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I'd like to see a mechanic whereby action/repairs makes the ship more fragile/less performant over time, and eventually you can pay a % of it's material cost to regain the core resilience/dura and maybe improve/change a base attribute if you use crafting notes while you do it?

 

For one this could provide another means to drive the economy on top of ship crafting, this will also incur a bit more cost for the people who use exceptionals perpetually paying only for crew and repairs, but it could allow their ship to change over time, giving them a bit of 'personality' as they age or potentially improve.

 

If you couple this with dates of refits etc. in a log it could make old/second hand ships a more valuable and interesting mechanic.

 

Thoughts?

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I remember reading about how the 6th rates in the service of both the British and French navies during the 20 years of conflict in the Napoleonic Wars and the Wars of the French Revolution were literally worked to death. The extreme frequent use of the 6th rate ships in constant grueling action left many ships in tatters. For example, the famous HMS Childers (which was fired upon by the forts protecting Brest harbor, France hence kicking off the war), a typical 14-gun 6th rate brig was overworked heavily. Her timbers were so rotten that when fired upon by 18pdr shot from a Dutch 20-gun ship off the coast of Norway in the later parts of the war, they went straight through without throwing up any splinters at all.

 

Replicating how heavily overworked ships -for example, my Surprise which I constantly use- degrade over time would be pretty neat. I was thinking that for every minute that would pass in the open world whilst sailing, the ship would lose a tiny tick of some unit representing overall hull strength. Over perhaps 60 hours of use, damage would begin to slightly effect hull strength hit-points, leakiness and the thickness of the wood. This could make ships you constantly use, such as Rattlesnakes and the 9pdr frigates require extra attention for their frequent service. It would also increase demand for crafting, which is always cool.

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