Otherwise known as Devan Seaworth of 'A Pirate's Life for Me!' fame, he now joins us as a Content Editor. Please join me in welcoming him aboard. *grins* Hip hip huzzah! In the interest of providing a bit of his pirate-y background for yer edification, that interview is also reprinted here: Ever fascinated with Pirates, I lingered in Tortuga of an eve, in the hopes of picking up more lore. 'Twas my great, good fortune to there become acquainted with Devan Seaworth, a Captain in The Macabre, who agreed to tarry a while over a mug and share a bit of information. Herewith, the ensuing conversation: What initially prompted you to choose the life of a pirate? Devan Seaworth: The short version of it is that I don't deal well with authorities and the whole straight and narrow thing. A pirate's life is not so much about the stealing and plundering as it is about waking up in the morning and asking yourself what you want to do today, and where you want to go. No rules or authorities that tell you where to go, how to behave and what to do. It's all about the freedom. Is your best friend really a parrot?! Devan Seaworth: I'm more of a cat person than a bird person myself. I think the ship's cat has been an effective deterrent against parrots on my ship, since nobody in my crew seems to have one. Which (if any) historical pirate would you consider a rolemodel? Devan Seaworth: Well for myself, I would say that Edward 'Blackbeard' Teach is probably my historical equivalent. A man who went from a life of order and obediance to one of freedom to do what he wished. He didn't just prey on merchant shipping to line his own pockets, but actually fought against the naval ships that tried to rid the oceans from the threat of free speech and freedom of opinion. When did you first learn of Pirates of the Burning Sea? Devan Seaworth: It must have been mid 2006 or thereabouts. A Swedish site for gaming news had a short blurb on this up and coming pirate-themed MMO, and of course I sauntered over to the website to see what it was all about, and decided after about ten seconds that I was going to play this game. I tried to get into the closed beta, along with a couple of my friends, but alas the fortunes did not favour me that time. One of my friends got in though, and we all pestered him for details so much so that I think he actually gave up playing in the beta just to get away from the questions. Then finally they announced an open beta for the game, which I quickly got in on, and I've been a-piratin' ever since. Do you think that the sea accommodates renegade (solo) pirates, or do you recommend traveling in packs? Devan Seaworth: I think that there's room for both kinds of piracy. It mostly comes down to the willingness of the pirate captain(s) in question to steal the right kind of ships for the job. For the renegade pirate, patience is of the utmost importance, since the targets you stand a fair chance of defeating will be fewer and further apart than if you had brought friends along with you. For myself, I usually end up dividing my time quite evenly between both kinds of piracy, with a slight tendency towards being all by me lonesome. What method would you suggest for becoming a successful Pirate? Devan Seaworth: The most important thing is to focus on having fun. If you do what you think is fun, the rest will sort of fall into place all by itself. A key element is to remember that initially, you suffer no consequences for screwing up. You can easily and quickly capture a new ship and be about your business again, so I would recommend for fresh pirates to seek out challenges wherever they may find them. The worst that will happen is you will will be forced to do some quests in your schooner while you wait for the opportunity to capture a better ship. Do you have any pirate-y tips or tricks that you'd care to share with aspiring corsairs? Devan Seaworth: Well, the big tip from me would be to realise that the main pirate advantages is speed and maneuverability. If you pick ships and skills based on that you will stand a better chance when going up against your enemies. And also, a big tip would be not to kill too many trade convoys! Working to get back that reputation for trade is hard work indeed. If you need the experience or the money, go after the dangerous pirates or the privateer detachments instead. Which ship(s) do you prefer to sail? Which make the most attractive prizes? Devan Seaworth: I am of a try-everything-once mentality when it comes to ships, so I've yet to settle on a final four so to speak. But ships that I've sailed a lot and that I remember fondly are the Hermes Packetboat and the Mastercraft Arcadia. The Packetboat is a good all-round workhorse for the lower levels, and I don't even know where to start with the Arcadia. The Arcadia is a beautiful looking