On the Seizure of Ships: Piracy, and Privateering

As many of you probably know, Gaider’s Mourn has the option of addressing prize vessels as a docking event, and previous versions of the game have discussed dealing with prize vessels in general, but as of release there have been numerous questions regarding the seizure of vessels and piracy as a whole. There have been some questions about how ship seizure actually works, or if it is even possible in the current build – many players have noticed references to vessel seizure but have questioned the possibility of being able to board ships, predominately, it is assumed, by clearing them of their crew without sinking them. I have finally gotten chance to test this, and the results are not good:

    I had my oldest, most accomplished captain retire, and had his sion start as a poet with absolutely no bonus to iron.  I then used heirlooms to purchase a corvette with the Calvary gun as a forward weapon -- it does the most crew damage and the least hull damage -- but the none of the deck-mounted guns do enough crew damage to justify the added damage to the hull -- it's actually better to keep the starter gun because the 1 crew damage is better to do with the minimal hull damage than to upgrade to a weapon that does more to the hull.  

   With the minimal iron, Corvette, and weapons optimized I then proceeded to test on a variety of ships -- I sank four &quotPirate Steam Pinnace&quot enemies, two of the weaker frigates, three of the stronger ones, two war trimarans and three Dawn ships.  [i]None [/i]of the ships survived my attempts to rid them of their crew.  

     The problem is, the smallest ships have the lease hull, so by the time you knock them down to 50% damage, their hull is nearly gone, and any attempt to kill the crew sinks the ships.  Bigger ships have, to scale, have bigger crew, so [i]those [/i]ships sink as well, long before the crew can be defeated. I know from testers who have edited game files that it is [i]supposed  [/i]to be possible to board an empty ship once its cleared, but even that doesn't seem like the right way to go.

 You see, I don't think it makes sense to have to completely clear a ship to capture it in the first place -- while I hesitate to say that it should be so simple (or unbalanced) as a mere Iron challenge, I liked it better when the game had results from boarding actions -- back in Early Access, ships could be searched for valuables and then sent back to London -- or the Corsair's Forest if they were obtained less legally.  I liked that mechanic because it added strategy and flavor to the game -- I can recall one such boarding action against a Khanate War Trimaran where you could opt to either kill the entire crew [i]or  [/i]spare them -- and if you let them go, you'd get  token of gratitude from one of the officers and Khanate suspicion would be reduced.  

 I miss those storylets and feel like the whole idea should be expanded -- not removed -- raising the issues of how those engaged in piracy treat their prizes or how they handle enemy crew (with an even hand or a more vicious way) [i]and  [/i]it would be an easy way to make the matter of prisoners more prominent in the game.  For a game that touts such things as cannibalism, crew events, and prisoner management, this sounds like a win.  

Any thoughts?
edited by SouthSea Rutherby on 3/4/2015

Basically agree. I have lamented to FBG the loss of ability ro reduce Khanate suspicion this way, and it did not seem to be a broken mechanic to get prize ships, either…

Completely agree.

Another option that is not mutually exclusive with your proposed changes (reversions?) is adding a gun or line of guns that do minimal hull damage (1-2) while killing crew on each shot regardless of the enemy’s hull.

A third option, which might indeed be a bit too much work to properly implement, is the ability to keep ships you capture…a Khanate War Trimaran, a Glorious Dreadnaught. The animations for these ships are already in the game, so unique stats and some ability to switch between them at London would be required. And writing, a bit of writing (but not too much). A few of them, like the Unfinished galleys, could even have novel concepts like no Engine slot and Engine speed being directly tied to how many crew members you have (since they’re rowing). Lose a few crew in a shore event, and the ship will go slightly slower, even if it’s not below 50%. In general, the ability to capture and use enemy ships will give enterprising players a bit more reward for challenging them earlier on…at the cost of risk.

