User:Feegle/Master and Commander

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Welcome to command of a ship. As an officer, you are a leader of pirates. Your attitude and expertise is a major factor in determining whether or not your crew will be successful, and whether or not those players will enjoy their time in the game. This tutorial will take you through the steps of cruising, pillaging, and dividing the spoils.

Stocking rum and checking the hold

The first step of any cruise is preparing the ship to sail.



Begin by checking how much rum your ship is carrying -- click on the hold, and Inspect Hold. Rum comes in three types -- swill, grog, and fine rum, in increasing order of quality. When your ship is sailing, rum is automatically consumed. Each player consumes a certain amount; the higher their rank, the more rum they consume. It's wise to have at least 10 units of rum on board at all times.

The "proof" of rum indicates its relative longevity; swill is 40 proof and therefore lasts 40% as long as fine rum, and grog is 60 proof and therefore lasts 60% as long as fine rum. Therefore, 1 unit of fine rum is equivalent to 1.6 units of grog, and 2.5 units of swill; a reasonable rule of thumb is that you need 10 units of fine rum, 15 units of grog, or 25 units of swill. Deciding which to buy is largely a matter of looking at the cost-to-effectiveness ratio; swill or grog may be relatively cheaper than fine rum. Swill and grog are also likely to be ready for delivery in a shorter period of time than fine rum, since it is more difficult for distillery shops to obtain the expert labor needed to make fine rum.

If you have no rum, you can still sail, but your ship performance will be severely degraded. While scores on duty puzzles will be unaffected, the effectiveness of those scores will be greatly reduced. Thus, carpentry is much less effective at preventing and repairing damage, bilging is much less effective at pumping out water, sailing is much less effective at generating speed, and so forth. In this scenario, you're likely to end up slowly limping into port. Avoid this scenario if at all possible. You will know that your rum is low when the game warns you that the crew is starting to talk about mutiny -- but it's best never to get to that point. Check your rum level every time you begin a new voyage.


You should also consider stocking cannonballs. You can effectively fight sea battles without them, but if you are accurate with them, you can give yourself a big advantage. The game's computations of the relative ratings of a player ship and a brigand ship do take into account use of cannons.

The number of cannonballs you put aboard should be based on the rate that you expect to fire them; a good rule of thumb is enough to fire all your guns once or twice in at least three sea battles. A small sloop has four cannons, so a dozen to two dozen cannonballs is a reasonable number to stock for voyage between two adjacent islands.

size of shot

Ordering Rum and Commodities

If you're really low on rum, you can click on the hold and Trade Commodities to buy rum. You might or might not pay more than you would if you had gone to a distillery and purchased rum ahead of time. It can take anywhere from less than 5 minutes, to several hours, for a distillery to process a rum order, depending on its order queue; when it's ready, you can click Deliver from the Trade Commodities screen of the hold to have the rum put aboard your ship. Note that while buying rum from Trade Commodities gives you individual units, buying from a distillery requires purchasing units in groups of ten. It costs around 500 PoE to order ten units of fine rum from a distillery; rum at the docks costs 50 PoE and up, typically, for a single unit of fine rum.

revise - update prices, mention doubloons

Similarly, you can click on the hold and Trade Commodities in order to buy cannonballs, but you will likely pay more than you would have if you'd ordered them in advance. Cannonball delivery times tend to vary more than rum delivery times, since the ironmonger may be backlogged due to sword orders (though some ironmongers specialize in one or the other); it is common for cannonballs to take hours, even a day or more, to be ready for delivery. It generally costs 35 PoE or more to buy a single small cannonball at the docks; you will usually need at least 300 PoE to order ten of them at an ironmonger.

revise - update prices, mention doubloons

For convenience, it's handy to have orders of rum and cannonballs on hand at a variety of ports. If you keep these orders to just 10 units each, you'll have maximum flexibility in taking delivery. You must, however, take delivery of the completed order within two weeks, or it will disappear.


While you're peering at your hold, you should also check how much money is aboard the ship, and whether or not you're carrying any commodities other than rum. If you get into a sea battle and lose, you will lose 10% of the money in the hold, as well as a random 10% of the goods (or 25% of each if you've lost to players rather than brigands). If you've got a lot of money in the hold, you might want to bank it.

revise - system overhaul for banks, money, etc.

