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View Full Version : How Naval Combat needs to be improved for Black Flags



SaintPerkele
02-28-2013, 05:03 PM
As many others, I'm somewhat concerned when it comes to Black Flags, but that is not what this thread is supposed to be about, so let's leave the discussin on whether or not this game is going to be good out of here.

Now on topic: I think it is safe to assume, that naval warfare will play a big role in this game. So in order to get back into this, I just replayed two main naval missions and two side missions. Naval combat was fun, but if it is more important in ACIV than in ACIII, things need to change. I'll list some of these things and I hope other people will contribute to this:
- Free roaming. We expected this to be in ACIII, but it wasn't. It simply must be part of ACIV. Since it is apparently set on several islands, it would only be logic to give the player the chance to sail from island to island instead of fast-travel if they wish to do so. Free-roaming is more than just that and I will elaborate this in the next few points.
- A more detailed and bigger sea. Considering that the sea-area was only created for missions, it still looked occasionally breath-taking. Especially the Caribbean was fantastic; I remember whent he first gameplay trailer was released, with the blue water and the detail - simply great! On closer inspection however, the maps are not that big and the islands/landscapes we see are mostly just textures. That was perfectly fine in ACIII, but for ACIV I want diversity between the islands we see and more detail on them. Having said that, I also want them to be accessible - I will say more about this later.
- Random events. If we can free-roam, the sea needs to be filled with stuff to do outside of missions. Collectibles is rather hard (unless you can leave your ship, as said above) to implement and hunting would be rather weird (Giant Kraken anyone?). So we need random events. For example, a bunch of pirates suddenly attacks you! A trading ship is getting attacked by other ships! Someone needs to get escorted! There are many possibilities and I really hope that something like this will be in the game.
- Leaving the ship. As said above: I want the sea to be the new frontier. There are still cities obviously which you access by sailing into their port (I assume putting everything on one giant map will be too big for the engine). But I want numerous islands on the sea-map to be accessible. These can have little docking-parts or something which are marked on the map to access them. Or even better, you can leave the rudder at any time and anchor. When you anchor, you are able to not only walk around your ship, but jump into the water and swim to the nearest islands.
These islands can then again be filled with collectibles, treasures, small villages, maybe even a slave hideout or something. Or hunting, if they really want to put it in the game again (hopefully a bit refined this time around).
- NO full synch requirements in the naval missions. This one is a bit tricky. I know many people despise full synch, while others love it. I thought it was cool as it provided some extra challenge, but after a while I noticed that it basically is "There is only ONE right way to complete this mission!" which is completely the opposite of ACI and ACII. Especially in naval missions, this was really bad. "Destroy ships by shooting their weak point". Why should I, if I have other ammunition that can destroy them in one shot? I really don't want to see this anymore, especially not in naval missions. If it's still in, it should be downgraded (only stuff like "Don't use too much health!" and so on).
- NO buttom prompts! I liked the missions that took place on a stormy sea. The waves provided some extra challenge. What I disliked however, was that the game was telling me all the time what to do. A huge wave is coming? "PRESS SPACE! PRESS SPACE!". There are crosswinds coming? "YOU CAN AVOID THEM BY LOWERING YOUR SAIL!". I got that the first time, so please make it a bit more challenging by NOT telling me all the time what I have to do now. Player can figure that out temselves. My mate shouting "Crooooooswinds!" or a huge wave next to my ship is enough for that!
- Random weather. The weather was great fun while sailing, especially the storm as mentioned above. I want this to be completely random outside of missions. Crosswinds should not always appear in the same spot, there should be slight rain, slight storm and a huge storm. Just make everything a bit more diverse so free-roaming the seas will be fun.
- A little more diverse combat. After you fully upgraded your ship, combat was almost the same every time. Circle your enemies, avoid their canonballs, shoot them, done. I don't know how this can be done exactly, but I want a little more variation while fighting (like the fort in one of the main missions for example). Also, I want new enemy types that are challenging even with all upgrades.

