Video Game: Battle Pirates

Battle Pirates is a Real-Time Strategy Massively Multi-player Online game developed by video game company "Kixeye". The game takes place decades in the future where the world has been flooded by water, dividing civilization into two factions, the Draconian Empire, comprised of the upper-class citizens and the government before the apocalypse, and the Forsaken (controlled by the players), the rest of civilization which has resorted to piracy to survive. Both factions are fighting in a war that seemingly may never end.

Players take control of their own forsaken base, which they must fortify and upgrade to be able to research stronger technology and build better defenses and fleets. Gameplay consists of "Base attacks" and "Fleet vs Fleet" (FvF) combat. The player constructs their own ships by using a combination of hulls, weapons, armors and specials.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: The Unstable Core special has the benefits of the researchable Engine Upgrade, and the Reaver Scout Engine special boosts combat speed even further than either Unstable Core 3 or Engine Upgrade 3 at the expense of reduced weapon range. If a ship equipped with either of these specials has its health depleted, the ship explodes, damaging nearby enemies (and leaving a fiery patch that damages any enemy ships that pass through it). Very useful if put on "instant-repair" ships, like unarmored Sea Wolves or Light Cruisers.
  • After the End: Battle Pirates takes place after the world is subject to a global flood. The flood results in civilization splitting into three factions.
    • The Draconian empire consists of the upper-class and the government, they seek to destroy the Forsaken and gain control of the world's resources.
    • The Forsaken council (controlled by the players) is made up of the lower/middle class citizens who were left behind after the flood and had to resort to piracy to survive.
    • Later, the Reavers were added. A third faction that utilizes their own unique tech. Their hulls appear to be Forsaken and Draconian hulls smashed together, while using weapons based on radioactive damage and extremely high rates of fire. The aesthetic evokes a cobbled-together, "improvised technology" look.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Subverted, you can research all end-game tech and earn the best raid prizes without spending a cent on gold, but it may take longer and people that spend money on gold have a slight advantage over those who don't.
    • Gold can be used to speed up repairs, builds, and researches at time reduction of 30 minutes per 1 gold. High-tier raid hulls with good builds can take up to 16 days per ship, making it advisable to use gold unless you are comfortable with waiting.
    • Gold can be used to instantly finish incomplete unfinished blueprints, instead of gradually earning blueprint parts by hitting salvages.
    • Gold can be used to send "premium" gifts to your friends, such as blueprint parts, mega resource crates, and amounts of gold.
  • Artificial Stupidity: If your ships get in the range of an AI enemy's weapons, they will stop moving to fire at you, meaning that they can fire at you with missiles but avoid moving closer even if they have powerful ballistic weapons.
    • This is one of the problems with base guarding ships, if they are set to move, they will also stop when any of their weapons are able to fire at the enemy. This makes mixing weapon types a bad idea as just putting one missile on a powerful ballistic ship would make it incapable of moving in for the kill on its own.
  • Badass Army: The Forsaken, which is composed of the players, with each player capable of destroying a vast amount of Draconian mines, salvages and outposts.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Draconians have access to better technology than the Forsaken players, with their own hulls, specials and weapons. These can actually be gained by earning enough blueprints from salvages, or winning them from monthly raids or weekly missions. This means that you can use the Dracs' own powerful weaponry against them.
  • BFG: The Crossbow series of railguns fits the description pretty well. They are the only ballistic weapons that can penetrate walls, and they do massive damage to buildings. The Crossbow III can annihilate most targets in one shot. The Necessary Drawback being that it is extremely heavy, has a very long reload time, and your ship must be stopped to fire it. The Arbalest introduced in the March 2015 raid also fits the bill, being basically a Crossbow that fires while moving.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Or rather, Ship Armor as hit points. In this case, armor is hit points. Your ship's maximum health is increased by adding heavier armor.
