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Bounty Bay Online review


Bounty Bay Online review


Publisher: Frogster Online

High Seas adventure MMO


Play Bounty Bay Online mmo game

"There’s enough here to serve even the most die-hard buccaneer-era fanboys"


Bounty Bay Online offers the opportunity to live out a virtual colonial-era buccaneer adventure in an online world. With a mix of combat over both land and sea, treasure hunting and full trading and global exploring, there’s plenty to give you a virtual world tour in a global environment comparable to travel, commerce and world-hopping in the era of comparable adventures like that of the Pirates of the Carribean films (and the classic, original Disneyland attraction, of course). So how does this particular MMO experience fare over the vast expanse of the high seas?

Bounty Bay Online Bounty Bay Online

In short, ye landlubbers be in for a real scoundrel, but in ye good way... only somewhat so. Ye trading system work like ye be expecting, buying up ye requested supplies and product, and be returning with ye goods to whomever shall be requesting them. Aye, but ye seas be especially rough sometimes, so holding on to ye men and ye haul be especially important. (More on that later, if ye be so inclined to know.) There be some rough waters in the full experience that be discussed later as well, so beware ye surprises thereof.

Anyway, enough with the buccaneer talk, so let’s move on to the gameplay specifics. On land, for example, you have the typical point and click navigation to get around, chat it up with NPCs for useful information, skill learning and quest progression. When quest conditions are in progress, your typical conversation structure pops up with the NPC giving out instructions for each individual task, combined with your own character’s responses and agreements thereof. Quest requirements include everything from purchasing supplies to hunting down enemy targets (and wildlife in some cases, if only for training purposes) to your usual fetch quests (including one where you need to gather seeds from sprouts along the fields just west of the starting port through an access gate).

Bounty Bay Online Bounty Bay Online

The act of killing your prey utilizes the standard weaponry of the time period, from revolvers to swords and everything in between, so long as the weaponry matches the listed expertise of your originally selected occupation type from your first connection with that character (think of your typical class system in other MMOs and you’ll get the idea).

You’ll be given a selection of weaponry on occasion, with the class (make that occupation) recommendations thereof clearly listed, and your occupation stats (as well as those of your individual skills) will automatically level up on an individualized basis, rather than necessitating the allocation of upgrade points of any kind outside of activating new talents from skill tutors. However, there’s a catch that I wasn’t originally aware of herein: if you somehow manage to load up your character with a full megaton of ammo for his revolver (or basically load him up, period) he’ll not only move very slowly, but will also be unable to retrieve any dropped supplies from downed foes regardless of available inventory space.

Bounty Bay Online Bounty Bay Online

On a related note, sea battles play out as you would expect: you line up your ship with the enemy craft by selecting your intended target, at which point the fight begins and cannonballs start flying back and forth until one side is sunk, either by losing all of your crewmen or by total destruction. You do have to make sure that you’re well prepared for sea battles, of course: like with your own character, your ship needs to be stocked properly in order to be able to fight effectively.

Ship armor and cannons, for instance, must be placed in the proper equip slots when visiting the shipyard manager in order to maximize your fighting potential while you’re out at sea, much as with your own buccaneer self. I had an epic fail in not doing this properly before going into my first sea battles as part of the initial quests, and of course I paid the price for it, though not as bad compared to some other players I saw that for some unknown reason had managed to get themselves reduced to undead forms, though in my playtests I was unable to figure out the conditions regarding such an unfortunate fate to whatever extent I was immediately aware of (though I be expecting that ye ship being destructively sunk be ye unfortunate trigger).

Bounty Bay Online Bounty Bay Online

Speaking of outright misfortune (and moving distanced once more from bucaeer talk), another gotcha that I managed to literally run into was to literally run aground during my second attempt at sea battles (if you’ll pardon the pun, of course). And it’s rather unfortunate thereof (not to mention that it was totally expectable) in that there’s no feasible manner by which I could even get out of that situation without intentionally allowing my ship to be sunk, meaning that you have to watch out for any visual cues that would literally show you where NOT to go with your ship. Additionally, sea battles provide the game’s only chance of getting stuck in a multi-aggro situation, which makes sense when you consider the very nature of marine warfare and defense in relation to the relevant time period.

Sailing the world is relatively easy as in and of itself thanks to its use of the same point-and-click simplicity as used while in port; though it bears mention that real-world geography is somewhat necessary as well, since the game plays out on a direct copy of our own world during the colonial/new world era of our own history. That’s right: no pure fiction here beyond the story that you create for your own buccaneer self.

Bounty Bay Online Bounty Bay Online

In fact, whenever you sail into a port for the first time you’ll be presented with some historical background information pertaining to that location on the map – quite literally being a feature that goes right smack into Carmen Sandiego territory, but in the means of a MMO game (which I was NOT personally expecting, but which is still a nice touch regardless of the fact). There’s also a quick-navigation option for sailing as well in case you should literally get lost at sea.

I should note that sailing the world does remind me of the equivalent in more traditional fantasy RPG games (Dragon Quest being the most obvious example) but with some extra twists pertaining to the specifics of the time period (including those situations when you end up riding out the requisite rough seas during a particularly bad thunderstorm, which is literally played out in front of you in a special visual mode pertaining to such a horrendous situation). Thankfully, you do have the option to sail around these hazards if you so wish, as thunderstorms (and other potential hazards) are clearly marked on the world map.

I did run into a few issues, however. One particular enemy during the initial quests, for example, required me to double-team him in order to even manage to kill him just because he was so incessantly hardened up in terms of HP that fighting him solo was next to impossible -- and this was even before leaving out of my first port!

This would be perfectly acceptable if I would’ve had to do this at later stages of the game; however, dealing with such a rock-solid foe so early on is entirely unnecessary. I would have preferred a more gradual introduction to combat than this -- preferably AFTER completing a few seafaring trades, as opposed to while I was still on land before even sailing anywhere to begin with, especially since that idiot really held me up to begin with. (That being said, this particular issue can be mitigated somewhat with equip-friendly items that provide a substantial boost to your maximum HP.)

My second and third issues are with the client software itself: first, there is absolutely NO client window sizing provision in the game settings; and second, triggering computer lock seems to freeze up the game session entirely to the point where a forced process kill is required. Worse, there’s generally no way out of the former issue without a force close, and the former is resolved only by editing a configuration file on your hard drive... which I only found out about by using the game forums, which use both plain English and some other language.

All troublesome points aside, Bounty Bay Online be a landlubber’s online buccaneer voyage you're not to be entirely regretful of. (-Okay, so I couldn’t resist that one.) Anyway, to put it on a blunt point, these slight disappointments are nowhere near a full game-breaker so long as long as you know how to deal with the problems thereof. Though I cannot give a complete recommendation to Bounty Bay Online, there’s enough here to serve even the most die-hard buccaneer-era fanboys. Everyone else should evaluate their patience for gaffes and bugs in the system, however – so Bounty Bay Online should be personally evaluated before you even set sail. Case closed.

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