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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Hybrid | Monthly Fee:$14.99
System Req: PC | ESRB:TOut of date info? Let us know!

Pirates of the Burning Sea Forum » General Discussion » Now that this game is free to play.....

13 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/10
Posts: 122

OP  4/08/11 2:57:06 AM#1

Is it worth checking out?  I've been considering trying this game for a very long time.  How many servers left? 

Are hacks everywhere?

  Is there an item mall shop now? 

Has thee game improved since launch?


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/08
Posts: 229

Your stars mean nothing to me.

4/21/11 10:46:59 AM#2

It's free to try. Why wouldn't you check it out?

I've been playing casually for a couple of months. It's got some interesting features and makes for a nice change of pace. I may even pay a one month sub to upgrade to Premium membership (or maybe get a Station Pass).

I haven't encountered any hacks, yes there's an item shop (haven't been there), and don't know how it was at launch but it runs pretty well aside from some weird sound looping glitch I keep getting.

In all, it's worth a look. Especially if pirates or Age of Sail stuff appeals to you.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/10
Posts: 284

4/21/11 12:19:03 PM#3
Originally posted by X-Porter

It's free to try. Why wouldn't you check it out?

 I agree give Potbs a try.

Be careful what you post on the forum as Rhaegar, their forum manager is still banning & blocking ip addresses indiscriminately for no real reason.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 355

4/25/11 11:02:04 AM#4

I used to be a subber, and when f2p was first proposed I was vehemently against it. Now, I'm forced to admit that it has injected new life in this game and I am enjoying it more than I have before; mainly because I don't feel like I am the only one in the entire Caribbean. Even the lesser popular nations (France and Spain) have decent populations now. Now, some vets will complain that there are lower-quality players now, but let's face it, they were complaining about lower-quality players even when it was subscription based.

The Good:

--A good balance of realism and playability in ship combat. I'm always eager  to maximise the damage from my next broadside. "Eat bronze death n00b!"

--PVP oriented. Not as harsh as Eve Online, but not very carebeary either which is a relief from the scores of  no-risk mmorpgs out there. 1v1 PvP is kinda tough to arrange, but 6v6 is common and then there is the 24v24 Port battles that contribute to Realm vs. Realm and the Realm vs. Realm feels significant rather than an afterthought like other games.

--Soloable, but with lots of incentives to band together

--Generous Free-to-play: The totally free option seems a bit thin to me, but either be a former subber or pay for only one month and you are a Premium member for life and frankly, there isn't much I am missing  with Premium than when I was a subscriber.


The Bad:

--It's called Pirates of the Burning Sea. No, really. What it means is that everyone assumes you are supposed to play a pirate, and the result is that there are about 6.023x10^23rd pirates compared to the nationals. Unfortunate considering that the pirates are usually the one group that does not really factor in the Realm vs. Realm aspect. It also means the PvP zones are often zerg gankfests. There are solutions to this, but for the new people, it can be frustrating.

--Older game and not as graphically pretty as newer releases. Funny graphic artifacts popping up and a few broken missions.

--Not very newbie friendly. Especially if you are pirate. Their nation chat can get quite caustic. Nationals chat is a little better.

--All instance combat. To be fair, it is hard to imagine how you would do a ship combat game like this in an all real-time world and stil have it playable, but all-instance can be a turn off for many.

--Sony Online Entertainment: need I say more?


The Ugly:

--Avcom: That is, avatar combat when your char has to pull out a sword during the boarding comat. I happen to like it now, but I have to admit someone seeing it for the first time may be thinking it's pretty darn cheesy.

Now we're calling prostitutes "sex workers". What's next? Calling hit men "end-of-life technicians"?


PotBS Community Manager

Joined: 2/08/10
Posts: 6

4/26/11 5:57:45 PM#5
Originally posted by NortonGB
Originally posted by X-Porter

It's free to try. Why wouldn't you check it out?

 I agree give Potbs a try.

Be careful what you post on the forum as Rhaegar, their forum manager is still banning & blocking ip addresses indiscriminately for no real reason.

There's always a reason :)

Tom "Rhaegar" Atkinson-Edwards
Community Manager, Pirates of the Burning Sea


Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/10
Posts: 284

4/27/11 3:57:20 AM#6
Originally posted by FLS_Rhaegar
Originally posted by NortonGB
Originally posted by X-Porter

It's free to try. Why wouldn't you check it out?

 I agree give Potbs a try.

Be careful what you post on the forum as Rhaegar, their forum manager is still banning & blocking ip addresses indiscriminately for no real reason.

There's always a reason :)

Perhaps there is in your minds, the last comments on your recent pod-cast gave a lot away.

You all love to giggle laugh or fool around like schoolboys while other more mature players pay to support you or play Potbs, it's not unreasonable that they expect some of the game flaws that have hit your populations hard like ganking to be addressed in detail. By doing so it can only benefit Potbs & FLS.

When it comes to banning or blocking ip's of players it's not only a case of if someone has broken a rule, the main consideration should be if that poster did it deliberately or as in my case not at all.

It was always my intention to help FLS or post in a responsible way, obviously you (or Ulot) saw it as trolling but it is the sincerity behind the posters actions that matters. Perhaps that's something that you need to be more relaxed about in the future.

Best of luck Tom, I'll keep my eyes open in-case there is any way I can return to be included in a more fair or open growing Potbs community.

