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Some of the old timers that posted in the SWG forums might remember me. I decided to give this game a try....
And I believe that this game, like SWG once was, is a good game that has tremendous potential. Some compare this game to EVE. I do not think that is the case. For better or worse, EVE is an intensly complex game. Also, there are no corrupt GMs...... yet. :-p I think POTBS fits in the spectrum nicely between WoW (very easy, instant gratification), and EVE (bring out War and Peace to read while you play it). The ship combat is a very nice change, and there are multiple layers. You really have to be tactical to be successful in multi ship battles. The economy is incredibly deep. For those who have loved the free market economies in past games, you will love POTBS. (That happens to be me.) For those who want to know exactly where to get everything, this game won't appeal. (And that's not a slam, certain people don't want to invest a great deal of time, and still have fun. Games like WoW suit that purpose more.)
Yet for all its depth, there are still some glaring shortfalls. For a game so centered on the free market, good luck promoting yourself as a crafter. There's no sense of authenticity in your goods. Also, shopping at the auction house can be a truly annoying experience, as you don't know what the price is for the goods. It's not like a true auction house where you can just bid things up. What they need to do is show what goods are available at what price. Even better, who makes them.
As far as melee combat, its the attack of the rubber bands. This kills any real sense of immersion. While it's not that bad in boarding combat or missions, trucking through cities can be a real pain. Even when nobody is on, Bartica can be a lagfest.
Also, there's not a gigantic difference right now between the classes. In PvP, certainly certain professions are more geared towards certain roles, but freetraders obtain little if any economic advantage. (Advanced structure camps are only for the basic structures.) The idea that a naval officer should be an economic powerhouse strains credulity. Yes everyone should be able to make money, but that money should be diversified. This isn't a gigantic problem, but its something that is irritating. Give freetraders a real substantive bonus (i.e. give them more lots, or if you are feeling really draconian, limit crafting to freetraders.)
I think this game is good. It has the potential to be great. Most importantly, I'm glad to see they are taking a real step towards not being just like every other game. There has to be a way to fix that in melee combat.
My personal score would be a 7.5-8 out of 10, and I see no reason why this game shouldn't be a 9 without a few minor changes.