TLDR: I think that there should be more jobs in the rigging. At the moment, the only reason to be up top is to repair or snipe. If more jobs were in the rigging, players who wanted to climb a lot would be able to do so, there would be more strategy in crew placement, and it would feel more like a real ship.
Most of the time, the only people in your rigging are enemy players shooting at your captain!
In Blackwake, when the captain clicks, the sails magically roll themselves up and down. When he turns the wheel, the ship just keeps going at the same speed, like it had an engine rather than wind-powered sails. This isn't how real ships work, as you may have guessed. (Not that I'm saying that's all bad, though! Bear with me!)
What moves a historical sailing ship is the wind hitting the sails. If you turn the ship, you lose power, as the sails are no longer facing the wind. Therefore, sailors had to pull ropes to tilt the sails so they would always be facing the wind; this is called "trimming". And if you wanted to go slower or faster, people had to roll the sails up and down (called "reefing", "furling" or unfurling"). That's just the beginning– it was a hell of a lot more complicated than what I'm describing.
Now: I'm not complaining that Blackwake's sailing isn't 100% accurate. Fun is much more important than accuracy, and a 100% accurate sailing FPS wouldn't be very fun. But, I think more sailing jobs would add realism and fun and depth.
So I would love to see Mastfire add some simplified, fun versions of sailing techniques.
Trimming (tilting) the sails: Add "bracing ropes" located at different points around the ship, used for tilting the sails; where to stand to use them is shown in this diagram. When the captain turns the ship from its current direction, the sails become misaligned, and the ship moves a bit slower than maximum speed.
Press E at a bracing rope and you will align the sails to the ship's new direction, thus gaining 30 points and increasing the ship's speed above the current maximum. Every time the ship significantly changes direction, all the bracing ropes need to be pulled again. A Hoy has 1 bracing rope, and Galleons have 3.
To keep it simple and fair, wind direction wouldn't matter. Just press E at a bracing rope to gain your points and speed boost.
Furling/Unfurling (Closing/opening) the sails: By climbing into the rigging of the ship and pressing E when above the sail yard beams, crew members can raise or lower additional sails, giving themselves 10 points. Closing a sail slows down the ship a bit, but increases its ability to turn instantly. Opening a sail reduces the ship's ability to turn a bit, but increases its speed. With this new method, a communicating captain and crew can go fast, then turn tightly, then go fast again.
Ships would always be able to move, turn, speed up and slow down even without anyone but the captain doing anything, to allow un-coordinated teams or under-crewed ships to still be able to move. However, if crew members decide to help, the ship will move much faster, and be much more responsive.
This would make the game:
More fun– Being up in the rigging is really cool and exciting, and my suggestions would give players an actual helpful reason to be there and experience the view. It would also add an entertaining level of "aerial combat" to Blackwake, and allow us to yell at our crew to CLIMB THE RIGGING AND BRACE THE MIZZENMAST, YOU SCURVY DOGS.
More realistic– Although not 100% accurate, this would make the running of the ship more believable to look at, and feel more authentic, as right now the ghost town above decks on a Galleon looks nothing like the boisterous deck of a pirate ship.
More strategic– With the addition of tilting, opening and closing sails, a captain could have a strategic choice on where he wants to send his crew. He could dedicate more players to the rigging in order to gain speed and maneuverability, or send more players below decks/on deck for damage and durability. For example, a Galleon captain might decide to have 3 players in the rigging, 2 on the middle deck, and 7 below decks.