• Play
  • About
  • News
  • Forums
  • Yppedia
  • Help
Welcome Guest   | Login
  Index  | Recent Threads  | Register  | Search  | Help  | RSS feeds  | View Unanswered Threads  
  Search  


Quick Go »
Thread Status: Locked
Total posts in this thread: 123
Posts: 123   Pages: 5   [ First Page | 1 2 3 4 5 | Next Page | Last Page]
[Add To My Favorites] [Watch this Thread] [Post new Thread]
Author
Previous Thread This topic has been viewed 130344 times and has 122 replies Next Thread
BehindCurtai

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 12589
Status: Offline
A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Where should you play - a beginner's guide to choosing an ocean

Sections:
1. What kind of player are you?
2. How the economies of the new oceans (Subscription vs. Doubloon) differ
3. Where does Midnight fit in?
4. A comparison of the two subscription oceans.

So you've decided to play Puzzle Pirates. Maybe you've heard that it's a place to play puzzles while chatting with friends. Maybe you've heard that it's a great game for pretending to be a pirate. Maybe you like the idea of plundering merchant ships with your bare sword. Maybe you clicked a banner and downloaded the game; perhaps you came from Miniclip or Shockwave; possibly, you have a retail box from Ubisoft.

Welcome to Puzzle Pirates. The first thing you'll be asked to do is choose an ocean which will be your home.

First, lets take the easy case. You may have come here to play with friends that you already know. If so, you want to choose the same ocean they use.

Other than that, I recommend that everyone start with a trial account on the Midnight ocean, at least through March 2005.
Yes, even if you purchased a retail box with a free month -- start with a trial account. Starting with a trial account extends your playtime (you get both the trial time and the first month).

Although Cobalt will be the most "normal" ocean (explained below), at the time of this writing the economy is brand new, and still incomplete. The only ocean where you can purchase swords or clothing currently is Midnight, and this is expected to last through all of March, 2005. When Cobalt is able to provide clothing and swords to new pirates, it will become the recommended trial starter ocean. More information on the ocean economies is at the end of this guide. (Update: Clothing is now available, although in limited colors, on the other oceans)

Although it may change, at the moment your trial period will last for 10 days of play. This may last you two weeks if you play a lot; this may last you 10 weeks if you only play once a week. At this point, you'll have an idea of the game, and whether or not you like it.

For your long term home, there is one basic question: Doubloon ocean, or Subscription ocean. Subscription oceans range from about $8.33 to $10.00 per month, depending on the length of time you purchase; a year costs only $6.25 per month in advance. A flat fee covers everything you do. In Doubloon oceans, however, you must make micropayments in doubloons for certain transactions; doubloons cost anywhere from 20 to 25 cents each, depending on quantity purchased. A typical medium-use pirate may use around 30-35 doubloons a month. A casual player may use less than 5; a very light player may use zero or one. Doubloons can be exchanged in-game for poe (Pieces of Eight, the in-game money) by trading with other players. Low usage pirates may be able to survive entirely with traded doubloons, or with an occasional purchase of $3 worth of doubloons.

Now the question is, what type of player do you see yourself as?

1. The casual, "The puzzles are nice, but I don't see myself doing more than playing puzzles for fun" player. You want a doubloon ocean, currently Viridian. This sort of player can play for free, although for anything more than the most basic of clothing or swords, you'll need to trade in-game for doubloons.

2. The heavy, "I went through 10 days of play in 20 days or less" person. You probably want a subscription ocean, and almost certainly want to stay on Cobalt.

3. The power player. Are you someone that wants to run a merchant empire, and start it quickly? Are you someone that is willing to pay a little more real money up front for a slight head start at the beginning? Then you want a doubloon ocean, and may want to purchase a few extra doubloons.

4. The skilled player. Some people can play the puzzles, especially the pillaging puzzles well enough that they earn lots of poe. These people will spend less real life cash to play in a doubloon ocean than in a subscription ocean, as they can use their extra poe to reduce their need to purchase doubloons. Some players can earn enough poe that they never need to purchase doubloons.

5. The medium player that wants to either reduce their costs, or get a poe bonus. This player will use less than 35-42 doubloons a month, and so will find their costs are lower on a doubloon ocean than a subscription ocean. They can either keep their extra doubloons for a later month, or sell those doubloons for extra poe now. Keep in mind this trade off: $25 will buy 3 months in a subscription ocean; $20 will buy 90 doubloons. $23 will by 102 doubloons. If you expect to use about 30-35 doubloons a month, this is the break-even point.

6. A merchant-minded pirate that wants an economy that resembles a real world economy. This person wants a subscription ocean, and either Midnight (if they want the challenge of breaking into an established economy), or Cobalt (if they want the challenge of working in a new and starting economy).

7. Someone who wants to play all aspects of the game without worrying about any secondary expenses. You will want a subscription ocean.

How does the economy differ in Subscription and Doubloon oceans?

Doubloon oceans are still young, so the exact details are not yet known. The biggest difference comes from how labor works. In a subscription ocean, each account produces 24 hours a day of labor, that may be split among 1, 2, or 3 pirates. In a doubloon ocean, each pirate may purchase a labor badge (currently at 5 doubloons) and get 24 hours of labor.

In other words, to work at a shop, and earn poe by doing so, you have to pay doubloons which have a poe value.

This is inherently a feedback loop; this makes analyzing the predictable results very difficult. Several people have given differing predictions on what will happen; about the only clear thing is that the economy may not resemble a normal economy, resulting in opportunities for people who can spot and exploit trends. One such opportunity is for a merchant empire to grow quickly by spending doubloons for extra labor.

The bottom line: Doubloon ocean economies will not look the same as real world economies. How they will differ is not yet known. Subscription oceans will most likely seem more "normal" and less suprising than Doubloon oceans. For this reason, I'm recommending that all new pirates play their trial period on a subscription ocean.

How do the established (Midnight) and new (Cobalt/Viridian) oceans differ?

Midnight has 56 islands in 8 archipelagos. Outer arches are distributed in a web shape, surrounding the Diamond and Emerald arches, which are home to the ocean's largest populations. Midnight is an established ocean with many, many long-standing crews and deeply entrenched social networks.

Viridian and Cobalt are exact copies of each other in island arrangement standpoint. The Viridian/Cobalt oceans are made up of three large arches of 18 islands each, interconnected in various ways. The population is quite dynamic and new islands and shipping routes are being discovered every day! Things in Viridian and Cobalt are evolving and being discovered; remember, these oceans are up and coming.

The Midnight economy will seem strange. This is because it has been subject to at least three different sets of economic rules during the course of the game; because of this, the economic setup on Midnight will be unique, and unlike that of any other ocean. This gives it unique challenges than cannot be found on any other server for people that are into economic activities.

