Tag Archive for Puzzle Pirates

FreeRealms Freeloading

So I have joined FreeRealms.  If you want to find me in game, I’m Jhaer Buegren.

Thus far, I’m entertained but disappointed.  As many people across the blog-o-sphere have pointed out, the game is fun.  Or rather, the games are fun.  I put it that way because the individual mini-games in FreeRealms for each of the classes are fun.  However, “the game” as a whole, to me, isn’t.

What’s lacking are the social aspects.  Finding your friends and getting them on your friend list is far too poorly implemented.  Its hard.  As of yet, I have none of my friends on my friend list because I haven’t been on at the same time as them, in the same place, so we can do that.  With my Xbox360, I can add friends from the webpage.  Why can’t I do that here?  Also, no one talks.  They are far too busy playing mini-games, which says something about the mini-games, but it also makes the game feel like I’m playing next to people rather than playing with people.  I quit WoW because all of their social interactions take place in guild/group, auction, or Chuck Norris jokes (not really, but the innane quality of the general chat when it does exist floats around that level).  FreeRealms won’t be really appealing to me until that changes.  Puzzle Pirates has more social interaction than FreeRealms.

In any event, seeing as how, for now, FreeRealms is not something I’d be willing to put a single dollar into, I’ll be freeloading.  I’ll keep posting about what its like to play a game with a velvet rope and RMT when you don’t participate in either.  In Puzzle Pirates, I play on a doubloon ocean which allows me to do “everything” for free as long as someone buys doubloons and sells them to me for pieces of eight.  So far, FreeRealms doesn’t offer a way I can grind past the monetary restrictions of the game.  At least not one I’ve seen.  We’ll just have to see how it goes…

The Cost of Gaming

This isn’t going to be some in depth study. Tobold posted an entry to his blog a while back about pricing models in gaming. It got me to thinking.

I enjoyed Puzzle Pirates. I still do from time to time, but I don’t play it enough to pay a monthly fee. When I get the itch, I go in, play some bilging or poker or sword fighting, then I log out. I don’t play enough to need my own boat, or super fancy clothes, or any of the stuff that money gets you in the game. (I’m Ishiro on the Hunter ocean if you ever care to look me up.)

While at first glance, I cringe at the idea of my other games going to RMT models, ultimately it wouldn’t matter. Just take World of Warcraft as an example. Before I quit, I couldn’t play in the Battlegrounds, I just didn’t have the time it took to earn enough gold to buy the items that would have allowed me to compete with the twinks. I didn’t do world PvP for much the same reason (and getting jumped 4 to 1 by the Alliance was just retarded). I didn’t raid because, even though I’d have liked to, I just didn’t care enough to put forth the effort it took to be a viable part of a raiding guild, farming money and “pots” and all that. The game I played in WoW was the solo or small group game, and sometimes we even went into instances. The game I played is the game that would be free.

As I look at all the other games I play, that play model stays the same: I really only actively participate in the sections of the game that would be free if they went to an RMT model.

The thing is… I still enjoy the games. Like Puzzle Pirates, only I play a little more often.

So, how on earth does this tie in to my Zombie game design? I mean, this is a Wednesday post, and Wednesdays are Zombie Wednesdays. I’ve been thinking about what kind of pricing model I’d go for with my own game. As cool as I think the game is going to be, asking $15 a month might be a bit much for an MMOTamagotchi, but the design I have in mind doesn’t lend itself to RMT, unless I want to charge people for the item designer I have envisioned or for other things, but I don’t want to have someone playing along and when they try to build a radio they get a “you can’t do that unless you pay me!” type dialog box. RMT just defeats the mood of the game I’m trying to make, and mood is important in a horror setting. The only other option would be to sell blocks of time, a number of cents per hour that you’d buy in 100 hour blocks or something.

Its definitely something to think about… but I suppose it can be delayed until I actually have a game. 🙂

Games Within Games

No, I’m not talking about Puzzle Pirates and its Bejeweled Bilging and Dr. Mario Sailing. I’m talking about fully realized games encapsulated within games.

Many moons ago (okay, a couple of decades of moons), I played Ultima Online. In UO, I had a Chess set, and I could sit down at a table and play Chess with another player. On days when I didn’t feel like making hats with my tailor, or guarding the pass with my guild extorting money from random travellers, I would sit in a specific Inn frequented by Chess players and play.

In EverQuest, it was the one thing I always wanted. They did give us Gems, a game to play while waiting between pulls or watching your mana bar refill. But it was single player, and pretty much sucked.

In World of Warcraft… well, Blizzard gave us jack shit, but the guys who made the Cosmos add on gave us Chess and Othello and other games, and even made them multi-player, but they were global, you didn’t have to be anywhere near your opponent.

