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Realistic Crew - A large future addition for game play and visual aspects of Naval Action

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I'm sure there have probably been posts on this, however I will give some more inspiration to this topic. I strongly suggest that this is done before release, since if this game gets media attention and high attention on YouTube (which it probably will) this would be a great feature. 

I suggest having visual crew on decks with each crew member performing actions according to their rank. After playing "Napoleon: Total War" and viewing the sea combat there I was inspired to post this. NOTE: I do not want this game to copy said game or any other.  This game compared to others is done with much more detail and realism, so I find this feature should be detailed as well. I do not encourage copying in this post.


A snippet from total war, where the crew moves across the deck



Attention to details

Not all crew should be modeled, but those who are should be very real and detailed like the rest of this game is.

If crew would be implemented like this I would suggest a strong attention to detail. If you have your majority or all of your crew on gunnery, sailors should move away from cables and climb down from rigging and move to the guns. The x/y crew on gunnery would be determined on how many of your ships crew are at the guns. NOTE: Most of the crew will not have to be displayed as they are bellow deck. This means that the process can easily done with numbers and waiting times which does not reduce the frame rate compared to a drastic decrease if you would model all crew. 

If you have marines on board the marines should be displayed on deck. If you have extra hammocks, more crew should be on deck. If you used the Muskets & Pistols skill book there would be muskets lined up at the railing of the ship. Drummers could be on the deck on navy ships. If you have a crew shock, crew could be cowering on the deck and other crew members "shouting" at them to man their stations. You have boarding ladders or any other special upgrades? They would be shown in boarding. This would take a lot of time and probably a whole patchto implement, but it is definitely worth it. 

If you are a pirate your crew should be nowhere near as organized as other nations ships. Your sailors would not have an uniform and would move around the ship differently. 


^^^ These are just a few examples what you could do if you model crew independently. This game already has an absolutely great system when it comes to sails and sail damage - Crew should be the same. Realism and non-cartoon ships is this games biggest selling point, so details should be there.




This game is currently not released yet. There are much more important issues to tackle right now, of course. However this implementation would not be as difficult as it sounds. As said, all crew should not be modeled. Most are beneath deck in bigger ships and extensive modeling of all crew on smaller ships is not needed. Each cannon, mast, region on deck etc. would be treated as a small region of action.

Although I don't know how this game utilities Unity 5 right now, I know this is definitely possible using Unity as an engine. For example, each cannon needs x/y amount of crew on it. If crew members "move" (none of this is visual except on deck) to a cannon, it would take a few seconds. Example: If you just got a broadside of grape on one side, crew numbers on cannons would decrease on that side more than on the other side of the vessel, if the grape shots even got to there. This would mean until more crew can man the cannons your reload speed would be affected on that broadside making just this a very tactical and exciting aspect in battle.

Of course this crew system could be used in many, many more ways. Falling masts, stern rakes, angles in which you board a ship, sending crew to survival etc. are all possibilities. Some of these were planned to be implemented already - this could implement all at once.



End note to the developers

I really hope you consider and implement this way of having crew. It would add a lot of visual aspect and game play to Naval Action making battles more interesting. However I hope you tackle problems like User Interface, Tutorials, Economy... first. 



This thread will surely be edited a lot with feedback and more ideas. Check back later. Until then, thanks for reading.


Edited by Lz3
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That said though, why would it be impossible to implement it as a graphics option? We already have something similar for terrain vegetation/decorators and different graphics levels depending on whether it's your ship or someone else's. Though maybe that only applies to the OW and it's an in-instance issue.

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3 hours ago, Anne Wildcat said:

There have been posts on this.  I think for system performance reasons it's not possible.  But I may be wrong. 


2 hours ago, seanjo said:

I'm guessing it would be too much for the game engine/server to support.


2 hours ago, Aegir said:

That said though, why would it be impossible to implement it as a graphics option? We already have something similar for terrain vegetation/decorators and different graphics levels depending on whether it's your ship or someone else's. Though maybe that only applies to the OW and it's an in-instance issue.

As said in the OP, only a small portion of the crew would be visible on a Santisima or Victory. If you have 500 men on your ship you'll see ~50-100 men on deck. The rest is all numbers and timers bellow deck. That's the beauty of this. You can run it, hardly notice performance differences, and it adds so so much more realism and so many possible strategies to gameplay. 

On smaller ships you wouldn't even need to model so much crew. On a Prince with 130 crew you could have 10 in rigging and 25 on deck with new crew 'respawning' where the camera currently isn't looking and then they replace the modelled crew who just died. Of course you would also need to reduce casualties in general on small ships because if you are on a Privateer and you have 60 modelled/non-modelled crew 25 would be gone in one broadside. There would have to be deductions of crew lost for it to not be super-realistic and still playable.

34 minutes ago, pepsifreddie said:

I agree with this, I play Napoleon & Total war, they have less crew showing and you can have armadas, all doing the same thing, you should also see crew on other ships but only from like 100 meters away


Yes, Naval Action already does this rendering. Adding it to crew should be easy

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1 hour ago, Peter Goldman said:

Another performance solution - make crew visible like that only on your own ship or make it possible to choose only your ship or all ships. Same for the cannons recoil. Some players are running this game with 150-200 FPS on ultra already.

Oddly enough I didn't see this. Anyways, great addition. So that in settings you could turn the Textures and quantity of your modelled crew up and down, and do the same for bigger battles like port battles where in close quarters modelling all crew on deck would be drastic. I find that unless you tick a certain box the game could decide to render crew to an extent itself, making this nothing go worry about. Thanks for reply 

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