Three Comments/Suggestions

AuthorMessage
Ensign
Apr 19, 2010
2
I'm going to try and make this as succinct as possible.

I play this game primarily with my step-son and these things I've noticed as as much a result of him as myself. I've noticed three primary issues that we'd be grateful if they could be somewhat rectified. I'll list them out with some suggestions if it helps, but I want to preface this first.

One day after I had discovered Wizard 101, my step-son had seen what I was playing and became excited. He became interested in the game and it became a good bonding experience for us. He was big into pirates, so when we found out that Kingsisle's new game would be pirate based, my step-son was beside himself. When Pirate 101 first came out, we spent a lot of time playing, and he really enjoyed it. Recently, however, I've found his interest in the game waning, at best. When I asked him why, here is what I got:

First Issue: It takes way too long to travel from one place to another. We literally spend 80% of in game time travelling from one place to another. It's excruciating. I understand the concept you are trying to accomplish in the game, but is it really necessary to make us travel as much as you do? It's bad enough we can't easily travel between worlds, but the time it takes to travel from one place in a world to another is just as bad. The Stormgates are just silly.

Suggestion: Allow some sort of porting. My best idea would be linking the Life Fountains so that once one is visited, you can port to and from. You can unlock World Gates for the worlds, and the Life Fountains for places in the world. It would still force us to make all the trips at least once, and quests will make us still need to use the airways anyhow.

Second Issue: Ship Battles are completely useless/pointless. We're currently in Cool Ranch and it is nearly impossible to destroy another ship. By the time you even get the AI's ship yellow (to board) you've already been boarded because you're usually being attacked by two or three ships. Not to mention unless you spent 10,000+ crowns every few levels, your ship and the healing/damage it does, just doesn't keep up with the AI. Even then, I don't think it would matter when the incoming damage is just too much.

Suggestion: Something has to give in that either your ship needs to have a ton more health, do a ton more damage, AI damage needs to be lowered, AI health needs to be lowered, or a combination of all of them. While it shouldn't be simple to win every ship battle, it shouldn't be nearly impossible either.

I'm going to place the third point in the nest post because I'm low on characters.

Community Leader
Until you post the third issue, I'll comment on the first two

Issue #1: I think this is a common complaint. Travel is a tricky thing in a game of this kind. On the one hand, you want to establish your world as a big place with lots of things to do/see. On the other hand, it can't be so big as to be impractical. As odd as it might sounds, the porting in Wizard 101 was one of the problems I had with the game. It just made everything seem disjointed and I felt as though I couldn't find my way around without the yellow arrow telling me where to go. Pirate, on the other hand, does a good job of connecting zones. However, there is certainly room for improvement. Travel through the stormgates does seem to take entirely too long and, at least at this point, there isn't anything to do and not much to even see. I usually spend that time (if I haven't gotten up to make a sandwich) looking at the crownshop . . . so, maybe it's working as intended?

Issue #2: I thought the same thing about ship battles until I realized that I should spend some of the gold I was using to by training tomes and instead, buy some of the gold ships that are available from the first city (citation needed) which is a lvl 18 ship for about 7k gold and then from the Bison city, a lvl 22 ship for about 10k gold. These get you on par with the ships you're facing and even the odds a bit. As far as being attacked by multiple ships at once, you have to be careful, as there are spots for every type of ship enemy where you can just pull one. If I pull more than that, I just run to the nearest windlane. It's a bit slow, but it's much faster sinking them and running away occasionally than it is to battle on deck.

