January 9, 2020
Pirate101 2020 Wish List
It’s hard to go a week without seeing a plethora of tweet replies, forum posts, or Discord messages that demand Kingsisle “Update Pirate101.” Many of these posts end there, offering no specifics as to what they want to see. Moreover, those who elaborate generally request storyline content. While everyone would love storyline content, unfortunately, there are no current plans to continue the storyline. So, what sort of updates would be productive, increasing the longevity and hopefully, playerbase of the game? I think effective updates fall into a few general categories: player retention and playerbase expansion. This Pirate 101 2020 wish list will discuss a few areas to target that accomplish these goals by focusing on improving currently existing side systems (PvP, PvE, Pets, Nautical)
#1 PvP Improvements
This is a subject I’ve discussed lots and lots in the past. As such, I’ll try to keep this part of the wish list as brief as possible.
The first major area of improvement for PvP is in game balancing. Currently, things like Old Scratch’s Mojo Buffs, Trees/Scorps/Cottas (with or without the beast banner), Firstmate’s Boon, Blast of Discord, Overwatch 5, and, in Ranked PvP, Time Warp. While one can debate how game-breaking some of the latter items in this last are, it’s not debatable that all of these features encourage “brainless” gameplay. They don’t promote skillful decision making. Instead, players that use these builds focus on linear, repetitive, systematic, gameplay.
For instance, on a musketeer with Scratch, all you have to do is walk forward, use Scratch buffs, drop bombs, and win. This makes a class that has lots of interesting and fun decision making, very unfun to play as and against. Thus, the only way to find balanced PvP is to seek out matches or tournaments yourself, which is harmful for player retention.
I would highly suggest removing the aforementioned mechanics from Ranked PvP at a minimum. On top of that, the witchdoctor class needs major improvements. They lack a true “signature” power (Charm is banned and very RNG-dependent), their class-exclusive companions are terrible, and they lack the defensive resources that bombs and overwatch provide a musketeer.
Revitalizing Ranked PvP
So, let’s say PvP is rebalanced. This doesn’t address the massive issue that Ranked PvP faces: it’s completely dead and lacks incentive to participate. How can KI fix this?
First, the current rewards need updating. While I think the new set of Dark Sea Weapons are great, the outfit is basically stitch only, as opposed to the powerful weapons of the past. Yay. There are two ways to go about fixing this problem:
- Make the season-appropriate Champion weapon AND the season-appropriate piece of Dark Sea gear available, instead of just one.
- Add powers to the Dark Sea gear. Include powers like Valor’s Fortress/Armor, or even more unique powers like Musketeer Bombs or mid-tier Privateer buffs (Espirit) to the currently exisiting gear.
Next, Ranked PvP is for members (or crown-paying players) only. So, let’s say you’ve gotten all of the gear you want from the champion weapon/gear vendors. Now, you have no incentive to do Ranked PvP. How to fix this? First, I think there’s a legitimate case for making Ranked PvP free. To add a benefit for subscribers, scrip rewards could be halved and champion gear cost doubled for non-members. Furthermore, a leaderboard is a necessity at this point. While this sounds simple, people like having bragging rights. These two solutions would encourage players to fight for rewards and for spots on the leaderboards,.
Finally, this is a very simple request: Spectator Mode (for Ranked and Spar PvP). There’s no way to watch PvP in-game right now. Spectating is buggy at best in Spar, and non-existent for Ranked.
What about boosting? This is a major issue and one I haven’t explicitly addressed. However, I think that improving rewards, adding a leaderboard/spectating, or even making Ranked PvP free would fix this issue.
Additional Game Modes
Currently, you can’t get a sanctioned 1v1 PvP match outside of the Brawling Hall. It’s completely impossible to get a group PvP match unless you manually set one up. Wizard101 has a practice kiosk for all of its PvP modes, why not do the same for Pirate101? If Ranked PvP doesn’t become free, a way to set up practice 1v1 and group matches would be much appreciated.
