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Tedv



Joined: Jul 29, 2003
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Navigation Puzzle Suggestions Reply to this Post
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I was doing some really difficult Navigation puzzles (7 to 9 stars) last night and had a few suggestions for them.

First, it would be nice if there was more message variety when you hit 8 and 9 stars. It was really discouraging to finally finish a 9 star puzzle and just see "Masterful" again. I know it's stupid but people are curious to see what the later messages are-- it gives them something neat and simple to work for. Makes them feel like they've accomplished something different than just a 6 star puzzle.

I also realized something that can make the hard navigation puzzles really hard. (Incidently, I define a "hard" navigation puzzle as a puzzle with at least 2 stars in the outer ring and 1 star in the inner ring. This refers to a few 5 star puzzles, most 6 star puzzles, and all puzzles with 7 or more stars.) The real trick to solving a hard nav puzzle is never setting up a vertical pair of the same stars in the middle and inner rings. This way you don't accidently decimate your board when you're setting up the pair (or trio) of stars in the outer ring.

Unfortunately, some puzzles require this. Sometimes the constellation layout requires a red in the inner and middle ring, right on top of each other-- God help you if you get a red star on the outer ring and can't dispose of it! By my estimation, puzzles with these required pairs are between half a star and a full star harder. So a 6 star puzzle with two yellows in a pair in the middle and inner ring is about as hard as a 7 star puzzle without such a pair.

For example, here's the constellation for a puzzle analgous to one of the nine star puzzles I solved. (The upper row corresponds to the outer ring, the lower row for the inner ring.)


-W--W-R-
Y-O-R---
Y-O----B


This puzzle took me two and a half leagues to complete because of the two sets of pairs. In contrast, I completed the other two nine star puzzles (without these pairs) in a little under a league each.

I'd really appreciate it the puzzle took these pairs into account when estimating the difficulty level of a given constellation.
[Sep 29, 2003 4:43:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
atteSmythe

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:(

And I thought I was a good navigator. Sheesh!

atteSmythe,
who hasn't yet seen the 6-star puzzles.
----------------------------------------
 
Attesmythe receives loot: [Gauntlets of Social Responsibility]
Attesmythe receives loot: [Ring of Mandatory Selflessness]

[Sep 29, 2003 4:48:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://attesmythe.com [Link]  Go to top 
Tedv



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To be fair, I didn't start seeing them until 9 leagues into a 25 league journey on a Galleon.
[Sep 29, 2003 4:49:38 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jothmar



Joined: Aug 12, 2003
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If my tells distracted you during such an incredibly act I'd just like to apologize for desireing the maps. . . (which incidentally I still desire. . .)
----------------------------------------
Kelyon Hawk of Fidelis Bellum
[Sep 29, 2003 5:30:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
garf



Joined: Jun 17, 2003
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/me blushes

i knew i was bad at the nav puzzle, but i had no idea how utterly and totally bad that was. i have yet to see more than 4 stars.
----------------------------------------
- Randal

[size=9]also Garf, Silvain and a few others
[Sep 29, 2003 6:25:37 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    garf+on+aim [Link]  Go to top 
tommy

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Tedv is 3rd in the ocean, and I am 4th in the ocean, and thar must be a giant gap 'tween us.

When I start nav, I start with 4 or 5 circles, and when I finish nav, I finish with 4 or 5 circles, no matter how long the journey.
[Sep 29, 2003 7:00:48 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tedv



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My rank fluctuates a lot, actually. Yesterday it went from 2 down to 10 and up to 3. It really depends on how much you get intercepted (which hurts your nav in the short term). Honestly, I don't care so much about rank. I just really love doing the nav puzzle, especially the difficult ones. But when you're expecting mostly 5 star puzzles and then you get a 6 star puzzle whose difficulty is closer to a 7 or even an 8... It's really jarring. I just want a smoother scaling of puzzle difficulties.
[Sep 29, 2003 7:05:32 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Bard



Joined: Jul 20, 2003
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I've not seen above 6-star constellations, but now I have something to look forward to! I did, however, encounter a 5-star one that was hard enough that I gave up. The problem was that it had three of the same color in a row on the inner circle with another one (of a different color) directly above. Sort of like:
--yyy-
---b--
-w----
I can conceive of how to solve this one, but the odds are so low that I decided it would take too long to try. And, that would kill my rating. I need to catch up to you guys!

-Bard (Captain, Do Nothing Pirates--The pirates who don't do anything, but lie around.)
[Sep 29, 2003 10:19:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tedv



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I've never seen a constellation like that. I thought the code either:

- Had special checks to avoid 3 in a row

or

- Never had more than two star zones of the same color, which guarantees you will never have three in a row
[Sep 29, 2003 10:41:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tedv



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Some people were asking me if these constellations really exist. (Greenwolf in particular, who is circa #2 in nav and has never seen more than 6 stars.) Here's a screenshot of a recent 8 star puzzle I did-- sorry, I couldn't find another 9.



