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Tom Farseer

Immersive Open World Navigation

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The current system for navigation in the open world is a choice between extremes. The following suggestion is aimed at giving players a more immersive option.

What I mean by "choice between extremes" is that, barring 3rd party options like @Felix Victor's map or use of the distance indicator in the trader tool, a player can choose to either spend a perk to hire a navigator which reliably tells them their position on the map. The result is a GPS-like dot at your current position. The other choice is having no means of navigation other than sight alone. Both options lack immersion. The out-of-game navigation tools require a second screen or alt-tabbing, which is not game-breaking, but having immersive navigation in a sailing game is a matter of principle in my opinion.

Thus the following suggestion:

1.   The Navigation perk can stay as an option for players that are either new to the game or simply don't want to bother with navigation and accept the cost of losing a perk slot.

2.   For everyone else basic (or simplified) terrestric navigation should be made accessible.

What do I mean by that?

The navigation model should be derived from reality while being a bit streamlined to minimise clutter and complexity of the implementation. The changes to the current system would be as follows:

  1. The distance indication in the trader tool is to be disabled.
  2. A coordinate grid (preferably a projection of real world coordinates, scaled to the ingame map) must be implemented as a map overlay.
  3. A line drawing tool is added to the protractor allowing the drawing of at least three seperate lines. These can be drawn from any point of the map, at any length. Their azimut (horizontal angle) or bearing should be displayed along the line.
  4. A cross-bearing button is added to the map tools. Clicking this button will result in three ports being listed with their relative bearing. These values need not be exact (a random error of a degree or two will introduce a bit of realism) but the ports selected should preferrably be somewhat close and their azimut angles should be at least 30° apart.

With the tools I listed a player can now find the three ports on the map and draw a line along the azimuthal angle, given by the cross-bearing tool for each port. The point in which all three lines meet is the current position of the ship. I case of measurement errors (random deviation of azimuthal angles) the lines will draw a samll triangle giving an area of possible ship loactions.

I made a small picture as an example:

Example image

Why do I think this should be implemented?

This system is based on real world terrestric navigation but simplified, leaving out magnetic deviation and stuff like that. That makes it immersive and fit well within the theme of the game. It also gives players something to do on long journeys. Last but not least it is optional. Players can still choose to navigate on sight and experience only, or spend a perk for hiring a navigator who always tells them exactly where they are.

Normally instead of ports a navigator would use landmarks or beacons that are referenced on the map to do cross-bearings. Lacking those having the game select three ports is acceptable in my opinion.

Hardcore variant:

Instead of listing ports and their relative bearing the player gets a bearing indicator built into the telescope. Using this they can make cross bearings using landmarks of any kind (coastal formations, ports within sight or specific islands) and identify those on the map. This adds possible errors to navigation but works without any magically appearing numbers.

What do you think, Ladies and Gents?

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You write, "A cross-bearing button is added to the map tools. Clicking this button will result in three ports being listed with their relative bearing. These values need not be exact (a random error of a degree or two will introduce a bit of realism) but the ports selected should preferrably be somewhat close and their azimut angles should be at least 30° apart."

In real life, how would a captain know the relative bearings to three ports? The current trader tool gives DISTANCE to ports, which allows triangulation but is ahistorical. Magically knowing the relative bearing to a port would also be ahistorical, or am I missing something?

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This or a similiar idea, implementation is a MUST for this game. The game is missing core componant without navigation.

All 1-2-3, I agree, it is solid, needed. 

as for 4th option I would prefer not. I would prefer in game timer instead. So when calculated timer is out, crew shouts we have reached our waypoint or bells ring. So possible to dead reckon, you do not need to use watch out of the game. Also as subtitue for a realistic sextant, we can have some position updates which is not gps accurate, for fixed time intervals. Or option to use it once every half an hour.

I want the distance in trader tool to be removed during travels, but to be available when at port.

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3 point visual fixing, just like real life, but done with the map.  Even more exciting is actual visual fixing with your telescope (we did it with a periscope).  I love it, but won't hold my breathe.  Its too good. 

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20 minutes ago, Preechur Blackheart said:

I am still foggy on '3 point visual fixing' -- if you are too far from shore to see anything but water, how does this work? For those of us who do not actually sail, help us out.... 

That would be the point of the 'hardcore' variant using actual visual fixing. When out of sight of land, you have no way of determining your position other than using dead reckoning and hoping you are not too far off. For anything more precise than that a sextant and knowledge of celestial bodies (no, not those in smutty videos) is neccessary.
That is also why the original idea was having a simplified version which gives you three ports and their relative bearing. Not as realistic but it works when out of sight of land and is imho bit more interesting than a GPS perk.

Edited by Tom Farseer
spelling

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8 hours ago, Tom Farseer said:

That would be the point of the 'hardcore' variant using actual visual fixing. When out of sight of land, you have no way of determining your position other than using dead reckoning and hoping you are not too far off. For anything more precise than that a sextant and knowledge of celestial bodies (no, not those in smutty videos) is neccessary.
That is also why the original idea was having a simplified version which gives you three ports and their relative bearing. Not as realistic but it works when out of sight of land and is imho bit more interesting than a GPS perk.

I think it is a sound idea, not only is it historically and technically correct, it also introduces an element of risk too,  the loss of the RMS Lusitania came about mainly because her Captain came close inshore to establish his position accurately off of the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, after her last transatlantic crossing. 

In games like Silent Hunter the ability to plot courses for navigation and as a battle plotting table is an integral part of the game, without which, getting around, and, obtaining the information for prosecuting a successful attack would be far more difficult. In Naval Action we do not need a sophisticated battle plot, but, the Navigational component would certainly be useful, especially, if we can obtain a reasonable fix as to where we are compared to the  map course +/- the acceptable errors inherent in dead reckoning navigation.

