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Pirates of the Burning Sea

Pirates of the Burning Sea 

General Discussion  » PotBS Death Knell- Foundering, Listing and Taking on H20

19 posts found
  taolurker

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/10
Posts: 16

 
OP  3/11/10 6:25:37 PM#1

PotBS Death Knell- Foundering, Listing and Taking on H20
aka The Pirates of the Burning Sea Manifesto +pages of bilge pump instructions


It was some time ago that I first became excited about Pirate of the Burning Sea, and with excellent ship combat, plus PvP, in a historically accurate Caribbean with 3 Nations (Spain, England & France) fighting Pirates... As well as 24 vs 24 port battles as the PvP end game... Surely it can't lose, right?


Although I was an early adopter and long time subscriber of the game, it's sad to say but PotBS appears to be SINKING!.


The game announced with it's Second Year Anniversary (on Jan 22nd, 2010) that they would be releasing an expansion, but also that they were reducing the number of servers from 5 to 2 {(1 US and 1 EU) when at release there were 11 servers (7 US and 4 EU)}!! The expansion, "Power and Prestige", doesn't have much meat to digest yet, but the current plans are to finally include Port Governance and for it to be a free expansion to subscribers. As of right now there aren't really firm details anywhere, excepting some interviews right after PAX in Sept 09.


Not only did they announce the server merge and expansion, but they included a month Free play time (from Feb 5th to Mar 5th that I didn't get an email about) so everyone could transfer their characters. There definitely was dwindling populations as reasoning behind server merges, but including the new ability to have multiple nations on one server, there were also many other changes worthy of testing out.


Just some of the changes include:

  • Avatar Combat completely redone
  • Changes to port contention and PvP balance
  • New port battle maps.
  • New shipsAdditional town overhaulsMore missions including daily ones for big $$ (doubloons)Changes to Pirates making them two classes (Buccaneer and Cutthroat)No more language barrier between Nations & global Nation chat for everyone


Unfortunately, playing the game made it even more evident Flying Labs Software was failing at manning the bilge pumps, and even worse, the Ship may be abandoned even before the expansion launches, IF THINGS AREN'T CHANGED...


Many of the ship sections of the game still remain (mostly) the same... The ship combat is still a battle of consumable repairs, tactics, and cannons firing different types of shot; in a fun, graphically pretty shell. Ships are still fully customizable with personalized sails and flags, and the graphics still have a very polished look with an arcady type feel.



The ship to ship battles (1v1), PvP and larger Skirmish battles were all still running flawlessly, but many of the same issues still remain. The combat had some minor tweaks or balances since my last playing but overall the National classes haven't really changed. Some changes that were just made live when I'd last played were the Pirates having two classes, and overall this was balanced pretty decently since release, but Pirates can still steal any ship they can defeat in boarding combat, while Nationals need to build or buy their ships (only to have them stolen).

Sailing Against The Wind AND Taking On Water


The game has had numerous changes since launch, and since I last played, but most of these seem like sailing upwind in that they hurt populations more than they help.


One of the major changes, that had gone live since I was gone, was Pirates being able to take class specific ships and not have them labeled invalid (they used to be open to attack anywhere -not just pvp areas). This allowed Pirates to amass fleets of 1st rate Naval ships (free!) which they never sail through PvP red zones. During the Free play month the invalid tag was being put back into testbed, and was just returned to live yesterday (3/10/10).


Another change that also was being tested (& patched live) was reducing overall mast damage from Bar, Chain and Star Shot because of this being part of the preferred tactic currently, Tackling and Ganking. These two changes, mast damage and invalid ships are not likely to be received well by people continuing to play.


The majority of PvP is still dominated by higher levels, with low levels or solo ships being gank targets (usually meaning new players likely don't enjoy their early PvP experiences). The Port Battles and Conquest system seems to have been balanced somewhat, but PvP is only balanced with strong populations in all Nations and I foresee populations only dwindling more, not increasing.


