Monday, December 31, 2012

Pirate101: Gold laundering

As I have said on this blog, I'm currently working on my Witchdoctor, having already gotten my buck to lvl 50.  The WD is currently lvl 24 and I ran into a snag a few levels ago where I though I was going to have to fight ships that were significantly higher than my current ship level (my ship was 18, the ships I thought I had to fight were 23-24).  It turned out I was reading the quest wrong, but before I figured that out, I decided that I'd go back and do some sidequests that I had skipped (I have about 10 pages worth) to try and get enough gold together for the level 22 ship.

I worked on a few sidequests, got frustrated that it wasn't going faster and then logged on to my buccaneer to try and farm some gear from Friar sand (3 attempts, one witchdoctor drop.  Bummer).  On my way to the corrupted shrine, I saw some folks farming lvl 41-43 pig ships in the Subata skyway and joined in, as I was still nlvl 42 and had a nlvl 46 figurehead from the Admiral's bundle that I hadn't been able to equip yet.  I ground all the way up to nlvl 45 or so and then realized something: I'd been getting a lot of ship equipment from those ships that I couldn't use (I have the lvl 50 Royal Navy light skiff from the Admiral's bundle) . . . why don't I send them to my Witchdoctor and have her vendor them?

I went to the shared bank, dropped in somewhere between 30-35 ship items, logged onto the Witchdoctor, got the items out of the shared bank, took them to a ship parts vendor and sold them all for just over 20,000 gold.  Combine that with the 10,000 gold I had already and I was sitting pretty.

I figured I would share this tip with you folks, since there is not other good way I have found to boost an alt character.

Short version: If you have a lvl 50 character and want to fund an alt, do nautical battles to gather ship equipment and have your alt sell it to a ship vendor.  The ship parts from MooShu go for 500-900g a piece. Happy hunting!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pirate101: Guide to Epic Abilities

I received this guide from Shiningfantasia and would like to share it with you all.  We discuss it on this week's  episode of the show, but here is the full version.  Hope you find it useful!

Epics from Shiningfatasia

I made this list as time went by, for my own satisfaction and just for my own knowledge. I reset some of my companions just for that purpose.
Hope it is a little helpful. Those companions I have reset were unable to learn certain epics, I wrote that in a side note on the bottom of the Musketeer section.

Note that I don't have any knowledge of any Witchdoctor related epics other than those few I have listed.


Improved Mojo: larger are of attack.
Rank 1 - Hits the target, and 4 other targets in each of the 4 'corners' of the 'square'.
Rank 2 - Hits the target, and all enemies surrounding that target. Up to 9 enemies in the 'square'.

Mojo Echo: 35% bonus attack. Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack.
Rank 2 - 3 bonus attacks.

Counterspell: Bonus attack when enemy misses.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack after up to 3 different misses in same turn.

Coward's Bane: Bonus attack when enemy disengages.
Rank 1: 1 bonus attack.
Rank 2: 1 different bonus attack on up to 3 different retreating mobs in one turn.

Witch hunter: Bonus attack when enemy uses magic.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack when enemy uses up to 3 magics in one turn.

Witchdoctor's talents:

Agile: AGI stat +3, +3, +5
Rough: damage +3, +7, +15
Spooky: +5% power effects each rank
Lucky: +2, +3, +5 Resistance
Spirited: WILL stat +2, +3, +5
Dodgy: +2, +3, +5


Double Tap: Bonus attack when you defeat an enemy.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack after defeating enemy 1 time.
Rank 2 - 1 attack after defeating up to 3 different enemies in one turn.

Quick Draw: Strike before your attackers.
Rank 1 - 1 preemptive attack before a mob attacks.
Rank 2 - 1 preemptive attack before up to 3 mob attacks in one turn.

Return Fire: Bonus attack when enemy misses.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack after 1 miss.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack after up to 3 misses in one turn.

Burst Fire: Bonus attack after you hit.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack after you hit. 35% chance.
Rank 2 - Up to 3 bonus attacks after you hit. 35% chance after each hit.

Overwatch: Bonus attack when enemy approaches.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when enemy approaches.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack for up to 3 different enemies that approach in one turn.

True Grit: Bonus attack when enemy hits.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack if enemy hits.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack if enemy hits up to 3 different times in one turn.

Quick Adjust: bonus attack when you miss.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when you miss.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack when you miss up to 3 different times in one turn.

Parting Shot: bonus attack when enemy disengages.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when enemy disengages.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack when up to 3 different enemies disengage in one turn.

Crossfire: bonus attack when flanking (ranged).
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when flanking 1 enemy.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack when flanking up to 3 different enemies in one turn.

Bonnie Anne can not learn TRUE GRIT or QUICK ADJUST. Both Bonnie Anne and Rooster Cogburn can not learn PARTING SHOT. Bonnie Anne, Rooster Cogburn, and Tricky Vinny do not learn CROSSFIRE.

Talents for Musketeers:

Accurate: +2, +3, +5 accuracy
Tough: +10, +100, +200 health
Rough: +3, +7, +15 damage
Lucky: +3, +3, +5 resistance
Agile: +3, +3, +5 AGI
Spirited: +3, +3, +5 WILL

While average Musketeer learns 12 talents, ROOSTER COGBURN only learns 9.


Relentless: bonus attack when you hit.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when you hit. 35% chance.
Rank 2 - Up to 3 bonus attacks when you hit. 35% chance after each hit in one turn.

Vengeance Strike: bonus attack when hit.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when hit.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack when hit up to 3 different times in one turn.

