High Seas Concept: Picaroon

Islands are your bases, of course.
Nice Technology’s free-to-play island-based MMORTS, Picaroon, is a something a bit different. It’s s seafaring RTS, which in itself is a bit unusual, but it’s also an MMO with an endgame. As I understand it, the game last two weeks at which time all players in the game face “the unique end-game… a huge battle where the skies go darker, the roulette wheels spin and giant, mammoth ships appear out of nowhere alongside submarines launching ancient nuclear tipped missiles…” Gosh.

Could be worth a look, anyway. It’s otherwise as you might expect, with “decks” of additional abilities purchasable to make your game a bit easier, should you wish. Needless to say, there’s a trailer below.


  1. Inigo says:

    I miss Time of Defiance.

    • Justoffscreen says:

      I thought I was the only one who remembered that! And yeah, this seems like essentially the same game, trading skies for seas.

      Also ToD looks more fun than this.

    • Wulf says:

      I wish I’d known of Time of Defiance. :/ Looking up videos and screenshots of that, it frankly looks way better than this. I don’t know why they’d drop such a genuinely intriguing concept for something so dull. Pirates. Haven’t done that a billion times before.

      What a shame.

      (And assume despite everything else that the overall setting must be pirates due to the portmanteau of picarat and dubloon.)

    • Shivoa says:

      Glad to see I’m not alone in fondly remembering ToD, although I didn’t play it in the later years it was great fun around release time.

  2. danimalkingdom says:

    A seafaring MMORTS you say? I’d best take a- Argkgh! Why is there 90s techno music playing? Why do the models look like they were made in sketchup?

    The idea sounds great on paper, but could the devs please make something of the unique setting? How about some cannonball and wind physics? Fleet formations? It all looks a bit 2002 at the moment. Although giant subs sound fun.

  3. Aedrill says:

    This video actually discouraged me from playing the game. If the one and only tactic is “create shitload of ships ASAP and beat the hell out of your opponent with them” the game lands on the “meh” list.

    • steviesteveo says:

      It does seem to be a shining example of the “12 rocks beat 1 paper” school of game design.

  4. oatmeal says:

    >Nice Technology’s free-to-play island-based MMORTS, Picaroon, is a something a bit different. It’s s seafaring RTS.

    Oh cool

    >additional abilities purchasable to make your game a bit easier, should you wish

    Moving along.

    • Hugehead says:

      I’ve checked out the store, there’s nothing there that’s essential to playing, but the bonuses seem a bit powerful.

    • Superbest says:

      What the hell do you people expect? You were expecting the website ads to pay the dev team’s wages, or maybe Bill Gates should move on to this from malaria?

      It’s free to play for heaven’s sake. Of course you will be able to buy your way ahead.

      Do you also eat at restaurants then complain about having to pay?

  5. Consumatopia says:

    I like the idea of an MMO game ending every two weeks. So many of those games seem designed to give me a false sense of accomplishment by having me accumulate permanent virtual possessions. If you know that everything you have is going to disappear in a fortnight, then maybe the focus would move to playing the game and having fun.

    But it seems weird to combine that with this particular game. That video didn’t show any interesting tactical or even economic decisions. Apparently I’m supposed to pay real money for features that make it easier to accumulate things–things that are going to disappear days later. That doesn’t even make cynical, manipulative sense.

    • Aedrill says:

      Maybe this stuff you buy lasts longer than just one game? Like some bonus to building speed or something. I don’t know, I’m just guessing. Didn’t bother to look it up.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I expect the stuff you buy does last more than one game (but, yeah, too lazy to look that up), but my point is that if interaction with the game is something that I want to avoid by buying products to make it easier, and if all my virtual goods (EDIT: not the things you buy with real money, but the ships and buildings you build during gameplay) disappear days later, then what exactly is supposed to hook me into playing this?

      That said, it occurs to me that I may be misinterpreting “end game”–maybe if you “win” then you actually survive to the next cycle. I tried poking around the website but I was only willing to dig so far into a game that doesn’t actually look fun.

  6. thepaleking says:

    Those are some ugly menus. Yep.

  7. Navagon says:

    If nothing else, this has made me think of one (no subscription) MMO I’d be tempted to play. Effectively Tropico 3 where you’re in charge of your own island and largely left to your own devices. But there are a lot of other islands out there run by other scheming bastards. This could mean diplomacy, subterfuge or all out warfare.

    • Heliosicle says:

      and the GM’s play as the US and the Soviets?

    • Navagon says:

      However it’s sorted out, they’d be a background presence. But if you’re in the Soviets’ pocket then going to war with an ally of America would be a sure way to secure some funding.

  8. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    This could be interesting, but the warfare, or combat quite turned me off, maybe if they went with turn based? I mean, it’s old school, but old school doesn’t mean it has to be sub-par.

    Not for me, but I do appreciate their choice to make an MMO with a proper end game. <- I'm not sure if this has been done well before? or even done?

    Although, I'm not one for MMO's in any case, I barely manage to contain myself when I play online, what with everyone having access to sites like; link to fpscheats.com It kind of really kills competitive online gaming.

    I play, and have fun, but as soon as a blatant hacker logs on or starts doing something stupid, I quit, and play some singleplayer, or god forbid, go outside..

    –went of on a bit of a tangent there, oh well :3

    • Witrim says:

      I like how you complain about cheaters and then show everyone how to do it.
      Most of the time it’s just skills not cheats btw.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Yes well, think what you want, I am normally pretty good at picking out the hackers, and CoDs killcam makes it even easier, I know when I just get plain old a ass whooping, but, when the opponent gets a ‘Nuke’ perk with 10 kills and 6 deaths, I’m pretty sure he’s hacking etc, and anyways, ‘show everyone how to do it’? All anyone has to do is type in ‘BFBC2 hacks’ or somesuch into google, go to a site like that, and pay some money, or could probably get it for free, but I was just having a quick look to see if they were easy for any kid to get.

  9. Nick Ahlhelm says:

    I could never play this simply because the ship’s shoot forward instead of broadsides. Seriously, if you don’t know how ships work, don’t make games based on them.