December 20, 2013

Pirates Unite! - A Sneak Peek

For many years, now, Wizards Unite - a well-loved, unofficial Wizard101 fan-site - has achieved a large and loving fan base composed of wizards of all schools and levels. Ian StormStaff, proud community member and contributor, found and has run the site since its beginning hours, well-known for his friendliness and Crowns Shop Index. With the release of Pirate101 over a year ago, Ian proposed adding another website to the Wizards Unite family, and it has since been in the creative process, nearing the opening as we speak. In support of the new site, I have sat down with Ian himself and manager Shallow Chase to learn a little bit of the background of the Pirates Unite “dream” and what we can expect to see in the future.

If you could summarize the "PU Dream", what would it be like? 

Chase: I would like to create a large community sprouting out of PU's roots. I have discussed with Ian that I would like PU to have many community features and its own special segment in the website, I plan for PU's community to "branch out more than Wizards Unite". I'm going to try and recruit someone for the HTML codes to create the things I want for the page to become a reality... but, I guess we'll see!

Ian: I wish for PU to have the same goals as WU, to be a safe and friendly place where people enjoy spending time and contributing, where people want to share their ideas and adventures. In extension, I want PU to blossom into its own entity that shares the feeling WU has but with its own audience and goals.

Which feature are you most excited for in PU? 

Chase: I am most excited for the community, as stated before, hahaha. I would like for community members of KI's games to be able to interact on PU and feel comfortable doing so!

Ian:  I'm not sure if this is coming sooner or later, but I'm pushing for a Pirate version of the Crowns Shop Index. I've been asked multiple times to make a Pirate version and I feel the community wants one. So I'm gonna push to make it happen, even if I have to build it all myself!

What is your experience in both games, Wizard101 and Pirate101? Can you explain your whereabouts in the community?

Chase: I started off in Wizard101 and still love the game dearly. I admit to my distaste towards Pirate101 when it first came out, but of course I could learn to love that game equally with Wizard, now! Now that I have reached level 74 on Wizard101 and am satisfied, I want to train my pirate, whose level I am embarrassed of. In the community, I stand as the common Joe. I'm not all that special, I doubt the day my followers pass 500 without my following of just as much or more. Everyone knows me as a writer of my book, a KingsIsle player and a kid. That's basically who I am, and I'm pretty proud of myself.

Is there an aspect or tone in PU that sets it apart from WU? Furthermore, do you think the two sites will ever share features like contests and communities? 

Ian: My original intent was to have PU be part of my bigger goal of a family of gaming websites, all geared for teens who want a great place to get information. PU is definitely going to follow Pirates theme of being more edgy and for a slightly older audience, the two sites share many features and in their core they are built upon the same ideas (my genius) but Chase is working to branch out and give PU it's own twist and let it stand out.

Where do you see PU in a few years? What would you like to see regarding it? (i.e. Official, fan-base, etc.)

Chase: I'm no psychic but I see a bright future in Pirates Unite. It's glowing so fine. I see PU as an official fansite and myself enjoying hosting contests and giving out prizes. I’d LOVE to host contests. I see happiness in the PU community. I would like to also have the same staff members with a few extra. The more the merrier!

And how is your staff, as of yet? 

Ian: I'm actually not directly in charge of staff, I am aware that we are growing, and I have seen the submissions for staff, as Chase let me have a say in who was hired, but Chase is managing the staff details. I do know that we've got a few bloggers who I'm going to be glad to blog beside.

("I'm still working on hiring two more bloggers for the PU staff to be. Other than that, everything is great!" Chase said in a follow-up question, "The staff that Ian and I have selected and conferred with are good.")

Finally, what is your driving force when setting the stage for PU?

Chase: What keeps me working on Pirates Unite is the thought of doing something amazing. Managing a fan-site is a really cool thing, work but fun. It's not like it's work that I don't enjoy doing!

Ian: For me personally, all of my projects in the KI community are driven by my love of the games as well as the amazing support my readers and friends give me. Also funnily enough a big driver is myself. A lot of what I do in my projects reflects my own selfish decisions. A good example is the WU CSI, I made that simply because I was lazy and wanted to see all of the crowns items without being in game.

“I very much look forward to the grand opening of Pirates Unite,” Ian added on, “You can find first thoughts and impressions of the site as I explore the next branch of the Wizards Unite family. “

If you’d like to keep up with Pirates Unite, you can stay tuned on their Twitter, Ian’s Twitter, and Chase’s Twitter. Pirates Unite, as of this writing, still has staff positions available for bloggers and information gatherers! Think you have what it takes? Apply here.

Keep Traveling! 

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