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First of all 'Battle Instance' repairs should be limited, there are a lot comments on this issue, mostly because ships can repair all the time (every 10 minutes).

I would propose a mechanic that would instantly remove the issue and add 'realistic' touch during battles:
1. Ship can repair all the time, either Rig or Hull (can't do both at a time) - Crew picks toolboxes instead of loading guns or tackling sails
2. Rig / Hull repairs are consumed every minute - As much crew repairs they consumes materials
3. Repair process requires crew (like now), but crew has higher chance of being hit by shots by a fixed value - Crew being outside of battle stations
4. % of Hull repair limited to 50% of current damage (plus modules/knowledge): - Ships hull can be properly repaired out of battle or in port
5. % of Rig repair limited to 75% of current damage (plus modules/knowledge) - Ships sails or rigs are easier to access and repair than parts of the ship under water

For example if a ship has 5000 side Armor... goes down to 0... starts repair... it takes 10 repairs (250 each) in 10 minutes to repair to 2500 (50% - see point 4 above) - at this point ship cannot be repaired no more until getting more damage to this side of Armor... If it goes down to 0 again, it could be repaired up to 1250... After that to 625... 313... It is always 50% of current unrepaired damage (till the limit)

This mechanic would:
- prevent ships from repairing to full, brand new out of shipyard state all the time (in battle instance)
- make ships with higher armor/sail HP more important in PvP / RvR
- make ships made of Fir/Fir with stacked speed upgrades/knowledge less favourable in PvP / RvR
- make armor/structure/repair upgrades/knowledge more favourable in PvP / RvR

Edited by Darayavahus
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Best thing for the game would be to split Sail and Mast HP completely and add Mast Repair (spare masts) as an item. But it would require a lot of changes.

Proposed mechanics would be a lot easier to implement:
- Slow down repair to 1 minute intervals while consuming Repair item at the begining of each interval, each item repairing 250 dmg (plus upgrades/knowledge)
- Calculation of a damage limit - simple math and couple more variables for each part of the ship
- Increase damage to crew while repair is active

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