Questions for Developers!

AuthorMessage
Petty Officer
Dec 21, 2008
50
Hello! I'm a big fan of Pirate101, and I was wondering if you all could answer a couple of questions for me.

For Blind Mew:
One of the original themes that I loved when I first saw Pirate101 was the idea that we were pirates struggling between right and wrong. While that's implied in many places, do you have any plans to build on that with more direct quotes?

Something that I originally thought would be more prevalent in Pirate101, and hope to see more of is differences in the storyline for each character. This being entirely different quests based on something like a choice we make in the story or our parents' death. Are you doing any writing that might fit this idea? Also, that Sky Squid sounds like a lot of fun. Are those of use dealing with a storm going to enjoy ourselves just as much?

What can you tell us about "The Machine"? Is this, in any way, a Person of Internet reference? :D

If you could pick a favorite part of the story that you've written, what would it be?

Do you plan on continuing to incorporate the Wizard101 story? More or less? Any chance we'll ever meet a wizard?


For Ratbeard:
Recently, you made well-deserved updates to Buccaneers. In PvP, even Privateers seem to agree that Privateers are very well-equipped compared to other classes. Buffs allow for 180+ dodge, with no hope in sight for non-Musketeer classes. Do you have subsequent updates planned to boost the other classes to this level in their own way?

As an end-game Musketeer, I don't see a lot of options for weapons in comparison with other classes. Any hints on where I might find one, or when I might be able to start looking?

One of the most intriguing things about Pirate101 is the diversity in end-game gear. How do you decide which classes get access to which cards, and what pieces of gear they're put on? I've noticed that it greatly varies from class to class.

I'm not sure if this question is necessarily for you or not, but do you all plan to indefinitely go down the road of Wizard101 as far as ranked PvP, a Bazaar, and advanced pets go, or are you looking at the idea of a game without these things?

Can we expect new tiers of gear on the retired Boochbeard Bundle, or should pirates go ahead and redeem their items?


For Donkey Hotay:
Are puppet shows pre-written, or are you given content that you build on and add humor to?

There are some recurring and seemingly irrelevant characters in these puppet shows. Can we expect to ever see them in-game outside of the shows? ;)

Of those released (or those unreleased, I suppose), which puppet show is your favorite?

Do you, in any way, play a part in prepping voice actors to perform the lines with the tones and wording you've created?

Do you have plans or plans that you were given to incorporate more of the Wizard101 storyline into Pirate101?


Whew! I've just got a one-month membership specifically to ask questions, so I've got to get them out of my system. Thank you all for your time!

Developer
Privateers are very well-equipped compared to other classes. Do you plan to boost the other classes?

I have not yet finished analyzing class balance with respect to PvP. I can confirm for you that (a) Privateers are playing exactly as intended-- to wit: excellent at buffing their team; (b) I have no intention of nerfing Privateers (or anybody) and would prefer to improve the other classes first; (c) both high accuracy and dodge are significantly abrogated by powers, which never miss; (d) there are strategies available to players that have not been "discovered" yet-- let's keep our powder dry.

As a Musketeer, I don't see a lot of options for weapons. Any hints on where I might find one?

We'll be adding over 150 new weapons with the next update, including every possible combo-weapon for slashy/smashy/shooty/stabby/spooky. I've also gone back to the epic talents to make sure that they will work properly with combo-weapons. This means that a musketeer (for example) won't have to give up Double Tap if he wants to use a pistol/sword combo. And finally, I'll make sure there is something "cool" at the cap for everybody.

How do you decide which classes get access to which cards?

For "typical" rare items (hope that's not an oxymoron) I just try to keep an even mix, but I tend to avoid the higher-level and more specialized abilities of the classes, so that each class preserves something of its uniqueness. I am much more particular about rare "boss" gear (which, ultimately, is what I think players should "farm" for).

Do you plan to go down the road of Wizard101 as far as ranked PvP, a Bazaar, and advanced pets go, or are you looking at the idea of a game without these things?

It's not up to me, but I see no reason not to include these things, as they are all optional.

Can we expect new tiers of gear on the retired Boochbeard Bundle, or should pirates go ahead and redeem their items?

You'll have to ask Jack!

