Captain Skills: The Way Forward
Captain Skills are a core aspect of Pirates of the Burning Sea; they affect almost everything you do as you play the game, which means that any changes to them have to be made very carefully. On the other hand, the system can be daunting to new players, and some of the skills have inherent problems that need to be addressed. I think most people can broadly agree with this, even if they disagree about the extent of problems or what should be done to solve them.
The version of skills that Half-Hitch outlined in his devlog represents our ‘ideal’ solution to these problems. We designed it by wiping the slate clean and building a totally new set of skills that have interesting new ideas but also reduce some complexity from the game so that it’s less daunting for new players. This, as you can imagine, is a huge and difficult task, and you’ve seen from the version that’s on Test Server right now we have made quite a lot of progress in this direction but it isn’t anywhere near ready for primetime. The absolute worst thing for us to do at this stage would be to force it on to the live servers just because that was our original plan.
Instead, we are going to make changes gradually. This means that we will not be eliminating all of the existing skills from the game in 2.11, but rather we will be making several smaller changes to them as part of what will now be a more gradual and evolutionary process. You will see a lot of the ideas that are currently on Test Server appear over time, but maybe not all of them and certainly not all in one go. You will also see some changes that make the system more approachable to new players but we won’t do that at the expense of veterans.
The current 188.8.131.52 will remain on Test Server until next week, and we would love it if you could explore the skills as an academic exercise to see what concepts you like or dislike without feeling like we’re going to force it all on you whether you like it or not. We are still intending to include the planned ship changes in 2.11 as well, although as with everything in the first Test Server push they are not finished yet.
As a footnote, this is my first developer log as Producer for Pirates of the Burning Sea. Fodderboy is moving into the Lead Designer position so that he can focus his time entirely on the overall design of the game.
Producer, Pirates of the Burning Sea