Riposte: bonus attack when enemy misses.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when enemy misses.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack when enemy misses up to 3 different times.

Second Chance: 1 bonus attack if you miss.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack if you miss.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack if you miss up to 3 different times in one turn.

Flanking: bonus attack when flanking.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when flanking.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack when flanking up to 3 different mobs in one turn.

Repel Boarders: 1 bonus attack for approaching enemies.
Rank 1 - 50% chance for 1 bonus attack on 1 approaching enemy.
Rank 2 - 70% chance for 1 bonus attack on up to 3 approaching enemies in one turn.

Cheap Shot: bonus attack on retreating enemy.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack on retreating enemy.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack on up to 3 different retreating enemies.

Bladestorm: bonus attack when defeating an enemy.
Rank 1 - 1 bonus attack when defeating 1 enemy.
Rank 2 - 1 bonus attack when defeating up to 3 enemies in one turn.

Hold the Line (Buccaneer only, I believe): immobilizes approaching enemy for 1 turn. Enemy can still attack.
Rank 1 - Immobilizes 1 approaching enemy for 1 turn.
Rank 2 - Immobilizes up to 3 different enemies for 1 turn in one turn.

All preemptive strikes are half damage. That includes First Strike, Quick Draw, Repel Boarders, Overwatch, Flanking, Crossfire. All the enemy retreat epics I believe are only half damage. Tested Cheap Shot with Milo but it was inconclusive. That includes Cheap Shot, Parting Shot, and Coward's Bane.


Accurate: +2, +3, +5 Accuracy
Agile: +3, +3, +5 AGI
Armored: +2, +3, +5 Armor
Rough: +3, +7, +15 damage
Dodgy: +2, +3, +5 Dodge
Strong: +3, +3, +5 STR

Swashbucklers can learn everything except Tough and Spirited. Buccaneers can learn everything, except Spirited. Privateers can learn everything except accuracy and dodge, but can learn Spirited. Of course those 3 melee units won't learn talents such as Spooky.

***Note that the only talent that can hit more than once in a row is Relentless. Any epic that lists # of hits is based on the number of enemy ACTIONS (or positions/scenarios) per turn.*** (Just in case anyone wonders about this.)

Relentless is triggered by anything and any other epic. Only exception seems to be Burst Fire. No matter how many times Bonnie Anne uses Blast shot, it will never trigger her Burst Fire. That is why I generally never use that ability of hers. I thought I saw Old Scratch's Jobu's Breath trigger Mojo Echo, but not 100% sure.

Everything here is stipulated. Different units may learn different talents, epics, and can come with different abilities, outside the usual set up. For example, the crown companions Gerard and Caracticus come with Berserk. (+25% damage when health below 50%.)

Talkin' the Plank Episode 10 goes live!

Episode 10 of Talkin' the Plank is up!  Brandon and I discuss talents and epics, promotion quests, an open letter from the game's producer and announce the latest contest with our biggest prize to date!  You can listen here!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pirate101: Witchdoctor Breaks Lvl 20

My Witchdoctor hit level 20 last night . . . and then quickly got to 21.  This was after a lot of hemming and hawing at my part trying to get through the last chunk of lvl 19.  Every enemy I faced was killing me.  I haven't been doing a lot of sidequests since this is my 2nd time through most of this content, so I'm going through it fairly quickly.  That finally caught up to me, I guess.  I started looking through the 11 pages of quests in my quest log (I still pick them up, I just don't do them), and found out that I was two boxes away from getting enough xp to reach level 20.  I went out, got them, leveled up my crew (I bought some training tomes) and had no problem with the rest of the content.

So far, I have enjoyed the witchdoctor, though there are an awful lot of abilities to wade through.  It seems like every round of combat, my biggest choice revolves around which of the abilities that may come in handy I need to get rid of so that I can get to the ones I very much need immediately.  Not the most fun way to add strategy to the game.  This is in stark contrast to my Buccaneer, who barely had enough special moves to fill the action bar.  It has been an adjustment, but I think my strategy is improving as I move through the game.

I will keep leveling Witchdoctor up to 50 (I have shelved my Buccaneer for now, as I want to try out all the classes in turn) and have set up my lvl 10 Swashbuckler to be my next alt, meaning whenever I don't have time to do whatever's next for my WD, I'll play a bit of Swash.  I would imagine that, in this fashion, my Swash will be around level 20 by the time my WD hits 50.

Hope everyone had a merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Pirate101: Should Stormzilla be Removed?

The most complained about quest, based on most of the social media I've seen about Pirate101, is the Stupendor-X/Stormzilla quest.  During the quest, your Pirate pilots Stupendor-X, a battle mech, against Stormzilla, a large lizard monster.  You are given battle mech specific abilities and are tasked with defeating Stormzilla.  This quest is part of the main storyline and, as such, cannot be skipped.

The problem that people seem to have is that you can't engage in direct melee combat with Stormzilla, due to it's epic abilities that will give her (she did lay eggs, seemingly) 2 or 3 hits to your 1.  You have to destroy her eggs, so that they don't hatch into little stormzillas and hassle you, and then drag her through the fires you lay down via kiting.  It's not tough, but it takes some getting used to.

A lot of the complaints suggest that this quest be removed altogether.  I couldn't disagree more.  One of the things that keeps an MMO fresh is quest variety, which admittedly is a bit lacking in Pirate101.  The Stupendor-X quest is one of the few where you are tasked with doing something out of the norm.  As the expansions are released, I'd like to see more of this: more variety, more risks taken, more ideas that we haven't seen in the game before . .  . just anything to break up what can become monotony.

