You asked for it, we heard you, and then we waited a while, and then we all went out for drinks, and then some of us did our laundry, and then we had the strangest feeling like we were forgetting something, and then we remembered what it was, and now... it's here! By popular demand, the Limited Edition ship for December is the Casino Class War Frigate!
Here's the main "casino floor" room down in the hold, complete with every kind of parlor table you could dream of, as well as more poker and Treasure Drop tables than you can shake a croupier stick at!
And what casino would be complete without a plush VIP suite? This one even has its own tank of tropical fish! Lions and other exotic pets sold separately.
We saved the best for last, however... Deep down in the hold are a working roulette table and a working craps table!
Use 'em to play with for fun with your hearties, or to roll up a random number for whatever reason you might need one. Break ties! Determine who gets first pick of duty station, and who is stuck swabbing the deck! Make important life decisions! It's up to you.
The Casino Class War Frigate is the premier ship for excursions to Atlantis, but don't gamble on it staying around any longer than the month of December, so roll one up for yourself right now!
We here at Puzzle Pirates HQ are folks of simple tastes. We feel that old traditions are among the best ones, and so we like to celebrate the harvest season the way it's been celebrated for hundreds of years: we take a bunch of awesome items, stuff them all into boxes stamped with question marks, and then give them away! Some of you may take issue with our grasp of history. In our defense, our history is probably a lot more interesting and fake than yours*.
From now until 3:00 PM PST on November 19th, 2012, you'll earn a free Wine Mystery Box for every $9.95 you spend on doubloons or every month of subscription time you purchase! That's 3 Mystery Boxes for purchasing a quarterly subscription, 5 Mystery Boxes for purchasing a $49.95 package, or even more!
Every Wine Mystery Box contains a cool prize. What's new this month? Well, the Wine Box contains a variety of previously unavailable furniture from past Limited Edition ships! If you've been coveting fantastic furni like the wine crates from the Smuggler Class Sloop, or the elegant bookcase from the Vampire Class Sloop, this is your chance to snag them for yourself. There's also a wide variety of other Wine-colored prizes available, including unique Wine Box trinkets, Wine Dogs and Wine Octopus Familiars!
Good luck, everyone!
* For one, ours has a lot of robots in it. Also, Blackbeard was a velociraptor. From space.
...there's a new ship this November! And not just any ship: it's the explosive, Limited Edition Gunpowder Class Sloop! Let's take a look.
Here's the Gunpowder Class Sloop's prow: it's Guy Fawkes! He's on fire! And he's lugging a pair of pretty wicked looking powder kegs! You have our personal assurance that those will not explode if you ram someone. We promise.
Speaking of powder kegs, let's head below decks where you'll find what the Gunpowder Class Sloop is named for: barrels upon barrels of gunpowder! Little known fact: the entity that manufactures all the bags of powder in the ocean also produces that same powder in convenient barrel and crate sizes! Who knew?
You might think that keeping all that gunpowder in one place would be dangerous, but fear not! It's being carefully watched over by a couple of highly-motivated Guy Fawkes effigies. To be completely honest with you, I don't think they've been properly trained to handle explosives, but they're better than nothing, and they came cheap.
Finally, a quick look at the Gunpowder Class Sloop's quarterdeck. Note the lively bonfire roasting a particularly massive Guy Fawkes effigy.
Wait a second, a bonfire? Right next to all those fireworks? And isn't the quarterdeck right above the ship's hold? Where all the gunpowder is? Um. Well. I'm sure everything'll be fine. Yeah. It'll be fine. Let's not worry about it.
The Gunpowder Class Sloop is only available until the end of November, so start plotting to get yours now!
In recognition of the ten years since Puzzle Pirates opened for Alpha testing, Captain Cleaver has penned a brief note on the game's development and legacy. Enjoy, and thank you to everyone for supporting us over the years!
