I fundamentally disagree with the lack of protections for new players. I utterly abhor the artificially increased grind presented to new players.
I wish to start my dissertation with some qualifying statistics; this will hopefully absolve me of any allegations of "salty n00b".
I bought Naval Action on January 27th of 2016, and have since then racked up roughly 3,425 hours of gameplay. Consistently.
I have played on both servers, in every nation, using a plethora of names.
I saw this game go from multiple full servers with a wait queue for log-in to merged servers due to low population.
My greatest complaint is in regards to the prior removal of mechanics that were seen by predatory players as being "unfair" to them; those being rookie and capital reinforcement zones. So too do I completely loathe the removal of on-demand instant action missions that were on-par with players rather than absurdly disproportionate or near impossible.
( The assertion that a new player is able to sink 1x Fourth Rate and 3x Fifth Rate using only their own Fifth Rate is absurd. I saw these numbers myself, and through the screenshot of a friend. )
How can we reasonably expect players to stick around and learn when all staff have to contribute to the discussion is the following: "If new players are being killed near your capital, it's your fault. Go out there and guard your coasts! Go attack! Don't fear losing your pixel ship!"
What trite. The behavior of these predatory players should be heavily discouraged, rather than blaming the small nations for being unable to defend themselves.
I am not of the opinion that people shouting "Play on PVE then!" have the best interest of the game at heart. Many people want balanced PVP and not to make progress on the PVE server and lose it all when they move to PVP. What does a casual or softcore player have to impel them towards activity? The threat of losing everything they gained at a low rank because they either lack skill or equipment? The developers made a terrible mistake by listening only to the hardcore nolifers that play the game from maintenance end to maintenance start, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks per year.
On average, if somebody gains 6,000 Reals per combat and 250 xp from sinking, say, a Cerberus, it will take them 48 battles to go from 380 crew to 500.
They will have no choice but to run large amounts of delivery missions over countless hours to replace any damaged or lost equipment/ships/crew. The vast majority of our now ex-player community simply doesn't have the time to invest in this. The trading economy is broken. Battle is un-affordable. New players are fleeing from the game, and overwhelmingly negative reviews often seem to reflect that fact. Urgent action must be taken if Naval Action is going to become more than a cult classic. We must woo back the former players with more than a "use it and lose it" attitude.