Cloud Pirates (Episode 98)
THE GRINDSTONE TRIBUNAL:
Not too many contributions to the Tribunal, as it seems I was the only one having fun with the game, while Dreskar and DraikTempest both offer us their less than enthusiastic takes on the Not-Wargaming Fantasy Dreadnaught.
Cloud Pirates is a game that at first feels like it has a lot going for it. Tier 1 is incredibly enjoyable and acts much more like competing titles when it comes to unlocks and playstyle with each class feeling like it has a distinct role to bring to the table. Go into tier 2 and that entire system is thrown out the window, upgrades become incredibly convoluted and are just minor increments up a chain, there are far too many upgrades, and every time you start out fresh in a new tier you are completely worthless to your team. This marks it as a stark contrast when comparing it to other titles like Armored Warfare, World of Warships, and World of Tanks where even being stock you can still provide valuable assistance to your team and it won’t take very long to get yourself upgraded anyways even at higher tiers.
It feels as if most of the effort was put into the shortest played aspect of other titles as people will generally blast through tier 1 after a few matches and move on, but little else was implemented well. In truth, they should cut 85% of the upgrades out of the game and limit players choices to guns that fit within the playstyle of each ship and not let them go too out of the box. While some may say this limits player creativity and unique builds, it also means the game can’t be balanced worth a damn even between ship classes and each new ship plays in its own unique way compared to previous ships so you can’t even learn a role and stick to it. This is what I would easily classify as an all flash and no substance game, with the minute to minute gameplay being dull while the overall progression moves at a snail’s pace.
This is to say nothing of the teams which will absolutely make you despise humanity and not even for anything they say. Sure you will get those special snowflakes that will come into the chats dropping their shitty knowledge on everyone but for the overwhelming majority of matches, no one will be talking. The game even has cross team chat and yet there is silence, as if everyone is aware they just want to get through the slog and shit to try and get back to the fun aspects of the game. The team’s play, on the other hand, will drive you up the wall and for whatever reason when you suddenly transition from 2-dimensional combat into a 3D space people lose the ability to not slam into team mates or fly right in front of their guns. This is to say nothing of their complete lack of ability to play an objective, even if the game is screaming at them that they have only one job, they will still consistently fail to do it and go for KDA every time. Seriously, fuck this playerbase.
If you really want to try something within the same genre, even barring they are nothing else alike, try playing World of Warships or hell World of Tanks instead. This is a game that just has no appeal to it, even given the connection between it and Allods.
Recommended?: NO, better wargaming arenas are out there.
It’s a fun arena shooter at the early levels, but the balance is all over the place and turrets seemed OP. The maps also aren’t large enough, or interesting enough to make use of the theme they’re going for, and with no tutorial, some of the game modes aren’t obvious the first time through. Cloud Pirates also doesn’t do anything major with the theme they are going for. I feel this game would have benefited from some sort of agency for the game modes, something to make a player more invested in the world it seems to want to build. There’s no story or lore behind anything, it’s just pretty ships shooting at each other.
Recommended?: NO, there’s better ship based combat games, and better arena games.
Is it sad this is probably my favorite vehicle style arena shooter I’ve played in a long time? Don’t get me wrong, I loved World of Warships, but like so many others in the genre, once I saw the strategy and meta set in, and got into higher tier matches, the spark of fun started to fade slightly more than I was willing to stick around with. I just wasn’t as into it.
Yes, higher-tiers in Cloud Pirates do fall into the trap of having vastly different styles of play, but once I had a handle on how the ship played, I loved it. Since a lot of my captured footage, I’ve been able to unlock two more Tier Three ships in the Calamity and the Flow, and both ships have a fantastically unique playstyle that can bring a layer of depth to the game beyond “shoot the boats that aren’t your color”.
The community can be absolutely rancid, with players performing the most myopic, self-centered acts. I don’t think I’ve been purposely TK’d in the game, (Dreskar ended up accidentally killing me once) but I feel I’ve at least seen it happen a few times that were definitely no accident. Oddly it’s far less about other players killing you, and for more about watching other doing things that will just make you want to kill them. Trust me, “Old Man Yells At Cloud Pirates” should have been the title of most of my streams.
I really don’t like Treasure Hunt mode. It’s oddly easy to get stomped and requires the most coordination from your team to perform successfully. Many times, I’ll end up in those matches in a boat that can’t do jack shit in them. Don’t try to main a Battleship if you like doing map objectives. Just don’t.
The map’s lag, layouts, and weird hitboxes can also cause a lot of strife where I’ve seen my fair share of deaths due to missed shots sailing through an enemy ship, or getting stopped during an escape my an obstacle I was nowhere near, but all of these things I tow, I’m just too much of a fan of the aesthetic and gameplay feel to let it bother me.
I really do enjoy playing this game… with those notable exceptions, and it’s something I can imagine giving myself just a bit of time to each day or so. Who knows how long that will last? Maybe Tier 4 will be my final straw.