New features and changes I'd like to see added in future updates
August 21, 2017 at 4:02 am #4584
Right, so this was a document I’ve been working on since I started playing GOF: ERAS a few weeks ago, and I finally got my profile working so that I could post this ‘novel’, as some detractors on another forum might say… LOL. This is a list of features I’ve decided that I’d like to see added to the game, based on my limited experience with both GOF and a few other pirate games (New Horizons being the one I found first). Everything within this article should be taken with a grain of salt, as I make absolutely no claim to being an expert on any of these subjects, but I’ve listened to a lot of people who do know their stuff and also done a lot of reading, so I hope I can give you guys this and get some positive feedback on what could or could not be done and why or when, since it would be nice to know some details about my suggestions. I will mention that I have no skill whatsoever in modelling or programming, but I’m willing to do what I can to help you guys out with what I can – such as writing up a game manual, coming up with quest ideas and plots, researching what I can, and just acting as a general sounding board and beta tester. This mod is probably my favorite pirate game of all time so far, and I see so much potential for it to rise even higher – so I just want to help this game along in any way I can. Thanks for all your efforts to bring us this masterpiece so far, and please keep up the amazing work!
#1. Lots of quests: I know you guys are already working on this, but I’d really like to see a lot of quests. I personally dream of having a huge, mind-boggling number of quests that run the gamut of every kind of adventure – romancing a pretty girl, escorting a convoy, sacking a Spanish treasure port, raiding the Spanish treasure fleet, pirate hunting, searching the jungles for an ancient Maya ruin said to contain a great treasure, being hired to smuggle contraband (or even spies) into an enemy harbor, freeing a bunch of slaves, spying on enemy troop/fleet movements, engaging enemy fleets in combat alongside an allied fleet, deciding whether to shut down a brothel or protect said establishment’s right to continue operating, raiding a plantation’s storehouses to steal the goods held within, eliminating a camp of bandits troubling island roads, wiping out a smuggling ring, raiding or protecting a native Indian camp, bribing or blackmailing government officials, the list goes on and on.
I think a lot of good inspiration for quests could be drawn from pirate and seafaring novels – the Master & Commander series, despite being set in the wrong time period for our game, still has a lot of good ideas hidden within its pages. The Horatio Hornblower books also make a good source of ideas despite being set in the Napoleonic period, and you could even take the ideas and basic plot concepts from old pirate movies like The Black Swan, put a new spin on them, and turn them into new ‘super’ quests – that just sounds like something that would be really fun for me to run into! Even other video games can have good quest ideas – taking a que from Skyrim, the player could be arrested for a crime and thrown into one of the gold/silver mines as a convict laborer. The result of this is a quest where the objective is to escape the prison through one of several means, such as instigating a riot, sneaking out in disguise, bribing your way out, etc.
#2. More information displayed during character selection: Things like a character’s alignment, starting ship, possibly their starting wealth, etc. would be nice to know about during character selection – it helps a player to make a more informed choice about which character they want to start their game with. The portrait and bio are very nice, and excellently done – so they add immensely to the game’s overall experience – but I think it would be helpful to have at least the character’s alignment and starting vessel included in the information we’re presented with. The options provided on the character selection screen could be moved somewhere else to make room for all this – either by sticking them in the options menu, or making them into a pop-up window that appears after you select your character and before the game loads the starting scene.
Also, the flashing national symbol works, but can be a bit hard for me to discern at first glance. Perhaps we could replace it with a flashing border around the emblem representing a character’s nation instead? That seems like it would be a bit easier to spot right off the bat.
#3. Ship modifications: The guys who built the New Horizons mod did this to a very limited extent, and I’d honestly like to see if we could include our own ship modification system in GOF: ERAs 2. Many historical captains chose to modify their vessels in some manner, whether it be something as simple as adding/removing guns, or something as elaborate as moving the masts around and cutting off certain upperworks as many pirates did. The practice of modifying and rebuilding a vessel over time was somewhat of a common practice in the 17th century as far as I’ve been led understand, and the added gameplay value would be a nice addition in my opinion. Below is a list of possible modifications I have devised so far, each with their own pros and cons;
• Broad Rudder: a broad rudder would make the ship turn faster (5-10% maneuverability increase?), but in return it could cause a minor overall speed loss once fitted – maybe 5%.
• Cotton Sails: These sails would be more expensive than standard sails, but catch the wind better and provide a speed boost – maybe 5-10%? The tradeoff is that cotton is required to repair them, making repairs somewhat more expensive, and the sails are more fragile – reducing maximum rigging HP by, say, 5%.
• Silk Sails: Silk is very closely woven, making it excellent at catching the wind and maximizing its power. This would give ships a 10-15% speed boost, but the tradeoff is very expensive repairs (due to needing silk to repair the sails) and a reduction in maximum sail HP of about 10%.
• Expanded Crew Quarters: For the captain who needs a large crew compliment to fight in boarding actions, this mod allows a ship to expand its maximum crew size by a certain percentage. The tradeoff is a reduction in cargo capacity. Perhaps we could even allow the player to select how much space they want to convert in 10% increments before buying the mod. I personally think this should be pretty cheap to buy, since it’s not a terribly complex modification, and its main (and possibly best) use would likely be to get a bunch of extra crewmen aboard a smaller starting ship, making it easier to capture a larger and/or better ship, thereby avoiding the need to save up a large amount of cash to buy it at a shipyard.
• Smuggling Compartments: This one is a tricky one to figure out the inner workings of, even for me. The point of it is to make it easier to conceal contraband goods while smuggling, so perhaps decrease cargo capacity by 5% to represent new frames used to create hidden spaces, and as a result make it 5-10% more likely the coast guard won’t show up at the rendezvous (due to not knowing about the contraband hidden in the ship’s smuggling compartments).
