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I came, I played (again), I left... (again)

I renewed PotBS about three weeks ago, and played the hell out of it up until two days ago. Previously, I had played the game from release up until around mid March.

I can honestly say that I wish I hadn't wasted my 15 bucks renewing.

Positives:

1) Insurance

Similar to EVE Online (although not a perfect mirror, unfortunately), ships in PotBS are automatically given insurance once a deed has been handed in. Now, when ships are sunk and their final durability is lost, a player will be refunded a set percentage of a predetermined value (I.E.: not what you paid, what the devs think it's worth), plus fittings.

2) Fewer servers

In April, the FLS devs finally caught on to the disaster brewing right under their noses, and cut the game's server numbers in half. Characters were forced to transfer to four remaining servers. As bad as this sounds, it had the positive affect of consolidating a shrinking player base, and making the game more playable for those people who remained.

3) More readily available line ships

Societies have quickly discovered that, if even 9 or 10 people work hard at it, a first rate can be produced in just a few months. Nowadays, it's not uncommon to see a guild with all first and second rates pulling into a PB and just dominating. I would count this as a positive, if only because as recently as 4 months ago, the heavies were considered near-unattainable.

Negatives:

1) PvP Fears

Despite the addition of insurance, people are still loathe to risk their ships in combat. As previously mentioned, insurance in PotBS can hardly compare to that in EVE. When you lose a first rate worth, say, 15,000,000 dubloons, you can expect to regain barely 5 mil on the pay out. Therefore, big ships are rarely used except in PBs, and a healthy majority of the playerbase still skirts redzones, same as they did at launch. Had insurance been present when the game debuted, people might not have been quite so risk averse... but the pattern - now well-imbeded - has been tough to break, and PvP (particularly of a breed one might consider 'fair') is still rare.

2) Hostility

As pointed out before, ship loss is still a bad sting, and this has led to a good deal of hostility in PBs. On Antigua (the server that my former server was basically rolled into), the PBs for the British are, strangely enough, mostly governed by a couple of fairly high end German societies. A few days before quitting, I attended one of their PBs. Despite the fact that we were absolutely flattening our opponents, the battle leader screamed at many of those in attendance for (what I would consider) really, really minor slip-ups. This continued well past the point when our victory was ever in doubt. If there was the slightest chance that this guy's second rate was going to get scratched or dented in even the most incidental way, and you turned two seconds too early, or didn't target switch fast enough, or whatever, this guy was going to rip you apart over vent, calling you out by name.

I've seen this garbage before in other MMOs, but only in situations where the two individuals were in the same guild. My take on that is if you sign up for a guild like that, and let someone talk to you in such a manner, than it's your own fault. But here, where PBs are such a cobbled-together collection of players, to scream at some random stranger for making a minor flub is outrageous. And don't pass this off as some minor complaint about an isolated issue - PotBS has behavior like this in spades.

3) Runaway games

Nothing has been done to give a losing faction some even minor hope of retaking the map. As one faction innevitably comes to dominate the Caribbean, they can gradually shut off the ability of other factions to produce products (most notably, large ships). This means that, as one side conquers, they gain power in an increasingly dominant arc.

4) Lineships for pirates

Outside of the bucaneers, nobody thinks this is a good idea. FLS has decided to grant pirates heavy ships that essentially equate to the power of second rates. The factions were balanced around the idea that pirates, as rogues who couldn't have the big boats, would be gifted fairly strong powers (ridiculously fast ships, the ability to steal vessels and pay nothing, overpowered ship combat and av. combat abilities, etc). With lineships, these previously balanced abilities will soon become disgustingly OP. So, this is wonderful news for you peg-legged, eyepatch-wearing types, but just a disaster for the rest of the player base. Expect FLS to take months to fix it, if they ever do.

5) Loss of server identity and continuity

I can only speak for the Brits on Antigua, but many of us that came from Bonny can remember a well-coordinated faction that dominated all discussions as to who ruled the server. On Antigua, we're working with players from 4 or 5 closed servers, and the result has been chaos.