Developer
Are puppet shows pre-written, or are you given content that you build on and add humor to?
Pre-written. Scene breakdowns and gags are usually in the scripts as well. I generally have a meeting with Blind Mew, another writer, & an art director before doing a rough pass. Sometimes I will add my own spin on things visually and that's when my sense of humor shines through. The love affair with the frog and Gortez for instance. Timing is also very important.

There are some recurring and seemingly irrelevant characters in these puppet shows. Can we expect to ever see them in-game outside of the shows? ;)
Ask Blind Mew! I just do puppet shows. I would like to see Saguaro Slim and Sam Bass!

Of those released (or those unreleased, I suppose), which puppet show is your favorite?
The Monkey's Paw because it was the first show I worked on and established the style. Followed by Gortez, then Napoleguin. I find them very funny.

Do you, in any way, play a part in prepping voice actors to perform the lines with the tones and wording you've created?
Nope.

Do you have plans or plans that you were given to incorporate more of the Wizard101 storyline into Pirate101?

Ask Blind Mew!

Developer
One of the original themes that I loved when I first saw Pirate101 was the idea that we were pirates struggling between right and wrong. While that's implied in many places, do you have any plans to build on that with more direct quotes?

I'm not sure what you mean by 'more direct quotes' - we're a family game, and will remain one to the end. However, right and wrong are very important elements of our story. Back during beta, we got a post from a concerned parent who was worried the game was "more Grand Theft Auto than Pixar." I offered a lengthy reply which summed up our goals when it comes right and wrong in Pirate101: we want the PC to be a scoundrel with a heart of gold, who will break the rules, but only for good reason or when deceived, and who will always fight to help the innocent.

In the content we've already released the PC makes some shady deals and does some questionable things. They also learn what heroism is from El Toro and the Magnificent 7. In the next update some of those questionable things come back to haunt the PC, and going forward the PC is going to learn that the heroic path is often far from easy. Do the ends justify the means? That's the ultimate question, and in the rest of the quest for El Dorado the PC will get to examine this question from several angles.

Developer
Something that I originally thought would be more prevalent in Pirate101, and hope to see more of is differences in the storyline for each character. This being entirely different quests based on something like a choice we make in the story or our parents' death. Are you doing any writing that might fit this idea? Also, that Sky Squid sounds like a lot of fun. Are those of use dealing with a storm going to enjoy ourselves just as much?

We are absolutely going to follow up on that. The upper end promotions for the Presidio Companions are going to center on the parents and that storyline. And I'd have done a very poor job as a writer if any of the 5 options end up less fun than the others. Yes, I realize you can't necessarily fight a storm. But, when one considers these quests will be as much about finding the PC's parents' resting place as it will be avenging them, then the Storm option takes on all sorts of implications. The thing about Storms, after all, is that they can blow things to the strangest (and most dangerous) places...

What can you tell us about "The Machine"? Is this, in any way, a Person of Internet reference? :D

For once we weren't being clever - I'm pretty sure The Machine was first conceived a few years before person of Interest hit the airwaves. What can I say about The Machine... It is the testament to Kane's vision, the manifestation of his genius, and the instrument of his will. In terms of Kane's Grand Design, The Machine is both means and end. We will reveal what it's for in good time.

If you could pick a favorite part of the story that you've written, what would it be?

In the stuff already live, I'd have to say I love Book 10, the Dead Man's Hand. Epic stuff, fun, and lots of good puns and references.

Do you plan on continuing to incorporate the Wizard101 story? More or less? Any chance we'll ever meet a wizard?

Yes, about the same. There's definitely a chance.

Admiral
Nov 23, 2011
1144
Can we expect new tiers of gear on the retired Boochbeard Bundle, or should pirates go ahead and redeem their items?I

n KI's earlier Game Wizard 101, bundle items do seem to be consistently updated for higher levels as the experience point cap increases.

Dread Pirate
Jun 13, 2011
1869
To Ratbeard:

Ever considered updating your profile picture now? Now that the better second promotion hat and outfit is live, shouldn't ye match the profile picture? It won't take you a while to do it, right? Doesn't hurt to do upkeep, does it? No offense, mind you, but that old hat looks kinda silly. The new look rocks, by the way! Very nice!