Dear Pirates, Past and Present,
Around twelve years ago, I was an unemployed game designer with an idea for a game. It would be a sandbox MMO in which the player would play a Pirate and sail the seven seas in search of treasure. Each basic activity in the game; sailing the ship, or battling a foe, would be accomplished with a Puzzle, usually an action-puzzle akin to Tetris.
This idea, unlike most of my deranged issuances, had various merits. Pirates make for a great MMO theme; they are exciting, adventurous, have great outfits and fraternize in rowdy Crews. Plus there is lots of treasure (and grog), and other mythological elements (skeletons!) are easily co-opted.
Puzzles also have their merits; they require skill and focus from the player, lending a pleasing fun and flow to the core activities of the game like travelling and combat. This was to stand in stark contrast to the math-fighting and drudgery that, alas, is still at the heart of MMOs today.
The merits of the idea, or perhaps a temporary outbreak of lunacy following the collapse of the dot.com boom, allowed me to recruit a small band of doughty fellows to join me. Principal amongst these was Michael Bayne, co-founder and CTO, and I would like to thank him again today for making Puzzle Pirates possible (and to a significant extent, actually building it, line by line). I would also like to thank the early team that, ten years ago, were each instrumental in bringing us to alpha: Walter Korman, Rick Keagy, Jon Demos, Ray Greenwell and Eric Lundberg.
We were fortunate that we had some time, space (Michael's poor loft was cluttered with nerds and computers) and money to make our strange new game. We should thank our investors, friends and family who had the temerity to fund such an unusual project. We sequestered ourselves in July 2001 and began building the game.
Around a year and a half later we had built something that could be played and appeared to be fun -- but of course, we had been building it for too long to be particularly good judges of our own offspring. It was past time for us to shine the light of real, unaffiliated players on our creation, and for us to receive a sign as to its future prospects.
Which brings us to a decade ago today. We had announced the game six months earlier and a few brave souls had signed up on our forums and to be e-mailed when the game went alpha. We put up our first 'production server', emailed a handful of folks with account credentials, and waited nervously at the docks on Alpha Island.
The first player to login was called 'Ely'. He was a little bemused that the developers of the game appeared to be his welcoming committee, but soon hopped on a boat and started puzzling. He was soon joined by a number of other folks; I recall a 'peak concurrent' of 13 around this time, but probably not on the first day. By November 5th we had 62 players and 84 pirates, but more importantly, people were definitely having fun. We saw the same names return day after day, a number of crews had formed (notably the 'Terrible Turbies' from developer Turbine, who actually inspired the Dread Ringers' name) and players were buying all the clothes they could get from the backs of non-player pirates at the docks (no shops existed, yet.)
The feeling of those days was extraordinary: we had taken a big risk making an unusual game, and it turned out that people liked it and wanted to play it. It was a relief, but also tremendously exciting. Invigorated, we pushed on through the spring of alpha's remaining 'Underpants' period before we hit 'Question Mark' Beta in July, and 'Profit' the following October-December (although to be fair, actual profit took a bit longer ;)) We were lucky we had that extra time, as the economy, blockades, extra puzzles and other polish we included doubtless secured Yohoho's long-term fun and economic viability into the future.
It's a real pleasure to look back, ten years later, and remember that moment when we realised we had a fun game. I'm very glad to share this celebration with you, the players and true makers of the world of Puzzle Pirates. The game has always been centered on and driven by its players, like any good sandbox world. We only built the venue, it is you that have brought it to life.
Someone once asked what I would consider a success for Puzzle Pirates, I said something about making a game players loved (and something else about needing X customers to stay viable!) To be here, looking back on a decade of fun, and confident that we can look forward to another decade and beyond -- that was the measure of success I was looking for. Thank you.
- Capn Cleaver aka Daniel James, co-founder of Three Rings.
Hallowe'en season is once again upon us, and with it, my yearly campaign to get everyone at Puzzle Pirates HQ to trendily refer to the holiday as "Ween". This year, my efforts are proving to be wildly unpopular, but I won't give up! Giving up is totally against the spirit of Ween. I think.