Cobalt and Viridian, on the other hand, have a fresh economy with a single consistent set of rules governing it. Some people will find it easier to work with; others will find that the "bootstrap" nature of the early economy is harder to work with. For example, shops that rely on products from other shops are essentially non-existent at this time (late February); in a month, this will no longer be the case.

For merchants, there is the question of markets and the economy. While Midnight has approximately 25 marketed islands, Cobalt and Viridian have only five. Two of these are near each other; a third is a distance away. The last two are both across hard to travel interarchipelago routes. This means that Cobalt and Viridian have to rely more on NPC merchant shippers to deliver goods, and player shippers have a smaller arena to compete in. This also means that there will be more merchant ships to attack and pillage, but be aware that merchants tend to be hard to find, and the rich ones tend to be very, very hard to defeat.

For most players, the key to keep in mind is this: At this time, only Midnight has a completely functioning economy. Both Cobalt and Viridian currently lack anything other than the smallest ships, and the cannonballs and fuel (rum) to operate them.

For people that are just into basic pillaging activities, Midnight is, in some sense, richer -- there is a vast amount of existing crews and flags to work with, and islands to take over; there are some very wealth pirates that are able to run special events on a regular basis, including a weekly treasure ship run. It is generally easier to job with a crew on Midnight, and there are hundred of real, active crews; it is rare to find a notice board without at least 5-10 crews hiring, even in the early morning.

Additionally, there are monthly special events and tournaments that are currently ONLY held on Midnight. Prizes for these include the much sought-after Familiars, currently only available on Midnight.

Competition in both the piratical and merchant avenues is greater on Midnight by the current nature of its increased population. There are many many pirates who make their livings as shop keeps, and many many pirates who make their living as corsairs. If carving yourself a niche in an established ocean seems like a challenge you'd enjoy, then Midnight is for you. If blazing your way through uncharted waters and helping to shape the destiny of a new ocean, then one of the upstart oceans might be better suited to you.

See you on the high seas, and may your cannons find their mark. Unless you're facing me that is.

I'm culling stickies today I'm afraid, while this one is useful- it can probably make do with an ?berthread spot. -Diamondblade.
----------------------------------------
"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

----------------------------------------
[Edit 2 times, last edit by BehindCurtai at Aug 28, 2005 2:58:35 PM]
[Aug 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://StrictConstitution.BlogSpot.Com [Link]  Go to top 
Lizthegrey
Developer (retired)
Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 6912
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Nice, but too tired to comment. Maybe after I go to bed and wake up again.
[Aug 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    https://plus.google.com/106912596786226524817/posts [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 1, 2003
Posts: 5791
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

You write a lot of words, and many of them even make sense! Good show, so far.
----------------------------------------
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 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
rroberts



Joined: Dec 2, 2003
Posts: 1534
Status: Offline

Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

All looks good to me. Well written. And congrats on your 3000th post Fronsac. :)
[Feb 20, 2005 7:34:27 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.chestertongrant.co.uk [Link]  Go to top 
Smolder

Member's Avatar


Joined: Apr 27, 2004
Posts: 2219
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Very informative :)
----------------------------------------
-Harding
[Feb 21, 2005 1:42:58 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
ramirojr



Joined: Aug 3, 2003
Posts: 2758
Status: Offline

Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

BehindCurtai wrote: 
Additionally, there are monthly special events and tournaments that are currently ONLY held on Midnight. Prizes for these include the much sought-after Familiars, currently only available on Midnight.

While this is true now, I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing familiar events on the new oceans.

But yes, everything you write is truthful and informative, as the previous posters have said, so I'd also like to commend you for a job well done.
----------------------------------------
My backpacking buddy wrote: 
Remember that time we went through the Hall o'Precedents, then refused t'do it again? That Summer were the best.

[Feb 21, 2005 2:13:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
54x

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 28, 2003
Posts: 7142
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

I've stuck it. I was planning to do a thread on the differences between oceans myself at some point, but this covers that quite nicely. Well done.
----------------------------------------
Diamondblade, Cartographer, Crimson Tide.
from Midnight.
Dear sir or madam can you read my book, it took me years to write, will you take a look?
[Feb 21, 2005 4:15:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mjwhitehead.com/    raasike54    secondlight5454    32987700 [Link]  Go to top 
Heygabe

Member's Avatar


Joined: Apr 12, 2004
Posts: 1290
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

BehindCurtai wrote: 
Other than that, I will recommend that everyone start with a trial account on the Cobalt ocean. Yes, even if you purchased a retail box with a free month -- start with a trial account. There are several reasons for saying Cobalt, and those will be covered shortly.


Why? Why should they start with Cobalt? What are the _real_ differences between the two anyway? You don't ever explain why I might pick one subscriber ocean over another. You could even throw Ice into the mix, if you wanted to. I mean, If you're a subscriber, it doesn't really matter which ocean you play on because, at this point, because you get access to all of them.

This document is slanted toward Cobalt over Midnight, and I think this stems from a lack of focus on the writer's behalf on what the point of the document would be. BehindCurtai, you seem to be trying to answer two questions at once.
1. Should I subscribe or buy doubloons?

2. Should I focus my time on Cobalt or Midnight.

Perhaps you should focus the doubloons vs. the subscriptions angle, rather than getting all mucked up on the differences between the oceans.

Really, the question of "Which Ocean should I choose" comes down to a matter of personal taste and not about which ocean is 'righter' or 'betterer' for new players. You do a better job expressing the differences between the oceans in your final paragraphs, but in the first few are simply too "cobalt" centric.

BehindCurtai wrote: 
It is important to understand that although doubloons can be used to purchase a head start, they cannot purchase long-term success. .

BehindCurtai wrote: 
Once this point is reached, no amount of doubloons can purchase success as a pirate; what matters is your skill with the puzzles.



These are opinions and not facts. I thought the whole point of the doubloon-type service is to allow players with the real-life means to do so purchase happiness. Doubloons can be purchased, which can be sold for poe, which can be used, along with other doubloons, to buy _anything_ a pirate desires. (Outside of happiness and friendships-- to a degree.)

You also fail to mention that it is entirely possible for a player to play for free _Forever_ on a doubloon ocean, however, the likelihood of one finding such an arrangement satisfying is fairly minimal. (Because Doubloons are required to experience anything beyond the most basic elements of the game. Playing on a doubloon ocean doubloon-less would be just like being a trial subscriber forever. That?s not to say you need to spend lots of money on doubloons to have fun, doubloons will be purchasable for poe, but at what expense is dictated by the market-- and impossible to gauge at this time.)