So, yeah, I am really, really sorry that I resubbed. This was a bad game before, and it really has not improved. There is still virtually no endgame outside of PBs, and these are always basically the same challenge, repeated over and over again. It's like you're playing World of Warcraft, but the single piece of endgame content is Alterac Valley, and you can really only average 3 battles every 2 or so days.

Take my advice and find something else to play.

 

 

Comments

  • VetarniasVetarnias Member UncommonPosts: 630

    Just wanted to comment on your take:

    Positives

    1) Can't write much on this, as I had left the game by the time this was brought in.  But I agree with you that it was long overdue, and possibly even too late when they finally added it.

    2) Definitely a plus, although it would appear that servers are once again underpopulated.

    3) More ships is always better, but it cannot compensate for deficient game mechanics.

    Negatives

    1) Very true.  Even though I didn't have a lineship, I am pretty sure that, even with insurance, I would not have risked my ships any more often than I was doing before.

    2) And then they wonder why I won't use voice chat.  I'm curious, though: Did they speak more German than English in battles? As for having this in spades, I have heard reports that the French on Antigua are just as bad when it comes to manners.  As for me, being shut out from port battles strictly because I wasn't level 50, I just stopped caring about the political game, and I knew that when the economy would collapse I would just be leaving.

    3) So true.  French on Blackbeard, for instance, were perennial losers before the mergers, and when most players transferred to Rackham, there was simply nothing to be done with it.  It never recovered from the exodus of players.

    4) Pirates started dominating the map; nothing to be done with it, but the "invincible, uncatchable" Pirate Hercules does not help matter.

    5) Apart from Bonnyites, nobody ever felt "identity" over a server or another.  More of the same to me.  Lack of endgame is the biggest problem to me.

  • ShrikeSWGShrikeSWG Member Posts: 10

    'Did they speak more German than English in battles?'

    Yes, actually. We got an English sentence maybe once every two-to-three minutes out of the guy - the rest of the time, he was chatting it up in Deutsch.

    The whole thing was ridiculous, though. The first, second and third rates were heavily engaged almost immediately after the battle started. Those of us in fourth rates (me) and heavy frigates were strung out in a line to the west, supposedly to 'cut off their escape.' We sat there (and this is not an exageration) for a good 20 minutes while the line ships mowed down the opposition. We didn't even fire a shot until a little over three minutes before the ship combat portion of the battle ended.

    It was very clear that the 'plan' we utilized was designed to grant those people in the heavies most of the glory, and to get the faster and lighter ships out of the way. I only got 2 MOVs for my patience, and there's a good chance that some people in the line got none. Afterwards, I realized I should of held up my middle finger and broke formation.

    But, again, I feel like this is the same, typical elitist BS that I've seen all too frequently in that game. Just to reiterate, I must emphasize - if anyone reading this is thinking of playing PotBS: save your money. This title is a loser.

  • grimbojgrimboj Member Posts: 2,102

    I'm waiting for a free trial but from your review it doesn't even seem worth downloading :)

    I hated this crap in EVE, when they introduced Carriers they sent 5 carriers to destroy a POS and 50 people (no exaggeration) just sat at a gate watching 5 warp bubbles on the off chance that someone stealthed through one.

    --
    Note: PlayNC will refuse to allow you access to your account if you forget your password and can't provide a scanned image of the product key for the first product you purchased..... LOL

  • ummaxummax Member Posts: 779

    well i was looking at the fact that freetrader is no longer cannon fodder however the society i was in is on antiqua.    I have um "issues" with elitists and always have and have been known to give them heck in nation chat in that game when they were busy being elitist.  I can see that the only person worthy of being at a PB is someone with a 1st rate or 2 rate.   They refuse to let you in to learn in anything else.   Meh figures.. being a FT the highest PB ship I would have would be classified in the game as a third rate.  I hate being screamed at for this stuff.    It looks like players are quickly driving away anyone that is newer who may not have a line ship of that level or not and the game has become an obscession.    Sad really.  I think to make this game work the answer to this problem is to do what Isuldur wanted in the first place and to remove line ships from the game entirely then no one can scream at anyone else for scratching their paint or whatever.  

