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  1. I know I will start here an unpopular suggestion. Many guys just love the feeling of sitting in fat ducks blowing up everything up in range of their multiple max cannon decks. Nothing wrong with the feel of invincibility and power. But how often and how easy? And at the expense of what other game content? -- Let's face it: the enormous costs of building and maintaining a first rate ship-of-the-line is not portrayed in the game properly. Anyone with a dockyard large enough and sufficient warehouse stock can build one or several SOL a day, especially when he has the support of his clan. We see in the hand of some major clans more First Rates than whole nations had in 18th century, and this is just one theater of operations (the Caribbean), while those nations had to distribute their naval power over several theaters, mainly Europe. So what we get in the game is inflation of First Rates - determining always the same maxed out composition of battle fleets in port battles. And as the SOL are so cheap, we even see ganking groups consisting of SOLs, which is absolutely ridiculous nonsense in naval authenticity. Why? Because SOL are for navy battles only and they were extremely expensive. Their lacking speed did not make them suitable for economy war. The inflation of this overuse of fat ducks has undesirable side effects: other ship ranks become less significant. Almost nobody cares to build 2nd, 3rd rates - not to speak of 4th rate and lower, because fat ducks are so cheap and give the maximum fire power. So versatility suffers from the overuse. Tactics melt down to just brute force and nothing else matters. Who brings in more First Rates will win, who produces more a day keeps the upper hand. Short glimpse back into history: First Rates were so expensive that just for being able to add one to the royal fleet, all merchants and businesses of a city would collect their money and sponsor a single ship, which would then gratefully bear the name of that city, for example "Ville de Paris". Navy reformer Duke de Choiseul went around France to encourage cities and regions to follow the example so the King would have enough ships. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Ville_de_Paris_(1764) If historically correct, a reduction of number of SOLs in Naval Action would altogether prove to be profitable for gameplay. We would see more options for setting up fleets for various purposes and other rates than the First would see a renaissance. How could this be implemented? An idea would be to give each nation a maximum number of First Rates, distributed as slots between all clans of that nation. So, if there would be a max number of 25 First Rates for one nation and six clans with, say, more than ten active members in the last month, each clan would get the Royal allowance to contribute four First Rates and the rest (1) by one of the smaller clans. Maybe this would lead to less port battles or just another composition of battle fleets participating there. A single port battle would gain importance. That's fine, because so often they really did not take place in real life. Another idea, could be parallel with the first idea mentioned, has been touched already in this forum and I am all for it: having to pay maintenance for the largest ships, no matter if they are moored in docks or 'parked' in ship market. So you think twice before building them en masse. First Rates must cost daily money, and Second and Third Rates also, but to a lesser degree. Third idea in that context is to introduce a cost inflicting each time to the owning clan when their First Rate gets sunk. They were highly prestigious symbols of power. A loss of a First Rate ship-of-the-line was felt as national tragedy. Not like in this game, where you shrug your shoulders and simply build another one. This 'prestige loss' could be expressed by deduction of marks, victory or PvP, to all clan members whose clan had that national slot for a First Rate which got sunk. A malus for the clan comparison ladder. Effect: eagerness to keep the First Rate alive at all costs. Smaller ships would be commissioned to protect the valuable First Rate - that's absolutely historic. Second Effect: enemy is even more keen on sinking First Rates, because then it would have consequences for the losing side beyond just another ship gone.
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