In the meantime I'll give 2.5 a spin on testbed to check out the new fsihing & improved ship or class balance :)



Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 2131

5/13/11 1:50:50 PM#7

I was hoping to hear more positive things. I forgot SOE was involved.(walks away)


Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/09
Posts: 473

6/01/11 2:16:59 AM#8

FLS was on to something with this game... they just couldn't quite nail it down.

Having said that, I played this game for almost a year at launch and it was easily the most fun I've had in an MMO since the early days of DAOC.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 5295

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

6/01/11 2:20:59 AM#9
Originally posted by Shadanwolf

I was hoping to hear more positive things. I forgot SOE was involved.(walks away)

 I'm not sure how a different payment model will make a game better...or why'd anyone expect a game to improve because outside-of-game stuff changes around a little.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/22/08
Posts: 939

6/25/11 10:49:18 PM#10
Originally posted by Shadanwolf

I was hoping to hear more positive things. I forgot SOE was involved.(walks away)

 Big deal you log in via SOE and then get passed off to FLS's servers elsewhere. 

FLS paid for it all - concept, design, art etc.... only thing they couldn't do was marketing and processing the payments.  It's called outsourcing.

More positive?  Music's great.  The rush of fighting another ship and having to outthink your opponet vice just playing wack a mole like so many other games.  Go hang in the red zone of one of the smaller less important ports and do some 1v1 / 2v2 if you want to really know what's positive about the game.


Yes there's alot wrong with the game that was wrong in Pre-Boarding and is still wrong.  Find me another ship v ship MMO and I'll switch.

SWG - AoC - PotBS - DDO - LotRO - STO - GnH - SWToR


Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/10
Posts: 284

6/28/11 3:39:52 PM#11
Originally posted by Nebless
 Find me another ship v ship MMO and I'll switch.

Unchartered Waters Online.


Ton's of adventure, exploration including maritime. Ten times more content, ability to switch classes in-game.

Huge world sized map with safe areas which gives space for much less ganking.

Much more forgiving loss system.


Graphics not as good as Potbs but not that bad either, PVP in Potbs is more sophisticated.

I know quite a few players in UWO from Potbs, to my knowledge none have returned.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/28/08
Posts: 1203

7/09/11 1:05:33 AM#12

This game isn't horrible it just isn't very good.  The instancing just kills it, in my opinion.  Combat isn't fluid, and combat needs to be fluid in a game like this.

Tecmo Bowl.


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2361

7/05/12 12:13:54 AM#13

In relation to another topic (Vangard F2P) I just did a bit of research on PotBS.


Worth posting there too I think

The google results for PotBS were enlightening - looks like no-one really keeps an eye on these things.

Also the time line for Rusty becoming interested in F2P was interesting.  To me it just reinforces that PotBS was pretty much a vanity project.



As for SOE - yes they never really understood customers or "Free 2 Play".

They have experimented with it a lot and I believe they are trying to find the 'sweet spot' where they can maximise their revenue while not allowing players to have too much for free... while at the same time not driving them away... sucking them in to buy more.

This is what I believe they were doing with Pirates of the Burning Sea.  They constantly changed and meddled with the system and rules.  My belief is that they were seeing just how much they could squeeze players.

Interestingly - if you GOOGLE PotBS you get this:

Pirates of the Burning Sea » Home
Pirates of the Burning Sea™ is an MMORPG featuring high-seas action and adventure in a bold world of pirates and plunder. Set against the backdrop of the ...

Free to Play!

You can now play Pirates of the Burning Sea™ for free! No ...

Australia and New Zealand!

Pirates of the Burning Sea has now launched with a dedicated ...


Antigua - Roberts - General Discussion - The Map Table - First

Captain's Club members

Those players who are not Captain's Club members can purchase ...

Download Installer

Download Installer. Click the above button to download the ...


Purchase Pirates of the Burning Sea! Wax Seal Decoration ...

And following those links is interesting because if you follow those links it's hard to get the correct information:

The "Free to Play" link doesn't tell you what you get (and more importantly DON'T get) for your money?

The "Australia and New Zealand!" link - links to BigPond which is more than 2 years out of date.  BigPond no longer have any involvement with PotBS.

The "Store" lists "Pirates of the Burning Sea is a subscription based MMO."!

It also directs people to the Steam Store - which is yet another dead end.


All this is typical of SOE marketing

...and before anyone says "But that is an FLS page!" yes, but SOE (are supposed to) do marketing and billing) so you would think someone from either company (FLS or SOE) would be on the ball about this?

This link talks about the development of "F2P" with regard to PotBS and there are some interesting insights in there.

It seems to me that PotBS was a F2P experiment for SOE (in partnership with FLS).  They really had little to know idea how it would work - or what players were prepared to pay for - or what players were prepared to put up with!

It also didn't help that PotBS was an Instanced Lobby Game.


But SOE didn't really care about that.  IMHO they were more concerned with making the "F2P" model work and more importantly - turn a profit!

Years later - they are still trying to emulate companies like Turbine - but they won't.

Why not?

Because SOE doesn't understand what is important with regard to selling games.


It has to be fun.

And if it's an MMO it has to be long term fun.  Fun in a way that makes people want to log in regularly for days / weeks / months on end.  Fun that makes people want to keep returning to the game and think about it perhaps months after they played it last.

Because "F2P" will not save your game.  Not if it's a bad game to begin with and / or not if you make your F2P so limiting that people cannot enjoy it without the constant spectre of having to pay hanging over their head.

People will play F2P games (and even spend money on them!) if they can do so on their own terms without feeling any pressure to do so.

SOE simply doesn't get that.


Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.