Story Thread 1: A few story questions...

AuthorMessage
Community Leader
Blind Mew on Feb 12, 2013 wrote:
I can confirm nothing. But I will say a guest appearance by one of those two is far more likely than the other.
[Mild Story Spoiler] I can confirm that Malistaire already has an appearance in Pirate101 in the WanMo puppet show about the wizard that cursed the emperor. The just call him "Necromancer", but it's him alright.

Host of the Talkin' the Plank Podcast, where we talk about Pirate 101 every Friday!
Bosun
May 06, 2009
370
Blind Mew on Feb 11, 2013 wrote:
Companion banter is one of may favorite things to write (even though it takes up a lot of characters sometimes). In the next update there will be a lot more, and some of it will move from bickering to arguing.

The role of Boochbeard slowly changed over the course of development - he stopped being a Merle Ambrose analog, and turned into our player intermediary: he breaks the 4th wall, and can tell you about buttons, keys, and clicking where no character ever will. He's invaluable in that capacity, but sadly that relegates him to tool tips, tutorials, and what not.

I've toyed with the idea that he may not even exist - he's your imaginary friend, but that was a little too wierd.

That said, I have one or two ideas for how to integrate him physically into the game for some future bits. We'll see if we can pull them off. Long story short, i miss him too, and we're looking into it.
If you haven't already thought of it, wouldn't Boochbeard and Gandry fit in perfectly when we're just about to go to El Dorado. Like we're right there with all the map pieces, Avery's cheering like a kid in a candy store, and out of the blue Boochbeard and Gandry come wanting in to our little venture.
That or we help them somewhere along the line in a world when they get into trouble. Like bigging curse in Darkmoor and that's more than the unluckiness they've ever handled.

Also I do have a few questions for you myself:

1. Will we expect any of our Companions to 'leave', 'die', or betray us? By that I mean, I've thought of one of are companions leaving when an agruement(when we reach past bickering) gets to be too much, but comes back when we need them the most, or the Armada tries to kill us but one of our Companions takes the shot, or one of the Companions was a mole in our crew working for the Armada only to be thrown in jail once we find out.

2. How many Chapters do you plan to write for Pirate101 as of the El Dorado story? I feel like it's 20 but I also feel like that's too little (lol). Depands on how big a Chapter and World is and how far along they take us. And will expect a relatively short Chapter?

3. How did or does the naming and themes of a world come along? I love some of the names that have become public (Monquista being like the Spanish Conquista just with a Monkey twist, Darkmoor is a spin-off of the region Dartmoor in Devon, England, which I think is going to be the geography of that world, Polaris is the North Star's name and it's all cold there, even colder than Nodor, ok maybe not that cold but cold!, and my personal favorite Cool Ranch! Was someone eating a bag of Doritos at the time?), but I am curious as to how that goes and what some original names were. Also when you think of what the theme of a world will be, do you like to pitch a vote and all the developers will 'ok' it or push it aside *cough, cough* an Australian themed world wouldn't be too bad *cough, cough*

4. Are we going to expect Wizard City to appear? It seems like Kingsisle wants to show in update of all of it's first 4 worlds since Wizard101 was open in 2008 in Pirate101. We're kinda going down the line (MooShu, Marleybone(I assume), Krokotopia(at some point), Wizard City!)

5. Do you ever get annoyed with all the questions people of this community might ask you? Lol i can only imagine you going "Gosh, what do these players want now?" But then again, I read you like to tease people so where's the fun in that if there are no questions?

6. Will some of the class teacher's back stories feed in to the main story? Particularly Madame Vadima's and Morgan Lafittes. Will Vadima ever say a word on why she left Darkmoor and will Morgan's ex coming running back to take his bride?

Thanks!

Cunning Finnigan Sharp
Level 17 Swashbuckler

Lieutenant
May 21, 2009
114
Oh! I forgot once more a question!

How did One-Eyed Jack lose his eye?

Lieutenant
Aug 01, 2011
199
CaptainFlint193 on Jan 16, 2013 wrote:
If a developer can answer these story questions, I'd really appreciate that...

1. Windstones - Why windstones? Why a small gem that takes us through Stormgates? Just curious about this....
2. Dead Mike - I just completed his second promotion quest and I have to wonder - are we ever going to get the quest where we avenge our parents' deaths? I mean, it would be very fun to take down the guy who killed our parents...
3. Unseen Areas - There are windlanes that lead out of Tierra Primata Skyway, windlanes that lead to other unknown areas of MooShu, Stormgates to Valencia that aren't in Avernus, a Stormgate to Aquila in the Aragon Skyway, and a mysterious Stormgate at the end of Avernus. Are we ever going to visit these unknown areas?
4. Catbeard - Catbeard is in Marco Pollo's photograph of El Dorado - do we ever confront him about his map piece?
5. Are we ever going to visit other worlds in the Wizard101 story and vice versa?

Again, if anyone can answer these, that would be much appreciated!
1. They probably are little rocks that have powerful magic in them to travel us to another world
2. I don't know how we would avenge our parents death in fact how would Jack and I take down a Shipwreck?
3. There is also a weird Stormgate in Tierra Primata near Zenda I think it was called? Sorry If I got it wrong but I wonder what that Stormgate will lead to it has no name.
4. We might ask him later in the story but maybe they didn't even notice Catbeard in the picture and thought he was someone else.
5. Yes we are going to visit worlds such as Marleybone, Krokotopia, Etc I don't know about Wizard city its kind of more faraway from Skull Island.

