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Leading the battle

Naval Action has already introduced several important innovations and “firsts”:  wind backing force, proper tacking, carronades, long guns, short guns, realistic ballistics, mortars, leaks and many other things that make our game one of the most advanced Naval Warfare games in the world. Today we will talk about one feature that could further expand that lead. 

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Leading a fleet is a hard task. Winning a battle requires a great admiral and a group of captains who are willing to listen to orders. Most naval warfare games provided a very shallow command and control structure before. We plan to change that in Naval Acton. Progression in Navy and Privateer Fleets (or other organized Naval Organizations) will depend on the following simple rule: Obey the Admiral. If you don’t obey Admiral or Squadron commander orders, you won’t progress in rank.

 

Here is how it will work.

 

Assigning commanders

Every battle (depending on size) will have 1-4 squadrons commanders. Commanders will be automatically assigned based on their win/loss ratios, battle rating and rank. All players will be allocated to commanders (unless they are already in a group). 

 

Giving orders

We plan to borrow an interesting mechanic - tactical arrows - from our first game:  Ultimate general Gettysburg. Kotaku named this mechanic - one of the most important innovations in military games.The unit follows the arrow exactly as you want it to. 

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The commander will draw movement orders on the map. Not only subordinates will know what to do, but they will be provided with a path they could to take for better results.

Commander will always be able to track positions of his/her squadron and adjust orders accordingly. 

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You might say that all this can be achieved more efficiently by voice. Well we played POTBS too. Voice is inefficient when you command more than 5 players and need to describe the best approach to target to everyone. In NA we will give a visual tool letting the admiral give an exact order; like Nelson would do it on a tactical map before a battle. 

 

Orders will have a time delay and sometimes will be received too late. Recognition and commander skill will reduce delays. Small ships and light frigates will play a crucial role in recognition of targets and will further reduce order delays by passing them between commanders (automatically) and distant squadron members. Small ships also could project bonuses over distance.

 

This system will also let our AI to become deadly without significant investments into coding - because players admirals will give commands to NPCs. Some admirals would prefer AI ships to players in their fleets. 

 

Orders

Orders will provide bonuses. Of course players will be able to take initiative, but fulfilling the order would be ideal course of action. Following a path drawn by admiral will provide a speed boost, firing at a marked ship will increase your damage and accuracy if you are in range from the command ship. Losing commanders in battle will be devastating. 

 

Motivation

Many games already provide bonuses for getting orders done. Battlefield 3 and 4 for example. 

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In Naval Action players will receive AP (admiralty points) for getting orders done. AP points will help rank growth and will open access to Navy edition ships, guns and upgrades. 

 

------ We will add more info as we get more questions, ideas and comments.

 

Discuss.

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This sounds magnifique!

 

EDIT: Wait what? Privateer fleets? Don't tell me privateers have trafalgar sized fleets?

Privateers should never be one or max two vessels?

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I'm blown away (excuse the pun) this is an excellent addition, fleet engagements for guilds anyway will be top of the list.

 

 

 Well we played POTBS too. 

 

Im so glad to hear this, you'll now know what works and what doesn't as proved.

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This sounds magnifique!

 

EDIT: Wait what? Privateer fleets? Don't tell me privateers have trafalgar sized fleets?

Privateers should never be one or max two vessels?

 

*cough East India Company....  however I agree it should be a rarity rather than the rule!

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Nice feature. Leading port battles in PotBS (sorry again but its natural that many of us will compare NA to PotBS - its natural ) was BIG problem from mamy reasons - people didint join TS or vent, language barrier, no will to cooperate or just acting as traitors by accept invites and clicking out or open defenders town guns allow defenders to hide in town and win PB with help of npcs.

Visualisiation of tatctics should be clear for everybody in battle no matter what language they speak!. Big plus for that but i think voice comms will be as well very important. Bonuses as well its good idea maybe this cause people start listen oreders of commander(admiral) of the fleet if this will be only way to progress your character. 

