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Edited by d1e5elp0wer at 2021321 06:30
It is sad to see all the knowledgebase forums and websites get deleted and all the knowledge on this game going away.
This is why I decided to post this old guide I wrote somewhere in 2008 on the Transformers fleet forums, later Liquid Death fleet, Overkill fleet, Total Carnage etc.
With the ability calculators that we have out there, you actually don't need this thread. But if those calculators disappear/you lose them or whatever, this thread will make it possible for you to do the calculations in a simple spreadsheet.
Most of this topic is about explaining how the true ability calculation works for those that are interested to know. These people would be very few, I assume. Most people don't care about that. For those who only need the formulas on true ability, check Section 5 of the thread.
0. Introduction
In this thread I’m trying to explain what true ability is and also the mechanism of how it’s calculated.
The urge for this is, of course, trying to get the sweet info on the OH, SD etc. caps. Once one can calculate the true ability on their sailors, it would be easy to find out how much is needed to hit the cap, provided a capped crew for a specific ship (like for OH, SD) is available.
I have done some thinking to figure out Adalbert’s guide on the NF forum and Obst’s on nfguides.com (both now no longer existent). They were not very easy to understand without some residual doubts. So here is a guide for people who want to “get” how ability calculation works. I’ll be getting back to these two guides throughout my explanations here so that you don’t feel lost when reading this if you’ve read them (most probably you haven't).
Ok, now back on the subject. This is how this guide is structured:
0. Introduction
1. Definitions
2. Calculating the true ability of a sailor (~Adalbert)
3. Ability percentages of rookies, experts, vets (~Obst)
4. Comparing Adalbert to Obst
5. Conclusion
1. Definitions
Def. of “ability” (Obst): Ability is the power a sailor gains only through his crew.
Def. of “ability displayed (ABdispl)”: This is the ability value, displayed on a sailor opposite to every stat (e.g. accuracy, engine, fighter).
This value depends on how you’ve classed your sailor, which level he is, what base stats he has etc. How the game calculates ABdispl is explained by Obst very well and is not the subject of this guide anyway.
Def. of “expert” (Obst): Experts are the main power of your sailors. Each expert adds the ability value ABdispl 1 time to a crew’s ability.
Def. of “veteran/vet” (Obst): Veterans are four times as efficient as experts. Each veteran adds the ability value ABdispl 4 times to a crew’s ability.
Def. of “true ability”: We define here “true ability” as the total ability a crew has, in other words the sum of all ABdispls that veterans and experts give their crews (4x for each vet and 1x for each expert).
Def. of “recruit/rookie” (Obst): Recruits should be used to fill up the crew. Rookies add no ability value (ABdispl) to a crew but when not maxed out on rookies, a sailor gets penalties on his true ability.
Def. of “skill percentage” (Obst): The socalled skill percentage, or Skill% is the efficiency of a sailor in terms of ability in comparison to if his whole crew consisted of experts, fully maxed out!
Explanation:
Well, all the definitions show now clearly that it is OK having zero ability with only rookies on your sailor, since ability is a “bonus” power the sailor gets only through his crew. That is why the ability bar stays grey when having only rookies and gets filled up (white) with expert/vet increase.
2. Calculating the true ability of a sailor (~Adalbert)
Now it shouldn’t be difficult to calculate the true ability of a sailor, filled up with rookies:
if:
ABdispl > displayed ability
Nv > number of veterans
Ne > number of experts
ABtrue.f > true ability on a filled up crew
then:
> for a full crew, sailor filled up with rookies
When rookies are taken off though, a sailor loses on ability. To take this into account, the following “philosophy” is applied:
The true ability of a filledupsailor gets distributed throughout the crew’s maximum size.
In other words:
,where:
ABdist > distributed ability
Nmax > maximum crew size (as displayed)
This distributed ability is now the ability every crewmember (of a sailor with a specific amount of vets and experts, and a specific maximum crew size) is giving his crew, regardless of the crewmember type (therefore distributed). Multiplying the distributed ability by the current number of crewmembers (which can be less than the max crew size, when the sailor is not filled up with rookies) delivers the true ability of the sailor:
if:
Ntot > current crew size (rookies + experts + veterans)
ABtrue > true ability on a randomly filled up crew
then:
,
which is exactly Adalbert’s formula.
3. Ability percentages of rookies, experts, vets (~Obst)
Obst’s formula for calculating the true ability on a sailor is simple. It uses the skill percentages the game has already calculated for a sailor:
The formula states:
“(Total Ability) = (Skill Percentage) * (Skill Value) * (Maximum CrewSize)”
Using this here terminology:
,where:
%AB > total skill percentage of vets, experts and rookies
Obst gives the definition of skill percentage (see Section 1) but it only helps determine the skill percentages of vets and experts because only they give ability. The negative skill percentage of “missing” rookies cannot be calculated. So what we have is:
,
,where:
%ABe > skill quota of experts as a fraction and not as a percentage (e.g. 0,2 and not 20%!)
%e > all experts’ fraction of the maximum crew size (e.g. 0,2 and not 20%!)
%ABv > skill quota of vets as a fraction and not as a percentage (e.g. 0,2 and not 20%!)
%v > all vets’ fraction of the maximum crew size (e.g. 0,2 and not 20%!)
These two are very close to mind. They have been tested in game and it is important to note here, that the game rounds the percentage down. If you get 86,999% on your calculations, in game they are still 86%. That’s why it is suggested to take the percentage displayed on the sailor sheet in game instead of calculating it so that this rounding down gets into consideration.
A pending question is now, how the game calculates the negative skill percentage of rookies taken off a sailor, because:
,where:
%ABr > negative skill quota of rookies as a fraction (e.g. 0,2 and not 20%!)

