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Chainmaille

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Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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A common complaint about the nav station from the devs is that they don't want us explicitly memorizing routes - rather, that memorizing should be a happy side-effect of navigation during normal play. A common complaint from the players is that navigation isn't a practical puzzle to play while pillaging, for a variety of reasons:

1) You need a spotter in the crow's nest to handle engagements. Typically the spotter is also the CO and therefore bnavver; if there's someone navigating then the spotter needs to run down and retrieve the nav wheel during the first round of bnav (and woe betide he who has lag in doing this).

2) Having a navigator means not having someone on another station. For sloops, which are by far the most commonly-used ship, that's a bad idea. It's not as much of a problem for the bigger ships, since the impact of the navigator scales with the number of sailors.

3) The navigation station takes a while to ramp up to full speed; it's best suited to long periods of uninterrupted puzzling. Well, all puzzles are like this, but nav is especially biased.

4) The puzzle serves no purpose once the ship is at max speed. Well, theoretically you could pull sailors off of sails once at max speed to puzzle elsewhere, but that's generally of marginal utility (if you need them puzzling elsewhere, you almost certainly can't reach max speed anyway).

And so on.

I propose a slight tweak of the nav puzzle, with the goal of making it so that the CO can play the nav puzzle while still actively running the ship, and without disrupting the transition to bnav. Basic gameplay mechanics would be the same, and the sailor-bonus effect would still be present. However, the "radar" would be overlaid on the game screen, with colored dots of various sizes indicating the ships in the surrounding area. They would have the standard might-ring colors, with a secondary ring color indicating if they are brigands, merchants, players, or players your flag has declared war on. By clicking on a dot with the mouse, the puzzler targets the corresponding ship. This brings up the ship's summary on the display to the right (with ship size, crew, rank, et cetera). While a ship is targetted, the "Attack!" button will automatically be clicked when it enters range. Also, cleared constellations act as "suction" instead of boosting your sailors' output. Suction increases the range at which your ship can engage the enemy in battle, such that you can hit the enemy without having to turn about and match speeds with them. Better navigators get better suction, leading to faster engagements. You'll need to find your target fairly early on to get a good suction level, though.

Essentially, my idea covers the following:

1) Automate ship engagement, which is generally agreed to be not especially interesting even if you're good at it, and very frustrating if you aren't.

2) Allow the CO to play a puzzle without disrupting the transition from normal sailing to battle.

3) Make the navigation puzzle part of normal ship pillaging.

I considered adding an "inverse suction" mode that would allow you to use the nav puzzle to evade specific ships, but in the interests of not making memming completely trivial, I discarded it.
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Derakon - Black Plague on Viridian and Sage
[Nov 4, 2005 11:13:19 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Wrenn



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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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When started reading I was expecting "let us memorize by traveling over the route regardless of what we are doing on the ship. You will still mem faster by naving"
but alas that was not so....

I do like the idea of being able to "see" incoming ships better while on nav.
I do not like the auto-engage. often I find it better to let the chainsaw weilding briggands attack me rather than attack them, that way if we loose we can take another shot at them
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-Ag
Cap'n - Moose of Doom - Cobalt
[Nov 4, 2005 12:01:46 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chainmaille

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It's a good point that auto-engage shouldn't have you attacking brigands that would otherwise attack you. I can't think of an elegant way to handle that other than giving a special mark for the brigands that are spawning just for you, so you can recognize them ahead of time. Otherwise, auto-engage is entirely intentional: the goal is to give the person playing the nav puzzle enough information that they can find their targets enough in advance to snare them via the nav puzzle. Once you've found your target, you're going to attack them anyway; why not auto-engage them?

I'm ambivalent on the idea of letting people memorize routes simply by sailing them. We have this nice nav puzzle which is, from many perspectives, the most fun of the duty puzzles; might as well let people actually play it from time to time. As it stands, playing the nav puzzle is actively discouraged in anything but a memming run. Even while merchanting, you don't need it for more than a league or two, after which point you should either be watching out for brigands or helping with the bilge/carp.
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Derakon - Black Plague on Viridian and Sage
[Nov 4, 2005 1:01:07 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
drc500free

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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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A common complaint about the nav station from the devs is that they don't want us explicitly memorizing routes - rather, that memorizing should be a happy side-effect of navigation during normal play.
That seems more like a common complaint of players, quoting a single post from 2 years ago. =D
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-Darvid
sundancer wrote: 
will you please explain to me one more time why it would not be acceptable to blockade us?
Squid wrote: 
Because I shouldn't have to go through all that effort.