    Oh well I guess I wont try this again seeing as antigua was one of the tamer servers and the reason why my guild picked it..

    the other option is to go on a low pop side where they wont scream at you and prey that they will remaint hat way after their ego's over inflate..

     I have to say one thing.  Anyone screams at me in vent like that I would have told him to put it where the sun don't shine and tell him I was going to work my hardest to attend every single battle from now on in and REFUSE to get on vent with an abusive person until he learned to speak to people the other way.   I would also tell hm that I will do my best to stay behind him in the battle and use him as a shield and scratch his paint for him in the process and reap all the rewards of pb's all the meanwhile and probably threaten to bring my friends with me and possibly squeeze them out and maybe all show up in cutters or something lol..   Yeah i'm evil that way..

  • VetarniasVetarnias Member UncommonPosts: 630

    The worst thing about those elitists is that they will be driving every new wave of players from the game.  I fear that unless they can be tamed (and they won't, if the PotBS forums are any indication), FLS will basically be throwing money out of the window if they try a new promotional campaign.

    I kinda feel sorry for them, in a way.  But then, I can't avoid remembering Isildur's quote about the "next big failure to come along", which is evidence enough that FLS knew this scenario was possible.

  • bigfootsbigfoots Member Posts: 198

    A nice updates review OP, I will definitely not be returning to POTBS - was just far too disappointed with it the first time around.

    Proud Master CH -
    Sorry,
    Proud FORMER Master CH...
    my toon was untimely converted into something more Star Warsy

  • ZenrenZenren Member UncommonPosts: 68

    To be honest I think I liked the game, but I had a technical issue that caused my game to crash everytime I zoned, i.e. town, combat, missions... I asked for support and after 2 months they still hadn't solved the problem (at one point it took I think over 30 days for them to even reply to my problem) so in the end I just quit.

    That was about 3 or 4 months ago... I tried to see if they would  give me a free 30 day subscription to see if perhaps one of the patches fixed the problem, but it's been 10 days and they still haven't replied... just a message from a customer support guy saying he'd pass it on to someone that could answer my question.

    So in closing, can't reccomend the game, but I can tell you customer support truly sucks.

    Zenren

    If you're reading this, you probably need to get some sun.

  • olddaddyolddaddy Member Posts: 3,356

    Yea, I finally removed this game from my hard drive, and I ain't coming back. The economy is all borked up, being centered totally around shipbuilding.

    I had wanted to be a merchant and run a whorehouse. A whorehouse won't sink, and, if boarded by pirates, well, they generally pay in coin just like everyone else.

    Anyway, the game is only geared to griefing.

     

  • eric_w66eric_w66 Member UncommonPosts: 1,006

    I posted about the huge negatives PvP (especially open PvP) brings to MMO's on the forums during beta, fearing exactly what has happened to the game.

    Aside from a few special people, most people who play games, play games to have fun. Risk vs Reward, and all that.

    Well, PvP is a huge risk without any real reward, especially to those who don't form the Eve "Blob" gate camp groups, or PotBS's version of that. When you have large risk and no reward, almost everyone with half a brain acts the same way:

    They avoid the risk.

    It was obvious in EQ1. I can count on two hands the number of times I died outside of raiding (before the cleric rez stick).... and most of those were due to disconnections at inopportune times. You just didn't risk death in EQ1 because the penalty was so harsh. Not only the huge amounts of xp lost, but the time and danger of your corpse retrieval.

    Oddly enough, the most popular MMO out there has a very light death penalty, making "Risk Vs Reward" much MUCH more attainable... in WoW you might say to yourself "I wonder if I can kill that elite named that's 1 level above me...". That would NEVER happen in EQ1. You'd go "I wonder if I can kill this light blue to me 50,000 times to level up?"

