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.