I certainly think there should be boarding actions…but these don’t need to be limited to your captain! How many times have you been nose-to-nose with a pirate vessel, stupidly blasting away at each other from point blank range? Well, maybe that desperate pirate vessel with a failing hull but nearly full complement of crew decides to try and take over your ship! This could occur when ships touch each other at zee, which gives you more of an incentive to actually manoeuvre in combat instead of just sit face-forward and blast away while slowly backing up. It would also add a bit more use to aft guns, which are currently mostly unused at high-levels, because of the different positions you’d find yourself in as you moved about to avoid giving your adversary a chance to board. Successful enemy boarding actions could result in loss of your ship, loss of your life, or…if the enemy captain is merciful, perhaps they will grant you a Steam Launch and let you limp back to London with your life, if not your dignity, intact.

And if you’re Unaccountably Peckish, you could b____y well eat captured enemy crews for supplies.

Additionally, there could be certain unique interactions linked to going about in captured enemy ships…if you show up at Khan’s Heart with a captured Trimaran, your suspicion will go through the roof. The King of Polythreme will grant you an audience and reward you handsomely for providing Unfinished pirate ships as proof of their destruction. The Grand Geode will not sell you Elements of Dawn or other things once you’ve taken a Glorious Dreadnaught, but capturing one reduces their Supremacy by 1.

Finally, I think it makes sense for the checks to be based partly on Iron and partly on the amount of crew in each ship. Gives players an incentive to run with full crew, and gives even outgunned enemy ships the potential to be dangerous if they have a lot of crew. (An extended boarding scenario with the Eater of Names could be awesome!) It also means, somewhat realistically, that however high your Iron, a Steam Launch will not be able to avoid being boarded by a Frigate, and that a Dreadnaught will not likely be overthrown by a Pinnace. Certain enemies, like the Khanate, could be more predisposed to attempt to BOARD your vessel than to simply destroy it, etc.
edited by Mukuro on 3/4/2015

Thinking ahead: how would a Zubmarine fare in a boarding scenario?

I imagine they simply wouldn’t have the option, or there would have to be an item (depth-charges or whatnot) to force them to the surface before boarding interactions could initiate.

Mechanically, A zubmarine would fare fine in Boarding scenarios, but have different skill check limits due to cramped spaces, and likely you’d take hull damage if you were boarded as the enemy cut a hole to get in.

As for piracy and ship seizure:

I’ve been playing some of Sid Meier’s Pirates! lately to see how they handled all of this. Like everything in that game, it was handled loosely and with little regard for consequence or depth, but with a lot of fun and joviality.

So some stuff to avoid and borrow from Pirates! (still the best pirate game on the market to this day [AC: Black Flag wishes it were this good]) -

  • [b]Gaining Letters of Marque from different factions is super easy, and switching targets has so little consequence their inclusion is negligible.

[/b]For those who don’t remember their Caribbean Pirate history (or general British/American Naval History, Letters of Marque were given by nations to captains of independent vessels so they could essentially legally pirate other ships, but only as long as they pirated enemies of the nation giving out the letter of Marque. This is in Pirates!, and if expanded piracy were to show up in Sunless Sea, some version of this should definitely be in the game if the player wants to privateer for either of the two major factions in the game: Fallen London or the Khanate.

That being said, the lack of penalty for &quotplaying both sides&quot in Pirates! (where it’s really four sides) is frustrating. There’s really very little that harms the player for most of the time in the game if they’re just switching between attacking English ships or Spanish ships and turning back to requisite ports to gain rewards for doing so, even when they’re also attacking said faction.

Also, privateering would need to be separate from the normal Supremacy aspects of the game, because it’s far more incremental. If you just added privateering to the current supremacy system, you could theoretically just go around sinking Khanate War Trimereans for an hour and then head back to London for a parade as you’ve increased London’s supremacy 1000 points. So a smaller, more incremental system would have to be in place, where you could, say, raise your privateering level with London by 50 marks, and then turn in 25 of them to gain supremacy for London, or favors from the Admiralty, or you could turn in 25 Khanate privateering marks for reduced suspicion and favors to gain access to the Nephirite Quarter.

There also need to be counters of essentially, loathing and hate that you build up for these actions with the opposite side. Which would mean at the very least, that there would need to be counters for raising London’s suspicion for attacking London ships, but would hopefully be such that if you got to a certain level of privateering for one side, it would lock you out of officially doing so for the other side forever, unless you made a concerted effort to only attack their enemies for some time to come. Ideally, there could be an inclusion of some &quotBad Endings&quot in the game where if you build up suspicion or hate high enough on a side, you could get arrested and thrown in Prison for the rest of your life by that faction (either New Newgate for London, or Wisdom for the Khanate). A prison lost captain would have to have the &quotSalvage&quot option on legacy greyed out, as there would be no salvage due to the vessel being impounded.

