Today we kick off a new series with the good folks at Flying Lab Software. In anticipation of their January 22nd launch, we bring you a twice-monthly Q&A series. The first five questions get their answers from Lead Designer Kevin Maginn.



WarCry Q&A: Pirates of the Burning Sea
Answers by Kevin Isildur Maginn (Lead Designer)
Questions by Michael Bitton

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WarCry: Avatar combat was originally planned to appear post-launch, if at all. As part of your delay last year, it was decided to implement Avatar combat for launch. While it's available in game it's not nearly as robust as ship combat. Going forward, are there plans to create a similarly robust experience for Avatar combat?

Kevin Maginn: We're still improving avatar combat, so it'll be a lot tighter when we launch. But clearly, it hasn't had as much baking time as the ship combat.We want to really focus on the ways that avatar combat works well in our current system, and enhance those areas. This is essentially the same process we went through for ship combat, and we're going to keep hammering on avatar combat until it sings. I think players will be happy with the direction we want to take it.

WarCry: What are your immediate plans post-launch? Besides, of course, putting out fires.

Kevin Maginn: Alcohol, and lots of it.

I'd like to focus on three areas post-launch:

  • More difficult PvE content. I'd like to always have challenges available for PvE players that are just slightly harder than what they can currently manage.
  • A PvP events system that will allow players to schedule and create their own major battles. Right now, we only support large group PvP in the final battles over ports -- but that doesn't help guilds that want to have organized PvP, and it doesn't particularly lure casual players into our PvP game.
  • Player governance. I want to put the ports into the hands of players, along with a robust political system that will let players backstab and betray each other for control of a port's Governor's Mansion.

WarCry: Are there any plans to expand on the extent users can create content for the game?

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Kevin Maginn: Yes. User Content is absurdly successful. We want to expand on that success. No details yet, but we're going to be expanding into new areas for our User Content.

WarCry: What are some of your favorite ship-to-ship tactics?

Kevin Maginn: You probably don't want to hear exploits that we've already fixed, do you? One thing that seems pervasive throughout ship combat is that players prefer to use outfitting and skills that increase the damage of their cannons. However, this doesn't do much for accuracy or reload rate, both of which are very important parts of the dps calculation. Load up a fast ship in accuracy and range-increasing gear, and you can tear a larger ship apart as it desperately tries to close to a range where its overloaded +damage gear will matter.

WarCry: Will POTBS be part of SOE's Station Pass?

Kevin Maginn: Yes.

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