I like this ideas as well i got concerns - like in real life - nobody like listen orders:) especially if you think they are not best:) or just simply from personal reasons - you dont like Admiral or want take his place:) But i keep fingercross for this feature which may bring something new and important to gameplay

No doubt in developers skills ofc :P but this maybe a bit complicated as well im right?

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Question: Will there be some sort of pre-engagement deployment or planning phase? Naval battles in particular often gave the luxury of at least seeing your enemy, his deployment etc long before you came into range of his guns.

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Love it

The ability to set a task for the ai and players to follow with reward system

Cool idea :)

Edit: will the planning charts be located In the captain's cabin or different formats

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This! it's so awesome! Great idea, Great addition. But now i want early access even more :S

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this sounds amazing!

If it is done in a intuitive way wothout overcomplicating the way to hive orders, it will be a great success!

But i have a few qiestions:

What if someone doesen't want to give orders, but only follow orders from other players? Can he say "nope i refuse comand of fleet/group"

Can a small group decide on their own who should be the leader to give orders? Or is it forced based on the rank obtained in the navy?

if it is forced that the highest rank will lead, what if two players have the same rank?

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I like this ideas as well i got concerns - like in real life - nobody like listen orders:) especially if you think they are not best:)

 

If they don't like orders they don't join the Navy. There are reasonably good prices for wool in the British channel. They can transport those.. 

 

If two players are of similar rank, player with the higher win rate will be appointed a squadron commander. 

You can decline the command of the fleet if offered, but do it too often and you will most likely be demoted by the Admiralty. 

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EDIT: Wait what? Privateer fleets? Don't tell me privateers have trafalgar sized fleets?

Privateers should never be one or max two vessels?

 

If enough people, who happen to be Privateers get together, and decide to form a fleet, why shouldn't that be allowed?

 

 

Progression in Navy and Privateer Fleets (or other organized Naval Organizations)

 

Sounds to me like any group, almost regardless of profession, could form a Naval Organization and participate in fleet battles, which makes sense.

 

I think this is a fantastic addition to the game, and I'm really looking forward to trying it.

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This would open a whole new aspect of the PvP (you should coin it FvF) game and players should be able to get OL and decide that today they just want to do some FvF and work on thier character later.

You could super impose the arrow that the player is suppose to be following on the water, so half of the trick will be following orders vs sailing into certain death and deciding if they want to collect extra points for following orders or lose points for that but increase points in another area for independent kills.

This would literally be a game changer for this genre.

Keep doing what you are doing!!! :)

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If they don't like orders they don't join the Navy. There are reasonably good prices for wool in the British channel. They can transport those.. 

 

If two players are of similar rank, player with the higher win rate will be appointed a squadron commander. 

You can decline the command of the fleet if offered, but do it too often and you will most likely be demoted by the Admiralty. 

Well who know maybe for them transporting wool is end game content? :P but seriuosly i like all ideas here. Just want see them in game not too much complicated so admiral can  participate in battle a bit:) not only stick his eyes at tactical map:)

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Sounds good, my preferred idea is like the commanders of the squadron or the hole fleet should give orders which would be displayed on both writing and on our map so we could know where , which way do we have to go.

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Thrilled to see you are looking not just at a command layer, but looking at command as deep element of gameplay. I have many thoughts, but no time right now! A few quick ones:

Leading the battle

Assigning commanders

Every battle (depending on size) will have 1-4 squadrons commanders. Commanders will be automatically assigned based on their win/loss ratios, battle rating and rank. All players will be allocated to commanders (unless they are already in a group).

Will there then be two layers of command, i.e. a fleet commander giving orders to his squadron commanders and squadron commanders giving orders to their subordinate ships? It seems to me that the ideal setup will be human fleet and squadron commanders and AI squadron ships, allowing for fleet battles to occur with only 8-10 players. That really lowers the threshold for initiating larger, meaningful battles.

