Hi there pirates,
I really think that private groups was the second most important fix after the respawn distance, now that the respawn mechanic is fine i really think must be the next thing to be fixed. Too many times (multiple times every day) i have to restart from scratch because new friends are logging in and/or out and i'm sure most of us sail in the same waters.
Now, what Mr. Joe propose will fix the issue but i think will bring also a lot of new problems (imagine a single man sloop against a four man sloop, also i think that a four man sloop will be stronger than a four man galleon) so in my opinion will be a step forward and two backward.
I guess we can have a short term fix ASAP and when a slightly better one is ready change it again.
So let me explain what i think will be the best move to make every one happy (well that's impossible, let's say most of us)
Short therm fix (please Rare, quick as possible)
Introduce the private group system but RESPECTING THE ACTUAL SHIP SIZE, so sloop 1-2 players, galleon 3-4 players. So for example, if i'm starting a sloop i can set the second slot on friend/invite only, same for a 4th slot on a 3 man galleon. Then, if we are 4 on a galleon and one leave give me the chance to close that slot, so we avoid to get a potential random troll, same goes for a 2 man sloop.
The long term and final fix (according to how hard will be to code) will be the same as the short term one with a difference. The option to change the ship size in game switching beetween the sloop and galleon and vice versa. Let me explain how i see that. The ladies that sell the ship customizations at the outposts already recognize if your ship is close enough to the dock to apply the decorations, so she will be the perfect npc for my idea. Add an option to her that give an option to switch the ship if it is close enough to the dock, and another option to transfer the exceed resources on the new ship (the resources that exceed the base spawn stock, meaby paying a fix rate for that or based on the number of resources moved) Any chest, treasure, gunpowder barrels, ecc. left on board will be dropped in the water (like when you scuttle the ship and you still have chest on board)
I really think this is really the only way to do it and keep most of the player base happy.
Let me know guys what you think about it.