• Armored Hull: This mod increases a ship’s maximum hull HP by 10%, but requires it to sacrifice 10% of its cargo space to make way for stronger frames and extra hull planking. Could also result in a 5-10% reduction in top speed.
• Corsair Refit: By cutting out unnecessary deadweight and lofty superstructures, the ship can be made faster and more maneuverable (10% increase to maximum speed and maneuverability). The disadvantage is that this mod can only be obtained at pirate shipyards, and it would cost you a lot – 50% of the ship’s original value seems like a decent value to start from.
• Bombards: This mod is based primarily on my knowledge of the bomb ketches used by different navies for attacking harbors and fortifications on land – essentially, it increases your damage output against forts and other land based targets, but takes up a lot of cargo space when mounted (could be a fixed amount, or it could be a percentage, maybe 15 – 30%?). It’s possible that, for historical accuracy, only certain ships (like ketches) could mount this modification.
• Swivel Guns: This mod would increase your damage to an enemy ship’s crew, but the tradeoff is that it only works at short range. Beyond, say, 30 yards, the additional damage would have no effect. Perhaps the damage done to a target could even taper off towards the extreme end of the effective range band.
• Streamlined Hull: Increases a ship’s speed by 5%, but costs a lot (you are rebuilding the ship’s lower hull to do this, after all) and reduces cargo capacity by 5% due to the changes in the ship’s lower profile.
• Advanced Gunsights: Increases the accuracy of a ship’s guns by 5%, but needs more time to be aimed properly – represented by an increased loading time, say 5 – 10% longer?
• Extended Keel: A longer keel helps to stabilize the ship, increases the vessel’s speed by 5%, but reducing its maneuverability by 5%.
• Rapid Deploy Sails: Due to changes in the ship’s rigging, its sails can be adjusted more quickly than normal. This results in a 5% increase in a ship’s acceleration and deceleration rates, but the advanced rigging is temperamental, resulting in a 5% reduction in total Sail HP.
#4. Changeable paint schemes on ships: It might be cool if we could somehow change the skin our ship is currently using at the shipyard for a small fee, but I can also see how not including this kind of system would encourage players to try and capture a new ship if it has a paint scheme they like better than the one on their current vessel. I’m really okay with either way of doing things myself, I just thought I’d mention it as a possibility.
#5. Have the trade window optionally display settlement names and trade goods at game start: I can understand that some people wouldn’t want to play with what I’m suggesting here, so what I’d like to see is two new options in the mod settings – the first option will make the trade window in the character menu display all of the settlement names and their nationalities without having to visit the store in each of them first, and the second option would make the trade window display the different import and export lists for all of the different settlements while still requiring you to visit the stores or listen to news reports to obtain the current pricing of the different goods in that town. I’d really like to see this added so that players who like the current system can still play the game with it, and at the same time, more casual players like myself (who want to know which nations each of the different settlements belong to, and what they sell/buy, without needing to visit them first) can use the trade window to learn about these things before sailing there.
#6. Sex & Romance: Honestly, this already exists in the game to varying degrees, and in a responsible and relatively inoffensive manner, too (at least in my opinion). Personally, I’d like to see several unique marriage questlines in the final version of the game – preferably at least one or two marriage quests in the ports of each of the five nations included in the game. This provides the different characters with at least one or two marriage options that they don’t have to enter an enemy port to encounter. Also, unique character models for each of the marriage companions would be very preferable to using models seen elsewhere in the game – marrying a truly unique character who stands out feels much better than marrying “average town girl #97”, y’know? Maybe we could even include some kind of wedding scene at the end of each marriage quest.
It’d be really cool to allow our character’s new spouse to play a larger role beyond the initial marriage quest, too. Perhaps they could open up a market stall, and they would share some of the profits with us every now and then. Or maybe they could become a member of our ship’s crew (if appropriate), though that might require them to be un-killable (at the least, this should definitely be available as an option that could be turned on/off). And if the ship sinks, it could trigger a quest that requires you to find your lost spouse and reunite with them. I also think that the player should definitely be able to sleep with their wife, as it is a big part of marriage from that time period after all – essentially similar to how you can sleep with bar girls/whores, but it wouldn’t require any money. You could also open up the spouse’s house to the player, allowing them to use it to sleep like you would at a tavern, but without needing money. This helps to give marriage in the game some extra substance after the initial quest is completed, as well as some extra perks that encourage a player to carry through with it.
I’d also like to see some quests involving the brothels in some manner – talking to certain whores within them to obtain useful information, saving a kidnapped governor’s daughter from a life in the brothel, a quest where you can choose to shut the brothel down or fight for its right to do business, etc.
Honestly, it’s your game and I’m not going to get myself up in arms because the material mentioned here wasn’t included, but this is a topic that (in my understanding) existed quite prominently back then. As a result, I do feel it appropriate that a game focused on historical simulation of the period we’re recreating should incorporate the topics of sex and romance in various ways, so long as it’s all done responsibly – no one really wants to see explicit scenes, we just want to see it included in a meaningful and impactful manner.
#7. Characters start with a basic map of the Caribbean: I feel this should be something that is changed in the next release. In my opinion, any ship in the Caribbean is going to start with at least a basic map of the game’s world area – I don’t feel it appropriate for a player to go searching around for what seems like an endlessly long time at their starting port to find an Old Map among the vendors, just so that they know which way they’re supposed to sail to get where they want to go – and yes, I know that I could probably just look up a real map online, but most players are lazy bums when it comes to research of this kind, and the real map likely won’t properly match up with the in-game maps and locations anyways – nothing’s perfect, y’know? Not a huge issue, but something I felt you guys should know about for future reference.
