Naval Conquest - April 10, 2023
Naval Conquest is a new Adventure Mode that will be added with the Tenebris expansion. The overarching goal of Naval Conquest is to prepare for the arrival of the Occultist Imperator's Fleet, and defeat the Imperator on his Man-of-war.
The player chooses a party of 3 from among the playable characters, who use their Onslaught/Conquest/Heist movesets and bring their own unique Naval Magic and Naval Passive. The player will also choose their sail pattern and environment type (both of which are just for appearance's sake, and does not affect gameplay), and then are dropped into a procedurally generated ocean filled with islands aboard their schooner, the Cetacean.
The Imperator's Fleet will arrive after a set number of days, where each day is 120 seconds of ingame playtime and ticks down when exploring and when in combat. During this time, the player will search desert islands for buried Mez (complete with red X to show where the buried treasure is), search forest islands for food and lumber, and visit town islands and use their resources to recruit sailors, upgrade the Cetacean, add more schooners and galleons to their fleet, and go on shore leave. The player will also be able to engage in naval missions (to level up the boats in their fleet) and sea trade from these town islands (boats from the player's fleet are away and cannot level up, but the player gets great deals on resources).
When sailing, the player will use their ship to fire cannonballs, ram enemy ships and monsters, and use a character's unique Naval Magic to fight giant sharks (speedy hit-and-run monster), krakens (slow tanky melee monsters) and the enemy's own ships (cannonballs and ram attacks like the player's boat). When first disembarking on a new desert or forest island, or boarding an enemy ship, the player's party will fight in standard combat. If boarding an enemy boat, the party will fight alongside some of the sailors that they have recruited from towns -- sailors that reach 0 HP will die permanently, but their reinforcements will gain increasingly higher stat boosts for each sailor that died in that specific battle.
When time expires, the Imperator's Fleet will arrive, and the player will have to enter naval combat alongside their own fleet to weaken the Imperator's Man-of-war to the point it is boardable, before the player party themselves boards the Man-of-war and faces down the Imperator in direct combat. On defeating the Imperator and his party, the player will win the Naval Conquest.
The higher difficulties will add some additional mechanics that must be considered in a Naval Conquest run. Legend Difficulty will have it where hitting 0% morale will not cause the player to slowly lose crew, but result in a mutiny where the player must fight up to 16 of their own sailors, costing the player time and crew if morale is not managed. Legend Plus Difficulty not only keeps the mutinies, but adds hunter boats in the open seas (but not during naval missions or the Imperator's Fleet battle). These hunter boats will attempt to ram and board the player's boat (and are the only enemy to be able to do so), and these hunter boats contain Pantheon Priests, some of which can lower morale when landing a hit on the currently player-controlled character.
Naval Magic and Passives
Each playable character has their own unique Naval Magic (which provides an effect on naval combat and has a cooldown) and Naval Passive (can range from better ship stats to morale handling to better resource gains, and more). As a result, whatever characters you include in your party will influence how the course of a particular Naval Conquest run will be handled. As Naval Conquest is still undergoing balance testing at this point, some of the specifics here may be subject to change, but are included to provide the general feel for naval magic and passives.
Naval Magic - Windcatch -- For 5 seconds, the player's boat and all allied boats have max acceleration, and both ram damage and ram boarding threshold decreases are boosted by 50% for 5 seconds.
Naval Passive - Fleet Command -- Allied boats (but not the player's boat) inflict 50% more damage/boarding decreases and receive 50% less damage.
Including Cherry as part of the crew of a Naval Conquest run gives the player stronger emphasis on the allied ships in their own fleet, allowing the player to either rely more on heavily built ships for the final battle, or go the opposite way and be more lax on naval missions to focus on other preparations for the final battle.
Naval Magic - Arctic Blast -- For 5 seconds, a large sheet of ice will appear over a selected area that stops enemy boats from ramming and cuts the movement of all enemy boats and monsters in its area of effect down by 80% for 5 seconds. Enemies hit by attacks while in the ice sheet will suffer double boarding decreases.
Naval Passive - Highway Experience -- Sea trade expeditions are sped up from 3 days to 2 days.
Knight brings strong versatility to a Naval Conquest run. His Arctic Blast disables the ramming capabilities of enemy ships, makes enemy ships easier to board, and severely weakens all enemy movement in general to a large area. His passive is invaluable for gaining more resources in general, since it potentially allows up to 50% more sea trade missions in a single Naval Conquest.
Naval Magic - Stormcall -- For 10 seconds, lightning bolts will randomly strike down over a very large area. Enemy boats or monsters that are struck by a lightning bolt take damage equivalent to a base boat ram attack. Enemy boats that are hit have their boarding threshold decreased by double a base ram strike.
Naval Passive - Crude Jokes and Lively Stories -- Morale at sea decreases at half speed, and revelry at sea can boost as high as 100% as opposed to 75%.
Alberto's Stormcall is much like his Thunder Storm -- random, but with the potential to deal very large damage if the lightning strikes land in good positions. Stormcall also lasts longer than most naval magics in general. Alberto's passive also keeps morale high, both from slower decrease and from revelry boosts that are as effective as standard shore leave (revelry being like shore leave, but can be done on the Cetacean at the cost of food). With Alberto present, the party will not have to worry about finding or returning to towns for shore leave so much, and morale can constantly stay in a very good spot.
