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Bonden

Sea Legends: suggestions

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Hi Admin

As regard gunnery, it could be interesting to simulate the small time lag between the moment the gun captain decides either to pull the lanyard to fire the flintlock mechanism or to touch the touch-hole with his match (slow-burning fuse) and the moment the cartridge explodes, as this is of paramount importance for gun accuracy when the ship is rolling (taking into account the experience of the gunner, who could anticipate this time lag). 

In NA, when you touch the space bar or the pad, the gun is fired immediately. But it would more realistic to allow for a fraction of second between the moment the player touches the keybord and the moment the cannon is actually fired.

As Roy Adkins writes in his masterful "Battle of Trafalgar, Biography of a Battle" (2005, Abacus, p. 104, very useful reading for developers, if not already used), "On a ship rolling with the motion of waves, a fraction of a second's difference between the gunner's judgement and the actual time taken for the cannon to fire often meant missing the target completely". It was one of the reasons why Nelson's and Collingwood's columns were able to break the line of the Combined Fleet without being completely unmanoeuvrable (other reasons were the lack of training of spanish and french crews and the fact that they aimed mainly at the rigging). 

The time lag between fire decision and cartridge explosion varied according to the mechanism used to fire the gun : it was much shorter when the flintlock was used, provided it effectively lighted the touch hole (sometimes it misfired or the gunflint broke). With matches, the time lag was longer and the accuracy lower in rolling conditions. This could be simulated in Sea Legends, taking into account the type of fire mechanism, the experience of the gunner (to anticipate the time lag), the fatigue of the crew and the possibility of misfire (then a match was used to light the touch-hole). These factors had all influence on the accuracy and rate of fire. 

As flintlock mechanisms were only generally introduced in the Royal Navy from 1755 (according to Ch Henry, 2004. Napoleonic Naval Armaments 1792-1815, Osprey, p. 20) - their use was widespread during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars -, developers should consider whether to allow players to use it (and buying them ?), according to the historical period of the game (developers talked about early XVIIIth century as far as I remember, when flintlocks were not in use). 

In French and Spanish navies, guns were mostly fired with matches even during Napoleonic wars. Flintlock mechanisms were not introduced in the French Navy, as far as I know, until 1786. In Boudriot, 1992 (La frégate. Marine de France, 1650-1850, Ancre, p. 260), the drawings show frigate cannons caliber "XXX" with a flintlock holder, indicating that this modification was introduced later than 1786. I am sure experts like Surcouf or LeBoiteux will be able to give more accurate information on this 😉.

Keep safe from the coronavirus !

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Posted (edited)

Suggestion 1: This applies to the pirate career. You should make playable the first acquiring of a ship, like so you can play the initial mutiny or theft of a ship.

Suggestion 2: Closely related to the first suggestion is to have a "random mode" for the pirate career. This would randomize the ship you get because if you start off working for a merchant, privateer, naval ship you don't get to choose which ship you are on really. So say you start on a merchant ship, crew mutinies and you are one of the mutinying crew, and you guys succeed, well now you are stuck with this ship. Maybe it is a great ship, maybe it sucks, this would allow for a new experience every time you start, and a lot of risk in becoming a pirate. Like in real life. It would also be a really interesting thing to have to build your ship into a capable pirate vessel, or steal a new one, it would just allow for a lot of decision making.

Suggestion 3: Regarding all careers, but I think it mostly applies to the pirate and privateer ones, is to allow things to be interchanged between ships. This way you can switch out guns, switch out repair supplies, switch out anything so that you can slowly get a superior ship. Like you could switch out your bad or smaller guns with the ship you just took for example.

Suggestion 4: I really hope and suggest that you make rigging damage a thing. In NA only sails take damage, but it would be great if you could cripple a ship by just shooting all the ropes to hell, and that each specific rope would effect a specific yard etc, not just be part of a health bar. I also really hope and suggest that individual yards can be broken individually.

Suggestion 5: I hope that there aren't health bars on hull and sails/rigging, I suggest you should do damage based on what gets hit. Also historically ships rarely sunk due to damage. Rather they surrendered after they were demoralized, they had sustained large casualties, they were disabled etc. They mostly only sunk via wrecks, storms, and scuttling to my understanding. So I think it would be amazing if in a way the goal wasn't to sink a ship but to neutralize it whether that is boarding, or just fighting till they give up.

Edited by Ruuster_IV
Added suggestions
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Hi Admin

For later, if you plan a DLC on the Navy officer career, it would be nice to inspire from the real stages of the career – and pay – of a typical Nelson's Navy officer.