#8. Fixed and improved cannons: Honestly, this bugs the crap out of me. First of all, let me say that I’ve only used 4-pounder guns to date, so I may not be entirely correct on all counts here. Now, to begin with, I can’t even hear my own gun reports for some reason, which really sucks – that should be fixed right quick if it’s an issue with the game itself, though it may just be me. Second, I’d like to see better gunsmoke effects. When a ship’s gun battery fires, the black powder used creates a pall of thick smoke that hangs in the air and obscures your vision somewhat, depending on how much smoke is present. The New Horizons mod does this really well, and their gunsmoke looks amazing as well (better than the current gunsmoke, anyways), and I’d like to see gunsmoke effects like that appear in this game. As I said, I’ve only used 4-pounder cannons up to this point, so I’m unsure how the bigger guns effect this – I know that the tiny charges used in the 4s would not create a huge amount of smoke, but the smoke that is created seems to fade away far too quickly – though I certainly don’t have very much experience on the topic of black powder firearms in action, so do correct me if I’m off the mark here.
#9. Game manual (with printer-friendly version): The game itself is somewhat simple to grasp onto and understand for me, but I’m a veteran gamer – I’ve been playing games, and RPGs especially, since I was ten years old. Others might not catch on so easily, and even I have a few things I still don’t understand the workings of – like how to obtain a letter of marque, or how to increase my national reputation. So, I think it would be a pretty good idea to work up a game manual that goes over the controls, game setup and options, and then explains the inner workings of the primary features of the game, and also provides explanations for some other things where it might not be immediately obvious how you accomplish them. And a version that I can print out without killing my printer and draining all the ink in the poor machine due to extraneous page decorations would be very much appreciated.
#10. More land areas to explore: Again, having not been playing the game for too long I don’t know a huge amount about the exploration on land, but I’d still like to see a lot of places to explore. The maps often show one cave, a few shorelines, and a port or two, but more areas to explore would be amazing. Using Jamaica as an example, we could allow players to explore a historically-accurate shipyard (which is something I’d really like to do), parts of the island’s mountain range, the gold and silver mines, a few plantations, any other industries producing the goods exported by the island, as well as the fort protecting the Port Royal anchorage, a few bandit hideouts, thick jungles full of leopards, monkeys and parrots, native Indian camps, and a number of sandy beaches where smuggling handoffs could occur, switching locations every now and again to throw off the coast guard.
The best part is that all of these new areas open up a wide breadth of opportunity for incorporating new encounters, interesting NPCs, and unique and engaging quests (like escaping the gold mine after being sent there as punishment for a crime, or even protecting it from bandits/unscrupulous officials, eliminating a group of nasty bandits, hunting exotic animals to make some extra cash selling them in town, freeing a prisoner/ally from the fort prison, freeing the slaves or putting down a slave rebellion at one of the plantations, sneaking into the plantation warehouse to steal the cargo inside it – if native Indian camps were included, you could even include marriage questlines in some of them – or a quest inspired by the cannibal tribe scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean 2).
#11. Readable Books: Ever since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came out, I’ve been spoiled in this regard. I’d really like to see you guys add a similar system that allows us to write semi-lengthy books and then page through them at our leisure. It would be really cool to sit down in the tavern and read a book about naval tactics of the 17th century, in my opinion. By adding these kinds of books and making them dirt cheap (no more than 100 coins each, by my reckoning) and not having them give skill bonuses, you have an easy way to add in period-appropriate flavor material – things like 17th century storybooks, tactics and strategy manuals, job guides, swordfighting manuals, erotica (LOL), riddles and poems, history lessons, helpful tips and tricks, song lyrics, private journals, notes and letters, letters of marque and other licenses, and so much more. Please?
#12. Larger Settlements/Towns: This ties in somewhat with my request for more areas to explore on land. The current towns honestly seem really small, especially when I’ve been led to believe that certain settlements were actually rather large (like Havana or Port Royal). I can understand keeping an area small enough that it doesn’t demand insane amounts of computing power, and also that there might be constraints on the number of NPCs that can populate a location at any one time (Make an area too large with too few NPCs and it looks empty and depopulated, after all). Nonetheless, I’d like to see more places to explore in towns, even if they have to be separated by loading screens. In Port Royal, for example, I’d like to be able to explore an accurate rendition of a 17th century shipyard, a docks district with several docked merchant ships and dockside warehouses (and possibly cargo cranes inspired by those from the Port Royal movie set in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie), a residential district for the middle and high class citizens, a slums district for poorer people, an opium den, a Royal Navy headquarters, a merchant’s guild, etc. This has the added benefit of creating contrast between larger settlements like Port Royal, Porto Bello, and Havana, and smaller, less-populous places like pirate towns, Bridgetown, etc.
I think great inspiration (and perhaps even whole models if necessary) for these new locations/buildings could best be drawn from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Pirates of the Burning Sea, and Pirates of the Caribbean Online.
#13. Is there any way we can stop storms from flooding settlements while sailing near them?: Yeah, I noticed this while I was riding out storms next a few settlements; the water level had risen high enough to flood the fort and settlement – it was kind of funny to watch and made me laugh a bit, but it was also rather visually unappealing in a game that tries so hard to create a realistic experience for its players. Is there any way we can fix this, or is it just going to be a quirk we’re stuck with?