Other games also pretty much gave us nothing…

I miss the simple pleasure of sitting in a (virtual) room with another player and playing a board game. I would love to see more encapsulated games inside MMOs. And really I would love to see those games played in the game world itself, and not in a window that passerbys can’t see.

The July Stats

Not much going on here… still fixing up the house so I can move in. With the lack of interesting stuff, I decided to go ahead and do one of those posts where I talk about my site stats.

Let’s begin with the fact that my website is about 4500 times more pornographic than I thought it was. 4599 people found my website in July while searching the internet for “free porno”. 30 people got here looking for “sexualintercourse”. Overwhelmingly, more people found my blog while looking for porn than anything else.

16 people did get here looking for information on Puzzle Pirates. Poker, PoE, Doubloons, how to cheat, how to uninstall it. I hope they enjoyed my writing.

12 people came here looking for Scooby Doo, all of which were lead to The Duality of Doo, my review of the two Scooby Doo movies. One of those people was specifically looking for “pictures of Scrappy peeing on Daphne”. I’m sorry I couldn’t help.

10 people came here seeing answers to why the alliance sucks at pvp in World of Warcraft. Only one person came here asking why the horde was better. Next week I will publish a paper using my extensive research that will conclusively prove that people who play WoW are very “glass half empty” sorts of folks.

6 people came here looking for solutions to problems with their Jeep Cherokee. Hopefully they got the answer… take it to the shop, don’t drive it when its overheating. I do these things to educate you at my own expense.

4 people came here looking for my City of Mist raid guide. I guess the new EQ progression servers drummed up some interest, its just a shame I don’t have the guides anymore. But check the Google cache…

1 guy came here seeking the meaning to the Seven Mary Three song “Oven”. As much as I love the song, I don’t get it either.

There were tons of other searches, mostly just getting here once, and far too many of them I expected. I didn’t seem to get any of the crazy search phrases other sites post about. Well, except the porn stuff.

On the other hand, how do people actually get here? By looking at the referrers I can see that, obviously, most people got here from Google or Yahoo while looking for porn. Beyond that I appearantly appear on the Portal Network MMO bloglist. Neat. I also got 4 people who got here from Nerfbat. Most of the other referrers, however, indicate that I am my own best promoter… Many people come here as a result of my posting on message boards (link in signature) and making comments on other people’s blogs (link on name).

So, to all you people who manage to find my site somehow… welcome. Enjoy your stay. Come back often and feel free to comment.

Thar be rapscallions among us

It seems odd t’ say that thar be a seedy underbelly t’ Puzzle Pirates, but I be jus’ nay ready t’ believe that so many swabbies be actively roleplayin’. This underbelly I speak o’ be greed.

When ye get on a ship t’ job an’ pillage, th’ expectation, I would think, be that ye would hit th’ high seas until either th’ rum runs ou’ or th’ hold be so full o’ booty that th’ water threatens t’ flood in through th’ port holes. However, ever’ time a ship sets sail wi’ me aboard, after we`ve attacked an’ beaten one vessel some o’ th’ other shipmates begin clammorin’ fer the’r share o’ th’ booty. Now, booty be nay normally split until we return t’ port, so ye end up wi’ half th’ boat demandin’ we return t’ port after one successful swashbuckle.

On the’r part, this be very short sighted. Fer one, if ye feel th’ need t’ leave, ye`ll still get a share o’ th’ loot when ‘t gets split later. Ye dasn’t be havin’ t’ be present. Th’ other, an’ more pertinant issue, be that when yer crew be sixty ruffians, an swabbie split o’ e’en a haul o’ 50,000 pieces o’ eight will only be about 500 pieces, maybe a wee more or perhaps a wee less.

Th’ irritatin’ thin’ be that these swabbies jus’ will nay shut up. Cryin’ like infants they`ll keep demandin’ we port an’ split th’ cash, swashbuckle after swashbuckle, an’ if ye know anythin’ about th’ way th’ puzzles work ye know what that means. If ye dasn’t, well, if ye be talkin’ then ye aren`t workin’. So, get back t’ work, ye barnacles!

Puzzle Pirates Poker

I think so far one of my favorite things to do in Puzzle Pirates is to sit down to a good poker table. What is a good poker table? Well, for one, you don’t have people who are binary (Fold or All In). Next, good table chatter… Usually good chatter consists of just random chat about some subject, or even talk about poker, or in the case of Puzzle Pirate the chatter can be incharacter piratey stuff. Sometimes, however, the chatter is, well, let me just give an example:

Mrbert: So what is everyone’s favorite suited pocket hand?
Killerjoy: A pair of Aces.
Mrbert: Naturally.
Gogoboots: I like a pair of Queens because they are more likely to turn into three of a kind.
Picklehead: I prefer to bluff with a pair of twos.
Ishiro: Isn’t it kind of hard to have a suited pair?

