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Mod Release PotC: New Horizons - Build 14 Beta 2.5 Released!

Discussion in 'PiratesAhoy! News' started by Pieter Boelen, Jun 26, 2013.

  • by Pieter Boelen, Jun 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM
  • Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

    Nov 11, 2004
    Maritime Research: Project Engineer (Analysis)
    Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Yes, we skipped a number. And for good reason! For our Ten-Year Anniversary Release, special focus was placed on playability and we've met with quite some success there! But of course there IS new content too.
    As such, Build 14 Beta 2.5 is now available as a Light version to be installed on top of the original Build 14 Beta 2.1 Full. It is easily the best and most playable version we have released for several years. Read on for an overview of the main new additions.​
    Special Effects
    While Build 13 already contained much improved effects over the original game, it turns out it is possible to do it even better!​
    Pay close attention to the powder embers trailing out of the barrels after a volley. There are three settings, ranging from simple puffs of smoke to complete and utter fog every time you throw a broadside at your enemies!​
    Massive Gameplay Improvements
    A lot of the work that has been done in this release is difficult to show as it involves more behind-the-scenes gameplay mechanics. For example, many bugs have been fixed and all the firearms have been rebalanced, making the game much more playable even at higher levels. Additionally, you can now gain Leadership skill also without playing any quests, which is of great help to those wishing to engage in Free Play.​
    But your relations with nations now play a much bigger role as storekeepers and shipyards will no longer trade with their enemies. UNLESS you are so good at trading that you manage to convince them to help you out anyway. But always for a price! On the other hand, pirates don't like you if you are too much of a nice guy! And those former yellow-bellied dogs called "town guards"? Well, just beware of them now! They're no longer such pushovers as they once were!​
    Realism Options and Menus
    It may look a bit less epic than what else we show in this brief overview, but that doesn't make these changes any less substantial. Most importantly, you can at long last freely use the Options Menu and New Game buttons again! And there are now three Realism Modes that are clearly explained.​
    And improvements have been made to many other interfaces, including a complete rewrite of the Buy/Sell Cannons one. This has fixed exploits that were in there before and also enhanced your freedom in installing or removing cannons as you please.​
    Ship Model Updates
    We like ships. Especially when they look good. So we have been taking up every opportunity to improve on the original game's ships. For example the Aurora class Frigates (former Corvettes) were already updated before, but this time we went the whole nine yards.​
    She looks exceptionally good taking back her original place in the French squadron blockading Speightstown at the beginning of the original game's storyline. And this time she is joined by a new high-detail model: The Centurion.​
    But true pirates don't deal with such unwieldy castles. Speed and manoeuvrability is where the advantage is! Which is exactly what you'll get with the new 'Arcadia' Xebec. She's a rare sight outside the Mediterranean, but therefore not a less accomplished vessel for some proper piratin'.​
    But making speed without worrying about the wind is also a possibility, of course. They only appear in the last two Time Periods and even then are very rare, but Steam Frigates are a real thing and they work perfectly well, even if you have one of your crewmembers take command of one.​
    Free Play and Storylines
    One thing people always seem to like is to be allowed to do whatever they want in the game. So for that purpose, there is now one storyline that allows Free Play in each of the six Time Periods. We even added a new Free Play Only storyline where you take the role of famous French buccaneer Jean Lafitte and have to decide what to do in a constantly changing game world.​
    There is unrest brewing in the Caribbean. Nations make and break alliances at their slightest whim. You had better keep an eye on all recent developments, lest you find yourself caught in the middle of a war! Although... there is something to be said for that!​
    In addition to that, all storylines that encourage Free Play now have various sidequests added, in case you get bored of completely going on by yourself without any specific goals whatsoever.​
    Our storylines now have some nice little secrets hidden in them that become available when you use the mod's Cheatmode. And as such, the famous Head of Blackbeard makes a mysterious appearance in the opening scene of the Woodes Rogers storyline. What could this be for?​
    Similarly, the opening of the Bartolomeu o Portugues storyline allows you access to the city of Cartagena in Columbia. This will become a location for interesting quests in a future update later this year. But until that is released, you can go exploring there on your own!​
    Hidden Treasure and Other Secrets
    The archipelago in our game is a vast place, riddled with treasures and other secrets. And treasure-searching has never been this much fun! Complete with "X Marks the Spot" on your Map.​
    But be prepared for scoundrels and swindlers to follow the trail of the gold, along with you. So you may be encountering some enemies along the way. But nothing beats finding the spot with the buried treasure and uncovering the chest that contains the loot!​
    Have you already met Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken? This retired seafarer and former owner of the famous Flying Dutchman has taken up residence in a shipwreck on an island that cannot be found, except for those who already know where it is.​
    And there he sells special ships. These are truly one-of-a-kind. But beware! There is always a price to be paid for these sort of... arrangements...
    So are you in for a challenge? Try to find Clint Eastwood! Don't ask us how, but somehow a tough gun-slinger has decided to hide away from the world in a hidden house in the jungle. But rumour has it that he has a "magic" gun of some kind. Worth investigating?​
    And have you found your secret hide-out yet? For if you want to lie low for a while yourself? A hidden cave with a shipwreck in sounds like the perfect spot!​
    Improved Intel GFX Card Compatibility
    Remember how the original game just plain would not work on computers with an Intel Integrated Graphics Card? Of course we finally managed to get a fix that ran smoothly with Build 14 Beta 2.3.​
    But this time around, we even made it look good! It has better water than the first version and no more glitchy reflections.​
    Setting Sail
    With all that said, we shall leave you to your own pirating fun! But be sure to keep an eye on this spot, because we do have more in the works. And something quite substantial at that! Both on continued New Horizons releases, but of course also our new game project Hearts of Oak: Conquest of the Seas. And if you haven't seen it yet, be sure to participate in our survey for that game!​
    Are you intrigued yet? GOOD!​


Discussion in 'PiratesAhoy! News' started by Pieter Boelen, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Pieter Boelen
    Just so you know, the forum didn't allow me to post the above with more than 10 pictures, so I had to cut down on my imagery quite a bit.
    But the article I submitted to the ModDB has a lot of the missing ones.