The Avatar Combat was completely overhauled, adding arcs allowing players to hit more than one enemy, but the melee fighting is still sword-play with one shot muskets, and three different schools of Swashbuckling (Dirty Fighting, Fencing, and Florentine). Other than new arcs and not fearing groups of 3+ NPCs anymore, it still has the same single move, single queue, with strange costs from pools (Guard and Initiative). It doesn't feel any different and still suffers from a stuttering and animation problem (I posted additional Avcom suggestions on the FLS forums).


Another new change was reducing the labor costs and consolidating economy structures, which seems to have balanced the economy somewhat... However, these changes were possibly negated by new Daily missions that allow players to accumulate doubloons (in game money) almost too quickly. The devs posted about "Inflation" during the free month, and this is another thing being adjusted by the most recent patch.


Originally FLS was going to cut Daily missions to about 40%, but this was adjusted cutting their reward to a little over half what they were when it went live. I do agree that the Daily payout was sort of excessive, but the economy badly needs other sources of income to replace this, as well as other ways of removing coins from the system. (More from me about the Economy on the FLS forums).


Overall, nearly all of the recent changes seem destined to drive away more players than they actually attract back, and many changes the player-base has been leaving because of are still not even in discussion.

Man the Bilge Pumps and Ideas To Patch Leaks


This game seriously had so much potential, but has been hemorrhaging players since release, and it's mostly because of the hardcore nature of the PvP. The game focuses almost entirely on PvP (in the high level game) and because of the grind involved and ganking there are very few lower level players anymore. The new, level 20 player, losing his ship may not ever return, especially when most of the players remaining are 50. Back during the first year of play, nearly all players were leaving for 3 main reasons: Being ganked, the level grind, or no Society/Shared character warehousing.


Expanding warehousing should be the first thing FLS works on, and in fact is 2 years overdue. Not being able to get items easily between characters of a society is a huge barrier to this game and something most MMOs provide for. Goods always need to be handed directly to a character in person, which was why half of my society left the game. This is not including the need to already move crafting resources all across the map, as well as through PvP red zones, or having a port change Nation ownership, making most of the game inconvenient at best (tedious at it's worst).


Sharing a warehouse for Societies, based in a specific port in their Nation should be added ASAP, and FLS needs to work on a solution for character warehousing too. Characters of the same nation share economic lots to build different economy structures, but can't easily get things from one character to another. The game should allow characters with warehouses in the same port, on multiple characters, 2 "trading slots" in the warehouse for a stack or individual items to be traded. These kinds of warehousing changes would be something players would return to the game en masse for, and them not being worked on or even discussed is extremely depressing.


Another glaring problem that desperately needs a solution is the extreme amount of time sinks present in the sailing mechanic. The moving of crafting goods from port to port, (not even counting through PvP areas) is a huge time sink, and a method for paying to ship goods without sailing is not only overdue, but necessary. The Freetrader class is the only one who can effectively haul things, and if you aren't one plan on making multiple trips or finding (creating?) one.


I also think groups should have a mechanic to be able to move their ships closer, and would reduce the amount of time spent waiting for groups to form from all across the ocean. This mechanic could obviously be abused, so possibly this should only allow instant movement to the closest National Port near your group and only be allowed once every 2 days. This mechanic also would help getting crafting items out of "blockaded ports", at least once during the time it was under seige. I also think characters should be able to instant travel to any port they have a warehouse in, not just the ones where their ships are docked.


One of the real issues causing this game to not retain players, is a problem with the Free Trial that might be preventing the game from gaining new players. The trial page had an older Station Launcher download that completely fails installing the game. I don't know how long this was happening but I discovered this Feb 7th, and to present it still isn't fixed. The only way to actually get the game is by getting the Station Launcher right from SOE, and anyone who doesn't use that version is in for issues.

There's a Hole in the Hull? Where?


Instead of focusing on these glaring issues, the FLS team has instead focused on balance changes, new "gathering halls", city layouts, and new ships, quests or content. Revamping cities to be unique or adding quests are something I could've lived without, especially when there are thousands of quests already (and only a small fraction are required to reach level 50). For a game with one of the most in depth combat systems, and an MMO without the usual fantasy fare, I expected this game to at least retain a niche following, but even that seems to be slipping away.