I really can't tell normal enemies from Boss enemies in the game right now! It's all too frustrating to tell whose is harder to defeat. I think Boss enemies aren't labled yet. Are you still working on labeling Boss enemies in the next game update, or so, as requested? Also, battling the Bosses in the Spiral's worlds should have their unique world boss themes, like many games do. I'm fine with normal enemy combat music in worlds, and skyway combat themes, but Boss enemies need to have their own music when battling them, be it on the lands, or the skyways. Either have your crew's current composer to do that, or, at the very least, bring in an additional composer to work in the boss tunes while the current composer works on new tunes. Either way, the boss tunes need to be made. Please consider that.

To Donkey Hotay:

You haven't played a part in prepping the actors yet? Oh. Well, I'm sure you'll get a chance to do that someday. I believe that!

To Blind Mew:

Out of the gangs of Compainons, "Presidio Prisoners", "MooShu Starters", or "Kraken Skulls Gang", which is your favorite by far?

Will there be a lost temple to see and explore in Monquista someday? I believe there are plenty of those there. I would like to see what's lost there, and what secrets and powerful artifacts can be used to turn the tide in the fight against the Armada in the Pirates' favor!

Administrator
Can we expect new tiers of gear on the retired Boochbeard Bundle, or should pirates go ahead and redeem their items?

The current plan is to add another tier of gear to all of the bundles!

To Ratbeard: Ever considered updating your profile picture now?

OH! That one's my responsibility. I think I could swing that.

*One-Eyed Jack, Your Pirate101 Community Manager*
Community Leader
One-Eyed Jack on Mar 14, 2013 wrote:
Can we expect new tiers of gear on the retired Boochbeard Bundle, or should pirates go ahead and redeem their items?

The current plan is to add another tier of gear to all of the bundles!

To Ratbeard: Ever considered updating your profile picture now?

OH! That one's my responsibility. I think I could swing that.
Will those new Bundle tiers include ships beyond NXP level 50 as well? That'd be a reason to keep that gift box unopened for awhile, methinks.

Chatroom Moderator - Pieces of Eight Radio
Bosun
May 06, 2009
370
Ratbeard on Mar 11, 2013 wrote:
Privateers are very well-equipped compared to other classes. Do you plan to boost the other classes?

I have not yet finished analyzing class balance with respect to PvP. I can confirm for you that (a) Privateers are playing exactly as intended-- to wit: excellent at buffing their team; (b) I have no intention of nerfing Privateers (or anybody) and would prefer to improve the other classes first; (c) both high accuracy and dodge are significantly abrogated by powers, which never miss; (d) there are strategies available to players that have not been "discovered" yet-- let's keep our powder dry.

As a Musketeer, I don't see a lot of options for weapons. Any hints on where I might find one?

We'll be adding over 150 new weapons with the next update, including every possible combo-weapon for slashy/smashy/shooty/stabby/spooky. I've also gone back to the epic talents to make sure that they will work properly with combo-weapons. This means that a musketeer (for example) won't have to give up Double Tap if he wants to use a pistol/sword combo. And finally, I'll make sure there is something "cool" at the cap for everybody.

How do you decide which classes get access to which cards?

For "typical" rare items (hope that's not an oxymoron) I just try to keep an even mix, but I tend to avoid the higher-level and more specialized abilities of the classes, so that each class preserves something of its uniqueness. I am much more particular about rare "boss" gear (which, ultimately, is what I think players should "farm" for).

Do you plan to go down the road of Wizard101 as far as ranked PvP, a Bazaar, and advanced pets go, or are you looking at the idea of a game without these things?

It's not up to me, but I see no reason not to include these things, as they are all optional.

Can we expect new tiers of gear on the retired Boochbeard Bundle, or should pirates go ahead and redeem their items?

You'll have to ask Jack!
Ratbeard, I'd been meaning to ask you these questions for awhile:

1. Are we going to see Promotions for side companions who currently don't have one such as the Water-Mole Slingman, Crazy Monquistador Bowman, and Mustang Sally? In fact, is every Companions, Side or Main, going to have at least one promotion as the game progresses?

2. I can't remember if someone asked you this already but I'll ask it anyway. In terms of gaming difficulty, do you plan to keep things at a gradual rate or are there plans to leap it here and there? I don't mind the "leaps" that happened in the second arc of Wizard101, i hadn't even noticed them, but I'm pretty sure someones going to say something if they notice it and I just want to avoid as much of all that with the Wizard101 fans as possible.

