Naval Action

Naval Action

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Deja Vu with Norfolk nWay
By Norfolk nChance
The ALTernative [ELITE] Guide to Naval Action
ALTernate view to Naval Action...
How do some players seem to be in the right spot at the right time all the time...
You hear the Term ALTs... jumping into a Port Battle...
"He's a CHEAT he uses a FARMING ALT...."
"The reason why several ships in PB seem to move oddly is I bet they're DUAL BOXING..."
Whats the difference between 1 player with 5 ALTS and a clan of 5 different players...?
Is it ethical to USE an ALT? When is it NOT...?
Why will Games-Labs NEVER ban the use of ALTs, but will ban BAD ALT usage...?
How do I setup a DUAL BOX, and what can I do with this in Game?
"wait a minute why is Norfolk nWay French when Norfolk nChance is GB...?"

mules, twinks, bots, multibox, addon... these are all ALTs? there's different types?

If you've ever wondered about ALTs or explore this area of gaming, well here is another Lecture from ELITE covering the Dark Art of Using ALTs...
This is an ELITE guide on the BASIC use of ALTs. Many players are already familar with them however alot of the older players like the author have no clue and sometimes feel embarrassed to ask. So if you've read a previous ELITE guide this formula is the same... first grab a glass of Red...

The guide will start very basic but assumes you've read the previous chapter and done the tasks given. This way the guide will gain speed quite quickly without repeating its self.

This subject is quite contraversal and I will try to give a very balanced view. This you may not agree with. Or have better ways or more information to add. If so please use the box below.

What Is an ALT?

"Alternate Character" often referred to as ALT is an additional player character(PC) in addition to your Main Player Character(MPC) you use. ALTs started to appear with the explosion in MMO games. Games like World of Warcraft or EvE Online the use of ALTs is common place with many players having a MPC with 10 ALTs.

With the development of Naval Action, this also is the case. The use of ALTs is very popular with players having 3 or 4 ALTs all doing different tasks.

In Naval Action the Author's MPC is called "Norfolk nChance". He is in a clan [ELITE] in GB Nation.
He has an ALT called "Norfolk nWay". He's in clan called [ELEET] and is French.

Why use an ALT
The use of ALTs might be for many different reasons. They can help constitue "Less-Time" for the MPC in a task. An example in NA is resource gathering from buildings. The MPC has 5x while the ALT also has 5x building giving overall 10x. This could literally half the time it takes to craft ships etc. This type of ALT is called a Farming ALT. Here are some others and terms and uses...

Farming - Popular in NA reduces the grind on the MPC. This also includes Labor Hours and Contracts.

Twinks - PvP focused. Read the Authors "Magic Pirate & the Lost Mission" Guide for a prime example. These ALTs help reinforce the MPC, but may not be in the same clan or even nation. In NA they are referred also as a "SPY". If you are a Pirate and have a GB ALT, the ALT can quitely monitor GB Nation chat for intelligance etc. Twink usage can have a guide all of its own on uses.

Mules - trader/craft/bank ALTs. Enemy Nation ports may hold the only access to rare resources needed to build items like Live Oak Wood. An ALT with enemy nation status could setup a resource build and FARM or go in and purchase goods to ship to a FREEPORT for handover to MPC.

Bots - Not seen these used in NA by the author as yet. In EvE you can setup an outside program like a Spreadsheet Macro to make an ALT run through a set routine while the Player is AFK. This was popular in EVE for Ice Mining in Hi-Sec(PvE) where you sent several ALTs into an area mine it and return the goods. And keep repeating. This allowed the Player reduce his grind time in the game to collect the BASIC resources.

Multibox/Dualbox - this function will allow the player to use both the MPC and ALT at the sametime. Whether to fight each other or hunt an enemy. Many platforms like STEAM won't allow this type of activity having seperate accounts working on the same computer. The Guide will show you how to get around this later on...

Addons - Is an ALT that is created on a seperate account. This is different from the ALTs you have on the other two servers which are on the SAME account.

Can I use an ALT in Naval Action ?
You can definately use an ALT in Naval Action....

The above link is to the main Games-Lab forums. I suggest you have a read through the posts. You should be able to spot a "Twink" or "Farmer" by now. You will NOT find anywhere a Pinned statement saying You cannot use ALTs.

However Using a ALT in a certain way will get you Banned...

