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 Post subject: Navigator Usefullness
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:40 pm 
Flight Master

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Discuss.

Are fledgling navigators keeping you too safe?

Is the combat finding skills of a navigator useful? Especially considering the current 'bug' with short flights + encounters.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:19 pm 
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I used both settings of my navigator extensively.

One new player to whom I introduced the game was quite disappointed that the risky/safe functionality wasn't built in from the beginning. I agree that this is strange: the navigator was the only crew-member to really add a feature/option, rather than simply improve what you're already doing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:25 pm 

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To be quite honest, it has been so long since my navigator was new that I can't remember exactly how effective she was. I do remember that all of a sudden I did feel quite safe when plotting safe routes. At the time I had a trading plane and combats were nigh on impossible. I wasn't able to monitor skyrates that often either, so having the safe route ability was very important to not getting shot down whilst away from the computer.

From this standpoint it almost seems that what is currently the navigator's ability to plot safe/risky should just be a given from the beginning. The autoresolver seems to be fairly effective at lower levels though, so perhaps this would be overkill. A reasonable and interesting change would be that the ability to plot risky/safe (effectiveness thereof) would improve with navigator level. This could be whether that option would be provided by the navigator, or just by default.

I never experienced the bug with short flights. I was a long flight guy. From this standpoint, the combat finding ability of the navi was great! I won many a combat because of my navi, and was very happy about it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:49 pm 

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Sorry if I'm off topic, but I found it strange that Navigators didn't reduce the time of standard flights, only safe or risky flights.

I haven't played for several months, so if this has changed, please ignore me. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:22 pm 
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I hired a Navi fairly late in the game, but never once did I plot a "safe" route with him.
My AR was simply unstoppable.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:37 pm 
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I would say that the navigator is too functional. I found uses for both safe and risky, but the bottom line is that you need one to be competitive in pretty much anything, which is kind of a bummer, it's kind of like every plane has n-1 slots because you [n]need[/b] a navigator, no matter what, whereas the other crew have specialized niches.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:05 pm 
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Yeah, I'm kinda with BL on this one. Safe and Risky flights should be FP-based skills available from the get-go (or maybe just one skill, not separated), with speed for each dependent on the number of stars. Perception should be expanded to work for Risky flight legs, not just hunts, and should also make Safe flight legs appropriately less combat-prone. Then the Navi should simply be eliminated.

BL is right that Crew make for interesting strategic choices because each are specialists, but Navi's are not only non-specialists, they're flat necessities.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:10 pm 

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I have a confession to make:
I used to log in (right up until the re-set) twice a day. Morning and eve...
My navi was my second hire, and leveled up extremely fast.
That said, after a while, my combat was decent, and once I got a Navi, all I ever set was 'Risky.' I actually lost very, very few planes in the process; all the way down the road. So my initial answer would be, "Yes!" The Navi probably kept me safer than I should'a been, flying the always dangerous route.

But because of that confidence that my Navi could do just as good without me, made me that much more confident in combat
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:45 pm 
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i, for one, would like to nerf navigators, and make their hiring / use a more strategic decision.

-PL-


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:18 pm 
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phil wrote:
i, for one, would like to nerf navigators, and make their hiring / use a more strategic decision.

-PL-


The trick remains in figuring out what that is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:30 pm 
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oh, my apologies Gil; i responded here in a public place as if it were our private discussion area. all i should have said is, "i think you guys who are complaining about navigators might have a valid point, we should contemplate it."

-PL-


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:42 pm 
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Absolutely.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:43 pm 
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/me narrows her eyes, and begins plotting how to gain access to this private discussion area.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:28 pm 

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Lord Gilbert wrote:
phil wrote:
i, for one, would like to nerf navigators, and make their hiring / use a more strategic decision.

-PL-


The trick remains in figuring out what that is.


I'm with BL and Zab here, the safe/risky should be a skill involved with FP (maybe navi level too), and that way a navigator wouldn't be mandatory in every plane. BL is especially correct in saying that it's like every plane has n-1 crew slots.

Hand-E has a point too. There were times where I'd want to plot a standard route for a normal number of combats, but the navi bonus wouldn't kick in for that, so I'd use waypoints instead, which was more cumbersome. The route time bonus should be for all routes plotted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:04 pm 

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I don't mind the Navi's usefulness, but it would be nice to rebalance some things. Specifically, I feel that Navis should decrease the time for Normal flight and give you Safe flight at half bonus and Risky at normal or quarter bonus. That would reduce the power a little bit such that if other crew like mechanics were buffed (i.e. having more tangible armor repair benefits, lazy bums) that it might actually be a sound decision to hire a non-navi for a single-slot plane. However, unless the system undergoes a total overhaul of how things function, being able to fly faster and rack up more combats (or fewer) is just really, really good.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:03 pm 
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I would suggest that risky/safe be moved to a skill (higher levels give higher effect), whereas navigators still be the speed bonus. Or maybe vice versa. The problem is that they have two functions, both of which is indispensable, so they're worth way more than the other crewmembers.

Perhaps also make them level faster, but give less bonus. Given that I had one of the first navis, and was still only ~1/2 of the way to L10, it was way too slow. But make it faster, balanced with them doing less of a speed-bonus, and they'll level at a manageable rate while still not being completely required. Although the bonus will have to be cut pretty significantly to make them not broken. Which makes me sad, but is probably necessary.

Alternatively, make them cost a lot more per day than other crew, such that they actually make a dent, even in the end-game. Or make them crankier such that the take a significantly higher cut. Or they never stop taking cut. But both of those only if they can be "turned off" (put on retainer?) and you can choose to take the hit or to not get the bonus.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:56 pm 
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I agree with Kyra for the most part. Navis should be flight time reduction only, but the leveling coefficient should be upped by say 25%. Also, some sort of cut in their speed bonus might be in order (as much as that honesty pains me). Furthermore, the speed bonus should apply to ALL plots, including "normal ones". This ends the problem of taking a big speed hit when you divert, as well as allowing people to choose a middle amount of risk while retaining their speed bonus.
Safe/Risky plot options should either be there by default for everyone, or appear with the first star of Perception. The effectiveness of safe/risky should go up with each star of Perception (which would also still affect hunts to the same degree as risky plots), but the max effectiveness (5 stars) should be less that what people were getting from ~lvl 7 navis this round. Ie. you should still see SOME combats on safe plots of a decent length.

And of course I stand by the idea of putting crew on retainer, but I appreciate that that would take more coding effort than the changes suggested above.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:09 pm 
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Interesting points all. I'm not sure if some of the ideas from here will make it for the reset, but we'll see in the future.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:08 pm 
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One quick point, FP were already the slowest to gain so adding another skill based on FP could be problematic if FPs continue to gain so slowly.

Also if we are going to shift plot risky/safe to a skill then could we have divert risky/safe, maybe after level 3 or 4 of each skill. Otherwise I agree with the emerging consensus of this thread.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:24 pm 

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Not much to add but that it makes no sense for Navi's to be stackable.

And that I think they should be able to plot faster courses even in the event of a change in flight plans, i.e. diverting because of low ammo should give the same speed bonus as a regularly plotted flight. If the Navi's are doing nothing else, then they should be working out escape routes and contingency plans in flight and not just playing air hostess and getting me bottle after bottle of Pierce's pilfered private reserve Nippenbrau.

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