On top of this, a separate quality for piracy could be used to serve as an AI motivator for spawning and new behavior. If I build up enough favor with the Khanate, their ships shouldn’t open fire on me when I approach the Khanate. If I build up enough resentment with London, there should be London fleet ships spawning nearby that can and will open fire on me when I approach (with a possible new side entrance into the port for smuggling operations).

Finally on this point, there would also hopefully be a new faction to build favor with (and potentially supremacy for) - Gaider’s Mourn. With, ideally, a new ambition ending - Become a Pirate Lord of the low zees!

[b]- Boarding actions break vessel combat balance because they’re far easier to pull off than sinking tougher ships in a weaker ship.

[/b]One of the weaker aspects of Pirates! is the game balance on Boarding actions versus the naval combat. While the game really isn’t that hard overall, you could go up to the biggest, toughest warship and attack it, then win the boarding action incredibly easily if you’re good at the little QTE dueling system that they put in. Regardless of the fact that you’d be hopelessly outnumbered in terms of crew. Just - &quotDodge - Parry - Thrust&quot and the captain’s done and the ship is yours. There was increased difficulty on this QTE based on relative crew strengths, but the mini-game was so simple that it was negligible in effect as a deterrent to boarding actions.

Ideally, there would be something of a repeatable storylet in place for boarding actions as I mentioned in this post. Point 2 if you want to skip a lot of other stuff (as it was in response to another topic, naturally).

One that would use numbers of crew as checks for the skill checks when boarding (and not simply be repeated Iron checks over and over) so that attempting to board a Glorious Dreadnaught in your steamer would be a suicide mission because there’s no way your 10 men wouldn’t be able to overpower their 30 or 40 unless you got extremely lucky.

Another issue would be - how does the player even trigger boarding actions?

To this, I think there would be a new item added to the game, something for the auxiliary slot on your ship, that’s essentially some kind of connector to an enemy ship, or grappling hooks, and only for sale in Gaider’s Mourn. It could be like the Ratsender functions (supposedly anyway, because it’s broken), where you would have to equip it, then you could fire it off when you get in range of an enemy ship so you can hook onto them. Once hooked on to their ship, you could initiate a boarding action. Alternatively and more simply, it could be so that once equipped, all you have to do is ram into an enemy ship to start the storylet.

With that in mind, it should be assumed that all &quotPirate&quot enemies would also have this piece of equipment, and their AI would have to be re-written so that they would prioritize using this in battle rather than attempting to battle it out for very long. Especially if there were checks in place where the AI checked to see what their crew size was relative to the player’s so that they would only try this when there were equivalent crew sizes, or the pirate vessel outnumbered you, otherwise they would try to run away and disengage from combat (they’re pirates after all, and quite cowardly). This would be good anyway, as it would add more AI variation to the game for the vessels - something that’s sorely needed.

[b]- Ship Capture can be VERY overpowering as an economic boon depending on how it’s implemented.

[/b]In Pirates!, ship capture works differently than the way it worked in the old version of SS - you actually captured a vessel, and put some crew on it and you formed a fleet. The fleet was useless for combat, as you still only fought one on one with ships, but they could be sold at ports, and more importantly, you could use them as extra cargo space to make trading more capable and a better money maker.

SS as I understand it, has you putting some crew on captured ships, then they sail the ship to a port of your choosing, and sell it off. Honestly, this is a really good solution to the problem of making captured ships OP economy wise. Especially since there’s a chance for the action to fail when the crewmen get lost or head off to the Iron Republic as mutineers.

It would be neat to create a Cargo fleet to be a super trader, but this is probably well beyond the abilities of the game looking at how it struggles with frame rate as it is. The only thing to make sure of here would be the price on vessels sold - you’d need to balance it so that it was worth taking the risk, but not SO great that the player could make a TON of money by just abusing weaker ships - like the Pirate Pinnacle - over and over.

