At level 30 you’ll be presented with a short series of quests from the honor NPC that awards you with the ability to serve on jury duty. Perform this task 5 times and you’ll get a cloak opened up to you. So far I’ve served on jury duty twice, with my third time upcoming at the time of this post. Jury duty is neat and annoying all at once. The quests to qualify were simple enough, you get to solve a murder mystery and do a bit of running around.
Then comes the longest part of jury duty, the waiting. You automatically wait in a queue (which you can turn off in options by auto declining jury duty) with your peers while players go to trial. There’s even a courthouse, where others can watch the proceedings (in fact it’s bugged right now, if you sit in a pew you won’t get kicked from the AFK timer).
A queue for jury duty only moves as fast or slow as the server does. On the weekend I’m often at 1500-1800 players ahead of me, which can easily take 8-12 hours to reach the front of. If you’re used to shorter play sessions (I tend to semi afk while I farm and do things on my other monitor) you may not ever see jury duty until the queue of jury members drops a bit. It’s also based on how many people happen to have crime points and how many of that group is engaging in PvP and getting killed. Remember the only time you’ll actually get sent to prison is if you have 50+ crime points and you get killed in PvP. I’m not a fan of this system because it promotes players to using lower level characters to grief, where they’re safe within the beginner zones. Evetually they’ll earn their 3,000 infamy and become pirates, but it takes some time.
The jury duty process itself is pretty neat. You’re presented with a screen of infractions from the player, complete with their personal details such as how much time they have spent in jail total, how many times they have appeared before the court, what guild they’re in, etc. All of these details help determine what judgement you want to pass. When the jury members have been ported to their seats, the defendant has time to voice their case. Most of the time it’s just simple jokes or insults because hey this is an MMO after all, but every so often you’ll recognize that a player is innocent. You’ll be presented with a selection of judgement options to choose from, make your selection, hear the verdict, and then get ported back to where ever you came from. Pretty simple.
The penalties for crimes are pretty lenient. Pirates who have been there many times before may face longer jail times (the most I have seen someone sentenced to so far has been 4 hours) but over all I like the system. Plus it’s just plain fun.