Pixel Piracy – Beginner’s Guide

Pixel Piracy – On Skills

While every pirate can learn any skill there are a few skills I consider “Combat”, “Utility” and “Leader” skills. This division is simple. Combat skills are used in combat, and as such they are useful to any pirate. Since you cannot, at least yet, divide your pirates into groups, such as “Boarders” and “Ship Crew” there is no reason why your Cook shouldn’t be a skilled sword-arm. EDIT: As of a recent update this is now possible. You can “check” a crew member to stay on your ship.

There are a number of Combat skills. The cheapest one you can obtain is Basic Parry. The further away you sail from your starting city the more different skills you can find, such as the Boar Strike, or Combat Evasion. Some combat skills are more useful than others. Basic Parry offers a 1% chance of parrying an attack, which is close to nothing. Leveling Basic Parry higher takes a lot of time and effort, which is why skills of this sort (another example would be Combat Focus) are best learned as early as possible so that they can reach some decent level in the long-term, and thus become useful.

Utility skills relate to the maintenance of the ship, in some way. Cleaning, Sailing, Ship Repair and Cooking are just a few examples. All of these skills can be given to your pirates. However, I would suggest giving only one such skill to each pirate. So, you would give a pirate cooking but not cooking and fishing. This is because the more utility skills a pirate has the more attention he will have to split between his different activities. Giving only one such skill to a pirate means he can focus on a specific task, whatever it might be.

Leader skills are those that appear to benefit the ship through the captain. I did not have a chance to see whether other pirates benefit from them (cumulative bonuses, for example) but seeing as the captain, for example, is the only one who loots chests  it might very well be the case that he would be the only one benefiting from, for example, Map Reading skills. I might be wrong here, but certain skills simply seem to work with the Captain than any other pirates.

There are other skills that do not exactly belong to any of the above three categories. Fast Learner, Pooping Study and Fast Running are just a few examples. While they benefit a pirate in some way they do not relate purely to combat, utility or leadership. However, like in the case of Fast Learner, it is good to give them some of these skills.

Pixel Piracy – Combat

Combat happens in real-time. Different weapons have different attack speeds, different reach, knockback and damage. In general, smaller weapons are faster, but weaker. Having a larger weapon lets you conclude a fight quicker, rather than struggle with a smaller weapon. What is the general rule of combat? The guy with the bigger weapon wins. And by bigger I do not mean size-wise, but damage-wise. If your enemy does one point of damage and you answer with ten the enemy has lost.  All weapons can become deadly, and there are a number of ways to turn a dagger into a dangerous eye-poker.

Firstly, your strength and dexterity stats allow you to do more damage. Even just two points of additional damage make a meaningful difference during combat. Secondly, you can improve the quality of your weapon through grindstones.

Grindstones have a 40% chance of improving a weapon by one level. You need at least five grindstones to turn a level 1 weapon into a level 6 monstrosity. Higher weapon levels tend to have improved stats and sometimes they appear to have improved special abilities. While improving a weapon fully takes time it is well worth it. A weapon that previously did 2 points of damage could do 7. Combine that with higher strength and you can dish out over 10 points of damage without a problem, and very early into the game. While a single pirate doing 10 damage might not look like much if you manage to have a handful of such skilled and equipped pirates most dangers will be non-existent, which leads us to a different problem at hand.

Pixel Piracy – On Threat and Ships

As a Beginner you will mainly meet ships without cannons. Threat Level 1-3 ships are all “flatbeds” with a handful of crew. They will not have any advanced weaponry, and if you have, let us say, four or five crew members you should be able to take them out with ease. The same goes for islands. The islands closest to your starting point should be mildly easy, but the further away you go the more necessary it becomes to hire more crew members.

A Level 4 Pirate ship is, indeed, a very big threat. First of all, it will have a cannon, and somebody capable of manning it. You might laugh at cannons, seeing how their shots are more like mortars than straight-shot cannons but if your ship is a flatbed it will take only a few shots to sink you. Because of this you need: 1) A skilled and numerous crew, 2) Cannons of your own, 3) An improved ship (not a flatbed).

When boarding a level-4 ship for the first time the skills and equipment of your pirates will be tested thoroughly. It will not be easy, in fact unless you have leveled them highly you should expect some of your pirates to die. While fighting the pirates is one thing, one of the biggest threats to your own crew is the enemy cannon loader. If he has a bomb in his hand and you grapple onto the ship he might suicide bomb, taking anybody close to him to Davy Jones’ Locker. A possible tactic to evade this is to wait for the enemy to run out of ammunition, but if your ship is not sturdy enough you could sink before the enemy runs out of ammo. Alternatively you can try to knock out the enemy ship with your own cannons. Since the enemy pirates will usually use only a single cannon having two of your own could give you the advantage you need. This is expensive, both in terms of the cannon costs and training two pirates who will use said cannons.

