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Boarding changes feedback.

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We plan to roll out new boarding next week (ETA Wednesday-Friday).

Most of the design was done by the lead designer of Ultimate General Gettysburg (also a creator of Darthmod). 

 

Here is the short description of the new design. We plan to make a short guide by wednesday. 

 

What is unchanged. 

Ping independent round system. Combat is done in rounds

Commands have counter commands. If you are actively defending the attacker has to have significant advantages to overcome your defenses. If you are hiding under decks it is hard to kill your crew with musket fire.

 

Changes

  • Boarding crew focus is introduced (button 9).
    • To board you need to switch the boarding crew focus. It brings significant portion of your crew to the top deck and starts increasing preparation. As a result your reload rate lowers. You can only board from the Boarding crew focus. If you know you are going to be boarded it is better to also give a command to switch to a boarding crew focus increasing your preparation.
  • Preparation is introduced. Cost of commands introduced
    • Preparation is your crew readiness for boarding combat. Highly prepared crew inflicts more losses on enemy. Commander orders spend preparation. Preparation recovers every round by a certain amount. But can go to very low levels that will make certain commands unavailable. 
  • Morale is introduced
    • Complex system of morale is introduced for boarding. Inflicting more losses on the enemy increase your morale, losing significant % of your crew lowers your morale. Morale shock is implemented, losing significant % of your crew in one round causes bigger drops in morale.
  • Disengage is introduced
    • You can try to disengage from boarding. If enemy is not aggressive or did not do enough to cook your ship for boarding combat you will safely disengage.
  • Enemy commands are visible.
    • Your ships are less than 10 meters away you know that they are going to rush your ship, or shoot the deck guns. You can prepare for action.
    • Switching commands costs preparation. every command have different time cool downs because it is harder to restart attack if you just cancelled it. 
  • Deck difference is introduced (might need tuning)
    • Deck difference is crucial in boarding and brings extra depth to ship differences. It is much easier to shoot muskets from higher ships, and it is much harder to attack a higher vessel (or vice versa)
  • Deck guns fire
    • You can fire top deck guns during boarding. Certain ships that have a lot of deck guns will have significant bonuses to such command and will be used by boarding specialists. 

Boarding is won with lowering enemy morale to 0 during attacks or counter attacks, by inflicting losses. Or by fully eliminating the enemy crew (which is extremely hard to achieve).

 

Overall:

  • Boarding becomes less random and more predictable. Most of the boarding action is will actually be done before the boarding 
  • Lower crew ships will be able to defend and break off from the boarding.
  • Ships with similar crew and similar skill level will most often get the inconclusive result, unless they are completely clueless 

 

 

Discuss.

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This sounds like a fine system. I eagerly anticipate testing it.

 

My one question is will AI still be allowed to fire his main battery without disengaging while player controlled ships may not? If so switching out of survival will make boarding a risky tactic in many instances.

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I guess there will be a significant reload minus while we are in boarding?

Since we will be able to shoot the topdecks.

Carronades will becomre a lot more important I think.

 

Can we shoot the guns even when our own crew is on the enemy deck?

 

Will different approaches such as "side to side"; "bow to side", "Stern to side" have an effect on the boarding?

inRL they did bow to side because the forecastle gave the advantage of a higher firing position for muskets.

(alsto to entangle in the enemy rigging but thats not boarding related per se)

 

One problem I see:

Ping kiting:

I see the enemy is on defend. I keep "attack" to let him think I stay.

In the last moment I change to "fire" and sweep his crew.

Maybe I missinterpretated some stuff? Is this at all possible?

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Looks good. I think with the top deck being able to fire, we might see a comeback of carronades on the top deck - spar decked frigates will benefit the most i guess with the 32 nades. (or cough* 42's on conni)

 

Will wait for the patch with anticipation.

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How will ship modules be effected by these changes?

Will there be new modules introduced to modify new aspects of boarding?

-Overall, I think it sounds quite good with whatever fine-tuning we discover needs to be done while testing.

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Not much to add but it sounds like a huge step toward a proper boarding system. Can't wait to test it.

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This all sounds great, except:

Deck guns fire

You can fire top deck guns during boarding. Certain ships that have a lot of deck guns will have significant bonuses to such command and will be used by boarding specialists.

The attacker should not be able to fire deck guns while actively boarding unless the system keeps track of how many of the attacker's men have crossed to or returned from the enemy ship, and firing your guns into the enemy ship has a chance of killing those men. That would mean the attacker might be able to get away with firing at the start (although this would be better handled by firing a last broadside before initiating) or near the end of an attempt to disengage, but could devastate their own men if they fired in the middle of boarding melee (but might gamble on that if they think they are going to lose and want to disengage). Likewise, if an attacker disengages and the defender chooses to continue the fight, they should then be considered the attacker with their men pursuing the former attacker onto his decks.

