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Messages - Patched Wizard

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Dev App Testing / Re: New Gun and Stamina System Testing
« on: February 08, 2015, 10:38:04 am »
I'm okay with the ship adjustments to this point. For the most part the changes were rather minor and I didn't feel they broke the game or its systems. I didn't notice a sizeable difference in the Spire and Pyramidion, and I take that as a good thing.
However, as a full time Squid/Goldfish pilot I am against the health increase in the Squid. I firmly believe that for the squid to be a viable choice and balanced, it needs to be able to outmanoeuvre every other ship but the consequences of any mistake must be severe and immediate. I've always seen the Squid as the Golden Gun; a terrifying weapon in the right hands but as deadly to its user as much as it is to its enemy. Newer players should be afraid of flying the Squid and experienced players should be flawless in their execution.
But if you're determined to add some health to the Squid I would prefer it if you added it to the armour instead of the hull. This way at least the Squid will still go down quickly unless the pilot and main engineer are conscious of this weakness.

With the incoming Squid mobility buffs I feel we're finally starting to get to a point of tactical balance for each role. As i've understood the roles, the Goldfish is the jack-of-all-trades but a master of none, the Junker is a light Galleon but lacking the Galleon's stoping power and endurance, the Squid is a knife in the dark but useless in an open brawl, the Galleon is the king of control but slow to a fault, the Pyramidion is a drag racer but in every sense of the word, and the Spire and Mobula are cannons but made of glass and vapour.
The Squid needs to be difficult to fly for the sake of the game's tactical balance. Otherwise with a more forgiving health increase player's will start complaining about the Squid being too OP. Then to not appear as reversing your stance, you'll inevitably increase each ship's turning speed to compensate for this. And then we'll end up exactly where we are at this point, with a Squid that is easily countered by Pyramidions that are able to turn on a dime and Goldfish that are fill the role of the Squid better than the Squid itself.

The potential in this new weapon is incredibly exciting. Flying the Goldfish I purposely got pinned down by two Minotaurs on a Galleon and while it was difficult to control, I wasn't in any major threat due to the low damage of the cannons. However, the gun's utility by itself is underpowered and also with a limited effectiveness on the Goldfish only. At this stage the gun has no utility on a Spire or Goldfish. I feel that an individual cannon should be able to pin down/reposition any ship (with the exception of the Galleon) with an experienced gunner but that ship should have the opportunity to escape so there is no frustration. I would suggest that the gun is buffed but handicapped with a long reload time (the Hwacha timing is a good starting point) so that a ship can escape from the Minotaur's arcs.
The question is what happens when a Galleon is equipped with two Minotaurs? I feel that to mitigate any potential problems you need to keep the Minotaur ineffective at dealing out damage. With this you can, in theory, keep a single ship locked down with one gunner alternating between both cannons during the reload cycle but you'd be unable to kill said ship. This scenario is no different from the current double Hwacha load-out that some crews use to disable a single ship and hold them in place while their team fights elsewhere.

Capture the Point Logic
Interesting ideas, didn't get to test them out completely but I think there is potential. But I do stress that there does need to be a clear indication that you know that it is your ship that is on the point and not just your allies. Plenty of games have been confusing due to a new pilot that doesn't know if they're on the point or not or even where the point is.

I'm going to be brutally honest here: SCRAP IT

This is a terrible solution especially when simple fixes exist. This is a solution that will break the game and ruin all the game's current philosophies of class balance, ship roles, and strategic engagements.

This is an unwanted layer of gameplay complexity, it's thematically out of place, and in the end it won't solve any of the issues that it sets out to do but instead it will create a plethora of new problems. For example, already we've found that if you have stamina and apply it as you're being rammed you don't get any damage from the ram until the stamina wears off. This is ridiculous when I can play chicken with my Mobula, full speed and with kerosine, against a moonshining Galleon and suffered no hull or amour damage.

A pilot already has tools that they can utilise but if you want them to be faster then lower the penalties or increase the effects. An engineer already spends most of their time stuck in the balloon or hull so they don't need to spend time flying off the ship too. And to make the gunner viable all you need to do is add an ammo that fires normal ammo but allows the gunner to go beyond a gun's standard axis of fire or you could add a engineer tool that would have the same arc increasing effect but since the engineers already have their core load-outs it would make sense for a gunner to specialise and bring the tool instead. All of these are immediate solutions that don't take long to balance and would add to the game in a more meaningful way than this broken concept.

