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Thanks, Congratulations and is this something I could customise for myself?

Discussion in 'POTC: New Horizons Mod' started by CaptainOfRohan, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. CaptainOfRohan

    CaptainOfRohan Landlubber

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    Hello Pirates!

    I am a former poster around these parts - of ill (or likely no) repute I'm sure, I never contributed anything but the most childish attempts at modding, and am afraid I am now wise enough to know I shouldn't even try. I was previously under the username DarthMe, if that rings any bells. Anyways, I had a question in mind after setting sail for the first time in many a year.

    But first my hearty congratulations and deepest thanks for all those involved in this project, past present and future - it's ongoing progress is heartwarming and impressive and the new version I'm playing is better than this game has ever been, leagues ahead of the old Build 14 alphas I used to play. This mod is, for me, the definitive example of what the artform can be (along with The Third Age: Total War).

    Not sure if any around here are directly involved, but I'd also like to give two big thumbs up to the Remastered Project - it seems an exciting chance to revolutionise age of sail gaming, give this old game a new lease of life and potentially create an enduring, definitive simulation of life on the high seas - Unity is a wonderful thing and I do not believe that modern graphics or systems will ever date quite as badly as those of 2003! Exciting times ahead but we will always have New Horizons, which continues to put to shame most modern games.

    Now to my question.
    I've fallen back into this game upon rediscovering the Aubrey/Maturin books, and one of the key developments across the course of Master and Commander is the improvement of the Sophie's gunnery. I am loving having my own command, the HMS Caroline, a pretty little Hoy that I'm playing island defender with (a midshipman in command is dubious enough, I don't think I'm allowed to roam beyond coastal waters!).
    As the sun rose on my 4th day I decided - let's whip these knackers into shape and practice some broadsides. So I started shooting away at various ranges and was slightly disappointed to see my gunnery skill didn't gain any percentage points. I assume I need an actual battle and enemies to hit to improve that? That led me to wonder - would it be possible for a layman like me to have a peer in the files and potentially alter anything to allow myself to gain a percentage point or 2 in gunnery for firing at nothing? I know that's rubbish for balance and probably absurdly easy to abuse by the player, but with self-moderation I would enjoy that in my game, and it would provide a little more variety for the long cruises to come (although I am impressed by how much happens whilst sailing about in the current build!)

    So I suppose the TL;DR is would it be possible for me to alter my files to gain gunnery skill points for shooting without a target?

    Thanks again folks, your work has me hooked!
     
  2. Grey Roger

    Grey Roger Sea Dog Staff Member Storm Modder

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    The game does not restrict where you can sail - you certainly can take that hoy onto the high seas. (There are considerably smaller ships which can sail from one island to another, as you'll find if you play the "Jack Sparrow" storyline...) You're not going to earn your promotion to Lieutenant by sitting around in coastal waters!

    I've no idea which file you'd want to edit, but there's a very simple way to improve your gunnery skill. Go into a tavern and hire a gunnery officer. ;) In general, hiring competent officers is very useful if not outright critical, as their skills contribute to yours. Moreover, as they're specialised in their jobs, they earn experience in their own fields more quickly than you do - that gunner will go up in Gunnery skill more quickly than you will.
     
  3. CaptainOfRohan

    CaptainOfRohan Landlubber

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    Thank you for the reply!

    I did know both things, but thanks for the heads up. I have ended up venturing beyond coastal waters but I never thought I was restricted to them by the game mechanics, it just seemed like a sensible self imposed restriction but going cruising is too much fun to resist!

    And I will certainly get myself a gunner! My question was more related to roleplaying purposes than mechanical ones - I know how to boost my gunnery skills through officers, fighting, books or skill trainers, I just thought if it was a thing that might be alterable in the files it might be an enjoyable way to roleplay a new command, even if it was heavily nerfed to only provide a few percentage points.
     
  4. CaptainOfRohan

    CaptainOfRohan Landlubber

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    Apologies for the double post, but I thought better not spam threads. I was convinced I remembered being able to surrender in this game, but am I wrong? I encountered a fight I could neither win nor flee from and I wondered if there was any means to surrender to an enemy captain? Or do I just have to get sunk and start over with the dinghy?
     
  5. Grey Roger

    Grey Roger Sea Dog Staff Member Storm Modder

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    I don't think there's ever been a mechanism for you to surrender. Enemy ships can surrender to you, but there is certainly no mechanism for you to surrender to an enemy. Think what happens when an enemy captain surrenders to you - you take him prisoner, ransom him, and in the meantime you take his ship. So, we'd need a way for you to be held prisoner, pay a ransom to be freed, and then what are you going to do because the enemy captain now has your ship?
     
  6. CaptainOfRohan

    CaptainOfRohan Landlubber

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    Indeed - clearly I'm imagining things, obviously that would be a great deal of coding for very little benefit to the player - most would rather reload or be sunk! I just wondered if I was missing something but of course you're right, it's not a simple little function, it would be an involved and complex mechanic.
     
  7. Pieter Boelen

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

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    It does indeed, but I'm not 100% sure what bell.
    Did you not do some repaints of ships?

    Certainly possible. Have a look in the PROGRAM\SEA_AI folder.
    You just need to find the right spot for an extra line of code.
    Probably in AICannon.c or AIShip.c somewhere.

    I have no problem with sensible double posts like yours. :no

    There used to be an option to hoist a white flag, which would make you neutral to everyone.
    But there was never a surrender mechanic linked to that, so it ended up being a massive cheat and it has been disabled now.
    It should be possible to add this functionality, but somebody would have to step in and make it happen.
     
  8. CaptainOfRohan

    CaptainOfRohan Landlubber

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    Yes, indeed I did. Not very good ones! I am considerably better talented with GIMP than I used to be but I know little enough about ship colour schemes or graphical art that it's best left to the experts! Always happy to dabble in files and recolours for my personal use but I've never created much of anything worth sharing widely.