The game had a slight bit of it's old luster during the free play time and now I don't really see anything stopping the sinking. Nearly all the people who've canceled their subscriptions would tell FLS how their vision of the game isn't really working, especially if they can't see where the "hole in the hull" is, let alone that there is one.


The only real future I see for this game currently is populations continuing to shrink until it forces another (final?) server merge. Right now, I don't see this game approaching an expansion as a good thing, and instead see it slipping slowly towards Davey Jone's locker.


I wonder if when the ship is underwater, whether FLS will still be swabbing the deck.

  nennafir

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/05
Posts: 230

3/11/10 10:03:33 PM#2

Interesting post.  Quite a contrast to the "re-review" just posted on this site, in that the above post sounds like it is from someone who has played the game extensively and the re-review sounds like it has been written by someone who has played the game for around 10 hours.

  taolurker

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/10
Posts: 16

 
OP  3/11/10 10:19:22 PM#3

I was already writing this when the first PotBS article "Looking at the Early Game" was posted to the front page. At that point I did attempt to contact persons with this site about possibly using mine as a veteran perspective and opposing viewpoint of that post. I suppose the reason I didn't receive a response was because of this second article, so I just posted it to the forums anyway.

  project8six

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/05
Posts: 275

3/12/10 4:24:07 AM#4

great article. it's a shame they don't listen to their playerbase about glaring issues. i played this game in beta, and waited to purchase it for a few  months post release but only subbed for maybe two months. I left mainly because I felt alone, and bored. mabye its me but i can't stand a grind to get to the "good" part of the game. i'd like to have fun from the start... which is was for a few missions. but questing alone got boring eventually and just wasn't that fun to me.

die. <3

  arcdevil

Novice Member

Joined: 7/20/07
Posts: 894

You seem like a nice guy. I'll kill you last.

3/12/10 6:06:06 AM#5

if PotBS is sinking due to server merging, what do we call what is happening with WAR then? 130 servers to 10 in a lil over 1 year

  Troneas

Old School

Joined: 3/19/09
Posts: 910

SWG Refugee
Fringe Deserter

3/12/10 11:19:22 AM#6

shame it would have been a great article if you had refrained from posting your personal feelings on the patches and instead limited it to the facts and let people draw their own conclusions.

 

first of, the re-introduction of invalid ships - whilst unpopular to the perhaps pirates who accumulated them, it cannot be seen as anything rather than beneficial for the game and population balance. and its not as if they lost the ship - they can still use it but with a higher degree of risk.

and yes, they were received well : http://www.burningsea.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66535

 

your assertion that dismantle shot got nerfed is also wrong:

Increased the range multiplier on Bar Shot from 85% -> 90%.
Decreased the minimum damage on Bar Shot from 49% -> 45%.
Increased the range multiplier on Chain Shot from 67.5% -> 70%.
Decreased the damage range on Chain Shot from 62.5-90% -> 55-80%.
Decreased the damage range on Star Shot from 80-105% -> 60-90%.

what they did is increase their range and decrease their strength to bring some ships which are intented for long range combat back into play; as well as the need for bar shot which was pretty much useless before.

http://www.burningsea.com/page/news/article&article_id=11381

 

 

  taolurker

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/10
Posts: 16

 
OP  3/12/10 12:47:10 PM#7

Actually, I've been following the FLS forums very closely, and I would have to say that invalid ships returning and disabling shot are seeing both kinds of reactions, positive and negative. I also don't think you fully read the discussion in the links you provided, if you think all the reactions were positive (there were 51 pages btw).


I agree that the invalid ships returning was needed, but also don't understand the logic in removing the invalid flag anyway (which drove away huge numbers of Nationals).


I also don't have any problem with the changes to mast damage, but I do believe people will see this as a "nerf" to their play style, if they primarily use sail damage in combat.


These types of changes being the focus of development are where the problem lies, and not in the ideas themselves.


