While there is no actual puzzle programmed with the name of the social puzzle, the term is used to refer to the social interactions in game that run from personal relationships to those between flags.
Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Just about every aspect of game play from pillaging to swordfighting to merchant enterprises is designed to be done in groups thus requiring interactions from players to accomplish in-game goals and endeavors. The basic infrastructure of game organization is also designed to be socially interactive by requiring individuals to join crews and crews to join flags to accomplish any higher level aspects of game play.
Individuals, with the right approach to the social puzzle and dedication to their goals, can build great game influence into their pirate personas. Partially, this is done through the forums by posting in their ocean's Piratical Parley and Politics section and being a general known presence in the forums. Players such as Faulkston, Homullus, Whitefire, Phade, and Attesmythe have made their names rather widely known among the player base through their posts on the forums and the attitudes that they present there. This can be a great tool for the aspiring social puzzler as it increases notoriety among the player base which can be a great advantage during interactions in-game.
In addition to a large presence on the forums, an individual pirate looking to crack into the social puzzle must make an impact within the game environment. This can be accomplished many ways and depends on the individuals strengths and weaknesses. Some consider the art of player versus player battle navigation to be one of the culminations of the in-game social puzzle. With a win may come bragging rights, the winning of a bet, the security of a powerful new hearty, or the notoriety the comes from winning a PVP. The mastery of swordfighting or battle navigation against brigands has also created puzzle pirate "rockstars". Swordfighters like Silverdawg and Cioj and battle navigators like Shuranthae and Sweetiepiepi have had great success at the social puzzle from the notoriety and presence that their skills create.
One can not fully appreciate the scope that mastering the social puzzle can have without an examination of the pirate RobertDonald. With a diverse and active posting practice on the forums and widely known presence on the Midnight Ocean, RobertDonald may be considered one of the most known pirates of his time. His contributions to the game included the implementation of blockade pay for jobbers , which may be one of the most substantial impacts on overall play an individual player has ever had, as well as prompting the addition of fame to the game and encouraging a more generally mercenary attitude among players. He also was involved in one of the largest conflicts in the history of the Midnight Ocean, the Scallywag War, which only increased his notoriety. His demeanor on the forums left some pirates to describe him as "cold" or even "evil", but there are indications that this persona was deliberate, another aspect of how he worked the social puzzle. Even his eventual banning from pushing the rules too far resulted in being immortalized as part of the game's history, and RobertDonald is still a well-known name on Midnight and in the forums years later.
Shuranthae is by many standards the quintessential "rockstar" pirate and master of the social puzzle. Considered one of the best battle navigators on the Midnight Ocean, highly skilled in just about every puzzle, and one of the game's strongest dissectors of game AI and puzzle scoring; Shuranthae is known by just about every player who ever reads the forums or spends time politically active in-game. He has made a name for himself as "the best" partially because he consistently has ultimate ratings in every puzzle he attempts. Shuranthae has approached the social puzzle in a different way than most. Normally keeping to himself or confining himself to a small crew with close friends, Shuranthae has taken part of "big flag politics" without necessarily having to be part of a big flag. He has also been known for his posts on the forums in the game design section, specifically regarding his positions on ship decay, last second movement, and brigand AI. Shuranthae has accomplished a firm grasp on the social puzzle by being a powerful force in-game, a vocal addition to the forum community, and all around "player one should know if they want to drop names".