Skyrates is a Flash-based MMORPG set in the world of Skytopia. This world consists of 30 something Skylands which the player fly to and from in search of profit. Although it is a MMORPG, it is unusual in a couple ways. The only way to influence other peoples is economically, depriving them of trade routes and messing up the supply and demand of a specific Skyland. Another difference is the presence of "Sporadic Play" game design. This game design has allows the player to ignore the game at lengths of time, your character following a route that you have planned beforehand. With specific builds of planes, this sporadic play concept can get to almost absurd levels, people having queued up to 1600 hours in a single run.The game is notable to having a small, if largely involved Fan community. The developers have utilized the fanbase for the creation of a strong Roleplaying aspect of the game, and the fanbase maintains a wiki and forum.The game is currently free to play on version 2.6, with resets which occur every several months, in theory. The game can be found here.
This game provides examples of:
0% Approval Rating: Will happen in the reputation game if you attempt over time, or instantly on the capitals of a specific faction.
Ability Required to Proceed: To gain access to farther and farther away locations, one has to either put on various upgrades, or to purchase new planes with greater range.
Ace Pilot: Your main character, and several NPCs, including Captain Remy Sans-Barbe whose kill count is in the thousands. In the literal sense, note Any pilot with 5+ kills, pretty much any non-mook character is.
Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Scarlet Blade, Fuseli/Crimson Dawn, Azure Horizon, Great Bounty, Hidden Fleet Platforms and Carriers, Alpha Platforms and Fuel Skylets.
To the point of the devs alternate pronouns every time The Shining One is referred to. One sentence will call The Shining One "he", and the next, "she".
The Artifact: The Court of Violets. With little in common with Skytopia, no shared history and a fairly vague faction concept, they're a fifth wheel when it comes to most storylines. During the Hidden War, the Court's RP Guide was a dev because none of the players wanted to do it.
Berserk Button: Seizing a faction capital is a great way to piss people off.
Black Market: This is where Grog and Catnip is ostensibly sold and purchased.
Crew of One: Your character can fly their aircraft all by themselves, even if it's a massive Zeppelin. However, having a crew is highly beneficial. Crews will grant you bonuses in trade and combat, and reduce flight time.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The Pirates which you face know that it would be unprofitable for them to kill you. When you are shot down in Aerial Combat, they simply take a portion of your cargo and allow you to continue on your merry way. (and currently cargo loss in not implemented, making the only negative side effect of losing combat a minor hit to crew morale)
"You've been doing pretty well for yourself. Tell you what though, some pirates have been shooting at the tavern. One of them knocked over my drink, and I don't take kindly to that. Why don't you go teach 20 of them a lesson in manners?"
Metagame: Player created tools have been created to allow players to plan their ships and their designs. Also most trade routes can be planned out well in advance for maximizing profit with simple, if prolonged mathematics.
Shout-Out: The games creators have noted that their main influences were the TaleSpin television series and the sporadic play which they found while playing EVE Online.
Sky Pirates: The game's name is a portmanteau of the trope, but despite the name, actual pirating does not occur by the main characters. Played straight with the Random Encounters that one meets during their travels, and the Pirate Faction.