#282 – “Strom on the Watre”

As I’m pretty sure has been mentioned in comments in the past, I actually know next to nothing about sailing or nautical terms in general, so our convenient random sailor might be talking out of his sleek red trousers for all I know. That said, I’ve always found it curious how so many ship travel paths in the game seem to blaze right past the Maelstrom, so I winged something.

Oh and the title is intentional.


12 Responses to “#282 – “Strom on the Watre””

  1. 1 Fokker
    September 15, 2011 at 18:51

    Heh. My character broke that hammock right when she sat on it.

  2. September 15, 2011 at 19:54

    Must be some ferocious wavres. :3

  3. 3 Helayne
    September 15, 2011 at 21:02

    This is about the point where I’d be leaning over the railing and hurling the contents of my stomach out to the waves and fishes.

  4. 4 Shadda
    September 15, 2011 at 21:31

    I don’t know much about sailing (biggest I’ve been out in was a 30 footer and I was a passenger) but err… There are a few issues.
    For one thing, no waves. It looks like gang’s ship has been becalmed. (You can even see the shadow of the ship on the perfectly flat water). In rough seas the ship would probably be slanted. The deck would pitch and the and that lamp would certainly be tilted to match. It does look like the gang is holding on, so that part is good, it’s just that without the movement it’s unclear why they’re holding on.
    I also question the sanity of a captain who orders his crew into a storm under full sail, but that has more to do with the models provided by wow, I suspect. In really strong wind you’d risk ripping your canvas. Some of those sails would probably be taken down. Others would be reefed (basically made smaller by only putting them up part way). I know you can buy special “storm sails” for small boats, but I’m not sure about large ships.
    With all that said, I love this comic. The characters are well formed, the storyline’s intriguing, and the rendering is beautiful. I may come across as a critic, but you show such attention to detail that I thought you might want to know a few of the obvious trouble points.

    • 5 Nhani
      September 15, 2011 at 21:40

      …In hindsight, I probably should’ve turned the small water flat I did incorporate into the renderer into non-shadow-receiving. Good point.

      As for the rest… they’re details that would be nice to have, but without any kind of proper fitting backdrop to match, I’m not sure if it could be done “enough”. I mainly focused on the impression of “A lot of Rain!”, while only being marginally successful at convincing 3ds to actually throw me something remotely rain-like.

      It’s a fair set of points though, and things I’ll have to try to bear in mind if I ever tackle storm at sea again. Probably won’t, though – rain and wind is bad enough when the group is on land!

      • 6 Nhani
        September 15, 2011 at 22:41

        Gah, and then I couldn’t un-see the shadow just because of that. What’s worse, I noticed that the layer I use for reference to tell roughly how large each pane should be hadn’t actually been removed so it created an annoying, brighter line at the bottom of that first pane too.

        So, I went and re-rendered the first pane. Destroyed the shadow, tried to pretend there are waves and added some more particle effects to that end. It should be a bit more towards the end I wanted with it. Not doing anything with the sails – my knowledge of boats is typically limited to the rough science of why they don’t sink and that spending any sort of time on them makes me feel rather queasy. Also not changing the indoor panes – at most what I’d do is just put them all at an angle, and I think that’d look a bit silly. The lamp in the indoor shot is also standing on the table, rather than hanging, so the only movement it’d be capable of is either falling over or sliding off the table and then falling over.

        Still not perfect, and all the more of an argument that I really shouldn’t try to do oceans in a storm (there are plenty of reasons why liquids are considered among the hardest things to do well in 3D graphics)… but it’s a bit better than it was at first.

  5. 8 LolDrood
    September 16, 2011 at 01:32

    Oh yes, the Maelstrom’s perfectly safe; it’s us who’re in trouble.

    There’s been quite a few ship paths, particularly after Wrath’s release, that traveled straight through land.

    Meh. The boat’s seaworthiness is not dependent on Hani being awake. Sleepy times.

  6. 9 Synchronizor
    September 16, 2011 at 06:31

    Actually, the Maelstrom would likely be an important feature to Azerothian mariners due to its effect on currents in the Great Sea. The Maelstrom would create a unifying counter-clockwise rotation in the Great Sea; probably overriding any natural gyres caused by the rotation of the planet. Any ship with a competent captain would keep the Maelstrom on their port side during a crossing, in order to take advantage of the currents and shorten the duration of the voyage.

    The boat loading screens in-game show this, most routes pass by the Maelstrom in such a way as to take advantage of the current. Some even seem to go out of their way to do this, such as the Lady Mehley’s westward voyage from Menethil Harbor to Theramore, or the Maiden’s Fancy during an eastbound crossing from Ratchet to Booty Bay. This suggests that the added push from the Maelstrom’s currents more than make up for the increased distance traveled.

    A less extreme real-world example of this is how past and current ocean vessels use the clockwise currents of the North Atlantic Gyre to optimize Atlantic crossings. When heading west, the ship will swing south to take advantage of the North Equatorial Current, and when eastbound, they can take a more northern route to catch the Gulf Stream. Sailing with the currents is very helpful for saving time and energy.

    A couple of the ship routes, however, head around the Maelstrom in the wrong direction. The Lady Mehley sails against the current when heading east from Kalimdor, even though the distance traveled is far greater than it would be sailing with the currents. Captain “Stash” must hit the tavern pretty hard during a layover in Theramore. Ironically, the Bravery’s west-bound crossing from Stormwind, which you’re depicting here, also takes the hard way around the Maelstrom for no apparent reason. My guess is these odd routes are simple mistakes on Blizzard’s part.

  7. September 16, 2011 at 10:56

    *sings* Smooooooooke on the waaaaaaateeeeeeeeeeer! Fire in the skyyyyyy!

  8. 11 gryffyn
    September 17, 2011 at 09:50

    As far as how a sailor would talk to the passengers, just think about all the casual statements made by the captain and first officer on airliners you have flown on.

    “Folks its going to get a little bumpy for a while.” Translation, you are going to be shaken up like a couple of the BBs in a spray can.

    “There is some weather ahead at our destination but it shouldn’t interfer with our landing” Translation, I am gonna plow through that line of Thunderstorms, hang on.

    “We have a minor mechanical problem and company rules state we need to divert to the nearest airport” Translation, I am really worried and my first officer is white faced and sucking on oxygen.

    Oh and the Malestrom is something that happened as a result of magic. Perhaps there are no waves, just storms.

  9. 12 Isabella
    June 6, 2012 at 23:43

    Well well. now we test Hani sleeping ability. (its very effective!)

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