Tycho at Penny Arcade mentioned us today in his article on Puzzle Quest. While Three Rings has no current plans to port Y!PP to the Nintendo DS, being compared to a halon fire suppression system is always nice. It has a mighty powerful ring to it. Yarr! Check out the article and fine words here. Discussion has already been started here on the forums because you guys notice everything!
This week has been the first time we've gotten to take a breather for a few days. The latest releases for Puzzle Pirates have spurred a furious set of discussion threads in the Game Design forum and it's been a strenuous race to keep up with you all. I remain proud as always that Puzzle Pirates has a group of intelligent, lucid, and passionate players that can always be counted on to provide a ton of feedback and suggestions, but occasionally I find myself wishing that you were not quite so fast. ;) I always feel at least a few steps behind on the forums.
While we relax a bit, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you all about some of the OceanMaster powers that I keep getting questions about.
OMs have the ability to teleport to a player or a place by using a text command. It's a highly useful command that overrides permissions, which is why we can pop into people's houses when we're not roommates, or onto people's ships when we haven't been jobbed or the vessels are in battle. One thing that's humorously not perfect about it is that it also identifies zones by text fragments, so you can get the following situation:
If I want to go to a vessel named Active Bass, typing in the command takes me to a random location with the characters 'active bass' somewhere in its name. This means that I could pop onto a random ship named Active Bass (if there are multiple ships of the same name on the ocean) as well as any vessel named Attractive Bass, Hyperactive Bass, Reactive Bass, and so on. This includes brigand and merchant vessels too, so I've popped onto brigand ships in battle while trying to rename a ship for somebody before at exactly the wrong moment and gotten tossed into the swordfight against some really confused players.
For a tour of the ocean, I could try zipping to any zone named 'bass', because that will take me on all vessels with 'bass' in their names as well as islands such as Basset.
Teleporting to a player is more straightforward, because you zip to the player by his name, not by name fragment. The only time it booches is if the pirate is in that limbo state in the docks between ship and island, and in that case it doesn't work. There's a whole metaphysical argument that can be made, there.
We can conjure up furniture and other items out of nowhere instead of having to buy it, but remembering text strings for hundreds of items is a challenge and a half, especially when they're things like table_shady_square, table_rectangle, table_square_fancy, and so on. Even more fun is making swords, where instead of colors and sword types you have to enter numbers. I hear Arcturus just spams the random free familiar command until one of the type he needs comes up, rather than tangle with the digits and which one's the primary color and which one's the secondary color.
We can rename crews and flags, and it's free if you just need a typo, misspelling, or capitalization problem corrected, so feel free to spread that around and promote a tidily named ocean. :) We can also assign crew and flag ranks to people, though that is only in the case of emergencies or game bugs. No punishing the people that shout at us by making them cabin persons, or any of that. It's a pretty rare command.
It's much more common for us to rename ships, rename vessels, and rename familiars for people. You get to be very familiar with fishbase.org when you're an OceanMaster, and I have to say that it's really underused. There are so many fantastic fish names out there that I haven't seen in use yet. You may take that as my prompting to you all to poke around the website.
Lastly I'll mention that we have the ability to port vessels that are at sea. Do not under any circumstance petition an OM if you feel like abandoning a pillage or you don't want to finish it, but if you are ever abandoned at sea without any officers or anybody that can command the ship on board, petition an OM to help you get back into port. It's handy. :)
That's all from me for this week, mates. I'm off to do a little forum moderating and discuss what is coming for the next release. I can't say anything naturally, but I am pretty excited about what's coming up. :D Fair winds!