So you got some hankering for some booty? Sony Online showed off their upcoming MMO that let's you score doubloons and send scurvy dogs to Davy Jones' locker. Did I mention booty?
Pirates of the Burning Sea is set in the Carribean in 1720 and lets you take to the seas as a pirate, Spaniard, Brit, or Frenchman. RPGamers will be able to customize their avatar with 14 areas for customization, so that dream of having a peg-leg can come true.
The demo we saw opened with a tutorial on a ship where we were quickly promoted to captain and had to learn the ropes.
Combat in this game is based on what's referred to as "balance." Balance is represented by a thick ring surrounding your character. Enemies can use certain attack moves to make this ring thinner, representing your balance being off, and then do damage causing attacks with a much higher chance of success.
As you level up, you will get more skills and equipment, but your HP and stats don't change. The game is a bit nontraditional in this sense, but it looks like a level 50 character will still easily triumph over a level 1 noob due to those extra skills.
PvP in Pirates of the Burning Sea is handled with warzones. For example, a band of players belonging to France can undertake a number of activities like arming natives, killing NPCs, and dumping cheap weapons, all in the area surrounding a city controlled by one of the other countries. Eventually, a warzone will show up on the map. At that point, players can start having 25 ship battles to vie for control of the area.
Entry to the battles is controlled by a lottery system. Obviously the players who helped create the warzone will get tickets, as will others who want to participate, and a 24 hour notice for the next battle will be posted. Players present at the lottery are the only ones who can get in, but no worries, the tickets are still valid for the next battle if you had to go to a meeting instead of stay at home all day.
At the end of these series of battles, the winning nation gets the port and all its economic advantage. Players could set up corridors of controlled areas if they wanted to dominate the seas and get lots of tax benefits. Eventually, when one nation controls enough territory, they are declared the winners, gain accommodations, treaties are signed, and the ports go back to the original owners and it starts all over.
Here are some other quick facts to enjoy. You can steal ships and get the booty they contain. You will average a new ship every three to five levels. Each nation has factions within it that you can join. There are multiple types of cannon shot to use for different purposes in ship battles. There is no XP loss upon death. And finally, you can re-spec your skills at any time for a fee.
We'll be sure to bring you all the latest news on Pirates of the Burning Sea, and all the booty it contains, as it comes.