The forum highlights intrusive action against another player/clan/nation. Main examples of this is undermining Port Battles. Imagaine GB v France in a PB and Norfolk nWay as a frenchman decides to cause chaos with the other french players?

Also by nWay being actually in the PB it stops another French player coming in. This is another abuse seen often. So PCs wondering off not helping may seem odd or you might think its a newbie. When that same newbie is seen many times....

Other abuses also arise here with Hostility in the current mechanic plus other interferance. I could say its actually "Common Sense" will tell you what is allowed and what is not, but really we need a rule book.

What is allowed then...?

One complaint often seen is the SPY. You are a Dane MPC and you have ALT GB. This ALT will allow access to the Nation Chat. The phrase "Loose Lips, Sink Ships..." should tell you that in your own Nation Chat there maybe more than just friends listening...

Another is someone with 1x MPC and 4x ALTs. Is he the same as 5x individual players in a clan? P2W (Pay to Win) is often sited here because the MPC is the main beneficiary of the 4x ALTs. In the case of a 5 man clan its shared out. The 5 man clan have 5 different wants and needs etc where as the 1x MPC is single minded. The Flip side is the PC must do the work for all the MPC and 4x ALTs....

What is the NA Problem with ALTs
The Dev's Juxaposition...

Many players feel that in Naval Action the use of an ALT is regarded as a CHEAT and you are not playing by the rules. You the Player benefit from two PCs in all the different ways stated above where a stand alone PC cannot.

The argument comes to P2W (Pay To Win) in the fact the more characters you have the less grind your MPC has to do. Unfortunately here there is a problem. If you run a business (GamesLab) where a customer will continually buy the same product from you multiple times. He is a GOOD customer.

You would be foolish to ban him from buying more of your Product. You see where this is going right? What percentage of players have an ALT? I suspect more than you think.

Bad ALT Behaviour...

So Naval Action now is left with an usual position of what is BAD Behavoiur using an ALT and what is acceptable? This can be a very subjective thing.

With the previous chapter, you can see the Problem with ALTs and the hard decision placed back on the Dev's. Referring to others MMOs is unfortunately no help as NA is a "Lite" Sandbox while others are more hands off.

The Grind needed now from the game means players are spending less and less time doing what they want to do in NA. The game starts to look more like a job. This is the appeal for the most part of having an ALT. This I know you all will not agree with.

The TestBed Server and things to come...

Simply speaking, you will notice many players doing exactly what they should be, testing. Without the ALT to help, it simply would take just too long to do. I simply do not have time to give from just a MPC... not enough hours in the week to open up the ship tree. I just don't have the time.

It highlights whats to come. The game looks amazing and deep not where the FINE wood was just grind. This is more now. Unfortunately it will come down to time you want to devote to it. This will drive more players to use ALTs...

Great news for GameLabs with income, but is it bad for the game as a whole?

How do I setup an ALT on STEAM
Lets setup a New Player Charcter in Naval Action...

1. Setup a Brand New STEAM account ID with email and password.

2. In this new account BUY Naval Action.
3. Launch game and setup the normal way the new ALT.

This seems all straight forward but why the second account, and not use the family share and friends access?

Well first off you should pay again for the right to use NA under a different PC. Secondly STEAM will not allow two accounts open at the sametime on one Computer.

This becomes an issue if you want to use both at the sametime this called Multi/Dual Boxing. This might be to trade or other tactical reasons I'm sure you can think of a few. For this we need to be able to run both accounts by using another program. This program is called Sandboxie.

Sandboxie allows you to run a self contained copy of steam on your computer along side your main install. Sandboxie has many other uses but its becoming a must have for ALT users. The program is free to use with 1x ALT. For multiples you will need to buy it.

Setup Dual Boxing My ALT with Sandboxie
Still awake..? Refill the wine glass....

From the previous chapter we need a process to have two PC able to interact with each other on the same Computer at the same time. This Chapter is a walkthrough how to set this up.

1.An extra steam account (this does not allow you to run your main account twice)
2.An extra copy of the game. Family share wont work since you can't play both at once.

Folder Setup & Game Copy
Creating a new folder and copying the game files over is typically recommended but you can use the existing folder to save space if needed. I recommend a different folder, here's how...

