Choose My Adventure: Dirty fightin' and treasure huntin'

Karen Bryan
K. Bryan|06.01.11

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Choose My Adventure: Dirty fightin' and treasure huntin'
My pirate life continued this past week in Pirates of the Burning Sea, and thanks to your feedback, I took on some new swashbuckling skills. Based on the poll results, Dirty Fighting came out as the winning choice, and I happily retrained at my port.

I also popped over to Treasure Aisle, the in-game cash shop. I had some Station Cash burning a hole in my pirate chest, and since I had so much fun on my last treasure hunt, I decided to purchase a new map case and try my luck once more at finding the giant red X.

In this week's Choose My Adventure, I'll tell you how my respec went and whether I found any treasure. In addition, I'll give you a sneak peek at some new bling for my pirate ship!

I'm a Dirty Fighting pirate! Yarr!

I took your advice and retrained my swashbuckling skills. As much as I liked the Florentine skill set, I'm much happier with Dirty Fighting. I chose to focus my training on "control" abilities, which include some handy stuns and debuffs. Many of them are AoE, which is nice because I can give my pirate minions a leg up when they charge in to attack. I also took a couple of offensive abilities, and overall, my fights have been much easier when I board enemy ships.

In addition to acquiring my newly refined swashbuckling skills, I'm starting to do a lot better with managing my crew in battle. Traditionally, I've never been one to play a "pet" class or a character with some sort of controllable NPC that aids me in battle. I'm a "charge head-first" type of player, so hanging back and letting my pet do the work isn't my style. But I've found that if I do that in PotBS, I'm neglecting a pretty important asset. Instead, I've been paying more attention to selecting targets and ordering them all to focus their attacks on my target rather than have everyone running around hitting random enemies. With my stuns and debuffs, the fights go a lot faster, and we're taking less damage overall.

'Tis treasure we seek

After plundering the high seas for a while, I decided to do some shopping at Treasure Aisle, the in-game store. Overall, it's got a pretty large selection of vanity items as well as items that give you a little advantage in game. One thing that surprised me was that you can buy a ship through the cash shop, and some of those ships are the same ones that players capture on the high seas and sell on the market. I had to wonder whether this undermines the in-game economy, but then again, the ships for sale in the cash shop don't seem to be game-changers. If anything, they look like fallback options for someone who might have lost his ship and is in need of a quick backup.

What caught my eye during my shopping spree were the treasure map cases. I snagged one and opened it up to see where the giant red X would be this time. "Hundred Acre Bay" was the name of the destination, and it was a little island just south of what looked like a thin strip of land jutting out from the sea. I was pretty far north on the map, up near Florida, and while there were a few areas that resembled the map, I had no luck finding the X. That was compounded by the fact that apparently, search time is limited, so after about 10 minutes or so, you have to click on the map case again to get the "buff" that allows you to see the X in game. If I hadn't been paying attention, I might have missed the message while sailing around, not realizing that I couldn't see the X even if I were right on top of it. I suspect that my treasure is located all the way to the southeast, down near New Grenada. I started to make my way there but ended up getting distracted by the lure of picking off British pirate hunters and French merchant ships. Hopefully next week, I'll be able to show off some treasure.

You're so vain

My time in Treasure Aisle got me thinking about vanity in PotBS. The concept of how you look in Pirates is different than that in the MMOs I'm used to. In those other games, the loot you get comes in the form of armor upgrades, and generally speaking, the better the upgrade, the more unique the look. Typically, new characters in most games start off with one set of plain-looking clothing or armor, and it's usually the same look for everyone. You can basically spot a newb a mile away because she'll be dressed in patchwork leather, or worse, tattered rags. But in Pirates, there are so many choices of clothing and accessories that every new character has a unique look from the start, and chances are, you'll stick with that look for a good long time. I'm still a ways away from the level cap, but I've only gotten one piece of "armor" so far, and it wasn't something that looked any nicer than what I was already wearing.

From what I can tell, the best place to change your appearance is Treasure Aisle. There are several different shirts, pantaloons, coats, hats, hairstyles, and even some pets that follow you around or sit on your shoulder. I've also seen a few players running around with what appear to be holiday-themed hats, so I'll have to keep an eye out for future in-game events.

When it comes to ships, though, the high seas tends to look fairly common, although there is a way to customize your sail and flag. Most ships don't seem to take advantage of this option, and it's really not until you come across high-level ships that you see unique and customized sails and flags. Most likely, that's either because people upgrade their ships too quickly to bother with customizing them or they might not be aware of how to do it.

I decided to give it a try and have submitted my very own Massively flag to fly above my ship. It's not as fancy as it could be, but I'm not that great with photoshop, so adding textures and tatters is a bit out of my league. With any luck, though, it will get approval and I'll be able to use it soon!

I have one more week left for Choose My Adventure, and I'd like to use my last poll to see whether there's any interest in a Pirates of the Burning Sea in-game meet-and-greet. If so, I'd gladly set a date in the near future, find a good location, and advertise it with the larger Pirates community. It would be an opportunity for brand-new players to have their questions answered, perhaps engage in a duel or skirmish, and check out some of the societies that are recruiting. Of course, everyone would be required to speak like a pirate, but the rum is completely optional. Make sure to get your votes in by tomorrow (Thursday) at noon, EDT!%Poll-64613%
Join Karen on an adventure of your choosing! She's used to calling the shots, but in this Choose My Adventure, she's putty in your hands and ready to follow your whim. It's up to you to chart her course and join in on the fun! Follow Karen on Twitter for playtimes and updates, and come back each week to decide her fate.
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