Since the end of Cursed Sails, and the introduction of the fort-like Skeleton Ship encounters (signified by the cloud ship), you will have noticed that Skull Forts no longer activate until the Skelly Ships are cleared.
Because the payouts for defeating the fleet captain were initially half what they were during the event (they’ve since been increased), pirates have been much less likely to tackle the Skelly Ships, meaning a huge reduction in Forts activating overall.
Senior Producer, Drew Stevens, dropped by one of the many Reddit threads discussing this topic to shed some light on the situation.
Hey Everyone, I’ve seen this raised a few times since we introduced the Skeleton Ship Cloud encounters to the world – Time for a little update.
As you’ve seen; Skeleton Ship Battles and Skeleton Forts are never active at the same time. Both of these Wave-type encounters are pretty intensive on our server performance and we allocate a large pool of our AI budget to making sure we can fulfil the waves of enemies while still keeping islands populated with Animals and Skeletons for ambient encounters as well as quests.
While this is a current limitation we are currently doing some work to improve how we schedule these encounters (and add a few more ship encounter types while we are at it). One area of focus is having more control around our encounters; if no one is engaging with that Skeleton Ship battle, then we’ll change things up and activate a different encounter like a fort.
We’ll provide a bit more of an update on this piece of work soon, as this is only a small part of the improvements we are planning.
Cheers for reaching out everyone!
There’s no timeline on these changes coming in to the game, but we anticipate that the improvements will probably land at the same time that Skelly Ship battles move from being just a location specific encounter, to dynamically appearing around the seas in a more emergent manner.