I’ve been recently revisiting an old MMORPG that I played; Puzzle Pirates. It’s an interesting game where the players are pirates hunting the seas. Now life on the seas was hard work; there was bilgewater to dump, the hull needs to be repaired, and the sails must be manipulated to catch the wind. Puzzle Pirates has a rather unique way of representing this; each shipboard duty is a puzzle minigame, similar to titles like Bejeweled.
The first thing to do after loading the game is to name and customize your pirate. You can then go to the “Missions” page and start playing the puzzles. There are six basic duty puzzles: Sailing, Rigging, Carpenting, Patching, Bilging, and Gunning. It is a good idea to try each of the puzzles with the “learn to” missions to get comfortable with them. You’ll also get a small amount of pieces of eight (PoE), the basic currency of Puzzle Pirates.
Once you have learned the puzzles, you can then look in Voyages to see if anyone is hiring; those tend to pay better than the navy. It is a good idea to start with those under “Pillaging with a crew”. If you don’t get accepted to the first ship you try to apply to, try another.
Note that pillaging puts you in a team with real players, and you’d be expected to pull your weight. Only go on them if you have at least 30 minutes to spare. Watch your chat to see if the commanding officer would prefer a certain station to be filled. As noted, each puzzle helps the ship in some way; Sailing and Rigging helps the ship move faster, both within battle and out of it. Carpenting and Patching helps repair the ship; ships get a small amount of damage over time, and more damage if they get hit by rocks or cannons during battle. And Bilging helps pump water out of the bilge; if there is too much bilgewater in the ship, the sails would be less effective.
Note that sailing and rigging, though they are different puzzles, does the same thing for the ship and are activated from the same stations; likewise carpenting and patching. Some commanding officers may ask you to “sail” or “carp” (short for carpenting) due to habit (as those puzzles existed for a longer time) or briefness; they typically won’t mind if you rig when they ask you to sail, or patch when they ask you to carpent, if you’re more comfortable or better with those puzzles.
Do not abandon a puzzle just because you’re trying to look for a better board; abandoning and retaking a station gives a significant penalty to your effectiveness and subsequent duty report. (Gunning is an exception to this rule.)
Gunning loads the cannons of the ship, and is somewhat different from the others; on a pillage, you won’t be able to start it without a special order from the commanding officer. This is because gunning stations are very limited, and efficient loading of cannons is quite important for the success of the pillage. You typically would not be given permission to gun unless you have achieved a standing of Respected or higher.
After a while on a pillage, your ship would get into battle. When this happens, you will here a trumpet fanfare, and the top right corner of your screen would show a board that looks something like this:
As a newer player, you shouldn’t worry too much about what happens here; just continue puzzling. Avoid leaving a ship during battle; it greatly cripples the effectiveness of the ship, and is often frowned upon by other players. Your officer would attempt to steer the ship to shoot the enemy ship as much as possible, while avoiding shots themself. Eventually, the ships would grapple, and you move to the boarding phase of the battle. This is resolved by one of two puzzles that would start automatically: Swordfighting, or Rumbling. While playing these, do try to take note of the “teaming”; on each enemy pirate, you’d see a little circle next to their mini-board for each pirate that’s targeting them; if there are five pirates targeting them, there will be a bright orange dot. You can switch your target by clicking on their face or their mini-board. Generally, you should aim for teams of two or three when swordfighting, or teams of three or four in rumbling.
If you win the fight, half the PoE “booty” extorted from the enemy ship would be divided among the crew; the other half would go to the “booty chest”. If you lose the fight, some of the booty from the booty chest would be lost; however, you’d still get credited a share for the battle when the chest is divided at port.
Again, keep in mind that you’re playing with real people; please be polite and courteous in the chat. If someone is bothering you, you can block their messages by typing “/mute” (without quotes), followed by a space and their name. For example “/mute Rudeperson”.
If you want to meet me in the game, I am Rhoaleper in the Meridian Ocean.