Open Letter To The Devs Of Naval Action
First of, i apologize for any grammar mistakes i make because english isnt my native tongue.
So i played Naval Action for about 560 hours and want to give out my feeback directly to the community and the developers. The first time i saw this game was about 3 years ago, when i noticed its available on steam i instantly bought it for a proud price of around 37€. I knew it was an early Alpha, and i was aware of that danger, but none the less i bought and installed it.
I was and still am fascinated about the deep and complex system of building a ship, trading, exploring and fighting. The learning curve is great but there are some proplems which i would like to list up. When i started playing about 4000 people played it actively and i had to wait half an hour to get on a server, now the maximum of players is about 500 to 600 people and there are now only 2 servers, one pvp and one pve, which i have no problem with. There are reasons why my friends call this game "Naval No-Action", "Sailing Simulator" or even "Grandpa Action".
Naval Action consumes alot of time which reflects in the player base. In my experience mostly elderly people play this game, which is not a problem, considered they got more time so they use it to get the full potential out of this game. Here is one big problem, Naval Action in fact, consumes so much time i spend real hours on the sea to reach my goal of finding an enemy player or reaching a port. For me as a student, its not really optimal.
Your Input in the game is not greatly rewarding you. If you put hours into the game, gathering resources, doing missions to get a new ship, it can be taken away from you in no time if you dont be cautious enough, making your whole effort worthless. I dont say its always worthless, but for new players it is. The only way to get started is with help from other players and clans, giving you money and a better ship.
The new missions are a complete disaster! I started with some friends after a long brake on GB once again, so you start some missions as you normally do to get your rank ups, but no. Its not like you sail to your mission and finish it anymore. You now have to sail around the open world finding your target you need to eliminate, i am talking about those Search and Destroy and Hunt Missions. So now you need to spend even more time finding random generated npc fleets on the big open world, great. And if thats not all, NPC dont spawn anywhere, you need to sail to nearby enemy ports to get a chance of encountering some, wasting even more time in the process.
Some of the DLC's are pure money grabs! The Profilic Forger DLC is the most disgusting cash grab i ever saw. 20€ for chaning your name and your nation every 30 days? Some time ago you could change a nation for FREE but limited, and that was fine.
The game has a problem with his sound and atmosphere, dont get me wrong. I love hearing the water, the ship whistles, the men shouting if you shock the enemy ship, the cannonballs hitting your ship, its fantastic. But it the cannon fire doesnt really sound good to me, its sounds weak not really menacing. Music is missing entirely, making the game sound not bad, but just empty.
The graphics are really nice to look at, as well as the ship details but combat doesnt seem to change the appearance heavily. Of course you got your holes in the sails and missing masts, making your ship pretty slow. Then you got fire which burns parts of your ship, leaving burned wood behind. But lets not talk about those cheap texture holes on the hull, they do look good if they spread out and are not in a big number and overlapping each other.
I think now its the time for some ideas to get the game back on route.
make the game a bit more casual - i know this hurts some historical and simulations fans, but if you want the game to survive make it more casual for a younger and larger audience (dont forget, more people = more cash ) , the learning curve itself is completely fine and should stay that way
if you bring out DLC's, make them cosmetic and ship only - DLC's like the Hercules or the Le Requin are a good idea but be cautious about the balancing please. I heard something about a Flag DLC which is a really good idea to support the devs and the game, keep that up, people always buy cosmetics like crazy
atmospheric enhancements - more and better sounds, i dont care for a large number of crewmen running around the ship (even though it would be awesome) getting blown off it by enemy volleys, take a look at Empire or Napoleon Total War, thats how you make atmospheric sea battles (i know the engine is limited but ideas won't hurt anyone), cannons getting destroyed by impact of enemy cannon balls, whole hull parts get blown out which can be repaired by planks and so on
|--> less first rates, more frigates - there are way too many first rates its unbelievable, they should be very rare in open world battles as well as in port battles
make the game less time consuming - make the map smaller or increase the open world ship speed, less time consuming --> larger audience
I think that should be enough for now, i know no game is perfect but NA got potential to be one hell of a game, my advice: look at other games like Napoleon/Empire Total War, Port Royale Series, Sea Dogs and so on, it helps!
Thanks for reading!