I don't mean to insult who ever came up with this idea but the stamina system is a bad idea and for the sake of the game, the players, and the dev team: SCRAP IT

General Discussion / Re: Killing the community, one game at a time.
« on: February 07, 2015, 06:27:05 pm »
Junker 100% - 66%

Junker 65% - 33%

Junker 32% - 01%

Junker 0%

« on: February 04, 2015, 04:52:57 am »


I see Geo that you have your "block player" function hotkeyed to the spacebar again.

The Lounge / Re: Ship Names
« on: January 27, 2015, 04:44:04 am »
Squid: The Wolf of Tibere

Are you secretly a Roman?

The Pit / Re: Ban the User Above You
« on: January 11, 2015, 01:21:26 pm »
I ban Patched Wizard because I never liked him.

The Pit / Re: Ban the User Above You
« on: January 11, 2015, 01:20:50 pm »
I ban Jacob because this is the closest I will ever get to feeling like I have authority.

Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Tame The Trolls
« on: January 09, 2015, 08:56:27 am »
Can we have a wall of trolls we like?



NO. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. NO.

There is no "TeamButtBlaster" there is just "ButtBlaster"

The Lounge / Re: Ship Names
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:29:24 am »
The threads of my theme shouldn't be too hard to weave together.

Goldfish: Damascus Koi
Damascus Steel, floating metal, used in forging the sharpest edges with forgotten techniques originating in the jungles of India and migrating along the silk roads through the Middle-East and into eastern Europe.

Junker: The Last Tsar
Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last Romanov, Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and titular King of Poland; Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias.

Squid: Burning Autumn
The "Red Forest", once known as "Wormwood", is now a land locked in a permanent autumn of red and ginger brown after razor winds of radiation poured out from the skeletal corpse of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Galleon: Koschei the Endless
A man held together with magic and bone; his death is hidden separate from his body inside a needle, which is in an egg, which is in a duck, which is in a hare, which is in an iron chest, which is buried under a green oak tree, which is on the island of Buyan in the ocean.

Pyramidion: Siberian Cossack
Originating from the root word to mean "free man", the Cossacks were a nomadic people with semi-militeristic communities who inhabited the sparse and empty corners of the world.

Spire: Baba Yaga
One or three, ferocious and wild, manic in appearance, flies in a mortar, wields a pestle, and equally inclined to help you as much as she is to harm you.

Mobula: Cathedral of Kitezh
When the Golden Horde rushed the town of Kitezh they found fountains of water bursting forth from the earth and watched as God enveloped the town in holy water to protect the pure souls who dwelled under the radiant domes of the cathedral.

Q&A / Re: Dealing with a good gunner on Artemis/Merc/Phobos
« on: January 03, 2015, 06:29:16 am »
This has  been bugging me a bit, there have been times where I could simply overcome the effects of these weapons and hopelessly lost my ship, arcs and matches. So I ask, as a Pilot, what ships or builds could I make use of to counter/reduce the effects of these weapons? I know it's not a 4 Hwacha galleon for a start.

As stated previously there are builds that you will find to be easier to utilise against your opponent's ship build. While bringing a hard-counter will always be most efficient, the truth is that you won't be able to guarantee that you will be using a counter build for every battle. The ship suggestions will give you the tools to make the kill but what you now need to do as a commander and pilot is to counter their tactics. Anyone can work out that bringing a Carro-Fish against a Lumber-Spire will have an edge, the trick to being a great commander and pilot is creating the opportunities for you to facilitate that edge.

The first thing you must do is practise wildly different flying styles against equally levelled pilots. Try one match to only operate at extreme long ranges and learn how to keep your opponents at those ranges. Try the next match as a fast brawler with high manoeuvrability. The next one as a medium range turret. The following match as a disabler and then a killer next round. Keep doing this until you know what you are great at. As a pilot you need to be comfortable with all ships and all flying styles, but you need to know the ones that you are naturally exceptional at. Once you know what you are capable of as a pilot you can start to exploit your opponent's flying capabilities.

