Pirates of the Burning Sea improves visuals, tweaks gameplay, and brings back a server from the brink


The player-run Vision Online Games studio that’s kept Pirates of the Burning Sea afloat since its near-sunset back in 2019 continues to be hard at work, as a newsletter from this past June showcases a wide assortment of updates made to the live and legacy versions of the buccaneering MMO.

Headlining the assortment of updates detailed in the letter is the return of colossal rated ships to the legacy server. These immense ships represent a significant investment for each nation and so will be in limited numbers, but they also sport some of the most firepower of any craft in the game. Additionally, the rated ships must be built by players since they won’t be available in Treasure Aisle.

Another major development is the return of the Antigua live server to the game, which was originally taken offline last year after it suffered database corruption. This portion of the newsletter gets into granular detail about what happened and how much work was necessary to resuscitate the server, but ultimately most of the repair work has been done and the server is now back online as of the end of July. The team was also able to recover most of the account data that was affected by the corruption, but not all accounts were so lucky.

Other recent updates include a significant series of visual upgrades in terms of textures, visual detail, field of view options, and camera height options; the removal of thegroup strength mechanic from legacy; new tradeable items in both live and legacy; a port battle scheduling feature that kicks off port battles at a time when the most players are online; and multiple backend updates to improve improve network performance and allow for faster updates. Vision Online also kicked out a recent trailer for the 15-year-old game because why not.

Finally, the game’s Discord offered an honest response from one of the devs regarding the length of time it takes for the game to update, which can be effectively boiled down to the game is still not making any money. Even so, Vision Online assures that it has other revenue streams and so is able to continue working on POTBS – even though it’s at a loss – while trying to bolster the population through advertising, updates, and features like the legacy server. “We have done this because we believe in the game and it’s potential,” the message reads. “We are continuing to work towards building up the daily-active population of the game to a sufficient level to support the content creation team.”

sources: official newsletter, Discord, thanks to Zariarn for the tip!
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