Pirate101 is a casual pirate themed mmorpg, developed and published by KingsIsle Entertainment. This is the same company that released Wizard101. Pirate101 is a game that will appeal mainly to kids. Adults can try it out as well if they want a fun and relaxing gaming experience. Players will create a pirate avatar and be in control of a ship and its crew. Battles are carried out on sea and land as well. It’s good to have trusted companions by your side. There are lots of quests to be completed for great rewards. A favorite pirate activity is treasure hunting and Pirate101 is not missing such features.
The fantasy Pirate101 world hides great dangers. Treasures are guarded by all sorts of evil monsters. A lot of things are possible in Pirate101. Ships don’t sail only on seas, they can also fly. Players can use their ships in battle or take down enemies in close combat. Pirate101 avatars can be customized with lots of stylish outfits. Armors and weapons can be equipped. Pirate101 online rpg has a story that can be discovered by completing quests. Not all Pirate101 NPCs are humans. Players will meet pirate monkeys or ducks. Even pirates can have their differences and this led to splitting into several factions. Pirate101 has original factions like the Water Moles or Wharf Rats. There are also more than one type of pirates. Pirate101 classes are: buccaneer, swashbuckler, musketeer, privateer and witch doctor. Even if pirates spend most of time on their ships, ground mounts are also handy. The crown shop is the place to fill out your stable with mounts. They can also be rented for limited periods of time. Ships can be personalized and improved. There are various types of ships that can be acquired by completing Pirate101 quests. Pets are always by their masters and help them in battles. Just like Pirate101 characters, pets level up and upgrade their skills.
Companions are Pirate101 helper NPCs that can be recruited. They have their own stats and skill set and can be trained. Pirate101 combat is board style. Players can use their own abilities, companions and pets. Some battles have specific winning conditions like: survive for a certain number of turns, make sure an ally is safe, destroy a specific unit and so on. Pirate101 world has magical windlanes that allow instant and safe travel. Storm gates are portals between different worlds. Players can spend their time having fun with Pirate101 mini games. Pirate101 offers themed party invitations and guides on how to throw a Pirate101 party. Pirate101 mmo is a safe environment for kids so parents can have complete peace of mind.
The most refreshing thing about Pirate101 is that it seems to have patterned its look after a console platformer game. Most mmo games fill half the screen with UI elements from menus to maps to action bars, but this newest online rpg from the makers of Wizard101 defied the conventions and tucked away everything that could distract from the adventure.
It’s a gambit that works. Pirate101 can be quite the charmer with its polished visuals, from the authentic pirate costumes to the kung-fu action sequences when a character hits a critical blow to the memorable quest NPCs that could have been plucked from the zany Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Those looking for a realistic-looking game will need to look elsewhere though. Pirate101 shares the same cartoon visuals as Wizard101 but with more balance this time around – just enough cuteness to be interesting to kids but with well-proportioned models and detailed battle gear designed to keep adults hooked.
Special mention goes to the cool combat cut scenes that trigger when characters hit a critical hit. Overall, Pirate101 designers should be proud to have given the game an authentic, lighthearted atmosphere that befits its devil-may-care pirate universe.
With the exception of a few duds such, the voice acting in Pirate101 is surprisingly emotive. Most quests are voiced and immerse you to the missions at hand. For example, you can really feel the regret of a lingering pirate ghost as he narrates what it would take to put his troubled spirit to rest.
The soundtracks in Pirate101 are serviceably upbeat, both in and out of combat. Nothing to write home about but also nothing to complain about. Combat sound effects are topnotch though, and will be a constant source of amusement as characters and companions shout random battle cries and taunts to their enemies. There is rarely any dead air in the game when no music or sound is playing, so audiophiles should be satisfied in this regard.
During character creation, you will be asked a series of questions that will determine your class and your main story arc as an upstart pirate in the world of Skyways, which is the collection of floating islands above Spiral where Wizard101 is set. No choice is superior to the other, but bear in mind that you cannot reverse them once the choices are finalized.
