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Release (Beta)

From YPPedia

This page archives releases during Beta testing (2003-07-14 to 2003-12-11). For newer releases, see Release. For older releases, see Release (Alpha).

Beta testing was a time of constant development. Beta releases came quite often – there were twenty in less than five months. Releases were given a code name and a summary announcement from Cleaver. Many of these features either no longer exist or have been heavily modified.


2003-12-05

Did we say final? (Twentieth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Mainly bug fixes for bugs introduced by the previous release in this one (can't wait to bring the real test server online). Chiefly the sword fight knockout problem and the disabled dismiss puzzle button annoyance. We also streamlined the process whereby non-subscribers can become subscribers in preparation for the activation of the free trial limits on Monday. We loves our subscribers!

2003-12-03

Final touches (Nineteenth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

We're just about ready to officially launch the game which means that this may well be the penultimate beta release. Don't worry though, the pace of the updates won't be slowing down (aside from our one day off to celebrate), in fact we're already hard at work on at least one exciting addition that will be unveiled shortly after launch. Enough ramblin', on to the notes:

  • Added some new chat modes: /officer (/o) for chat among officers (and above) in a crew, /fofficer (/fo) for chat among all officers (and above) in a flag, /royalty (/ro) for chat among flag royalty and /fbroadcast (/fb) for broadcast to an entire flag. Note that an issue with these chat modes means that jobbers of appropriate rank will also hear this kind o' chat, making it not very secure.
  • Introduced "sail cloth" which is now used to make vessels instead of brown cloth to make life easier for a weaver who wants to do one or the other. See an OM about having your brown cloth exchanged with sail cloth if ye so desires.
  • Rebalanced a number of the production recipes to require a broader array of labor so that our now diverse labor pool can more effectively produce.
  • Clothing on the rack at the tailor will now age much more slowly than clothing being worn by a pirate.
  • Changed bilge scoring to reward bingo's and other complex combos more highly.
  • Made it possible to register from within the client after you've downloaded rather than requiring players to register on the website before downloading the client.
  • Various bugs were fixed and bits were fiddled: ye once again cannot wear a captain's hat unless yer an officer, nor a crown unless yer a monarch; we fixed some funny business with items reporting the wrong condition; we fixed some things relating to bogus maps (any illegal maps will unfortunately be destroyed automatically by the new map system); ye no longer needs a job to forage.

2003-11-26

House cleaning (Eighteenth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Basically just bug fixes and tuning in this release. Fixed various problems with the new crafting puzzle system, tuned a few things here and there. Made /tell and /who idle times consistent (and correct), fixed problem where sea battle view gets out of sync, fixed intro pirate's face icon, added some help for ordering products, cause that help to be shown automatically once if you haven't seen it. That's about the size of it. It's looking unlikely that there will be anything but more bug fixes and tweaks between now and release. But you can be sure we'll be right back at the exciting new features the very next day. Well, maybe the day after; we might take one day off to celebrate. After all, it has been nearly two and a half years.

Note: we also modified vessels such that they take on a small trickle of bilge even when at zero damage. Ye will now have to take an occasional stint at the bilge to keep things ship shape.

2003-11-22

The Fruits of Our Labor (Seventeenth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Ahoy mateys! We have a few new features that we think you'll enjoy and a whole host of bug fixes and adjustments as usual. Let's get right to the good stuff:

  • Introducing the distilling puzzle! This first entry in the crafting system brings along with it a whole new system of "direct laboring" whereby you do a crafting puzzle and produce labor directly which is applied to orders immediately.

There are a few important things to note with the new system: your performance in the puzzle dictates the type of labor you can produce and your subsequent standing indicates the type of labor your pirate will produce while you're offline. Also, direct labor draws from the same "advanced pool" of labor that foraging does, so you can only use up to 24 hours of labor without letting real hours pass to catch you up. You can still play the puzzle and improve your standing, you just won't be producing direct labor as you do it.

Only the distilling puzzle is implemented now. We will, of course, be implementing the other crafting puzzles in the future, but this is the only one that will be finished before launch.

