Tobold's Blog
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.
For a blogger with such a keen interest in economics, I'm surprised you didn't use the official term - 'opportunity cost' :)
Point well taken. I was using the science part of my brain, not the economic one.
Cheap shot carebear :)

Actually I hate PotBS for the same basic reasons you do, the combat is meh. I knew the whole economy/production thing would be a joke, you can't just give everyone free money and expect it to work, but I am a bit surprised at how poorly balanced the ship combat is. It's EVE without tackling, balance, skill, or point. Amazing how that happened.

Now I'm curious to see your reaction to raiding once the kid gloves are off and you spend an entire week wiping on a single boss, only to be pressured to return the next week to repeat the exact same process. At least farming repair gold has been removed, nothing like a week of wipes only to have to farm gold so you can do it all again the next week.

And thats not a shot at you, I am actually curious to see your reaction, as so far you have only seen the good side of raiding. (new content, gear upgrades, overall successful and stress-free runs) How far along is the A team of your guild?
How far along is the A team of your guild?

Actually "A team" is a bit of a misnomer in that case. The two teams are equally strong. The other team last night still had to kill Nightbane, while our team had already downed him in the first raid. But they one-shotted the prince, and still had time to take Netherspite, which our team left out. And the two teams don't have the same composition every week, there is no permanent A team. Again kudos to my guild for intelligent set-up, permanent A teams are bad for guild cohesion.

In general my guild is at the start of the next raid level. They killed Gruul and the first bosses of TK, SSC, and ZA.
I know what you mean about Potbs. The missions become a bit tiresome even as a naval officer. I'll probably stick with it a few days more but I'll probably not play it much after that. I'll see later how it feels.
"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"
I can't believe this; this is a standard tactic used in war throughout the ages. It is not an 'exploit'.
Your theory is an interesting one that I think applies to more than just video games - movies, music, and even books are affected by this. People don't want to just have a medium level of fun. They want to be having the most fun possible at any given moment.
Hmm, though your statement is one I agree with, WoW at this point is not good enough to entice me even though I'm playing no other games. It is just too much of been there done that.

This week using the a scroll, I've emptied my bank into the auction house and made 1200 gold in 1 day. And what is really funny is after not playing for a year, seeing all the people decked out in T6 VGladiator gear that just leave their guy standing in the city for house. I mean, ok you get the 1-2 pieces you have easily enough in arena, don't be so proud you go afk by the mailbox for days lol. Maybe it is just the server I'm on but there are about 20 people doing it. Most are guildless but others are.

Enh, oh well, I won't have to run thru them to check mail after my 10 days are up. At this point, I'm not even sure I'll play the expansion but I probably will at lease do the free month when I purchase it and see if it looks worthwhile.
is WOTLK actually going to have a free month this time? I was disappointed when BC didnt.. Sure blizzard will get millions of dollars extra if they dont hand out that free 30-days, but they will lose $50 and at least a few months subscription when i stick with the oh-so-cheap LOTRO
Tobold, you should of re-read your dec 03, 2007 post on PotBS and followed your first hunch not to get it when it first launched.
Not too surprised you canceled. I spent some time in the game during Beta and was bored pretty quicly.

Especially once you find out that boarding is so much easier than sinking an enemy ship. Think I made it to lvl 15 or so and came to the conclusion that it's extremely repetitive.

Whats also weird is that there are a lot of ships in the game, though everybody uses the same one in the level bracket...
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