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Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Legend of Pirates Online!


On Halloween 2007 after many setbacks and delays Disney launched their new MMO "Pirates of the Caribbean Online". The game was successful in being one of the few family friendly MMO's out and gained a moderate but faithful following. However in August of 2013 players were notified that the servers would shut down on September 19th. In the final month of POTCO players received free premium membership and double loot. To many die hard POTCO fans, September 19th was a dark day. Some tried out Pirates of the Burning Sea and other games while others migrated into other online games. However for a select few, the motivation came to take over and re-open their beloved game and reunite the community once again. This is the tale of The Legend of Pirates Online!

When Pirates of the Caribbean first launched I was so deep into World of Warcraft that the best I gave the game was an hour here and an hour there during wow patch day. However, my fiance was a hardcore POTCO player so when I heard of the massive project undertaken by the TLOPO team I managed to get myself and her into the alpha process. Her passion for the game has inspired me to take a much closer look and find out what made Pirates of the Caribbean Online so special to it's hardcore player base. After talking to several original POTCO players, I leaned that their feelings towards the game was about the community itself. While they did love the game, it was the community that made things so special. So what better way to reboot this game, than by a group of former players so dedicated to bringing this community back together that they are willing to not only undertake the massive task of reprogramming the entire server side code of the game but more so funding the game and servers entirely on their own dime. This is what really got me interested. A group so passionate about the game they grew up with that they will put in countless hours of work for free and even go as far as to come out of pocket to fund the project themselves. This is passion and something that I respect more than anything else inside of the gaming community. 

So how is this all coming about? Well if you look at the success of Toontown Rewritten (Another Disney game that was closed, with a passionate fan base who wouldn't let it die) we start to see what happened. The developers of The Legend of Pirates Online have reverse engineered the client code and wrote from scratch the server side code using Astron a software developed by the creators of Toontown Rewritten. By keeping these games free, family friendly and honoring the IP the way it should be done they hope that Disney will allow the project to continue the way they have for Toontown Rewritten. I for one hope that Disney sees the passion behind all of these projects as well.

Myself and my lovely fiance in TLOPO Beta
TLOPO is not the only team working to resurrect POTCO however. Another game titled Pirates Online Retribution is also in the works. I will not be talking much about POR here due to having no play time there, or interaction with the dev team. However, I'm hoping in the weeks to come to have a dedicated post for PoR as well.

The one thing I have noticed however is that the Legends of Pirates Online community and the Pirates Online Retribution community seem to have a bit of a feud going on. After talking with fans on both sides and even a couple fans of both projects it seems to me that it's the same friendly rivalry we see between a lot of communities with a similar title. However, I had to ask the TLOPO team, who told me that no merger will happen between the two projects. This isn't necessarily a bad thing however. Competition tends to drive people to do amazing things. The one thing I have leaned is the POTCO fan base is incredibly loyal and full of friendly people who are more than willing to sit down with you and talk about their favorite game and the memories they have from the original. Be it a nostalgic walk down memory lane, or a reunion of a passionate gaming community I am very eager to witness and be a part of the return of the POTO community.

On the game side, I am happy to say that The Legend of Pirates Online is coming along beautifully. The team are working hard which shows from the huge strides made between Alpha and the recently released Beta. While like any beta you will experience bugs, crashes, and other annoyances I can say that the game is actually really stable at the moment, even compared to beta's from big named companies. My fiance and I have spent countless hours doing quests, destroying ships, looting, plundering and all sorts of pirate goodness. All in all there may be rough waters ahead but I have faith in the TLOPO team and what they are doing and know that they will deliver a product that POTCO fans and new fans alike will fall in love with.

If your interested in giving the beta a try, go to This post to reserve a time slot now and keep an eye out on the Ragetrip forums for more about the return of this amazing community from both sides of the fence!


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