  • The trading interface now has a "Hold only" toggle that filters information to just what you have in your hold.
  • The overlay chat history now has three modes: off, partial screen, and full screen.
  • The hole progression in carpentry has been adjusted to make the difficulty ramp up more appropriately. There is also now a bonus for consecutive "Masterpiece" holes.
  • Gunnery has been adjusted: you can now only gun with four cannons, two cannons was too easy and six cannons too hard which made it impossible to produce ratings that were comparable; additionally, the minimum gunnery speed has been made a bit slower to make life easier for the new player. As a result, all vessels now have a multiple of four cannons which means that on some vessels the number of cannon "stations" isn't exactly the same as the number of cannons.
  • Sea battle has been adjusted: only the first 60% of cannon damage will be used to create damage on the opponents sword fighting board, meaning that the maximum number of damage rows is now 6 instead of 10; a vessel at maximum damage will produce sailing tokens at 30% of the normal rate rather than 0% of the normal rate; the sea battle AI has been adjusted to run into rocks less frequently.
  • Thanks to your overly analytical mateys, the league point memorization system has changed such that you memorize a league after successfully sailing it some random number of times, the number of which I'm not going to tell you. Memorized leagues should show up immediately rather than requiring you to log off and back on, but it's not memorized until you see it being memorized.

The intent of the league memorization system was not that players would borrow maps and sail the routes the exact number of times needed to memorize them but that players that sailed a route fairly frequently would eventually memorize it and no longer need a map to sail it. Now if you don't mind, I'll go back to adding things to the game that are fun instead of wasting my time on things like this.

  • Many bugs have been fixed, including the inability to delete the first character in the chat box and the bug that causes the trading interface to display zeros for the amounts in your hold even though you have things in your hold.

2003-11-15

An Even Littler Something (Sixteenth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

This is just a quick bug fix release to remedy a few pesky problems that crept into the previous release. The main fixes are to assigning titles to officers, fixing a problem with harvesting at the markets, fixing the Home/End chat fiasco, and making gunnery no longer penalize you for being in the puzzle while all the cannons are loaded.

2003-11-14

A Little Something (Fifteenth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

We've been hard at work in the fun department here at Puzzle Pirates HQ which is why ye haven't heard from us in a while. We're not quite ready to turn all of our new creations loose on ye, but there are a few bits that we can let out the door to tide ye over in the meanwhile.

  • Introduced gems: high-risk, inter-archipelago trading opportunities. Keep an eye out for the sparkling baubles in a market near you.
  • Added /vwho for displaying info on player vessels.
  • You can use the "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys to scroll through the overlay chat history.
  • Sea battle now tracks disengagement separately for attackers and defenders and neither party is allowed to disengage until their 10 (or higher if they are hit by cannon shots) turns have elapsed.
  • New players now start out with green names which fade to yellow as they play their first few sessions. Greeters now only appear in pink to new players (and other greeters).
  • Brigands have been adjusted in various ways to hopefully give you more varied and interesting battling opportunities and to make them less predictable.
  • New titles were added for your titling pleasure: purser, steward, lieutenant, midshipman, mascot, wench, damsel, diplomat and strategist.
  • Various bits were fiddled: /fwho and /cwho accept 3 character names, "Turn about" button can no longer be activated via the keyboard, scroll-bar increments were adjusted in various places to make the mouse wheel more useful.
  • Various bugs were fixed: crew/jcrew emote should appear in the right color, picking a location for the chat log when in full-screen mode should now work, electing a captain that is homed on a different island as the crew should properly change the crew's home island.

2003-10-30

Curse of the Midnight Ocean (Fourteenth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Another fine release for ye. Once again there be bugs fixed and features crafted fer yer piratin' pleasure. We've also heard tell that an ill wind be blowin' in, but that was from a drunken old fool who is surely not to be trusted.

