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New life for Pirate!

AuthorMessage
Ensign
Aug 18, 2011
21
It's exciting to hear Pirate will be getting updates again.

Here are a few thoughts on goals and improvements:

1- Content is king.

First priority should be new playable content, even if it requires reuse of existing assets We'd all love a new world or major expansion, but recognize that this is probably years away. Anything that gives endgame players something to do it appreciated. This could be new instances, or just new rewards from existing ones. Anything is better than nothing.

2- New player improvements.

On the other end, gaining and retaining new players is crucial. The game is wonderful, and not difficult, but can be confusing for new players. Here are some thoughts from a family member who just started playing Pirate:

Character creation - the "parents lost" question is completely obscure and doesn't resolve for several hours of play. Perhaps each option could be labeled "Swash companion (at around L#)" or some such?

"Naturally tough/spooky/accurate/etc" should be on an equal footing.

The countdown timer is too fast when people are learning how the combat system works. Would it be possible to pause the timer while the help is running?

When Bonnie Anne joins the team, it would be good to have a tip about reordering companions to choose who is first, so that people can start using Bonnie Anne sooner. The first fight with Bonnie Anne, it would be good to explain how her ranged attack works. I kept thinking that she could only target enemies right next to her. Also, it would be good to have a tip about clicking on the character again to unselect a power if it turns out that the enemies aren't in range. I didn't figure those out till someone showed me how it works.

Please include a temp mount (7 day) in the starter chest in Skull Cave.

Witchdoctors should fizzle less. Witch accuracy is terrible, both for Pirate and companions (Grimtooth, Scratch)

Art is beautiful and combat is generally well-balanced.

Instruction before the first Fin Dorsal fight to "train your crew to the highest level possible" should be "train your crew to at least level 2".

The Fin Dorsal fight is much harder with Swash or Buck, since it is hard to get to Fin without fighting through the other enemies first.

Gold doesn't keep up with early needs. By L4 through questing, I had 94 gold (74 gold the second time through), which isn't enough to buy much of anything (not even one training tome).

Team Up isn't useful since no one is signing up. Having a periodic weekend event where higher level players get useful rewards for doing team ups would be a help for new players. (Scrip?)

But you might want to defer the "Explore the Team Up Kiosk" quest to L10 or some such. Similarly, you probably want to defer PVP till L50+.

Add a reminder to check on your companions and choose talents/epics when you get your class companion at your first check-in with your trainer, and again when you get the companion from the Ratbeard/Will encounter. Include advice about what to choose, including things like "[Class] is a [Attribute-based] class, so improving [Attribute] will increase your weapon damage", or "You may want to consider [Talent 1] if you want to ..., or [Talent 2] if you want to..."

Make sure that people earn their first badge before getting in a ship for the first time. The "You've earned a badge" tip shouldn't pop up when people are sailing for the first time and might inadvertently run into a combat, before they have even figured out windlanes.

It isn't possible to pick up the Skull Island Zeke quest until after you chase Ratbeard, which means that if you just follow mainline you won't have the Zeke quest when you get to Traitors Cave in Blood Shoals. It would be nice if Zeke introduced himself and gave you the quest before you went to the cellar for the Will encounter.

When you reach L5 (at Traitor's Cove), it would be helpful to have a tip that tells people how to set a mark and teleport back to Skull Island, so that they can get their new power and then return to questing.

Dungeon recall for Ch'ok Ak'ab is bugged -- if you teleport back into the dungeon after losing the last fight, the West and East statues aren't there, and the North statue is on a high pedestal where it can't be reached.

For Swash/Buck, knowing how to move / position yourself and then still attack is important, and I haven't figured it out yet. Not sure if a brief help message could really cover this technique though.

Ship combat is terrifying. The help tips are good, but it's very hard to follow when you are moving around and ships are shooting at you.

Additional tips that would be handy:
* Press the space bar to hold your ship in a fixed position
* Use the number keys to use the powers. Wait until the power is ready before using it again.
* Figurehead Power (1) and Horn Power (2) are attacks. Wheel Power (3) will repair the ship during the combat. Sails Power (4) increases your accuracy and/or dodge
*After combat, you can recover in the windlane before engaging another enemy.
*If you have multiple ships attacking you, run away.
*Search for ships that are by themselves or at the edge of a group so you don't get surrounded.

The Deadeye Dierdre quest shouldn't be picked up until after the player reaches Nautical Level 3 or some such.

Companion AI should know not to use traps that can't affect flying/floating enemies.

Secret trainer should be less secret -- there should be a way to figure it out in game, especially since those skills are so important. How about a tip / prompt for "explore Devilfish cave" or such?

Also there should be a reminder to save up training points for L20.

Moderator
Fantastically well written and thought out. Big ups for keeping new players in mind.

Ensign
Aug 18, 2011
21
3 - Fixes, improvements, QoL

First, do no harm. Don't mess with existing systems or items in ways that take things away from players unless they are seriously broken. If something MUST be removed or nerfed, please communicate clearly what and why, and what will replace it.

Overall game balance is pretty good through the game. We all know there are a few issues with a couple OP items, especially for PvP, and a there are some others that could use a buff, but for PvE, there's nothing game-breaking. That's good!

