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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre: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 - Developer Chat Log

The developers from Pirates of the Burning Sea took the time today to answer questions from MMORPG.com members in our most recent Dev Chat.

MMORPG_Taera: Greetings and welcome to MMORPG.com's Live Chat on irc.forthegamers.org! I'm your host, MMORPG.com's community manager Laura "Taera" Genender. Joining us today is the Pirates of the Burning Sea crew!

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MMORPG_Taera: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to two questions at a time, and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded.

MMORPG_Taera: To submit your question, please /msg devbot yourquestion here

MMORPG_Taera: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to DevBot while our guests introduce themselves!

FLS_Aether: Hello folks!

FLS_Aether: My name is Troy ‘Aether’ Hewitt, Director of Community relations for Flying Lab Software and Pirates of the Burning Sea.

FLS_Aether: Many thanks to our friends at MMORPG for hosting this event, we are looking forward to answering your questions.

FLS_Jess: Hi. I'm Jess Lebow, The Content Director for Pirates of the Burning Sea.

FLS_Jess: Thanks for coming out

FLS_DrewC: Hello Everyone. My name is DrewC I’m a Game Designer at Flying Lab Software.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: Hi, I'm Rick Saada, Tools Dev, EPFBM, and MMORPG Liason Officer (aka Dev Target).

FLS_Taelorn: Hello. I'm David Hunt, game designer.

FLS_Joe: Hi everybody! I'm Joe Ludwig, lead code monkey on Pirates. Be sure to ask lots of hard technical questions so I can feel important. :)

FLS_Rev: Hey, I'm John 'Rev' Tynes, the producer for Pirates of the Burning Sea. My idol is J. Jonah Jameson and I try to chomp cigars and yell at staff at least three times an hour. I'm currently running a Monday special where a bottle of bourbon gets you a beta key. Shh, don't tell Aether!

FLS_Rhaegar: Hi - I'm Tom, AKA Rhaegar - Aether's less tall sidekick in the community team. :)

MMORPG_Taera: Grande :asks: will there be an open beta testing prior to launch

FLS_Rev: The answer is yes!

FLS_Rev: There will be an open beta.

FLS_Rev: It is starting Really Really Soon.

FLS_Rev: Look for an announcement from us later this week.

FLS_Rev: We want thousands and thousands of people to come play our game.

FLS_Rev: So you'll get your chance. :)

MMORPG_Taera: Davidmanman :asks: Will there be any other chances to join in the beta?

FLS_Aether: Yes, there absolutely will!

FLS_Aether: We’ll be sharing more information with our fans this week- and while I can’t share all the details, I can say this:

FLS_Aether: Make sure you’ve got your PotBS Beta applications updated by visiting http://www.burningsea.com/page/beta

MMORPG_Taera: [TG]Calys :asks: Can you explain a little bit more on the role of instancing in the PotBS world?

FLS_Jess: For PotBS, Instancing is one of the primary storytelling tools

FLS_Jess: It allows us to give every player the opportunity to get involved in the action instead of requiring you to wait for rare mobs to respawn

FLS_Jess: It also gives us the ability to change the world and the story based on the decisions you make during game play

MMORPG_Taera: Kaeldjin :asks: When is scheduled the european pre-order?

FLS_Rev: I am very happy to say that we will be announcing the European preorder date later this week right alongside the open beta announcement. Our open beta will be global and the preorder will be in stores before Christmas.

FLS_Rev: In European stores, I mean.

FLS_Rev: So in just a few days, we'll cover the open beta, the European preorder date, and the fact that we're close to dropping our NDA as well. :)

FLS_Rev: The European retail launch remains simultaneous with the 1/22 North America retail launch, of course.

FLS_Rev: And just to answer a couple of related issues, we will have servers dedicated for European players, but access to those servers is not exclusive or restricted. Euro players can play on North American servers and vice versa.

MMORPG_Taera: Koolaider :asks: Are there plans in the future for some kind of World building PotBS?