#14. Allow weather changes on the ocean to affect settlements: I spent a crap-ton of money staying overnight time and time again in the tavern at Bridgetown, trying to wait out a storm before setting sail (it was at least 200 pieces-of-eight, possibly more). The reason for this was that after I docked in the midst of a gale, the weather in the settlement remained stormy for the entire time I was there, when it had long since cleared on the open seas – I only found out the truth after getting fed up of waiting and setting off despite thinking I would have to weather out the storm again, when in fact the storm was actually long gone. Is there any way we can fix this so that the weather affecting a settlement’s harbor, and any changes in that weather, are reflected on the weather conditions seen while a player is inside a settlement? That would be really helpful in gauging when a storm has finished passing over so you can set sail without throwing your ship into a gale.
#15. Wider diversity in starting ships: While some characters start with more wealth and a unique vessel that they possessed in real life, a lot of them start with the plain old Coastal Bark. While I can understand that said ship is a good, basic starting point, I’d like to see some more variety in the starting ships each character gets when starting the game. This would certainly increase replay value, since each character gets a slightly different vessel with different gameplay characteristics whenever you begin a new game. And the coastal bark is a tier 6 ship – it seems like there are enough tier 6 vessels, such as sloops, brigantines, early Spanish galleons, caravels, luggers, tartanes, barque longues, etc. to provide the selectable characters that don’t already have a unique ship with a good variety of starting vessels. As I said, this helps to make each character more unique, making the start of each adventure slightly different, and it also helps to encourage players to branch out and try playing different characters that they might not have considered using at first.
#16. Possible extra ‘Main’ quests: I haven’t played with Peter Blood yet, but from what I know, it seems that he has the only overarching ‘main’ quest currently included in the game. I think that it might be a good idea to consider writing up and implementing a ‘main’ quest for several other player characters as well, since this would massively increase the mod’s replay value, something that I’ve learned is very important to a good video game. By referencing historical events and using them to create campaign stories for our historical characters, we can create a number of ‘main’ campaign stories for players to explore alongside regular free-play. Bartolemeu Portugeus, Henry Morgan, even Tavish Greaves (my favorite RPC so far) – many of our playable characters have rich and often amazing stories from real life that could very easily become the makings of an epic campaign story in this mod. Yes, such additions to the game would require a lot of work to accomplish, but it adds a huge amount of playable content and enjoyment to the game, even after you’ve played it a few times already. You could even include these new, historically-based story campaigns in purchasable DLC packs, I know I’d buy them for sure!
#17. Have random citizens be a bit more helpful: Honestly, I got quite annoyed when I tried talking to people in town for a bit of history or other knowledge, directions, or just help in general – only for all of them to blow me off. I’d like to see a bit of a change in this regard, with people generally being more useful and giving directions or hints/helpful information, while still having some of a town’s NPCs react in the way that they currently do – this creates a more immersive experience, with some people being helpful and others telling you to get out of their faces, rather than everybody reacting one way or the other.
#18. Make the import and export identification in the merchant screen more clear: I’m slightly colorblind, so the blue text stands out fine, but the green and white text is harder to differentiate between, and there seems to be no red markers for contraband in my game. Is there a way to make import/export/contraband entries in the merchant window more clearly discernible? I don’t know which way would be best , but a change might be a good idea.
August 21, 2017 at 8:27 am #4585
That’s a long post 🙂
i will particulary be very interested with some personal introduction quest line, like the peter blood one, for a lot of characters.
Precisely, for the characters starting with some advantage, so in a way, the player need to earn it doing a quest line … but this will be a lot of work !
August 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm #4586
Hmmm, a novel? Contrary to that ‘other’ reaction in ‘some places,’ we don’t respond with essentially a TL;DR, I actually enjoy reading lengthy thoughts. I will respond to some of them.
1. The mind-boggling number of quests/side quests. Indeed, this has been the topic of conversation between MK and myself and he is of similar mind. In fact, some of his stated desires match some of yours. Particularly, the option for additional romance/marriage (as you further in your #6 point), expanding beyond Isabella…our initial idea would be to add someone the exact opposite of the ‘high maintenance’ Isabella, that one could strive to gain affection through deed and eventually marry.
Your other ideas in #1 are some good ones that we could add to the mix that MK as been formulating.
2. I think this might be OK. But myself, I actually prefer the subtle hints about who has money/success/wealth in the bio’s gives a hint about what that character might start, and I might be inclined to keep that as it is a nice surprise upon new game start. Though I agree maybe some of the other characters that start with a default Barque could use some adjustment. Also, you mention starting alignment and frankly, if one selects the character, I think automatically start at neutral, though if not selected, they have been adjusted to fit a pre-defined range based on their historical personality (completely random for some other, though). Maybe we should force a player select to fit that same range too. So if you choose a notorious killer, but decide you want to become a hero, well, it’s gonna take some work to crawl up the scale. Your ideas are certainly open to further discussion.
The flag display could probably be adjusted to make it more prominent, as you note the ‘glow’ effect is a bit faint and ambiguous.
3. Interesting thoughts on what I presume to be attributes/perks to ship facets, outside the existing ‘shipyard’ boosts? Things a player can perhaps earn and develop on their own? I’ll be curious to hear MK’s input, regarding your ideas. These things can certainly be done.
4. I think it would be a nice feature for those extra ‘hull’ options already in the game, to be changed for like you mention, a small fee. We could simply add a feature to review/change the existing hull textures for a paricular ship for like you say, a small fee.
5. A toggle for game option to getting/displaying the initial trade values from the very start, without requiring a visit…certainly doable for the ‘lazy’ player, LOL. We can talk about it.
6. “Also, unique character models for each of the marriage companions would be very preferable to using models seen elsewhere in the game – marrying a truly unique character who stands out feels much better than marrying “average town girl #97”, y’know? Maybe we could even include some kind of wedding scene at the end of each marriage quest.” — Already an idea that’s been discussed and in intial stages of planning.