Host of the Talkin' the Plank Podcast, where we talk about Pirate 101 every Friday!
Ensign
Apr 19, 2010
2
Third Comment: It takes far too long to acquire some of the items, particularly those in ship battles. The Red Sash in Cool Ranch are notoriously bad. It took me over an hour (approximately an hour and a half) to acquire the information needed for the quest. It was a total of 23 ships (and as mentioned in the second point, these were all battles, not ship battles, adding to the time consumption). That equates to a 0.04% drop rate. Now, that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the actual problem – experience gain is pitiful.
Here’s a little math for support. The Red Sash ships take five-to-seven minutes (an average of six minutes) to defeat. You obtain 20 experience for each ship defeated. That is 3.33 XP per minute. That’s low, even by MMO standards. Now, as for the aforementioned quest… The reward was 1840 XP. Seems like a good amount, no? Okay, let’s add the XP from beating ships: 23 ships, 20 XP per ship = 460 XP. That comes out to a total of 2300 XP (1840+460). Now, rounding down to the hour and a half it took to complete (75 minutes) we can calculate that we earned 25.56 XP per minute. That is barely worth our time.
Suggestion: XP rates and/or drop rates need to be adjusted to make the XP per minute worthwhile. It’s one thing to make it challenging. It’s another for it to be a time sink.
Most of this is forgivable for a game like Everquest or World of Warcraft, but the central focus, target audience, for Pirate 101 is more like my step-son. How can you expect to keep a child’s attention when most of the time is spent sitting there waiting to get to your destination? It’s absurd. Then, to top it off, it’s not even worthwhile in terms of cost/rewards.

Ensign
May 17, 2011
49
Jon1498 on Nov 15, 2012 wrote:
I'm going to try and make this as succinct as possible.

I play this game primarily with my step-son and these things I've noticed as as much a result of him as myself. I've noticed three primary issues that we'd be grateful if they could be somewhat rectified. I'll list them out with some suggestions if it helps, but I want to preface this first.

One day after I had discovered Wizard 101, my step-son had seen what I was playing and became excited. He became interested in the game and it became a good bonding experience for us. He was big into pirates, so when we found out that Kingsisle's new game would be pirate based, my step-son was beside himself. When Pirate 101 first came out, we spent a lot of time playing, and he really enjoyed it. Recently, however, I've found his interest in the game waning, at best. When I asked him why, here is what I got:

First Issue: It takes way too long to travel from one place to another. We literally spend 80% of in game time travelling from one place to another. It's excruciating. I understand the concept you are trying to accomplish in the game, but is it really necessary to make us travel as much as you do? It's bad enough we can't easily travel between worlds, but the time it takes to travel from one place in a world to another is just as bad. The Stormgates are just silly.

Suggestion: Allow some sort of porting. My best idea would be linking the Life Fountains so that once one is visited, you can port to and from. You can unlock World Gates for the worlds, and the Life Fountains for places in the world. It would still force us to make all the trips at least once, and quests will make us still need to use the airways anyhow.

Second Issue: Ship Battles are completely useless/pointless. We're currently in Cool Ranch and it is nearly impossible to destroy another ship. By the time you even get the AI's ship yellow (to board) you've already been boarded because you're usually being attacked by two or three ships. Not to mention unless you spent 10,000+ crowns every few levels, your ship and the healing/damage it does, just doesn't keep up with the AI. Even then, I don't think it would matter when the incoming damage is just too much.

Suggestion: Something has to give in that either your ship needs to have a ton more health, do a ton more damage, AI damage needs to be lowered, AI health needs to be lowered, or a combination of all of them. While it shouldn't be simple to win every ship battle, it shouldn't be nearly impossible either.

I'm going to place the third point in the nest post because I'm low on characters.
issue two suggestion:

YES

-Dark Amber

Community Leader
My 2 gold pieces on these subjects...

The issue of travel throughout the spiral has been a topic of many conversations. There are some inconveniences, but with a little creative thinking my friends have done pretty well. Our own little pirate network gets us to nearly any place we want to be quickly. Having spent a lot of time already in the spiral also has most of us expertly navigating the stormgates.

