I first stumbled onto this game a year back when it was in development but never followed it till I discovered an AD for POTBS on some random website 2 weeks ago. I called up my friend who he and I purchased the game that night and starting playing together.
This game is very unique then past mmo’s (with some resemblance to EVE) but just because it doesn’t have fruity elves doesn’t make it a bad game. I instantly got into the game play which can be a little tricky at first but once you get a hang of it becomes a joy to play, unlike EVE which you have to read a small novel of instructions at the beginning just to figure what the hell is going on.
The game has 3 forms: sword fighting, ship combat, and open sea. The first two are combat orientated and the last is your travel form. The sword fighting is split into 3 parts: duel wield, dirty fighting, and fencing.
The swashbuckling for the most part was well thought out imo, they include elements of pistols which can be used as a quick finisher or can be used to pull enemies at range. Dirty fighting (which I use) has some nice versatility, nice DOTS and some good CC. There is still a bunch of bugs in the sword fighting, such as a female pirate with male sounds but nothing they can’t fix in an upcoming patch.
The ship fighting is what truly shines in this game, beautiful graphics and the reflection of the water on your ship immerses you further into the overall experience. The ship detail is amazing and you can see your busy crew hoisting the sails, and reloading the cannons as your avatar watches over them on the poop deck. The only thing I wanted to see more of is the destruction of the ship, it would be nice to see actually parts missing from the port/starboard side of ship when you are about to be sunk. I loved the idea of how you can board the other person’s ship; I can’t recall how many times boarding has saved my ass from sinking. The game offers many forms of ammunition, and opens ship combat up to tactics. An example of this would be bar shot (used to take out the enemy sails) does less damage then other dismantling shots but has a larger range. The idea is to know when to use certain ammunition at different enemies. A Naval officer might have more fire power then a pirate, but blow off the sails and get behind the NO and attack him at his weak points; manoeuvrability can overcome even the strongest opponents. That is what I personally like about this game, that an lvl 25 can defeat an lvl 40 if he plays correctly, and gear doesn’t matter as much as most mmo’s.
The sound in POTBS is like it came from a movie, cannon fire, sails catching the wind, hearing the cannon balls slamming into your ship only draw your attention more. The music is great and musicians in town play good beats, I have even found myself just hanging beside them to hear the music.
The auction house in the game can be a little tricky at first to get a hang of, and the economy is purely character basic. Almost everything on the AH has been created by another character, and there are hundreds of different items to be made. Creating a ship takes hundreds of items that range from something simple like hemp rope, to square rigs that cost thousands of doubloons to make. I personally found the mats for ships over done; seriously it takes way too long and way too many mats to even finish a small portion of a ship.
Also another area where this game shines is its player content. People can upload generated flags/sails for their ship into the game and show off their artistic skills. Thank god that all content is monitored and must be approved by FLS and must look like it could be created in the 1720’s (so no hello kitty flags :*(
The game can be very linear at times; a lot of missions are “kill 3 pirate ships”, “board the enemy ship”, “protect this ship”, etc... So for the most part you will be doing the same thing over and over this is why people find themselves losing interest in the game after a week or two.
Other than that PVP in the game is a joy, and death is a pain in the ass when you lose a durability point and you’re outfitting’s. I had a blast playing this game, and if you are a fan of any pirate movie pick this game up you will not be disappointed. Also this game isn’t for everyone, ship combat takes very long and you might find yourself in the beginning very confused if this is your first mmo.