Just my thoughts. What do you folks think?

Em-Man
02-28-2013, 05:25 PM
I don't really think Naval Combat can sustain a whole new game.
They need to focus and improve on the original formula that made AC what it is today. The formula being Social stealth -> assassination -> escape
But now they see to move away from that formula, which is really bad.

SaintPerkele
02-28-2013, 05:31 PM
I don't really think Naval Combat can sustain a whole new game.
They need to focus and improve on the original formula that made AC what it is today. The formula being Social stealth -> assassination -> escape
But now they see to move away from that formula, which is really bad.
Ahem. Please read the first sentence. There are enough threads to discuss Black Flags in general, this one should only focus on how to improve naval combat.

Em-Man
02-28-2013, 05:41 PM
Ahem. Please read the first sentence. There are enough threads to discuss Black Flags in general, this one should only focus on how to improve naval combat.
Sorry.
Well, by not making it feel like a mini-game.
Having an open sea like Zelda: Wind Waker would be the natural evolution if the game wants to be naval-oriented.
Customization, deeper mechanics that can sustain 40 hours of gameplay.
You're talking about more diverse combat, and that's absolutely what needs to be made to keep it interesting.
The problem is, there is not much more to naval combat, so there is no way to really diverse it more.

rob.davies2014
02-28-2013, 05:43 PM
What I would add to those points is that after you've come alongside an enemy ship and boarded it, you can move freely from the enemies to your own. It would make those missions where you have to chase the captain around his own ship more exciting. You could swing across the gap between the two ship on ropes. And maybe you could follow someone up into the rigging and fight them there, although that may be a bit tricky and I'm just letting my love for Pirates of the Caribbean overrule me.

AjinkyaParuleka
02-28-2013, 06:01 PM
Wonder if they will have us in icy cold seas during winter.

TheHumanTowel
02-28-2013, 06:12 PM
To make it work they really need to make it feel like it fits in with the rest of the game more and less like a different gameplay mode or a minigame. Just small stuff like being able to walk away from the rudder, letting a member of the crew take over for you. All the stuff in the OP is good like anchoring and then being able to jump off and swim. Free-roaming is essential. The free roam area should be filled with lots of stuff to do like collectibles, tombs and missions.

The mission structure of the Naval missions could use some more variety as well. You can have the standard big battles like in AC3 but also maybe add some where you need to infiltrate an enemy ship to assassinate someone so you swim up quietly try and blend in with the rest of the crew members and after you've killed the captain or whoever you could signal to your ship and they could start some cannon fire to allow you to escape.

Different types of boats as well could add some more depth and variety to it.

SixKeys
02-28-2013, 06:25 PM
The naval stuff in AC3 was already close to perfect. Too much tinkering around with it might just make it worse.

If there's anything I would add, it would be:

-Ship customization
-Being able to roam around on the ship (not that I expect it would be terribly exciting)
-Being able to set anchor on any island you see and explore them

I don't know about random events on the open sea. In the cities they're easy to ignore if you don't feel like doing them right at this moment, but the only kind of random events I can imagine on the seas would be trading with passing merchant ships (so basically shopping) and getting attacked randomly, which could get old real fast.

I do agree about the button prompts. I think I got the message about how to avoid rogue waves after the first three times, thanks.

SaintPerkele
02-28-2013, 07:14 PM
Sorry.
Well, by not making it feel like a mini-game.
Having an open sea like Zelda: Wind Waker would be the natural evolution if the game wants to be naval-oriented.
Customization, deeper mechanics that can sustain 40 hours of gameplay.
You're talking about more diverse combat, and that's absolutely what needs to be made to keep it interesting.
The problem is, there is not much more to naval combat, so there is no way to really diverse it more.
No problem :) Customization is indeed something I didn't think of yet. Maybe even some kind of weapons that are no direct upgrades, but have downsides at the same time, just like most normal equipment one can acquire at a certain stage in normal AC gameplay is.


Wonder if they will have us in icy cold seas during winter.
I doubt that we'll have a wintersetting this time around unfortunately..