Another very popular facet of Wizard101 PvP is its in-game tournament system, a second feature that Pirate101 should adopt. Tournaments provide a second way to participate in sanctioned PvP while earning useful rewards (scrip). This tournament system could also mimic some of Wizard101’s special game modes: limiting gear slots (eliminating the eyepatch), providing a minor buff to the “featured” class (a small strength and armor buff for buccaneers, for instance), or slowly increasing weapon and spell power for all players (to mimic the Quick Match game mode).
All of these fixes encourage old players to stay around, continuing to participate in PvP, and encourage new players to enter the arena.
#2 Obsidian Boss Revamp
I don’t think new Obsidian bosses are entirely necessary. Instead, the current ones could receive a loot table rework, making them legitimate endgame farming zones, as opposed to fights you do once for fun, and then avoid. One way to do this is to make each boss focus on one of the five classes. The next section of this wish list will focus on how these bosses could be improved. You can check their old drops here.
Updating these bosses is another fairly low effort way to retain players and encourage current players to strive for max level to start earning this cool, powerful, gear.
This will be the Witchdoctor themed boss.
- Hat:+14 Will, x1 Ghostwail, Soulreaver, Mournsong
- Robe: +10 Will, +40 Magic Resist, +100 Health, 1x Widow’s Touch, 1x AOE Widow’s Touch (Think of the highest tier Emmett debuff)
- Boots: +12 Will, +10 Dodge, x1 Jobu’s Breath, x1 Jobu’s Kiss, x1 Jobu’s Embrace
- Weapon: 190 Weapon Power, 7 Range
Duck of Death
This will be the Musketeer themed boss.
- Hat: +14 Agility, x1 Tornado of Torpedos (knockback bombs, but they last 5 rounds instead of 10)
- Robe: Fine as is, change stats to +10 Agility, +40 Magic Resist, +100 Health
- Boots: Fine as is
- Weapon: 5 range, 215 Damage, Grants Quick Adjust, x1 Bonfire Shot
Count Brastillo de Brass
This will be the Privateer themed boss.
- Hat: +14 Will, +10 Armor, x1 Revive, Rally
- Robe: +10 Will, +40 Armor, +100 Health, x1 Valor’s Fortress, Valor’s Shield
- Boots: +12 Will, +6 Accuracy, x2 Big Guns
- Weapon: 220 Weapon Power, x1 Espirit de Corps
- Accessories: Keep them around as is as an additional drop. While they’re not good, it won’t hurt for them to exist.
This will be the Swashbuckler themed boss.
- Hat: +14 Agility, +10 Armor, x2 Assassin’s Strike
- Robe: +10 Agility, +40 Armor, +100 Health, x1 Black Mist (3 round Black Fog); Current robe also stays in the drop table
- Boots: +12 Agility, +10 Dodge, x1 Assassin’s Gloom, Vengeance Shroud
- Weapon: 245 Weapon Power, x1 Hurl Blades (5 Range), Other weapons remain
This will be the buccaneer themed boss.
- Hat: +14 Strength, +10 Armor, x1 Vicious Charge, Brutal Charge, Mighty Charge
- Robe: +10 Strength, +40 Armor, +100 Health, x1 Leviathan’s Call, Triton’s Chorus
- Boots: +12 Strength, +5 Accuracy, x1 Super Strike, x2 Mega Strike
- Weapon: 245 Weapon Power, x1 Clear the Decks! (Ratbeard AoE)
This boss is basically a leftover, but that doesn’t mean she can’t get some cool drops. A lot of people love the look of Annie. So, her exclusive drop will be her outfit + weapon. The outfit (hat, robe, boots) will be stitch only. The weapon is where it gets interesting. There will be 4 hybrid variants, in addition to the true version for musketeers.
- Buck: Shooty/Slashy (Strength-based), 245 Weapon Power, x1 Third Wind (Heals up to 33% of lost health, self only)
- Swash: Shooty/Stabby, 245 Weapon Power, x1 Third Wind
- Privy: Shooty/Slashy (Will-based), 220 Weapon Power, x1 Third Wind
- Musket: Shooty, 5 Range, 215 Weapon Power, x1 Third Wind
- Witch: Shooty/Staffy, 6 Range, 190 Weapon Power, x1 Third Wind
These weapons are powerful hybrid options that rival both Spring Champion weapons and Dreadnaught weapons.
