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In my opinion, as of this last update the prices for Level 1 production buildings are FAR too high for the eventual release of the game. Whilst we can make a 250k real, 10k doubloon level 1 shipyard or iron mine work now, once release hits and no-one has high rank, high level crafting, etc. this will be incredibly hard. Level 1 production buildings should be viable and easy to obtain, allowing new players to get into the game and try out crafting and/or help their clan. As it stands right now, release will be even more DLC action than Naval action, as no-one will be able to build anything to be able to go out and capture the larger AI ships. I have no problem if the prices for level 2 and 3 are increased. IMO these prices for level 1 will turn away the new players you keep going on about that will be coming in. EDIT: As an addendum, you could make level 1 academy and workshop, where level 1 allows you to make basic mods (no book) and repairs/rum, and level2 allows everything. Level 1 forge could allow crafting of long guns<=18p and carronades <=32p, and level 2 (more expensive) allows all guns. Etc.
I think the amount of havoc that players can cause in their basic cutters is out of balance. I propose it gets changed so that it has less guns OR is slower than a cutter. In order to pvp effectively players on both sides of an engagement should have something up for risk. If it is going to be a free ship it should perform closer to its value.