     

  • tegororntegororn Member Posts: 13

    Good post mate,

    I'll go back playing Potbs one day. I'm still watching over it.

    www.heroesofanatolia.com

  • VyethVyeth Member UncommonPosts: 1,461
    Originally posted by Vetarnias


    The worst thing about those elitists is that they will be driving every new wave of players from the game.  I fear that unless they can be tamed (and they won't, if the PotBS forums are any indication), FLS will basically be throwing money out of the window if they try a new promotional campaign.
    I kinda feel sorry for them, in a way.  But then, I can't avoid remembering Isildur's quote about the "next big failure to come along", which is evidence enough that FLS knew this scenario was possible.



     

    Yep.. This is what eventually killed the great PvP game of Shadowbane.. Elitist who scowl at the "noob" like they didn't have to learn when they started..

    I never understood how people could "dislike" and get mad at "newborns who can't run"..

    I refuse to take crap from someone over the internet because of a minor "tactical" error in a video game..

  • VetarniasVetarnias Member UncommonPosts: 630
    Originally posted by Vyeth

    Originally posted by Vetarnias


    The worst thing about those elitists is that they will be driving every new wave of players from the game.  I fear that unless they can be tamed (and they won't, if the PotBS forums are any indication), FLS will basically be throwing money out of the window if they try a new promotional campaign.
    I kinda feel sorry for them, in a way.  But then, I can't avoid remembering Isildur's quote about the "next big failure to come along", which is evidence enough that FLS knew this scenario was possible.



     

    Yep.. This is what eventually killed the great PvP game of Shadowbane.. Elitist who scowl at the "noob" like they didn't have to learn when they started..

    I never understood how people could "dislike" and get mad at "newborns who can't run"..

    I refuse to take crap from someone over the internet because of a minor "tactical" error in a video game..

     

    It goes beyond that. Having played both Shadowbane and PotBS, I can see a clear resemblance between the two insofar as the uselessness of newbies is concerned.

    Shadowbane: Three of us, all in the low-twenties level range, were killed by a single level-60ish player with the mentality of a 12-year-old.  It wasn't even close.  When one of us asked him what was so funny about what he had done, he basically gave us the "go back to EQ, carebear noob" line. 

    Pirates of the Burning Sea: At least the membership is more mature, but the forums are replete with people talking about "options" and "choice" which lowbies don't really have anyway.  Basically the option boils down to whether or not one should enter red circles.  And then they complain that nobody does so...

    In either case, "learning to play" means nothing, because of level discrepancies.  A total klutz at PvP but with twice your level is still going to win over you, whatever you do.  It's just a sad fact of life.

  • AntariousAntarious Member UncommonPosts: 2,814
    Originally posted by Vetarnias


    In either case, "learning to play" means nothing, because of level discrepancies.  A total klutz at PvP but with twice your level is still going to win over you, whatever you do.  It's just a sad fact of life.



     

    That is exactly why I don't like.. level based games... especially with uber loot or stupid abilities (like daoc's RA system).

    My first pvp game was Ultima Online.. knowing the game was everything.. 20 crap players could lose to a solo that knew the game.

    Stupid crap like carrying magic trapped pouches to break paralyze... putting your stuff in a magic locked chest (bags open on the side of the screen) totally negated anyones ability to steal from you.

    I like the idea that knowing the game should be what decides if you win/lose and can lead to some pretty epic battles with people that all know the game.  Most games now its just follow the crowd around get uber items.. leet IWin buttons and then talk about how great you are at the game.

    Potbs.. for me was destined to be a failure but could have been a great game.  The developers.. encouraged ganking asshats... etc.. even had mechanics in place to help it happen.

    See how well those FFA servers in AoC are doing?

    Ever looked to see how many people play Mordred in DAoC?  last time I looked that server had 6 people on it.. prime time..

