I'm a bit late in the Megathread about the Alliances and as it is now locked, I'm going to create another thread to give my feedbacks after more thoughts and experiences on it.
I really like that every features in the game are obvious: you need to raise your anchor? just do it. You need to give a banana to another player? Just give him.
But with the current Alliances system, this is another story.
In real circonstences, if I'd want to offer an alliance to someone, I'd talk to him, set some terms and sign a contract. But how it is currently implemented in the game, it is working without promoting communication between the players (with your crew and the others) and tends to bring a lot of confusion on how to form one.
I understand it was easier during the skellieships battle to not leave your ship but this goes against players immersion into the game. I think you are not feeling you're making an alliance with someone else by just raising a flag.
What I want to suggest is to improve how you are making and disbanding an Alliance.
First, I'll transform the offer pennant in a normal flag to only signal your intentions, as the flags are meant for. The other Alliance pennants would work are they are now, signaling you're in an Alliance and which one.
Why? Because I find that the current flag system does not promote discussion before creating an alliance when it is a bit the goal of creating social interactions. Allowing another pirate on his ship already requires a minimum trust in the person, it could leads to more thrilling adventures
I think forming an Alliance should be working like the voyages, you offer a contract and every players involved need to vote for it. This system could even allow the players to customize the terms with some limits obvisouly.
You could set those kind of rewards:
- Team A get 100%, Team B get 50%
- Team A get 80%, Team B get 60%
These needs to have limits to be sure players don't abuse it and that it always gives a desire to disband the alliance.
Players could also fix some consequences for disbanding an Alliance without all parties agreeing for it. You could customize it to be if someone disband your Alliance, they will give you X amount of gold (funds must be retained once the Alliance has been formed). With of course limits on it in order for this system not to be abused. It would be possible to give a goal to the Alliance: the Alliance can be disbanded freely after making X voyages, or after defeating the current active fort.
Any changes to the contract would require players to vote to accept the new terms.
These customizations would not be mandatory but would allow players to be freer in the adventures they wish to do.
This would improve the players experiences by giving them an impression of having formed a contract with someone else to achieve a certain goal. This would not only improve the spirit of Alliances for being uneasy and would remove all the frustration of the flag system.
Also, I think this kind of system would be easier to expand with new features like the Barrels 2.0.
I may have forgotten some important things, but I would be glad to hear your opinions on this contract system and if you eventually thought of other things that could be added to it.