Ship battles are actually one of my favorite parts of the game. We have a lot of fun leveling up our ships, earning lots of gold, and ship upgrades. We learn where the gear we need drops, and focus our farming/play on those areas. When one of our pirate friends needs ships, we often gather to help them. More nautical xp, gold and stuff for all, and makes those quests so much easier and fun. I myself like to make sure I can at least battle the ships successfully before calling for help, and have found I dont have much problems with natural progression of ships (with added ship gear drops as we go) until I get into Cool Ranch, this is why I have found it works great to usually buy me a Bison Frigate at level 20, and use all the great gear drops I got for it on my way there. This usually easily takes care of business until I get the Mooshu skiff, and I often will keep using my Bison Frigate until I get some mooshu skiff gear drops. This usually gets me through to end game. Of course when I get rich on gold I like to splurge on that real cool Marleybone Galleon... Its definately a change from Wizard101 if your familiar with that game, part of why I like it so much.

Dr Zeppers (aka Silent Sam Stern)
Piratey parodies I like to make.
I be a crazy pirate for goodness sake!
Artist & Admin of Skull Island TV
Bosun
Aug 21, 2009
358
issue 1: totally agree
issue 2: partially agree - the ships shouldn't be so heavily overlapped and unless your nautical is high enough which it never is to equip the newest ship available the fights aren't matched, instead you are typically outmatched on 1v1 fights... we need more nautical experience than the game currently gives as rewards and the ships should be a little stronger than what they are currently at for each level.

None of these changes should make the game worse or take revenue away from the game, instead players would be happier and more would still play and people would most likely even play and spend more.

Ensign
Sep 27, 2011
4
Issue 1: I agree and disagree. On the one hand I very much miss the convenience of the portals in W101, I also understand why it is how it is in P101. A nice compromise, perhaps, would be an auto-pilot feature? Maybe? You've already been to, say, Cool Ranch, so plot a course from, er, Mooshu to Cool Ranch and let your first mate sail you there using the skyways, stormgates, and (naturally) avoiding any mobs that might get in the way. Please?

Why else have a first mate if they can't do some of the steering?

Community Leader
I think I can see part of your frustration from ship battles based on your third comment.
The games documentation appears to wrongly (IMO) encourage people into "boarding" ships. The only thing you get differently from sinking them is a matter of gold/gear. Sinking the ships gives you ship gear upgrades to make your ship even better, drops gold quite often also, and rises your nautical experience improving your ships abilities as well.

As far as the gold difference, I can usually sink 5 ships in the time it takes to board and defeat 1. This factor pretty much equalizes the gold, and gets you your drops FASTER. They even often fill quests that require enemies that were on board those ships you sunk.

If there is any problem with ship battles, its the learning curve. With some experience, you can become a ship ace very quickly. Can you take out "Mack the Shark" on a stock raft (ie no added equipment?) I can! Just trying to point out that with good strategy/technique, ship battles are a cinch and one of the most efficient methods of filling quests, improving future ship battle ability, and obtaining gold. The post mentioned "We're" this would implicate more than one pirate, and if you have 2 pirates ships battling and cant sink a single ship, well theres some problems with your strategy. BTW when 2 pirates join a board battle it prolongs the battle even more. 2 pirates sinking a ship, actually makes it happen faster.

XP rates for battles I believe is low by design. They want people to level and progress through questing, not battle grinding. Since this was in relation to ship battles id have to again point out that if your boarding ships when you dont have to, your stabbing yourself in the foot as they say. You do not get ship gear to upgrade your ships, and you have to battle longer for less overall rewards.

Dr Zeppers (aka Silent Sam Stern)
Piratey parodies I like to make.
I be a crazy pirate for goodness sake!
Artist & Admin of Skull Island TV
Petty Officer
Feb 10, 2011
97
I can't sign off fully on your suggestions though some of them do hold merit.

Maybe because I gave up on W101 months before P101 went into closed beta that I actually DON'T want it to be anything like W101?

It would be nice if ships fly faster but that is the same issue faced in W101 between having a mount and not having one. I'm finding the ship travel is pretty automated as long as you are in one of the streams, they COULD make if faster or alter them for more direct routes but it's not a killer flaw of the game (the killer flaw, imo, is entirely different).

I agree they could shorten the distance while still giving us the wonderful vistas the game provides. So "yes" to shortening the distance, but "no" to eliminating it through some sort of "portal" as found in W101. The biggest need of shortening is the stormgate journeys but, my guess, is they will do something with that space at some point (at least I hope so).

