Making the different ships feel more unique

In the old days of zailing, each ship had its own opportunity card in addition to an option on one of the Fury of the Unterzee-cards, somewhat similar to the current dark cards at Troubled Waters (TW) 7. The Clipper had Good weather for a Zee-Clipper, the Yacht had Zailing in style and the zub had Submerge.

Parts of the mechanisms for these cards have been used for new actions, e.g. the Zub has several different options to dive, the Yacht has a party option in Home waters that doesn’t give zailing progress and isn’t that valuable, and the clipper has some options for speeding away from enemies, which give no more zailing progress compared to just zailing regularly.

While I do mostly enjoy the new system and prefer the new system in most cases, I sometimes feel that the different ships don’t differ that much from each other anymore, and that they have lost some of the flavour, mostly because the effects of the Yacht and the Clipper are no longer grounded in actual game mechanics.

Yacht cards should be more profitable than the alternatives, without affecting zailing speed, and while this is (to some extent) the case for the card in the Sea of Voices, this isn’t enough to get the feel that you’re on a pleasure cruise, and unless you’re travelling through the Sea of Voices, you’re not going to experience it much at all (except for the new use in piracy).

Clipper actions should actually be a bit faster than the zailing speed, at least once in a while. Not on many actions, because that could be game breaking, but having a single action that gave 1.2x Zailing speed would make a huge impact in how it feels to zail that ship!

With the Zub this is experienced a lot better than with the other ships, because its actions are actually tied to lowering TW.

As this is a suggestion thread, my proposed solution for this is to add a new card to each ship, similar to the cards of old zailing.

  • The Yacht card should be both profitable (thinking around 5 E), preferably scaling with something, but also give regular progress to zailing.
  • The Zub card could either be something that reduces TW or gain some sort of sciency reward like a live Specimen, in addition to zailing progress.
  • The Clipper card should be something that gains more than 75 Zailing. Thinking 1.2*Zailing Speed myself, similar to the option available when hunting Angler Crabs. Using a clipper when hunting these actually feels like you have the fastest ship on the Unterzee, which is something the clipper should feel like.

This would give the ships a more unique feeling and make the choice between them more meaningful than the current “Do you want a good ship - then choose the zub” thinking I’ve been using currently. Alternatively, more meaningful options on other cards would be a great alternative. This could also involve options on the dark cards with TW 7 - again to get the feeling that your ship actually matters.


I really like this! Maybe something like
A Worrying Appetite

Break out the good stuff
It’s a shame to waste your truly good food on something so mundane as feeding your crew, but desperate times call for desperate measures

An Occurrence! Troubled waters is now 4
An Occurrence! Your Rumbling Stomachs is gone

You unlocked this by having the majestic pleasure yacht

And then other options with roughly similar effects for the other ships.

I don’t think it would be too hard to find a way to give each ship a TW7 card option with slightly lesser penalties than the other options.

Regarding ship balance I think it’s symptomatic that the zub in practise has more profitable cards than the yacht, despite luxurious giving the idea that the yacht should be the ship with the most profitable options. It should be mentioned that this ignores the BDR differences of the ships, but it’s the clipper that gets the short straw on that end.

In order for ship selection to be a meaningful choice, each ship needs to fill a niche, but currently the Zub is so much better than the other ships in most regards that the other ships become more or less superfluous - at least for zailing purposes. Yes, there is more nuance to this, but wouldn’t it be great if you actually had to struggle a bit in order to find the best ship for your character?

As I recall, there was talk at some point about the Zee updates including new ship options, but this seems to have fallen by the wayside. It would be nice if it could be revived.