A few last points:
1. I think you need to further explain why I should not use my free subscription right away. I don?t understand it, I have a free one-month trial, Why do I need to sign up for another trail that only lasts 10 days? ((Experienced pirate HeyGabe understands that you can get 10 free days by waiting to start your free month, but I don?t think the point is very clearly made in your post.))
2. I find the term ?Slave Alt? distasteful. I believe new subscribers will only be confused by the ?Alts? concept and by putting in this, which is supposed to be a simple, introductory FAQ, you only serve to unnecessarily complicate the document. Further, the entire ?graph is mostly speculation at this point anyway, right?

Edit: I forgot to add that it might be helpful to discuss the physical differences between the oceans. How many islands are on the oceans? How many arches? How are the arches allied? What are the island themes on each ocean? What are the arches like and how are they different? These strike me as far more important issues to the puzzle pirates initiate than belabored discussions of ?Slave Alts.?
----------------------------------------
--Watching the Mad Professor from a distance
If we are steadfast in our resolve to have fun, then fun we will have.
[Feb 21, 2005 4:35:33 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
silentwitnes



Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 126
Status: Offline

Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Makes sense to me. Well done, most excellent job BehindCurtai!
[Feb 21, 2005 4:44:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
54x

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 28, 2003
Posts: 7142
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Heygabe wrote: 
BehindCurtai wrote: 
Other than that, I will recommend that everyone start with a trial account on the Cobalt ocean. Yes, even if you purchased a retail box with a free month -- start with a trial account. There are several reasons for saying Cobalt, and those will be covered shortly.


Why? Why should they start with Cobalt? What are the _real_ differences between the two anyway? You don't ever explain why I might pick one subscriber ocean over another. You could even throw Ice into the mix, if you wanted to. I mean, If you're a subscriber, it doesn't really matter which ocean you play on because, at this point, because you get access to all of them.

This document is slanted toward Cobalt over Midnight, and I think this stems from a lack of focus on the writer's behalf on what the point of the document would be. BehindCurtai, you seem to be trying to answer two questions at once.
1. Should I subscribe or buy doubloons?

2. Should I focus my time on Cobalt or Midnight.

Perhaps you should focus the doubloons vs. the subscriptions angle, rather than getting all mucked up on the differences between the oceans.


Well, there's also a very significant difference between Cobalt and Midnight, ie. an established ocean vs. a clean start. Many players will find the clean start MUCH more interesting- even some of the existing ones from Midnight.

Also, you have to keep in mind that midnight has had many outdated patches on it while the ocean was still forming. These will have greatly influenced its development. Also, it currently has no Medium islands, so many of its smaller islands are either outposts or full to the brim.

Heygabe wrote: 
Really, the question of "Which Ocean should I choose" comes down to a matter of personal taste and not about which ocean is 'righter' or 'betterer' for new players. You do a better job expressing the differences between the oceans in your final paragraphs, but in the first few are simply too "cobalt" centric.


He's making a recommendation based on a value judgement. People are allowed to make value judgements in their guides. He is telling people that he thinks it is best to START with the subscriber, clean start ocean. That makes plenty of sense to me. Then if you decide that this sort of play is not your thing, you can always move to Viridian or Midnight later.

Heygabe wrote: 
BehindCurtai wrote: 
It is important to understand that although doubloons can be used to purchase a head start, they cannot purchase long-term success. .

BehindCurtai wrote: 
Once this point is reached, no amount of doubloons can purchase success as a pirate; what matters is your skill with the puzzles.



These are opinions and not facts. I thought the whole point of the doubloon-type service is to allow players with the real-life means to do so purchase happiness. Doubloons can be purchased, which can be sold for poe, which can be used, along with other doubloons, to buy _anything_ a pirate desires. (Outside of happiness and friendships-- to a degree.)


They're both pretty solid CONDITIONAL facts. If you consider success to be based on things that influence your gameplay, then all dubloons will do is help people get started in less time, exactly as his guide says. You still won't be able to man a blockade just with dubloons. It'll require social power.

Heygabe wrote: 
You also fail to mention that it is entirely possible for a player to play for free _Forever_ on a doubloon ocean, however, the likelihood of one finding such an arrangement satisfying is fairly minimal. (Because Doubloons are required to experience anything beyond the most basic elements of the game. Playing on a doubloon ocean doubloon-less would be just like being a trial subscriber forever. That?s not to say you need to spend lots of money on doubloons to have fun, doubloons will be purchasable for poe, but at what expense is dictated by the market-- and impossible to gauge at this time.)


Good suggestion. I think you're right to say he should add this fact in. Basically, dubloons will also allow for those willing to sell their "success" or poe to other players to play for free or for cheap.

Heygabe wrote: 
A few last points:
1. I think you need to further explain why I should not use my free subscription right away. I don?t understand it, I have a free one-month trial, Why do I need to sign up for another trail that only lasts 10 days? ((Experienced pirate HeyGabe understands that you can get 10 free days by waiting to start your free month, but I don?t think the point is very clearly made in your post.))
2. I find the term ?Slave Alt? distasteful. I believe new subscribers will only be confused by the ?Alts? concept and by putting in this, which is supposed to be a simple, introductory FAQ, you only serve to unnecessarily complicate the document. Further, the entire ?graph is mostly speculation at this point anyway, right?

Edit: I forgot to add that it might be helpful to discuss the physical differences between the oceans. How many islands are on the oceans? How many arches? How are the arches allied? What are the island themes on each ocean? What are the arches like and how are they different? These strike me as far more important issues to the puzzle pirates initiate than belabored discussions of ?Slave Alts.?


As an Ubisoft player, they wouldn't get the trial period at all if they immediately subscribed. The same is true of other green accounts. He's basically telling them to extend their playtime.

As for physical differences: If all three archs on Cobalt and Viridian have the same number of islands, then they have roughly two or so islands less than midnight. They will probably benefit from more shipping and trading than midnight due to larger archipelagos, and gem trading, if it ends up existing, would be very interesting indeed.

edit: fixed up a broken quote
----------------------------------------
Diamondblade, Cartographer, Crimson Tide.
from Midnight.
Dear sir or madam can you read my book, it took me years to write, will you take a look?
----------------------------------------
[Edit 1 times, last edit by 54x at Feb 21, 2005 5:06:16 AM]
[Feb 21, 2005 5:06:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mjwhitehead.com/    raasike54    secondlight5454    32987700 [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 25, 2003
Posts: 7325
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Just wanted to say that although this is a fine post, I also think that the "slave alt" section is opinion and speculation (at this point). The purpose of this post should be to inform, not to theorize; let alone to present those theories as fact.
----------------------------------------
Starhawk of Mad Mutineers, Azure
Catalina of Twilight's Sabre, Cobalt
[Feb 21, 2005 6:22:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Heygabe

Member's Avatar


Joined: Apr 12, 2004
Posts: 1290
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

54x wrote: 


He's making a recommendation based on a value judgement. People are allowed to make value judgements in their guides. He is telling people that he thinks it is best to START with the subscriber, clean start ocean. That makes plenty of sense to me. Then if you decide that this sort of play is not your thing, you can always move to Viridian or Midnight later.


