Even before Blizzard planted down their flag to lay claim to the massively multiplayer online games territory by launching World of Warcraft, there has been no shortage of ambitious development teams hoping to join the gravy train to "print money" with a popular subscription-based online game. World of Warcraft redefined the standard that players expect from a MMORPG, and since then the market has been dotted with failures - all deep in development at the time when the standard got redefined by Blizzard. The only game that was conceived before Blizzard's epic that got even close in quality is probably The Lord of the Rings Online. Flying Lab Software has been cooking up their pirate MMO for five years, so it's a pre-WoW effort. Can it possibly compete?
The setting of Pirates of the Burning Sea is the Caribbean, around 1720 - the golden age of pirates. English, Spanish, French and Pirates are present as playable factions, with the Dutch hanging around as fourth, non-playable nation. One might describe the game as "Pirates - the MMO edition", and there are many similarities to the Sid Meier's classic. You sail around the Caribbean from port to port through a map-based view, and when you end up in combat, the camera swings close to the individual ships for a real-time ocean battle. For port visits or doing land-based missions, the game moves to a more traditional character-based adventuring similar to other MMORPGs.
The above trailer highlights the ship-based combat aspect of the game very well, but it also lies by omission. The character-based adventuring on land and the boarding of ships isn't nearly as pretty, and is not really shown at all. The footage also skips the real meat of the game - economics simulation and large scale factional PvP combat; probably because they are visually hard to represent. Granted, ship-to-ship battles are decisively the best part of the game, and form a solid foundation for the rest, but there is a lot more to the Pirates of the Burning Sea than naval warfare.
Games: Pirates of the Burning Sea
News: Pirates of the Burning Sea Character Trailer Jan 09, 2008
Previews: Pirates of the Burning Sea Dec 11, 2007
News: Pirates of the Burning Sea Beta Ahoy! Dec 04, 2007
News: Pirates of the Burning Sea Stress Test Launches 21a2 Nov 16, 2007
News: Pirates of the Burning Sea To Set Sail Jan 22nd Oct 06, 2007
News: Pirates of the Burning Sea Pre-Order Details Sep 19, 2007
Reviews: Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Mar 04, 2007
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