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Cargo on Fleet Ships and Prizes
Preble posted a topic in Current Feature Improvement SuggestionsHi there, Two separate but related points: It's a bit unrealistic that fleet ships cannot carry cargo. Sizable convoys of merchant ships were a frequent occurrence in the Age of Sail, and defending or attacking them should consequently be a possibility. This is currently impossible, as since a player can only carry cargo on their flagship, the flagship must be the merchantman (not a frigate escort), and the fleet cannot carry cargo, so there is no opportunity for enterprising players to pick off one or two merchantmen and escape before a general engagement. Additionally, trader players are constrained in their ability to carry cargo. As such, the constraint on fleet ships carrying goods hampers effective commerce and limits the number of targets for cruising raiders to attack. It's also a bit unrealistic that prizes cannot retain their cargo and be sent into a friendly port. At present, a raider wishing to keep a merchant prize or the cargo it contains must either load the loot into the modestly-sized hold of the raider and send the prize empty into port, or stop the raiding cruise as a whole, send the raider into port, and sail the prize to safe harbor oneself. This hampers players from undertaking long-range commerce raiding cruises that were so frequent in the 18th century, and as such players tend to stick near the coast and their outposts rather than getting out into the world and exploring. PvE in particular is extremely well-suited to frigate-style players, who, with the more limited player interaction that PvE entails, should be able to sail far and wide taking or sinking everything in their path until they run out of prize crews. Instead, the current parameters keeps players relatively local and able to actually capture just one merchant prize at a time. Though I understand the concern that players will use the post-battle teleport feature to move their ships and cargoes around, there are several possible solutions here. One is to create a new "prize" category of ships actually captured in combat on the post-battle capture screen. Pre-existing fleet ships can only be sent to an outpost empty, while prizes can retain their cargoes and be sent in different directions. This can either be accomplished with teleport or by creating NPC characters in open world of the prizes sailing home, which will require an allocation of crew. Fleet ships should also be allowed to carry cargo, to give players the option of escorting their prizes to port or running their own merchant convoy (after battle, fleet ships should retain the ability to be sent to an outpost, but only empty, so as to prevent players from using combat as a means to teleport ships and cargoes without incurring the fees of towing). These features, I believe, would make for a more satisfying, realistic, and exciting game, particularly for raiders and traders. Cheers--