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Old Calling All Pirates!

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  #1  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:44 PM
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Post Calling All Pirates!

I'm posting this thread for a few reasons:
  • To show how the players can get the Pirates administration to act
  • To give players a marginal sense of hope
  • One player can make all the difference

I recognize the harsh tone, but this is an email between myself and a Pirates representative whom shall remain nameless for the sake of their privacy, etc.

To Whom it May Concern and to the Concerning of Whom it Applies:

First and foremost, please do not give me a pre-written response. If I should
take the time to write out this letter, I would hope for the same gratitude (in
addition to good customer service if I'm paying for my account).

I do not write this letter with negative fashion, perhaps with critical
criticism, but only out of a deep-rooted affection and affiliation for this
game. I do hope you take this seriously, because if it's just thrown aside then
I truly have no pity as to why so many members of the game have left.

I would like to address and bring to the attention of the Online Staff the
following 'grievances,' but do not mean to restate some things you may already
know.

But before I do so, I would like to implore that the Staff to take action once
more. What made the game so adventurous was the passion of the players and those
who run it. The administration, it seems, just doesn't care anymore. They don't
care about the state of their game and the fact that hundreds of players, along
with many guilds, have gone elsewhere. It's sad. I have forged countless
friendships (a good handful for whom I have known for five years now on Pirates)
along with stories of couples who met, got married, and now have children
together. Please ignite the passion once more - send out a mass email or
something. The content isn't as important when the Administration is directly
involved. Be innovative.

Now to my list:

1. A petition heralding over two thousand signatures has come to light to
address their 'grievances.' Two thousand. I dare say that is a reason to address
your players and address their grievances. Any responsible game administration
would reach out to players whom were troubled with THEIR game.

2. The third-party hacking. The condoning of such activity would not fly on
other games. When players report these instances, nothing gets done. I'm sure
there is to some extent, but honestly, nothing serious is ever done about it.

3. Minimize to Maximize. Most games have five servers that hold hundreds of
players. Disney has hundreds of servers with few players. Encourage player
interaction with few servers and concentrate on building those servers to
maintain speed and content so as to eliminate the need to produce mass content
and run maintenance on all of them.

4. Don't fix something that isn't broke. Pirates has changed and not entirely
for the best. They had so many features that were taken away without any
rational cause. For example, clothing options, editing of cut scenes, etc. Oh,
and especially the options to customize your character in the beginning. I
preferred the original format.

5. Be interactive. Most games have GM's actively playing, at least one, at all
times. Establish a national chat feature where players have the option to talk
to everyone on that server, while giving players the option to turn that chat on
or off.

6. Renovate the islands. Most wild islands are generic and seem rushed. Take
your time to actually enlighten the player's experience like you have done so
with the new caverns.

7. Make the game more movie-driven. We like the fact that you can capture the
Black Pearl and interact with the players, but add Davy Jone's in there, or even
so famous pirates like Black Bart, etc. This is a pirate game, make it seem
marginally real. If I'm correct, did Disney's: Pirates of the Caribbean ride not
originally feature real bones? (I understand it's a family-based environment,
but still - you don't JUST have kids playing this game. During my time in the
past five years, I've met kids ranging from 7 to adults in their 50's. (Keep
that in mind).

7. Introduce more movie-driven environments. For instance, Isla Cruces,
Pelegostos, Davy Jone's locker, Singapore, etc.

8. Monthly updates. Don't make 'Crew Days!' or 'Pirates Admins will never ask
for your information' the monthly update. It's redundant and insults our
intelligence. The rules are clearly stated upon signing up and provided on the
site. I'm not saying to not do away with it entirely, but give us an actual
update.

9. Better customer support. If people are playing, paying, and writing to you,
do not have the audacity to blow it off or give a 'standard message.' That's
simply rude and terrible customer service.

10. Care about your game. We used to (and still do). I am saddened at how
drastic this game has changed over the past five years. I used to see hundreds
of people people. Now, I hope to see more than 20. Please do something about it.
Encourage your old players to return and give them a reason to live the
adventure. At this point, you're simply saying goodbye to your players as if it
were nothing.

I hope you take these things, though only a scratch on the surface to which I
advise the staff to review their policies, standards, and game in its entirety.
I look forward to your response.

Best,
Crim, former Guildmaster of Crimson Squad and -Crimson Squad-, devoted pirate
and friend to many

____________________________

Dear Crim,

Thank you for your email, we appreciate hearing from our Players. We certainly
try to have personal emails for every guest that writes to us. I will certainly
pass along all your points to the appropriate people.

