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Home Forums Alpha Test Should gliders be nerfed?

This topic contains 29 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Panhead 1 year, 2 months ago.

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I think it seriously needs to be asked if gliders undermine one of the main purposes of airships – which is to explore. If you thought this game was going to be something like Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle exploring the Galapagos islands, then you’re mistaken. Yes, you can do that if you want, but the game is more like – Superman explores the Galapagos islands. That’s what you get with these very long range gliders.

As a solo player, you are pretty much nuts, exploring the islands with your main ship. Explore them with a cheap ship sure, but not with your version of the HMS Beagle. That baby stays well out of sight.

With a glider, you get to islands much faster and with less risk to your material possessions.

Your main ship has lost one of its purposes. It’s left with 1) being a base, 2) being a wind/storm wall runner and 3) being something you throw into battle, if that’s what you like to do.

Now if there weren’t gliders – heaven forbid! – you might actually have to explore with your main ship. And when you’re actually exploring in your version of the HMS Beagle, you might encounter some pirate in his version of Queen Anne’s Revenge. Now that’s Worlds Adrift!

But as some forum posters have said, if it’s a problem, don’t eliminate it, just nerf it.

Proposed ways to nerf the glider:

1) Change the glide ratio.
For real world hang gliders, it’s about 15 (15 units forward for every 1 unit downward). Now, I know in Worlds Adrift Alpha, one’s personal glider does better than that. More like what a real world sailplane does (40 to 60), but a sailplane has a huge wingspan, not a dinky wingspan like on the personal glider. A real world wingsuit has a glide ratio of 2.5. Perhaps too severe for Worlds Adrift players, so ease up and put the personal glider’s glide ratio somewhere between (15 and 2.5).

2) Make the glider subject to wind conditions within the sector.
a. If you are downwind of an island, you may not make it, or it will take considerably longer than with an engine powered airship.
b. Just as airships fight the wind in windwalls, make gliding a struggle against changing wind conditions within a sector.

3) Have sectors where the climate/environment makes gliders very ineffective.
For example, make rain or snow sectors where gliders sink rapidly.

But hey, I like gliders, I like being superman. But the cost is that airships have lost part of their purpose – exploration.

I leave it here, as a highly debatable question.
Should gliders be nerfed?


Number 2 is actually already a thing in the game. Put the wind to your back while gliding and you will go farther, faster and keep height much easier. It doesn’t really affect your direction that much, but it does some. Going into the wind makes it slower considerably.

Either that or I am crazy and it’s a placebo effect with the wind currents visual effects.

Personally I like the current ratio precisely because it does allow you to explore while keeping your ship safe by. There is still risk, but it’s lower. Maybe once more has been added in to protect personal ships and belongings I would be more comfortable with the glide ratio being adjust, but as it is, don’t touch it.


After building countless ships and visiting countless islands I’ve found the glider, in its current configuration, to be instrumental for continuing enjoyable game-play.
As a solo pilot I park my ship well above and to the side of any island I want to explore and glide down to it rather than crash-land/respawn nearest.
Sometimes I’ll use it to move on to a neighbouring island rather than immediately returning to ship for that purpose.
The reason? To vary the pace of play.

By all means nerf the glider or eliminate it – but if that happens I probably won’t bother with EA unless a worthy substitute is offered.


I like the idea proposed in 1 @tabsterlasvegas. the problem with the glider is not that it is used to safely get to an island that is close to you ship the problem is people traveling long distances (from Island to Island) without a significant drop in altitude. The gliders problem is that it replaces the ship for exploration, the ship is currently only good for holding your supplies, wind wall running, and of course fighting other ships (this almost a direct quote of @tabsterlasvegas I am just agreeing here). and yea the distance traveled to height lost is too high, and that is what is creating this problem.

Also @RitchieJhow does the change affect how you play? if the ratio is reduced you will still be able to ” I park my ship well above and to the side of any island I want to explore and glide down to it” like you do know the only difference will be that it will be harder to move to a neighbouring island of the same altitude which for you as you say is “To vary the pace of play.”


Perhaps a stamina bar or a time in flight limit of sorts. Make gliders good for scouting but incapable of interisland flight.


