Developer, Flying Lab Software is hoping to sink its hooks into the massively-profitable MMO market with Pirates of the Burning Sea. We scored some hands-on time with an early build of the game, and got a chance to sample the character creation and combat system.
You’ll get to swear allegiance to the English, French, or Spanish. Serving one of these nations works like a faction, and opens up three classes. You can defend your nation’s ports as a Naval Officer, engage in state sponsored piracy as a Privateer, or go Han Solo on the Caribbean as a Smuggler. Better yet, you can opt to carve your own path as a low-down and dirty pirate.
Expect the expected from PotBS’ pretty - though somewhat derivative - character creation system. You’ll have more outfits and hair styles than you can shake a peg leg at. But while the list of options to choose from is more robust than most current MMOs, creating your avatar works just like it does in any other game. Still, that doesn’t mean playing Barbie with our virtual version of Anne Bonney and choosing the right hat to go with her liberal cleavage wasn’t a ton of fun.
Armed with a cutlass and the perfect pirate hat, we took a crash course in PotBS’ combat system. It seems like every new MMO is trying to distance themselves from the static combat canonized by the WoWs and EverQuests out there, and PotBS follows suit. Don’t expect the usual click and forget fights you’re used to. Each enemy you face will have a balance bar at their feet. When the bar’s green, your attacks aren’t likely to do any damage to your foe. The trick is to whittle down their balance bars with light attacks to throw them off their feet before finishing them off with more powerful blows.