Welcome to the Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships Wiki
Age of Pirates 2 is an open-ended naval and land exploration RPG type of game, similar to titles such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Sea Dogs. It is also the successor to Age of Pirates, but with many new additions such as the P.I.R.A.T.E.S. system. To start with, I highly recommend downloading "Gentlemen of Fortune Mod v2.0", because it fixes many bugs with the vanilla game (such as the loyalty bug), adds a lot more new characters including female characters for you to choose from, a vast number of new ships, and even includes the debugger already activated so you can use cheats if you need to get past certain tricky or buggy situations. You can download it here. If you do install the mod, do note that you can change the mod options in the options menu (at the bottom right corner), so you can still play it in vanilla style if you dislike their realistic changes (such as longer reload times, realistic winds, etc).
Well, without further ado, let's get started! The vanilla game has 3 characters for you to choose, while the mod has 38 characters, 8 female and 30 male. If you are playing as Peter Blood, you will have to go through a (rather long) introductory quest, which you can find here, but at the end you will get a powerful frigate as a starting ship and a bit of gold if you played your cards right. That being said, it is recommended to store your frigate at a port controller because even though its a powerful ship, you will need to pay a huge sum of gold to maintain it, and as a beginner you might face obstacles in this regard. In my opinion, the quest takes too long and the frigate is not as useful since you can (and will) get better ships later on, which is why I generally avoid playing as Peter Blood. If you are playing as any other character, you start off with a random class 7 ship and stats and after a short conversation with a fellow crew member, you are introduced relatively quickly to the mechanics of the game, allowed to choose your attributes, and then thrown into the game to do whatever you want. In the next sections, I will explain in detail each aspect of the character creation systems.
NOTE: The version used to write most of this guide is Gentlemen of Fortune ver 2.0.8 DEV (DEV is basically with debugger mode enabled). As such, there may be discrepancies with the information provided in this wiki if you are playing the Vanilla game, or with any other mods.
As a last word, press F2 on your keyboard to open up the character menu. This will detail your character abilities, attributes, and so on. You can press "R" (default) to speed up the game to 2X, and/or the +/- signs next to your Numpad (and not next to your backspace) to further increase (or decrease to 0.5x) it up to 3x on land, 6x in sea battles, and 8x in sea mode with no battle ongoing (storms included). Also, a very good and fairly easy quest to take early in the game is the Austin Quest, which will provide the player with not only the best medium weapon in the game, but also a handful of gold and useful items.
One of the first things you will notice when picking your character is the Hero type of the character. This is just a fancy way of saying what personal or ship ability your character will start out with. Over the course of the game, as you level up, you will be able to pick these skills anyway, so don't fret too much on your hero type. Do note that some skills are more useful than others however, and those I personally recommend are highlighted in bold, simply because those are useful personal skills which only your character can and will want to get eventually. More info on skills is detailed below.
- Merchant - Basic Commerce (10% discount on store-bought goods)
- Corsair - Adrenaline Rush (Energy recovers 15% faster)
- Adventurer - Basic Defensive Arts (Received damage decreases by 10%)
- Carpenter - Carpenter (Any repairs are up to 10% more effective)
- Inquisitor - Iron Will (Lowers the potential for mutiny due to non-payment and hunger)
- Secret Agent - Critical Hit (5% Chance to deliver a critical hit when attacking)
- England - France (Neutral), Spain (War), Dutch (War), Pirates (War)
- France - England (Neutral), Spain (War), Dutch (Peace), Pirates (War)
- Spain - England (War), France (War), Dutch (Neutral), Pirates (War)
- United Provinces (Dutch) - England (War), France (Peace), Spain (Neutral), Pirates (War)
- Pirates (only available to Gentlemen of Fortune mod users) - War with every nation (not really recommended for beginners)
Nationality is another option you will be able to select when picking your character. It is important to note that as you progress through the game, nationality becomes less important since you can simply buy a letter of marque from a diplomat in a pirate colony and effectively "change" your nationality to that of your chosen nation. The only downside to this is gold, and well, you will be swimming in gold as you progress through the game. That being said, I listed the countries your nation will be at war with, since this is the primary thing it affects. For example, if you choose England, you will be at war with Spain, the Dutch, and Pirates, but neutral with France. Neutral is basically the same as being at peace, so technically speaking, France and the United Provinces are the most beginner-friendly nations to pick, since they each have only 2 enemies instead of 3. That's right - whichever nation you are at war with will try to attack you when you're in the world map and you won't be able to trade in any of their colonies unless you have a high stealth skill to moor in their ports without getting caught. Note: Pirate colonies are always "friendly" with everyone in that they allow anyone to moor at their ports and trade with them, but pirate ships in the world map are not - they prey on all nations unless you fly a pirate flag.
- Difficulty: Sailor (1), Bosun (2), Skipper (3), Lieutenant (4), Captain (5), Corsair (6), Commodore (7), Admiral (8), Sea Master (9), Impossible (10)
- Rate of Experience Increase: The more the slider leans to the right, the more experience you get, and vice versa.
- Enemy Encounters: Few encounters, Standard, Frequent encounters
- Sea Battles: Dynamic Battles, Tactical battles
- Profile Name
For difficulty, the higher the number, the harder it is. Difficulty in this game is tough even for expert players, so I recommend beginners to pick 1,2, or 3 and intermediate players to pick 4 or 5. Any difficulty above 5 is not recommended because you will find that many of the fights you face (especially those quest related) are ridiculously overwhelming with staggering odds (18 people with 300hp each coming at you for example). So unless you like reloading over and over and over again, you're better off playing at 5 the maximum.
For rate of experience increase, I have found that playing with the slider at just 75% to the right increases your exp gain by quite a big amount, so for players who want a "balanced" progression, leaving it at half (the default) is best. For players who like to level up fast and don't like waiting around too much, 75% is a good call. I don't recommend 100% because that is way too fast, and anything below 50% is way too slow, since over the course of the game you will want to level up skills such as Luck and Stealth and those are really slow to level, thus making anything below 50% a huge pain.
For enemy encounters, this affects mainly how many ships will crawl around in your world map and slightly how many encounters you will get on land while traveling in the jungles, so more encounters will mean you will constantly get pirate ships and enemy military ships hot on your tail trying to attack you. This can be highly annoying especially in the beginning, since it might potentially kill you or prevent you from mooring at an island (and those ships really love to catch you) so I would NOT recommend frequent encounters. Standard encounters is recommended since it feels the most balanced although slightly on the frequent side, while few encounters are just....well, too few.
For Sea Battles, dynamic battles will ensure faster paced sea battles with enemy ships, whereas tactical battles will make sea battles go a lot slower (you turn and move slower). In my opinion, dynamic battles are best, unless you like waiting a minute just for your ship to turn. Sure, you can simply speed up the game, but if that's so you might as well choose dynamic from the start. Anyway, if you have the GoF mod installed, you can set it to realistic weather and speeds which will slow your battles anyway.
Profile name is basically a save folder it will save your games to. It is important to name this other than "Player", just in case you accidentally override some stuffs, and for better categorizing of your characters. Also, since quick save is individual to each profile, a quick save on a profile named "Peter Blood" will not override the quick save on the profile named "Saint Anne", which is ultimately to your benefit. As a final note, game and mod option settings are customized according to each profile. This means that profile 1 can have realistic weather on and foliage off, whereas profile 2 can have foliage on and realistic weather off.
Some additional game settings will include "Auto reload pistols" and "Hardcore game". Auto reload pistols mean that your pistols will automatically get reloaded after some time even in combat, whereas if it's turned off, you will need to sheath your weapon first (which is a no-no in a fight). Hardcore mode means you can only save your game in churches and nowhere else, which potentially means you're screwed when you fight those overpowered fights like in the Incan temple or in Tenochtitlan. My personal recommendation for a stress-free balanced game is to leave auto reload pistols on and hardcore game off.
