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Ratbeard Q & A

AuthorMessage
Admiral
Nov 01, 2013
1413
Ratbeard on May 11, 2019 wrote:
I'd like to know why the resources have not been more evenly divided between the two games. But, that may not be something you can answer.

I'll answer as much as I think I can.

The answer here is probably pretty obvious: W101 has more players.

Without revealing any bias on my part about which is the better game , I think P101 is the better looking game (for now at least...), and the things that P101 has going on "under the hood" are also better. This is just a consequence of P101 coming after W101, which provided the foundation for us to build on. In particular, the characters, companions, monsters and pets have a lot more animations and therefore a lot more personality (again, IMO). Tech is quite a bit easier to develop for P101, but art is a lot more difficult.

A successful strategy for P101 will be first and foremost to try to boost that player base, so you should expect us to be looking at the beginning of the game-- with, of course, an eye to supporting our existing players with engaging side content. What's something we could do to hook new players that existing players would also find engaging? I'd like to get all hands on deck and tackle that one with guns blazing.

I'd also like to know if we can expect at least some of the issues with the newest gear to be fixed - stats and stitching problems. Also, the Spirit Companions -- please tell us they will get their rightful powers and talents to make them worth the cost we paid for them.

I'll look into these issues.
"A successful strategy for P101 will be first and foremost to try to boost that player base, so you should expect us to be looking at the beginning of the game-- with, of course, an eye to supporting our existing players with engaging side content."

Yes, but sir, that's the point. I'm not trying to sound impatient, but we as the players do not want side content. I completely understand how it can take time to make new Worlds and new content because of the art, and I know exactly how the process can be quite strenuous due to storyboarding, dialogue writing and recording, drawing and animating, and coding.

But it has already been years since the last good update. Years. A game like Pirate101, with people paying memberships, needs main content that keeps hooking existing players. As appreciative as I would normally be of any content at all, - even side content - we as the Pirate community need more than side content. You're already doing so much for Wizard101, but nearly nothing for Pirate101.

On another note, thank you for taking the time to come back to the forums to answer our questions. I'd be much more excited about your reentry if it weren't under these circumstances - the circumstances of considering if I should keep my membership if there's nothing new to be a member for.

Helpful Aurora Parker, Level 70 Swashbuckler

Brave Kiley, Level 56 Buccaneer

Destiny Galway, Level 12 Musketeer

Nora, Level 15 Privateer

Clever Tavia, Level 10 Swashbuckler (possibly facing deletion)

Ensign
Dec 08, 2008
21
It's certainly great to see you back, mr. Beard! Hopefully having you back means KI is actually returning to developing their MMO's after the attempt at mobile games. But I'm not gonna lie: after all Pirate101 went through I'm a bit skeptical... still on to matters at hand.

I'd really like to reinforce Willow's mention of the spirit companions and the especially the skeleton key bosses. That was the last meaningful update we had and all gear dropped is greatly underpowered, it's labelled lvl 70+ but most stats are consistent with lvl 40 - with the best weapons (Blood's and Scratch's) having the damage of lvl 55-60. I wrote a brief analysis of staffy wands back then.

Regarding the future of Pirate101. I'd really like to see some interesting bundles added to the game, you believe that might happen?
The kroger giftcards were also quite an opportunity to bring content into the game, but the pet totem are simply underwhelming.

And what about the storyline? Falmea mentioned we'd be getting further expansions in small pieces, I'm guessing chapters instead of books. She made that statement in August 2017, almost two years ago and we still haven't heard of anything new, can you comment on why?

~R

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
9786
Helpful Aurora Par... on May 15, 2019 wrote:
"A successful strategy for P101 will be first and foremost to try to boost that player base, so you should expect us to be looking at the beginning of the game-- with, of course, an eye to supporting our existing players with engaging side content."

Yes, but sir, that's the point. I'm not trying to sound impatient, but we as the players do not want side content. I completely understand how it can take time to make new Worlds and new content because of the art, and I know exactly how the process can be quite strenuous due to storyboarding, dialogue writing and recording, drawing and animating, and coding.

