From YPPedia

Schwa is a pirate of the crew Murder Dolls and a member of the flag Swinging Pink Bananas on the Hunter Ocean.


Schwa begins Puzzle Pirates

Schwa joined Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates and became a player on June 30, 2006 on the Hunter Ocean. Just starting out, he had quite a bit to learn about the game and how it worked. He made sure to use YPPedia to answer his questions, which didn't take him long to realize existed, and not once found the need to ask a greeter for assistance. (He actually was not aware of the existence of greeters until much later.)

His first crew, which no longer exists, was called X-ecutioners under the command of captain Jessicalaura, which he became a part of on his first day playing Y!PP. This crew did not pillage very often, however, so Schwa's main source of income was from crews he jobbed for instead. The few pillages that X-ecutioners did run, however, did not make much PoE, but Schwa didn't mind. PoE was PoE.

Eventually, since X-ecutioners never pillaged very often, and their pillages weren't profitable even by a Greenie's standards, Schwa joined another crew called Drunken Sunshine Octopus which pillied much more often. Schwa didn't know this at the time, but most of their pillages were elite pillages, and Schwa, being rather new, did not qualify for any of them. Most of the senior officers seemed to look down on Schwa because he was a greenie by their standards. Not appreciating this, Schwa joined his old crew again, and as he did, he was promoted to the rank of officer by one of Jessicalaura's senior officers. He had been playing less than a week.

Using a guide Jessicalaura had provided for him, Schwa taught himself how to lead sloop pillages without the help of the navy (mainly because he didn't know you could battle navigate in the navy), and the first pillage he ever led earned everyone about 800 PoE after 4 or so battles. Even though his first pillage was above average for a first pillage (in Jessicalaura's opinion), pillaging badly scared Schwa, and he rarely took ships out for a while after that.

Learning his Place

Schwa bought doubloons with cash and opened his own shipbuilding stall after a few more weeks, because he wanted to try his hand at shopkeeping. By now, he was a senior officer in the X-ecutioners, which still didn't have many more members than when Schwa first joined. Schwa ran his stall very successfully for a while, until Wishingstar opened a stall of her own and beat all his prices by paying only 5, 7, 9 worker wages, putting Schwa out of business. The stall wasn't a waste of PoE, though, for it allowed Schwa to obtain his first ship; a cutter, renamed to Psychic Koi for two shanghais. He insisted on fully furnishing his cutter as well, since his flag Vidi-Vini-Vici was not at war with anyone at the time and there was no fear of losing anything on it.

Schwa continued getting his stats up by pillaging with various crews, and on the rarer occasion, leading his own on his cutter. He decided he had a knack for carpentry, and when his hearties figured this out, he was invited on some of his first elite pillages in his Puzzle Pirates career, one of which was courtesy of his monarch Grandpharaoh at the time. He was shocked to have earned over 9,000 PoE on his first elite pillage, and this opened many more avenues for him. Could he become rich on pillages alone? Why didn't his crew make this much? Questions like these haunted Schwa's mind, and he suddenly found himself much more deeply involved in the game trying to discover all the answers.

At this time, someone joined the crew named Madeliza. Like Schwa, Madeliza (nicknamed Made by her crewmates who quickly grew to like and appreciate her) rose through the ranks rather quickly, gaining officer rank and pretty soon, senior officer as well. She talked to Schwa a lot, and after a while revealed to Schwa that she had taken a severe liking to him. Schwa sent her a song in email and the two developed a beautiful online romance. During this period, Madeliza often gave PoE to Schwa, despite his constant pleading to her not to, let him be a roommate in her townhouse, and stayed up late at night to chat with him (despite her living in a time-zone with a ten-hour difference).

Trying Out Wings

With the online relationship in place, Schwa started to see things from a new perspective. Crews he once loved to job with to make PoE began to look shady to him, as if he had been missing out on the dark side of each crew. Even his own crew had a dark side, he decided. He saw for the first time how differently he did things from his captain Jessicalaura. Madeliza and some of his close friends went on to say that Schwa was the one really running her crew, which may or may not have been true, but in either case Schwa agreed with it at the time, and this filled him with anger. Had he just been used this whole time as a crutch for someone else? Schwa learned much later that Jessicalaura had not made the crew, but her friend Texacan did, and proceeded to give her the position of Captain.

With this knowledge, the drama of the relationship, and the worse drama from crew chat, Schwa had had enough. He used all his poe to buy two sloops in addition to his cutter, and started his new crew known as 'Schwa'-Faction on September 10, 2006. He told his old crew he had made the new one, and soon most of her officers left her crew to join 'Schwa'-Faction. At the same time, the majority of her remaining officers picked that moment to leave her crew and join other ones. With nobody to lead her crew but herself, and with college classes coming up in her future, X-ecutioners disbanded. To this day, Schwa sees the mutiny as his own fault, and has since then believed that the road from greeniehood to elitehood means turning against your friends.

Though Schwa turned out to be a different kind of captain than Jessicalaura was, Schwa led the crew with a lot of the social techniques he had been taught by her as a greenie. The crew was based around family and friendship, not stats and skills, as written in the crew statement, and this made several new players come up to Schwa or one of his officers and ask to join. Of course, Schwa was always happy to accept greenies into the crew, mostly because he never wanted any greenies to be treated the way he had been during his stay in Drunken Sunshine Octopus. He still pillaged rarely, though, so his crew stayed in between 20 and 30 members for a long time. Soon, Madeliza found someone else on Y!PP, and dumped Schwa for the other player. Schwa's grief was real.