[b]- For naval combat, more Weapon Orthogonality is better, and there needs to be a way to disable enemy vessels.

[/b]The biggest difference in the two games for combat is in terms of weapon design over all.

SS is very granular with little orthogonality. This means there are a lot of increments of damage on the guns you have, but relatively few types of guns that do different things. In SS you have ONE type of Deck gun, and ONE type of Aft gun, and both have a bunch of versions that just do more damage as you pay more to install them. Functionally, Deck and Aft guns are basically the same, they just have different firing arcs. If I had my druthers, I’d remove Aft guns entirely, and just allow the placement of Deck guns in the Aft Slot, since there’s little functional difference between them (also this would widen the arc of Aft guns so there would be a lateral &quotsweet spot&quot where a player could fire both their Deck and Aft guns at a target if they positioned themselves correctly, which would make Aft guns much more useful than they currently are and worth the investment for combat).

You have TWO types of Forward guns, and they’re specialized between doing more hull damage or doing more Life/Crew damage. Aside from the visual effects (and whether or not they use ammo), they’re basically the same type of gun as Deck guns, but with more range and a narrower arc.

None of these guns exhibit different effects on enemies except for specializing in damage output based on enemy or a trade in specializing in stagger chance or crew reduction. At this point in the game, neither stagger chance or crew reduction elements are implemented in a way so as to make them really noticeable or useful so they’re negligible elements. As the OP notes - trying to reduce enemy crews with specialized forward weapons to reduce crew is practically impossible because you do too much hull damage and usually sink them. Stagger is even less clear to its effects, as there is no indicator that you’ve successfully staggered an enemy.

The result is that there’s really only one Orthogonal &quottype&quot of gun in Sunless Sea, it just has a LOT of granularity.

Pirates! conversely, had little granularity, but three times the orthogonality.

Granularity wise, there was basically none. You increased your damage potential not by buying different and better guns, but just by buying or stealing more of them. The more cannons you had, the longer it took to load on a volley, but the more potential damage you could do.

Conversely though, they had three different types of damage through having different kinds of shot for the cannons. Each with VERY noticeable differences in effect.

  • Standard cannon shot maximized hull damage (and thus enemy cannon damage potential as well), but did very little damage to crew or sails. It had the longest range.
  • Chain shot maximized damage to enemy sails, but did relatively little damage to crew or hull, making it great to disable a ship’s movement in preparation for capture. You had to get closer to use this effectively, at medium range.
    -Grape shot maximized crew damage, but did very little damage (relatively) to sails or hull, making it the second element for preparing for a boarding action (in theory anyway, since QTE familiarity had a much larger effect on this). You had to get really close to use this effectively too.

If ship capture is going to be a bigger part of the game, the big thing I’d do is nominate some new, genuinely different types of guns to be in the game that mimicked these effects. Where there was so little (to even none) hull damage, but either a LOT of stagger or a LOT of crew damage. Ideally with very different range increments, so that the player has to get closer to more effectively use them (but their warmup time is reduced as a result of their shorter ranges).

While on this topic, I’d say the game could also do well with some super long range, high powered &quotsniper&quot cannons that would be very effective at ship destruction at greater ranges, but would have a blind spot up close where they couldn’t shoot close up. Possibly even as an auxiliary item - extended barrels, where it increased the range you could fire with the addition of a blind spot up close. But this would just be to improve combat variation in general.

Of course, another way to gain these effects of increased orthogonality without completely adding twenty new cannon types would be to simply steal from the best, and adopt the system from Pirates! by including different ammo types for the deck and aft cannons (Flensing Weapons and Torpedo Launchers use different kinds of ammo already), which could effectively function as modifiers on both range and damage type in combat.

I could see four types of ammo working quite well for this effect, and these being added to the in-combat toolbar so the player can switch between them at will:

  • Standard Cannon Shells - The player always has an infinite amount of these, but the options there so they can switch to them. When switching back to Standard shells, it takes two seconds to apply the effect. They do the normal effects of damage on Deck and Aft cannons.

