I am not new to the MMO scene as I have been playing since the days of Dark Age of Camelot (2000) and played many of MMOs on the market, maybe I am a bit jaded by some of the newer games but there are a few things I am wondering if they might be added or fixed?
For one thing the camera can be frustrating during some of the normal battles or even boarding combat switching angles so that you can't see the damage you are doing (though the animations are nice). For example during the battle with Gortez in the temple while trying to do the idols the magnifying glass effect with the light on Gortez became a little intense to play though on the selection screen. Another time I couldn't see my battle because the camera decided to park itself behind a stone pillar and I almost lost a companion due to such.
Another thing that would be helpful is that while I noticed in Wizard 101 your buffs and debuffs would be circling around you (like with the elemental shields and the accuracy buff or weakness debuff) there is no such system currently in play here. Now I realize pirates aren't wizards but it would be nice if I didn't have to mouse over the enemies in the combat selection screen to know which ones I have debuffed with dodge or damage, this would also help in figuring which one of my companions I have buffed with defense or agility, etc. You also have to mouse over to know how long these de/buffs are lasting. It can get confusing in later battles or with multiple people to know who did what or how long these things last when you are given 35 seconds to choose your commands. A nice visual on the enemy or companions for such would help smooth things along I think.
Buffing during battles also leads to my next point: ship combat. Other than the little timers on the icons themselves you don't really know how long your buffs or debuffs are lasting on your ship or the enemy. The description might say buff Acc and Dodge for 6 secs but the cooldown for the power might be 12. Would there be anyway of showing an icon under our ship names or the enemies' ships to show how long a buff or debuff is lasting? Another issue during ship combat I have noticed is that certain attacks and their animations will hide the combat numbers from being seen on the opposing ship: things like Rain of Fire or the dragon's breath the cloud or dragon will get in the way of seeing the red numbers or white miss showing up the only way you can tell you did damage was by noticing the enemy's health bar going (or not going) down. Would there be anyway to make damage numbers noticable?
I really enjoy playing this game even if it is a bit frustrating in places for a casual solo player that I am but it is rather fun and I am enjoying all the stories and pop culture items and tidbits even if some go back rather far for a game in this day and age.
I agree on your point about some way to visualize the buffs/debuffs so you can tell at a glance who has what. Most RPGs do that by changing the color of the character (sickly green if poisoned, yellow if buffed with AGI bonus). It doesn't have to be extreme, but some kind of change would help facilitate quicker strategic decisions. We are on a timer!
Host of the Talkin' the Plank Podcast, where we talk about Pirate 101 every Friday!