  • Charged Attack: The D92 Impulse Launchers have a variant on the "collect" type, as shots from these weapons build up a charge on the targets they hit; when the charge reaches maximum, it unleashes a "radioactive shockwave" that hits everything in a certain radius For Massive Damage.
  • Color-Coded Armies: Forsaken ships are almost always grey and a shade of green, while most Draconian ships are black and navy.
    • Reaver ships are usually silvery, with an exposed orange engine core.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: While you are able to use Draconian technology, you still have to deal with usual limits such as weight. The AI on the other hand, has no such limitation. For example, in certain salvages you can find a drac Light Cruiser with 3 siege cannons, if you were to earn the Light cruiser and try the same configuration, you would not be able to build the ship due to weight limitations.
    • Not only do Draconians ignore weight restrictions, but also weapon limitations as well. For example, the drac Dreadnought is incapable of mounting torpedoes... when built by a player, but in high level Draconian outposts you can find Dreadnoughts armed with torpedoes.
    • You know how you can only have 5 ships in one fleet? Well in Draconian military fleets (in the monthly events), you'll find at least 10 ships, they must have pretty big docks.
    • Typically, if you stumble upon something that Draconians are able to do that you can't, the developer's explanation is usually "The draconians are more technologically advanced, and are therefore capable of utilizing technology we cannot." keep in mind that you can earn draconian technology.
  • Cooldown: Reaver weapons - such as the Torrent Missile and Reaver Chaingun - fire in massive volleys; the Torrent Missile fires salvos of sixteen missiles, while Chainguns are capable of pumping out a whopping thirty shots per salvo. They also have the longest reload times in the game.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Subverted. Ships that have almost no health left will be shown to be on fire in some parts of the hull, but their speed and firepower will remain untouched until they are destroyed.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Usually for a ship to be good at a role, it needs to have weapons, armor and specials that are dedicated to that role. This almost always makes using a ship for anything other than its usual purpose a bad idea.
    • Base hitting hulls usually utilize mortars or siege missiles to destroy bases, except some blitz hulls (like the thresher). Mortars have a long flight time, making them unable to hit moving targets, and siege missiles have lower range than other missiles, allowing the ship to be kited by cutlass or assault missiles. Base hitting ships can fall to faster and more agile ships.
    • Fleet vs fleet hulls are usually fast and make use of weapons such as cutlass/assault missiles or ballistic weapons. Ballistic weapons are blocked by the walls in bases and missiles do half damage to buildings (except siege missiles). Fleet vs fleet hulls don't have the armor to withstand base defense weapons.
    • The Piranha depth-charge weapon does an absolutely massive amount of damage (piranha d-charge 3 dealing over 7000 damage), is a concussive weapon (the only ship with concussive defense is the Interdictor, with no armors or specials for concussive defense exsisting), and can damage submerged submarines. It downside however, is that is has a range of 18, the single lowest in the game. The fact that it is out-ranged by every other weapon in the game means that it is only effective on fast hulls (such as the Sea Wolf or Battlecruiser X).
    • In the same vein as the piranha depth charge is the piranha drone module. When put on an Arbiter, Hurricane, or Vanguard, it gives its host ship the ability to launch small, very fast drones, armed with miniature versions of the piranha depth-charge. They are notorious in base defense due to the fact that the drones need to be killed repeatably until the host ship runs out of drones to launch before the base-hitting fleet can reach the inside of a person's base. The fact that drones take time to be drained and that this gives a greater window for other people to surround the attacker's fleet and engage them after their attack ends.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Reaching level 50 makes anyone over level 50 capable of attacking you, negating the usual 5 levels higher/lower cap. It is physically impossible for you to have researched all the level 4 defense platform weapons and level 3 specials by then, and you are able to be attacked by players who may have the highest-tier raid hulls.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: All salvages, outposts and raid targets of the same level are completely identical. For example, you'll find that every single level 23 salvage uses the exact same ships with the exact same loadouts.
