6 hours of PotBS.

PotBS had its second stress test this weekend, and I was actually able to get in this time and give the game a shot, and it only took 12 hours of patching, thanks SOE…

Download issue aside, and I don’t think this breaks any NDA, here are my first impressions of PotBS, which I will say right now are limited to about 6 hours of gameplay. I would have liked to play a bit more, but the server was having issues, and then I hit a bug that locked me into the loading screen.

First up, I understand this was a stress test, but for a game so close to release, the state of the game was a bit worrisome. People were asking about broken quests in chat, the server was really having trouble at times, and a saw more than a few forum posts about ship imbalance. Again I only had 6 hours for the game myself, but I also saw a few issues. On the plus side, and this is huge, the graphic engine is very stable and efficient. Even in the massively overcrowded starting city, with 50 or more captains on screen, the game ran without a hitch at 1900×1200. Very impressive.

The gameplay I really liked. It’s relaxing, different, and has some style to it. The ground-based missions I could do without, as the sword combat plays like any other MMO. The basic hotbar combat skills tree stuff here. I hope that in the full version, you can avoid this aspect to some extent. Avoid it because the ship to ship combat is great. It’s different than other combat systems, and while being somewhat simple, has a very tactical aspect to it. The basics of it are of course to line up your cannons with another ship, and blast away. Speed, distance, and skill are all factors in your hit accuracy, which is clearly displayed for you. The cannons then reload and again you fire away. It’s simple enough that I picked up on it right away and even during the tutorial was thinking more about tactics than game mechanics and controls. Speaking of the tutorial, it was fantastic. It moves quickly from ship combat to swordplay, and never feels slow or too long. It does what is very critical in an MMO, grabs you early and gets you into the game.

Overall I was impressed with PotBS, although I’m not sure it sold me enough to make me want to pick it up come release. Hopefully their will be an open beta where I can get a little further into it, and sample some PvP and trading. In my 6 hours with the game, I only managed to complete some quests in the starting town, never leaving it.

7 Responses to 6 hours of PotBS.

  1. LadyPao says:

    I too managed a few hours of gameplay this weekend, after the overnight download. And I have the same concerns – so close to release, and some ‘worrisome’ issues.
    Some of my issues may be due to needing more RAM – 1.25 GB at this point. I had repeated ‘ship control’ issues, both in the tutorial and in game – but when they were responsive, ship to ship combat was ‘super fun’. I guess I need to roam the PotBS website, and see exactly what the systems specs need to be. I experienced some bad lag in ports.
    Several server crashes, but then again, it was a stress test – one server, everyone piled on. I suspect multiple servers will eleviate that.
    It looks like the ‘missions’ are staged on your own private server space, so that’s a nice feature – no waiting for camped spawns, if I’m reading this mechanic correctly.
    Also, it looks like a game one can solo…no forced grouping. I heard chatter of raiding other ports to cause ‘unrest’, which I’m not sure what the consequences of that are, but it seemed like some world zerging fun is available.
    I was going to pre-order, but now I’m waffling a bit. Need to check out sytem requirements before making the commitment.
    It does look fun tho, different, and refreshing. Not so morbidly dramatic and depressing like some other MMOPRGs out there now. I guess I’m looking for something less serious these days. :)

  2. syncaine says:

    I also saw frequent group offers for some ‘high level NPC ships’, although I was not able to join up since my Captain was too low level. Wish I had gotten to that part.

    As for the RAM issue, I have 2gigs, and like I said it ran without a hitch. RAM is so cheap now, just get yourself 2gigs and you will never have to think about it again (until Vista, so basically again :)

  3. LadyPao says:

    Can you say “RDRAM”? That’s what I have. Last time I added a GB, cost me $440. It’s even more expensive now. So, I’m really looking at a new gaming machine at this point, mine’s ~7 years old. Altho the whole Vista deal has me looking at a Mac ;)

    Yes, I didn’t get beyond level 2. A GM did come on to say if you made it to 5, you’d get in the beta testing. Sadly, I didn’t come close, but I wasn’t really trying.

  4. syncaine says:

    Really, level 5 = beta test? I had not heard that, but that would be cool if it was true.

    And yea, get a new rig. Even though I love macs, if you really want it to be a gaming rig, go PC. Just don’t get Vista, it’s not even close to worth it. Might be in a year, but I still doubt it.

    You can get a very gaming friendly PC for around 1000, and something that will last for around 2000.

  5. LadyPao says:

    Yes, I saw the GM’s post in chat about it. His/her name was Slycne, or some weird spelling like that. Too late now tho- stress test ended this morning I think.
    I priced out a nice system for myself, using a new scaleable mobo (Pent IV, Duo or Quad capable), I think it had the dual graphics card slot…and using my old hard drives (with XP!) and peripherals and case, it came to about $880. With 4 GB RAM. :) It’d be an easy sweet build. Unfortunately, I have some short term debt reduction goals I’m sticking to, in anticipation of the hubby going to school next year, so sacrifices must be made! *cue heroic music*
    It’ll happen. In the meantime, there’s always older games. For me, it’s the story/content that count, graphics are nice frosting.

  6. LadyPao says:

    Got into the beta server last night, using my stress tester account. Blackbeard server was up and running. I;m guessing it’s the beta server, since I overheard a comment about the ‘invasion of the stress testers’. :)

  7. syncaine says:

    Ooh very interesting. I’ll have to try that out soon, although I have a busy couple of days ahead. As I stated before, I would certainly love to give PotBS some more time.

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