Ten Ton Hammer:
What happens when the Balance meter is totally drained?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: You
can’t defend yourself when you’re out of
Balance.  Nearly every attack will hit you.  This
means that even weak enemies, in large enough groups, can overwhelm
your defenses and bring you down.  That’s a critical
element of boarding combat – you need your crew to support
you, or you’ll be cut to pieces by the enemy crew.

Ten Ton Hammer:
How do the different fighting styles affect the Balance meter? Will a
two-handed weapon wielding pirate lose Balance faster than a graceful

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin:
We’ve got three combat styles: the Dirty Fighting school,
that focuses on cutlasses and low blows; the Fencing school, that
focuses on the rapier and precision; and the Florentine school, that
focuses on two-weapon fighting and defense.  They all use
balance to one degree or another, but the specifics are contained
within the individual skills, so it’s possible for a
character to specialize in big, powerful, unbalancing moves, or stick
with smaller, weaker, and safer moves.

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Combat effectiveness is based off the skills available
to you.

Ten Ton Hammer:
When a character progresses, will his combat ability also progress? Or
will all his progression be based upon advancements he can buy on his

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Your combat
effectiveness in both ship and swashbuckling space is largely based on
the skills you have available to you.  You gain those skills
as you progress in level – but with an interesting
twist.  The skills are organized into
‘chains’ that are five skills long – so
in order to get the second skill in a chain, you must first know the
first skill.  However, the top end of each chain is achievable
at level 15.  That means that a relatively new character can
have access to a ‘top-end’, powerful
skill.  The experienced veteran doesn’t have more
powerful skills than the new player – he just has more skills.

Ten Ton Hammer:
How will ship theft work? Will players have the ability to board other
pirate’s ships and confront them for mastery of ship and crew?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Anyone can
board another ship to defeat it, assuming they can successfully grapple
the enemy ship, and assuming they can defeat its crew and captain in
hand-to-hand combat.  However, only pirates are allowed to
seize a ship and keep it for themselves.  That’s
what makes them pirates, after all – stealing. 
Members of the three nations will have to content themselves with
looting the ship’s hold.  However, everyone has the
ability to ‘claim’ a ship that’s been
beaten in boarding combat.  Claiming a ship sends the ship
back to the prize court, and has a chance of granting a special item as
a reward.  These items, or
‘commendations’, can be exchanged for supplies,
outfitting, goods, and even writs that allow construction of powerful
endgame ships.

addition, pirates have a special ability to scavenge a captured ship
rather than keeping it for use.  Scavenging generates a
variety of shipbuilding materials, provisions, and other valuable
goods.  Once scavenged, the empty hulk is then sent to the

Ten Ton Hammer:
How will the players be portrayed that work exclusively for a certain
faction, such as the British or the French? Will these players and
their ships be physically discernable from other players of different
reputations? Will their avatars also change in appearance?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Each nation
is visually distinct in a few ways.  First of all,
you’re given your national flag automatically – so
a British player will fly the British flag, and a pirate will fly the
Jolly Roger.  Naval officers also gain access to uniforms for
their nation, each of which is visually distinct from the uniforms of
the other nations.  In boarding combat, your crew’s
appearance is determined by your nation and career, so a French naval
officer can expect to see French soldiers on his side, and a pirate can
expect a rough collection of sea dogs on his.

Ten Ton Hammer:
What if a player with an opposing reputation nears a hostile port town?
What sort of NPC response will there be?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Ports tend to
have nearby traffic that’s friendly to their controlling
nation.  If you’re hated by the Spanish, you may
find the waters around Spanish ports to be a bit dangerous. 
Naval officers are particularly disliked by enemy nations –
and of course everyone is suspicious of pirates.  Freetraders,
however, are tolerated by all nations to one degree or another, and so
can move a bit more freely around the world.

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border="0" height="113" width="150">
Characters land-based experiences are built into the
mission content of the game.

once you’re actually in a port, you won’t be
stabbed by the first NPC to wander along.  Ports are
‘safe’, and the limitation you have as a character
who’s disliked by the local faction is that you
don’t have access to basic services such as the economy.

Ten Ton Hammer:
There are several screenshots of characters running across beaches or
into jungles. Can characters travel onto land wherever
there’s an island, or will they need to pull into a port? /
How much of the modeled land is explorable?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Land-based
adventures are built as part of our mission content.  You
don’t just wander ashore and start fighting; we want your
land-based experiences to be interesting and exciting, with lots of
story and specific encounter goals.  It’s really
part of our philosophy of getting right to the excitement and
adventure.  We don’t want you to have to sail for a
half an hour across featureless ocean to find a ship battle, and we
don’t want you to have to run for half an hour through empty
jungle to find a swashbuckling battle.

Ten Ton Hammer:
Thank you again for your time, and is there anything else that
you’d like to tell gamers fervently anticipating your game?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Look for our
major announcement– ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/8685">which you can
view by clicking here... Ed.)
– and make sure to sign up for the beta if you
haven’t already.  We’ll be adding a ton
more people in the very near future, and we’d love to have
you aboard.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016