Greetings to all.
I am new to the forum because I have not had much time to sign in and participate. First of all, I would like to appeal for captain´s calm and cool blood , because as I am Spanish and on occasion have written something in English unaware that might sound arrogant or rude. The same thing happened to me when reading something.
That said, I'd like to find a balance between the two main views in this thread:
Facilitate dismasted ship and damage over crew and cannons while they become more difficult to sink (taking back the feeling of crippling the enemy, but only the feeling), ie, make a boat harder to be sunk (but not impossible), and in exchange force the enemy ship to make every effort to stay afloat, leaving the tasks of combat or otherwise sink and then surrender(when its implemented).
As you all know, Certain repairs could be made offshore, some even in combat, as you can see in the game. Dismast a prize does not mean that she necessarily have to be towed. Often masts were improvised, so maybe setting 10-15 mins for repairs after the battle and consuming repair material (existing in its hold or previously purchased by the captain of the victorious ship ) is more than enough to return the prize to acceptable conditions. That time could be fun, because enemy ships might appear meanwhile to try to recapture (just an idea).
On the point of fighting to death: On certain battles, as in Trafalgar, some SOTL (specially spanish ships) fought to death only for two reasons, honour and buying time to the rest of the fleet. Ie. Santisima Trinidad (It´s Santísima, not Santissima ) fought many hours surrounded by enemy ships, and only surrendered after loosing many cannons, many crew, his captain being wounded and with heavy flooding and visual contact lost with the rest of the fleet.
On the point of surrender: We will have to find balance between surrender too soon (Ie. risk of court-martial and a real setback for the player) and fighting to death ( Ie.Heavy loss of crewmembers, officers and obviously the ship, with a very little chance of survival for the captain)
About the Tragfalgar sunken ships, yes they sunk because of their heavy damage (heavier than usual), but without storms, many, if not all of them would have reached Gibraltar or Cádiz. Storm and damage together were the main reason.
Ie. If you have immunodeficiency and die after getting infected with common influenza, you can´t say the flu killed you, it was the combination of your influenza and immunodeficiency what killed you.
Those suggestions in my humble view, will improve realism feeling while not breaking the gameplay or making battles much longer (maybe 5 mins more= 5mins more of fun ) . Maybe sinking ships is fun for some captains, but in an open world, I think it is excessive.
At last but not at least, I have to congratulate Game-Labs for their work, its awesome and it can be (and will be) even better.