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Print at Jul 2, 2020 2:55:02 PM

Posted by cmdrzoom at Dec 13, 2011 1:05:19 PM
Re: Give the game back to the players.
If you let players, specially lower-end players who pokered their way to a ship, they will isolate themselves in their grandiose Merchant Galleon and fill the ship with swabbies because swabbies:

1. Don't laze
2. Don't leave in battle
3. Don't ask annoying questions (gun?, port?, bnav?, bacon?)
4. Give you a constant performance. Granted, not incredible, but not booched.

So you're pretty much making the game designed to be a group effort into a solo-everything.

You acknowledge the bad behavior of many players, but argue that we should force people to endure it? Can we go ahead and convert your workplace to a day-care, then? Surely you can put up with screaming preschoolers for a few hours each day...

Solo land-side content has mostly eclipsed cooperative at-sea content in this game because sane pirates don't want to endure that kind of barnacle and are tired of spending half their playtime trying to fill a ship, and then either having to give up because it just isn't happening or finally setting sail only to have have the crew hop off after the first battle. Jobbing for others carries the same risks - if not the potential loss of rum and shot, then certainly time (and lots of it), for nothing. So people don't want to job either - and that's not counting those who are tired and burnt out on it for other reasons, or those who finally got to the rank of Captain and are eager to try "the next level of the game", only to find there's no one to be captain of. Whole areas of the game are now effectively closed on most oceans for lack of participation.

I submit that pillaging was designed for an entirely different game, back in '03 and '04. In that game, there wasn't really anything else to do (except sword fight and dock tart), and the players were heavily self-selected for adults with an interest in puzzles and willing and able to puzzle steadily for hours, plural. Facebook et al didn't exist; our competition was PopCap and the like. This is not that game and these are not those players. That game design no longer works in today's marketplace, and should be either changed or abandoned and shut down. Both seem unlikely, alas, as either would require attention and decisive action; so the game will probably continue to drift along in maintenance mode, a pale shade of what it once was.
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