I'm likely to not get a response, but I'll write up a well meaning post full of concerns.
It's a little curious and a bit sad in a way how some folks out there on the forums, including myself, pointed out months ago that capturable first rates that get turned into mini-nukes with sails and DLC lineships will essentially ruin screening and surprise surprise....it did. The fact that free and/or redeemable ships could and were used to disrupt PB fleets still seems like a mindboggling decision to me.
Screening is and should remain an important aspect of the game. I don't really agree with the decision to basically turn port battles into lobbies. Wind position, where to join and running the gauntlet while protecting favorable join positions is an important part of strategy that I feel will be removed here....not to mention the National unity aspect of helping and everyone having a bit of skin in the game. For a game that has had duel and tournament rooms removed because they would take away from the OW experience, I feel this is a rather disengeneous reversal of opinions and a large mistake overall for the game.
There are ways to solve the screening / griefing problem that could perhaps be an easier alternative to creating a lobby;
- specialized battle groups (pb groups) with larger pull circles and require larger percentage of BR to pull
- reducing the ability for captured or DLC ships to pull in crafted or PB quality ships. Thus if you want to screen you need crafted ships vs crafted ships.
I'm also a bit worried how lobby based PBs will address things like wind position, late joiners and BR mistakes. More times than I can count someone came back late or was just getting home and had to join a PB several minutes late. How does a lobby change this? Sometimes we screw up the BR math and realized we have 1 too many persons and they can leave within those first 10mins and we can madk adjustments. How will a lobby affect these issues?
My biggest fear is that lobby based port battles along with these fine woods ver 3.0 will continue to drag NA towards elite clans of talented PVPers who no longer need to rely or play ball with the rank and file plebs in the nation and can essentially hold their nation or others hostage under the guise that only we can win battles. The casual aspect of this game has continually been shrunk to benefit the hardcore groups and I see this as another shift in that direction. No offense to the Ram Dinarks or Redmans of the world who dominate PVP and Logistics respectively, but they do not make up the greater portion of players in Naval Action and I don't see how this patch benefits that larger group.
Part of me is like oh great, I can just log in 5mins before a battle in the right port and simply click to join. No muss no fuss. It's appealing. I hate getting screened out. I hate going to screen in a bullshit ship. But is a PB lobby (and more special woods) really beneficial to the overall health of NA? I don't think so.
I mean let's look at the past 2 days over at Tuxillo and Morro Chico. There had to be 100+ OW kills between 3-4 nations over the past 48 hours involving hours and hours of battles. And this is one corner of the map. With the proposed changes all of that would never have happened. Is that really ideal for the game? Brits might view it as a sigh of relief.....but I still don't think the changes will end up being a huge hit.