1st Major Patch due very soon!

February 18, 2016 by Charles Caldwell

1st Major Patch due very soon!

Hello Captains and Gentlemen

 

This is a first attempt at a devblog. We are planning to deploy a big content patch within next 10-14 days. We will freeze the build for the hot fixes on friday and start testing new content. Last hot fix could happen on Wednesday and will provide chat fix, in game mod colors, and port battles trolling fixes. After that no tunings and hot fixes will be possible until the big patch is out. If the patch is delayed everything is delayed.

 

Content patch discussion

 

New store interface.

We wanted to improve the store information for players making purchase/sale decisions and improve usability a bit.

 

In the new interface you will be able to see the amount of goods bought and sold at that price level and will be able to purchase everything in one block (no more unnecessary clicks if you wanted to buy 2000 of something – if someone is selling 2000 items you can buy it in one block). In addition to that you will be able to see top contracts and player names placing those contracts in case you want to trade with them in private.

 

New battle crew management – BIG CHANGE

Crew focuses have been reworked completely and became more realistic. They will now work as toggles – instead of absolute choices. Previously all tasks were fulfilled with penalties starting from zero penalty to 100% penalty in a linear progression, and you could only improve a certain task while reducing the benefits on another independently of your crew size.

In the new system:

All main tasks have a certain allocation of crew depending on ship type.

All main tasks have a minimum and optimal size of crew required.

  • Optimal crew – task will be fulfilled at max speed
  • Minimal crew – task will be fulfilled with penalties
  • Less than minimal crew – task wont be fulfilled at all.

Sailing, Gun reloads, Repairs, Leak fixing is atomized and all of them require a min or optimal squad. The crew requirement is the sum of individual crew requirements. Switches between crew focuses take time and the bigger your crew the more time it takes to reposition the squads from task to task. If you have full crew you can toggle optimal performance for all tasks.

 

The main differences lie in the changes to gunnery.  We will try to explain it in simple English – if we fail please rephrase for us in comments and we will update the text.

 

Previously all guns were reloaded simultaneously. If you did not have enough crew it affected ALL guns. It was unrealistic and unhistorical. In the new system every gun works separately and has a gun crew allocation. All guns are loaded gun by gun if you have minimal gun crew.

 

How it will work. Example: You first rate have lost most of the men and has 20 men left

 

Current old system: Ship suffers enormous penalty depending on a crew focus. All decks are affected. If you have switched on the gunnery crew focus you never reload anyway.

 

New system: Penalties and reload will depend on the gun composition of cannons for this particular vessel.  If you have 20 men left and switched to a gunnery crew focus it will be enough to reload 2 heavy guns per minute allowing you to fire them individually. All guns have a minimum and optimal crew requirements and the gun composition for the vessel will become extremely important in battle.

  • Equip lighter guns – you will have more flexibility in choices when you start losing crew.
  • Equip heavier guns – you will have to manage the crew.

Certain ships will become impossible to sail without extra crew management.

 

Repairs/Survival changes

Survival will also start working differently.  If you have only 1 leak it will take only 5 men to repair and will not affect other sailor/gunner crew composition. If you have 90 leaking holes you will have to find 450 men to plug them in.

Repairs also will be affected. If you are repairing Victory you might need up to 30% of crew to repair 15% of the integrity (number is arbitrary at this stage).

 

These changes will also allow for interesting options in improving repairs in a realistic way.

 

Sailing

Sailing is simple and works similar to guns. You have a % of crew required to work sails and if you don’t do any other tasks you will not suffer any penalties to speeds of raising sails or turning yards. If you have enough crew you can work sails and man guns at the same time.

 

Boarding

Boarding crew has to be allocated before the boarding. And the main difference with the old system is this: if you have enough men you can shoot guns and have boarders ready at the same time. Some ships with low number of guns will shine as a result – lynx is the best example. And it will allow you to board when you are sinking (sending some men to repairs and the rest to boarding party).

 

In the future we add the following changes to the boarding – but they wont get in next patch.

  • Only prepared boarding crew will fight in boarding for both sides
  • Fire deck guns will be moved out of the boarding interface and you will be shooting actual guns with their real reloads and performance. If you don’t have crew allocated to guns you will not be able to fire during boarding.
  • Disengage duration will be affected by several commands and factors. Players wont be able to disengage in certain situations unless they are pulled away from the vessel by friendly ramming.

Production buildings

Production buildings are still tentative and might not get in next patch. Please leave your feedback on how you want production buildings to work in the following topic http://forum.game-la…gs-discussions/. We will of course try hard to make them happen in Feb but not sure about it.

 

New ships

2-3 new ships will be delivered after the patch – as they need more time to be tested and fine tuned. Most likely candidates are improved Niagara that will be boosted in certain areas based on the player feedback and Essex Frigate.

 

Gameplay tuning

  • Ship curves and turning adjusted to more historical levels (right now a lot of heavy vessels have excellent performance close hauled which is causing problems)
  • PvP rewards for kills/assists – we will start granting additional monetary rewards for kills and assists in PVP. Current state of things is unsatisfactory for the pvp player: if you pvp solo or in a small group you are usually without money and cannot afford ships.
  • BR changes for vessels
  • Shorter entry timers for missions/events/ow battles to provide more control for solo/small group players.

Combat tuning

We want to increase importance of positional damage – raking and reduce importance of broadside damage slightly. Captains should tank with a broadside not with a stern/bow. This will be achieved by the following.

  • Significantly increased cannon damage from raking fire
  • Lower rudder HP
  • Increased broadside planking and class for all vessels

Mast/Sail repair on long cooldowns

Demasting became a dominant strategy and does not give many options for the person on the receiving end. We know that many will say it is a wrong choice – but giving the player the option to recover masts in battle at least to a certain extent will bring more variability to battles.

 

Our proposal is this:

Bring back cool downs for hull repairs and mast repairs: Cool downs should only work when the player is on the exit timer – if you are out of combat. If enemy does not pursue you in battle actively you can disengage away wait for 10-20 mins and get another repair chance. Captains who participated in the previous repair discussions actively can bring back their ideas into the discussions here.

 

Cannon fire improvements.

We want to give more penetrating power to all cannons at very close range, reducing it for some cannon types at longer ranges.  After artillery rework last year some cannons became too weak or too strong, and we want to increase the tactical benefits of range control.

 

Planking imbalances on lower level vessels.

We want to compact the planking integrity on unrated vessels bringing them closer to each other. This will increase variability and improve ship choices for shallow water combat. The difference in hp and survivability between a Navy brig-sloop and a privateer should not be as strong as it is now (almost 2.5x).

 

 

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