Friday, January 25, 2008

Tobold's Theory of Relativity

It doesn't matter how much fun a game is in absolute terms, it matters how much fun it is relatively to the other games you might be playing instead.

Or, in other words, I just cancelled my account for Pirates of the Burning Sea. I'm having a really, really good time in World of Warcraft right now. Not only because of raiding and epics, but in general: playing my level cap characters in guild groups, daily quests, leveling my mage alt. Compared to that, when logging into Pirates of the Burning Sea, doing my daily production is all I can stomach before logging out again. Ship my goods across the Caribbean to sell them? Takes 20 minutes in which nothing interesting happens, unless I get attacked by NPC pirates, then it takes 30 minutes and still isn't interesting. PotBS has the most boring NPC pirates you can imagine: at my level and with a freetrader ship I don't have any chance to sink them. And they are always placed in a way that I can easily escape, it just takes so much time. NPC pirates aren't a plague, they are an annoyance. And in many places there are so many of them that you can't really do clever maneuvering to avoid them.

Pirates of the Burning Sea of course is a PvP focused game, and I'm not the world's biggest fan of PvP. But even if I would do PvP, I'd rather do it in World of Warcraft, where I'd actually gain something by doing it, and I would face an equal number of enemies. Except for the final port battles, which are 24 vs. 24, the rest of PvP in PotBS is not balanced. People only attack you if they are far superior in level, ship type, or they brought more friends than ships of your nation being visible in the vicinity. Flying Labs recently "fixed" an "exploit", where some lonely ship would cruise up and down in front of a port, and when a group of 3 enemies would come and attack the ship, the 5 friends of the lonely ship would come out of hiding from the port and join the battle. The gankers ganked, I liked that as a feature, too bad it's gone. Ganking is now nearly risk free. And PvPers can annoy non-PvPers by conquering their ports. I should recommend the game to Syncaine, he'll probably like it better than WAR. :)

While my Pirates of the Burning Sea review gets a lot of hits lately via Google, probably from people who saw the game now in the stores, my PotBS posts get very little response or comments. So I'd ask my remaining 3 readers interested in Pirates of the Burning Sea to head over to Keen and Graev's blog. Currently there is a daily PotBS journal, and even a complete port battle video. On this blog PotBS reporting will slowly grind to a complete stop soon.

I'll still be logging into PotBS from time to time until my free month runs out. But I'll spend most of my time playing World of Warcraft, which is the better game, relatively speaking.

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