#3 Pet System Fixes
This is another topic I’ve discussed extensively. You can check out my piece on the subject here, but I’ll reiterate my main points in this section of the wish list.
- Currently, the odds of achieving a perfect 4 talent, 3 power pet are astronomically low. Either a reroll or jeweling system (like Wizard101’s) is necessary to stop players from becoming discouraged rapidly.
- Pet training is incredibly slow. I’m in favor of adding a secondary set of pet games, akin to Wizard101’s. This system can be more costly in terms of energy, but having a more efficient way to train a single pet is a necessity.
- It’s often difficult to find a morphing partner. As such, I’d love to see a morphing kiosk added to the game.
What would any/all of these fixes accomplish? First, it would make the morphing process as a whole more welcoming to new players, encouraging them to build a solid pet. Currently, the only real way to find morphing partners is through social media/message boards, or hope a kind stranger is hanging out in the tent.
Furthermore, it makes getting a perfect pet more plausible for veteran players. These fixes improve the speed and efficiency of morphing, thereby encouraging veteran players to continue their pet projects rather than abandon them.
#4 Nautical Combat Revamp
Pirate101 is a PIRATE game at its core. So why then is Nautical combat, the hallmark of a true pirate, perhaps the most boring and banal system in the game? Land combat features a battleboard, which allows for complex decision-making. On the other hand, nautical combat requires the player mash 4 buttons repeatedly. While I’m not entirely sure how to fix nautical combat, I have some ideas and wishes.
In my opinion, the lack of control over combat is nautical combat’s main flaw. Landing/dodging special attacks is done automatically (i.e. we have no control over accuracy/dodging outside of casting buffs/debuffs). The basic cannons fire and do damage automatically as well. Instead, players should have more control over how their ships attack and dodge.
For instance, clicking could fire the basic cannons at the cursor’s location. Furthermore, certain parts of the enemy ship could be more sensitive to damage to put an emphasis on aiming rather than pure click speed. This also provides an opportunity to diversify ship gear and stats. For example, current ship gear’s only offensive trait is pure damage output. With the aforementioned change, a stat like “maximum firing speed” could also appear. This allows for more customization among ships; instead of every max level ship having the same pieces of gear, players would have to choose which stats they want their ship to focus on.
As for dodging, it should be done manually as well. As mentioned before, players would have to dodge enemy cannon fire (or have it land on less sensitive parts of the ship). Players could upgrade their ship gear to improve its mobility, speed, and armor. This would also make fuel much more useful while in combat. Of course, to do this, the base speed of ships would have to be drastically increased while in combat. Furthermore, this increased emphasis on ship agility would give a legitimate reason for players to use the smaller skiffs and frigates, as they would be much faster than the bulky galleons.
#5 New Systems?
I’ve discussed how the currently existing side systems could be improved. However, what about things like crafting, gardening, or fishing? These systems are fairly common items on others’ wish list and a basic model for them already exists in Wizard101. I’d love to see any of these added to the game. Not only does this provide something else for players to do in game, they can also be used to further improve other activities.
For instance, crafting can introduce new and unique items to PvP or provide crafted alternatives to difficult-to-farm items (think Schemer’s Eyepatch). Furthermore, players could craft pet jewels, snacks, or even extra morphing slots. Finally, players could craft powerful ship gear (or craft ships themselves). As you can see, these side systems feed off of each other and create an intriguing and long-lasting gameplay experience!
Let’s be real here: I’ve outlined a lot of stuff in this wish list that could be added to the game. It’s not particularly realistic to get all of these things at once. Combined, they’ll probably require as much effort as an entire world! However, even a few of these fixes will drastically improve gameplay, encourage old players to remain faithful to the game, and provide a long-term goal for players currently starting their first pirate. Happy 2020 Pirate101 fans. Here’s to hoping this year will be fruitful and productive for our beloved game!
What’s on your 2020 Pirate101 wish list?
Let us know in the comments below!