If you're the fastidious type, you might want to write down how much rum your ship has, what goods are in the hold, and the amount of money in the hold. This will allow you to calculate your profits (or losses) at the end of the journey.

Set voyage type

New section

Hiring a crew

Once you've got your hold set, you should get a crew aboard.


By preference, most people choose to sail with the ship's hands comprised of their fellow crew-mates. However, you might not always have enough crew available, and you might sometimes want to deliberately sail by yourself.

When you bring people aboard, let them know the intent of your voyage. Is it pillaging, trading, foraging, some combination of those? Where are you intending to sail to? Keep track of when people get on and get off -- you'll want this information when you divvy booty later.

Posting a Job

If you don't have at least four people on board a small sloop (including yourself), clicking Hire Jobbers will bring swabbies (NPPs) on board, bringing your crew up to that minimum of four. (Larger ships have higher swabbie limits.) Swabbies do have rankings in the various puzzles, but in reality, they all perform identically, so whatever swabbies you're given will do just fine -- don't bother trying to look for "good" ones.

Unless your ship is entirely full, clicking Hire Jobbers will also post a job offer across the home archipelago of your crew's captain, allowing you to hire jobbers. As you hire jobbers, or other player crew comes aboard, they will displace the swabbies, with one exception -- "greenies" (new players whose names are still green) don't displace swabbies. The job offer will remain posted until your ship fills up with crew, or until you take it down. Jobbers and crew can join your ship while it's at sea, and you can post an offer at any time, so you can re-fill your ship if people leave midway through the voyage.

revise - job postings

You do not need to post a Hire Jobbers notice in order to job people aboard. You can job someone directly just by typing /job person. Many people sail with jobbers comprised just of their flagmates and friends in other crews, without posting a public job offer.

Choosing Jobbers

All kinds of players hire themselves out as jobbers. Many jobbers are part of a permanent crew, but at that particular point in time, their crew doesn't have a ship in the water, or that ship's already full up, or they just want to get out and meet some new people. Other jobbers are new players, who haven't yet chosen a crew, and a handful are more experienced players who don't want to commit to a crew.

You might or might not choose to be picky about who you choose to job for you. You might prefer people who don't yet have a crew, since they're potential recruits for your own crew. You might prefer to hire jobbers who are from allied crews within your Flag. Or you might prefer particularly skilled sailors. If you want to be picky about skill level, it's worth it to take the time to look at a player's info.

If you're looking for someone who will be good at the duty puzzles, check out their ratings at Sailing and Carpentry; those are the two which matter most. Look for high standing, and ignore experience. If someone is only an Able sailor but has Weighty experience at it, he's got lots of experience playing the sailing puzzle badly -- not what you want.

It's much more difficult to tell if someone will be good at the sea battle swordfight. The Sea Battle statistic reflects overall win-loss record for the battles a player has been part of, so it isn't indicative of his personal ability; on the other hand, experience might at least show that this person has been in action more and thus hopefully knows the ropes. The Swordfighting statistic reflects only individual standings, so someone who's great in a sea battle but who doesn't do much one-on-one fighting won't have that reflected in his standings -- someone with a low standing isn't necessarily a bad fighter. On the other hand, someone with a high Swordfighting standing should probably be a good one.

revise - no sea battle

In general, the more generous the shares that you give jobbers, the more likely it is that you're going to get a lot of jobber applications, and thus, the more likely it is that you're going to be able to be picky.

revise - shares

Regardless, treat jobbers well. They may be officers or even captains of their own crews; they may be just as experienced as you, or more so. Or they might be new players, whose initial impressions of the game will be determined by your actions. By commanding a boat, you've taken on a certain degree of responsibility to show others a good time; this is as true of your jobbers as it is of your regular crew.

Assigning Stations


Once you've got some crew aboard, declare a chain of command, and assign the players and NPPs to stations.

You should make it clear who's in charge (you, presumably), and, if there are other officers on board, who your second-in-command is. That way, everyone will know who is supposed to take over, if you are suddenly disconnected or otherwise become indisposed. As the commanding officer, you have the final say, though of course you should listen to your crew's suggestions.

