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Rathstar



Joined: Jul 22, 2003
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a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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Hi folks. I've been playing this game for a few weeks now, and have some thoughts I'd like to share. Most of these thoughts come from the fact that this is the first MUD-type game, MMORPG, or whatever that I've ever played, so I'm sure a lot of things only seem weird to me because of my lack of exposure to this genre.

The biggest struggle I'm having is finding a crew that will let me take out a ship (that is, promote me to officer.) I'd really like to experience all the puzzles of the game, including navigation, gunnery, and the "engaging" puzzle, but all that stuff is off-limits to me. I feel I've proven myself as a natural puzzler in-game, with ultimate / legendary ratings in sailing and carpentry. I'm a member of a fairly large crew now, but I haven't been promoted from Cabin Person for over two weeks, although I have completed all the captain-defined steps for promotion long ago. I'm really a passive-aggressive type person, so I don't find it comfortable to continually tell the captain "can I get promoted now? how about now?" I think because of that, I just go unnoticed by largish crews. Other crews I've talked with would be happy to promote to officer - if you can handle a ship. How will I be able to handle a ship if I never get the opportunity, because I'm not an officer?

I guess what I'm really getting at has become a major roadblock to me enjoying this game is, how proactive am I expected to be? Should I spam captains everywhere looking for an officer position, a promotion, or a job? Or can I sit back, rock the house on all the puzzles and eventually succeed? It seems to me that the latter personality is best-suited to being a captain, since captains don't need recognition or special promotions or favors. But getting to be a captain in this game is nigh-impossible for me, since only one island in the whole game that I've found sells ships right now, and they ask 7,000 and 9 days to get the work done. The whole "9 days" thing must be a MMORPG thing, but I find it really hard to accept that if I want to be a captain, there will be a point that I've done all I can and still need to wait for 9 days to get a ship. The money is, of course, a different issue that has been visited over again and again. I don't have 7000, but I'm pretty close. Unfortunately, my money is split between Alpha, Guava, and Uxmal (and I'm not even sure how that happened.)

So, in general, it appears the mantra of this game is, play some navy, then do some jobbing, then join a crew, and by then maybe you can decide if you want to be a captain. But if you do decide that, there isn't really a whole lot you can do about it.

Is this the natural structure of a MMORPG? Should I just expect to continue to aimlessly wander the seas with my crew that thanks me with words, but not with actions, until someday I manage to acquire enough money to buy my own ship, and then wait nine days? What if my crew isn't dividing booty any more because they want a bank or a tailor or something? Do I continuously job for other crews, hoping and praying that I won't get screwed over? Do I resign myself to the bore of the docile Navy that never does anything? (On a side note, the first time I played this game, I jumped on a Navy ship which was then attacked twice. I thought that was so cool and, subsequently, thought it was the norm when in reality it was an extreme anomaly.)

In a nutshell, do I have to play on a decidedly social and active level, and continuously ask people for a share of booty, a promotion, or to carry my money from one island to another? Or is there a way to succeed at this game without asking for handouts, jobs, promotions, and on and on?

In closing, let me give an example of the kind of gaming I am used to. Prior to Puzzle Pirates, the games I played online most often were card games - spades, bridge, that sort of thing. In online spades rooms, you don't usually have to ask for a seat at a table or know a group of people that play regularly, you can just log on, sit down and play. However, once you do sit down and start playing, the scenery shifts from being a chat room full of people to a table with just four people on it. In this setting, it is easier for me to talk with folks, make jokes, and be social in general. Much like I have a great time in PP once I make it on to a ship where my role is appreciated and I know I'm in the cut, but that initial "matchmaking" phase is arduous.

Here's to hoping that I can enjoy this fine game and some day see all that it has to offer.

rs
[Aug 4, 2003 3:15:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Cleaver
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Trouble making Captain Reply to this Post
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Frankly your crew has issues if they've failed to promote you from Cabin Person after attaining such fine ratings and being in service for two weeks. You need to have a word with the Captain. Most crews *want* to foster and grow good Officers; it strengthens the crew immeasureably to have many competant Officers out sailing about.