FLS_DrewC: We definitely want to create a feeling of player ownership over the world. Our technology doesn’t really support player owned structures in persistent spaces, ala SWG’s towns, but we do want to create player owned structures that can be visited. These would probably exist primarily in instances, and it’s not something we are going to do for release, but it is something we would like to do.

FLS_DrewC: We also want to give players more say in the governance of ports. This is something that is very much a post release feature.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: Can I add: As an example of an instanced space, we'd like you to be able to invite friends into your captain's cabin for social reasons. And we'd like you to be able to decorate it.

FLS_Rev: (Oh, and we are still working on the deal for Australia so we can't announce anything there yet.)

MMORPG_Taera: Edward :asks: What are your plans for societies, like guild halls, etc.?

FLS_Taelorn: We've been working on a list of big post-launch additionals, and player port governance is one of the top features on that list.

FLS_Taelorn: While it's not a society-only feature, it's directed towards societies and coordinated social gameplay.

FLS_Taelorn: Players will be able to earn influence in a port, and then they can trade influence to other players. In order to win the governor's seat, a player will need to get others to pledge their influence. It's similar to an election, except you earn your votes instead of automatically having a single vote.

FLS_Taelorn: There are a variety of decisions the player governor will be able to make when he has control over a port.

FLS_Taelorn: Another big feature at the top of the list is the event system (which is going to get renamed). It's basically an addition to the PvP system that allows you to form any kind of battle you want.

FLS_Taelorn: That will allow societies to organize large, coordinated PvP battles.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: As an example of an instanced space for world building, we'd like you to be able to invite friends into your captain's cabin for social reasons. And we'd like you to be able to decorate it.

FLS_Taelorn: As a side note, there are lots of small society features that will go along with port governance. Guild warehouses and social spaces are on the list.

MMORPG_Taera: Bountytaker :asks: Are you satisfied with the distribution of the pre-order, and, if not, will you be taking any actions?

FLS_Rev: Frankly it's been frustrating. Neither we nor SOE have much ability to affect either the stocking or the level of awareness at any given store. If you've been to a dedicated games retailer in the last year or so, you've probably realized that PC titles are not a big priority for them in any event. That plus the heavy Christmas release schedule of major titles has made it an uphill climb.

FLS_Rev: Retailers have limited space to display new stuff. For Christmas, they are prioritizing $50-$60 major titles on everyone's wish list.

FLS_Rev: They aren't going to prioritize a $10 preorder box for a PC title coming out after Christmas.

FLS_Rev: So we collect reports from customers of problems with specific stores and we pass those on to SOE, who in turn forwards them to their contacts at the national management level.

FLS_Rev: That's the best we can do for now. We discuss this just about every day and progress is happening here and there.

FLS_Rev: But in the end, it's just hard to beat some sense into every junior assistant manager intern trainee at every store across the country. :)

FLS_Rev: We'll continue posting updates to our site as more solutions become available.

FLS_Rev: And we really appreciate everyone's patience with this process.

MMORPG_Taera: Tasorin :asks: Akin to Star Wars Glaxaies, will you have resource varriables for havesting raw materials that shift over time from port to port, or will these bet set values based on the ports attributes?

FLS_DrewC: The resources that each port has are fixed and will not change. Resource placement, particularly relative to the location of other resources, is a huge strategic factor, and we didn’t want that to shift on players.

FLS_DrewC: For example the distance between Iron mines and Limestone quarries is critical for the production of Iron Ingots (you need both in large quantities to produce Iron Ingots).

FLS_DrewC: If we let resources shift around and those two resources ended up in the same port the cost of Iron Ingots would drop, and the speed at which the largest cannons (and thus the largest ships) can be produced would increase dramatically. That could have huge strategic implications for port Conquest.

FLS_DrewC: On top of that, the structures you build are heavily dependent on what resources are available in a given port, and if those resources changed you could end up with structures you couldn’t use.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: The sailing system has two different scales. Real time travel between islands in the Caribbean would be painfully slow, slow so we abstract that on the sailing map. When you're travelling on the world map, it's much faster than reality so you can get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time.