Getting Crew Onto Stations

To assign an NPP to a station, click on their name in the Vessel display, and give them an order. For crew, just make a verbal request; if you need to get someone's attention, you can also give them an order (which will display in red in their chat box, and also send a whistle sound if they have sound turned on). You can either make your request pretty general ("one person on carp, fill sails"), or you can request specific people take certain stations.

You should give a player a reasonable amount of time to respond to a verbal order, especially if the ship is large or full of many players, since it can take a while to find the necessary empty duty station. Players can also be lagged, or they might be careless and not watching their chat box. If the verbal request doesn't work, using the interface to give the command might get their attention. If someone persistently fails to follow orders, you can /plank them to get them off your ship.

It's worth noting that some commanders routinely use the order interface rather than making verbal requests, or immediately follow up the verbal request with an order to make sure it's seen. Some players feel that this is impersonal and rude, however, or a mark of a commander's impatience. You will need to decide on which style suits you better, but don't be surprised if players, especially jobbers, get huffy with you if you order them without giving them a chance to respond to a verbal request first.

Judging What Stations Are Needed

A ship requires two main things to sail successfully. The first is a carpenter; a ship accumulates damage over time, automatically, and only successful carpentry will fix it. The second is a sailor; successful sailing propels the ship forward. The bigger the ship, the more carpenters are needed to fix the damage, and the more sailors are needed to generate adequate speed.

Ships also take on a trickle of bilge over time; if the ship is damaged, the bilge fills much more quickly. On small ships, a good bilger can periodically hop onto the station briefly and clear it out. Big ships, however, take on sufficient bilge that one or more full-time bilgers are needed to keep up with the flow of water.

On a sloop with the minimum crew of four, and no damage, you should assign one to carpentry, and the remainder to the sails. There should be no immediate need to bilge. As the bilge fills, you may switch someone to that station for a period of time; once the bilge is empty, the bilger should switch to another duty station.

Fine duty performance at carpentry will maintain an undamaged ship at no damage; similarly, Fine duty performance at bilging will maintain an undamaged ship at zero bilge. Since swabbies always do Fine, when you have a mixed crew of players and swabbies, the "safe" route is to keep a swabbie on carpentry, and let the players take sails.

With a full seven-person complement on a sloop, you can assign three to sails, one to carpentry, one to bilge, and one to radar, leaving yourself to whatever duties seem appropriate.

With a full twelve-person complement on a cutter, you can assign five to sails, two to carpentry, one to bilge, and have four people left over (including yourself). One of those people should be on radar. One person should have crow's nest targeting duty (yourself or another officer). The remaining two can be assigned to whatever duties are needed -- another carpenter or bilger if the mates at those stations are performing poorly, or to navigation or the guns. A full-up voyage like this is a good chance for those who are new to the navigation or gunnery puzzles to get a bit of practice.

Charting and following a course


Before you can set sail, you must chart your course. Click on the helm, click Chart Course, click on the island that you want to go to, and click Chart. You can only go to places that you have a chart for, either placed on the navigation table, or in your possession, or memorized. Charts that are on the table are colored gray; charts that are your possession are colored blue. League points that you've memorized are colored brown.

You don't need a chart for every possible combination of islands. If you want to get from A to C, and you have an A to B chart, and a B to C chart, you can chart a course from A to C, that actually bypasses B. Don't worry about the mechanics of this, or bother with dragging charts in order to chart; simply click on the island you'd like to go to, and let the game take care of drawing the appropriate course.

You memorize routes after navigating them a random number of times; this is done on a per-league-point basis, with "credit" for the route going to the person who is in the Navigation puzzle at the time the league point is reached. Your duty report must also give you at least a Fine in Navigation at that league point. You do need to go from one league point to another in order to memorize the latter; you cannot, for instance, just turn around repeatedly to keep touching the league point. Memorized routes are charted just like routes that you have a physical chart for.

Once you have a course charted, you can Deport to leave your port, and Set Sail to get underway. This will automatically begin your voyage. You cannot get lost in Puzzle Pirates, though if you booch the Navigation puzzle, your ship will automatically be turned around; thus, if you booch your Navigation (actually booch it by failing to drop a star into a ring, not just earn a "Booched" rating), immediately click Turn Around in order to fix your heading.

