Friday, November 2, 2012
Pirate101: Balancing your Combat
Last night I fell victim to my own desires. That sounds weirder than I meant it to. What I mean to say is, right when I was on the cusp of being forced to buy a crown ship to progress (or buy gold to buy a ship in game), I saw that I had finally gotten the quest chain that leads to your next free boat, a Monquistan Skiff, if I remember correctly. I was lvl 16 and got the quest from Hooktail in Puerto Mico after completing the main quest line through Monquista and back to Skull Island. I quickly completed the quest, having to kill some wharf rat ships, which I was having difficulty with until I got help on the last few from a friendly player (thanks Crazy Mary!), and got my new ship. Now, I thought, I can go back and complete all those ship combat quests that I couldn't do before because my ship was too weak!
The new ship you get is lvl 14 and, after making sure the ship was as well-equipped as I could make it, I headed out to the the open skies. I started with a few quests around Puerto Mico and, now that I had a better ship, was able to easily destroy the lvl 9 and 10 ships there. Then, I headed off to Monquista to finish all of the side quests I had given up in frustration before. These ships were lvl 12-14 (I think), so should be right on par with my new ship. Here's what I learned: if you want to do ship based only battles and you don't handily outclass the ships you're fighting against (or have someone else there helping you), it will talk a while. Your ship's health will drop so low after each battle that you might as well have done hand-to-hand combat by the time you slink off to regenerate. I was so focused on only doing ship combat that I ended up wasting a lot of time. The ships I was fighting were very close together, so often, when I was 25% into the battle another 1 or 2 enemy ships would join and start blasting me. Since I had given myself the arbitrary "failure" condition of being boarded, when this happened I would run away. This, I can see now, was foolish.
At least at this point in the game, the enemy ships will board you as soon as they can and engage you in hand-to-hand. Now, while I do struggle a bit with ship battles at the moment, hand-to-hand combat tends to be a blowout. This is especially true when I have already out-leveled the side quests, which is the case here. So, instead of quickly destroying the boats from the deck and getting better rewards and completing the quest goals, I would run away to regenerate without having accomplished anything.
Hopefully, my experience will help anyone else who has a mental block against boarding/being boarded. It's not that bad, seriously, and in this case, it would have meant more progress for me.