54x wrote: 

They're both pretty solid CONDITIONAL facts. If you consider success to be based on things that influence your gameplay, then all doubloons will do is help people get started in less time, exactly as his guide says. You still won't be able to man a blockade just with dubloons. It'll require social power.


Conditional or not, I say they're theories. It all depends on how you define success. These things should be spelled out as such in any stickied document that says "A beginners guide to choosing an ocean." And I would disagree that one can't buy social power with doubloons, but, doubloons ain't been out long enough to really know for sure.

It might be preferable if BehindCurtai wrote: 

Many believe that although doubloons can be used to purchase a head start, they cannot purchase long-term success. Eventually, there may be a dozen islands open for colonization and markets. At this point, your ability to sail goods in from distant markets, rather than relying on NPP merchants, becomes critical in your ability to make a profit; for many pirates, the shipping of goods will make more money than running the shop will. Of course, you can always buy more doubloons and sell them as a means to make poe, but there is likely to be a market saturation point, where the real-world cost of doubloons _could_ make this strategy impractical. If this point is reached, no amount of doubloons will purchase success as a pirate; what will matter are your skills with the puzzles.


Note: there are a few arbitrary unbolded edits in there.


I'm not attacking anybody's politics. I'm adding quality feedback that would serve to make the document better. Frankly, this is not the appropriate thread for debating the fine points of the how the doubloon oceans may work in the future. The bottom line is, we don't know how the doubloon oceans will shape up, which is why I think it's The author owes it to his audience to be as unbiased as possible.

The author needs to clearly delineate blanket statements based entirely on his or her preference. I think this is an entirely good and helpful document, and I congratulate the author for a undertaking a job that is quite daunting. However, I think the author should take great care to decide which of his or her comments are valuable to the new user who, not knowing anything of ocean politics, economies, alts, is simply trying to figure out what the difference between these shades of blue and green are.

I would think new pirates would find it more helpful if the author wrote: 


Midnight is an established ocean with many, many long-standing crews and deeply entrenched social networks. Cobalt has recently launched and is quickly being terraformed into a new and exciting place.
Midnight has 56 islands in 8 archipelagos. Outer arches are distributed in a web shape, surrounding the Diamond and Emerald arches, which are home to the ocean's largest populations. Many consider The Ruby Archipelago to be the most demanding arch to play in, while others find the pleasant pinkness of the coral arch most pleasing.

Viridian and Cobalt are exact copies of each other in island arrangement standpoint. The Viridian/Cobalt oceans are made up of three arches, interconnected in various ways. The population is quite dynamic and new islands are being discovered every day! Things in Viridian and Cobalt are evolving and being discovered; remember, this is an up and coming ocean.


I suggest linking to the official map threads somwhere in that mess, but with the quote tags, I'm scared to add them.

I also suggest that the author may wish to add a link to the Y!PP Doubloons FAQ, so that users can turn to the source for info on Dubloons, should they want clarification.


It's a good start. I want to help make it better.
:)
----------------------------------------
--Watching the Mad Professor from a distance
If we are steadfast in our resolve to have fun, then fun we will have.
[Feb 21, 2005 7:41:57 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
54x

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 28, 2003
Posts: 7142
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Indeed. It's much easier to see what you're saying with your concrete examples and seems more reasonable. Thankyou :)
----------------------------------------
Diamondblade, Cartographer, Crimson Tide.
from Midnight.
Dear sir or madam can you read my book, it took me years to write, will you take a look?
[Feb 21, 2005 7:53:12 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.mjwhitehead.com/    raasike54    secondlight5454    32987700 [Link]  Go to top 
Nemo
Artist
Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 25, 2002
Posts: 6960
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Gotagota wrote: 
You write a lot of words, and many of them even make sense!

Which is a good point, albeit offhand. Maybe someone could try writing up an automated quiz version for the rest of the world that doesn't read everything.
----------------------------------------
-Avatar by AlexisAngel-
[Feb 22, 2005 4:10:18 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Dylan

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 10005
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

If ye have an 'automated quiz' it should have at most 3 answers(2 would be better), and at most 3 options per question.

Question 1 effectively asks whether ye prefer subscription or doubloons. Question 2 determines which ocean you should play on, in terms of new or old. Any Question 3 should simply be to help confirm the previous choices.

Dylan
[Feb 22, 2005 4:20:08 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 12589
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Ok, version 2 will be forthcoming.

Question: Should the revised sections be edited-in-place (which might confuse people who read past the first post to the discussion of what used to be wrong with it), or added as appendixes on the end?

==========

Quick quiz to help determine what people might play on:

1. Are you able to afford a monthly subscription to an online game?
No -- Doubloon.

1.5. Will you want to play on multiple oceans for the same monthly fee? Yes -- Subscriber.

2. Would you like to be able to reduce your monthly cost with in-game success? Yes -- Doubloon.

3. Do you want a system with no in-game ties to real money, where all that it lost when a ship sinks is just a game piece that can be easily replaced? Yes -- Subscriber


For Midnight/Colbalt:

Do you want a "Clean start" ocean with consistent economic rules, or a well established, older ocean that has had three different economic systems over 18 months?

That's a first draft, what do you think?
----------------------------------------
"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

[Feb 22, 2005 6:50:19 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://StrictConstitution.BlogSpot.Com [Link]  Go to top 
Dylan

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 10005
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Pretty good - but don't make it Yes/No, have 3 options.
[Feb 22, 2005 6:58:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 12589
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Quick quiz version 2 to help determine what people might play on:

1. Are you able to afford a monthly subscription to an online game?
Yes -- More than $10 per month -- Doubloon.
Yes -- $10 per month. -- Uncertain, see Q2.
Yes -- $3 per month. -- Doubloon.
No -- Doubloon.

2. Would you like to be able to reduce your monthly cost with in-game success?
Yes -- Doubloon.
No -- Subscriber.
Lets wait and see if I'm that good first -- ???

3. You can always play up to three pirates on each ocean, for any ocean you play on. Will you want to play on multiple oceans for the same monthly fee?
Yes -- Subscriber.
No -- Doubloon.
Maybe -- Probably subscriber.

