Player versus Player conflict is one of the cornerstones of Pirates of the Burning Sea, and the primary avenue for that is our Conquest system. We're in the process of making some fairly major changes to the Conquest system. We wanted to take a moment and explain those changes, and the reasoning behind them. There are a handful of major areas I want to address: port defense, increased PvP zones, and PvP rewards.
The first issue I want to talk about is port defense. Port defense is not supposed to be easy. While it is not supposed to be impossible (thus all the issues with economic ‘bombing'), defense is supposed to be harder than offense. The natural progression of the game world should not be towards stasis, but towards conflict. You're supposed to be able to defend ports that are important to you, but a ‘perfect defense' where none of your ports enter contention, should be nigh on impossible. Defending your ports should, most of the time, mean showing up for the port battle and kicking some ass, not stopping the battle from ever happening.
That said, there have been two major things making port defense by unrest removal completely nonviable. First the aforementioned economic turn in missions. I'm sure you're all familiar with the issue there, and we've got the short term fix in place. In the longer term we want to make the economic turn in missions a slow burn of unrest, rather than a bomb. This is not a change we're going to be able to make immediately, it requires some serious work to make happen, but it will happen. The system to do so is also somewhat complicated, and really deserving of its own devlog.
Second, there are a number of ports where there are simply insufficient numbers of NPCs of the appropriate nations to manipulate unrest at that port. This is a problem, and one we intend to fix. Shortly (patch 1.3), we will be making a change that will cause ships to spawn much closer to their destination port. This will ameliorate the issue, but will not solve it. We will be putting additional resources into making sure that every port has a reasonable selection of spawns available. There will always be some ports that are easier to attack or defend, but it should be possible, assuming no hostile player action, to manipulate all of them in a reasonable manner and time frame. I expect this work to be done in patch 1.3 as well.