See that guy at the end? That’s me. It took me another twenty minutes to explain why you couldn’t have a suited pair. I mean, it took a couple minutes just to explain what suited meant (same suit). Then a few people at the table were insisting that poker was played with a six deck shuffle. My attempts to point out that blackjack, not poker, is the game that uses a multideck shoe. (“A shoe? You are making this stuff up!”) Gogoboots agreed that only one deck was used, and that was why she preferred Queens, because a single deck has twelve Queens. It took another five minutes to understand that when she said “Queens” what she meant was “face cards”, you know, Jacks, Queens and Kings.

After a while, I gave up and decided that indeed ignorance is bliss, and messing with the ignorant is hilarious:

Mrbert: I love to get a flush.
Ishiro: This morning I had a double flusher.
Gogoboots: What’s that?
Mrbert: Its rare. It is when you get two flushes in a row.
Picklehead: No, its when you can make two flushes with the same hand.
Mrbert: Oh, I’m thinking of a b2b-flush.
Picklehead: Yeah.
Samson: Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles!
Killerjoy: I had a triple flusher once. It was awesome.
Mrbert: I bet! The chances of that are like a zillion to one!
Ishiro: The worst though is when you get upper decked.
Picklehead: Yeah! I hate that!
Mrbert: Is that when everyone else is dealt a pocket pair but you?
Picklehead: No, it is when you get a good pair and then two or more people deal into royal straights.
Mrbert: Wow. That does sound awful.
Gogoboots: I did that once.
Gogoboots: Flippered into a royal straight.
Ishiro: You have to be careful or you’ll flipper into a tilt.
Gogoboots: What?
Mrbert: A tilt. When you miss your straight by one card, like 4,5,6,7,9.
Samson: Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles!
Ishiro: I’m going to get a high score!
[everyone folds]
Ishiro: Roasters!
Gogoboots: Roasters?
Ishiro: Kenny Rogers.
Mrbert: Who is that?
Ishiro: He’s a gambler.
Mrbert: Didn’t he win the WSOP last year.
Killerjoy: He did. I saw it live on TV.
Picklehead: I played in the WSOP last year, made it to the semi-final round.
Samson: He really knows when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.
You tell Samson: Bravo!

Yes, Samson, Bravo indeed.

The only thing worst than crappy chatter at a Puzzle Pirates poker table, are those “8s 8” idiots. You see, in real life, when someone makes an extraordinary effort to save, say, five dollars, they might say something like “Hey, five bucks is five bucks, man.” This indicates that saving the five bucks was worth the effort. In Puzzle Pirates, you don’t have dollars, you have Pieces of Eight (PoE or poe), and comparatively they have little value. Buying anything worthwhile in the game literally costs thousands of PoE. In poker, when some idiot goes All In before the flop and the table folds their blinds and he earns a whopping 3 or 6 or 8 PoE, what he would like to say is, “Hey, eight pieces of eight is eight pieces of eight, man.” But as we all should be well aware, typing is a skill some people refuse to learn, and so saying that would be too much, so instead he says, “8s 8.” Now, if this were a rare occurance, it would be fine… but most of these jackholes say it after every hand. “8s 8”, “5s 5”, “120s 120”, “807s 807”. Those people and the binary All In or Fold twerps drive me away from more tables than anything else.

Ahoy, Mateys!

I am a mighty pirate!  Yarg!!Yarr! Shiver me timbers! On the pirates versus ninjas debate, I fall firmly on the pirates side. When I was much younger, it was ninjas, but they have lost their flair. But pirates are on the upsurge. With the Pirates of the Caribbean movies among other things, the romanticism and the harsh reality of pirates is getting its due. And now of course I have given in to temptation and am playing Puzzle Pirates.

I think one of the best things about this game is that you can, if you choose, play for free. There are subscription oceans of course, for $9.95 a month (less if you buy 3 month or 12 month packages), and then there are the Doubloon oceans. In the Doubloon oceans, you can play parts of the game for free. Other parts require that you have a badge or pass to play, and those items are purchased with Doubloons, which in turn can be purchased from the game company. Of course, you can also buy Doubloons from other players with your Pieces of Eight (the money used in game). So, if you are willing to do the work, you can earn PoE and buy Doubloons from people who want to invest less time into the game. And just for fun, the games that require Doubloons are made free one or two nights a week so that you can play them and see if getting Doubloons in worth your time and effort, or cash.
Of course, earning Pieces of Eight isn’t always hard. While you might only earn a hundred or so from a sailing mission, on the nights when Poker is free, you can earn thousands of PoE in a single hand. Just last night I bought in to a table for 200 pieces of eight, and I left with over 2,000. And that was just a half hour or so playing.

Anyway, I’m still playing World of Warcraft, but when I don’t feel like dealing with it, for now I’ll be playing pirate. You can find me in the Hunter ocean (a Doubloon ocean) under the name Ishiro. Come challenge me to a swordfight.