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Empire: Total War - Naval Battles
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Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » Empire: Total War - Naval Battles » Naval battle rebalance coming in v1.4
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Topic Subject:Naval battle rebalance coming in v1.4
Smileyman007
Mariner
posted 07-09-09 05:44 PM EDT (US)         
Apparently the CA is going to rebalance naval battles in the next version of ETW. From Jack Lusted:



The Naval Gameplay Enhancement

Empire introduced real-time naval battles to the Total War series for the first time. The reaction to them on the forum has generally been very positive, and we are very proud of our first foray into naval warfare.

However as they are our first effort, naturally we feel we could do more. Therefore one of the things we're focussing on in update 1.4 is naval battle balancing.

Whilst on the land you have quite clear lines between different unit types, naval battles at releasing were mostly lacking in that area, there was no rock, paper, scissor balance. Whilst there were differences, they were not really big enough to encourage mixed fleets.

So for update 1.4 there has been a rebalancing of ships to create greater diversity between different ship types along with improving the overall game play of the battles.

The balance that now exists for naval battles is like this:

Ships of the Line beat Frigates who beat Small Ships who beat Ships of the Line who beat Ships of the Line

Now of course this is not the complete extent of it. Ships of the Line are still the best at taking on other Ships of the Line. Special ships such as rocket ships, bomb ketches and galleys fill special niches on the battlefield.

This new balance has been achieved by adjusting the hull strength, marksmanship (accuracy), reload rate, ranges, morale and damage of various ships.

The ship types now work like this:

Ships of the Line
Pros:
- Best morale
- Strongest hulls
- Best firepower

Cons:
- Slow speed
- Large turning circle
- Low accuracy and slow reload time
- Shorter range guns

Frigates
Pros:
- Good accuracy and reload speed
- Long range guns
- Good speed and turning rate

Cons
- Relatively weak hulls
- Not much firepower

Small Ships (sloops and brings)
Pros:
- Fastest ships
- Very manoeuvrable
- Best accuracy and reload time
- Long range guns like frigates

Cons:
- Very weak hulls
- Lowest amount of firepower

Now of course there is variance within each ship type, and especially within Ships of the Line there are now more noticeable differences in firepower and other stats between ships such as 4th rates and 3rd rates.

And with the above changes, you can see how the new balance dynamic works. Ships of the Line are very strong and have large amounts of firepower, but low accuracy, slow turn speed and lower range compared to frigates and small ships makes them vulnerable to fast small ships like sloops. Frigates are also a threat, but being bigger targets than small ships means they are vulnerable if they wander into the Ships of the Line range.

Small ships, being very fast and manoeuvrable can keep at range of Ships of the Line and hit them with their longer guns whilst out-turning them. As chain shot has received a boost in damage, even with their low amount of fire power ships such as sloops can be a threat to even the biggest Ships of the Line. It may take a few of them or a long time, but they can wear them down.

Frigates sit in between the other two types. Still fast and nimble, they have long range guns like the small ships. But because they are bigger in size, they are more vulnerable against Ships of the Line if they wander into their gun range. They have good accuracy and quite quick reload rate, and this combined with their nimble nature allows them to take on the even fast sloops and brigs.

All ships have been adjusted to have overall more accurate gun types, and the sterns of all ships have been weakened a lot in order to make raking shots more damaging. Various modifiers have tweaked to reduce the amount of random ship sinking whilst the health bars only showed little damage. Now it is pretty much always clear when a ship is likely to sink.

The turn rate whilst stopped has also been reduced for most ships to prevent them from turning quickly on the spot and acting like turrets.

Rocket ships have also had some changes made to their rockets to make them less powerful.

----


All these changes combined add a new dynamic to naval battles. The best fleet will still be mostly Ships of the Line with a few frigates in support, but now there is the possibility of a wider range of tactics.

So with 1.4 you will be getting a new gameplay experience for naval battles which adds a new dynamic and rock, paper, scissors element to them.


Source:
http://shoguntotalwar.yuku.com/reply/777301/t/The-Daily-Update.html#reply-777301

Discuss!
Personally, I like the idea of ships sinking less "randomly." I also like upping the damage from stern-raking fire.

That said, I'm not sure I'm sold on the rock-paper-scissors idea. I like the idea that a fleet of Ships of the Line should be very powerful. Those ships require a lot of time and money to research, build, and maintain. While I like slowing them down to encourage more balanced fleets (to chase down routers, for example), I don't want a fleet of brigs/sloops to take out a small group of 1st/2nd rates. It really depends just how extreme or subtle the changes are, and I guess I can't really criticize the changes without actually seeing them in action. But I am a bit concerned.