My personal feelings are that the game is sinking, and me only posting about "facts" would not have allowed me to focus on this point, or things I feel could reverse this.

  Troneas

Old School

Joined: 3/19/09
Posts: 910

SWG Refugee
Fringe Deserter

3/12/10 11:47:56 PM#8
Originally posted by taolurker

Actually, I've been following the FLS forums very closely, and I would have to say that invalid ships returning and disabling shot are seeing both kinds of reactions, positive and negative. I also don't think you fully read the discussion in the links you provided, if you think all the reactions were positive (there were 51 pages btw).


I agree that the invalid ships returning was needed, but also don't understand the logic in removing the invalid flag anyway (which drove away huge numbers of Nationals).


I also don't have any problem with the changes to mast damage, but I do believe people will see this as a "nerf" to their play style, if they primarily use sail damage in combat.


These types of changes being the focus of development are where the problem lies, and not in the ideas themselves.


My personal feelings are that the game is sinking, and me only posting about "facts" would not have allowed me to focus on this point, or things I feel could reverse this.
 


 

ya but that was the problem.

engange > close up > and take their sales.

they'll need to addapt to a broader vision and tactics now.

besides it was rediculous no matter how many or how good sail resistant upgrades you installed on your ship half your sale's health was gone with one broadside.

  User Deleted
3/13/10 12:24:08 AM#9
Originally posted by taolurker

I agree that the invalid ships returning was needed, but also don't understand the logic in removing the invalid flag anyway (which drove away huge numbers of Nationals).


I also don't have any problem with the changes to mast damage, but I do believe people will see this as a "nerf" to their play style, if they primarily use sail damage in combat.


These types of changes being the focus of development are where the problem lies, and not in the ideas themselves.


My personal feelings are that the game is sinking, and me only posting about "facts" would not have allowed me to focus on this point, or things I feel could reverse this.
 


 

Both of the above changes are positive, the invalid flag won't bother those that like to PVP & there are plenty of alternative ships for those that don't.

The dismantling sail/mast shot has been way too powerful crippling even the best armoured ships in no time, the Nerf in the next patch is long overdue & should prolong PvP to make it much more enjoyable.

FLS big mistake was to launch with too many servers & they have been paying for it ever since.
The game has been sinking but I think FLS are slowly fixing the leeks & that its too early to say its dead, killed or whatever. In fact there are more Port Battles going on than ever before so its far from it.

 

  taolurker

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/10
Posts: 16

 
OP  4/13/10 11:22:55 PM#10

I actually think the Invalid Flag returning is a good thing, but some players may not even be aware of this being back. The point is that it should never have been removed. This also is going to be something causing changes to gameplay, especially true of people who work the economy because it makes invalid hauling ships and maybe will mean less Port Battles with Pirates in 1st rates.


See, thing is there is only going to be sustainable PvP for a brief time. There wasn't enough encouraging and especially new players.


Number one problem with new people and this game, the free trial link (Download is broken).


Second problem with new people and this game, is retention. Anti social people will end up very bored, very frustrated and very gimped, and all new people probably will get ganked or even have a frustrating death to NPCs. Also it's needing more in game tools explaining maps, nations, and items (where is the equip outfitting quest? How do newbs know how to use dockyard correctly?) not to mention a PvP tutorial in game.


I still say the trick to this game right now is what is in the expansion, but what will that actually be? I still hope for OMG some information, but then know it will break more than it fixes. Plus who knows what they'll add. Where is the beta testing? I am still here waiting for news about that.


It was already pretty clear to me that the game was just gonna lose players unless something drastic happened.

  Axeion

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/06
Posts: 424

4/15/10 2:31:23 PM#11

Bought the game on neweg for 5 bucks figured if nothing else it be good add to station pass.Installed from the dvds an went to patch an it was slow.. went to station launcher for the patch an it was slow. next morning not even half was threw i read about uninstalling the dvd game then fresh install from the station patcher...

So one day later i get it downloaded.Im on dsl but it was slow 160kbs was max i could get from the station launcher.Now been playing for two days.So far so good.Fun game .

