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Old Ship and Sailing Guide

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Old 11-07-2007, 01:47 AM
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:24 PM
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I'll offer this testimonial about the sloop...

I had a crew this morning, and they weren't exactly all focusing on the same ship. So, at one point, I had a Phantom ship, an East India Company Galleon (around level 20), and a Navy Frigate all moving to engage me.

Using the Sloop, with some speed skills, I managed to get out in front of them and let my canooneers blast away. We sank all three ships and took minimal damage. Unfortunately, that crew just wasn't interested in coordinating their efforts after that, and they just fired away at anything that was remotely close.

At that point, I dropped them off at Tortuga. However, surviving that chase was quite thrilling! Lucrative too.
Old 11-09-2007, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for the guide. I find sloops good for outrunning and frigates for fighting. It helped me.

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Old 11-19-2007, 02:39 PM
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:25 PM
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The Complete Guide to Sea Battles

This guide was modified to work with the limited instruction set of this forums software.
  • Ships
    There are 3 different types of ships in POTC and 3 classes of each ship.

    In each type of craft there are light, standard, and war classes.

    There are 3 different groups of enemy vessels: Navy, EITC (East Indian Trading Co), and Ghost ships (Also called skeleton ships).

    The Navy and EITC use the same 3 kinds of ships and all 3 classes as are available to you. The Skeleton ships are all larger craft with their own unique cannon shots. These Skeleton ships are slower and do not shoot forward like the other kinds of enemy which make them easier targets at the same levels, however when they do get sideways on you or come up on you while you are fighting other ships they tend to do much more damage with their special cannon shots.

    The Sloops are fast attack or transport kind of ships. You can use them with crew, however they have fairly weak armor and tend to sink fast. They do get around and can turn fast so if you are really good at control you may find use for this class of vessel.

    The Galleons are the best combination of armor and speed/turning as well as having the most cargo room in each class. This makes them the most popular of each class on the open waters. Well, that and they are around half the price of a frigate in the same class.

    The Frigates are good solid craft and make great ships for big epic sea battles with large crew because they have cannons all over with a wider range than the other two in each class. They don't move as fast and can't carry as much cargo, but the price is worth it for groups of people or for those who want the battle tank of the open seas.

    You are given a light sloop with each new pirate created. You are able to buy any light ship at level 1. Keep in mind that you can sell any ship for half the price of what it costs you to buy one. The light sloop is worth 50 to sell and 100 to buy.

    The regular class of ships is available after level 5 and the war class are available after level 15 (sailing level, not character level).

    The following are the charts showing the stats and cost of each of the ships currently available:

    Always Available
    Light Sloop

    Light Galleon

    Light Frigate

    Available after level 5



    Available after level 15
    War Sloop

    War Galleon

    War Frigate

    Ship repair is fairly cheap, even if you sink your craft. You should repair every time you land, even if you hit a remote island if you plan to go back out. Just have a member of your party stay behind if you want to relaunch from that spot. When playing solo you have to weigh how damaged you are vs how much you want to get back out in the same area to battle.

    You are allowed to carry up to three ships on each of your pirates. Press the H key to view your ships and their status. Each is kept in a 'bottle' on your pirate and you can mix and match which ones you use.

    Casting off
    You go to any dinghy to launch one of your ships. You are always the captain of your own vessel, however you can let anyone who boards your ship take the wheel if you like. This is nice to help lower level friends power up their sailing skill by letting them control larger ships than they can buy.

    There are two things you can do at sea: Pilot the ship or use a cannon.

    You are always the pilot when playing solo. Your individual cannons go unused, however you have control of the very powerful broadside cannons which are more than powerful enough to sink many of the enemy ships at sea. While you are the pilot you gain sailing skill points any time you and/or your cannon crew sink or at least contribute to the sinking of any enemy vessel. More on skill points in a later section.

    Once you know who is going to pilot the ship and who (if any) are going to crew the cannons, you are ready to shove off and head into battle. To take your role simply move near the wheel or a cannon and press the shift key when you see the green circle around it. You can jump off the wheel/cannon any time by pressing the esc key. You can trade off who pilots or move to a cannon on the other side this way. Take the time to learn how to get on and off a cannon so you can make quick moves when it counts.