“Or maybe they could become a member of our ship’s crew (if appropriate), though that might require them to be un-killable (at the least, this should definitely be available as an option that could be turned on/off). And if the ship sinks, it could trigger a quest that requires you to find your lost spouse and reunite with them.” — I really like this idea about teaming up with a spouse. There is already some precedent with Laurens de Graaf and Anne Dieu-Le-Veut. I also believe Anne Bonney married a common sailor, so perhaps something could be worked into a plot for that scenario…other might require a slight rework of ‘history’ but would add to the game.
“You could also open up the spouse’s house to the player, allowing them to use it to sleep like you would at a tavern, but without needing money. This helps to give marriage in the game some extra substance after the initial quest is completed, as well as some extra perks that encourage a player to carry through with it.” Yes, similar to how Isabella works, but we want to add actual ‘benefits’ to some additional marriage scenarios, instead of the constant ‘drain without much benefit’ that Isabella offers, but get a spouse that is ‘helpful’ to the player :).
7. Agree, at least start with a basic map.
8. In 2.8, the particle effects are actually a binary file that is not editable like the old 2.0 was with their .ini files, so that’s why particle effects have remained static and whatever the original game offered. In many ways, these effects are ‘better’ in the sense there are far more options for manipulation, but to date, they could not be changed. However, I have since output those binary files as XML, then built a feature to read those same XML files into the game to get the exact same effects. What this means, is they can now be edited/changed. But, what still remains, is an actual understanding of what the many values actually do, and how to manipulate them to achieve different effects. So, this XML format I devised remains unused as a way to change those effects, but now gives us the opportunity to perhaps learn how to adjust them; we will have to work/experiment further. I will say though, that my experience with larger cannons, in first person mode, shows considerable smoke (albeit fairly light colored, as opposed to a darker/sootier effect you are looking for), that does linger a bit, so maybe take a look at those to see if it more closely resembles what you are looking for? We will need some time to figure out how/what to adjust for different effects, but at least it might be doable now that I have a way to hand edit previously uneditable .xps particle files.
9. I think MK is working on a more substantial in-game manual. I also have a .pdf copy of the original COAS, where much still pertains and is relevant to things like the letter of marque and such, so we should add that info, too.
10. More places to explore, along with previously unseen location types, is already being worked by MK.
11. “…not having them give skill bonuses, you have an easy way to add in period-appropriate flavor material – things like 17th century storybooks, tactics and strategy manuals, job guides, swordfighting manuals, erotica (LOL), riddles and poems, history lessons, helpful tips and tricks, song lyrics, private journals, notes and letters, letters of marque and other licenses, and so much more. Please?” Ha! Sounds fun. Get on that MK! Interesting idea, but myself would have to punt that to our resident historian, MK. Looks like he’s got a lot of work to do now 🙂
12. This also has been an idea/task MK has wanted to work out. He’s mentioned making Havana much larger.
13. I’m not real familiar with the storm mechanics and haven’t ever looked at a nearby port during a storm, but I think you are correct that a storm involves a sea level rise as part of its definition. Not sure if that is required for effect or not, and would have to investigate.
14. “The reason for this was that after I docked in the midst of a gale, the weather in the settlement remained stormy for the entire time I was there, when it had long since cleared on the open seas – I only found out the truth after getting fed up of waiting and setting off despite thinking I would have to weather out the storm again, when in fact the storm was actually long gone.” Hmmm, didn’t know that happened and I agree that weather on the world-map/open sea shoud match. In a slight reversal, we’ve discussed making storms last longer in some cases, as they pass very quickly. But, they should still match worldmap/open sea/land. We will look at this as time allows.
15. Yes, as noted in #2, I think too many characters get a default ship that can certainly be made more unique, given the vast array of ship types we already have available in the game.
16. I think maybe this idea of more ‘main’ quests might be something we incorporate into those ‘historical scenario’ starts we are in the process of developing.
17. Another idea we’ve already discussed and will work is for some citizens to provide more use. I also understand your idea about asking for ‘information about the town’ and they are very often generic, non-responses. That could be changed, and perhaps better randomized and specific to the actual location, but that would require a fair amount of work in the dialog features. Can be done, but might be low priority beyond the first thing I mentioned, where we plan to have a way for citizens to provide the character with some extra opportunities.
18. ” I’m slightly colorblind, so the blue text stands out fine, but the green and white text is harder to differentiate between, and there seems to be no red markers for contraband in my game.” This is good information. Will have to figure out a way to achieve the differentiation with either different color schemes (not relying on red/green), or some other fashion. Thanks for bringing that to attention.
In all, you have some great input for us to consider, so thanks for taking the time. Again, I actually enjoy ‘novels’ 🙂
August 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm #4587
WOW! Vincent WOW!,
I have thoroughly read your “novel” and I am impressed with both the dedication to get the ideas out there and several that we had not thought about before. This is awesome! Thank you bud! We will definitely do some of the things you suggest.
FIRST OFF though: Let me express my thanks by telling you that with your long thoughtful AND thought provoking post – you have earned a PM from me that will have a link to the newest update with a lot of new content!
As our legal review ends and licensing gets closer, we are beginning to split the free version and paid version into two separate downloads. A lot of the free content in the next download will eventually be free to everyone, but we have decided to make it time released now. This way loyal contributing members are rewarded by getting links to the latest downloaded content, and lurkers and the rest will have to wait for months beyond to get the same stuff.
This new download will be ready in less than a week and it has a lot of really nice new stuff in it. So expect that message with your own private link to the content in a few days. Congratulations!