I think that the Stupendor-X questline is a good one, I don't think it's impossible, and I'd like to see KI come up with even more varied ideas on different types of quests.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pirate101: Level 50 . . . now what should I do?

I finished the main story line the other day on my lvl 50 Buccaneer and have been since trying to figure out exactly where to focus my efforts.  As there is no guild-type system or real end game to speak of, once you have finished all of the quests the game has to offer, it's not up to you to make your own fun.  For some, this might be endlessly farming bosses for gold, items and pets.  For others this would start their PvP career.  While I may farm a bit for some gear and housing items, and I'm sure I'll get into PvP as soon as there are rewards for it, I've remembered what I like the most about MMO's: playing with a group and leveling alts.  The playing with a group part is tough, given the hours I play (they are wee hours) and no group organization other than a friends list so it's off to level some alts!

I have decided that I'll start with my Witchdoctor (currently lvl 15) then Swashbuckler (10), Muskateer (10) and finally Privateer (10).  Once the Witchdoctor hits level 20, I'll pass off all the gear she isn't using to my Swashbuckler and alternate between the two with my main focus being the WD.  Once the WD is 50, I'll do the same with Swash and Musk.  This should keep me busy and allow me to experience the game through all 5 classes so that I can better report on all the issues that arise for each class in turn.

As to what I though of the main storyline, having now completed it:  it was good!  It ended a bit abruptly, but it wasn't a true ending and wasn't meant to be.  At this point, we can only complete the first part of the story. I don't know when the next expansion will happen, but I look forward to it!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Talkin' the Plank Episode 9 is Live!

The latest episode of Talkin' the Plank is live!  Check it out here.  Brandon and I discuss the end of the game, some new tips and tricks and announce the twitter contest winners.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pirate101: Rats of Nim Bait & Switch?

I just did this quest on my Witchdoctor last night (I think she was level 14) and I saw that the goal was to defeat Nim, the rat.  I sent my two companions (Battacuda and Ratbeard) on a direct assault and got him down a round after they had both died from the other enemies attacking them.  Bummer, but at least I finished it, right?  Nope.  The battle continued and I saw that the victory condition was now "Defeat All Enemies".  Uh-oh.  There were 3 left against only my Witchdoctor!  Time for some hail-mary strategy.

I was able to knock out one of them with an ability, but the other two got some hits in.  At that point, I used hide in the shadows (have that card on my hat).  The remaining enemies, one at half health, the other at full health, ran for the south of the battle board.  I ran for the north and healed myself, which brought me out of stealth.  Then, I cast slow on the full health mob and tried to burn down the half-health mob before he reached me.  I knocked him out, but not before he got a few hits in.  Now, the full health enemy starts making her way up the battle board and I'm at half health with no abilities left.  I start hitting her with my wand and she's at half health when she reaches me.  She gets a critical.  I get a regular attack.  She gets a regular attack.  Now I'm at 2 health and she's at 120ish.  I get a regular attack.  She misses.  I get a regular attack, she moves and doesn't attack.  I get a regular attack and she's knocked out.

I got incredibly luck on those last two hits (or the game had mercy on me) but I wonder if it was a glitch that the battle conditions changed the way they did.  Obviously, I didn't remember this particular battle from my first runthrough, but I do make sure to read the conditions carefully, just in case.  In this case, that backfired.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pirate101: Last day for the Twitter contest!

Today is the last day for our contest on twitter for a free Crocogator mount.  To enter, just follow out twitter account (@talkintheplank) and send us a tweet with a topic you'd like discussed on the show.  We're recording this afternoon, so get those submissions in!  The top three will be read on the air and will receive their mount codes after Ep9 goes live on Thursday.

Pirate101: 12 Days of the Spiral Training Point

Don't forget to enter your code for the free training point that comes to us via the 12 Days of the Spiral promotion.  There's only one day left.  I wonder what they have in store for the last day?  Holiday House?!?!  Here's hoping!

Pirate101: Bonnie Anne Finally Replaced!

It finally happened.  I finally replaced Bonnie Anne as first mate for my Buccaneer.  You had a good run, Bonnie, but you just aren't the most powerful anymore.  Kobe Yojimbo has that title.  With First Strike, Relentless and Riposte, he's just so much more useful, even against ranged opponents.

I made the switch last night as I started to go up against the Elemental bosses on the giant turtle when I realized that if I selected Kobe, Monkey King and El Toro, I wouldn't have to worry about losing.  The epics I have set up on those three absolutely destroy everything in their path much faster than any other combination of companions.  I went through 4 of the five elemental bosses with no problems using just those 3.  I'm glad I made the switch, but I'll miss Bonnie Anne.

Maybe this is for a separate post, but are Privateers the worst type of companion to get?  No accuracy boost, don't hit as hard as they could and maybe one heal or a critical as an ability.  Otherwise, nothing great for epics, just relentless and vengeance strike, which doesn't land as often as it should due to poor accuracy. Am I missing something with them?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pirate101 Guide for Levels 8-10

This will be the last guide where I tell you exactly where to go and in what order to do things.  After level 10, the game opens up an bit and you will most likely be doing extra quests, class quests, companion promotions . . . all sorts of stuff.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Here's how to best get from post-Presidio to the the end of the Ratbeard quest line.

After you have gotten back from the Presidio and gotten your new companion, you are tasked with seeking out One-Eyed Jack in flotsam.  I would recommend grinding to nautical level 5, if you haven't already, since you are already near those ships and the good equipment you can buy from the shop in Gullet for your new ship requires lvl N5.  Also, be sure you go spend the first practice point you got from reaching level 8!