  • In the booty division and voting interface, each pirate has a star next to their name for every sea battle of the voyage in which they participated. The default booty shares are adjusted base each pirates' sea battle participation.
  • Added /cwho and /fwho which display information on who is logged on in a crew and flag respectively.
  • Noticed that old salts have started hanging around the inns offering to tell rumors to pirates that buy 'em a drink.
  • Sea battle now displays a bar indicating how many moves on which the vessel is taking some action (either moving or shooting or both) instead of showing which slots exactly in which they are making moves.
  • /crew and /jcrew are now colored slightly differently.
  • Memorized league points in the charting interface are now displayed in a different color than league points that are only visible because of a map on the boat or in your inventory.
  • If a pirate is not logged on for two days or more, their items age only one day for the entire period they were away.
  • Fixed various bugs with crews and flags: pirates not being removed from crews when the pirate is deleted; old monarch showing up as monarch in new flag when a crew switches flags; crews not being disbanded when becoming empty.

2003-10-27

Midnight repairs (Thirteenth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

But of course, many wonderful bugs were discovered with the transition to Midnight which we hastily repaired in another release on the very same day in spite of our lack of sleep and general exhaustion. And we even slipped in a feature.

  • When a pirate responds to a job posting an attention dialog is displayed via which an officer can easily view that pirate's info and hire them for the job. Additionally non-officers are not pointlessly informed of the job application.
  • Enhanced the booty bling bling dialog to display any maps and kraken's blood pillaged in addition to pieces of eight and other commodities.

2003-10-27

Midnight dawning (Twelfth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

With this release, we released the Midnight ocean and all our mateys started afresh in a brand new world. There weren't a lot of changes aside from a bit o' rearranging here and there to improve routes and spice things up, but we wouldn't dream of doing a release without at least one or two things.

  • Added maroon and dark brown cloth.
  • Added a new vest with sash article of women's clothing.
  • Modified the way the gunnery puzzle manages its speed. The higher your rating the faster it goes. The faster it goes the higher your rating can climb.

2003-10-25

Never say never (Eleventh beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Arr! There were a fair few feisty bugs that necessitated one more full release to make our lives easier for the final day of the Grand Tournament. No new features, just bug fixes, mainly regarding those pesky brigands but a few other fixes made it in here and there.

2003-10-22

The last hurrah (Tenth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

This is it mates, the last release before midnight. We've got a number of exciting things in store for you this time, so I'll cut right to the chase:

  • Brawling introduced in your local inn. Now you can play multiplayer sword fights against all comers!
  • Brigands have been revamped such that brigands of size and difficulty appropriate for your vessel and the route on which you are sailing are specifically sent after you periodically rather than just allowing them to sail all over the thirty seven seas in hopes that you bump into the right kind.
  • Sword fighting targets are now colored based on the colors of the sword of the player that is targeting that player.
  • The skull and cross-bones are cleaned up on the male and female Captain's Hats.
  • New or updated puzzle sounds in drinking, carpentry, gunnery and sailing.
  • Gunnery puzzle revamped such that you always have an equal number of all pieces at all times and the speed is fixed, but you can press space or right mouse button to "zip" the pieces.
  • Crew and player sea battle ratings are reset. Crew ratings only change in PvP battles, player ratings change in every sea battle.
  • Bilge puzzle always has a little water and is never completely full.
  • Clicking on the island view while in port disembarks you.
  • When a user logs off from an island, we don't auto-bank their money unless they log back on somewhere other than that island.
  • "Dormant" players (haven't logged in in 10 days) are not displayed on the top-10 lists.
  • Sales tax (10%) added to help defray the costs of the Navy.
  • Added an icon to buttons that make you whisk.
  • Commodity trading interface has been enhanced. Commodities are now colored by category and the interface displays the best buy and sell prices when in that mode.
  • Interface added for discovering the location of the vessels in your crew. It is available via the port interface.
  • Some small bits: fixed spelling of poniard, "used' items are called "good' instead, maps now appear old if they are over 50% used, joining a crew full time requires confirmation if you're already in a crew, wood production increased.
  • Various and sundry bugs were also fixed.

The billing system is ready. Midnight is upon us. All that remains is to have a great big party and then throw the switch (well, it's not going to be that easy, but most of the hard work is done). We'll continue to update and fix the game while we're on Midnight before the final "launch" and who knows, maybe a few more features will slip in between now and then. Arr! See ye at the brawling tables.