    Yes! I managed... Something. After multiple error messages and things not working, I added a couple lines of code that seem to be giving me small amounts of cannon skill for aimed firing from 1st person view, which makes me very happy. Now I assume I can improve my reload time through regular drilling of the crew which is nice, albeit super easy to exploit! I shall practice self control.

    I did have another question - I can't quite figure out the units used for the auto skill system. I've tried various things and can't quite figure out how it's working - all the existing code seems far more complex and quite beyond me. Ideally a single volley would add 0.25% - 1%, maybe even less, but I can't quite make heads or tails of the units. Anybody involved in the auto skill system have any ideas?
    AddPartyExpChar(pchar, "Cannons", ???);

    Also, I assume that line would only affect the player character? (pchar??)... Is there any alternative that would enable it to effect gunnery officers as well? But I digress, I seem to have it working quite nicely, I fired off about 10 broadsides and had risen from 0% to something like 7%. 2 broadsides at sunrise and sunset will get this crew nice and sharp!

    Oh, that is what I remember! I'm not going crazy after all! Thank goodness. Well, that sounds quite right to me, that IS a massive cheat and not something I have any interest in using.

    Thank you for your help Pieter and Grey Roger!
     
    Pieter Boelen likes this.
  9. Grey Roger

    Grey Roger Sea Dog Staff Member Storm Modder

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    Let's have at least some screenshots of those recoloured ships. We might not agree with your assessment of their value. ;)

    'AddPartyExpChar', like all experience functions, now redirects to 'AddXP' in "PROGRAM\Characters\Leveling.c". Experience is indeed shared with relevant officers, so if you gain points in gunnery, your gunnery officers get it as well. In fact, your gunnery officers will get more because in reality they're the ones actually doing the job.

    As for how much to add, all I can suggest is that if you've found the code to add the XP you want, play around with it and see how quickly you and your gunnery officers go up in skill. If it seems too fast, reduce the XP you're giving. It will take more XP to add 1% when the officer's "Gunnery" skill goes up a level; you'll need more XP to go from level 2 to level 3, than to go from level 1 to level 2.
     
  10. Pieter Boelen

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

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    It IS very complicated. Just try some numbers and if it feels wrong, change the number.
    Trial and error.

    I wonder... Is your username still somewhere in Build Info.txt or ships_init.c ?
    I've got a faint memory something of yours may still be around, but I don't know for certain.
     
  11. CaptainOfRohan

    CaptainOfRohan Landlubber

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    Quite possibly my username may be somewhere in the files, I'll check shortly. I've yet to do any recolouring recently and anything I made before was 3 or 4 PCs ago so long, long lost. I will almost certainly end up doing some skinning work for my own purposes as I explore Beta 4.1, and when I do I shall be sure to share the results!

    I have done some trial and error and settled on what feels more or less right. It's taking long enough to gain a percentage point that it really doesn't feel like an overpowered system while still giving a small, tangible benefit in exchange for shot and powder, which was my goal all along. I know it's daft but it'll bring me some enjoyment so I'm quite happy. I may do further tinkering but for now I'm happy, and it's good to hear this will effect the relevant officers! I am mighty impressed by the changes to the officer system, by the way. Which reminds me of another question - I'm playing as a Naval Officer (again, hugely impressed by the changes to the Naval gameplay), and was very pleased to be spawned with a Bosun at the start of the game. I'm still very early on in my game though so I was wondering if there are any existing systems that grant (or take away) officers for Naval characters? Or do we still have to hire them ourselves? When we get new ships are they crewed with different officers or do our previous ones come with us?

    Thank you again so much for your help - I really didn't expect that anything would come of this and have been very pleasantly surprised.
     
  12. Pieter Boelen

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

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    As a Naval Officer, you get some officers on some promotions.
    But you can also still hire your own.
     
  13. CaptainOfRohan

    CaptainOfRohan Landlubber

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    Excellent! I'm not at all averse to hiring more, but it's nice to hear I'll get some from the military.
     
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  14. CaptainOfRohan

    CaptainOfRohan Landlubber

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    By the way, is it normal/accurate that my tier 8 Hoy generally dwarfs brigs and other small square rigged vessels? Or is that just how big the model we've got is?

    Also, I'm a bit stumped by the smuggling mechanics. The governor asked me to investigate smuggling, but I couldn;t figure out the mechanics for investigating coast patrols. I can't ask the off duty soldiers, they just tell me to leave them alone, and I can't figure out how to send my officer to scout the beach?

    Editing again to say that I've realised that my papers from the governor keep me out of trouble with the patrols. Still, would appreciate any advice for future, less law abiding characters I play!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  15. Grey Roger

    Grey Roger Sea Dog Staff Member Storm Modder

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    Tier rating is based purely on crew size. The hoy may simply be a large ship with a small crew. But yes, it will be down to the size of the model. (Try putting a tier 6 snow brig next to a tier 6 Castell Friedrichsburg brigantine if you want another example. ;))

    Have you talked to the smuggler agent in the tavern? I believe the mechanism is that you tell him you have something that can't be sold in the store (you must actually have some contraband to be able to do this). He suggests finding out about patrols, either by talking to a soldier or by sending a scout officer. Then you can do your choice of those.
     
  16. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    The Hoy was a type of cargo ship of varying sizes. During wartimes the English would commandeer them, mount one huge gun on it, and anchor them at the mouth of a harbor. The only illustration I ever found of one was a two masted version and the one in the game is certainly large enough for two masts. The one in game was probably modeled too large.

    The Castel F is indeed modeled much larger than it actually was. Just look at the size of the Captain's cabin. The modeler also has stated this.
     

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