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Here are some suggestions that in my opinion could improve game play in some areas. At least, if technically possible some of these should be tested/assessed. 

 

SHIP NON-PERMANENT UPGRADES

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The easy way to address the non permanent upgrades would be to look at reality. If I have 2 ships, I most likely will have a set a amenities in each and they will not appear at the docks magically for availability in an upgrade window before I set sail. It's a convenience that is not possible in the real world unless the ships are moored next to each other. You can't just move all upgrades out of a boat in one place, teleport 400 miles away and voila! all the upgrades are still here ready to be used in another boat.

Granted the teleportation is needed to help game play otherwise we would all get old and senile traveling for days between areas on the map. (reduce the map so everything can happen in real time?).

 

In short, make the non permanent upgrade that are in one boat, only transferable to another boat in the same port. If you want to move them to another port they have to travel by boat in the hold or be sent by delivery system in free towns.

 

 

BATTLES WITH ONE DURABILITY SHIPS

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The ideas below pertain only to battle end game and not to boarding mechanics.

At this time boarding is the only way to capture a ship in PVP. I would propose an additional way to capture a ship during battle:

I again take inspiration from real world for guidance. I don't think that captains would let ships sink so easily whether on the defending or attacking side. The loss of life alone, including their own would be enough incentive for the losing captain to make an effort toward the survival of the ship.

For the winner, the prize is one of the incentives for getting in the fight. The ship can be taken and added to your own war effort, the crew taken as press gang, etc...

Also I don't think that wooden ships sank that easily as they do in the game. I understand that we need to have a clear "win" or "loose" status for game play clarity. However this create a loss of opportunity in other areas.

 

Once the majority of the crew has been dedicated to keeping the boat afloat and can no longer fight... Once the pumps can't overcome the water coming in and repair kits have been used... Once the main mast is down after repair kit has been used... (insert more instances of unrecoverable loss here) I would think it's time to cry uncle and maybe, once this level of damage is achieved (when water line is high enough that cannons are inoperable for instance but boat is still afloat?), the white flag should come up automatically in the game, declaring a "stranded status" as the damaged ship is no longer maneuverable, no longer in the fight, and is not as much to be boarded as it is to be rescued.

 

At this point the winning side would have a certain time limit to board the ship before it sinks, assign crew to it, use repair kits of its own to prevent it from sinking, etc... If they fail to get to the stranded boat in time, it is doomed and sinks with all hands. The losing captains loses boat, crew and officer.

 

If they get to it in time,  on the losing side, part of automating this end game process gives the vanquished captain the choice to surrender this one durability boat as well as surrender his crew to replace the lost crew of the winning captain in exchange for keeping the life of his officer. If he refuses he basically refuses to be rescued and sinks with all hands, looses the boat, crew and one officer's life.

So choices, are surrender and you keep your officer's life or sink and loose all but deny the winner from taking the boat and crew. This is not a boarding battle, it is essentially a rescue.

 

This potentially would make ships themselves stay longer in the game and change hands in a more diversified way as battles go on.

Ship would still sink regularly when they are not salvaged in time or when captains refuse to surrender.

You might loose you ship and capture it back at a later date which is an incentive to not let it sink in the first place. Some ships might become famous for having been captured many times and survive many battles which brings up the next topic:

 

SHIP PAINT AND CUSTOM NAME

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Once ships have more chances to survive battles and becoming famous it would be nice to give them personality by allowing custom ship names that stay with the boat once christened as well as making custom paint readily available at ports to give them distinctive character.

Paint is not something special in the world of ships. Maybe gold leafing or special custom figureheads could be rare items but not paint. Making "rare" ships has also the unwelcome side effect of captains avoiding combat to preserve the custom paint of their "special" ship. This behavior alone degrades the quality of PVP on the server.

 

DEALING WITH CAPTURED SHIPS

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As much as I like to teleport a captured ship it should not be possible to cross the entire map at the click of a button.

You capture a ship, you deal with it.

 When a ship is captured, the victorious captain must assign crew to it after emergency repairs have allowed the ship to stay afloat, then it can be added to the FLEET and sailed back by the regular open world sea ways. If the captain already has a full fleet (2 slots as of now) provision should be made in the game mechanics for towing the captured ship without fully crewing it and of course taxing the open world speed accordingly.

 

​There should also be an option in the event of multiple ships captured, to allow the victorious captain to either to pass the control of the captured ship to a clan's mate or group mate.

 

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Thanks for reading this far, please critique, comment, improve etc...

 

 

 

-T 

 

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