But it has already been years since the last good update. Years. A game like Pirate101, with people paying memberships, needs main content that keeps hooking existing players. As appreciative as I would normally be of any content at all, - even side content - we as the Pirate community need more than side content. You're already doing so much for Wizard101, but nearly nothing for Pirate101.

On another note, thank you for taking the time to come back to the forums to answer our questions. I'd be much more excited about your reentry if it weren't under these circumstances - the circumstances of considering if I should keep my membership if there's nothing new to be a member for.

Helpful Aurora Parker, Level 70 Swashbuckler

Brave Kiley, Level 56 Buccaneer

Destiny Galway, Level 12 Musketeer

Nora, Level 15 Privateer

Clever Tavia, Level 10 Swashbuckler (possibly facing deletion)
Speak for yourself, Aurora, side content that I've been anticipating for over 6 years would be satisfying for now. While a storyline update would be best, it may not happen this year. Many things seemed to place our story off-track ( esp. the Decaversary of W101 ).
In that case side content which can appeal to both new & veteran players, members or FtP would add interest to this game that has been lacking. But even this can be as labor intensive as a story update.
New packs & Bundles ( with a rise in gear tiers ) would be nice.
I'm tired of farming dungeons and skeleton keys leave me cold.

Community Leader
Willowydream on May 15, 2019 wrote:
Unfortunately, I read this and I thought -- NOTHING substantial has happened in that couple of years you were away, so what you thought you knew is probably still true.

Yes and no. From how I interpreted his post, he seems to have been around for little to none of the time after the fall 2016 update, meaning the things that changed as a result of that update will be largely unfamiliar to him, if I'm interpreting correctly. There's nothing particularly busted that came as a direct result of that update imo (although it had a significant effect on the meta as a whole, if he's wants to understand that in order to have a better idea of what's going on). However, the Old Scratch promotion was a significant change for the worse, as it superpowered a companion that was already consensus top-3 in the game.

Furthermore, in the time since he's left, time warp has become very popular, and that power is incredibly unbalanced in ranked pvp. A lot of this popularization stems from Scratch's promotion, as giving a purge on a stick 8 movement range is more than a little strong (and giving your team 2x movement range helps to kill opposing scratches quickly). So overall, he'd be aware of about 75 or so percent of the issues (less about the meta itself, but I'm not sure to what extent a detailed knowledge of the meta is desired/necessary). The only new problems since he left are the Scratch promotion (and tbf, he was a major problem before he left, now it's just worse) and Time Warp.

Writer and PvP enthusiast at FinalBastion

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Commodore
Sep 20, 2009
950
anecorbie on May 16, 2019 wrote:
Speak for yourself, Aurora, side content that I've been anticipating for over 6 years would be satisfying for now. While a storyline update would be best, it may not happen this year. Many things seemed to place our story off-track ( esp. the Decaversary of W101 ).
In that case side content which can appeal to both new & veteran players, members or FtP would add interest to this game that has been lacking. But even this can be as labor intensive as a story update.
New packs & Bundles ( with a rise in gear tiers ) would be nice.
I'm tired of farming dungeons and skeleton keys leave me cold.
YES.
Side content. A story update is something we all want. But, a good story update will take time.
Side content could do a lot to help this game. It would give something for max players to do while waiting for story updates. It would give a nice break to the monotonous dungeon farming. I would love to see some crafting, gardening, and more housing options added to the game, preferably without relying on script too much.

New Bundles and Packs would also be very nice.

I do question, asking the player base for ideas on how to build the player base.
KI managed to do it quite well with Wizard101. Although, it probably helped that Wiz101 was released back when the Harry Potter series was still very popular. But...why can't KI apply those same techniques they used to build up Wiz, in order to build up Pirates?

Why does there seem to be no advertising for Pirates, (in fact, I've not seen much advertising for Wiz either).
Would it be possible for KI to put on a similar event to pairing up with a kid friendly celebrity, like KI did back with Selena Gomez in the Crab Alley quests? Would that bring attention to Pirates?

