Player versus player
The term Player versus Player, or PvP, refers to multiplayer activities in Role Playing Games against human opponents. The term is more often encountered abbreviated than written out in full. When spoken in-game, PvP commonly refers to sea battles between player-controlled ships, but Blockade combat, Drinking, brawling or any other match where there is no computer-controlled opponent are also instances of PvP.
The frequency of sea battle PvP combat varies based on the mix of player types on each ocean. Some players are "PvPers" who actively seek out other player-controlled ships to attack, but players who focus on trade will usually try to avoid such encounters. Any player ship that is not configured for swabbie ship transport can be attacked. However, if a pirate has taken the navigation station on the target ship, the ship in pursuit must also exceed their navigation score to be able to engage the target in battle.
Players that have been attacked by a player ship may ask for a disengage, but the attacking player has no obligation to comply. It is generally considered bad form to PvP ships that are "floating" unless the attacker believes the ship is floating valuable goods, or has a strategic reason to delay the floating ship (for instance, if the ship is being floated to blockade the attacker's home island). Some flags request that players do not PvP ships which fly the same flag, or belong to allied flags. A narrow blue border around the ship in sea battle indicates that the ship belongs to the same flag or an allied flag.
PvP combat in sea battle affects a crew's ranking. Victories, as well as combat where the opponent disengages, will raise a crew's ranking. Losing or disengaging from a PvP reduces the crew ranking.
Differences between PvP and PvE sea battles
The opposite of PvP is player versus environment (PvE) gameplay, where players compete against computer-controlled opponents. Puzzle Pirates allows both forms of activity.
When player-controlled ships fight against each other in a sea battle instead of against brigands, some of the rules are different:
- If the ships belong to two flags which are at war with each other, it is possible for one or both ships to be sunk during the battle and lost forever, possibly resulting in injuries to the pirates on the ship(s) that sank. If the two ships grapple and swordfight or rumble, the winning ship takes All of the loser's hold and booty except for a small amount of rum/grog/swill.
- If the ship that performed better at navigation, or both ships if neither one navigated, are configured to target barbarians rather then brigands, after grappling they will engage in a rumble rather then a swordfight. This feature was introduced in release 2007-03-21 and modified to obey the navigation puzzle in release 2010-08-24.
PvP hunting is the act of leaving port with the sole purpose of attacking other player ships.
PvP hunts may have one or more goals, including:
- Attacking random player ships to increase their crew rank. A high crew rank may attract like-minded pirates who are also interested in PvP battles.
- Defeating a specific target.
- Attacking trade runs for profits.
Some players frown on PvP hunting as it can cause the defeated ship to lose rank, commodities, and PoE.
PvP hunting is often done using a sloop, with boarding restricted to experienced pirates, to give the sloop an advantage because of the number of experienced players on board.
PvP hunting is also popular as a solo activity, where a lone player can gain the advantages of a low might ring, at the cost of a crew of players who are replaced by swabbies.
On the forums, the phrase "Hot Pirate on Pirate Pillaging Action" is sometimes used to refer to PvP.