Certain inventory items decay, or crumble into dust, going from new to good and then from good to old. These items then dust when they become a certain age, disappearing from the game completely. More expensive items generally last longer than cheaper ones. Items from the box edition of the game never decay or dust. Commodities will never decay.
Different items decay in a different manner:
- Familiars, pets, trinkets, bid tickets, deeds, portraits and framed portraits, items from the box edition of the game (savvy hat and backsword), presents, and items wrapped up in presents never decay.
- Swords (except the backsword and stick), mugs, bludgeons, clothing (except the savvy hat), paint brushes, charts other than sea monster and expedition maps (when placed in a pirate's inventory), and badges (except for the labor badge) age based on login days: they have a lifetime of a certain number of days and lose one for every day during which the pirate logs onto the game.
- The labor badge as well as charts placed on a ship's navigation table age every day, because they provide benefits even when their owner is offline.
- Furniture ages every time it is moved around, placed or removed from a room. Some special furniture items (like the sleeping turtle, sleeping pig and framed portrait) do not decay.
- Sea monster and expedition maps age by calendar days, whether or not the pirate holding the map logs on that day.
- Potions and chromas never decay, but get used up when applied.
- Buildings and the deeds for them will dust if the relevant property taxes go unpaid for 4 consecutive weeks. On Dark Seas, a governor can also close a shoppe at their discretion, causing it to dust after 14 days.
A sword that has decayed will be replaced with a stick if the sword was the only one in that pirate's inventory when it dusted. Likewise, clothing for the torso and the legs will be replaced with rags if there are no other torso or legs items in the inventory at that time. Rags in non-basic colors will further decay to a basic color.
Different items decay at different rates. For furniture items, the item decays a little each time it is moved within a scene or removed from a scene. For non-furniture items, the item decays a little for each login day.
Each item has a certain number of "decay points." When an item of furniture is moved within a scene, it loses a single point; when it is removed from the scene, it loses five points. When an item of furniture reaches zero points, it becomes a prop. If it goes below zero, it crumbles to dust.
Clothing and other non-furniture items lose a single point for each login day including the day the item is delivered. When an item of clothing goes below zero points, it crumbles to dust.
(specific to fish)
(specific to broken bottles)
Decay and furniture storage
Certain furniture items, such as a wardrobe, sword rack, bar shelf or bludgeon trunk allow pirates to store their perishable items in them. Placing an item in a storage rack will halt aging after one day, thus prolonging the life of the item; this practice is often called racking after the tailor's racks that provide the same storage functionality as wardrobes.
As this is confusing even to many veteran players, a table has been provided below to illustrate the racking concept. In this example a paintbrush is examined, along with a hypothetical paintbrush shelf. The first day, day 1, is the day that the item is delivered. Item aging occurs at midnight Pirate Time so at midnight after the paintbrush is purchased the its condition will tick one day forward. Superscripts in the table below show the paintbrush's condition in terms of an an un-racked paintbrush.
Placing an item in storage and leaving it in storage will age the item one day. Thus, removing the item from storage the day after it was racked will not affect its decay rate either positively or negatively.
Items that will dust very soon cannot be placed in storage; an error message will be given if it is attempted.
|Day since purchase||Location||Condition||Location||Condition||Location||Condition||Location||Condition|
|1||Held in inventory||new1||Held in inventory||new1||Placed on shelf||new1||Placed on shelf||new1|
|2||Still in inventory||new2||Placed on shelf||new2||Still on shelf||new2||Still on shelf||new2|
|3||Still in inventory||good3||Still on shelf||good3||Still on shelf||new2||Taken off shelf,
then put back
|4||Still in inventory||good4||Still on shelf||good3||Still on shelf||new2||Still on shelf||good3|
|5||Still in inventory||good5||Still on shelf||good3||Still on shelf||new2||Still on shelf||good3|
|6||Still in inventory||old6||Still on shelf||good3||Still on shelf||new2||Taken off,
then put back
on several times
|7||Still in inventory||old7||Removed from shelf||good3||Still on shelf||new2||Still on shelf||good4|
|8||Still in inventory||Dusted upon login8||Still in inventory||good4||Still on shelf||new2||Still on shelf||good4|
|9||Still in inventory||good5||Still on shelf||new2||Still on shelf||good4|
|10||Still in inventory||old6||Still on shelf||new2||Still on shelf||good4|
|11||Still in inventory||old7||Removed from shelf, held in inventory||new2||Still on shelf||good4|
|12||Still in inventory||Dusted upon login8||Held in inventory||good3||Still on shelf||good4|