I've been thinking alot lately since the start of the new map on how this games balance night raiders and how a new player can actually find sucess without being sunk demolished in the first few game days of playing. I've come up with an idea and would like to get some feedback for it.
What if we introduced Factions, 3 to 4 to be exact. When you create your character you then have to pick a faction (red,blue,yellow,green) lets say. Each faction owns a quarter of the map at the start, allowing new players to find an island in there chosen faction to build in and help the same faction players to defend. But to keep the factions balanced when you make your character you can't join a faction that has the 2 highest populations, forcing groups of friends to join one of the bottom two. The way factions work is much like an alliance you still own your own stuff but you cant attack each other.
Now the interesting part what if the map resets when one faction claims all the islands on the map making them the winners. Give them a special cosmetic like a hat that has exp/taming boost for the next map. You claim the island the same but it becomes part of your factions collection making it important for your faction to build and defend.
End game would look like Red faction owns 75% of the map, greens been wiped out forcing them to join either yellow or blue. Yellow and blue have decided to have a truce to reclaim some of there islands back from Red. When a factions down to its last few islands player population would be high and hard to defeat meaning you would need to tame end game bosses to help. The power struggle would last a long time until eventually one Faction wins reseting the map.
you could even have safe ports in the heart of each factions for trade, you could have an election to vote for your factions Pirate king who would have the ability to place a marker on the map for everyone in the faction to see thats the next target to attack or defend.