Lieutenant
Jan 27, 2015
132
I've tried for the last 2 days to post onto this and seem to get kicked out of the website each time

Captain
Feb 12, 2015
691
anecorbie on May 15, 2019 wrote:
I've been giving further thought on "hooking new players & engaging old players". P101's 7th birthday is coming up, why not a promotion to entice new players? ( and make sure it's advertised! )

Just as P101 did with the Boochbeard Bundle.
Only make it a free companion. So when new players join P101, they get that free companion after they land in Avery's Office; and older players just automatically get that companion when they log in.( oh, and only one per customer, of course )

This companion offer would only be good during P101's 7th year. When P101 hits the 8th year mark, the companion is retired.
Or a free mount ( just as VA2 was introduced ) Or maybe a free Ship's Horn ( make it powerful ) and if you can make it so that we can choose a higher nautical level than is current - that would stop rumors of P101 dying.
A Ninja Pig Giveaway! It's been YEARS since they've given them out! (And it is the Year of the Pig, too.)

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
9786
Lookit Light on May 16, 2019 wrote:
A Ninja Pig Giveaway! It's been YEARS since they've given them out! (And it is the Year of the Pig, too.)
I was hoping for an unique companion not dependent on the map code that was issued for this, Besides ( I don't know the numbers ) many old players have him.

Admiral
Nov 01, 2013
1413
anecorbie on May 16, 2019 wrote:
Speak for yourself, Aurora, side content that I've been anticipating for over 6 years would be satisfying for now. While a storyline update would be best, it may not happen this year. Many things seemed to place our story off-track ( esp. the Decaversary of W101 ).
In that case side content which can appeal to both new & veteran players, members or FtP would add interest to this game that has been lacking. But even this can be as labor intensive as a story update.
New packs & Bundles ( with a rise in gear tiers ) would be nice.
I'm tired of farming dungeons and skeleton keys leave me cold.
Honestly, I understand where you're coming from - any content at all would surely be amazing. I'm not trying to whine or complain. But the problem is, we've had so much side content and at least personally I'm done with small little "updates." That's all they've been doing and all they've been pushing. I think Pirate101 deserves to have main content after all these years.

However, a new Bundle or a new Pack would be amaaaziiing! That's the kind of "side content" I personally think is really awesome. But that's just me.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
9786
Helpful Aurora Par... on May 17, 2019 wrote:
Honestly, I understand where you're coming from - any content at all would surely be amazing. I'm not trying to whine or complain. But the problem is, we've had so much side content and at least personally I'm done with small little "updates." That's all they've been doing and all they've been pushing. I think Pirate101 deserves to have main content after all these years.

However, a new Bundle or a new Pack would be amaaaziiing! That's the kind of "side content" I personally think is really awesome. But that's just me.
I know, and the side content we've been getting last year wasn't all that great. Nothing for a max level to get excited about.
I'm just saying, at this point, side content with a hint that our story will continue will be soooo appreciated, Ratbeard.

Ensign
Jul 21, 2014
4
I would really like to know why updates of the game have been so slow. It's to the point where all we are getting are mounts and furniture items that are just assets from Wizard.

The last story update was a year or two ago. Me and several others--who play for the writing--thought that it was extremely rushed and seemed like a first draft. It was extremely underwhelming, and I feel like the writers could have done so much more. And it's not just with Pirate, I see this trend with Wizard too. The first arc was absolutely beautiful. However, the second and third arcs are... lacking to say the least(saying as a writer/storyteller myself).

It's not just that. I was also extremely confused as to why Gracie and Catbeard, who play major roles in the story, don't get quests for their promotions. Old Scratch got one, and he was the last companion to get a promotional update. It's not a major complaint, but it just feels like you missed out on an opportunity to add depth to some main characters.

Also, everyone in the community can see and admit that all we are getting at this point is recycled content.

I understand that from a business standpoint, Wizard is much bigger and deserves more attention. However, that doesn't mean it it fair to neglect progress on Pirate. At this point, it's all but abandoned. We keep getting promises of updates that are coming out in a few months, but it's May 2019, and there has still been no major story update.
It just feels like there isn't any heart being put into these games any more, and KI as a whole are giving to receive, and not giving for the sake of giving. It breaks my heart that the love that was being put into Pirate has disappeared. It's really sad to watch this really cool game fade away.