  • Flak Shells - These explode while traveling through the air to their target, and rain fragments of metal everywhere. Effectively, switching to these shells reduces Hull damage by 95%, reduces life damage by 25% (flak would be worse at taking on most of the sea monsters in the game but still more effective than hulls, though flying enemies might have a particular weakness to this if you look at how hunters go Quail or Duck hunting with shells that spread lots of pellets around) reduces Stagger Damage by 50% and raises Crew Damage by 100% of the value of a cannon. It also reduces the range of the cannon by 50% (since they explode half way to the target) and reduces target acquisition time by 40% because it takes less time to target an enemy up close. You could buy these in Carrow’s Naval Exchange for 15 Echo a shell, or Gaider’s Mourn for 20, and it takes four seconds to switch to them.

  • Shriek Shells - Shells filled with barrels of Primordial shrieks, that cause immense disruption and confusion when they make contact with the enemy as the screams are released in a wave of horrible sound. These reduce Hull and Life damage by 75%, reduce Crew Damage by 50%, and raise stagger time by 150% as the screams cause mass disruption to an enemy hit by them. On Zee monsters it has a high chances of having them trigger a dive to get away from the noise. Range and firing time acquisition are reduced by 25% since the shells are heavier to contain the weight of the shrieks, and you could buy them in Caminus Yards for 25 Echoes each. It would take 4 seconds to switch to them and raise terror by 5 when you do, because these are scary in of themselves.

  • Customized Longshot Shells - Ornately made by expert engineers for your particular cannons, these shells are designed for longer range and higher impact. Raises Hull and Life damage by 25%, as well as increasing maximum range on your deck guns by 20%, while not affecting other stats. However, they cost 120 Echoes per shell, and can only be found in the Nephirite Quarter in Khan’s Heart, by a shop that requires the player have less than 5 Khanate Suspicion. Takes 4 seconds to switch to them.

Different ammo types like this would allow for the different kinds of effects needed to effectively begin piracy and privateering (though those Longshot shells are just for fun I guess), and would certainly be easier to implement as combat items that modify cannons than introducing a whole new cannon system to the game.

[b]- A way to implement small, procedurally generated, pirating targets organically.

[/b]One of the subtler features of Pirates! lay in the romancing aspect of the game. You could romance a governor’s daughter through a dancing mini-game (or speak to wenches in bars) and they’d give you good pirating info. What this normally did was that they’d whisper in your ear that a particularly good ship for raiding was about to leave port, and go from X Location to Y location. This generated a small sandbox &quotmission&quot on the sailing map, so that ship would then appear and move from point A to point B, which the player could ignore or take advantage of at their pleasure.

This is just a great idea. I don’t know how or where it could be implemented in SS for fuller piracy, but man, if there’s to be good piracy in the game, it would be great to have something like this. Especially since it helps bring just another touch of life to the sea.
edited by MisterGone on 3/5/2015

[quote=Mukuro]Completely agree.

Another option that is not mutually exclusive with your proposed changes (reversions?) is adding a gun or line of guns that do minimal hull damage (1-2) while killing crew on each shot regardless of the enemy’s hull.

Yes, I had considered this as well, and think it’s a good option. It’s highly specific, and would be far less well-rounded than other weapons (as it should be) but if you’re specifically trying to engage in any form of ship-hunting or piracy, a few weapons of this type (deck or forward, or a few different models for variety) would work out well, I should think.


Has anybody actually captured a ship at all on the latest update? I managed it by pure luck, and it got sent to London.

That’s a good sign. I haven’t been able to try again yet.


It’s possible - the events will fire appropriately. It’s just hard.

I purchased this game about a month ago and I just end up sailing from port to port, doing the same thing over and over again, really tedious work. It says a tale of 10,000 stories, but I’ve maybe seen 100. The game starts out fun, but I’ve cleared the map, been everywhere, and I am not seeing these new story updates…sure they say they have updated, but I haven’t encountered any new stories or storylines for that matter, and I’ve been to every port in the game, WITH my lighthouse icon lit, so everything should be available. I just spent 3 hours driving around looking for these so-called new stories and here’s what I’ve found: Nothing.

I have over 15 reports to turn in, the admiral will not appear so i can turn them in, no new missions for strategic info, and I am forced to turn in my vital intel and moves in the game to the other diplomat.

