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Welcome! My name is Hippie, and I have created for you the most in-depth Competitive PvP guide to Pirates of the Caribbean Online to date. I feel that this guide is needed because there has never been a guide made for true competitive PvP in Pirates Online. Throughout this guide you will find a wealth of useful game knowledge including character optimization techniques, a list of guidelines to follow, along with general explanations of how competitive PvP works in Pirates Online. Please enjoy the work I put into this and put the knowledge to use when TLOPO is finished. Thank you.
"Competitive" PvP in... Pirates Online? What?!
Yes. It exists. It always existed. Surely many of you observed firsthand the hype and drama that surrounded the matches of some of the most dedicated and skilled players in the game on Abassa, Tortuga. Surely, also many of you have no idea what I'm talking about, so let's just get right to the point.
Competitive PvP in Pirates of the Caribbean Online, also known as Jumper PvP, is the game type that players themselves created in order to preserve game balance and have a fair match between each other.
Jumper PvP requires you to use a Cutlass, a Dagger, and nothing else. Keep in mind I said cutlass, not just any sword.. With a cutlass in a pvp scenario, you must aim directly at your enemy and make contact with their hitbox in order to do damage to them. You must do the same thing with daggers. Every attack you use must be aimed accurately. Because of the rather high degree of practice and skill this requires, it became extremely competitive in the old game.
About the Author
I have played this game since Thanksgiving in 2007, up until about 2 months before the closing of the game on September 19th, 2013. I was one of the most active and dedicated players to ever walk the beaches of those islands. There were entire summers spent doing nothing but caring for my basic living needs and playing Pirates of the Caribbean Online. My dedication to this game has reached no limits.
After starting my "Jumper" life in January 2011, I quickly became known as one of the best in the game. Throughout that summer of 2011 I ran undefeated on my main pirate, Hippie, even against the oldest and most experienced players in the game. When the "Infamy" feature was released, I was the second person in the game to receive the War Master badge simply through my sheer dedication to the PvP scene and the amount of time I spent on it. There were videos and lists posted on the internet honoring me for my deeds in-game.
To clarify, I do not believe that I am the best PvPer this game has seen. I prefer to group myself with a number of other players (Some of the best in the game) who were also as good as me. We all lost games, meaning there is no true best player.
Rules of Jumper PvP
The rules of Competitive (Jumper) PvP are simple.
You must use only a cutlass and dagger/throwing knife to defeat your enemy.
You must not damage your enemy until after the invulnerability-respawn bubble on your character has ended. You can easily get rid of this bubble by swinging your sword or dagger, or throwing a knife.
If you break rule 1, your enemy automatically wins.
If you break rule 2, you will be viewed as a non-legitimate player, however the match score is still valid.
You must win with at least a 2-point lead in order to officially be declared "better" than your enemy.
Making excuses such as lag or "using a bad computer" are not valid. The score is the score.
Rematches will only happen if the winner of the first game wants to have a rematch.
These rules were unwritten, but in effect, back in the day when POTCO was still out.
They are now written.
History of Jumper PvP
In the early days of Pirates online, in 2008, about a year after the game's release, competitive PvP was born. At that time, the most overpowered weapons in the game were voodoo staffs and guns. They would practically 2-shot you and ruin the fun for the receiving person. It was simply too gimpy. In response, a savvy group of pirates created the rules "Blades Only", which at the time, translated to "cutlass and dagger only". Soon, this game type would translate to "Jumper PvP", because the players often repeatedly jumped and circled around each other in order to make themselves a more difficult target to hit.
Some would argue that these were the "golden days" of Jumper PvP, because there were many game mechanics that made the game harder and on a more-even playing field than later on in the game's life.
The changes in Jumper PvP throughout history are listed below.
Sword and dagger combination attacks did apply the "pain" (snare, slow, etc.) effect in the past. This means that every player moved at full, functional speed while you tried to strike them with your sword over and over again. This was incredibly hard to do if you account for latency and FPS issues which were hugely prevalent at the time in the gaming world.
After a major update afterwards, striking another pirate with a sword or dagger combination attack would slow them down and thus make damaging them easier because they started to move slower.
"Fast-switch" was a glitch in the game that allowed you to press certain buttons (I believe it was one of the function keys, I didn't PvP at that time) in order to lower the time in between your pirate's major attacks. After you quickly Bladestorm or Viper's nest, for example, and then sheathe your weapon in order to move away and create a harder target to hit, there is a certain amount of time where your pirate refuses to pull out his weapons or attack because the faux-animation of that first original strong attack is not over yet. When you activated the "fast-switch" glitch, it allowed you to pull out your weapons and attack instantly, cancelling the bladestorm or viper's nest animation timer. This granted a HUGE advantage and ended up being a required skill for jumpers to be competitive against their peers.
Again, after a major update later on in the game's life, this glitch was removed and Jumper PvP effectively became simpler. The only way to "fast-switch" afterwards was by using an outside program known as "tsearch" that somehow allowed you to do it, which was frowned upon and known as cheating.