I guess my question is, what is going on to make it so progress has essentially halted for so long, and why did the last update not compare to the ones we got before?
-Sincerely, a sad fan

Captain
Feb 12, 2015
691
anecorbie on May 17, 2019 wrote:
I was hoping for an unique companion not dependent on the map code that was issued for this, Besides ( I don't know the numbers ) many old players have him.
But what about the NEW ones? Newer players are probably jealous that we have Ninja Pigs and they don't. Making them available again (Through any way, shape, or form) could be just the ticket!

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
9786
Lookit Light on May 19, 2019 wrote:
But what about the NEW ones? Newer players are probably jealous that we have Ninja Pigs and they don't. Making them available again (Through any way, shape, or form) could be just the ticket!
As an old player who didn't do the beta testing or got the map with code mailed out by KI ( and it was only to those in the United States ), I wouldn't mind an opportunity to gain one. And I'm not jealous of anyone who has either the Ninja Pig or the Cat Pirate from the Boochbeard Bundle ( or has all the companions from the current packs or bundles ).

However, a totally unique companion to promote P101's 7th birthday, something that will get everyone excited, regardless of how long they've been playing, as an incentive to join or reward for loyalty; is what I'm trying to promote here.
Suppose we get Polaris sometime during the 7th year? We already have a Penguin Musketeer model in this game ( Fort Elena ). Wouldn't that kind of companion be a wonderful addition?
There are only 2 sharks available in game and one is from the Cutthroat bundle, wouldn't a Cutthroat Musketeer also be helpful for new pirates? ( I'm promoting musketeers because, during the early part of the game, there are so few available. )

What I really want is something no one has seen yet in P101. Hmmm, Siren Witchdoctor, anyone? Or Lagoony, or Mander, or Wolf, or.......

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
9786
Lookit Light on May 19, 2019 wrote:
But what about the NEW ones? Newer players are probably jealous that we have Ninja Pigs and they don't. Making them available again (Through any way, shape, or form) could be just the ticket!
It's important to understand that the Ninja Pig wasn't retired like the Cat Pirate.
1. KI sometimes releases a code during KI Live broadcasts, they have done this at least once.

2. KI often attends gaming conventions, when players of P101 can go to KI's booth and get a code for the Ninja Pig.
So it's not impossible for a player to gain this companion, even now. A re-issue or a "Throw-Back" isn't necessary.

Lieutenant
Sep 04, 2013
141
Since you worked on the Ashes of the Armada pack maybe you have an answer to this, I've always found it odd that the Buccaneer Haywire companions didn't get Turn the Tide 2 after their final promotion, was this intentional or an oversight?

Also what's the deal with the Spirit of Receiving? Truly one of Pirate101's greatest mysteries... the dudes just been sitting around in my companion list for like a year and a half with no epic talents.

Captain
Feb 12, 2015
691
anecorbie on May 21, 2019 wrote:
It's important to understand that the Ninja Pig wasn't retired like the Cat Pirate.
1. KI sometimes releases a code during KI Live broadcasts, they have done this at least once.

2. KI often attends gaming conventions, when players of P101 can go to KI's booth and get a code for the Ninja Pig.
So it's not impossible for a player to gain this companion, even now. A re-issue or a "Throw-Back" isn't necessary.
You have a point. Let's agree to disagree. Both are possible.

Captain
Feb 12, 2015
691
anecorbie on May 20, 2019 wrote:
As an old player who didn't do the beta testing or got the map with code mailed out by KI ( and it was only to those in the United States ), I wouldn't mind an opportunity to gain one. And I'm not jealous of anyone who has either the Ninja Pig or the Cat Pirate from the Boochbeard Bundle ( or has all the companions from the current packs or bundles ).

However, a totally unique companion to promote P101's 7th birthday, something that will get everyone excited, regardless of how long they've been playing, as an incentive to join or reward for loyalty; is what I'm trying to promote here.
Suppose we get Polaris sometime during the 7th year? We already have a Penguin Musketeer model in this game ( Fort Elena ). Wouldn't that kind of companion be a wonderful addition?
There are only 2 sharks available in game and one is from the Cutthroat bundle, wouldn't a Cutthroat Musketeer also be helpful for new pirates? ( I'm promoting musketeers because, during the early part of the game, there are so few available. )

What I really want is something no one has seen yet in P101. Hmmm, Siren Witchdoctor, anyone? Or Lagoony, or Mander, or Wolf, or.......
And also, I'd enjoy a Buffaloon Companion, please. They're my favorite Spiral creatures! (Hence my symbolic pet Chester the Silver Buffaloon.)

