Pirates of the Burning Sea is built around taking and defending ports from pirates and hostile nations. Until now, building the unrest was a fairly deadly and expensive occupation -- since in PotBS, win or lose, you expend a lot of valuable resources in cannon shot, hull patches and sail repair kits for a victory, and much more than that if defeated. Flying Lab developer GavinIrby explains the new group conquest missions coming in patch 1.3. These are repeatable missions meant for three or more players where they can either aid in an attack against an NPC enemy fort, or defend a fort from NPC enemies.
Attack missions will feature gunboats sent out from the fort to take on the players. Gunboats are small ships with a single, fixed cannon mounted on their bow. They are easy to sink, but will stalk the players without ever giving them an easy broadside. The defense missions add in cannons aimed at the beach; a player there can help the NPC defenders by firing the cannon to reduce the number of enemy swarming toward them. More options to help your nation take or defend ports is a good thing, and should go a fair amount toward making the PvP rewarding.