How lethal is combat meant to be?

AuthorMessage
Ensign
May 31, 2010
25
I'm curious: how lethal is combat meant to be in this game? It seems to vary from mission to mission, whether our opponents are simply knocked out, or actually killed. A lot of the "hunt animals" missions specifically seem to imply that you're not just bonking things on the noggin, since you're often asked to bring back pieces of them. Or just "cull their numbers," which also kind of implies you're not leaving survivors.

The main reason I was wondering about this was the whole mission chain involving Catbeard's plan in Port Regal. I can't see how that plan could possibly work, unless none of the Marleybone soldiers attacked are around later to mention that they were attacked by a short pirate, rather than Armada troops. And the main character ends up going through a *lot* of Marleybone soldiers in that part of the story. Frankly, if there had been any other option (short of simply quitting the game and never playing again) I'd have taken it over Catbeard's plan. As is, each step of his plan left me wanting to smack him in the face with a rolled up newspaper, shout "Bad kitty!" and then leave to find a plan that wouldn't result in dozens or hundreds of innocent people getting badly hurt. Or worse.

Ensign
Feb 13, 2009
29
ShadowsBetween on Jan 8, 2013 wrote:
I'm curious: how lethal is combat meant to be in this game? It seems to vary from mission to mission, whether our opponents are simply knocked out, or actually killed. A lot of the "hunt animals" missions specifically seem to imply that you're not just bonking things on the noggin, since you're often asked to bring back pieces of them. Or just "cull their numbers," which also kind of implies you're not leaving survivors.

The main reason I was wondering about this was the whole mission chain involving Catbeard's plan in Port Regal. I can't see how that plan could possibly work, unless none of the Marleybone soldiers attacked are around later to mention that they were attacked by a short pirate, rather than Armada troops. And the main character ends up going through a *lot* of Marleybone soldiers in that part of the story. Frankly, if there had been any other option (short of simply quitting the game and never playing again) I'd have taken it over Catbeard's plan. As is, each step of his plan left me wanting to smack him in the face with a rolled up newspaper, shout "Bad kitty!" and then leave to find a plan that wouldn't result in dozens or hundreds of innocent people getting badly hurt. Or worse.
Hmm... that is a good point, and I have wondered about this often myself, but I've come to the conclusion that unless otherwise hinted, you are finishing them off. Unless it says "scare them off" or "defeat them so you can talk to them", I think its safe to assume that they are pretty much dead, or at least hit hard enough on the head to forget everything that happened to them in the past day or so (which is probably not likely). I think it is also probably up to you to decide either "I killed them" or "they survived... barely". I guess you could choose.

--Clever Miranda

Ensign
Nov 29, 2012
9
I've also wondered this myself, but I'd agree with Stephanie.

Ensign
May 31, 2010
25
If that's true, and we basically kill everyone who doesn't get a "please don't hit me" comment at the end of the fight... that bothers me. A lot. Especially in the context of Catbeard's plan. Yes, the Marleybone ships will shoot first, as do the guards at the prison. But that's just a game mechanic. And actually doesn't make a lot of sense, given that Marleybone ships don't really have any obvious reason to be shooting at us in the first place. (Unlike Waponi or Black Storm Raider ships, who hate everyone.) And prison guards actually have every reason to be hostile to anyone wandering the hallways without permission. That's their job.

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
I stumbled across this post, and I too had thought about this. But it is not consistent with our character or the story (fortunately) that we are killing a lot of brave (and handsome!) Marleybonians or plucky Monquistans by destroying their ships, etc.. So what is happening? Here's an instance where perhaps we just use our imaginations.
Pirate101, with its depth and complexity of the story lines, characters, and worlds can be compared (at least to my mind) to the musical form of a fugue: a lot of structure, complexity, but with great freedom of expression. Our imagination can blossom in the holes provided by the structure of the story. There are many things that that aren't played out: surely we go to Don Rodrigo's and Mustang Sally's wedding, etc. And after all, we provide the surely snappy dialogue our character creates in response to enemy commentary. So, for my Anne, a confrontation with Catbeard would go like this (yours would perhaps do differently):
Anne: "I don't murder and I don't kidnap!"
Catbeard: "My, my, no need to get your fur all ruffled. I would never suggest something dastardly of you, you know! A word of advice, my young friend: if you wish to survive in our profession, know whom you are dealing with. For instance, I have heard that if you sink a ship, you make certain your enemies are aboard provisioned lifeboats. So when I sent you out to sink my countrymen's ships, I sent my agents to pick up those men. No, they were not harmed! But," holding out a snuffbox, "a pinch of this into their nostrils, and they can not remember the most recent events. Being attacked, yes; but by whom, no." He looks admiringly at the box. "Exotic, expensive stuff, but well worth it."
Well, no more room to extend the dialog, but you get the idea!
Virtuous Anne Radcliffe