There was a MAJOR content update that most of you probably remember. The update added the "Looting" aspect to the game, making it better and more engaging than ever before. A plethora of weapons were added for players to pick up from the powerful enemies they defeat out in the world. Before that, however, the only way you received weapons in the game was through doing the quests required to get them. This means that at max level, before the update, every pirate had the exact same weapons and stats ensuring a 100% fair game and no giant advantage over one another.
But that all changed when the weapons came. New stats, weapon damage strength, weapon types, and combat effects were added with the update. This severely affected the competitive PvP community, because the game became no longer as balanced as it once was. EXTREMELY OVERPOWERED weapons were added into the game that changed the fabric of PvP forever. You will observe these weapons with complete descriptions first-hand if you scroll down this guide!
Before a certain update on an unknown date, when you died in PvP, death music would play, followed by a black screen, and then a near-instantaneous respawn. You would be able to quickly run back to the opponent that just killed you, and then finish them off to receive your point in return. There was a large amount of combat uptime in competitive matches that allowed you to score many points and really show your worth.
However, a loading screen was implemented after death, in that certain update. This resulted in less play-time in each individual PvP match, lower scores, and an overall less-fun experience. Every time someone died from that point on, both players would have to wait about 20 seconds before they started fighting again. This was never fixed. The game was discontinued in 2013 with that loading screen still in effect.
How to Optimize Yourself - "The Meta"
This game, like any other online multiplayer game with customizable attributes and gear, has something called a Meta. The Meta is the best combination of these personalized traits that your character has in order for you to succeed on the field of battle. In the instance of Competitive PvP on Pirates Online, the Meta revolves around Five different variables attached to your character that will all heavily affect whether you will succeed or not against your enemy. These variables in the Meta include:
1. The notoriety level of your pirate
2. The levels of all of your skills (Every weapon, sailing and cannons, and even potions and fishing)
3. The skill points you are using
4. The cutlass you are using
5. The dagger you are using
You obviously know that gaining a higher notoriety level makes your character gain health and opens access to new weapons and abilities, thus making you more powerful. This clearly impacts your success in a PvP match versus another pirate. To make it even clearer for you, if you are a level 30 pirate and you face a level 50 pirate, you will probably lose.
However, what most people don't know about is the PvP handicap.
The PvP handicap was a built-in system in the Mayhem or Team PvP instances where a lower-level pirate takes reduced damage from higher-level pirates. Or, it was the other way around, where lower-level pirates did higher damage to higher-level pirates. Nobody knew for sure. It was a very blurry and confusing mechanic, and nobody knew for sure how it worked, but I know for sure that it existed. Thus, in some cases, being a lower level pirate would actually benefit you and give you an advantage.
BUT HIPPIE, YOU JUST SAID A LEVEL 50 WOULD ALWAYS BEAT A LEVEL 30.
Yeah, because in most cases they will. The PvP handicap only applies to such a limited extent. A level 30 pirate won't have enough help given by the game in order to out-damage and out-last a maxed pirate.
HOWEVER, there is a sweet spot.
Around the notoriety levels 38-45, if you have a mastered sword and dagger, you already do enough damage to take down a maxed level pirate, even without handicap help from the game. Especially, if your weapons are high quality for Competitive PvP (See the Weapons section).
This means that with the added handicap, assuming your personal skill level is equal to or greater than the maxed level pirate, your power level potentially reaches the strongest it can possibly be in the PvP arena.
I can testify from much experience in both the giving and receiving end, that this game mechanic existed in POTCO. Pirates around the level 38-45 range seemed to be the strongest in PvP if they were equipped well.
This doesn't mean that you can't max out your pirate!!!!!!!
If you reach level 50, make all skills 30 (or 20 for potions/fishing), and acquire powerful weapons, you can certainly stomp on anyone in the game.
I just found it relevant that, often enough, pirates in the level range 38-45 had some sort of minor advantage over max level pirates. You could be playing a level 42 and feel like you're on a level 52. It's real.
You want to have as high of a level as possible on each of your skills.
Every level you gain in every skill provides you a small amount of health, and thus a a slightly greater advantage. This counts especially for Swords, Daggers, and Grenades. The level of your swords and daggers affect the damage you do to the enemy player, along with the quality of weapon you are able to wield. Some swords and daggers (for example, Silver Freeze, or Thunderspine) require you to "Master" the sword or dagger skill before you equip the weapon.
But why "especially" Grenades?
Your grenade skill provides extremely valuable passive skills as you level them up. These skills include stun time-reduction and faster health regen. Most people didn't know about this back in the day, so hopefully everyone sharpens up this time around.
Sadly, you need to level your grenades in order to be a competitive Jumper. I know, it takes a long time, but it's dedication that you need to have in order to optimize yourself. It also gives you more health, like the other skills. So level it.
Most of the skill points in the game are irrelevant for Competitive PvP.
The points you need to pay attention to include your Sword, Dagger, and Grenade.