    Tips for ship pilots/captains
    • [li]You almost must use two hands to work it. One on the mouse holding the right button down to move your view around, and one on either the WASD keys or arrow keys for steering and starting/stopping the ship.[/li]
      [li]You may find it easier to use the number keys to fire or activate sailing skills. You can use either the numbers above the keyboard or the number pad to use it. I use both the mouse and keys at different times. Try both and use what works best in times of heavy battle.[/li]
  • Before attacking any other ship make sure you do a full 360 view check to see where all other enemy ships are and note their general heading and distance. Many a battle is lost by not knowing where other ships around you are until it is too late.
Sailing Skills
There are several key sailing skills to put your points in and some thought should be used before applying any. You are safe to save up some and use them when more important skills become available vs just using points on whatever is available when you earn them. For example, you cannot apply points into treasure sense until level 14, however if you save up points from level 10 + you can put a full 5 in it right when you hit 14 if making top coin is important to you vs fighting or sailing speed options.

The basic two skills are your left and right broadside cannon strength. More dots here give you more power on that side. It is that easy. Most of us pick our favorite side and apply a full 5 to it as soon as we can leaving the other side at only one dot. Better to have a full kill side when you need it. The choice of how many to put on one or both sides is up to you.

(The skills are too hard to list without the aid of tables. Please visit shotonlinecentral.com and view the full version of this guide for more details on each skill)

The full sail and ramming are both good for getting out of harms way and/or catching up to another ship, but can also be used to just get around a bit faster. Always a good idea to keep at least one of them ready if you are in areas of higher danger. Windcatcher and tacking do not add as much speed as the regular skills for full sail and come about do, but they are perminant upgrades not short bursts. Taskmaster and treasure sense are both good for those epic team battles as well.

Basic sea battle strategy

Of the 3 types of ships you can attack, the hardest to bring down is a Navy or EITC frigate (any class). These ships fire at you in almost any direction and you will find yourself taking on at least a little bit of damage going against them.

Figure 1 You are fairly safe to shoot at an enemy craft that is coming right at you as long as it is not a navy/eitc frigate it most likely will not shoot at you in this position.

Figure 2 After shooting at the enemy you will need to turn and lead away from it to get some distance and buy time for your broadsides to reload. Note that the ship above is not totally straight, but pulling the enemy toward its right (starboard). This is a good way to help move targets away from areas with other dangerous ships nearby.

Sloops and galleons can both be attacked with similar strategy as well as skeleton frigates. Sloops and galleons are weak in the front and as long as they are headed toward you the cannot fire on you. The basic method of safe attack is to then lead them toward you and turn to fire on them when you are far enough away to maneuver perpendicular to them (Figure 1), fire off your broadsides, and then turn back mostly forward to gain more distance between you (Figure 2). With this basic method even a light craft can take on a war craft if you are careful and have the time to wait to bring it down.

Figure 3 Both boats are headed in a circle turning into either other. Just press S or down arrow to stop when the enemy fires to prevent most damage. Avoid allowing the enemy craft to get its side cannons too close to you or you will take on heavy damage.

Fighting or attacking parallel to the other craft can be done if you are a safe distance away. With this attack you need to watch for the enemy to fire its cannons and hit S or down arrow to stop your boat. This will normally let most/all of the enemy cannon balls miss you in front of your boat. Press W or up arrow again to get moving and wait for the next volley where you will again hit the brakes to prevent being hit.

There are two different strategies attacking when both you and your enemy are side facing (parallel). If you are both going in the same direction you will find the enemy craft turning into you to close the gap. If you are slower than this ship you need to turn away as well and attempt to draw it into facing into you to catch up. If you are faster you can either try to keep the same distance and do the whole battle parallel to it or attempt to turn in on the front of that ship to cut it off and attack its weak front end. The other way is if you are both going in a different direction. Again, the enemy will be turning more into you to close the gap and finish you off. If you are on a sloop or otherwise have full sail or have put points in windcatcher you may be able to turn more and catch up with the rear of the enemy. This is the one method that favors driving a sloop over the other types of craft. This is the best method for a sloop to take on a frigate since the frigate is weakest in the rear of the boat and it cannot fire directly backward. As long as you are fast enough to keep behind the boat and prevent it from turning sideways on you, the battle is easy and will be over fast.