Similar to Fallout's S.P.E.C.I.A.L., this system affects your character's capabilities (to be honest, they're really attributes) and can play a huge role in how powerful your character will be. As such, reading through this part is of great importance so you don't mess up your character. Remember that unless you are playing as Peter Blood, you will get the option in the beginning to assign your character's attributes to your liking (yet another reason why I don't recommend playing as Peter Blood). You have a total of 42 attribute points to distribute with a total of 7 selectable attributes, and once chosen, your attributes will remain the same throughout the game. There is only one quest in the game that will give you the option to permanently increase one of your attributes to your liking, and that is the Ascold quest.
- Power - Each point increases your life points and carry weight. Increases medium weapons, heavy weapons, and cannon skills.
- Insight - Increases light weapons, stealth, navigation, accuracy, and repair skills.
- Reaction - Each point increases your maximum energy points by 10. Increases light weapons, medium weapons, pistols, and grappling skills.
- Authority - Each point increases the maximum number of officers you can have. Increases leadership, defense, and trade skills.
- Talent - Each point increases how fast you level and gain new abilities. Increases leadership, navigation, cannons, grappling, and trade skills.
- Endurance - Each point increases your life points and to a lesser extent, carry weight. Increases heavy weapons, defense, and repair skills.
- Success - Increases pistols, luck, stealth, and accuracy skills.
As you can see, insight and success are two of the most useless attributes since all they do is increase your skills and not your base character real capabilities. Skills can be easily gained in the game because they gain experience and level as you use them, whereas your character's capabilities don't gain experience at all. As such, what you want are those which have effects highlighted in bold - the attributes that will truly make a difference in your character's strength over the course of the game.
The most important of these is Talent. I cannot stress enough the importance of leveling fast and gaining new personal and ship abilities as quickly as possible. Any talent less than 8 will not allow you to learn all your personal abilities, and anything 9 and above will allow you to level up faster - a lot faster. My personal recommendation is to make this either a 9 or, better yet, a 10.
The second most important is Reaction. Anyone who has played the game at least once will immediately realize the importance of energy. With no energy, you cannot execute any attacks and can only block, which can be lethal to your character since enemies absolutely love to use their heavy attacks to bypass your block and inflict huge damage on you. If you use heavy weapons, your attacks consume a lot more energy and as such, in bigger fights, you WILL run out of energy due to the staggering number of enemies you have to defeat and that is bad since you can't stun them if they try to perform a heavy attack on you. I highly recommend either a 9 or a 10 for this as well - nothing less.
The next most important is Power. Power increases your life points (health) which is a good thing, and your carry weight. Carry weight gets more important in the game for a variety of reasons. The most important reason (for GoF mod v2.0 users) is because your characters will want to carry around skill books - that is, items that as long as you keep it in your inventory, will grant you a boost to the specified skill (for example, +30 Cannons). These skill books each weigh 3.0, but since you will be carrying around a lot of them, it can potentially add up. Add to the fact that you will want to wear a cuirass (potentially 17.0 to 25.0 weight) for defensive purposes, and elixirs and health stuff to keep yourself alive, a variety of different types of weapons for different situations, loot from fallen enemies........well, let's just say you will need weight. More so than you think. And that health becomes very, very important as you progress late into the game.
Lastly, the very last attribute you want to focus on is Endurance. This is for the exact same purposes as Power, except Endurance gives slightly less carry weight if your Power and Endurance are equal. You will want to play around with these 2 attributes to see which gives the most bang for your buck. Too much Power but too little Endurance will actually net you a bigger profit if you put the point you gave to Power to Endurance instead.
Authority gets a mention here as well even though it's not very important as you progress through the game. Because it affects the number of officers you can have, it can be very beneficial early in the game, when you have next to no ship abilities to help you. By hiring a navigator, a treasurer, a carpenter, a chief gunner, and a bosun (to also act as a doctor), you technically will have all the useful ship abilities covered for next to nothing early in the game! The trade off? That's right - later in the game as you level up and gain ship abilities ridiculously fast due to your high talent (you did put to talent, right?) along with a point in the "Experience Exchange" personal ability, Authority becomes less and less useful......in fact, it becomes nearly useless. With a point in the "Experience Exchange" personal ability, your officers will level fast (if their talent attribute is high...so pick those with high talent, preferably, or just replace them with better ones as you progress through the game) as well and they will gain quite a number of ship abilities for you to allocate to. With this, your chief gunner can now serve as your treasurer, and even your carpenter! He can now fulfill 3 roles instead of just one thanks to the "Multitasking" and "Jack of All Trades" personal abilities. As such, you probably only need 1 or 2 ship officers to fulfill those more skill-intensive roles like Navigator and Chief Gunner late into the game (remember, YOU can fulfill those roles yourself by putting points into those ship abilities), and probably another 2 or 3 to serve as your fighter officers, with the rest of your companions (basically officers who control your other ships) quest officers. Quest officers are very, very strong, and they do not factor into your Authority attribute, so there is absolutely no reason not to get them in game. Hence, I recommend either a 3 or 4 in this attribute, or a 5 if you absolutely must. Anything more than 5 points in this attribute is considered wasted as you will no doubt realize very shortly at level 15+, due to no real requirement to hire that many officers (which you won't even need to use).
Note: If you choose to, you can actually give yourself more attribute points since 42 points is a little low compared to the amount other officers get (usually an average of 46-49 points). To make it more fair, you can go to your Age of Pirates 2\Program\Characters folder and then open the file called "RPGUtilite.c" with notepad. Press Shift+F and then find the following: "ch.Skill.FreeSPECIAL". Set ch.Skill.FreeSPECIAL = 0 to whatever number you prefer, then save the file and start a new game. You will gain that amount of free attribute points to distribute when you start a new character, so it doesn't work for old characters. For example, ch.Skill.FreeSPECIAL = 7 will give you 7 extra attribute points on top of the original 42, making it a total of 49. I recommend giving yourself 5-7 more points to make it more fair, but nothing more or it will make yourself too overpowered.
If your P.I.R.A.T.E.S. attributes define how good you will be, then skills are how good you really are. Skills are split into two portions: Personal skills, and Ship skills. Personal skills are generally more important than ship skills as the game progresses (due to enemies gaining levels along with you and having high skills in melee combat and personal abilities), but ship skills remain constantly useful throughout the game. Skills are leveled up by simply using them, although you can also gain some skill experience for most skills by capturing forts or completing certain quests, while nation quests generally reward you with some experience in all your skills with every completion. Some skills are actually harder to level than others, mostly because of the actions involved in actually leveling them. In particular, the 2 hardest skills to level are Luck and Stealth, while the rest are all pretty easy to level (simply engaging in numerous sea battles and sinking tons of enemy ships without taking much casualties will practically level most of your skills, for example). All skills are capped at 100, and pressing F2 in game will let you see your skills and more.
Finally note that there are ways to increase your skills without actually leveling them.
- For GoF mod v2.0 users: Skill books will increase your skills. They can be found in most of the loot spots in the game such as those in jungles and in the tavern's room, but whether or not they appear and how rare the skill book will be will depend on your Luck skill. Each skill generally has 3 types of skill books; one increases it by +10, another increases it by +20, and the best book increases it by +30. These all stack together (but not with itself) bringing the total to +60 if you have all 3 types. Example: Being a Bosun for Dummies skill book increases leadership by +10, Preventing Mutiny: A Beginner's Guide skill book increases leadership by +20, and English Command Manual increases leadership by +30. If you have all these 3 skill books, you will gain +60 to your leadership. If you have only 2 English Command Manuals and nothing else, they won't stack and you'll only receive +30 leadership. There are many skill books in the game, and the weapon skill books even have an additional type that increases Light Weapons, Medium Weapons and Heavy Weapons altogether. Totems NO LONGER give bonuses; these skill books do the job instead.