MMORPG_Taera: Jiunon :asks: How far indept is the actual sailing? Can we sail for hours at a time on the open sea or is travel rather quick?

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: The sailing system has two different scales. Real time travel between islands in the Caribbean would be painfully slow, slow so we abstract that on the sailing map. When you're travelling on the world map, it's much faster than reality so you can get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: In a combat instance, however, things become much more realistic. Wind direction makes a huge difference, and different ships sail differently at different points of the compass. The controls are still simple (WASD), but getting the most out of your ship take skill and practice. Knowing your ship can make the difference between winning handily and getting sunk.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: So no, you can't sail the open seas for hours, because we abstract the long travel times out of the game. But we hope you'll spend hours enjoying the exciting parts instead!

MMORPG_Taera: Bountytaker :asks: A long while ago, there was talk of world wide events (Junkaroo, Halloween). Are those still part of the post release plan? If so, how soon after release?

FLS_DrewC: Rick is able to time travel, it's his super power.

FLS_Aether: And also, psychic.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: Don't out me!

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: Dang. I knew you were going to do that

FLS_Rhaegar: he can leap over moderately tall buildings in almost one bound.

FLS_Jess: We have a lot of big plans for holiday events—well, events in general. One of the first updates your going to see is an upgrade to our event system.

FLS_Jess: We'll be doing a big Junkanoo event at the end of that year that will coincide with our end of beta event.

FLS_Jess: Then after release, we'll likely have some pirate-centric events before any of the holiday stuff kicks in.

FLS_Jess: Unless you want to have a Valentine's Day event. We could work something out for you ;)

FLS_Jess: Expect Halloween, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Junaknoo to start, and we'll work non-holiday events in between.

MMORPG_Taera: DaNippers :asks: Rhaegar answered me earlier but I was hoping to get a bit more info on what kind of plans there was For the people who like to level and improve equipment on characters... Is level and Equipment improveable and does it help to improve? Or are new skills all level gets and equipment only helps looks? Thank you :)

FLS_Taelorn: Equipment isn't used for looks in our game. You create a character appearance when you start playing, and it isn't changed when you equip items. You can modify your appearance at the tailor and there are unlockable costume pieces.

FLS_Taelorn: Items get better as you level and affect your performance. However, we don't have the same item scale you see in most other MMORPGs.

FLS_Taelorn: The best max-level gear is usually only 2 times as strong as the lowest level items, maybe up to 3 times. This is important because we want all levels of players to be able to participate in PvP and be effective. That doesn't mean a level 10 is going to be able to take down a level 50 on his own, but if you put a level 40 and a level 10 together then the 50 is really in trouble.

FLS_Taelorn: So there's incentive to level up and keeping getting more skills, better outfitting and more ships, but it doesn't make you invulnerable.

MMORPG_Taera: [XoO]BCTurk :asks: How will you handle WoW-type players who come from games where the PvE endgame is raiding?

FLS_DrewC: Pirates of the Burning Sea is not set up to handle WoW-style raiding: 25 guys taking on a giant monster and its allies. That just doesn’t fit very well in the context of the 1720’s, but we do want to create high difficulty end-game content of our own.

FLS_DrewC: Personally I love raiding, I raided in EQ, I raided in WoW, I think it’s a lot of fun. What we want to do is take the essence of that experience, working together with a coordinated team to overcome a difficult PvE challenge, and translate it into a framework that makes sense in the context of the 1720’s Caribbean.

FLS_DrewC: We're not going to have anything that really scratches that itch in a deep way at release, but it is something we're working on.

MMORPG_Taera: jinzounin :asks: Hi, is it possible to swim or go underwater with your character? Also, are friends/fellow players able to walk aboard your ship while you are moving?

FLS_Joe: The short answer is no.

FLS_Joe: We made a decision a few years ago to use a certain technology for avatar motion that doesn't support jumping or swimming.

FLS_Joe: Walking around on the decks of ships has an entirely different problem: The ship decks aren't big enough. Our ships are modeled based on actual deck plans from actual ships. There wasn't much open space on those ships.