When you get to Flotsam, there will be a bit of runaround which is pretty straightforward (though Flotsam roads are anything but): just follow the arrow.  You help out Mustang Sally, who will be joining Swashbucklers much later in the game and rest of us can eventually buy her in the crown shop.  This fight is very standard.  Just burn down the dog pirates one at a time.  You're supposed to protect Sally, but she can fend for herself, so just worry about getting through it as efficiently as you can.  As a side note, there are a lot of treasure chests in this room, but you can't open any of them so don't bother trying.

Once you finally meet One-Eyed Jack, you go to where Ratbeard was hiding out.  About 50% of the times I did this part of the quest chain, there was a treasure chest sitting just outside the door to Ratbeard's hideout, so keep your eyes peeled!  You could get as much as 8-15 gold coins!!!  Treasure chests are pretty weak this early in the game.

You are then sent to Corsair's Cove.  Make sure you grab the training tome from the table, though it's tough to miss and one of your crew mates even mentions it.

After that, you go to the Lighthouse.  You are tasked with locating 5 tombstones.  Now, while it is possible to avoid all combat, on the first tombstone, you'll probably get dragged into a fight.  If you try really hard (I was only able to do this once out of 6 tries) you can sneak past the mobs on this tombstone, but you have to go around through the fern and then time it just right.  Once I had done that on my Privateer, I just warped to the Lighthouse lifestone as I didn't think I'd be able to sneak out the way I came and it would be faster to run back!

Once you enter the Hoodoo House, you can't avoid the first fight there.  Make sure you have a mojo potion full, because there is a good chance at least one of your companions will be knocked out on the first fight (which you cannot sneak past, at least I couldn't find a good path).  There's no weird strategy, they just hit really hard, so be careful and focus your attacks.

For the Old Scratch fight, Make sure you have 1 or two ranged crew members (or if you are a Witchdoctor or Musketeer, 1 other ranged crew member).  You may also want to un-equip your pet.  The fight condition is "Defeat Old Scratch" so don't worry about any of the other undead attacking you, just focus on him.  The reason for the ranged and no pet is that it's very easy for Old Scratch to get bottle necked on the map, making it impossible for you to reach him with more than one or two of your characters.  Get them all close to him, then just wail away as fast as you can, ignoring everything else.  Congrats, you've got a new crew member.

Once you're done there, you're sent to Gunn's Island.  At the quest turn in, if you haven't done any other side quests or grinding, you will hit lvl 9 with enough training points to promote Bonnie Anne to lvl 8, where she gets her first promotion.  At this point, I go ahead and do the promotion quest.  It's fairly quick and simple and makes her a lot stronger for the final fight in Waponi Wu.

Back at Gunn's Island, you have a little more busy work, then you fight a bunch of crabs.  A standard fight, though the crabs can hit hard so be careful!  Once you've done that, on to Waponi Wu!

You have to fight some water moles before you can enter the instance.  I would recommend focusing on the Witchdoctor types first as they have a strong area of effect attack.  Also, on the right hand side as you run through the very first Water Mole area, there's a training tome on the ground by one of the huts.  I missed this on 4 out of 5 runs through this area.  That reminds me, I'll have to go back with my other characters and pick this up!

Once you go in the instance, the first fight is against two gold fish who are a huge pain.  It's just you and your first mate, so make sure if you are ranged, your first mate is melee and vice versa.  It is very easy to get bottle-necked in this one as well.  Also, the fish hit really hard and dodge a lot, so absolutely focus your efforts and use all of your abilities early to take down the first fish.  After that, one more water mole fight and your at the top of the volcano.

Make sure you grab the Funky Bunch for the Prospector Zeke quest (you can grab it after the fight as well, if you forget) and start the battle.  Focus fire Chumba Wumba, the big water mole, and, while you're doing that, make sure you're positioning yourself so you have one crew member near the northwest corner, one near the southwest corner and one near the south east corner.  They don't have to be right on them, but make sure they are within one turn's movement away.  When Chumba Wumba goes down, he gets back up again (you're never gonna keep him down), so you have to destroy three idols that appear in the 3 corners I mentioned.  When you do that, the fight is over, you get a pile of gold as a housing item, 4,000 gold, a new crew member and, once you return to Captain Avery, you reach level 10!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pirate101: 12 Days of the Spiral: Free gold!

Yesterday's 12 Days gift was a promotional code sent to your email for 10-50% off you purchase (of crowns.  Not sure if it would work for a subscription purchase).  Today's gift is up to 5,000 free gold for entering the code "Coins" to promotions on Pirate101's website.

I think I will once again give the coins to my Witchdoctor as she is the tip of the alt spear and the next character I will shift my focus to once I have done all possible quests on my main Buck.  My buck just got the ninja cat last night and is on the cusp of attaining the last turtle ball.  I'm very interested to see how this portion of the story ends.  Hopefully, I'll be able to finish up tonight!
See you online . . . If you play at the same weird hours I do, that is!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pirate101: 12 Days of the Spiral Crew Member

Yesterday's 12 Days of the Spiral promotion was new holiday themed card packs for Wiz101, so nothing exciting for Pirate101 only players, like myself.  Today, we get a new companion in the crown shop!  It's the Yule Trogg.  Here are the details:

Announcing a New Pirate101 Companion - The Yule Trogg!

A brand new Pirate101 Companion has landed in the Pirate101 Crown Shop today, and he's ready to battle with a festive flair. This Buccaneer fights with a vengeance... and with his cozy red hat! 

