Pirates of the Burning Sea PvP Tips as a Privateer

Pirates of the Burning Sea PvP Tips as a Privateer by Garbad_the_weak

I got this PM recently and decided to answer publicly so others can read and comment. Feel free to ask questions or give your perspective, especially if you disagree with my opinion.

Hi Garbad,

…The reason I was asking is because there’s a lot of information (if you look hard enough) in the forums on PvP but the sources are spread out, they are often questionable and meaningful advise often reserved. The best info I’ve gotten on PvP on these forums is through PM’s Ive sent out to experienced players willing to share their knowledge. So with that in mind IF you have the time I have a few questions for you…

Thanks for your PM. I have been considering writing a guide, but every time I sit down to do it its daunting. I should probably copy over the pvp guides I wrote in beta sometime as well. PvP guides are something I wish we had more of.

I’ve deducted from your screen shots that your Priv build is close to something like this :

The bar I currently use is THIS. In 1.5, it will change.

Assuming I’m close in your build could you please explain the reasoning behind these choices

I chose that bar because I planned on playing mostly solo.

As a solo player, my first priority is speed (both to escape and chase), so all speed skills were mandantory. Repairs and the full unpredictability line are also privateer staples. Stealth was also a priority, both to help me avoid gankpacks and so my prey has less chance to avoid me. This is all typical of solo play.

With my remaining points, I chose debuffs over damage, specifically, dual snares. This is partly influenced by an expectation that most of my targets will try to run (in addition to the standard cowardice, I have earned a rep as a deadly 1v1er). My last couple of points picked up some general damage skills.

My outfitting is likewise speed and stealth. I play most often in a MC arcadia, a discovery, and a sleek hercules. Each is rigged the same – dual speed hulls, wadding guns, dual speed rigs/catharpins. My generals are always one speed general (treacherous rig/cotton), one steath general (dark wrap or muffle), and one random (large cross, pvp guns, etc). I rarely use greens/blues.

As you can see, the combination is a very, very fast ship that has almost no damage/armor. I did this because speed is king for a solo player. I simply must be able to escape or else gankers will always have their way with me (in over a year, I have been successfully ganked one time by an incredibly bad set of circumstances). Likewise, I must be able to chase down my prey, as people avoid me like the plague. Once I force a fight, I trust my skill to overcome the stat disadvantage I will be up against. Skill can make a weaker ship outfight a stronger one quite often, but speed can’t make my stralsund outrun your sleek hercules.

It would be nice if I didn’t have to go pure speed/stealth, but that’s the reality of solo play.

and the lack of two generally well regarded spike skills of “surprise attack” and “crushing broadside” ?.

Surprise is nice, I just didn’t have the points for it. Crushing I am less wild about, because it only works on broadsides (and not *** shots). Since my ship is always gimped from the start anyhow (I have so many skills/outfittings invested in stealth/speed) I always lose if I trade shots anyhow, so I may as well find another way to get more hits on them than I take. Neither of these spike skills really help me do that.

Because I have to rig for speed/stealth, I know I can’t win on stats. My environment forces me to learn to outplay the opponent using wind, agility, ship differences, etc, and I fight accordingly, not to try and spike/tank someone out.

I’ve been told that you primarily focus on boarding combat but from the descriptions of your fights and screen shots you’ve posted it seems that you don’t exclusively focus on that. Do you not miss these spike skills when involved in the exchange of fire ?

I do not focus on boarding combat, but I do board a lot. If I know I can win, I will usually try to board because I get better rewards (you get 80% of rewards for sinking, 100% for boarding) and because its cheaper (less ammo and consumables). Its also safer in some ways, as once I latch on I know its over, and if I am sinking there is always the chance they will turn the tables on me. I also lead a lot with bar shot because I expect people to run from me. With that said, I do not necessarily favor desmasting/boarding, its just a matter of practical gameplay — people are cowards and I get paid better to board, so I do if I know I can win easily. If I am unsure or if boarding doesn’t work well, I switch gears.

For the record, I do not attempt to ninjaboard (charge at them and try for the lucky bump and board) because I believe I can win by skill and don’t need to gamble. When I fight I go for the throat — first I force a fight by denying them the ability to run away (either by me being faster and/or snares) and then I destroy them in whatever way gives me the best chance of success. Sometimes that means demast and board. Sometimes it means demast and *** shot. Sometimes it means just outplay them and get more shots than they land on me. Sometimes it means getting behind them and hammering away. Sometimes it means running screaming like a little girl to the nearest port. I am equally adept at all =P

Does the use of Stealth (even for huge ships) outweigh the loss of certain other skills?

Yes. The ability to pick your fights is huge. People are inherently cowardly gankers. I don’t want to spend my evenings getting constantly hit by run them down by griefers and having to spend 2 minutes because some **** figured his 6 man pack of vanilla hercs would have a chance in hell of catching my arcadia. Stealth helps me avoid that. Stealth also helps me force a fight on puddle hoppers, people who pop in and out of town, people who skirt the edges of zones, people who I split off of their 6 man pack and solo, etc. Its just a useful thing to have, and I have no qualms about forcing a fight with someone. Even if they consider it a gank because they didn’t want to fight me, keep in mind its still going to be a 1v1 with roughly equal ships….and they are probably damage/armor rigged. Call it a gank, but its better than nothing.

I like the simplicity of your tool bar setup. Most are confusing, yours seems efficient.

Thanks. I have it that way exactly for that reason. I don’t want clutter that could potentially cause an error in battle, so I only put up skills I use (and not redundant consumables, skills I rarely use, etc).

If you have the time I’d really appreciate any info you could give me, your general approach to solo PvP and just about any guidelines or training methods to follow you could think of.


I can’t really think of better training than just to try. Scrims are ok, but scrims don’t have the element of wind angle. General knowledge matters tho (knowing a lot about each ship, how skills work, what outfittings are out there) but most of pvp is just judgment — knowing how to get where you want to be, the ability to predict what you can take and how you can turn, and the ability to come up with ways to outfight someone on the fly. That all comes with experience.

That’s all I can think of ATM, but if you have any more questions feel free to ask.
Enjoy, won’t you?

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