Pirates of the Burning Sea – The Sea gets Smaller.

Just received this in my email, and it makes me rather sad. PotBS appears to be in dire straits.

Ahoy, Pirates of the Burning Sea Captains!

Population density has been the topic of much debate in the community over the last few months. What we’re hearing is that Pirates is an awesome game that you really enjoy playing, but that it’s a lot more fun when there’s a critical mass of other players around to play alongside or against. Through feedback from the players and evaluation of server populations, it has become clear that key game features require higher density in order to function at optimum levels.

To push things in the right direction, we’ve decided to condense the current population onto two servers. On March 5, 2010 at approximately 12:01 AM PST, we will close the following servers: Blackbeard, Defiant, and Rackham. Beginning on February 5, 2010 at approximately 12:01 AM PST, you can transfer your characters from the affected servers onto one of the two remaining servers, Antigua or Roberts. At this time, character creation will be disabled on the Blackbeard, Defiant, and Rackham servers. We hope these changes will provide you with an even more enjoyable Pirates experience.

My server, Roberts, continues its charmed life, having survived several rounds of server-merges.

Pirates of the Burning Sea is a good game which doesn’t deserve this fate. It dared to try something different, and while it made a lot of mistakes along the way, what it came up with was engrossing enough to keep me happy for six months and more. I might have been a bit harsh about it from time to time, but compared with MMO releases since, it was a shining pearl.

If you’ve not sailed the Burning Sea yet, there’s a 14 day trial available here. Folks between games at the moment could do far far worse. If you enjoyed the ship combat of Sid Meier’s Pirates,especially, you’ll find a whole lot to enjoy.

It’s also interesting to compare PotBS to Star Trek Online. Both games have a dual existence, on both land and ship, but PotBS is a game with much more depth, and is much more sandboxy, with RvR that changes the game world, and a complex economical system. There are too few sandbox MMOs out there, and I fear PotBS’s floundering is not going to make developers more inclined to work on one.

Also worth noting, we ex-players are receiving a free month of playtime:

Between February 5, 2010 at 12:01 AM PST and March 5, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST, accounts of former players that were closed between January 22, 2008 and January 15, 2010 will be reactivated for up to twenty-nine (29) days of free play*, which will allow you to transfer your characters to the Roberts or Antigua server and try out new features that we have implemented since you last set sail.

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I be Cap'n Arkenor Oakshadow, and I approve this here message. Yarr.

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