4. How do you feel about ties between in-game items and real world money? If something wears out, or if a ship sinks, which describes your reaction?

A: I'm glad that's just a game piece -- Subscriber
B: That's just the rules of the game, everyone deals with it. -- Doubloon
C: Hmm... how much real world money was that playing piece worth? -- Subscriber

For Midnight/Colbalt:

Do you want a "Clean start" ocean with consistent economic rules, or a well established, older ocean that has had three different economic systems over 18 months?

That's a second draft, what do you think?
----------------------------------------
"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

[Feb 22, 2005 7:20:33 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://StrictConstitution.BlogSpot.Com [Link]  Go to top 
Clementyne

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 9, 2004
Posts: 168
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

BehindCurtai wrote: 
Quick quiz version 2 to help determine what people might play on:

1. Are you able to afford a monthly subscription to an online game?
Yes -- More than $10 per month -- Doubloon.
Yes -- $10 per month. -- Uncertain, see Q2.
Yes -- $3 per month. -- Doubloon.
No -- Doubloon.


So, Doubloons are good for what ails ya?
----------------------------------------
Clementyne - Cultist
Clementine - Arctic Blade
[Feb 22, 2005 7:34:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
AquaDrake

Member's Avatar


Joined: Apr 19, 2004
Posts: 1913
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Unless I'm mistaken, the only price points for the subscription oceans are $75 per year, $25 per quarter, or $10 per month. So that's $6-10 per month. If you only want to spend $3 per month, you're on doubloons; if you want to spend more than $10 per month for a poe advantage, you're on doubloons. $8-10 per month can go either way.
----------------------------------------
Maybe "historical" dragons were pterosaurs?
http://www.livescience.com/animals/090107-pterosaur-flight.html

"No plain fanfold paper could hold that fractal Puff --
He grew so fast no plotting pack could shrink him far enough.&quot
[Feb 22, 2005 7:53:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
ryani



Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 130
Status: Offline

Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

AquaDrake wrote: 
Unless I'm mistaken, the only price points for the subscription oceans are $75 per year, $25 per quarter, or $10 per month. So that's $6-10 per month. If you only want to spend $3 per month, you're on doubloons; if you want to spend more than $10 per month for a poe advantage, you're on doubloons. $8-10 per month can go either way.


Well, the question isn't worded very well at all. I could afford a $50+ subscription to an online game if I really wanted to. But I still would prefer the subscription ocean.

Question 2 is better, but I'd say it should go more like this:

Do you think
a) you should be able to defray your subscription fees with enough superior play - doubloon
b) people should be able to pay more cash to gain an in-game advantage - doubloon
c) People should pay a fixed amount and play as much as they want - subscriber
----------------------------------------
Blithey
Carpenter and Distiller of the Mad Mutineers
Midnight Armada
[Feb 22, 2005 8:43:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Heygabe

Member's Avatar


Joined: Apr 12, 2004
Posts: 1290
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

What about a chart like this:

 


1. Are you able to pay monthly subscription to an online game?
A. Yes, I have a means with which to pay my way -- See Question 2.
B. Yes, but I'm suspicious of the internet, and would like to get a good taste of the game before I play -- See Question 2
C. No, but I want to play anyway. --See Question 3.

2. You're at a buffet restaurant. Which best suits your mentality:
A. I'd rather pay one price and get lots of choices. It's all you can eat, so I can keep going back and try other stuff out if my first choices don't suit me. -- See Question 4.
B. I?d rather pay for what I take. I don't eat that much, so I don?t want to pay for more than what I'll eat. I probably won't go back for seconds anyway. -- See Question 4.
C. Ick! Buffets are gross. I'll order exactly what I like off the menu, thank you very much. You get what you pay for. See Question 3.
D. If I offer to wash the dishes, they'll cut me a deal on the food. Seriously! I've done this! See Question 3.

3. Do you think it's fair that players who pay more, might have certain advantages over players who don't pay as much?
A. That's capitalism, baby. -- You might consider a Doubloon Ocean?those who have the means can get a leg up inthe game.
B. That's not fair. -- You will probably like a subscription ocean. You seem like the type that might really enjoy the game best if you can find I way to swing a regular monthly payment.
C. I can overcome that. Money can't buy you everything. ? By working really hard, it may be possible for you to do well in a doubloon ocean. Regardless, you can play in a limited way for free forever.

4.Do you think players with more real-world money to spend should be able to influence the game?
A. Absolutely ? You might consider a doubloon ocean. You can experience the doubloon oceans in a limited way indefinitely, but the more doubloons you buy, the more you?ll have to spend.
B. No. It?s unfair. ? You will likely be much happier in a subscription ocean. You get a 10 day trial for free in a subscription ocean that will introduce you to many of the basic elements of game play. Everybody in a subscription ocean has the same opportunities.
C. It really doesn?t matter to me who pays what. You?re lucky! Try out both oceans and see what you enjoy best.

Regardless, You can try out both oceans in limited way. Doubloon oceans will offer you a basic experience for free indefinitely, and you can pick and chose which elements of the game you want to pay for.. Subscription oceans give you a chance to try out everything during your basic 10-day trial period, but ultimately, you?ll have to buy the whole cow.




The language isn't as concise as I?d like it-- but I want to see what you all's reaction is.
----------------------------------------
--Watching the Mad Professor from a distance
If we are steadfast in our resolve to have fun, then fun we will have.
[Feb 22, 2005 9:33:13 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 12589
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Alright, here's the second draft.

I considered replacing the first draft, but I decided to wait until this was "well hammered out" before wiping out the editing history.

(This is a second draft of a proposed guide to new players to choosing an ocean to play on. Please provide comments and feedback.)

Sections:
1. What kind of player are you?
2. How the economies of the new oceans (Subscription vs. Doubloon) differ
3. Where does Midnight fit in?
4. A comparison of the two subscription oceans.


Where should you play, or, A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

So you've decided to play Puzzle Pirates. Maybe you've heard that it's a place to play puzzles while chatting with friends. Maybe you've heard that it's a great game for pretending to be a pirate. Maybe you like the idea of plundering merchant ships with your bare sword. Maybe you came from Miniclip, or shockwave; or perhaps you have a retail box from Ubisoft.

Welcome to Puzzle Pirates. Now, choose your home.

First, lets take the easy case. You may have come here to play with other friends that you already have. If so, you want to choose the same ocean they use.

Other than that, I will recommend that everyone start with a trial account on the Colbalt ocean. Yes, even if you purchased a retail box with a free month -- start with a trial account. There are several reasons for saying Colbalt, and those will be covered shortly.