[Nov 4, 2005 1:04:02 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Gunguy1



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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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Did you know that: In a sloop, Naving is almost useless, as greenie sailors can easily reach full speed.
[Nov 4, 2005 1:52:38 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
ihope127



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I don't like derailing in Game Design. I *always* notice, and suddenly feel like we're not getting anywhere.

(You can contemplate the irony, or throw a tomato at me and continue reading.)

I like this idea, except this "suction" still seems too useless, but I really can't think of much else that's better.

Maybe it would improve "visibility": the better you're navving, the farther you can see?
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No soy un número. ¡Soy un hombre gratis!
[Nov 4, 2005 2:05:42 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chainmaille

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The thing is, the nav puzzle needs to automate enough of the engagement process that you don't need to rely on the dinky little ocean view in the upper-right corner. As things are currently, you need to be in the crow's nest so that you have enough time to click on your opponent, check that they're a valid target, and then have your Turn About command register before you pass the target ship. Even with the extended crow's nest view, a few booched clicks can make you miss your goal. Hence automatizing the entire process. I agree that "suction" isn't an especially good concept; perhaps while navving, your ship could automatically perform the actions needed to pull up alongside your target (basically, hand over the engagement process to a brigand-style AI)?
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Derakon - Black Plague on Viridian and Sage
[Nov 4, 2005 2:12:54 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Garthor

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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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The thing is, the nav puzzle needs to automate enough of the engagement process that you don't need to rely on the dinky little ocean view in the upper-right corner. As things are currently, you need to be in the crow's nest so that you have enough time to click on your opponent, check that they're a valid target, and then have your Turn About command register before you pass the target ship. Even with the extended crow's nest view, a few booched clicks can make you miss your goal. Hence automatizing the entire process. I agree that "suction" isn't an especially good concept; perhaps while navving, your ship could automatically perform the actions needed to pull up alongside your target (basically, hand over the engagement process to a brigand-style AI)?


I think you're overvaluing the Crow's Nest. In fact, if you don't have people jumping on or off your ship very often, it seems that all ships you spawn already attack you. And this is a good thing, because ships spawned for you have more money. The REAL issue is that you need the radar so you can say, "Oh, it looks like a ship that was spawned for us is trailing behind and unable to catch up, we should turn around."

Another issue, as was mentioned, is that your Nav rating drops like a rock when you can only play it in short bursts.
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Cleaver wrote: 
I've never been logged on, let alone on a ship.

[Nov 4, 2005 2:19:40 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
atteSmythe

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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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In fact, if you don't have people jumping on or off your ship very often, it seems that all ships you spawn already attack you.

I believe this depends on the route.

Smythe,
recalling an aggressiveness stat, in addition to difficulty
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starrarose

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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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I think you're overvaluing the Crow's Nest. In fact, if you don't have people jumping on or off your ship very often, it seems that all ships you spawn already attack you.


Yeah it should work like that. I find it hard to believe that on a 17 point (from memory) route, wih an orange might range spawns nothing on it for a sloop of 6. I've had it happen far too many times for me to be entirely comfortable with it.
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Phoenix - Black Plague to the core, Flag may change randomly.

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[Nov 5, 2005 3:55:20 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Gunguy1



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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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What I do, in the crow's nest, is I use a tequnique called "radar".
[Nov 5, 2005 5:31:56 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Roofiyohoho

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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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Also, cleared constellations act as "suction" instead of boosting your sailors' output. Suction increases the range at which your ship can engage the enemy in battle, such that you can hit the enemy without having to turn about and match speeds with them.
I strongly disagree with that one. Sure, very helpful if you go out pillaging, but if just cargo some valuable merchandise, you want speed, you want it fast and you don't want to waste time in sea-battles. That 'suction' thing negates the advantage that a good navigator had over poor ones or brigands. Moreover, a ship full of greenies at sails, and someone clearing a constellation every now and again can catch you easier with this system.
[Nov 5, 2005 6:32:03 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chainmaille