Greenwolf also noted that if the two of us are so close in ranking and I've done a lot of the harder puzzles, maybe the game isn't fairly scoring high-end nav puzzles. But without looking at the scoring algorithm, I really don't know.
[Oct 2, 2003 3:37:25 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tommy

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Also of note, I have yet to ever see the 'Masterful' award, and I would be willing to bet that I can get back into #1 easily.

I'm more irritated that I'm not getting to these puzzles. I love nav, and want to have me a shot at some of them as well.

And I've only seen (and completed) a 6 star constellation once in all my time.

I suspect something be wrong. Either with the way we be ranked, or the advancement of the puzzles.
[Oct 2, 2003 4:04:39 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jothmar



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Some thing I've noted as a horrible nav'er (I'm able) is that I still never start with just one star. It seems to me that the one star puzzles should still be there for us horrible nav'ers out there. I usually start with either a two or a three star constilation.
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Kelyon Hawk of Fidelis Bellum
[Oct 2, 2003 9:26:00 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Lizzie

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What's yer rating at? If you were able, it prolly would start at one or mebbe two.
----------------------------------------
Ravine
Black Death, Midnight

[Oct 2, 2003 9:58:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jothmar



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I'm able, I just double checked and I haven't seen a single star constellation since the update. I am Solid at Nav'ing though. . . maybe that has something to do with it as well.
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Kelyon Hawk of Fidelis Bellum
[Oct 2, 2003 10:29:56 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Lizzie

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Yeah, maybe. Heh.. I don't really know what I'm talking about, so.. :P
----------------------------------------
Ravine
Black Death, Midnight

[Oct 2, 2003 10:30:37 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
54x

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It seems to me that indeed, double, and TRIPLE star combinations ought to be rated more difficult than adding some more stars to the equation.

So a 5 star puzzle with three in a row ought to be harder than a seven star puzzle with nothing of the same colour touching.
----------------------------------------
Diamondblade, Cartographer, Crimson Tide.
from Midnight.
Dear sir or madam can you read my book, it took me years to write, will you take a look?
[Oct 2, 2003 2:55:33 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mjwhitehead.com/    raasike54    secondlight5454    32987700 [Link]  Go to top 
stigant



Joined: Sep 18, 2003
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I'd like to see the mouse be useable for this puzzle. I've only had the opportunity to do it a couple of times (I'm not an officer yet), and both times, I've felt really hindered by having to switch between the vertical layers. The yellow on brown highlight just doesn't stand out very well, so I often forget which ring I'm on. Another alternative is to have the vertical layers wrap... in other words, if you on the outer layer and you hit up, it will take you to the innermost ring
----------------------------------------
Stigs
Minister of Edumacation, All But Malice
SO of Innocent
[Oct 3, 2003 2:25:17 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
meiadm



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I don't need a sudden double-click from a too hard push on me button to send me focus from the outer ring to the inner... it works FINE as it is.
----------------------------------------
Frizzan - Gone for good
[Oct 3, 2003 3:44:47 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
stigant



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I don't need a sudden double-click from a too hard push on me button to send me focus from the outer ring to the inner... it works FINE as it is.


I'm not suggesting they remove the keyboard controls, just add mouse support so that people have a choice.
----------------------------------------
Stigs
Minister of Edumacation, All But Malice
SO of Innocent
[Oct 3, 2003 8:50:09 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
dime



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I really don't mind 8 or 9 star constellations. I was surprised when I saw this though. If 2 colors in the same column should be looked into, then this one should warrant just a little more.

By the way, I DID get this. And it wasn't worth my time or the effort.


[Oct 25, 2003 3:45:38 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Rastigi



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stigant wrote: 
Another alternative is to have the vertical layers wrap... in other words, if you on the outer layer and you hit up, it will take you to the innermost ring


I would really hate that. Sometimes it be easier to press up or down a few times to make sure you know what ring you're on than it is to look and try and figure it out, especially when trying to arrange 3 stars on the inner ring of a big constellation, right after you busted another 3 in the middle.
----------------------------------------
Bubbablue,
SO of Bubba Gump Shrimpin' Co.
Vote Bubba for President in '08, cause Shrimpin' is Great!
Cleaver wrote: 
Anything else? Please don't say, 'Make everything FREEEEEE!!1!!'

