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This game in my honest opinion has the potential to be something great, something extraordinary. I find that whenever I start a conversation about any game, especially one I have played, I start analysing it and evaluating it in every which way possible. This is THE game I most want to succeed and be something wonderful. I would very much like to share some of my own thoughts and opinions on what direction the game could be heading and what features could be included, I hope that someone at Game-Labs reads this and sees something beautiful, something special that could really be a stand out feature. I have so many Ideas flowing in my head I almost cant keep up with myself, so I am just going to share some of these ideas with you. So heres ther first main idea I have for NA...

 

Be the Captain you were born to be!

 

 I think every player should be just ONE person, one captain in the open world that Naval Action should be. What do I mean by that? Well simply put I don't want to 'Own' a fleet on my own, I don't want a god dam drydock full of Ships I can just click 'Sail' or 'Captain' any time I feel like 'Changing things up', NO! For the open world part of the game this is an absolute no no. You are one Captain, one man. With one ship! One ship and her crew, You should have to manage you crew, your finances, your supplies. Keep your ship in good repair and order. I want to be the Captain of my ship and be responsible for it and her crew. Managing these aspects and making them key gameplay mechanics can also help answer questions in other areas of the game. For instance, the 'How many First Rates is to many' question, Well simply put unless you decide to go down the career path of a Naval Officer they are basically off limits to you, these things are huge, you need a Nation to build one and find the funds to run one! Which you as a simple sailor are not going to find or be able to obtain! 

 

Managing your Ship and Crew you Say? please, go on...

 

This could be a really fun and enjoyable part of the game for me and is, in my opinion, vital to the feel and immersion of the game. think 'Football Manager'... By that I mean, look at what they do well. Yes its a game about managing a football team, but look deeper! How you can interact with you players (Your Crew) and how the game allows you to create a relationship with you players (Your Crew). Football Manager allows to to develop your own kind of leadership and strategy. The exact same principles WOULD work in this game if done correctly. I know a football team is 11 Players + Subs and Reserves, So 25ish players say, fairly easy to manage on a one to one basis. whereas a large Frigate would have several hundred crewmen! So on a one to one scale perhaps this is a little ambitious but you could still speak to 'Key' Personnel aboard you ship. I apologise as I have limited knowledge of the correct terminology of crew roles/titles, but we can use the Cook and his 'Team' as an example. So you have your Head Cook, he has a team of 8. You can communicate with him and he will then relay your message to his team for you, thus allowing you to manage 9 crew through one Key Crewmember. Why would you want to talk to the cook? Maybe you want to ask him how many days supply we have left at full rations before the crew are on sea biscuits. Or if your Ship takes a prize and you find some fine foods onboard, you can ask your cook if he has the ability to prepare and cook it. so for example lets say you find some foods aboard a prize you have just claimed and its of a high quality. Is your cook skilled enough to cook it correctly? If he was could your entire crew receive a small morale boost, boosting productivity and performance in some way. Another example might be to compliment the guncrews on their fine work in the last engagement, in turn leading to a happier guncrew and potentially offering a small morale boost! Again think of Football manager and how you team reacts to your teamtalk, maybe you say the wrong thing and they loose morale, possibly pushing you closer to the plank! Argh!

 

Bottom line, I want to be able to communicate with my crew in some way and help shape they way they operate, I want to tell my GunChief to hurry reloads for a quick broadside, not without risk, as there would be more risk of loose cannon balls and powder caches as they hurry about the deck, leading to more potential for injury and fires ect. I want to be given 'Tactics' and set my own strategy as to how I want my ship to be run. Odds are we arnt going to have fully crewed ships, especially early on and with larger ships, so managing where they are and what they are doing would add great depth and possibly tactical advantage/disadvantage in an engagement.

Key crewmen should have a Crewcard in game, again think football manager, in that you can 'Click on you assistant manager or staff's overview' to see what languages they speak, how determined they are, are they hard working, a good motivator, their leadership ect ect. I also think you should be able to release these key crewmen and hire new ones, perhaps you think you have found a better surgeon? What happens to your old surgeon? Well he goes to the tavern in the port you have just docked at to drown his sorrows! Then another (Human) captain could potentialy hire him, being able to see his 'History' and who he has sailed under, maybe he has information on a pirate or a ship you are hunting ect ect. If they become living breathing entities in the game they could be a very very cool feature.

Summary

 

* Key Crew - have their own 'Crew' Card displaying their details, age, nationality, relationships towards you and other captains-nations-guilds/factions ect.

* have ability scores giving the ship they sail under unique attributes, (2% bonus reload or -5% less foor supplies used each day for example or 5% heal rate for injured crew)

* manage their 'Term', how long they shall join for, their wage or 'Take' of any potential spoils

* They will manage their 'Team' so you only have to manage them, delagate instructions to them, and have them automate tasks for you, such as food rationing, deck cleaning, hull repair, ect and what/how much of your supplies to use. or Just do it all yourself!

Well I hope theres something in here that you think, hang on hes got something here! If not back to the drawing board! But please feel free to share some ideas, just be constructive about it! if you dont like something explain why and how you would perhaps do it diffent ect!

 

See you on the open seas... Sometime soon I hope! Yargh!

 

RTB

 

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I could see officers having randomized names and progressive stat bars... and I believe crew experience would be a great dynamic. Maybe a few special crew like a cook which offer morale.

 

A player could see heightened performance on their ship (more accurate aiming, faster sail raising/lowering, faster steering, reload) as more crew last while you gain exp and officers gain exp, but that boost goes down as your experienced crew die and you take on fresh recruits. So it's a kind of active give and take experience bar. That would also be incentive not to be reckless with the lives of one's crew which could contribute to more realistic sailing practices among players. To put it mathematically, your ship's general performance boost could be an average of the total experience of the entire crew.

 

I also think it would be a good addition to have the option to "exercise the great guns" while sailing, to train your crew to be better shooters at the expense of shot and powder. Historically as I understand it there was a divide between captains who thought it was worth the extra expense to shoot at targets every day or week to train their crews and those who thought it a waste of resources. And since unnecessary expense was frowned upon naval captains often had to buy their own shot if they wanted their crew to be able to train every day. (was it our time period when in the British Bavy you could only use a certain fraction of your allotted shot for practicing?)

 

But as far as interacting with your crew, managing them individually, reviewing and hiring specific crew, I think that's a step or two too far. We do already have a kind of crew focus between firing, sailing and survival modes on the ship. Whatever happens with crew management I believe it should be fairly simple, mostly passive and not a game in itself.

Edited by Devante del Nero

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I like the idea of only having one ship that is you own.  It would also be more enjoyable IMHO because the ship's look and handling and whatever else is catered more towards your playing style.

 

However, I do agree that the interacting with the crew individually may be a little too in depth for this type of game.

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I'll be honest, I would want at least 2 ships...no compromise

Edited by Booyaah

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Also, your ship should perform at its highest in all areas (not accounting for crew experience) when you have a completely full compliment of crew, but as you lose crew switching them between sailing, gunnery and survival has a much mroe significant effect.

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I'll be honest, I would want at least 2 ships...no compromise

In Uncharted Waters Online, you could add a second ship. It's an "aide ship" with a lieutenant commanding it so technically a NPC ship. It was great for cargo-transport but horrible in terms of battle since they were useless against other players.

 

 

As for the OP, I mostly agree with everything but not to be pessimistic, it's a lot of work to do all of that and Game-Labs isn't an AAA studio yet (well hopefully they will eventually :D) but it will definitely be a god send if they somehow manage to install a management crew system.

 

I'll throw more money to my screen ;) 

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