FLS_Joe: Game environments are typically exagerated in size to leave room for players to move around and space for the camera.

FLS_Joe: That's one reason why boarding combats take place in a different environment than the ship combat that spawned them. We wanted there to be room for the boarders. :)

MMORPG_Taera: bog :asks: i used to play world of warcraft, when the expansion came out i found myself playing on a server where half the people there were one race, i know lots of people will want to specifically play for the Pirates in PotBS, what kind of balancing (if any) has been done? and will be done to prevent such imbalances?

FLS_Taelorn: Population balance is one of the main issues we're going to be evaluating, especially in the area of PvP. It's a long-term issue.

FLS_Taelorn: Unlike WoW, we don't have any inherit racial differences. You don't get access to different ships just because you're French instead of Spanish.

FLS_Taelorn: The main gameplay difference comes from where your ports are and what resources are in those ports.

FLS_Taelorn: Right now, you can log in and see the population distribution on a server at that time. Each nation will say something along the lines of "Low" or "High."

FLS_Taelorn: With each server victory (they can occur every two weeks maximum), the map is reset and ports are returned to their original owners. The players who place low get bonus victory points, which puts them closer to achieving the next victory.

FLS_Taelorn: Those points don't matter if you're not competitive, though. So, we're working on dynamic adjustments to benefit the underdog nations. We're setting up requirements that will determine who's behind in areas other than just server victory, then we can give bonuses to those nations.

FLS_Taelorn: The primary benefit to being the underdog is that it'll be harder to generate unrest to take over ports controlled by an underdog nation. Conversely, we might make it easier to generate unrest in ports controlled by the dominate nation. There are lots of other things we might do with underdogs, for example: faster experience, more money drops, allowing them to take an extra ship or two into port battles, etc.

MMORPG_Taera: [TG]Calys :asks: Can you explain a little bit more of the crafting system in Pirates of the Burning Sea? What classes can craft and what items/ships can you craft?

MMORPG_Taera: DevBot is no longer accepting more questions - we will continue answering, but no more asking! :)

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: Crafting in PotBS is open to everyone. In reality, you aren't a "crafter" you're a business owner. You don't make a sword, or a canon, you own factories that produce many items at once. The system is designed around having structures that run recipes. Each recipe take a set of inputs and produces a set of outputs.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: The inputs may be gold, raw materials, or the outputs of other structures. The outputs are either usable goods or inputs to other recipes. Everything produced in the economy is useful somewhere, we don't have the issue that WoW has with endless goods produced only for the skill-ups, because we don't have skill-ups.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: There are many types of structuers in PotBS that operate at different levels of the economy. For example, a logging camp harvests raw materials. Its only real input is gold, and it produces logs. A sawmill takes logs and gold and produces planks and blocks needed for other things.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: Shipyards sit at the top of the production pyramid and take a myriad of inputs (wood, canons, rigging, provisions, etc) and produce ships. People can chose how involved they want to be in the economy, buying what they need on the Auction House and selling what they produce to other players. It's all about finding a niche where you can compete and undercutting the competition.

MMORPG_Taera: Onerrath :asks: 1) With regards to those who was unable to download the 2nd stress test but aquired a key has there been any progress on this matter ?

FLS_Aether: We realize that there were several folks who had a difficult time with the download for our Stress Test II event.

FLS_Aether: The good news is that to make up for that, we are inviting everyone with a Stress Test II key to join us as beta testers!

FLS_Aether: We will be posting a news item with more information today at www.burningsea.com , just as soon as this chat is over.

FLS_Aether: I’d share it with you now, but some of the links for this process are unwieldy to post in an IRC chat. :)

MMORPG_Taera: Moirae :asks: What will the monthly fee be, and will the first month be free like it usually is with MMO's?

FLS_Rev: We haven't announced the subscription pricing yet. Pretty much we are saving that so we have another excuse to send out a press release sometime soon. :)

FLS_Rev: You can expect no surprises there. You know how MMO pricing works, how SOE MMO pricing works. They typically charge $15 and the retail price includes the first month, then there are discounts for buying multiple months in advance.