  • Death from Above: You can construct a ballistic missile in your base and deploy it in combat. There are various types of warheads you can use: standard explosive with a splash radius, a bunker buster For Massive Damage against a single building, a pinch to temporarily disable targets while your fleet closes to attack range, or a depth charge for taking out submarines. They become less useful at higher levels (except for the pinch), for several reasons - 1) They have very long flight times that get even longer with the more advanced warheads, so you can really only hit buildings, and 2) Armor scales up faster than missile damage, so by the time you can build a level 3 Orion, it still won't be powerful enough to take out most of the things you'll be fighting.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Ships with high amounts of armor are not invincible, as such, it is entirely possible for say, a dreadnought to be killed by a gunboat. But the dreadnought would have to be A) very near death B) be using very short-range weapons against a gunboat armed with torpedoes or C) using mortars, which due to their long flight time, are unfit to use in fleet vs fleet.
  • Decisive Battle: Averted. Despite each monthly raid being advertised as "preventing the dracs from gaining a hold on the world map" or "dealing a big blow to the dracs", monthly raids don't seem to affect the Draconian empire's hold in the slightest.
  • Difficulty Spike: Difficulty with draconian targets scale, meaning that high-level targets might be much harder than targets that are only a few levels lower than them. For example, a fleet that can destroy 3 level 31 outposts might be incapable of destroying a level 37 outpost, even with multiple tries.
    • Raid targets are notably harder than other targets of the same level, for example, a level 31 military fleet is far harder than a level 31 salvage or outpost.
  • Elite Mook: The assorted "X-class" Draconian ships (such as the Battlecruiser X, Missile Cruiser X, and Juggernaut X) would fit the bill... if the Draconian military actually used them.
  • Expy: The portrait for Grimshine, the Reaver commander, looks almost exactly like Jack as she appears in Mass Effect 3.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Forsaken Sea Wolf is fast and great at kiting, but has only one armor slot and a very low inherent armor value. However, its low armor allows it to be instantly repaired during raids (which offer half-repair time) by using the 5 minute speed-up. A common strategy is to spam them at raid targets until they eventually win, since raid targets do not repair.
  • Game Breaker: The Proto-Nemesis. It has 48000 armor with 6 armor slots, 16 weapon slots (previous highest on one hull was 10), 5 special slots, massive defense bonuses, 120% faster missile reload and 170% faster rocket reload. A good Proto-Nemesis base hitting build combined with an experienced driver is guaranteed to destroy any base. That isn't an overstatement, to this day, no base has survived being attacked by a full-health Proto-Nemesis. Its downsides being that it is slow, can only be built once after you earn it, requires absolutely massive amounts of resources to build, and you have to destroy draconian bases (which almost certainly would need multiple people) for a below 1% chance to get it.
  • Glass Cannon: Due to the modular nature of the ships, most of them can be built this way, but the Sea Wolf and Sea Scorpion are especially suited for it. They both have relatively high speed, very low base armor with only one expansion slot, but 5 and 7 weapon slots respectively. It's standard practice to make your Sea Wolfs with no armor at all, so they can be instantly repaired during raids.
  • Hypocrite: One of the mission briefings for the "Death Grip" campaign says the Draconians are poisoning the land with their zynthium-fueled technology. Zynthium is a necessary resource for every single thing the Forsaken faction (i.e. the player) builds - except, ironically, zynthium refineries.
  • Kill It with Fire: Several weapons use fire-like effects in one way or another:
    • Draconian Impulse Launcher shockwaves leave circular "burning" patches on the water that damage anything that survives the shockwave.
    • Several pieces of Reaver technology - such as the Reaver Scout Engine, the Unstable Core, and the Meteor Mortar - leave similar circular patches; the Reaver Napalm Missile, on the other hand, creates smaller patches in a straight line during its flight.
    • The Reaver Magma and Blaze Throwers are ship-based flamethrowers in all but name.
