Three a minute? I was under the impression that in the early XIXth century three broadsides in 5 minutes was the hallmark of a well-trained crew, and four as excellent. Of course my sources are works of literary fiction by C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian, yet both have the reputation of being very thoroughly researched.
Stil 3 shots a minute are not so tough. I'm a pretty awful and nooby SC2 player and I manage a steady 60 actions per minute, with more in crisis-mode, so it's technically feasible to create such a game. And of course the lookout part of the game where finding the enemies position might seem like a hurdle for the more casual gamer, people still play and make modern naval warfare simulators and submarine combat simulators. Naval warfare geeks, to be sure, but if the cold technical search by radar, sonar, plane and helicopter is replaced with an exciting rendition of spotting sails, the anxiety of what colours she flies, and what action to plan (maybe as a pre-engagement mini-game?) coud overcome that?
The thing is the industry is convinced this must stay a nieche genre just because all detailed simulators are overcomplex and for the geeky, and everything lighter must be spiced with other elements or it will not sell. And while I enjoy the economic encigne of Port Royale and the EIC and the repetetive yet engaging plot elements of Pirates! I don't understand whil noone (except meybe for "Sea Legends") ever concentrated on naval combat as the main point of a game not an addition, gimmick or mini-game. My hopes lie with the indie scene at the moment.
And sir, you've won my heart as a fellow pn'p-RPG player. Sadly, for me very few cRPGs come close to the warm feeling that hobby evokes, maybe Planescape:Torment and the Witcher series, and some rougelikes for dungeoncrawling.
Another (currently inactive) PnP-player, right here. :)
You know, talking about that topic, makes me remember that back in 2006 (?) when Oblivion came out and I had played it for a while, I've been dreaming of a total conversion set in a Fantasy-touched alternate 18th/19th century world. I figured the guild rank system would do great with your rank in the Royal Navy (or whatever faction, you chose), working your way up from a low seaman all the way to captain or admiral even. Or you'd choose a more administrative path to become Governor of a city later on. To name only two of the paths I had imagined. I wanted pirates in it, and treasures, and curses and all kinds of sea monsters (taken from contemporary tales) and sea battles of course. I dreamed of romantic colonial cities, small outposts with wooden palisades, expeditions into thick jungles, native tribes, uncounted mysteries in the unknown of an largely unexplored world, all kinds of real and mystic opportunities and dangers lurking in the wilderness. Alas! it never happened.
I hope, by the way, that Risen 2 will offer some small part of that. Looks promising and I loved everything Piranha Bytes created so far (apart from Gothic 3, which was quite a disappointment).