Sneaky Jonathan L21

Developer
Merciless Morgrim on Feb 11, 2013 wrote:
Again thank you so much Blind Mew for always answering our questions. I love hearing your insights on different aspects of the story. It's like a little sneak peek of what's to come :P

Anyways I have a couple questions for you myself.

1. I am always astounded by the sheer number of references and easter eggs that have been added into the story and game. How do you go about adding to many easter eggs in? Which comes first? The plot or the easter egg? Also do you happen to have a personal favorite?

2. Our teachers: Will we ever go more in depth to the backstory of our teachers? (Vadima, Ol Fish Eye, Mordekai, etc.). I am quite curious to learn more about some of them and where they came from. They seem like they could have an extremely interesting backstory.
1. Ah, the references...Yeah, I was told when I was first recruited that Wizard did a lot of that, and that it was well received. So we went hog wild -- I sometimes wonder if we have too many...

As to where they come from, there are 3 main sources:
  • Sometimes, they arise from the plots as we're first brainstorming them. Whenever we first brainstorm a world, one of the first exercises is to decide what tropes and references we want to hit. In Skull Island, we knew we'd be doing Treasure Island -- that gave us lots of names: Smollett, Livsey, Trelawny, Gunn, and John Silver. We hit on the Gortez plot as an homage to Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now -- once I knew that, Hopper was an obvious outgrowth of that. Once we have the punny names, the jokes grow out of them: the Magnificent 7 plot led us to Duck Holiday, which of course led to Val Kilmer and Tombstone. Egg Shen got named during early brainstorming, and once we had him, we knew Big Trouble in Little China would cast a huge shadow over his promo quest. I'd say at least half of them end up arising that way.
  • Often, we'll have puns that occur to us without plots, or which get suggested by team members ("Hey - we need a [funny pun] guy!"). One of our producers, for instance, came up with name Wild Bill Peacock before we hammered out the Magnificent 7. These get written on a corner of my white board, and we keep them precious for future use. My office mate came up with Hunan the Barbarian more than a year before we plotted out MooShu.
  • And then finally, while writing the quests a bunch of them just happen -- they just pop into our heads. Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah, Manny Moe and Jack, and Lucky Jack Russel's Shakespeare quotes are examples of these.
Man, I don't know if I can pick one favorite. I tend to like the subtle ones: The Duck of Death's oblique ties to Unforgiven, for example, or our shout out to Rocky Raccoon (Nancy McGill -- I can't believe you guys spotted that one so quickly!). Then again, I also love the over the top ones: Marquis Mark or Death (bonus points to all you children of the 80's who can name his source -- I haven't seen it on any of the threads yet). There's one coming in the upcoming expansion that blows them all away -- if I may say, it's insanely funny.

2) There will definitely be more Trainer Quests coming up, and I'm hoping we can steer some quests back to Skull Island in the future. I have a few ideas on bringing them more into the action.

Developer
CaptainFlint193 on Feb 12, 2013 wrote:
Blind Mew, I feel I've said this before...but you are AWESOME. But I still have too many questions to count....

1. Are there are any side companions WE can expect to get promotion quests for? The Silk One is a side companion, so are any others going to get promo quests?
2. From your previous comments, does that mean we CAN expect to return to the Schism...? I recall a mention in a side quest of a place called 'the Holy City'....is that a hint?
3. This isn't really a story-centered question but...any advice for writers? Quite frankly, getting all these character's stories is an amazing feat, and I am genuinely impressed. *Bows in honor*. Who knows? Maybe I'll write a series about pirates...
4. Are we ever going to go to Zafaria, perhaps as a side-world.? Personally I think it's utterly brilliant world and there were a lot of colonial interests in Africa during the 16th-18th centuries. I am sure pirates had a neat little interest too....
You flatter me...I've got a crew of fine writers backing me up, and the best jokes arise collectively.

1. Yes, if we deem a side companion to be really really cool, we'll give them promo quests. The Magnificent 7 count for that, as does the Silk One. Rooster Cogburn's name has been thrown around too.

2. Don't know yet, but that decision will likely be made very soon. The main story as currently outlined doesn't require it, but there's a few places where it could fall in easily if we decide we want to build an extra skyway or land street. Ultimately, bandwidth will decide.

3. If you want to write, read. Read, read, and then read some more. Good, bad, or indifferent -- it all helps. You'll learn what you like, what comes easily, and what works. You can sometimes learn more from trash than you can from literature. Read manuals of style: nothing infuriates a boss or editor more the wrong "there" or passive voice.

4. I agree -- Zafaria is a world rife with possibilities for our setting. Will we go there? Unsure as of now, but it would certainly be worth it.

Lieutenant
May 21, 2009
114
Oh my goodness...too many questions needing answers....

1. Are we ever going to go into the pasts of some of the major characters (i.e. Mr Gandry, Captain Avery, etc...)?
2. Is El Toro every going to get a second promotion quest, since it seems a bit unfair that the other storyline companions have two (aside from the Monkey King, of course)?
3. This a question I've been dying to ask...Captain Hook. Will there ever be a Captain Hook-like character? He is the most insane of pirates, after all.
4. How much research did you guys do for this entire game? Combined with the parallels to history and the easter eggs, I can imagine it was enormous....
5. Any plans for a new game right now? I've heard suggestions like Warrior101 which sounds pretty cool....
6. How did One-Eyed Jack lose his eye? The way I see it, we know how Ratbeard lost his leg (courtesy of Captain Fowl), so are we going to get answers about Jack?

Ensign
Aug 18, 2011
25
CaptainFlint193 on Feb 15, 2013 wrote:
Oh my goodness...too many questions needing answers....

