Pirates of the Burning Sea Plans for Anniversary

UPDATE: The patch notes have been released. "For a limited time only, a black cockatoo is available in Treasure Aisle as is a monkey dressed for celebration!"

Pirates of the Burning Sea turns three years old on Jan. 22, and Flying Lab Software plans to start celebrating with tomorrow's patch. While the patch notes haven't been released yet, Flying Lab has announced that update 2.2 will contain content related to the game's anniversary. In addition, the patch will include a new look for the Spanish capital San Juan (see above) and add new items in the Treasure Aisle.

The Antigua and Roberts servers will be down for maintenance tomorrow, Jan. 19 from 1:30-5 a.m. PST. Once they're up and running, players can start celebrating the game's third anniversary!

Pirates of the Burning Sea Testbed Event Planned

Flying Lab Software will be hosting an event on the Testbed server today, Jan. 15, to test the latest fix for the bug that causes Lieutenant Commission NPCs to appear in PvP combat in Pirates of the Burning Sea. Skirmishes will be held at approximately 1:30 p.m. PST, followed by port battles at around 2 p.m. The event will ultimately end following a round of open sea combat. Oh, and there will be rewards:

"We will give a rewards of 5 Citations of Conquest to any player who can successfully get a commissioned ally to activate during any instance PvP over the course of this event. Our GMs will also be carrying cargo of value for any players able to successfully defeat them in the open sea portion of our tests."

Flying Lab clarified in the event's discussion thread that the Citations of Conquest will go to a character of the player's choice on the live servers. Check out the thread if you have any questions regarding the event.

ZAM's News Team Looks Back at 2010

As 2010 winds to a close and we prepare for 2011, the ZAM news team decided to take a look back at this year's highs and lows, as well as share what we're excited to see in 2011. Our team has changed a bit recently, so we wanted to take the time to properly introduce ourselves and talk about about our favorite topic: gaming.

Over the next few pages, you'll get to meet Editor-in-Chief Darryl "Togikagi" Gangloff (yours truly), Senior Staff Writer Chris "Pwyff" Tom, Reporter Kayla "Reiyami" Smith and Staff Writer Paul "LockeColeMA" Cleveland. Keep reading after the jump for my personal thoughts on 2010 and then flip through the pages to hear from the rest of the team.

We'd love to know what you thought about 2010. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below, or contact us at news@zam.com. You can also find our individual contact information on the staff list page.

Live Holiday Event Held in Pirate MMO Today

Flying Lab Software will be hosting a live in-game holiday event today, Dec. 22, in Pirates of the Burning Sea. Nicholas Noel needs your help to prepare this year's Junkanoo feast. The event will be held in two parts:

  • Part one requires players to defend their Nation's special Junkanoo Freetraders on the open sea. It starts at 11:30 a.m. PST on the Roberts server and 4 p.m. PST on the Antigua server.
  • Part two requires players to speak to event characters, who will give you a challenge or ask you a question before handing over prizes. It starts at 1 p.m. PST on Roberts and 5:30 p.m. PST on Antigua.

Now that Pirates of the Burning Sea is free-to-play, all players have the opportunity to log on today and enjoy the festivities. Happy holidays!

Pirates of the Burning Sea Podcast Episode 13: F2P

The Pirates of the Burning Sea Podcast Episode 13 is out and is diving into the topic of free-to-play. In this episode, Flying Lab Software CEO Russell "Rusty" Williams is joined by Jason (Mr Nutty), Declan (Deqlor), Josiah (Burlap), Shannon (FlyingShark), and Niklas (MrTheTooth) to talk about F2P, Treasure Aisle, and the future of the Burning Sea.

Check out the Podcast on the PotBS site or on iTunes.

ZAM Dives Into the F2P Pirates of the Burning Sea

In January 2008, Flying Lab Software released Pirates of the Burning Sea after more than two years of beta testing. Originally the game came with a $14.99 per month subscription fee and boasted almost a dozen servers for players across the world to participate in naval and boarding action. Almost three years later, the game has adopted the free-to-play format. Players can now play the game with a free account or gain access to additional perks by paying the old subscription price as a Captain's Club member or purchasing extra content along the way. To see how this new format has affected gameplay, I decided to take a dive into the world of Pirates of the Burning Sea.

Pirates of the Burning Sea Becomes F2P Today

Flying Lab Software announced last week that the free-to-play patch for Pirates of the Burning Sea had to be pushed back to today, Nov. 29, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Well, the wait is almost over! The servers are currently down for maintenance, but they're scheduled to be up around 9 a.m. PST/noon EST (UPDATE: The new ETA is 3 p.m. PST). Once patch 2.1 is live, you'll be able to log in and play the pirate MMO for free.

So what exactly does the term "free-to-play" mean for Pirates of the Burning Sea? For all the details on the differences between a free account, a premium account and a Captain's Club membership, be sure to look at the comparison chart on the official site. Basically, players can still choose to pay $14.99 per month for access to certain premium content and discounts in the new Treasure Aisle in-game store.

To find out why Flying Lab decided to make the switch from the subscription model to F2P, check out our recent interview with Design Department Lead Declan O'Connell. Will you be playing Pirates of the Burning Sea?

PotBS Free-to-Play Patch Pushed Back to Next Week

UPDATE: Flying Lab just announced that Pirates of the Burning Sea will go free-to-play on Monday, Nov. 29.

Flying Lab Software announced in September that Pirates of the Burning Sea would be going free-to-play this fall. Last month, the team sent out a customer service notification to past and present players that the F2P switch would occur "on or around" Nov. 22. Well, Producer Michelle "Misha" Williams has confirmed on the official forums that you won't be playing PotBS for free today:

"The 22nd was the earliest possible release date due to legalities of giving notice to players. We're expecting launch to be early the week after Thanksgiving."

She explains later in the thread that both SOE and Flying Lab decided it would be safer to wait to launch the F2P patch until after the U.S. holiday to make sure team members would be readily available to address any bugs that may arise.

Pirates of the Burning Sea Going F2P on Nov. 22

Last month was a time of change for Pirates of the Burning Sea. Flying Lab Software released the game's first expansion, Power & Prestige, and then immediately followed it by announcing that the MMO will become free-to-play this fall. Well, it looks like we now have a date for the F2P change: November 22.

Alright, so technically it's "on our around" November 22. The team just sent out a customer service notification to past and present players of the game to let them know that Pirates of the Burning Sea is going free-to-play next month, but there will also be the option of subscribing to the Captain's Club at $14.99 per month to gain access to premium content.

More information on the upcoming membership plans can be found in the customer service announcement below or on the Pirates of the Burning Sea site. You can also check out our recent interview with Design Department Lead Declan O'Connell to find out why FLying Lab is switching to the free-to-play model.

Pirates of the Burning Sea Q&A with Design Lead

The first major expansion for Pirates of the Burning Sea, Power & Prestige, just launched two days ago, but it turns out the team at Flying Lab Software had another major announcement hidden up its collective sleeves. That same night, the team revealed that the pirate-themed MMO will be going free-to-play this fall!

We decided to go straight to the developers to find out exactly what this change means for both current and new players. Design Department Lead Declan O'Connell was kind enough to give us some more details on why Flying Lab is going the free-to-play route, and he explains how the release of Power & Prestige coupled with the F2P tag can be considered a relaunch of the game.

Keep reading after the jump for the full interview! Yarr!