The naval stuff in AC3 was already close to perfect. Too much tinkering around with it might just make it worse.
Don't get me wrong, I loved naval combat. I suppose it's just depending on how much of ACIV will be naval - if it's the same as ACIII, all those changes I noted in the OP are definitely not neccessary. But if it indeed takes a huge role, I think free-roaming is a must.

UrDeviant1
02-28-2013, 07:21 PM
It would be good to have the option to either board an enemy ship or fight it from a distance. At least during "random encounters" anyway. Would also be cool If enemy ships occasionally tried to surrender and if you accept, you get to board their ship and take some booty!

FourDea123
02-28-2013, 07:25 PM
I think that one random event could be freak storms and waves and other weather types

WalSwJan
02-28-2013, 07:30 PM
A giant kraken would be a cool sidequest or random encounter at a special place or something like that...

UrDeviant1
02-28-2013, 07:31 PM
A giant kraken would be a cool sidequest or random encounter at a special place or something like that...

xD

SaintPerkele
02-28-2013, 07:38 PM
A giant kraken would be a cool sidequest or random encounter at a special place or something like that...
I already expected that in ACIII considering Corey's love for kraken :D

WalSwJan
02-28-2013, 07:41 PM
I already expected that in ACIII considering Corey's love for kraken :D

Maybe they didn't include it in AC3 because they already planned it for AC4.. :D

lothario-da-be
02-28-2013, 07:42 PM
Maybe they didn't include it in AC3 because they already planned it for AC4.. :D
And if ac4 has naval free roam it is perfect for such an easter egg.

SaintPerkele
02-28-2013, 08:12 PM
And if ac4 has naval free roam it is perfect for such an easter egg.
What if it was hidden in ACIII all along and nobody found it :nonchalance:

TorQue1988
02-28-2013, 08:34 PM
Nice thread. For collectibles during free roam on sea. How about some "messages in bottles" that would work similar to the almanac pages from AC3. basically you would have to catch them before they float away. And to make things more interesting, you should be able to read the messages inside and start some side quests (finding a map for a treasure; a distress message from a marooned sailor etc.).
More customization for you ship and buying different ships as well. Customization could include (in addition to the things from AC3): figureheads (those carved wooden decorations at the prow, mermaid etc), customizing flags (and even being able to pun on flags from different countries to fool approaching ships), different woodwork, improved masts and sails etc.
And how about a new trading metagame (that would basically replace the one from AC3) and it should be similar to Port Royale.
And yes a kraken would be cool (but i would prefer it to be a giant squid) and some Pirates of the Caribbean easter eggs.

r4inm4n1991
02-28-2013, 11:33 PM
Nice thread. For collectibles during free roam on sea. How about some "messages in bottles" that would work similar to the almanac pages from AC3. basically you would have to catch them before they float away. And to make things more interesting, you should be able to read the messages inside and start some side quests (finding a map for a treasure; a distress message from a marooned sailor etc.).
More customization for you ship and buying different ships as well. Customization could include (in addition to the things from AC3): figureheads (those carved wooden decorations at the prow, mermaid etc), customizing flags (and even being able to pun on flags from different countries to fool approaching ships), different woodwork, improved masts and sails etc.
And how about a new trading metagame (that would basically replace the one from AC3) and it should be similar to Port Royale.
And yes a kraken would be cool (but i would prefer it to be a giant squid) and some Pirates of the Caribbean easter eggs.

Your ideas are cool, but wheres the parkour? :(

TorQue1988
02-28-2013, 11:38 PM
Your ideas are cool, but wheres the parkour? :(
What do you mean? I was talking about the naval stuff, the parkour would be on the islands obviously.

r4inm4n1991
02-28-2013, 11:41 PM
What do you mean? I was talking about the naval stuff, the parkour would be on the islands obviously.

Yes, but if there is collectibles and stuff in the sea, it means the game will focus on that a lot.

crash3
03-01-2013, 12:19 AM
Don't get me wrong, AC has plenty of room for improvement in many areas but I think the developers should focus on improving stealth gameplay. After all it is Assassins Creed, not Pirates of the Caribbean.