    If anyone has any comments on the above text, let me know so I can adjust it still. :doff
  2. Armada
    Cool article, Pieter! Two things I noticed:
    1) No close-up of the Aurora frigate? (EDIT: Ah, saw your point about limited image use)
    At the very least, I think it's worth mentioning the [Aurora] name, so players don't try looking for Light Frigates instead.
    2) Probably worth explaining that the improved Intel fix has better water than the first version, with no more glitchy reflections, or some people may not notice.
  3. Jason
    Ahoy Pieter and all,

    Is this same as the last test version or should I download and extract this new version. You all have done a fabulous job. This represents a dramatic improvement in game play, graphics, playability and story lines.

  4. Pieter Boelen
    Yeah, I was quite disappointed at that as well. But now that I think about it, TWO Treasure Quest pictures seem a bit excessive.
    So I dropped one of them and added the Aurora instead. Looks so much better, don't you think? :cheeky

    Both valid points. Text edited accordingly. :doff
  5. Pieter Boelen
    I've been editing the files right up to the minute of compiling and uploading, so it is indeed different. Again. :wp

    Thanks a lot! And of course your testing was as valuable as it always is.
    This should allow for some proper enjoyable playing of the game at long last! :dance

    Storylines? Hmm... not so much. No new parts to any of the main quests. It's all mainly focused on Free Play. Also those additional sidequests.
  6. Armada
    The changes look better to me; thanks. :onya
    Minor nitpicking: "She looks exceptionally well" reads better as "... exceptionally good".

    One other thing: have you included the Hearts of Oak survey in the ModDB article? We need to remind people about that to get some more responses.
  7. Skyworm
    That's very very wonderful! :dance

    Well ... I just don't know where to start ... :rumgone
  8. Pieter Boelen
    Done. :doff

    No, I didn't. Not entirely sure where to fit it in. It's pretty lengthy as it is. Suggestions welcome on this. :wp
    I was intending to make a Beta 3 Preview article in a bit. And since that is related to future stuff anyway, there'll certainly be place for a HoO mention there too.

    You DO know where to start. You've been doing it over and over again. Here's to not starting anew again for a while! :cheers
  9. Jason
    Thank you for your kind words. I presume I can just put this on top of the last WIP.
  10. Pieter Boelen
    Yep. That should work fine. :yes
  11. Armada
    True, the article is pretty long. Perhaps we should at least include a quick mention of the survey and a link to it, rather than embedding it?
    Can't hurt to add that to the end of the article, because there must be some people that are likely to read that far. :read
  12. Pieter Boelen
    Note added to the bottom. How's that?

    Edit: And we're back where we belong, on the ModDB Main Page: http://www.moddb.com/ .
    Here's to hoping some people take note. :cheers
  13. Hylie Pistof

    But but but...for how long? I still have a soft spot in me heart for ye olde Heavy Frigate that I presume has been discarded, because that was the last ship I wuz sailing when I set me personal record of 27 years of game play. I know I can do better....... :ship
  14. Cassadar
    Hi there. I wrote a bunch of articles/a little manual about your mod on this website: <link deprecated in 2016>. Well, the site is not THAT popular, but maybe it helps your project to get a few more players. :)
    Hope, it's okay for you. If not... err.... *cough* well, I'm gone then... *runs*
    Pieter Boelen and Hylie Pistof like this.
  15. Armada
    That should work. :yes

    Well, perhaps we could keep the Heavy Frigate if we reuse a better pre-Rossiya texture... the current one is hardly flattering.
  16. Hylie Pistof
    Another frigate is hardly a priority. Besides that statement is more about game stability than anything else since now we can play as long as we want without fear of permanent crashes.
    Maybe next time I'll set a new personal record with something newer, like the FWzP.
  17. Jack Davidson
    Wow!!! Looking great guys!!! :bounce I think it's time for me to dust of my old PotC discs and download this new version Build. It's been a while for me. You guys look like you've done a fantastic job keeping the Build Mod moving forward.

    Ahoy and cheers to you Pieter and all me other old sea mateys!! :ahoy

    Jack! :cheers
    Pieter Boelen likes this.
  18. Pieter Boelen
    We haven't removed the Heavy Frigate yet, so we've still got time to decide on what to do.
    How long until the next update? Not sure; it'll be a while. Merging Pirate_KK's code further is going to be a challenge.

    Hey, cool! Thanks for that! I'll have a read through that later; perhaps we can post a translation somewhere as well. :onya

    Thanks a lot! I hope you like what we've been able to do. :doff

    Good to see you too! :cheers
  19. Peter Willemoes
    Oh Dear! The good sports at the fashionable "Pirates Ahoy!" inn has once again carved and shaped the most amazing and pretty ships off their wooden tables. An excellent excuse for us old and retired swashbucklers to put our sherry glasses down and finally leave the dull and endlessly green waters of the North!

    I will have a swim in the comfortably temperatured waters for a closer inspection on those new French beauties. I might even steal one while the paint is still wet, and use it to sink more of those well equipped and copper-plated Englishmen.

    The Admirality would be pleased.

    Yours Sincerely
    Luffy and Pieter Boelen like this.

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