If you decide, mid-voyage, that you want to go somewhere else, you can go back to Chart Course, click Clear, and then re-chart. You can only do this at a league point. Note that if you click Turn Around, you will sail back to the last league point that you passed. You'll stop at that league point; if you set sail from there, you'll continue going in your original direction (i.e., opposite the direction you were just sailing). Thus, if you want to reverse course, you'll need to re-chart at the league point.

Every route between islands has a rated difficulty. The more difficult the route, the tougher the brigands that will pursue you. On easy routes, only brigands that are about comparable to you will attack you; on hard ones, brigands that are rated as much tougher than you will attack you. Some routes are also more heavily trafficked than others. Thus, the route you take does matter; the shortest route in number of league points might not turn out to be the fastest or safest, once difficulty is taken into account.

What to do with yourself


Once you're underway, take the helm again, and play the Navigation puzzle until you get up to speed. Navigation acts as an accelerator; once you are at full speed, there's not much point in continuing on, except to improve your personal rating or memorize a chart. You do not have to play this puzzle at all; the ship steers itself properly once a course is charted. You could also ask someone else to navigate; a non-officer can navigate if you order them to do so, though you shouldn't bother doing so unless the sail stations are already filled.

You could also consider playing the Gunnery puzzle first, loading up your cannons before going to Navigation. You could also ask someone else to do this. You may find that players try to get on the guns, rather than taking up a more useful duty station; you might not want to permit someone to play Gunnery unless you tell them to do so, and they should quit the puzzle as soon as the guns are loaded. Since there's no way to tell when the guns are loaded, the person on Gunnery needs to be someone you can trust to load quickly and efficiently, and tell you when they're done, so you can have them go do something more useful. Fortunately, the game protects you somewhat; only those with the rank of Pirate or better in your crew can play this puzzle without an order.

Alternatively, you could take some other duty station that needs filling, watch radar, or go up to the crow's nest to watch for targets. Also, you should make sure that everyone on board understands how to target in sea battle, and explain it to those who don't know.

Regardless of what you choose to do with your time, don't get completely absorbed by it. Pay attention to your crew's performance. Make sure people are at appropriate stations. Glance occasionally at the three status indicators (speed, damage, and bilge). And make sure you keep up with your chat window. If you cannot both puzzle and command at the same time, drop the puzzle.

Hunting a target


If you are out pillaging, you're going to need to find, pursue, and catch a target, unless you're lucky enough to have a brigand attack you.

Target Difficulty

Under normal circumstances, you'll see your own ship in the box on the right-hand side of your screen. When you get close enough to a potential target, that box will change to display information about the target. Click Attack to try to pursue and attack that target. Not all targets can be attacked. Ships that were recently in battle get a recovery period, during which they can't be attacked again.

But before you attack, make sure you know what you're attacking. You probably only want to attack ships marked Brigands. These are ships crewed entirely by NPPs, stocked with money and goods for the taking. You could attack ships crewed by other players, but they're often hard to defeat and don't carry a lot of booty (though it's possible that you could pillage a goodly amount of commodities, if they're coming back from a foraging or trade run). Finally, you could attack Navy ships, which are usually crewed by a mixture of NPPs and players, but they, too, generally have no booty aboard. If you accidentally attack a player ship and didn't intend to, disengage and apologize to its commander. (If you type /who, you will get a list of all the ships, and who is at the helm, so just find the ship that you attacked and send a /tell to its commander. You can also type /vwho name-of-ship to see who is on board, and take a guess at who might be the commander, if there's nobody at the helm.)

Furthermore, you only want to take on targets that you have a reasonable chance of defeating. Every ship will be surrounded by a colored circle in the main display, and colored in the radar display. The color represents the ship's Might. Blue ships are weaker than you are. Green ships are equally matched or slightly stronger. Yellow, orange, and red ships are progressively more and more dangerous. Blended colors, like cyan (blue-green), indicate a strength between those two colors; i.e., cyan ships are stronger than blues but weaker than greens. In general, you want to attack just the green ships. If you attack blue ships, you will eventually encounter the Black Ship, crewed by skeletons, who will defeat you in battle and empty your entire ship of its money and goods.

