It's All About the Ships (Part Two)
If you haven’t already read part one of this devlog, you can find it at here.
I’m going to show you a post I made in the beta forum in late March. This covers a bunch of questions about how accuracy and damage are handled.
*lerp = Linear Interpolation. A straight change from one value to another. For example, if you lerp between 100% chance to hit at 0 range and 0% chance at 500 range, then you have 50% chance at 250 range.
*All combat mods use decimals, even if you don’t see them. Well, there a couple that don’t, but we’re changing them to floats.
There are numerous accuracy mods that are constantly updated. Some of these are positive, while others are negative. The total of your accuracy mods determines your chance to hit. Here are factors that affect accuracy:
*Target Size – The bigger the ship, the easier it is to hit. Target size has a huge impact on accuracy.
*Range – Range has a huge impact on accuracy. Typically, we lerp between accuracy at 0 range (min), 250 range (mid) and 500 range (max). Every gun has a different modifier for its accuracy at each point. Overall, this leads to range being the most important factor on accuracy.
*Your Speed – The faster you are moving, the lower your accuracy
*Target’s Relative Motion – The target’s motion compared to yours negatively impacts your accuracy. So if you are sailing parallel to an enemy it doesn’t have near the impact as if you are sailing in opposite directions.
*Your Turn Rate – The faster you are turning, the lower your accuracy (due to relative motion)
*Accuracy Mods (All Accuracy) – These come from equipment and skills and provide an absolute (flat) increase to hit. If you have guns that give +3.5% and your chance to hit would be 20%, then you have 23.5% chance to hit.
*Defense Mods – A flat reduction in chance to get hit. This can be found on the ship or on items.
*Target Tracking – Currently, this exists only on guns. Target tracking helps negate the penalties suffered by movement, but it can never provide a bonus to accuracy.
*Facing – Target facing often comes up in relation to accuracy. We have the capability to make it harder to hit specific sides of a target, but we do not use that capability. The common conception is that it should be harder to hit the bow/stern of a ship because it presents a smaller target. In truth, it’s easier to hit the bow/stern because of the difference in lateral aiming and longitude aiming. It is much harder to judge the depth of the shot than the width.
*Max Damage – This is the damage you see in your character sheet and on guns. This is the damage you deal at ZERO range. Since it is not possible to hit zero range, you cannot hit this damage number (although you see this damage number due to display rounding).
*Min Damage – This is the damage that you do at the maximum range of your guns. This is typically 50% of MAX damage.
*Damage Calculation – We lerp from MAX damage at MIN range to MIN damage at MAX range. Heavy Round Shot does 50-100% structure/armor damage. That means you do 75% damage at 50% range.
*Short Range Damage – Modifies your MAX damage.
*All Damage – Modifies your MIN and MAX damage.
How We Calculate Reload
Think of reload as labor. It takes your crew 1 second to generate 1 point of labor. That means if your guns have a base 20 second reload time, it takes 20 seconds of labor to reload your guns.
*Reload Bonus – If you have a 10% reload bonus, you will generate 1.1 points of labor per second. That means a 20 second reload will take ~18.18 seconds. 1% reload is about equivalent to 1% damage. However, if you combine Reload + Damage they become more powerful. For example: +100% damage means you do double damage. 10×20 damage guns per 20 second reload = 200 damage per volley (10 DPS). After damage mod = 400 damage per volley (20 DPS). Then if you add +100% reload rate, you reload the guns in 10 seconds. 20×20 damage per 10 seconds = 40 DPS. +100% reload means 1/2 reload time (you generate 2 labor per second, and it takes 10 seconds to reload your 20 second guns).
*Reload Penalty – Functions similar to reload bonus. If you have a 10% reload penalty, you generate 0.9 points of labor per second. However, if you look at this, it has a strange effect. For example: a 50% reload penalty means you generate 0.5 points of labor. That means a 20 second reload becomes a 40 second reload. You go from 10×20 damage per 20 seconds (10 DPS) to 10×20 damage per 40 seconds (5 DPS). That cuts your damage in half, which is essentially equivalent to a +100% damage bonus. Because if you add +100% damage you do 20×20 damage per 40 seconds (original 10 DPS).
*Damage Reduction – This shows up as DR on the armor UI and in the character sheet. 1 point of damage reduction reduces the damage you take by 1. This value is multiplied by your armor percentage for that facing. So, if your SOL has a 4 DR but only 75% of its armor left on that side, the resulting DR is 4 * 0.75 = 3.
*Protection (Resistance) – Protection/Resistance is a percentage reduction in damage. This is found on various types of outfitting and skills. It’s a 1-1 percentage ratio. So, 10% damage resistance means a 20 damage shot will hit you for 18 damage. This is not displayed ANYWHERE currently. It will be on the Character Sheet before launch.
