There has been a lot of talk about the pirate system in ArcheAge. At first glance, pirates are free to do pretty much whatever they want to. They’re free to attack any other players, except in safe zones. They can build farms and houses wherever they want to, except the second they set foot in another continent, they should probably be prepared to die.
With the current system, pirates are vastly outnumbered and aren’t given much luxury. Even the “Pirate Island” has limited resources (as expected, pirates generally rely on stealing to get what they need) and is open to be attacked at any moment. Not only that, but it takes a whopping 3000 infamy points to become a pirate, and close to a month to get those crime points down if you decide being a pirate isn’t quite what you wanted.
But it doesn’t stop there. This third faction is accompanied by an incredibly watered down series of quests. More than likely, this is simply because it was intended to be more of an end-game feature for the guilds that get bored with the rest of the content or the people they’re playing with. After all, if you’ve got a high-level character, a somewhat organized guild, and are decently skilled in PvP, being a pirate has its perks.
Pirates are essentially their own faction, and operate as so. They can harass players from either of the factions, ambush trade routes, and essentially create something not unlike a monopoly. They also get a shorter time in jail if they go at all (dependent on area), so they’re not constantly spending their time locked up. There’s no bother with making trade packs, just stealing them, or setting a sort of “passage fee” before letting people through. Depending on how big and how powerful the guild is, the returns could be incredibly high.
Pirates seem to have been given only a semi-decent amount of land compared to the number of players. Much like the rest of players in ArcheAge, they’re dealing with bouncing between high availability of land on the pirate island to a shortage. They may get the worse end of the deal as far as land availability goes, but again, they rely more on stealing goods than creating them.
Keep in mind, like other guilds, you can create loose “alliances” from faction to faction. Pirates may get bribed to attack a specific group or area. While communication is cut off from the other continents, the mail system still works just fine from player to player. Since they can attack either faction, this creates more of a long-term advantage.
Overall, this definitely isn’t the most glamorous of groups, and if it’s any comparison to reality, the developers aren’t far off. Being a pirate is a high risk, and you shouldn’t always expect the same return. You may have high return, or you may just get nothing at all. It’s purely based on the group’s skill, numbers, and a little bit of luck.
So how can this be improved?
Well, you don’t quite want to spoil players going this route. The developers may have intended this to be a bit more realistic. Something as simple as creating more quests and overall content would definitely help this playerbase. More bosses, more areas accessible to only pirates, like some sort of safe zone that’s out of sight to other players. The pirate faction is already a very high-risk way to play the game that doesn’t really need too many other consequences. As it stands right now, it seems to be an afterthought that was never fully implemented. It’s an interesting idea, and has potential to be an even more awesome feature. It would be great to see some work on this from the developers in the future.
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