When you know yourself you need to focus on knowing your enemy. As time goes on you will naturally figure out how most pilots in the community like to fly, as Napoleon put it "You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war." But when you are engaging someone you've never fought against you will need to become exceptionally fast at identifying how they fly. I would recommend that you and your ally develop a loose or flexible strategy that you can both easily disengage from. For example if you are flying in Canyon and you know that they have a close range spire and you have a close range goldfish then you could both glide around the bottom of the canyon and pop up once the target has been identified. This is a simple strategy that you can quickly retreat from if it fails at first but also gives you room to commit to the kill if you have the advantage. Even if you die you can learn a lot from the engagement. Don't lose your calm because you gave away an early kill, because the only kill that ever matters is the last one.
From here on out though your priority is to watch intently what your opponent does. What you're trying to do is to know how they think and apply tactics and strategy. If they rush into the canyon and aggressively hunt you, then retreat into an ambush and bait them. If they move into the canyon but cautiously stalk you, then spot them and use yourself or your ally to out flank them. If they never enter the canyon then you know that they must be either traversing the rim of the canyon or waiting at their spawn, giving you the opportunity to engage when you have the advantage to press. The caveat here is that they will also learn about you. So unless they display poor judgment, every couple of kills you must reengage with new strategies to counter their own defensive strategies that they will definitely employ.

Hopefully in time you should have the experience to know how you can counter almost any opponent, not only with your ship, or weapons, but with strategy.

General Discussion / Re: ETA on Workshop items?
« on: December 14, 2014, 06:22:36 pm »
This is a bump. It can be used for many things. One purpose is to highlight a topic that is important and deserving of attention. Another purpose is to spill Brad's coffee all over that fucking stupid tie of his.

I hate Brad so much.

General Discussion / Re: Top pilots
« on: December 14, 2014, 10:45:49 am »
The whole nature of this topic is based upon the deeply personal nature of our opinions. We could never all agree on an accurate measure of a person's abilities or skill. Neither am I debating the need for a topic like this, I find these discussions amusing at best. However, I am debating Skrimskraw's and Crafeksterty's claims that "competitive is the only place to rank pilots" or "pub doesnt exactly allow skill".

Skrimskaw, you're absolutely entitled to your own opinions on who you regard as the "best pilot". You're also entitled to form that opinion from whatever source you deem as valuable to you. In no way am I trying to take those ideas away from you. But by assuming that because a pilot only plays in public games is somehow inferior to a pilot who plays in competitive games I would say that the only person you're limiting is yourself.

Crafeksterty, there are indeed too many variables to perfectly evaluate a person's "skill". But this idea is not solely for the public scene but it applies for the entire game of 'Guns of Icarus'. It is impossible to fully comprehend the entirety of a person's skill due to the inherent imbalance of the game at its core. The asymmetrical design, maps, spawn locations, variable cloud cover, dust storms, winds, ships, weapon loadouts, gunner ammo types, captain tools, engineer tools, engineers, gunners, pilots, etc, all of these factors introduce "too many" variables to ever accurately measure a person's abilities. Even in the competitive circuit this holds true. And all of this without ever needing to assess the human element that is also wildly open to a barrage of inconsistencies.

Like any debate about who is the best "x" throughout history there are too many variables to ever definitively know.

I will admit that in my own personal opinion I value the abilities needed to operate in the public theatre more than the strategy of the competitive stage simply because I operate more in the public sphere. Going back to what nanoduckling said, "it depends on the skill you are looking for". In a pub game there are just some high level competitive players that I would not want as an ally because I know that they cannot handle the wild inconsistencies of a pub game. But in a competitive game they would be the ones I would want beside me. This idea works in reverse for pub pilots too.

For me personally, the measure of a captain's, pilot's, engineer's, or gunner's abilities is not based on how they can perform in the perfect conditions but instead how they perform in the imbalanced conditions. Can they pull a victory from almost certain defeat? Can they stand under the pressure of unfair odds? In life you will never have a balanced fight or war. There will always be imbalance in favour of one side. For me, what I value is the ability to recognise the imbalance and to use all the resources available to you to overcome those unfair odds.

