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Pirates of the Burning Sea

Pirates of the Burning Sea 

General Discussion  » Problems with the FLS Community Staff

16 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

OP  4/20/09 12:32:03 PM#1

I write as someone who has been a longtime player of this game, and one who still supports Pirates of the Burning Sea.  However, I am well aware that what I write there will never make the light of day.  My previous attempt to do so has resulted in a 2 week forum ban for "insulting FLS staff" of which i did nothing of the sort.


In short, I write, along with the support of many others, in protest of what they have done with the firing of one of their general managers, as well as their inconsistent rules for banning players.  Over the weekend, one of their GM's was fired, for a host of reasons.  One of them was she was in her eyes, she was becoming too friendly with the players on Blackbeard Spain, even though FLS told the GM's to get out there and provide a visible presence.  She was also fired for not banning someone she didn't know was on a perma ban (and who during this time had done nothing worthy of a ban) and for handling people's support issues directly, rather than going through the support system.  In short, she cut a lot of the red tape, everyone loved it, but FLS wanted their hands in the til.

Now all of these could merit discplinary action to be sure, but I support the question that FLS needs to ask themselves is the following:

In today's troubled economy, is it worth firing someone who has done nothing destructive, and has done nothing but good for FLS, and has done nothing more than make the players happy?  Criticism of this decision resulted in across the board forum bans over at FLS.  When people complained about it in-game in private tells with other players, they were receiving messages from FLS letting them know their private tells were being monitored.  While such is the right of FLS, are such strongarm tactics really neccessary?

There has also been some serious problems with the consistency of people being banned because of in-game actions.  A certain individual was banned, and the official email stated that he was banned for "continious violation of forum rules" and apparent account sharing (he shared his own account with himself once and only once to post something.)  He fully admitted to cross teaming a long time ago (before it was made illegal by FLS) and submitted  a ticket to have his characters transferred once FLS stated it was a bannable offense, which was subsequently ignored.

Today on the Blackbeard forums, Danicia stated that nobody can be banned in game because of anything done in the forums.  Yet during an IRC chat with Rhaegar, he stated that his in game ban had to do with forum rule violations.

This game is an excellent game, but actions like these need to be voiced.  As someone who used to write here for this website, I'd like the opportunity to write a guest editorial on this issue.  So whoever is running the writing department over here now, if you see this, would appreciate being contacted.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/13/08
Posts: 634

4/21/09 10:09:58 PM#2

Even if you don't get to write anything officially, I hope Havohej (who has taken over as correspondent, I believe) will pick up the torch and write something about that.

Not that I really care.  If anything, the latest happenings from FLS are just part of their "we don't have a clue" track record.

And for the record: Even before that happened, I had decided to cancel my subscription for next month.  I haven't written anything to this effect on the POTBS forums yet, but I think this is the point where this game and I need to part ways.  Part of the reason is the community; a few old faces, but apart from that, it's just the usual peeveepee e-peen crowd who wouldn't give a sh*t about anything or anyone else.  Not only had I returned to the game after nine months, but I wasn't much of a PvPer before that. 

Just out of curiosity, I attended the RPers' ball on Antigua (the first time I've played there, but I put a toon there after the transfers, just in case).  I've never really roleplayed in MMO games because some of that stuff can get ludicrous, but I wanted to see first-hand what would happen.  There were maybe two dozen people there according to later reports, but I must have seen about half that number when I was there.  I couldn't avoid noticing that I was very much an outsider, having never played on Antigua, let alone on Bonny a year ago. Still, it was fun though I had to leave early.

But what I couldn't avoid noticing was that apart from those two dozen players or so, nobody gave a damn.  We were in Fort Caroline (Florida), and all we could read on nation chat was about pirates flipping Cayo, and our very own Frenchies putting West End in the red maybe five minutes away.  The RP ball had been advertised on the forums for weeks.  Would those guys ever have taken a break from creating red circles to attend it?  Not on their life.