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Re: Merge navigation and the crow's nest Reply to this Post
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Also, cleared constellations act as "suction" instead of boosting your sailors' output. Suction increases the range at which your ship can engage the enemy in battle, such that you can hit the enemy without having to turn about and match speeds with them.
I strongly disagree with that one. Sure, very helpful if you go out pillaging, but if just cargo some valuable merchandise, you want speed, you want it fast and you don't want to waste time in sea-battles. That 'suction' thing negates the advantage that a good navigator had over poor ones or brigands. Moreover, a ship full of greenies at sails, and someone clearing a constellation every now and again can catch you easier with this system.

My impression was that most merchants don't have much of a problem with PVP; rather, they spend their time dodging brigands. If you just don't select any ships, then you'll never engage suction yourself, so no problems there. Yes, it makes it easier for other player ships to attack you; the tradeoff, I suppose, is that you get to play a puzzle while you're merchanting, instead of just sitting in the crow's nest doing nothing. :)
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Derakon - Black Plague on Viridian and Sage
[Nov 5, 2005 10:11:04 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Roofiyohoho

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PvP or dodging brigands is no difference. It's still 10 minutes or so that you lose (and resetting the max speed), risking 5-10k poe in cargo for potential 100-300 poe and some glory in return.

Also, you can do a puzzle if you're bored (and don't mind if someone engages you because you're too absorbed in the puzzle) with this current system as well.
[Nov 5, 2005 10:40:44 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chainmaille

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Erm. My point is that the nav puzzle doesn't force you into fights. So long as you yourself don't target any ships, you won't be generating any suction; all of your efforts will instead go to speeding on your sailors. Now, player-owned ships may be making suction, thus increasing your chances of getting PVP'd, but brigands won't be, so no problem there. I don't believe that my suggested changes will significantly increase the number of fights that merchants get into.

Also, part of the redesign here was to make it so that you can feasibly keep an eye out for incoming ships while playing a puzzle. You can't reasonably redesign the other duty puzzles to show the radar, but it should work well for nav.

Edit: fixed a typo.
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Derakon - Black Plague on Viridian and Sage
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Chainmaille at Nov 5, 2005 10:47:02 AM]
[Nov 5, 2005 10:46:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Roofiyohoho

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It doesn't force you into fights. However, it doesn't allow you to 'boost' your sailors speed, also allows the attackers to engage you from farther, and kinda negates the speed difference/direction. Of course if I'm doing a trade-run I won't be 'engaging any suction', but the others would be able to catch me easier.

Brigands won't be generating suction (that's debateable too, if such a change in the game is to be implemented, why not a Patient Joe wouldn't be able to do nav puzzle as well?) but you don't get to max speed fast enough either.

Furthermore, radar is by no means a feasible way to keep an eye on your opponents. It either refreshes in real-time and causes heavy traffic and lag, or refreshes like now, every 5-10 seconds or so and the minimap is by far more reliable.
[Nov 5, 2005 10:52:39 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chainmaille

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Chainmaille wrote: 
I propose a slight tweak of the nav puzzle, with the goal of making it so that the CO can play the nav puzzle while still actively running the ship, and without disrupting the transition to bnav. Basic gameplay mechanics would be the same, and the sailor-bonus effect would still be present. ... While a ship is targetted, the "Attack!" button will automatically be clicked when it enters range. Also, cleared constellations act as "suction" instead of boosting your sailors' output.

Emphasis added. You'll only generate suction if you are targetting something, and you'll only generate sailor bonuses if you aren't targetting something.

When you do trade runs now, do you have much of a problem with PVPers? Most merchants are soloing, in my experience, which means that the only people that can PVP them without getting blackshipped are other soloers (so merchants, memmers, or solo PVPers) or people abusing greenie might ring effects.

My reasoning for not letting the brigands use suction is that they already have very little problem engaging people if they want to. Certainly you can use holes in their AI (most notably, once they click the "Attack!" button, they never turn around), but the difficulty for most people in attacking a ship is in the timing, not in the actual motions involved. I'd be happy to replace suction with "turn engagement over to a brigand-style AI", but then the benefits of doing well in nav while targetting ships are harder to quantify.