*Damage Absorption – This stat is not shown in the UI, because its effect is rather transparent in combat and there is no meaningful value to display. Basically, the less armor a ship has left on a side, the less damage the armor can prevent from reaching the structure. So a ship with full armor stops nearly all damage from reaching structure, but a ship with 25% armor only stops a small portion of the damage from reaching structure.
What Makes a Gun
*MinRange, MidRange & MaxRange Attack Mods – These values determine how accurate the gun is at each of these ranges.
*Hull Penetration – Larger guns are better at penetrating armor, and thus do more damage. Higher damage also helps against Damage Reduction.
*Damage – Every gun has a maximum damage
*Reload – Every gun has two reload values. The time it takes to load the first gun, and the time it takes to load the last gun in the battery.
Some of these will likely make it to the game for release, but beyond that I’ll just say “someday.”
*Target Tracking for Ships – Added target tracking values on ships. This means a small ship can have a good tracking value, which will help it kill other small ships but it won’t have any effect against a big ship. This is preferred to adding higher tracking mods on light guns, because those mods would make big ships with light guns better at killing small ships.
*Maximum Damage Threshold – This will allow me to set maximum damage to occur within X distance. For example, if you are within 75 yards you do maximum damage. This will ensure you do maximum damage against large ships if you are close. In general, close range broadsides should be devastating. This will alter the damage graph. Instead of being a linaer decrease from MIN range to MAX range, it will be static from MIN range to THRESHOLD range and lerp to MAX range.
*Facing Damage Multipliers – Currently, there is little benefit to hitting the stern of a ship instead of the port if she is missing both her port and stern armor. This would allow me to set a damage multiplier that is applied based on the side of the ship you hit. This means more crew damage, more structure damage and more mast damage. The intent is to ensure that it is always preferable to rake an opponent. Beyond that, it would allow for separate multipliers for each damage type and ammo. This improves the value of dismantling and antipersonnel shot raking.
*Stopped Turn Rate reduces w/ Sail Damage – Ships turn a little too fast when dismasted. I am reluctant to change that value, because it affects ships that are stopped but have masts. You should be able to turn reliably if you are stopped but have masts. So, I requested changing it so that stopped turn rate decreases when you’ve taken too much sail damage.
Recently, I posted an open invitation on the forums to answer ship-related questions in a devlog. Here are the results of that Q&A:
OwlPatel: Does one ship cost more than another ship, or does your faction award you a brand new ship when you’ve leveled up or gotten so many kills or something?
Generally, the bigger the ship is, the more it costs to build. There are other (limited) ways to get ships or assistance with ships.
beltpouch: Is draft represented in the game?
Scooder: Can you explain exactly how much (for the release build) ships can be customized both visually and mechanically?
You can change the color of your sails and hull, and you can apply custom user-created sail and flag patterns.
Jabs: Might you touch Player Created Content, and what effect the “Player Created Ships” effort has had on the workload of the Fine Folks of Flying Lab?
It takes up about one fulltime employee’s time. My work on UC is only a small portion of that time.
GustaveDore: Well, on the ship guide, I know it’s not current…that’s why I’m asking, the large SOLs have huge capacity’s. Do guns take up some of that capacity? Or could someone just load up a SOL with lots of cargo and just a few guns? How much capacity does a gun take? (Heaviest gun vs lightest gun).
Could you talk a little bit about capacity?
Most of the capacity for warships is taken up by guns and crew, although they can still carry lots of goods. Capacity is not customizable. It’s a permanent part of the ship, as each ship is built with a specific capacity expectation.
-logical-Chimp: If possible, could you touch on the mechanism for using the User-Content ships.
Unlike sails and flags, there are no special restrictions on acquiring UC ships.
-logical-Chimp: Are there any limitations in terms of the number of UC ships the system can handle (ie would it be possible to have 10 variants of the same frigate, but with different stern graphics?)
There is no technical limit, but it’s a system of diminishing returns. Eventually, it becomes detrimental to add certain ships. There are specific areas in the ship progression curve that I want to fill. The first ship in each of those holes is extremely valuable. The second is quite useful, and I can find a place for the third. Beyond that is questionable.
10 identical frigates with different stern graphics would bloat the game unnecessarily. It makes it that much harder for people to find the ship they want and keep track of the different ships in the game. If those ships were all similar but created by different members of the community, then it would devalue their work. UC ships are a major project to undertake. If we have 10 people make variants of the same ship, then every individual ship plays a much smaller role in the game. I want shipwrights to be able to say, “I made ship X!” and have players actually know what that ship is and where it fits in the game. Every ship should have something that makes it unique.
