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William the Drake

Skills, Specializations, and How the Player Plays

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With the initial limited release of the open world, I began considering how the large scale map would affect things like navigation, realm vs. Realm, hauling, and so on. Furthermore, I wondered how many niche groups would find their way into NA and be satisfied. Surely there would be those who come to the game looking for a well-developed combat system, however there may be other interested in the Age of Sail economy and trade that is planned to be present. 


The ability to specialize one's skills and abilities can create a dynamic community, where each player can perform a specific job, promoting group collaboration and cohesion: the Idea that either you could do one thing spectacularly, or do a number of things at a somewhat decent level. 


The key here, however, is to make sure that skills that can be learned and focused on do not create an unbalanced combat or even travel systems: there will not bonuses or magical skills that allow for a 200 yard further cannon reach, or adjustment of accuracy/reload rates by percentage. the skills and ideas here are strictly to allow captains to follow a path of gameplay that they find most enjoyable and fulfilling, whether that be sinking ships or cornering a market.



Skills: Skills will encompass basic assets that allow the use of or access to various items or mechanics that will later lead to more specialized gameplay or improve a variety of the captain's abilities. All skills are accessible to all captains.


  • Navigation: This used to determine the player's (or NPC's) ability to accurately determine location on the open world, correctly use navigation equipment (sextant, compass, etc.). Higher levels of navigation result in faster and more accurate navigation readings, as well as allow for the (correct) use of more complicated navigation equipment. This also allows you to chart very basic maps.
  • Persuasion/Personality: The ability to have others agree with you or find you approachable. This affects one's ability when dealing with NPCs or even other players. This effects interactions such as opening trade or recruiting crew: the higher your persuasion, the easier it is to have them agree. (So higher persuasion results in easier recruitment, more trade options, etc.). Trade opportunities with local traders can be accessed, but any trade with the larger Companies will be restricted and profit in ventures with them will be difficult anyway. The higher this skill, the more taxes in a port can be ignored.
  • Mettle/Fortitude/Courage: This was the hardest one; the idea with the skills is to in no way give any player an advantage in battle. But I did want something that denoted a Naval profession. Here’s what I came up with: this skill determines how well the Admiralty sees you fit for duty. The higher this skill, the more lucrative naval missions will be offered to you. When this skill is initially unlocked, skills will be simple: escort missions, handling local affairs/patrolling around ports, dealing with pirates, smugglers, sometimes dealing with other navy vessels. This skill will also(possibly) give you access to more specialized (although more expensive) ships: ships that would have more Naval-Geared modules: more focus on heavier guns and planking(?). The idea here is that players who did not wish to follow the “Navy” skill-line would still be able to have ships of the same caliber, but the Navy Shipyard would only make it more convenient for those who had access to it.
  • General Farming/Mining: (mining and farming being 2 skill trees): This is a general understanding of the very basics of farming/mining. This allows you to set up farms that harvest only basic crops such as wheat or corn/ mines that allow you to extract only basic metals, such as stone. This also gives you a limited number of responses to natural disasters that can affect farms/mines, such as droughts or floods, bad harvests.
  • Crafting: This skill allows you to craft some of the more basic items (Mostly utilizing the basic raw materials listed above). Beer and bread are some staples that can be made. Simple containers such as barrels and crates, and simple modifications, such as common planking and mast upgrades. The higher the skill, the greater the quality/amount of goods can be made. You can set up some basic shops for these to be crafted at.
  • Observation: This is the ability to make note of discrepancies or details in the world around you. This can be anything from the movement of clouds/wind, smell of the air (noting the possibility of a storm), etc. This could determine your overall distance/ability to sight ships as well.
  • Scavenging/Salvaging: This skill determines what can be used/taken from a captured/sunken ship after battle. The higher the skill results in a greater percentage that a module or repair kit that was on an enemy vessel survived for you to claim. Also increases the ease with which flotsam/jetsam can be salvaged.


