Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag Multiplayer won't include naval battles.
Lead multiplayer game designer Tim Browne commented on why the game won't have naval battles, “You have to take into consideration that it took a very big dedicated team in Singapore about two-and-a-half years to do it for the solo [play], in Black Flag it’s even better, but for solo. We’ve looked at it and we’ve considered it. We seriously considered it. We think it would be cool, but at the same time we tried it, and for technical reasons it’s impossible.”
Game director Damien Kieken also added, “one of the big added values of the naval battles in single-player is how they simulate the ocean. The ocean is really a toy. You have big waves, waves that stop your cannon balls: you have to play with the ocean. If you want that to be good in multiplayer, it means we have to perfectly replicate the ocean over seven other consoles, it was one of the big hurdles. We didn’t want to go into that. It definitely wasn’t feasible in the time [we had].”
Also check out the recent AC4: Black Flag Wolfpack co-op mode gameplay trailer if you missed it.
Assassins's Creed IV: Black Flag is slated for an October 29, 2013 release in North America, October 31 in Australia, November 1 in Europe and November 28 in Japan on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U and PC.