Every ship has to be maintained. The more we have, the more time we have to spend maintaining the ship stats and the recipes.
-logical-Chimp: When crossing the T, are there any issues with targeting?
-logical-Chimp: Does the targets speed have any impact on the damage of a shot?
-logical-Chimp: Is it mathematically possible for a sloop to take on a 104 gun SoL? (just to answer all those posts floating around out there )
This comes up frequently and it is a poor illustration of the game. Sloops are not meant to compare to First Rate SoLs in any way. If you sail a First Rate SoL into PvP areas without support, you can expect to lose your ship. One sloop should never defeat a SoL. One sloop would be lucky to scratch a SoL. A pack of mixed small and medium ships is a different issue.
-logical-Chimp: As well have having lower top speeds, do the bigger ships also have lower rates of acceleration?
Read the section on Sailing in my devlog on Data-Driven Design & Architecture.
-logical-Chimp: If you get picked for the Battle Royale, do you turn up in the ship you’re currently sailing, or do you get a chance to swap?
You get the ship you’re currently sailing. There’s a warning before invitations go out, so you have a chance to change ships.
OwlPatel: I was looking over the ships in the ship guide, and I was just wondering, how do you progress through the different ships? Each one looks like it has a different play style, so progression might put you on a boat you really like, and then suddenly you’re on something that’s a level up with more firepower, but it’s just not as fast and you might miss the speed or something.
-logical-Chimp: Have you met your target of having an appropriate ‘new’ ship available every 5 levels, for each profession?
We have about 50 ships that I consider “player ships” that exist in the progression curve. Some ships exist for AI use and flavor. Most ships are cross profession. What I want is a ship every 5 levels for three different play styles, not for each career:
Fast, maneuverable combat ships
Slow, tough combat ships
Yes, we have met the goal, but there is still room for improvement and lots more UC ships.
-logical-Chimp: Because naval officers (somehow) get access to SoLs – do they appear in the ‘new ship every 5 levels’ calculation, or are they a tasty bonus on top?
SoLs are endgame ships that fall outside of the level progression curve. They aren’t the only endgame ships.
Squaldoc: Will pirates be able to build/sail all the same ships that the European factions can build/sail with the exception of ship of the line, which they cannot build but possibly sail if they were to comandeer it?
Currently, there are no restrictions on what can be built. The restrictions are all on based on what you can sail.
Ultimatum: Some of the screenshots that the FLS Company show us from the beta, appear a lot of custom painted ships, and my question is… are these paints drawed for players or are default paints?
You can choose from a selection of paint colors.
Captain Skye: Do rafts matter anymore? Are they just a fun thing you can make to be a silly guy, or do they appear when your ship sinks?
Rafts are fun flavor ships. Some of our beta players hosted a series of regattas recently. One of those was a raft race.
gbrungra: Is it still everyone’s goal to end up with a xebec, frigate or SOL?
Most players progress into large frigates, but keep a smaller ship or two.
elessaria: Does a ship’s maximum speed fit descrete intervals or a more dynamic slide-scale? I read a review saying “green” was full speed, “yellow” half and “red” a quarter speed on the wind indicator. Is that it, or does it vary more with angle on the wind?
Said review is inaccurate. Each ship has a threshold for “bad” “okay” and “good” speed. Those thresholds determine the colors you see for speed. Angle speeds vary wildly. Here’s an example of a medium frigate:
shipSpeedDirectionMultipliers_UPWIND = 0.35
shipSpeedDirectionMultipliers_LUFFING = 0.45
shipSpeedDirectionMultipliers_CLOSE_HAUL = 0.75
shipSpeedDirectionMultipliers_BEAM_REACH = 0.875
shipSpeedDirectionMultipliers_BROAD_REACH = 1
shipSpeedDirectionMultipliers_RUNNING = 0.9
We linearly interpolate your speed. Say RUNNING is at an angle of 180 (wind directly behind you) and BROAD REACH is at an angle of 135. If you at an angle of 157.5, your maximum speed is 95% of the ship’s best speed. The closer you get to 135, the closer you get to hitting 100%.
In this example, UPWIND and LUFFING would be red, CLOSE HAUL would be yellow and the others would be green.
Captain Uber: And how about any storms that could possibly sink a good sized ship?
Not in R1.
Recreant: How many different sail settings will be available? Will there be different settings for lateen and square rigging?
You control your sails with a slider. The different types of sails are automatically used along that slider. For example, if you set your sails to approximately 75% you are using battle sails and your ship performance adjusts accordingly.
Recreant: Will ship maintenance increase ship performance?
There is no ship maintenance.
Recreant: Will base materials affect ship stats i.e. using Black Walnut over Red Oak for the hull, silk over cotton for sails?
