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Everything posted by cb4

  1. cb4

    [OL-FB2] Great Prospects

    I really like it. Very nice brick-built hull and rigging. If you're worried about the stability of the mast, you can add backstays from the top of the mast to the stern of the ship. I realize that they're in the way of the mainsail and boom there, but normally fore-and-aft rigged ships would have two running backstays, with one taut and one slack depending on the tack. Otherwise, they'd never be able to keep the masts up
  2. An ocean-going class 1? Interesting challenge.
  3. cb4

    New features to the MRCA

    Sounds good. Just let us know when you're ready. We all know you and the rest of the leadership team are extremely busy and have plenty other responsibilities.
  4. cb4

    New features to the MRCA

    Bregir's point about #2 is currently one of the core problems that prevents predators from being viable. Currently the number of predators in a zone have no real impact on the threat level to a trader. The chance of being intercepted is a flat percentage based on the incident roll, and a trader can only be intercepted once while in a zone, so the number of predators is unimportant as far as the trader is concerned. Increasing the number of predators only dilutes the chances of each individual predator to get that interception. Increasing the number of predators also increases the danger level for smaller predators, because they may be intercepted by the other predators. In order for predators to be viable, the chance of getting an interception during a particular MCRA has to be quite high (maybe over 100%). Getting an intercept only means that the predator has a chance to catch the trader, and if they do catch it, they only have a chance to capture it. That means that there have to be a lot more traders (which means NPC traders) and at lot less predators, or the chances of being intercepted need to be reworked somehow, or both.
  5. cb4

    New features to the MRCA

    Legostone, does your chart include DBs subtracted for lost licenses? I've found that in the long term, large paid license ships are only marginally more profitable than free license ships, simply because the cost of a loss is so prohibitive. You can guard against losses to predators with escorts, but there is no way to avoid navigation losses (i.e. foundering, Ska's typhoon of the month). KolonialBeamter, for example, made a huge fortune with one ship, but lost a fortune in licenses with his other ships. The split of seaworthiness vs maneuverability will help immensely with this I think. Right now I would be pretty reluctant to sink money into a license for a large ship. Some ships in the current list are definitely a poor deal compared to others, however. The 5F is superior to the 5T, because it is faster (can visit more ports), yet has the same cargo space, and costs 50DB less. Although the 5T is better armed, you're going to want escorts anyway, so the gun rating is less important than it otherwise might be. The issue of quality and judgement is a really grey area. There's already a grey area when it comes to just determining the rating of a ship MOC in terms of scale/guns. For example, in my opinion the Margot and the Bull Shark are overgunned for their sizes, but that's entirely subjective. The idea of getting bonuses for a ship if it is really high quality is a cool one, but 'really high quality' is again a subjective thing. It could work if you have a board of universally respected MOCers who make that call. When it comes to DBs, the most prolific builders (regardless of quality) are going to dominate at the end of the day, and I don't think there's anything you can do about that without alienating people. I think it's much more important to focus on getting the MCRA right in terms of encouraging builders to try different things. As a Sea Rat, I want to license a terrifying raider and start snapping up merchants left and right until someone sends a fleet after me. However, right now the game mechanics don't support this. If I want to capture a lot of ships, the drag and bag approach (i.e a long route escorting a flotilla) is very much better than an actual predator run. In the end, we're in it for profit. So, the Sea Rats have turned into traders :)
  6. How strange. Even Ska doesn't have those names.
  7. Well, if we're going with greek mythology... How about something scarier, like Scylla, Charybdis and Typhon. But really, just having names would be a huge upgrade :)
  8. cb4

    New features to the MRCA

    In my opinion it is currently being gamed heavily (and I am at least as guilty as anyone in this.) There's only one really good long term strategy right now and both Corrington and the Sea Rats are exploiting it within their available resources. The other factions less so. The availability of free licenses combined with the fact that royal ships can be used at no charge and at no real risk means that you can print money... But the way of doing it is pretty boring. The fact that escorts aren't subject to navigational hazards exacerbates this. The fact that one strategy is greatly superior also means that many ship classes are really poor value propositions. However, I'm confident this will all be fixed. Despite everything, the MCRA results are always the most exciting part of the month.
  9. Mar 13th, 615AE Bastion Shipyard Dear Brother, After the last couple of months of quite literally getting our feet wet, I've resolved to give the Parakeet the refit she's been needing for a long time. We've gotten a berth at the shipyard here in Bastion, and the dockyard mateys are giving us a new bottom at a cut rate in exchange for their surveyor having the lines off her. They seem glad of the work, as there's nothing else in the yard other than a couple of fishing smacks getting new paint. It doesn't look like the great powers will have anything to worry about from the 'fearsome' Sea Rats for quite some time. Your Humble Servant, Richard Walton, Esq
  10. I guess I made this post too confusing, especially as it has no links to backstory. Mr. Richard Walton assumes his mail is being read by one of the intelligence services (he is writing to someone back on the mainland). The little white boat is the Parakeet. The other one is... not a fishing smack.
  11. But she does have guns.. and the gun rating of a 5F is only 1, so it seems very reasonable. It's easy to cram guns into a ship and overgun her. In my opinion guns should only matter if you're licensing a ship with a fairly high gun rating, or a warship in particular.
  12. I like it! She has a wonderful colour scheme and great detailing. For the rigging - you don't need jibs for headsails on a xebec. However, generally the lateen foresail is effectively the headsail. This is why xebecs generally have the foremast stepped almost at the bows and raked forwards. Right now the masts are a little crowded together. As for the rating, I really have no idea what the standard is. The Lady Jacqueline has a wide prefab hull with 3 midsections, with some widening. The ship index shows the following licensed class 5 vessels: 5T - The Dancing Dogfish - wide prefab, 3 midsections, no widening. - Heart of Eslandia - wide new style prefab, hard to estimate the number of midsections in the photos, looks bigger though. - Antigone's fury - wide new style prefab, 4 midsections, no widening. 5HA - HMS Bull Shark - narrow prefab, effectively 3.75 midsections. Much smaller internal volume due to the narrow prefab. So you could easily make an argument that the Lady Jacqueline is class 5, or you have to consider that some of the ships on that list are overlicensed.
  13. cb4