Ships that are blue or red are not automatically highlighted in the ship box when they come near; you can still attack them, but you have to click on them first, before you are given the Attack option. If the inner color of a ship's circle is shaded red, it means that ship is already in battle, and cannot be attacked.

Might is a measure of how difficult an opponent the ship is likely to be, statistically. For players, Might is based on the number of people on board, and their Sea Battle statistics; thus, people getting on and off board can suddenly change the color of the ship. For brigands, Might is based on the number of NPPs aboard, a rating for how well the brigand commander "plays" the sea battle puzzle, a rating for how well the NPPs swordfight, and a general sea battle standing. Might goes up when you win, and down when you lose. Thus, if you have a streak of winning fights, each subsequent battle is likely to get harder and harder -- indeed, something that might have been orange to you when you first started out on the voyage might now look green.

Finding a Target

In order to maximize your chances of catching a target, you'll want one person on radar, and one person up on the crow's nest. The person up on the crow's nest should probably be you, but you can also delegate this task (and the task of attacking and turning the ship) to another officer.

Anyone, not just those who can navigate, can operate radar; they just need to click on the helm, click Chart Course, and then zoom in by repeatedly clicking the magnifying glass with the plus on it, until they see the colored ship shapes moving along the yellow quarter-league marker dots. Thus, you can tell any player to perform this task, though since not everyone realizes it exists, you might have to explain how to do it. The person on radar should call targets to you -- color, distance, and whether they're coming towards you or sailing in the same direction that you are (incoming or outgoing). You should tell that player what type of targets you want to know about; you will probably want to tell them to notify you only of green targets.

Going up to the crow's nest will give you a broader view of the ocean. You'll be able to see more targets, and get a longer interval of time in which you can attack. You can make better decisions about when to turn the ship around to intercept targets.

Brigand Generation

When you're sailing a route, the game actually creates brigands specifically for you. Those brigands have a Might based upon the difficulty of the route, and they will chase you. On most routes, these brigands are green.

Because of this, you might find brigands that appear as if out of nowhere; because they are actually materializing out of nowhere, they might show up suddenly on your radar (rather than sailing into its usual range), and be in pursuit range very suddenly.

Moreover, because those brigands do actually exist, you might see brigands that materialize for other player ships that are nearby. You can freely attack such brigand ships, nonetheless.

Pursuing a Target

Putting into port resets your speed to zero, but pausing at a league point, assuming that you don't re-chart, merely temporarily halts your course, which will be resumed at the same speed when you click Set Sail again. However, that pause can make it very difficult to pursue another ship through a league point. Thus, most of the time, if you catch another ship, you will do so somewhere midway between league points.

If a target is behind you, and you are coming up on a league point, pause momentarily at the league point, and set sail an instant after the target reaches the league point; the higher your speed, the longer you should wait. Then, click Attack when the target leaves the league point; you should get drawn into the battle when the target catches up with you.

If a ship is sailing in the same direction as you are, and it's ahead of you, you just need to put on enough speed to catch up. If it's behind you, you will need to slow down and wait for it to catch up to you; turning around cuts your speed significantly, so turning around twice can be an effective way of doing so. In most cases, however, for ships that are sailing the same direction as you are, just clicking Attack and letting events take their course will work just fine.

A ship that is coming towards you from the opposite direction poses a more difficult problem, as you'll end up passing each other, possibly at high speed; even if you click Attack, you will quickly be out of range of each other, ending the pursuit. You'll have to click Turn Around to change your ship's heading, in order to pursue it. However, if you wait for it to come up next to you before turning around, your speed will be immediately cut in half, which will make it more difficult for you to catch up with the other ship. Therefore, you want to turn around slightly before the other ship gets to you, so that you are matching its speed, going the same direction as it, when it reaches you.

Sea Battle


If you successfully pursue and catch a target, the screen will switch to the battle navigation puzzle. If you're in a puzzle other than Navigation, you'll get a mini-puzzle in the upper right hand corner of your screen; if this is the case, make your first move, then abandon your previous puzzle and scramble to take the helm, so you get a better view of the board.

