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Old July 25th, 2005, 10:29 AM

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Default SOme bugs/oddities and questions

Hi again,
I'm enjoying Salvo since nearly 2 weeks, and the more I play the more I like it ! I expected that kind of game since the -failed- PC port of WS&IM

To make things better the game is very polished and didn't crash once in more than 20 hours of play

Still I've noticed some problems/bugs/oddities :

Bugs

* In the mission/victory conditions screen, when one of your ship gets captured and you uncapture it, it counts as "captured ship" for +100 pts and doesn't count as lost...
* Once I had one of my ships grapple an enemy burning ship, that exploded a few turns later. Then I wasn't able to unfoul my ship (or rather to ungrapple the lost ship)...
* If you go to the gun load panel and change several times the ammo type, each time you have the nr of guns loaded decreased. It's not logical, the decrease should be computed only once, between the original ammo and the "final" one when the player exits the panel (and if indeed it's the same ammo no decrease should take place)
* This one is more foggy : sometimes, "unused" fire action markers do remain on map after you change the selected ship, and yield a non-fatal "script error" if you click on them.

Oddities
* When the AI manages crew allocation ("auto"), it puts crew to "sailing" on immobile ships (either through damage or in the "unmasted" ships that come in some scens ).
* Also, player can't manage gun loads for gun platforms (the screen doesn't appear)
* (more an UI thing) Why do we have to unselect a ship (via clicking on the water or sky...) in order to select another one ?

Questions

* Ships with only 1 mast left do move near as fast that fully intact ships, is that normal ? I mean, ships with 20% sailing ability have something like 50%+ of their original speed..
* About sail types, is the advantage of sloop-types, lateen-rigged ships when sailing near the wind modelled in the game ?
* Pirates don't ever seem to strike : that's quite logical, but not documented. Also, do they have some boarding bonus ? I think they should...

* Can you give details on how combat damage, either gunfire or boarding, is resolved ? It's difficult to determine in game if and when such ammo type should be used, or the size of boarding parties.

* Same about how crew allocation impacts movement and fire/reload rate : I would have expected that reload rates where directly proportional to crew size (so if I need 300 man to man 50 guns, putting only 150 men will have only half of the guns fire each turn), but it does not seem to be the case. Not sure also if they is any effect to having "generous" allocations.

* Lastly, when can we hope to see a scenario, or even a campaign editor ?
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: SOme bugs/oddities and questions

PDF:

Thanks for your detailed note. I took a long weekend, and have just slogged my way though my email, and coasted into the forums a little lower than full speed, if you know what I mean. So – If I miss anything – let me know.

Re ‘Bugs’ It looks like its time to start planning a slight update for Salvo. Im keeping a log of stuff that needs attention, and I am adding your contributions. Your input makes it MUCH easier to fix the items that need it.

I’m also adding your first two oddities to the above category, but, there is a good reason for the third. When a ship is selected, other friendly ships are not selectable because they are often in the way of enemy ships that you want to shoot at. The selection overlay of the various parts of ships is rather broad, and it was simply impossible to get anything done when all ships were ‘active’ and things were crowded in close quarters. Instead of shooting at an enemy, you ended up selecting any friendly ship that was in the way. That’s not the final word on the matter by any means, but that’s how it came down for the initial release of Salvo.


>> Ship Speeds and Mast Damage
This may depend on what the wind speed is. The sailing simplifications of Salvo (max speed 6 & lower) caused me to have some hard choices about how fast ships go. In low wind situations, nearly all ships can move at least 1 space, where realistically they should be moving one space ever 3 – 4 rounds.

>> Rigging & Sailing Advantage
The sailing advantage of various types of ships is covered in the Handling rating for the ships. First rates usually have –1 handling and small sloop – lateen ships are often a 1, which you can think of as a +1. This factor influences how often the ship can turn, likelihood of sailing errors, and how many crew are needed to achieve a ‘sufficient’ or the coveted ‘Generous’ crew allocation.