It can be summarized as this (from a.o. : G. Fremont-Barnes, 2009. Nelson’s Officers and Midshipmen, Osprey, 64 p; Ph. Haythornthwaite, 1993/2005. Nelson’s Navy, Osprey, 64 p.):

Rank

Requirements

Age (years)

Ship’s command

Pay (prize money not included)

Comment

-1st class Volunteer

- or Captain’s servant

 

No requirement (often ‘patronage’)

13 (before 1812, sometimes 11-12)

/

Before 1794: 0 £

After: 9£/y (-5£/y paid to the schoolmaster)

 

Annual expense of a Volunteer: +/- 30-40 £/y ! à needs the family support

Midshipman (Mdsp)

(Master’s mate)

2y as Volunteer (or 2y in Naval Academy in Portsmouth)

15 (before 1812, sometimes 13-14) until promoted as lieutenant (sometimes never)

/

2£/m (6th rate) to 2£15s (1st rate); paid after 1y and every 6m

If not on service: no pay

Annual expense of a Mdsp: +/- 70-100 £/y ! à needs the family support

Lieutenant

-Min. 19y old

-6 y sea time min. (certificate), including 2y as Mdsp (or master’s mate)

-Passing the lieutenant examination

-Getting an Admiralty commission (à inscription on the Sea Officers List)

+/- 20 until promoted (sometimes never)

Unrated ship (or sometimes 6th rate) (when receives a command)

If on service: 4 to 6s./d according to ship's rate

Not on service: halfpay

-Examination at the Navy Board (London) or before 3 senior captains (in a main port or in a station abroad) ; mainly on navigation and seamanship

-Commission was not always received after examination (if no vacancy on the Sea Officers list nor patronage)

-Command on merits or patronage

Master and commander (after 1806: commander)

-Being promoted by Admiralty

(?)

6th rate

On service: 10s/d (1806)

Not on service: halfpay

Promotion as M&C and command on merits or patronage, according to vacancies on the List

Post-Captain

-Being promoted by Admiralty

+/- 28, sometimes never, sometimes sooner (Nelson: 20)

6-5th rate (or higher)

After 10y, 4th or 3th rate to 1st rate (when receives a command)

10s/d (6th rate) to 24s/d (1st rate)

Not on service: halfpay

Promotion as Post-Captain and command on merits or patronage, according to vacancies on the List

(Commodore)

-Being appointed by Fleet Admiral

/

Squadron

?

Temporary appointment as commander of a squadron for  specific campaign

Rear-Admiral of the Blue

Order on the list

+/- 40 or more

Squadron or Fleet

1,18 £/d

Not on service: halfpay

If vacancy on the List (seniority)

Rear-Admiral of the White

Id

 

Id

 

Id

Id

Rear-Admiral of the Red

Id

 

Id

Id

Id

Vice-Admiral of the Blue

Id

 

Id

2,56 £/d

Id

Id

Vice-Admiral of the White

Id

 

Id

Id

Id

Vice-Admiral of the Red

Id

 

Id

Id

Id

Admiral of the Blue

Id

 

Id

3,17£/d

Id

Id

Admiral of the White

Id

 

id

Id

Id

Admiral of the Red

Id

 

 

Id

Id

id

First (professional) Lord of the Admiralty

 

 

Pension: 3000£/y

?

 

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More precise info on rates of pay from another book (N. BLAKE and R. LAWRENCE, 1999. The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy, Chatham Publishing, p. 192):

802471711_IMG_3381light.thumb.jpg.a054a937a86e55f871ee5a8ac54c2b6a.jpg

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Posted (edited)

The low rate of pay of Navy officers was compensated by the possibility to get prize money. It would be nice in SL to simulate the possibility for a victorious captain who captured an enemy ship to sell her to the Admiralty and get his share of prize money, while his officers and crew get theirs. This was one of the main motivations for seamen and officers to take risks during battle. Some captains like Cochrane amassed a fortune thanks to this reward system, helping them to enhance their ship's equipment and their crew training with live shots (see P O'B). 

Here were the sharing rules (from (N. BLAKE and R. LAWRENCE, 1999. The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy, Chatham Publishing, p. 193)

407351210_IMG_3382light.thumb.jpg.8e4eb27d5d2549b86a05abb65fbd51a8.jpg

1590858202_IMG_3383light.thumb.jpg.1d7e7f7592784bfefe8b550923f334c2.jpg

Edited by Bonden
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Posted (edited)

I read on the SL website that prize money will be an aspect of the privateer's career, this sounds exciting !

In this regard, the SL website indicates, in the privateer career, that "Crew with boarding skill and experience is extremely important for the success of your ventures, but remember everyone gets the prize share (sometimes confirmed by written scrips or share certificates), so the less crew you have the bigger your profit would be."

In a Navy officer's career at least (I didn't verify for privateers' career), the captain's share is a fixed amount of the total value of the captured ship's value (see above: 3/8 before 1808). This means that the captain's profit won't be influenced by the crew's size. Only between crew members will the number of seamen have an influence on their prize money. 

Edited by Bonden
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Posted (edited)

Hi, 

I would be interested to know how far contingency will be a part of the simulated careers in SL. Evidently, the career of a captain was far from being only determined by his personality, his skills and his decisions : it was also a matter of external factors impossible to control like :

- consequences of the war on his situation (eg the vacancies in the Navy Officer's List, the strategic decisions of the Admiralty, the availability in port of store, spare yards and ammunition, the adoption of a peace treaty like the peace of Amiens, etc.)