    [SR - MCRA] It's Kind of a Likely Story

    Brilliant work. Color me very impressed! I bow to your LDD and reverse engineering skills.
  14. Jan 31st, 615 AE Parakeet, At Sea Dear Brother, Yesterday the Parakeet sprung a leak. We were obliged to beach her in a convenient, protected cove. With her hove down and the cargo landed, we were able to come at the hole and affect a temporary repair. We took the opportunity to careen her as we also found a fair amount of weed. I begin to understand why Old Bill was so willing to wager her in last month's game of piquet. She is very fast, but she is old, and frankly many of her planks need replacing. That said, once we've made a few improvements, I believe she will prove an ideal vessel for our new business. Your Humble Servant, Richard Walton, Esq Here are a couple of extra pictures for anyone curious about her devilish construction. She is intended to be a two masted lugger. The three masted lugger was the preferred rig of English Channel smugglers, but I thought that would be far too big for a Class 2F, so I went with a two-master.
  15. This is brilliant! I love your reef sea life, and the bubbles. It really looks like he's swimming up!
  16. Ska I think you're doing a great job and I'm very glad that you're taking care of all this stuff. I just want the game to be good. If you don't have a computer program to do this... I see your problem. Without that it's very difficult to figure out if the game is balanced, since you'd need to run 10's or 100's of simulations to explore rule changes. Maybe it doesn't matter and crazy outcomes are fine. The trouble is, without having some idea of the risks, it's hard for us players to plan a sound strategy. We have almost no information about how the MCRA works. We know that convoying is less risky. We know that we make more money if we visit ports with higher trade values. We have no idea how profitable privateering is. It doesn't *seem* very profitable but that's just an impression based on very limited data. Privateers don't *seem* to make money. It *seems* like well protected convoys will probably get through, but poorly protected ones (the Sea Rats convoy) probably won't. Players will always try to play in the most optimal way they can, and right now based on our limited information that's going to be forming large, well protected convoys, and building lots of properties. If you want, I'll build you a simulator - but I would need the rules for that.
  17. I don't think you do quite understand what I'm saying. Think of this like the African savannah. You have cheetahs, and you have gazelles. The gazelles eat grass, and the cheetahs eat gazelles. Grass is always available, and if there were no cheetahs, the gazelles would always gain (they eat grass and store it as fat). Gazelles can outrun a cheetah most of the time. If a gazelle is chased, it is a partial loss (they expend energy). However, if a gazelle is caught, that's a total loss for the gazelle (they're dead). If a cheetah can't catch a gazelle on a particular day, it's a partial loss (they expend energy and go hungry). Now, imagine there were approximately as many cheetah as gazelle. Suppose for the sake of simplicity each cheetah chases one gazelle. In this case, it doesn't matter what the odds are for a cheetah to catch a gazelle. Suppose the odds are 10%. In this case, 10% of the gazelle will die. This is a pretty insane loss rate and in a few weeks there will be no more gazelle. However, 90% of the cheetah will go hungry. At this rate, most cheetah will starve to death. Suppose the odds are 30%. In this case, 30% of the gazelle will die. However, 70% of the cheetah will go hungry. This is an even crazier loss rate and in a few days there will be no gazelle. The cheetah will probably survive until there are no more gazelle, then they will also starve to death. This is why there are 100's of times more gazelle than cheetahs. The current situation in the MCRA is something like the 10% scenario. There were a large (somewhere between 11 and 33) of NPC raiders out there this month. There were even more raiders if you include the PC ones. Most of them (all except one, in fact), made no money. On the other hand, the capture rate for the traders was pretty high. So the traders would consider this a bad month for the insurance companies - but the raiders are eating their boots. If it had gone differently (after all luck is at play here), then either it could have been a disastrous month for the traders, or an even worse month for the raiders. I am missing information here - I don't know what happened to the NPC traders, but it doesn't really matter. With the number of traders and raiders being so similar, either one role will be profitable and the other won't, or neither role will be profitable. In order for the game to work, they must both be profitable. I'm not suggesting you need 100's of NPC traders. Obviously we want lots of action and so higher risk in the game is fine. But right now, it's too high for both sides. I think you need around 5-10 times as many traders as raiders.
  18. I suppose my concern then would be that you have way too many raiders. If you have as many raiders as traders, then to balance it raiders must have a poor chance of making a capture - or traders must have a high chance of being captured. Even during the Golden Age of Piracy, there were far more merchant ships than pirates. Pirates had a reasonable chance of a prize on a voyage - but a merchant ship had a low chance of ever meeting a pirate. This meant both roles were profitable consistently.
  19. Ah, ok, I wondered! That is very interesting. What ship was escorting them, and what was its fate? None of the Sea Rats Royal fleet even have names from what I can tell… This only makes it sound even more dangerous. You know the game mechanics, and we don’t. Without revealing them you will never convince me that sailing unescorted in these waters isn’t suicidal for anything less than a class 5 ship. If convoying confers any protection - and I assume it does - it would be crazy not to convoy your ships based on what you're telling me. The concentration of NPC raiders is too high to make any other strategy viable. Yes, it is possible to make a lot of money sailing alone - but it doesn’t sound like you’ll survive most of the time. We don’t know the odds, and all evidence suggests we should hedge on the side of safety. I don not believe there is any room for independent operations by small ships, and I think that’s unfortunate. In my mind one of the purposes of the MCRA is to generate story lines (why else would we have the option of MOCing the results?), and I think that the type of gameplay that is going to be forced by the current environment is going to limit the kinds of storylines you see. Maybe things change once player characters have powerful ships that aren’t at the mercy of the NPC vessels. All the action (other than being sunk or captured) in the MCRA was by NPC ships that aren’t even MOCs.
  20. Wow, that number is shocking to me. That means there were anywhere from 11 to 33 NPC pirates/privateers out there this month, for 22 PC ships. With those odds, it is completely insane to go anywhere without Royal escort, as the Sea Rats found out. Based on the results, if the other ships hadn't been escorted, I would say that the Saucy Jack, the Bright Owl, the Aurei Lacerta, and the Flying Colt would also have been lost. Were there a similar number of juicy NPC traders for enterprising raiders? If not, it seems like the MCRA has only sane strategy. Sail in groups, using Royal ships for escort, since they are free. Use up your free licenses on cheap cargo ships. Until player characters are able to build and license much more powerful ships, it is not sensible to do anything else. If your convoy does not include a powerful warship or two, just don't sail.
  21. cb4