Schwa bought a second shipbuilding stall, on a different island this time, so he would have something else to do besides pillaging. This soon became a method of escaping the nuances of being a captain, and the drama of crew chat. This stall started declining after a month or so, and an officer in 'Schwa'-Faction told him it was the natural cycle of business. This convinced Schwa to close up shop yet again. This happened at around the New Year's Day of 2007, and Schwa made a resolution to pillage more and stop escaping from his crew.

The Road to Glory

So he did. And he did. And as he pillaged, he grew more competent at it. He taught himself how and when to use the LSM maneuver, what the brigands would do in each situation, and how to counterattack or dodge when the brigands were making a move. Battle navigation became one of his best puzzles over time, though he was always hard on himself when he made a mistake and got the ship severely damaged (and sometimes still is). His best friend in real life, Batetewizard, sold him a war brig he had bought earlier, which Schwa renamed "Astral Bastion" with 12 Shanghais. (At around this time he also named his Sloop "Heron Warp" for 6 shanghais.) As he learned how to pillage on the war brig, his income dramatically increased, and he was able to paint the war brig violet and yellow and furnish the entire ship over a period of three months. The worth of the furniture onboard cost more than the actual ship when it was finished-- perhaps around the 500k mark as an estimate.

After the ship was furnished, Schwa would always spend any pillage money on poker from that point on, hoping he would get lucky one day. It took a while, but one day he walked away from the biggest tables with over 150,000 PoE, the most he had ever had, and bought his (and the crew's) first war frigate on Chachapoya Island. The crew was at around 60 to 70 members at the time this happened, and after Schwa stocked the ship, he gathered some officers together as XOs and sailed the ship for the first time. It wasn't such a successful pillage, especially after Admiral Finius, on a grand frigate with 149 swabbies aboard, delivered critical damage to Schwa's ship before grappling it and leaving them with 20 jobbers and little PoE. Nevertheless, Schwa learned from his mistakes each time he pillaged on the frigate, and eventually his war frigate pillages became his best voyages, provided he had the XOs online to help him.

Each successful war frigate pillage gave him two things. First, money, which he used to paint the ship grey and navy, rename to "Albatross Warp", and furnish it. Second, and probably more importantly, it gave him crew members. Money was (is) not as important to Schwa as family, so a large crew where everyone got along was a big thing for him to accomplish. Within a couple of months, 'Schwa'-Faction had reached over 150 members and was number 7 on the crew fame list for Hunter and for the most part everyone still managed to get along and have fun. It was one of Schwa's highest points as a player.

At around the time Schwa bought the frigate, he decided to make his own flag, since Veni-Vidi-Vici was pretty much dead by this point 'Schwa'-Faction was more or less the only remaining active crew). The flag, Light Future, prospered for several months.

Then, due to real-life circumstances, Schwa quit the game altogether, announcing a forum post that he was leaving, and vowed to never come back. Though after 4 months had passed, he missed his friends from his crew (which Bladerr now ran as Captain), and after talking with them on an instant messanger program, he decided to make his grand return.

A Dying Breed

Upon returning to Y!PP, Schwa renamed his crew to 'Schwa'-Faction Genesis and joined the flag Castigo X, leaving Light Future behind. When he returned, he was given his stuff back by his friends, and his crew was down to about 50 members, though once he returned and the news spread, most of his old pirates and officers who had gone their separate ways began to return, including those who had moved to other MMORPGs.

The crew started gaining members again, though much more slowly... since the Atlantis release, normal pillaging on a war frigate was virtually impossible due to lack of jobbers, so all he could rely on was his war brig, and sometimes not even that. Schwa bought a baghlah and renamed it "Cockatrice", which he could run fully staffed without the need of an XO, in case he couldn't round together the jobbers necessary to run a war brig pillage.

As the crew reached about 100 members, some of his oldest senior officers started leaving the crew, saying that the crew was not like it was when Bladerr was running it. This, in addition to the grief given to him by the Atlantis release and everyone's obsession with it, caused him to disband his crew forever. All the remaining officers and pirates in the crew went their separate ways, and Schwa then started looking for a crew he could just hang out silently in to ponder the past.

Eventually he sold all his stuff, including his ships, and moved to Sage Ocean to start over. He had a friend on Sage named Rumsundae who led a crew there, and they made him fleet officer and later senior officer. At this point, his old friends from Hunter Ocean considered him gone forever...

Old Pirates Never Die

Schwa had quit the game again while on Sage, though without making a big deal about it, simply because he had lost interest in it. As he came back a third time, he decided to get back on Hunter Ocean and play there again, and he saw that a great deal had changed! It was now possible to lead war brig pillages without an XO much more easily, thanks to the new station-ordering and counting techniques the game offered. He got his Heron Warp and Astral Bastion back from some of his friends, and started pillaging on them, no XO needed. The experience gave him a thrill he had long missed.

Within a few weeks he decided to create another crew, this one called "Metropolis". All his old officers had long gone their separate ways by now, so this was a totally fresh start. He had nobody to help him get his crew going. But eventually Patgangster joined as SO, a player capable of running even Atlantis attacks, and the crew gained many members and started rising up the fame list.

These days, Schwa spends his time pillaging, helping greenies in his crew learn the game, and making poe thanks to his Trading Card business (which falls into the "artwork" category). He aims to furnish his new ship "Oceanic", a war brig, with 920k worth of furniture, while still setting aside some poe for getting lucked on poker every once in a while. So far it is working quite nicely.