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6038
Anne Radcliffe on Apr 11, 2013 wrote:
I stumbled across this post, and I too had thought about this. But it is not consistent with our character or the story (fortunately) that we are killing a lot of brave (and handsome!) Marleybonians or plucky Monquistans by destroying their ships, etc.. So what is happening? Here's an instance where perhaps we just use our imaginations.
Pirate101, with its depth and complexity of the story lines, characters, and worlds can be compared (at least to my mind) to the musical form of a fugue: a lot of structure, complexity, but with great freedom of expression. Our imagination can blossom in the holes provided by the structure of the story. There are many things that that aren't played out: surely we go to Don Rodrigo's and Mustang Sally's wedding, etc. And after all, we provide the surely snappy dialogue our character creates in response to enemy commentary. So, for my Anne, a confrontation with Catbeard would go like this (yours would perhaps do differently):
Anne: "I don't murder and I don't kidnap!"
Catbeard: "My, my, no need to get your fur all ruffled. I would never suggest something dastardly of you, you know! A word of advice, my young friend: if you wish to survive in our profession, know whom you are dealing with. For instance, I have heard that if you sink a ship, you make certain your enemies are aboard provisioned lifeboats. So when I sent you out to sink my countrymen's ships, I sent my agents to pick up those men. No, they were not harmed! But," holding out a snuffbox, "a pinch of this into their nostrils, and they can not remember the most recent events. Being attacked, yes; but by whom, no." He looks admiringly at the box. "Exotic, expensive stuff, but well worth it."
Well, no more room to extend the dialog, but you get the idea!
Virtuous Anne Radcliffe
Well Done Anne . That was simply brilliant. Your imagination is a wondrous thing that is to be truly cherished. Yar infinity.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 31, 2009
267
This kind of material, the kind that may leave a loose ends (or quite a few dogs with questionable side effects), is one of the things that sort of advances Pirate101. It's even realistic without causing an uproar. Think about it - the pirates of olden days looted, killed, and did many things that we pirates do in-game. Then again, there are a whole host of things that they did that we don't even see mentioned.
However, which somewhat stereotypical pirate doesn't live without blowing something or another to bits? It just wouldn't make sense for we game-pirates to leave our enemies unconscious for eternity while we get on with things, nor should it be right to tell the character to kill X troggies. In my opinion, quests with that kind of wording could lessen the true meaning of the word used, and lower the tension around it. That's not good at all!
With my last two points in mind, the idea of actual death of things in-game is definitely there out of things making sense. The wording or mentioning? Maybe not. However, the reasoning behind it in my eyes seems valid, so perhaps there isn't much to complain about at all.

W-wait. You mean ancient Krokotopian memory powder, Anne? Where!?

Viva los piratas!

D.S. Devereaux

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
Dear Destiny Devereaux, I think? (I like your stories and poem on the Fan Fiction pages if you are indeed her):

Anne: Krokotopian memory powder? Is that what it was? I don't know; Catbeard didn't tell me

I rather see the realism in Pirate101 as 'old fashioned adventure movie realism': battles are flashy and full of steel, etc. but few people actually die. The villain, disarmed, perhaps holding a wounded arm close, is vowing vengeance (hmm, not unlike the Brass Monkey). The hero is also perhaps wounded, but 'it's just a flesh wound' or he is nursed quickly back to health by the heroine (it is more fun to be the hero though, so playing Pirate as a girl is thus much more satisfying!). Or perhaps, like Dumas' d'Artagnan, he has his mom's secret herbal recipe that quickly brings him to health (true. I am not making this up). That being said, I find I do quite enjoy blowing things up in the game: blowing up Armada guns, supplies, etc. does fill me with a rather unholy glee. And as far as death goes, I am very glad Deacon is dead.
But, ultimately, since much is left to our own imagination, we can internally decide how careful or careless our pirate is, for our own version of the story.
(And, not sure this is the right place, but I wanted to say thank you very much 'Valzabrat' for your kind and encouraging words!)
Virtuous Anne Radcliffe

Gunner's Mate
Dec 31, 2009
267
Anne Radcliffe on Apr 14, 2013 wrote:
Dear Destiny Devereaux, I think? (I like your stories and poem on the Fan Fiction pages if you are indeed her):

Anne: Krokotopian memory powder? Is that what it was? I don't know; Catbeard didn't tell me

I rather see the realism in Pirate101 as 'old fashioned adventure movie realism': battles are flashy and full of steel, etc. but few people actually die. The villain, disarmed, perhaps holding a wounded arm close, is vowing vengeance (hmm, not unlike the Brass Monkey). The hero is also perhaps wounded, but 'it's just a flesh wound' or he is nursed quickly back to health by the heroine (it is more fun to be the hero though, so playing Pirate as a girl is thus much more satisfying!). Or perhaps, like Dumas' d'Artagnan, he has his mom's secret herbal recipe that quickly brings him to health (true. I am not making this up). That being said, I find I do quite enjoy blowing things up in the game: blowing up Armada guns, supplies, etc. does fill me with a rather unholy glee. And as far as death goes, I am very glad Deacon is dead.
But, ultimately, since much is left to our own imagination, we can internally decide how careful or careless our pirate is, for our own version of the story.
(And, not sure this is the right place, but I wanted to say thank you very much 'Valzabrat' for your kind and encouraging words!)
Virtuous Anne Radcliffe
Dear Anne Radcliffe,

Yes! I am D.S. Devereaux from the fan-fiction page. Glad to know you like my work. (Destiny: Well, I did go traveling a great distance to find it out. There's a plundered apothecary somewhere around that used to carry the stuff.)

