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Print at Feb 25, 2020 1:43:33 AM

Posted by Vetarnian at May 27, 2012 1:09:56 PM
The elitism of Puzzle Pirates
Today, one of our crewbies decided to hold his first pillage. He and I were the only two of the crew online at the time, and I went along to help him as best I could. He put up a jobbing notice, and here was the first guy to apply. (The names have been changed.)

Firstguy has been invited to job for 'Our Crew'.
Firstguy has taken a job with 'Our Crew'.
Firstguy has come aboard.
Firstguy says, "can i load guns?"
Crewbie says, "right"
Firstguy says, "start sailin"
Crewbie has ordered you to do some Sailing.
Firstguy says, "we have enough leggo"
Crewbie issued an order to set the vessel to sail.

I was busy elsewhere when that exchange took place; if I had seen it, I would have told the crewbie to wait until he had at least five people before sailing. But no, the jobber thought we were fine just the three of us and a swabbie. During the first battle, long before the fight, this happens:

You intercepted the Touchy Salmon!
Firstguy abandoned a Gunning station.
Firstguy says, "bad bnav cant keep up."
Firstguy has left the vessel.
Heartless Bartleby has come aboard.

We had picked up a few more jobbers before battle. They all left at the end, after we had lost, by which time we were at least a couple of league points from port. We decide to continue and put up a new notice. Only one guy joins. At the beginning of the next encounter, this happens:

Secondguy laughs
Secondguy says, "poor"
Secondguy says, "lols"
Secondguy says, "how u set sail with 4 =.="
Secondguy says, "ask the bot to sail"
Secondguy says, "lemme bilge"
Vetarnian says, "we were more and they left"
Extra Lawson abandoned a Bilging station.
Crewbie has ordered you to do some Gunning.
Crewbie has ordered you to do some Sailing.
(Evidently Crewbie ordered Secondguy to do some Carpentry.)
Secondguy says, "i dun know how to carp"
Vetarnian abandoned a Gunning station.
Crewbie says, "what can you do?"
Secondguy says, "rig"
16 turns have elapsed. The defender is now allowed to disengage from the battle.
Secondguy says, "lemme bnav"
Poor Sunfish disengaged from the battle.
Secondguy says, "zzzz"
Crewbie issued an order to set the vessel to sail.
Secondguy has left the vessel.
Cautious Lucas has come aboard.

Yes, that's how it works in the wonderful world of Puzzle Pirates -- the guy who doesn't know how to do carpentry wants to be the battle navigator. I'm not saying Crewbie was perfect; far from it, and the first thing I'll tell him to stop doing is ordering people around the ship: you're dealing with humans, not bots. But if now Crewbie didn't want to hold pillages, who could blame him, after what happened? I should know: it's what happened to me five years ago, and now I'm content with assisting the battle navigator.

Recently, for that matter, I was embarked on a crewmate's pillage, when he suddenly logged off in the middle of the ocean; one of the jobbers offered himself to bnav, and I let him do it. What did I care? I'm awful at it, and it wasn't my pillage to begin with. What that jobber was, however, was sensible-sounding (and did a good job). But if it had been my pillage, and had involved a brusque jobber, I might have lost patience, like another crew member recently did after he was accused of "bad bad bnavin". After an unsuccessful (but mercifully non-sinking) flotilla run, he had a few tough words about jobbers back in port, and I agreed with all of them, except that part about how the remaining ones should "get the scupper off my ship", but just because it was my ship. Like Crewbie, why should he bother again?

Pity those of us who are middling or mediocre battle navigators, as there is no proper way to learn battle navigation in this game. Battling brigands with the navy means nothing if you would learn better while watching others doing battle navigation. But once again it's the class-ridden world of Puzzle Pirates that is to blame, where all that matters is statistics, and where the fun of pillaging has been sucked out by this expectation of instant gratification. (That's actually how we called our flag, out of spite.) Meanwhile, the elites carry on, away from sight and throwing 3k per segment in blockades.

As I said, it has always been like that (and I've been playing, on and off, since 2007), but it seems to have gotten worse of late. Perhaps that explains the myriad touches that Three Rings added to the game which reek of desperation at retaining a dwindling player base (trophies obtained for breathing, increasingly tacky artwork -- any ship beginning with the LS, especially the limited editions --, the endless promotions, the merger in which we old Hunterites were flooded by Sage players). So I am not expecting a solution to this; I just felt like sharing.

This type of behaviour once made me quit the game; I hope it's not going to happen again.
Vetarnian on Emerald, ex-Hunter.

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