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Amberyl

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How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Puzzle Pirates requires you to get a certain amount of experience with the game, as well as enough money to purchase a sloop, before it allows you to start your own crew. But even once you reach those minimum requirements, you should carefully consider whether or not you really want to start your own crew.

It's possible to run a small crew with six of your friends, if you all log on at the same time and play together, as is commonplace in many massively-multiplayer online games. This may even be your preferred style of play. However, for anyone looking to start a crew that is open to the general public, there are a lot of things to think about -- and even those who want to start "buddy crews" ought to give it a little bit of thought.

First, do you understand the game well enough to successfully command a boat? Do you understand not just the game mechanics, but the etiquette and common practices that form the norm in this ocean? Have you had any experience as an officer in an existing crew, with someone knowledgeable to show you the ropes? Do you understand how each duty puzzle contributes to the ship's functioning, and how best to assign players to stations? Do you understand how to search for targets, successfully pursue them, and handle the battle navigation puzzle? Do you know the layout of the ocean, how to get places, and where to find things? Do you understand how the economy and trading work? Do you understand how to divvy booty? Do you understand the promotion system, and can you evaluate another player's performance and personality well enough to judge whether or not he's ready to be an officer? Have you actually done these things, or do you just have a theoretical knowledge?

Second, will you be able to get enough players to join you, especially initially? Unless you've got lot of friends who are going to join your crew (or you're a splinter crew being spun off a larger crew), and enough of you are all online at the same time, you may have trouble getting enough pirates aboard your boat. You'll generally want to aim for at least five, if not six or the full complement of seven, on your sloop. You could hire jobbers, but you'll have to make it attractive, with good shares and a reasonable crew cut, and there's no guarantee you'll get enough players at any given time. Initial recruiting will be difficult, as players are more reluctant to join very small crews -- the chances of being able to sail with the crew whenever an individual is online go down dramatically with small crew sizes, especially those with few officers.

Third, do you have the resources to start a crew? Not only will you need enough money for a small sloop, but you'll have to consistently bring in enough to stock rum and cannonballs. You'll also need to obtain maps. If you are good terms with a captain, he might be willing to give you some of his crew's extra maps, but most likely, you will end up having to buy a bunch of maps, and rely on pillaging the remainder. Even if you have enough of the ocean memorized, you will likely need to stock maps for your officers. With only ship-shop maps, you might find yourself unpleasantly confined to a fairly small section of the ocean, until you can pillage other maps.

Fourth, do you have enough time to devote to the game? Unless you want to delegate a lot of responsibility to senior officers, there will be a variety of administrative tasks that will require your attention. Furthermore, the Flag you ally yourself will likely request your participation in their affairs. And, of course, you'll need to make sure that your boat is sailing, so your crew members can get out on the water and have some fun.

Fifth, are you good at dealing with people? Will you be good at recruiting people into your crew? Do you want to accept the commander's responsibility of trying to ensure that the pirates on board have a good time, and realize that this may sometime come at the expense of your own fun? Are you willing to treat other people scrupulously fairly, even if it means denying your friends something? Are you honest? Can you command other people's respect and loyalty with nothing other than your charisma and competence? Do you have the patience to deal with new players, and annoying people, both within your crew and external to it? Are you good at peaceably settling disputes? Can you obtain the respect of other captains? Can you contribute usefully to a Flag? Can you make allies, cut deals with shopkeepers, and otherwise help smooth the path for your crew?

Finally, you should ask yourself why it is that you're wanting to start your own crew. Do you simply not like your current crew, or are they not active enough? If so, you might consider leaving that crew, or creating an alt to join another crew, rather than starting your own. Do you think that you're advancing too slowly, or not at all, while you have the ambition to make officer so you can take boats out yourself? Again, joining another crew might be a solution -- find one with a clearly articulated, consistently followed path to officer rank, whose requirements you think you can fulfill quickly, and in which you'd be happy to spend your time. Is there a specific group of friends that you want to play the game with? If so, you might consider all joining the same crew, especially if there are only two or three of you. Alternatively, you could start your "buddy crew" but keep alts in your existing crews, or remain allied to another crew in which you can job when your buddies aren't around. Do you just like
the idea of being able to play the game without being beholden to anyone? If so, you may be disappointed; Puzzle Pirates is an essentially social game, and at the very least, you will have an implicit responsibility to your crew and jobbers.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons to start your own crew, and plenty of good ways to go about it. But before you do it, make sure that you've really thought the implications through, and are prepared for the task.

