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  • Mike Goslin, Vice President of Disney's Virtual Reality Studio
  • March 9, 2007

In the third Developer Diary, we shared a portion of the Pirates of the Caribbean Online backstory with you – revealing the importance of the supernatural and voodoo within the game. In that entry, we left off with the Caribbean in a state of struggle between the "old ways" – the supernatural – and the European order of the New World. To make matters worse, the undead pirate, Jolly Roger, haunts players while he seeks revenge on the infamous Jack Sparrow.

In this entry, we'll pick up with Tia Dalma, who should be familiar to you as one of the main characters in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. In our game, she provides players with a gateway to the world of voodoo – an important weapon in the struggle against Jolly Roger and other enemies lurking throughout the game. Players will encounter her early on in the game's storyline and will very quickly learn that she is an important asset and ally on your journey.

During the first encounter, Tia Dalma enlightens players with knowledge of the supernatural state of the world and hints that they can come find her to learn more about the mystical powers that govern this portion of the game. At launch, players will have access to several key voodoo weapons, such as the Voodoo Doll and staff, that can be used in enemy battle as well as within PVP (Player–vs–Player) arenas.

Tia Dalma coaches players through crafting their own Voodoo Doll then teaches them how to use basic spells or attacks. Players can use the Voodoo Doll to summon a variety of curses, from conjuring a bustle of vines that entangle enemies' legs to swarming them with insects, or setting them ablaze. (Definitely, a handy weapon). Additional and equally awesome, voodoo skills can be used to cure fellow players or members of your crew. This mystical power will be gradually introduced to players as they advance through the game.

In addition to weapons and healing spells, voodoo comes in the form of abilities as well. For example, players will have the supernatural ability to carry their ship around in their pocket wherever they go – which makes traveling from island to island a WHOLE lot easier. There is also the Compass which acts like a radar for players and points them to where their "heart most desires."

Throughout the game, Tia Dalma will help guide players through these mystical elements. Some players may take even more advantage of her lessons than others. Depending on personal preference, players can use voodoo almost exclusively in battle while others will use a combination of voodoo and powerful traditional weapons to fight.

We'll leave you with a glimpse of an important supernatural quest that players will experience when the game launches:

As a pirate, all Jack desires is his ship. To find it, he first must obtain an ancient artifact that allows its owner to control the wind. This artifact will not only provide Jack with his ship, but with his freedom as well. As a player, you can help Jack find the artifact, but as a Pirate you yourself have an eye on the prize as well...

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