[Oct 25, 2003 3:59:03 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Kaetlynn



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I have a question. I was given the opportunity to do the nav puzzle and using my arrow keys didn't rotate the wheel at all. I'm sure there is a simple explanation of what I'm doing wrong, but can anyone give me some advice on what to look at?
[Aug 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Roleni

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You rotate the pieces on the wheel, not the wheel itself. Drop a piece down and it will rotate, but the stars you have to fill won't.
----------------------------------------
Thalatta & others

Hera tells ye, "You got me so flustered by the spanking, I booched my chat response!"
Hera tells ye, "Purple is the most awesome colour ever!"
[Aug 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Rastigi



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Not ta ressurect a dead post or anythin, bu' I definitely agree that the "Masterful" comment is anticlimactic.

dime wrote: 
really don't mind 8 or 9 star constellations. I was surprised when I saw this though. If 2 colors in the same column should be looked into, then this one should warrant just a little more.

By the way, I DID get this. And it wasn't worth my time or the effort.

I ha' seen one like this (3 whites an a blue above), an I must admit that after messin it up several times I finally gave up (altho' I ha' since figured out how ta do it, I thin' if I got one, I would prolly still exit tha puzzle, unless they are made ta be worth a lot more than yer average 4 star, or I started wit' a fairly empty board).

And, for me own braggin' rights, here be a 9 star constellation. I wa' on a long trip on a galleon an' we went a long time withou' bein intercepted.



I did get this, bu' the screenshot I took is a lil' late an ye canna really tell what stars are bein' busted. Took me a bit ta do it, but prolly not as long as the four star above would.
----------------------------------------
Bubbablue,
SO of Bubba Gump Shrimpin' Co.
Vote Bubba for President in '08, cause Shrimpin' is Great!
Cleaver wrote: 
Anything else? Please don't say, 'Make everything FREEEEEE!!1!!'

[Nov 20, 2003 3:59:31 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
dime



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You know.. I just now noticed how nice the background for the navigation puzzle is. Call me a sucker for scenary (even fake scenary) but still, it's rather nice. It may have been only subconscious up to this point, but it actually gets me in the mood to do some more navigating. (Not really, I'm done with my navigating). But I sure wish I noticed it before.

Sadly, it might be because it's the only vision of darkness I have seen in the game. I (personally) equate the ocean to nighttime. The two just fit together so perfectly.
[Aug 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
54x

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Aye, an ocean at daytime isn't an ocean, it's hardly even a sea ;)
----------------------------------------
Diamondblade, Cartographer, Crimson Tide.
from Midnight.
Dear sir or madam can you read my book, it took me years to write, will you take a look?
[Nov 20, 2003 6:16:13 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mjwhitehead.com/    raasike54    secondlight5454    32987700 [Link]  Go to top 
Edward_Teach



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Wow! I wish I was getting constellations like these. I consider myself quite good at Navigation, as I get Excellent and Incredible quite a bit. However, can you get those 6-9 star constellations on a Sloop or only on bigger ships?

I just got a Cutter, so I'll wait and see on that. My rating is Renowned currently and I had a short stint at Grand-Master until I had to load my cannons on a league and hopped on to the nav puzzle just before the end of it to get the league point memorized and got a poor rating, back down to Renowned... :(
[Nov 20, 2003 11:00:17 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Rastigi



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Edward_Teach wrote: 
Wow! I wish I was getting constellations like these. I consider myself quite good at Navigation, as I get Excellent and Incredible quite a bit. However, can you get those 6-9 star constellations on a Sloop or only on bigger ships?

I just got a Cutter, so I'll wait and see on that. My rating is Renowned currently and I had a short stint at Grand-Master until I had to load my cannons on a league and hopped on to the nav puzzle just before the end of it to get the league point memorized and got a poor rating, back down to Renowned... :(

I ha' gotten 7 stars on a sloop, more than once. As far as I can tell, there be two main things that get ye big constellations. 1) Do not Booch (Otherwise known as "Quit Sticking, ye stupid scuppering spacebar") 2) Go long distances without leaving the puzzle or getting in an engagement. Jus like the holes in the ship get bigger when ye've been carpin' a long time, the stars in tha puzzle get more as ye go. The time I got tha 9 star constellation, I was ne'er gettin anythin under 6 for quite some time afore an after, until we got in an encouter, after which I started wit' 3-4 stars again.
----------------------------------------
Bubbablue,
SO of Bubba Gump Shrimpin' Co.
Vote Bubba for President in '08, cause Shrimpin' is Great!
Cleaver wrote: 
Anything else? Please don't say, 'Make everything FREEEEEE!!1!!'

[Nov 21, 2003 1:11:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
dime



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I've never navigated on anything larger than a large sloop on azure, and a small sloop on midnight. And I get them without a problem. I've gotten them on a newbie alt whose standing was able. All you need to do is be able to pull off incredible after incredible every league and your puzzle will get progressively harder and harder. The better you do, the harder the puzzle will get faster. And of course, your voyage should be long enough to do it. I usually only see them when I chart voyages for for entire archipelagos.
[Nov 21, 2003 2:51:12 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Syllabic



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When we both have the ocean memorized David, let's do an around the world marathon. Same leagues, both navvin!
----------------------------------------
Armistice, trader extraordinaire
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