The Yule Trogg is priced at 3,995 Crowns and is available for a limited time only. You can find him in the Pirate101 Crown Shop under the Companions tab. Happy battling!

As the description states, he is a buccaneer class crew member who comes with vengeance.  He's for sale for 3,995, so I went ahead and bought him for my Witchdoctor, who can use more meat shields.  I only got to use him in a few battles, but so far, he is shaping up to be a good crew man.  Weird glitch where his damage doesn't show up every 5th hit, though.  Hopefully, KI will fix that.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Talkin' the Plank Episode 8 is live!

The latest episode of Talkin' the Plank is live and can be heard here.  In it, Brandon and I discuss where we are in the game, PvP, some new suggestions and as always, Important tips.  Stay tuned until the end for a new contest involving our recently created Twitter account (@TalkinthePlank) and then some breaking news and an additional Sail's Pitch after the episode.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pirate101: 12 Days of the Spiral, Holiday Items in Crown Shop

Today's addition to the 12 Days of the Spiral is housing decorations and seasonally themed weapons from the crown shop.  I assume that the housing items will be purchasable with gold whereas the weapons will be crowns only.  No sure exactly what is available, but when I find out, I'll let you know here!  I would guess that these items will be in the crown shop until the 19th, though they don't say that.  Here's what they do say:

Yuletide Items Now Available in the Wizard101 and Pirate101 Crown Shops!

Yuletide items are now available in the Crown Shop for both Wizard101 and Pirate101!

Your Wizard101 favorites have returned including the Boon Tree, Candy Cane mounts, Snowball Pet, housing decorations and much more! Pirates never fear - you can have the holiday spirit too with new housing decorations and seasonally themed weapons!

Check out all these cool items in the Crown Shops soon since they are only available for a limited time! Remember, some Yuletide items are available for either Crowns or Gold, while others are Crowns only.

Pirate101: Crew members above level cap? How?!

This is meant to be an information post for those of you who are thinking about buying crew members from the crown shop.  The short of it is, if you wait until your Pirate is level 50 to buy crown shop companions, they will be somewhere between level 51-53, so 1-3 levels above the current level cap. 

The reason this happens is that when you acquire any companions in Pirate101, in order to make sure you try them out and don't just leave them at the bottom of your roster, they start out a few levels higher than you.  The idea being your regular crew members will be a few levels lower than you are making one you just got who is 4 or 5 levels above all the rest of your crew very attractive to place at the top of your roster and see what they can do.  It makes sense, when you think about it.  However, when you reach the end of the game this still applies and they can actually be several levels over the level cap.

The developers left this in the game and I haven't heard any buzz saying this was a bug, but seems to be working as intended.  This comes as a shock to some players who have spent money in the crown shop prior to Pirate level 50 to buy companions that now won't reach the pinnacle of what they could if they had been bought once you reached max level.

Now, is this game breaking?  From what I hear, not really.  It's annoying if you didn't know about it, sure, but I can say from personal experience that the 2 crown companions I bought at max level (53 Inoshishi Necromancer and 51 Doctor Noh) don't appear to be that much stronger than the rest of my companions.  My level 47 Bonnie Anne still holds her spot as my first mate, indefinitely.  The point of this post isn't to say this should be fixed or that it's something everyone should do but merely to inform everyone that this is currently part of the game and that you should be aware that if you hold off on buying companions, they can exceed level cap.  If it's worth it to you to wait, the choice is obvious.  If you don't want to wait that long to enjoy crown companions or side-quest acquired companions (this trick works with them as well, by the way, as my lvl 51 Monkey King can attest to), then at least you know the option was there.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pirate101: PvP Update Live by Wednesday!

Just got the word that the latest update, which includes practice pvp, improved loot, and 1,500 other changes, will go live after a brief maintenace 3am-5am Central time on Wednesday morning.  I had a feeling this might happen this week.  KI seems to be very quick with their updates, as far as going from test realm to live.

Well, it's good news all around as I like being able to play the latest version of the game.  Once I know changes are on the horizon, I almost want to wait until they happen to do anything.  Keep up the rapid fire pace, KI!  The best part of MMO's is change and this one's a doozy!

The most recent update notes can be found here.  Doesn't look like anything has changed since I last went through it.

Pirate101: Today's 12 Days of the Spiral Promotion . . .

 . . . is for Wizard101.  Sorry Pirate only players! (I am a Pirate only player myself, so I feel your pain).  Wizards get a free housing item.  I guess we already got ours on the 3rd day, so it evens out.

Follow up to yesterday's post, I did go ahead and buy the Thunderous Kirin mount and gave it to my Witchdoctor.  That means that I now have a mount for all 5 Pirates: Buccaneer=Falalala Llama, Witchdoctor=Thunderous Kirin, Musketeer=Lobster, Swashbuckler=Flying Manta Ray, Privateer=Crocogator.  All very fast mounts.  So much for my plan of having a mount for my main and then just one more that is shared by all my alts.  Oh well.  One less thing to transfer when I switch between them.  The shipping items alone are enough of a chore to move from toon to toon.

Even though I don't play Wizard101 anymore, I still entered this code into my account in case I ever decide to start up again . . . or need something to do during Pirate101 maintenance.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pirate101: 12 Days of the Spiral Continues UPDATED!

It seems that the Fa-la-la-la Llama will be available until the 19th, first of all, so you don't have to rush to get one, if you decide you want it.  I got mine and it has a very cool look to it.  I dressed my main all in red and white for the month, just to be silly, and put her atop the ice skating llama.  You have to keep yourself amused, right?