1. Are we ever going to go into the pasts of some of the major characters (i.e. Mr Gandry, Captain Avery, etc...)?
2. Is El Toro every going to get a second promotion quest, since it seems a bit unfair that the other storyline companions have two (aside from the Monkey King, of course)?
3. This a question I've been dying to ask...Captain Hook. Will there ever be a Captain Hook-like character? He is the most insane of pirates, after all.
4. How much research did you guys do for this entire game? Combined with the parallels to history and the easter eggs, I can imagine it was enormous....
5. Any plans for a new game right now? I've heard suggestions like Warrior101 which sounds pretty cool....
6. How did One-Eyed Jack lose his eye? The way I see it, we know how Ratbeard lost his leg (courtesy of Captain Fowl), so are we going to get answers about Jack?
as regards to #3... I've been meaning to say something about Captain Hook character being in the game. So Blind Mew, will we ever see or hear anything about Captain Hook?

Developer
Cunning Finnigan S... on Feb 12, 2013 wrote:
If you haven't already thought of it, wouldn't Boochbeard and Gandry fit in perfectly when we're just about to go to El Dorado. Like we're right there with all the map pieces, Avery's cheering like a kid in a candy store, and out of the blue Boochbeard and Gandry come wanting in to our little venture.
That or we help them somewhere along the line in a world when they get into trouble. Like bigging curse in Darkmoor and that's more than the unluckiness they've ever handled.

Also I do have a few questions for you myself:

1. Will we expect any of our Companions to 'leave', 'die', or betray us? By that I mean, I've thought of one of are companions leaving when an agruement(when we reach past bickering) gets to be too much, but comes back when we need them the most, or the Armada tries to kill us but one of our Companions takes the shot, or one of the Companions was a mole in our crew working for the Armada only to be thrown in jail once we find out.

2. How many Chapters do you plan to write for Pirate101 as of the El Dorado story? I feel like it's 20 but I also feel like that's too little (lol). Depands on how big a Chapter and World is and how far along they take us. And will expect a relatively short Chapter?

3. How did or does the naming and themes of a world come along? I love some of the names that have become public (Monquista being like the Spanish Conquista just with a Monkey twist, Darkmoor is a spin-off of the region Dartmoor in Devon, England, which I think is going to be the geography of that world, Polaris is the North Star's name and it's all cold there, even colder than Nodor, ok maybe not that cold but cold!, and my personal favorite Cool Ranch! Was someone eating a bag of Doritos at the time?), but I am curious as to how that goes and what some original names were. Also when you think of what the theme of a world will be, do you like to pitch a vote and all the developers will 'ok' it or push it aside *cough, cough* an Australian themed world wouldn't be too bad *cough, cough*

4. Are we going to expect Wizard City to appear? It seems like Kingsisle wants to show in update of all of it's first 4 worlds since Wizard101 was open in 2008 in Pirate101. We're kinda going down the line (MooShu, Marleybone(I assume), Krokotopia(at some point), Wizard City!)

5. Do you ever get annoyed with all the questions people of this community might ask you? Lol i can only imagine you going "Gosh, what do these players want now?" But then again, I read you like to tease people so where's the fun in that if there are no questions?

6. Will some of the class teacher's back stories feed in to the main story? Particularly Madame Vadima's and Morgan Lafittes. Will Vadima ever say a word on why she left Darkmoor and will Morgan's ex coming running back to take his bride?

Thanks!

Cunning Finnigan Sharp
Level 17 Swashbuckler
1. Removing a Companion from your list is something I'm very cautious to do - yes, we've just opened up benching, but I as a dev am very leery of benching someone for you, against your will. Heck, I'm not even sure it's technically possible! Even on a short term basis, I worry about the implications. I agree, the death of a Companion would be an amazingly dramatic moment, as would a Companion deserting the PC. Cool as it might be from a story standpoint, the effect on balance and gameplay is potentially problematic - taking something away from a PC is not a thing to undertake lightly. While it could be very moving if done right, I expect far more players would be outraged than appreciative. Now, betrayal can take many forms...

2. In terms of Books (as opposed to Chapters), 20 is the target number for the El Dorado story. See, when I said we went live with 60% of the Main Story, my math was, in theory, quite accurate! Each Book will split into 2 or 3 Chapters (we're aiming for 3 as the standard from now on). Going forward, we're aiming for the Books to be about the length of the MooShu Books. This will vary, but we're aiming for long Books. Once we wrap up El Dorado, we'll spin up a new main story (much like Wizard did). Right now, I think we have a glimmer or two of plot ideas - it's not even an elevator pitch yet. We'll let those seeds sit a while and see what ideas sprout.

3. Most of the worlds were named before I ever got here - Wizard has invented more new worlds in my time here than we have. Ultimately, we first decide what we want the world to be thematically (Old West, Britain, etc), then we decide what kind of critters live there, and finally we kick names around until we find one that's evocative and/or funny. It's not a very formal process - we talk or send emails until something clicks.

4. You will definitely be seeing more Wizard worlds in the future, but as we demonstrated in MooShu, they can end up looking and feeling very different. As to which worlds you'll see, and when... that would be telling.

5. Nope, never! If anything, I wish I had more time to answer questions. I love watching theories emerge, and am sometimes quite surprised how on target you guys are.

6. Yes, I'm planning on it. Trainer ties to specific worlds are, if nothing else, a cool hook to hang side quests or side quest goals on. Looking back, I'm not sure I'm satisfied that we made enough use of the Trainers in the content we went live with: I hope to use them more in the future.

Petty Officer
Jun 28, 2011
90
Blind Mew do you have any plans on what will happen AFTER we get to El Dorado and stopped the Armada?