FLS_Rev: That's the industry standard and nothing we announce in this area will surprise you. :)

FLS_Rev: So stay tuned for that exciting announcement!

MMORPG_Taera: jinzounin :asks: How hard is POTBS to run on lower-end computers? For instance, I have an old laptop I typically like to play games on. Will this game require a lot of memory to play?

FLS_DrewC: I suggested that we only accept payment in the form of actual gold doubloons, but I was shot down.

FLS_Rev: I think the simplest answer I can give is to tell you our official specs.

FLS_Rev: Minimum System Specs

FLS_Rev: Windows® XP/Vista, Pentium® IV 1.5 Ghz or greater, 512MB RAM, DirectX® 9.0 compatible video card. NVidia® GeForce FX 5700, ATI® Radeon® 9600, or equivalent with 128MB of texture memory, DirectSound compatible audio hardware, broadband Internet connection, 16x DVD-ROM, 6GB hard drive space.

FLS_Rev: Recommended System Specs

FLS_Rev: Windows® XP/Vista, Core Duo 2.0 Ghz or greater, 1024MB RAM, DirectX® 9.0 compatible video card. NVIDIA® GeForce 6800, ATI® X850, or equivalent with 256MB of texture memory, DirectSound compatible audio hardware, broadband Internet connection, 16x DVD-ROM, 6GB hard drive space.

FLS_Rev: So the big key here

FLS_Rev: is you need a video card that has 128MB of video memory, and you need 512MB of system RAM.

FLS_Rev: But you really should have 1GB of system RAM if possible. On a laptop, 256MB of video RAM is probably pretty pricey.

FLS_Rev: We definitely have higher specs than WoW does, for example.

FLS_Rev: Oh, and the video card needs to support shader 2.0. That's a pretty good indication that you're in the right generation.

MMORPG_Taera: [TG]Calys :asks: Will there be any other noncombatant pets besides the parrot as the game progresses?

FLS_Jess: Yes. We plan to have other shoulder pets. A monkey is in the works right now, and I've heard rumors of an iguana. I suspect there will be plenty more where those came from :)

FLS_Joe: The existing pets are in the game for launch because the artists outsmarted the programers. We're hoping to put in better code support for lots of non-combat pets to redeem ourselves. :)

MMORPG_Taera: spankybus :asks: Hey Mates! As someone who is familiar with the user Content Program for Potbs, I'd like to ask how this program will evolve after launch. As more and more new ships are introduced by the community, do you feel comfortable with the idea of allowing other user created content, weapons, housing, etc. Where is this program going in teh future?

FLS_Aether: Excellent question, Spanks!

FLS_Aether: For those of you that aren’t aware, Spankybus is one of the crown jewels of the Pirates of the Burning Sea User Content Program, having designed the Dromedary West Indiaman and the Mignone East Indiaman, two gorgeous ships that are in the game world now.

FLS_Aether: To answer your question, we’ve had many discussions related to expanding our User Content program to other items, like weapons and furniture.

FLS_Aether: However, the most exciting updates (I think) will come in the way of improved usability for User Content submission tools across the board.

FLS_Aether: We’ve got folks working hard on that now, and our fans can expect to see dramatic improvements in that area over the coming weeks.

FLS_Taelorn: On a related note, we still want LOTS more ships. I expect the community will exhaust all the appropriate ship plans available to them before we stop taking submissions. I hope to double the number of ship models we have in the game over the years.

FLS_Taelorn: We have about 58 ships in game right now, 30 of which are UC ships.

FLS_Taelorn: But don't quote me if I'm wrong - that's just off the top of my head. :)

MMORPG_Taera: Hairysun :asks: Evening all. Is DX10 support to be integrated into the game at release? If not, any future plans? TY

FLS_Joe: DX10 came out while we were in the middle of development, so we decided not to support it for launch.

FLS_Joe: Depending on what happens with DX10 we might decide to add support for it, but all DX10 cards will also run DX9 so there's really no need.

