Suggestions for light

I bought the early access of Sunless Sea edition from Steam and have put around 40 hours into it. I have also been following the updates closely, and I’m really looking forward to what is to come in the future. I would like to put forward two suggestions for the light aspect of the game, with the idea to spend money to prevent terror before it occurs, rather than trying to lower it afterwards.

  1. Sell flares at the Wolfstack Docks. Flares would be a sailing mechanic (as well as a combat mechanic), which would be triggered by the F key (bind Full Power to P - this will also prevent accidental engine overheats through mistypes), which then lights the sea around you for 4-5 seconds for a similar radius as one of the light buoys. The positive aspect of this would be to prevent terror during lightless stretches, thereby saving yourself a 2-3 point increase. The negative aspects would be the cost (say, 30 echos per flare), the loss of 1 hold space per flare, and maybe the increased possibility of attracting sea beasts or one of the more negative wandering phenomena referred to in the upcoming aquamarine update. Flares could also be used in combat (as fuel currently can be), though this may change significantly in the Steel update.

  2. Invest in the Admiralty. Once you have Admiralty’s Favor above 15, you have the option to invest with them to increase the amount of light on the sea. Initial investments would start low (say 50 echoes), which would put an additional buoy in a random position near Fallen London. Increasing investments would place buoys further away, place double lights or increase the width or distance of lighthouse lights, and maybe providing fuel/supply sales at lighthouses. Results would be random and fairly unpredictable, but would allow for more travel with the boat light off and perhaps eventually bridge long gaps.

My two cents. Opinions, comments, suggestions welcome

  1. I suspect we’ll see something very close to that with the Steel update when combat is moved to the main map.

  2. I like your second idea, although I think the costs should be much much higher. Usually by the time I get to 15 Admiralty’s favor 50 echoes isn’t much money. For a new light starting at 500 echos seems more reasonable. I think maybe a quest line that adds buoys or involves the construction of a lighthouse might be better. It could require a series of trips to bring supplies and engineers out to a location at sea, an investment of money, dealing with saboteurs, etc. I like the idea of adding more lights but I think it should feel more like a grand undertaking to fight back the darkness. Something your captain would be proud to have their name attached to when construction is complete.

Might I add some more light suggestions?

  1. Light should affect [some enemies] on the map itself. The buoys, for instance, could confuse bats and perhaps Angler Crabs, and pirates might stay away from them in general. [This leads to another point, where enemies do more interaction with one another on the map - bats should mess with pirate boats, right? I think some simple interaction rules with enemies on the map could make for a more interesting “ecosystem” out there on the zee. It would also be great if you could develop good enough relations with some ports that they’d actually attack your foes if they got close enough to port.]

  2. I think in general, if you are attacking an enemy head on, thus shining your light on them already, they should start with some illumination.

  1. I like this idea, though harvesting bats and pirate boats on the way to Venderbight is my main source of income currently :)

  2. Also a good idea, that we might even see with Steel

I like 1), 2) and 3). 4) Will probably no longer apply after Steel

It does look like some of these might change after Steel, but in general, I am hoping that there’s more integration of light between fighting/interaction and exploration. And I still like the idea of enemies interacting on the open sea.

And not to harp on about it, but how fun would it be to kite a cloud of zeebats right into a pirate ship, and see them tussle it out a bit?

I doubt any enemies will be “tussling” it out with the new combat system. Maybe they plan on making it that dynamic. But, I would imagine that, perhaps, time will freeze (excepting you and your opponent) when combat is engaged

[color=#009900]Enemies fighting enemies is something that always comes up in internal discussions: it would be cool, but it’s regrettably very unlikely to happen, for all the reason it generally doesn’t happen in CRPGs (expensive to build, computationally expensive, makes siccing enemies on enemies the trivially dominant strategy)[/color]