Dread Pirate
Jun 13, 2011
1869
Blind Mew on Feb 12, 2013 wrote:
I will say straight up that adding what we call "Companion chatter" to the game was one of the most fateful decisions we made during development. It created more work for me and the writers, but it added SO much depth and flavor to the play experience - it's really hard to estimate just how much impact it had. The fact that it reinforces the basic core mechanics (crew collection and group-based combat) and fits our theme (Wizards might work alone, but every captain needs a crew!) makes it even more perfect.

Mustang Sally: sorry, but there's no easy way to do this. The only Companions we can allow to talk are ones that we can guarantee everyone will have (Bonnie Anne, Ratbeard, etc) or blocks of 5 (by class) that every PC gets at the same time (the 'Kraken Skulls 5', the Presidio guys, and the starting MooShu guys). For Companions that are only granted to one class or are granted in side quests, we can't guarantee a PC will ever actually hear the lines. It's unfortunate, but true. As a side note - by the time we're done with the next update, there will be something like 28 speaking companions - it's getting hard to juggle them! Now, we can give class-specific Companions promotion quests (the Silk One will get them, bandwidth permitting), but they're turning into a heavy load too...

As to the Raven - I thought that was common knowledge. The voice is the same, if you listen closely enough... Uh, oops?
No easy way to do it? As in, "no easy way to do this for the moment being"? Just... not yet? Oh. I won't blame you. Felt a might down about this, but, not enough to be very upset. And again, I don't blame you, Blind Mew. Not at all. Your story of how Companion chatter was made has opened up plenty. If you had some more writers to help the game's team with Companion chatter in and with the game's main story, it would have been less of a struggle then. I'm hoping that happens someday. I've thought it would be no trouble to you, but, maybe not now. Still, to see Mustang Sally become more involved in the game's main story and allowing her to talk more... it's is but a simple request, and it is not easy for you to implement it as of this moment. You've got plenty of stuff to work on right now, so, I understand. For now, I'm very glad to see Mustang Sally in action today, but someday, maybe someday soon, I hope to see her more involved with the crew. All it would, and could, take is but a slight effort of multitasking and confidence. Thanks for telling me. Keep up with the good Companion chatter, too! Looking forward to hear more of that real soon!

And, as for W101's narrator? I'm pretty sure I've narrowed that obvious thought down after I've met her. It's pretty sure to be Grandmother Raven. She oversees what happens and speaks what has been done.

Developer
CaptainFlint193 on Feb 15, 2013 wrote:
Oh my goodness...too many questions needing answers....

1. Are we ever going to go into the pasts of some of the major characters (i.e. Mr Gandry, Captain Avery, etc...)?
2. Is El Toro every going to get a second promotion quest, since it seems a bit unfair that the other storyline companions have two (aside from the Monkey King, of course)?
3. This a question I've been dying to ask...Captain Hook. Will there ever be a Captain Hook-like character? He is the most insane of pirates, after all.
4. How much research did you guys do for this entire game? Combined with the parallels to history and the easter eggs, I can imagine it was enormous....
5. Any plans for a new game right now? I've heard suggestions like Warrior101 which sounds pretty cool....
6. How did One-Eyed Jack lose his eye? The way I see it, we know how Ratbeard lost his leg (courtesy of Captain Fowl), so are we going to get answers about Jack?
More questions, more answers!

1. Absolutely - prominent NPCs are an ideal source of quest hooks or plot twists.

2. Yes again - bear in mind, you don't get him until Book 10 - to give him two promotions in our live content would have really rushed them. We try to put 3 or 4 Books between promotions (though that's not graven in stone), and we try to angle for appropriate worlds. El Toro won't promote in the next update, but should in the update after that.

3.We shall see...

4. A fair amount - it's an important part of the planning phase when we brainstorm a new Book. And as I write quests, I'm constantly turning to the internet for inspiration or helpful info.

5. That would be telling.

6. Funny thing, but ol' Jack never gives the same story twice about that - I've heard he lost it in a duel with a Monquistan Count, had it plucked out by a Giant Crab in Celestia, or that it was turned into a marble by an angry Wizard. I suspect that however it happened, he's a wee bit embarrassed about it.

Dread Pirate
Jun 13, 2011
1869
Blind Mew on Feb 21, 2013 wrote:
More questions, more answers!

1. Absolutely - prominent NPCs are an ideal source of quest hooks or plot twists.

2. Yes again - bear in mind, you don't get him until Book 10 - to give him two promotions in our live content would have really rushed them. We try to put 3 or 4 Books between promotions (though that's not graven in stone), and we try to angle for appropriate worlds. El Toro won't promote in the next update, but should in the update after that.

3.We shall see...

4. A fair amount - it's an important part of the planning phase when we brainstorm a new Book. And as I write quests, I'm constantly turning to the internet for inspiration or helpful info.

5. That would be telling.

6. Funny thing, but ol' Jack never gives the same story twice about that - I've heard he lost it in a duel with a Monquistan Count, had it plucked out by a Giant Crab in Celestia, or that it was turned into a marble by an angry Wizard. I suspect that however it happened, he's a wee bit embarrassed about it.
Ooooohh! I wonder what El Toro's second promotion quest is like and what level his second promotion quest is set to be? Hope it's more challenging than his first. Question, did you specifically mean the next update after the recent one in the Test Realm right now? Because if you did mean about that, I'm very excited about it!

When does Ol' Scratch, Ratbeard, and Bonnie Anne get their third promotion quests, and what levels are their quests set at? Surely they might have a great journey that'll make them more powerful and look more amazing than their second promotion appearances. I'm eager to know!