That's why I took a break from putting together new issues of the French newspaper.  I'm fine with not getting feedback (though I'd like negative comments on occasion), but when people jump right over a thread where I post the latest issue of my newspaper, without ever bothering to click on it no matter how long it remains in the last 10 threads, just to read and respond to the next thread about some naval engagement involving two players I've never even heard about, well, I figure it isn't really worth wasting four hours to put something together that people won't even read.  The last one, as of writing, has 38 views and no replies, the best way to make me say, "stuff it".

And where are the PvEers nowadays? Nowhere to be seen, or grinding their soul away for another lineship bundle running mindless "dailies".  (As for the economy, it is broken, but it's so inflationary that I made 500,000 doubloons with my regular production in the course of a week, so go figure.)

What was broken last year is still broken (I knew that), but I no longer enjoy doing the stuff which does work.  So I'll probably be gone by May 3rd.  I haven't logged in since last week.

In fact, it's not just this game, I'll probably be leaving MMO's altogether.  Nothing on the horizon interests me, and I know of better ways to waste one's time.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

OP  4/22/09 12:57:59 AM#3

Though I haven't really heard from him lately, Mackenna is my fellow society mate on BB in LDJ.  :)


That is a shame to hear you are going.  It is always good to see the old faces sticking around.  Me, I'm all about the pvp mindset, and I'm just as known for my forum pvp as I am for my regular, but at the same time, i try to keep things cool.  :)

  User Deleted
4/22/09 1:48:09 AM#4
Originally posted by iceman00

This game is an excellent game, but actions like these need to be voiced.  As someone who used to write here for this website, I'd like the opportunity to write a guest editorial on this issue.  So whoever is running the writing department over here now, if you see this, would appreciate being contacted.


It has already been voiced, although I was not banned it was enough to make me cancel my account.

FLS are their own worst enemy as they appear are more concerned with themselves than their paying fans & customers!


Novice Member

Joined: 2/16/09
Posts: 6

4/26/09 3:06:19 AM#5

This has to be one of the stupidest threads I have read yet.  You should just rename this thread to 'ow you hurt my epeen'.  Only thing missing now is djxeonwhathisface to post a bunch of necro threads, someone else say how they and their entire nation are all ragequitting and that will show them, someone to spout off how 'it wasn't like this in beta',  someone to make an nazi analogy, and then a bunch of /signed posts about how you have been virtually wronged.

  User Deleted
4/26/09 7:07:59 AM#6
Originally posted by BingoBango00

This has to be one of the stupidest threads I have read yet.  You should just rename this thread to 'ow you hurt my epeen'.  Only thing missing now is djxeonwhathisface to post a bunch of necro threads, someone else say how they and their entire nation are all ragequitting and that will show them, someone to spout off how 'it wasn't like this in beta',  someone to make an nazi analogy, and then a bunch of /signed posts about how you have been virtually wronged.


Nice 5th post......oh, wait, your prior four posts were all exclusively on this POTBS forum to lay into criticism of the game.

Can you say "viral marketing" and "spin control"?

You have no credibility what-so-ever.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/13/08
Posts: 634

4/30/09 9:04:07 AM#7

How fascinating that this forum should go inactive for days at a time.

Nobody at this site seems to care about PotBS anymore.  Always chasing something ahead that will disappoint them (not surprisingly, even to themselves, I'd guess) instead of reflecting on the MMO failures which they left behind them.

Yep, I think I'm done with MMO's, and with this site as well. Though I do have a few other things left to discuss, best left for the general section for its 15 minutes of fame before it's buried under 20 threads of sheer crap.

  User Deleted
5/03/09 9:40:47 AM#8
Originally posted by Vetarnias

How fascinating that this forum should go inactive for days at a time.

Nobody at this site seems to care about PotBS anymore. 


Why should they?

FLS gave up about caring about this site a long time ago & have been unable/unwilling to do anything serious to address players concerns, in-fact they don't deserve some of the few loyal players they have left.

Do not judge all mmorpgs by Potbs, it's always worth looking around for another that suits your play-style that has regular events & updates.



Novice Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2336

5/10/09 10:51:37 PM#9

No surprises here.

FLS have never had a clue about the basic psychology of MMOgamers and that is a large part (IMHO) of the reason they could never make PotBS 'work'.

