Tuesday, 5 February 2013

My Life as a Sky Pirate

AirBuccaneers is a delightfully simple game about being a pirate, with your choice between Buccaneer or Viking, being in a hot air balloon and firing cannons and other dangerous things at the other team.  Obviously there's more to it than that in terms of tactics and weapon variety, but there's your nutshell.

Available tools include the ability to fire airmines (little floating balloons that create a massive explosion when an enemy ship hits it), changing the cannon firing modes to either a lot of smaller spiral rockets that I'm not entirely sure about what they do, and the glorious flamethrower method. Get the ship in close enough and let them BURN! You can also steal enemy ships too by killing off the crew.

Some nights ago Rob (Wayward), Arun (harenzo) and myself (Beardy) took to the skies for aerial warfare and general shenanigans. And after a while of being terrible we actually started to get the hang of the blimps.

Our performance at through one game...
And much better at the end of another...

If there's one thing this game definitely promotes it is teamwork. There's a number of very useful voice macros you can hit to say which way to go and where enemies are whenever you're manning the helm of a ship, on the guns or just holding up a telescope, but to make the most of the experience you'll want to grab some friends and head onto a voice server to coordinate flight and cannon-fire.

Melee fighting is the only weak point of the game that I've found, with it being difficult to tell how much damage you're really doing to the enemy. However the points that matter more, i.e. the ship-to-ship combat and overall flight mechanics are excellent. It's not quite perfect, but certainly a gem of a game that's come a very long way in it's development!



For any cloud-faring pirates, I've picked up a few tips from my own play session with Arun and Rob that might be worth sharing:
  • You'll never really control the speed of a ship, since wind direction plays it's part in this. Wind direction is shown by the way that flags on the ship blow. Though I never noticed this myself while playing.
  • If you're at the helm, keep an eye on your height level on the top right. There's a little bar which if you go too high, will send the ship plummeting down. (The tl;dr is don't always hold W)
  • Stealing enemy ships is hilarious because they seem to not always notice you. I think this is probably because most people look at the balloon colours instead of the crew.
Rob's advice:
  • "DON'T LOOK DOWN."
Arun's advice:
  • If you're playing as support make sure you don't get too focused on one area. Move around the ship and help everywhere for faster XP.
  • Watch for enemies boarding early and spot ships with the telescope (But don't spam because it gets annoying.

So what'll it be? Viking or Buccaneer?

Stay tuned on our Twitter account today for keys we'll be giving away for AirBuccaneers!

-James
Dirigible Daredevil Extraordinaire