Yesterday's addition was a housing item (I think there are a few different ones you can get) that you are awarded for entering the promo code DECORATE at the Pirate101 website.  I got a wreath.  I thought I saw that a plate of cookies was also possible.

I'll post here when I find out what today's is, though I haven't seen it yet.


Here is the information on today's promotion:

For one day only, save 50% OFF select items from the Wizard101 and Pirate101 Crown Shop!
    Wizard101 Items
  • Mega Snack Pack
  • Life Mastery Amulet
  • Keeper's Lore Pack
  • White Stag Mount
  • Red Cap Pet
    Pirate101 Items
  • 5,000 Gold
  • Thunderous Kirin Mount
  • Silver Buffaloon Pet
  • Livsey's Ring
  • Mojo Potion

Hurry, this sale ends tonight December 10th at 11:59pm US Central Time! Take advantage of 50% OFF these items today!

So a sale on some popular items.  I'll have to seriously sit down and think about whether I want that Kirin mount. . . . .hmhmmmmm . . .  I don't know.  I guess I'll decide tonight!  But a sale on Livsey's Ring should be a boon for new players, as it is very useful when you're first starting the game.  Having an extra healing spell is nice, for sure!

Stock image of Kirin Mount.  I still don't know if I want it or not.  Decisions!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pirate101 Ginger Bread House Contest

I don't  know if this is day 2 of the 12 days of the spiral or not, but here is a contest to build a gingerbread house that could win you 60,000 crowns!

Create a Gingerbread House or Ship & Win Crowns!

Today kicks off our annual holiday contest. This year we want you to put your creative drawing or baking skills to the test and design your original Wizard101 gingerbread house or Pirate101 gingerbread ship! You can win 60,000 Crowns by either creating an original drawing on one of our templates below, or baking and decorating your own Wizard101 or Pirate101 themed gingerbread creation.

Contest Rules

One entry allowed per player. You can choose to enter a Wizard101 gingerbread house using the template below, a Pirate101 gingerbread ship using the template below, or a photo of an original, created by you, real life gingerbread creation that has a Wizard101 or Pirate101 theme.

Submit your entry to the Facebook contest page by 11:59pm on Wednesday, December 19th.

The top 10 overall most shared entries will win 60,000 Crowns. Also, KingsIsle staff will be picking some of our favorite entries! Those picked by KingsIsle will also receive 60,000 Crowns as a prize.

Read complete contest rules »

Download the Templates

Want to design a gingerbread on paper instead of baking one? Here are our two templates for a Wizard101 house or a Pirate101 ship!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pirate101: New Update Notes Added

There have been a few additional notes added to the update that is currently still in the test realm and here they are below:


  • PvP matches will now randomly pick which team goes first.
  • Players will receive a "Waiting for other team . . ." message during PvP that will remove the powerbar when it is the other team’s turn.
  • The Chat Window will no longer appear beneath the Battleboard during PvP combat.
  • PvP icons were added to the map to help players identify where the PvP halls are located.
  • Barrier and minion summoning (Stone Bastion and Rally the Clay) were updated to function properly in PvP.
  • A fleeing PvP team member will no longer make their teammate’s powerbars available to use.
  • Traps will no longer remain after PvP combat ends.
  • The "Collect the Treasure Chests Quickly!" message will no longer appear behind the winning team’s message.


  • Gallant Defense is now working as intended.
  • Players will no longer be able to skip Mick Dagger's conversation and thereby become stuck and unable to progress with Sarah Steele’s promotion quest.
  • An item purchased from the crown shop will remain selected, instead of the selection defaulting to the first item in the crown shop list.
No major changes, just little adjustments.  Looks like they were trying to fix a few issues that inevitably pop up when this sort of thing is implemented.  Keep up the good work letting them know about the issues you find as you explore the test realm.  Ratbeard put out a request for information about how the new drop rates are working in test, so if you get the chance, kill a few bosses in Cool Ranch and report your findings on the forums here.

Pirate101: My first casualty

Farewell, Glib Edward!  I hardly knew ye!!

Tragedy struck last night to my Privateer who was deleted when I discovered, upon reaching the Frogfather and getting the Presidio quest, that I had selected the wrong parent death backstory for him.  My hope was to collect all the crew members I could through questing by leveling all 5 classes to 50 (and writing helpful guides along the way). Glib Edward was set to receive Gaspard De Vole instead of Milo Greytail, so I created a new Privateer and deleted ol Glibbie.

My new Privateer, who's name is too new for me to remember (Silver something something), though he followed the guide I wrote, had a heck of a time trying to get through the initial quest area of Skull Cave.  He got sucked into a failing combat (which I tried to save but soon discovered the reason it was failing was not luck but bad decisions made by new players.  I won't fault them, but the battle was lost whether I fault them or not).  So I had to run all the way back (thank goodness I sent him a mount to use!) and had a few more frustrating combats.  It was a bad night for new players for some reason.  I have not run into this issue before.  Very strange.

Anyway, he's now sitting pretty at level 4 and awaiting all the gear and ship equipment I have in his bank for when he starts sailing.  Good luck, Silver something something!!

Pirate101: 12 Days of the Spiral

KingsIsle has started their holiday promotional events!  It's called the 12 Days of the Spiral and will be in both Pirate101 and Wizard101.  According to their website, there will be a different promotion or giveaway in Pirate or Wizard or both for the next 12 days.  I'll post here as early as I can what that days promotion is, so stay tuned!

Today's promotion is a charity for Austin Children's Center and Children's Medical Center at Legacy.  The site says this:

Available for a limited time, the Fa-La-La-La Llama mount will directly benefit two organizations devoted to helping children.

