“We also want to make sure you have an extremely
wide selection of dialogue choices to maneuver through,”
Gavin added. “We wanted to make sure it was as close to what
would come out of your pirate’s mouth as possible.”

Appearances can be deceiving, at least they can be in
of the Burning Sea. Even though characters are constantly making
choices in conjunction with their moral attitudes, there is no
“magic” or “Force” to make the
appearance of a pirate change aside from the player behind the keyboard
having an urge to deck out his pirate with an eye patch and a peg leg.
“There’s no magical means in order for us to change
a character’s appearance,” Gavin said.
“And we wouldn’t want to. Appearance options should
always be left up to the player, and in PotBS, a player can change
their appearance as often as their pocketbook allows them

href="http://tth.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album347&id=Ship_Combat2&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> src="http://media.tentonhammer.com/tth/gallery/albums/album347/Ship_Combat2.thumb.jpg"
alt="Ship Combat 2" title="Ship Combat 2" name="photo_j"
border="0" height="92" width="150">
Story missions will feature both ship and avatar combat
and interactions.

If a player does choose to change the overall look of their
character, the developers at Flying Labs have provided players with
story missions that actually change the physical make-up of a
player’s avatar. “We wanted to give players the
option of forcing these physical changes unto their
characters,” Gavin said. “If players want a peg
leg, I’ve actually created a mission for them to accomplish
this feat. First, I blow them up. After they’ve washed up on
shore, they have to go about constructing a raft to get back to their
crew while they have this terribly infected leg. Once the character
returns, they wake up with the crew standing over them and they let the
player know that they have to amputate the leg. During this moment, the
player can choose his dialogue options, between something along the
lines of – ‘Yarr, this leg will be fine.’
and ‘NOOOOO!!!!’ It’s traumatic, but it
also gives a player a sense of who their avatar really is.”

An RP story-arc is a sure-fire way to expose people to the
individual side of Pirates of the Burning Sea, but I was also concerned
that the players still wouldn’t feel as heroic as they should
if the NPCs around them didn’t respond in to their
“good” (or “evil”) deeds. When
I posed this question to Gavin, he noted that the players would get a
particular response from NPCs within certain areas, but not throughout
the entire gaming world as it would be technologically frustrating to
try to make NPCs react to hundreds of different pirates strolling
around a city.  

Although avatar combat was always readily available, I
wondered just how much of the RP story-arc would take place on the sea
and on the land. With so much of a person’s story being told
by how they interact with other human beings, it would seem difficult
to do the majority of the experience on a ship. In this instance, my
inkling was correct. “We’re going to have story
missions on land and sea, but there will be more avatar missions than
ship-and-sea missions.”

href="http://tth.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album347&id=Combat_Group&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> src="http://media.tentonhammer.com/tth/gallery/albums/album347/Combat_Group.thumb.jpg"
alt="Combat Group" title="Combat Group" name="photo_j"
border="0" height="89" width="150">
Your choices determin how NPCs react to you in certain

However, I was concerned how the developers of Pirates would
be able to achieve such a singular heroic ideal, especially in a world
where you’re constantly seeing other
“heroic” pirates. “The fact that our game
world is heavily instanced allows us to do this,” Gavin
mentioned. “It allows us to give the players the sense that
they are in charge of their surroundings, because their environments
will change depending upon the choices they make in their various story

Despite my urging, Gavin wouldn’t go into the
nitty-gritty details of the end of the RP story-arc, but he did reveal
one little tidbit to Ten Ton Hammer. “Once you get to the end
of the story, I wanted to give the player a place that was all their
own – an instance to cherish as theirs. So, I had the players
rescue a town and in doing so they create an instanced area that is all
their own. The cool part about this area is that the players will be
able to meet back up with the “cast” of their
story-arc. It’s pretty neat and should be fun for the

Throughout the development cycle of Pirates of the Burning
Sea, Gavin has certainly had his fair share of work in front of him.
Despite being the only official member of the RP story-arc team, Gavin
has achieved his own personal heroic journey by creating a huge
assortment of excellent content. When I asked him about the pressure he
felt while pursuing the RP story-arc, Gavin laughed. “It is
definitely frightening, because if the story element doesn’t
take off like I want it to, the only person to blame is
myself,” he said. But then he gave a broad smile and laughed
again. “But if it does take off, that’d be

Ten Ton Hammer is your
unofficial source for Pirates of the Burning Sea href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/52/all">news
and features!

Make sure you check out
of our Comic-Con
2007 coverage

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Pirates of the Burning Sea Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016