So I should start by stating that I haven't gone as in depth as some other more veteran players here, I'm sure you can tell by my amount of posts. My play time isn't that absurdly high either, but I have listened to as many players as I could and though I don't know a tremendous amount about the game, I thought of some things that hopefully veteran gamers could either expand on, run with, or completely shut down. Either way, it's a learning experience for me.
I've noticed that this game is focused on OW PvP and Port battles (I think that awesome and it drew me to this game on the first place), but what I'm also noticing is a lot of grind. Now I've grounded a lot, I don't mind grinding for a good cause, as long as I can see a reward in the not so distant future. The major problem I'm seeing is that grinding is on EVERY front in this game. Gold, Character XP, Ship XP, Crafting XP, PvE Marks, PvP Marks, Conquest Marks, I mean even mission runs, delivery missions, and Trading runs!
This whole thing seems very disconnected with each other. PvP seems to be completely counter to Trading. Why can't we come up with a different solution?
Bear with me as I break with down as best as I can, and my suggestions that I think could help the game, traders, PvPers, Roleplayers, and RvR.
First and foremost:
Trading should be the lifeblood of any major empire, it dictates the market for its Captains and its military might!
Why not have all ports consume goods?
Use this to push traders to transport more goods of a particular type towards specific places. This already occurs to some ports in the game, but what happens if you make it all ports? What happens if the price of the goods reflect this.
What would happen if after a while, those ports weren't getting their shipments of goods?
Maybe a small bonus to grinding out hostility in that area(small bump)?
Maybe less powerful AI fleets would appear.
As time goes on, the less and less shipments that get through, the more damage it does to the port (accumulating negatives).
Either way, it's a benefit to those who would possibly want to nab that port.
What happens if that port is well supplied however? The traders are doing their jobs?
Maybe a small negative (just hamper) to would be hostility hits.
More powerful AI fleets?
Maybe a cheaper crew cost, since they're in a wealthy area and there's a surplus of sailors or scallywags?
Why not have all ports producing goods?
I mean every hour on the hour, more resources or goods show up. Have them be on sale for more than what a player can make, as to preserve the need for buildings, but when an AI trader comes into port, have them at least have a higher chance to carry that ports produced items out.
Both of these could work into a wicked PvP mechanic.
Blockading a port should hamper it, Raiding a port should strip it of most stockpiled resources that the port was using to survive. While I think, having players items be stolen could be realistic, I would think having the trading goods, food, and port products from its own production be a much easier hit on the economy.
Bounty missions/Letters of Marque
I detest these marks, absolutely hate them as they only benefit those that are already playing in PvP, so they can obtain better ships. (It's like how WoW was with Grand Marshal gear way back when. It's pretty easy to pummel down a guy with green or blue gear when you have epic gear.)
I actually liked it how it was before the patch in that aspect. Wars should be decided by two things; Battles of men and the battles of Wealth. With Dura being 1, I fail to see the need for this as another grindfest.
But if the game has determined to keep them, maybe using a bounty system on specific Nationalities might better help the choking bottleneck of these items.
You could even add letters of Marque by clans to hire other nationalities to attack specific ports or nations. Having PvPers earn more than what they earn now.
Let players cap unranked ships. This will not only help them get out of the monotonous grind for gold when they start, but get them into a ship they can PvP with. Likewise, they can deconstruct them and use that to help them push their Crafting XP.
They become more useful in PvP AND they start having a goal to become investors in crafting, pushing the economy more!
I know I'm not a veteran, nor do I post much, but I do want to make this game better, and I want to bring in more people. But I can see why some are getting slightly aggravated with everything right now and why some are reluctant to join.
Thanks for your time.