This ice skating Llama carries your character quickly and is available in both Wizard101 and Pirate101! Hurry and catch him during the holiday season, because this is one Llama that won’t be around forever.

So, a one time mount that benefits charity sounds like a worthy cause.  According to Black Angus Atworth, the Llama is 7,500c, so plan accordingly.  I'll probably get one.  It looks cool to me.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pirate101: Guide for levels 5-8

(UPDATED to include info about Mojo Potions)

This guide starts at level 5 in Jonah Town and runs all the way through the end of the Presidio.  I'm focusing on the main questline up until level 10 because you don't level any faster with the sidequests than you would without them and I don't think you can get to level 10 any faster by doing them.  You could grind it out, I guess, but I don't like just grinding experience and prefer the questing method, so that's what I focus on in these guides.

At level 5, you have your raft, you've finished the cave with the ghost rats and have headed to Jonah Town looking for Ratbeard, as you are both after Gunn's gold and he has the head start!  When you get to Jonah town, you are first told to rescue Brody from some sharks in a nearby vortex.  A lot of people have had trouble with this quest, and there is a chance you could get in trouble with it if you're unlucky, but if you get over to Brody as fast as you can, you shouldn't have any trouble.  The encounter starts when you board his ship.  The sharks go first (this is where you could get unlucky.  If more than one of them gets a critical hit, there's nothing you could have done and Brody dies) and then you get your turn.  If you're a buccaneer, you can use Mighty Strike to rush over and start mixing it up with the sharks.  Any other class, just get over to his ship ASAP.  The goal at this point is to give the sharks more targets to worry about than just Brody.  Focus your attacks on one shark at a time and you shouldn't have any trouble.  I think the worst that's happened to me on 5 runthroughs of this quest was I lost a Bonnie Anne.  When you turn this in, you should be level 6.

Next, you're sent to look for another pelican on an island of Water Moles.  They have you down some ships from a neighboring tribe.  These aren't that much different than the cutthroat ships, though they may be slightly higher level. Just make sure your raft is equipped with anything you've gotten as a drop (or that you have bought all the best gear from the vendors on Blood Shoal and Jonah Town topside) and you shouldn't have any trouble.  Make sure you give this quest a priority as it awards you your first Mojo Potion.  Mojo Potions, when activated, revive all fallen companions, and return your pirate and your ship to full health.  That's a lot of power at your disposal and a life saver in dungeons.  Recharge the Mojo Potion by collecting blue yum you'll find floating around basically everywhere you go.

After that, you're sent to Skull Island sewers to rescue the Pelican the Water Moles told you about.  There's nothing terribly difficult about this fight either.  The same strategies you have been using will apply here.

Once you rescue the pelican, you head back to Jonah Town and are able to go down to Gullet to meet the Frogfather.  There is a brief skirmish when the password you are given turns out to be bogus.  In this fight, you can get a little advantage by causing the barrels to explode.  All the enemies start out on the other side of a barrier rigged with explosives.  So, if you have a ranged AoE attack (I usually use Bonnie Anne's scatter shot for this, depending on how she's positioned at the start of the skirmish), you can get a little HP off of all the enemies.  After you have defeated them, talk to the Frogfather and get your 7th level.

The Frogfather sends you to the Presidio, the first instanced dungeon in the game.  It's fairly straightforward but there are a few things you can do to move through it quickly and safely.  One big tip is to make sure your Mojo potion is full before going to the Presidio.  No matter how well you do, there is a good chance that at least one of your companions will go down at some point.  Don't be shy about using your potion!  You can recharge it in the court yard with all the blue yum fruit there.  If there is no blue yum floating around, go inside your next area and go back outside again and some new yum will have spawned.

The first step is to try and sneak past the Monquistan guards.  If you are patient and watch their patterns, you can sneak by all three sets of guards on the wall before you go down into the courtyard.  I have gotten past them without incident 3 times, so I know it's possible.  Just make sure there isn't one facing you and make a run for it!  After you get down from the wall, there are no more skippable fights, so don't bother trying to sneak around anymore.

You fight several sets of guards, all standard strategy will apply.  You are then introduced to the companion you selected through the "How did ye lose your parents" question you were asked at character creation.  Once you get to them, they'll tell you to get the key to their cell to let them out.  To do this, you fight the boss of Presidio.  This fight has a "kill the boss" victory condition, so ignore the other Monquistans and focus on the boss.  This is an Epic fight, so you get to choose which companions will join you.  Unless you bought a few in the crown shop, you'll only have 3 companions anyway, so the choice is easy!  If you do have to choose, make sure you bring Bonnie Anne.  When the fight starts, run all the way across the board, again ignoring all the other Monquistan guards, and focus fire the boss.  The reason I say to bring Bonnie as is so she can use scatter shot and reduce the boss's dodge.

Once, you have downed the boss, be sure to grab the training manual that's sparkling on the ground to the right of his desk.  Then you can release your new companion, fight one more battle with the new companion's help (he won't be under your control yet) and then head back to see the Frogfather.  At that point, you get level 8, the companion you just freed and the next quest is for your new ship.  Stay tuned for the next guide that will take you to level 10 and the conclusion of the Ratbeard story arc.

Talkin' the Plank Episode 7 is live!

The latest episode of Talkin' the Plank is live and can be heard here.  In this week's episode, Brandon and I discuss the new test realm update and how PvP will be integrated into the game.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pirate101: Level 50 at last! What now?

I finally got to level 50 last night when completing the Monkey King questline.  40 to 50 went a lot faster that 20 to 30, or at least it felt as though it did.  Maybe I'm just better at the game now than I was!

