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Maybe this has been covered already, but I'm new to the forum so i wanted to ask. What is going on with Naval combat? I'm pretty far into the game and I've done several dozen naval engagements and this is what I find:

 

-The computer opponents, regardless of the quality of the cannoneers, nearly always hit me for max or near max damage. Seriously, I can easily count on one hand the number of times they have missed my ship, in most every conceivable distance and position arrangement

-Meanwhile I miss most of my shots. When i had a sloop and a dow i missed almost all my shots and even with my grand Junk with advanced cannons i miss with at least 3 out of 5 cannons every time i fire (this is regardless of what type of cannonball i use). And before you ask, yes I'm making sure I'm only firing inside the optimal range for the cannons I'm using, and all my cannoneers are 3 stars or better

 

Its gotten to the point that i just make a B line for the enemy ship to board the moment the engagement starts, and hope i don't lose too much hull and crew before I get there, and that is not any fun to me. Whats the point of building a big badass ship and crew if they operate like a blind guy shooting a bb gun from a floating bathtub?

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Are you making sure to Hold Position before firing? Taking that extra step will add about 50% to your to-hit percentage.

But yeah, naval combat is fairly widely considered to be a weak point. Luckily it's not a huge part of the game and boarding is fun, so I'd recommend skipping it wherever possible if you don't like it. They have made some improvements, though, and future patches seem to hint at at least some improvements, but I wouldn't expect a major overhaul.

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If you move while they fire you will generate a lot more misses on their part. If you hold position when they fire you will get hit a lot. 

 

It's not that broken - it's just poorly explained. :)

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Unfortunately, it's not the only thing that's poorly explained.

 

I have fought plenty of ship battles, but I have never once fired my cannons. I also have never needed to. I make my way to the enemy ship as quickly as possible and then board and battle. It has always worked. Sometimes there's a little damage, but that has never mattered.

Edited by xzar_monty

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Ship combat is in this awkward spot we’re enough work has been put into it to make it its own system with some interesting ideas, but not enough work to make it rewarding.

 

Though my experience is rather the opposite - enemies get to rarely do anything essentially stunlocked by unmissable damage done very by yours truly.

 

Essencially stop before every shot and move when your enemy is shooting. Ammo doesn’t change chances to hit. Enemy shot from a broad side is easier to hit, while ship from bow/stern are more difficult to hit, but hits do raking damage (2x).

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Conceptually, the naval side of the game is "broken" in a serious way that I have simply decided to ignore, because it is the only reasonable option.

 

The player has a ship. Other captains have ships. There are shipwrecks in the sea. You can board other people's ships without damaging them, kill everyone on board, and then... the other ship just disappears from the universe. Like, completely.

 

It makes no sense whatsoever, but I've decided to let it lie.

Edited by xzar_monty
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If it were better implemented, you should have a chance to capture a prize with hostages. But I suspect that would wreck the economics of the game.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Does anyone know if they are introducing significant changes with the new patch? Or is it only the window to choose negotiate, board, etc?


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Does anyone know if they are introducing significant changes with the new patch? Or is it only the window to choose negotiate, board, etc?

 

Eh? What's this about "the window to choose negotiate, board?" I might be missing something in the beta patch notes.

 

JE Sawyer had some comment about ship combat and about how they just didn't have enough time to invest in it fully. If they couldn't invest the time in before release, I have my doubts that they'll work on this narrow part of the game to rework it instead of working on bug fixes or completely new features that more people would be into. At least you can opt-out of the ship combat (which kind of suggest they had very little confidence in it to begin with). If they do improve ship-to-ship combat in a patch, that'd be great.

 

I don't mind ship combat, but it's kind of "dumb" (in that there's almost always an optimal choice and much less of the "huge battleship" style-combat that they were going for) and there are things that seem like that should be doing something, but really don't (Deckhand rank has 0 discernible influence on ship-to-ship combat, a random untrained sailor in storage is just as useful for events. Or how boatswain's influences are so subtle they rarely make a difference. While moving reduces enemy ship accuracy, it does so very slightly so high-level ship combat really just boils down to brute-forcing it instead of strategy.)

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Does anyone know if they are introducing significant changes with the new patch? Or is it only the window to choose negotiate, board, etc?

 

Eh? What's this about "the window to choose negotiate, board?" I might be missing something in the beta patch notes.

 

This.

 

 

 

1p4dibxazh521.png

 

 

 

Also, they said Josh Sawyer was working on improving the ship battles.

 

Edit: Mentioned in an interview here.