When do we get to actually meet Bishop, one of Kane's Clockwork Elites? Phule mentioned him back in Valencia. I'm hoping to see him soon.

Speaking of Phule, why didn't he introduce himself by saying his name back in Valecnia? Sure, he may not be the brightest of Kane's Clockwork Elites, but no one else said Phule's name in the game yet. He should have said his name before knowing why the PC arrived. I wish Phule would say his name in Valencia before sending his Servus captains to attack the PC. It's not THAT difficult to do, you know. And, when do we get to actually battle Phule one day? I'm willing to defeat him one day!

Dread Pirate
Jun 13, 2011
1869
Blind Mew on Feb 14, 2013 wrote:
You flatter me...I've got a crew of fine writers backing me up, and the best jokes arise collectively.

1. Yes, if we deem a side companion to be really really cool, we'll give them promo quests. The Magnificent 7 count for that, as does the Silk One. Rooster Cogburn's name has been thrown around too.

2. Don't know yet, but that decision will likely be made very soon. The main story as currently outlined doesn't require it, but there's a few places where it could fall in easily if we decide we want to build an extra skyway or land street. Ultimately, bandwidth will decide.

3. If you want to write, read. Read, read, and then read some more. Good, bad, or indifferent -- it all helps. You'll learn what you like, what comes easily, and what works. You can sometimes learn more from trash than you can from literature. Read manuals of style: nothing infuriates a boss or editor more the wrong "there" or passive voice.

4. I agree -- Zafaria is a world rife with possibilities for our setting. Will we go there? Unsure as of now, but it would certainly be worth it.
Oh! Does Rooster Cogburn get a promotion quest? If he does, I'm eager to see what it's about! What level is set for Rooster Cogburn's promo quest? I'm hoping to know and I'm willing to see what his new promotion appearance is like! Hopefully, quite as amazing as his current appearance.

When will the MooShu starter companions, Kobe Yojimbo, Kan Po, Egg Shen, Subodai, and Wing Chun, get their third promotion quests? I'm eager to see what adventures they'll go through in their third promo quests, and what will become of them after their quests.

Ensign
May 16, 2010
11
Blind Mew on Feb 14, 2013 wrote:
1. Ah, the references...Yeah, I was told when I was first recruited that Wizard did a lot of that, and that it was well received. So we went hog wild -- I sometimes wonder if we have too many...

As to where they come from, there are 3 main sources:
  • Sometimes, they arise from the plots as we're first brainstorming them. Whenever we first brainstorm a world, one of the first exercises is to decide what tropes and references we want to hit. In Skull Island, we knew we'd be doing Treasure Island -- that gave us lots of names: Smollett, Livsey, Trelawny, Gunn, and John Silver. We hit on the Gortez plot as an homage to Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now -- once I knew that, Hopper was an obvious outgrowth of that. Once we have the punny names, the jokes grow out of them: the Magnificent 7 plot led us to Duck Holiday, which of course led to Val Kilmer and Tombstone. Egg Shen got named during early brainstorming, and once we had him, we knew Big Trouble in Little China would cast a huge shadow over his promo quest. I'd say at least half of them end up arising that way.
  • Often, we'll have puns that occur to us without plots, or which get suggested by team members ("Hey - we need a [funny pun] guy!"). One of our producers, for instance, came up with name Wild Bill Peacock before we hammered out the Magnificent 7. These get written on a corner of my white board, and we keep them precious for future use. My office mate came up with Hunan the Barbarian more than a year before we plotted out MooShu.
  • And then finally, while writing the quests a bunch of them just happen -- they just pop into our heads. Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah, Manny Moe and Jack, and Lucky Jack Russel's Shakespeare quotes are examples of these.
Man, I don't know if I can pick one favorite. I tend to like the subtle ones: The Duck of Death's oblique ties to Unforgiven, for example, or our shout out to Rocky Raccoon (Nancy McGill -- I can't believe you guys spotted that one so quickly!). Then again, I also love the over the top ones: Marquis Mark or Death (bonus points to all you children of the 80's who can name his source -- I haven't seen it on any of the threads yet). There's one coming in the upcoming expansion that blows them all away -- if I may say, it's insanely funny.

2) There will definitely be more Trainer Quests coming up, and I'm hoping we can steer some quests back to Skull Island in the future. I have a few ideas on bringing them more into the action.
Gee Mew I think you must be a fan of Bill and Ted on their Bogus Adventure

Developer
Trimond297 on Feb 22, 2013 wrote:
Ooooohh! I wonder what El Toro's second promotion quest is like and what level his second promotion quest is set to be? Hope it's more challenging than his first. Question, did you specifically mean the next update after the recent one in the Test Realm right now? Because if you did mean about that, I'm very excited about it!

When does Ol' Scratch, Ratbeard, and Bonnie Anne get their third promotion quests, and what levels are their quests set at? Surely they might have a great journey that'll make them more powerful and look more amazing than their second promotion appearances. I'm eager to know!

When do we get to actually meet Bishop, one of Kane's Clockwork Elites? Phule mentioned him back in Valencia. I'm hoping to see him soon.

Speaking of Phule, why didn't he introduce himself by saying his name back in Valecnia? Sure, he may not be the brightest of Kane's Clockwork Elites, but no one else said Phule's name in the game yet. He should have said his name before knowing why the PC arrived. I wish Phule would say his name in Valencia before sending his Servus captains to attack the PC. It's not THAT difficult to do, you know. And, when do we get to actually battle Phule one day? I'm willing to defeat him one day!
When I say "update" I mean updates with new Books - so no, the update I meant was the Story Update after the next Story Update - which is not in Test yet. Patience, Dragonfly...

