Yo ho ho and a bottle of…rum?
The ever evolving world of MMORPG’s is flooded by fantasy and real-life simulators. In World of Warcraft, there is the ever so popular "ninja" comment that gets called to players who "steal" an item that they can either sell or just want to be general scoundrels. There is even a "Pirate Speak" add-on you can download that changes your chat to look as if you are talking in pirate dialogue. Amusing, but gets old very fast. So why hasn’t the industry made a game where you can be a ninja or pirate and it be part of how the game is meant to be played? They have in fact. Several games have popped up where you can be a pirate. Not so much on the ninja scene.
Flying Labs software obviously thought of the same idea when they announced their Pirated of the Burning Sea MMO at E3. They weren’t just going to make a pirate MMO where you could call yourself a pirate. They also are historically accurate. Maybe too accurate in some cases. You can find and destroy the ever so popular Blackbeard or roam the Caribbean as a fledgling pirate of your own. You get to visit pirate towns of the 16th century and pilot various ships of the day. Historical ones at that. Did I mention this game is historically accurate?
The game’s title is a little misleading though. You do not have to be a pirate after all. The "Pirate" is merely a class in the game as many MMO’s feature classes. Of course, as a pirate, you have several unique abilities that you can only have as a pirate. As again, is the case with many MMO’s. Especially ones published by SOE. You can also be a Privateer or a Merchant as well. You also do not have to be of any certain nation to be a pirate. However, you have to choose a nation to become any other class. I personally would not choose the British, after all they were on their quest for world domination during this era.
As is traditional with most MMO’s, trading and PvP are a part of this game. The trading has an extreme learning curve though as the game’s tutorial merely tells you how to place the buildings needed to get certain items. For example: In order to make rum (which is used as a power-up for many things) you need sugar. In order to get the sugar, you need a sugar plantation, in order to get the rum, you need a rum distillery. In order to get either of this buildings, you need the deeds to make them AND the materials. There is a lot more to it than just that. If you find materials you need on the Auction House, then you need to sail to the city that is selling it to pick it up. There are a lot of cities in this game and it will take you over an hour to sail from Caracaba, Mexico to Cat’s Island in the Antilles.
Now the best part. Graphics. Flying Labs has done a fantastic job with the graphics. From open sea sailing to PvP combat, the water detail and sound effects is nothing short of breathtaking. Water waves force your ship upword and downward and also affect your ship’s speed. As does the wind. PvP is more than just baragging your opponent with cannon shots. (which is also historically accurate) You have to determine placement as well as wind in order to get the upper hand. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to take a Schooner with six cannons against a British Naval Destroyer with seventy guns. But there are other small ships you can contend with a destroyer with if you have the skill. Mathematics is key.
Overall, PotBS is a good game. With minor issues such as how your pirate runs and how they went about doing certain intances, the game is pretty solid. It has a decent amount of players and enough content to keep any MMO player happy. That is if you like sailing the Caribbean all day.