Picaroon Online Morale Guide

Picaroon Online Morale Guide by Justice

So you’ve played a few games and reckon you know what it takes to bring an enemy settlement under your control. Then, when you are most complacent, you stroll over to what looks like a weakly defended island and get your butt handed to you on a plate.

What gives? What makes some islands defend better than others?

As you should know by now, Loyalty is the key to taking over a settlement: if you get the loyalty to zero then it becomes loyal to you. Simples.

But what affects loyalty? What makes loyalty rise and fall?

That small + or number you’ve been seeing on your settlement screens, in the same area as your loyalty flag, is the key to this – it shows the morale of a settlement.
If morale is positive then your loyalty will go up. If morale is negative then your loyalty will go down.

So the answer to the question of what makes loyalty rise and fall is simply morale. Job’s a good’un, blog-post done and we can all go home now.

No? Ah, so you want to know what makes morale go up and down? Good question. Let me shed some light on the matter.

Morale is an abstraction of the feel-good factor of the people in a settlement (or their feel-bad factor, which we’ll come to …). On the construction screen you’ll see that certain buildings make the settlers feel all warm and cosy, by giving a bonus to morale. Things like Inns make the people happy, as do island defence buildings. Everyone can sleep well at night knowing that (a) there are people on the island who will put up a fight if an enemy comes within range and (b) there is a plentiful supply of beer.

So what makes morale go down?

Taxes. The higher the tax level the worse the morale is affected. This is easy to compensate for, and you just need to lower your taxes. It doesn’t have a cumulative effect, and so just building more things that make islanders happy can negate any ill-feeling the populace gains from over-taxation.

Lack of food. This has a cumulative effect, and you will find that morale steadily drops if the islanders are left without food. This is called the ‘starvation morale penalty’. Eventually, if you don’t do anything to rectify this, morale will become negative and loyalty will drop. The only way to remove the starvation morale penalty is to provide food.

Prolonged combat. No-one likes having a fleet of warships parked off the coast dropping bombs on them. The more damage that is done by an enemy fleet then the more morale will drop. This is called the ‘combat morale penalty’. This particular penalty will be reduced if there are friendly fleets around (the islanders like to know that if there are lumps of hot iron raining out of the sky that someone is doing something about it), and decays rapidly if there are no enemies around (i.e. someone WAS raining down hot-iron, but they seem to have gone away, so we can all sleep easy again)

Losing buildings.
The guy who ran the timberyard, you remember him – short guy, arms like tree-trunks and smelt of squirrels? Yeah he died last night in one of those ‘it is raining hot iron’ moments that seem to happen a lot around here. No one likes to lose close friends and family, and these islanders are VERY close to each other. Let’s just say that family trees in these parts tend to look more like a bramble bush and less like a mighty oak.
Upshot is if a building gets destroyed then it will have a small affect on the combat morale penalty as well as an immediate hit on loyalty directly.

So from this, assuming you keep your islands fed and taxed at a comfortable level, you can see that combat is the main driver for morale – which in turn will affect loyalty.

So why do some island fall quicker than others? What you can’t see when attacking an enemy is what level of morale that island has. If it has a morale of, say, +300 then that is a HUGE feeling of well-being in the populace, and you’ll have to rain down a LOT of hot iron to get them to start feeling bad about their current ruler. While you are there bombarding them then they will obviously be shooting back, and you may not have enough firepower to get their morale negative before all of your ships are sunk.
On the other hand an island with morale of +5 wont need much persuasion … just a few rounds of heavy fire will get them thinking that maybe a regime change isn’t such a bad thing.

As soon as morale becomes negative then it is just a waiting game – negative morale leads to loyalty loss, and loyalty of zero means the island is yours.

From the Desk of Mashanations

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