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David vs. Goliath

David vs. Goliath

Aug 26, 2012

If Wizard101 was your first MMORPG, broadside combat in Pirate101 may come as a bit of a surprise! Ship broadside combat is not turn-based. It is real-time. This means that the enemy ship isn’t waiting for you to choose an action before it fights back. It will begin firing at you as soon as you are within range and as fast as it can. If you are within range of multiple enemy ships, they will all fire upon you.

For several reasons, your ship is likely to be underpowered.

  • You don’t have enough gold. Or, you want to save for the higher level ship. It can hurt to spent 10k+ to buy a ship when you know that in the long run, you will want to buy another one that is even more expensive and may not be able to afford both.
  • You may not yet have access to the world that sells the ship or gear.
  • Your pirate may not be high enough level, which determines can you equip the ship or not. You can increase your pirate’s level by performing quests.
  • Your nautical level might be too low. Your nautical level determines which equipment you can add to the ship. A ship with no armor might not last very long in a broadside battle. You gain nautical experience by defeating enemy ships, both in broadside or boarded battleboard combat.
  • To gain more nautical xp per battle, you want to engage the higher level ships. The amount of xp gained is base on the difference between your nautical level and the enemy ships. If your level is very low, you get 200+ xp per win. If your level is very high, you get less. It could be as low as 1 xp. Higher-level ships have better accuracy, stronger firepower, and faster healing ability.

You may feel like you’re a level 30 wizard trying to solo Mali! But, me hearties, all is not hopeless. With a bit of careful planning & strategy, you can still be Jack Sparrow (minus the rum).

Pre-Flight checklist!

1. Visit a life fountain. If you are defeated, you will rematerialize at the last life fountain you visited. If the last fountain you visited was 3 skyways and a stormgate away, you will have to travel all the way back! Traveling by ship (even at top speed) across multiple skyways and stormgate can be very long and tedious. The views are wonderful and surreal but you will get tired of it after the 10th time. Find a life fountain near the ships you need to battle, and make sure you are bound to it.

2. Check your ship’s health. Anytime your ship is not in combat, it will heal itself. It heals faster if it is stopped. It heals fastest if it is stopped on a windlane. If your ship’s health drops to 0, you are defeated  and will be sent back to the last life fountain.

3. Target  your selected ship. Pick an enemy ship that is on the edge of the group. Take a minute to watch each ship’s traveling pattern to make sure no additional enemy ship will unexpectedly gang up on you. Wait until the selected target is as far away from all other ships as possible before engaging.

4. Stop a short distance away from your selected target. Check your surroundings to identify escape route or extra space if you need to backup.

Time for War!

Move toward your selected target and click on it.  As soon as you get in range, the enemy ship will start fire(tThey will almost always fire first, since a computer can react faster than you can). Your ship will automatically return cannon fire. As fast as possible, fire away! use your biggest attacks first, so that they regenerate sonnest. When your attacks are all counting down and cannot be used, take a moment and check that other enemy ships are not sailing toward you. Back away as needed. Check your ship’s health and heal as needed. Backup slightly (gray target arrow), to lure your target away from its friends.

Fight or Flight?

If all goes well, you have successfully blown the enemy ship out of the skyway! However, Goliath is not always so easily defeated.

If the enemy ship has less than 50% health remaining, you can move toward it and elect to board it. Depending on your ship’s health level, this might be a good option. In general, I prefer broadside combat since it tends to be a bit faster.

If your ship has less than 50% health remaining (your ship’s health globe will be yellow), the enemy will always board you if you are within range (red target circle).  This leaves you with 3 options.

1. Back away little by little so you they don’t get close enough to board you. Keep fighting if the enemy ship has very low health and you are able to defeat it before it defeats you.

2. Retreat and heal. Beware that the enemy ship will be full health when you come back since they tend to heal faster. You can use your sail (left click or press 4) to get a temporary speed boost if you do not wish to use fuel.

3.  If their health is yellow, run (speed boost) toward the enemy ship to begin hand-to-hand combat yourself. You will still get nautical xp if you are able to defeat them, and if you board them rather than the other way around, you will go first in the battle..

The victory run!

After successfully defeating an enemy ship, run full speed ahead to claim your spoil and retreat to a safe location / distance. Following the victory, your ship will be invisible for a few seconds so no new ships will engage you. However, the defeated enemy ship will soon rematerialize. Take caution that you are no longer there! If you want to engage another enemy ship a short distance away, beware that when the 1st enemy ship rematerialize, it may gang up on you.

Rinse and repeat!

Be warned that broadside combat can be long and frustrating.  However, utlizing this method, we’ve been able to defeat ships that were 10+ levels above our own.  You may need to retreat often, which isn’t a pleasant feeling, but defeats are seldom.