    I like pvp.. it can be great and is even for me (a care bear at heart) more interesting than raiding.

    However, I just firmly believe how you do in pvp should be LEARNING the game... not level difference.. gear or op'd abilities... 

    Its like everyone used to tell me how pvp was the only real challenge... then I saw them do everything they could do to .. remove the challenge.

    /snore

    I tried playing potbs last week.. and I only lasted about an hour.. personally.  I played about the first 3 months of release as well.

  • WRyanWRyan Member Posts: 266
    Originally posted by Antarious

    Originally posted by Vetarnias


    In either case, "learning to play" means nothing, because of level discrepancies.  A total klutz at PvP but with twice your level is still going to win over you, whatever you do.  It's just a sad fact of life.



     

    That is exactly why I don't like.. level based games... especially with uber loot or stupid abilities (like daoc's RA system).

    My first pvp game was Ultima Online.. knowing the game was everything.. 20 crap players could lose to a solo that knew the game.

    Stupid crap like carrying magic trapped pouches to break paralyze... putting your stuff in a magic locked chest (bags open on the side of the screen) totally negated anyones ability to steal from you.

    I like the idea that knowing the game should be what decides if you win/lose and can lead to some pretty epic battles with people that all know the game.  Most games now its just follow the crowd around get uber items.. leet IWin buttons and then talk about how great you are at the game.

    Potbs.. for me was destined to be a failure but could have been a great game.  The developers.. encouraged ganking asshats... etc.. even had mechanics in place to help it happen.

    See how well those FFA servers in AoC are doing?

    Ever looked to see how many people play Mordred in DAoC?  last time I looked that server had 6 people on it.. prime time..

    I like pvp.. it can be great and is even for me (a care bear at heart) more interesting than raiding.

    However, I just firmly believe how you do in pvp should be LEARNING the game... not level difference.. gear or op'd abilities... 

    Its like everyone used to tell me how pvp was the only real challenge... then I saw them do everything they could do to .. remove the challenge.

    /snore

    I tried playing potbs last week.. and I only lasted about an hour.. personally.  I played about the first 3 months of release as well.



     

    I agree with this to an extent.  I mean, most of it is right on the money.  I still think having better equipment should make a difference though, in most circumstances.  However, I think that that equipment should be readily available to match and/or trump.

    You see, in WoW, you have your Elite Uber Gear.  Everyone knows that this gear will make the difference between winning and losing.  Okay, fine.  I don't have a problem with this since one of the great realities in life is ".... get a bigger hammer..."  What I don't like is the lottery-like game connected to that.  In other words, the endless grinding of Raids to get the chance to possibly loot one peice of a set - which is to say, IF the rare opportunity item drops in the first place, you get a chance to recieve it over everyone else who may or may not need the item, but everyone wants because it will sell.

    So basically, I'm all for better equipment giving you an edge in the game.  But, I think any peice of equipment should have a bane to its existence that could potentially be exploited by even the weakest of alternative weapons or armor.  I mean, look at it this way with paper, rock, and scissors.  If you have a paper that is equal to 15,000,000 papers, and your oponent only has scissors equal to 1... sure you have a bigger gun... but scissors still beats paper.  You see what I mean?

    I think in a scenario where someone just got the drop on you is plenty reason to warrant the existence and utility of better equipment equating to an easier victory.

  • AirwrenAirwren Member UncommonPosts: 648

    PotBS = one of the worst MMO's ever.  The game is just terrible.

  • deugemietdeugemiet Member Posts: 82

    Come to Voyage Century Online.

    Its not perfect but free and you can use an Item Mall. Or buy IM stuff from other players with ingame money.

    I played many mmo's and i can say VCO is a pretty relaxed game.

  • tegororntegororn Member Posts: 13
    Originally posted by Airwren


    PotBS = one of the worst MMO's ever.  The game is just terrible.

     

    maybe you lack some skills, u better keep on playing wow.

    www.heroesofanatolia.com

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