Old Secrets Behind Powers and Talents
Some powers and talents are what made Pirate101 the game you can see today and have shaped the look of the PvP system for the game. But things have changed and evolved from the time of 2012. Get a nice drink, relax and take a look at this article, as it’ll be a very interesting read.
Welcome, everyone, to this detailed article that discusses how certain powers and talents worked in the past. Ever been curious on how a talent or a power worked in the past? You shall no longer be, as we’ll take a deep look into these times and open the locked doors of the past. Once again, the article will be split into 2 parts. Part 1 will discuss powers and part 2 will discuss talents in PvP.
The 2012 Pyramid
First of all, before talking about the powers, let’s take a look at the pyramid below:
See that pyramid? It was the Meta back in 2012. That’s how Pirate101 PvP was. The top class was privateer. Privateer was the big bad boss of Melee classes that everyone feared to face. The class was indeed quite broken with how the powers worked in the past. And by broken, I definitely mean it, as it gave the class lots of advantages that made it nigh invincible.
Witchdoctor came second right after Privateer. The class actually didn’t have to rely heavily on summons or Old Scratch, as they do today. Kingsisle gave ranged classes like Witchdoctor good attention in the past. This made the class one of the strongest. The witchdoctors of that era could effectively use their powers and resources, making the class a force to be reckoned with.
Musketeers ruled the middle part of the pyramid. No matter what, Musketeer was always the balanced class in terms of powers and gameplay/mechanics. They didn’t have anything broken but they did have what makes you say a “Fairly balanced” class. They are what every melee pirate hate to face, as Musketeers can attack from fairly decent range and damage them through their bombs and their infinite range powers like Sniper Shot. As much as these powers seemed scary, the damage dealt from them was definitely balanced. It wasn’t anything broken.
Swashbuckler was definitely a horrible class back then. And that’s not an overreaction from me here. It literally was horrible, which is why they are near the bottom end of the meta pyramid. And that was for a few factors. One of them is the fact that their hides were easily breakable by any damage. Furthermore, first strike and riposte didn’t function as they do today.
Buccaneer with no doubt was at the very bottom of the pyramid. The class was a hopeless case. It was having the same struggling times Witchdoctor has been going through recently for years. The class wasn’t particularly impressive and their powers were rather lackluster. They had none of their great powers they have these days and Relentless wasn’t trainable. Their shields and buffs were a different mess we’ll discuss later on.
Now that you’ve seen the 2012 Meta and the position of every class back then in PvP, it’s time to take a look at the powers and what made classes look like it shows in the Pyramid.
Arguably the best class in the 2012 meta as their powers were either incredibly overpowered, or amazingly great if used correctly at the right time. Let’s find out which powers made an impact back then and how they worked in the past. Let’s begin with the power that everyone feared to face.
The power’s description alone wasn’t the only scary thing about it. The fact that buffs used to be 10 rounds is what made Privateer so powerful. Zeal is the best power for Privateer. But it was really horrible indeed for non-Privateers to be forced to deal with a 10 round zeal buff. Zeal is incredibly potent today, and it only lasts 3 rounds. Zeal allowed privateers to easily take control of a match.
Companions like El Toro, Bonnie Anne, Egg Shen and any decent Crown Shop companion under a Privateer’s wing would be unstoppable with this power for 10 rounds, putting the opponent under massive pressure. These zealed units would easy shred opposing teams, making the match near hopeless.
Discipline and Enduring Discipline
These 2 powers were another prime example of powers that could make a Swashbuckler or a Buccaneer or any other class fret as they are fighting a Privateer. Same issues of course, they were stackable. However, Discipline’s effect was stronger. The critical system back then didn’t identify any percentages. Meaning? The powers were guaranteed critical buffs. This left a Privateer with companions that will, literally, critical almost every hit they land on the opponent’s crew or his pirate, which was incredibly annoying to deal with.
Witchdoctor didn’t have anything out of the ordinary back then and summon powers weren’t a lot either. You only used to have your poor little Skeletal Dragon, the two skeletal pirate summons, along with the 5 square hoplite summons. Witchdoctor’s gameplay didn’t rely on summons much (Known nowadays as “cheese” sets). Old Scratch’s Spell power boosts didn’t exist back then either. Melee Pirates couldn’t train Witch Hunter back then to stop them either. Their potential however was found in these powers back then:
Mojo Storm and Jobu’s Embrace
These powers had the ability back then not to just damage your opponent, but also to reveal hidden targets. A prime example is Swashbuckler. They were great tools to annoy a Swashbuckler and reveal them out of their Black Fog. Not to mention that these powers wrecked buccaneers too if they had no Valor Fortresses from gear pieces, thanks to the fact that these powers are 9 Square target powers.
This power was very strong, as it can remove all buff effects in a 9 square area. It gave Witchdoctor (and still does) the ability to pressure the opponent as you can remove all of their buffs and let the crew spam handle them with powers/attacks. Purge is a nice power that gave the ability to ensure that your opponen’ts buffs will be wasted, especially if they just used a power like Valor’s Fortress, Whale’s Might etc.