If you'd like to learn the ropes as an officer in another crew, many crews are amenable to helping you out, if you tell them captaincy is your goal. The crew gets your hard work while you're a mate with them, and an allied crew afterwards. You get training, social contacts, and potential recruits (many such crews don't mind if allied crews recruit from them), and may even want to keep an alt with them when you leave. But they'll want you to be a part of their crew, putting in all the effort and keeping a good attitude, not just marking time 'til you hit all the necessary Narrow experience levels.
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Amberyl, SO, Cult of the Red Mantis, Looterati
Reading the forums a lot is like camping clue. --homullus
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Amberyl at Sep 4, 2003 3:13:36 AM]
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Nothing



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Hello.
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Nothing at Sep 4, 2003 3:32:34 AM]
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homullus

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Wow. That was really, really good. I have a feeling there are probably a few premature captains who will read this and say, "I didn't need all that" . . . and there will probably be a lot of people who WERE premature captains who will be nodding their heads in agreement.
[Sep 4, 2003 3:45:40 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
Nothing



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Hello.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Nothing at Sep 4, 2003 3:51:41 AM]
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garf



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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this should go right next to amberyls other sticky in this board.
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- Randal

[size=9]also Garf, Silvain and a few others
[Sep 4, 2003 4:24:20 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    garf+on+aim [Link]  Go to top 
Gotagota

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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I failed every single one of these. Fortunately Fronsac is somewhat qualified.
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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

[Sep 4, 2003 6:02:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
fireballl87

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Yarr... I passed every one of these, except for i still need to recruit friends. Ill probably splinter off from The Blood And Rum atleast by the end of the month.
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"Even if I die... I'll come back alive."
[Sep 4, 2003 7:48:56 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Lizzie

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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The sad thing is, the people that need to read this probably won't.
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Ravine
Black Death, Midnight

[Sep 4, 2003 8:12:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aur

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Maybe one day the ringers will collect all the tutorials, create a sign up quiz, and make it mandatory to pass the quiz before you are allowed to play.
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~Aur
Original Riot Starter

"So now you know, and knowing is half the battle. The other half is HWFO." -Hermes
[Sep 4, 2003 8:16:30 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
fireballl87

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Aur wrote: 
Maybe one day the ringers will collect all the tutorials, create a sign up quiz, and make it mandatory to pass the quiz before you are allowed to play.


I don't like that idea, im all for captains showing people the ropes, and that would detour lots of good people from joining.
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"Even if I die... I'll come back alive."
[Sep 4, 2003 8:44:08 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Lizzie

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Aur wrote: 
Maybe one day the ringers will collect all the tutorials, create a sign up quiz, and make it mandatory to pass the quiz before you are allowed to play.


Ha! Now there's a thought.
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Ravine
Black Death, Midnight

[Sep 4, 2003 11:52:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
dime



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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I think the best advice I can think of to give to new crews is to splurge and start with a large sloop. It can run solo almost as well as the small sloop and it will last your crew a lot longer than a small sloop in terms of functionality and trade.

Oh yea... and good luck.

-David
[Sep 5, 2003 3:23:39 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Large sloops are nice, but I actually made me first million (okay, hundred thousand) with a tiny crew and a small sloop. It was a good day when we could fill the small sloop with crew. Of course, in those days there weren't any npp ships bigger than Merchant Brigs, which were typically filled with seven npps, and we were very excited to find and beat one.

Still, even now I almost always take out me small sloops for pillage, and they're also useful for short-distance trading, even of large resources.
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[Sep 5, 2003 3:26:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
dime



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Rifkind, I see you went ahead with that tagline after the Cleaver Hunt.

Might I suggest a change to:
ARR!: We'll fight for yer booty like it will be our own!
[Sep 5, 2003 7:35:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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dime wrote: 
Rifkind, I see you went ahead with that tagline after the Cleaver Hunt.

Might I suggest a change to:
ARR!: We'll fight for yer booty like it will be our own!