Cannons are a less critical role than being the captain/pilot in surviving a battle at sea, however in many ways doing this part of the battle is more fun and gives more of a feel of actual sea battle. The views and sounds are immersive and you are much more free to simply try and hit your target and have fun. If you have friends or guild mates who are newer to the game or otherwise not very confident gamers then this is the place to have them start. As long as you can remind them to not shoot at anything until a more experienced gunner does first or until the broadsides open up on a target, there is little someone with lack of experience can do to hurt you here.

While the role of captain may be more substantial, having a few good gunners will enable you to go after higher level ships and allow you to board higher level flag ships. The team feeling itself is worth doing it this way as gaming alone is often just more tedious.

Captains/pilots do need to also adjust their strategy a bit to better accommodate gunners. You need to watch the angle of fire from your crew and if it looks like they are not quite able to hit the target you may have to adjust your angle a bit to give them a better shot. While you may need to switch attack sides to help lead your prey away from other ships, this should be minimized and when possible type out in chat that you are doing so to help get your gunners to move to the other side of the ship. It also helps if you either chat the target you are interested or have your crew wait to fire until your broadsides open up on a target to help prevent the accidental shooting of more than one target or the shooting of too high of a nearby target. Remember, you have the full view of the battle area and you need to communicate some of this to your crew if you expect everyone to stay on the same page.

The cannon itself is fairly easy to operate and you get a taste of it in the game tutorial. The key is to know how high to raise your cannon to get the right distance and how far in front of a moving ship to shoot to allow hang time for your cannon ball to reach the ship. Micro adjustments must be made frequently to stay on target. If your ship stops to avoid incoming fire you will have to adjust that lead distance by quite a bit. That is why game sound can help out a lot here as you can hear the sails going up and coming down to help you know when to make those adjustments.

Beyond the basics it does help to know that where you hit an enemy ship is important as well. Hitting up in the sails or mast area does not damage the hull, but rather moves the blue bar down a bit which slows this ship down. Slowing down a sloop can help a lot while some other vessels are not quite as important to slow. It is hits directly on the hull or sides/back of the boat that cause it to sink. When possible try to adjust your shots to reach this area. It also helps to know which areas of the hull are stronger or weaker for that craft type. Refer to the ships section here for more information on this, however know that it is better to hit a sloop in the front or rear rather than the sides and note the weak/strong areas of the other classes.

Playing with strangers:

It may be a big enough challenge to take on the open seas with friends and guild mates, add the unknown skill and motives of strangers and the hand writting is already on the walls... victory may be a daunting task at best. A good captain has to trust that his cannon crew will not light up very high vessels nearby and that they will all shoot at one target and one target only during battle. Someone looking for a captain has to trust that they know how to avoid danger, lead ships away from clusters of other ships, and will look around in a full 360 during battle to keep from being surprise attacked.

This doesn't mean you cannot win and come home with a full cargo playing with strangers. You can always ask what level their sailing or cannon is at to at least get an idea of how much experience they have. This alone will not tell you really how good they are, but it is about as much as you can expect to learn from random strangers.

The problem is that those who want to sabotage a run will probably have little trouble doing so and that is just the potential price you will have to pay by taking strangers. I've seen people talking about their experience with strangers who appear to want to make the whole crew sink and so far my very limited experience with strangers hasn't gone well either. I've actually had people demand to drive my ship and leave in a huff when I dared to suggest I'd be taking the wheel.

The key then is to be clear in your goals and selective on your crew. You can still take those with limited experience if you also have one or more experienced people to help guide them. You need to say you are looking for someone to cannon rather than looking for a crew to help avoid the hissy fit of those who expect to take charge of your craft. You may have to go to a busy server to find a crew, but you will likely want to get them all to go with you to a more quiet one to be able to actually find things to shoot at sea. Wait until you reach your server to crew everyone up and hope for the best.