  • Kill It with Ice: The Draconian Cryo Launchers are an adaptation of the Impulse Launcher that creates a "cryogenic shockwave" which leaves ice fields in its wake; as one might expect, these ice fields not only damage ships within their radius, but they also slow ships down, increase weapon reload time, and increase the amount of damage affected ships take from other sources.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • The tier 5 Stingray is this. It is one of the fastest hulls in the game with a combat speed of 16 (17 after retrofits), its ballistic range and reload bonuses give it great ballistic firepower, and its 4 special slots let it accommodate engine upgrade, autoloader and hardened barrels with one special slot to spare. Its speed lets it close the distance between it and its foes quickly.
    • The Crusader also fits. It is slower than the Stingray but still among the faster ships, and it has even more firepower, with 8 weapon slots, 4 armor slots, 4 special slots, huge ballistic range and reload bonuses, and a special feature that increases accuracy the more shots are fired at a single target.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Mortar and missile weapons both have long range and usually give this role to the ship they are on. Missiles have such high range that fast enough ships can destroy enemies from afar without them being able to close the distance to return fire; this technique is referred to as "kiting".
  • Isometric Projection
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Any fleet using mid- to high-level hulls (such as the Sea Wolf, Hammerhead, or Sea Scorpion) and Draconian Assault Missiles (which fire salvos of two missiles per launcher every four seconds) will be capable of something fairly close to this - especially if the ship has a fairly high rank, since rate of fire increases with ship rank.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • Reaver ships explode upon being destroyed, and the explosion is capable of harming any allied ships in the blast radius.
    • The Unstable Core special applies this effect to the ship it is equipped on.
    • Several Reaver weapons, such as the Throwers and Inferno Rockets, apply the effect to any ship they're fired at.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The most powerful cannons in the game (shot for shot), the Crossbow and Arbalest, are described as railguns. They're designed to penetrate walls; something no other ballistic weapon can do.
  • More Dakka: The ripper cannon has a reload of 1.5 seconds. The Strike Cruiser X has an inherent ballistic reload bonus of +65%, plus autoloader 3 (A special that increases ballistic reload by 110%) gives you a 175% ballistic reload bonus. A SCX with ripper cannons can fire near constantly.
    • There is also the Reaver Chaingun and the Torrent Missile,both of which can rain death upon the enemy before reloading. (This does mean that the Torrent Missile is extremely useful against fleets and bases with Anti-Missile weaponry, though.)
    • The tier 5 Thresher hull has an inherent rocket reload bonus of +60%, and with cluster warheads 3 (A special that increases rocket reload by 170%) has a reload bonus of +230%. The drac assault rockets reload in 0.75 seconds. A Thresher with Cluster Warheads 3 and Assaults rockets reloads every 0.2 of a second.
  • No Sell: Ships with high enough armor will be able to shrug off low-level cannons, missiles and explosives like they are nothing.
    • The Hell/hailstorm anti-mortars and phalanx anti-missiles can protect their parent ships by shooting enemy projectiles out of the air, while they can't completely neutralize enemy fire, they can null their firepower somewhat.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: No matter how many times your ships are blown up and sunk, they can always be repaired. And considering each ship can gain experience bonuses, it's only logical to assume that each ship has a crew that somehow survives being repeatably blown up.
  • Obvious Beta: This game is well known for its glitches and crashes, and while Kixeye has made some effort to rectify these issues, it hasn't stopped them from getting a slightly soiled reputation when it comes to fixing bugs.
  • One-Hit Kill: Very low-level ships going against high-level ones might not have enough armor to withstand a single hit.
  • One-Man Army: Well, one ship army, the Proto-Nemesis is a massive behemoth. It has 48000 armor with 6 armor slots, 16 weapon slots (previous highest on one hull was 10), 5 special slots, massive defense bonuses, 120% faster missile reload and 170% faster rocket reload. Its downsides being that it is slow, can only be built once after you earn it, and you have to destroy draconian bases (which almost certainly would need multiple people) for a 0.1% chance to get it.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Mortars have a considerable flight time, which is long enough that they can reload before their mortars land, this makes mortars unfit for fleet vs fleet as fast ships can avoid them completely.
