It seems like a lot of people are arguing that there is no - or very little - reason to upgrade your ship unless you manage to take home a ton of echoes and go for the dreadnought or the frigate. This is, in my mind, a problem, because upgrading your ship is part of the story of a zee-captain’s rising star. I have two suggestions in this matter:
Add a legacy that would allow you to leave your ship to a subsequent captain. This would incentivize me to improve my ship, because it would give me the possibility of starting with a significant leg up. Additionally, it would create the possibility of gradually bootstrapping my way up to a very good ship - like the dreadnought - over the course of several games.
Allow the player to purchase a new ship without trading in the old ship and switch - at London, of course - between the ships they have available. That would encourage purchasing specialized ships and using them for different missions. A fast ship for exploring, a big merchant vessel for trading runs, a frigate or dreadnought for fights, and so on. Trading should still be an option - and a good, much less expensive option - but I believe that this would add an interesting dimension to the game.
Relatedly, I have a final suggestion.
- Allow players to purchase some sort of warehouse for goods and gear. It’s just too frustrating, in my mind, to have to sell off everything that doesn’t fit on a new ship (ie. a forward gun should I switch to the merchant ship). Additionally, some missions are simply impossible - or else extremely difficult - with a small ship’s cargo capacity, but as I’ve already written, improving your ship is usually not worth it for other reasons. You could easily attach some significant disadvantages to the warehouse - it’s expensive to buy, it occasionally gets robbed, etc. - but I think it would, likewise, increase the depth of the game.
I’m pretty sure requiring you to have a larger hold to do some missions is intended behavior. For one, in earlier versions of the game there was absolutely no reason to ever upgrade your ship at all, since you could use every piece of equipment on the first ship and the limited cargo space never mattered.
Also the merchant ship is really good; the lack of a forward gun hardly matters if you have an Avid Supressor and just rocket past everything.
edited by WormApotheote on 2/22/2015
Upgrading to the Merchant ship is basically always worth it. Whether you fight enough to go for a Frigate or Dreadnaught is something each player needs to decide for themselves.
I disagree. I skipped from the starter steamer to the Frigate, since the Merchant Cruiser only seemed like it would set me back 4k (used to be worse) on my road to the proper warship. And the truth is the merchantman wouldn’t be good enough to make up the lost echoes in due time.
If your final goal was the Merchant Cruiser, then that’s fine, but if you aspire to something greater, there’s no practical stepping stones.
And that’s the problem with the ship upgrades: they have a huge pricetag and their advantages aren’t remotely proportional to the asked sum (and higher maintenance costs). So I find all of ElectricPaladin’s suggestions valuable, in addition to rebalancing the vessels to make them more interesting, of course.
I’d go as far as including the ship in the Ironclad Will. Perhaps the Will would be more expensive to produce and/or would preserve the vessel but not the fittings. Or it could be something like insurance if the captain doesn’t explicitly retire, since it wouldn’t make much sense to pass on a ship to a successor when the ship itself was lost at sea.
But yeah, the key point is making them all more interesting, more unique, regardless of prices and secondary mechanics.
In my mind these complaints are from people who just haven’t spent enough time with the game, or have discovered that damnable sunlight trade exploit, which is far too gameable and makes the starter ship too good and too profitable.
Yeah, the initial ship is decent in a number of ways, but its hull is so weak that real combat is completely out of the equation, and if Sunlight trading (and surface trading) were more dangerous (which they really should be) then the limited hold size would kill it as any real money maker. You can’t make real money with it nearly as well as you can with other ships. Either by using battleships to kill lots of monsters on routes to generate some big gains now and again (at least at the Corvette level) and to nab real quest items, or with the Merchant ship and its huge-ass hold to start dominating the less broken trades in the game.
I’ve played straight and not exploited sunlight (by sticking to a couple boxes here and there and only collecting from Aestival to minimize it’s effectiveness) and mostly traded in other goods. It’s been slow progress over the course of several captains, but I have upgraded through the line of ships going Steamer-Corvette-Merchant all the way to the Frigate, and am working on getting the Dreadnought. The only "useless" ship in the game (for me) is the Cutter, which apparently is really nimble so could theoretically have a use for players who want to scoot around quickly and avoid conflict, but I find that easy enough with the other ships that the actual ship itself is redundant.
Oh and that little 1 hull sailing boat is useless too. That thing . . . I don’t know why it’s in the game. It should be a life raft that the player gets if they die in the Dreadnought or something, a bonus way to survive and head to London to recoup and get back in the game. That I’d understand. As anything else, dunno why it’s present.
Oh and that little 1 hull sailing boat is useless too. That thing . . . I don’t know why it’s in the game. It should be a life raft that the player gets if they die in the Dreadnought or something, a bonus way to survive and head to London to recoup and get back in the game. That I’d understand. As anything else, dunno why it’s present.[/quote]
That is why it’s in the game, you get it if you run out of fuel near London and can’t pay the tow fee.