2003-10-06

Still going... (Ninth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

All but one final major feature are now in and we're down to bug fixing and finishing up some non-game systems before we set sail for the Midnight ocean.

  • Commodity production now dynamically adjusts based on demand. This should hopefully help to mitigate the shortages and surpluses that we've seen in the past.
  • Items (swords, clothing, maps) now decay with age and eventually crumble into dust at the end of their lifespan. An item continues to function the same for the entirety of its lifespan. When resting the mouse over an item, its condition is displayed in the tooltip: new, used or old. In the future, items will change visibly in the middle of their lifespan to give an immediate indication of their condition.
  • Shoppes now no longer have an employee limit, but rather an optimal number of employees. A shoppe will use the labor of up to the optimal number of employees per hour which means that a shoppe can be sure to make maximal use of its labor even if its employees are sometimes giving their labor to their other employers. Relatedly, we have reduced the labor output of shoppes back to the values originally planned but which were changed because players were having difficulty finding jobs. This means that it will take more shoppes to produce the goods needed by the eager consumers. Enterprising business-pirates should talk to their local governor about building new shoppes if they find that there are large backlogs at the shoppes on their home island.
  • Crews may now be expelled by flags. The interface for doing so is displayed to royalty on the flag info page.
  • Maps in and to the new archipelagos should now be properly colored.
  • Shortly before this release, we added the Ruby archipelago and a new island, Endurance, to the Opal archipelago.

Item wear and tear was one of the last major features that we wanted to get in before transitioning to midnight. It is in a primitive state and will certainly be improved, but we wanted to get the basics in as soon as we could. We have one more major feature (you'll have to wait to see what it is) and a fair bit of back-end work to do before we're done, but we're making good progress. In the meanwhile, thanks again for testing and we'll see ye on the high seas.

2003-09-25

Making up for lost time (Eighth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Mostly bug fixes in this one but not entirely:

  • The news display will only be shown once every 24 hours (making it only display if something new is there is on the list, that is about ten times more complicated than the simple, useful solution we have in place now).
  • The notice board is now linked on the island overview map (though the icon for it is booched, we'll fix that in the next release). Now you can easily check the notice board from anywhere on an island.
  • Laborers that haven't logged on in the last ten days are automatically fired to make room for people who are actually playing the game.
  • Only senior officers and captains are now allowed to remove maps from a vessel. Officers can still use the maps on the table and add new maps, but they can't take them off.
  • Support has been added for logging your chat to a file. Check out the Chat tab of the Options panel to try it out.
  • Numerous bug fixes: /back should now work, you should be able to reclick on the same vessel in the port interface if you failed to go aboard the first time, the inactivity timeout on sword fighting should be more accurate and more lenient, transient failures when downloading game updates should be handled and reported more gracefully.

One-eyed Jack signing off and getting back to work.

2003-09-23

One moon later (Seventh beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Another slightly rocky release. We'll surely be hearing tell of the day of cursing for many moons to come. Without further ado, the details:

  • Three new archipelagos were introduced into the game: Coral, Jet and Opal. Get after those brigands to find maps to these magical new lands.
  • Introducing, Ocean Masters, friendly folks who can help you with problems that might occur in the course of playing your game. They are listed in the /who display and are identifiable by their blue names (rather than the normal yellow).
  • Introducing, Greeters, friendly players like yourself who have volunteered to help new players get started with the game and answer questions they might have. If any greeters are on the same island you are on, the will be listed in /who and they are identifiable by their pink names (rather than the normal yellow).
  • Chat filters have been implemented which turn as many curse words as we could think of into their piratey equivalent. You can also configure it to comicify cursing or drop it entirely via the Options panel.
  • We have added /away and /back for configuring a /tell auto-reply for when you're busy in the game or away from the game for a moment. You can also use /afk instead of /away.
  • /complain has been changed such that you must complain about a particular pirate. The syntax is now: /complain pirate message.
  • Pirates now start the game at the last island they "visited" rather than their home island, though they can easily go to their home island with the "Go to home isle" button in the Ye panel. If a pirate logs off while on an island, their last "visited" island will be the island they were just on. If they log off while on a vessel, their last "visited" island will be the last island into which the vessel put into port.
  • The navigation puzzle now starts at a difficulty level commensurate with your rating. If you're highly rated, it starts at a higher difficulty rating. Additionally, if you booch it, it doesn't reset the difficulty entirely, but only drops it back a few levels.
  • Swabbies will no longer play rated games.
  • Booching your duties on navy vessels no longer earns any pay.
  • You now only see " was knocked out" in the sword fighting puzzle if you were targeting that player.
  • Various other bugs were fixed and attempts were made to improve performance of the client and server. There remains much to be done on this front but we're getting there slowly but surely.

