Blockade pay is the game mechanic that allows a flag to pay its jobbers during a blockade. Jobbers in a blockade are paid in Pieces of Eight for each segment of a round based on the settings determined by the flag paying. A jobber must be working on a ship that is correctly set to pay the jobbers. There are five segments per round in a standard blockade.
Creating a blockade pay offer
A player must be a royalty member of a flag in order to post a blockade pay notice. To do this, the royal selects the "Offer blockade job" button at the bottom of the blockade tab on the notice board.
Three options appear in the "Post blockade job offer" window:
- Pay per pirate per segment- the average amount of PoE each jobber will receive at the end of a segment
- Performance Pay scheme- the scale on which pay is determined
- Loyalty Pay scheme- the setting that determines which jobbers are paid.
After choosing settings, the royal then selects "Post offer". After the offer has been posted, any royal in the flag can edit the offer by selecting the "Edit blockade job offer" option on the notice board. The edit screen has the same options as before, as well as information on current jobbing numbers, funds available, and funds reserved. Royals are also able to deposit funds with this screen, but only the royal creating the offer can withdraw funds. Any excess PoE will be returned to the royal who created the offer when the blockade ends. Any changes made to the pay settings will be announced to the jobbers.
The edit window lists the current number of jobbers as well the total number of jobbers the current payroll can support. For example, "Jobbers: 12 / 34 max" means that there are currently 12 jobbers in the blockade and the current payroll can support up to 34.
In order to ensure timely payment of jobbers, the payroll will keep in reserve enough pay to cover a full blockade round for each jobber. This means that new jobbers will not be able to join if there is not enough in the payroll. "Reserve: 1000 / 1200" means that the payroll currently has 1000 PoE reserved to cover jobbers active in the blockade, and that it would need a total of 1200 to fully cover the current jobbers. Any PoE deposited in the payroll will first be used to cover the 200 needed by the reserve. If the payroll cannot fully pay the jobbers after any blockade segment, they will be paid as much as possible and will be told about the situation.
In order for pirates on board a vessel to get paid, an officer on that vessel must go to the "Configure Voyage" panel and select "Blockade". This must be done any time a fresh ship is boarded. The setting is automatically lost when nobody is on board. Additionally, a notice can be placed on the Voyages tab of the notice board. An officer simply chooses "set hiring" as it would for any pillage. However, this notice will only appear on the Voyages tab if the flag has enough PoE in the payroll to cover any new jobbers.
Royals can lower the offered pay between rounds, and can also remove the job offer. They are not able to do this during a round, however.
How Pay is determined
First, the above settings must all be configured correctly. If a vessel is not set to "Blockade", no jobbers on the ship will receive pay at the end of a segment. However, this setting can be done at any time, so choosing it right before the end of a segment still allows jobbers to be paid. Second, a jobber must be puzzling for a sufficient amount of time. This time is currently estimated to be around 50% of the segment. Unfortunately, there are currently flaws that prevent gunners from being paid appropriately. A person does not have to be jobbed through the notice board to receive pay- anyone manually jobbed and working on a properly set ship is also eligible.
The amount of PoE a jobber receives in each segment is based on settings the royal chooses.
Pay per pirate per segment
This is the average amount of PoE each jobber will receive at the end of a segment. Because this is an average, if a flag has 5 jobbers and is paying 100 PoE per segment, the flag will only pay at most 500 PoE each segment, regardless of how the jobbers perform. The average is the total average of all jobber pay by the flag in the segment- not the average pay of an individual pirate. When pay is not done evenly, but on a proportional scale due to performances pays, the game will round down in the total pay given.
Performance Pay scheme
This is the scale used to determined pay for a jobber. There are four settings to choose from:
- Even- Pay everyone evenly
- All jobbers receive the same amount of pay in each segment, regardless of rankings on the duty report.
- Performance- Pay based mainly on performance each segment
- A jobber's pay is determined based on their ranking on the duty report, but only in the word ranking, not the number ranking. All fines receive the same amount, all goods receive the same amount, etc. The rankings are proportionally related to each other and offset from the base pay (average pay per segment) by a small percentage. This means that jobbers who booch are still paid, albeit in small amounts.
- Elite- Pay based entirely on performance each segment
- A jobber's pay is entirely dependent on how they perform during the segment. A booched report will result in 0 pay for that jobber. However, an incredible does not necessarily ensure a pay of twice the base. This will only occur if rankings are evenly distributed across the rankings.
- Gunner's Glory- Pay gunners more than others
Loyalty Pay scheme
This setting determines which jobbers are paid, of those working on ships who are able to pay.
- Even- Pay everyone evenly
- Jobbers' Delight- Pay more to jobbers from outside the flag
- Jobbers Only- Only pay jobbers from outside the flag
Some pay examples
These examples are not exactly to scale, as those percentages have yet to be determined. They are simply examples to better illustrate the differences in pay rendered by the settings.
- For performance/even pay at 100 per segment- 10 jobbers all receiving excellent will each receive 100 PoE. 5 booched jobbers and 5 incredible jobbers will give the booched jobbers 50 PoE, and the incredible jobbers 150 PoE.
- For elite/even pay at 100 per segment- 10 jobbers all receiving fines will receive 100 PoE. 5 booched jobbers and 5 excellent jobbers will give the booched jobbers 0 PoE and the excellent 200 PoE. 5 fine jobbers and 5 incredible jobbers will give the fine jobbers 33 PoE and the incredible jobbers 166 PoE.
The point of the examples is to illustrate how the pays average out. If there are 10 jobbers at 100 PoE per segment, regardless of how the jobbers perform, the flag will pay approximately 1000 pay total for the segment.
Note that it is against the rules to place false jobber pays on the notice board.
Blockade pay was implemented with the release of October 17, 2006. Prior to this, pay could only be done in one of a few ways. The flag could manually /pay all jobbers, the flag could load all jobbers onto a ship and do a booty division, or the flag could use a third party application such as Quartermaster that automated the /pay function.
Jobber pay in blockades was not considered a standard until late 2004 when flags on Midnight began paying. Soon, most blockades on the ocean began paying. Currently, it is extremely difficult for a flag to win a highly contested blockade without equaling the pay of their opponents.