The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

March 9, 2011

Yarr, Pirates!

Filed under: Games — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:52 am

I’ve started playing another game recently called Pirates of the Burning Sea. If you think you might be interested in a nautical game pre-steam engine, this game is worth a go. It reminds me a lot of Sid Meyer’s Pirates! or Port Royale with PvP.

I was hesitant to play this game for a long time because it’s from Sony. They make great consumer electronics, but I’ve not been happy with most of their games. PotBS is free to play though so I gave it a go. I’m glad I did. What’s to like? I like the naval combat system a lot. The wind plays a major role in strategy, as it should. The models are good looking. It’s simple to get used to combat, but hard to master. The ground combat system (avcom) is fun but seems a little buggy. NPC’s will seem to teleport from place to place, especially gunners. The main storyline is interesting and leads you to all of the mission areas, so progression is smooth assuming the port you need to get to isn’t in a PvP zone. The PvP itself looks complex and interesting. There is open seas PvP (in the PvP zones), port battles, and the work of creating PvP zones (which involves some small gang PvP). I’ve spent most of my time avoiding the PvP because I’m leveling, but even that is fun.

What don’t I like about the game so far? There are 4 main factions; pirate, english, french, and spanish. Once you pick one and make a character, you’re stuck there. There is no moving to different factions unless you create a new account, or wait for a map to be won and make a new character. Each faction has smaller groups called societies which act like guilds, but the faction is the brightest dividing line between players. I don’t like the mix of a small number of factions and the inability to move from one faction to another. The EVE model of loose affiliation to an empire faction, but strong player groups is more appealing to me. PotBS seems to have the problem where many people jump ship to the winning side. This means that the smaller factions have the potential to get smaller and weaker. The whole PvP zone system seems wonky. Through player actions, most ports can go into a state of unrest and the area around them becomes a pvp zone (red zone). Each faction can create 3 of these zones at any one time, so quite a large area of the map can be in PvP status including capital cities, important trade ports, and mission hubs. I would prefer a high-sec, low-sec, no-sec model, but I’m spoiled by EVE.

The community is much like any PvP MMO community honestly. There are a lot of nice people and there are some vocal ass-hats. If you ask a question in faction chat (even inane questions), you’ll usually get a helpful response. There is occasionally the “RTFM!” comment but that’s relatively rare. All in all PotBS is worth a go if you’re an EVE burn-out or if you like pirate themed games.

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