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sinking Sinking Ships Overhaul

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Ok now i set up an idea for the sinking and repair mechanic of ships that could turn out pretty cool 🙂


Basic assumptions: (you can skip this and go directly to the suggestion below if not interested in the details)
The game is too easy both building a ship and especially sinking a ship but you cant have one without the other, so to bring the building and survival part more to the initial release version we need ships to be harder to sink. Not just by misuse of mechanics as weight but also in direct combat. While it is realistic that a tiny hole will sink a ship if no one repairs it because offline etc. it does kill any gameplay big time. It should be comparably difficult to building a ship to sink said ship. For example in real battles even after hundreds of cannon balls ships wrecks often keep floating thou everything above the waterline was destroyed. Since you need to put a lot on ships like many planks and stuff but you only need to damage or destroy one plank there is no gameplay balance and no way to save ships by running from the enemy until they give up from wasting too much time for no reason. Also you can store several copies of your ship inside the ship by having hundreds of spare planks to instant repair during combat which often results in enemy ships simply not able to carry enough cannon balls to counter it in active battle, its also a mechanic that the following suggestion will replace with a more rewarding system.




Suggestion: (All ideas need to be applied together to work correctly, given numbers are not set in stone and need to be tested and balanced)

Planks need to take more damage they are destroyed far too easy by any means. Planks should be able to take a lot more shots including all sources be it from player weapons or SoD. Considering a wooden wall taking 80 wood having 8.000 hp it wouldnt be wrong if a large plank taking 1500 wood would have 150.000 hp. So atleast bit more hp on planks would make a lot of sense.

Ship Health / Resistance
The ship health will no longer resemble the amount of water the ship has taken in but the ships condition (The sum of all planks HP). The ships condition grants a resistance buff to planks and reduces when damage to planks is taken.

Resistance Buff / Sturdiness
Planks have a damage resistance with the following formula: Ship HP% - Plank HP% + Sturdiness Bonus
  - Example: Ships Condition at 100%, Plank at 100%, Sturdiness 0% = Resistance 0%
  - Example: Ships Condition at 90%, Plank at 10%, Sturdiness 0% = Resistance 80%
  - Example: Ships Condition at 10%, Plank at 100%, Sturdiness 10% = Resistance -80%
  - Example: Ships Condition at 80%, Plank at 40%, Sturdiness 10% = Resistance 50%

Ship Weight / Water Weight
If a ship takes in water the water will be added to the weight. Also the weight will have more influence how fast a ship can turn, accelerate and move.

Draught / Load Draft
The weight of the ship no matter if it is from resources, cannons or water will make the ship go deeper and raise the water line. Obviously the ship will sink when the waterline raises above the bulwark.

Water Leaks
The ship can only take in water from leaks below the water line. If a plank is partially below the water line the inflow of water will be slower.

You should be able to build bulkheads that divide the ship into sections and prevent water inflow from the front section to reach the mid or aft sections. Also a fully closed deck will prevent water from reaching the upper deck. To have water inflow on the mid deck the waterline need to be high enough to reach said deck and leaks need to be present on the planks.

Repairing Planks
Planks can no longer be destroyed. If a plank reaches 0 HP it will be turned into a burst plank. A burst plank will take 3 successful hits with the repair hammer to start repairing again and will take a reasonable amount of resources with every try.  Only fully repaired planks can be replaced with a new plank or demolished. Burst planks will make a damaged ship look a lot better and act like a missing plank in case of shots going through them and water leaking in but dont allow a new plank to be placed for easy repair.

Visible Damage
If bulkheads and decks stopping water inflow planks can have more conditions to make combat look better and easily tell the their condition:
<50% light visible damage and tiny water leak
<25% visible damage and small water leak
<10% heavy visible damage and medium water leak
0% visible burst plank with large water leak

Ship Sails
Besides that you should be able to add different sails to the same mast, like a handling sail and a speed sail on one mast. Once a mast gets destroyed it gets replaced with a broken mast that has like a 10 minute cooldown before it can be repaired. Same if a sail gets completely ripped it will have a 5 minute cooldown before it can be repaired again to allow boarding actions. The same applies as to planks and it takes 3 successful repair hammer hits to start repairing once the cooldown is over and you cannot demolish or replace a sail/mast until it is fully repaired.

Sails do take damage from strong winds, starting at 50% of the max wind strength they will have a tiny wear effect and at 100% it will be quit noticeable. Cyclones of course deal a lot damage to sails but less to planks so you can lower sails if you cannot avoid them.

Cannon Balls
Since battles last longer now they should be a bit cheaper and reasonably lighter to carry enough.

Avoiding abuse of the weight mechanic
On anchored ships the weight that a player can add to a ship is limited to two times his carry weight. Should the ship lift the anchor the full weight is applied.
On PVE you can remove sleeping players if you own the ship, they will be moved to the end of the emergency ladder if selecting to remove some overweight sleeper that tries to stall your ship indefinitely.




The result:

Battles now take much longer, removing instant destruction of planks as well as instant repairing of planks. You can concentrate more on the fighting than the repairing of ships now. At the same time repairing is limited by needing resources that add to the ship weight and dont allow hundreds of premade planks to be used. Planks will not break so easily and the overall ship condition influences how sturdy the planks are. Also the burst planks will make damaged ships look a lot better and the inflow of water not feel so awkward.
That a ship cannot take in water above the waterline, means that it not always has to sink, it can literally be shot to pieces and more often plundered or taken over than just sunk, unless of course the last defenders decide to let it sink 🙂
Ships having a weight that influences the water line makes the inflow of water and the outfitting of the ship more challenging and manageable at the same time. A heavily loaded ship is now easier to sink than a lightweight ship that can take in more water and has a lower water line. Also heavily loaded or outfittet ships will be slower from having more draught.
A lightweight trading ship can now more easily run from heavy battleships or legion of the damned, sinking a fleeing foe that wants to avoid battle is now a task rather than a one shot click. Also a trader might want to throw their wares into the sea to flee some bloodthirsty pirate and stuff like this to give more option beside sinking and loosing ships.

Edited by Linea
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