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I believe that this perk would be a lot more balanced if the way it is applied is changed a bit. If we take a look to it historically, there is a very good example on how it could be better. Lets take a look on Henry Avery's story of capturing the Ganj-i-Sawai. " The Ganj-i-Sawai was a fearsome opponent, mounting 40 to 60 guns and a musket-armed guard of four to five hundred as well as six hundred other passengers. But the opening volley evened the odds, as one of the Indian ship's cannons exploded, killing some of its gunners and causing great confusion and demoralization among the crew, while Every's broadside shot his enemy's mainmast by the board. The larger Fancy drew alongside, and a number of her 113-man crew clambered aboard, overpowering the crew, passengers and slaves of the Ganj-i-Sawai. " Here we can see that an event such as a cannon exploding or other evens like this could demoralize and cause enough confusion for 100 men to be able to capture a much larger ship with a lot more crew. In game terms, maybe a stern rake causing a crew shock could disable determined defender and maybe even give a morale penalty in case of boarding.
While I personally like determined defender I know there are people out there who are unhappy with it in it's current form, this is mostly related to larger ships were 30% of 1000 crew is too much. I'd like to propose the following: Make it impossible to board a vessel with determined defender only if you have less crew than your opponent, - if you have 324 men and he has 323; then you can board. Make it impossible to board when in any kind of shock (crew, rigging, reload, fire) Make boarding impossible when sinking. Make sinking, force disengage (Cannot win a 5 minute long boarding action if your ship was 10 seconds from going down). What do you guys think, am I being unreasonable?