Pirates of the Burning Sea
Pirates of the Burning Sea is a game that is Free to Play and is character progression based along with ship modification base. Here is a matrix for the three ways of game playing, that you’ll find in the game (http://www.burningsea.com/page/f2p). When starting out as a new player you are automatically put into the tutorial. Once you’ve gone through the tutorial you’ll be on the docks of your nation’s starting area. There are 4 factions in the game, British, Spanish, French and Pirate. You level by doing missions in the game which there is a lot of them. You get most of your loot through mission running, which the are greens blues or purple drops. You have what they call XP missions, Career missions and storyline missions. I would say on average there is about 12 to 20 missions per port and as you level they progress you along from port to port until level 50 which is Max level. As you progress through these types a mission you’ll also gain faction reputation, NPC reputation. Reputation earned for factions and NPC’s will allow you to gain access to their vendors for extra goodies.
Once you get level 50 your focus will change and new objectives will come into play. Here’s where the fun begins. Total map domination is your key focus from here on out. The objective is to conquer ports of the other factions and win the map. Once of ports had been conquered through a set given time the map resets and then the objective starts all over again. And because you’re playing against other players this objective is most the time hard to achieve. When you win the map you get what they call conquest points along with Marks of Trade and Marks of Victory. You use these to buy better gear for yourself and for your ship. That’s the reward side of the game but is also rewarding is to beat your fellow players (and that’s really what it’s all about). There’s a lot of strategy and tactics involve accomplishing this goal. Sometimes there’s under the table alliances made between one faction and another for one faction to conquer the map. Marks of Trade and Marks of Victory are tradable in the game and can be used as payment for these alliances. Marks of conquest are never traded and are only be rewarded at the end of the maps victory cycle.
The road to map victory
Here’s how to conquer the map and win. The strategy involves conquering opposing faction Ports is the first objective to winning the map. You have to have 6 active players to be able to flip the port and 6 active PVP players at the same time to protect the grinding group. The grinding group is consisted of a player’s who goes after the opposing factions NPC’s around the port you’re trying to flip. Only the opposing player faction that you are trying to port flip can attack the grind group.
Example: We are British and we want to flip Havana port because we want to stop the Spanish from building any ships so only players from the Spanish faction can attack are grinding group. Now once the port get 3001 unrest (contention) on the port will become Red Small Bubble. Now what you have done is created a PVP area but this is a necessary evil to run the port up to be flipped. There are different levels of contention which are 3001, 6001, and finely 10,001 contentions. You run up that much contention 10,001 you will have all buffs for the port battle. And you’ll have favor for the battle. It should be noted however that once you get that initial 3001 now the pirates can go into those same areas that you are trying to flip and wreak havoc on the grinding group. But only 6 players are allowed into a battle at a time.
So for an example: if 6 pirate players attack the grinding group than the other 6 from the faction that you’re trying to port flip cannot get into the battle. So to prevent pirate or opposing faction players to get at the grind group in the first place, this is why 6 player PVP group is needed. The port is flipped at 10001 contention. Once that happens the Port battle happens in the next 42 hours. So there is strategy involved on the timing of the port to not allow the opposing faction players to show up and defend the port. There is a simi passive way to flip a port and that is to build arms and materials for the war effert and give it to your faction Activists orginaizer at the port you wish to flip. Using these 2 combinations and working together makes flipping the port fast and easier. Bare in mine that you want 25 people for the port battle so it is necessary for as many peoples as you can get personal contention for that port battle so they will be invited to the fight when the invites go out. What most people will do is they will go out to any giving faction port and go kill a few NPC’s just to have contention on hand if the nation decides to flip that port. think of it as a self daily mission.
Welcome to the Port Battle
All strategy in the port battle depends on how much contention you did in flipping the port. Usually what you would do is you would bring at least three to five heavies (and what that means is naval officers with the big ships). Assortment of free traders and the rest are privateers for DPS and protection of the backs of the big ships. There is countless strategies in how to win the battle but if you are the attacker you will start at one end of the map and raced towards the entrance of the port. So in effect you will have a Sea Battle first then if the defender’s chicken out they will race inside the port and hide behind NPC’s like the little girl’s they are. Once you have killed the commander of the port regardless if you killed all the players or not, the port battle is over and you have won the port. Benefits of winning the port is that the tax rate of your faction will go down and you’ll be able to build your economy up for less money. This is a side benefit of conquering the port. Win enough ports and maintain them until the map time the ends then you’ll have won the Caribbean.
Penalties and the game
Pirates of the Burning Sea just like any other game that have penalties. First and foremost I would say the biggest penalty in the game is that your ship has what they called durability. When you are a national you cannot capture ships like the pirates do, so you heavily rely on either the Auction House or Allied player to make ships for you. Now on the live server ships are not cheap. And this is where you need a hook up with a society(Fleet) because it takes a group effort to make ships. When you get sunk in battle you lose one of your durability points. On smaller ships, when you buy a ship deed at the auction house or player. You go to the dock master and turn the Deed into a ship that usually has 4 durability on it. Now the huge and colossal ship hulls only have 2 durability per deed (note: Durability is stackable so buy more than one deed and increase your Durability count) if you want too. Once you’re durability goes to zero, your ship is done and you have to go buy a new one from the auction house or have a player make one for you. And all the fittings that you put on your ship modification slots is gone forever is well and will have to remake them or buy them from the auction house. Another penalty is that some items that you stack will have diminishing returns penalty. There are other penalties involved but I can’t remember all of them offhand so you have to play the game itself and figure it out on your own.
Each ship in Pirates has modifications slots that you can augment your ship for better performance. You have 2 Sail modification slots, 2 canon modification slots and 2 Hull modification slots. These modifications do what they say they do modify set areas of your ship to perform better. You also have 3 general modification slots that you can put items in them that you get from doing missions, crafted items or buy from the auction house. And again they modify your ships performance.
Personal performance enhancing items
(Sorry no Viagra)
In Pirates you get various drops (gear) that modifies your stats in how you perform in battle in ground combat. The Combinations are too numerous to list but for sake of argument you want to outfit them and look it your character sheet to see what the items enhance.
State of health of the game (commentary)
As of this writing October 2011, the live servers for me personally are not something that I would be interested in. And you would ask why. And I would say because of the consolidation of servers from 5 down to 2. It was a business decision on their part and I would assume that it worked well for them because the game is still going strong. Also they went free to play. And when they did that it had a substantial influx of people in the game, which cause the game to be international which you would think would be a good thing. But unfortunately I feel it didn’t turn out for the good instead it created more isolationism. Case in point, when you look at the nation chat as an example all you see is languages from different countries and is no longer one set language (after all Antigua server is a U.S. server ) and so because everybody speaking their own language it makes it difficult to have communications and continuity with your nation in game. Also Items in the auction house became way overpriced as they are now. And instead of developing communities I feel it had a reverse effect and alienating people including myself. Also being on a smaller server that Rackham was we had strong communities of all factions. There was some good times then.
So what do I do now?
For me what I do now in Pirates of the Burning Sea is play on the test server (Testbed server). The reason why is, is there’s an opportunity to build the server up with tight net communities for all factions and start the road for epic game play as we once had with Rackham server. Time will tell, we shall see. This is Dion Markgraf and thank you very much for taking the time to read this and I hope this will help you in your decision of playing Pirates of the Burning Sea.