I watched one game once, where a goldfish with an average level pilot and a mobula with a low level pilot faced off against a pyramidion with a high level pilot and a galleon with an average level pilot. At first the goldfish and mobula were ripped to shreds as the pyramidion and galleon tore through them over and over. The mobula always out of position and the goldfish's crew unable to handle the engineering strains put on them. The match was 0-4 in favour of the pyramidion and galleon but I watched as the pilots on the goldfish and mobula started to close up the weaknesses in their game. They rallied their novice crews, forging them into barely functioning units. They assessed their opponents and themselves and then reengaged on their own terms. I watched this for 40 minutes as they clawed their way back from a 0-4 situation and pulled a 5-4 victory from a battle that should have been finished in 6 minutes. You could never convince me that this wasn't a match of skill or ability simply because it was fought in a public arena.

The defining nature of public games for me is the ability to create victory from nothing.

ps. "If a good pilot crumbles in pub because he has random pub crew, that just means his crew wasnt good enough to support it." Crafeksterty, this is wrong because it is based on the illogical idea that somehow a "good pilot" is immune to error.

ps. "If you think pilots that solely play pubs are comparable in terms of skill with the top competitive ones you're delusional." Mezhu, if someone practiced their skills in public games it may mean that statistically they will be on average not as good as competitive players, but it doesn't mean that such a feat is impossible.

ps. Stop writing so many replies! I can barely keep up with all the comments!


General Discussion / Re: Top pilots
« on: December 13, 2014, 03:54:32 pm »
What makes some pilots definitively better than others? Is this just about competitive matches? Doesn't every experienced pilot perform amazing feats sometimes, and screw up other times? So far the most consistent mentions have been Lue and Spud, who have quite simply played the most matches out of anyone. What really makes someone a top pilot?
i dont play many pubs, so i dont get around the community as a whole, but i watch a lot of goio competitive due to also organizing it, so that is where i base my top list on. besides i also think competitive play shows skill as opposed to non competitive.

Competitive play could never illuminate the entire gamut of a person's skills. You're simply looking at a single facet of their qualities through one particular lens. You answered the question as best as you could using your collected experience, and I am by no means refuting your opinion. However, to claim that "competitive play shows skill as opposed to non competitive" is a fallacy.

In the competitive scene you have highly experienced pilots that work together and are in turn supported by an extremely experienced crew. Competitive is a fantastic show of strategy, coordination, and tactics. But when I watch competitive, I see an individual's skill level being overshadowed by the collective skills of the team. I'm not saying that a pilot's skills aren't critical, indeed they are, but they are not as predominant when the gunner makes every shot, and when the engineers have their cycles immaculately timed, and when a pilot's ally is perfectly coordinated.

I believe wholeheartedly that incredible skill can be found in the non-competitive scene. In the non-competitive scene a pilot will not always have their ideal crew or ally. They might be facing clans on a pubstomp or other pilots who are vastly more experienced than they are; they could be handicapped by AI, inexperienced team members, and in worse cases trolls. But some pilots in the non-competitive scene can and have pulled phenomenal victories from the jaws of these insurmountable odds. Non-competitive can sometimes lack the intense teamwork of competitive, but I believe that there is a greater chance to see the qualities of an individual pilot when all they have to support them is their own raw ability.

I will not name anyone, but I have observed many of the top competitive pilots, even the ones frequently mentioned on this discussion, crumble when they didn't have the well oiled machine of their competitive team supporting them. I'm not saying that they are undeserving of their recognition, all I am trying to highlight is that there is more to an person's skill than just their performance in the competitive or non-competitive scene. There are just too many facets to the vast structure of "skill" to see the compete picture of an individual's true abilities.

Competitive is a good place to see one facet of a pilot's skills, non-competitive is another good place. Only when we can observe that same person operate under a vast variety of conditions can we ever hope to have a more complete understanding of their talents and how they compare with others.

Feedback and Suggestions / Re: Ship Cosmetics Wishlist
« on: August 25, 2014, 12:50:36 am »
Here are some basic concepts that can be expanded upon and refined.

