Old salt information can be obtained from one NPP in each inn, and costs 10 PoE per use. By clicking on a the NPP and selecting "Buy this old salt a drink," a public message is sent to the entire scene.
Old salts can give information more than once, but if the same player buys the same old salt a drink more than once without logging out and back in again, the old salt sends the information in /tell form.
Messages about player ships are in one of the following formats:
- "I've heard wind that the <ship name> of the <crew name> is headed here from <starting island> with a goodly cargo. Tis rumoured to be a <ship class> and the crew be known as <crew rank>."
- "There's been tell of a goodly cargo aboard the <ship class> the <ship name> and the <crew name> be sailin' it this way from <starting island>. They be ranked as <crew rank>."
- "Word on the streets is that the <crew name> be sailin' the <ship class> <ship name> wi' a crew o' <crew rank> this way from <starting island> with a load o' booty."
- "Me sources on <starting island> tell me that the <ship class> <ship name> be sailin' toward this very port under control of the <crew rank> <crew name> with a fair bit o' booty."
- "I heard a squawkin' parrot say something about the fine <ship class> <ship name> sailin' off towards <destination island> by the <crew rank> <crew name> with a mighty fine bit o' booty aboard."
- "Don't spread it around, but the <crew name> just set the <ship name> to sail toward <destination island> with booty enough to raise a few eyebrows. I believe the vessel be a <ship class> and the crew be known as <crew rank> in skill."
Old salts determine their information based on the current course of a player ship, so trading crews often chart past the island where they plan on porting.
If no ships are sailing nearby, the old salt will send one of the following messages:
- There ain't a scurvy dog at sea in the waters around this island worth wastin' breath upon. But thanks fer the drink anyway matey. Arr!
- A sailor was just here saying his ship was attacked by <Brigand King>, who took all the <fruit> aboard and left in search of more.
- I hear tales of <Brigand King> sailing about these waters, searching for <fruit>.
- I've heard <Brigand King> is hoarding as many <fruit> as possible. I wonder why in the seven seas that would be...
- Have ye ever met <Brigand King>? I've never seen anyone eat so many <fruit> in me life.
Note: with the last four messages, <Brigand King> may be replaced with any one of the Brigand Kings, and <fruit> may be replaced for the particular fruit which that King is said to be hunting. As of January 2014, the significance of a particular fruit being related to a particular Brigand King is not known. However, it has been observed the fruit for each Brigand King changes over time. These messages date from the time before expeditions existed, when it was still possible to find Brigand King ships sailing on the ocean. As of release 2009-04-07, Brigand Kings may only be encountered through expeditions.
- With release 2010-05-18, old salts no longer gave information about Brigand Kings, as the encounters at sea were reworked to use the expedition framework.
- In release 2005-03-28, old salts began /telling players their information if used more than once. Previously, all information was spoken aloud, so all players in a scene would hear it.
- In release 2004-12-15, old salt information was expanded to include ship class, crew name, and crew PvP rank, as well as adding merchant vessel information.
- In release 2004-01-05, the cost to buy an old salt a drink was decreased from 50 poe to 10 poe.
The old salts were introduced in Beta release 2003-10-30.