Great Juju was one of the best powers for witch, (still is too) as it gave a stat boost to every adjacent unit, based on the main stat that unit has. For example if you’re near El Toro (an Agility based unit) he will get a 100% Agility stat boost. Buccaneer units would get a strength boost and so on. However, that’s not just what actually made it good for Witchdoctors back then. It’s the fact it was a 10 Round boost, like most of the buffs back then.
Musketeer was the most balanced of the 5 classes. And that’s the result of giving the class nothing that is too broken or too underpowered. Thankfully Kingsisle did indeed balance how that class worked. However, it always was and still is a difficult matchup for melee classes. Here’s the powers with potential that made Musketeers so deadly and how the powers worked back then:
Tempest of Torpedoes
The amazing 10 round bomb traps that can knock you back once you walk into them back then had a tricky ability. Back then, it wouldn’t just knock you back once you walk on them. It also had the ability to knock you back if the caster casts them on your head. It was also one of the powers that could reveal a Swashbuckler’s hide and it was one of the powers buccaneers would definitely lose to it if they didn’t carry any Valor forts.
This power hasn’t changed since 2013. It was always and still remains as one of the most annoying powers, as it could reveal hidden targets and, of course, reduce your dodge by 75%. This power is very difficult to deal with as a melee class, as you’re entirely vulnerable to the opponent’s chain hits. Also, dispel magic didn’t exist until Marleybone’s arrival. It was a nice power to give melees a hard time and put some pressure on them. Still is too.
Swashbuckler was one of the classes you’d definitely hate to play back then when it comes to PvP for obvious reasons. But the mess wasn’t as bad as it was for Buccaneers. But definitely it doesn’t make Swashbuckler’s position in the meta pyramid look any better, as there were tweaks needed for their talents that weren’t done for 3 years. Most importantly, they suffered from the fact that their hides broke whenver they took damage. Without any further talking, let’s get into the reasons why they were below average by getting into their powers:
A power such as Shadowdance was arguably horrible back then and that was for 1 simple problem. The power didn’t last that long. It was a buff that’d last only 3 rounds and then poof, The buff effect is gone. Not many Swashbucklers were able to abuse it right due to the fact it was lasting for a short period of time. But good Swashbucklers did have the potential to use it right. Not to mention of course, the Pirate101 critical system was incredibly a random mess back then and needed an overhaul. So the power didn’t really help that much.
Walk in Darkness, Shadows and Black Fog
These powers definitely weren’t as good back then as it was easy to punish a Swashbuckler by keeping them out of their hidden state. And the ways were easy to do so, Getting hit by a simple Gunnery/Artillery/Big Guns would reveal the hidden targets. Or Mojo Strike/Blast/Storm if you had a piece of gear that gave that as a grant. Or if you had any of the 3 bombs or one of the dozens of musketeer’s square attacks and landed them on the hidden targets. If you were one of those lucky farmers and had Captain Blood’s Jacket, Blood Flames would reveal hidden targets too and punish them with annoyingly 500 damage per flame as these flames are in X Pattern and they were allowed in PvP for sometime before the ranked update. That’s how it was indeed troublesome for Swashbucklers.
Buccaneers were the true definition of a mess back then. It was an underpowered class back then. The powers were a disappointment. They had no ability to train Relentless 2 on the Buccaneer pirate character itself, making their infamous crit chains much worse. It was having a Witchdoctor-ish time back then and it was the class that struggled the most out of all the 5. This was ironic too as it was the most common class of enemy in PvE, comprising nearly half of the game’s npcs. Let’s see how their powers used to look like back then:
These powers are the main 3 offensive powers to Buccaneers as we all know. Back then, It had no Glancing Blow to help buccaneers chain. Although the 50% accuracy reduce was for 10 rounds which made it look a bit overpowered, it didn’t help Buccaneers at all.
Don’t let the 100% Strength buff boost scare you. That wasn’t the same nearly 6 years ago. Whale’s Might, like the other buffs back then, lasted 10 rounds, However, it didn’t do much effect to help and aid Buccaneers at all. Using Whale’s Might was the same as never using it. Buccaneers weren’t critting machines with it back then, even if it’s used. The same is true for their other buffs.
The first one in the image is the original Levy’s Call. As you can see, It only was a 50% protection from Melee units. Which made it horrible for buccaneers when it comes to fighting Musketeers. You’d take 100% damage from Musketeer’s powers and chains, leaving them vulnerable and easy to deal with them unless the buccaneer pirate was packed with 1 or 2 Valor’s Fortresses. These shields didn’t help them vs ranged pirates like Musketeers until the later changes of 2014.
As part 1 comes to an end, the conclusion is that the old meta was definitely beneficial for 3 classes. It left 2 important classes in the dark completely, as it mostly cared about introducing completely broken buffs for Privateers and gave massive advantage to ranged classes like Witchdoctor and Muskeeteer. But how will part 2 show the talents part? How did Kingsisle manage to change the entire meta pyramid in less than 2 years? How did the meta become to what it is now where Melees and exceptional Musketeers became the best and Witchdoctor fell down to the bottom?
These are all good questions indeed.
What are your thoughts on them?
To be continued in Part 2….