Hi guys, this is probably a silly question but I haven’t played since Steel came out and I’m just getting back into the game a bit… it’s not easy. The most concerning thing I noticed is it seems the zee bat is completely broken, 9 times out of then it doesn’t detect anything or it sends me flat out the wrong way. What puzzles me is that I’ve been trying to catch up a bit reading the forum but I can’t find any mention of this, surely I can’t be the only one to have noticed this problem?
You’re not the only one to have noticed, and it’s been mentioned in other threads before – just didn’t get its own thread anytime recently is all. But yeah, its sense of direction is definitely out of whack. Perhaps we need a better Bat-to-English translation device :P
Originally the bat’s inaccuracy really bothered me but as the rest of the game has filled out it’s kind of grown on me since it fits the setting. You’re trying to navigate an ocean using a live bat so perhaps a significant margin of error is called for. It makes charting islands more difficult, dangerous, and interesting. I like the idea that the bat is fairly unreliable not just as a game mechanic but to the sailors on your ship. Some poor deckhand lets the bat loose and it decides it’s just going to hang out near the ceiling today instead of scouting or that island looks terrible, not going near there or some unknown monster just eats the damn thing. It’s like Noah and the dove only this time it’s a tramp steamer and a large angry bat.
I remember there being an update at some point that made the map a little more spread out, which might be the change you’re observing! Since you often won’t be able to zee-bat an island from its nearest neighbor. And you need to be in range of the island’s designated "center," not just the nearest point of its landmass.
And yeah, the printed direction being wrong has been a thing for a while, but it will always mark the correct location on your chart. I assume someone’s just holding the map upside down. ("Land sighted to the South-West, Captain! No, your other South-West!") It would be nice to have this fixed, but honestly I’m vastly, vastly less concerned than I would be if my zee-bat started going on about "The NORTH! The NORTH!"