Although it may change, at the moment your trial period will last for 10 days of play. This may last you two weeks if you play a lot; this may last you 10 weeks if you only play once a week. At this point, you'll have an idea of the game, and whether or not you like it.

There is one basic question: Doubloon ocean, or Subscription ocean. Subscription oceans range from about $8.33 to $10.00 per month, depending on the length of time you purchase; a year costs only $6.25 per month in advance. A flat fee covers everything you do. In Doubloon oceans, however, you have micropayments based around doubloons; they cost anywhere from 20 to 25 cents each, depending on quantity purchased. A typical medium-use pirate may use around 30-35 doubloons a month. A casual player may use less than 5; a very light player may use zero. Doubloons can be exchanged in-game for poe (Pieces of Eight, the in-game money) by trading with other players. Low usage pirates may be able to survive entirely with traded doubloons, or with an occasional purchase of $3 worth of doubloons. [Edit: corrected subscription prices]

Now the question is, what type of player do you see yourself as?

1. The casual, "The puzzles are nice, but I don't see myself doing more than that" player. You want a doubloon ocean, currently Viridian. This sort of player can play for free, although for anything more than the most basic of clothing or swords, you'll need to trade in-game for doubloons. [Edit: point out the limit of operating without doubloons]

2. The heavy, "I went through 10 days of play in 20 days or less" person. You probably want a subscription ocean, and almost certainly want to stay on Cobalt.

3. The power player. Are you someone that wants to run a merchant empire, and start it quickly? Are you someone that is willing to pay a little more real money up front for a slight head start at the beginning? Then you want a doubloon ocean, and may want to purchase a few extra doubloons.

4. The skilled player. Some people can play the puzzles, especially the pillaging puzzles well enough that they earn lots of poe. These people will spend less in a doubloon ocean than in a subscription ocean, as they can use their extra poe to reduce their need to purchase doubloons. Some players can earn enough poe that they never need to purchase doubloons.

5. The medium player that wants to either reduce their costs, or get a poe bonus. This player will use less than 35-42 doubloons a month, and so will find their costs are lower on a doubloon ocean than a subscription ocean. They can either keep their extra doubloons for a later month, or sell those doubloons for extra poe now. Keep in mind this trade off: $25 will buy 3 months in a subscription ocean; $20 will buy 90 doubloons. $23 will by 102 doubloons. If you expect to use about 30-35 doubloons a month, this is the break-even point. [Edit: Price clarification]

6. A merchant-minded pirate that wants an economy that resembles a real world economy. This person wants a subscription ocean, and either Midnight (if they want the challenge of breaking into an established economy), or Cobalt (if they want the challenge of working in a new and starting economy).

How does the economy differ in Subscription and Doubloon oceans?

Doubloon oceans are still early, so the exact details are not yet known. The biggest difference comes from how labor works. In a subscription ocean, each account produces 24 hours a day of labor, that may be split among 1, 2, or 3 pirates. In a doubloon ocean, each pirate may purchase a labor badge (currently at 5 doubloons) and get 24 hours of labor.

This means that shopkeepers have the ability to create "Slave alts", extra pirates that exist only to use up a labor badge to help run a shop cheaply and efficiently. (The term "Alt" means "alternate character"). In particular, people who see themselves as running a merchant empire may choose to work entirely by slave labor, even going so far as to use extra real world money to start up the game shops faster.

This has a number of effects. First, since there will be less demand by shopkeepers for real third-party employment, in-game wages will be lowered; second, since this implies a lower availability of labor-badge owning pirates, in-game wages may increase to make up for this. Exactly where this will stablize is not yet known; it has been calculated that this will put a price range for doubloons in the 500 to 2500 poe per doubloon range. Exactly where in that range is not yet known; different people have calculated different minimum and maximum ranges. Since doubloon costs are subject to change, even this may not be a final range for them to fluctuate in. (For the record, at the time of this writing, approximately one week into the ocean's life, doubloons are running approximately 330 poe each).

The economy is currently too young to know how much these "slave alts" will be used, and how much regular employment will be done.

Second, at the beginning of an ocean such as Cobalt/Viridian, there are only three islands with markets. Two of these are near each other; the third is a distance away. Raw goods for shopkeepers to work with come from only two sources: Either purchased by bidding at a marketed island, and then sailed back to where you are going to work with them, or purchased dockside from NPP merchants that "harvest" them off the uncolonized islands. If you are planning on running a merchant empire, at the beginning of the game this only requires that you can manage your buy and sell prices better than the other players, to produce a better profit margin than they have, and you can earn more poe than they do. For some would-be merchants, this could mean enough of a profit to purchase the extra doubloons that you used to start your empire.

It is important to understand that although doubloons can be used to purchase a head start, many people believe that they cannot purchase long-term success. After a few months of play, it is predictable that there will be a dozen islands open for colonization and markets; when the ocean is mature, there may be 25-30. At this point, your ability to sail goods in from distant markets, rather than relying on NPP merchants, becomes critical in your ability to make a profit; for many pirates, the shipping of goods will make more money than running the shop will. While you can always buy more doubloons and sell them as a means to make poe, there is likely to be a market saturation point, where the real-world cost of doubloons _could_ make this strategy impractical, and in any event this won't actually generate poe. If this point is reached, no amount of doubloons will purchase success as a pirate; what will matter are your skills with the puzzles. [Edit: Clarify that this isn't a guaranteed result]

So the bottom line: Doubloon ocean economies will not look the same as real world economies. How they will differ is not yet known. Subscription oceans will most likely seem more "normal" and less suprising than Doubloon oceans. For this reason, I'm recommending that all new piratres play their trial period on a subscription ocean.

So there you have it -- some first thoughts about where you will want to play.

Ubisoft retail box purchasers: At the time of this writing, there was discussion as to whether you would have the choice of a month on a subscription ocean, or 42 doubloons on a doubloon ocean. So, the question of what type of pirate you are still matters.

If you are a subscription player, the next question is whether you will play on Midnight or on Cobalt. First, a few words about these oceans.

Midnight is an established ocean with many, many long-standing crews and deeply entrenched social networks. Cobalt has recently launched and is quickly being terraformed into a new and exciting place.

Midnight has 56 islands in 8 archipelagos. Outer arches are distributed in a web shape, surrounding the Diamond and Emerald arches, which are home to the ocean's largest populations.

Viridian and Cobalt are exact copies of each other in island arrangement standpoint. The Viridian/Cobalt oceans are made up of three large arches of 18 islands each, interconnected in various ways. The population is quite dynamic and new islands and shipping routes are being discovered every day! Things in Viridian and Cobalt are evolving and being discovered; remember, this is an up and coming ocean.