I can speak into some of the points you've mentioned. We make updates and
changes to the game according to what we hear as feedback and new additions to
the game. In fact most of the changes that have happened in the game have been
specifically for these reasons. We do rely on guests to actually contact us
regrading issues, questions and concerns as there are many websites out there
that people chat on. So unless they have actually contacted us through our modes
of contact there is no guarantee we will have heard it.

Hacking as you've mentioned is becoming an ongoing problem. We absolutely do not
condone this and Terminate any account caught cheating. Trust me this is an
active daily activity. To help us out please continue to report players you see
cheating in the game.

The updates you mentioned and the Blogs about 'Pirate Admins will never ask for
your information' are in direct response to trends we are seeing. It's not to
insult anyone. Although you are an adult and I know there are adult players,
this game is intended and designed for kids, but we certainly welcome all
players. But we do see kids (and Adults actually) sharing their information
which results in losing their accounts.

Like I mentioned before, I will pass along your feedback, we do appreciate it!
We certainly appreciate the friend you are to many pirates Online.

Sincerely,
-
  #2  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:26 AM
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Yeup, they usually respond to your well-thought out letters. I should know. I've made quite a few. lol. Correction, a whole lot! Rofl!

Gee, I'm poised to write my new idea for the year. I have no idea how lengthy that will turn out to be. I hope it will be brief, but if not, neither they, nor I will complain.

With regard to your own effort there, do you intend to reply to that same ticket?
  #3  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:25 AM
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VERY well thought out and communicated, nice to see you managed to squeeze more than a generic response out of them.


Kriss.
  #4  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:42 PM
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Crim,

Thanks for posting this communication you had with the POTCO team. You were able to get more out of them that us, members of the Petition group.
  #5  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:34 PM
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thanks for posting, lol they usually do not respond to me that way because I can be mean :P
  #6  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:46 PM
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Platinum Pirate -

"With regard to your own effort there, do you intend to reply to that same ticket?"

I don't see me sending a response. I do not wish to hound the Online Staff with demands, complaints, etc., but rather give them the opportunity to understand how the game has progressed in some areas and where it has not. I will take their word in that the information may be passed along to the right people, and therefore will remain optimistic for the future.

Cannonfury -

"thanks for posting, lol they usually do not respond to me that way because I can be mean :P"

I don't mean to sound "condescending" in the strictest sense, but perhaps it is better to organize what you have to say and condone yourself in a well-mannered fashion. The important thing to keep in mind that Pirates Customer Support is staffed by people who are responding to the extent at which their position allows them to. They aren't necessarily able to provide all the answers we seek because it may be out of their hands.
  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:05 PM
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Crim, replying to your ticket doesn't need to be negative in tone. You have an opportunity to reply to their response as well in a positive way and clarify any points you wish to make so that the higher ups do in fact know where you are coming from. That representative will forward your reply to the higher ups as well and tell you so.

It's really a win-win situation for you. One voice can make a difference by being persistent with their passion.
  #8  
Old 01-24-2013, 01:42 AM
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Crim,

I am glad that ye wrote this to the overseers at POTCO. I am even more glad that they responded in the manner that they did. I now sit back with baited breath and fingers crossed in the hope that some new life will extended to our beloved game!

I have sent quite a few passionate letters to POTCO Customer Care. All but one I received a personal reply. So I am hopeful that something good is just over the horizon.
  #9  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinum Pirate View Post
Crim, replying to your ticket doesn't need to be negative in tone. You have an opportunity to reply to their response as well in a positive way and clarify any points you wish to make so that the higher ups do in fact know where you are coming from. That representative will forward your reply to the higher ups as well and tell you so.

It's really a win-win situation for you. One voice can make a difference by being persistent with their passion.
I thought about it and decided to go deeper. My response to Disney, should anyone desire to read it). If and when they respond, I shall update.

----

To Whom It May Concern and to the Concerning of Whom It Applies:

As you stated in the earlier email, "We make updates and changes to the game according to what we hear as feedback and new additions to the game. In fact most of the changes that have happened in the game have been specifically for these reasons."

Therefore, based on this claim, I would like to relinquish a few creative ideas that stem from my earlier points (The 2000-signature Petition; The third-party hacking; Minimize to Maximize; Don't fix something that isn't broken; Be interactive; Renovate the islands; Make the game more movie-driven; Introduce more movie-driven environments; Monthly updates; Better customer support; Care about your game)
Throughout my life, I have played three online-based role-playing games, which include Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Online; Aeria Entertainment: Shaiya; Pirates of the Burning Sea. I would like to introduce some 'features' that would enhance Pirates Online.

