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Merchandising Pirate101: Trading Cards

A few months ago, Ian Sharp (Ian Stormstaff of Wizards Unite) posted a guest post on Destiny Devereaux’s blog, Destiny’s Travels.

Ian mentioned “trading cards” as a possible merchandise idea, and I decided to expand on that concept, specifically in Pirate101.


At first release, there would be two packs- the Skull Island Power Pack and the Tribal Crew Pack.  The Skull Island Power Pack is a clear example of the Power Packs, and the Tribal Crew Pack is a gear pack.

Power packs include five cards with random powers from Pirate101. These cards are slightly modified from the ones in game, including accuracy ratings* and damage in multiples (i.e. x1, x2) since the cards cannot automatically update based on your weapon damage.

Damage would be easy to calculate as weapons only come in multiples of 10, and would help develop multiplication skills in younger players.  Each player would be able to play one power per turn and powers that have additional effects that only work in game (including, but not limited to hitting multiple enemies) would have new effects (like hitting your opponent multiple times.)

*An accuracy rating consists of a die (dice) symbol in the corner of the card, with a set of numbers the power will “hit” on if you roll that number. Regular six-sided dice can be used, or a Pirate101-themed die from the Starter Bundle—more on that later.


Gear Packs include four pieces of gear and one doubloon. The pieces of gear could be any number of hats, outfits, boots, or weapons*. Every pirate starts with 500 health, and this does not change by what piece(s) of gear are equipped.

Hats give a dodge bonus. Dodge makes an attack miss if the amount rolled is the same amount as the attacked player’s dodge. (i.e. an attack hits on 3, 4, and 5 and is attacking a player with a hat that gives 3 dodge. The attack misses. The same attack is being used on a player with 6 dodge. The attack hits.)

Outfits give an armor bonus. Armor decreases an attack’s damage by the amount of armor if the attack is stabby, smashy, or slashy.

Boots give a resistance bonus. Resistance decreases an attack’s damage by the amount of resistance if the attack is staffy, shooty, or spooky (spell-power-based.)

Weapons have a damage amount that is a multiple of 10 (10, 20, 30, etc.) and a type (stabby, smashy, slashy, shooty, or spooky.) Certain powers require a certain type of weapon, and some powers get a damage boost if you are using a specific type of weapon. (For example: Assassin’s Strike requires a stabby, smashy, or slashy weapon. It will do 3x damage for smashy and slashy weapons, and 3x +10 damage for stabby weapons.)

*This applies to all gear packs except the Tribal Crew Pack in the Starter Bundle.


Doubloons would be less diverse than those found in game, but include some not seen in game. Some doubloons are: Stabby Weapon Doubloon (+10 weapon power for stabby weapons, 1 round) ; Armor Doubloon (+5 armor, 1 round) ; Fast (Play two powers this round), etc. In later gear packs, new ranks of doubloons- with different number values- and new doubloons would be available.


The Starter Bundle includes:

  • A Pirate101-themed six-sided die
  • A Skull Island Power Pack guaranteed to give a power from each class in Pirate101
  • A Tribal Crew Pack guaranteed to give one hat, outfit, boots, weapon, and doubloon each
  • An instruction booklet for card dueling


Playing with Pirate101 trading cards would be unlike any other game and develop a whole new “world” of strategy. Players would be able to trade cards for unique sets of gear and weapons so they could match their in-game pirate! Perhaps, even, Pirate figurines could be made where the figurine can wear the clothing the player obtains!


New and Nefarious

Though players have been itching for a new world, it may be held off even longer due to new structures found in-game. A “nefarious tower” was found by players in the Spring Update Test Realm, and then was pointed out by developers in the most recent newsletters.


Along with teasing with a video (here) KI has also revealed a screenshot. Moo Manchu likely is in charge of this “nefarious” tower, and is seeking revenge on the player. Moo Manchu obviously is more well prepared in the screenshot than before, with heavier armor and an enhanced weapon.

Moo Manchu, in the absence of MooShu’s emperor, sent ninja pig assassins to the meeting of the Celestial Congress, the annual meeting of MooShu’s governors. Moo Manchu is trying to wreak havoc among the government so that he can take cover and perform other evil work. Moo Manchu is trying to fulfill the Prophecy of Tso Wa, where stone soldiers would destroy the world. Moo Manchu is trying to reincarnate them and make them alive. A truly nefarious plot, is it not?

After the Pirate defeats Moo Manchu, he vows for revenge.

Note: If you have not yet encountered Moo Manchu, seek out this quest from Lord Chagatai once you have unlocked Subata Skyway in Mooshu.



Ever since May 2011, wizards in Wizard101 that are level 60 or higher have ventured into the underwater Crab Alley to farm the Waterworks, a quite “nefarious” dungeon where wizards must defeat enemies en route to pull four pressure safety levers which will stop the magic from being taken away from Triton Avenue. Several of these enemies, however, are enhanced and do not act like regular bosses. They force wizards to play certain ways, otherwise the wizards are attacked very forcefully.

So far, Ratbeard has told us that:

  • It is not part of the storyline
  • Enemies will be more difficult than regular enemies in the storyline
  • There is more than one boss

From that, we can infer:

  • It is likely a continuation of the Moo Manchu side storyline
  • Enemies will cheat
  • Several floors of the tower will have bosses

The Nefarious Tower will, almost certainly, be the Waterworks of Pirate101.


What gear will be dropped from the Nefarious Tower? Wizard101 had an interesting setup: Hats were dropped from the first major boss, on the fourth “floor,” then robes and boots were dropped from the final bosses, on the ninth and final “floor.” There was only one gear set. The Nefarious Tower also has nine floors on the outside, so the inside will likely be the same amount.

I am slightly worried that this gear will be overpowered, as the gear in Wizard101 was used for almost 30 levels after, universally. Pirate’s gear has always been different, but some items are still standard for certain classes. Especially with the new Crowns weapons, the best weapons for any class, this gear might have such good stats and powers that you would be at a huge disadvantage without it.

I am hoping that there are at least 3 sets of gear for every class, like in Tartarus in Wizard101, but with diverse powers and stat boosts so that there will still be diversity in Pirates’ gear. Hopefully, there will be a Moo Manchu set (styled like the old Moo Manchu gear, or his new armor) and one or more other sets with completely new designs.

Even if the layout (on the inside) is similar to the Waterworks, with the same amount of floors, and likely bosses/puzzles, I know that Pirate101 will make this a very unique and exciting continuation of the Moo Manchu storyline!