- For Vanilla users: Totems will increase your skills. They can be bought from the merchant if you're really lucky, or found in set locations in the world. Check the Tenochtitlan quest for more information - they are used for the quest itself. Skill books are NOT found in the Vanilla version, and totems only grant +20 bonus to the specified skill or stat. It is also worth noting that once they are used for the Tenochtitlan quest, they will be removed from your inventory and gone forever...along with the bonus it used to provide.
These define your personal skills and generally how strong you are in land combat, with the exception of Luck. As you gain experience and level up your personal skills, you will gain personal abilities which are like perks that generally make you stronger in land combat situations - most of them anyway.
- Leadership - Affects how many sailors you can hire in the tavern. Can be leveled by not losing many sailors in sea combat (the more you lose, the less experience gained).
- Light Weapons - Affects the damage you inflict with light weapons. Can be leveled by hitting an enemy with a light weapon.
- Medium Weapons - Affects the damage you inflict with medium weapons. Can be leveled by hitting an enemy with a medium weapon.
- Heavy Weapons - Affects the damage you inflict with heavy weapons. Can be leveled by hitting an enemy with a heavy weapon.
- Pistols - Affects the damage you inflict with pistols. Can be leveled by hitting an enemy with a pistol.
- Luck - Affects your chance for a critical hit in sea battles, increases loot chance and rarity from loot spawn points in the game such as in the jungle, and determines whether patrols show up when you smuggle contraband. Can be leveled by scoring critical hits in sea combat and gambling in taverns or with governors in their residence. The higher the gold wagered (not the actual gold earned when you win a gamble), the more experience gained.
- Stealth - Affects whether an enemy nation will realize you are an enemy when you fly their flag and attempt to sneak into their ports/towns. Can be leveled by being exposed by the enemy, whether by land or by sea. Hence, to level this efficiently, sail to an enemy colony's shores and not their port (so you are out of range from them and can switch to the world map at will), change your flag to theirs, and if your stealth is low enough you will immediately be exposed once you change to their flag. Once exposed, moor at the shore, go back to your ship, and repeat changing your flag to theirs and getting exposed again. Continuously do this until you can't get exposed anymore, which means you will need skill books to power boost it to 100, get exposed while in town (not recommended), or find another colony to get exposed in (reputation with a nation can also affect whether or not you are exposed, albeit to a lesser degree than you might think). Finally, note that even at 100 stealth, you can still get exposed in enemy towns, so this skill is not that useful; consider getting a trade license instead.
Reminder: Completing certain quests (especially nation quests) or capturing forts can grant you free experience in almost all your skills.
As you level your personal skills, you will gain personal abilities. I won't detail which personal abilities are good and should be taken since its quite obvious, but a few good mentions are "Experience Exchange" so your officers level up faster (especially your quest officers) and eliminate the need for having too many officers or because your Authority attribute is low, the "Cuirass" skill so you can wear a cuirass for superb protection, and of course, the "Elite Fencing" skill so you deal critical hits and wipe out your enemy quickly. In any case, if you followed my advice and put at least 8 points to the Talent attribute, you should have no issues getting all of your personal abilities eventually. If you are playing the Vanilla version of the game, consider getting the Tree of Life and Dynamo abilities first to ensure you reap the maximum benefits from them. For GoF v2.0 mod users, you don't really have to take them immediately since the mod automatically grants you the bonuses as if you had taken them at level 1. This can be changed at any time in the mod options menu though, but is enabled by default (recommended to leave it on anyway).
These are your ship skills which generally determine how strong your ship is in sea combat. As you level your ship skills, you will gain ship abilities which affect how strong you become at sea combat.
- Navigation - Affects which class of ship you can sail without penalties, as well as how much of your ship's total speed and maneuverability you can make use of. Right click on the skill to see each ship class requirement. Can be leveled slowly by sailing in the world map or in sea mode, but the best way to level this is to ride into a storm and speed up the game. Repeat as needed.
- Accuracy - Affects how accurate your ship guns are when you fire. Generally, the closer you are to your target, the more accurate you will be, but if this skill is high enough, you will be able to pummel your opponents even at a far range. Very important skill in all aspects of naval combat. Can be leveled by actually hitting your opponents' ship(s) in sea battles.
- Cannons - Affects the reload speed of your ship guns. Can be leveled by simply reloading. Firing into thin air and reloading it will do the job, but it is better to level it simultaneously with Accuracy since you will generally miss a lot in sea battles, enabling you to level your Cannons skill 10x faster than your Accuracy in general.
- Grappling - Affects how close you need to be before being able to board an enemy's ship. Can be leveled by boarding the enemy's ship.
- Defense - Affects how resistant your crew is to enemy shots (less sailor death). Can be leveled faster or slower based on the casualties suffered after each sea battle.
- Repair - Affects how fast you repair during sea battles. Can be leveled by repairing during sea battles (needs planks and/or sailcloth), or by talking to the shipyard owner and paying him to repair your ship. The repair provided by this skill is negligible even at 100 - use the "Quick Repair" ability instead. Note that planks and sailcloth have high carry weight so carrying a lot of them (which may be necessary to repair big ships) will have a negative impact on your speed as well.
- Trade - Affects the prices in your favor when buying from or selling to a store-owner. Can be leveled by buying or selling goods or items. EXP gained depends on the amount of gold involved; buying goods worth 1 million will net more exp than buying goods only worth 100,000.
Reminder: Completing certain quests (especially nation quests) or capturing forts can grant you free experience in almost all your skills.
You will notice that there are 37 ship abilities as compared to only 20 personal abilities. For this reason, you won't be able to learn every single ship ability. However, don't fret - some have limited use like "Brander", and you probably only need to learn 1 or 2 ship flag abilities anyway instead of all 5 (you are given 2 or 1 ship flag abilities for free anyway at the beginning of the game depending on whether you chose to be a "proper" nation or pirate respectively). Also, the best thing about ship abilities is that a hired officer in a specified position will grant you those position ship abilities he has learned for FREE (well, except the cost for hiring him). More information is detailed below.
It is important to note that ship abilities DO NOT STACK. If your character has learned Basic Commerce, and you have a Treasurer officer who also has the Basic Commerce ability, you will get its effects only once - 10% discount on store-bought goods, instead of 20%. In other words, if you have learned the Basic Commerce ability, you do not need the treasurer to grant it to you. Likewise, if your treasurer has the Basic Commerce ability, you do not have to learn it and will still receive its benefits and be treated like you have learned it.
Abilities that have been granted to you and that you have not learned are highlighted green in the game, whereas skills you have learned are lit up, while unlearned skills are darkened. This effectively means that you do not have to learn every ship ability; on the contrary, you can simply hire a navigator, a chief gunner, and a carpenter to effectively grant you those skills without learning them ever. This brings me to my next point: each ship ability is only granted with the appointment of an officer in a specific position, specified by it's in game description. Let's take 2 examples:
Increased Naval Speed - Increase maximum ship speed by 15%. The skill is only available after appointment of a Navigator, who has the skill.
Medic - Lowers by 10% casualties from sea battles, wounds, and grapeshot. The skill is only available after appointment of a Doctor, who has the skill.