But what about all you eager, Hallowe'en-observing pirates out there? Does Uncle Ween have a spooky gift for you this year inside his mystical Box of Hallows? Considering that I just made him and that up, probably not. But we here at Puzzle Pirates HQ do: a special Trick or Trinket event!
Until the end of October, all Sea Monster Zones and Brigand King skirmishes have a chance of giving out special Hallowe'en candy trinkets as prizes! You can collect and swap these trinkets with your hearties, or you can save them up and trade them in at the Trading Post for cool monster dolls you can hold in portraits. There are three in all, one for each type of roving monster: skelly, zombie and werewolf!
We've also taken this opportunity to make a bunch of Hallowe'en themed items available once again, so if you've been waiting all year for your chance to pick up a mask, or bone cannons, or other scary pirate gear, your wait is over!
All of this fun stuff will only be around until the end of October, so hop in-game and scare up some candy right now!
Whew! Well, now that the spooky Vampire Class Sloop is gone and fall is solidly upon us, this month's Limited Edition ship is almost certainly going to embody warmer, more comforting themes like quiet autumnal reflection, and the vibrant colors of falling leaves.
...oh, you've got to be kidding me.
As it turns out, in true Hallowe'en spirit, this October's Limited Edition ship is the Skelly Class Sloop! From the looks of these images, however, those of you hoping to get a glimpse at what skellies do when they're not sieging islands will have to keep on hoping, because this ship isn't built to be used by skellies... it's built from skellies!
That's creepy. It's creepy that we did that.
The quarterdeck on the Skelly Class Sloop is flanked by some intimidating skeletal warriors. Don't worry! We're fairly certain that they won't suddenly reanimate and attack your crew.
Fairly certain. Maybe keep an eye out just in case.
Meanwhile, down in the hold... skulls everywhere! And some comfortable seating. But mostly skulls.
There are plenty of macabre fixtures down here, but the pièce de résistance? An elegant skeletal pipe organ, perfect for playing sinister dirges! In fact, we're fairly certain that it can only play dirges... and perhaps some not-so-jaunty sea shanties that sound suspiciously like dirges.
And if that wasn't enough, the Skelly Class Sloop also has a fearsome skeletal horseman figurehead! We're not sure if these two teamed up before or after becoming skellies, but we definitely think they're more intimidating as a duo.
The Skelly Class Sloop is only available until the end of October, so act fast! Only a bonehead would miss out on such a fantastic ship. You're not a bonehead, are you?
We're fairly certain that the title of this blog post violates several international treaties, but we're going to run with it anyway, because you're worth it!
From now until 3:00 PM PDT on September 17th, 2012, you'll earn a free Chocolate Mystery Box for every $9.95 you spend on doubloons or every month of subscription time you purchase! That's 3 Mystery Boxes for purchasing a quarterly subscription, 5 Mystery Boxes for purchasing a $49.95 package, or even more!
Featuring the seasonal color Chocolate, this month's Mystery Box has some cool new prizes inside, including new Chocolate trinkets you can hold in portraits, Chocolate Dogs, and even Chocolate Monkeys!
Good luck, everyone!
* Symptoms of yococoa fever may include dry humor and frequent pillaging.
There are precious few things we're afraid of here at Puzzle Pirates HQ: bubble wrap, running out of caffeine, movies about misfit sports teams that pull together to win the championship. The thing we're most afraid of, however, is vampires. I mean, they want to suck your blood. I need my blood! All of it! That's why we've decided to stick to good, clean ship themes this month, so what better way to celebrate heading back to school than with the Math Class Sloop!
Wait a moment. I'm being told that the Math Class Sloop isn't a real thing, and instead this month's ship is the... Vampire Class Sloop? OK, that's cruel, guys. Not cool. You know I just got comfortable enough to not run away screaming whenever I see someone sneeze into their sleeve.
You know what? I'm done. Someone else can describe this month's ship. I'm going to go hide under my bed.