--

Anyhow, perhaps the concept of death in combat is indeed left to our own imaginations - to me, most everything's croaked and Deacon's been dismantled and danced on. Other things are a little hazy, like what became of those on sunken ships. Do they eternally fall through the skyways until death (or a batacuda) does them in, or do they struggle onto a plank and paddle back to shore? Perhaps they teleport to life fountains like we pirates have been programmed to do, who knows? This is another thing that I just love about Pirate101 - many of our intentions and means of battle provide for plenty of loose ends to think upon. For the most part, things are patched and covered by Mojo potions and Life Fountains for us, though I do oftentimes think of how many offline hours my pirate must put in to rehabilitating Sarah Steele after every defeat. Is there more to our pirates than goes spoken?

Viva los piratas!

D.S. Devereaux

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6038
Anne Radcliffe on Apr 14, 2013 wrote:
Dear Destiny Devereaux, I think? (I like your stories and poem on the Fan Fiction pages if you are indeed her):

Anne: Krokotopian memory powder? Is that what it was? I don't know; Catbeard didn't tell me

I rather see the realism in Pirate101 as 'old fashioned adventure movie realism': battles are flashy and full of steel, etc. but few people actually die. The villain, disarmed, perhaps holding a wounded arm close, is vowing vengeance (hmm, not unlike the Brass Monkey). The hero is also perhaps wounded, but 'it's just a flesh wound' or he is nursed quickly back to health by the heroine (it is more fun to be the hero though, so playing Pirate as a girl is thus much more satisfying!). Or perhaps, like Dumas' d'Artagnan, he has his mom's secret herbal recipe that quickly brings him to health (true. I am not making this up). That being said, I find I do quite enjoy blowing things up in the game: blowing up Armada guns, supplies, etc. does fill me with a rather unholy glee. And as far as death goes, I am very glad Deacon is dead.
But, ultimately, since much is left to our own imagination, we can internally decide how careful or careless our pirate is, for our own version of the story.
(And, not sure this is the right place, but I wanted to say thank you very much 'Valzabrat' for your kind and encouraging words!)
Virtuous Anne Radcliffe
x Curtsies x

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1189
Destiny: "Deacon's dismantled and danced upon"... ah, more speculation from my part, I fear. Not sure this is the best place, but considering the discussion of 'spaces between', I think it is ok. Here is another good space for imagination: the end of Motherlode Mine. It is a tough fight - you know that. My Anne had several companions down and was near to being finished by Deacon, but epically, he goes just before all seems lost. So now, you still have plenty of Armada soldiers around that game-wise do not matter. What happens? I think it happens like this: an Armada captain (subordinate to Deacon) calls a truce. With his leader dead, he proposes that they withdraw and take the wounded and dead with them. You don't particularly like the idea, but you are in no condition to continue fighting, and you need to see to the needs of your wounded companions. He's not happy; you're not happy, but you both know it is the most sensible solution (and of course Anne would send him off with some snappy comment of "the Resistance still lives" or something like that). This way you win... but the Armada knows exactly what happened. But, that's just my imagining - who knows?!
Virtuous Anne Radcliffe

Gunner's Mate
Dec 31, 2009
267
This only leads me to wonder how our pirates fare during battles. While what injuries may be expected by pirate combat are too graphic for the game, I'd love to see a little more than a grunt and leaning-back. If you take a close look at things, our pirates are not only getting bashed, poked, and shot at, but they don't seem to show any fear when around the enemies. Perhaps the leaning-back could be a little more extreme based on the severity of the hit. An idea like this was tossed around on the Wizard boards, but here are my ideas:

Hit that takes out little damage: Grunt, small step back
Normal damage: Current reaction
Large hit: Step back, short breather, step back into battle position.

I'd love different reactions or at least something better than the normal grunt. Another idea could be the battle stance...

Most health intact: Normal stance
Less than 1/4 health: "Defensive stance" (when confronted with critical attacks)

As I type this, I'm beginning to realize that there may be many bugs associated with such changes as well as a lot of work. Because I know next to nothing about game design, I just wanted to toss out my two pieces o' eight on the topic.

Viva los piratas!

D.S. Devereaux