My Wishlist for Sunless Sea.

So, this December, I got Sunless Sea, and so far, I have enjoyed it, but personally, I have had a few peeves with it, plus some things I wish to see.

  1. The Unterzee feels just… dead. There are huge stretches of ocean between ports. with nothing but a monster or two in the way. I want to see more life in the Unterzee, and the enemies, neutrals, or allies interacting with each other. I want to see a group of pirates harassing a cluster of merchant ships protected by a dying frigate, a Khanigan warship skirmishing with a sea-monster, Mount Nomad devour some Chelonate battleships, things like that.
  2. I feel that nations are just… bland. Perhaps add a balance of power that can be changed by raiding the ships of certain nations, completing quests for them, submitting Port Reports in different places, and a deeper relations with them mechanic, like having Admiralty’s Enmity or Khanigan Favor, and mark locations with faction details (ex: Polythreme Control: London 70%, Independent 20%, Unfinished 4%, Revolutionaries 3%, Khanate 3%). Perhaps the player could choose to receive a Letter of Marque which allows them to be paid for screwing the targeted nation. If the balance of power is tipped enough, perhaps settlements could change hands, or war could break out. Also, give the player a hand in running the affairs of the nation once they have accumalated enough favor, from shipping a London emissary to demand the end of pirate raids to Gaider’s Mourn, or leading a squadron of cruisers to lay siege to Khan’s Shadow. Make nations more interactive, and more than just a few words at the end of a sentence.
  3. The equpment also feels lifeless. I mean, an Irons increase is nice, and the ability to kill crew is OK, but I would like more unique weapons and equipment, like Admiralty Prototype Steam-Cannon for fast, weak, and inaccurate fire, or Glowing Red Device of Mysterious Origin, which does something random but harmful every time it is fired. Additionally, add the ability to receive weapons or engines as a reward for mission completion, or opening secret shops, like the Market of Safety, Iron Republic, selling premium weaponry at premium prices. Additionally, add special ships in other locations beyond London, like Port Cecil’s Perion Class Crystal Cruiser, which resists 25% of all damage, or something like that.
  4. Endings other than the ones dictated in the start. Perhaps my character is a great friend to the Revolutionaries, or something of the like, plotting the Liberation of Night alongside them, then retires and the Calendar Council never hears from him again. Very anticlimatic. Allow unexpected and multiple endings! Let my character annihilate the Bazaar’s fleet and sail into London with the Dawn Machine in tow, let him/her discover a secret technology with one of his officers and raise London to the surface, let him acquire an Admiralty secret weapon and obliterate the Khanate. There are so many possibilities beyond a quiet retirement.
  5. Balance. Faster sailing, easier profit, people have said this better than me.
  6. More locations. Some people will disagree with me on this, but I feel that there are not enough things to do in each location and not enough locations. The Unterzee just feels… small. Add a Great Seal to the North so we can complete our mad quest, little forts of some mad militaristic knights seeking some mysterious goal, the route to Hell, and maybe one to Death.
  7. Random stuff along the Unterzee. Add floundering ships, strange ghost islands, things like that to make the Unterzee feel more dangerous. 'Cause a black stretch of water dotted by islands is not very threatening unless Mr. Eaten lives in said black water.
  8. Different classes of crew. Not everyone is just a Zailor. How experienced are they? Can they fight? Add depth to the crew by making distinctions between each person, not just the officers.
    Well, these are just my two cents. If Failbetter decides to take a look at it, yay! If not, well, SS is still a good game, and hopefully by the time it comes out of EA, some of my peeves will be solved.

The only peeves I have with the game are the ones that are a random choice that can drastically affect what happens to you, the rest of it I have no real issue with, and while I do think that some of your points have merit, I have differing opinions to the others. Please take this as a fellow sailor merely making observation rather than a challenge of any sort.
1: The Unterzee is meant to feel dead, it’s a dark place where the unknown is exactly that, and while events like the aforementioned group of pirates hunting down merchants, or vast sea battles between other factions would be cool from an observational point of view, they reduce you to just that, an observer, and I think that this game should be all about what you do on the waves, not what you see others doing there instead of you.
2: Nations are bland because we don’t come from them, it’s a possibility that in future releases, you might have captains from far off lands, start in ports that aren’t london and do things against other nation states, sail a Khanate Trimaran or something similar, but it detracts from the focus of the game because we all know Fallen London and we know the things about that city from Fallen London itself, to build a body of knowledge and stories the equal of that for the other nation states would take as long as it has to build this one, possibly longer, and it’s better in my opinion to have states that you know nothing of, but that can be revealed over time and built upon, rather than have everything all at once.
3: Equipment is always going to be a numerical exchange, no matter what it’s dressed up like. While putting different skins on the weapons and changing the names of them (in the same manner as games like Torchlight) makes them momentarily more interesting, in the end, they’re there to help you blow s*** up and nothing else. I think there’s room for expansion, but not to the point where every game becomes an escalation to try and get all the goodies. I think that things like the Blue Scintallack make for more interesting playing when it comes to game elements, rather than more of the same.
4: I think new endings will be forthcoming, particularly as the game progresses and gains more interest. Certainly I’d like there to be more things in there too, but I think with the basics of the game still being worked on, this is something that hasn’t yet come to the fore.
5: Faster sailing and easier profit makes the game into a monty haul, and then it loses the problems that those with less money have, which in turn detracts a great deal from what the game has to offer us all. This shouldn’t be about blinking from one port to the next, if it was that, you can do that in Fallen London without having to play this game. Keep it gritty, if it was about driving a turbine powered dreadnought around the sea, it becomes a very different game, one that’s nowhere near as interesting in my estimation. Certainly most of my games when I get to dreadnought with all the goodies stage become less interesting. When you can take Mount Nomad twice without having to repair your ship, there is nothing else on the waters that will cause you issues, and in that, you lose any fear of the waters and that’s not what this is about.
6: I agree, but I do think all the things you’ve mentioned are already in there J
7: Random things are good, but we’re back to faster, better, harder, more, because the threats have to be things that you find tangible, not just other opponents, they have to be things that you cannot beat with guns and big ships.
8: I have that down as being the officers, the enlisted crew are just the people who run the rigging and stoke the fire, the officers are the one that make the difference, not the every day sailors.
Overall though, good points and well made, I think that many of them will be addressed in the fullness of time, but only when everything works properly first J