Edited by InsaneCommander

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I expect Adler was misinformed or something got cut, and the only change will be the new interface. If Sawyer was actually working on ship combat he presumably would have mentioned that at some point instead of repeatedly saying he isn't working on anything specific at the moment whenever anyone asks for months now

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I thought for sure Sawyer actually said ship combat did not turn out to be too popular so they weren't going to devote anymore time to it. But I could be wrong.

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Conceptually, the naval side of the game is "broken" in a serious way that I have simply decided to ignore, because it is the only reasonable option.

 

The player has a ship. Other captains have ships. There are shipwrecks in the sea. You can board other people's ships without damaging them, kill everyone on board, and then... the other ship just disappears from the universe. Like, completely.

 

It makes no sense whatsoever, but I've decided to let it lie.

There is nothing "broken" about it - you are just not in business of capturing ships. You board the ship, slaughter the crew, take what's on board and sink the ship. If there is something that doesn't make sense then it is that you still retrieve loot when sinkin the ship.

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The ships you fight all have little explosives in the hold that go off when the captain dies

xD Every ship in Eora is equipped with its own Doomsday Machine. 


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You loot the ship and sink it. You're not going to just leave your ship and start living on another one. That statue's head is heavy! And who knows what filth is covering the other ship. Plus do you want other factions mistaking you?

 

I'm sure there are other imaginative reasons you can come up with it, but the best answer is - stop complaining about such trivial matters :p

Edited by Verde

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If you keep another ship, then you have to send another crew over there. Who knows how loyal they really are...

 

Although it would be cool if you could man more ships and get some extra profit, pursue deserters, increase your influence with the Principi, etc.


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Conceptually, the naval side of the game is "broken" in a serious way that I have simply decided to ignore, because it is the only reasonable option.

 

The player has a ship. Other captains have ships. There are shipwrecks in the sea. You can board other people's ships without damaging them, kill everyone on board, and then... the other ship just disappears from the universe. Like, completely.

 

It makes no sense whatsoever, but I've decided to let it lie.

There is nothing "broken" about it - you are just not in business of capturing ships. You board the ship, slaughter the crew, take what's on board and sink the ship. If there is something that doesn't make sense then it is that you still retrieve loot when sinkin the ship.

 

 

This is not a reasonable argument, given that there are ships on sale and you may have reason to buy one, i.e. capturing an enemy ship could conceivably save you a lot of money, but the option doesn't exist. Also, I have never seen any mention of me sinking any ships, and if I had, I would say: what? I didn't want to do that.

Edited by xzar_monty
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If you blast them with your cannons enough, the ship sinks. You're TOLD that it sinks, and yet you still get loot.

 

As for capturing them.... You would need enough crew on YOUR ship to crew your current ship AND the new one, unless you wanted to sink your old ship. Since you don't actually have enough space to do that, unless you've already bought a Junk and are capturing a Voyager.....

Also, if anyone comes across you while you're swapping ships in the middle of the ocean, you're a sitting duck and totally unable to defend yourself. So it'd be a risk of an immediate death if you tried this insanity.

 

I'm not perfect on my history but I don't recall ship stealing really being a thing that went on mid-ocean, usually more in port....

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If you blast them with your cannons enough, the ship sinks. You're TOLD that it sinks, and yet you still get loot.

 

As for capturing them.... You would need enough crew on YOUR ship to crew your current ship AND the new one, unless you wanted to sink your old ship. Since you don't actually have enough space to do that, unless you've already bought a Junk and are capturing a Voyager.....

Also, if anyone comes across you while you're swapping ships in the middle of the ocean, you're a sitting duck and totally unable to defend yourself. So it'd be a risk of an immediate death if you tried this insanity.

 

I'm not perfect on my history but I don't recall ship stealing really being a thing that went on mid-ocean, usually more in port....

 

As I said, I have never seen any mention of me sinking any ships. I have also never once fired my cannons, ever. There's no need.

 

Stealing ships at sea was something that actual pirates actually did, so your calling it insanity is not the brightest thing.

 

The fact that enemy ships simply disappear from the universe after boarding is a broken feature in the game, and the only reasonable option is just to let it lie, as it won't be changed.

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Since people are getting off topic I will try to answer the OP.

 

Different ships have different stats. You start the game with a sloop. It has 2 gun ports on each side and it has the lowest to hit chance for enemy ships. Then you have the Voyager, Dhow Galleon and Junk. The importance here is that the bigger the ship the higher the chance enemies have to hit you. Also bigger ships turn slower, but they have more crew and more guns.

 

You can find the stats on this website: https://pillarsofeternity2.wiki.fextralife.com/Ships

 

Also there's different types of cannons. Weak cannons generally have shorter range and less damage. The best "early" game cannon is imo the "Iron Thunderer". It has good range and good damage and is only a tad bit slower to reload than the Dyrwoodan Hognose. End game if you have a slow ship you should definitely switch to Double Bronzer.