Petty Officer
Dec 21, 2008
50
Hey! If you're up for them, I've got a few follow-up questions, Ratbeard.

1. In my experience with PvP, companions like El Toro have key powers and talents, so they're commonly used. As such, the slightest difference in accuracy and dodge makes all the difference. So, when Privateers power up with Battle Zeal and such, it makes their four units seemingly immune to all of my team but me, as my companions don't have many powers. Any way you can enlighten me on some of these other strategies? ;)

2. I'm wondering about Agility, Will, and Strength. It takes 5 of them to make one damage, so does one point of damage always beat 5 of the stat? Why, then, do Swashbucklers get universal damage, while other classes receive their stat? Are their hidden benefits here?

3. Each class seems to have its own best stat, whether it be damage, dodge, armor, or whatever else. However, Musketeers get accuracy, which seems a little bit irrelevant to them as they're always using powers which never miss. What am I missing here?

4. In beta, I heard that Musketeers had movement-range-reducing powers. These seem in line with the class, why were they removed? Do you have plans for similar powers in the future?

5. You mention over 150 new weapons, with something "cool" for everyone at the cap. Can you tell us if this refers to the current cap or a future one?

6. Perhaps this is a rather unorthodox request, but would you ever consider joining me for a player versus player match when you're off the clock? All in fun, of course! :)

Developer
Cunning Finnigan S... on Mar 14, 2013 wrote:
Ratbeard, I'd been meaning to ask you these questions for awhile:

1. Are we going to see Promotions for side companions who currently don't have one such as the Water-Mole Slingman, Crazy Monquistador Bowman, and Mustang Sally? In fact, is every Companions, Side or Main, going to have at least one promotion as the game progresses?

2. I can't remember if someone asked you this already but I'll ask it anyway. In terms of gaming difficulty, do you plan to keep things at a gradual rate or are there plans to leap it here and there? I don't mind the "leaps" that happened in the second arc of Wizard101, i hadn't even noticed them, but I'm pretty sure someones going to say something if they notice it and I just want to avoid as much of all that with the Wizard101 fans as possible.
1. Yes, we will always be looking backwards over our companions and trying to get in additional promotion tiers as often as we can. But, of course, we have to balance this against time set aside for creation of new content.

2. Yes, I am looking at the overall difficulty of the game as levels advance; and I'm very seriously looking at the difficulty of side content such as Gauntlets. I believe there's a lot of room to ramp up the difficulty on side content.

Again, we have a difficult balance to maintain-- our players are a diverse range of ages and ability, and not a day goes by that I don't see multiple competing posts from some players saying the game is WAY too difficult and others saying it is WAY too easy.

Developer
Out of the gangs of Compainons, "Presidio Prisoners", "MooShu Starters", or "Kraken Skulls Gang", which is your favorite by far?

I wouldn't say any of them are my favorite by far: I have a lot of love for all of them. Favorite in what terms? I think the Kraken Skulls 5 are the best characters and the neatest looking, but the Presidio 5 tend to be more fun to write - they get the Shakespeare quotes (from Lucky Jack), Dead Mike's unique outlook on life, and Gaspard's accent.

Will there be a lost temple to see and explore in Monquista someday? I believe there are plenty of those there. I would like to see what's lost there, and what secrets and powerful artifacts can be used to turn the tide in the fight against the Armada in the Pirates' favor!

Unknown at this point. Monquista, in my mind at least, doesn't lend itself to the Ancient Temple gag the way some other worlds do. I hadn't imagined any there, frankly. If there were, what would they be? I'd have to think on that...

Developer
Swordroll on Mar 18, 2013 wrote:
Hey! If you're up for them, I've got a few follow-up questions, Ratbeard.

1. In my experience with PvP, companions like El Toro have key powers and talents, so they're commonly used. As such, the slightest difference in accuracy and dodge makes all the difference. So, when Privateers power up with Battle Zeal and such, it makes their four units seemingly immune to all of my team but me, as my companions don't have many powers. Any way you can enlighten me on some of these other strategies? ;)

2. I'm wondering about Agility, Will, and Strength. It takes 5 of them to make one damage, so does one point of damage always beat 5 of the stat? Why, then, do Swashbucklers get universal damage, while other classes receive their stat? Are their hidden benefits here?

