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SvS, also known as Ship versus Ship, is similar to PvP in that both allow pirates to pit their skills against each other. However, that is where the differences end. In SvS, privateers get paid every time a ship they attack sinks. SvS is also fought with ships which act as gun platforms for gunners armed with Fury ammunition.
Cannoneers in SvS should have Fury and, either of the following: Thunderbolt/Explosive. Thunderbolts are good for ranged sinkings during seek and destroy/hunt missions. A good gunner should max Rapid Reload, Barrage, Fury, and Shoot. Shoot lets you fire each shot sooner after the first. You will understand it better once you retrain and max Shoot.
Sailing Items to have:
- Revenant Cannon Ram
- Haunted Cannon Ram
- Master Gunner's Cannon Ram
- Iron Priming Ram (for explosive)
- Phantom Cannon Ram (thunderbolt version of Revenant)
There are two main theories for sailing: the big slow lumbering battle wagon, or the lightly armed fast agile "intercepter" (for details see Tactics section). The battle wagons are typically War Frigates and Galleons, with high rank take cover and open fire, with a variety of ramming speed broadsides, and taskmaster. Occasionally, there will be an exception to the rule with a light frigate that gets a massive bounty and score (I have seen this once before, it creamed all the ships that came at it, no matter what tactics were tried). The "Intercepters" are War Sloops are Light Sloops. These ships MUST have Fury gunners to survive. With maxed Full Sail and (possibly) maxed Ramming Speed, they are very hard to catch.
Sailing Items to have:
- Rumrunner's Sea Chart or Smuggler's Sea Chart
- Treasure Hunter's Sea Chart
- Seven Seas Sea Globe or Corsairs Sea Globe
(Feel free to add on, but do not subtract.)
Sailing Items for SvS should have Navigation and some boost that plays to your strengths, those items would be excellent at hunting down Sloops who made a break for it. Here are a few that would be good for the Battle Wagon Captains:
(Same rules apply as above.)
Types of Ships
There are many different tactics in SvS. They go from the War Frigates, to the War Sloops, to the much hated Light Sloops.
War Frigates are normally well armed with a decent number of broadsides, Fury gunners are still essential and Frigates have the most room for them. The main advantage, other than it takes 20-25 seconds to sink one with a light sloop, not counting take cover, is their massive Ramming Speed damage, perfect for sinking light sloops that have taken minor damage.
Light Frigates are sometimes used, and can build up massive bounties. Don't ignore these seemingly harmless ships.
Less popular, they are much a bigger target and have fewer gunner spaces. Their only advantage is their numerous broadsides. Light Galleons are often used by lower levels or by limited membership pirates. War Galleons are sometimes used by the unlimited.
War Sloops are very common in SvS, the best of these ships are armed with four or more Fury gunners, and sometimes an army of repairmen. These ships often run to repair when their armor is gone, and must be hunted to be finished off. Light Sloops are the most hated ships in SvS, because of their small size and well stocked Fury gunners. They are severly damaged by ramming speed, mainly because of low health. It takes a mere 6 Fury to sink these tiny vessels, without take cover, but it is near impossible to hit these ship sinkers.
There are many different tactics for SvS, just like in PvP.
Hit and Run
Best with Sloops, either Light or War, this tactic involves speeding into the middle of the fray, blasting at ships in all directions until the ship's armor is gone, along with a good chunk of hull points, then running "like the devil himself is upon" them (PotC II). This requires a sailing chart with a higher rank Navigation, in addition to Full Sail and maybe Ramming Speed. You will want to max or have Rank 4 Windcatcher for this method of SvS. Be prepared to use Come About and turn suddenly straight into any enemy that is chasing you. Sometimes refered to as a 'Crazy Ivan', this will startle the enemy enough for you to get a decent head start, while minimizing the damage that would be taken if you were to do a slow turn.
Slow and Deadly
Best with a War Frigate, this theory of SvS a slow powerful ship with numerous gunners and a lot of health/armor. With max Take Cover and a strong Open Fire, and Rank 5 Broadsides, gunners could even be optional, though Taskmaster is a requirement.
Light Sloop of Death
This is where two people get on a light sloop, one driving, typically with the Hit and Run tactic, and one Fury gunner. This deadly duo is a severe pain for the enemy, and ships using this tactic can get bounties well into the thousands.
As always, subterfuge is going to occur in any form of long term battle. Spies in SvS can't be bribed or convinced to change sides, so the only way to deal with these potenial problems is to kick them from your crew, and your boat, then use Privateer chat to alert your allies of the pirate's name. Spying on the enemy is most effective if you have the tattoos of the team you plan to spy on. Joining a crew on the team your fighting also helps to convince them. Whisper to a friend on your real team, who will relay the information to the rest of your REAL team.
If you plan to launch a ship for the opposite team to just listen to the chat, a light galleon is best since they aren't expected to be of much use. Just drive around pointlessly and be prepared to sink alot.
If there is a high priority enemy ship (a bounty of 1000 gold and up) you may get a crewmate or a friend to follow that ship on a non-SvS ship. Since they can't be damaged or sunk by SvS ships, they can follow a ship closely when it tries to hide and repair. The ship can tell you where the target ship is, and you can follow it anywhere.
Infamy tips from an Admiral:
- Join the team with the least War Frigates and War Galleons. These ships have the highest infamy reward, and can help to level quickly.
- Only put one round in each ship. This is a tactic to increase the number of ships you hit, and the amount of infamy you receive.
- FORGET YOU TEAM LOYALTIES, at least until you are Infamous, this will help you get the most infamy.
- Use a Frigate or Galleon, out of courtesy.
- Fight with your best hull - avoid taking damage on the hull that is weaker (typically engulfed in flames)
Goldrage's Guide To PvP (Also written by me, covers PvP instead of SvS)