This means that to gain access to the "Increased Naval Speed" ability, you must appoint an officer who has that ability as a NAVIGATOR. If you appoint that officer as a treasurer for example, you will not gain the ability, and the skill will remain darkened (unlearned) in your own character's ability list. This is also the reason why "ship" officers (i.e. not fighters) should generally learn the "Multitasking" and "Jack of All Trades" personal abilities, so that they can fulfill 2-3 roles simultaneously. In the case of the second example, you will need to appoint an officer who has the "Medic" ability as a doctor, and not as a navigator, for example.
Finally, note that some ship roles like Doctor and Treasurer only have 2 transferable abilities. This means that getting officers who specialize in these roles are not as useful in the long run (to be honest, you will never find an officer claiming to be a "good doctor" in the tavern) and you should fulfill these roles yourself if possible, leaving those more skill-intensive roles to be fulfilled by your officers. The three most skill-intensive roles are Navigator, Chief Gunner, and Carpenter. As you progress through the game, you will probably be able to fulfill all the roles and 1 of those 3 skill-intensive roles yourself, leaving you with the need to recruit just 2 more officers, or if you're lucky or planned ahead, 1 officer only, to fulfill the other 2 skill-intensive roles.
Under your character info menu, you will notice that right underneath your character's portrait, there is a loyalty bar and underneath that, more parameters. These parameters are a compilation of your character's stats and acquired valuables/titles. It is important to note that your stats are static and only your life points will increase as you gain in Rank (unless you put to the "Dynamo" ability, which will then increase your energy by 1 per level as well), so it is crucial to enhance these stats via P.I.R.A.T.E.S. as much as possible, as it is the only way to increase these stats.
- Rank: This is your character's level. As you gain levels in personal or ship skills, you will gain rank experience and ultimately level up, which will increase this parameter. Clicking on this parameter will show you the amount of level gained/the amount of level needed at the "Next exp." parameter. Basically, with every personal or ship skill level up, the amount of level gained will increase by 1. Once you have gained enough levels to reach the amount of level needed, you will gain a level. Every level will increase your life points.
- Life Points: This is basically how much damage your character can afford to take from enemy attacks. If this reaches zero, you die. Your life points increase by a certain amount every level, determined by your endurance, power, and whether you put to the Tree of Life ability or not.
- Health: This is a measure of your character's health. If you engage in too many sword fights and sustain a ton of damage (healing it with herbs or elixirs but take more damage again), it will eventually decrease from "EXCELLENT". As it gets lower, you will take a temporary hit to your P.I.R.A.T.E.S. attributes. It will eventually go back to "EXCELLENT" over time if you do not engage in any more land combat, and the attribute penalties will disappear. Health will never "level up and improve".
- Energy: This is basically how much stamina you have to swing your attacks in land combat. Each swing of your weapon takes some energy (the heavier the weapon, the more energy it consumes, and the heavier the attack the more energy it consumes as well), and if this gets too low you will not be able to swing anymore and can only block. Energy regenerates slowly over time and is not required to shoot your pistol. Energy increases by 1 every level only if you take the "Dynamo" ability. If you did not take the ability, it never increases per level.
- Money: How many pieces of eight you have on your person.
- Reputation: Your current reputation in the Caribbean. If it gets too low, some people may not want to work with you, but mostly this affects your officers' loyalty. Good reputation officers will become more loyal if you perform good reputation actions, and get more disloyal if you perform bad reputation actions. Likewise, the same goes for bad reputation officers, who prefer bad reputation actions but frown on good reputation actions. "Regular Sailor" reputation is the neutral reputation, and if you installed the Gentlemen of Fortune mod v2.0, they will gain loyalty or lose loyalty based on whether the majority of your officers' reputation is good or bad. If the mod is not installed, I have heard that it is bugged and these neutral reputation officers will lose loyalty no matter what you do. If an officer's loyalty reaches zero, they will mutiny and run off with your ship if they are in charge of one.
- Weight: The current weight of all items you're currently holding / the maximum weight you can hold. Naturally, your current weight can't exceed your maximum weight.
- Title: This is reserved for when your character receives the letter of marque. It states the nation your character is currently aligned with after you receive the letter of marque (which also nets you the enemies of the nation), and your rank within the nation (for example, if you are French you can be promoted from a Lieutenant to a Commander). Note that it is possible to lose the letter of marque by attacking your aligned nation's soldiers and cities.
- Next exp.: It will be blank unless you click on a specific skill or rank, whereupon it will show the amount of exp gained / the amount of exp needed. Naturally, if your exp gained reaches the amount of exp needed, you level up in that skill. You can also rely on the % number next to the skill to track your exp progression.
To hire officers, you need to go into a tavern and talk to them, whereupon you can pay a fee for their services. You can also haggle with them to lower their price tag, but only to a certain point. Usually, they will state what type of officer they are (Navigator, Chief Gunner, Bosun, Treasurer, etc) and you can see their attributes, skills, and even their abilities if you choose to do so (you should!). The amount of officers you can have is based on your Authority attribute.
Generally, the most important officer in the beginning is the Treasurer since you will want to have great prices for buying and selling, and it is a very good way to make money in the game. Later, you will want a navigator so you can move fast and get away from patrols if you're smuggling and enemy ships who somehow manage to attack you in the world map. Lastly, you will want a chief gunner and a carpenter to fill those skill-intensive roles and serve you so you can engage in sea battles effectively. Eventually, you can replace your treasurer yourself or with another officer already in another role (must have Multitasking ability).
Officers grant not only abilities transferable when they are in a specific role, they grant skill bonuses to your main character as well, unless, of course, your main character's skill is higher.
- Navigator - Grants bonuses to the Navigation skill.
- Chief Gunner - Grants bonuses to Accuracy and Cannons skills.
- Bosun - Grants bonuses to the Grappling skill.
- Doctor - Grants bonuses to the Defense skill.
- Carpenter - Grants bonuses to the Repair skill.
- Treasurer - Grants bonuses to the Trade skill.
For example, if your navigation skill is 15 and your Navigator's navigation skill is 50, your 15 will gain a 35 skill bonus, increasing it to 50, on par with your navigator's. If your navigation skill is 55 and your Navigator's navigation skill is 50, you gain no bonuses, but still receive any transferable navigator ship abilities he has learned. As you progress through the game, because you level faster than your officers, you will ultimately surpass them in terms of skills, so only ship abilities will factor into your decisions later.
The loyalty bar denotes their loyalty. The more loyal they are, the more the bar will be filled, and if the bar drops to nothing, they will mutiny if in charge of their own ship. As explained earlier, they will gain or lose loyalty depending on whether your actions are good or bad and based on their reputation. Officers' reputation never changes, so before you hire an officer, make sure his reputation is in line with what kind of character you want to be. Many actions will have no effect on loyalty, however there are some wich will and can be repeated until you have Devoted officers.
- Good officers - doing trade missions for the store owners, releasing prisoners and giving exactly 1.000 for the beggars will increase the loyalty of the good guys.
- Evil officers - taking prisoners and killing/selling them after is he best way to get loyalty with the bad guys.
Following those steps you will never have problems with loyalty. You can have a mix of good and evil officers loyal to you using a trick. First max the loyalty of the good guys. After that is done, take a LOT of enemy captains prisoner ultil the loyalty of the bad guys are max. Leave the bad guys at the port controller so they will leave your party and then release all prisoners (it will reverse the loyalty lost with the goodies capturing them). Done! Take the baddies back at the port controller and you will have a Devoted party with bad and good guys.
Other Character Information
This is just a brief explanation of the other things you will find when you press F2.
- Characters tab: Here you will be able to manage each officer's roles and see their stats, attributes and skills.
- Log Book tab: Here you will find information on current quests, completed quests, etc. Check here to see what the next step in a quest might be.
