[Pirates] The lure of a real world setting

potbs_navycoat

As you can see, my Naval Officer character in Pirates of the Burning Sea is going up in the world. This was taken approximately two coats ago – I’m measuring my levels in coats because every so often you get a career quest which is rewarded with a new title and piece of cosmetic clothing. PotBS also allows you to change how your character looks or dresses whenever you like without penalty. And of course you can pick all the colours from a palette. I just like ‘blood and custard’ as a colour scheme.

As a naval officer your cosmetic rewards are miilitary style coats. This is one of the first rewards and I think it looks hot.

It is also a tribute to the game and players that I was wondering aloud on one of the global channels whether the navy really had a uniform in this era … and at least two other players knew the answer. (Which was no :) ).

What’s so special about the real world?

For me, a setting which is based on a true story or real historical places and events has a special resonance that I don’t get with pure fantasy or scifi.

This weekend, I saw The King’s Speech (awesome film, btw). I had a shiver up my spine when he gives his big speech in the climactic scene, not just because the acting was superb, but because I knew that all of my grandparents would very probably have been hanging on every word at the time. For a moment, it wasn’t just a story on the screen. It got personal.

Real life is personal in a way that game worlds can rarely be. Real places and people have a significance that Orgrimmar or Bree never can … as long as the developers and writers get them right.

The level of detail and research in Pirates for its real world historical setting is one of the reasons I’m so enthralled with the game at the moment. And the prospect of a well implemented real world setting is one of the reasons I’m looking forwards to hearing more about The Secret World and World of Darkness (still no announcement on CCP’s site) games.

And in which I back off from complicated things

I was feeling sufficiently guilty about enjoying PotBS for free and gratis that I subbed up for a month. It was that or a pet chicken!

The way the accounts work is similar to LOTRO, except that you can do a lot more on a F2P account here, with full access to all the content except for one high level epic questline. Once you are subscribed you get more character slots, dockyard slots, and economy slots on your account, and those extra slots stay with you even after you unsubscribe. You also get 10% bonuses for experience, faction rep, and chances to get loot while subscribed.

So subbing for a month and then returning to F2P is a totally valid choice which lets me support a game I really like, adds some useful but non-vital account enhancements that will help when exploring the economy in more depth, and get an xp boost for the duration as well.

I had been wondering how well the very generous F2P setup had been working for the development team here. But given that a large part of the endgame is down to player generated PvP, I can see that a constant boost of players to PvP will do a lot to keep existing subscribers in the game. Just by being there and playing, the F2P people are contributing in a fairly major way.

I have only barely scratched the surface of how PvP and the economy works in this game. Planning to investigate those both in more detail, but since I’m nowhere near level 50 yet, there’s plenty of time. What I do know is that the global channels have been very active with encouraging people to help take ports or get involved during prime time, so it feels as though there is plenty going on.

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6 thoughts on “[Pirates] The lure of a real world setting

  1. It’s nice to see a company treat free-to-play players well. The account types seem a more like what DDO does, actually.

    As I’ve commented a few times before, I’m a bit less than thrilled with how LotRO has handled the “free-to-play” transition after being really happy with DDO. (In fact, I just stopped my LotRO sub not too long ago and mostly play DDO these days.)

    I’ll definitely have to give PotBS another go sometime.

  2. I watched “Master and Commander” yesterday, and as a landlubber I decided I won’t dare to mess with the Royal Navy till Submarines get invented. ;)

    Your captain looks a lot like the Spinks avatar, very well done!

    Atm I am playing LOTRO and STO, STO has its first anniversary in 2 days and in LOTRO I have exceptionally good company. Hope the new content comes soon though, I also agree with Psychochild that DDO was simply better suited for a F2P model than LOTRO.

    Looking forward to more reports from the Caribbean. PotC 4 with Johnny Depp and Penelop Cruz is coming in May, too.

  3. I’ve just done the same thing myself, subscribed for a month; if anything I think Flying Labs are a bit too generous with the completely free accounts, I don’t think I’ve encountered anything yet that’s made the subscription benefits seem essential, which ironically made me feel guilty about enjoying the game without giving them any money. With the extra economy slots I intended to get into production and rolled up a Neal Stephenson inspired Free Trader (kicking myself for not twigging sooner that PotBS is set around the same time as the end of the magnificent Baroque Cycle; wonder if I can get a rename token for my naval officer…) Got slightly distracted by LotRO since then, though, so he’s only level 2, really ought to run a few more missions while the subscription is still going!

  4. Danicia, a.k.a. the bacon goddess, and ex-community mgr. for PotBS, wrote this helpful thread regarding the economy which includes the often forgotten Wu-Tang method.
    http://www.burningsea.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48

    Also, if you’re a spreadsheet pirate, here is Remus’ handywork:
    http://www.burningsea.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1080880&postcount=107

    Since Tobold’s recent comments have been the subject of interest recently, here is what he and a few of his friends discovered after a few months of pirating (three years ago, however).
    http://tobolds.blogspot.com/2008/02/state-of-pirates-of-burning-sea.html

    My opinion? I really like it. But, I definitely can see how many MMO’ers don’t. The pace is so very different. It’s not about Elves, Orcs, Wookies, or Mordor. I mean honestly, a game based loosely on historical events that doesn’t offer non-stop pew-pew is a snoozefest for most teenagers and young adults.

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