Producing the Future
I’m Brian Taney, aka Fodderboy, and I’m the new Producer on the Pirates of the Burning Sea project. Some of you may already be familiar with me as until recently I was the QA/Customer Service manager. I am taking over for Misha, who is moving on to another project here at FLS after putting in over 7.5 years on PotBS as a whole.
I’ve spent nearly 20 years in the games industry, predominantly in design, developing both PC and console titles for a variety of different genres. During my time as QA/CS manager I’ve had the opportunity to become very familiar with the forum posts and service tickets that many of you have contributed detailing your concerns, issues, feedback and suggestions. Armed with the information that has come from that experience, I’m very eager and looking forward to helping chart the future course of PotBS, developing new features and items as well as addressing some existing issues.
Free to Play dramatically altered the landscape of PotBS. It brought a larger casual audience to the game (as expected) and with them came a deluge of requests for features from both the casual audience and the veteran player base. Reconciling the differences between the two audiences has been a challenge, and has often split the resources of the development team in a way that didn’t always produce an end result suitable to either type of audience.
We as a team feel the time has come to focus a greater effort in reconciling these differences by focusing on the core of the game. Though there are elements of each that will never quite mesh perfectly, we feel there is plenty of common ground between them to provide an enjoyable game experience for both. This common ground at the moment has numerous elements that are not as well-suited for one or the other as they could be due to the inherent nature of their design. To bring these elements to states where they can work fluidly together, we’ve decided to embark on a multi-milestone campaign to address an issue that comes up very frequently in both support tickets and on the forums: bringing more balance to the game.
Balance is a very large word in PotBS. Often when it is brought up, it is brought up in conjunction with arguments regarding this ship versus that ship, this avcom school versus that avcom school, or Pirates versus nationals. Balance is really much, much larger than any one of these components and must take all of them into account. Balance is economy, ships, outfittings, skills, avcom gear, consumables, and rewards as they all tie together in the tapestry of RvR. Everything must be considered, and this is the approach we are going to adopt in meeting the challenge of improving balance in the game. Piecemeal adjustments made to one area of the game without regard to its effects on others often simply moves an issue from portion of the game to another, which is why we have traditionally avoided small scale ‘fixes’.
The 2.7 build will feature the first of many adjustments we plan to implement; it will focus on making adjustments to loot tables, to insurance values, and to daily mission rewards, and a general cleanup of some of the items in game we feel have become obsolete over time. The overall goal of these adjustments is to reduce excessive flow of currency into the game as well as to cut down on items dropped that are of little value to most players and tend to clutter up warehouses and ships. This is a preliminary step necessary to prepare for changes we are planning for ships, outfitting, skills, avcom gear and the economy, which will in turn lay the foundation for enhancements we are designing to endgame RvR.
Also included in 2.7 will be changes to Treasure Aisle, such as a new section of the shop exclusive to Captain’s Club members. This new section will feature exclusive (non-combat) content for our Captain’s Club members, as well as early access to the newest customization options coming with 2.7 avatar tattoos! We’ll be showing those off in another devlog soon.
The design team and I will be spending a lot of time on the forums talking to you and bouncing ideas around in various ways in the coming weeks and months. I am really looking forward to that, as I think that when we all put our heads together we will be able to achieve great results.