the new splinter damage system creates more crew loss then the old damage system (in particular with carronades). This means that players that are not superfantasticuberpropwnzrs sailors as you, may have huge loss of gold.

 

Rememeber that the game "overall mood" must be settled on the average player and not on some kind of naval superman.

So... correct me if I'm wrong, but since you can't, or do not want to figure out how why you are doing badly the mechanic is to blame?  :unsure:

 

So little old me, as someone who would lose every single 1v1 because of his abysmal gunnery and more than sub-optimal use (or forgetting to use) of manual sails, does that mean I can't like this mechanic? Because for me the discovery of splinter damage  went like:

Rakes and getting straight up hits through my sides causes massive crew loss, so let's stop balls from going through. And then I tried my god damn best to angle myself away from the shots.

It's not exactly rocket science and the game has more complicated system that are widely accepted as being necessary. Or at least I for one have yet to see a whine post about manual sails.

 

Besides:

The Doctor perk. Use it. It costs ONE point. It works for every ship class.

70% recovery. Just like that.

Edited by Hagen v Martius
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In the sustained fight both sides end up with low crew significantly deteriorating the ship reload rates and performance of sails. As a result combat slows down to a halt for both sides becoming extremely slow and boring. 

 

 

I have not experienced this yet, and think it highly unlikely to be a typical outcome.  So far I have seen all fights, even or otherwise, come to a quicker resolution, usually because the first one to get a good rake in gains a significant advantage.

 

That said, the casualties from raking with ball are excessive and do render grape mostly useless.  My suggestion is to lower casualties from ball, but to remove gun resurrection (magic just as much as crew resurrection would be) when repairing.  I also don't understand how I can kill 100+ men on gundeck with ball but only knockout 1 or 2 guns.  This makes no sense.

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