- Nation: Here you will see which nation is at war with which, and you will be able to change your flag here if you have learned the corresponding flag ability. Hero reputation is your reputation with that nation. If you attack the nation's city guards or fail to complete the merchant quest on time for example, your relations with that nation will go down and they might even put a bounty on your head. This bounty can shoot up to a maximum of 100,000 pieces of eight, and will cause bounty hunters to come after you until you pay a diplomat to remove the bounty.
- Trade tab: Here you will see a list of cities which you have been to their store and their goods prices so you can make an informed decision on the best place to buy and sell certain goods. Generally, it is best to buy those goods with a very low pack weight and yet are quite expensive - like silver and slaves, and sell them to cities which are importing them for a high price (don't rely on the blue and green arrows; always rely on the actual "sell to trader" price to make a proper decision). Remember that slaves can instigate a revolt on your ship especially if you have a bulk of them and eat up food rations and medicine on your ship so make sure you're prepared for that! They may be the most worthwhile "tradable goods" to make a good profit, but also the most volatile!
- Items tab: Here you will be able to see your items and manage them accordingly. You can also equip your weapons and cuirass (if you have learned the ability) here.
Combat in Age of Pirates 2 is divided into 2 portions: land combat and sea combat. The majority of the hardest fights in the game are land-based, hence it is vital for the player to develop his or her personal skills and abilities to a high degree. In this section, I will explain the mechanics of land and sea combat in detail.
On land, as long as you can draw your weapon, you can attack almost anyone. The only problem with this is of course, practicality. Attacking city guards will, for example, ensure a quick and timely death for the new player. Below is a list of default controls to help orient you to the basics of fencing in Age of Pirates 2.
- E - Sheathe/unsheathe weapon
- Q - Shoot pistol. Does not cost energy.
- S with weapon unsheathed - Side step backwards. Costs energy.
- A with weapon unsheathed - Side step to the left. Costs energy.
- D with weapon unsheathed - Side step to the right. Costs energy.
- Spacebar - Block. Does not cost energy.
- Left Mouse Button - Light attack (fast jab that deals normal damage)
- Right Mouse Button - Medium attack (slightly slower jab that deals slightly more damage)
- Middle Mouse Button - Heavy attack (slow chopping attack that deals a lot of damage and bypasses block but is easily countered with light attack)
- Shift + Left Mouse Button - Swinging attack that deals damage to enemies in a 180 degrees arc in front of you. Hits twice. (used when surrounded)
- Shift + Right Mouse Button - Parry that will cause your opponent to stumble and lose energy. Does not cost energy.
- Shift+ Middle Mouse Button - Feint attack that if timed correctly, will deal light damage to your opponent and block his attack. Does not cost energy.
In land combat, the most important thing is to watch your opponents carefully. This is extremely easy 1 on 1, but most fights in Age of Pirates 2 will drastically put you with overwhelming odds, so the purpose of this section is to orient the player with how to win fights regardless of the number of opponents faced. Below are 10 tips that will guarantee that you win every fight in the game at any difficulty without cheats....with a little bit of luck.
Fencing Strategies and Tips
- Watch your opponents carefully and act accordingly. Is he blocking? If so, do a heavy attack on him. Is he jabbing fast attacks on you? If so, block, then immediately counter with your own light attack. Is he trying to perform a heavy attack on you? Side step backwards or if you're fast enough, quickly perform a light attack on him and interrupt his attack! Against multiple opponents, you will have to watch all of them and this may be trickier, but you will get better with practice.
- Against multiple opponents, you will want to do the block + shift and left click trick. Basically, you have to watch your opponents carefully and time your attacks. Hold spacebar to block when they launch their light attacks on you, then quickly use shift + left click to strike all enemies in front of you, then block again immediately as you finish your maneuver. Repeat as necessary. As soon as you notice one of them attempting to use a heavy attack on you, immediately shift + left click again to quickly stun him and stop him from executing his heavy attack. If done correctly with a little bit of luck, you will be able to successfully defeat even overwhelming odds like in the Inca Temple, which brings me to my next tip...
- Do NOT let anyone attack you from behind. Ever. Attacks from behind will hit you no matter what; your blocks, swinging arc attack, etc will have no effect on enemies behind you. The only solution to defend against attacks from behind is to use Parry, and if you're going to spam Parry, you're most likely dead if you're facing multiple opponents from the front anyway since Parry is really quite tricky and needs to be timed...which brings me to my next tip!
- Are you going to be fighting solo against 4 people like bandits in the jungle? Or are you going to be fighting overwhelming odds where you know you will be surrounded? If so, then don't let them come near you as much as possible! Find a nice little choke point where you can even out the odds a little! On the deck of a ship, stand on top of an ascending ladder! The only way to reach you is to climb the ladder, and the ladder is probably only big enough for one enemy to climb so you'll effectively be fighting 1 on 1 (note that enemies on the ground deck can still shoot you if positioned correctly)! In the jungle, trees suit this purpose. In the Inca temple, having your back against the wall helps! Remember: these choke points work better in enclosed areas (like dungeons) than in open spaces like jungles. Use them to your advantage!
- Remember that your enemies cannot shoot through bodies so opponents behind the opponent in front of you won't be able to shoot past their allies. Be at ease you'll only be fighting against the opponents directly in front of you!
- Shooting can be deadly to your opponents....or to yourself. When shooting, you are defenseless so against multiple opponents, it may not be the best idea. That being said, you cannot be interrupted when shooting so if you know your shot will finish off your enemy, go ahead and take the risk! Your opponents can do the same to you too though, and if an opponent launches a heavy attack on you while you're trying to shoot someone, you cannot cancel the shooting action and block so you will take his hit. If he deals a critical hit on you, you're probably going to take a lot of damage.
- Did you know you can press "X" on the keyboard to quickly consume a healing item? The game is smart enough to know which item to pick; if you only need to heal a little bit of health, the game will automatically pick a medicinal herb and consume it. If you desperately need health, the game will consume an elixir or great wine. If you're poisoned and low on health, the game will consume a mixture for you! Bear in mind consuming multiple healing items won't stack the healing effect.
- We finally come to the great debate of which weapon to pick...Heavy weapons, Light weapons or Medium weapons? As a general rule, it depends on the situation. Are you going to be fighting 1 on 1? If so, pick the heavy weapon! Are you going to be fighting 8 enemies? Medium weapons may be more useful here. Are you going to be fighting against 20 enemies? If so, perhaps light weapon will be best. The reason for this recommendation is because of energy. Light weapons, though they deal little damage, consume the least energy so you know you will have enough energy to fight prolonged fights like against 20 enemies. It is never a good thing when your opponent is about to launch a heavy attack and you don't have enough energy to use a light attack on him to counter it. Heavy weapons, because of their enormous damage, can very useful against opponents, especially "boss" opponents (like the one in Tenochtitlan)....if you have the energy to sustain it. Up to a certain point, you will probably run out of energy after killing 4-5 enemies, and that will be fatal for you if you still have another 15 coming at you. Medium weapons feel the most "balanced", but still take up quite a bit of energy so use at your discretion, though in my opinion, for the most part, the majority of battles in this game can be won with a medium weapon.
- The most useful attacks are the light attack, heavy attack, and the swinging arc attack. The reason for this is simple. Light attacks are extremely fast - as long as your opponent doesn't block (and they don't tend to block at full energy), you can perform the light attack on them almost indefinitely. Each attack interrupts the target if the damage goes through, so you will technically be stun-locking them until they choose to block (or if they choose to shoot, which cannot be interrupted)...or you run out of energy. Fun stuff. Heavy attacks are the next best thing; they do enormous damage to the opponent and bypasses their block, potentially killing them in 1 blow. This can be very useful in a wide variety of situations, such as when you need to even out the odds quickly before your allies die and you're all alone (like when boarding). In a majority of cases, to ensure your opponent doesn't interrupt your heavy attack, it is best to launch a light attack first to stun him, then immediately follow it up with a heavy attack. Last but not least, the swinging arc attack ensures that you will crush multiple enemies while staying alive...as long as you have enough energy. This swinging arc attack hits twice and is quite fast, so a bunch of enemies attempting to perform a heavy attack on you will still be interrupted as long as you execute the attack fast enough. Most importantly however, is that the swinging arc attack has a chance to crit on each attack - and since it hits twice, you have a chance to crit two times, per enemy. This can potentially be devastating to surrounding enemies.