LoyalACFan
03-01-2013, 12:25 AM
It would be amazingly awesome if they allowed us to drop anchor near various small islands and go explore them in free-roam, but I'm not expecting that. What I DO want is the ability to customize my ship in a meaningful way, rather than just "more money=instantly better". Have the option to be light and maneuverable, vs. a gun-toting behemoth, etc.

SaintPerkele
03-01-2013, 02:06 PM
It would be amazingly awesome if they allowed us to drop anchor near various small islands and go explore them in free-roam, but I'm not expecting that. What I DO want is the ability to customize my ship in a meaningful way, rather than just "more money=instantly better". Have the option to be light and maneuverable, vs. a gun-toting behemoth, etc.
Yep, exactly. I want to try out different tactics instead of being one indestructible megaship.

Locopells
03-01-2013, 05:33 PM
I already expected that in ACIII considering Corey's love for kraken :D

Be VERY surprised if he lets the opportunity pass...


Maybe they didn't include it in AC3 because they already planned it for AC4.. :D

But they did - remember the Frontiersman mission in New York?

Have to say, a lot of the OP ideas are cool, though I would hope we can take free roam as read, this time around...

TorQue1988
03-01-2013, 05:42 PM
But they did - remember the Frontiersman mission in New York?

Have to say, a lot of the OP ideas are cool, though I would hope we can take free roam as read, this time around...
That was more like the Loch Ness monster than a kraken. There was a giant squid in Assassin's Creed 2 though, in Vizitazione's Secret.

Locopells
03-01-2013, 05:59 PM
They directly called it a kraken though. And yeah, that was Corey as well...

AjinkyaParuleka
03-01-2013, 06:43 PM
Kraken would be good and real as well.I heard that a giant squid(really giant one)was found at shores of Japan.There are again Giant Squid(females-13 m length,males-10 m lenght) and the colossal squid(14-15 meter,Immature specimen,scientist spectaculates there are much larger ones).Or an angry Blue Whale,the largest living organism in the world.

InfectedNation
03-01-2013, 06:45 PM
This thread has my full support ;)

grasman666
03-01-2013, 07:24 PM
why not make improvements in citys (real historic citys,buildings) so you could enter houses and big buildings for loot sidemissions ect...
also improvements with item interaction would be nice
i think these would be better then ship improvements

SaintPerkele
03-01-2013, 08:10 PM
why not make improvements in citys (real historic citys,buildings) so you could enter houses and big buildings for loot sidemissions ect...
also improvements with item interaction would be nice
i think these would be better then ship improvements
Please read the first sentence. Of course there are other things that can be improved in AC, but this thread discusses naval gameplay and naval gameplay only.

WakefulRainbow6
03-01-2013, 08:13 PM
as for the random events i think a lot more things than just getting attacked or merchant ships etc are possible. rondom events like breaking up a fight in the crew or something from the ship has broken and you need repair it or something like that. also i think your crew shouldn't just blindly do everything you say and do it perfectly i thing they should make it a gameplay element being a good captain. perhaps you've got to keep watch on the condition of the ship and not just via a menu but you've got to go and wacht to see where new ropes are needed or something like that. just to make the ship not feel like a car but an emersive thing.

dogziler
03-01-2013, 09:51 PM
have a small boat you can launch off your ship, which you use to infiltrate the enemies ship, like in one of the naval missions you have to sneak up on a pirate boat. have something like that, and ships should have stealth features, like a smaller one could allow you to board ships and bigger ones can deal more damage/absorb more hurt and then have more loot from the "raid" after you have taken over the enemy ships, like the loot bonus will be +25% and then the smaller ships will be able to stealth with dark sails. to blend into the darkness!

