Gamespy has kicked up their preview of Pirates of the Burning Sea. With lots of spiffy screenshots, here's a piece of their mind:
Watching this whole process unspool throughout the course of the beta (which runs through 12/23) has been fascinating. When first logging in, it becomes obvious that most players either choose to play as the British or the Pirates. Despite that, it's the much smaller population of French and Spanish players that are dominating the servers. The game has an intricate system of port taxes and resource scarcity that a well-organized group of players can take advantage of and, sure enough, it's these smaller better organized groups that are cornering markets on vital goods, putting together motivated producers and sellers and rigging financial markets in ways that would make Sherman McCoy jealous.
You may want to read the rest as the GS editors feel the crafting system has an awfully steep learning curve. If that's your thing, it's definitely worth the time.