- Parry and feint have limited use in this game. While they do not cost energy, they need to be timed and as such can be quite tricky to be effective in a fight. Instead, stick to tip #9 above and you will find that you will be more effective in a fight. Note that feints also do very little damage even if they do hit your opponent. As a last word, medium attacks suck; not only do they do only slightly above average damage, they are slow enough to be potentially interrupted by a light attack. If you're going to be using medium attacks, stick to heavy attacks instead and you will find that you can 1 shot opponents better than a medium attack at the cost of practically nothing.
- Berserk can be a useful skill in certain circumstances. Because it increases your melee damage, it synergizes very well with the swinging attack, allowing you to kill surrounding enemies fairly quickly if you are facing a horde of enemies. It lasts for only a short duration though.
- As you gain experience and level up over the course of the game, you will find that the enemies level up with you and become harder as you level up. Due to a poor oversight on the game developers, this also means that the fights actually become considerably tougher as you reach the level 30-40 mark (once you hit level 48+ it peters off and gets slightly easier since NPCs reach the limit on how much stronger they can really become). One of the reasons for this is because the NPCs can learn the same personal abilities as you - so let's say you can learn critical hit, berserk, etc and become stronger, the NPCs can also learn the same abilities! Since the majority of fights are against overwhelming odds, you will potentially be overwhelmed by crazy opponents who have learnt Critical Hit, Berserk, Battering Ram, Clever Shot, and the worst - Heavy Hand. Heavy Hand for the player character is not really useful since it is far easier to kill them fast rather than drain their energy, but for the NPCs - it can be potentially overpowered. Remember that you spend most of the time fighting against overwhelming odds? Now imagine you're fighting against 20 opponents all with heavy hand - they surround you and keep hitting on you, draining your life and energy (Battering ram ability allows them to bypass your block 20% of the time...crazy stuff). There is a potion to restore life, but there's no potion to restore energy, so you are left defenseless as they hit you over and over again, draining you of any energy left to fight. The worst thing is that Heavy Hand bypasses block, which makes fights harder than it should be. In other words, due to the oversight by the game developers, fights at late game might be tougher than usual, and this is one of the reasons why at higher difficulties (Admiral and up), the game becomes really difficult. The other reason is that at later levels, enemies all come equipped with four-barreled pistols, so they will keep firing on you and doing obscene amounts of damage without the possibility of getting interrupted. Sounds devastating? That's because it is. In any case, this is just something to take note of, especially at higher difficulties, which makes it important to know how to use choke points a lot more often to prevent getting surrounded and subsequently, pummeled.
This is probably one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) why we love and play this game. Sea combat is fun but can be more complicated than land combat due to a wide variety of reasons, and as such this section will serve as a general guide on how to orient the player on the mechanics of the ship and how to be effective in sea battles.
First off, in the top left hand corner, you will be able to see your ship, any officer ships under your control, their hull and sail hit points, and how many crew members are currently on board and alive. The ship you are controlling will always be the first one on the list, followed by your officers' ship(s) if you have any. Their names are also listed. The red bar denotes your hull hit points - basically how much damage your ship can take before it sinks. The blue bar denotes your sail hit points - basically how much damage your sails can take before you lose all your sails and as such become unable to move (this can be debilitating even though you technically aren't dead). The numerical number denotes how many of your crew are still alive - you do not want this number to reach very low levels or you will be crippled as well.
Below is a list of important controls. For the full list of controls, you can check your keyboard controls under the Options menu.
- W - Raise Sails
- S - Lower Sails
- Left Mouse Button - Fire Ship Cannons
- Tab - Switch between 1st Person Sailing Mode/3rd Person Sailing Mode
- 1 - Load Cannonballs
- 2 - Load Grape shot
- 3 - Load Chain shot
- 4 - Load Exploding shots (bombs)
- Ctrl (Only in 1st Person Sailing Mode) - View with spyglass
Note here that the only real difference between 1st and 3rd person sailing mode is that in 1st person sailing mode, you get a reticule in your screen to manually aim your guns. Hover that reticule at the enemy ship and it will turn red (if it turns green it means the ship is an ally) if you are aiming it at the correct angle. If it turns red, that also denotes that the shots will land on the opponents' hull, so if you want to aim at his sails, you will need to aim a little higher. Warning: Unlike in Pirates of the Caribbean, your Accuracy ship skill will determine whether the majority of your shots land at where you aim, regardless of whether you manually aim or not.
One of the most important things about sea combat is the ability to know your opponent, and that can only be achieved by using your spyglass. So enter into 1st Person Sailing Mode, find an enemy ship, and then hold ctrl to see the enemy ship's stats. If your spyglass is good, you will be able to see many of his ship's capabilities such as the number of cannons he has, what type of shots he's using, the distance between you and him, and even his ship skills! Thus, it is usually of critical importance in big naval fights to know your opponent and adjust accordingly. Is he using a big ship? If so, what type of ship is it? Valuable enough to attempt boarding? If attempting to board, how many crew does he have? If he has a ton of crew, you will probably need to whittle him down a bit with grape shots. But enough of that; that falls into the tactics and strategies section. First, we cover the basics.
There are 3 types of sails in Age of Pirates 2.
- Full Sails - Fastest speed but lower maneuverability.
- Battle Sails - Fastest maneuverability but slightly lower speed.
- No Sails - No speed or maneuverability. You technically stop in your tracks.
Obviously, you will want full sails most of the time. If you need to turn your ship fast (such as to fire a broadside or achieve the perfect angle to board an enemy), then switch to battle sails. If you want to stop your ship for tactical or any reason, switch to no sails.
There are 4 types of armaments you can use to load your ship cannons with.
- Cannonballs - Damage: Hull 8.00, Sails 0.25, Crew 0.90 [Weight 2]
- Grape shot - Damage: Hull 1.00, Sails 2.00, Crew 1.50 [Weight 1]
- Chain shot - Damage: Hull 1.50, Sails 9.00, Crew 1.00 [Weight 2]
- Exploding shot - Damage: Hull 15.00, Sails 1.00, Crew 1.00 [Weight 1]
Each armament also has a portion highlighted in bold, to show you which armament excels in what. Basically, cannonballs are an all rounder kind of armament and is usually cheap, but weighs 2.00. Grape shots excel against enemy crews and are excellent for whittling down a ship for boarding or to cripple their reload times, but do no damage to the hull. Chain shots are weak and weigh 2.00, but do massive damage to sails. Finally, exploding shots do the most damage to hulls, yet are useless against enemy sails or crew and are typically more expensive. Tip: It is important to realize that these are just numbers. Even if you are using exploding shots, you will still crush an enemy's hull AND sails if you have a ton of powerful cannons and the opponent's ship is a weak barge or some other class 6 or 7 ship.
Cannonballs have the longest shooting range. Combine that with 42 lbs cannons and you have the perfect setup for attacking Forts.
Finally, do note that you will also need "Powder" in order to fire your ship guns, regardless of what armament you're firing.
Now we head over to cannons. You can choose what type of cannons you want to load your ship with. In the "Ships tab" in F2, if you select your ship, you will be able to see its hull, sails, speed, maneuverability, etc. At the bottom, there are 2 types of information named "Weapon" and "Cannons"/"Culverins". I will first explain what these mean. Let us first look at 2 examples.