More bug fixing and a few final features are on our near term agenda. We're making the final push to Midnight and release here at Puzzle Pirates headquarters and we're very excited for the final release and the opportunity to get back to adding new features once we've got things running stably, and profitably. Arr!

2003-08-23

One for the road (Sixth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Before half of us ship out to the desert, we wanted to make a quick release to fix the annoying sword fighting targeting bug and wouldn't you know it but a thing or two slipped on in:

  • Crew sea battle statistics are now available from the notoriety link on the crew page (the one that says "Scurvy Dogs" or something along those lines). Unfortunately, the average battle duration seems messed up, but the important statistics are there. Also note that we didn't start tracking PVP battles separately until this release, so the stats before August 22nd will report everyone as having had zero PVP wins and losses but from here on out it should be accurate. We also didn't have the time to implement a top 10 page for the sea battle stats, but we'll definitely get that into the next update.
  • The bank interface has been streamlined. You can now see in the drop-down how much money you have at each bank, fee handling has been made more intuitive and when transferring from another island, the money goes right into your pocket instead of into your local account.
  • Other than those additions, this release contains mostly bug fixes: swordfighting targeting should once again be working, the /plank bug should be fixed, ye can no longer accidentally set a buy price higher than your sell price at a shoppe, the media download and installation is yet more robust, the installer is now more careful about what it deletes when uninstalling, a shoppe owner is not displayed also in the managers list, empty chat circles should no longer litter the ground, and a few other behind the scenes things have been fixed up.

That's all for now mates. See ye when we return from our adventures on the high desert.

2003-08-19

Rough waters (Fifth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

After an unfortunately "eventful" game update, things are once again running smoothly. This release is mostly bug fixes and game tuning, but a few things slipped in here and there:

  • Quotes and pending orders now display an estimated time of completion in real hours based on the throughput of the shoppe in the last 24 hours and the number of orders ahead of yours in the queue.
  • Created a new rank, Senior Officer. More info on that below.
  • Shoppe managers are now displayed along with the owner in the building tab.
  • Starting a crew now requires navigation experience along with the previous experience requirements.
  • Kraken's blood can now be found in every archipelago.
  • Cannonballs require half as many resources to manufacture.
  • Made the media download and install somewhat more robust. We'll be improving this further as we've discovered yet more creative ways in which things can go wrong in this update.
  • Many more bugs were fixed (and a few new ones introduced, as often is the case).

Senior Officer Information In an attempt to make oligarchic crews more functional, we have introduced a new role called Senior Officer. In an oligarchic crew, the normal officers now do not vote on issues. They may still propose issues (promotion or demotion) but they are not part of the voting body. Votes involving tens of players are exceedingly difficult to accomplish. Allowing someone into the voting body and allowing them to take boats out and handle crew property are two very different things.

Additionally, Senior Officers and Captains in crews of any politics can now promote and demote anyone of rank Officer or below (without requiring a vote). Thus, an autocratic crew is made slightly more efficient in that the Captain dictates who becomes a Senior Officer, but allows delegation of Officer and Pirate appointment to a group of Senior Officers. Captains that wish to retain complete and total control over their crew may simply not appoint any Senior Officers. Oligarchic and Democratic crews require votes only when a pirate is to be appointed as a Senior Officer or Captain. With this change, we think Democratic crews might even be feasible.

You'll notice that there is now an ocean selector on the logon panel. We're getting closer to the transition to the Midnight ocean; this release puts into place the majority of the technology we need to achieve the transition. We want to iron out a few more bugs and see how this release sails before we open that ocean up for business. Thanks again for all your help in testing our game. Hopefully we won't have much more rough sailing on our way to Midnight. Until next time mates...

