*Welcome to the Pirate Storm review. From time to time, we have budding writers in our community that write fantastic content on the games they've been playing. This week, James Creaton steps up to the plate with his thoughts on the recent Bigpoint release, Pirate Storm.*
Pirate Storm is a free-to-play MMO published by Bigpoint, in which players navigate the sea as fearsome pirates fighting monsters, other pirate players or completing quests for gold and experience.
![Pirate Storm](http://i.imgur.com/XX3xB.jpg)
The world is comprised of different areas which contain various sea monsters, islands, enemy pirates, players and a town hall which players can dock at. Upon docking at the local town hall players are able to:
Upgrade the docking station to allow addition slots for more ships
Select from a list of available quest to be completed
Apply to join a guild or form your own
Bid on items that other players or selling or put an item of your own up for auction
Enemies can be engaged by moving into range and selecting the attack command on the bottom interface bar. After engaging, the damage dealt and received is displayed above the ship or monster being attacked. Attacking enemies while stationary is okay if your ship can handle damage, but kiting enemies gives best results. Combat is repetitive and very simple; it's fun for a small thrill for casual gamers, but isn’t likely to sate the hunger of a more experienced player.
![Pirate Storm](http://i.imgur.com/jiWnB.jpg)
The game has a merchant system where players use the gold and diamonds they have earned by defeating adversaries to purchase new ships, cannons, harpoons, ammunitions and various other items. The merchant system uses diamonds for items and upgrades that are more valuable, making it that you can only get so far using gold.
Diamonds are hard to get, grinding for days could only award a couple hundred diamonds. You are able to purchase diamonds, the in game currency, for real money which makes the game unfair and annoying; the effort it takes to get a good amount of diamonds to buy upgrades can feel completely useless when a brand new player is able to get better items and upgrades without even having killed a single enemy.
![Pirate Storm](http://i.imgur.com/2Ya6t.jpg)
There are two types of PvP combat you can engage in; the first is the Battle Arena where you verse an enemy player in one-on-one combat in an isolated map. Having speed and damage in this mode is a good way to get ahead, as you can kite your enemy and strike with force when you see an opportunity.
My experience in the Battle Arena was not an enjoyable one; I was constantly going up against opponents with ships and upgrades far beyond my level. It felt like the only way I could win would be to purchase Diamonds with real money and use them to buy better upgrades. I feel it very unbalanced and needs to be looked at in further patches.
The second type of PvP is world PvP, where all players in that area are able to be attacked by enemy pirates at any time. Word PvP is very difficult unless you have spent lots of money on upgrades or have the support of a guild with you. For a new player it was almost impossible to stay alive in a world PvP area and I found myself getting ganked by guilds of 5 or so players almost every second death.
There is a guild feature that allows players to connect and group with each other and make grinding for the things you want much easier and more enjoyable than by yourself. You can apply to join a guild or form your own. Applying for a guild can be difficult, I found the same with forming my own guild, not many players would accept guild invites.
Pirate Storm is a mediocre game with decent gameplay elements that tend to get repetitive and boring much too quickly. The merchant or shop system is noticeably broken, it takes away the ability for everyone to have a fun gaming experience when others are able to get the most advanced ships and weapons right from the word go (ED- It's unbalanced.)
The Battle Arena is the best feature in the game, giving a challenging and moderately enjoyable experience; however, it is missing a good ranking system, as currently, it only ranks levels.
Average; there are better games in this style than Bigpoint's Pirate Storm, and you'd be better off trying them first. That said, it has more production value than many of its competitor's, so if you're looking for a quick time-waster at school or work, it might be worth a try.
-James Creaton