- Weapon: 20 lbs / 42
- Cannons: 20 lbs / 42
This means that the maximum caliber of cannons/culverins you can load on your ship is 20lbs, and the maximum amount of cannons/culverins you can load on your ship is 42. It also shows what type of cannon is loaded on your ship: in this example, we have 42 20lb cannons installed on our ship.
- Weapon: 42 lbs / 78
- Culverins: 32 lbs / 42
This one shows the maximum caliber we can load is 42 lbs, while the maximum number we can load is 78. However, in this example, we have only loaded 42 32lb culverins, so we are not actually utilizing the maximum caliber we can use, and that we chose to install culverins instead of cannons. That is fine however, depending on your playstyle, which I will get into later.
In short, we can choose to install either cannons or culverins, and each of them have their own good points and bad points. Cannons typically weigh less and are less prone to explosions (yes your ship guns can explode in battle, causing you to lose firepower in the middle of a battle) yet also typically deal slightly less firepower and have less range than their culverin counterparts. Hint: Did you know you can strip your ship's cannons? Double click on the "Cannons/Culverins" tab and a message will pop up asking if you want to strip all your guns. This also works when you have boarded an enemy ship and are robbing it. You can strip the enemy ship of its guns and transfer them to your ship to sell!
Below is a table of in game cannon stats, with both vanilla and mod options "realistic cannon damage" and "realistic reloading" included. I personally prefer the vanilla options, but for those who are playing with the realistic mod options, it is included for you guys. Also, note that it is impossible to pick different types of caliber guns for the same ship; you cannot have three 36lb cannons, five 32lb culverins, and ten 42lb cannons installed on the same ship. Every single gun installed on the ship has to be the same caliber and type. Side note: not sure if its a bug, but both realistic and in between cannon damage options show the same damage multiplier, so take it what you will.
|Ship Gun||Weight (per gun)||Max Range||Damage||Reload Time (seconds)|
|Cannon 4lbs||3||500||x1.0 (Vanilla), x0.6 (In between/Realistic)||4 (Vanilla), 5 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 8lbs||6||500||x1.5 (Vanilla), x0.8 (In between/Realistic)||5 (Vanilla), 10 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 12lbs||9||550||x2.0 (Vanilla), x1.0 (In between/Realistic)||7 (Vanilla), 15 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 16lbs||12||550||x2.5 (Vanilla), x1.5 (In between/Realistic)||8 (Vanilla), 20 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 20lbs||15||600||x3.0 (Vanilla), x2.0 (In between/Realistic)||9 (Vanilla), 25 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 24lbs||18||600||x3.5 (Vanilla), x2.5 (In between/Realistic)||11 (Vanilla), 30 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 28lbs||21||650||x4.0 (Vanilla), x3.0 (In between/Realistic)||12 (Vanilla), 35 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 32lbs||24||650||x4.5 (Vanilla), x3.5 (In between/Realistic)||13 (Vanilla), 40 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 36lbs||27||700||x5.0 (Vanilla), x4.0 (In between/Realistic)||15 (Vanilla), 45 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 42lbs||30||700||x5.5 (Vanilla), x4.5 (In between/Realistic)||16 (Vanilla), 50 (Realistic)|
|Cannon 48lbs||33||750||x6.0 (Vanilla), x5.0 (In between/Realistic)||17 (Vanilla), 55 (Realistic)|
|Culverin 4lbs||12||600||x2.0 (Vanilla), x1.0 (In between/Realistic)||5 (Vanilla), 15 (Realistic)|
|Culverin 8lbs||15||600||x2.5 (Vanilla), x1.5 (In between/Realistic)||7 (Vanilla), 20 (Realistic)|
|Culverin 12lbs||18||650||x3.0 (Vanilla), x2.0 (In between/Realistic)||8 (Vanilla), 25 (Realistic)|
|Culverin 16lbs||21||650||x3.5 (Vanilla), x2.5 (In between/Realistic)||9 (Vanilla), 30 (Realistic)|
|Culverin 20lbs||24||700||x4.0 (Vanilla), x3.0 (In between/Realistic)||11 (Vanilla), 35 (Realistic)|
|Culverin 24lbs||27||700||x4.5 (Vanilla), x3.5 (In between/Realistic)||12 (Vanilla), 40 (Realistic)|
|Culverin 28lbs||30||750||x5.0 (Vanilla), x4.0 (In between/Realistic)||13 (Vanilla), 45 (Realistic)|
|Culverin 32lbs||33||750||x5.5 (Vanilla), x4.5 (In between/Realistic)||15 (Vanilla), 50 (Realistic)|
Next up, we head to the subject of other ship parameters such as hull, sails, speed, maneuverability, point of sail, hold, and crew. Note that you can simply right click on these parameters and the game will explain to you what each parameter shows. The point of the section below is, rather, to show how important each parameter really is.
- Hull - How much damage your ship can take. Obviously, the higher the better. Remember that if you take too much damage, your speed and maneuverability will start to drop, and that is never a good thing. Also, if your hull reaches 5% health, you will start to sink, meaning you will die in a few more moments regardless of whether an enemy shell hits you or not. It is crucial that you end the fight immediately if that happens, sail to the nearest port, moor, and repair your ship before it sinks completely and is lost forever.
- Sails - How much damage your sails can take before you become crippled. Once your sails take enough damage, you can be demasted, that is, one of your ship's masts falling off, which is bad. A critical or lucky hit to a ship can also demast it, and if that happens you will literally see the mast of the ship falling off and making your ship look empty. Regardless, a demasted ship is a crippled ship, and a crippled ship is usually a dead ship. This can work in your advantage or against you; to cripple a fast moving ship so it doesn't get away from you for example, you can switch to chain shots and shoot at him until you demast him. Once demasted, his speed will be drastically reduced and you will have no problems running up next to him and firing a full broadside to sink him into the bottom of the ocean. It also works well against larger ships; a battleship with no mast is...well, a sitting duck. You can go close, fire a broadside of grape shots, and board him without even getting hit. Never ever underestimate the importance of sails.
- Speed - Speed is how fast your ship moves, and speed is king. I cannot stress how important speed is; without speed, you will be pummeled and crippled and crushed. Thank god you are fighting against AI - if it was a human being you can potentially be screwed twice over if you have no speed. Why is speed important? The most important reason is because it allows you to outmaneuver your opponents. If the enemy ship is trying to turn his ship to fire a broadside, if you are fast enough you can potentially avoid his broadside and force him to swing the other way. If you wish to catch enemy merchant ships, you will also need speed or the enemy AI will most certainly escape from you. What if you need to escape from patrols after smuggling? That's right - you're going to need speed or the AI will catch up to you and blow you out of the water. Some of the harder quests in the game also pit you against enemy ships with a ton of speed (like the Queen in the Enchanted City quest) and more often than not, these ships are commandeered by officers with crazy attributes and stats, making them an absolute beast to fight with if you are not prepared. This is the reason why you might wish to have as little cargo as possible - the more your hold is filled with cargo, the more the speed of your ship will be negatively affected. This means that if you fill up your hold with lots of cargo to do trade runs (or with tons of unnecessary ammunition), you will experience slower speed and slower maneuverability, which consequently means a huge disadvantage in sea combat.
- Maneuverability - Less important than speed, but still important, this affects how fast your ship turns. The faster you turn, the faster you can fire a powerful broadside and then give chase again. Turning fast also nets you a number of advantages in combat, like getting the angle required to begin boarding, firing both broadsides by turning extremely quickly (probably with the help of the Quick Turn ship ability), etc. Remember - if you can't turn fast enough, you won't be able to get the lead on your opponents, like firing first in close combat. Sometimes by firing first, you can gain the lead by reducing his crew to 0 first (especially easy with 100+ cannons) and then quickly boarding him before he actually fires, making boarding relatively easy and at the same time, with no casualties.
