Saturday, October 10, 2015

Black sails on the horizon

By Mex

[quote author="Terry Pratchett"] Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying. 


Ahoy there!

Another busy week comes to an end. We have been focused on reworking the combat system, in order to have more depth and variety, and soon(ish) I will be able to show you all the result of these efforts. In the meanwhile, I’m going to carry on the discussion started in my past post, speaking about dangers at sea while sailing in Nantucket.


We are going to start with the most direct threat: pirates, always looking for some good old whaling ship full of precious goods. When a new pirate rises, a portion of sea will become his hunting playground and this means just one thing for you: troubles. Pirate ships are dangerous and, especially at the beginning of the game, much better equipped than yours. So, what are your options:

  • Avoid them: this is the most safe and basic option. Just try to sail far away from pirate areas. If you keep updated with the newspaper you will be informed about pirate activity around the world and it should be much easier to avoid them. In any case, remember that they are usually hunting close to the coasts (where they are based), so a good solution could be picking longer routes to reach your destination. Eventually, pirate will be defeated by the militia and you will be free to sail that area of sea again. I know, it sounds cowardly right.
  • Bribe them: they are looking for money, so you could just bribe them to let you go. I guess it sounds like a B plan if the one above blows, but if you have enough money to bribe your way home, you can avoid taking longer and safer routes.
  • Outclass them: invest in good technologies and a fast ship and forget about them. Outclassing their ships, you put yourself in a safer spot. You know that you can likely escape a chase (and then a wild “no wind” area appears to vanish all your efforts). If you cannot afford all these upgrades (or you prefer to upgrade something else), you can still rely on an expert man behind the steering wheel. Clearly, this is a mid-late solution, but it’s something to build on from the beginning of the game.
  • Fight them (at sea): a more aggressive solution to the pirate threat is to install a cannon on your ship. It is good to slow them down while they are chasing you and you can even sink their ship, also if it is probably not the most efficient thing to do. Sinking a pirate ship make you impossible to loot them and if forces you have to fight against a war ship probably better equipped than yours, at least at the beginning of the game.
  • Fight them (aboard): finally, there is your last chance; repel their boarding. When your ship and their ship are close enough, they will try to take over your ship. Fighting pirates aboard your ship is not easy at all, probably a suicide mission if you are not ready for it. Having at least one man-at-arms (a branch of the hunters class) in your crew would make a huge difference, but you have a limited amount of crew slots and maybe you prefer to have a different profile on your ship.

As you can see, there are many ways to deal with pirates, embracing different playing style. What you will have to do is to pick yours!

Next week we are going to keep discussing dangers at sea. Till then, keep following us on our social pages for more news to come.

Have a nice weekend folks!



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