The petition seems to address a broad spectrum of ideas, from the introduction of new content to the fixation of erroneous facets. My suggestion for this would be that Disney enhances its communication with its players. If you rely on feedback, encourage communication. Responses (and guild name approvals) should not exceed 24 hours, and if the information is being passed along to the 'right people,' I would like a response from them.

The third-party use within the game. If the Staff were having trouble with certain players, my suggestion would tie in with 'Minimize to Maximize.' The game hosts 'Crew Day' events in the game, but when a player goes to the dock, there is no one to be found. Game events are spread over countless servers where GM's, who spend about 10 minutes on them, are hopping just to greet everyone. Pirates of the Burning Sea and Shaiya have about 5-6 servers which hold hundreds, even thousands of players. If you want to expose unruly players, expose them to the game populace. They would be reported and your daily activity of finding them would be lessened. Not only that, fewer servers would encourage player interaction and allow the Online Staff to create content with ease (without mass-producing it), maintain speed and server stability, and allow the GM's to actively engage with the players.

But, if the game holds only 5-6 servers, that would eliminate the desire for players to level alone, right? Well, certainly, but that should come in with the introduction of movie-driven content and environments. Pirates of the Burning Sea and Shaiya have hundreds (I mean it), hundreds of environments that players can visit. I do not expect the Staff to make such a goal of establishing that much content, but with fewer servers, the Staff would be able to increase the map size and make a few introductions. I would say to increase the level cap to about 100 and introduce new story lines, something to keep the players going. (I'm not trying to compare here, but perhaps to enlighten the Staff for creative outlets, or bring to light the option of "If you enjoy these games, why play pirates?" Well, I enjoy Pirates all the same) In Pirates of the Burning Sea, Black Bart lays siege on Tortuga and ravages the Caribbean to which the French, Spanish, British, and Brethren Pirates ally to defeat him. The conflict with Roger seems to be going nowhere. Also, Pirates Online does have some French/Spanish/British aspects in the game. During the 1700's (the era which Jack Sparrow is in), the British were not the only entity within the Caribbean. Introduce Spanish and French ship enemies in the game (As Jack himself encounters them).

Pirates Online is VERY guild orientated. It is very uncommon to find a player who does not have some guild affiliation. I would suggest the Staff to make some form of a Guild House, like the Underground Parlors, to which a specific guild would only have access. Introduce a guild treasury where a guildmaster, and guilds, would have to pay to maintain those Guild Houses. Also, Shaiya has a 'Guild Battle' feature, where guilds enter into a specific area and fight enemies for something called 'Etin,' the currency to pay for said Guild Houses. Allow guilds to enter an atmosphere where they fight off Roger's invasion on both land and sea. A big feature that players desired was trading. Allow players to trade gold, clothing, weapons, etc.

I digress. Don't fix something that isn't broken. I have my environment setting set to the highest degree. I admit the environments are nicely designed, but it could use some improvement. (I recall the lava flowing on Padres, not the lava being stoic). Many clothing options were taken out, along with many facial options. Why are you reducing?

Be interactive. As I said, with those 5-6 servers, establish a national chat feature (enabled/disabled) that would allow players to talk to each other and perhaps organize events. This would also allow players to contact a GM (one of which should be playing during most of the day) if the player should need it. This could also help deal with the cracking down on hacking, unruly players, etc. What happened to the Marceline Guild? When Sparrow 'died,' his crew did not perish with him. When Barbossa 'died,' his crew did not disband. Just because Captain Walter is gone does not mean the Marceline Guild should be absent from the game.

Monthly updates. I admire and appreciate the Peddler Merchants, but honestly, why just new clothing? Most games have about 10-20 things to release every month. Let us examine Pirates Online New Archive: the last update in this tab dates March 19, 2009 with "Celebrate St. Patrick's Day." What is today's date? January 26, 2013. As I scroll down this page, particularly when the game opened, there are listings (about 5-10 in total) in a single DAY. Excuse my language, but what the hell happened to this game? There is no reason why one game (for example, Club Penguin) should receive preference over this. If Disney is operating these games, MAINTAIN them. If you do not care about it, shut it down then. Pirates Online had gamer cards stocked in stores, advertisements decorating television networks. If the Staff does not care, then tell me. I will delete and remove my account as such and go elsewhere. I created my account roughly in February of 2008. I created the guild Crimson Squad with hundreds of players and said my goodbyes to every one of them. Disney continued to breathe life to which I created -Crimson Squad-. Again, I said my countless goodbyes. If this streak continues, I dare to say my last farewell shall be to Disney itself. Not to mention, I began playing when I was a teen. I have come to witness the game progress in its entirety and watched the changing of the tides. Do not give credence to the saying that time decays all things.