The Midnight economy will seem strange. This is because it went through at least three different sets of rules on the economy and how things worked; because of this, the economic setup on Midnight will be unique, and unlike that of any other ocean. This gives it strange and different challenges than will be found on any other server for people that are into economic activities.

Cobalt, on the other hand, has a fresh economy with a single consistent set of rules governing it. Some people will find it easier to work with; others will find that the "bootstrap" nature of the early economy is harder to work with. For example, shops that rely on products from other shops are essentially non-existant at this time (late February); in a month, this will no longer be the case.

For people that are just into basic pillaging activities, Midnight is, in some sense, richer -- there is a vast amount of existing crews and flags to work with, and islands to take over; there is a tremendous amount of surplus poe that is able to run special events on a regular basis. There is some evidence that the prices are slightly inflated from what you will find in other oceans as a result of that surplus poe. There is also evidence that prices are significantly deflated by an excess of stalls operating at a loss and relying on cheap shipment of goods to stay in business.

Additionally, there are monthly special events and tournaments that are currently ONLY held on Midnight. Prizes for these include the much sought-after Familiars, currently only available on Midnight.

If you want the extra challenge of competing against the best in these tournaments,
If you want the extra challenge of entrenched merchants and a saturated marketplace of stalls,
If you want the challenge of finding good shipping lanes when there are lots of shippers,
Then Midnight is for you.

But it will not be easy. Right now, this is where the best play. Are you up to it?

See you on the high seas, and may your cannons find their mark. Unless you're facing me that is.
----------------------------------------
"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

[Feb 22, 2005 10:05:14 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://StrictConstitution.BlogSpot.Com [Link]  Go to top 
cmdrzoom

Member's Avatar


Joined: Jul 25, 2003
Posts: 7325
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

I still see your economic theory in there.

 
The economy is currently too young to know how much these "slave alts" will be used, and how much regular employment will be done.


If it's premature to speculate, why are you doing so in a document that purports to be a guide for the utter newbie?
----------------------------------------
Starhawk of Mad Mutineers, Azure
Catalina of Twilight's Sabre, Cobalt
[Feb 22, 2005 10:14:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 12589
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Because I am pointing out the primary difference in the two oceans -- subscriber oceans cannot have slave labor, doubloon oceans can.
----------------------------------------
"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

[Feb 22, 2005 10:41:06 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://StrictConstitution.BlogSpot.Com [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 12589
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Draft 3 will definately state that you cannot use the retail box for a free month on a doubloon server.
----------------------------------------
"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

[Feb 22, 2005 11:33:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://StrictConstitution.BlogSpot.Com [Link]  Go to top 
Heygabe

Member's Avatar


Joined: Apr 12, 2004
Posts: 1290
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

BehindCurtai wrote: 
Because I am pointing out the primary difference in the two oceans -- subscriber oceans cannot have slave labor, doubloon oceans can.


BehindCurtai could have wrote: 
Because I am pointing out the primary difference in the two oceans -- subscriber oceans cannot have slave labor, I believe doubloon oceans can.




Note the difference between the two.


And, really, use something other than "slave." "Indentured" labor is far more acceptable, in my opinion. Consider also ?forced labor.? Regardless, the comments on Indentured Labor have nothing to do with what a neophyte pirate needs to consider when picking out which ocean they wish to try their luck in. That's all I have to say on the subject
----------------------------------------
--Watching the Mad Professor from a distance
If we are steadfast in our resolve to have fun, then fun we will have.
[Feb 22, 2005 1:04:12 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
n00bie



Joined: Nov 16, 2003
Posts: 7
Status: Offline

Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

BehindCurtai wrote: 
Because I am pointing out the primary difference in the two oceans -- subscriber oceans cannot have slave labor, doubloon oceans can.


Uh... its just more expensive but one could man a shop paying 1,1,1 to Alt Subscribed Accounts, or Dablooned Accounts, no game is free of game control of the almighty dollar, excuse me while I go bid on a Twohanded-Hackmaster+20 on ebay for my other online game character.
[Feb 22, 2005 1:27:21 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

Member's Avatar


Joined: May 25, 2004
Posts: 12589
Status: Offline
Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Alright, here's the third draft.

Sections:
1. What kind of player are you?
2. How the economies of the new oceans (Subscription vs. Doubloon) differ
3. Where does Midnight fit in?
4. A comparison of the two subscription oceans.


Where should you play, or, A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

So you've decided to play Puzzle Pirates. Maybe you've heard that it's a place to play puzzles while chatting with friends. Maybe you've heard that it's a great game for pretending to be a pirate. Maybe you like the idea of plundering merchant ships with your bare sword. Maybe you came from Miniclip, or shockwave; or perhaps you have a retail box from Ubisoft.

Welcome to Puzzle Pirates. Now, choose your home.

First, lets take the easy case. You may have come here to play with other friends that you already have. If so, you want to choose the same ocean they use.

Other than that, I will recommend that everyone start with a trial account on the Colbalt ocean. Yes, even if you purchased a retail box with a free month -- start with a trial account. Starting with a trial account extends your playtime (you get both the trial time and the first month). The primary reason for starting with Colbalt for your trial is that it is the most "normal" ocean (as explained later).

Although it may change, at the moment your trial period will last for 10 days of play. This may last you two weeks if you play a lot; this may last you 10 weeks if you only play once a week. At this point, you'll have an idea of the game, and whether or not you like it.

There is one basic question: Doubloon ocean, or Subscription ocean. Subscription oceans range from about $8.33 to $10.00 per month, depending on the length of time you purchase; a year costs only $6.25 per month in advance. A flat fee covers everything you do. In Doubloon oceans, however, you have micropayments based around doubloons; they cost anywhere from 20 to 25 cents each, depending on quantity purchased. A typical medium-use pirate may use around 30-35 doubloons a month. A casual player may use less than 5; a very light player may use zero or one. Doubloons can be exchanged in-game for poe (Pieces of Eight, the in-game money) by trading with other players. Low usage pirates may be able to survive entirely with traded doubloons, or with an occasional purchase of $3 worth of doubloons. [Edit: corrected subscription prices]

Now the question is, what type of player do you see yourself as?

1. The casual, "The puzzles are nice, but I don't see myself doing more than that" player. You want a doubloon ocean, currently Viridian. This sort of player can play for free, although for anything more than the most basic of clothing or swords, you'll need to trade in-game for doubloons. [Edit: point out the limit of operating without doubloons]

2. The heavy, "I went through 10 days of play in 20 days or less" person. You probably want a subscription ocean, and almost certainly want to stay on Cobalt.

