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Author Topic: Pirates! - A few thoughts...  (Read 2139 times)
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Sepiche
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« on: November 29, 2004, 05:46:01 PM »

Let me start off by saying that, this version of Pirates! is a thing of beauty.  Every element of the original is included along with so many major improvements and balances it's just unreal.  It kept me away from WoW for a couple days which is saying a lot!

But there are a few things I've noticed in my first game (now completed with a rank of Surgeon, probably could have gotten higher, but I didn't get any of my family back).

1.  Evil Baron - Every time I get a rumor of a villain who knows about one of my family members it's the same guy.  Not only that but he always follows the same route (and it's an irritating route).  Even if it was the same guy each time I really wish they would at least vary where he travels... as it is I just swing by that area on my regular circut and bag him when I see him.

2.  Treasure Fleet - I'm pretty sure this is a bug, but I really can't tell.  In my game every time I come into a town it tells me that the treasure fleet is in Rio De La Hache(sp?).  The problem with this is, after I got this notice the first time I took RDLH and found no fleet.  Now it's an English city and everyone still says the fleet is there or headed there... at this point it's been on it's way for YEARS. Tongue  Just curious if anyone else has seen this or if anyone has actually captured the fleet while in port to confirm it does work sometimes.

3.  Randomness - It looks like all the main pirates and villains you can hunt are largely the same when you start a new game.  I'm just beginning a new game in a different era, so maybe I am wrong on this, but it does not appear there is much difference as far as skills, upgrades, ship types, etc. go.  It'd be an improvement if they had random havens, random ships, random ranking, etc.

Overall though I'm floored.  If someone would just come out with a remake of XCom with exactly the same design plan (simply improving on the original) it'd just have to retire. smile

s
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2004, 06:21:10 PM »

I've been *very* tempted by Pirates!, but I'm concerned by the reports of people who feel like they've seen and done everything in the game within only a few hours of play.  How do you (and others) feel about the complaints that the game becomes very repetitive after a couple sessions?
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coopasonic
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2004, 06:35:38 PM »

I've played one pirate to retirement over 6-7 hours and I don't feel any real desire to play again. The few hours I played it were a blast, but I don't see any replay value.

I played the original for probably a hundred hours, but back then my only game choices were Pirates!, SimCity and some (very cool) surgery simulation.
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Hetz
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2004, 06:50:24 PM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"


I played the original for probably a hundred hours, but back then my only game choices were Pirates!, SimCity and some (very cool) surgery simulation.


Was it this game?

http://www.classicgaming.com/amigareviews/lifeandd.htm

Life and Death was one of my favorite games when I was a kid.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2004, 06:59:55 PM »

Quote from: "Hetz"
Was it this game?

http://www.classicgaming.com/amigareviews/lifeandd.htm

Life and Death was one of my favorite games when I was a kid.


Yup, that's it. Played it on the Macs in the computer lab in college, along with the other games I mentioned.
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2004, 07:01:35 PM »

Quote from: "Autistic Angel"
I've been *very* tempted by Pirates!, but I'm concerned by the reports of people who feel like they've seen and done everything in the game within only a few hours of play.  How do you (and others) feel about the complaints that the game becomes very repetitive after a couple sessions?


I'm gonna say Pirates has about the same replay value as Civilization, in that, it's all about setting up short term attainable goals for yourself. I've played four pirates so far to retirement, and so far, I havent done the same thing twice. My first pirate, I whiped out the French by installing Dutch govenor's in all their cities. My second pirate, I swore to protect the dutch shipping lanes from pirate raiders, which was also a blast. Fencing and dancing are probably the weakest points to this game, whereas land battles, ship battles, and treasure hunting are some of the most fun times I've had in recent gaming memory. Definitely worth the $$$, dont even hesitate in the least to pick this gem up.
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Sepiche
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2004, 07:03:22 PM »

Quote from: "Autistic Angel"
I've been *very* tempted by Pirates!, but I'm concerned by the reports of people who feel like they've seen and done everything in the game within only a few hours of play.  How do you (and others) feel about the complaints that the game becomes very repetitive after a couple sessions?

Yeah, I can understand that.  There is only so much there.  But for me, the first thing I wanted to do after beating one game was to go back through and ally myself with a different nation and try to do my family quests, but yeah, I could understand how someone would feel like they had done everything after one game.

Then again in that way it's exactly like the original Pirates! in that you could see everything, but there was still magic in how the story was told.  Also, if your one of those people who has to do everything, then I think this game with have a long lifespan.  To actually do everything before your pirate gets too old would be a pretty major feat.  As I said, I got a pretty huge score, but I spent almost no time looking for my family since I was too busy sacking cities all over the spanish main. smile

Overall I feel like it was money (and more importantly time) well spent, and I do plan on playing through another game as an evil spaniard. smile

Also, unless I missed something you have to play through the game once to unlock the different starting skills and different starting ages.  That adds some worthwhile replay value right there.

s
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Sepiche
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2004, 07:06:50 PM »

Quote from: "McCrank"
Quote from: "Autistic Angel"
I've been *very* tempted by Pirates!, but I'm concerned by the reports of people who feel like they've seen and done everything in the game within only a few hours of play.  How do you (and others) feel about the complaints that the game becomes very repetitive after a couple sessions?