Now, I'll try and go back to finish all of the side quests I skipped and get all of my companions up to at least lvl 48.  Also, I'll be taking my 5th character through the Presidio, and will have my guide for lvls 5-8 very soon, followed by 8-10.  After that, we'll see how much further I can go with leveling 4 characters concurrently!

Lastly, I bought my very first crown companion last night: the Inoshishi Necromancer.  My lineup was pitifully short of Witchdoctors (only Oldscratch) and he was less than 3,000 crowns.  I may also buy Doctor Noh since, again, short on Witchdoctors and I like the look of him.  Also, he has some sweet abilities . . . I just sold myself on him.  I'll buy him tonight!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pirate101: Stormzilla defeated . . . barely

I've heard a lot of complaints on the forums about the difficulty of the Stormzilla fight mid-Mooshu.  Having just completed the fight myself, I thought I'd offer my perspective.  The fight is not impossible, but it is difficult.

I went in not knowing much of the strategy other than fire doesn't hurt Stupendor-X and to try and get Stormzilla to walk through it.  Also, something about eggs.  The first few round of my first attempt we spent trying to figure out what all the abilities do, as the tooltips aren't terribly helpful, though I didn't have much time to read them on the fly!  Basically, you get two long range attacks, two beam attacks that will light a row of fires, two AoE attacks and two slowing abilities that will stop Stormzilla in his place for a few turns.

In my first try, I didn't realize where the fires would come from, only that they were useful, so it was a while before I even lit them with the beam attack and when I did so, they ended up being in unfortunate places.  Then, I didn't destroy as many eggs as I could have, so I got a lot of little adds.  They didn't hit me but they got in the way and used up the fires before stormzilla could be kited through them.  I ended up fleeing and trying again (it's a long walk back, so I did not make that decision lightly).

Second attempt, my pet Tawny Turtle went over and wailed on Stormzilla a little harder than he had in the previous round and, for some reason, Stormzilla destroyed most of the eggs he was nearby with AoE attacks trying to kill my pet.  Convenient!  I misfired one of the beam attacks, as I didn't understand how they worked and just destroyed a building with it instead of a line of fire (by the way, the buildings drop gold if you destroy them, about 100g a piece).  Quick tip: target the ground on a tile next to yourself to send a line of fire all the way across the board.  Since ol' Stormy had taken care of most of the eggs, I finished off the rest.  By that point, he'd finished with my pet and came after me.

I used all the attacks on him and dragged him through all the fire I could, but in the end, we were just trading blows.  He got me down to about 50 health and if my last hit had missed, I would have had to start over again.  Thankfully, it landed and I won.  Phew.

Make sure you get as many fires to work with as you can on this one.  Hopefully, it will take you as few tries as it took me!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pirate101: What Classes Get Which Companions Automatically? UPDATED!

UPDATED 1/7/13

I wanted to compile a list for anyone who was curious as to which companions you get automatically with your class. Pretty straight forward concept, so on to the list!

Kobe Yojimbo
Water Mole Slingman
Monquistador Crossbowman
Thunder Hoof
Mustang Goucho
Lost Ranger
Billy the Kid
Taro Moomori
Pig Raider Crossbowman

Wing Chun
Louis le Bisque
Water Mole Spearman
Giacomo Rossi
Ridolfo Capoferro
Corporal Sanders
Bison Scout
Duck Holiday
Masamune Goto
Hidenari Kuga
Ju Hao

Egg Shen
Ensign Emmett
Black Angus
Monterey Jack
Mustang Rowdy
Nanu Nanu
Bison Scout
Bison Shaman
Jane Canary
Wild Bill Peacock
Eric Jolly
Inoshishi Necromacer
Jim Masterson
Horse Crossbowman
Inoshishi Chief

Sarah Steele
Crab Hermit
Crazy Monquistador
Monquistador Explorer
Tricky Vinny
Steady Tom Rollins
Weasel Gambler
Mustang Toreador
Buffalo Bill
Nurse Quinn
Chicken Miner
Mustang Sally
Froggo Villa

Kan Po
Bones McGee
Ghost Singer
Sky Snake
Bat Masterson
Helephant Destroyer

This is a work in progress, but I figured I'd post what I had. I can't seem to find a complete list anywhere for any class. That being the case, if you notice any that I missed, please let me know!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pirate101 PvP: An Initial Look

I had a brief chance to jump on the test realm last night and check out half of a PvP battle.  My level 10 Witchdoctor vs a level 16 Swashbuckler.  From that brief experience I can say . . . that PvP works about how you'd expect it to.

You go into one of the PvP-designated buildings, stand on a sigil and, when there is more than one person, the battle counts down and begins.  The victory conditions are "Defeat all enemies", so my initial thought was to focus fire the pirate, as I know that's what would hamstring me the most, especially at that low a level.  I was at a slight disadvantage though, since I hadn't done two of the promotion quests I really should have, so my crew was a bit underpowered.

When the battle starts, it's randomly decided who goes first (in this case, the Swashie) and while was thinking about his moves, I could see the count-down timer, so I'd know how long before he'd be forced to stop.  It appears to be the same length as the regular battle timer.  Then it was my turn.  We went back and forth, it appeared that he would win, though I made a dent, and then my internet went down.

Hopefully, I'll have another chance to try it this evening.  As I understand it, there are currently no rewards or penalties for PvP at the moment, so it's just a diversion for now.  All the other trappings they will add later after they have a chance to see how balanced things are.  For now, it feels like it should and I look forward to testing it again.  It is werid playing against another person and it will be interesting to see what sort of strategies emerge.