How I roll(play)

Yesterday I had very little leisure time, and consequently I have nothing to say today. So I thought I’d try something a little different and share my technique for role-playing in MMOs. I’m just not quick-witted enough to role-play in ‘real time’ in games, but I do like to gin up some kind of storyline that explains where my character(s) come from.

In the case of Pirates of the Burning Sea, I was in a guild called The Highland Confederacy. The premise of this guild was that they were a group of Scottish, Irish and Welsh Jacobites fighting on the side of France. In game terms, we figured the English faction was going to be over-crowded, so this allowed us to play under the flag of France but still speak English.

I was playing two characters, a trader and a a privateer. The two were brothers. But what brought them to the New World and led them to The Highland Confederacy? I decided to chronicle their story as a series of log entries written by the elder brother, Morgan Rhydderch of Wales. I had fun weaving some history into their story.

This is pretty long so, y’know, I won’t be offended if you don’t read it all. And I’d best break the post here so I don’t swamp the RSS feeds out there. 🙂

Continue reading “How I roll(play)”

Back to the Burning Seas

So as threatened, I patched my client and headed back to the Burning Seas.

The avatar combat still looks terrible. The actual combat system seems interesting on paper (I’d forgotten all about it) but it just feels so clunky and broken… blech. The naval combat is still pretty fun and interesting, but I had forgotten how long a battle can take (15 minutes, easily). At sea, the game is breathtakingly gorgeous and I’d forgotten all about that, too.

But what really surprised me was the community. I knew I’d be lost so I logged in as a level 3 pirate on the Blackbeard server (all my characters were on closed servers so I had to move them all first). Now granted, pirate faction + Blackbeard server is probably the worse combo I could have picked but.. wow. Close your eyes and imagine how terrible an MMO community can be. Got that mental image? OK, it was worse than that. I logged into hearing one person with a big mouth being attacked by a dozen others in the “nation” chat channel, with insults about his genitals, bathroom habits, parents, etc, etc. Every immature, moronic insult you can imagine, they were using on this guy (who was giving as good as he got, to be sure).

I did end up talking to one person after I asked if, in fact, the game has just devolved to talking shit at each other. This person offered me a helping hand and told me that the economic game was “broken” so players mostly traded directly.

So let’s see:

1) Avatar combat: still awful
2) Ship combat: still fun
3) Community: Wretched, awful, terrible, vile, disgusting, horrible
4) Economic game: apparently broken

Yeah, I’ll be playing this a lot. /sarcasm I might actually try another faction on another server, and I do thank the single decent soul in the Pirate Nation channel on Blackbeard and very much hope I just caught the game on a bad day, for his/her sake.

I really wish someone could take the naval combat game out of Pirates of the Burning Seas and put it into something better, because that really is fun (assuming you have the time to put into it). And I readily grant that I’m being terribly unfair saying all these mean things about the community based on an hour spent in it.

But I can’t help but think its time for this one to be put to bed.

Pirates of the Burnings Seas

Last night as I was logging into EQ2 to do a bit ‘o crafting, I noticed that my Pirates of the Burning Seas account was active for the next 12 days. How weird is it that Sony re-activates accounts without any notification (unless it got lost to a spam filter)?

I’m sort of tempted to update my client just to take a peek in to see what improvements they’ve made to that game. In retrospect, my reaction to POTBS was a foreshadowing of my reaction to Warhammer. I enjoyed it until I’d got bored with the thin PvE content, did a bit of PvP, then left. Actually PvP in POTBS was a lot more hardcore than it is in Warhammer since you could lose your ship if you got ‘sunk’ enough times. More like EVE in that way.

I love the ambiance of naval combat in POTBS, but really the glory in ship to ship battle in the age of sail comes from fleet battles, not the one-vs-several battles that were offered in PvE, which looked great but quickly became routine. You could do small fleet battles in PvP but I just don’t have the heart to risk a few weeks of wheeling and dealing to get a ship built, only to lose it forever in a night’s play. Had I built the game, I would’ve had the players controlling a handful of ships, adding more as they leveled up.

The land combat, the swashbuckling, was terrible in POTBS. They keep promising to give that an overhaul but I’m not sure if they’ve done so yet. And the land environments were all cookie-cutter. When you entered your first town it was fun to explore, but then you’d travel down the coast to the next port and find that the town layout there was exactly the same. *yawn*

But there was a very rich economic component, and I’m still loving Nile Online. The problem here in POTBS was that the ultimate goal of the economic game was buying ships for PvP. Adding some kind of properties you could buy — a mansion or something — could make the game interesting from a purely economic point of view.

Maybe some of these changes have been made. It might be worth just taking a peek to see how the game is looking these days. I’m sure Bildo would be 100% behind me playing another MMO!!! 🙂