NOW LETS TALK ABOUT YOUR IDEAS!
First of all QUESTS. Yes indeed, this is something we very badly want ourselves. Jeffrey and I have both been learning and figuring out how this works for a long while now. So much of it is cryptic and disorganized. There are dialogue files all over the place. We have agreed as we add new quests we are going to make this more organized. We have been planning to put many new quests and quest based ideas into place in the future. A HUGE reason for all of the additional characters is to accommodate that. In addition, one of the reasons for all of the new locations going in the game is for the same reason.
Some of our new characters are just perfect for quests – real historical quests that are based on events which actually occurred! SPOILER ALERT:
I said not many new characters were coming but we have selected five new ones. A new female I will not name now.
Jeremiah Basse: Colonial Governor of New Jersey who was actually captured by pirates in the Caribbean. He hated piracy and wrote against the practice being supported by local businesses and corrupt officials. At one point he deliberately tried to sabotage the efforts of known pirates in his district AND he outfitted his own privateer ship!
Michel le Basque: No need to explain. This is a VERY famous pirate. Just look up the name. I totally forgot and neglected to put him in. He should have been in with my very first batch. So he is being included now really just to correct the historical omission.
Alonso Ramirez: This is another real character from history – the subject of a new book HOT off the presses from the University of Texas press in Austin, by Fabio Lopez Lazaro. I ordered this book before it was even printed and am reading it now. The book is called The Misfortunes of Alonso Ramirez and was first published in Spanish in Mexico in 1690. So here we have a first hand account which predates “Captain Johnson’s” a.k.a. Daniel Defoe’s 1724 book. I plan to do a review of it in the next month or two. Ramirez was a Spanish sailor captured by pirates and became a pirate! An account of a SPANISH PIRATE! Won’t spoil this anymore, but JUST HAD TO MAKE HIM A CHARACTER IN THE GAME!
Nicolas de Larraspuru: NOW here is an interesting one! This guy’s father was an fascinating character himself who spent much of his life in the Caribbean protecting Spanish shipping. He was a great admiral with an excellent reputation. He successfully brought numerous treasure fleets home to Spain and faced off with the infamous Dutch pirate Cornelis “Peg Leg” Jol. I would include him but he died in the 1630s before our timeframe (an ERAS Module 1 character along with Jol).
So his son Nicolas followed a different path. He went with his father to sea as a boy and young man but entered both the Jesuit Order and some secretive Knightly orders. He became a tool of government. He was deadly with the sword and dagger. He became a violent extension of Spanish and Jesuit power in the Caribbean. He was probably the most vicious, effective, and efficient killer the Spanish crown had in their colonial employ. In short, what we have here is a REAL TRUE HISTORICAL ASSASSIN! This man is known to have dispatched dozens in his duties and his historical reputation listed in old Spanish sources say that people were filled with fear and dread – just in the mention of his name.
Now THAT is a super villain if I have ever seen one – ONE which I will fully and completely exploit in our future questline adventures!
I have been working on a new questline for a long time that will be the first new one and goes along with your ideas for romance and marriage as well. Using the Isabella questline as a template, I have been making a questline where you will meet Anneke, a nobleman’s daughter in Willemstad. The adventure is much the same as Isabella, but she is a blond beauty and is the opposite of Isabella, because if you succeed the quest and marry her – when you come home, she rewards YOU with new useful items and encourages your piratical ways.
Jeffrey and I have also discussed having the ability to marry any girl in the game you want to if you start pursuing her with the correct selected dialogue. Part of any marriage quest will be procuring your own house which you will not be able to do until you achieve a certain level. You cannot marry until you have the house and your reputation with that colony must be perfect in order to buy a house there.
Right now Jeffrey is working on ways to make the characters on the streets much more interesting just as you suggested. He is working on women in the streets and that you meet in homes occasionally propositioning you just as the bar maids in the pubs do. Also he is working on a dialogue for random men on the streets and shop-owners asking you if you might be interested in a ship they have come into in trade or inheritance which is of no use to them. He is also working on characters that you run into in the interior jungles as being Boucaniers that have food, rum, medicine, and leather for sale for your ship(s).
Two things are delaying our priorities on working on questlines at the present.
1) We are hoping in our dialogue with the Russian teams of modders/developers that we might be able to learn how to acquire and use developer toolkit appliances that they clear have and we do not. Jeffrey believes that these tools may not have been included with the original free distribution of sourcecode by Akella to many different groups from 2009-2011 with download links provided on several prominent Russian forums. A lot of people seem to think that this distribution was special just to Pirates Ahoy! and that couldn’t be further from the truth. They were just one of many groups and individuals who were given access. However, where do we get the developer plug-ins that go with this source? Now if we could get that tool kit we could get AMAZING work done SO MUCH FASTER than we can now. It will be done either way, but we are hoping someone will trade or give us these tools.
2) I really want to get all of the new locations in the game and complete before we begin importing and building new questlines. I will tell everyone when all new colonies are complete and we can begin quest building. I like your ideas taking things from Hornblower and Aubrey-Maturin, but I will tell you that Sabatini is better and most anything they put in those novels had already been done somewhere else before. I will also say that adventures from real history are even better still. We will definitely consider those works of fiction you mention for Module 3.
Love the Maya ruins ideas. The temple from POTC is definitely being imported for a new jungle location and adventure.
Love the captured prisoner/convict idea having to escape. There are numerous mine/cave models I already have in my possession from some of the other Russian Corsairs releases by Seven Winds and BGT. I also have VCO locations but they need to be rescaled.