The option to turn navigation on or off, should, I think be there, for those who may not wish to use it.

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12 hours ago, Preechur Blackheart said:

In real life, how would a captain know the relative bearings to three ports? The current trader tool gives DISTANCE to ports, which allows triangulation but is ahistorical. Magically knowing the relative bearing to a port would also be ahistorical, or am I missing something?

Of course it is not realistic in that regard. This is an adaptation of the original method using fix points in visual range. It would give players a means to find their position out of sight of land. The 'harcore variant' would not do that. It comes down to a question of principle: How hardcore and realistic do we want the game to be. I' be fine with the more realistic option. Not  everyone would be though, I guess.

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10 hours ago, Preechur Blackheart said:

I am still foggy on '3 point visual fixing' -- if you are too far from shore to see anything but water, how does this work? For those of us who do not actually sail, help us out....

Tom,

I'm just not getting this either.  Are you suggesting that each ship has some sort of NAV radio that is tuned to VQR beacons within each port?  That seems just about the same as having GPS in the age of sail.  It's a cool exersize, but one that seem more applicable to a flight simulator with limited instruments.  Not understanding the connection to the 1700s or 1800s.

I would love to have a compass that we can use to take a "sighting" on a landmark.  The current compass is challenging to use to determine a direction anywhere but directly inline with the keel.  That application of transection/triangulation would be interesting.   

When we are out at sea, we are doomed to using dead reckoning because if we are allowed to use F11 or a similar sextant it will lead to co-ordinated ganking.  Too bad though.  Even if we could determine an inaccurate grid reference at noon, or from stars, and only when it was clear weather... sigh.

As AeRoTR pointed out we should have a way of measuring distance in game.  There are other maps that can be used to measure distance or a RL physical scale can be placed on your monitor.  AeRoTR makes a very good point, and most players who like to navigate and plan would benefit from an ingame map ruler.

EDIT: Saw your reply above.  Not sure if any of this is realistic.  The wind is predictable and there is no drift from wind or currents.  Even dead reckoning is magical, because we can calculate precisely how far we travel and any given point of sale.  I like the idea of having some crumbs for those of us who like to navigate.  Like a compass we can use for a sighting, or a ruler.  For the players who are not interested they now have the GPS icon and the low cost of 2 Points for a Sextant

KVpG5bN.jpg

 

 

Edited by Macjimm
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1 hour ago, Macjimm said:

Tom,

I'm just not getting this either.  Are you suggesting that each ship has some sort of NAV radio that is tuned to VQR beacons within each port?  That seems just about the same as having GPS in the age of sail.  It's a cool exersize, but one that seem more applicable to a flight simulator with limited instruments.  Not understanding the connection to the 1700s or 1800s.

I would love to have a compass that we can use to take a "sighting" on a landmark.  The current compass is challenging to use to determine a direction anywhere but directly inline with the keel.  That application of transection/triangulation would be interesting.   

When we are out at sea, we are doomed to using dead reckoning because if we are allowed to use F11 or a similar sextant it will lead to co-ordinated ganking.  Too bad though.  Even if we could determine an inaccurate grid reference at noon, or from stars, and only when it was clear weather... sigh.

As AeRoTR pointed out we should have a way of measuring distance in game.  There are other maps that can be used to measure distance or a RL physical scale can be placed on your monitor.  AeRoTR makes a very good point, and most players who like to navigate and plan would benefit from an ingame map ruler.

EDIT: Saw your reply above.  Not sure if any of this is realistic.  The wind is predictable and there is no drift from wind or currents.  Even dead reckoning is magical, because we can calculate precisely how far we travel and any given point of sale.  I like the idea of having some crumbs for those of us who like to navigate.  Like a compass we can use for a sighting, or a ruler.  For the players who are not interested they now have the GPS icon and the low cost of 2 Points for a Sextant

KVpG5bN.jpg

 

 

The sextant is accurate up to a few hundred yards actually, so its much more accurate then what people think. The horizon is also 4,7km out if your eye level is at 1,70m above sea level, this explains how accurate the sextant is as it was the 18th century gps.

Suggestion:

  1. All ships has sextant as standard equipment, for each ingame hour it is updated with a black dot on the map, to prevent the map to be fillet up it either automaticly resets when entering a port, or you could have the option to hit a reset navigation button on the map to start fresh.
  2. Here is where the perk joins in. The standard officer have learned the basic sets of navigating, so its slightly off point. The dot is larger which means you are withing the area of the drawn dot on the map, maybe 4-5k off in radius. You can then spend 2 points in the perk section to hire a Officer with a master degree in navigation, he is extremely accurate and the accuracy is withing 500m in radius of the ship, which means the dot is much smaller and much easier to see where you are.
  3. Grids needs to get back on the map, they were there for a reason to read of ones location, kinda stupid to use a 3rd party website to read of coords and then try to use the latitude and longitude from to ports to find my grid position in a sailing game.

One thing that one could add is crossed swords where battle has been on the route and result, e.g ships sunk (small, medium, large) and ships that took part in the battle, and which nation that attacked who

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Wyy

If the game places location dots on the map, and we have protractor, then why would you need a grid on the map?

The grids have been removed (and F11 will be) because they were used as an ganking tool.   If the grid is added back to the map then the coordinated ganking would be possible again.

 

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4 hours ago, Macjimm said:

Wyy

If the game places location dots on the map, and we have protractor, then why would you need a grid on the map?

The grids have been removed (and F11 will be) because they were used as an ganking tool.   If the grid is added back to the map then the coordinated ganking would be possible again.

 

because if you want to tell friends where you are you can say g35 heading north instead of saying south of barahone and east of serrana, and all maps have grids on them

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