2003-08-08

Patching up the hull (Fourth beta release)

From the Release Notes:

This was just a quick update to fix the particularly niggling bugs that crept into the previous release. Specifically, inability to deliver orders, failing to download and install game updates and hopefully finally eliminating the Windows clock drift problems (which cause puzzles to lock up, the ocean view to become badly out of sync, radial menus to stop working and all manner of other booches).

Note: if you are seeing an error launching the game that reports something to the effect of sun.misc.Perf that means that you're still using Java 1.4.1 and need to upgrade to Java 1.4.2 which Windows users can accomplish simply by using our Windows installer.

2003-08-07

A bottle o' rum on every table (Third beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Arr! One-eyed Jack here with a much needed beta update. Let's get right to the details:

  • Added inter-archipelago bank transfers. That'll be costing ye a 10% fee. The same as getting pillaged once guaranteed, but it's a heck of a lot faster.
  • Ye can now appoint up to five managers of your shoppes. Beware, ye best trust them because they can do everything ye can in yer shoppe except for assign other managers. Great for collectively owned shoppes and sharing responsibilities.
  • Orders that haven't been picked up within 10 days of completion can now be repossessed by the shoppe owner.
  • Foraging has been improved. You have up to 24 hours of "advanced" labor that you can use to forage before you have to let real hours elapse to earn back that labor. Thus you can forage multiple times once arriving at an island and amass enough commodities to make the trip worth your while.
  • Crew job notices are now posted archipelago-wide instead of just to the home island of the crew posting the notice.
  • Commodity production has been increased tremendously to deal with the burgeoning demand. We also upped the employee limits at the shoppes so that everyone can get a job.
  • Ye can now actually sell commodities from the booty prior to dividing it.
  • /plank has been fixed and you can now plank members of your own crew which just kicks them off the boat, and you can plank jobbing crew members regardless of whether they are on the boat and it simply terminates their job with your crew.
  • Many many bugs were fixed.
  • We finally got our incremental patching system working, so the next release should be less of a strain on your Internet connection (and on our bandwidth bill).

We continue to make progress toward the transition to the Midnight ocean and our eventual public launch. You can expect to see a couple more updates before we switch to Midnight. In the meanwhile, keep the wind at yer back and steer clear o' them rocks.

2003-07-26

Welcome to the Caribbean (Second beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Avast, we made it through to our first beta update. There be a long list of fixes and many more we've yet to complete. Here are the details on what's in this update:

  • We fixed an error with the experience display. The pirate info page had Apprentice and Neophyte backwards. Apprentice is above Neophyte.
  • Islands now receive new players based on their existing population. Once enough players live on an island, new players will start to be assigned to that island.
  • Consolidated information on /who display.
  • Added new customer support tools, including the ability for established crews to deal the black spot to badly misbehaving players.
  • Rum is now consumed every three minutes instead of every league. Also, jobbers consume the same as pirates now rather than the same as officers.
  • White cloth added to the recipes of clothing that has large always white components like some shirts.
  • The island on which ye are posting a job is now reported when ye post a job from a vessel.
  • Navy vessels should now always send yer pay to yer home island.
  • Up to three new players don't count against swabbie limits or your vessel's might rating, so job those newbies and show 'em the ropes.
  • Vessels are not auto-selected in the ocean view unless they are within a reasonable range of your might. No more accidentally attacking a much mightier or much less mighty boat because they came into view at just the wrong time.
  • There is no more duty report before a sea battle and the duty report following the sea battle covers performance for the entire league thus far, sea battle included.
  • Ye can /plank jobbing crew members whether or not they are on your vessel. If they are not, they are simply removed from your crew.
  • Sea battle experience requirements have been toned down. It is a bit easier to achieve Narrow in sea battle and thus easier to get to the point where you can create your own crew.
  • Now when you order a player to do a job, they are authorized to do that job regardless of their rank until you order them to do another job. Now you can let other players try their hand at gunnery or navigation prior to unloading the full responsibility of officership upon them.
  • Shoppes now have employee limits. These are displayed in the employment management interface for shop owners. Those shops that are already over their limit will be allowed to keep their existing employees but won't be able to hire anew until they are once again below the limit. Note that "nice" shoppes (a plain shoppe will eventually be upgradeable to a nice shoppe) have higher limits.
  • Bank managers now can now access the bank's coffers and obtain the money earned from fees.
  • Fixed various and sundry other bits: no money whisk on disconnect, intro pirate should be more robust, rum bug should be fixed, navy map handling fixed for governors.

