I feel like there should be a happier medium between 'everyone who shows up gets a tentacle' and 'only people who are alive at the end get a tentacle'.
The former was the old paradigm and was stupid, leading to people just suiciding as many ships as they had access to into the kraken nest.
The latter is the current paradigm and is also stupid, because it means you can waste a good hour or two of your life with nothing to show for it, and be out tens of thousands of gold because you need to restock tokens and food on a ship. It disincentives participation.
I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I hope other people can.