Your point on lag in the radar is well taken, though. Dunno how to handle that.
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Derakon - Black Plague on Viridian and Sage
[Nov 5, 2005 11:44:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Kaibaman2004

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I agree 100% with your proposal, Chainmaille.
It would be very very nice if they did do this.

-Hidendra
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Midnight: Hidendra
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Roofiyohoho

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Hmm, the instead boosting your sailors output kinda negates the the sailor-bonus effect would still be present methinks.

PS: You can be pvp-ed by a leg/ultimate navver, 3 bots and 3 greenies for example. No problems with soloers whatsoever.
[Nov 5, 2005 10:30:52 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chainmaille

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Look, I don't deny that as it stands, it would be easier for PVPers to engage you. But frankly, it's not that hard for them to do so if they're determined anyway, unless they started out behind you (in which case this wouldn't make much of a difference). All they have to do is turn about in front of you, wait for you to turn about, turn about themselves, and chase you down. I'm basically trying to point out that my proposal wouldn't significantly impact the PVP dynamic for merchants.

You also seem to be intent on misreading the design spec. Let me lay it out as plainly as I can.

1) If no ships are selected: your nav score boosts your sailors.
2) If ships are selected: your nav score boosts your suction.

Get it? Pacifists get to use nav just as they always have, except that they get the radar overlaid on it.
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Derakon - Black Plague on Viridian and Sage
[Nov 5, 2005 10:40:35 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
drc500free

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I like this too. I hate the 'targetting puzzle.' Until someone comes up with an overhaul to make it not suck for anyone with a bad connection, this fixes some of the issues.
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-Darvid
sundancer wrote: 
will you please explain to me one more time why it would not be acceptable to blockade us?
Squid wrote: 
Because I shouldn't have to go through all that effort.

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kaykordeath

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I've never understood why the use of the Duty Nav puzzle was, in effect, discouraged by the comparitive difficulties in targetting it adds. Ive always thought that a proficient duty navver should have some kind of influence on the ship as a whole, more so than just acceleration. Tying it to targeting/engagement would do nicely..especially after seeing (or noticing more often than before) an increasing number of engagment processes taking a league or more these days.
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tht guy hird me 2 b a om
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dartraider



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I agree with chainmaille. Navigation is pretty usless now, unleas your sailing a bigger ship. Maybe if navigations boosts ALL stations except gunning, it would be far more usefull. Not a huge boost, something like 10%.
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Cris- Captain of Leviathans Requiem on Sage.

Goblin Wacking is fun, lack of variation isn't.
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Wrenn



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How about making the nav puzzle a bit transparent and overlayed on the crows nest view. That way you can see ships comming from the distance of the crows nest while playing nav and still have time to turn about/engage.
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-Ag
Cap'n - Moose of Doom - Cobalt
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rsenkrantz

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I agree with chainmaille. Navigation is pretty usless now, unleas your sailing a bigger ship. Maybe if navigations boosts ALL stations except gunning, it would be far more usefull. Not a huge boost, something like 10%.


I would love it if navving boosted all the stations - there would be plenty of incentive to do the puzzle at all times.

On larger pillagers, CO's on lookout sometimes don't allow ANYONE to nav because in their opinion it takes too long to get to the wheel to retake the helm. Putting a button in the puzzle "go to crow's nest" and a button in the crow's nest "take helm" might go a long way towards getting more use out of a great puzzle.

Just having the option to view radar instead of ocean view from within the nav puzzle would be fun as well. That way, pillagers would be able to see if they're spawning in front or behind on the radar and memmers/commodity runners could see if they were being attacked in the ocean view.
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"You know, I just gotta say that everytime Rsenkrantz posts I love him just a little bit more."
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Chavez67

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I'm in support of anything that lets me do the navigation puzzle while running pillages.
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I did it.
clarify
It was me.

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PsychoDan



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Just having the option to view radar instead of ocean view from within the nav puzzle would be fun as well. That way, pillagers would be able to see if they're spawning in front or behind on the radar and memmers/commodity runners could see if they were being attacked in the ocean view.


A button to switch between the two while in puzzle (any puzzle, really) would be immensely helpful. I'd love to be able to puzzle more when running a ship.
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Sephoris, Senior Officer of the Radical Dreamers
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