Preboarding & Key Code FAQ
We’re getting a lot of questions about the Preboarding Party, which starts Monday. If you purchase a preorder of the game, you get a key code that allows you to start playing Monday, January 7th, at 10am Pacific time.
Here is a short FAQ addressing many common questions. We will keep updating this as needed.
Q: I bought a preorder and I have my key codes. When can I start playing?
A: Monday, January 7th, 10am Pacific time.
Q: When does the game have its full retail launch?
A: Tuesday, January 22nd. We haven’t announced the time yet but will do so closer to launch.
Q: Do I get to keep my character from the Preboarding period after 1/22?
A: Yes. During Preboarding you can level to 21, and all characters you create will still be there after 1/22.
Q: If anything goes wrong with my retail key or there is a delay before I get to play after 1/22, will I lose my characters from the Preboarding Party?
A: No. Also, no. And in addition, no. Your character data is stored on our live game servers here at FLS and is associated with the SOE Station account you used for Preboarding. Regardless of what happens, we will not wipe your character data at launch. Even if you fall out of a truck and break your leg the evening of 1/21 and can’t enter your retail key for a month, when you do your characters will still be waiting for you.
Q: I bought the actual preorder box with the soundtrack CD, but there are no key codes inside. The card with the key codes is missing. What do I do?
A: Due to a manufacturing error, some preorder boxes are missing the card with the key codes. If you have this problem, please Report an Issue on our support site and we can help you solve the problem. You will need an SOE Station account to report an issue, but they are free and instantly available if you don’t have one. (You also need one to play anyway, so now is a good time to make one.)
Q: I placed a preorder in person at a retail store but they did not give me a box. Can I still play on 1/7?
A: No. Your retailer needs to give you an actual preorder box with key codes in it. Otherwise they are just putting your name on a list to reserve a retail box on 1/22, which is not the same thing. Contact your retailer and ask them to get you a preorder box, or cancel your preorder and order from somewhere else.
Q: I played in the beta and I still have the game on my hard drive. Do I have to uninstall and reinstall to play on either 1/7 or 1/22?
A: No. Really. No. You can keep using your existing installation. It will patch to the latest build as normal.
Q: I bought the preorder from Amazon.com. When do they give me my keys?
A: SOE has instructed Amazon.com to email you your keys sometime on January 6th. We do not control how or when Amazon will do this nor does SOE, really, and we don’t know what time it will happen. If you don’t get your keys, contact Amazon.com customer service for assistance at this URL:
Q: I bought the preorder from Direct2Drive. When do they give me my keys?
A: Direct2Drive will email you a link to your keys and a digital download at 10am Monday morning, January the 7th, Pacific time. If you have a problem, contact Direct2Drive customer service at this URL:
Q: Direct2Drive only gave me one key, not two, and I used it already to play in the open beta. Help!
A: The key you used for the open beta was an open beta key. That is not the same as your preboarding key. Preboarding keys did not work for the open beta, and open beta keys do not work for preboarding. As stated in the question above, Direct2Drive will send you your preorder keys at 10am Monday morning, January the 7th, Pacific time.
Q: I bought the preorder from SOE’s Station Store. When do they give me my keys?
A: SOE Station Store will automatically apply the keys to your account. You will never see the keys or have to enter them. It will all be done for you. If you have a problem, please contact SOE customer service at this URL:
Q: My preorder retail box contains two keys: a Preboarding Party key and a Landing Party Key. What are they and which do I need to use on January 7th to start playing?
A: The Preboarding Party key is the only one you need to use to begin playing on January 7th. It enables access to the Preboarding play period and gives you your in-game parrot and swords.
The Landing Party key is not for use on 1/7 and cannot be entered at that point anyway. You will use it when the game has its retail launch on 1/22, in addition to the retail key you will receive in your game box or digital download. Do not lose your Landing Party Key. Keep your Landing Party key until 1/22 so you can use it then.
Q: I found a way to enter my Preboarding Party key sooner than 1/7 and I did so because I like to live dangerously. Now I am worried that I am completely screwed and will never be able to play. What does this mean?
A: You’re fine. You shouldn’t do this, because everyone who has done so has then become frightened and confused and started a new forum thread just to ask the above question. But if you do it anyway, you’re fine. We just don’t think you should because it’s not the right way to do it, and when you don’t do things the right way then the Bad Man comes out from under your bed and takes all the money the Tooth Fairy left. We’re just saying.
Q: My preorder retail box says my keys expire on December 31, 2008. Does that mean I lose my character, parrot, and swords then?
A: No. It just means that if you haven’t used those key codes by then, you won’t be able to. If you’ve used them by then, you’re all set and nothing unusual will happen to your account or characters on December 31, 2008.
Q: I bought a preorder from one retailer, but now I want to buy the retail box (or digital download) from a different retailer. Can I do this?
A: Yes, although each retailer may have policies about preorder cancellations that are relevant and you’ll have to talk to your retailer about that. The $10 you spent at one retailer, for example, most likely won’t be applied to the purchase price at another retailer. (You’ll have to pay full price.) But from a technical perspective, all preorder and retail keys are interoperable for North America and Europe.
Q: I bought a digital download that did not include the parrot and swords, and I have used that key and begun playing. Now I found a retail preorder box that has the parrot & swords key in it. Can I use that and get those items even though I have already activated a preboarding key?
A: Shockingly, yes. If you have already entered a Preboarding key, and you get a second one that has the parrot & swords from a retail preorder box, you can add that key to your Station account at SOE’s website. As long as the second key has stuff the first key didn’t (i.e. parrot & swords), those items will be added to your account and you can use /claim to retreive them the next time you’re in game.
Q: If I don’t have a retail box or digital download on 1/22, can I keep playing with my preboarding key code?
A: No. The evening of 1/21, we will shut down the game servers. SOE will then process all accounts to get them ready for launch. The morning of 1/22 we will turn the servers back on and at that point, you must have a retail key code to play.
Q: Well that sucks! I don’t know if my retailer will have the box in my hands on 1/22 so that means I might not be able to play for a couple of days. Why must you do it this way?!
A: Overlapping headstart and launch periods would result in technical problems for players due to the architecture of SOE’s key/subscription servers. The on-off approach we are using for Pirates of the Burning Sea is much simpler and much safer. The tradeoff for it working simply and reliably is that you may be unable to play for the first couple of days if your box isn’t in hand. We’re sorry this is the case, but it is the best solution we could implement for launch and it is definitely the safest one for ensuring all accounts are processed correctly.
Q: Does the retail game include 30 days to play before I have to pay for the subscription? And if so, does the 15 days of preboarding count against those 30 days?
A: When you buy the game and start playing after we launch on 1/22, your purchase includes 30 days of play time. This is not affected in any way by preboarding. The 30 days of play time starts when you enter your retail key code on or after 1/22.
Q: I don’t have the game installed. Where do I download it so I can start playing on 1/7?
A: Download links will be posted to this page on Monday, January 7th, at 10am Pacific time:
Those links will post to full installation downloads of the complete client. Those downloads are hosted on a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to ensure the fastest bandwidth and most trouble-free delivery. That page will also have instructions on how to install and get started.