I cruise around in my frigate with 450 hull armor, deck gun, forward gun, and the suppressor on the aft so I never blow my engines. I farm the Mt Vernon or whatever it’s name is every time i see it. Everything dies, and the ships that happen to be encountered die really quickly, so it’s virtually impossible to destroy the crew without destroying the ship first, so that’s a big waste of fuel and time, so i just kill everything I see, and rather quickly I might add.

So what’s the deal with this game and why can’t I find any new quests? Have I completed them all already? If so, this is the lamest 20 bucks I’ve ever spent on a d/l content video game, with supposed story updates…

Hey Havoloc. A few things

  1. the story updates (at least today), were almost all minor bugfixes. there was new stuff on the 27th Feb, though.
  2. these “story updates” aren’t the same as DLC.
  3. The DLC is something else, and being worked on.
  4. You’ll never see everything with a single captain. Almost all the stories have multiple ways they can play out, so the idea is to play them all out with your existing captain, leave a strong legacy (heirlooms, nice house, etc) and then go finish the game for this captain, either through the ambition you chose when you created your character, or one of a few hidden ambitions. And I’m surprised, if you’ve finished all the stories, that you haven’t encountered one of the many ways the game can end.

Pardon me if I’m being presumptuous, but I think the Havoloc’s complaint is something of a general one about SS’s lack of a definite endgame. I mean, SS is doing something REALLY different from like, 95-99% of all story based games - it leaves the end game up to you, the player to determine. Not just how to react to it in different ways, but to actually even determine what the endgame is even supposed to be.

I’ve heard of this being common in Japanese visual novels (usually where you pursue a romantic relationship with one of an assortment of potential contenders and the person whom you pursue will always drastically change what the experience becomes), but as far as Western gaming goes . . . what game has ever really done that? Even most open-ended CRPGs have one major &quotthing&quot the player has to resolve no matter what. Look at Fallout (a high watermark is usually a good thing to judge on), 1 or 2 - sure there are about a billion things to do and alter in those games based on your choices, but ultimately in both, you still have to do one or two definite things - F1, kill The Master, get a Water Chip; F2, defeat Frank Horrigan and dispatch the Enclave - before you get to an ending. The classic JRPG Chrono Trigger had like, 13 or 14 endings, but in all of them you still always had to Kill Lavos. Most every game ever has one specific thing that must be done to get to an end, and even in they offer various alternate ends along the way, these are really just considered as alternate endings, with the real ending still waiting for the player somewhere else.

Sunless Sea denies that thinking entirely. There is no &quotdefinite thing&quot that must be done. There are no &quotalternate&quot endings, only endings for one captain leading to a new beginning for another. You can end your captain’s line early and skip off past the Horizon in at least a few different ways, or retire having completed some great task you set out for yourself pretty early if you know what you’re doing.

On the one hand, this is a really rather truly novel thing in a video game with a story (I emphasize the story part because this is fairly common in say, the 4X genre, where you can win using different methods, but they’re usually very light on story). On the other hand, it sort of makes the end-game . . . not much of an end-game in a number of instances.

Because some of the endings aren’t really that involved - Saving up to retire in luxury and Write a memoir are essentially collection quests of Echoes or secrets respectively - especially compared to others - Exaltation and Finding your father’s bones are much more interesting and require far more effort, feeling much more appropriate as more traditional endings - and you have a recipe for frustration if someone is expecting a more, shall we say, &quotdirected&quot experience?

Haveloc, Sporks is pretty correct in that, kind of the point of SS is that you try to go after different endings with different captains. Since that’s the case, I don’t know really what could be said to assuage your frustration with the game. Try to get the different endings. Retire with one captain having met your goal, than try to do it again in a different way. Past that . . . well, there’s not much past that. That is that.

Perhaps this will change over time. There may eventually be something added that makes there a more specific thing all players have to do, or a state of the sea that late game players will all run into - I kind of want this myself, with an expanded focus on the Supremacy aspect of the game causing different late game states that alter the world depending on who’s winning the &quotwar for the unterzee&quot, with a default state should the player never interfere - but for now, and likely forever, this is what Sunless Sea is, and if you don’t like it, then you just don’t like it I guess. Which is sorry to hear, but not every game’s going to be to everyone’s tastes I guess.
edited by MisterGone on 3/10/2015

I’m going to agree with the initial posters; the ability to take ships would add a great deal to the game, please do consider adding something along those lines.