As I mentioned, we're still toiling away on a lot of small but helpful features and trying to track down the nasty problems. We'll endeavor to do releases more frequently in the coming weeks so that we can keep up with the rapidly changing economy and help to ease the assimilation of so many new players. Thanks fer all yer help thus far and we'll see ye on the high seas!

2003-07-14

X marks the spot (First beta release)

From the Release Notes:

Ahoy mateys and welcome to the Isle of Question Mark. We now being our search for the legendary treasure of Captain Profit. Our search is beleaguered by daemons that lurk on this island, many of which seem to have leapt to shore from our very own vessel, having stowed away on our Alpha voyage. Ye may have heard these daemons called "bugs" by some lily livered pack o' land lubbers, but we're here to learn ye their right name.

Progress in defeating these daemons has been swift, but many are still known to us and surely many more will rear their ugly heads as we make our way further toward the treasure buried on this cursed pile of sand. We will endeavor, in true swashbuckling style, to slip in the odd last-minute feature here and there, but our main focus will be getting things as ship shape as possible for our upcoming release.

Here be the details on this first beta release:

  • The website has received a major overhaul (as ye have probably noticed).
  • Every color o' cloth can now be used when creating clothing rather than the second color selection being limited as it once was.
  • We no longer let any young fool straight off the Polywog create their own crew. They must first prove their mettle by accumulating Narrow experience in Sea Battle and all the duty puzzles (save fer Navigation). They must also possess the deed to a vessel they can be used by their newly formed crew.
  • Labor in the economic system is now limited per account rather than per pirate. Each account has 24 hours of labor which will be divided evenly among their pirates; 8 hours apiece if they have three, 12 hours apiece if they have two. Some of ye surely enjoy playing more than one pirate character, but we don't mean for it to confer an advantage in the form of extra labor.
  • Familiars are no longer cut from the same cloth as yer clothing, so to speak. They are now colored in a range o' hues more appropriate to a beast of their circumstance.
  • For your convenience, Ye can access your account info on the website via an aptly named "Account info" button on the login screen.
  • Ye must have validated yer email address before ye will be allowed to play. Most of ye have already done this as part of the registration process, but it's possible that some of ye slipped through the cracks and will need to do so by clicking on the aforementioned "Account info" button.
  • Officers may now /plank a member of their own crew if they be drinking up the rum and not doin' their duty. Bear in mind that this is primarily to allow pirates that have gone idle to be booted from the ship; this is not a discipline tool, as a non-idle crew member can immediately come back aboard.
  • Yer pirate will now proffer their labor to their highest paying job first rather than in the order the jobs were taken.
  • Certain hats are restricted for wear only by properly ranking pirates: the Captain's Hat and Feathered Hat are only available for wear by Officers and Captains of crews. The Crown and Tiara are only available for wear by Royalty of a Flag.
  • Shoppes will now properly transfer management if their deed is traded.
  • Sound has been disabled by default. It can be reenabled from the Options panel, but as it seems to be causing random lockups and other strangeness, we have done this until we can come up with a solution.
  • A whole host of nasty daemons have been slain, some of which have plagued us for some time. Notably, the "sword puzzle never starts," the "sword puzzle never sends any strikes," the "ghost pirates stood on exit portals", a couple of gunnery puzzle problems and a whole host of others.

We'll certainly keep up with the releases as we make progress toward Captain Profit's treasure. Hopefully the remaining beasties will fall without too much trouble and we can spend the majority of our time ensuring the game is balanced for maximum fun. The sooner we release the game, the sooner we can get back to all the exciting features waiting patiently on The List.

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