1 is steadily improving, I think. Remember, neutral AI was only introduced in the last update, and a lot of existing beasties are, I suspect, placeholders for yet-to-be-implemented creatures. 2 is definitely partially implemented, but so far, we’ve only seen limited scheming between London, the Dawn Machine and the Khanate - I don’t doubt for a moment that that won’t expand in future updates. 3 was being experimented with, too, before things were necessarily re-simplified for the change to real-time combat - so that will take time to adapt for the new system.

4 is partially implemented - there’s at least one alternative ending and assuredly more to come. 6 and 7 are improving every update, as new islands, quests and hazards are added. 5 is tremendously subjective, of course - in my opinion, early-game needs a bit more tutorialising to get us on our feet, but late-game is pretty well-balanced. I agree with Jack about 8 - our Officers are the ones with special abilities, while our Crew are fairly generic, aside from whatever little story snippets come with recruiting them - like &quotthis one keeps a shrine to Salt, that one is owed a Secret, the other one is a Snuffer.&quot
edited by Sir Frederick Tanah-Chook on 12/17/2014

Well, I agree that the Unterzee is meant to feel dead, but surely I’m not the only Zee-Captain? And I didn’t mean to suggest just spectator sport events, sorry for giving that impression, but things you could join in. Want an extra smile from the pirates? Rescue them from a London crusier harassing the Mourn’s traffic, or destroy some ships pestering the cruiser for a nod from the Admiralty. And, well, I was under the impression that your character was a Londoner, although in hindsight only the urchin background infers that, while the natural philosopher seems to come from the surface cities. And I think having characters from other cities would be a good opportunity for Failbetter to expand upon other nations, revealing little bits of lore as you increase your connections or spy network in the nation, the starting nation just being a different ship, connection buff, and stuff like that. Also, I think special weapons would add more life to the game, as no nation has just one type of gun in their arsenal, but if that is too hard to implement, at least maybe they could add hit effects, like: Magazine hit! Reduced damage, or something. Lastly, I don’t mean each crewmember with different traits and background, Failbetter would die trying to implement that, I meant like Experienced Zeeman, New Zailor, Marine, different types of generic zailors. That, and differen weapon types could add complexity to different types of Unterzee creatures. A Chelonate Troop-Ship would try to board you, while a Khanigan light skirmisher would zip around you firing light weapons. I know SS is still in EA, but I would love to see these features (which I know will probably be difficult to add) when it comes out of EA. Still, its already an awesome game, I just believe some changes would make it even better.
edited by Aegis1000 on 12/18/2014

If I were to have a single quest for sunless sea, it would be to find the source of the single star in the sky, far to the eastern edge, that no one has ever been to…

What I would love is the Tomb-Colonist dozen to demand being brought to a larger variety of ports. I really, really love the Last Tour, and feel that more Tomb-Colonist shenanigans can never hurt.

Also, I once unwittingly took a Snuffer on board. That was a terrifying yet fun experience.
It has happened only once, though. I feel like things like this should happen more often. Or do they already and I’m just (un)lucky?

I loved the Snuffer storyline too - especially one time it managed to whittle down the crew to just it and me.

When you say a larger variety of ports, do you mean more stops in one Tour, or more possible destinations? Now I’m trying to remember where they’ve asked me to take them in the past… Gaider’s Mourn, Shepherd’s Wash, Polythreme, Irem, both Khan’s Heart and Khan’s Glory, the Chelonate… maybe others too?

(One thing on my own personal wishlist: more sources of Neathbow quest items. There’s now three Apocyanic sources, which is nice, but I’m surprised there’s no Viric to be found in, say, Varchas (unless I’m missing it), and I’m hoping the Chelonate brings an alternative Gant supply.)

I meant more possible destinations, but would have nothing against longer Tours as well.
They’ve never asked me to go anywhere you didn’t list, and never to Khan’s Heart at all, only Khan’s Glory.

I second the Neathbow wish; While I only find Viric and Violant really unfair, I think having alternatives would improve the quest.

I’d also wish to get the Horizon Codex one had to actually go through Avid Horizon. I finished the Dawn Machine too early and got it from there. This seems to have permanently locked me out from the Merchant’s Venturer ending, since I can’t find a place to sell the Codex, and can’t follow him if I already have it.

[quote=Curious Foreigner]Also, I once unwittingly took a Snuffer on board. That was a terrifying yet fun experience.
It has happened only once, though. I feel like things like this should happen more often. Or do they already and I’m just (un)lucky?[/quote]

Oh now that’s interesting, something like &quotThe Thing&quot? I’ve never encountered anything like that, where did you pick it up?

(Just so I can go hunt one of them…)

IIRC, it’s one of the possible A Stranger Aboard stories you can get when taking on suspiciously willing crew in other ports than London.

Excellent, will have to carry less crew… :)