Naval Magic - Vesselshatter -- After selecting an enemy ship, that enemy ship is immediately dealt damage equivalent to half of a base ram strike and that enemy boat's boarding threshold is decreased by triple what a base ram strike would inflict.
Naval Passive - Experienced Sailor -- The player boat's damage and boarding decreases from own cannon fire and ram damage is boosted by 25%, and the player's boat also has 25% higher movement speed.
Tara's presence on a Naval Conquest crew provides some very strong general advantages. Vesselshatter is a quick and easy way to weaken a boat to be boarded (which is invaluable for the endgame goal of trying to board the Imperator's Man-of-war). Her passive also provides general cannon damage and ram damage boosts for battle, as well as a movement boost that is useful for both combat and exploring.
Naval Magic - Evergreen Ram -- For 5 seconds, all ram attacks by the player's boat deal triple damage and decrease boarding threshold of enemy boats by triple the normal amount when hit by the player's ram.
Naval Passive - Cartography Enthusiast -- If a spot on the world map has a forest island, that part of the map is uncovered sooner and the island appears on the map earlier. The amount of food and lumber found on forest islands is also boosted by 50%.
Pound's Evergreen Ram can be an excellent way to deal large ramming damage to enemy boat and monster alike (especially when paired with Tara's Vesselshatter for boats). Pound's passive boosting food and lumber from exploring forest islands is useful not only for recruiting crew and building and upgrading boats, but is also good for always having something at the ready for sea trade expeditions.
Naval Magic - Boatblaze -- After selecting an enemy ship, that enemy ship catches fire and suffers damage and boarding threshold decreases at 30% base ram attacks per second for 5 seconds.
Naval Passive - Historical Analysis -- If a spot on the world map has a desert island, that part of the map is uncovered sooner and the island appears on the map earlier. The amount of Mez found on desert islands is also boosted by 50%.
Boatblaze can provide a good balance of both boat damage and boat boarding threshold decreases -- useful for stacking with Evergreen Ram and Vesselshatter for boarding, as well as for just sinking enemy boats (since boarding can be more time-consuming, despite additional rewards for doing so). Historical Analysis is basically the desert island equivalent of Pound's passive, and means more resources as a result.
Naval Magic - Tsunami -- For 5 seconds, the ocean's waves will grow higher and deal 10% base ram damage and boarding threshold decreases every time waves touch an enemy boat.
Naval Passive - Cautious Sailor -- The player's own boat damage received is reduced by 50%. The player's boat can take 2 ram attacks from hunter boats before being boarded (this leeway resets on combat end).
Claire's Naval Conquest kit is good for dealing with multiple enemies at once. Tsunami is not very damaging, but it provides a widespread effect good for dealing with all enemy boats in play at once. Cautious Sailor's powerful defensive boost to the player boat is useful for surviving naval combat against multiple enemies at once, and its bonus against hunter boats in Legend Plus Difficulty takes some of the edge off of the hardest difficulty's unique mechanic.
Naval Magic - Siege Salvo -- For 5 seconds, all cannonfire from the player's boat deals 3x damage and boarding threshold.
Naval Passive - People Person -- Sailors can be recruited for 160 Mez and 8 Food each, instead of 200 Mez and 10 Food each, and sea trade expeditions have a 20% higher gain.
Siege Salvo is a useful ability a round or two of powerful ranged damage, while People Person allows more crew to be obtained for stronger boarding parties. A team of Knight and Jimmy can make for very potent sea trade rewards.
Naval Magic - Blue Pulse -- After selecting an enemy ship or monster, the target's movement is completely halted and they suffer base ram damage every second for 5 seconds.
Naval Passive - Unmatched Loyalty -- When boarding or being boarded, the player's sailors deals 50% more damage and takes half damage. If mutinies are possible, leeway for a mutiny is added, allowing up to 5 sailors per current potential mutiny to leave before an actual mutiny starts.
Blue Pulse can be useful in sniping a particularly annoying hit-and-run shark or for pinning an enemy boat in place, so that the player and/or allied boats can get in a better position or attack -- like Knight's Arctic Blast, enemy boats cannot ram when suffering from Blue Pulse. Brooks' passive not only provides some mutiny protection on higher difficulties, but stronger sailors will make for a stronger boarding force, particularly for the final battle against the Imperator.
Naval Magic - Boiled Beasts -- For 10 seconds, the oceans will begin boiling over a selected area for 10 seconds. All monsters caught in the area of effect of the boiling ocean suffer 20% base ram damage every 1/5 second that they are in the area of effect.
Naval Passive - Life of the Party -- Shore leave costs require 500 Mez instead of 1000 Mez. Shore leave also temporarily boosts morale up to 150% instead of up to 100%.
Boiled Beasts is an extremely effective way at dealing with enemy sharks and krakens, and is especially notable since krakens are slow and tanky -- rather than having to tangle with krakens, Caesara provides an easy way to heavily damage and destroy them. Caesara's passive provides cheaper and more potent shore leave, and can either be a replacement for Alberto's morale passive on lower difficulties, or can be combined with Alberto to make morale a barely noticeable factor.