Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fair winds and a fallow sea

By Mex

If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends.

Enoch Powell

Ahoy there!

Hope you are all doing well. Here we are doing a bit of reworking on the combat of Nantucket and preparing for the next event we are going to attend soon, but I’ll give you more information about both another day. Today I’m going to give you more details about a core part of our game: sailing.


In my past post, I’ve introduced you to the crew tasks management, done by assigning your men to specific spots on your ship. Now it’s time to set sail. Nantucket allows you to sail around a big part of the world, all the waters involved in European and American whaling during the 19th century. The reasons to set sails are many, such as quests, whaling and story lines, but your main focus is always the same: optimize your movements.

Sailing is a really wearing activity. Your crew needs food, water and booze, and your ship needs constantly to be fixed in order to be efficient. Every day at sea costs you money and, on top of that, the general mood of your crew will tend to decrease. The crew morale lower each day at sea, so you have to find a way to keep them busy and happy. It could be stopping in a city you are passing by for a visit in a tavern, being gentle with them when something happens on board the ship, or simply keeping the hold full of precious blubber. Planning ahead is the right approach to avoid resources’ dispersion and maximize your work.

In addition to the high level planning, there is a second layer of strategy, based on the current position of your ship. As I wrote in my latest post, every ship has a field of view, determined by the quality of your ship crow’s nest and the ability of the sailor put in it. Your reaction to “things” entering your ship field of view is part of this second layer.

What if your ship enters an area with no wind or a stormy one? Will you stick with your original course or  change it to have a safer sail? And then, of course, there are the worst case scenarios, like discovering an area with pirate activity or running out of essential goods in the middle of the big blue, with no city in sight. Again, it’s in the difficulties that the true captain makes the difference. Clearly, the game offers you tools to face this harsh situations, buy those are going to be the topic of my next post.

See you next time.


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