My particular story revolved around escaping from the grasp of the Armada, and finding the legendary treasure of the richest pirate that ever lived. In the first few hours, I was asked to investigate a particular commotion in Skull Island, recruit a couple of feisty companions such as a kung fu crane and a sure shot fox, and earn my very first ship.
There are plenty of side quests available for those who take a bit more time exploring the points of interest per zone, and completing these is arguably the fastest way to level up in Pirate101. Quests are short but interesting, but sometimes a few feel like a flimsy excuse to send you to battle. Thankfully there are road sidewalks that allow you to avoid fights altogether if you're hurrying to complete a quest and don't want to get entangled in a skirmish.
For those jumping into Pirate101 from Wizard101, the most obvious difference between the two rpg games is their combat systems. While Wizard101 uses card battle summoning as its core mechanic, Pirate101 is basically a turn-based strategy game but with streamlined rules and quicker action phases. A typical turn takes half a minute of planning, and will mostly involve positioning your character and companions in a grid-based map and ordering them to attack foes.
Players and enemies take turns attacking each other until one side has been wiped out. Pirate101 is forgiving to new players who might not be familiar to this kind of combat. As long as you battle enemies within your level range, you can expect to win overwhelmingly. But soon enough the game removes the training wheels and allows players to venture into the wilds, where more powerful enemies capable of wiping your entire pirate crew lurk. Luckily, there is a guaranteed escape button that returns you to town but with 1 HP left.
The mishmash of handholding features and advanced tactics is intentional – Pirate101 wants to make the combat manageable for kids while still providing adults with enough tactical depth. It succeeds for the most part, although the 30-second timer can be a bit too short when battling in single-player mode and you have to control up to three additional companions.
Fights are dynamic and snappy, unless of course if you have a player ally who is in away from keyboard or AFK mode. There is no function to kick allies from battle, so this can be a frustrating experience for the few times that it happens. Most often though players punch in their actions quickly, and battles end within ten minutes. It is to Pirate101’s credit that fights often shorter than they actually are, and are rarely dragging. Combat also uses a good balancing system, so that enemies disappear when allies leave the battle.
Aside from the traditional character combat, Pirate101 also has an airship travel and combat system. Airships have upgradable parts like wind sails, hull and armor, just as if it were another character. The ability to pilot an airship from the get-go adds tremendously to story immersion. In fact, your ship literally docks to the various islands you visit (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker comes readily to mind) and can be seen in the map with your player-made flag waving proudly in the wind.
Pirate101 is a free browser gamer but it does run a microtransaction cash shop and offer subscriptions, both of which are mildly pay to win. This means that heavy spenders who purchase items can expect to gain a noticeable advantage, but since the game is geared more towards cooperative team play rather than competitive PvP play, such a pay to win advantage rarely affects non-spenders negatively.
Cash shop has pets, sky ships and can be bought with the game's cash shop currency, crowns, permanent mounts, rental mounts, companions, weapons, clothing, housing and housing improvements, in fact, almost everything you can think of...
Unique Fun Factor
Pirate101 puts adventure back in mmorpgs. Exploration is a big component in the game, but it doesn't feel forced because of the interesting visuals -- like a giant humpback whale carrying the whole Jonah Town on its back while swimming through the Skyway.
Grind is also kept low due to the big XP reward of quests; you only need to do a couple or so to level up and gain a new power or stumble upon a new companion. If anything, Pirate101 makes that extra effort to distract you from the numbers racking up in your character sheet back to the endearingly amusing world they have concocted. And you can’t help but thank them for that.
Great pacing of quests and leveling
Lighthearted and fun atmosphere
Limited overworld chat options
Dungeon groups take time to organize
Obscure class selection process
- Oct142016Shiver me timbers! It's hard to believe that the Pirate101 mmorpg is turning four years old today. To celebrate this momentous mil...Read MoreJun172016The battle against the Armada rages on in the new Pirate101 update, and no less than the tyrant Kane will be stepping into battle ...Read MoreAug052015Sep052014It's a rollicking time to be a feared pirate as KingsIsle Entertainment has announced a slew of new content for the free to play m...Read MoreMay122014
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