Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pirates of the Caribbean

(How does one pronounce Caribbean anyway? Is it kah-RIB-ee-en or CARE-uh-BEE-en?)

My current computer compulsion is Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" online game. It's a 3D multi-user online role playing game, where you take on the role of a pirate and participate in various pirating activities that build your reputation and your treasure, or maybe just land you in virtual jail.

The game is free* to sign up and play. You start out by designing the appearance of your pirate. Then you are immediately thrown into the quest of helping Capt Jack Sparrow recover The Black Pearl. While this is your primary quest, you are given other minor quests that reward you with new skills and weapons, or build up your reputation as a pirate.

As a non-paying member your skill advancement and available quests are limited. That's where the asterisk on free comes in. If you want to continue to advance in the game and get new quests to complete then you'll want to sign up as a paying member. They never require paid membership to continue playing, but they make it very enticing. You can still run around plundering ships or brandishing your cutlass against navy swine and monstrous creatures. But wouldn't you like that big ship with 10 cannons, or a double barrel pistol? Want to increase your sailing skills? Then sign up for unlimited access today!

I played as a basic (free) member for a week or so before I reached the point where I had completed all the quests and gained all the weapons I was allowed. I still was enjoying the game, but I wanted more challenges so I signed up for the monthly subscription just like they hoped I would. There's a discounted 6 month or annual subscription rate, but honestly I think my obsession will burn out after a couple of months and I'll drop the subscription.

Until then I'll probably be plunderin' and buckling swashes almost nightly.

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