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Pirates of the Burning Sea: Re-Review

MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,724Administrator Uncommon

MMORPG.com's Bill Murphy reports on his travels across the ocean blue in this re-review of Flying Lab Software's swashbucklin' MMOG.

Pirates of the Burning Sea launched to somewhat little fanfare just over two years ago. From indie developer Flying Lab Software, the game might not be a titan of the industry, and while it’s consolidating down to just two servers PotBS still has a vibrant and enthusiastic audience and the game has seen many additions and improvements since its launch in 2008. Still the crux of the game is about the economy and the controlling of the game world’s many ports, and while many little things have changed in two years’ time the big picture remains the same. But for those players who have never tried FLS’ seafaring MMO or those who left and haven’t checked back in a while, is there any reason to give this title another look? The answer is a resounding “it depends”.

Read our re-review here.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • taolurkertaolurker Rural, NJPosts: 16Member

    /sigh


    This is not exactly a re-review, and it doesn't even go into any depth about the current game and changes since launch? It seems more like a person re-wrote a previous review, or read about the game and wrote this instead of playing..


    It's also is riddled with almost as many errors as the "First look" a couple of weeks back and from the description of combat it doesn't even appear the person writing this had reached mid levels. I also feel that if the reviewer doesn't know what changed in avatar combat, why is he writing this?


    This one especially made me upset:


    A lot has changed since Pirates of the Burning Sea launched back in
    2007, and just as much has stayed the same.


    This game released in January 2008


    It really would benefit your site if you actually had people reviewing (or writing about) games who actually knew something about them.

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,724Administrator Uncommon

    Looks like that was a typo -- the first paragraph mentions the game's 2008 launch. Thanks for catching it though, will fix it! :)

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • dhayes68dhayes68 New York, NYPosts: 1,393Member Common

    I find it a shame that they produced a sandbox historical game that does a lot to capture the flavor of the period, and yet when I tried it out, I didn't find any kind of rp/community.

  • taolurkertaolurker Rural, NJPosts: 16Member


    Originally posted by dhayes68
    I find it a shame that they produced a sandbox historical game that does a lot to capture the flavor of the period, and yet when I tried it out, I didn't find any kind of rp/community.


    This mostly depends on when you tried the game.


    For the first two months, there was quite a lively population, and many different rp groups I can recall.. but this of course didn't last because of the hardcore PvP nature of the game.

  • oncelovingonceloving Spartanburg, SCPosts: 106Member
    Originally posted by taolurker


     

    Originally posted by dhayes68

    I find it a shame that they produced a sandbox historical game that does a lot to capture the flavor of the period, and yet when I tried it out, I didn't find any kind of rp/community.

     



    This mostly depends on when you tried the game.



    For the first two months, there was quite a lively population, and many different rp groups I can recall.. but this of course didn't last because of the hardcore PvP nature of the game.

     

    The game had incredible promise at launch.  I played open beta/pre launch and was in the leadership of the largest French guild on our server.  We had quite an impressive showing, but honestly imo the devs killed this game.  At launch there was no guild storage (among many other factors lacking).  When the devs were notified about what we the players would like, they basically said it was their game and they would do it how they want and deal with the consequences.  The consequences were that they made poor design choices and the game died from what it used to be.  I don't fault them on running a game the way they want, but it is their fault it died more than the pvp nature would ever be.

  • ste2000ste2000 londonPosts: 4,706Member Uncommon

    7 for this game?



    This is a niche game like Darkfall, and Darkfall has also naval battle in it but a lot more to do than PoTBS...................but it got a 6

    I really don't understand MMORPG.com scoring system (if there is one)

  • taolurkertaolurker Rural, NJPosts: 16Member

    My experience mirrors yours onceloving, excepting I was a leader of a Spanish society.

    The game had a slight bit of it's old luster during the free play time (Where they closed the beta servers! /gasp) and now I don't really see anything stopping the sinking.

  • taolurkertaolurker Rural, NJPosts: 16Member

    This article is what I'd expect after a game's 2 year lifespan.

