Saturday, February 5, 2011

[Captain's Log] Builders of Ships

Source: [UWO Captain's Log] Builders of Ships

Captain Anjel's Log                                
by David "AnjelusX" Slauenwhite

January 4, 1495

Ahoy fellow voyagers, I hope you’ve made the best of your travels! Finding profit, fame, glory, or treasure on the high seas and the unexplored wilds. I have come to a point in my journal where I would like to start focusing on the various aspects to be found in the world that are beneficial and worth exploring as you make your travels from port to port. For this entry, I want to note my experiences with Shipbuilding, a hobby for some, a business and passion for others. For myself I feel that while I know there are some hearty ship builders out in the world, I had to experience it for myself. Nothing like getting my hands dirty and building a vessel to my own specifications! It is a time consuming effort certainly, but also a labour of love, to decide what kinds of ships I wish to build, of what materials, and of course how I want her laid out with enough cargo, crew, and cannon to make the endeavour worth my time.

First and foremost, preparing to enter the craft of Shipbuilding takes some work on your part. You need to build up some knowledge of ship repair before you can hope to start building even the simplest of vessels. You can achieve this in a variety of ways of course. For some they charge into battle, with cannons blazing and repair any damage done by scurvy pirates bent on sinking you. For others, they sail the seas in search of storms to ride their way through, repairing as they go. This can be effective in a degree however finding storms aren’t exactly the most pleasurable experience. For others, like myself, I chose to do the more humorous route and ram my ship into land repeatedly. Getting my crew and I drunk on rum at the local tavern made this a much more enjoyable experience and my crew found the whole thing rather funny, when they weren’t scared to death thinking we’d sink!

Once I’d achieved the third level in Repair, I proceeded to pay the fee to learn shipbuilding while I was in the port of Tunis. Rather dusty town that one, with all manner of cut throats and brigands just outside of the town. So began my initiation into the world of ship building, where any who has taken up the craft starts. I built several smaller ships, building up my skill and working to save money towards building even bigger and better vessels. It is noteworthy to point out that building ships does take time, and while you can just mill around outside port fishing or merely admiring the coastline; I preferred to continue doing something to gain money, experience, and fame. Once you register the ship you’re going to build with the Shipyard Master, I was free to sail off on some errand or another, with the ability once the appropriate amount of time had passed to pick up my finished ship at another shipyard.

As I’ve worked on my ships and gained experience and thereby levels, I could start building bigger and better vessels. Along with those options came the ability to decide what sort of material to build the hull out of. Each different type of material, such as Cedar, Red Pine and so on, has an effect on Speed, Load Capacity and Ship Durability.  Likewise I can change around the Max capacity which will affect Crew, cannons, and cargo space. Changing the Load capacity also has an effect on Ship speed and Turning Speed, so it’s to be handled with care. Trial and error will eventually give you the setup you like balancing the losses against the gains. For Merchant vessels, of course you want as much cargo room as you need without losing too much speed in the process. Similarly once you have the Load capacity set, you can eventually refit your ship to designate the breakdown of Crew, Cannons, and Cargo. More Cargo is essential for Merchants with lower cannons and crew, likewise for Adventurers who travel far and wide. Maritime sailors on the other hand might prefer to enhance their cannons or crew should they be inclined to either gun it out or fight ship to ship.

Finally for Shipbuilding, ship types that you can build vary from region to region, as you travel you might find yourself wanting a Pinnance from Northern Europe, or the ever popular Samubuck from the Indian Ocean. You need of course the required level to be able to construct such vessels. Also, investing plays a role in the ships available at various ports. As you build your investment reputation with a port, new and interesting ships could become available. For myself, I am to at some point build and own a Schooner, primarily for the reasons that I simply want one.

In the end, it comes down to if you want to invest the time and money to become a successful shipbuilder or if you’d prefer to buy ships from those sailors whom have already done so. With changes upon us and a new region to explore, it might be interesting to check out shipbuilding and experience it yourself as you set out and explore the New World!

Fair Breezes and Safe Seas,
Captain Anjelus Xavier Infiniti

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