The airship was an opportunity too immense for some men to resist. Faced with the impenetrable wild explorers set out to make all things known to all men. Equipped with the latest in navigational tools, weighed down by the tonnes of star charts/continental maps/and ancient scribblings, and decorated with the unusual and forgotten relics of lost civilisations, an adventurer is always prepared to venture out into the unknown currents of the skies.

The winds carry more than an airship, they carry the fortunes and hopes of empires. An explorer may make a new way through the untamed clouds but a merchant carves out the deep roads. Loaded with various crates of exotic spices, seasonal foods, warm furs, essential machinery, and whatever is in demand, the men of the coin are the backbone that keeps civilisation standing and its purses full.

As the reaches of a nation expand further out, a simple error for those living in the boarder lands can easily spiral from minor consequences to life threatening. However, the infrastructure isn't strong enough to support emergency services in every town, so mobile airships are modified to meet the need. Prepared for every crisis a mobile hospital comes complete with life support gear, on the field surgery room, precious medicine, and winches for remote rescue. They are the true angels of the heavens.

The pursuit of knowledge is a feverish pastime and those who dedicate themselves to it are quickly absorbed by it. Jerry-rigged observational equipment, weather balloons, heavily worded text books, technical instruments, and arcane electrical coils are all strapped onto the hulls of ships and launched out into the eye of the nearest storm to gather as much data as possible. For these brave or foolish men a life without knowledge is more dangerous than life without risk.

For some men there is no home to go back to, no national banner to live under, no way to go but forward. Drifting lazily through the skies their airships are more than just transport they are a home to live in and to protect. The comforts of every home adorn each nook and cranny with small trinkets, portable beds, kitchenettes, and relaxing chairs overlooking the vast mountain ranges and fading sunsets. A nomad is not homeless or lost, poor or barbaric, they are complete wherever they are.

Gameplay / The Philosophy of the Sky Captain
« on: June 20, 2014, 07:14:07 pm »
The Philosophy of the Sky Captain

This is about leadership and its responsibilities.

In writing this I hope to help serve both new captains and experienced captains by highlighting some of the variances found in leadership styles and the positive and negative qualities associated with each style. I have been fortunate enough to have served under a vast multitude of captains, both experienced and inexperienced, and each one with their own styles and leadership qualities. I have also taken the role of captain myself and have led my own crews and teams with varying degrees of success. From these experiences I believe that thanks to cultural factors beyond the horizons of ‘Guns of Icarus’ most captains have a fundamentally flawed idea of leadership and are not operating at their fullest potential. Fortunately we are all never beyond the ability to learn, grow, and develop as individuals.

One distinction I would like to make before I continue is that the role of the pilot and captain are not mutually exclusive. The pilot is a functioning extension of the crew as much as the engineer and gunner. In most cases the captain will also take the role of the pilot, however it is possible for a pilot to not be the captain. While this is indeed rare I have observed a few good teams operating in this way for specific reasons. As for the captain, their role is to be the leader of the crew and is both a hard and soft in-game position in ‘Guns of Icarus.’ The hard definition can be qualified as possessing the captain position in the lobby that grants the player the exclusive ability to communicate with the other team captains and their ships. While the soft definition is the natural charisma that a person can have that would draw other members of a crew to listen to their instruction. I do not want to go too deep into these elements, but I do want to highlight that these factors do play a role on a ship. A crew’s effectiveness can be greatly affected by who may be the “official” captain and who may be the “unofficial” leader of the crew.

There are four dominant styles of leadership that I have noticed in the majority of captains I have flown under, with, and against. For this document I will identify them as:
1. The Silent Captain
2. The Learning Captain
3. The Independent Captain
4. The Dependent Captain

While I personally believe that most captains possess varying degrees of one or more of these styles, this list isn’t meant to be exhaustive. There will always be the outliers and leadership styles that I have not observed or even considered. However, I believe that in highlighting these styles, even if they do not apply to everyone, any captain can use this information to examine their own leadership methods and in seeing their own strengths and weaknesses, improve themselves.

