Pirates of the Burning Sea is a title that's been undergoing some major overhauls in terms of game mechanics. Flying Lab Software has been revamping the game's combat systems, both those of ship-based combat and avatar combat. We've mentioned a few of those changes in the past, such as the introduction of new NPC archetypes but the latest issue they've been tackling is how brawling works in PotBS.
A developer log this week, from Isildur, explains the situation with skill lines (as well as optional skill lines) and what was involved with balancing them. The challenge was in creating a system where a given skill line wouldn't be mandatory, giving players choices in how they approach combat, yet keeping each skill line powerful enough that it can remain effective against other combat styles.
Isildur writes, "The overall Brawling mechanic -- and the one that I wanted to preserve from the old, removed skill line -- is that you can easily and cheaply apply minor debuffs to an opponent. As you advance through the line, you can trade those debuffs in for much more significant effects." Check out his developer log that focuses solely on Brawling for more on how Pirates of the Burning Sea is changing.