  • Power Glows: The X-class Draconian ships have Tron Lines on them, signifying their experimental high-tech nature, and certain hulls can gain an inner glow if they're retrofitted five times in the Retrofit Lab.
  • Shout-Out
    • The Goliath has a base armor value that is OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAAAAND! Specifically, it has exactly 9001 base armor.
    • The portrait for the leader of Wrecking Crew (one of the Rogue Crews you can get in the Great Hall) is a woman with an eyepatch, a grenade launcher, and a bomb-disposal vest with extra grenades attached to the shoulders. Now, where have we seen an outfit like that before...?
    • One of the recently-introduced campaigns involves using fast ships equipped with short-range weapons (such as cannons and ship-mounted rockets) to destroy a set of bases protected with long-range defensive turrets. Appropriately enough, it's called "Run The Trench".
    • The third mission in the Fractured Empires campaign has this description:
    ''Grimshine has deployed high-powered Reaver monstrosities into combat. Draconian forces won't hold out long against firepower of this magnitude.
    • The general aesthetic of the Reaver faction is much like the Reavers in Firefly, down to the salvaged ships, exposed engine cores and the love of violence described in their flavor text.
  • Splash Damage: Mortars and Rockets have a considerable amount of splash allowing them to damage multiple targets, this is one of the benefits that makes them great for base hitting.
    • Some variants of the Draconian siege cannon have a (small) amount of splash that allows them to damage multiple ships if they are occupying the same space.
    • The infamous Proto-Nemesis applies splash to any missiles that are mounted on it, making it the only (obtainable) ship to add splash to weapons that don't have any to begin with.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The enemy AI will attack your ships regardless of how likely they are to lose. You can attack a level 1 salvage with Missile Cruiser X's, and the dracs will consider rushing you with corvettes, the draconian version of the gunboat, to be a good idea.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Weapons usually excel in one role, and lack in another. Ships built for fleet vs fleet are usually horrible at base attacking, and ships built for base hitting are usually terrible at fleet vs fleet.
    • Ballistic weapons do moderate damage and have fast reloads, but under-average range. Ballistics are best used on fast ships that can close distances quickly.
    • Missile weapons do moderate damage and have high range, allowing the technique of kiting, but they have below-average reload speed and do less damage to buildings (except the siege missile, which does more damage to buildings). Missiles are best used on fast ships that are effective at kiting.
    • Mortar weapons do high damage with a considerable splash radius making them capable of damaging multiple targets at a time, but their long flight time restricts them to base hitting. Mortars are best used on bigger, heavier ships.
    • Rocket weapons do high damage with good splash, but have a even lower range than ballistics (except drac rockets). Like ballistics, these should be used on fast ships.
  • The Juggernaut: The aptly named "Juggernaut", a Draconian hull with 8 armor slots, filling each slot with Depleted Uranium 4 armor gives it over 20000 armor points!
    • The Goliath, a massive hull that has 7 armor slots, but a inherent armor value of over 9000, and is so slow that with engine upgrade 3, it is still the second slowest ship in the game (having a speed of 4 before the special is added). It is restricted to base defense due to its slow speed.
    • The Guardian, a less massive hull with 6 armor slots and a inherent armor value of 6000, and is actually slower than the goliath.
    • The Juggernaut X, an improved version of the Juggernaut, has the same armor but is slightly resistant to slow effects and increases the ability of drac armor mounted on it by 50%.
    • The Proto-Nemesis has over 48000 armor and 6 armor slots that enable it to take more damage than whole fleets!
  • Timed Mission: All battles have a timer. When hitting another player's base, you'll have around 5 minutes to destroy it; if the timer runs out during the attack, it ends instantly. Draconian bases have a 20-minute timer, and the outposts in the weekly missions have a 15-minute timer. Fleet vs fleet battles also have a timer, but it is hidden from view.