It's also possible for the Officer in charge to order any pirate to Navigate the ship, giving you a chance to try out navigation (and sea battle). Again, you may have to ask -- I know that even in a mid-sized crew it can be hard to recognise everyone who's got the aptitude -- refusal in the circumstances would be another sure sign that you need to move on.

I think you may be misreading the '9 days' field. It may be 9 man-days of work, but it's done by lots of labourers, so usually a ship will be made more quickly. If you can't progress in your crew, have the money for a ship, and can't find another sensible crew, then this is probably a good option. From the sound of it, you'll make an excellent Captain.

With respect to the wider field of MMP games, limits on what you can do are common. In most games they are based on many weeks or months of tedious level-grinding. We don't have that in Puzzle Pirates, but unless you do go it alone, there are always going to be social barriers to progression; otherwise everyone would just be sailing around in their own little boats full of swabbies, and the game would (imho) be a lot less fun.
[Aug 4, 2003 3:23:15 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.puzzlepirates.com/ [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



Joined: Mar 3, 2003
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go ahead, ask Reply to this Post
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As the Captain of a fairly small crew, I still don't have time (or inclination) to review the stats of each of me crew for promotion. As I'm online a lot, I mostly rely on seein' someone's performance, or on requests of other officers, to promote a particular pirate. I'm sure this problem is much worse in a large crew; most of us aren't in the game for the administration headaches...*grin*. So, go ahead and ask for promotion. If ye don't get it, try another crew, and tell 'em when ye sign up that ye want to be at least a Pirate.
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Avatar by Rubby
[Aug 4, 2003 3:23:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Gravybeard



Joined: Jul 21, 2003
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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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That's just a problem with that particular crew, it is certainly not the norm in the crew I'm part of. Our captain regularly trains new officers based on their dedication and performance, so we have about 3 or 4 new officers per week. Cabin people are usually up to pirate after all of two voyages with us.
[Aug 4, 2003 3:35:25 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Traino+Fgravy [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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Aye, I would call it a big grey area. Should I go out on a limb and say no real captain regularly reviews his crewmates' stats for promotion?

Do keep in mind also that promotion to officer in many crews is often based more on maturity and affability than on stats (though experience is required). Promotion within the flag has nothing to do with puzzle rankings.

If ye want "log on anytime, join game, chat once puzzling", ye will want to join a large crew that is (nearly) always afloat, the equivalent of being able to join a table anytime.
[Aug 4, 2003 3:38:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
triskaideka



Joined: Jul 16, 2003
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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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The drinking game is excellent for chatting while puzzling, but unfortunately it's a mostly useless skill unless your goal is "to be rated Ultimate at the drinking game", especially since people don't often wager money on it. I'm usually up for a round, though, so if you're trying to get a multiplayer drinking game started, you can find out if I'm on and not busy. (Same name in-game as here.)
[Aug 4, 2003 4:10:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BigW



Joined: Jul 21, 2003
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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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Talk to me in game and I will hire you as a pirate right away if your ratings are halfway good. I will let anybody on my crew have a shot at navigating if they want it. Go on a voyage with me and show me that you are a good person and I can make you an officer. I have only a small crew with one small sloop at the moment, but a large sloop has been ordered. That said, I need to expand my crew to get the boats out there. The one mostly sits in dock during non-peak playing hours as it is. As far as starting your own crew, if that is what you want, go for it. I had zero nav experience and less than a week playing when I saved up enough for my small sloop. If you would rather join a crew that has a boat or two, /tell bigw.
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BigW, Captain of The Unmanageables
Explore Ruby - How many vacation days do you have left?
[Aug 4, 2003 5:02:45 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
saynata

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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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homullus wrote: 
Aye, I would call it a big grey area. Should I go out on a limb and say no real captain regularly reviews his crewmates' stats for promotion?
.


*Raises her hand* I don't.

And I disagree with you, Hom, when you said that just being mature and good at puzzles wouldn't get you anywhere. You can go pretty far in my heirarchy if you're not a total arse and you don't mind getting yelled at to team up during sea battles.

