Change is Coming: Ships in 2.11
The 2.11 build contains the first steps towards our goal of re-visiting every ship in the game. We are doing this both to improve balance and also to bring them more in line with traditional classes appropriate for the late 17th and early 18th century. The process will be done in two parts, the first as part of 2.11, the second in 2.12.
Our primary reason for doing this is balance. Many ships have been added to the game in small batches over the last few years, and the result is a system that has some really excellent underlying mechanics but has some inconsistencies in the ships that use those mechanics.
In order to give us a framework to work within, we are organizing all of our ships into more distinct classes. These classes share characteristics but still have clear roles within their class. To some extent this already exists in game in that we have First, Second, Third, and Fourth rate ships, but we want to extend that so that we have more definitions of things like what makes a heavy frigate different from a light frigate or a galleon from a war galleon. These distinctions help everyone understand the intended roles for ships.
This also makes it easier to add new ships as we go on, as we can establish a logical growth path along the technology time line for new ships keeping within the setting originally intended for the game. (For the history fans we’ve used the 1719 Establishment as a guideline with some nationality variations).
As I mentioned above, we have divided this task into two segments. The first segment addresses what we call hull characteristics and the second addresses what we call handling characteristics.
In this process we consider hull characteristics to be:
- Cargo Capacity
- Crew Capacity
- Gun Capacity (number and poundage)
For the 2.11 build we will be focusing on just those characteristics of each ship. Other adjustments will be part of the 2.12 build with a few exceptions, most notably xebec-built ships which we felt needed more attention early on in this process.
A generalized overview of the ship changes in the first 2.11 Test Server build:
The new rates are in. First rates Victory and Indomitable, and second rates Formidable and Sceptre are in basic form. The numbers associated with each ship are not final beyond the hull characteristics.
All of the basic models of each ship have had their hull characteristics adjusted. The adjustments have not proliferated out to the variation models fully. The remaining adjustments should come in the second 2.11 Test Server build.
At the top of the ship hierarchy you will notice drops in DR values, changes to gun poundage and in some cases increases in structure and/or side armor. Two ships that will stand out as exceptions are the Centurion and the Poseidon. These two ships are singled out as not specifically being true rates and therefore of slightly different design.
There is a new third rate called the Lion. This will be (though currently is not) limited to Naval Officers only. Final adjustments for this ship will appear in the second 2.11 build to Test Server.
We’ve lowered the levels required to get into some ships to allow lower level players to access more competitive ships earlier in their game play.
The ships at the bottom end of the hierarchy have received a boost in strength and usability in their hull characteristics.
Recipes for the new rates are not final and ships that previously used LSBs now have LSBs removed from their ingredients. We have not yet added additional recipe requirements to compensate for the LSB removal, however this will come in future 2.11 Test Server builds.
We know that these changes have far reaching implications and we are looking forward to hearing your feedback as you experiment with them over the coming weeks. We are going to organize some ‘events’ on Test Server this coming weekend where a GM will be on hand to give you levels and items.