Damaging Opponents

Battle navigation is the art of manuevering yourself into a position where you can hit the other ship with your cannons, without allowing yourself to be hit in turn -- and then closing with the enemy by manuevering your ship into the same square that they're in, allowing the melee battle to commence. You can use the obstacles on the board to help you achieve this. Note that brigand navigators are generally reasonably smart; they don't run themselves into rocks, most of the time, unless they're paired with whirlpools. On the other hand, given the choice between taking a cannon shot and running into a rock, brigands normally choose the rock.

You will need to balance the probability of hitting the other ship with cannonfire against the fact that cannonballs cost money, and the rate at which the guns can be loaded. All ships fire cannonballs three squares to the sides of the ship; there are no cannons at bow or stern. All brigands are armed with cannons, so beware of allowing them to get into firing position on you.

Cannon fire is the last thing that happens during any phase of sea battle. Token-based movement occurs first. Then, wind blows and whirlpools turn. Finally, cannons fire.

Normally, after ten turns, the defender is allowed to disengage from the battle if he wishes. Each cannon hit will delay that disengagement by two turns; thus, if you, as the defender, get hit twice with the cannons, you won't be able to disengage for fourteen turns.

Crew in Sea Battle

You might want to re-assign stations during a battle. Sailors generate tokens for your battle navigation, so you want to fill the sails if possible. You need at least one carpenter; if you take damage from running into a rock or getting hit by cannon fire, you may want two people repairing the damage, since otherwise the bilge will fill very quickly, damaging your sailing token production. If you have someone assigned to bilge, but the bilge is empty, and you have an open sailing station, you might want to consider pulling the bilger onto sails temporarily; having water in the bilge has a definite impact on your token production, though, so this needs to be a careful balance. Another good "swing" position is bilging plus gunnery; if someone loads quickly, and is decent at the bilging puzzle, they can both bilge and gun.

If you hit a rock, or are hit by cannonfire during a battle, this creates immobile black pieces at the bottom of your crew's swordfighting puzzle. Damage incurred before the battle doesn't count. Furthermore, even if your carpenters repair the damage before the melee begins, you will still get the black pieces.

Before the swordfighting puzzle comes up, call your targeting pattern -- how many people do you want versus a given target? During the fight, you'll want to keep an eye on the targeting and call corrections if need be; be aware that targets take a moment to update, so don't obsess too much, just correct persistent soloing. The hilt and guard colors of swords will be shown on targets; this allows you to at least guess who is targeting whom, and call specific orders.

After the Battle

If you win, you'll get money and goods, scaled somewhat to your group's Might and the relative Might difference between you and the brigands you've fought. In general, this should average to about 160 PoE per player on board. It's also possible to win a chart from brigands. If so, it'll be a random chart drawn from the route that the brigand sails.

If you lose to brigands, 20% of the money and goods in the booty chest will be lost, together with 10% of the money and goods in the hold, and 10% of the money that each player is carrying. If you lose to players, you will lose 50% of money and goods in the booty chest, as well as 25% of the money and goods in the hold, and 25% of the money that each player is carrying. Gems have a double chance of being lost. You cannot lose your charts in a sea battle.

If your ship was damaged in the battle, once you're out of battle, fill all the carpentry stations, and assign those remaining to bilge (and anyone left over to sails). Don't bother to navigate or reload your guns; take a regular duty station and help fix up your ship first. Once the damage is repaired and the bilge emptied, you can re-assign people back to their regular stations.

Dividing the booty


After a successful sea battle, put into port at the next island that you get to. You want to divide the booty at this point, even if there's no bank at this island; it helps ensure that you keep more of your winnings, in case you lose a battle at sea. It also keeps your crew happier.

If you have done any trading or foraging of commodities during this voyage, it would be generous if you'd do your selling of commodities at the hold, then take the cash profits out of the hold, and deposit them in the booty chest. That way, you can share those profits with the crew.

When you're ready to divide the booty, go to the booty chest. Click Sell Commodities, and decide if you want to sell any of the goods that you pillaged. Then, click Divide. You'll get an interface which shows every single person who has been aboard the ship since booty was last divvied. They will have default booty shares, based upon your crew's shares policy, and the number of sea battles they fought in (represented by ships under their name).