No, I'm not being sarcastic.
AuthorReplies:
mrhankisthrone
Mariner
posted 07-09-09 06:02 PM EDT (US)     1 / 17       
I think a fleet of frigates should be able to take out three or four ships of the line. The American navy was built on the concept of sailing large frigates or rather small line ships. A few fewer guns, but lots of speed made it an almost even match one-on-one. For game purposes, the smaller ship one-on-one should be disadvantaged unless played with some skill. For example, gaining the weather gauge, a single frigate should make an almost even fight with a 4th rate.
Pitt
Commodore
posted 07-09-09 09:01 PM EDT (US)     2 / 17       
I don't really like the idea of smaller ships, such as brigs and sloops, being able to engage ships of the line at longer range. As Smileyman007 says, it takes a lot of effort and expense to build a fleet of ships of the line, especially third rates and above. Why would they have lower accuracy and a lower reload time than frigates?

Historically, smaller ships didn't stand a chance; their guns generally weren't longer ranged. Ships of the line could carry heavier guns, which ceteris paribus meant longer range.

To get a heavier firepower many smaller ships carried carronades, which though lighter in weight fired heavier shot; the downside was a reduced range (reflected in the short range of carronade frigates in the game)

Frigates could take on ships of the line, but they needed exceptionally favourable conditions. A famous example is Sir Edward Pellew, with 2 frigates against one 74 gun ship of the line. The fight was in seas so rough that the 74's lower gunports couldn't be opened, halving its firepower.

Pellew defeating a 74 with frigates was recognised as a rare achievement.

The First Lord of the Admiralty, Earl Spencer, called it "an exploit which has not I believe ever before graced our naval Annals".

Historian James Henderson said "It was a feat of arms and seamanship such as had never been done before, and never was done again"

Action of 13 January 1797.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins

[This message has been edited by Pitt (edited 07-09-2009 @ 09:02 PM).]

JeanBaptiste
Mariner
posted 07-10-09 05:46 PM EDT (US)     3 / 17       
It would be much easier to limit the heavy 1st 122guns to 1 ship, the 106guns with max 2 ships, 2nd rate limit of 4 ships etc for the same fleet to balance the naval warfare…

3th rate was a bit weak and a fast sinker in my opinion.

Or you could make the heavy rates more expensive of course.

With the 1.3 patch it is difficult to lose with 4 heavy 120 guns spam fleet on medium funds against any good balanced fleet.

Jean-Baptiste Raymond de Lacrosse (Meilhan, 5 September 1761 — Meilhan, 10 September 1829) was a French sailor and admiral, hero of the French Revolutionary Wars.

[This message has been edited by JeanBaptiste (edited 07-10-2009 @ 05:47 PM).]

halberd
Mariner
posted 07-11-09 04:57 AM EDT (US)     4 / 17       
Why give the big ships less accuracy and reload time?
Zakkeh
Mariner
posted 07-11-09 09:17 AM EDT (US)     5 / 17       
Because they fire more cannonballs, supposedly helping to balance the gameplay. I guess we're skipping over the fact that a 1st rate would only accept the finest sailors, so would be faster at reloading and better accuracy, but meh.
nerdydodge
Mariner
posted 07-13-09 11:15 AM EDT (US)     6 / 17       
Actually, the crew on smaller vessels were generally considered to be individually better seamen because each had a lot more responsibility. As part of a crew of thirty or so on a cutter, a man was practiced at doing every job on board while a seaman on a rated ship wasn't.

Longer ranges on smaller ships don't make any sense, of course.
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 07-14-09 07:27 PM EDT (US)     7 / 17       
I don't really like the idea of it. There don't really seem to be any gameplay advantages except the extra complications. Not to mention I would much rather the time and resources was spent on fixing remaining bugs and land battle issues.

That being said, I will remain open minded until I actually play the changes.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
Smileyman007
Mariner
posted 07-15-09 05:29 PM EDT (US)     8 / 17       
I'm actually not feeling so bad about it anymore. The CA has responded to player questions on their forum, and it sounds like the idea is more to give sloops and brigs a role in battle. Right now, sloops and brigs are pretty much useless in any major battle. As soon as navies develop heavy frigates or ships of the line (5th/4th rates or better), brigs and sloops are essentially useless.

The idea behind the changes is to give sloops and brigs a place as a support ship that can harass at long range and/or chase down routing ships. A sloop will still lose badly to a much larger ship, and it will be about as impossible for a v1.4 sloop to beat a 1st rate as it is for a v1.3 sloop right now.
Not to mention I would much rather the time and resources was spent on fixing remaining bugs and land battle issues.
I wouldn't worry about this. Remember, the designers (people who work on unit balancing, game play rules, etc.) can rebalance naval battles without impeding the people who work on land battles or who write code. Those are separate groups of people. So by rebalancing naval battles, they aren't going to be hindering any work dedicated to fixing bugs. Of course that assumes rebalancing doesn't introduce new bugs...

No, I'm not being sarcastic.

