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Pirate101 is a pirate-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) created by KingsIsle Entertainment. Players assume the role of heroic pirates who set out in search of the treasures of the "Spiral", the fictional universe used in another game by the same developers, Wizard101.

Pirate101
Pirate101.png
Pirate101 logo.
Developer(s) KingsIsle Entertainment
Publisher(s) KingsIsle Entertainment
Platform(s) Windows, OS X
Release October 15, 2012[1]
Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Players can complete quests, sail ships, befriend companions, and battle enemies in a turn-based combat system similar to that used in board games.[2]

Contents

OverviewEdit

The fictional universe of the Spiral is divided into several worlds, each consisting of multiple areas. The game's content is divided into numerous "Books", which are further subdivided into individual "Chapters". Players may purchase access to all areas related to a given Chapter using "Crowns", the game's premium currency. Purchasing a membership grants unlimited access to all Chapters for a limited time. Upon character creation, players are given free access to "Introduction" and to "Prologue Part 1", the first Book.

As the player progresses, more areas become available. Currently, the maximum level a character can obtain is Level 70. The main storyline takes the player through Skull Island, Monquista, Valencia, Cool Ranch, Port Regal, Cool Ranch II, MooShu, Marleybone, Aquila, and Valencia II.

Side activities in the Spiral include Practice PvP (player versus player), Ranked PvP, a nautical gauntlet, training pets, pet sparring, and housing.

The game was assigned a rating of E10+ from the Entertainment Software Rating Board for crude humor and cartoon violence.[3]

CharactersEdit

Pirate101 has several types of in-game characters. Two non-player characters (NPCs) in the game, Boochbeard and Gandry, serve as the player's guide to controlling the technical aspects of the game. Players can interact with, trade with, fight, and obtain quests from different NPCs located throughout the worlds of the Spiral. Companions can serve the player in combat and also provide comic relief during the story.

CompanionsEdit

Depending on the class chosen for the player's character, as well as the character's origin world, different companions will be assigned to the player. For example, if a player chooses the witchdoctor class, they will fight alongside Kan Po of the Mooshu Five and Mormo of the Kraken Skulls Five. If they choose "shipwrecked" as their parent's death in character creation, then the player will gain Lucky Jack Russell as a companion. Other companions are reserved for one class only. There are currently, however, nine major companions that all players have the capacity to gain access to as they progress through the story. These companions are prominent enough to shape the plot directly.

Payment modelEdit

The game offers a choice of either subscription or "free-to-play" with microtransactions. Free-to-play customers can purchase access to different Chapters of content using in-game currency called Crowns. Chapters only need to be purchased once, but other actions in the game may be necessary before gaining access to them. Crowns also can be used to buy in-game exclusive items and to use the Transportaler system to instantly transport to other worlds.

Players who purchase a subscription may adventure through all playable worlds and are also able to gain access to faster Energy regeneration, a larger backpack, a larger friends list, and the ability to reset companion talents. Subscribers can also post on the Pirate101 message board.

Player interactionEdit

Players may duel each other in open arenas known as the "Brawlin' Hall" and the "Spar Chamber", which allows for up to four players on two opposing teams to participate in player-versus-player combat. Most houses in the game also come with duel arenas as well, in which the number of players who can fight at once varies depending on the house.

Players can also participate in a trading system of Doubloons, which are powers that may be used once within a battle. Doubloons can be reorganized in the ability interface and may be discarded during battle in order to draw newer Doubloons. Pirates can trade equipment, housing items, mounts, or pets. A system of pet morphing is also available for players.[4]

Loot drops are provided by chests at the end of battles, all of which are distributed equally among the players in battle.[5]

Online safety featuresEdit

Due to its young core audience, Pirate101 restricts player interaction more than other games in the massively multiplayer online genre. Parents must activate controls for players under 13, including allowing interaction with other players in the world. There are three different types of chat: menu chat, open chat, and text chat.[6] At the most restricted level, players select from a menu of predefined phrases, and players using this option can only see menu chat from other players. At the next level, players may type what they want, as long as the words are available in the game's dictionary. If a word is not present in the dictionary, or part of a forbidden phrase, such as asking another player's age, it will not be visible. The official game forums are filtered and moderated.

Other features have been designed with a preteen audience in mind; for example, defeated opponents in combat disintegrate or vanish bloodlessly. Character names are restricted to a preselected list from which players must choose. The game does include the use of weapons such as guns and magic; however, the guns shoot electricity rather than bullets.[7] Also, the enemies in player versus enemy combat are not depicted as human: each world has its own type of enemy, i.e. the Bison and Birds of Cool Ranch, or the Dogs and Cats of Marleybone.

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
MMORPG           [8]
Gamezebo      [9]
Awards
Publication Award
RTSGuru Best Hybrid Strategy (2012)[10]
MMORPG Game of the Year (2012).[11]

According to a KingIsle Entertainment press release, Pirate101 had five million registered users in October 2013, matching the first year success of Wizard101.[12] In a review of the game, Suzie Ford of MMORPG noted the game's bright aesthetics and commended its use of strategic turn-based gameplay; however, she considered the micromanagement of units overwhelming for kids, making the combat system too complicated for children.[13] Nick Tylwalk of Gamezebo said that the helpful interface makes combat very clear and is of great assistance to children.[14] Karen Bryan of Massively said that KingsIsle had succeeded in making a complex enough system to challenge players without over-complicating it.[15]

Two months after the release of Pirate101, the game won the Player's Choice Award for Game of the Year from MMORPG with 27.8% of the vote, edging out Guild Wars 2 by just 0.5% of the total votes cast.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "IGN". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  2. ^ Fuller, Garret (2012-04-25). "Pirate101 Combat Preview". MMORPG. Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  3. ^ "ESRB Rating". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  4. ^ Reahard, Jef (2014-03-24). "Pirate101 Announced New Advanced Pet System". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  5. ^ Tylwalk, Nick. "Gamezebo Pirate101 Review". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  6. ^ "Common Sense Media". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  7. ^ Tylwalk, Nick. "Gamezebo Pirate101 Review". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  8. ^ Ford, Suzie (2012-11-29). "MMORPG Pirate101 Review". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  9. ^ Tylwalk, Nick (2012-10-31). "Gamezebo Pirate101 Review Rating". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  10. ^ "RTSGuru". 2012-06-12. Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  11. ^ "MMORPH Game of the Year (2012)". 2012-12-24. Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  12. ^ "Pirate101 Turns 1 Press Release". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  13. ^ Ford, Suzie (2012-11-29). "MMORPG Pirate101 Review". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  14. ^ Tylwalk, Nick (2012-10-31). "Gamezebo Pirate101 Review Rating". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  15. ^ Bryan, Karen (2013-12-25). "MMO Family:Setting Sail In Pirate101". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  16. ^ "MMORPG Game of the Year (2012)". Retrieved 2014-10-30. 

External linksEdit