PAX 07: Interview with John Tynes

YAR! Listen up you scallywags! As I was walkin about PAX among them landlubbers I found me some buried treasure! Ok, so it wasn’t quite so buried, as sitting on a table, but no matter, I straightened me eye patch, and made haste to steal all the booty in that there treasure chest. As I turned to run as fast as me peg leg would let me, me arms filled with gold! Gold and gems! Gems as big as me fist I tell ya. A strong strapping lad stepped forth and prevented me escape with all that treasure! As I stood there waiting for the pirates, and ya, they be pirates for sure. I was waiting for them to decide me fate, when I gots to talking to one of dem. Turns out, his name be John Tynes, said he was some big producer on Pirates of The Burning Sea. Now while I wasn’t able to get away with the booty, I did get away with something just as valuable! The elusive… Interview!

PAX 07: Pirates of the Burning Sea
Interview with John Tynes (Producer)
Questions by Matt Lowery

WarCry: So, it’s near the end of the show, how was PAX this year?

John Tynes: This year was great! This is the third year we had a booth at PAX, it’s always a lot of fun. Our booth has stayed very busy this year.

WarCry: In the demo you have running, we can see our avatar running around cities, sword fighting and the like. How much game play will be devoted to the avatar, compared to when we are on our ships?

John Tynes: There are a couple of different designs to our avatar game play. One is simply running around town, so running around to buy supplies, pick up missions, going to the auction house, that sort of thing. That you will do all the time, that’s very common. The sword fighting game play will probably be about a third of your time, compared to ship combat. I say that because about a third of our missions are going to be avatar combat missions. So that’s roughly the break down.

WarCry: Could you tell us a bit about the PvP element of the game? Are their level requirements; is it just wide open, how do you handle it?

John Tynes: So when a PvP area opens up; and that happens from players with missions, economic activity in the area, attacks on enemy NPCs around that port. Once they create a PvP area, any nation can attack any other nation. So any British guy can attack any French, Spanish or Pirate player, and there are no level requirements. You can see PvP areas on your map, so you can avoid them if you want. Each PvP area lasts for about two days. We don’t do a level requirement mostly because our combat does not rely on levels nearly as much as other MMOs. In the beta we routinely have players that are 20 or even 30 levels apart, and the lower level guy can beat the higher level guy. So if you are a good player, and have some skill it’s quite possible to beat someone much higher level than you are. So the whole, “he is 10 levels higher than me, and he ganked me” doesn’t really happen.

WarCry: Crafting in Pirates, how often to you expect the average player to have to craft or gather resources?

John Tynes: I would say a small percentage of players will really ever craft to any significant level. As with most MMOs, I think most people will never do more than dabble in it. I mean sure you can mine some resources for some cash, but I don’t think many will do it all the time, and you don’t have to do it at all if you don’t want to.

WarCry: With that said, how driven is your economy by the players and crafters? Let’s say everyone is mining iron right now, and no one is mining zinc, will the NPCs kick in and mine some zinc?

John Tynes: Nope it’s all up to the players. If no one is making zinc that means the next guy that makes zinc is going to charge an arm and a leg for it, because no one else has it. That guy is going to make a fat profit off of zinc. That’s the economy, if there is a demand for it, and no one is making it, whoever starts too, will make a lot of money.

WarCry: Can you explain the death penalty in Pirates?

John Tynes: The way it works is, when you buy a ship it has durability points, these are basically the same as lives. Usually your ship will have 2 to 3 points, but it varies a bit. When your ship goes down, you lose a life from your ship, you also lose any cargo you were carrying, and you may lose some special equipment you had outfitted on your ship. You don’t lose all of it, but you lose some of it. So there is definitely a death penalty in our game, we try to avoid some of the worst situations. So we don’t take away xp, or make you lose a level, but ya we have one.

WarCry: So how many ships can I have at one time in case you just suck my favorite boat?

John Tynes: You can have up to 4 ships at one time. When you buy a ship, you actually buy a deed to a ship; you then take the deed and have it activated to become a ship. So while you can only have 4 ships active at a time, you can have as many deeds to ships as you want.

WarCry: While I can have 4 ships active at one time. I don’t actually command them at the same time correct? I can’t take a fleet out with me; it’s only one at a time?

John Tynes: That’s correct. You can only control one ship at a time. However you can have those 4 ships docked at different ports around the world, and any port that you have a ship docked at you can teleport instantly to that port to command that ship.

WarCry: Back to PvP for a second, let’s say you log out tonight, and when you log back into the game tomorrow you log into a PvP zone, that has become active there while you were away?

John Tynes: First, when you log in, there is no PvP in town. So you are safe there, no sword fighting in town with other players. Now let’s say you look at your map and you see you are in a PvP zone. You have 3 choices. One, you can log out. You will know how long the area is going to be there, and you can just wait it out. Two, you can make a run for it. You can hop on your ship, and we give you a bit of invulnerability when you first get in your ship. So you can go out and see how bad it is. If it is really bad, there are enemy ships everywhere, you can dock your ship before anyone can attack you, or if it looks pretty clear, make a run for it. Three, you can teleport to one of your other ships you have somewhere else, and use them until it’s over.

Comments are welcome after the click.

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