FLS_Joe: I'm sure we'll do a graphics upgrade 5 years down the road that upgrades us to DX12 though. :)

MMORPG_Taera: Arndur :asks: will the game support sli?

FLS_Joe: Yup! Some of our demo machines are SLI.

FLS_Joe: It actually happens pretty deep down in the video driver so there's no work on our part to support it.

MMORPG_Taera: Xxkarate :asks: There were some people on the forums that were talking about there not being an avatar at release. I just wanted to clarify if this is true or not.

FLS_DrewC: We will absolutely have Avatar gameplay at release. Our towns are avatar spaces, you can walk around, flirt with barmaids, and talk to mysterious strangers who want to offer you missions. You can buy and sell goods at the auction house, and manage your commercial structures.

FLS_DrewC: We also have Swashbuckling missions: avatar spaces where you run around beating people with your sword. We have less of these than we do of the Ship missions, but they provide a nice change of pace in your gameplay.

FLS_DrewC: Finally we have boarding combat. You can, with patience and practice, board another ship while engaged in ship combat. When this happens you enter an avatar space boarding combat. You and some of your crew are on the deck your opponent’s ship fighting it out.

FLS_DrewC: Avatar gameplay makes up a significant portion of Pirates of the Burning Sea. If it’s not your thing, you just want to sail your ship, you can, for the most part, do so. If it’s something you’re more interested in, you can focus more heavily on it.

MMORPG_Taera: Grande :asks: can u explain the pvp aspect of the game please, is it only allowed in certain areas or all out free for all

FLS_Taelorn: We don't have any static PvP zones like most other MMOs. All of our PvP content is created by players' ingame actions. In a fresh world, there's no PvP. Sinking ships and dumping goods off in a port generates unrest.

FLS_Taelorn: Once enough unrest is generated, the port enters a state of piracy. In this state, pirates can attack other players and get attacked. If enough unrest is generated during piracy, then the port enters full PvP. Anyone can fight close to the port, and then a ring of piracy PvP extends outside the full PvP.

FLS_Taelorn: Eventually, the port enters contention. When that happens, we schedule a 24vs24 ship battle to determine who takes control over the port.

FLS_Taelorn: So, PvP is confined to specific areas, but those areas are created by players.

FLS_Taelorn: We also let you voluntarily flag yourself for PvP. Doing so gives you a few benefits, such as letting you sail faster on the OS. Some ships are considered invalid, and they flag you for PvP if you sail them when you're not allowed to do so.

MMORPG_Taera: Seputek :asks: Has there been any discussion about implementing a weather system that affects gameplay for post-release?

FLS_DrewC: It’s on the big list of "things we’d like to do," but there are no specific plans for it yet.

FLS_DrewC: The main problem we have to solve is figuring out a way to create a weather system that doesn't feel punative.

FLS_DrewC: We don't want to simply punish you for being near a storm, we want to create a system that creates new and interesting game play, that isn't just "omg dodge the hurricane!"

FLS_DrewC: and we can't do that quickly. So we're putting it off until we can do it right.

FLS_DrewC: In some of our combats there are "conditions," like darkness, that have a small gameplay impact.

FLS_DrewC: so we do have some elements of this, but at this point it's not a major game system. One day, it might be.

MMORPG_Taera: Bountytaker :asks: There are less than 60 days to release...where's the marketing campaign been?

FLS_Rev: Print ads are heading out to magazines shortly. We've been reviewing them and they look pretty darn cool.

FLS_Rev: When the open beta starts, we will have online ads going up on a whole bunch of sites.

FLS_Rev: There are basically two big marketing pushes to come. One is online, for the open beta. The other is for the retail box launch, which will include both online and print.

FLS_Rev: What we aren't doing is running a lot of marketing right now, because A) You can't come play the open beta and B) You can't go buy the real game. When each of those things is no longer true, the marketing dollars start flowing. :)

MMORPG_Taera: Koolaider :asks: Are there any FLS community meet-ups planned after launch?

