For Cutthroat Pirates, capturing ships is a simple and fun way to get new ships. The process is simple and fun: see a ship you like, disable that ship, and then capture it.
Capturing Ships (Getting a New Ship) is part of the guide: Getting a New Ship. This guide contains the following topics:
Keep in mind that the Take Command of Ship Skill (the Skill used to capture ships) is only available to Pirates who have chosen the career Cutthroat.
If you are a Cutthroat, you receive this Skill automatically after reaching level 5, and you may begin using it immediately. If you have reached level 5, we recommend you accept the Tutorial: Take Command of Ship, which is offered by the Cutthroat Trainer in Marsh Harbour. This tutorial will provide you with a good understanding of how to use the Skill.
Positioning the Skill
Like most Skills, you will want to position this Skill on your Skills Toolbar. For a detailed description of how to position the Take Command of Ship Skill on your Skills Toolbar, follow these steps:
- On the Toolbar click on the Skills & Recipes button . The Skills & Recipes window will appear.
- Click on the Sailing tab of the Skills & Recipes window and find the Take Command of Ship button . It will be at the top of the window under the Cutthroat Skills: Career section
- Drag the Take Command of Ship button over to the Skills Toolbar.
Now that you have the Skill positioned, you will want to try it out.
Using the Take Command of Ship Skill
As a Cutthroat, you may essentially take command of any ship as long as you meet the level requirements to Sail that ship.
Most ships have a minimum level requirement, meaning that to captain those ships you must be at or above that level. (The minimum level requirement is discussed in-depth in the Searching the Auction House section.)
Because of this level requirement, one of the best ways to find ships to capture is while attempting a mission. While attempting a mission you will find a number of ships around the appropriate level. Once you've picked out your victim, you can try to capture it.
Tips for Capturing a Ship
To capture a ship you will have to first force the ship's Crew to abandon ship through Boarding combat or severely damaging the ship's Armor and Hull. Once they ship is abandoned you may capture it, but unfortunately for you the ship will be in the same weakened state it was in when its Crew abandoned it. Despite its weakened state you will have to Sail it safety.
Here are a few tips to help you with capturing a ship.
- Disable but don't sink the ship—simply put, if you sink the ship, you can't capture it. Try taking down the ship's mast (using a shot like Bar Shot or Chain Shot ) and Crew (using a shot like Langridge ) and then Boarding the ship.
- Don't disable the ship too much—after you capture a ship, you still have Sail it to safety. For this reason your best bet is probably to take out the Crew by Boarding (i.e., take down the mast then defeat the Crew in Boarding combat). Then when you take command of the ship, simply repair your mast (try out the Skill Jury-Rig and a Mast Brace consumable) and Sail away. You won't have to worry too much about sinking, because the ship's Armor will still be intact.
- Make sure the ship is the right level—don't risk your current ship trying to take down a ship Sailed by an NPC (non-player character) several levels above you, chances are that you won't meet the minimum level requirements.
- Don't capture ships without a plan—you can only use the Take Command of Ship Skill once every two hours, so don't waste it. Wait for the right ship to come along.
- Captured ships have one Durability—just like Civilian Ships, Captured ships have one Durability (which means if they sink even once, they're gone forever). So be careful once you've captured the ship, as it will most likely be damaged from the attacks that made its capture possible.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the best ways to capture a ship is to defeat the ship's Crew in boarding combat.
How Boarding Works
Boarding combat involves sending your Crew over to a ship and then using your swashbuckling Skills to defeat that ship's Crew. Once the Crew is defeated, they abandon ship and you are free to use your Take Command of Ship Skill.
The best way to learn about boarding combat is by accepting the mission Boarding Tutorial: To Arms! This mission is available at your starting port, and it will take you through boarding a ship and a fort. Although, even without this mission, you can begin boarding, and boarding is pretty self-explanatory.
As with any maneuver that involves combat, boarding is not done as a step-by-step procedure, but more like a to-do list (checking off requirements as you accomplish them). Once the requirements are met, you may begin boarding. Here is a list of boarding requirements:
This is the Ship Display with the Boarding button circled.
- In an encounter—the most basic requirement is that boarding does not work on the Open Sea, you must first enter a battle with another ship.
- Distance—you must be very close to the ship you are trying to board. In fact, the closer you are, the better your chances for success.
- Slower Speed—your Speed must be slower than eight knots. And if you take distance into account, you can see that the ship you are trying to board should also be traveling slowly. (Hint: force your ship in front of your opponent to slow it down.)
- Higher Crew—if your Crew is higher than your opponent's Crew, you will have a better chance of winning the boarding battle. Also if your Crew is too low compared to your opponent's Crew, you will not be able to initiate boarding.
- Yellow or green Boarding button—the Boarding button located in your Ship Display (which is by default in the upper left corner of your screen) must be yellow or green for you to attempt boarding—not gray .
- Similar level (Optional)—you will find that defeating an opponent's Crew is easier if the opponent is close to your level (or much below you). If you try to board an opponent who is your senior by several levels, you will find yourself in for quite a challenge.
- Weaken the sails (Optional)—weakening your opponent's sails allows you to initiate boarding much easier. A ship with weakened sails will go slower, and even stop if its sails are completely destroyed. Slower Speed is a requirement of boarding.