Pirates of the Caribbean Online: Disney’s Second MMORPG Captures the Spirit of Their Pirate Movies

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean Online is the first true commercial pirate mmorpg. Players can download the client and play a character in the world of Jack Sparrow, but there are some differences between the Pirates of the Caribbean Online game and more traditional mmorpgs. The first one that strikes the user — other than the game being free — is the lack of classes.

Pirates of the Caribbean is Skill Based

The levels one can achieve in the game are levels with ships and the pirate the game makes available. In order to access all of the weapons, a player must upgrade to a paid account. The same goes for the larger ship types. (Players who complete the introductory quests receive a sword, a sloop, and a gun in that order.) Pirates of the Carribean Online divides skills into sea based skills and land based skills. Both skills can be raised, but a character must use the skills to gain experience in them. To raise sea based skills such as sailing or cannons, one must operate a ship or its cannons, and to raise skills with land based weapons, specific weapon types must be used.

Capturing the Feel of the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies

A player who has watched all 3 movies may not want the feel of the third movie captured, as At World’s End was long and drawn out. The game instead tries to capture the feel of the swashbuckling movie genre.

Rather than the normal combat controlled by the AI, the game requires player interaction to attack opponents, allowing the user to make combination attacks with the weapon. (Each combat raises the amount of experience with the weapon in a manner similar to Runescape.) The action flows at a fast pace, although the travel times between the island could be improved.

Pirates of the Caribbean Online Graphics

Like Disney’s first attempt at an mmorpg, Toontown, POTC Online has cartoony graphics which may be slightly dated. This allows the game to run on older computers with a minimum of hardware, but the Disney corporation made sure the art for the graphics was well rendered which more than makes up for this problem. The character customization options show a great deal of initiative and though. Only Star Wars Galaxies allows for a wider range of avatar appearances.

Disney’s Target Market for Pirates of the Caribbean Online

The game cannot compete with the lager mmorpgs like World of Warcraft or Everquest, but it is free and may be popular with the crowd that Runescape and Toontown appeals to. Disney’s target age group is slightly older than Toontown’s, and some of the parental controls have been relaxed in Pirates of the Caribbean Online. If parents are concerned about who their children are communicating with over the Internet, the parental controls can be turned back on.