In Pirates of the Burning Sea, you crawl into the skin of a captain who sails the rough seas of the Caribbean in the year 1720. When you first enter the world, you have to create an avatar to represent you.
The first choice you have to make is which of the four nations you want to represent:
Each nation has its own language, societies and cities. The cities are located along the Lower Eastern Atlantic Seaboard of North America, the Gulf of Mexico, the Northern Coast of South America, and the Caribbean Islands. The Player versus Player aspects of this game are Realm versus Realm. All the people who represent the same Nation as you are your allies and your nation will vie with the other Nations for control of the map.
The second choice is your gender which has no influence on the game itself, but does affect your avatar's appearance.
The third choice you have to make is which career you want to play. There are five careers:
This means that if you chose the Pirate Nation the only career choices you have are Cutthroat and Buccaneer. If you went for one of the three European Nations you can choose between a Navy Officer, Freetrader or Privateer.
Each career has its own set of skills. Most of these skills have to be acquired by investing Skill Points. You get skill points through leveling. Some skills can be acquired through quests and some are given to you at certain points in the game.
Also, a fair share of the ships are restricted to one career or another. Navy Officers focus on large warships. They get access to Ships-of-the-Line (often referred to as SOL in-game) which are considered the strongest vessels in the game and are primarily used in Port Battles. Freetraders get large trade vessels with lots of cargo space -- the famous galleons usually being reserved for their use. Privateers and Pirates get more maneuverable ships that can sometimes even defeat a SOL in one-on-one combat.
A Cutthroat is the only career that has the ability to take command of a ship -- effectively stealing it. Cutthroats can take command of any ship even if it is normally restricted to another career. A Buccaneers can scavenge a ship for materials and a small chance of acquiring a Captured Deed. National players are limited to collecting "prize money" from the sale of any captured ships.
Both Privateers with Sanctioned Piracy and Pirates can initiate combat with other players in the Pirate PvP zone when a port is in contention. For the other careers, initiating PvP combat is limited to the Full PvP zone or those who have taken the Enable my PvP Flag mission from the Port Captain.
After you have decided on these points, you can customize your avatar. Your avatar will not only be visible to you and other players when walking around in cities or engaging in Avatar Combat but will also be standing proud and tall while leading your crew into fierce sea battles.
Your avatar will be customizable with a wide variety of choices in clothing, trinkets, colors, and appearances in a system very reminiscent of the character creation in City of Heroes. Later in the game there are rewards that allow you to change your appearance in unique ways. These rewards come from completing certain missions, particularly career missions.
Last, but not least, you get to decide on a name. Do not be ashamed to spend more time on coming up with a witty name then you've spend on your avatar's look. Yes, your deeds will determine your fame but your name is how you will be remembered; and, after all, role-playing is a major part of what MMORPGs like Pirates of the Burning Sea are about.
A name change is available in Treasure Aisle in case you decide at some point that the name you laughed at so heartily when you created your character at 3AM after several glasses of grog just isn't something you really want to be known as...
Before you continue
Before you press that play button, make sure you are comfortable with the choices you have made. Here are a few good things to know before pressing that button.
- Luckily if you don't feel comfortable with your looks, you can change any of them (except your gender)at any time by pressing "c". You can do this anytime you are on dry land.
- Your Nation and Career choices are permanent. You cannot change them at any point in time. If you want to play another career or nation you have to make a new character, either by choosing a new nation during a cease fire between Map cycles (see Conquest) or starting a new account. Be careful about having 2 accounts with characters of different nations as using your French captain to help the British cause will get you traitor flagged by other players who have little tolerance for "Cross-teaming."
- You are limited to 10 economic lots per account. These are used to build structures that produce goods. Consequently, if you have two characters on the same account, then you have to divide the 10 lots between them. The economy is completely player driven. Ships, consumables, and even ammunition are made by complicated production lines that often include several players. Luckily one can often maintain a small, simple, and effective production setup with only a few minutes work every day. You should therefore assume that you will need those slots for a single character thus excluding other characters on the same account from Economic activities.
- Of course you can always delete a character and start afresh. There is an enforced one hour wait between deleting characters on a server.
Smartly now lass! All the rich booty of the Caribbean be awaiting your plundering!
Now, click that Play button and start the Tutorial.
Check out the Beginner's Guide for some basic game information.
For further delving, check out the Player Guide on the forums.