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Video Game / Skyrates

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Skyrates is a now-defunct 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 was first released in 2005, and was only shut down in 2021 with the death of Flash, making it a real long-runner in the world of Flash games. It is also notable to having a small but very 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 effectively shut down on New Year's Eve 2020 due to Flash being discontinued; for a time, the game's site including its announcement forum could still be found here, but it seems to have gone offline as well.

Skyrates provides examples of:

  • 2-D Space: Ships can move in any direction on 2-D plane, but they is no way to currently ascend or descend.
  • 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 , 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.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Shining One, Grand Artist of the Court of Violets.
    • 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.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each faction is represented by a different color.
  • 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)
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    "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?"
  • Egopolis: Fuseli, Eltsina, Islo, and Kadath.
  • Everyone Is Bi: A stereotype of the Court of Violets. Even if not true, new Courtiers do feel some pressure to try and experience everything, so it wouldn't be surprising.
  • Expy: Several of the planes one can fly look suspiciously similar to actual planes.
  • G-Rated Drug: Catnip acts as one.
  • Global Currency: Because forcing players to perform regular currency conversions would have been a step too far.
  • Hated by All: Will happen in the reputation game if you attempt over time, or instantly on the capitals of a specific faction.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: The Hidden Fleet.
  • 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.
  • More Dakka: Autocannons, which possess the fastest rate of fire in the game.
  • Player Versus Player: Averted. The only ways for players to directly influence one another are via economic measures, or the influence game.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Or Purely Aesthetic Species.