Still trying to figure out deeds an land an other parts of the game but haveing a blast.Popiulation day time est is solid medioum looks like.I run into players an am in a society now as well.

As far as the avatar combat goes .. its not that bad .From reading the reviews here on this forum i was expecting something lagy an choppy an a pain to get threw.Its not bad at all. no auto faceing tho but thats ok.in 2 short days i have had more fun than when i tried CO..ok thats not saying much but its better game than some of the reviews let on.

"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." — Robert E. Howard, The Tower of the Elephant (1933)

  elistrange

Novice Member

Joined: 7/28/10
Posts: 157

O human race born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou fall.
Dante Alighieri

8/28/10 1:26:17 PM#12

I like the game. I enjoy playing it every once and a while. I feel that a lot of people take "Games" way too seriously. It isn't your game. If you don't like it then go play another game. "Games" don't betray you or stab you in the back. Devs just have a different vision than you. Get over it.  

Currently Play: ?
Occasionally Play: Champions, Pirates of the Burning Sea, WOW, EVE ONLINE

  NortonGB

Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/10
Posts: 284

8/28/10 5:02:36 PM#13
Originally posted by elistrange

 "Games" don't betray you or stab you in the back. Devs just have a different vision than you. Get over it.  

 The game doesn't & the ship combat is really quite good but FLS have a weird tiny closed community & admin that actively does; they now cater for only a very vocal PVP ganking minority that use irc chat.

I was banned for trying to generate some interest on the forums & promote P&P, others thought that it didn't fit into their closed nda way of doing things so I was ip banned. Most of the troubles with Potbs have been self inflicted from within imo.

You only have to have an average post count or mention the obvious games flaws more than once & you are accused of trolling.

If FLS had focused more time on putting some of them right instead of covering things up I believe the game would have succeeded. The dev team has struggled to even fix broken content & some of the odd feature implementations or lack of is very apparent.

Despite all that I liked the game, as it turned out I felt very much stabbed in the back!

  pathiean

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/28/09
Posts: 27

9/16/10 4:51:47 PM#14

I think one problem is that the game can be very unfriendly to new players, I tried to play this game several months ago, maybe longer and it got to the point I wasnt able to go anywhere due to the fact that high level players thought it would be a good idea to gank the crap out of new players. This put me, and Im sure alot of other players who would of been happy to play this game off. It really got to the point where I was tottaly unable to do anything due to the high level ganking.

When players are allowed to do this, it hurts the game from new players joining, and thus cuts into the games customer base as frustrated players go elsewhere to spend their money. Dont get me wrong, Im all for pvp but there should have been restrictions put in placed to prevent new players from being tottaly destroied by high levels each time they leave the early ports of the game.

  Nebless

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/22/08
Posts: 914

9/19/10 12:17:39 PM#15
Originally posted by NortonGB
Originally posted by elistrange

 "Games" don't betray you or stab you in the back. Devs just have a different vision than you. Get over it.  

 The game doesn't & the ship combat is really quite good but FLS have a weird tiny closed community & admin that actively does; they now cater for only a very vocal PVP ganking minority that use irc chat.

If FLS had focused more time on putting some of them right instead of covering things up I believe the game would have succeeded. The dev team has struggled to even fix broken content & some of the dd feature implementations or lack of is very apparent.

 FLS has always been it's own worst enemy.   The only real problem with PotBS has been that the dev's made a game THEY wanted to play, not one you, me or the guy down the street would want to, but one they wanted to.  And that may or may not be a bad thing.

I really think if they would have had their way it would have been a 100% ship based Pvp game.  Instead they half listened to opinion polls etc... and threw in the avatar combat & red circle only Pvp system.  Neither of which totally worked.

Avatar was needed, since in every pirate movie you watch you have boarding actions (and I think the original system was better than what they have now) and the red zones should have been flipped so the Pvp action was in the open sea and the ports were safe zones (as it would have been in RL).