The divvy list may include people who didn't sail on this journey at all, people who were on and off the ship in five seconds, and the like. You don't want to give them any money, so type 0 into the box, and click the small lock next to the number; that will lock their share at zero. All the other shares will go up as a result.

Now, go through the list of people who remain, adjusting shares as you think fit. People who have been on board for longer should get more generous shares. Don't exclude people who got on or off after the battle itself -- they should still get something for contributing to the success of the ship. People who contributed particularly well, or, conversely, lazed about, should be rewarded or penalized as you think fair. Once you adjust a share, lock it so it doesn't get changed. You should also check the crew cut; the game's division leaves uneven divides to the crew cut, often raising it above the minimum. Changing it back to the minimum will distribute a few extra PoE to the players. When you're happy with everything, click to finish, and the booty will be divided once the crew votes.

Do not count upon the crew to make sure that the divvy is fair. That is entirely your responsibility. Rarely will the crew vote Nay to a division, even if it's unfair, and it is extremely rare to get enough Nay votes to force you to re-divvy. Take an extra minute to do it right the first time.

After the divvy is voted upon, the crew cut, and any unsold commodities, will be placed in the hold. Players who are on board will receive their share of the money in their hands. For people who aren't aboard any longer or who have disconnected, their share will be deposited at the bank of the island you're at, or, if there's no bank at this island, the bank of the next civilized island that you put into port at. Thus, there's no good reason to exclude or penalize those people from the divvy, and anyone who really needs to run can go ahead and log off or get off the ship, and not worry about getting paid.

If you've really had no luck at all and there's no booty, or there's a pathetic amount of booty, you can win yourself some points for generosity by zeroing out your own share. You might also consider paying the crew out of your own pockets, in cash.



If you've got any jobbers aboard who don't yet have a crew, divvy time is a great time to recruit the ones that you liked. Ask them if they'd like to join; if they say yes, click on them, and click on the Invite option in their radial menu.

Some crews also adopt the practice of asking jobbers if they'd like to join the crew at the beginning of the voyage. While this may be a useful recruiting tactic, it's not always the best thing for the new players involved -- it's better for players to get a sense of the crew and how it operates, before committing to joining it.

It's possible that players who already have crews might have enjoyed the experience enough to want to join your crew, and would consider making an alt for that purpose. This is particularly useful for players who play at times when their regular crew isn't logged on. It doesn't hurt to tell players that you particularly enjoyed having aboard that you'd like to see them around again -- they might indeed be interested in starting an alt, or just making themselves available to job with you whenever you next have an opening.

Home port


Every ship should have a home port -- a place where it's left after the end of every voyage. Every officer in a crew should be aware of the home port of each ship in the crew's fleet. Nobody wants to have to wander around the ocean, trying to find where the ships have gone. If you take a ship out, put it back where it came from, unless you make arrangements otherwise; at the very least, let other people know where it is, so they can find it and retrieve it when you're not online.

If you're leaving the ship somewhere other than its home port, you should also make sure that it has a way to get home. In other words, if you got to this port using your personal charts, rather than charts on the navigator's table, you had better make sure that the navigator's table contains all the charts necessary to sail home, hopefully via a relatively direct route.

Whatever you do, do not strand the ship on an island that cannot be reached by ferry. Otherwise, it will be extraordinarily difficult to retrieve, since you'll have to find some way of getting there. Indeed, in the event that you can't return the ship to home port, you should at least try to return it to its home archipelago, so it can be retrieved by a few seconds of ferry-hopping, rather than relying upon finding a Navy ship or generous player crew willing to take you to retrieve your ship.

It's also polite to leave a ship in good condition -- without any damage or bilge, and with a reasonable amount of rum, and, if applicable, cannonballs. That way, the next officer to sail it will be able to start in on a fresh journey, without any worries. Try to replace whatever rum and cannonballs you've expended; for most crews, this will be the primary purpose of the crew cut. It's often a good idea to always have an order of rum and cannonballs available at a ship's home port, so it can be immediately restocked; whenever you have the most recent order delivered, immediately place another one. Indeed, if you're in the habit of making long voyages, it might be wise to place such advance orders at a number of far-flung ports. You don't want to be stuck far from home without a way to obtain rum quickly.