As for most of the rest of your questions, they're far too specific for me to give you a real answer - what can i say but "soon." But bear in mind, we try to space the promos every 3 or 4 Books, which means that both Bonnie Anne and Ratbeard are technically overdue...

Developer
Trimond297 on Feb 22, 2013 wrote:
Oh! Does Rooster Cogburn get a promotion quest? If he does, I'm eager to see what it's about! What level is set for Rooster Cogburn's promo quest? I'm hoping to know and I'm willing to see what his new promotion appearance is like! Hopefully, quite as amazing as his current appearance.

When will the MooShu starter companions, Kobe Yojimbo, Kan Po, Egg Shen, Subodai, and Wing Chun, get their third promotion quests? I'm eager to see what adventures they'll go through in their third promo quests, and what will become of them after their quests.
When we talk about which Companions will get promotion quests going forward, Rooster Cogburn is a name that often comes up – I’d love to see him get more story, but we shall see.

As for the MooShu gang: 3 or 4 Books between promotions -- the MooShu 5 promoted in Book 12, so expect to see them again in Book 15 or 16 (give or take).

Lieutenant
May 21, 2009
114
More questions, more answers (non-spoilery, I assume), eh...?

1. How many promotions can we expect per major companion, out of curiosity? I can see three as a max in my mind, I think.
2. With the test realm live, how long do you think until the next major update (i.e. Book 13). I feel as if I've asked this before, but when I saw the test realm was not Book 13, I was mildly disappointed (I love the new skyway bosses, though!)
3. If it's roughly three books between promotions, does that mean we can expect promotions from Bonnie Anne, Old Scratch, and Ratbeard in the near future? And what could they possibly hold...?
4. What books and stories would you say inspired the story in Pirate101 (I can see Journey to the West in Book 12, uh...the Magnificent Seven in 'the Magnificent Seventh'...and if you could give a major book/story per Pirate101 book, that would really satisfy my curiosity).
5. If you could, how you fit a wizard into the storyline?

Bosun
May 06, 2009
370
Blind Mew on Feb 22, 2013 wrote:
When we talk about which Companions will get promotion quests going forward, Rooster Cogburn is a name that often comes up – I’d love to see him get more story, but we shall see.

As for the MooShu gang: 3 or 4 Books between promotions -- the MooShu 5 promoted in Book 12, so expect to see them again in Book 15 or 16 (give or take).
So by that statement, wouldn't that mean the Mooshu 5 (lol like Furious Five) have a fourth promotion in Book 20 when we reach El Dorado? In fact, wouldn't that mean every companion is set to have 2-4 promotions?

Bosun
May 06, 2009
370
Blind Mew on Feb 15, 2013 wrote:
1. Removing a Companion from your list is something I'm very cautious to do - yes, we've just opened up benching, but I as a dev am very leery of benching someone for you, against your will. Heck, I'm not even sure it's technically possible! Even on a short term basis, I worry about the implications. I agree, the death of a Companion would be an amazingly dramatic moment, as would a Companion deserting the PC. Cool as it might be from a story standpoint, the effect on balance and gameplay is potentially problematic - taking something away from a PC is not a thing to undertake lightly. While it could be very moving if done right, I expect far more players would be outraged than appreciative. Now, betrayal can take many forms...

2. In terms of Books (as opposed to Chapters), 20 is the target number for the El Dorado story. See, when I said we went live with 60% of the Main Story, my math was, in theory, quite accurate! Each Book will split into 2 or 3 Chapters (we're aiming for 3 as the standard from now on). Going forward, we're aiming for the Books to be about the length of the MooShu Books. This will vary, but we're aiming for long Books. Once we wrap up El Dorado, we'll spin up a new main story (much like Wizard did). Right now, I think we have a glimmer or two of plot ideas - it's not even an elevator pitch yet. We'll let those seeds sit a while and see what ideas sprout.

3. Most of the worlds were named before I ever got here - Wizard has invented more new worlds in my time here than we have. Ultimately, we first decide what we want the world to be thematically (Old West, Britain, etc), then we decide what kind of critters live there, and finally we kick names around until we find one that's evocative and/or funny. It's not a very formal process - we talk or send emails until something clicks.

4. You will definitely be seeing more Wizard worlds in the future, but as we demonstrated in MooShu, they can end up looking and feeling very different. As to which worlds you'll see, and when... that would be telling.

5. Nope, never! If anything, I wish I had more time to answer questions. I love watching theories emerge, and am sometimes quite surprised how on target you guys are.

6. Yes, I'm planning on it. Trainer ties to specific worlds are, if nothing else, a cool hook to hang side quests or side quest goals on. Looking back, I'm not sure I'm satisfied that we made enough use of the Trainers in the content we went live with: I hope to use them more in the future.
Ah, ok. Thank you! I had no idea it would be so hard, or even possible, to "remove" a Companion from the crew. Actually, what I probably should have said in the first place, I meant more like the Companion and his or her icon was still with the PC, but was in a defeated fashion on purpose without dying in battle for a temporary amount of time. However, that still does seem a bit risky.