- relationships ('interest'), rivalry (between captains) and patronage, as regards promotion or ship commissions especially

- personal fortune, as regards the possibility to arm and customize his ship or train his crew (with live fire)

- the skills of seamen available for recruitment (especially when press-gangs are at work!) and the personal character traits of available officers 

- simply luck (some captains were reknown for their luck, in reality as well as in naval fiction - see "Lucky Jack" in POB series)

- etc.

Conversely, it would be interesting to simulate, like in Ultimate Admiral Age of Sail (where admiral's/player's decisions influence the Campaign, if I understood well), the effects of captain's decisions and success or failures on the course of events.

In the SL website, it seems that some contingency and chain of cause-effect will be built into the game (through 'standard karma systems', if I am correct, etc), but it would be nice to know in what extent.  It would be nice - and easy I think - to provide for various types of contingency in the game through aleatory initial attribution to a new captain of ship's qualities, officers and crew skills, etc. and through regular changes in his situation due to external factors like those mentioned above. Such was the fate of every captain at the time...  If a player considers that he weren't lucky enough at the beginning, he should try again with a new character.

 

 

Edited by Bonden
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Hi

As regards the sailing simulation aspects, a nice source of inspiration could be the (very appreciated) eSail sailing simulator, still in beta phase I think (https://store.steampowered.com/app/794860/eSail_Sailing_Simulator/)

I don't know if developers have the intention to go this far in the realism (I don't think it necessary), but the tutorials are very good and progressive and some features, like maps and compass are very nice. 

Their map itself is limited and graphics are quite simplistic (in comparison with NA) but it gives a nice tool to learn the sailing basics. 

 

 

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Hello everyone, as a game about "ships" from which to take some ideas I would also recommend Silent Hunter, very realistic. On Sh5, you can talk to your crew, move inside your boat, etc. etc. You have a fair reward system and small updates (historical things, of course) on your boat, but that don't run counter to realism. 

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Indeed, Silent Hunter 5 could be a good source of inspiration. There are a Campaign mode and historical missions, including in northern European waters. Time can be compressed by the player between battles while giving a course (waypoints) to the ship, provided you care about depths and coasts (but of course, the constraints of the wind direction and weather are not applicable). There is also a nice "museum" to learn about all ships and planes in the game. Some parts of the ship are functional when you click on it (like the periscope for instance). You progress in your career according to your victories. 

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Bonden, and all others who have contributed to these threads, well done and thanks again. My Seadog Wade and I are looking forward to this.

I would like to see a merchant career line in this game and eventually an explorer career line too. Possibly DLC to open up new areas of the map. I would eventually like to be able to sail the whole world. Also the ability to establish colonies, plantations, etc.

Petty Officer Wade has grabbed his captain and is dragging me off before I can get into trouble. " Darn master!!!!! Always pest'rin the Devs, again he does it!!!! Ask',in too much, push'in the boundaries of his betters. Some day he'll go too far and then I'll be an orphan again and I ain't let'in that happen!!!!!". Darn DOG!!!!!! Let go of my pant leg!!!!!!! I'm old and wobbly. I'll fall over you keep that up!! ....... Insubordination's what I call it, but I guess I've got to go now.

Stay safe and fair sailing from Capt. Ed and Petty Officer Wade.        

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Hi Admin, 

A nice feature would be to simulate the curvature of the Earth and to extend the view horizon to 20-40 km (approximative distance at which a lookout at 30 m above the sea level could spot a strange sail (depending on its height) on the horizon in clear weather - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon). At the horizon, the image also often shimmers from heat haze, making the identification even more difficult. 

I don't know whether this is too fps-hungry or too much coding, but if not, this would allow to simulate interestingly the delicate phase of strange sail identification, which influences a lot the captain's decisions of course (to flee or to chase). The Sailaway sim simulates this feature (https://sailaway.world/realisticsim).

An example of the effect of the curvature of the Earth on the visibility of distant structures (source: Wikipédia v° courbure terrestre):

330px-Offshore_windpark_Thorntonbank.jpg

Another (beautiful) example, of a sailing tall ship now: 

toll ship disappearing below the horizon | Mila Zinkova | Flickr

(source: Mila Zinkova, on Flickr)

Another one (with the shimmer)

(source: www.quora.com): 

Can any Flat Earther explain why a ship disappears below the ...

main-qimg-c16d5c0a07fe15cdb5605940b8e8bb1d

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I just watched the movie Greyhound (with Tom Hanks) : a great movie, very realistic and which is filmed from the point of view of the captain of a destroyer in charge of protecting a convoy crossing the Atlantic against German U-boats. I couldn't help but make the connection with SL, in which privateers will be attacking convoys protected by a Navy brig or a frigate. Everything is seen from the captain's point of view and the chain of command is well represented. The stress of being overwhelmed by multiple attacks from all sides of the convoy is also well captured. There would be a nice game to develop (a kind of response to Silent Hunter) 😉

 

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