    [SR-FB] The Parakeet

    I've personally found it to be fairly swooshable. It can definitely be fragile during construction, but once complete the hull is very strong, especially if it is held by the bottom of the keel (you can see this early on in the xebec thread where I balance the WIP on a single barrel). MOCs tend to have more structural problems the bigger they get (think Collector's Edition Imperial Star Destroyer), but I've had no issues up to 100+ studs waterline length. A lot of this has to do with the structure being light as well as strong. For smaller models, you can get away with a great deal. The Parakeet is not heavily built by any means - it only has 5 frames, with 2 free floating and 3 attached to the bottom of the keel only. For larger models I have cross-pieces (this is also convenient for supporting the deck) for most frames. The tricky part with this is locating where the hinges should go, since you need to find integer intersection points between the coordinate systems of the keel and the side. To do this exactly, you need an understanding of lego geometry (the 6:5 rule for bricks), along with an understanding of pythagorean triples (3:4:5 in particular) and similar triangles, as well as experience with various offsetting tricks using things like Euler (headlight) bricks. You can also fudge this - that's what Frank Brick Wright would do, since Lego has some tolerance. Not having everything exact and perfectly tight bothers me, so I work this out on paper. My process for hull construction looks something like this: 1) Find a draft for a ship similar to the one you want to MOC You need something like this that has the profile of several sections: 2) Build the keel with the stem and stern posts. 3) Build frames for some of the sections - there is a lot of leeway here - but you probably want a frame at least every 8-10 studs. I do this by blowing up my schematic to the desired scale and coming up with frames that roughly conform, while leaving room for the planking. 4) Build strakes and plank over the frames. 5) Build the SNOT bows and come up with a stern closure that you like. 6) Build the deck. 7) Decorate, add rigging, etc It's actually a lot like building a real ship, or so I like to think. For me there's always a lot of iteration between 2), 3), and 4) because sometimes you can't get a nice curve initially. Another decision to make is how you want to build up to the gunwales. There's a large number of ways you can do this, and which one you choose will probably depend on what parts you have and what the shape of the hull is like (ie how much tumblehome).
  22. Sensible in that the Parakeet has been represented as in need of refit. I'll see if I can come up with something different, but related. Thanks!
  23. But... I already MOCed my leaky ship. Or did my MOC cause my ship to leak? I'm confused. Is it cause or effect? Better than being captured I suppose!
  24. cb4

    [SR-FB] The Parakeet

    Well, the WIP was posted in a very incomplete state. I hope that's ok.