But now I have more questions!:

1. So since you're going for long Books now, will Book 13 take us further closer to El Dorado or are we still a long ways away? And will long Books cause for long production time or is it about the same time frame of finished stories since Pirate101 went live? (By the way, I just noticed 13 is typically an unlucky number. Hope nothing bad happens)

2. I remember reading Marco Pollo's letter to his old friend Merle Ambrose (I LOL'ed when I read that ), and I remember he talked about Celestia and El Dorado being very close worlds until El Dorado's downfall. He also mentioned about Krokotopia and Old Azteca (so the Azteca, we know that just came out, and the Old Azteca aren't the same?) being only echoes of El Dorado. What I'm curious about is, did any other world's also make an impact with/on El Dorado? Mostly Empyrea. I know it hasn't been released, yet, but I'm just curious to know if Empyrea has made any...trades with other worlds. It is an old world right? Hopefully, my ideas on Empyrea are incorrect and they are a compassionate people; not stuck-up snobs who think much to highly of themselves (the last two episodes of Thunder Cats (2011), and Empyrea being a sky world, truly explain why I think that)

3. Has there ever been a case where the production of a world or update has been dropped/severely haulted because it either doesn't fit too well with the story, needs changes, showned sides of pre-public glitches or just overall the company wanted to change the whole design?

4. Do you do any work with Wizard101 at all or are you all Pirate101, Pirate101, and more Pirate101? Do you and you're team ever meet with the Wizard101 staff just to say "Hey! we just finished update(s) X, Y. and Z and are very excited on it's launch!"?

5. What do you think has been you're best and favorite piece of writing for Pirate101 as of script work and story lines so far? What was the hardest and, dare I say, least enjoyable (if at all)? What is you're favorite world you've worked on so far?

6. Will we be revisisting any worlds like MooShu? I think a 4th Skyway could be added but I'm just curious. I know we will be going back to Valencia like you said (hopefully this next update) and Monquista has a possibilty for a new Skyway.

7. Would it be telling if I asked what inhabitanted El Dorado? I really want to say Chameleons as they have yet to make an NPC appearance, but I honestly can't hone on a picture. Was the whole race of El Doradians (El Doradanites?) wiped out from whatever power there like Dragonspyre?

Ensign
May 29, 2009
38
I have a few questions if you don't mind:

1. Where did the inspiration come from for designing Kane's "elite" clockworks?

2. In early beta game play Deacon's voice was more robotic & cool sounding. Now his voice sounds like someone just speaking through a microphone. Is there a reason why his voice was changed?

3. Can we expect to see any more puppet shows with future updates?

4. Was it your idea to include the "Gortez" reference & Monquistians in W101 Azteca?


Merciless Tyler Davenport, Level 50 Witchdoctor

Ensign
Nov 07, 2012
9
I have a few questions of my own i would like to add
1. Will we find out the name of the final unknown clockwork in Kane's Court?
2. Will we see Kane in person?
3. Do you have any plans for a side world thats has really nothing to do with the actually story?(Ex. Grizzlehiem in wiz101?)
4. How many companions will each class get in the new expansion?
5. Hw much of a difficulty jump will this next world be from Mooshu? (I know i should probaby be asking Ratbeard but whatever)
Thanks for answering all these questions from other people and hopefully answering mine.
Smart Jeremy Nightingale lvl 50 Die Hard Swashbuckler

Dread Pirate
Jun 13, 2011
1869
Blind Mew on Feb 15, 2013 wrote:
1. Removing a Companion from your list is something I'm very cautious to do - yes, we've just opened up benching, but I as a dev am very leery of benching someone for you, against your will. Heck, I'm not even sure it's technically possible! Even on a short term basis, I worry about the implications. I agree, the death of a Companion would be an amazingly dramatic moment, as would a Companion deserting the PC. Cool as it might be from a story standpoint, the effect on balance and gameplay is potentially problematic - taking something away from a PC is not a thing to undertake lightly. While it could be very moving if done right, I expect far more players would be outraged than appreciative. Now, betrayal can take many forms...

2. In terms of Books (as opposed to Chapters), 20 is the target number for the El Dorado story. See, when I said we went live with 60% of the Main Story, my math was, in theory, quite accurate! Each Book will split into 2 or 3 Chapters (we're aiming for 3 as the standard from now on). Going forward, we're aiming for the Books to be about the length of the MooShu Books. This will vary, but we're aiming for long Books. Once we wrap up El Dorado, we'll spin up a new main story (much like Wizard did). Right now, I think we have a glimmer or two of plot ideas - it's not even an elevator pitch yet. We'll let those seeds sit a while and see what ideas sprout.

3. Most of the worlds were named before I ever got here - Wizard has invented more new worlds in my time here than we have. Ultimately, we first decide what we want the world to be thematically (Old West, Britain, etc), then we decide what kind of critters live there, and finally we kick names around until we find one that's evocative and/or funny. It's not a very formal process - we talk or send emails until something clicks.

4. You will definitely be seeing more Wizard worlds in the future, but as we demonstrated in MooShu, they can end up looking and feeling very different. As to which worlds you'll see, and when... that would be telling.

5. Nope, never! If anything, I wish I had more time to answer questions. I love watching theories emerge, and am sometimes quite surprised how on target you guys are.

6. Yes, I'm planning on it. Trainer ties to specific worlds are, if nothing else, a cool hook to hang side quests or side quest goals on. Looking back, I'm not sure I'm satisfied that we made enough use of the Trainers in the content we went live with: I hope to use them more in the future.
So, what you're saying, Blind Mew, is that removing Companions is a no go. Good. I don't want to see my Companions depart at all. Do not go there, otherwise, you would be seeing lots of upset Pirates. Benching, I'm fine with, because that brings out better companion management.

When I saw that Book 12 has 4 Chapters, I think that you're going for the set Book Chapter amount, which is 3, does sound reasonable. Making a new Book with 4 Chapters does take a bit much, but 5 Chapters in a new Book, ooh, that's a bit longer. Hopefully, you could reserve the amount of 5 Chapters in a Book later on.

Would you work in a new Armada Fortess in a future revisit to Monquista? I like the Armada fortresses in Skull Island and Valencia, but I would like to see a more larger fortress made, larger, and tougher than the fortresses by far.