3. The power player. Are you someone that wants to run a merchant empire, and start it quickly? Are you someone that is willing to pay a little more real money up front for a slight head start at the beginning? Then you want a doubloon ocean, and may want to purchase a few extra doubloons.

4. The skilled player. Some people can play the puzzles, especially the pillaging puzzles well enough that they earn lots of poe. These people will spend less in a doubloon ocean than in a subscription ocean, as they can use their extra poe to reduce their need to purchase doubloons. Some players can earn enough poe that they never need to purchase doubloons.

5. The medium player that wants to either reduce their costs, or get a poe bonus. This player will use less than 35-42 doubloons a month, and so will find their costs are lower on a doubloon ocean than a subscription ocean. They can either keep their extra doubloons for a later month, or sell those doubloons for extra poe now. Keep in mind this trade off: $25 will buy 3 months in a subscription ocean; $20 will buy 90 doubloons. $23 will by 102 doubloons. If you expect to use about 30-35 doubloons a month, this is the break-even point. [Edit: Price clarification]

6. A merchant-minded pirate that wants an economy that resembles a real world economy. This person wants a subscription ocean, and either Midnight (if they want the challenge of breaking into an established economy), or Cobalt (if they want the challenge of working in a new and starting economy).

7. Someone who wants to play all aspects of the game without worrying about any secondary expenses. You will want a subscription ocean.

How does the economy differ in established (Midnight) and new (Cobalt/Viridian) oceans?

For merchants, there is the question of markets and the economy. While Midnight has approximately 25 marketed islands, Cobalt and Viridian have only five. Two of these are near each other; a third is a distance away. The last two are both across hard to travel interarch. This means that Cobalt and Viridian have to rely more on NPC merchant shippers to deliver goods, and player shippers have a smaller arena to compete in. More details at the end. [Edit: Rewrite]

How does the economy differ in Subscription and Doubloon oceans?

Doubloon oceans are still early, so the exact details are not yet known. The biggest difference comes from how labor works. In a subscription ocean, each account produces 24 hours a day of labor, that may be split among 1, 2, or 3 pirates. In a doubloon ocean, each pirate may purchase a labor badge (currently at 5 doubloons) and get 24 hours of labor.

In other words, to work at a shop, and earn poe by doing so, you have to pay doubloons which have a poe value.

This is inherently a feedback loop; this makes analyzing the predictable results very difficult. Several people have given differing predictions on what will happen; about the only thing clear is that the economy may (probably?) not look like normal economies, giving opportunities for people who can spot them. One such opportunity is for a merchant empire to grow quickly by spending doubloons for extra labor. [Edit: Entire section re-written].

So the bottom line: Doubloon ocean economies will not look the same as real world economies. How they will differ is not yet known. Subscription oceans will most likely seem more "normal" and less suprising than Doubloon oceans. For this reason, I'm recommending that all new pirates play their trial period on a subscription ocean.

So there you have it -- some first thoughts about where you will want to play.

If you are a subscription player, the next question is whether you will play on Midnight or on Cobalt. First, a few words about these oceans.

Midnight is an established ocean with many, many long-standing crews and deeply entrenched social networks. Cobalt has recently launched and is quickly being terraformed into a new and exciting place.

Midnight has 56 islands in 8 archipelagos. Outer arches are distributed in a web shape, surrounding the Diamond and Emerald arches, which are home to the ocean's largest populations.

Viridian and Cobalt are exact copies of each other in island arrangement standpoint. The Viridian/Cobalt oceans are made up of three large arches of 18 islands each, interconnected in various ways. The population is quite dynamic and new islands and shipping routes are being discovered every day! Things in Viridian and Cobalt are evolving and being discovered; remember, this is an up and coming ocean.

The Midnight economy will seem strange. This is because it went through at least three different sets of rules on the economy and how things worked; because of this, the economic setup on Midnight will be unique, and unlike that of any other ocean. This gives it strange and different challenges than will be found on any other server for people that are into economic activities.

Cobalt, on the other hand, has a fresh economy with a single consistent set of rules governing it. Some people will find it easier to work with; others will find that the "bootstrap" nature of the early economy is harder to work with. For example, shops that rely on products from other shops are essentially non-existant at this time (late February); in a month, this will no longer be the case.

For people that are just into basic pillaging activities, Midnight is, in some sense, richer -- there is a vast amount of existing crews and flags to work with, and islands to take over; there is a tremendous amount of surplus poe that is able to run special events on a regular basis. There is some evidence that the prices are slightly inflated from what you will find in other oceans as a result of that surplus poe. There is also evidence that prices are significantly deflated by an excess of stalls operating at a loss and relying on cheap shipment of goods to stay in business.

Additionally, there are monthly special events and tournaments that are currently ONLY held on Midnight. Prizes for these include the much sought-after Familiars, currently only available on Midnight.

If you want the extra challenge of competing against the best in these tournaments,
If you want the extra challenge of entrenched merchants and a saturated marketplace of stalls,
If you want the challenge of finding good shipping lanes when there are lots of shippers,
Then Midnight is for you.

But it will not be easy. Right now, this is where the best play. Are you up to it?

See you on the high seas, and may your cannons find their mark. Unless you're facing me that is.
----------------------------------------
"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

[Aug 9, 2005 4:00:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://StrictConstitution.BlogSpot.Com [Link]  Go to top 
zoip



Joined: Jan 27, 2005
Posts: 513
Status: Offline

Re: A beginners guide to choosing an ocean

Here's what I think be a more realistic guide, at least fer Feb-Mar 2005:

If this be yer first time here, and ye don't have friends begging ye to go to a specific ocean, pick Midnight. There's no contest here: Midnight is currently the only ocean with a complete economy and the only place where ye can see the whole game running. (Everyday items on Midnight are currently rare-to-non-existant on other oceans.) Also, there's far more crews jobbing pirates on Midnight.

Once ye've seen the game in action on a mature ocean, sampled the puzzles and jobbed a few times, then work out where ye want to play. After ye have some idea of what a Puzzle Pirate is, go back and read the long list at the start of this thread. If ye end up choosing another ocean, yer time on Midnight isn't wasted--the time ye spend learning the puzzles will serve ye well on any ocean.

This advice will probably be obsolete in a month or three.
----------------------------------------
drstupid wrote: 
If [your argument] is "good enough" for you, then having the reanimated corpse of Ludwig Wittgenstein throttle you in your sleep is too good for you.

[Feb 23, 2005 10:18:23 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Posts: 123   Pages: 5   [ First Page | 1 2 3 4 5 | Next Page | Last Page]
[Show Printable Version of Thread] [Post new Thread]

Puzzle Pirates™ © 2001-2016 Grey Havens, LLC All Rights Reserved.   Terms · Privacy · Affiliates