Another reason for me to leave England.
Ah yes, that was the game! The naval warfare in it seems to be what Empire:TW will use, at least the idea of it.
I think these will be the most interesting part of the game, I remember naval battles being present in a similar game, though I can't remember the name. The main issue is the plain difficulty of them, with the multiple clicks required to do the most basic of functions in terms of shooting. My preference will be that they maintain the difficulty rather than make it too easy and basic, I'd love to put my sailing knowledge to get close hauled and then fire abeam to my enemy!