I see the risk versus reward of ship building actually being the problem and not the gliders. People build these ships that they don’t feel comfortable risking. I do it myself – build a ship and then park it in the sky because I don’t want to lose it.

A glider nerf does nothing to actually address this. It just makes one of the lowest cost items more costly. That’s my take at least.


Regarding point 1 – Remember that this world has less gravity than earth – considerably so. So, the way a real life hang glider would fly would probably be different too.

Points 2 and 3 are great though. I think both wind direction and wind strength should play a huge role – in both directions of the scale. Adverse winds going against you would slow you down or stop you outright, but a strong tailwind would actually boost you… it would encourage using gliders to your advantage in a more tactical manor. I also like the idea that rain would dampen the glider and make you drop a lot faster, or even damage the glider meaning it needs to be repaired or replaced. Deploying the glider while moving at high speed could also be a good way to break it (Literally snapping the wings) – that would stop people just freefalling down to an island and gliding at the last second to hide their ship up high.

I like Musu’s idea of some sort of a time limit, but I can’t really envision any way to make that realistic. Maybe the glider just gradually loses durability and eventually breaks?

I personally think a longer deploy time would help balance it a little more. Not just insta-wings, but taking a few seconds (About the same as refuelling a tank) to extend/retract them – and they stay in whichever formation as more of a toggle. Jumping/falling forwards would initiate the glide – and sprinting with the wings out would slow you down.
Just thoughts though, not sure how others would feel about them 😛 But I do agree that gliders should somehow not work for inter-island travel (As useful as it is right now). It kind of defeats the point of sails entirely.

EDIT: Side-idea, but maybe we could get some sort of sail-helm combo for these inter-island hops instead? So you could have a tiny ship with an atlas lifter (The inventory-made ones), and this combo on – that would be enough to get you around locally if you didn’t want to make a bigger ship, but a little more balanced than a glider. Just a sudden thought I had after posting 🙂


A lot of interesting points made above.

@yakkoforever I could deal with a ‘reduced ratio’ as long as thermals are introduced in the hotter ‘biomes’ and updrafts adjacent to cliff edges in the windier ‘biomes’ are made a thing.

It’s a sandbox – some will prefer ships, some gliders.
I don’t want to impose my play-style on anyone else –
And they should leave me to make my own choices.


@flenix that last idea you hot in there reminds me of the suggestions in the sail board thread


@flenix, I have seen developer posting pictures about their work on a new item which is basically helm+sky core combo. (Tried to search for post, but forgot where I have seen it)

Edit: found it Helm+sky core page 22


I think gliders should simulate real world physics of the wing suites. Should be a high risk situation with higher speeds required for true gliding.

Fall Slower and Farther
The average skydiver plummets towards the surface of the Earth at a rate of 120 mph (193 kph) and can soar horizontally at 30 to 60 mph (48 to 97 kph). Typical wingsuit flyers fall at a rate of 50 to 60 mph (81 to 97 kph) and can jet through the air at 70 to 90 mph (113 to 145 kph) [source: Birdman, Inc.]

Also note this would allow for enhancements to the wing suite by adding jet packs. So they could fall while gliding then add bursts of jetpack power to increase elevation for a short period


I must really need to practice with the glider. I can barely make it across a largish island. No chance of reaching another island.


I agree with you on most of what you said but I’m not 100% sure how they should nerf it without making it useless? I have also watched videos that made the glider seem OP! If you have a faster ship and are running away from another person all they have to do is gain higher altitude and glide down from above! Speed and range sounds like a safe nerf without taking the fun away from it but how much is the real question? I was wondering is there a grappling hook style cannon ball in the game?


Gliders lose altitude at a constant rate. You can get to lower islands but you cant explore in the same way as in a ship. I do not view gliders in direct competition with ships at all, so I dont think there is anything that needs to be nerfed.

Panhead has it right. Right now the main issue is a valid reason to risk a ship you have spent a few hours getting perfect, maybe even days. If the only motivation is piracy and destruction then you will end up with small fast skiffs in the sky, and then an empty sky.


Yes – the glider-nerf fraternity will conveniently miss the obvious –
At present I’m occasionally flying a small fast ship for exploration –
And the skies have been relatively empty for the last few weeks.

I’m wondering what Alpha 6 will implement to change that?

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