 

When you first get to Neketaka you have the option to buy a new ship. Definitely go for the Dhow. This ship is cheap and has good stats. Fully upgraded you can even take on Galleons and Junks. Make sure to finish Zamars quest before buying anything from him. Doing so will give you a large discount on his ships and upgrades.

 

To hit chance from your ship on an enemy ship depends on a few things:

  • Level of your crew. You can see a cannoneers level by checking their stats in the Ship (H) screen. The higher their level (max 4 stars) the higher the chance they can hit with a cannon.
  • Cannon range. Anything close or out of range of the minimum or maximum range will have severe effect on accuracy. Try to stay within the cannons range.
  • Enemy ship size. Larger ship is easier to hit.
  • Hold Position. Now this is key. Before you fire any cannons make sure to select "hold position" in the turn before. Doing this drastically improves your cannons accuracy. Think of it like this: you turn your ship to get ready with the cannons. After the final "turn" choose hold position. After that choose fire cannons. You can note the difference in accuracy from the % number next to the cannonport.

The lower level enemy ships will be smaller, but they will also have fewer cannons. If you don't have Beraths upgrades for your ship at the start of the game you may want to avoid naval combat until you make some money and can buy a Dhow, a few cannons and better crew.

 

It is also important to note that a crewmember can have a maximum of 4 stars on their proficiency. So crewmembers that start with a single star in a stat and nothing else are preferable. Otherwise they will only reach either level 2 or 3 on cannons and this will make a difference in their accuracy with cannons. For instance Chitupec start with 1 star in cannoneer and 1 star in deckhand. This means that whichever position you give him will level up, but the maximum he can get is either in cannoneer or deckhand. And that would be 3 stars maximum. The best cannoneer at the start of the game is Vanizzi (Port Maje). But there are others like him. 

Edited by AeonsLegend
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@AeonsLegend: At what point (say, level) would you buy a new ship? And for what purpose, specifically?

 

I am very interested. I have played up to level 16, and I'm still using the original ship I have at the start of the game. I have not felt any need to invest in a better one, since I have won all my battles. My tactic is always the same: I never fire my cannons, I approach as quickly as possible and then board.

Edited by xzar_monty
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@AeonsLegend: At what point (say, level) would you buy a new ship? And for what purpose, specifically?

 

I am very interested. I have played up to level 16, and I'm still using the original ship I have at the start of the game. I have not felt any need to invest in a better one, since I have won all my battles. My tactic is always the same: I never fire my cannons, I approach as quickly as possible and then board.

Hi Xzar. I don't think there's any need from a story progression to ever buy a new ship. The only thing you need are the two ship upgrades so you can enter the final area of the game. Naval combat does a few things why you would want to do it: It makes money, It grants experience. Especially if it is a bounty. 

 

Your tactic will work on normal difficulty, but will be significantly harder on higher difficulties early as some of the ships will have high level crew. Naval combat is always the same no matter your actual level, but boarding requires your party to fight.

 

What I do is the following after Port Majere:

  • I roam the map to discover all places. This allows you to be level 8 before going to Neketaka
  • Make enough Money to buy a Dhow. It's faster than a Sloop for travelling the map as well as combat.
  • Get some upgrades and crew (I don't spend anything on the original ship as the original ship doesn't have a boatswain position)
  • Do bounties and kill ships with cannons for money and experience. I rarely board the enemy because that damages your ship and crew more than it would if you simply do proper naval combat. I also play on either Veteran or PotD and boarding ships is not recommended early on.

I actually don't know if the results in loot is the same as when you board. Can anyone confirm?

 

The sloop is not really equipped for naval combat, so trying to take on a Junk with a sloop with naval combat is just pointless. I mean sure technically you can win, but the chances are very slim. If you're simply boarding then I don't think it really matters what ship you have. Like I said this will be harder to pull off early if you play on higher difficulties. It will be much easier to just make some money in Neketaka and on the island there as well and get a decent ship. Since they increased the prices it's much harder to get. I think previously you could buy a Junk for 45K. A junk has 5 cannon ports and with 5 Double Bronzers its very likely you will sink any enemy ship in your first turn. Much much easier than anything else you could do. A Dhow will take a few more turns, especially if your crew is inexperienced. Still, it's far more dependable than actual party combat early in the game.

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Incidentally, I'm playing on Veteran difficulty, and I've had no problems beating every enemy captain I've wanted to with my boarding strategy. Mind you, there have been a couple of ships I've stayed away from, because their crew has been well above my level.

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