"Pirates of the Caribbean: New Horizons", also known as Pirates Ahoy! Community Build 14, has been in development ever since the release of Build 13 in early 2007. We have come a long way since then, adding much new content and many new features, some of which were thought to be impossible to achieve even by the original game developers themselves.
Although the game is called "Pirates of the Caribbean" and a lot of movie-specific content has been added, that is not all that's been done. Better still, there is a lot to enjoy even for those people who don't much care for the movies and it is entirely possible to play the game as a fully realistic period naval simulation, rather than a movie tie-in. The following are a couple of the main features you will find in "New Horizons". However, be sure that there is a lot more new content than just that listed below.
Selectable Storylines ( including one for Free Play ):Arguably one of the biggest new features in "New Horizons", the "Selectable Storylines" mod will enable you to select different main quests to play. The original game's main quest has been retained, but there are now seven main quests - ( plus the original) including one that is dedicated to Free Play and is highly customizable - to choose from details of which can be found here:- New Horizons Quests
Realisim Mod: This enables the player to choose how realistic some of the elements of the game world are:
There are 3 settings available
Arcade Game Mode :
Simple sailing mode, wind direction has little effect
Spyglasses and on-screen RADAR offer full information
Worldmap Sailing and DirectSail are both available
Sail-To and Fast Travel are freely available
Can freely command ships and reload gun while fighting
Realistic Game Mode:( This is the default mode)
Wind and inertia heavily affect sailing
On-Sea data depends on the items you have equipped
Worldmap Sailing and DirectSail are both available
Instant Travel limited to only discovered locations
Large ships limited as well as reload while fencing
Iron Man Game Mode:
Worldmap completely disabled
Size of Caribbean increased for accurate travel
No unrealistic On-Sea data available
Sail-To completely disabled
No unrealistic skill enhancements from items
Different Playing Styles introduced:- There have been many requests by players to be able to play the game in a certain way or style e.g. as a Naval Officer or as a Merchant etc. We have therefore introduced the ability to do this and details of this can be found here:- New Horizons Playing Styles
International Relations ( Law of the Sea or The Art or War ):- The way the various nations in the game react to the actions of the player has been improved and made more realistic. The code for this has been completely rewritten. There are some guidelines that can be found in the book The Art of War which is available in the game, they are also reproduced here: New Horizons International Relations
Periods Mod:The game world will be historically correct for each storyline, with periods ranging from 1500 to 1820:-
We have the following periods available:
Early Explorers: 1500 till 1599
The Spanish Main: 1600 till 1679
Golden Age of Piracy: 1680 till 1739
Colonial Powers: 1740 till 1769
Revolutions: 1770 till 1789
Napoleonic: 1790 till 1820
Smuggling: This has been completely changed in Build 14 Beta 4 - and is now far more complex than before - for more details see this page:- New Horizons Smuggling
National Ranks: For players who wish to play as a Naval Officer or serve a single country, a system of Ranks has been implemented. Players increase their rank by working for the Governors of their country. The Ranks for each country and the points required for each rank can be found here:- New Horizons National Ranks
Abilities:This has had a lot of work done on it, and been completely revamped. Some abilities are Locked and can only be unlocked by the player fulfilling certain conditions. A full list of the Abilities and the conditions attached to them is can be found here:- New Horizons Abilities
Capture Colonies:This is probably the most often requested mod, ever since the release of the stock game. Originally you could sack enemy towns, but you couldn't capture them. With this mod, however, you will be able to parlay over the terms of surrender with the town's governor, enabling you to sack the town as usual, give the town to another government or take it for yourself! See here for more details: Capturing Colonies
Direct Sail:This mod has often been requested by fans of realism in the game and was long thought to be impossible to achieve given the game engine limitations. However, achieve it we did and now you can sail from island to island in 3D sailing mode without making use of the worldmap. Along the way, you will occasionally encounter other ships and items drifting in the sea, which may or may not be dangerous. But those who prefer arcade-like gameplay need not fear; the worldmap is still working as it always did.
Save At Sea:Despite game engine limitations, you can now save the game also in 3D sailing mode. This works especially well with DirectSail.
Shipyard Interface Updates:Buy upgrades for your ships at the shipyard, choose a new paint job and install and remove cannons as you see fit. This is all possible now.
Realistic Weather:Build 12 added a mod that would allow weather to change while sailing around in 3D sailing mode. However, this was not a very sophisticated mod and weather changes could be rather abrupt. The weather system has been rewritten and weather updates will now occur much more smoothly. Therefore paying attention to what the weather is doing can play an important part in naval battles and having the weather gauge in a chase becomes very worthwhile.
Walk on Deck:When sailing at sea, you can now freely walk around your ship and visit your captain's cabin, the crew quarters, cannon decks and cargo holds. Depending on the size and class of your ship, you will have a different captain's cabin and outside deck. On deck, you will be able to interact with your officers and crew.
New Locations:A new town is added on Nevis and Grand Turk has been given a new model, also three new islands are included as well. Nation-specific texture work has added greatly to making each town unique and many of the models have been further modified or completely replaced.
New Models:In addition to the above, 194 new ships and 632 new character models have been added, including some from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but also many others.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: New Horizons" is still heavily in development, the latest public release being Beta 4. This has proved very playable in testing and comes very highly recommended to everyone interested.