I'm gonna say Pirates has about the same replay value as Civilization, in that, it's all about setting up short term attainable goals for yourself. I've played four pirates so far to retirement, and so far, I havent done the same thing twice. My first pirate, I whiped out the French by installing Dutch govenor's in all their cities. My second pirate, I swore to protect the dutch shipping lanes from pirate raiders, which was also a blast. Fencing and dancing are probably the weakest points to this game, whereas land battles, ship battles, and treasure hunting are some of the most fun times I've had in recent gaming memory. Definitely worth the $$$, dont even hesitate in the least to pick this gem up.

Good analogy.  You could almost compare the story in Pirates! to Alpha Centauri.  Sure you got the story in one sitting, but there is oh so much more to the game than just the sum of it's parts.

The land battles are excellent.  They look great, are well balanced, and the shear fun of cutting down regiments of spanish troops with my hidden buccaneers was just great. smile

s
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2004, 07:13:34 PM »

It could be that I still play Pirates! to this day but I found that I could devistate a Spanish War galleon with a Sloop.  Maybe the difficulty level will rise as I play but it didn't take long before I was the top dog on the pirateyness list and I had purchased most items twice.  

"Hey, I've got this great spyglass to sell you!"
"Is it like the one on my hip here?"
"Yes!  Exactly like that!"
"Will it actually do anything different than when I didn't have it?"
"No!  Its the same!"
"Here, take my money good sir!  I'm a sucker for an overpriced duplicate bargain!"
"Yarrr chaching!"
"Off to my dancing lessons!"
"Oh I got boots for that!"
"There's no help for me good sir....Pirates don't dance."
"Yarrrr, especially with the wood leg"
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2004, 08:00:54 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
It could be that I still play Pirates! to this day but I found that I could devistate a Spanish War galleon with a Sloop.  Maybe the difficulty level will rise as I play but it didn't take long before I was the top dog on the pirateyness list and I had purchased most items twice.


The first 3 difficulty levels range from really easy to easy.  After you start your first game, you can go back and start a new game and select: difficulty level, skill, and time period right from the start.  I'd suggest starting a game at rogue captain or swashbuckler for a challenge.  

At rogue or swashbuckler difficulty, a faster and more maneuverable 12 gun escort swoop controlled by the AI can tear up your slower moving flag galleon if you're not carefull.  Try fighting against 2 sloops at once with a lumbering galleon.  The 2 best ships I've found that have a nice balance of firepower (40 guns), crew size, and speed are the Large Frigate and of course the Ship of the Line.
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Chesspieceface
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2004, 08:14:25 PM »

There is also some significant difficulties in the different time periods.  I started a Frenchie on Rogue in the 1600 time frame and they only have two ports, ha but the daughter of Tortuga will be mine!.  It makes raiding the Main nigh but impossible when your base is in Tortuga or worse Florida Keys. This is significantly harder than even the Dutch during Buccaneer Heroes.

The game is by definition repetitive, but most great games are on some level.  Its more of a complicated diversion than anything.  But that's what pirates always was, and it still holds up.  I have my own little irritations with some of the little things, but Firaxis has stood behind all of their products and this should be no exception.
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Misguided
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2004, 09:44:39 PM »

You know...it honestly baffles me when people say stuff like this.
How long did it take to see everything you could do in Tetris? Space Invaders? Centipede?

The best games in the world are simple and addictive, yet allow enough flexibility that a variety of siituations can arise from those simple elements.

Checkers, Backgammon, Chess (and the ultimate answer, which has to be Go). What the heck is it about modern video games (or is it modern video gamers) that is so different from classic video games or board/card games?

People have lodged this same complaint about City of Heroes, saying there is nothing to do. I honestlly can't figure out if I'm the one that doesn't get it or they are.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2004, 09:58:23 PM »

Misguided: For me personally the difference is the number of alternatives available. If I didn't have anything else begging to be played, perhaps I could play Pirates! for weeks on end as I did with the original (and as I mentioned in my earlier post).

The fact is, I own at least 20 games I have yet to play at all that have been piling up since I got into the WoW alpha a year ago.

Back then I had no options that I hadn't also played for hundreds of hours.
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2004, 10:30:32 PM »

I initially had the same thoughts. What else is there to do in this game after I retired my first captain. Then I decided I'm going to play a game and establish English dominance throughout the area. That was a blast and a bitch, but it was just as fun as the first time through. Next up, I'm going to be a peaceful Dutch trader and romance and get as rich as possible. I love this game!
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2004, 10:35:37 PM »

Fair enough. I can certainly buy having something else new and shiny to play. I can also understand if someone doesn't get into the whole pirate thing. But that's a little different from thinking a game has no replay value because it is repetitive. All games are when you get down to it.

Pirates! (well, at least the original) is the kind of game you can play a career, leave it for a while, then come back and play again many times over. It is very open-ended and has huge replay value. Every game may have the same elements, but it won't ever be the same game twice.

That is what I would call incredible game design.
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2004, 02:59:53 AM »

Quote from: "Hetz"
Quote from: "coopasonic"


I played the original for probably a hundred hours, but back then my only game choices were Pirates!, SimCity and some (very cool) surgery simulation.


Was it this game?

http://www.classicgaming.com/amigareviews/lifeandd.htm

Life and Death was one of my favorite games when I was a kid.



Just to stray off topic for a sec, but is there a modern version of this game available?  If not is there anything out there similiar to it?
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