1. Open up your Program Files directory where your Steam installation is (eg, C:\Program Files (x86)\)
2. Create a new folder, I named mine "SteamSand" to make it simple.
3. Now go into your normal Steam folder (eg, C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\)
4. Copy the folder "SteamApps" and file "Steam.exe" and Paste them into your SteamSand folder (eg, C:\Program Files (x86)\SteamSand\)
5. Remember to COPY&PASTE, Do not MOVE. This can take a while depending on how many games you have installed. We'll leave this alone for now and come back later.

Sandboxie Download & Setup
1. Now, Download SandBoxie from their website Install & Run
2. When it's open, At the top click "Sandbox" and "Create New Sandbox"
3. Name it whatever you want, I named mine "Steam" Then Click OK
4. Once you've clicked OK, You'll see the new sandbox appear in the list, Right click on it and click "Sandbox Settings"
5. In Settings, Click the + next to "Resource Access", Then the + next to "File Access", Now click "Full Access"
6. Now click the "Add" button and Browse to the previously created "SteamSand" folder. Click on your "SteamSand" folder and Click OK.
7. Click Apply and then OK

How to Launch
1. Now go back to that "SteamSand" folder, Right click on "Steam.exe" and click "Run Sandboxed"
2. You'll get a popup which will have you chose which Sandbox to run it with. Click on your "Steam" sandbox and click OK. Then select the UAC check box as well.
3. Steam will now open and prompt you to Login. This will be the 2nd STEAM a/c for the ALT and NOT for normal STEAM a/c with the MPC
4. Steam will automatically download all the missing files we didn't copy.

Note: It is best to create a shortcut on your desktop to the "Steam.exe" file in your "SteamSand" folder and name it something like "Steam - Sandbox" as you will ALWAYS have to Right click -> Run Sandboxed.

So Now You Can....

Hopefully you should have a general basic knowledge of what an ALT is and how to setup one up. The different strategies I've only scratched the surface. The next issue is do you actually want to do it? Is it ethical and will I spoil my enjoyment as well as others if I start using them...?

But Should you...

For the author, this all started from just trying to give extra funding to the Dev's to what I think is a wonderful and rich game. The Dev Team although small have acheive something that puts most large Dev house's to shame. They do listen to the player commumity which as become fragmented and extremely vocal in opinions. Its no longer ONE voice and unwilling to listen at times...

You can't please all the people all the time, but they try. The NA Arena for the quick fight senario for a gamer with limited hours. The Open World mechanic of building a boat that actually grows with your experience sailing it. This can't come quickly and needs to be something worth acheiving.

The use of an ALT is going to become ever more attractive to not the causual gamer but the hardcore element also. Having a PvP, a Farmer and a Trader ALTs is a common setup. This guide is to show a general overview and how to set it up not should you.

Norfolk nWay...

I'm undecided what to do with him. If I feel it makes my goals and task too easy I just won't use him. If he helps me get more from NA then all well and good. Its my choice but I won't use him against my fellow players or try to undermined the game.

I want NA to really succeed. The use of ALTs should be handled with care and a Rule Book is needed on the practice when the game is launched. They provide much needed revenue, and opponents to there use maybe should offer other revenue alternative ideas...

I hope you found this BASIC look into ALTs interesting. Ideas comments etc please add below

thank you for reading

Norfolk nChance

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zootlord UK Dec 23, 2017 @ 4:41am 
alts are a good substitute for friends
AussiePastor Jun 10, 2017 @ 3:32pm 
Great article.

I'd say, just ,et them keep paying for a new account, for when an account is "caught" in breaking basic game rules on multiple times and been warned, or another resolution, then Permanently Banned is then the only thing left.

Why does the gaming community have to be abused, when real life "rule breakers" do cop consequences.

That why monetary fines generally work.

Harsh Winter May 9, 2017 @ 4:55pm 
Seriosly? Someone farm this game? Are they mad???
Sir Texas Sir May 6, 2017 @ 11:23am 
Just a hint to make it better is maybe at the start do a definition section as I get folks all the time with no clue what Dual Boxing means and other things. I'll add more after I finish reading if need ed.
Harsh Winter May 5, 2017 @ 1:15pm 
The only reason to use twinks is role playing for me. Sometimes i feel insane as I have noone to play with. %D
Alts for fake dialogues and rp. By the way alts are good thing to replace OVERPOWERED AI which never miss a shot. So I could relax and play, not be furious about bot accuracy.