Perk89
03-01-2013, 10:08 PM
They may throw in naval free roam just because, but I don't suspect it to be fleshed out simply because it's not the focus of the game. The naval aspect will more than likely be interludes, albeit later an more frequent, between the main aspect of the game itself. Don't know where people got the idea this is going to be some naval game. It's been in development prior to AC3's release, so if you take your mind inside the of a developers, you see that while they think the naval aspect of AC3 will be popular, they dont know that it will be popular enough to constructt a game around.

TheHumanTowel
03-01-2013, 10:17 PM
They may throw in naval free roam just because, but I don't suspect it to be fleshed out simply because it's not the focus of the game. The naval aspect will more than likely be interludes, albeit later an more frequent, between the main aspect of the game itself. Don't know where people got the idea this is going to be some naval game. It's been in development prior to AC3's release, so if you take your mind inside the of a developers, you see that while they think the naval aspect of AC3 will be popular, they dont know that it will be popular enough to constructt a game around.
Why isn't it reasonable to assume Naval will be a big part of the game? The game is clearly about pirates. It's called Black Flags. The series has an existing Naval mechanic. It's not hard to connect the dots.

Perk89
03-01-2013, 10:25 PM
Why isn't it reasonable to assume Naval will be a big part of the game? The game is clearly about pirates. It's called Black Flags. The series has an existing Naval mechanic. It's not hard to connect the dots.


You misunderstand me. There will be many crucial naval plot points. There will be privateer AC3 like missions, and likely improved with more of them.
But the naval aspect is likely to be, at most, Tuscany from AC2, and if it's even that, I'd assume it would be something they implemented this year rather than last.(stating priority)


Sailing the seas will likely be nothing more than a plot device for visiting an abundance of locations with naval fillers in between each location and with, like I said above, a small, late-in-development implementation.

dxsxhxcx
03-01-2013, 10:26 PM
Why isn't it reasonable to assume Naval will be a big part of the game? The game is clearly about pirates. It's called Black Flags. The series has an existing Naval mechanic. It's not hard to connect the dots.


I will laugh if they decided to create a game with that name and didn't add the most logical feature the fans will expect to be implemented: free roam at the sea.. :p

TheHumanTowel
03-01-2013, 10:29 PM
You misunderstand me. There will be many crucial naval plot points. There will be privateer AC3 like missions, and likely improved with more of them.
But the naval aspect is likely to be, at most, Tuscany from AC2, and if it's even that, I'd assume it would be something they implemented this year rather than last.(stating priority)


Sailing the seas will likely be nothing more than a plot device for visiting an abundance of locations with naval fillers in between each location and with, like I said above, a small, late-in-development implementation.
Ah I see. I still think free-roam is pretty likely. There was supposed to be a free-roam naval section in AC3 and so I would expect it in this game given the focus on pirates.

Perk89
03-01-2013, 10:31 PM
Why isn't it reasonable to assume Naval will be a big part of the game? The game is clearly about pirates. It's called Black Flags. The series has an existing Naval mechanic. It's not hard to connect the dots.


You misunderstand me. There will be many crucial naval plot points. There will be privateer AC3 like missions, and likely improved with more of them.
But the naval aspect is likely to be, at most, Tuscany from AC2, and if it's even that, I'd assume it would be something they implemented this year rather than last.(stating priority)


Sailing the seas will likely be nothing more than a plot device for visiting an abundance of locations with naval fillers in between each location and with, like I said above, a small, late-in-development implementation.

Saqaliba
03-02-2013, 02:10 AM
Agreed on all points of the O.P.

I am actually hoping that Edward's sea-faring story somehow ties back to Ezio's. The way they could do this would be easy. Piri Reis was one of the first cartographer's to map out the new world. And the very year that Ezio died in Florence there was a sailor (cartographer) called Amerigo Vesupucci (relation of Christina?!) who was one of the first to travel to America.... the country is said to be named after him. These early pioneers both could tie into the Assassin order and the search for the New World could be instigated by the looking for artifacts and temples. It ties right into the reason the Assassin's go 'Naval'. So for all those who think that Assassin's do not fit the Naval setting, I concur.... they would have every reason to go Naval, since they knew they had to find new temples and artifacts 'across the seas'. It fits right into the history after Ezio's lifetime.... Starting with Vesupucci and Piri Reis.