But that's not what we got.  I recently did the 14 day trial and was amazed at the bugs etc... that are still in the game from 2008.  FLS needs to stop pushing out new and work at fixing the old.  It's actually a really good game that could be a whole lot better.

  Nebless

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/22/08
Posts: 914

9/19/10 12:25:21 PM#16
Originally posted by pathiean

I think one problem is that the game can be very unfriendly to new players, I tried to play this game several months ago, maybe longer and it got to the point I wasnt able to go anywhere due to the fact that high level players thought it would be a good idea to gank the crap out of new players. This put me, and Im sure alot of other players who would of been happy to play this game off. It really got to the point where I was tottaly unable to do anything due to the high level ganking.

When players are allowed to do this, it hurts the game from new players joining, and thus cuts into the games customer base as frustrated players go elsewhere to spend their money. Dont get me wrong, Im all for pvp but there should have been restrictions put in placed to prevent new players from being tottaly destroyed by high levels each time they leave the early ports of the game.

 This has always been a problem and has been one of the nr. 1 reasons players have left.  It's also a good example of FLS only taking a half step to fix the problem, which isn't a fix at all. 'Oh ganking newbies!, well let's fix that by not giving any rewards to the older players if they kill the new'.  So instead, you now have it just for the shear 'fun' of it.  Although I'm at a loss to understand have a MC end capped Xebec sinking a lvl 2 starter ship consitutes 'fun'.

  itchmon

Elite Member

Joined: 1/21/07
Posts: 1560

11/17/10 9:20:06 AM#17
Originally posted by pathiean

I think one problem is that the game can be very unfriendly to new players, I tried to play this game several months ago, maybe longer and it got to the point I wasnt able to go anywhere due to the fact that high level players thought it would be a good idea to gank the crap out of new players. This put me, and Im sure alot of other players who would of been happy to play this game off. It really got to the point where I was tottaly unable to do anything due to the high level ganking.

When players are allowed to do this, it hurts the game from new players joining, and thus cuts into the games customer base as frustrated players go elsewhere to spend their money. Dont get me wrong, Im all for pvp but there should have been restrictions put in placed to prevent new players from being tottaly destroied by high levels each time they leave the early ports of the game.

ya, i agree.

 

gankers are dumb creatures in that they dont realize by doing what they do, they are causing their game's chances of success to spiral downward.

 

it shdnt be too hard to make up a good system that encourages faction against faction PVP but either eliminates or else harshly punishes those who play in such a way that their actions make newer players /deleteaccount.

 

Eve and L2 both do this with the sec-status/concordokkening system and the chaotic-characters-drop-their-gear system respectively.

 

I hope FLS do something about this soon, because it really is very close to being a great game.

 

and no, btw i'm not a care-bear but a 2007 eve player in a 0.0 alliance.

RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

Dwight D Eisenhower

My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

Henry Rollins

  Scottgun

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 340

11/28/10 3:41:23 PM#18

I desperately wanted to like this game as I was a pirate history buff long before anyone even heard of Johnny Depp. In the end the all-instance combat system that worked so well for Guild Wars just doesn't work with ships on the ocean and I'll be amazed if someone can find a way to make a non-instanced version work. And now it's going free-to-suck. :)

How not to sell me on a game: "And most people that make it past the tutorial seem to appreciate [x game's] uniqueness, even if they don't find it fun."

  User Deleted
1/20/11 9:08:34 AM#19

In your long post I do not see any major flaws that would lead to the failure of the game. I see some short sighted inconveniences and some flawed experiements that were reverted. But not major flaws. Also, your suggestions are very time and money consuming, almost as much as making new game.

This is, or could be, EvE in setting much more appealing to masses and with actual avatars and actual quests but it did not succeed much. The reasons are not what you listed, at all. But what are they? Maybe people just do not want games with meaningfull PvP, even if they can avoid PvP with some effort.

Me, I do not like how ships do not have masts, how crew regenerates, how you get stats on gear, how easy is to buy a ship and other vastly unrealistic MMO cliches, not to say that there really was not all that much to historical ship combat once the engagement started.