Orders will have a time delay and sometimes will be received too late. Recognition and commander skill will reduce delays. Small ships and light frigates will play a crucial role in recognition of targets and will further reduce order delays by passing them between commanders (automatically) and distant squadron members. Small ships also could project bonuses over distance.

Awesome, but I do fear organized human players will subvert this with voice comms, meaning that they get to reap all the bonuses and can ignore the limitations.

Orders

Orders will provide bonuses. Of course players will be able to take initiative, but fulfilling the order would be ideal course of action. Following a path drawn by admiral will provide a speed boost, firing at a marked ship will increase your damage and accuracy if you are in range from the command ship. Losing commanders in battle will be devastating.

I am most wary of this part, as it gives me flashbacks of magic skills deciding battles in PotBS. I think big physical bonuses that make one side's ships significantly better might accelerate advantage to one side too much. Also smacks of MMORPG magic and spell-casting more than tactical warfare, subverting the realness and physicality of the world you are trying to create. This speed boost, for example, could make it impossible for a single ship to flee a group of ships, no matter how well the single ship is handled.

I would prefer that the bonuses focus more on aspects of morale that then translate into subtle advantages, e.g. rather than magically increasing gun damage, cohesion provides a boost to gunner morale that leads to slightly faster reloading, or rather than a speed boost, following orders gives a boost to handling to reflect motivation of your sailors to not be outdone in speed and precision of sailing handling by other ships in the squadron.

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Will it be jst general orders, kind of: 'i let you to attack the objective' for all team, or will it be detailed for any ship in squadron?

 

What if the commanding officer will give stupid orders and send one ship alone to the midle of cannon crossfire just coz he not like the other player name or simple is a troll;), ...will there be some big penalty to skip some orders? and will the leading commander be responsible for lost of his team ships after the battle?

 

..loosing many followmates ships in the battle means loosing rank by its commander?

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I love this idea, it has so many dimensions to it. For one thing people will actually be known since they will be leading fleets, so when you spot their ship you'll know they're in trouble. This seems like an excellent way to handle the Navy system. 

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so when you spot their ship you'll know they're in trouble. 

 

However, the other side of that point would be "Fleet, everyone target HIM!!!!"

 

No?

 

:o

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Sad to say I've not played UG, but every review I've seen praised the command system which is reassuring if NA is to have it too :) Thanks for keeping us up to date Admin.

For the sake of speed, I like:

- that the command structure is being thought about and kept in-game

- the awareness of historical issues relaying orders

- an active attempt to encourage good teamwork

- an active attempt to provide smaller vessels with an important, and historically sympathetic, role in fleet battles.

I'm nervous about:

- an apparent drift away from the "skill wins battles" design philosophy

- the risk of jokers, x-teamers etc screwing a fleet over intentionally

- in game systems being leap-frogged, by using voice comms etc, making some of the nicest features mentioned (time delay/small vessel roles) pointless.

Very cool overall :)

Baggy

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ia agree with akd...no bonus or buff please.

maybe give more rewards once the battle is over...e.g. growing up faster in navy ranks...more orders executed, more ''notoriety'' to the admiralty...

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*cough East India Company....  however I agree it should be a rarity rather than the rule!

East India Company are not privateers. They were British merchants that had a fleet to protect there far flung investments. Privateers are private warships (usually individual small ships less than frigate size) with letters from a nation enabling them to legally carry out commerce raiding against particular enemy nations. They were for profit not nation building or large battles with large fleets.

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If enough people, who happen to be Privateers get together, and decide to form a fleet, why shouldn't that be allowed?

 

 

Sounds to me like any group, almost regardless of profession, could form a Naval Organization and participate in fleet battles, which makes sense.

 

I think this is a fantastic addition to the game, and I'm really looking forward to trying it.

see above. I just do not want to see pirates or privateers with huge nation sized fleets. They would never do that as it was not what they were for.

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