April started out with a brand new Mighty Steed mount as coconuts migrated to the Spiral for April Fool’s Day, but we’re not fooling when we say you’ll *very* soon be exploring a Test Realm for an upcoming Spring Update to Pirate101! Read on for more fun, information, and a look back at last month.
Rogue's Gallery: Ratbeard
Ratbeard is often the voice of good humor in Pirate101, but how much do we really know about his checkered past? Maybe this Rogue’s Gallery will help provide some new insights!
Welcome to the Pirate101 Rogue’s Gallery. Subject, Ratbeard.
Ratbeard grew up a prince of the Port Regal Underworld: born into the infamous Beard family, he knew he was to be a famous pirate before he took his first baby steps. Ratbeard spent his early years happily tending to his father’s business, smuggling and pirating. All that changed when he tried to double cross one of the worst pirates to ever sail the skyways of Cool Ranch: Captain Fowl. Fowl handily defeated Ratbeard, in a fight so terrible Ratbeard lost his leg. Then, for good measure, Fowl killed Ratbeard's father, burned out their hideout, and even stole Mrs. Chillingsworth... Ratbeard’s favorite parrot.
Disgraced by the defeat, Ratbeard was ostracized by the other branches of the Beard family - instead of becoming a prince of pirates, Ratbeard became little more than a thug, flying the worst skyways in the Spiral, pillaging, cheating, and pinching every last gold piece to get his revenge. Ratbeard was halfway to his goal of buying a ship big enough to take on Cap’n Fowl’s Galleon, The Turkey Buzzard, when he heard tale of a mysterious expedition being formed by Captain Avery. Hatching a plan, he hocked his Sword and Coat, and spent the rest of his meager fortune to hire out a crew of Wharf Rats. Ratbeard was betting everything he had on a chance to find the greatest treasure in Skull Island: Gunn’s Gold. This would be the old Rat's last chance.
These pirates and more await you when you play for free at Pirate101.com.”
SPECIAL NOTE: Looking for some tips and tricks on strategy for training your Ratbeard companion in game? Check out this recent spotlight from Duelist101!
Boochbeard: "Are you sure this is the ‘Fish are friends, not food’ meeting?"
Hello again my dear Pirate friends! Do you enjoy how your Pirate can form lasting friendships with the companions in Pirate101? You do? Then perhaps it won’t sound too mushy if I say that Elvis and the Underdogs, by Jenny Lee, is a story about how friendship can change everything for the better! That's what the book is about, but it's definitely not mushy - it's hilarious!
Benji Barnsworth has a lot of problems: he's in the hospital so often a nurse gives him a punch card for an award after every 10 visits, and whenever he's *not* in the hospital the school bully picks on him. His doctor suggests a therapy dog, and when the dog is delivered, it turns out to be a giant Newfoundland named Elvis. Not surprisingly, having a giant dog following you around school tends to stop your bully problems. But Benji still needs to find his own pack of underdogs to be friends with - and when he does, the results are really amazing!
Jenny Lee writes and produces the Disney Channel show Shake it Up, so if you like the show - or if you just like funny books - check this out!
Coming Spring 2014 Sneak Peeks
We’ve been hinting something big is coming for many months now with scattered images across Facebook, here in the monthly newsletter, and in other locations. It was always just one piece of the puzzle, but at the end of last month we decided to amp this up now that an actual Test Realm is in sight for the players of Pirate101!
Most have seen our “Update Notes” video by now, but if not, here it is:
We also brought you a fun new way to look at new zones this month with 360 Degree view Panoramas! And lucky you . . . here’s one that hasn’t been shown anywhere else!
Things are bound to get explosive on the Fireship Dock!
Use your arrow keys, or click and drag with your mouse, while viewing the panorama to look around. Use the Shift and Ctrl keys to zoom in and out.
Our fan sites always find a reason to celebrate! Be sure you follow all of our official fan sites for news, fun, party information, and insights. Here’s a list of a few highlights that caught our eye (and escaped our pinches) this month:
Adventures of the Spiral celebrated their Blogaversary with several party events. Hope you were able to attend one!
We were happy to win Round One of the MMOBomb Free-to-Play Showdown last month, and although we were eliminated in the next round against the ultimate winners of the entire division’s bracket, we certainly appreciated everyone’s efforts! Thanks!
The Pirate101 Message Board posters had a fun time recounting their favorite rival enemies (those you encounter more than once).
Destiny’s Travels had a fun blog post about PvP Anti-Wisdom . . . nuggets of truth such as, “Spacing is a wonderful thing. But don’t get too far apart. Unless your enemy is doing that. Then stay close together. Only if their ranged. But you never know.” These humorous nuggets of Anti-Wisdom show exactly how complex the battle board can be in Pirate101 PvP!
Pirates in the Sky put together a beautiful map of all the known skyways in Pirate101 (little known fact: One-Eyed Jack printed out a 24x24 version of this as a poster for Ratbeard, the developer – thanks!)
One of our prolific Fan Fiction writers (Virtuous Anne Radcliffe) took a break out of her busy schedule to write a guest blog post for us this month. Check it out!
One-Eyed Jack: What’s the REAL Story Behind the Nose Goblins?
Hello again, Pirates! Instead of a tip this month, I have a story to tell you all, so inhale deeply through your noses, and relax for a bit while I tell you . . . the rest of the story!
A couple of months ago a few players had a puzzling question that caused me to go on a quest for answers. Basically, are the Nose Goblins found in the Dueling Diego minigame extinct?
After a bit of “digging” for information on “Nose Goblins,” I found this “nugget” of “gold”! A picture of the original Nose Goblin concept art!
I checked with the programmer for the game and he pointed me to a long-term KingsIsle Employee who would definitely know the lengths of this Cyrano-de-Bergerac-like story. Indeed, this information blew me directly into the hallway where I stuck to the wall for a moment until I saw one Jeff Toney, Principle Artist for KingsIsle. Yes, it was HE who originally flicked this character into the Dueling Diego minigame.
So in a quick hallway conversation, Jeff enlightened my nasal cavities with a new perfume of information. As it turns out there was at one time supposed to be a tropical world for Wizard101 back when it was being created. One of the Creative Directors that’s no longer with us cut the character from the lineup of characters (like a plastic surgeon gone wild) and then eventually the whole idea of the tropical world in Wizard101 was scrapped. Jeff Toney, however, still loved the visual pun of the Nose Goblin and gave this nose a job as an opponent in what is now known as the Dueling Diego minigame in Wizard101 and on FreeKIGames.com.
My quest had ended, and the truth is that 1) Nose Goblins aren’t extinct, but instead never existed in the world of Wizard101. While Nose Goblins will probably never appear in Wizard101 or Pirate101, it is cool to know that our Principal Artist, Jeff Toney, was the one that gave them the “sniff of life” in the Dueling Diego minigame to begin with.
Thanks for the question and may your nose always guide you!