ship, that handles really well and lends itself very well to the solo piracy role, with its excellent upwind capabilities and large crew complement. Are there any PotBS Pirates whose style you particularly admire? Devan Seaworth: I'm going to say Halod Crane. There are a lot of pirates that strike me as 'pirates pirates', but what I admire about Halod is the never quit mentality and the willingness to learn and adapt to new situations. For the longest time it was thought that pirates couldn't win in evenly matched battles against the navies, but Halod and his crew would have none of that and simply went out and learned how to beat the navies at their own game. What is your favorite ingame activity? Devan Seaworth: Stalking the red circles, be it on my own or with a group of likeminded pirates, in the hunt for any fight that will make life exciting. Which aspect of the Burning Sea do you appreciate the most? Devan Seaworth: The community of captains. There are some really good, fun and interesting things about POTBS and there are some really bad, boring and uninteresting things about it, but it all comes down to the community in the end. The national opposition makes life in the circle exciting, the fellow pirates make life outside of the circle interesting. In short, they make the good parts of POTBS stand out, and take the edge off the bad parts. What are your happiest ingame memories thus far? Devan Seaworth: Aside from setting sail the first time? I had a really memorable fight a few months ago; two Spanish privateers in their Triton Frigates faced off against two packetboats and a Triton captained by myself, Johnny Rebel and Torantio Deathblade. Due to the skill of those privateers, that one 3vs2 fight took more than 40 minutes, with the balance shifting several times over. In the end, we managed to win it without any losses, but it was a real nail-biter and I would pay good money for a repeat performance. It sounds fantastic Devan Seaworth: It was. Marks of Victory never feel as good as when you know you deserved them What is the toughest obstacle that you've faced ingame? Devan Seaworth: I would say the general slump that happened between the 1.1 and 1.2 patches. The whole server sort of went into hibernation mode, and a lot of good captains ended up leaving due to lack of activity (or pressing real life matters). There was a time there when I was afraid for the future of POTBS, but now it seems sticking it out was the right choice, as activity is picking up once again. Are there any particular game mechanics which you find exasperating? Devan Seaworth: I don't have a problem with any game mechanics as such, but there are some design elements that make me tear out my hair in frustration. Having to trek to all parts of Tortuga to finish and/or pick up quests is a bit of a nightmare. The run-around quests that have you zoning into and out of about twenty instances in the same town just to bring you information are also a bit... well, better left unsaid I guess. Do you feel that the Pirate nation's role is evolving in a desirable direction? Devan Seaworth: I like what the designers have said they want to do, with alternative final battle options and maybe increasing the number of points pirates get for port captures. But right now it feels like a near-vertical uphill struggle to be a pirate in terms of the Realm vs Realm aspect. If they make it so that pirates raiding ports actually matter to the defending nation, I think it will go a long way towards improving the pirate end-game. What additions or alterations (if any) would you like to see in Pirates of the Burning Sea? Devan Seaworth: Aside from the promised things like player-governed ports, I can't really think of any additions I would like to see at this point. As for alterations, any MMO is a never-ending stream of changes to improve balance and playability, so it's difficult to know where to start. I would like to see an across-the-board reduction in the effectiveness of outfittings though. I don't like losing fights just because I haven't taken the time to grind myself to the high-powered permanent outfittings. Is The Macabre sailing into uncharted waters, or do you have a future course mapped out? Devan Seaworth: Ah, here's a question that is a bit tricky. The Macabre is a society in the true sense of the word, a democratic one at that. Every captain that sails under our flag is given an equal say in everything, which means that going somewhere together is a bit like herding cats. Now don't get me wrong, that's what I like about us, but it does make it difficult to have any kind of solid plans for the future. We try to make room for all aspects of the game, and sort of skirt the border between casual and hardcore, and generally make room for anyone who fits in to the motley crew that is The Macabre.