For Star Pirates’ birthday, (the big 2.0!) we celebrated on April 24th with a retro background, findable Large Bombs and 2 days of Notorious for everyone – as well as with several major contests, thanks to our fantastic players. We decided to do something a little different than usual with the blog post, and we asked one of the players to write up the celebratory birthday toast. It’s been a wonderful year for us, and we couldn’t have done it without this fantastic community. Cheers, Star Pirates, here’s to many more great years!
I am a Notorious Star Pirate, plying the solar system in my mighty Dreadnaught, seeking riches and fame in the post-apocalyptic economy that characterizes my all-time favorite online game.
I haven’t always been a feared pirate, though. When I started playing Star Pirates a little over a year ago, I began like everyone else does – in a rust-bucket Sloop with little more than my name and 5 chances to sort through orbiting garbage to find something valuable from which to trade my way up to wealth and glory. My first find was a Fusion Beam, which I carefully installed in my Sloop’s only equipment slot. It wasn’t long before I paid the $4.50 to become Notorious though, primarily because it gave me 5 extra chances per hour to find something useful in the debris.
When I started playing a year ago, newcomers weren’t greeted like they are today, showered with rare items and gifted into big ships. When I first started, speaking up in the shoutbox got you a 10-minute stay in the shipyard from “legends” like Tainted and George_Costanza. Contests were often disrupted by troublemakers. The community didn’t feel to me like the friendly, welcoming place that it is today. I am happy to report that a year later, hopefully thanks to a small bit of influence on my part, these things have all changed. Newcomers are warmly greeted now; shipyard times are (a little) shorter, and there is a vast abundance of contests running at all times.
The Star Pirates community is by far the best part of the game. I am told that when the developers created the game, they envisioned a fast and furious game full of players all killing each other online. Thanks to the early intervention of the legendary and indeed, immortal Geoffrey De Lysander, the hostile online combat style of play was never wholly accepted by the player community. The top players in the game today adhere to his style, by and large, and the result is an amazingly warm, friendly, trusting, and supportive online community of “pirates” who behave more like “friends” except when they’re fighting wars.
In the year I’ve been playing, I’ve seen several major enhancements added to the game. The ad-hoc war system, the Missions section, and a great new user interface. In addition to major enhancements, there have been dozens of minor upgrades to the game, and in many ways, this is where the developers really shine.
In most games, the developers are merely dictators. However, Star Pirates’ developers not only listen to player input, they engage the community in discussions about the important game-play and economy changes we might be facing. Many of the NPCs and items were devised and named by players. I don’t know of any other professionally-run online game where the developers let the player community create so much of the lore and items and NPCs we all encounter and use during our game-play. This is one of best things about Star Pirates – in nearly every conceivable way, it’s “our” game, rather than “their” game.
All-in-all, playing Star Pirates has been a wonderful experience for me. Between the responsive developers, the amazing player community, and the clever and engaging game-play itself, I have never enjoyed a game as much as I have this one! Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary, Star Pirates!