Hee hee...ye're on to us! Me original tag line can be interpreted that way as well, it just depends on who "yer" refers to...*grin*.
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[Sep 5, 2003 7:41:06 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tesseract



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Those are good tips Amberyl points out. While PP is supposedly designed for casual play, forming a crew, imho, is anything but. The responsibility of a Capt or Officer to his or her crew is not to be taken lightly. The best advice I can add to this thread for potential Captains is:

1) Make friends in game first. This is the number one tip of utmost importance. If you cannot work well in a highly social environment like PP, you will likely be unable to be the glue that keeps your crew together and the oil that keeps the gears running. Making friends with other Captains lets you also:

2) Get experience in navigation and sea routes on another crew first. ATM, the fastest way for startup crews (splinter crews with lots of capitalization are excluded) to make money is pillaging. To successfully win brigand fights, the crew must know where to look for the best pillage opportunities. Ask a Captain who trusts you to let you navigate, and continue navigating while in sea battle.

3) Join a flag. Many Captains are tempted to create their own flag, but as it is, it is actually in the new crew's best interests to join an existing one. The reasons are this: you will have friends to turn to for loans, you will be more likely to be able to help colonize new islands, you will be part of a flag with clout, rather than diluting the ocean with another relatively weak flag.

4) Finally, don't be afraid to create officers. Theres nothing more annoying to your crewmembers than to log on but never see any officers who can bring your ships out. This is even more important if your crew is multinational.

I hope that helps.
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Celb[size=9]
Captain of Freehand Circle
Greeter of Epsilon Island
Selbstlade[size=9]
Tired and retired... Former Captain of The Cartographers
[Sep 15, 2003 1:43:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Amberyl

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Added a paragraph to my post, based on some of the recent discussions on this board (Squidbeard's comments, particularly).

Hoping this will get stickied eventually, or at least linked to somewhere. :)

Edit by Demeter: Stickied now.
----------------------------------------
Amberyl, SO, Cult of the Red Mantis, Looterati
Reading the forums a lot is like camping clue. --homullus
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Drewbert



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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This doesn't at all reflect any problems I had. I started my own crew maybe 2 weeks into the game. I had just saved up enough for a small sloop, bought it, and started a crew. I had no friends to start it with, and no experience sailing a ship before. Maybe I am jsut a quick learner, but starting and running my own crew is still a casual experience for me.
[Sep 26, 2003 6:14:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tee_Beard



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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I like it. My only complaint about the post isn't really a complaint about the post per se, as how it does make creating your own crew an intimidating prospect.
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Thesis
It’s kind of funny/sad how I still can find the thing that made me part of Y!PP canon.
[Sep 26, 2003 10:30:55 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Amberyl

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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Creating a successful crew really is non-trivial. :)
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Amberyl, SO, Cult of the Red Mantis, Looterati
Reading the forums a lot is like camping clue. --homullus
[Sep 27, 2003 10:37:18 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.black-knight.org/pp/    CyberLWL [Link]  Go to top 
Tee_Beard



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Amberyl wrote: 
Creating a successful crew really is non-trivial. :)


I can agree with you that creating a crew is really non-trivial. But a successful one? Really? ;)

Mind, my definition of success might be different from yours.
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Thesis
It’s kind of funny/sad how I still can find the thing that made me part of Y!PP canon.
[Sep 27, 2003 11:06:04 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tesseract



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Drewbert wrote: 
This doesn't at all reflect any problems I had. I started my own crew maybe 2 weeks into the game. I had just saved up enough for a small sloop, bought it, and started a crew. I had no friends to start it with, and no experience sailing a ship before. Maybe I am jsut a quick learner, but starting and running my own crew is still a casual experience for me.