SaintPerkele
03-02-2013, 01:53 PM
have a small boat you can launch off your ship, which you use to infiltrate the enemies ship, like in one of the naval missions you have to sneak up on a pirate boat. have something like that, and ships should have stealth features, like a smaller one could allow you to board ships and bigger ones can deal more damage/absorb more hurt and then have more loot from the "raid" after you have taken over the enemy ships, like the loot bonus will be +25% and then the smaller ships will be able to stealth with dark sails. to blend into the darkness!
You managed to put stealth into naval gameplay, I love the idea :D Really would give the naval combat a lot of diversity and stay true to the principles AC is constructed on.


You misunderstand me. There will be many crucial naval plot points. There will be privateer AC3 like missions, and likely improved with more of them.
But the naval aspect is likely to be, at most, Tuscany from AC2, and if it's even that, I'd assume it would be something they implemented this year rather than last.(stating priority)


Sailing the seas will likely be nothing more than a plot device for visiting an abundance of locations with naval fillers in between each location and with, like I said above, a small, late-in-development implementation.
I think noone really believes that naval gameplay is bigger than normal gameplay ;) But given the setting, naval will probably play at least a bigger role than in AC3 - and if the navalmissions are almost the same as they were in the previous game and the gameplay is not really improved, the devs would miss out on a big chance.


Agreed on all points of the O.P.

I am actually hoping that Edward's sea-faring story somehow ties back to Ezio's. The way they could do this would be easy. Piri Reis was one of the first cartographer's to map out the new world. And the very year that Ezio died in Florence there was a sailor (cartographer) called Amerigo Vesupucci (relation of Christina?!) who was one of the first to travel to America.... the country is said to be named after him. These early pioneers both could tie into the Assassin order and the search for the New World could be instigated by the looking for artifacts and temples. It ties right into the reason the Assassin's go 'Naval'. So for all those who think that Assassin's do not fit the Naval setting, I concur.... they would have every reason to go Naval, since they knew they had to find new temples and artifacts 'across the seas'. It fits right into the history after Ezio's lifetime.... Starting with Vesupucci and Piri Reis.
Amerigo is even mentioned in the Christina database entry in ACII, she is indeed a relative of him ;) There was not enough reference to the other assassins in ACIII (like Altair's codex and armour in ACII), so I hope that they do something along the lines of what you proposed this time around.

TorQue1988
03-02-2013, 02:43 PM
I don't think anyone mentioned this before. The game needs to have multiple navy factions: french, english, spanish, dutch and of course pirates.

Legendz54
03-02-2013, 02:44 PM
Have a system like liberating forts in AC3 except we have to capture ships and hook onto them and fight their crew.

hellomrdarcy
03-02-2013, 04:28 PM
Would also be cool If enemy ships occasionally tried to surrender and if you accept, you get to board their ship and take some booty!

wait wat bwahahhahaha dying
this has my support.

SaintPerkele
03-02-2013, 08:18 PM
I don't think anyone mentioned this before. The game needs to have multiple navy factions: french, english, spanish, dutch and of course pirates.
So different factions would attack each other and you can either watch or join the fight, similar to Byzantines and Ottomans in ACR? Nice :D

I-Like-Pie45
03-02-2013, 09:18 PM
So different factions would attack each other and you can either watch or join the fight, similar to Byzantines and Ottomans in ACR? Nice :D

I just hope that they won't turn on you after you help one side win.

I thought that lone Patriot being beat up by Redcoats would be grateful that Connor rescued him. But no, he immediately tries to kill Connor. So I killed him.

That's a disappointing thing about the Revolutionary War setting. You don't encounter redcoats and patriots fighting outside of story missions often and when you do, the side you pick tries to kill you afterwards.

MetalCreed
03-02-2013, 10:24 PM
Solid ideas. I agree with most of what you said.