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    I love the old sailing ships and historical aspect of the game.  But if your ship sinks you lose it permanently?  I just don't have that kind of time to invest in a game anymore.

  • taolurkertaolurker Rural, NJPosts: 16Member

    You can be sunk, but will only lose your ship if it's out of durability. Ships have "durability points" and usually most lower level ships have 3-5 of these points (higher level ones 2-3). You don't lose the ship until you are down to one durability and are sunk.

  • inleinle clermont, FLPosts: 61Member

    no real comment about the review just a question about the game

     

    is this an open pvp game or can players choose not to be pvp active ?

    as it sounds interesting but i tend to avoid open pvp  games so i would like to know

     

    “The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about”
    imageimage
    just because the cake is a lie dosnt mean there cant be 3.1415926535etc etc (Pi) :P

  • olepiolepi Austin, TXPosts: 1,150Member Uncommon

    Players can attack ports, and that creates a PvP zone around that port. You cannot escape PvP in a zone. If you want to ship good in or out of that port, you have to run for it.

    Think of it as kind of like Star Trek Online, except you build your own ships, there is meaningful PvP, there is a persistent world, and there is good crafting.

    ------------
    RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.

  • taolurkertaolurker Rural, NJPosts: 16Member

    The PvP system is not an "open PvP" type, where anyone can attack anyone, anywhere...

    Ships battle for control of ports, and if for example the Spanish are attacking an English port, that port becomes surrounded by a red PvP circle as the contention increases (contention pts are awarded for both sinking NPCs and Players). The opposing Nation can also reduce these points in the same way.


    The PvP circle begins when 3k pts are accumulated, and begins with "Pirate PvP" where Pirates or Privateers can attack anyone entering this circle. When contention reaches 6k it becomes full PvP, and then at 10k it goes into a countdown to port battles (24 vs 24 PvP).


    There also is a PvP flag you can enable, that does allow your character to be attacked anywhere.


    The red circles on the Caribbean map are true dangers for non PvPers, but considering how close some ports are to one another the PvP circle can overlap a significant distance.


    The Wiki and the PotBS main page have more details, but best advice is to look at the map at that other network site or even try the free trial.


    I also can't believe neither article mentioned the free trial was 14 days.

  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member
    Originally posted by dhayes68


    I find it a shame that they produced a sandbox historical game that does a lot to capture the flavor of the period, and yet when I tried it out, I didn't find any kind of rp/community.



     

    i'm sorry, but you didn't look hard enough.

     

    there are several RP societies in the game. one that comes to mind is the st. george squadron a british society, involved in all aspects of the game and they are quite big : http://www.st-george-squadron.co.uk/board/index.php

     

    additionally, one of the new content introduced over the past few months is a RP quest chain which covers several levels and its particularly fun to do (it starts at the lower levels).

    image

  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member
    Originally posted by ste2000


    7 for this game?



    This is a niche game like Darkfall, and Darkfall has also naval battle in it but a lot more to do than PoTBS...................but it got a 6

    I really don't understand MMORPG.com scoring system (if there is one)



     

    pvp? potbs has it

    rvr? potbs has it

    player run economy? potbs has it

    loads of single and group missions, as well as mission chains? potbs has it

    "epic" end-game group dungeons? potbs has it

    what does darkfall have more?

    and you can't compare the naval battles of darkfall to potbs! heck even the avcom in darkfall is limited to swinging a sword and back again as clumsy as it gets.

    image

  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member
    Originally posted by inle


    no real comment about the review just a question about the game
     
    is this an open pvp game or can players choose not to be pvp active ?
    as it sounds interesting but i tend to avoid open pvp  games so i would like to know
     



     

    there is loads of pve content, even "epic missions" which are somewhat like raids but in small groups (of 6 people) where you get good loot and defeat bosses.

    however, pvp is always present. you can avoid it because its limited to the contention zones but it will affect your gameplay one way or another.

    if you want to avoid pvp at all costs i suggest trying a freetrader which has speed buffs and other stuff which will help you spot pvpers and make your way in and out of contended ports quicker - but there is never a guarantee.

    image

  • templarxtemplarx PretoriaPosts: 181Member
    Originally posted by Troneas

    Originally posted by dhayes68


    I find it a shame that they produced a sandbox historical game that does a lot to capture the flavor of the period, and yet when I tried it out, I didn't find any kind of rp/community.