I just drifted by the FLS forums and found that Defiant is indeed dead because although FLS allowed the Aussie players to transfer away from Telstra they addressed nothing game wise.  So, post transfer, the Aussies learned that the grass was not greener and that the problem was the game itself, not just Telstra's poor showing.

I disagree with iceman00: "This game is an excellent game..."
It is not and never was.
It is an excellent concept.
It is an excellent setting.

But the design was flawed from the very beginning.
As I say, it was never designed by someone who really understood how MMORPG gamers think or what they want.
It actually has more in common with a Single Player game in many cases and sadly a game already exists which caters to the 1700's Caribbean Pirate market.  Several in fact.

FLS's community management has been poor too.
The day Danicia arrived things took a definate turn for the worse. 
That's not to say Danicia is the source of all the problems by any means... but Danicia's arrival was at a point where FLS seemed to chose a 'direction' in terms of community management.  The wrong direction.

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/13/08
Posts: 634

5/12/09 7:37:21 AM#10

When I returned to PotBS I was tempted at first to try out Defiant, if only because the port battle hours were more suitable to me than anything on the four other servers. But I knew it would be dead.  So unless I could play North American hours for port battles, I pretty much had to give that up (not to mention that my refusal to use voice chat would have made me persona non grata anyway).

The concept is great, the setting is fantastic, and on those aspects they have done as much as they could with the budget they had, even though they had to cut corners by having duplicate town designs, etc, though I was surprised that they continued to improve upon them.  There was nothing wrong with the old Charlesfort, only that there were five or six towns like it, including, for the first six months or so, the French capital.  Like for Tortuga, they went overboard with the maze they've created in Pointe-a-Pitre, but I was glad that they were still adding up to the game, even if cosmetic features for the most part.

Because your average developer would have thrown in the towel long ago.  To wit: Tabula Rasa.  I don't think anyone can deny that the game is struggling, and the posts asking for one big server merge are multiplying themselves on the forums.  I don't think the developers will be able to keep their head buried in the sand for much longer -- but then, they're still dangling port governance like a carrot even though there's very little mention made of it.  I've written it off completely.

As for the rest, I've always despised the creeping elitism of much of the player base, which pretty much assured that newcomers would never be welcome to port battles, etc., but now you can add the bundleboat brigade on top of that. Ten first rates on one side, six on the other? Early on, you'd be lucky if you had one or two.  

And I've grown tired of seeing the French side collapse. From the start, France was the weakest of all nations, which isn't really surprising if we consider the ongoing prejudice against it. But after that, you had the steamrolling Brits who could have just relied on their demographic weight to crush France; but no, they had to exploit while they were at it, not only because it was simpler and removed any off-chance that the French might beat you, but because it would grief them out of the game.

So that was the first collapse of the French: On Blackbeard, Brits used the ecobomb exploit on three French ports at once, leading to concurrent port battles. The French have enough players to only defend one (which they kept); the other two went to the British by default. FLS's reaction?  "Oh, the ecobomb is an exploit all right, but the port battles were won honestly, so no rollback."  As we tried to explain to FLS, we could not fight three battles because we didn't have enough players, to no avail.  The first batch of French players left in February as a result of that.

Then there was the second collapse, when most of the Blackbeard French, deciding the situation was just hopeless, decided to leave to Rackham after the first transfers.  The British also followed them, but for those Brits who remained on Blackbeard, the situation was far better than that of the French who had decided to stay.  The French simply had no economy anymore.  They had maybe one major society, but what could it do?  I had transferred my main character from Blackbeard to Rackham, but not liking things there (the peeveepee crowd at its most juvenile) I just rerolled a new French on Blackbeard.  I stopped at level 25, because it was futile.  I was still in my level-19 fallback because there was no shipbuilding operation on the French side, and I had not yet taken steps to buy ships from the Brits (who did offer to sell to anyone). I left the game shortly thereafter.

At least I only saw the beginning of the third collapse, that of the Rackham French, which began slowly after Age of Conan released and was pretty much completed by the time Warhammer came around.  I'm not sure if it's appropriate to talk about the collapse of the French when it was really the collapse of the entire server.  The unruly peeveepee crowd is indeed fickle, and the loudmouths who had dominated the forums for the most part just vanished.

