Patching is a duty puzzle. Players' performance at the puzzle can repair a ship's damage - caused by normal wear and tear, as well as collisions and cannon shots in sea battles. It is an alternative to the carpentry puzzle, and is started from the same place on a vessel. Carpentry/patching stations on a vessel are considered occupied while a player is using the station for carpentry or patching.
The patching board consists of a field of square pieces representing a torn piece of sail cloth. In order to fix the damage, pirates must maneuver the tears so they connect the spool of thread piece with the tie-off piece. After this is done, the spool can be activated, which will stitch up the tears in the sail cloth. Another board begins once the spool has been activated.
The meter at the bottom of the board is a countdown to a gust of wind. When the wind gusts, the spool will be activated, and any stitches that are not properly connected to the tie-off or a grommet will result in a hole being torn in the sail. This countdown places a strong emphasis on speed in the puzzle, with the highest scoring patchers being those pirates able to work both rapidly and efficiently.
Using the mouse, pirates can click and drag pieces to swap their positions, as well as use the mouse wheel to rotate them. Clicking on the spool piece will activate the stitch, completing the board.
Using the keyboard...
- W,A,S,D moves the cursor.
- Q and E rotate the piece the cursor is hovering over.
- Spacebar selects pieces to be swapped.
- Enter will activate the spool, completing the board.
Scoring is based on connecting up as many tears as possible on a single board, without tearing the sail more by failing to move fast enough to deal with wind gusts.
The shortest possible path isn't necessarily the best scoring one. Use grommets and extra loops to stitch up as much of the board as possible before the wind blows.
Various messages will appear based on how much of the board is completed.
|% of board required
|% = 100
|80 < % < 100
|50 < % <= 80
|A fine patch!
|20 < % <= 50
|% <= 20
There are several difficulty levels in patching. In the first 2 star levels, only straight and curved tears are available. Three-way tears and grommets are introduced at 3 stars. Two tie-offs are introduced at 4 stars. Four-way tears are introduced at 6 stars. Blockers are introduced at 7 stars. Three tie-offs are introduced at 8 stars. The average amount of blockers is increased at 9 stars.
|Time per board (sec.)
|Straight and curved tears
|3-way tears and grommets
|2 tie-offs per board
|3 tie-offs per board
After a wind gust, any grommets that have been connected to the spool will unravel and become regular stitch pieces. This will buy some extra time to ponder a connection path, but be careful not to take too long and tear the sail!
In blockades and other areas where maneuvers are enabled, Patching takes on an additional level of complexity. A patcher will still need to connect the spool to the tie-off as efficiently as possible, as usual. In addition to this, however, if a pirate is patching well, the Patching board may include small maneuver tokens at the corners of some pieces. If the four pieces surrounding any maneuver token are connected to the spool, the maneuver token will be activated and turn green. Completing a board with only one type of maneuver token activated will earn the ship progress towards that maneuver. If there are multiple types of maneuver token activated, they will all turn red and no credit will be gained when the tears on that board are stitched together.
Although progress may be earned towards any maneuver, the navigator may request a specific maneuver from the pirates plying the ship's stations. This requested maneuver is shown in the maneuver indicator along with the current progress of the bilgers, carpenters, patchers, riggers and sailors on the ship towards that maneuver. The progress bar for Patching is shown in red and is displayed wider than the others when viewed from within the Patching puzzle. Once each bar is filled to the top, that maneuver will be added to the navigator's tokens and the ship will perform its maneuver when the navigator selects it: moving with great speed or agility, firing powerful cannon shots, dropping flotsam behind the ship to slow and possibly damage opposing ships, or other amazing feats.
|See also: Sea Battle