I look forward to your response (and again, please do not give me a pre-written response). I apologize for the length, but that should suffice for receiving an equally thought-out response.

Best regards,
Anthony (Crim)

Last edited by Lilys; 01-26-2013 at 09:33 PM.. Reason: Personal Information
  #10  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:49 PM
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I have a great respect for you mate. I'm glad you got an answer back from them actually addressing the hacking issue. I have sent emails to them regarding hacking, and updating the game; unfortunately, feedback was under par. This second email is the one I want an decent response to, the most. Why not update more? They are to the point where we aren't even getting peddler clothes on time. If they send you a legitimate answer, I'd love to read it. It is a strong concern of mine, and many other players.
  #11  
Old 01-28-2013, 01:00 PM
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Aye! - nods -

Totally agree with ya there Blade.
  #12  
Old 01-29-2013, 05:36 PM
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At this point, I don't know why I, or anyone else for that matter, bothers anymore. It's as if we've become the intravenous support to a crippling game gasping for life. The Staff has not only convinced, but solidified my understanding that they no longer care. To juxtapose Pirates Online with other RPGs, Pirates reveals to be nothing more than an mediocrity in the name of content, service, and pricing. Captain Walter not only saw these unsatisfactory and hopeless conditions, but left the Pirates Staff to their serious lack of progression. I am almost embarrassed I spent money on such a waste of time. Pirates Online has seen its days and I am afraid they have gone. The game, in my opinion, should shut down and to any pirate still roaming to fold their flag.

The concept of Pirates Online is this: be glad for the friendships you have forged and I hope that they have remained as such. I have walked away with some of the greatest memories and bonds of friendship that my only regret should be that their fate laid in the hands of such incompetence.

Their reply is as follows, which I'm sure is nothing more than a similar repetition to the countless 'comments, questions, and/or concerns' sent on the behalf of the players.

----

Dear Anthony,

Thank you for your well thought out feedback. I certainly appreciate hearing how
you feel and will pass this feedback along. The people that receive this
feedback do not reply to emails so I’m happy to reply. You have put much detail
into your email to address areas that you are concerned about. We definitely
value this and will review it.

Sincerely,

-
Pirates of the Caribbean Online Member Services
  #13  
Old 01-30-2013, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crim View Post
At this point, I don't know why I, or anyone else for that matter, bothers anymore. It's as if we've become the intravenous support to a crippling game gasping for life. The Staff has not only convinced, but solidified my understanding that they no longer care. To juxtapose Pirates Online with other RPGs, Pirates reveals to be nothing more than an mediocrity in the name of content, service, and pricing. Captain Walter not only saw these unsatisfactory and hopeless conditions, but left the Pirates Staff to their serious lack of progression. I am almost embarrassed I spent money on such a waste of time. Pirates Online has seen its days and I am afraid they have gone. The game, in my opinion, should shut down and to any pirate still roaming to fold their flag.

The concept of Pirates Online is this: be glad for the friendships you have forged and I hope that they have remained as such. I have walked away with some of the greatest memories and bonds of friendship that my only regret should be that their fate laid in the hands of such incompetence.

Their reply is as follows, which I'm sure is nothing more than a similar repetition to the countless 'comments, questions, and/or concerns' sent on the behalf of the players.

----

Dear Anthony,

Thank you for your well thought out feedback. I certainly appreciate hearing how
you feel and will pass this feedback along. The people that receive this
feedback do not reply to emails so I’m happy to reply. You have put much detail
into your email to address areas that you are concerned about. We definitely
value this and will review it.

Sincerely,

-
Pirates of the Caribbean Online Member Services
Crim, did I not say that they will forward your reply along? That's all that representative can do with your well-thought out response. It needs to be presented at one of their official meetings which none of us, unless we are employed there, will ever be privy to.

I understand your frustration. But take heart, Mate, and hang in there. You're not alone.

Now, if I may, that representative can answer based on what they specifically wrote in that original reply. Please take a look at it again:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crim View Post
Dear Crim,

Thank you for your email, we appreciate hearing from our Players. We certainly
try to have personal emails for every guest that writes to us. I will certainly
pass along all your points to the appropriate people.

I can speak into some of the points you've mentioned. We make updates and
changes to the game according to what we hear as feedback and new additions to
the game. In fact most of the changes that have happened in the game have been
specifically for these reasons. We do rely on guests to actually contact us
regrading issues, questions and concerns as there are many websites out there
that people chat on. So unless they have actually contacted us through our modes
of contact there is no guarantee we will have heard it.