- Point of Sail - Basically affects the minimum distance your ship needs to be from the conflicting wind to move. In sea mode, checking your compass on the top right hand corner, you can see which direction the wind is blowing. Needless to say, you want to be moving IN the direction of the wind, so the arrow should be pointing upwards and not downwards. Point of sail comes into play here; the higher the rating, the less angle you need (so that the arrow points as much upwards as possible rather than downwards) in order to get your ship to move. You cannot sail completely in the face of the conflicting wind; you need to adjust your ship so that you are at least sailing in a 5 o' clock or 4 o' clock position. A higher point of sail rating will, say, allow you to move even at the 5 o' clock position, whereas a low point of sail rating will only allow you to move if you are at least at the 3 o' clock position! Point of sail is commonly higher in smaller and fast ships like tartanes and lower on huge ships like battleships and Man-o-wars. Unfortunately, there is no way you can improve this statistic - it is completely dependent on the type of ship you have, so just keep what it does in mind and act accordingly.
- Hold - How much weight your ship can carry. Obviously, the higher this rating, the more goods you can carry, and subsequently, the higher your profits. Very, very useful especially for traders, and is an all-around good parameter worth keeping your eye on, whenever choosing which ships to keep.
- Crew - The more crew you have, the better it is. This is because you reload and sail faster with more crew and most importantly, have a contingency plan in case your crew dies in sea combat (which almost always happens). The downside is that if you overload your ship past the safe limit, your crew's morale will drop until it is at the maximum safe limit or below. Still, there are times where you will want to overload your ship full of crew, like when you are preparing to board a huge battleship and know you will take heavy losses, or when you are wading into a huge naval fight against multiple class 1 ships, or even attacking a fort. Planning ahead is key in this regard, but for the most part, keeping it at the maximum safe limit is fine.
Now, a little short guide on crew parameters.
Under the "Ships" tab, you can also see your crew stats. Their sailor ability, cannoneer ability, and soldier ability are all depicted.
- Sailors: The more filled it is, the more experienced the crew is in sailing. Affects speed and maneuverability. Can be increased by riding into storms (fastest way...after one good storm they are probably maxed) or just sailing (very slow).
- Cannoneers: The more filled it is, the more accurate your guns will be, and the faster your ship guns will reload. Can be increased by actually hitting opponents and sinking them.
- Soldiers: The more filled it is, the better they are at boarding. Can be increased by boarding ships.
The easiest to fill is the sailor parameter, followed by cannoneers, then soldiers. You will have to board a LOT of ships to max their skill. Personally, I have always found it easier and more fun to just sink them, and it is generally not necessary to max the crew's soldier skill anyway; simply crushing the opponent's ship crew to 0 and then boarding will do the job just fine.
Tactics & Strategies
Finally, we come to the tactics and strategies section. This is meant to be a general guide, so I'm pretty sure you'll be coming up with your own tactics as you familiarize yourself through the game. That said, I hope this section will be helpful enough, especially for new players.
- Act accordingly with what you want to do. If you want to cripple an opponent to make the fight easier, switch to chain shots and try to demast him. If you want to make it easier for boarding, switch to grape shots and reduce his crew to nearly 0 before attempting to board him. Remember that if his crew is nearly 0, he will reload slowly so that might give you ample time to close the distance and initiate boarding. If you have a big ship and your opponent is a puny ship not worth your time, well, just use exploding shots or cannonballs and sink him fast.
- Aim the strongest ship first. Ignore the weak ones because they are just cannon fodder and aren't much of a threat. It is important to aim the strongest ship first because their broadsides can be potentially devastating in a wide variety of circumstances if left unchecked.
- Remember that chain shots have less range than exploding shots or cannon balls, and grape shots have the least range. This is not specifically stated in game, but if you try to fire them while at a considerable distance from the enemy, you will realize that they won't fire. Keep this in mind when planning your attacks.
- Ship abilities are absolutely essential in sea combat. You will definitely want "Medic" and "Lifesaver" to prevent loss of crew for starters, and as you get into the bigger fights, you will want the "Master Gunner" ship ability, which will ensure you strike a number of potentially devastating critical hits on your enemy. The navigator-based skills are essential as well, since speed is king and thus, all the speed-based abilities are king as well.
- Don't underestimate the importance of the skill "Luck". Luck affects your critical hit chance in sea combat, and is crucial to ensure you inflict maximum harm on your enemies. 100 Luck, along with the "Master Gunner" ship ability will ensure you have at least a 60% (estimated) chance for a critical hit with every broadside (also dependent on the number of shots fired).
- Defense is an invaluable skill in sea combat. The more resistant your crew is to enemy attacks, the less they die. Because they won't die as often, you will be able to stay in the game longer and fire salvo after salvo of broadsides on your opponents since they affect the reload speed of your cannons. Eventually, as you unload all your salvos onto your opponent, he will be left with no crew and thus be unable to fire properly or even move. They will effectively be sitting ducks, vulnerable to cannon fire and even boarding. In fact, the crew is so important that even the AI prefers to use grape shots to decimate your crew half the time, a testament to its importance. With defense, you avoid all that jazz and decimate his crew instead.
- Don't be afraid to lower your sails halfway. If you are heading in a path of travel that will leave you vulnerable to his broadsides, lower your sails and stop in your tracks! Don't give him the chance to fire his broadsides on you; if he wants to fire on you, make him work for it and turn his ship so his sides are facing you (if he starts to do that, immediately raise your sails and move again). If he's preoccupied with another ship, just keep firing at him from your stationary position.
- "Foresight" can be a very powerful skill. Generally, the proper way to use it is when you know you are going to be firing salvo after salvo on your opponents without changing your course. If you know you are going to have to maneuver a lot for whatever reason (and thus be unable to fire your broadsides all the way), don't waste the ability unnecessarily. One good quest in which "Foresight" is invaluable is during the Ascold quest, where you have to fight Man-o-wars at close range immediately upon dropping to sea mode. In this regard, foresight will ensure you have the drop on them and decimate their crew before they decimate yours.
Quests in Age of Pirates 2 give some of the best stuff in the game, so it's well worth doing. However, some of them contain overpowered fights that may be a huge challenge, hence reading the guides posted will benefit the player immensely. For the purposes of this guide, quests will be classified into 3 types: Important Quests, Nation Quests, and Random Quests.
Important Quests act like the "main" quests of the game - they give the best loot (or unique rewards that can not be found anywhere in the game) but are non-repeatable and often contain very tough fights or a lot of hassle. They may also be riddled with bugs (especially in the vanilla version of the game). That said, they are still well worth doing because some rewards like the fastest ship in the game, the "Dog of War", can never be obtained without doing them.
Nation Quests are the main quest line of each Nation. They are tough and the quest line is long, but the rewards at the end can be substantial depending on the nation you choose. Unfortunately, once you pick a Nation quest line to do, you can never do the others (except the Pirate Quest line, which is always available) so you have to choose wisely. Note that you should finish your nation's quest line before doing the Pirate quest line or you risk breaking your own nation's quest line after a certain point in the pirate's quest line!
Random Quests are simply that - random quests given by random people in the game. These are typically fast and easy, but also give minor rewards. They may be well worth doing to accomplish a certain goal though - for example, to gain reputation, or for quick and easy gold.
- Skodarap's COAS site This is a great walkthrough explaining many quests in detail, though some of them have incorrect and/or incomplete information (such as the Ascold Quest and Golden Fleet, which has been fixed in this wiki).