I'm hinting that Monquista was involved in the Polarian War and with the Armada aiding them to end it before they went out of control, so it's very clear there's going to be more involvement with the Monquistan Crown's King and Queen siding with the Armada because they got paid a million bananas in a future visit to Monquista. Think the Monquistan King and Queen want El Dorado very badly? Because if they do, they could pursue El Dorado and use it to finally overthrow the Opposition, if they reach it, that is, once they have the Map in whole. Word about Marco Pollo's Map could spread to Monquista really fast, especially onto the ears of royalty, you know. The civil war between the Crown and the Opposition in Monquista could turn the tide on them, and it could be up to the Pirates to finally stop it and the King and Queen for the Opposition before it's too late, am I right?

Developer
CaptainFlint193 on Feb 22, 2013 wrote:
More questions, more answers (non-spoilery, I assume), eh...?

1. How many promotions can we expect per major companion, out of curiosity? I can see three as a max in my mind, I think.
2. With the test realm live, how long do you think until the next major update (i.e. Book 13). I feel as if I've asked this before, but when I saw the test realm was not Book 13, I was mildly disappointed (I love the new skyway bosses, though!)
3. If it's roughly three books between promotions, does that mean we can expect promotions from Bonnie Anne, Old Scratch, and Ratbeard in the near future? And what could they possibly hold...?
4. What books and stories would you say inspired the story in Pirate101 (I can see Journey to the West in Book 12, uh...the Magnificent Seven in 'the Magnificent Seventh'...and if you could give a major book/story per Pirate101 book, that would really satisfy my curiosity).
5. If you could, how you fit a wizard into the storyline?
1. We're approaching the edge of my comfort zone when it comes to promotions, frankly - this question edges towards issues of balance and level caps that are beyond my purview - deciding which companions promote via quest and then making those quests as awesome as possible is my domain.

2. You have asked it before. My answer remains unchanged.

3. Yes on two of them, one will wait a little longer. As for what they hold, you'll find out.

4. Ooof - this is a long one. In some cases is crystal clear, but for some other books it's a little murky. I'll see what I can do here. Here are the biggest inspirations we drew from:
Book 1: Definitely Treasure Island
Book 2: Heart of Darkness (and its modern film remake)
Book 3: The Monkey's Paw and the third Indiana Jones movie
Book 4: This one's a vague chapter - no direct thematic overtones, but its built around the theme of the heist - sneak into an impossible place then sneak out again.
Book 5: Another vague one - it's a pretty generic Old West Cowboys and Indians story.
Book 6: Everything Zorro, from the old comics to the Disney black and white TV to Antonio Banderas.
Book 7: The Lone Ranger casts a big shadow here, as does the "Weird West"/undead gunslinger meme. I don't have a real good source for that, but it'll come back.
Book 8: Another heist/prison break - The Count of Monte Cristo and Man in the Iron Mask offer inspiration, but there are few direct references.
Book 9: The is the classic Old West - the Magnificent 7, Shane (Timmy!), and of course all the historical personages we reference.
Book 10: This is the huge return of the Weird West, and as many puns on Dead Man's Hand as we can make. The old "deal to cheat death" story is a solid old trope, with an Old West flair. Death himself is directly inspired by the Supreme Being from Time Bandits.
Book 11: This is meant to be the "Japan Chapter" of MooShu, so i was drawing more from history, particularly the shogunates and the tumultuous intervals between them.
Book 12: Journey to the West, and of course Fu Manchu.

5. I'd love to fit a wizard into the storyline - it's definitely a bit i want to do, we've just been waiting for the right moment. There's all sorts of ways to fit them in - allies/informants are great, but I'd love to have a wizard adversary too...

Developer
Trimond297 on Feb 26, 2013 wrote:
So, what you're saying, Blind Mew, is that removing Companions is a no go. Good. I don't want to see my Companions depart at all. Do not go there, otherwise, you would be seeing lots of upset Pirates. Benching, I'm fine with, because that brings out better companion management.

When I saw that Book 12 has 4 Chapters, I think that you're going for the set Book Chapter amount, which is 3, does sound reasonable. Making a new Book with 4 Chapters does take a bit much, but 5 Chapters in a new Book, ooh, that's a bit longer. Hopefully, you could reserve the amount of 5 Chapters in a Book later on.

Would you work in a new Armada Fortess in a future revisit to Monquista? I like the Armada fortresses in Skull Island and Valencia, but I would like to see a more larger fortress made, larger, and tougher than the fortresses by far.

I'm hinting that Monquista was involved in the Polarian War and with the Armada aiding them to end it before they went out of control, so it's very clear there's going to be more involvement with the Monquistan Crown's King and Queen siding with the Armada because they got paid a million bananas in a future visit to Monquista. Think the Monquistan King and Queen want El Dorado very badly? Because if they do, they could pursue El Dorado and use it to finally overthrow the Opposition, if they reach it, that is, once they have the Map in whole. Word about Marco Pollo's Map could spread to Monquista really fast, especially onto the ears of royalty, you know. The civil war between the Crown and the Opposition in Monquista could turn the tide on them, and it could be up to the Pirates to finally stop it and the King and Queen for the Opposition before it's too late, am I right?
Companion "death" - yeah, it's a slippery slope. We can tell great stories without it.

Book length: as in all things, the demands of the story will ultimately decide the day. I don't ever want a Book shorter than 3 chapters - as to maximum length, we shall see.

More Armada fortresses? You ain't seen nothing yet! I think you'll like Book 13...

As for Monquista, those are all very intriguing ideas. I can confirm or deny nothing.