3. Each class seems to have its own best stat, whether it be damage, dodge, armor, or whatever else. However, Musketeers get accuracy, which seems a little bit irrelevant to them as they're always using powers which never miss. What am I missing here?

4. In beta, I heard that Musketeers had movement-range-reducing powers. These seem in line with the class, why were they removed? Do you have plans for similar powers in the future?

5. You mention over 150 new weapons, with something "cool" for everyone at the cap. Can you tell us if this refers to the current cap or a future one?

6. Perhaps this is a rather unorthodox request, but would you ever consider joining me for a player versus player match when you're off the clock? All in fun, of course! :)
1. This is the wrong forum, and format to talk PVP. I'll run out of room to answer your other questions.

2.3. Every class has an affinity for one "base" attribute (STR/AGI/WILL) as well as one "secondary" attribute. Damage happens to be the Swashbuckler's schtick.

Yes, all classes benefit from their base attributes (STR/AGI/WILL) in ways other than just the damage bonus.

Yes, Musketeers also benefit from Accuracy, even when they are not using powers.

Yes, you are free to ignore any stat you want to ignore.

Think of it as having a car that is designed to run on Super Premium Unleaded Gasoline. You don't have to use Super Premium Unleaded Gasoline, and your car will still reliably get you where you want to go. But if you do choose to use Super, your car will perform just a little bit more smoothly. And you don't need to know anything about cars beyond that.

Of course I understand that some players also want to take a peek under the hood and tweak things there, too.

4. No.

5. Both.

6. I probably already have...

Lieutenant
Dec 31, 2012
111
Will the new updates be rolled into this week's Wednesday morning server downtime?

Dread Pirate
Jun 13, 2011
1869
Blind Mew on Mar 18, 2013 wrote:
Out of the gangs of Compainons, "Presidio Prisoners", "MooShu Starters", or "Kraken Skulls Gang", which is your favorite by far?

I wouldn't say any of them are my favorite by far: I have a lot of love for all of them. Favorite in what terms? I think the Kraken Skulls 5 are the best characters and the neatest looking, but the Presidio 5 tend to be more fun to write - they get the Shakespeare quotes (from Lucky Jack), Dead Mike's unique outlook on life, and Gaspard's accent.

Will there be a lost temple to see and explore in Monquista someday? I believe there are plenty of those there. I would like to see what's lost there, and what secrets and powerful artifacts can be used to turn the tide in the fight against the Armada in the Pirates' favor!

Unknown at this point. Monquista, in my mind at least, doesn't lend itself to the Ancient Temple gag the way some other worlds do. I hadn't imagined any there, frankly. If there were, what would they be? I'd have to think on that...
Well, I'm theorizing in my mind that there are ancient temples in Monquista somewhere, and I'm willing to see one of them very soon. Perhaps you could work that in as part of a future Book after Book 13? I know Book 13's going to be a war story, which is the new Book's primary focus, so after that's out soon, I'm REALLY hoping to have another adventure in a lost Monquistan temple. Can't wait to see one!

Did you previously said 2 Books are about 100 quests, both counting major story and side quests? Wow! If that's so, then a single Book alone is about 50 quests, and 3 Books are likely 150 quests, and... well, you know, and so on. It's quite an estimate.

If the level cap increases soon, will the increase depend on the amount of Book or Books released with it? Will it up a few levels or maybe more? I don't know. If it randomly depends on how many Books are released, I'll be sure to know.

Dread Pirate
Jun 13, 2011
1869
Ratbeard on Mar 18, 2013 wrote:
1. Yes, we will always be looking backwards over our companions and trying to get in additional promotion tiers as often as we can. But, of course, we have to balance this against time set aside for creation of new content.

2. Yes, I am looking at the overall difficulty of the game as levels advance; and I'm very seriously looking at the difficulty of side content such as Gauntlets. I believe there's a lot of room to ramp up the difficulty on side content.

Again, we have a difficult balance to maintain-- our players are a diverse range of ages and ability, and not a day goes by that I don't see multiple competing posts from some players saying the game is WAY too difficult and others saying it is WAY too easy.
At least make Mustang Sally's promotion a promotion quest! It would be a thrill to see how her quest turns out and to see more story out of her.

Administrator
I'm closing this thread as the OP has obtained the answers he was seeking and this thread isn't mean to be a generic question and answer thread.

*One-Eyed Jack, Your Pirate101 Community Manager*