Posting while I can…
-Only automatic unloading at home islands? (choose at forts)
I’m not sure that this would have a big effect, since gold is not unloaded at forts all that often during games in my experience.
The way forts are intended to work, as a sort of secondary home island, it would make the most sense to have the same rule apply to both.
The automatic/mandatory unloading as home has brought up a few issues over the years (mostly when interacting with a few key abilities), so I’d rather that rule get scrapped entirely. Make unloading require an actual [explore?] action instead, or at least make it something that has to be actively triggered by a player beyond just arriving.
This next topic is not about the rules of the game, but certainly something that’s worth discussing.
It is important that the game remain random and collectible. I would not be interested in a relaunch if it is done in a living card game or similar non-random format. (hardcore collector)
I disagree to some extent. I think the game could be more profitable as a collectible game, but the collectible nature of the game is both a major problem for some people and one of the biggest reasons people say it’s “dead”
Making games “collectible” is all about profit. Technically it does allow for a less expensive entry into a game, but whatever revenue may be lost to people who never go beyond that is more than made up by the people who keep re-buying the same things over and over in blind/random packs so they can get their hands on the most competitive pieces and/or complete their sets. It’s a terrible system, but it works, and in many cases works extremely well.
Non-random has its issues too, depending on how it’s done. The same greed factor the drives collectible games can come right back in with non-random when a company pieces out every possible thing into mini expansions – look at FFG’s X-Wing game. I’m sure the game is excellent and lots of fun to play, but having to buy literally every ship beyond a “starter set” at $15 (or more!) each is ridiculous.
Personally I greatly prefer when you get everything in a single box, or a main box with a couple optional expansions to break up the cost a bit. Pirates kinda tried that with the Davy Jones game, but that was a mess entirely its own. Replace the board with some nice individual islands (nothing too fancy, but better than the thin cardstock), keep the more-or-less real rules instead of the dumbed-down alternate set, then in throw a bunch more (actually) balanced ships, crews, etc. in there so there’s plenty of replay value just from the base set. Each expansion could add an entire new faction or two that balanced with the ones in the base set. You wouldn’t have nearly as much choice with setups as you do in the current game, but if the end result was a much more cohesive, balanced, and well-designed game, I think it would be a big improvement.