I've been interested in this game for quite a while, but it wasn't until Friday evening that I discovered it had moved to Steam Early Access. I bought it right away and put a couple solid days of play into it. Having reached Rank 3 and Crafting 10, I wanted to take a bit of time to address some suggestions that I - as a brand new player - have. I have no doubt that 99% or more of these have been brought up before. Perhaps a fresh set of eyes might offer a helpful perspective.
To begin, I'll admit, I love this time period and this setting. I really want this game to grow and succeed. I can easily see this becoming a long term game for me. Now that the game is available on Steam, it's exposure is going to go way up. People that had followed the game - like me - are coming. New players - who may have never heard of the game before - are coming. This is exciting and scary. I'm not going to say that early access can make or break a game, but it will certainly be beneficial for long term growth if Naval Action gets a solid positive rating and keeps refunds to an absolute minimum. The first five or so hour are pretty vital to making this happen.
Without further ado...
I have no doubt that this is in the works. With a new influx of players, getting them out of port and into the sea with a modicum of pain and suffering should be a big priority. Before buying the game I spent hours watching youtube videos and reading posts here. I did my homework... but will everyone else? This game is not exactly hard to learn, but being tossed out to see with no real introduction is a bit frustrating. A short WIP tutorial would get people up and running quickly. It doesn't need to be flashy and voiced - in fact I'd recommend against a voiced tutorial, see "Rise of Flight" - but it would go a long way to getting a new player out on the right foot.
Intro and Port UI
These are obvious placeholders and are undoubtedly going to change. There are plenty of other things that the team need to prioritize, but it would be nice to have something a little more eye-catching. Again this is from the perspective of a brand new player first turning the game on... and getting an early 90s Windows 3.1-esque menu.
More variation in missions is something that would benefit everyone. I haven't played long enough to know if things change at the higher level or on the PVE server. Thus far I've run nothing but "Sail here and fight this" missions. Granted for a game about - wait for it, naval action - that's fine. It does, I'm afraid get a little stale. Maybe transport an officer from port to port, deliver orders to a ship at sea, find a convoy and report it's position. There are tons of options. This leads into...
A way to help out in PvP
Some of the most fun that I've had in the game was tagging in with a few other players for a battle. Sometimes we fought NPCs, other times players. It was fun! A "problem" if you will, is that sailing halfway around the map in a Cutter that is just going to take up a slot and be - essentially - useless, is sad. I'm not sure what the answer is. A cutter vs a 1st Rate in a Port Battle is not realistic. In fact, I've go no suggestions for this one at all! Just that I'd like to be able to help out without needing grind up a bunch.
Simple Map Tools
Yes. I stole this one. It's a good idea. I totally understand not having a marker on the map. It works. For the first time since my ancestors left Scandinavia, I'm scared to sail out into the open ocean. Having the ability - ala Silent Hunter - to plot a course and so on would be much appreciated. I'd like to think there's a middle ground between "Deus ex machina marks my position on the map" and "Here there be monsters and I've no idea where I am".
And that's... about it off the top of my head. I've been having a great time and knowing that it's Early Access gives me a ton of hope that this game will continue to get more and more awesome! Keep up the good work and may this game grow and prosper!