     

    i'm sorry, but you didn't look hard enough.

     

    there are several RP societies in the game. one that comes to mind is the st. george squadron a british society, involved in all aspects of the game and they are quite big : http://www.st-george-squadron.co.uk/board/index.php

     

    additionally, one of the new content introduced over the past few months is a RP quest chain which covers several levels and its particularly fun to do (it starts at the lower levels).

     

    Yea, well, you should not NEED to even have to look "hard enough" to find the community in the first place.

    Anyway, my issue with this game is all the instancing , it just do not feel like an open world. In a tiny little port , every single door is a load screen, every little event seems to come with some sort of load screen. And i would even say this alone gives the impression that you won't see other players easily, since what's the odds they'll pop up in the same little instance as you? 

    So while the game have its merits, it's not worth a subscription. If they want to revive this game, they must follow Turbine's move with DDO and make it F2P .

     

     

  • DJXeonDJXeon BostonPosts: 550Member

    How can the writer be critical of lacklustre av-com in a  "Age of sail" ship combat game or only give a 7 score when Eve won mmorpg.com game of the year award with no av-com or characterisation whatsoever!?

    It seems to me that he didn't get into Potbs at all & that he made the fatal mistake of comparing it with most of the traditional hack/slash land combat mmos out there.

    FLS has created a unique pirates of the Burning Seas game experience for those looking for something different & it succeeds very well imo.

  • reillanreillan Tulsa, OKPosts: 234Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by taolurker


     

    Originally posted by dhayes68

    I find it a shame that they produced a sandbox historical game that does a lot to capture the flavor of the period, and yet when I tried it out, I didn't find any kind of rp/community.

     



    This mostly depends on when you tried the game.



    For the first two months, there was quite a lively population, and many different rp groups I can recall.. but this of course didn't last because of the hardcore PvP nature of the game.

     

    Actually, the real reason why there is limited RP today is because they deleted the RP server after about 3 months.  Since everyone had the ability to transfer wherever they wanted, they spread out to the remaining servers instead of consolidating, and the RP community just couldn't survive so spread out.

    RP in those early days was actually really good.  Or at least, it was a lot better.  However, there was an issue with port battles and peoples' egos getting in the way (which had nothing to do with how good they were at RP).  It was this that really caused people to spread out when the server deletion came, because various groups of people didn't want to associate with each other and specifically chose their new servers accordingly.

  • McgreagMcgreag FalunPosts: 495Member


    Originally posted by DJXeon
    How can the writer be critical of lacklustre av-com in a  "Age of sail" ship combat game or only give a 7 score when Eve won mmorpg.com game of the year award with no av-com or characterisation whatsoever!?
    It would probably have gotten a better score if it had no av-com. A badly implemented feature is not better than not having the feature at all.

    "Memories are meant to fade. They're designed that way for a reason."

  • DJXeonDJXeon BostonPosts: 550Member
    Originally posted by Mcgreag


     

    Originally posted by DJXeon

    How can the writer be critical of lacklustre av-com in a  "Age of sail" ship combat game or only give a 7 score when Eve won mmorpg.com game of the year award with no av-com or characterisation whatsoever!?
    It would probably have gotten a better score if it had no av-com. A badly implemented feature is not better than not having the feature at all.

     

     

    Thing is av-com is not a major part of Potbs & was never intended to be, tbh it's not that bad either.

  • dreldrel san francisco, CAPosts: 918Member
    Originally posted by onceloving

    Originally posted by taolurker


     

    Originally posted by dhayes68

    I find it a shame that they produced a sandbox historical game that does a lot to capture the flavor of the period, and yet when I tried it out, I didn't find any kind of rp/community.

     



    This mostly depends on when you tried the game.