I’ve heard of this being common in Japanese visual novels (usually where you pursue a romantic relationship with one of an assortment of potential contenders and the person whom you pursue will always drastically change what the experience becomes), but as far as Western gaming goes . . . what game has ever really done that?
edited by MisterGone on 3/10/2015[/quote]

Mount and Blade, an excellent sandbox-style medieval conquest game, does this, without having a true &quotending&quot so to speak. I don’t think Spore had an ending, either, nor did most versions of Sim City.

Minecraft also got away with doing this for quite a while, although I understand the game now has an &quotending&quot to appease fans. Sunless Sea may end up doing that at some point – perhaps just having a set of requirements for multiple captains within the same line to put on display for all the world to see would be enough for some players (I’ve always been more interested in how my character’s &quotstory&quot looks once it’s been completed) but others might want some sort of &quotofficial&quot ending. Honestly this has never bothered me, but it is nice to have some final challenge to complete (or, preferably, several &quotbig&quot challenges, once you’re confident you’re the biggest, baddest captain on the zee). Minecraft 's ending is unique in the sense that in instills a desire to replay the game, and that might be exactly what Sunless Sea needs.

Be warned, however, that a singular, linear objective can be detrimental to the game – one of things I love most about Sunless Sea was that I have the freedom to go anywhere, see anything I want, and answer to no one (which, conversely, Sid Meier’s Pirates doesn’t grant you – all I wanted to do was enjoy the sandbox element and it kept forcing me to go to far-flung places looking yet again the captain’s family).

I prefer writing my own story to following a pre-determined one, and therefore prefer Sunless Sea’s method to that of Pirates. But if the game does add some sort of larger ambition or special accomplishments that include an ending, I’d be fine with that as long as it doesn’t railroad the overall game.


I agree that some sort of flak weapon would be nice. Could create a story on it – need to buy it from pirates or anarchists – anyone other than Fallen London and the Khanate. Also would be nice if the dawn ships could use sun as a weapon.

I certainly hope you’re not implying that the Dawn fleet would hover over our gunners with a giant magnifying glass?


I certainly hope you’re not implying that the Dawn fleet would hover over our gunners with a giant magnifying glass?


Given the effect we’ve observed mirrorcatch boxes to have, it seems more likely that they would enclose sunlight in devices that shatter on impact. It would be interesting if they could inflict Sunlight-related menace, making fighting them a very real liability for anybody who already has issues with sunlight exposure.[/li]

Maybe they could just re-balance how crew damage occurs?
Did you get absurd rewards for taking a prize ship?
edited by 38thDoE on 7/8/2015

[quote=38thDoE]Maybe they could just re-balance how crew damage occurs?
Did you get absurd rewards for taking a prize ship?
edited by 38thDoE on 7/8/2015[/quote]

Not at all. In fact, older versions of the game (pre-release) had prize ship rewards that were pretty well-balanced. Taking a prize vessel was always a risk – there was a chance the ship would never make it to port and your prize would never be seen or heard from again – but the amount of strategy it added was appreciated. Sometimes, if I had max crew, sending a prize vessel away would allow me to reduce my crew size and therefore reduce my consumption of supplies – and the crew would rejoin me when I would get back to London (or Gaider’s Mourn, depending on whether or not the seized vessel was an innocent victim or a pirate ship). It’s one of the areas of the game that I sorely miss, especially since I would often alternate between captains who would stay legitimate (and sane) and my more nefarious captains who would engage in full-blown piracy – by the time I’d reached the ninth captain in my original rogue-like run, I had eight previous captains who had taken a variety of roles: stoic captains, hedonists, black-hearted pirates, cannibals, and shining examples of neathly benevolence – and it was interesting to see the different strategies each one would have to use depending on the moral choices I made.

Currently, the &quotfinished&quot game still has a few impossible options in Gaider’s Mourn. I was disappointed to see the &quotPirate’s Pleasure&quot option actually present – but impossible to accomplish – in the current, finished game.