I love your ideas on ship improvements and Jeffrey and I have talked about adding Age of Pirates 1 Caribbean Tales ship interface improvements for Bronze or Iron guns back into this game. So other improvements as you suggest might be possible. This is one thing I really love that Caribbean: Blood and Gold (Mount and Blade) has done REALLY WELL. (BTW I am still planning to mod this game if we can figure out how to get our ships into their format so it has many new ships)
They have a bunch of good improvements you can make to your ships.
The changeable paint schemes thing is very doable, but is just going to take a lot of time because it requires a unique screenshot of every skin in the game for it to be possible. That’s over 600 different skins!!! I would also love that feature. I often hunt for my favorite skin of a given ship – this can be difficult when they randomly occur and some of our ships have over 7 different skins! It would be nice just to take it to a shipyard and buy the skin you like on that ship of your choice.
Love the ideas about getting useful information from Brothel whores, Jeffrey and I had discussed doing that same thing with your wife in future wife quests. She will have all rumors available.
If you are having gun sound problems it make me believe that you are running an older version of the mod or have something set up wrong. I have told people coming over from GOG that they SHOULD NOT put our mod on top of the GOG version. They will screw everything up. Our game is stand-alone. Unpack and play without putting it on top of anything. Make certain you look at the read me and make certain you look at setting your game config file in properties to Win7 or XP compatible.
I have been working on a game manual forever with all ships, items and characters with definitions available in the game. This with tips and game tweaks. My plan is to incorporate it into the actual game itself like the logbook Nautical Quiz answers, history, etc… I would welcome any help on getting this done. Its a back water priority for me right now with everything else I am working on.
Agree on your comments on books and also larger locations. I would like to import POTC’s version of San Juan to replace our San Juan. This is something we will look into once all of the new locations are in place.
Love the ideas about citizens having more information. It would be fun and annoying for some people LOL. Imagine talking to a man, and he says, “I can tell you are new to our town, let me tell you our history…” HA!
Your comments about replayablility is a large part of the reason we have so much variety in our game. Some have idiotically and thoughtlessly accused us of building “shovelware” but that is not the case. Only the best of what’s available is in here and the large amounts of so many different things, people and locations means that EVERY ADVENTURE WILL BE MUCH DIFFERENT from the one before. Replayability baby!!! Yeah!!!
Thanks so much again for your AWESOME POST!
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by modernknight1.
August 21, 2017 at 7:01 pm #4589
Hello fellow Captains,
This will be my 1st official post. 🙂
First off, I wanted to send a HUGE thank you to MK for helping me through the sing up process! Thank you!!! I hope to be a regular contributor going forward. I also work in mobile web/software QA so will be happy to help squash bugs and provide improvements when and where possible between work and my kiddos. MK, please just let me know how I can best help support your team!
2nd…another gigantic thank you to MK and Jeffrey for taking this game and making it playable the way it was intended…and far beyond as well. Amazing what you guys have done, and also thanks to the others involved (I apologize as I don’t know everyone yet being a relative newbie to the Buccaneers Reef site and only just getting into the ERAs game level 10 so far). I played the original Sea Dogs and was so happy to find this updated version of AOP2 COAS.
3rd…Vincent, good to meet you and what a tremendous write up! You put a lot of time and thought into your post and it shows. Great stuff!!! If I may expand upon a couple of points you brought up and add a few…
#6: Yes, on more options here. I really like the ‘low maintenance’ option…maybe 4-6 marriable ones with different ‘bonuses’ etc. I remember ‘wench hopping’ in Skyrim until I found the right one and settled down. It was really cool to have a home to take a break from dragon hunting and giant launching (if you know what I mean, here).
#7: Yes please…a base map would be cool. I ended up getting a nice map on my iphone so I could use that as I navigate the Caribbean, very helpful and big timesaver as I don’t get a ton of time to play weeknights (I’m a late night captain…the pirate comes out once the kids go to sleep).
#9: I got the original pdf off the web somewhere but I would love to see a manual with MKs thoughts and tips as mentioned by Jeffrey, especially on any of the added content or somewhat confusing base content (mostly how to navigate the UI stuff). I, like Vincent, am a seasoned gamer (The Magic Candle and Wizard’s Crown in the 80s where some of my favs) so figured most of it out pretty quickly but this would be helpful to everyone who plays this great game.
#10 Expansion to Vincent’s thoughts: I would love it if the game could have a compass in the top right corner or some type of mini map/static display so you know where you are on the current landmass. I know I’m still learning the ropes, but I got so turned around and confused the other night on Cuba…started off in Havana looking for the grotto, found it eventually, completed the church quest but then got totally turned around and ended up in Santiago, then in Puerto Principe on the way back to Havana. Several beaches later, I finally got back to Havana. I know store bought maps can help this or if the landmass is smaller, then not so much of an issue but some form of indicator of where you currently are beyond ‘jungle’ for navigation would be helpful if possible within the game engine.
Here are a few new ones (apologies if they have been brought up in the past, I have reviewed/searched a good chunk of the forum but not all so totally rookie move here possibly)…
#19: Easier inventory management with your officers. This is one of my biggest frustrations (it’s actually not too frustrating but time consuming and adds a lot of clicks). It would be awesome if you could trade with them not just when they are fighters but in any crew position. Or, something like the ship to ship inventory system where you can just click on left/right arrow icons for goods and they transfer between ships. I know there is a difference between ship goods and personal items but some way of being able to easily trade between you and your crew (and even crew to crew or 2nd to 3rd ship rather than the one you are captain of) would be a very good feature to add if possible for inventory management efficiency. Maybe I am missing some way to transfer goods easier that assigning to a crew member to a fighter position so let me know if that is the case! Tnx! 🙂
#20: The ‘Transfer Goods’ button. Add a warning if possible that all goods will be transferred if you click this button. LOL, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit this button thinking it will bring up an inventory screen rather that it moving all the goods from the 2nd ship to my primary ship. I know, this is a total greenhorn move but I keep doing this (brain error? Possibly!).