Last edited by Dizzy; 12-02-2007 at 01:42 AM.. Reason: Advertising
Old 11-22-2007, 03:10 AM
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Great guide, but already been created. I do like how you have merged pictures with words in this - maybe we can merge our two guides into one somehow. PM me if you want to do this. I don't want the mods to delete your guide because it really is a good one. Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2007, 06:28 AM
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I can't imagine anyone removing a post because there is similar information in other threads. I admit I didn't read any of the other guides on here as I already learned what I needed to in beta and really just waited until we were sure of how the final version of the game would go before making our official version of our guides.

I shared what I've learned as a way to give back as we have done on other games including toontown, shot-online, fishing champ, etc. I didn't write one because yours wasn't good enough (I really haven't read a word of it), nor to upstage anyone. It is good and healthy to have lots of people offer suggetions and views on these things.

The pictures in my guide are stored on my server and the links are easy enough to find on this thread. Feel free to use them as long as you give credit to their source.

Again, the real guide exists on our forum and this was more or less a cross post to try and help people who may not ever venture to our forum. Because I have tons and tons of server space we allow a lot more liberal use of pictures and space and down the road there will be tons of good guides (including fraps movies) and pictures of all things related to the game.
Old 11-22-2007, 06:32 AM
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This guide looks rather professional I must say,

And it also includes some information about sailing and sea battles that isn't in the other guide (such as movement, strategy, actual requirements, stats of the ships, playing with other players).

Nice work on all the information, pretty much all of those topics covered is what I had to figure out with help of more experienced players or just by finding it out myself.
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:05 PM
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Lot of nice work in that post. Best guide I have read yet.

Old 11-26-2007, 09:52 PM
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Nice guide.

The combat section is really good. I almost exclusively use a Sloop. I usually pull out in front of an oncoming ship and hit with a broadside. If I have enough distance, I'll run to a cannon and shoot away as it closes. Then, after the broadsides have charged some, I'll return to the wheel and blast the oncoming ship again.
Old 11-27-2007, 03:28 PM
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Excellent guide! thank you!
Old 11-27-2007, 05:24 PM
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gabyta what is your pirate name in the live server julia and i are in it and she already has a war frigate and im close to getting a war galleon!!!!!!
Old 04-10-2008, 04:19 PM
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Good guide, being a noob, I take it upon myself to give a head's up on my skill lvl and would never imagine taking the wheel of someone else's craft. I usually ask what's the task at hand so i can keep an eye out and be ready, and wait for first fire from upper command if possible. If skeleton crew on a larger ship I try to keep an eye on the compass and round the cannons. I just figured that was crew job
Old 04-30-2008, 06:11 PM
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Thanks DarkScarlett!
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:59 PM
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Nice guides! I had a semi frustrating experience with a stranger.

I was about to head out from Tortuga when Ferrex The Scurvy (my loyal Gadflies guildmate) informed me that a pirate was asking for someone to sail him to Cuba...Of course I thought "Why can't he sail himself to Cuba?" but I figured that there was no harm and it might be fun anyways...Well the pirate runs off into the forest and I'm chasing him down asking him where he's going (after we crewed him up)...when he made it into the caves he started killing the 1 single scorpion that spawned there along with all the other monsters. He finally said he needed to kill a few scorpions first. I slightly cringed but helped him because I was nice like that. After about 15 minutes he was finished and we used Return. We all got on my ship and he immediately asked if he could sail it. "Arr! Only the cap'n be sail'n Green Revenge and I be that cap'n!" He didn't respond...I guess either wierded out by my constant role playing (yes I was in character the entire time even during the scorpions)...

Anyways, I was surprised that he even took to one of the cannons and actually followed some of my orders on what ship to sink...He probably just followed Ferrex's movements since he's right beside me in real life too...Is it weird that even in real life we are shouting at eachother "Arrrr! starboard prow!!" "Firing the broadsides 'n comi'n about!"...

...The experience wasn't too awful but it was the first time I let anyone but Ferrex The Scurvy on Green Revenge and I was hoping for a better experience...Oh and when we made it to Cuba and disbanded him he asked something like "Why not start in my crew?"...Whatever that meant.

By the way, how do you disband a single crew member? We all had to disband from the crew and reinvite eachother to get that pirate out of it.

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