Edwards thread about rep stealing and remembrances of what it was like when he started kind of got me to thinking. The game has changed a lot since the days when Edward and I started and mostly for the better. Back when I started there were no Bosses, the baddest enemies in game were at Tormenta, Kingshead, and the caverns of Padres. Our weapons were much weaker then and it was much more difficult to kill enemies. Little pirates needed help killing that flytrap for their first TP totem quest. There was no revive if you got KO'd in a fight you went to jail. As a result you didn't see as many little pirates in places they didn't belong such as Tormenta, they didn't last long there. We didn't have boarding permissions back then, people randomly teleporting to you was much more of a problem especially aboard ship. Most of us learned the hard way to use care in allowing people onto our friend list. Seems there were a lot more griefers in game back then as well, people really pushing the limits Disney cleaned up on a lot of things that went on in game back then. POTCO was my first online game. When I started I didn't know any better than to accept all those random friend invites, as a result my first few days of playing were very frustrating. I focused on leveling my sailing first and bought better ships as I leveled until I had a galleon. Seems I couldn't launch without having a half dozen random morons teleporting on board, you all know the type, Wheel Stealers, Random Shooters who shoot at everything in site and refuse to cease firing, players who never accept crew invites aboard your ship and won't respond to the captains chat. My ships got sunk a lot in those first few days. In those days I didn't know enough about the game to seek out quiet servers and pretty much stayed in places like Abassa where most of the other newbies were hanging out. After about three days of dealing with the random TP people I deleted everyone in my friend list and decided to try another tactic. I wanted loot and I wanted to level up cannons, the only way to do that with any success was to crew aboard a more advanced players ship. How to do that? Well sending blind friend and crew invites to level 20+ players didn't seem to work, Being an ex military type I knew that it wasn't very likely that a superior rank would want to serve under the command of a lower rank. I began hanging around the docks and when I'd see a level 20+ crewing up and getting ready to sail I'd politely ask if they could use an extra gunner in their crew. This method worked and I began making some pretty good friends along with bringing the cannon levels up and getting some good loot. Rep Stealing Like most new online gamers I didn't understand the concept of rep and leveling in the begining. Hanging out on mostly servers filled with newbies with most players randomly hacking away at enemies didn't help. I did notice when sailing that if another player attacked the ship I was fighting both the rep and loot were split between players. We didn't get loot items other than things like the "Nine Rogues", "Navy Medals"etc... and gold in those days. No clothing or weapon drops. Like Edward back in those early days I thought I was bravely helping those higher levels defeat the enemy. A high level did pull me aside one day and politely explained the concept of rep stealing to me. As Edward was saying most players don't realize the difficulty of leveling weapons until after they get grenades. Back when I started most players with new grenades started leveling them from behind the fence at the parade ground of Kingshead. Most players with new staffs also began their leveling out on the parade ground, Conflicts were frequent. One night it really dawned on me. I arrived at Kinghead with a group of friends, I needed 8 or 10 veterans for a quest so I went out onto the parade ground and started collecting them. A player up on the hill behind the fence complained that he was trying to level grenades and that he had done 5 server changes to find a quiet kingshead to level. I apologized, explained that I needed the vets for a quest and left. It was the polite thing to do. Guilds When I was brand new I found myself on Port Royale on a crowded Abassa I was down by the gunshop near the dock. One of those guild invite spammers kept sending me invites No sooner would I decline than he would send another. After about 5 minutes of this out of disgust I accepted just to make it stop. The guild was called "Lords O Death" I was in that guild for nearly a month and never spoke to another member. I figure they were either very young kids or non english speakers and they would never respond to guild chat. Later a group from another guild "The Voodoo Wizards" helped me with my grenade quest and I asked to join their guild. I was only in that guild for about two weeks. I took an out of town trip for a few days and when I returned discovered that the guild had been disolved. Their GM was one of those guild jumpers who was constantly going from guild to guild. I joined another guild "The Forreal Deal" and became second in command, Soon afterward the GM became absent for extended periods and I was acting GM. I was with that guild for about 8 months. Some poor choices had been made in promoting officers there and as a result these people began recruiting troublemakers into the guild, this eventually led to the guilds destruction. By this time I had two other pirates both in different guilds. I decided to leave "The Forreal Deal" and start a new guild "The Riptide Rogues". Shortly afterwards events in real life caused me to leave the game for nearly a year. At that time I had two pirates that were level 40 and mastered at the old levels and a third who was level 12 two of them were GM's of their own guilds My guilds were "The Riptide Rogues" and "Red Nations" only Red Nations still exists. I returned to a game that was much changed from the old POTCO levels had been raised, new and more powerful weapons added, new enemies, new maps of islands most of the old glitches no longer existed, most of my old friends were gone, my guilds had died out.