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Sail Forth details new “The Fleet Update”, patch notes

Posted on April 10, 2023 by in News, Switch eShop

Original (3/21): A new update has been announced for Sail Forth. Titled “The Fleet Update”, this aims to address community feedback on gaming progression and management, and includes a variety of changes and fixes to the gameplay mechanics and systems to allow for smoother and more flexible progression. Additional changes have also been put in place to support future content-focused updates. No release date for the updated has been announced, but the full patch notes can be found below:

Fleet Management – The Dock
The goal here is to enable more playstyles and allow you to accumulate new ships in a satisfying way. Don’t want to deal with a fleet? Store all extra boats in your dock and use them like extra lives. Got a neat boat for a specialized purpose? Bring it out of the dock when you want to use it.
Boats can be stored at a dock, accessible from the fleet management menu whenever not in combat
Unlimited boats can be stored at the dock along with their crew and loadout
If your entire fleet sinks but you have docked boats, you can undock them to continue the fight
Previously in places where you could acquire a boat (encounters, boarding), you might have had to scrap it due to no remaining room in the fleet, now it can be stored at the dock directly

Fleet Management – Orders and AI
Some of the most common feedback about the game so far has been that the fleet AI doesn’t do a great job of avoiding collisions. I spent a bunch of time overhauling the way the AI sees the world around it and expanding your ability to control them.
Greatly improved navigation AI: Your fleet (and other AI boats) should be much more adept at avoiding collisions
The ‘set order’ functionality of previous demos has been restored and updated
Fleet boats can be told to Escort, Hold Position, or Hold Fire
Can also issue one of these commands to the entire fleet at once
Your fleet will attempt to escape combat and return to your flagship if you are not close by

Progression Balancing
Another common bit of feedback from the community was that the progression felt a bit strange. Having large ships available from the first shop you encounter meant that some players would grind it out immediately and not feel any need to upgrade for the rest of the game. With this in mind, the set of available ships has been modified to spread out the progression more sensibly throughout the game’s chapters. Special thanks to Neizod from the community for a great writeup on the Steam forum about this problem!
Based on feedback many of the boats in the game have had their balance tweaked, in addition to a revised unlock progression
Each new Shipshape Shop encountered will unlock a new boat of that chapter’s tier
Larger ships are now unlocked later in the game and have had their prices updated to reflect this
Removed boat selection from tutorial sequence to curate a more consistent intro experience

Content Updates
This is not a content-focused update but I did find some time to add a bit of stuff. The new Tekk Speedboat should make the Tekk Clan fleets a bit more interesting to fight, and the Croaker bounties have been overhauled to present a bigger challenge. Many people have asked for more ability to customize their crew-members, and this update brings a small first step towards this, giving you the ability to set their colors separately from the boat/sail colors.
The way enemies are placed in the world has been overhauled, which will allow for new types of content in the future
For now the main difference is that hostile locations such as forts have a chance to spawn new enemies each day
Updated Croaker Bounty encounters which now scale in size and difficulty
Introducing the Tekk Clan Speedboat: a fast and lightly armed engine-powered vessel
Tekk Subs are now implemented as proper ‘boats’ in game terms, giving them better physics and AI
Tekk Destroyer weapon slots increased to 4
Updated visuals for Lightkeeper Flagship: Based on feedback the design of the ship has been revised with a more realistic and better looking sail rig
Crew color customization: Your crew’s color scheme is now chosen separately from the sail colors

Other fixes and changes
Updated tutorial system: The old tutorial system felt a bit heavy handed as it would frequently pause the game and force you to do something that you potentially already know how to do
Tutorials now use a ‘checklist’ system that never pauses the game, and are much less intrusive
New tutorial added for camera zoom controls
‘Feedback’ option now available from the pause menu to report bugs directly from the game
Improved capsizing logic: If your boat capsizes, your crew is temporarily thrown in the water and must spend some crucial time flipping the boat right side up again, which can be devastating in a battle. Watch those sails!
Many smaller bug fixes and tweaks, too many to enumerate here

Sail Forth is available now digitally on Switch via the eShop.


Update (4/9): “The Fleet” update for Sail Forth is now live on Switch.

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