And the fourth collapse, well, I happened to live through it when going back to the game in April.  Nothing had changed regarding gameplay, but on Blackbeard the French had seemed to have rebuilt since a year before.  But they were just disorganized, with grind monkeys on one hand, leet peeveepee-ers on the other, and some renegade economic society in Leogane on top of that.  I didn't know too much of the internal dealings, but I got the distinct impression that those guys wouldn't help each other out, which got you situations where Leogane went to the Spanish.  The victory map was depressing.  The French had less than 100 points, and had lost every port outside of Florida and one Louisiana town.

To what extent is this the developers' fault?  Their failure to act upon the ecobomb exploit and all its consequences, for instance.  But to allow transfers between servers that remained?  No, in hindsight I can't say you can blame FLS for that, because people would have rerolled or quit otherwise; a lost cause is a lost cause.  Likewise, it can't be blamed for the departure of its hardcore element, because it always leaves games after crippling them; FLS's only fault is to have catered to them with "war's not fair" and "no crying in the red circle". Flogging a dead horse, I know, but when the post mortem is done, the genesis of the game's demise can be found right there.

What I can blame it for, however, is to have designed a game where exploiting was inevitable, and where it would always be better to produce everything internally than rely on the market.  It created a game for grind monkeys and peeveepee-ers who liked to grind.  Everyone else left.  That, in a nutshell, is the problem.

  User Deleted
5/14/09 4:04:57 AM#11

FLS have never managed to break out of their embryonic shell or appeal to the mass market; it was & still is a Russel Williams ego trip who was hoping to release a successful mmorpg on a budget; they tried to simulate CCP's Eve but never had a hope of success as their 2D map was too small & PVE player missions conflicted with PVP areas.

FLS has always had difficulty implementing even the most simple things or features that are on their "most wanted list"; regular competitions & events have been lacking with the focus still on embryonic testbed or their own internal politics; they have recently been out of touch with their customer base, the initial spirit died mainly due to lack of professional development resources. Their internal devs had disagreements, many have since left or been transfered. The lead designer Kevin "Isildur" initially protected his economy at all costs, PVP & high ship loss was a necessity for it to survive. This proved to be too much for the average newbie risk taker so FLS tried to compensate with ship insurance.

Potbs became a game that rewards gankers & we all know what happens to games that do that (quote Isildur " they are waiting for the next big failure to come along") but nevertheless FLS felt it would appeal to a minority market that would be enough to fill up at least 10 servers on release; they were wrong & it proved to be a costly mistake.

"Don't cry in the red circle" & "Play unfairly to your advantage" was all they could come up with as the game mechanics for anything else did not exist. The community was managed very badly & Danicia rules all in that respect; she often breaks FLS own rules so it appears she can do no wrong. In effect, FLS were often unable support their own community staff or GM's who saw the players point of view. The Bigpond contract failed & the Aussie venture has proved to be another mistake or complete waste of time, advertising was not the only problem, it was also the game design itself.

SOE have not helped as many retailers won't stock SOE titles (particularly in Spain) after the Vanguard failure left them with unsold boxes & FLS failed to forsee this. Since then FLS have been trying to re-vamp Potbs at the expence of adding new content so many lvl50 players just got bored & left.

Personally I would like to see a Potbs revival but it needs a new "gamer" manager/communicator that has much more enthusiasm or committment, a clear vision & more devs that can produce more content in a timely scheduled way.

Rusty (Williams) says FLS remain fully committed to Potbs in the longterm but development has been extremely slow & the proof has sadly not yet been realized.

FLS are hoping for better in the newly created Casual Division & their new mmo which has thrown the focus off Potbs & put it on the back burner while they concentrate on their latest RW ego trip as he continues to spend $$$ of his Microsoft profits; I can think of worse things to spend it on.

I agree with all the previous posters in this thread Potbs had so much potential, good effort, almost but not quite... running a company on a restricted budget has its shortcomings.

  User Deleted
5/14/09 5:35:31 PM#12
Originally posted by DJXeon

 The lead designer Kevin "Isildur" initially protected his economy at all costs, PVP & high ship loss was a necessity for it to survive. This proved to be too much for the average newbie risk taker so FLS tried to compensate with ship insurance.


