As the winds turn cold in the North, I know I can always count on Skull Island to have a tropical breeze, so I’m very happy to visit once more and share some holiday greetings with everyone! While I’m a fan of warmer climes, I am also a big fan of the holiday season.
12 Days of the Spiral, for instance, is one of the best times of the year. It’s one of our very favorite celebrations, and this year is no exception. We kicked it off the first day with the new Santa Jaws mount. If you’ve ever dreamed of traversing the Spiral on a fearsome Holiday-themed land shark, this mount is for you!
Most importantly, the mount benefits Creative Action in Austin and the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, which both are extremely worthy and important charities. We’ve got lots of other free gifts, contests, sales, and giveaways in store as the month goes along. As always, we also have holiday decorations brightening many of the towns out there. It’s a tradition we know and love!
Back again this year are the Krampus Skeleton Key bosses. If your ship was stuck in a snowbank and couldn’t make it to the launch party last year, these are limited-time dungeons available only during December’s holiday period. There’s a version of the battle for Pirates of all abilities!
If you’re just starting out, seek out wooden keys, search for the stone keys if you’ve got some experience under your belt, and use gold keys if you’ve been all around the Skyways and back again. Krampus is a crafty opponent, but I have confidence your savvy skills can best him. And when you do, there’s the Lump of Coal pet and a Bell Staff weapon set to reward you – no matter whether you’re on Krampus's naughty or nice list!
Also, keep an eye on Honest Thomas Purdue as the season changes. If you’re interested in obtaining a Gorilla mount, you will want to do so before the winter winds fully blow through the Spiral on December 20th. Something new will take its place for 2020!
Happy Birthday Pirate101
Backing up a little bit to our last occasion for revelry, we celebrated Pirate’s seventh birthday with an update in September and partied on through October!
In September we stepped back through the Obsidian door and met two very familiar but very evil opponents from the Realm of Dreams – the infamous Black Annie Rackham and Verminius Blightbeard! They may look like Bonnie Anne and Ratbeard, but they certainly don’t fight fair like the companions you know and love… bring a full crew to have the advantage. If you best them 25 times, you can recruit them to your side, and turn their powers to good!
We talked about this a lot in September’s Producer's Letter, but we were really excited to crack open the beginning of the game to make it easier on newer Pirates, and we think we did just that with our FTUD (First Time User Difficulty) initiative.
As a reminder, we made these four changes to the early game:
Enemy health was reduced for the first forty levels. While researching this, we watched some newer folks streaming the game on Twitch and saw way too many defeats, so we went back in and tweaked the difficulty a bit.
We didn’t like having to defeat the same monsters or ships over and over to find some rare object, so we made some of those particularly persnickety quests easier to complete.
When we asked around the office about their ship combat experience, we had one individual tell us about their almost max-level Pirate with only 30-some levels of nautical XP. We wanted to make that an impossibility, so we adjusted the Nautical XP curve so it’s more in line with your Pirate’s questing progress.
Ships were a little too difficult as well if you weren’t playing in a group, so we tweaked that health down.
In October we had our first simultaneous pack launch as Wizard – the Pirate Nightmare Pack! This featured:
New companions to obtain – the Charred set
Pocket Dutchman mount
Ghoulish, Spooky, and Morbid Macawbre pets
Class specific gear sets and weapons – the Doomed Duelist, Haunted Houngan, Cursed Captain, Blighted Buccaneer, and Bedeviled Gunner sets
We also celebrated in style with all the member benefits running all month long, with a new Bat mount, decorations, gifts, and usual birthday hoopla!
As always, we cannot thank our dedicated Pirate community enough. We’re excited for the year to come and can’t wait to sail the Skyways again with you. From our entire team, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday season!