But first! When you log into the game, it'll tell you what your current quests are. You can also review these in your character's quest log, but it's nice to be told straight up, too.
Two things: First, you can go to the Options (logo with the gear in it, in left corner of this screenshot) and set it up so you only see player names when hovering over them, for instance, and no companion names, which greatly decreases the amount of name spam. I recommend this. But to get to the teaming, when you hover your mouse in the top of the screen, you get the option "Open Friends List" (or hit the F key).
Clever Jonathan Stevenson doesn't yet have any friends! But Toly is in, so we can test teaming. At the bottom of the friend window are things for True Friend Codes, among other stuff.
It's pretty self explanatory. Toly generated one for himself and relayed it to me verbally, since we're in the same room and all.
TADA! Jonathan has a friend!
Okay, now that that's done, Fiery Christopher Walker shows up in the online friends list. The blue arrows at the top lead to other groupings like "Ignored".
I didn't pay attention to how he did it, but you can do a "meet up with friend" option. It teleports you right to that friend. No more running around through zones and looking all over the place! FC Walker appeared right on top of Jonathan in a puff of smoke.
Once we met up, we found a comparatively empty patch of land - it's kind of like Atlas Park in that respect, this is the first world everyone shows up in - and practiced teaming. I clicked on Walker and these are the options. They're pretty easy to figure out. So I added him to the group.
Menu Chat has a big range of pre-packaged words and phrases for those who don't want to type or (in the case of younger players) aren't good at it yet.
The chat box.
Blue text = group activity/chat
Purple text = tells ("text chat")
White text = broadcast
Also, I couldn't figure out what the icons were. They looked like weird alien faces to me. Toly finally pointed out that it's a chat balloon with faces on either side. Derp.
Broadcast chat also appears in word balloons to everyone in the area.
The ellipsis (...) is whenever you type a word that isn't in the game's vocabulary. In this case, I typed "herp derpy derp" and got three sets of ellipsis. There's still only so much language this game will allow, even if you're set up as an adult. Kids play this game too, after all.
Here, I typed "Let's go to Praetoria" and since "Praetoria" isn't a word this game recognizes, it dotted the word out.
No, we don't know how to make the text bigger. Also, alt-tabbing out to another program or the desktop will, more likely than not, prevent you from getting back to the game. This happened to both Toly and I. I was able to tab back in once, but the next time I had to go into Task Manager and kill it. So don't alt-tab out if you can avoid it.
Back to the friend - clicking on the person will bring up the menu about them. (Walker is already in the group so that option is grayed out.) Clicking on the blue arrow next to their thumbnail allows you to inspect them. You can do this to any character.
To do group chat, you type /g once. The game will then automatically put you into group chat for everything else you say. This is great for someone like me who only talks to the group or in tells. I don't know a way to shut off broadcast, but maybe it'll get better in a less crowded zone. You can still send tells while in group chat. (I am guessing, and have not confirmed, that you'll need to /g every time you log in.)
A brief bit about memberships at this point. Apparently shutting off the filtered text is not worth the effort if you're not a member, if I understand Toly correctly. But I might not have heard him correctly.
Pirate 101 is cheaper than City was if you go by the monthly membership. Right now they have a one-year membership which comes out to $6.25/month, plus you get thousands of crowns, which are in-game money.
Crowns are used in the shops to purchase things. What things, you may ask? Lots of things. But fair warning - if you're willing to farm bosses, you can get some of these things as drops instead of using crowns or gold to buy them. (Crowns are like Paragon Points in City. Gold is Influence/Infamy.) Click on the Crowns logo in the upper left corner. (The gold arrow is "loading images and textures of things" and goes away on its own.)
Wow, look at all that STUFF! All those icons across the top! There's house stuff, clothing, jewelry, weapons, ships, companions, you name it. However, I'm going to click the "usable" toggle since I know I can't use some of this stuff yet, and I'd hate to buy something I couldn't use. Assuming I had crowns, of course. I got 75 of them for signing up, which will buy you something small like an eyepatch (under Jewelry).
Just like in the vendor shops, hovering over an item gives you more information about the item, and compares it to what you've got currently equipped.
Lookit! Pets! And they're semi-combat-pets!
And mounts! You can rent mounts (by the week, etc.) or buy one permanently. You get an animated preview of it in the window. Looks like you get a couple color variations.
Given that some of this stuff looks Really Neat, I can see why getting crowns would be a big deal. Obviously the annual membership gives you a bunch, but what if you buy a permanent prancing pony and a frigate and some furniture, and suddenly you're out of cash? And you haven't bought that really cool thing you planned to get. Well, there's buying more crowns, of course.
Individually they're really cheap - hundreds of crowns per dollar - but of course it's the usual "this really adds up" thing they hit you with. So you're probably better off thinking how badly you really want that signet ring, and how much it costs in crowns, and if there's anything else you want. Not to mention "can I get this through farming or drops or buying it straight-up with gold?" since these items are not necessarily exclusive to the store. Remember, you can't trade items to another character, even your own.
That's it for this time! If anyone's reading these and has any questions, let me know, because I'll probably do one more post.