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Next round in suggesting stuff: I am all in for individualization and more options in ship building, so one player ship will most unlikely be a clone of another player ship. Let clone ships be an AI thing alone. For this goal and the affection you will grow on your special, personal ship, I dare propose the following... Ship quality should depend from these factors: - dockyard size and upgrades for that dockyard, so it's not only three sizes as now which seem to determine buildable ship size only. - construction time you are willing to invest. Short (rushed) building means worse, cheaper ship - long (considered) building means better, feature-rich ship with improved characteristics. - accumulated crafting experience. Your crafting level, that is. As I understand it now in the game, it only determines what ship model is available to you. Let that expand also on ship stats. - some rare skill books for ship design + crafting. Manuals by famous ship architects. Treatises by navy engineers. So your shipyard will have upgrade and 'shipyard knowledge' slots just like a ship does. - if you remember my other idea here about recruiting specialized crew groups for determining the abilities of your ship, you will see the source for my idea here about expert carpenters and naval engineers employed by you for improving your ship design further. - tiered material quality: chosen wood type could prove to be one of the following - (1st class) excellent quality (2nd class) good (3rd class) standard (4th class) flawed, where 3rd class would be wood of the common quality we have now. Not sure if this would be visible on the market when you buy in your material, or it turns out to be this or that while working with it (random results, however lowered risk of worse material when employing a high trained specialist in your dockyard who knows how to avoid faulty material). Permanent upgrades in this concept In the result, permanent upgrades (number and quality) would depend on the capability of your dockyard and its crafting power, while ship knowledge as now would depend from buyer and user of same ship. For more options, the number of permas would range from zero to maximum eight. They could get augmented in number by given factors you chose when crafting the ship *and* later when refitting. Later added permas would be considerably expensive compared with those who come with a fresh build, due to more efforts necessary to make room in an existing naval architecture and having to live or deal with existing flaws which need to be mended first. The higher effort is not bought by money, but by excessive requirement of labor contracts. Also we could consider the need of real time for completion of an refitting project, so you would have to take the ship out of active service and put into refit, after real number of days when your playing is recorded by the game you get the refitted ship back, with an additional perma slot. Instant refit would be too easy, it's got to be expensive and valuable. So you appreciate the result better. Some new permanent upgrades would have to come at a price, however. They could mean a reduction in cannons or cargo hold, as it makes sense to reduce them due to characteristics of that new permanent upgrade (if it is spacy, bulky, taking the place of standard equipment). For example, if you refit your ship to be an explorer, serving scientists (like the common coal transport which became Cpt. Cook's 'Endeavour'), you get a permanent upgrade which increases view on the open world map and investigation results about places you pass (so in fact it is a reconnaissance or espionage ship), while you have less cannons (space taken over by scientific instruments and the quarters and laboratories of scientists on board) and less crew. When you craft permanent upgrades, they also could differ in quality, like (1) elite (2) supreme (3) good, while 'good' means the same as current standard. Permanent upgrades could get damaged or destroyed in battles, don't get repaired by your usual repair options and need to be seen after at your next visit to home port and dockyard. If destroyed, the slot may become free for another choice. If damaged, it is greyed out and you don't enjoy the bonus until it is repaired in dockyard (there you can chose to dump it completely and get a new one). This special repair of permas would not be done simply by paying gold, but would require a percentage of the original material needed. For example, if you have Bovenwinds Refit, you would need one out of the original 5 Gritjie Van Dijks as replacement to put Bovenwinds Refit back into function. All this makes permanent upgrades even more valuable than they are now, and ships equipped with them, as well. Your ship has a chance to undergo changes even after original perma slots are full. The dockyard specialization would be a great deal and encourage people to enter the interesting profession of a ship builder, as it would offer more variations. The skill books helping in that would be interesting only for ship builders and thus passed on to those by captains who are just fighting or trading. However, I like the random aspects in getting this or that factor which determines the ship building result. So, the various ways to improve your qualification in ship crafting should influence percentages of chances to obtain this or that partial result flowing into the big result, not generate a sure ticket. So, a ship crafter with low crafting experience xp would have a low percentage to get the top tier result, a colleague with high crafting experience can hope for it on grounds of higher percentage. Makes also sense to get permanent upgrades back, or at least back on a reduced quality tier, if you break up a ship in your dockyard for parts.