People form crews for many reasons. Some people form crews just so they can play together with their friends. Yet others form crews just for the hell of it. Some people form crews because they actually want to create a self-sustainable, well-organized group of pirates working for a common goal. If you're the captain of a crew and you can describe your play experience as "casual", then I dare say you're not part of the latter group.
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Celb[size=9]
Captain of Freehand Circle
Greeter of Epsilon Island
Selbstlade[size=9]
Tired and retired... Former Captain of The Cartographers
[Sep 28, 2003 1:16:15 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
MechRaven



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start a ship with small sloop Reply to this Post
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arg ya dont need a lardge sloop all the time most people just have 6 friends to pillige with
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Ravenia, Captian of the Cuervo Conquistadores, Queen of We Love Animals
[Sep 28, 2003 8:25:32 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Kraken



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Re: How to decide if you should start your own crew Reply to this Post
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Tee_Beard wrote: 
Amberyl wrote: 
Creating a successful crew really is non-trivial. :)


I can agree with you that creating a crew is really non-trivial. But a successful one? Really? ;)

Mind, my definition of success might be different from yours.


Non-trivial means not trivial, means its not an easy task you can do without any effort. Your post sounded to me like you might have misunderstood Amberyl's meaning.

To correct your post as I believe you really meant it, creating a crew is trivial, but creating a successfull crew is non-trivial.
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Gorth

Midnight:
-Senior Officer of Dastardly Deviant Devils.

Azure:
-Owner of Spring Blade Iron Monger on Spring Island.
-Senior Officer of Dastardly Deviant Devils.
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Tributary



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What I have never understood is why those groups of friends can't join all together a larger crew. My boyfriend and a friend from college are in my crew, and so is that friend's roommate. I have a couple more pre-Pirates friends in that crew, so that if we wanted our own crew in a small sloop, we could form one.

But then we'd never get to know the other people in the crew, who also have brought along their roommates and siblings and signifigant others.

In fact, since friends tend to join piecemeal ("Hey, come see how cool this game I've been playing is") it's advantageous to be part of a larger crew. Plus, groups of friends makes a large crew comfortably close-knit. If there weren't so many pre-formed relationships, I don't know that we'd be such a team.

This doesn't mean we don't have a bunch of happy random pirates who don't have friends who play PP. But these guys know that they're welcome to invite their friends, should the opportunity arise, and seem to be more likely to do so than to leave the crew to start their own.
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Min
Mostly Retired, Midnight
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Tesseract



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Tributary wrote: 
What I have never understood is why those groups of friends can't join all together a larger crew.


Groups of people with different common factors put togther will tend to focus on that common factor (their friendships) rather than the greater good (the crew).
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Celb[size=9]
Captain of Freehand Circle
Greeter of Epsilon Island
Selbstlade[size=9]
Tired and retired... Former Captain of The Cartographers
[Sep 29, 2003 3:23:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tributary



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That, you see, has not been my experience. I explained my experience in the above post.

In every instance I can think of, having a friend of one of my pirates join my crew means that instead of having one pirate puzzling, I have two.

Maybe it's just my crew. I don't know.

What has been your experience?
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Min
Mostly Retired, Midnight
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Hanns



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As for me, I expand my crew as normal, but I also go along to bring friends into the game, and, since I have plenty from a whole other game system type internet thing (Wow, my brain is scattered..) quite a few have come. That, and they're also starting to spread the word, as well, and, to be honest, a third of my crew is composed of friends that I've known for at least two years. They help me manage the crew (and many of the good ones are senior officers) and the influx of new members, and teach the newbies a good amount with a healthy piece of pillaging. For me, that's what I believe to be best for a crew.
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-Spolto, some random guy of millions of people in the Midnight ocean.

-Ayrus, Senior Officer in the La Giustizia Implacabile.
[Sep 29, 2003 4:10:10 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tesseract



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Tributary wrote: 
In every instance I can think of, having a friend of one of my pirates join my crew means that instead of having one pirate puzzling, I have two.


That I cede is different. Many captains have done that before. What I thought you were talking about is two or more small crews made of RL friends merging together into one crew. Thats completely different from jobbing one friend.
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Celb[size=9]
Captain of Freehand Circle
Greeter of Epsilon Island
Selbstlade[size=9]
Tired and retired... Former Captain of The Cartographers
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Superhomey



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i believe this is very important, especially for me. one thing im concerned about with starting my own crew is money. right now i have like 9500 poe. thats fine to buy a sloop. but expense wise id have nothing left to run other expenses, like say rum and cannonballs. that would be an important issue, no?
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Superhomey
Jerk Of the ocean Midnight
Hater of Elitist-attitude players.
Lover of jelly donuts

damn it feels good to be back.
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