The management simulation makes crew, workers and soldiers real. In Rulers of the Sea gamers will care about the fate of those they command, but if management is not their passion, they can leave the details to their officers.
Privateers are seen as little more than legalized Pirates, but the real Pirates are the scourge of the seas. Standing apart from society as outlaws, driven by greed and adventure, they are the most frightening, disruptive and the most hunted Captains on the seas.
Competent government, friendships, alliances, bribes, blackmail and corruption, they might all be tools to gain power, keep power or influence those that hold power. That is the nature of politics, it’s a dark game that can played best by those of cunning.
Gamers can choose to sail in the unrated navy, free to choose their own missions. If they enter the rated navy they serve in a squadron. This means commanding more powerful ships, but also having to obey orders and fight on behalf or ones squadron.
Gamers can choose to serve as an uncommissioned officer, free to fight campaigns of their own choosing with militia. If they enter the commissioned Army, they belong to a Regiment and serve under a commander. This means commanding professional soldiers, but also having to obey orders and fight on behalf of one’s Regiment.
Sea conflicts range from small engagements to large battles, but they are all highly tactical. Good preparation, training and a solid understanding of tactics can help Captains avoid loss of ship and crew and award them fame and prize money instead.
Much of the time in Rulers of the Sea is spent at sea. As a Captain, sailing is as much preparation as it is the running of a floating machine. Every cog in that machine, from crew member to timber, will be well known by the Captain, and something the Captain will want to protect from the perils of the sea.
Land warfare is just as much about preparation and tactics as it is about action. Gamers primarily command soldiers in the field and will not often choose to actively fight along with their soldiers as they need to keep control of their command to win.
The government decides on investment in- and burden on its citizens to ensure there is enough budget to protect and expand a nation’s economy and territory. The decisions they make impact all their citizens, including the gamers, as they are all subject to the same policies.
The family business can be a real purpose for a family, or just a side-line next to other careers, but either way they are an interesting method to earn a good family income, if managed well.
Bank are vitally important as they make it possible for gamers to own businesses and keep their money safe, but the Central Bank also controls the very value of a nation’s economy. If they do well everyone can flourish, but if they perform poorly they can push a nation’s economy into recession.
Rulers of the Sea has only two ways of in-game communication, by mail or by meeting up in person. Important processes go through a system of forms and mail, but gamers are aided by their personal secretary to prevent long delays in important decision making, as the world will never stand still.
Writing, Painting and Music are part of Rulers of the Sea to provide gamers with a way to put their creativity in the game, share it with others and create their own unique cultures. These might seem small elements of the game play, but don’t be surprised if gamers use them to the most surprising effects.
A skilled Surgeon or a specialized hospital are rare and expensive commodities, but losing talented staff that you have spent ages to cultivate is costly too. In the end every gamer will find their way to a medical professional.
Whaling and fishing are distinctly different cultures in Rulers of the Sea. They form their own fleets, create their own market, help each other get better and earn their money straight from the sea. Few know the sea better than the fisherman.
The education system adds more realism and immersion than traditional grinding game levelling systems. It is linked to history and adds value by actually teaching something. It gives a sense of accomplishment, as the history knowledge has a real value and connects the gamer to the period of the role playing world.
The family system offers gamers a way to experience multiple careers, earn more money, hold more titles and play the game efficiently during long sea travels. It also allows for more role-play and immersion, creating the opportunity to tell unique stories for each family member.
Gamers are categorized into two classes, the commoners and the nobility. Commoners are the free-to-play gamers, nobility are the paid subscribers.
Everything in the design of Rulers of the Sea will aim to make the game as historically realistic and immersive as possible within the limits of good gameplay.
The stability in West Asia and the Middle East cannot be saved by power alone, the preservation of the Ottoman Empire will lie in the hands of skilled diplomats and tacticians.
A power we should not overlook are the indigenous sea-faring peoples of America, mainly living in tribes on the west-coast and in the north. These 11 tribal nations are individually small, but if they manage to unite, they might be capable of capturing back their lost lands and calling a halt to western expansion.
Power in east and southeast Asia will be decided by alliances. The abundance of rival powers in the region makes wars inevitable, but the size of the nations and their ability to organize creates a necessity for carefully crafted strategies.
The way in which southern Asia is divided cannot last. The division of opposing powers is extremely complex and unstable. The region has to resolve many power struggles to gain its potential power. There is some urgency in resolving their struggles too, because the next threat might well come from the east.
If the European Empires collapse, the power balance of Europe will collapse with it and internal wars between nations might create a descent into chaos.
There is no continent that is as culturally diverse as Africa, where tribal Kingdoms, Sultanates and various European and Asian cultures all come together. As long as Africa remains divided it will always be a region of contention and exploitation. But if nations in Africa manage to unite and modernize, they have the potential of being a substantial power. Africa is the doorway to trade between Europe and Asia. Those that dominate the African coasts will have the lock and the key.
The indigenous people of Oceania in 1750 are as yet still mostly left alone. This will change rapidly as developed nations start to expand. The indigenous nations are small and have little technology, but there is little to stop them from changing that. If they manage to get ready for defence and expansion they might become a regional power that is not easy to defeat.