Gamers can visit 765 different locations in Rulers of the Sea, of which 620 are ports, locations that can be reached by sea. At the beginning of the game, 112 of these ports are uninhabited and still need to be discovered and colonized to make them fully functional. 147 of the ports are ‘capital ports’, which means they give access to a nation’s capital city. Often, these ports are part of a capitol, such as London and London port, but with in-land capitols a main port is chosen, such as Paris and Le Havre.
Ports are places where gamers have their family homes and where commercial and governmental business takes place. They are also social hubs where gamers meet and experience the local culture and a range of different activities.
You arrive in a port by the sea and leave your ship at the harbour to enter town. The appearance of the ports is inspired by history, culture and the design style of historical games like Assassins Creed. You can walk through the streets where you see people going about their business. Laborers, shoppers, merchants and officials, horse and carts rolling down the streets, construction workers building and repairing, market vendors selling their goods, etc.
The harbour entrance will be sided by the fortress defending the port. A religious building and a market square will be the center-pieces of the port, surrounded by a commercial zone, an industry zone, a zone with public or governmental buildings and a zone with housing. All ports will look different but they will share the same layout of zones, making it easier for gamers to find their way around.
In the port the gamer can interact with vendors to access the markets. The gamer can also go through doors to enter the interior of specific establishments, such as the Inn, Tavern, Shipyard, Post Office, Bank, Club, Weaponsmith, Hospital, Barracks, Church, Governor’s Mansion, Printshop, Tailor, Fishing Station, etc. These interiors will usually be owned and managed by other gamers.
Gamers will have their family home in a residential area. Commoners live in town houses and nobility in mansions, all of different degrees of luxury and size, into which families can move. A specific front door in a specific street gives access to the interior of a specific occupant.
Ports will be capable of handling the presence of large amounts of gamers and npc characters, making them seem alive. With the day and night cycle, life on the streets will change and businesses will open and close. If a port becomes densely occupied by gamers the size of the port can be doubled to prevent overcrowding and congested businesses.