Let's not dump on Rusty so hastily.

Originally the PvP ship loss was to be partially financed through the economy. The player driven market allowed everyone to easily manufacture and sell product to finance their playstyle. In short, if a player sold oak at $15/unit, and sold it to Rats, Brits, Spanish, and French buyers, he could make up the cost of his ship losses. Unrestricted markets.  

However certain elements of the player base decided to garner "control" and impliment the "closed market" economy, requiring Society members to sell their products to the Society shipbuilders at cost, or cost plus a small profit, in exchange for cheap ships (mostly for the benefit of that segment of the player base that wanted to be in control). Thus, most players never realized the market potential. The rational was that the "enemy" was buying up "our" production. So what? Those sales subsidized your own PvP losses.

Instead, most players traded their independance in the game to their "betters", for their "betters" to decide who got what ships when. How many players experienced being told to decline port battles to allow their "betters" to go? Those same "betters" that decided who got rated ships, or any ships at all. With an open market everyone had a chance to buy a rated ship, and everyone had a chance to go to a port battle.

Excess production was dumped onto the market at excessive prices, driving up costs, as well as driving independant players from the game. Independant players could no longer afford to pay inflated prices to produce, and compete for sales, with the closed market Society. And when the independant was able to compete, Society members were told not to buy from the market as the proceeds were going to the enemy. And like good little sheep, they obeyed, also killing the independant.

FLS responded to the cost of ship losses by catering to the closed market economic model, they introduced dailies and insurance. This allowed players more cash to cover losses, without having to increase production and place more items on the open market. And the Societies continue to push the closed market economic model by demanding Society warehouses.

And FLS continues to cater to the closed market economy, controlled by certain persons in Societies. Not very casual friendly, if you don't live, breathe, and suck up, you don't get the ships to compete.

So, in summary, the player base ruined the game when they implimented the closed market societies, and FLS encouraged them when they created dailies and insurance to keep the market closed. Just like the player base ruined the game with the "art of the gank".

It was mutual assured destruction of the economy.

That's one reason you now see calls to merge the servers into one.

Not calls to open the market, mind you, for that would cause the Society movers and shakers to lose control.

Heaven help us if we ever see that their avatars don't walk on water.......





Elite Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5244

5/14/09 5:54:16 PM#13

I lay the closed economy problem at the feet of the stupidly tiresome auction house mechanics and the failure to implement an order system.  With a hyper inflationary economy their prime concern was that auction house prices would fall? WTF?

Ultimately the core mechanics and even the engine are so flawed that any changes can only be superficial. Shallows anyone?

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  User Deleted
5/14/09 6:42:27 PM#14
Originally posted by zymurgeist

I lay the closed economy problem at the feet of the stupidly tiresome auction house mechanics and the failure to implement an order system.  With a hyper inflationary economy their prime concern was that auction house prices would fall? WTF?

Ultimately the core mechanics and even the engine are so flawed that any changes can only be superficial. Shallows anyone?


LOL, you caught me while I was still editing. With the lack of posting on this game's forum, I thought I was safe from someone reading what I wrote for at least a couple of days.

Yes, the auction house system is frustrating, but I understand what they were trying to do. During the historical period most commodities sold at auction, not on a set price. The market was what a buyer was willing to pay. Unfortunately, like many things, FLS failed to properly impliment.

Auction house mechanics only work if you have a set amount of commodity up for auction for a set time period, and multiple bidders. FLS auction house mechanics fail because there are never multiple bidders for one commodity over a set time period. Rather than bid against other players for that cargo of oak, you are playing a "fool the guesser" carnival minigame with the seller. FLS likes carnival min-games, like the "Pointe-a-Pitre cheese in the maze" game. Unfortunately, FLS is the clown in these carnival mini-game.

The way it should work is that the seller sets a minimum bid, the auction period is 24 hours, players start the bidding and at the end of the 24 hour period the highest bid gets the lot. If nobody makes the minimum bid, the lot is returned to the seller to try again and another minimum bid/lot size are set.

