I found the first few levels of Pirates of the Caribbean: Master of the Seas to be a bit frustrating. I guess the design team thought it was intuitive enough as it stood... a common enough issue.
So here is a quick summary I wrote for my nephews. It is about 25% my observations and gameplay, and 75% learnings I received from this site and other sites that I'll try and list as a comment to this thread (thanks to those that posted their knowledge. It made the game better for me!)
Anyway, I thought I'd share it with you. (Please comment any additional tips or corrections or critiques.. and if I am wrong on anything or you can clarify anything, please comment!)
You may find it a bit long.. so if you're a Newbie and only want to read a bit.. then read the GIFTING section.
- From the main screen, bottom left, there is a wrench. You probably clicked it to enter in your signup code. (If not, get a code from a friend or player or board and do it, it means 20 Gems.. 20 Gems is big)... Click that wrench then click the Messages GO button. You will see a list of who gifted you (and maybe who attacked you too)
- First thing... Gifting does NOT impact your inventory. Not sure where these gifts come from but they are not from your items. (This can be frustrating when you need an item you cannot afford and yet it pops up for one of your Crew when you gift them)
- Don't gift Gold. You won't be able to make much of a difference except maybe in the case of a brand new player.
- Don't gift Energy, Stamina. I think I have actually been able to use a gift of Energy once and Stamina maybe twice but that is it. Some players get offended by Energy and Stamina gifts and may attack you. Just trust me and anyone else that suggests this practice, gifts of Energy and Stamina will not help you. As you progress in the game and add Crew, you are going to be trying to collect items for Attack and Defense and receiving an advanced item from a Crewmate is awesome.
- Gift Cannon, Weapons, Amulets, and Tackle.. they are what really count as they are added to crew to increase Attack and Defense levels.
- When you gift Cannon, Weapons, Amulets, and Tackle... make sure you gift the best items you can. When you open the Gift Window, there may not be any Cannon, Weapons, Amulets, or Tackle.. just close the Gift Window and open it again.. repeat until you see a nice expensive Cannon, Weapons, Amulets, or piece of Tackle.
- My current strategy for gifting, (in addition to the above) is that if I receive a direct message about a gift from someone, I will usually gift them back (if I have not already done so that day ... one gift per day per Crew, fyi) immediately with the best gift I can pull up. Because it is for one person, the gifts are geared to that person's level so you can send items you have no access to yet. I try to check this a couple times a day as there only seems to be 15 messages kept.
- Each day I will send out gifts to my Crew. I do not do this from the Messages area but from the Crew area (top left). I click the bottom Gifts button and a list of all the Crew I have not gifted in the last day shows up. I cycle through this until I get a good Cannon, Weapon, Amulet, or Tackle and I click the select all button and sent it to everyone. I do the above, personal message gifting first.
- Note. Even if someone gifts me Energy, Stamina, or Gold, I will still gift them a good Cannon, Weapon, Amulet, or Tackle. Ii does not cost me anything and I am hoping they may be new to the game and have not picked up on that yet.
Chests and Wrecks
- When ever I get a couple of spare minutes, I'll cruise around the water and tap all the wrecks and rowboats and collect the gold.. it is free and no risk and it does add up. I even got a gem once.
- There are sometimes Chests floating around. I keep opening them, dammit! I think out of maybe 15 or 20, I got 3 or 4 with a couple thou gold, one had a rabbit's foot, and the rest either blew up, melted my gold, or were a trap to lure me to an attack... an attack where someone with half my A&D points whoops my ass... baffling. Never once have I seen a Gem. I have also not seen a locked chest yet either.. although they were mentioned on the boards.
- Don't apply level credits to Attack or Defense. It may seem like a good idea when you start but it won't be long before your A&D numbers dwarf anything you can add with leveling points. Save them for Energy, Stamina, and Health.
- Energy, Stamina, and Health maximums are critical. You will have to devise your own strategy for how you balance these numbers. You need Energy for the quests you receive on the islands. Stamina and Health are used for sea battles.
- The higher your Health limit the more gold it takes to repair your ship. Is it worth it to have a huge health number. I am not sure. I know I get stuck waiting for more Energy for quests so maybe I could do with more on the Energy and less on the Health. I did run out of Stamina a few time earlier in the game, when I was battling a lot.
- I have been buying properties on the islands I gain access to. I have noticed that some have payout periods that take days to recover my investment. I usually try to avoid those. If I can recoup in a day or two, I'll buy it... even just to bank some gold and get it out of my hold
- Each island has a number of quests. The first time you do a quest you have to answer a multiple choice question. If you get it wrong, I think you get the XP but not the Gold. You can go back in and do the quest again and pick another answer. You need to go back in repeatedly anyway in order to 'master' the quest to level and unlock islands. Once all the quests on an island are done, there is another one added. You only get one chance at this one. If you win, you get Gold and XP, lose and it is just XP.
- When you lose, you lose Health and Gold.. you do not lose Gems or Items or anything else. You do burn Stamina when you fight and you cannot attack without Stamina. You will also likely lose Health even if you win, usually not as much.. but it depends on the Attack level of you opponent compared to your Defense level.
- At first I found the battling odd. Someone could be attacking you and the only evidence you have is your Health dropping. I have not seen any option to see or participate in the battle if someone attacks you. You can check the Messages area later and retaliate, should you so choose.
- Personally, I treat the battling like this is a Pirate Game.. so if a ship has no gold, I won't attack it. Unfortunately, I blasted a few players early on before I figured this out. If there is no Gold in their holds, you don't have anything to win except a few XP maybe.
- While you are away from the game, players will attack you. I used to retaliate but I noticed some of the attackers had very low numbers and frequently lost to my ship. I won't retaliate on these players now, they are building some XP and it doesn't do me any harm.. even if they take a bunch of Health, it rebuilds pretty quickly.
- There is a little scale icon on the stats pages (click a player name or on your name at the bottom of the main screen). I cannot find anything that specifies what the scales are or how they are calculated but it seems to be related to who you attack. I am not sure if it impacts your win calculations or other scores.
- I bank my gold by buying Attack and Defense items or properties. Just like the real world, cruising around with money hanging out is an invitation to trouble
- On that note: If you are cruising around with tons of gold in your holds, I don't care if you are 10 levels below me, I am going to attack you. Aye Matey, this be a Pirate Game!
Network Access, Bugs & Crashes
- I have never played a game with so many crashes and restarts and not one with so many server hits. I find it a bit infuriating sometimes but it has not really impacted my scores or anything yet. I did read some posts about how folks have lost their profiles. It is or was so common that Disney posted a KB article on it. I have not experienced that yet, knock on my wooden leg, Billy.
- I read on one of the posts that the HD option may cause server hits. Not sure why but I may try the no HD option and see if that helps speed things.
- You can only enter one invite code and receive the 20 gems once. Don't keep entering codes, they game ignores them.
- You are very likely going to want to add crew. Having a huge number of crew is probably the only way to play successfully for free, and only then if a lot of your crew gift effectively (see notes above)
- When I add Crew, I either get the names form a site (see below) or I more often, get them from the gameplay. If I see a player who has a name I can remember (I don't want to write it down) then I'll click Crew in the top left and add them. I usually try to add higher level players as they usually understand Gifting better.
- I THINK that your Crew are not listed when you click a ship and scroll through them to battle. If you want to battle your Crewmate then you can click on their name in the list in the Crew area. Id find it a bit weak how little interaction you can have with your Crew.. you can add and gift and battle them and that's it. Strange.
I hope that helps you out a bit!
Feel free to add me: capt_relik ( new user code H9O0J1 )