by: SurveyorPete – Thursday, 5 July 2018
Originally posted in https://www.seaofthieves.com/forum/topic/65771/discussion-on-bilge-rat-letter-rep/55
Clearly, the change in the value between what a Bilge Rat letter of recommendation was worth, between 'thrones and 'splosives, was in response to the quite reasonable complaint from the Nearly-Legends that the letters earned them bugger-all progress the old way.
But let's do the maths. (And, yes, you Yanks - "maths" is a plural!)
As I understand it, as in many games, Experience Points (XP) earn you progress through the ranks in a diminishing (inverse logarithmic?) fashion. Here is a chart showing Rank (on the Y axis) plotted against total earned XP (on the X axis), for any given faction. The numbers on the X axis, and precise shape of the curve is a guess, but it gives the idea. For the purposes of this argument, I am assuming that 1 million XP (or Gold???) gets you to Level 50; but you only need half that to get to Level 40.
Now, under Skelly Thrones, a letter of recommendation gave you progress along the X axis: Maybe something like 10,000 XP. At Level 1, this might bump you straight up to Level 5. In the 20's it would bump you around 1 level. But once you were above 40, it did not help much at all. This was the complaint of those close to Legend status.
With Explosive Skellies, a letter of recommendation now shifts you up the, Y axis, one level. At low levels, this is worth in the order of 1000 XP, at mid levels its the same 10,000 XP you got under Skelly Thrones, but in the high 40s, its worth closer to 100K XP!
In fairness, I do wonder if the balance has been shifted too far in favour of the high achievers, with this change. Now, any sensible pirate with doubloons to spend on letters of recommendation will hold on to them, until their levels are in the 40s.
Perhaps the best approach would be a hybrid one. A letter of recommendation could progress you with a combination of both absolute Rank and XP. For example, it could be ½ Rank + 5,000 XP. This would still give the Nearly-Legends an appreciable boost, without severely disadvantaging those who choose (perhaps in ignorance) to spend their doubloons at much lower levels.