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Review Of Tales Of Pirates
Tales of Pirates is based around a group of fictional islands, which range in climates from a desert land to another covered in snow and ice. While the graphics may not be up to the levels that are present on MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, they fit in well with the general feel of the game.
The game has a very anime feel to it, with the cities, characters and monsters having a hand drawn appearance. The gameplay is also very straight forward, in all areas, with combat involving only a single left click, to move and to do most other things. However the right mouse button is used for social interactions with other players. Those actions include things such as trading actions, and making a party.
The game itself revolves around pirates, questing and exploring the areas. The simplicity of the movement system works very well, with a single left click sending the player's avatar to the chosen position, or with the left mouse held down to move the characters around with the mouse. However, there are times when the player's character can be stuck on unmovable items, though this is mainly caused by the player making the character walk into objects.
Character creation is very easy, although very limited. It consists of selecting one of four characters, then selecting their hair and facial appearance. However, in game, the selection of equipment does change their appearance, with boots, armour, weapons all appearing different. Be that a player with the 'newbie' equipment, or a more advanced character with the high end equipment.
Upon starting off, the player is given the choice of three locations of where to start. These locations essentially have all the same newbie quests, which involves delivering a letter, then usually killing monsters or getting items and finally returning for the reward. Thankfully, this isn't hard to do with the ingame guidance system, that gives an arrow for the player to follow to their next objective.
As with most MMORPGs, Tales of Pirates has the standard level system that raises when the player's character gathers enough XP to rise to the next level. When the player reaches above level 10, then they are able to learn new skills via the use of books and train in those skills. However, if the level is gained through using crafting skills, then that skill point needs to be used in the crafting category. This applies to all the combat and magic style skills, too.
The economy of the game is very player driven, with markets appearing in all major cities and non-battle areas that have characters most frequently visit them. This is very handy when trying to locate hard to find and rare items, though it can be very restrictive when starting off with a new character. However, the more experience characters have more areas that are available to them, and usually they're accessible by a portal in areas populated by high level monsters, or in areas where a ship is needed to reach.
While there are player run markets, this does cause lag. Especially during the busier period of the game, when a considerable amount of characters can be on screen at the same time. However, this lag is more an annoyance than a game killing fault. Unless, of course, the mob of characters hides a quest critical NPC.
While this game is free to play, there is still premium content for those who wish to buy it. This premium content opens up such things as larger inventories, different fairies, weapons and stat upgrades. But these aren't items needed to compete with other characters.
Unfortunately, those who may be looking for any ounce of physics with their sailing model will be grossly disappointed. Like the rest of the game, this also relies on a click and go interface. In fact, the sailing part of the game seems like it's just set on land, and has a ship instead of the player's character.
Overall, this isn't a bad game, considering that it majority of it is for free. However, there could be complaints due to the requirement of cash being spent for additions and as well being able to level up characters, that does affect game play.