    For the first two months, there was quite a lively population, and many different rp groups I can recall.. but this of course didn't last because of the hardcore PvP nature of the game.

     

    The game had incredible promise at launch.  I played open beta/pre launch and was in the leadership of the largest French guild on our server.  We had quite an impressive showing, but honestly imo the devs killed this game.  At launch there was no guild storage (among many other factors lacking).  When the devs were notified about what we the players would like, they basically said it was their game and they would do it how they want and deal with the consequences.  The consequences were that they made poor design choices and the game died from what it used to be.  I don't fault them on running a game the way they want, but it is their fault it died more than the pvp nature would ever be.

    I agree, there was so much potential for this game having beta tested it, that something in the way of game play got lost between beta and release.

     

  • VetarniasVetarnias Somewhere, QCPosts: 630Member Common

    Here is what I wrote in a comment on a PotBS article on this site, more than a year ago:

    "What I will say, however, is that there is an "official" tone to the article that in its worst iteration in journalism consists of rewrites of press releases, with perhaps a rebuttal from the "official" opposition tacked on to the end (if as much). It's not as bad as that here. However, what annoyed me was that the writer seemed to have based his review on a blend of FLS devlogs and patch notes, and maybe the occasional interview or article here and there. That in itself is fine, but there's something missing -- and what exactly? Pretty much any sense of what you could call the "oral history" of the game, and this you get from player blog entries (there are a few) and forum posts (whether at FLS or here). And this is what is galling: There is a subforum on POTBS on this very website, and the author gives no indication of ever having bothered checking it out and reading a few of the threads."

    How nicely it also applies here.  If you're going to wait 2 years before doing a "re-review", at least could you take your time?  Level up to 50, take part in port battles, those sorts of things?  Instead, we get the usual remarks on how AvCom, that sacrificial lamb that is mentioned every time you need to throw naysayers a bone, is really awful. I can't speak for myself about this new AvCom, because I don't think I've played after this was brought in.

    If a game that launched two years ago rapidly went from 11 servers to 5 (including the Australian server) to 2, I'd be concerned about the viability of the game; but to do that overtly would be to embark on a vicious circle where everyone pulls out because they think the game is dying.  Still, do we know what is FLS's commitment to their game?  I, for one, am glad you didn't mention the "expansion" that they're promising to bring in (of which we haven't really seen much, but, a testament to the rampant hype of the gaming world, already an award winner, ladies and gents!), as it didn't really belong in a "review".

    Still, if you're going to write a review after two years, while displaying (or pretending to display) at least some knowledge of the history of the game, could you include more perspective?  Has it really changed since the days of "no crying in the red circle"? Is the endgame still a dead-end?  And so on.

    But I am increasingly coming to believe that the problem is not so much with the writers here as with the role they are expected to play on this site: cogs in a hype-and-dismiss perpetual-motion machine.  I guess it still bodes well for PotBS, as that means it's seen as not dead enough to safely poke with a stick. But it could be dead anyway; it's just that you don't like taking chances.

     

  • LanthirLanthir Port St. Luice, FLPosts: 217Member
    Originally posted by inle


    no real comment about the review just a question about the game
     
    is this an open pvp game or can players choose not to be pvp active ?
    as it sounds interesting but i tend to avoid open pvp  games so i would like to know
     



     

    unless you flag yoruself pvp  then pvp is only in the red circles around ports that are in contention.  Now  since this is the carribean  there are coke points and if i port is in contention near one the red circle could block off that route causing you to sail way around an island to get someplace if you want to stay out of the red.  Let alone if the port you want to sail into is red.  Also the port battles are voluntary ( 24v24) battles for final control of a port.

    Magic is impressive, but now Minsc leads! Swords for everyone!

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon

     

    What should be a rewarding and heroic-feeling experience when you board an enemy’s ship and force its captain to surrender winds up feeling not altogether unlike watching a movie on double-speed. You know something happened. You know the outcome. But you’re not quite sure how you got there.  - W Murphy

     

    That is exactly how I feel about the current land combat system.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

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