by Cameron "Aelryn" Sorden
Towns can be a rough place in the Caribbean circa 1720. You'll have to keep your wits and your rapier about you.
TTH: Cool! The combat and boarding sound pretty intense-- you guys have obviously put a lot of thought into that. Now, can you tell us what kind of things you have in the game for players that are a little more focused on exploring and socializing?
Theresa: Well, of course in the 1720's pretty much everything [in the Caribbean] had been explored (there are maps and such), but if you sail towards the Bermuda triangle there might be a little bit of exploring for players to do. I won't ruin the surprise there.
TTH: What do you have in the way of guild tools or group tools?
Theresa: Our guilds are societies, and it's honestly pretty exciting. My first experience with societies and group functionality was at a 25v25 battledevelopers versus beta testers. We had a larger society chat window, a group window, and a regular chat window (you can open up new chat windows at any time). We had our entire plan in our society window and our group did specific things that were assigned to us. It was really fun because the society chat lets you call out one person for every group.
TTH: Do you have integrated voice chat, or is it something that you're looking into?
Theresa: No, we don't, and we're not planning to do that. Russell Williams was pretty adamant about not putting it in because we want to have people be able to role-play as much possible. It's definitely a planned design choice.
TTH: What about the economy? Obviously, it's an important part of your game. Can you talk about it a bit?
Theresa: It's so in-depth (there's even a tutorial just for the economy). Everything is created by the players and every port has a few different resources that you can harvest. There will be tons of trading between each port, and that's where the PVP system comes in, too. If you dump a lot of resources into any given port, it screws up the economy there because the resource isn't worth anything any more. A zone of contention will pop up around the port and it will be a PvP area, so the economy can change the map as well. Also, the best weapons and outfitting in the game will come from crafting, using those same resources.
The game looks absolutely fantastic, and they're improving the engine with each passing day. Look at that water!
TTH: Well, that sounds great for players that like to work the economy. What about stuff that's silly and just for fun? Do you have any plans for in-game pets like a parrot or a monkey, or other vanity items?
Theresa: I have a secret. I saw a parrot on a player's shoulder in the art department about two weeks ago. I don't think we've told anyone that yet, but yes, it's definitely a possibility that players will be getting parrotsno word on monkeys yet.
TTH: Aww. I really was holding out for a monkey. One can always hope. Unfortunately, it looks like our time is almost up, so is there anything else you'd like to say in closing?
Theresa: Go sign up for the beta! We want everyone to come try the game out. There's a little button on the right side of our site where you can click to enter your name into the beta pool. Eventually we'll be inviting everyone, so go there and check it out.
TTH: Thanks so much for talking to us today, and we're really looking forward to the game. Take care!
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