FLS_Aether: We’ve got some pretty fun plans in the works now, but the answer to your question is yes.

FLS_Aether: We’ll also have some fun contests to talk about involving our launch party, an event we are very much looking forward to.

FLS_Aether: Additionally, members of the PotBS Boarding Party will be a part of the planning process for our upcoming events, so if you want to get involved, make sure you sign up here: http://www.burningsea.com/page/community/bp

FLS_Aether: Applicants will be contacted by Admiral Theresa Pudenz regarding their assignments in short order.

FLS_Aether: She is a brutal task master, so batton your hatches and all that.

FLS_DrewC: I just wanted to add: I find player meet-ups to be tremendously valuable to me as a designer. Talking face to face with players about our game, or games in general, is not only enjoyable, but the best way, in my opinion, to find out what people really think about your game. * +[FLS]Theresa ;)

FLS_Rhaegar: Theresa makes me cower in fear.

MMORPG_Taera: fred :asks: how many servers at launch?

FLS_Rhaegar: Oh, hi Theresa :(

FLS_Joe: As many as it takes!

FLS_Joe: We are planning at 12 North American servers and 6 European servers at launch, but will scale that up based on how the open beta runs and how many pre-orders we get. So get all your friends to pre-order so we can buy more. :)

FLS_Joe: (Of course those numbers assume certain estimates for how many players in a world is the right number, so if open beta says we need more people per server we'll have fewer servers with the more people in each one.)

MMORPG_Taera: alexdo :asks: will the systems for lot space change befor launch?

FLS_Taelorn: No

MMORPG_Taera: DaNippers :asks: Will weapons and Clothing have qualities and Enhancement factors that affect the character, And will levels play a Part besides Status and New skills?

FLS_DrewC: Yes, most of the gear you collect will affect your character’s abilities. We’ve tried to make it affect your character’s abilities in sensible ways: a well made sword is easier to hit with, sturdy boots improve your balance, etcetera.

FLS_DrewC: Levels provide you with three things: more skill points, access to better ships, and access to better outfitting. Levels do not directly figure in to our combat mathematics: a level 1 can hit a level 50. A naked level 50 who has trained no skills is no better than a level 1 character. A level 50 who has collected quality gear, and spent his skill points well will have a significant advantage.

MMORPG_Taera: Mayella :asks: What are your plans beyond release? Ok, some vacation first, but then what? :)

FLS_Joe: After more than 5 years on this game I have quite a lot of vacation saved up. I'm thinking I might take one week off a month through summer. Have to keep coming in to put in all the stuff everyone just promised, after all. :)

FLS_DrewC: I want to implement the Mohawk class.

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: I'm fleeing the country :) A friend of mine is getting married on a beach in Mexico, so there is much tequila in my future...

FLS_Taelorn: I want to stonewall Drew's efforts to implement the Mohawk class. When that's done, I intend to get some sleep.

FLS_Jess: The content team is going to slam a 9 liter bottle of beer and sing sea shanties for about 3 weeks. Then we have big, big plans to tell you a tall tale about a pirate with some very dark facial hair. We'll need to get to work on that as soon as our hangovers clear.

FLS_Aether: My job becomes even more frantic after we release, but the idea of vacation sounds really, really nice.

FLS_Rhaegar: The infamous pirate BownGoatee ?

FLS_Rhaegar: or, brown. curse you, spelling.

FLS_Aether: Not that working with the PotBS community isn't a little slice of heaven. :)

FLS_Rev: Many of our staff are actually starting work on the first post-launch content update this Monday. There's a lot of cool stuff coming in that update and we'll talk about it more closer to launch.

MMORPG_Taera: Thank you, everyone, for joining MMORPG.com and forthegamers.org for the PotBS dev chat! A big round of applause for our guests from FLS, and we'll see you next time! ;)

FLS_Joe: Rev meant to say, "Drink. A Lot."

FLS_Aether: Thank you folks!

FLS_Rick-EPFBM: I think you meant "change a lot of diapers"

FLS_Rev: Thanks folks!

FLS_Jess: Thanks guys

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