[This message has been edited by Smileyman007 (edited 07-15-2009 @ 05:30 PM).]

mrhankisthrone
Mariner
posted 07-15-09 07:04 PM EDT (US)     9 / 17       
I suppose the hit number per volley is

H = (0.5 * G) * A

where G is the number of guns and A is the accuracy percentage. So long as the superior ship has a greater value of H, A can increase for smaller ships without having a larger value of H so long as

A2 < A1 * (G1 / G2)

where A1 and G1 are the accuracy and number of guns on the larger ship and A2 and G2 are the same for the smaller.

Of course, the range could be included as an additional factor, but it seems related to how to player uses the ships. An inferior ship firing broadsides cannot keep the range differential in it favor if the larger ship closes since the inferior ship would be moving perpendicular to the vector between them.
JeanBaptiste
Mariner
posted 07-17-09 05:00 AM EDT (US)     10 / 17       
Range and speed advantage is not an advantage in a square world ETW-environment with red borders.

Jean-Baptiste Raymond de Lacrosse (Meilhan, 5 September 1761 — Meilhan, 10 September 1829) was a French sailor and admiral, hero of the French Revolutionary Wars.
Tacitus_Aurelius
Mariner
posted 07-17-09 01:13 PM EDT (US)     11 / 17       
I actually like the idea of Brigs and sloops getting an upgrade. While I agree that it makes no sense for them to have longer range guns, historically they were used quite frequently. Blackbeard and his ship were taken down by 2 sloops, and he was one of the deadliest/famous pirates of all time. They also served quite well in almost all blockading fleets and the Barbary Pirate Wars.
Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 07-20-09 07:46 AM EDT (US)     12 / 17       
While it would be nice to see a role for smaller ships, I don't really like the idea that an enormously expensive heavy 1st rate could in any way be bothered by a sloop. Making smaller ships better is likely to let a genie out of the bottle.

A better way to do it would be to cap the numbers you can have of the larger ships, which would force people to be resourceful in fleet selection.

As an example (land battle), I loved those "foreign legion" regiments that France gets because you only get four of them in total and you look after them so much better as a result. The same can be done with naval units.

-Love Gaius
TWH Seraph, TWH Grand Zinquisitor & Crazy Gaius the Banstick Kid

Got news regarding Total War games that should be publicised? Then email m2twnews@heavengames.com. My blog.
Nelson was the typical Englishman: hot-headed, impetuous, unreliable, passionate, emotional & boisterous. Wellington was the typical Irishman: cold, reserved, calculating, unsentimental & ruthless" - George Bernard Shaw
Vote for McCain...he's not dead just yet! - HP Lovesauce

Pitt
Commodore
posted 07-20-09 08:57 AM EDT (US)     13 / 17       
You could make the number of, say, 1st rates dependent on the number of high-end dockyards a nation possesses. This would at least have some basis in historical fact, because the ships would require a support base.

So with one dockyard, for example, you might only be able to build, say, three 1st rates. To get more heavy ships you would have to have more dockyards.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins
Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 07-29-09 05:23 PM EDT (US)     14 / 17       
Anybody else think that naval battles in 1.3 are perfect?
I'm just a little concerned that CA are going to fix something that doesn't need fixing.

-Love Gaius
TWH Seraph, TWH Grand Zinquisitor & Crazy Gaius the Banstick Kid

Got news regarding Total War games that should be publicised? Then email m2twnews@heavengames.com. My blog.
Nelson was the typical Englishman: hot-headed, impetuous, unreliable, passionate, emotional & boisterous. Wellington was the typical Irishman: cold, reserved, calculating, unsentimental & ruthless" - George Bernard Shaw
Vote for McCain...he's not dead just yet! - HP Lovesauce

Warguppy
Mariner
posted 07-29-09 07:43 PM EDT (US)     15 / 17       
I'm more concerned that they'll insert problems in the attempt to fix what they perceive as problems. As an example I give you the AI aggressiveness changes pre- and post- v1.3.

Life was much easier before I developed a sense of ethics.
Pitt
Commodore
posted 07-29-09 09:50 PM EDT (US)     16 / 17       
Anybody else think that naval battles in 1.3 are perfect?
I'm just a little concerned that CA are going to fix something that doesn't need fixing.
*raises hand*

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins
Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 08-01-09 07:40 AM EDT (US)     17 / 17       
Sure, first rates are too powerful for other ships but that's the way it was in real life too. I'd be happier if they played around with unit costs and left the unit stats as they are right now.

-Love Gaius
TWH Seraph, TWH Grand Zinquisitor & Crazy Gaius the Banstick Kid

Got news regarding Total War games that should be publicised? Then email m2twnews@heavengames.com. My blog.
Nelson was the typical Englishman: hot-headed, impetuous, unreliable, passionate, emotional & boisterous. Wellington was the typical Irishman: cold, reserved, calculating, unsentimental & ruthless" - George Bernard Shaw
Vote for McCain...he's not dead just yet! - HP Lovesauce

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