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Over the last few weeks its become apparent to me that the current diplomacy system is not managable. On 2 occasions I have seen our coalition forge alliances with coalitions in other nations only to have them undermined by a single clan that nobody can police or punish. 2 sides enact diplomacy and then any clan who refuses can strike out at the other nation from protected ports making them invulnerable to being attacked back but free to attack eventually disolving the entire alliance see RAE in the alliance of spain/britain. In my opinion the clans that go rogue and attempt to disrupt alliances by attacking ports while hiding in protected territory are not to be punished they are only doing what the game allows them to do. That being said the system makes no sense and creates heartache for hundreds of players because of as little as 25 who decide that's what they want to do. The following is my solution to the current problem, I believe it will encourage clans to cooperate and forge lasting alliances while at the same time allows internal clans and coalitions to rise up and go to war with each other within a nation creating more than the current diplomatic landscape of 7 Factions because it allows endless sub factions to fight each other within factions creating complex cross nation and internal nation politics. 1. Each nation should have somewhere between 5 and 12 uncapturable ports. These may or may not need to be in the same location but could even allow nations to branch out creating divisions in the nation map lines by for example spain might have a cluster of 4 uncapturable ports at la habana and 4 uncapturable ports at cartagena de indias giving them access to all their resources in both locations and allowing new players to those locations to never be oppressed and chased out of the game before they even get to see whats good about it. I would put some kind of industry negative production buff on those ports somewhere between 50-75% output so players are encouraged to setup buildings in capturable ports but worst case scenerio they at least have somewhere to fall back and create industry and can never have their individual fun or warfare capabilities reduced beyond a certain point. There would always be hope of turning a fight around knowing the flame of your nation cannot be completely extinguished beyond repair. 2. Clans should own any ports their members are Lord Protector for with control over who may dock. Docking access options would allow lord protectors or clans to set who may dock in their ports. Example if the port is British there would be a checkbox to allow all british players to dock at this port, to allow other specific other nations to dock at this port, to allow certain clans from any nation to dock at this port and of course to deny certain clans from any nation to dock at this port. It's more likely that this setup would be tedious and best managed by the clan leader rather then each lord protector but it could be good for a lord protector to have his own override control allowing him to create custom docking setup in the event a clan wants to establish a cooperative dock for members of another nation without giving them access to all the clans ports, this could be for war reasons or trade reasons but offers a more interesting political landscape as well as diplomatic options and cooperation. 3. Clans should be able to form physical alliances with clans from other nations that cannot be broken by individual members and must be disolved or withdrawn from by the head of clans. This allows certain clans to work together without being undermined by other clans from their nation or individuals within their own clans. It encourages advanced complex politics of clans in one nation working with other clans or mercenaries from other nations to help achieve their own personal agenda. 4. Clans should be able to go to war against clans or players within their own nation. By allowing clans to go to war against others in their own nation the larger nations like britain and usa can be more divided internally as they fight for power within their nation. The current politics are rather stagnant with huge 2 side wars drawing every nation into them simply because of lack of options there are only 7 factions and only so many combinations of diplomacy even less based on the player base of certain nations. 5. Add far more ports to the game With nations potentially fighting internally and having 2-3 sets of uncapturable port clusters allowing the 7 nations to have 14-21 stronghold locations there would be far more division around the map and more places for clans to find their own little corner of the world to control. In the event all servers are merged more ports will certainly keep it interesting. 6. Add more resource production and npc trade ships/convoys to freeports. I would like to see freeports producing every resource presumably via trade but allowing and even encouraging pirates to setup in freeports and migrate away from their 'pirate empire' to claim a small corner somewhere and make money striking fear into merchants and clans operating in the region while treating the freeport almost like a pirate cove. Freeports might even allow players to create any industry rather then restricting them however such buildings would have a far higher extraction cost and lower production making them possible but only in a dire situation or when you have no other ports nearby and not very effecient. 7. Do not allow level 3 shipyards in freeports. With rogue clans and pirates setting up in freeports i don't believe they should be able to build 3rd rates and above in such secure territory. I would see a game where pirates are encouraged to move into freeports and harrass areas but i do not believe they should be able to wage all out war from freeports like unloading massive rate fleets to screen nation wars for cash. 8. Add a set of building upgrades for the Lord Protector allowing him to collect a portion of trade/market taxes, improve garrison soldiers and fortifications. This just creates a benefit to controlling ports and encourages internal power struggles as well as clan cooperation to upgrade the defenses of important ports at huge expense. 9. Add custom clan icons inside the port circles and recolor the circle background to match the nation color, also make pirates and danes ports more distinguishable. To create a sense of expansion and ownership and to watch clans spread across a region it would be cool to see all the icons on the map inside the circles to watch clans expanding their borders. 10. Allow a lord protector to transfer his title to any other player in the game. Sometimes deals are struck or players no longer want to play. We currently have a player with 8 ports who quit and we can no longer touch those timers, allow a quick method to transfer the title of Lord Protector to another player remotely for the purpose of diplomacy as well as leaving players or those taking vacation. Some members simply don't want to manage their port timers these members should have the option to relinquish the title to another clan member who will. 11. Display port timers and dock access on the map including friendly port timers. I'm sick of making defensive and offensive photoshop maps of port timers and updating a port timer spreadsheet for our clans 40 ports it's a game not a job, why not give us that information on the map itself so i don't need to keep building them. 12. Allow a 25 player pb fleet and give them priority access to a port battle When fighting around populated areas we've have found clanless players in low level ships are jumping into port battles before experienced clan members in powerful ships can get in if the Port Battle fills it disrupts the entire attack. Allow for a 25 player 'raid' fleet or something that simply marks other fleet members visually and secures a place for each player in a flag carriers raid fleet for 3-4 minutes. Allowing them to get into a port battle before public players nearby can join. The same could also be done for members of a clan who own a port that are defending. 13. Flags may only be purchased in nation starting ports or your clans owned ports. Also flags may only be planted during 2 hour window and last until end of window. Currently the longest you can be forced to defend is 4.5 hours if your port window is 22-24 and the enemy buys a flag at 23.59 and holds it until 00.59 to plant you may then be stuck in a battle for another 90 minutes. Meaning that even though your defensive watch started at 10pm you could be forced to defend until almost 2.30 in the morning. I believe this could be reduced to 3.5 hours while allowing flags to be run further then they currently can. If the flag lasts for the duration of the 2 hour window buying it at the start of a window would give you 2 hours to attack allowing your fleet to travel further. While also enforcing that the enemy must plant the flag during the window means you wont be stuck up an extra hour if they choose to buy it at the last minute. This system could be tweaked even further if say the capture window was 2.5 or 3 hours long but the battle ended at the end of the capture window. Meaning their time inside the port was not a flat 90 minutes but based on how early they get into the port to start the battle, waiting too late could cost the fight. This also reduces the amount of time required to defend and makes it more accessible to casual gamers to participate and doesn't require players to stay up past reasonable hours. These changes are not designed to be historical but are suggested to improve the game and make it far more enjoyable for everyone to play the current system is burning players out and they are leaving we need a more interesting system where politics shift faster and more locally/internally from far more factions making the game more interesting and less frustrating with people in your own nations that you can't attack.