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
9786
Lookit Light on May 21, 2019 wrote:
And also, I'd enjoy a Buffaloon Companion, please. They're my favorite Spiral creatures! (Hence my symbolic pet Chester the Silver Buffaloon.)
Not unless KI allows promotion for Animal companions... ( looks sadly at Batacuda, Scorpius, Skysnake & Krokagator. )

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
9786
Ah, that reminds me: Ratbeard will our Animal companions ( like the Batacuda ) EVER get a promotion?

Lieutenant
Jan 27, 2015
132
In Search of Yum on May 16, 2019 wrote:
I've tried for the last 2 days to post onto this and seem to get kicked out of the website each time
Well was cheering that i was able to post but then got the dreaded no post sign so i'll try doing this in increments and maybe try copying before posting

1) When will gear be made max. I have a hoodoo bundle I would love to redeem but am leary to do it because i know the ship won't be max

2) When will pvp or pet sparing be able to be watched.

3) When will we get new housing items, or new houses (even small ones from each world would work)

4) When will we get new robes/ dresses for simple fashion looks like a bar maid, a courtesan (tastefully done), a marlybone aristocrat.

Community Leader
Good to see you back!

I'm sure lots of us have detailed-based questions about PvP and various bugs and story choices (I know I do), but the bigger question that needs to come first is about getting Pirate101 back on track. Here are some of the burning thoughts floating around in my head that you might be able to clarify.

Was the Pirate101 base at its peak not enough to sustain the game? Obviously it was working out at first since a major update followed the initial release. Is this inaccurate? If frequent new MAIN STORY action was keeping Pirate101 on course to begin with, could that be a solution to reinvigorating the game?

Did Valencia Part 2 not live up to expectations for KingsIsle? Did it not generate enough revenue? I see new worlds as the #1 way to get players excited and interested again. I'm not sure you can take a game where a lot of the veterans are tuned out and try to excite new players alone. Doesn't that seem like more of a risk than reigniting your existing base?

My first recommendation is to make more parts of the early game free. Stop focusing on side content. I think there's this myth that if there's simply MORE to do, people will come back. In reality, the more complex a game is (and Pirate101 is already a step up from Wizard101, which I think is a strong point but also presents a barrier to entry), the less likely new players are to try it out. "Oh, I have to learn ten new systems to be competitive in that game? No thanks." Instead, polish the existing content, change the pricing, and update the game to start generating immediate income from a player base you already know is excited for more content, rather than take a risk on low-level content which may or may not generate the revenue KI is hoping for.

Hopefully you can shed some light on why Pirate101 went dark and provide some insight on the above questions. Now you also have my two cents.

Swordroll's Blog
https://www.swordroll.com/
Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
9786
In Search of Yum on May 22, 2019 wrote:
Well was cheering that i was able to post but then got the dreaded no post sign so i'll try doing this in increments and maybe try copying before posting

1) When will gear be made max. I have a hoodoo bundle I would love to redeem but am leary to do it because i know the ship won't be max

2) When will pvp or pet sparing be able to be watched.

3) When will we get new housing items, or new houses (even small ones from each world would work)

4) When will we get new robes/ dresses for simple fashion looks like a bar maid, a courtesan (tastefully done), a marlybone aristocrat.
Courtesan I don't think KI will go that route! ( Tastefully done as a look wouldn't be that much different from a Lady. )

Ensign
Oct 20, 2012
7
New worlds Polaris and Darkmoor should come out soon. What is your stance on this? In what order should Polaris and Darkmoor be released in? I would like Polaris and Darkmoor to release this fall, if not, sometime in 2020. Pirate101 needs more updates to stay fresh. When do you guys want Polaris and Darkmoor to come out? Pirates at this point should have their level caps increased to 80 or more and one of the two aforementioned worlds should come out in less than a year.

Administrator
Please keep questions relevant to Pirate101. If they are already asked, please ask another question.

Lieutenant
Jan 27, 2015
132
When will we get answers to any of these questions or was it on the KI live and I missed it because of work?