Hello POTCO friends and guild mates,

I’m writing you to let you know about the exciting future of POTCO.

But before I start with that, I have to give you a little back story as to how this all took place.

Over a year ago, I got a phone call from my cousin Steve from the west coast. He has a really close friend and business partner by the name of Bill Kisonu. Bill has a younger brother named Joe whose a natural genius when it comes to online game designs. Apparently Joe, landed a job as Senior Creative Director and Game Designer at Disney Interactive Media Group for the POTCO division. (This was about the time when we heard of employment restructuring and lack of game content. When a lot of rumors started to fly.) In some sort of discussion between Joe and his brother, my name came up and that I have played the game for years. Through Steve, Joe contacted me about the game and wanted my input on some things. According to him, they were going to be reinventing the game, but yet trying to stick to the original idea of the game. And, apparently from several emails I had written many years ago to POTCO (I wrote dozens), my pirate name was known. So with me being curious as to what was going on, and thinking that I would have access to information that I could share with my friends on the game, I agreed. But I was told I had to sign a confidentiality agreement before they could proceed. Two days later, I get a large envelope in the mail that contained a 7 page agreement contract. I was like “seriously?” Needless to say, I signed it and sent it back. For over the next year, Joe and I shared several emails and phone calls back and forth. I more or less told him what most players wanted in the game, their concerns with it and gave him some of my own ideas. And because my agreement was up as of yesterday, I am free to tell you what I have learned. I would like to think that I had some sort of hand in the future of our beloved POTCO.

I’m sure you’ve notice that they have closed yet more servers. The real reason for this is that they are consolidating their resources because they are preparing for the big move forward. 

First off, they are using a new graphics format. As you know the old way is just out of date and is the cause of so many problems. Graphics will be more realistic and fluid.

They say they have fixed many of the hacking issues and the disconnecting glitches. They will have a department whose only task is to watch for hackers/account stealers/problem pirates. They will even cruise Facebook and Youtube to look for clues to the people that cause the problems (actually I think they are already doing that). They are taking this problem seriously. There will be a whole new reporting menu that will get almost immediate response. 

There will be new chat. There will be a full unrestricted chat (minus curse words and the like) for 18 year old and above (credit card needed I believe). And regular chat will have much less problems then we have now. There will be a new EVENT chat. This can be used for meetings or parties. 

Also, you’ll be able to assign CoGM or 1st Officers. These positions will gain GM status if anything ever happens to the GM’s account. Such as termination or quits playing. I also think there might be a senior officer position as well. At least that was what was hinted.

They are redesigning the islands and towns all together. The layout will be different and more spaced out. They will be adding several more islands. The newer ones will be further out and harder to reach (much stronger enemy ships protecting them). Not to mention a few will have a cannon defense that you have to get by before docking. 

They will be introducing many more new enemies, both sea and land. Several new story lines and quests along with level increases for our pirates (I heard 70 to start). They are working on a sea creature that can attack ships (do I dare say Kraken?). Best have gunners and crew to ward off such an attack. Was told the enemies will be more realistic in their fighting then just hack/slash. 

There will be several types of membership. Though you can still start out as basic players (free to play), you’ll have the option to pay for upgrades to your pirate (account) as they go or just pay a monthly fee which will give you unlimited access to all things. But basic will be restricted (they don’t pay the bills with free play). But there will be level requirements for most weapon and protective items. Many more clothing options. There (at this time) will not be trading, but there will be open merchant system that you can sell and buy from. All items sold to the merchant, can be bought by other pirates (first come, first serve). So, that in itself will be a form of trading. All items that are found, won or bought, can be sold for gold.

Gold will still be available as currency, but now you will be able to buy gold through your real account. This way you can purchase more expensive items faster. 

Ships will have a huge array of customizations now. Including the ability to decorate both outside and inside area. Oh yeah, they will have an inside cabin area (captains quarters) too and your ships name on the back.

Here’s the best part of this, you will be able to purchase your own island (your personal home area). They will have several different variations of islands (size, design layout). And then you can use your gold to purchase items (or find them as treasure) to customize your islands. Like plants, animals, rocks and living items such as tables, chairs, treasure chests, etc. You will be able to have your parties or meetings there. Friends and guild mates will be able to come visit you while you are on your island if you open it up to them. 

These are some of the incredible changes coming to the POTCO game. I can’t wait. I believe testing for this will open up some time this year. Not sure of exact date. I probably said too much already, but I’m no longer under contract, so your gain.

One last thing and here is the best part. Well, for me that is. Joe calls me up and asks if I’d like to come out to the headquarters and get a tour of the place. They’d put pay for the air fare, hotel stay and limo ride to and from the airport.  “Are you for real?” I asked.  “Yes”, he replied. “I want to meet you in person and why not do it on the company’s dime.”  Well, of course I took him on his offer. A free trip!!  So, two weeks ago, I flew out there. First class none the less. I get to the airport and there’s a guy holding a sign, Tyler C. So I take the limo to POTCO headquarters (and no, it wasn’t a stretched limo) and go to the front lobby. There the lady behind the counter welcomes me and gives me my guest pass. Next thing I hear is “Tyler Crossbones”. I turn and there is Joe walking toward me. As I move in closer to meet him, I offer my hand in greeting. He reaches out, but instead of shaking my hand, he leans down and grabs my pant leg and lifts it up. Struggling to keep my balance, I’m like “what the heck are you doing Joe?” He responds, “I’m just pulling your leg, just like your pulling the leg of everyone reading this.

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