I don't have this game, but was considering buying it. I'm hoping to get some questions about game mechanics answered to see if it's the sort of game I'll like. I've found answers to a lot of questions I've had, but couldn't find everything I wanted to know. I tried the official forum, but apparently I can't post there without having already bought the game, so I'll try here instead.

1) How long of (real-life) time intervals are necessary to play the game? That is, would I be able to typically log on, do something in half an hour or so, and then log off? Or does a lot of content require being online for a couple hours at a time in order to not have your progress reset?

2) How are the levels of enemy NPC ships determined? Does the game spawn ships specifically to attack you of your own level or very near it (e.g., as in Puzzle Pirates)? Are the levels set by the mission or (outside missions) the geographical area? Are they randomly scattered all over? Because it sure wouldn't be fun to be a level 5 constantly getting jumped by level 40+ enemies.

3) Is grouping essentially mandatory, or truly optional, or even discouraged? Or does it vary by content, with some missions built for solo play and others for groups? Or does it vary, perhaps depending on whether you're doing PvE or PvP, or whether you're in a mission or not? I understand that port battles essentially require large groups (and not necessarily of your own choosing), but what about elsewhere?

4) I read at one point that there are over 4000 missions; this wiki only documents about 700. Was the 4000 figure in error, or are there a lot of missions not on this wiki? Are there enough missions that a player could do missions and little else all the way to level 50 without running out? Is it expected that players who like missions will do them all and still have to go grind mobs? Are there so many missions that players will essentially have to either skip a large fraction or do them while way past the appropriate level?

5) I've seen it often remarked that this game doesn't have an "end game" analogous to a lot of other games, but players can just PvP at max level and buy expensive ships of the line. Has the company asserted that that is the way they intend to keep it forever, or are they someday going to add raiding for epic stuff at the level cap?

6) How difficult is reallocating your skill points? I saw that they can be redone, but it requires some particular item. Is it just a nominal fee, so expensive as to be a major decision, or only a finite number allowed, ever?

7) How difficult is it to transfer things between characters of the same account? Are there game mechanics that make it completely trivial (e.g., storage in Guild Wars)? Or do you have to get someone to hold the stuff for you to pass it around? Or is it impossible entirely. I'd expect transferring stuff from one server to another to be impractical, but what about between characters on the same server?

8) I see that players get a drydock of 4 ships in reserve. How difficult is it to switch between ships? Can you freely switch anytime you're in port, and the reserve ship magically warps to your location? Or do you have to sail back to where you got it (perhaps your capital) to switch?

9) How difficult is it to sail around, if not flagged for PvP? Do you only infrequently get attacked by NPC pirates? Are you constantly running (well, sailing) for your life? Do you get left alone unless you go out of your way to attack something, or perhaps get your reputation way down?

10) How much time is spent just trying to get from where you are to where you want to be, apart from transporting goods? Is half your time spent sailing just to acquire the next mission or go join a group? Or can you usually just pick up a mission where you are and do it there without spending a lot of time travelling?

11) How sensitive is the game to lag? In some games, a 10 second lag spike is nothing more than a minor nuisance, while in others, half a second of lag at a bad time can kill you. And while on the subject of lag, how good are the servers? Most commercial games seem to be able to keep lag and server downtime to a minimum these days, though the ~93% uptime of WoW was a conspicuous exception.

If someone knowledgeable about the game (if you have the game and you read the wiki, that's probably you) could answer my questions on my (currently non-existant) talk page, I'd appreciate it. And I might someday even help out with the wiki here; I've made a huge number of edits on GuildWiki.  :D

check out your talk page, I replied there. Welcome to our Wiki! I'm using the GuildWiki quite a lot btw, it's been a very valuable resource for me over the past few years :D --Ailar 08:09, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Just as extra, Hey Quizzical! Come to the good old ATITD IRC server/channel and we can talk about the game a bit! ArmEagle 00:35, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
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