>> Pirates Don’t Strike
Im sure I meant to document this, but it must have gotten lost in the push for Gold. But, you are correct, Pirates should not strike and the only way that a prate ship can be captured is by boarding. Historically, pirates that were captured were hung. Heck, if crewmen spoke out of turn they were flogged.

>> Pirate Boarding Bonus
This comes in the form of larger Marine contingents on both Caribbean and Mediterranean pirates. While they would not have ‘Marines’ of the same ilk as shot Nelson, they would have larger crews and many of the crewmembers would be armed and ready for hand to hand at any time. This is not ideally modeled, but does the trick IMHO.

>> Ammo Types & Damage
Easier said than done. I would say the basic key is that if you are within 1 – 3 spaces Doubleshot is worthwhile. If you want to do more crew damage at anything shy of 1 / 2 range (5) then Grape/Canister will work. Also, if you want to do more rigging damage, and you are MORE than 2 spaces away, link/chain shot is your baby. Now, Quality, Disruption and other factors play a significant part, as does a random factor and the settings for Damage & Difficulty. And that’s just getting started. <Sigh> As far as boarding goes, there is both a solid combat factor, and a wildly random “we just captured your captain” factor. A small band can capture a much larger ship – but it is unlikly. The best rule of thumb is to be the attacker and to have a large assault force. <Not much help – I guess.>

>> Reload & Gun Crew Allocation
Reloading should be fairly predictable, but there are several factors to consider. First of all, the division of the port and starboard gun crews is only applicable if both batteries are empty and need to be reloaded. The crews will reload the guns they are allocated to first, and then will assist the other battery. Second, Salvo’s relatively long turn (5 minutes) necessitates that a fully loaded broadside would actually be more than one round of shooting for a elite crew. So, there is some fudging going on to make the game work. <Im not sure what that means – but I thought I would throw it in.> Last of all – Disruption is a big factor, and Quality & Moral have strong effects. (Let me know if this helps or if I am missing the point.)


>> Generous Allocations
Generous Allocations are your hedge against Disputation and other problems. Generous allocation of sailors will almost never have a sailing error, and will defiantly reload faster. Granted, in many situations, generous will provide about the same effect as adequate does.

>> Scenario Editor
That’s a good question, and I would like to get a little help… What features would you most like to see in a Salvo Scenario editor? I’m thinking of making first a scenario ‘generator’ that allows you to make new battles based on limited inputs like # ships per side battle type & other circumstantial settings. Then, the existing battle could be altered as far as ship characteristics go. Humm, seems I totally doged the original question. I don’t have a good answer, and I also don’t have a good track record for this type of thing. So, lets say we are getting started now.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 06:40 AM

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Default Re: SOme bugs/oddities and questions

Andrew,
Thanks for your kind replies. Great if you soon squash those pesky (but rare and relatively minor) bugs !
To continue discussion :

- Ship selection : I understand your point. In fact it's sometimes quite hard to select the wanted ship when there's many ships close together, grappled, etc..

I suggest that to handle this you add (optionnally) a "ship selector", something like a symbol/icon that would remain at all times over each (player) ship, with an automatic "go to foreground" of the selector that's under the mouse pointer whenever some selectors overlap.
Am I clear ? It's much more difficult to describe that it would be to draw it ...

- Ship handling : after rethinking on it, your solution looks fine...

- Pirates : ok too, but I've noticed during the battles that pirates were rather reluctant to board - though it should have been their sole way of success !

- Combat details : well, I'd have expected some formulas or tables to back up this "base rules" about what ammo is effective at some range ...

- Scenario editor : your suggestions are fine; if you know it I would suggest something resembling WS&IM (the boardgame) DIY scenario system, based on nation, period (limiting possible choice of ships), and a point system. I also think that a full free system should be proposed, with the player putting everything he wants where he wants. I'll post more later about this (some work to do... ).

Regards
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