Also, boarding mode will make crew more vulnerable to gun fire (especially grape) across the top decks, yes? If so, I would consider reducing a bit the vulnerability of gun deck crew to grape when hull sides* have been reduced, as the boarding / counterboarding vulnerability provides a more realistic dynamic.

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Very interesting.

 

How much time will the switch to boarding crew focus consume? same as sailing to survival?

Sounds like loading grape when being in danger of getting boarded will be a good option.

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Will morale be tracked pre-boarding too? Say. Trincomalee managed to drop Constitution to 350 crew, while preserving 300 of their own. The morale hit to Consti should be way bigger and can you see your own morale in the UI in that instance?

 

How about 2 ships boarding 1?

 

Overall I like the idea of preparation to boarding having more importance. However, in the end, big numbers advantage should be impossible to overcome and hopefully it will remain like this (bar some future modifiers like crew training, experience, modules, officers etc.).

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looks good i was just curious to why you took way the boarding combat, couldnt you have kept it in and then just updated the system when you were ready or is there something im missing?

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I think it is important that the switch to boarding combat mode take some prep time and be on a longer cooldown, otherwise it will be meaningless and just switched on and off at the last second.

Will morale be tracked pre-boarding too? Say. Trincomalee managed to drop Constitution to 350 crew, while preserving 300 of their own. The morale hit to Consti should be way bigger and can you see your own morale in the UI in that instance?

This seems essential to me, and should the primary means by which a captain at a crew disadvantage could win in boarding combat.

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Will morale be tracked pre-boarding too? Say. Trincomalee managed to drop Constitution to 350 crew, while preserving 300 of their own. The morale hit to Consti should be way bigger and can you see your own morale in the UI in that instance?

 

How about 2 ships boarding 1?

 

Overall I like the idea of preparation to boarding having more importance. However, in the end, big numbers advantage should be impossible to overcome and hopefully it will remain like this (bar some future modifiers like crew training, experience, modules, officers etc.).

 

I'm with Laik on this one. One encouraging thing is that if well implemented this could lead to more varied and interesting builds instead of simply speed and reload buffs over all. A specialty outfitted boarding ship becomes a viable choice when considering ship purchase and fleet composition.

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Really liking the ideas. I think the preparation system needs quite high bonuses to make it useful, would be nice to see smaller ships doing massive crew/morale damage to larger ships who aren't prepared for boarding, then disengaging to fight again. Hopefully boarding will take much longer now as well, perhaps ship morale can be much more susceptible to cannon fire while in boarding mode - this would allow time for team members to help out when someone is boarded?

 

btw don't keep Nick too busy, we need Antietam ;)

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Sounds great! My only question is this (because it was not explicitly said): If you are using your boarding focus, there needs to be more crew hitboxes for the top deck. If I'm about to board someone and I think they used their boarding focus too early, then I should be able to come alongside with a grape broadside that deals much more damage since most of the crew is on the top deck in boarding parties.

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Yes, my one concern like the first reply above is leaving survival mode when boarding.  Currently it is a must to be on survival otherwise you have a decent chance of sinking if you are going up against a similar or larger ship.  (only against the ai because they fire during boarding combat)

 

Otherwise, it sounds awesome and can't wait to see it.

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looks good i was just curious to why you took way the boarding combat, couldnt you have kept it in and then just updated the system when you were ready or is there something im missing?

 

Parts of the old system had to be ripped out to make the new system.  Those code changes started last week, which meant that Boarding would cause an error if you tried it.  To avoid hitting unfinished and untested code, boarding was removed until the new code was finished.

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Sounds like a great system to me. Also the surrendering based on moral and not complete crew elimination is awesome.

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You *could* shoot during boarding, just not using the usual aim/click interface.  If you used [ and ] instead, it works just fine.  That's probably exactly what the AI was doing, and it really bugs the **** out of me that they can fire off several full double-shot broadsides during the action, leaving my ship in sinking condition.

 

Hopefully the whole "top deck guns can fire" thing means that AIs are prohibited from firing the rest of their guns.

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Sounds great! My only question is this (because it was not explicitly said): If you are using your boarding focus, there needs to be more crew hitboxes for the top deck. If I'm about to board someone and I think they used their boarding focus too early, then I should be able to come alongside with a grape broadside that deals much more damage since most of the crew is on the top deck in boarding parties.

Hear, hear. If someone prepares for boarding and musters their crew on the deck, then the opponent, if he has his guns reloaded/is skillful/lucky, should be able to sweep the enemy ship's deck of crew, leaving the enemy in a much weaker position. I really hope that gets implemented. 

Edited by Arvenski

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