The first style of leadership I want to address is the Silent Captain. This is the captain who does not communicate with their crew in any way. ‘Guns of Icarus’ provides voice, text, and in-game tools to help captains communicate with their teams, but the Silent Captain avoids all of the tools that are available to them. This is the weakest of all the styles of leadership and there are no redeeming qualities to this method. A crew’s effectiveness will be sharply cut off and moral will be at the mercy to the tides of the round. ‘Guns of Icarus’ is a team based game and if a captain is unable or unwilling to communicate with their crew then they shouldn’t be putting themselves in a leadership position. If a pilot is not wanting to also bear the responsibility of being the team captain then that pilot should elect someone else to be the captain and allow that person to take command of the crew and communicate with the other team captains.

The second style I have observed is the Learning Captain. This is a captain who is still largely inexperienced with taking the role of leadership. There is nothing inherently positive or negative about this style initially. There is no such thing as a “born leader” and while some captains may have natural charisma, leadership is a skill that needs to begin somewhere and develop over time. The greatest weakness of a Learning Captain is the inability to learn from their mistakes and from the advise of other captains and experienced crew. A Learning Captain should alway seek to gain much advise as possible from a multitude of sources so they can accelerate the growth of their own skills. Watch, listen, assess, test, reassess, learn, and practise, these are all key tools for a Learning Captain and should be used frequently. The best leaders still use these tools late into their careers as captains as they know that they will never be above self improvement.

The third style that is quite prevalent in the higher tiers is the Independent Captain. An Independent Captain can be defined as a captain who takes it upon themselves to micromanage their crew. This is the captain who has preset builds that they expect each crew member to carry, preset roles for each crew member to perform, and who commands each crew member in every action they take. There are some convincing strengths to this style of leadership and so it is of little wonder that a few high ranked captains use this style whenever they take to the skies. Independent Captains have a strong knowledge of the the full range of capabilities of their ships and in turn arrange their crew to optimise their chances of success. This style of leadership can cauterise a crew together into a functioning machine of efficiency and deadly power.
However, there is a critical flaw to this method of leadership that prevents an Independent Captain from evolving even further as a leader. An Independent Captain's ship will only ever be as good as their own skill ceiling. Since the Independent Captain has absolute control over their ship and crew then that ship and crew will only operate at the same skill level as the captain as there is no flexibility to go anywhere else. These captains mistake micromanagement for leadership and forget that ‘Guns of Icarus’ is a “team game” and not a game of “solitaire.” Other people will always evaluate every encounter differently from the captain and they will have their own strategies and skills that they can contribute. But the Independent Captain misses this untapped potential as they restrict each engagement to their own limited view and understanding of the skies.

The final style of leadership is the Dependent Captain. A Dependent Captain is defined by all the members of the crew contributing and working together as a single unit. I personally hold that this is the single most difficult and and yet strongest of the leadership styles. A Dependent Captain takes initial authority and explains to their crew the function and focus of the ship and offers advice whenever it is sought. However unlike the Independent Captain, a Dependent Captain then takes a step back and allows their crew to make the final decisions in regards their own personal builds and operation styles. A Dependent Captain isn’t completely hands off either, but develops a perfect balance between instruction and silence. A captain already has a lot to consider during any engagement in the skies. They are communicating and coordinating with the team captains, they have eyes on each development on the battlefield so to react to the changes as they happen, and they must guide their crew and keep moral high as the battle wears on. To add the extra burden of micromanagement only adds redundancy to the ship, especially when the crew can easily take initiative themselves and operate at the highest levels with practise.
Initially there is plenty of room for failure, mistakes, and inefficiency, especially as this style is dependent on the collective skills of the entire crew. This weakness though is negated by time. By giving flexibility to each crew member to experiment and learn from every engagement the captain gains a more competent crew. This is a high risk, high reward leadership method when in a battle but by allowing a crew to contribute more to the strategy and listening to their advise a captain can continue to grow as a leader. As a team they are all climbing together beyond their previous skill ceilings and towards new heights.

The mistake of society is thinking that leadership is about commanding other people like they are soulless automations. That isn’t leadership but more akin to pushing buttons and pulling levers and expecting results. Instead the true mark of leadership is about recognising the crew as people, placing them first and carrying them to new levels of competence. Whenever i’m in the skies I will always be more cautious around the ship that flies with the collective harmonised experience of four people than the ship that flies with the experience of one, regardless of that “one’s” skills.

Safe Skies.

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