Specializations: Here is where a player really comes into their own and decides how they want to play. Specializations require high levels of prerequisite skills to use/unlock. Players can have one primary Specialization (allowing the payer getting 100% proficiency in said specialization), and one secondary Specializations (allowing for 60% proficiency, this number can be debated, but the idea is that it is lower than the primary skill)


  • Navigation -> Cartography: This skill allows you to make accurate charts of the waters and lands around you. The higher this skill, the more detail goes into the chart, and the more accurate they are. Higher skill results in charts with trade routes, prevailing winds, port ownership, port description, Navy/Pirate presence, identifying coves, shallows, reefs, etc. Also will allow custom markings: be able to mark your favorite/safest passage, custom notes (i.e. Beware: Pirates!/Reefs!, SLVF Hunt here)
  • Persuasion/Personality -> Speculating/Marketing: You’ve proven yourself to be good at making a profit. All local trade opportunities are available, you can now conduct trade with, and even sign on with, any of the trading companies (if you have decent standings with their respected nation), and larger world trade opportunities are available.
  • Mettle/Fort/Courage -> Prestige: You’ve made a name for yourself among the upper ranks of the Navy. More Rewarding (yet more dangerous) missions are now available. These missions will have you targeting rival navies more often, and call for more direct action,
  • General -> Specialized Farming/Mining: This skill 1st: allows you to select a (few) cash crop(s) to be able to farm, such as Sugar, Cotton, Bananas, Tobacco, Coffee, etc./ precious metal(s) to be able to mine, such as Gold, Silver, Copper, (Iron? Or should this go under basic metals), etc. and 2nd: allows you to set up more organized/effective farming/mining setups (so you could keep harvesting basic crops at a higher rate if you wished.) Also unlocks better responses to disasters. (Quicker recovery time, less product lost, etc.)
  • Crafting -> Manufacturing: You now have the ability to craft finer items, such as Rum, Brass, Textiles, etc. Greater grades of craftable modules are also available, as well as larger factories for manufacturing.
  • Observation -> Botany/Biology: This skill allows you to successfully identify the various flora and fauna of the new world, or, if discovering a new plant/animal, dictates how much information you can draw from the new species (for this, if someone with low Bot/Bio skill discovers a new species, they will only record the most basic info. Someone with a higher Bot/Bio skill can come along and expand the information, also giving them a reward for doing so.)
  • Scavenge/Salvage -> Plundering: (Not compatible with Prestige) This is the Pirate’s Specialization. This skill allows for a greater income of booty: higher rates of module/kit survival, as well as a higher gold income rate.

Mind you, these are all just initial suggestions, but they show how the flow should go. Players should be able to play the way they want to without hindering their ability to fight, should they need to.


Cheers. – William Drummond, the Drake

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I've also been considering some additional skills, also to expand on economic boundaries. Here is one:


Careening: The ability to properly maintain your ship as well as construct modest ships and ship construction pieces (i.e. small-medium masts, keel sections: material specific for making ships). The level dictates the efficiency/speed with which you are able to conduct maintenance on a ship as well as how much material is needed to do so.




Shipbuilding: This specialization allows the player access to all types of ships to build. However, if you have a low shipbuilding skill level, and attempt to construct a very large ship, the process will take longer, possibly more materials will be needed, and defects may even appear in the finished design! This skill allows for the building of large, organized shipyards.

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The crafting should also be expanded. 


There should be blacksmith which is for the cannon themselves -- hopefully they can be modified to our liking as well to a degree. 


Tailor, a crafter that makes clothing if avatar somehow gets in the game but more specifically sails and such. 


Handcraft, a crafter that makes the modules which again, may be modified to our liking. 



Then the exploration system should also be expanded with: archaeology, geography, etc 



Like you said, I completely agree that despite this game being fully Naval "Action" the dev should give some other activities as to not overload the players! :)


I completely agree with your idea, please keep adding more, hopefully admin see this  :)

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