So should it return I like the idea of a hybrid system where there is some degree of certainty and better miniature distribution but keep some aspects of the collectible alive.
I agree. I think a box with 10 ships could have perhaps 8 guaranteed and then 2 random. I like having a 9/10 odds selection for essential generic crew (captain/helmsman/explorer/oarsman all on one card) but then having a 10% chance of getting the specialist card or a card with shipwright/cannoneer/musketeer/silver explorer on it. Although even a “best of both worlds” approach wouldn’t please everyone of course.
I think part of the reason I like the idea of it being less collectible is so people can’t say it’s dead all the time. 🙁 Gotten pretty tired of that over the years. I think part of the problem with restarting it the same as it was last time is the potential for another out of print event. Between advancing technology, other games (Naval Action, other naval board games, etc), and future recessions, I feel that making the game less centered around collectibility would be better for the game’s longevity. I’d prefer that over the potential short term profit of selling a lot of random packs for a potentially short period of time. (keeping in mind that at this point, the game has been out of print for about twice as long as it was in print)