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Lost Pirates of the Caribbean: The Search for a New Pirate MMO

Round 1 of the Amazon's attempts to find a new piratey home is met with mixed results.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

The Horizon Draws Closer

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Last week, it was announced by Disney Interactive Media that all of their Virtual World games (Toontown, Pirates of the Caribbean Online and Pixie Hollow) would be closing on Sept. 19th. Already, many petition sites have popped up to plead with Disney to reconsider or offer other options. However, petitions regarding these games have been sent before, with little or no reaction at all.

Also during that time, players from those games are looking for places to go. As a long-time pirate, I too am seeing a buccaneer breadline in my future.

So, like any other out-of-work mate, I looked in the Job Ads and found a list of places to try. This is the first round of try-outs.

  • Pirates of the Burning Seas
  • Pirates 101
  • Voyage Century
  • Uncharted Waters

These Waters Be Shallow

Though pirates are a popular subject and a great number of games are out there about them, finding something on par to Disney’s Pirates Online for the thousands of players to move to is very much a task.

After all, to match the same experience a game would have to have:

  • a 3-D MMORPG design
  • Quests and PvP
  • Quick learning curve
  • Both Land and Sea Adventures
  • Strong Social Atmosphere

Understand that Disney’s original game was already dated by the time it premiered in October 2007, but its strongest features weren’t about high-end graphics.

So, how did this first round of candidates do?

Little New Under the Pirate Sun

One thing that Pirates of the Burning Sea, Uncharted Online, and Voyage Century have in common with Pirates Online: They are all at least 6 years old or even older. So, all three of these candidates have little NEW to offer.

Pirate 101 is at least newer, but it is also in a class by itself because it directly aimed at very young children.

It’s too simplistic and the land-based combat system is board-game strategic.

Plus, it’s overly cute. Can we all agree there? It’s candidacy was originally only listed because it was a pirate-themed game, otherwise it’s potential really ends there.

Onward, Into the Past

So now, I will focus next on the other three pirates MMOs.

I will admit right here, publicly, that I could NOT deal with Uncharted Waters Online for more than about 10-15 minutes before I walked away.

First, it does qualify as a 3D MMO. Barely. But, it reminded me of a 1990’s adventure game in appearance.

Just for comparison sake, the picture on the bottom is from a 1990’s Sierra-Online game, Gabriel Knight. Please understand, Pirates of the Caribbean Online was never cutting edge, but to move forward I believe we need to move FORWARD.

And to put the nail in the coffin as far as Uncharted Waters Online for me, the tutorial was painful to sit through. So painful, that I didn’t finish it. Your sailor (not really pirates in this game) gets to go to school! Sound like fun? They even give a school uniform (see the goofy slouch hat look above). Pirates aren’t uniform-wearing types.

Uncharted Online is not really a pirate game. It’s a sailing, exploring and strategy game but it’s over thought in several areas and too simplified in others. Don’t forget to buy provision and hire people, since you’ll be sailing alone.

And to save time, Voyage Century actually kept crashing just trying to install. My PC is running Windows 7 with a cable modem and their installer continued to lock up, or worse caused major headaches for my computer. If I can’t install your game, I can’t review it.

Close, But No Bandana

Of the Pirates MMO candidates, that leaves Pirates of the Burning Sea (PotBS). There was a lot more of a familiar feeling here at least.

Character creation was easy. Actually, TOO easy. While the garb options are wonderful, the customization of your pirate’s face and body is somewhat limited. Which explains why everyone is roughly the same height and body type.

But, to the heart of it. PotBS still has a lot of what we former Disney pirates are looking for. 3D movement, multi-player interaction, and quests. There are a lot quests to be had, thank goodness.

The character customization is quick and easy, and there is a skill system including trainers in the various ports to help you improve or re-learn abilities. The basic learn curve was pretty quick and you could be underway without being sidetracked for too long.

I was disappointed in the sailing system. Not that the more complicated moving and combat system was an issue. Getting around in your ship having to use the wind, tide etc. was a nice step up. But, part of what made Pirates Online so enjoyable was crewing up with mates and jumping aboard single a ship with several others. Here, you have to each launch your own.

Beyond The Sea

In Part 3, I intend on dropping anchor and stepping off the deck to look at MMOs that are not nautically themed, but could be potential homes for us wayward pirates.

Including:

  • Guild Wars 2
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Lord of the Rings Online

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Author
Image of Capt. Eliza Creststeel
Capt. Eliza Creststeel
Amazon, Pirate and Gator 'Rassler who terrorizes the seas aboard her frigate The Crimson Widow in the original Pirates Online and now in The Legend of Pirates Onlines (www.TLOPO.com). Also an administrator of the Pirates Online Wiki (https://piratesonline.fandom.com/wiki/). Have swung a hammer in Guild Wars 2, slung a S.A.W. in Defiance and winged across the galaxy in Star Wars: The Old Republic.