The higher you go the tougher it will get, so as a rule try to explore every single island around, and hunt down threat 1-3 ships and only when you have built up your ship, trained your crew and equipped them should you move to the threat 4 ships.

Pixel Piracy – Your Crew During a Battle

One of the biggest problems you can face is not the enemy but how your own crew behaves. When your pirates land on an enemy ship or an island they will automatically engage any hostiles. However, they will not engage the closest hostile, instead they will pick a random target, and the enemy will do the same. This can lead to some very dangerous situations. Your whole crew could ignore the vast majority of the enemy force, which in turn charges at your captain, or your whole crew can be split into small groups all over a ship or island. The larger your crew, and the more enemies present, the harder it becomes to keep a hold on the situation.

To make matters worse, you cannot control the battle at all. You cannot order your crew to target a specific enemy or request specific pirates to retreat. Even your own captain, if not ordered to move somewhere constantly, will attempt to return to the battle when you want to keep him away from it.

Because of the above you should always keep a stock of healing items, be it Elixirs or food items (Coconuts and Bananas). They could save your crew when they are about to die, and certain items, such as Pheonix Rum, can bring back your pirate from certain death.

Considering how chaotic a battle can be press Spacebar often, to check the status of your crew, and heal those pirates who are in urgent need of saving. Once the battle is over you can safely collect the spoils of battle.

REMEMBER, if a pirate dies there is no guarantee you will get back his weapon. If you are certain a specific pirate will die take any and all items off of him, or they might be lost permanently.

Pixel Piracy – Morale and Hunger

We spoke of your early combat, exploration, and money earning. What is left? Morale and Hunger. Hunger when depleted will result in the death of your pirate. That is why you should ALWAYS keep a small reserve of food. Return to port when you are low on food and resupply. If things get bad use your consumables (coconuts and bananas, for example) to refill the hunger bar a bit. Hunger, unlike other pirates, could result in the death of your high level pirate.

Initially you will use Watermelons, to fill your ship’s hold. These might not be the cheapest but they will allow your crew to function in an orderly fashion. However, Watermelons can take up a lot of space, that is why you should try to buy barrels and stuff any food into them, so that you have more space in your cargo hold. Certain foods, like the Pot of Soup, can provide a lot of food, while taking up less space than the Watermelons, while also being cheaper in the cost-per-food sense. However, more advanced foods need a Cook to prepare them, otherwise they will not be eaten. Eventually you will have to hire a pirate to act as your ship’s cook. Like mentioned before, train a pirate in ONLY the cook skill (not counting combat skills) if you want for him to maximize his production. You can also give your cook the Chef Knife to further improve his efficiency.

Morale is a bit harder to control, at times. Morale drops on its own, over time. Certain skills drains Morale faster, such as Ship Repairs. You regain Morale by fighting (the longer the fight lasts the more morale will be recovered), using consumables (like Rum), having Rum in your Cargo (like Food) and sending your crew to a Tavern. When your pirates start to have a lower morale they might begin to ignore your orders. I am not sure what happens when their morale zeroes out however, as things were never that bad on my ship (starvation on the other hand was a problem).

You need to keep a vigilant watch on both your crew’s Hunger and Morale. Failure to do so could mean you will lose very experienced pirates.

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About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

5 Responses to Pixel Piracy – Beginner’s Guide

  1. Jay Johnson says:

    Thank you very much for the helpful guide, I really appreciate you writing it up. :D

    • WriterX says:

      Not a problem! When I first started playing Pixel Piracy I had many problems with easing into the game, and I could not find a guide with a lot of the basic information (the lack of tutorial does not help). Glad that people find this one useful!

  2. allan says:

    Great guide, and well written, this was exactly what I was looking for!

  3. Wayebrynn says:

    I found that if you get fishing and cooking early on, any food issues fly overboard, and any extra fish you can sell for a little extra cash. one question though, do you know anything about the spiders? I saw people talking about them spawning on your ship if it’s dark enough. I got spider webs appearing but never had anything spawn.

  4. Xgpmcnp says:

    When Morale reaches 0,your crew will betray you and attack your own crew members,which ends up in a giant blood bath when several peoples betray you.Also,if you plan on editting your guyde more,I’d recommend you to talk about the other classes of ship you encounter after,to be said Neutral,Order,Empire,Dynasty and such.

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