Ok, that’s all for now off the top of my head. Gotta get back to work but as I play tonight I’ll jot down any other items and add them in the next few days.
Any feedback more than welcome!
August 21, 2017 at 10:26 pm #4593
Thanks for the awesome responses, guys! I actually posted a similar document on PiratesAhoy! after first finding their New Horizons mod, but their negative responses basically killed any interest I had in their community – I can see what you meant whenever you talked about them in your articles. Really nice to see that the people here are much better in that respect, it’s very refreshing.
Just to let you know, my favorite character so far is Tavish Greaves, so any new content involving him would be received with much excitement on my part. I have yet to do any research of my own on him, I’ve been too busy playing GOF, but I’d love to see him get a unique starting ship, and a starting quest if you guys have the time for it – he’s just such a cool character in my opinion.
On the topic of number 5, one of the things I really want the most is some way to know which nations own different settlements – that way I don’t waste time accidentally sailing to a Dutch port while flying a British flag when they’re at war. It would also be nice to know what islands the different settlements are on.
Jeffrey, section #3 was intended to discuss the addition of optional ‘add-ons’ that a player could add to their vessel after you’ve acquired it. In essence, each ship would have, say, four ‘upgrade slots’ – each one of these upgrade slots can be used to add one of the modifications that I listed, which would improve your ship’s abilities in some manner, though my idea was that you also have to deal with a bit of performance degradation elsewhere to balance out the new improvement – you can’t be super fast and super maneuverable at the same time in real life, and it also adds some extra decision making to the choice of which mods to install.
MK, I did install the game as a standalone installation, since that was pretty clear to me from the beginning as a requirement for it to function – I don’t even have the GOG version of COAS, I found this first and decided to stick with it. Maybe my system is slightly funky or something, or maybe my hearing ain’t right. Just to mention, I’m running the game on an older HP laptop from about 2014, and have had no issues so far, so you’re game is definitely good when it comes to system compatibility. Congrats!
And before my outro, four more ideas that just came to me earlier today while playing a session of GOF;
#21. Allow players to transition from the docks to their ship’s cabin and vice versa: Honestly, this would be really nice to have. By removing the necessity of going to the open sea first and then the cabin or dock, the player can more easily access the ship chest and bed. While it may remove some of the need to pay for overnight tavern stays, the tavern still has to be visited in order to do certain things, and you still have to rent a room to find the hidden loot you’ll sometimes get if you stay in the tavern.
#22. More areas on the ship to explore: Adding a deck to the ships that you can explore would be pretty awesome right? Especially for the Spanish galleon Orazio has recently made. One other place that might be a good addition to the ship maps is a generic ‘crew quarters’, where you can talk with your officers and trade equipment with them – this could be a possible solution for one of the things Captain QBert talked about. Just as an added thought, perhaps the standard cargo hold (when not in combat) could reflect your cargo load, slowly filling up as you stuff more things inside it.
#21. Add loot to chest in lighthouses and tavern room cupboards: It kinda bugs me when you can open these containers, but never find anything in them. Any change here would be nice – even if it’s just some bandages, grapes or other plain and useless stuff.
#22. Can we fire officers?: Honestly not sure if we can, but would be nice to have (I know I got one officer I’d like to fire after glancing at his reputation and skills upon finding one I liked batter). Doesn’t seem like it would be too hard to do if we can’t already – if we can, can someone explain how to do it? Please and thank you.
MK, I want to say thanks so much for the early access to the new game version, it really means a lot to know that you enjoyed my post enough to reward me for it, and that I was able to contribute something meaningful to your awesome project. I really consider the new game download just a nice bonus and a pleasant surprise, since your comments on my post are what I enjoyed the most about your responses. You guys have already made an awesome game, and I really do enjoy playing it. As a result, I decided I wanted to try and contribute to your efforts in some manner, despite my lack of programming or modeling skills. This is one way, and I intend to think about some possible quest ideas in the future and write up basic plot concepts for them – then I can post them on the forums so you guys can go over them and use them as ideas. Hopefully you’ll find a few of them interesting enoguh to use either as inspiration or wholesale!
August 21, 2017 at 10:58 pm #4594
Re #22…yes you can!
1. Click (or double click or hit enter, I cant recall right now) on his current assignment/picture in the Character tab list and dismiss him.
2. Then from the Passenger list, assign that officer to a Fighter role
3. Next, just talk to him and select the option along the lines that his services are no longer needed, they will ask you to confirm (and tell you they will never work for you again if you fire them) and if you say yes, they are removed from your crew!
Done and done!
August 21, 2017 at 11:08 pm #4595
August 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm #4640
“More information displayed during character selection: Things like a character’s alignment, starting ship, possibly their starting wealth, etc. would be nice to know about during character selection – it helps a player to make a more informed choice about which character they want to start their game with”
I really like this idea
August 27, 2017 at 8:44 pm #4644
Q: Is there any possibility of making your ships turn rate dependant on the speed? Ships spinning on the spot is sad (even sadder when it wasn’t implemented despite several rather similar games being published in the series). I know the issue was mitigated a lot by editing the ship ai so opponents spin much less but the players ship still can.
Q: Is it possible to include a bonus, or bonuses, for raking fire?
Q: Damage to masts is editable as I understand it. Could it be linked to a choice in the menu, just like realistic spyglasses, surrendering and so on? Dismasting is liked by some and disliked by some, I am sure.
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