<DelmarWynn> [Billy] Are there any plans to change the underdog tools in the near futur? If so, could you drop any clues?
<[FLS]Taelorn> Our plan for the underdog tools involves a complex series of calculations that work in a way that the system can't be gamed. The problem with rank-based underdog tools is that players can attempt to achieve a low-rank.
<[FLS]Taelorn> Ideally, you must *really* be the underdog to get those underdog bonuses. That's what we're aiming for.
<[FLS]Aether> Aim high, that's what I always say.
<[FLS]Taelorn> Aside from that, the rewards from conquest should incent players to win. Although, I'd also argue there's not really much reason to try to earn last place.
<[FLS]Taelorn> What good do those bonuses do you if you have to avoid playing the game in order to get them? So far, lots of people have said they're going to try to earn last place, but the data hasn't shown any significant difference in activity.
<[FLS]Taelorn> If it does, then we'll make adjustments so that it's not as enticing to get last place.
<[FLS]Taelorn> Also, I should note that our plans will make the underdog dynamic, instead of fixed for a victory cycle.
<DelmarWynn> ArianaDeRoze-Blackbeard: In relationship to the Skirmishing question, how do you propose to make it to where OS PvP doesnt die the moment its put into effect? The pirates dont carry loot persay so there is no motivation to seek them out.
<[FLS]Joe> Well you can't flip a port via the Skirmish system, so the only way OS PvP is going to die is if people stop trying to take over the Carribean.
<[FLS]Joe> We are working on the risks/reward ratio for PvP in 1.3 and 1.4, and think you'll be happy with what you see. When you combine map conquest with the rewards of Open Sea PvP I think you'll see MORE people in the OS, not fewer.
<[FLS]Joe> It's something we'll keep a close eye on though. This is definitely a major change to the game and we have to be careful with it.
<[FLS]Taelorn> Skirmish is aimed at being a fun diversion where you can control your battles.
<[FLS]Taelorn> For OS PvP, that's where there'll be more at stake, and where we'll hook up our planned rewards.
<DelmarWynn> Zano: When you talk about changes to Avatarcombat. Will these revisions solely be about tweaking skills, or are we talking about a more spectacular change to this part of the game.
<[FLS]Rusty> We're looking at it as a complete system, which ranges from skill tuning to revamps of how the animation system works. When AVcombat is working, it looks exciting, but there are issues (three on one fights) where the animation over writes itself and pops and generally looks stupid, so there will be changes coming for it.
<[FLS]Rusty> When we created ship combat, we built the system, tested it, rebuilt it, tested it, and kept on iterating at a fundamental level until we got it right. I think we're farther along with AVCombat, but it still needs more iteration to get it to shine.
<[FLS]Joe> (and rebuilt it, and tested it, and rebuilt it, and tested it...)
<DelmarWynn> <RachelDarkfish> Are the any plans to expand advertising in order to bring in more players?
<[FLS]Rusty> Definitely. Pirates is a very different game than previous MMOs, and it
<[FLS]Rusty> is all about finding its audience. To get people to come in and try something that's not another WoW-clone means we have to reach out to them, and make that barrier to trying it very easy. That means free trials and constant, low level advertising.
<[FLS]Rusty> We're working on the support to enable free trials in 1.4, which lets us put them out without making them goldspammer tools, and after that we'll look at ramping up advertising to support it.
<[FLS]Aether> You will also see us at Gen-Con Indy, PAX here in Seattle, and several other conventions throughout the country, throughout the Summer. We will be posting a schedule of our appearances to www.burningsea.com in short order. Make sure to come see us when we hit your neighborhood. :)
<DelmarWynn> <Eternil> Why prevent FT's and Priates from using there Dump guns ability when thay nolonger have any to fire when it's not about the guns that are useable but about lighting the ships load to alow faster movement. A non-useable gun still weights as much as a useable one in which case you'll want to dump and extra weight usable cannon or non usable cannon.
<[FLS]Taelorn> It's a skill, it's there to serve a specific purpose in the game mechanics. If you want to get into those details, dumping guns wouldn't even help your speed.
<[FLS]Taelorn> Ships are built and loaded to sail best at a specific weight. That's why they carry ballast when they don't have cargo. If you start dumping stuff, it's not going to help you useless you want to be lighter because you're springing leaks.
<[FLS]Taelorn> Thus, in gameplay terms, you can't use the skill if you have no guns because that's the penalty. It makes you lose guns, thus it shouldn't be usable in a situation where you have no guns to lose.