Ar! - an' good riddance to ye Hermes, ye lily-livered lubber!
All right mates, strike yer deadlights on that figurehead. She looks a right thirsty flittermouse out on her nightly hunt, and she don't look the type what hunts bugs and the like. So, what do ye suppose she's huntin' for? I'll give ye a hint: it be red, most folks think their's be precious, and it ain't no plundered rubies that I be speakin' of! In any case, I've no doubt in me mind that yer guano love it! HAR HAAR!
Now here be the lovely Rowan standing on the deck o' her new Vampire Sloop. Lucky lass! Word 'round the shipyards be that some fancy-pants blue-blooded bloodsucker designed this vessel hisself, and I believe it too! Just look at them dark colours an' blood red accents, not to mention the fancy bits what reminds ye o' the olde castles them blokes be known for. Vampires may be guilty of a lot, but theys never been guilty o' bein' unstylish, and this vessel be dressed to kill!
An' what's this, Rowan me lass?! Well blast me cross-eyed an' call me a codfish! It looks like there be a resident revenant on board! Well me darlin', he looks a nice enough lad, but I hope havin' him 'round won't end up bein' a pain in the neck - HAR HAAAR!
Ah, now ain't Mr. Nickydeemus a fine, fanged fellow to be showin' ye around the place, Miss Rowan? Seein' as how ye're to be shipmates and all.
An' what a stately place it is too, most others pale in comparison - HAR HAAR! Thar be fancy candelabras what can make the room a relaxing deep red, an' there be more of 'em 'round the ship, says he. An' that's quite a regal looking throne me dear, the perfect perch for sittin' and plannin' yer next pillage while sippin' that...uh...wine? Ye might want to be stockin' yer own drink there me lass.
A fine hold she has too, an' no mistake. Refined and genteel with just enough touch o' the grim to keep us feelin' properly piratey (we do have our fearsome reputations to protect after all). Aye Mr. Nix, thar be a fine grand old bookcase, don't ye agree Miss Row - what's that? Pullin' that book does what now?
Blimey! Yer a naughty ol' nosferatu Mr. Nix, with yer wee secret crypt!
Well Miss Rowan, I suppose this explains where yer new shipmate bunks down. But by me beard, it seems a fine secret hold for treasure as well, an' what pirate doesn't want that? Also, upon reflection - or lack thereof in yer case mate - it also occurs to me that she'll always have herself a keen-eyed night's watch with ye aboardship, Mr. Nix! We all know there be a lot at stake when ye take to piracy on the high seas. But when ye've a fine ship like this, it's nice to know ye ain't been pillagin' in vein! HAR HAAR HAAAR!
Mates, ye too can fly across the midnight seas an' drain the loot from yer victims in a ship like this. But The Vampire Class Sloop is only available for the month of September, so be sure to creep down to yer local shipyard and bite at this offer while it's still livin'. And may she forever sail the moonlit seas!
It's time again for the Pirate Census!
We here at Puzzle Pirates HQ like to periodically make a short survey available to the players asking for information about themselves, what they like about the game, and what they want to see more of. Our goal is to use the data we get from the Census to help shape the development of the game over the next year or so, as well as get a better idea of just who is spending their time sailing our seas!
Participating in the Census is optional, and your answers are completely anonymous. The survey will only be available until 12:30 AM PDT on Tuesday, September 4th, so please take a few minutes to help us build a better Puzzle Pirates by filling out the survey right now!
Been watching the countdown for a while? Well, your moment has arrived: the Gold Box is back in stock at your local Bank until August 13th!
New items this month include Deep Gold Unicorns, Violet and Purple Dragons, Gold Dread Masks, Mossy Mousse hair dye, and a slew of Gilded furniture, including new storage items! And don't forget: this month's seasonal color is Plum, so this is a great chance to collect some Plum Gold Box trinkets and snag a few extra Plum Chromas!
The full prize list can be found over here, so read up and head on over to your nearest Bank. There's gold in them coffers!