Community Leader
Dr Zeppers on Nov 16, 2012 wrote:
I think I can see part of your frustration from ship battles based on your third comment.
The games documentation appears to wrongly (IMO) encourage people into "boarding" ships. The only thing you get differently from sinking them is a matter of gold/gear. Sinking the ships gives you ship gear upgrades to make your ship even better, drops gold quite often also, and rises your nautical experience improving your ships abilities as well.

As far as the gold difference, I can usually sink 5 ships in the time it takes to board and defeat 1. This factor pretty much equalizes the gold, and gets you your drops FASTER. They even often fill quests that require enemies that were on board those ships you sunk.

If there is any problem with ship battles, its the learning curve. With some experience, you can become a ship ace very quickly. Can you take out "Mack the Shark" on a stock raft (ie no added equipment?) I can! Just trying to point out that with good strategy/technique, ship battles are a cinch and one of the most efficient methods of filling quests, improving future ship battle ability, and obtaining gold. The post mentioned "We're" this would implicate more than one pirate, and if you have 2 pirates ships battling and cant sink a single ship, well theres some problems with your strategy. BTW when 2 pirates join a board battle it prolongs the battle even more. 2 pirates sinking a ship, actually makes it happen faster.

XP rates for battles I believe is low by design. They want people to level and progress through questing, not battle grinding. Since this was in relation to ship battles id have to again point out that if your boarding ships when you dont have to, your stabbing yourself in the foot as they say. You do not get ship gear to upgrade your ships, and you have to battle longer for less overall rewards.
I agree with everything you said here, but want to point out that you do get nautical xp whether you destroy a ship directly or through boarding it. I believe the amount of xp is the same, but one obviously takes significantly longer.

Yes, ship battles are 5,000% easier (I haven't fact checked that figure) with just one other player. When you get more than that working on it, it becomes an absolute joy and one of the highlights of the game. As of right now, the only possible downside to working with other players is (and I've only had this happen in the starting area) is I'll have an enemy ship down to 10% health with my raft and another raft comes up and boards the enemy. That's a bit annoying. Other than that, it's all aces!

Host of the Talkin' the Plank Podcast, where we talk about Pirate 101 every Friday!
Developer
Talkin The Plank on Nov 19, 2012 wrote:
I agree with everything you said here, but want to point out that you do get nautical xp whether you destroy a ship directly or through boarding it. I believe the amount of xp is the same, but one obviously takes significantly longer.

Yes, ship battles are 5,000% easier (I haven't fact checked that figure) with just one other player. When you get more than that working on it, it becomes an absolute joy and one of the highlights of the game. As of right now, the only possible downside to working with other players is (and I've only had this happen in the starting area) is I'll have an enemy ship down to 10% health with my raft and another raft comes up and boards the enemy. That's a bit annoying. Other than that, it's all aces!
Would you believe... 4x easier?

Gunner's Mate
Oct 22, 2011
210
Talkin The Plank on Nov 19, 2012 wrote:
I agree with everything you said here, but want to point out that you do get nautical xp whether you destroy a ship directly or through boarding it. I believe the amount of xp is the same, but one obviously takes significantly longer.

Yes, ship battles are 5,000% easier (I haven't fact checked that figure) with just one other player. When you get more than that working on it, it becomes an absolute joy and one of the highlights of the game. As of right now, the only possible downside to working with other players is (and I've only had this happen in the starting area) is I'll have an enemy ship down to 10% health with my raft and another raft comes up and boards the enemy. That's a bit annoying. Other than that, it's all aces!
I enjoy the ship battles with more than one person involved.

When I had started a new pirate and I was on my raft and fighting Cutthroat ships, other rafts would run through the enemy ship, until it hit half health and could be boarded by these other players. Oh, I can't tell you how annoying it was.

My friends (including OFxSaint), brought their big ships in and protected me, while chasing off the annoying players who only wanted to board my enemy ships. It was quite the sight to see 3 big ships and a little tiny raft tucked between them at Skull Island skyway.