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We would like to provide the information on the NA Legends and the short roadmap. Feature set The game is planned as a free to play game on PC. This will guarantee large amount of players on the start and remove the price obstacle on trying the game. Some of those players might convert to paying users and even try the open world edition as well. Monetization Monetization will be simple and manly using best practices of the industry, but will avoid shady practices. There will be no nickeling and diming in form of ship slots or ammo or other crap F2P style mechanics. Things that players will be able to pay for Premium account - increasing XP and Money gains (a-la wot and wows) Premium ships (some of which will also be available as tournament or event rewards). Every premium vessel will have a free similar ship available to non-paying users. For example if there is a premium frigate of 34-38 guns, this will mean there there is going to be a free frigate in this gun range. Skins and flags Officer retraining (also available for in game money) Ships Standard ship line up will consist of 24 ships including all 1st and 3nd rates that are currently in game (from Lynx to Santisima Trinidad. These 24 ships will be available for free players. Players will be able to unlock ships and buy them in the similar way it was done in original Sea Trials. There will be no premium ships with guns complement above 90+. But there will be ship of the lines given as tournament prizes. Testing roadmap NA legends testing will start soon. The testing will be done in 3 stages. Stage 1: We will provide the build for internal testers and some select (without UI) - the goal will be to test stability of instances and major bugs that could arise from Unity 5. Do not worry about getting in at this stage - it is going to las only a week. Stage 2: Once UI is finished we will provide the access key to all who applied - they will be free to share the access keys with whoever they want as well. Stage 3: Access will open to all NA owners Testing will be done on 2-3 game types (maps) with various win conditions and objectives One objective - simple meeting engagement with 2 Objectives with forts (capturable) 3 Objectives - similar to current port battles If initial testing runs will be complete and are successful we will take parts of the current OW map tech to event generation providing randomized battles in various locations making every battle unique. In addition to that tournament content will be added in form of weekend automated tournaments (a-la fifa weekend league). Once testing is done we will open the access to the general public and work will start to optimize the game for PS4 and XBOX One - we already have the xbox version running but it needs some more optimization. Please ask questions if you have any.
My suggestion is to implement the old Sea Trials as its own game mode at the login screen. I hear a lot of chatter from folks who dislike the current small / large battles for various reasons (It takes people out of OW PvP, it breaks immersion, people only use cutters, not enough people queue for it). Implementing Sea Trials as its own game mode would address many of these issues. Set up Sea Trials as its own server at login. Doing so would consolidate the people engaging in small / large battles into one location; making finding a match easier. You could then remove small / large battles from the main game, which would address the OW PvP / immersion issues. Lastly, because the Sea Trials rules had no durability loss and free ships with progression, people would more willingly engage in ships other than the Basic Cutter. You could make XP from Sea Trials translate to players' Steam accounts as the small / large battles do now, or leave it wholly separate. Additionally, you could set up account based rewards for playing or for the winning teams in Trafalgar battles such as redeemable BP or ships. Finally, I envision this Sea Trials mode as a method for the developers to test new ships and balance changes before making them live in the main OW game. Give people who want a quick and balanced PvP match someplace to go that is separate from the OW game. Bring back Sea Trials and make it a fun and rewarding extra game mode!
Couple of times last night in sea trials I started a PVE game. Loaded normally except there was no computer controlled ships. Kinda lonely, sailing the seas by myself :-) A couple of other players told me they had it affecting them as well in chat.