The seller determines the lot size. Thus, you could have lots of 100 oak, 500 oak, 1000 oak, and 1500 oak depending on how the seller divides them up. Maybe the lot of 100 oak has a minimum bid of 25, and the lot of 1000 oak has a minimum bid of 15. The more oak you buy, the cheaper the per unit cost is. Ultimately the 100 oak with a minimum bid of 25 might go for 25, while the 1000 oak with a minimum bid of 15 might go for 30. Such are auctions, it depends on what the buyer is willing to pay.

FLS could change the auction house system, but will they? Why bother?

The game is already an unmitigated disaster, caused both by the player base and FLS. There is still no port governance, skirmish, etc, only hollow promises and eye candy graphics changes. Closed economy and ganking continue.

This game is a corpse seeking a burial site.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/07
Posts: 92

bring back the gaming

5/15/09 2:32:29 AM#15

I was pretty active in closed beta.

Back then we had endless discussions about PVP vs PVE; the developpers had their own view on how to implement both, with seemingly little room to change things especially close to release altho some things were clearly broken. In my view they had a way of supporting whoever backed them up, making their choices seem "listening to the majority of players". As a result and as stated numerous times on the beta forums, the game was meat nor fish..both PVE nor PVP, nor the interaction of the two, was done properly.

With all the instancing, PVE was like playing a single player game with chat. i could only stay awake ingame when sailing, if i read a good book at the same time. PVP was a nightmare as well: staying up late at night to try make it into a port battle only to find out you werent selected or didnt gather enough points..the horrid.

I never blaim players for using available mechanics in a game. Even if they are "game killing". The game company should avoid them in the first place. As a player i either adept to the situation or, if things are out of hand and nothing is done, i simply leave the game. But trying to change a MMO to cater to my likings is useless. A lost fight if the game company fails to see the problem or choses to ignore it for whatever reason be it development costs or a bad engine or something else.

A last (general) remark about changing game mechanics in a MMO: in my opinion it should be done very seldomly and only a few times (i am not talking broken mechanics that need fixing, or exploits that should be repaired). People want to dream away in a MMO world thinking their achievements will be eternal and noted for ever. If my +200 super duper special cannonball of leetness and destruction, that took me 2 months to acquire through hard work, gets useless with one small new patch, a part of me dies in that MMO. Do it a few times and i am gone. Thats also why it is essential for any game but especially MMO to make sure the basics are rock solid and working as intended. Something Potbs never managed to achieve.


Currently playing browser games. Waiting for SC.
Played: almost all MMO pre 2007

  User Deleted
5/15/09 2:41:27 AM#16
Originally posted by olddaddy
Originally posted by zymurgeist

I lay the closed economy problem at the feet of the stupidly tiresome auction house mechanics and the failure to implement an order system.  With a hyper inflationary economy their prime concern was that auction house prices would fall? WTF?

Ultimately the core mechanics and even the engine are so flawed that any changes can only be superficial. Shallows anyone?

 FLS could change the auction house system, but will they? Why bother?

The game is already an unmitigated disaster, caused both by the player base and FLS. There is still no port governance, skirmish, etc, only hollow promises and eye candy graphics changes. Closed economy and ganking continue.

This game is a corpse seeking a burial site.


Ultimately it is Rusty that has allowed the Dev's to do almost what they want, when you have limited resources he had no option than to let them do what they can which was not enough to produce an in-depth balanced Age of Sail mmorpg based on a vibrant open economy, they simply don't have the experience or it seems the will anymore to do it; too many things have gone wrong & they had more to do than they could cope with.

Isildur gave up on Potbs when he stated he murdered the economy with insurance; he said he was going to make lsbs less gated several months ago but then got bogged down with the av-com revamp which didn't bring back populations as they predicted. Buy orders & many other "wish list" features never materialized.

In short, FLS have failed to focus on players real concerns in a timely enough fashion to stop the exodus & with the lead designer now showing the enthusiasm of a flat fish it seems like they are not seriously interested in developing the needed expansion; they look like continuing along their own path that leads to nowhere or producing casual video game add ons.

The next pod-cast should be interesting pointer about the future but i would take any comments with a pinch of salt.

What you see is what you get, Potbs is only good for 2 - 3 months for most players.