Right, so at the risk of alienating the current Wild Wind playerbase and failing to attract any new players, I've decided to significantly change the mod's core gameplay.
You may have already noticed that this mod never really had any goals or objectives. Right now the only thing to do is walk around and be bored. To be honest, since the beginning of development The Wild Wind has been more of a collection of cool scripts and features than an actual mod. I've never known what I wanted TWW to be. I've always just been more like, "Hey, this is a cool idea that no one's really implemented before, so let's do it." There's no "design", just (buggy) features. Well that's going to change now. I know what I want to do and, unlike ever before, I know how to do it. What I have in mind is more of a strategy game with a focus on teamwork, as well as individual accomplishments.
I think the building system is the heart of the mod. However, it is also probably the worst part. The degree of freedom and customization is welcome, but building anything significant is painful. The solution I have in mind is to keep what we've got now, but build upon it by adding in whole building models that you can choose from to create, as well as many more small props. These "prefab" buildings will take time to construct and will benefit from multiple teammates working together to build them more quickly. To spread the workload throughout the team, instead of just one person, gathering resources will now add them to your team's stockpile, rather than your inventory. As a bonus for you efforts, you will also receive a small gold reward for gathering resources. Thus building things will require team effort, as opposed to being confined to each individual. This means that everyone will be able to use up the team resources, which may lead to some problems with griefing, but I will implement things to keep that under control.
Another much maligned aspect of the mod is crafting. To fix this, I think I will remove it completely. Honestly, crafting items is boring. Instead, items such as guns and clothing will be bought from special buildings constructed by the players and will cost the player gold, in addition to costing the team small amounts of metal/wood/cloth. Tools and plants will continue to be purchased through the "buy menu", but things such as weapons, horses and clothes will require a suitable building. Constructing more than one of a certain building will drive the cost down of the items purchased from all buildings of the type. The cost in gold should be enough to stop anyone from being able to suck the team dry of resources by buying huge amounts of items.
Originally, my idea was going to be to have two human teams competing against each other. But that seemed like it would still be a bit boring. Instead, there will be infrequent (but sudden) Native American invasions. These attacks will be unpredictable and will require the whole team to pull together to fight them off. Spawning will be restricted during the attack, and failure to defend your team against the invaders will result in something bad (that I haven't really thought much about yet [maybe some buildings will be destroyed or something]).
Add in some bugfixes and other minor features and you've got yourself v0.18. I hope everyone thinks these ideas will be positive changes. As I said before, I'm just hoping to give the mod more of an objective, so that it's less boring to play. If you agree or disagree with the new direction which The Wild Wind is taking, let me know by posting in this thread.