Not directly However, there are expensive mastercrafted versions of some ships. Mastercraft ships use higher grade materials and are generally expensive.
Recreant: Will weight/displacement affect ship handling characteristics?
Recreant: Will fire be an effect of combat? Can you set a ship ablaze purposely and then alight ships it rams into?
Not in the way you describe.
Recreant: Will it be possible to get a golden ball shot and blow up the powder room?
No critical hits.
Recreant: Will there be crew management a la Age of Sail II?
You can set your crew focus. Each focus improves one area of performance while degrading other areas.
Recreant: Will rum have any effect on crew morale? (If not then I guess my morale will have to do.)
Rum helps your crew to recover and gives them the will to fight.
-logical-Chimp: will any of the Outfittings for a ship affect its look?
-logical-Chimp: Will there be any crew qualities that affect your ship? Like percentage of Landsmen vs. Able Bodied Seamen?
No, but crew is one of the areas we’re interested in expanding post launch (particularly officers).
-logical-Chimp: Are you going to be able to get better crew with your skills? I.e. aims better, fires the cannon faster, trims the sail quicker, stuff like that there.
This is handled in your captain’s skills, and they can do everything described here.
Dirk Dark: Will ships have wind shadow downwind of them that affect other ships downwind?
Dirk Dark: Will ships behind targeted ships sustain sail damage when anti-sail ammunition is used?
You can only hit the ship you are targeting.
Chipwich: Many moons ago it was promised that faster but smaller ships would be as valuable in combat as Frigates, and that a player’s choice of ships wuld not be based on just money and resources needed for a Frigate. How can schooners hold advantages against larger ships?
Our goal isn’t to make it so that all ships are equally valuable in combat. The distinction is that we want all ships to be viable and contribute to combat. Small ships are valuable in combat and can fill a variety of support roles. However, they are not intended to be on equal footing against large ships in a 1vs1 battle.
one-leg-pirate: do ships have more functions then just being an sea-transportation/warship? (example as captain cabin?)
Snog: How much of your ship can you explore with your avatar?
Duke Suraknar: Can avatars walk about the ship? And can we invite other on board our ship?I know many months back this was not possible, but I am not sure if this has changed.
You cannot explore your ship. The captain’s cabin is a feature we want to add after R1.
Dirk Dark: Does a ship slow down after taking hull damage?
No. Only sail damage affects speed.
Kaa: Are ships able to rotate in place, or they can turn only when moving? Does turn rate depend on the speed of the ship?
Turn rate is tied to speed. The faster you are moving, the faster you can turn. Turning in place is slow.
Kaa: Is it possible for a bigger (slower) ship to catch a smaller ship that’s refusing battle inside the battle instance?
This is a very complex issue and there are lots of relationships between ships here. The answer is sometimes.
Kaa: With regard to choosing ammo, wouldn’t it soon be clear that specific ammo is optimal for fighting specific ships, so that we’ll get to the “OK, it’s a xebec, so all guns load chain shot”..?
Not at all. Ammo choice is dependent on your strategy, which can be altered by the ship you are facing. Each ammo type has trade offs, and you have to decide when it’s appropriate for the battle.
Kaa: How detailed is the implementation of ships’ polars? Will changing the course a few degrees matter with regard to speed?
Turning slows you down. Any adjustment in the direction you are traveling affects your maximum speed.
Kaa: Is tactical combat basically about maneuvering in and out of firing arcs?
Firing arcs are an important part of combat, but not the only part.
aczel: Is it possible to leave a ship dead in the water by focusing on its sails? Particularly if the ship being attacked has no extra sails/repair items in the hold?
-logical-Chimp: Why would i turn down a frigate for the last place in a group, in favour of a Sloop? Would a sloop bring anything to the group that a larger ship wouldn’t?
Do you need more guns? Would you prefer a ship that can harass the enemy? Is the captain of the small ship more skilled?
andepans: Will relative gun deck height differences affect combat?
andepans: Will wind affect the trajectory of cannonballs in flight?
No. Aiming accounts for the wind.
andepans: Will the weight of a ship affect its speed? Specifically, will merchant ship A full of iron sail more slowly than merchant ship B completely empty?
No. Ship weight has no effect on speed. Historically, ships are built to sail at their maximum weight and carrying extra cargo does not affect speed.
Kaa: One more questions—is heeling implemented in the game and does it affect anything?
sqrjn: If a player has a Ship of the Line will they have command over some tenders or sloops to help them out?
-logical-Chimp: When using Dismantling Shot or Anti-Personel Shot, do you still get a benefit from crossing the T ?
Not in the current beta build (which is an old build), but it’s in our list of quick & high impact improvements. It should be in at launch, or shortly thereafter.
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