Wiz suffered from absurd jumps in power, then needed big corrections. Pirate has largely avoided that, and I hope we'll see only gradual increases as we go up. But there are a few things to consider adjusting:

Pet health & effectiveness.
Because pirate, companion, and enemy stats increase with level, but pets don't change, pets are OP early in the game (more entertaining than a problem) then well-balanced through middle levels. But by MB, they lose some effectiveness, and by AQ, they struggle to survive more than two rounds. Most of us work around this by making all-grant pets, but it's unsatisfying and sad to see your pet appear and get 1hk'd immediately. A fix would be a conditional pet buff that increases pet stats dynamically, starting about level 45 or 50, capped based on the world and pirate level. This would keep pets as-is in early worlds, and on lower level chars, but give them a health and SAW buff for later game content.

Pet morphing

It's brutal making a good pet if you aren't high enough level to farm lots of gold, AND have helpful friends.

Gold drops should be buffed a bit in the early game (as mentioned in "new player" comments above).

The Lend Pet feature that Wiz has would be lovely for Pirate. It doesn't need to be complicated, or have a reward, simply let us "donate" morphs.

A pet kiosk would also be nice, but I know that's more work. If it happens, consider a small scrip reward.

The ability to re-roll one talent has been suggested. This would greatly reduce the pain of fails. One talent or power could be selected to be "unlearned" and would be replaced with another in the pool. Ideally the "fail" would be locked out so as not to manifest in offspring, or bumped to the lowest weighting. That would give us some influence in the process, without eliminating chance.

Companions

Companion stats scale well, and generally they still work as intended. But we're overly reliant on a handful of "Class A" units, and have a page or more that we rarely, if ever use in combat. At max level, even the better "B" companions are of limited use, and there are only a few that are good for more than a few rounds. Please give the "C" team a buff, and consider adding some more utility even to the "A" and "B". Adding variety and flexibility would make higher level play more interesting and fun. At level 70, everyone should have several attacks, a buff & or heal, and reasonable epics. I'll make a separate post with some specific suggestions.

Quests to obtain or promote companions are sure winners for updates, and wouldn't need much in the way of new resources. We'll do them!

Companion recovery time should be shorter.

The long bedrest period for high levels is a deterrent to play. If I'm trying a difficult instance, and lose a key comp, I'm probably done with the session. This makes things like Smugglers Arena much less attractive. That's not good for players OR the game.

Please consider reducing the rest time considerably, and/or lowering Miracle Mitch prices.

Boards

Board game combat is the best part of the game, and larger, more interesting maps make it better. Please try to mix things up and be creative with obstacles, environmental damage, simple mazes, etc in future battles. It's especially nice to have initial space between our crew and the enemy. allowing creative deployment & use of traps. if everyone is moshing on round one, there's not much chance to use most of our powers.

Increase gold cap.
Yes, really! I don't need new ways to spend gold. I don't get more than I need, I actively farm to get more, and spend it. The problem is I can max out in less than an hour of farming, and run dry in an hour of pet morphing. I'd just like a bigger reserve. 350k at level 45, 500k at level 65, etc

It would also be nice to have "high ticket" treasure items that could be bought and sold for more gold storage. These exist now, but are mostly pack drops and aren't consistent in price and availability.

Obsidian Keys -- more please!

I'd really like to farm these guys, but keys are scarce. If there was a fight that dropped them for sure, I'd do it. If they were for sale, I'd buy some.

4- New stuff

add a Crafted gear option

I'd be sad to see Pirate get crafting as complex and tedious as that in Wizard, but the system Wiz has for Catacombs gear would be most welcome. For example, if you don't get your Moo or Blood gear as a drop, after X runs you can craft it, using tokens or reagents you get each run. This creates a backup system, so if you get lucky, great, but you still know you are going to get it after a certain number of fights. As it is now, it feels like we can fail endlessly.

Ship combat variety

I don't think we need a whole new system, but it would be fun to have more variety in ship equipment and powers, for example team buffs and heals. It could be as simple as having our sail power boost any allies that are targeting the same enemy we are.

How about some "mini dreadnaught" style fights that don't require 10 players, but would be fun with 3 or 4? Simple is fine, it could be just "sink this ship for gold / scrip" with a chance at unusual other items to spice it up. Perhaps a seasonal or sporadic event.

More mounts -- Multi-player? Drop in game? Available for gold?

Ensign
Aug 18, 2011
21
and a simple request: Gear sets

They should include companion selection and order, powers order, as well as equipment and pet.

Thanks!

Ensign
Aug 23, 2016
21
Brilliant ideas presented. I have a few to add.

Adding new non-quest things to do to the game would be an BIG boost to keeping keeping Pirate playable.

I don't play P101 every day. But I do Wizard daily even though my Life wizard is max level and done with Lemuria. Pirates needs something along the lines of fishing, gardening, Monsterology, and crafting.

I know Captain Avery's meeting with the diplomats was supposed to be a Gravulum type of daily quest. But it is the SAME quest over and over and over. It got boring VERY fast. A more varied Gravulum type quest would be great.

Also would it be possible for our Pirate to have a "Signature Weapon" (Like Indiana Jones' whip or Deadpool's swords) that would provide a once per combat bonus attack?