It seems that you've got offers, Rathstar, so I may as well chip my own in. Send me a tell in-game if you want Officer opportunities.
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[size=9] Saynata, Captain and Supreme So-and-So of The Sirens; Former Mistress of the ol' Sew 'n' Sew.
[Aug 4, 2003 5:33:25 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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I didn't say that being mature and being good at puzzles wouldn't get you anywhere, did I? I said that puzzle stats won't get you up in a FLAG . . . at least, no current flag.
[Aug 4, 2003 6:16:40 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
saynata

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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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Ah, sorry then, I misread, hun. No need to be hostile.
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[size=9] Saynata, Captain and Supreme So-and-So of The Sirens; Former Mistress of the ol' Sew 'n' Sew.
[Aug 4, 2003 7:16:32 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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I have found that, in most occasions, a quiet word with your captain expressing your desire for advancement is more than sufficient. There is a great deal more to being an officer, though. Responsibilities multiply, and as a consequence, in most crews officership is somewhat limited. Trust and discretion play a big role as well.

That said, there are a fair number of crews now active that would be happy to have you. Might I suggest the Orange Revolution, or Rudder Lubbers? Both have clearly defined requirements for advancement, and both will allow you the responsibility you seek at your own pace. Perhaps, then, if you prove properly suited, you might even be recruited to a more specialized crew.

So, to answer your real question, yes, your advancement is determined by your social ability. At least, this is so to the extent that you desire. Of course, you could always do what I did, and start your own crew so as not to worry about such petty matters as internal politics....

[size=9]The solo gaming route is difficult to say the least but surprisingly rewarding. I know of two pirates who play this way almost exclusively. And I myself was one.
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Fronsac, human.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to
add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[Aug 4, 2003 8:22:45 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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I wasn't being hostile. You misread again.
[Aug 4, 2003 10:07:46 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
Rathstar



Joined: Jul 22, 2003
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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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Hey mates. Thanks to everyone who addressed my questions. It seems that although I may have ended up in a crew that has a tough time promoting its members in a timely manner, that it's the exception, not the rule. It also seems that I can get pretty far with just a little bit of searching for a better crew that promotes quickly, and that I don't actually have to wait for nine full days if I choose to get my own ship after all.

Also thanks to everyone that offered a position in their crew. I don't know if it's appropriate to jump in a new crew while still considering forming my own, but I'll send out some tells next time we're on at the same time. At the very least, perhaps I can job for ye on the high seas.

It seems to me that large crews have quite a problem on their hands with tryin' to keep their crew straight and dole out promotions. Is there a way that the first mate or other crew members could handle this task to offload the captain?

rs
[Aug 4, 2003 1:35:34 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jethro



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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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The Salty Mouthfuls have an officer dedicated to determining who is up for promotion. People who meet the spelled-out requirements for advancement contact him, and if he feels they are ready he tells the Captain.
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Jethro - Officer of the Salty Mouthfuls
Jethykins - Cook of the Salty Mouthfuls and certainly not Jethro in drag. Oh no. Not at all. Nope.
[Aug 4, 2003 7:56:22 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    JGulner [Link]  Go to top 
Strawberi



Joined: Jul 24, 2003
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Re: a non-MMORPG guy tries to adapt. Reply to this Post
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I got promoted to pirate within 1 and a half weeks and then 2 days later i was an officer.

In my crew we have to make 1k poe donation to the cap'n and have a duel with him.

As for officership.. I requested because I live in asia and the crew in US and canada so there were odd hrs when I was just sitting around and had no officers to take the ship out ^^

I got promoted so quickly i think mainly because of a recomendation by another officer and a show of skills, leadership qualities and personality :)

My crew isn't that big and I'm rather friendly with the regulars so.. Perhaps you weren't as lucky with your crew? Try interacting with them more.

Its easier if they know you as a person rather than just a name when they see you login.
[Aug 5, 2003 1:16:05 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://snx8.pitas.com [Link]  Go to top 
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