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Total War Heaven » Forums » Empire: Total War (Archived-See Empire: Total War Heaven) » New Total War Blog-Naval Concentrated
Topic Subject:New Total War Blog-Naval Concentrated
John Black
posted 26 January 2008 10:22 EDT (US)
Q: Is there a deployment stage for naval battles and if so, what exactly can be set during this phase?
A: Yes, there is a deployment phase but what can be done during the phase is still in development. We do know about the formations and tactics of the period and their benefits and drawbacks. Itís just a question of which ones actually make most sense in a gameplay environment. As we develop the game the best formations will be added to the mix. Like everything ďin developmentĒ, what we have right now and what weíll have on release may change.

Q: Can naval battle formations be set during battle?
A: They can, but itís not always that useful. In the 18th Century, once a battle commenced, changing formations and tactics was very unlikely unless you had a lot of time and sea-room. Communication was only possible by signal flag and by sending boats. In the swirling smoke of battle both of these became impractical methods of communication. Itís a bit like forming up a ďBig WingĒ (for those of you familiar with WW2 air tactics) for a dogfight when the battle has already started. Changing formations can leave your ships vulnerable to attack while you try to sort yourself out. Thereís nothing stopping you doing it, but youíll need to be aware that it can all go horribly wrong - just like the real thing, in fact.

Q: Will naval battles incorporate a morale system and if so, how will this work?
A: Yes naval battles will have a naval battles morale system. It will be different in a number of ways to the land battles. We will provide more detail nearer release.

Q: How dynamic will the weather conditions be during a battle. Will wind speed and direction change regularly?
A: Wind speed and direction will change but not dramatically. You wonít suddenly find yourself in the middle of a storm, for example. You are more likely to get changing conditions from battle to battle in the same area.

Q: Will varying weather conditions affect range and accuracy?
A: Yes. The intensity of the weather will determine how much effect. We wonít allow battles in full-on storms as it just wasnít wise or often even viable to open the gun ports in conditions above sea state 5 on the Beaufort Scale (to be a trifle anachronistic for a moment). Thatís waves up to around six feet high. Fighting in a sea rougher than that risks swamping when opening the gun ports.

Q: Will the damage model include critical hits?
A: Yes. A ship struck in a particular location, will show those effects at the point of impact. So if you somehow mange to hit or set fire to the ships gunpowder stores the results will be spectacular to say the least.

Q: How will ship damage in your fleet be displayed in the user interface?
A: Through our very handy, clear and useful UI, damage will be indicated in a number of ways: per side of the shipís hull, to the sails and to the guns. Even if you donít bother with the UI and just look at the ship itself you will have a reasonable idea of how much trouble it is in.

Q: How will range be incorporated into the naval battles and how will it be communicated to the player?
A: Range will be indicated using feedback from positioning the cursor over valid targets

Q: Will naval battles include a waypoint system to allow the player to set a series of movement orders?
A: Yes. The player can set waypoints that will be clearly visible.

Q: What range of camera controls and views are you looking to include in naval battles?
A: This is an element that is still in development. Lots of people have different ideas about what they want. What we are doing at the moment is looking at how many of these are useful and practical.

Q: How much control will the player have over the speed at which naval battles are played out?
A: At present it is planned to allow the player to speed up and slow down time in battles as well as pause the game.

Q: Will reinforcements be included in naval battles as they are on land?
A: Yes. Although that may not be what you think it is, as we have changed the campaign map and the methods of reinforcement from Rome and Medieval 2.

Q: Can any military ship be used for troop transportation or are there specific transport ships for this purpose?
A: Troop transportation will involve commandeering transport ships as needed, filling them with troops and shipping them with a protecting naval convoy. Transports canít defend themselves, so youíll probably want to send a defending naval vessel with them.

Q: Can crew be trained to be more efficient and effective via campaign game upgrades?
A: Yes there are items and systems on the campaign map that will effect the quality of your ships and crew.

Q: Will there be night battles for naval combat and if so, is this an option presented to player at engagement in the campaign game?
A: Yes. They will normally be more like dusk and dawn battles than true night-time warfare. Finding a ship in the dark at sea isnít easy unless there is enough moonlight and a clear sky. Even then, itís hard.

Q: How will naval officers be rated and affect crew and ship performance?
A: There will be Admirals, Commodores and Captains. Commodores and Captains have a set of fixed effects and Admirals are of variable quality. Admirals, like generals, will have their own set of character traits and ancillaries that can add to their skills.

Q: Can crew from sinking ships be rescued?
A: No. The poor souls drown horribly and the sharks feed with gusto!

Q: How are lost crew numbers replenished post-battle?
A: Two ways. Either by pressing captured crew from ships captured in battle or by heading back to friendly ports for more men.

Next time we will be dropping anchor to discuss a different area of Empire: Total War, so keep your questions coming on our official forums!

Take care,

Mark OíConnell
posted 26 January 2008 11:40 EDT (US)     1 / 2       
Good spot. News-posted!
John Black
posted 26 January 2008 22:17 EDT (US)     2 / 2       
Thanks, what I'm interested in is the Transport ships--I didn't really know that there were transport ships, but that these warships would be able to transport the army. I wonder if the Transports would be able to have the army board a ship.
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