Hacking as you've mentioned is becoming an ongoing problem. We absolutely do not
condone this and Terminate any account caught cheating. Trust me this is an
active daily activity. To help us out please continue to report players you see
cheating in the game.

The updates you mentioned and the Blogs about 'Pirate Admins will never ask for
your information' are in direct response to trends we are seeing. It's not to
insult anyone. Although you are an adult and I know there are adult players,
this game is intended and designed for kids, but we certainly welcome all
players. But we do see kids (and Adults actually) sharing their information
which results in losing their accounts.

Like I mentioned before, I will pass along your feedback, we do appreciate it!
We certainly appreciate the friend you are to many pirates Online.

Sincerely,
-
I know what I would like to address there. I'm not sure how others would care to if they could. That's the whole point of this thread: make a difference. None of us can reply to that ticket. Only Crim can. Through this thread, however, we can express our views and raise questions. So if any other members have their own thoughts, what would they be? Perhaps, your own thoughts may encourage our good and dedicated friend here, Crim, to continue the good fight.

I'll withhold my own opinion until others share theirs.
  #14  
Old 01-31-2013, 08:21 PM
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Ahh!

Plat be right there Crim...

I can see some opportunities for further detail from the representative and feedback with regards to a couple of points.

  1. With regards to people contacting them with Ideas, Suggestions, Feedback, Reports, etc. - Indeed they are correct "to a point" with their summary about Forums and Other Media, but what is interesting is the issue with regards to the level of poor feedback which is being reported in the forums! Could be a point to take further?
  2. Hacking & Reporting mechanisms ; I know I'm not the only pirate to report the problem with reporting... HOW does one report a ship? Which I am aware of friends who have raised it, so have I. The feedback I received was less than helpful, which I replied to "in depth", to which I received just a generic response to use the Report Button (again : Anyone else see a problem when you're trying to report a SHIP misbehaving?)
  3. The Blogs ; Well yeah, they might be updating the Blogs, but wasn't the Original Question asked with regards to the "Game Updates News" - Which STILL hasn't been updated in I think over an entire year, or very close to.
Just for starters... Ponder and Consider following up more in depth on these points.






Kriss.
  #15  
Old 01-31-2013, 08:57 PM
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Crim Crim is offline
Pirate of the Burning Sea
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Make A Wish Award 2010 Holiday Award Happy Valentine's Day Xmas Wishlist '09 Happy Holidays'09 Award Which Disney Character Participant's Award Halloween '09 Award POF's Klingon Appreciation Day 
Total Awards: 8


Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tortuga
Posts: 94
Crim is scurvy dog
Aye, I'll admit the initial sentiment was laced with a little annoyance over how I've received the same response (over, and over). However, I am very disappointed in their customer service. Since my return, I've sent requests for two guild names; the first I submitted went a week without a response. So, assuming it was declined, I submitted another the following week and still have yet to receive a response. It becomes grueling at the fact that a game with so much potential is being underutilized. (I understand sending too many guild names will run their system amuck, but there have been days when guild names would be approved/denied within hours)

I just expected a little more in their reply. Two years ago, a guildmate and personal friend of mine had some malfunction with their account. The 'higher ups' personally contacted him by phone and sorted the situation out within a day, in addition to apologizing and granting him a few temporary perks. To me it seems like they don't care anymore (consider it a little stubborn). Perhaps I'm overreacting or simply expecting too much. Perhaps I'm being a little naive or nostalgic, but no matter how deep we go with this, such suggestions may fall upon deaf ears. For the longest time have we been preaching to the choir.

If we are to truly make a change and rekindle the spirit (for all of us, including the staff), then I do believe we must call upon old friends. Aye, reality consumes a great deal of our priority, fueling the leave of many who have gone, but to those who desire to continue on this journey and have lost hope, I dare to say we must make one more plunge.

For the guildmasters, let us make it our duty to hoist the colours. Let us sing the song that shall echo to the very ears of those who call themselves pirate; to make it not only a duty, but an obligation - not to restore glory, for such guilds have not tarnished in time or nobility - but an obligation to making Pirates Online what it once was. If infamous pirates return to the seas, stranger tides may be upon us.

For the pirates who claim their loyalty to such dastardly captains, I, in my own opinion, dare to say the bonds of friendship shall hold the ship together for the time being until new content has been released.

Let us convene a gathering of pirates - old and new, far and wide.

Guildmasters, guildmates, noble independent pirates: for now, let our task be unity and espouse a community that deems us all Pirate Brethren.
 

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