|Pirate101 is the upcoming MMO by KingsIsle Entertainment, creator of the wonderful browsed-based Wizard101. We talked with Fred Howard, vice president of Marketing, about this Pirates and astro-ships free to play brand-new game.|
Correct. Pirate101 is intended to be safe and accessible for younger players, yet simultaneously sophisticated and humorous at a level to entertain the adults (often parents and grandparents) that play with them.
MMORPGITALIA: Could you talk about the storyline of the game?
Sure. At the very beginning of the game your character is being rescued from a prison barge. The choices you make here will ultimately help determine your class, and influence which Companions you will acquire down the line.
The game is set at a time when the Spiral has opened up and powerful sky-faring nations can spread out and forge empires. A recent war is finally over, but some of the measures taken to win it are having unintended consequences. The Armada, an army of clockwork soldiers built in Valenica, is growing stronger, and may soon become a threat to the Spiral itself.
MMORPGITALIA: Game's World will have the same instanced structure of Wizard101?
Yes, the approach will be similar. However, one of the technical triumphs of both Wizard101 and Pirate101 is that they both feature non-instanced combat. For example, as you fly through the Skyway, or run through the jungles, you can watch in real time as other players engage in elaborate tactical battles.
MMORPGITALIA: How many classes will be playable in the game?
There are five classes, they are: Buccaneer, Musketeer, Privateer, Swashbuckler and Witchdoctor. You can read about, and see pictures of, the individual classes here.
MMORPGITALIA: Could you talk about the ships and their customization?
Sure. Ships are fully customizable … you can add cannons, and figureheads and all sorts of other special items that help make your ship faster, sturdier and more powerful. You also get to create a customized sail for your ship that sets it apart from others. There are a bunch of great ship pictures here!
MMORPGITALIA: Combat in Pirate101. A higher level strategy than Wizard 101 or the difficulty will remain (about) the same?
The new combat system in Pirate101 is definitely different than Wizard101, but we think our players are going to love the fresh approach. In Wizard101, combat is based on a turn-based card game where players summon creatures, wards, and traps as they duel creatures and other players. In Pirate101 combat is more like a tactical broad game where you move multiple crew members around ever-changing battle boards - navigating obstacles and trying to accomplish various combat objectives.
MMORPGITALIA: Our crew members will be "collectable", like Wizard101 cards?
Correct. As you progress though the storyline, new companions will join your crew. There are hundreds of companions to collect and train ... each offering different skills and abilities. The training element is really a cool part of Pirate101. Players not only get to level their character, but they also get to train and level their companions. It creates a great depth to the strategy and game play as well as some really fun side quests and stories around the companions.
MMORPGITALIA: Will pets and mounts be present in Pirate101?
Absolutely! Stay tuned. We'll be releasing more information over the coming weeks and months.
MMORPGITALIA: Could we have a house in the game, or our house will be the ship?
The ships are certainly fun and customizable, but Pirates will also have the opportunity to obtain cool hideouts that they can escape to and decorate with the plunder they acquire in their far-ranging adventures. After all, a Pirate has to have their own Pirate Cove!
MMORPGITALIA: What kind of graphics engine will have in the game?
Pirate101 uses the same Engine as Wizard101. However, we've made some modifications that should help the game scale from working on older systems, to taking full advantage of more powerful processors and graphics technologies.
MMORPGITALIA: Freemium will be the business model also for Pirate101?
Correct. Wizard101 and Pirate101 will feature similar business models, and Crowns will become a common currency that can be used across games. However, one important change for players that want to play both games is that they will qualify for discounted family memberships when they subscribe to both Wizard101 and Pirate101. As a result, the cost to play both games will be significantly reduced.
MMORPGITALIA: What's the state of the game right now? Plans for beta?
Pirate101 is currently in closed alpha. A closed beta will follow, and the game will launch later this year.