Oli Welsh reports:
''Mythic, the developer of forthcoming fantasy MMO Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, has constantly referred to its game as a "complete hobby experience". By that it means a pastime in itself; something that consumes your thoughts, your conversations, and every minute of your free time. It's a valid point, but WAR, for all its brand association with tabletop gaming and really tiny pots of paint, still looks, feels, walks and talks like a videogame.
Pirates of the Burning Sea, on the other hand, may not be as ruthlessly engineered for life-consumption as WAR is, but it screams "hobby experience" from its very core. Play this leisurely and involved massively multiplayer game of swashbuckling, trading and naval warfare, and you'll almost be able to smell the epoxy resin, balsa-wood shavings and mildewed reference manuals. You'll find yourself possessed by an urge to install your PC on a workbench in the shed, and play the game wearing a cardigan and fingerless gloves. You may wish to acquire a pipe to suck or beard to stroke as you ponder mineral trading markets and optimum gun battery arrangements.''