The optimal skill points for Competitive Jumper PvP are listed below:
Notice: For Swords, you have three optimal choices to choose, that all work as well as eachother.
However, I do believe Skip Cleave slightly trumps the other two, if you're good at aiming.
Sword - Defensive Build
Hack - 1
Slash - 1
Cleave - 3
Flourish - 5
Thrust - 5
Sweep - 1
Brawl - 0
Taunt - 0
Bladestorm - 5
~ Passive Skills ~
Parry - 5
Endurance - 5
Sword - Offensive Build:
Hack - 1
Slash - 1
Cleave - 5
Flourish - 5
Thrust - 5
Sweep - 1
Brawl - 0
Taunt - 0
Bladestorm - 5
~ Passive Skills ~
Parry - 3
Endurance - 5
Sword - Skip Cleave Glitch Build:
Hack - 1
Slash - 4
Cleave - 0
Flourish - 5
Thrust - 5
Sweep - 1
Brawl - 0
Taunt - 0
Bladestorm - 5
~ Passive Skills ~
Parry - 5
Endurance - 5
Note: The Skip Cleave Glitch build was obtained by, obviously, a glitch, that lets you skip the combo ability "cleave" whenever you start up your combo chains. JohnnydaPirate's youtube channel has a complete guide on how to do this. The link is HERE. It is unknown as of now if this glitch is doable in TLOPO.
Dagger / Throwing Knives - Default Build:
Cut / Knife Throw - 1
Swipe / Left-Handed Throw - 1
Gouge / Double Throw - 1
Eviscerate / Twin Backhand - 1
Asp - 1
Adder - 5
Throw Dirt - 1
Sidewinder - 5
Viper's Nest - 5
~ Passive Abilities ~
Finesse - 5
Blade Instinct - 5
Grenades - Default Build:
Notice: Only the passive abilities "Determination" and "Ignore Pain" on Grenades are relevant for Jumper PvP.
Max them both.
Fill the other skills at your discretion!
Determination - 5
Ignore Pain - 5
~ALL OTHER SKILL POINTS IN THE GAME ARE IRRELEVANT FOR COMPETITIVE PVP. FILL THEM AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION!!~
I have painstakingly posted, ranked, and captioned every viable Competitive Jumper PvP weapon in the game for you.
Thunderspine is without a doubt the best cutlass in the game. As one of the only swords in the game with its own unique model, it offers an extremely high 95 Attack, an incredibly useful Rank 3 Critical Strike, and a very overpowered +3 Thrust Boost. No sword in the game can compete with this. It is a Jumper's dream cutlass.
2.The Doom Rattler is infamous for its unique "Pain Immunity" bonus. This bonus allows you to move freely at full speed around the PvP mayhem arena without having to worry about being slowed down by your enemy's combination attacks. This sword was so powerful because of this, that some players considered it "too strong", or "not fair". It also provides a useful and powerful +2 thrust boost.
Heart was widely considered the best weapon in the game once it became available to everyone through a redeem code near the end of the game's life. This is because it provides a high 90 Attack, and 2 very brutal boosts, one being a +3 Blade Storm Boost and then a +3 Thrust Boost. However, I disagree with that wide consideration. Thunderspine still trumps this sword with its priceless critical boost / high attack, and Doom still trumps it with its priceless Pain Immunity. Heart of Padres del Fuego was never available through loot or any legitimate gameplay means, which opens up the question: Will the TLOPO staff implement this weapon to the loot tables?
I placed the Black Shark Blade 4th because of that juicy, juicy critical chance. Rank 3 critical attached to an 80 Attack weapon? Juicy. A nice, useful and relevant boost to this sword is the hefty +3 Endurance boost giving you a nice extra chunk of health.
Whalebone is known as the most defensive cutlass in the game. Offering a hefty +3 Parry boost, paired with a +3 Endurance boost, anyone attempting to strike down a fully maxed pirate wielding this is going to experience a longer fight than they expected. Although there are no offensive boosts to this weapon, it offers a nice, somewhat-high 83 Attack that will let you strike down anyone you wish.
Nautilus offers a mediocre 71 Attack, a useful Rank 2 Critical Strike, and a nice little +2 Flourish Boost. The Critical strike carries this sword all the way up the list, because its Attack is lacking. However, the way you obtain this sword is easy. You can loot this through completing the Raven's Cove quest, which means this sword is very reliable to attain, and becomes the average jumper's "bread and butter" in most cases.
Admiral's Cutlass, the "Sailing Sword". This is a sword that drops only from plundering out in the open seas. This makes the sword very rare. I only personally saw 2 people in the entire game wielding this beauty. I would place it above Nautilus if it wasn't such a pain to get. Although lacking the Critical Strike that Nautilus has; the rather high 80 Attack, and the incredibly strong +3 Thrust Boost, paired with the hefty +3 Endurance Boost, surely secures the 7th spot in the cutlass list.
I bet you didn't expect to see this here. Or, maybe you did. I don't care. The basic idea behind "Blade of the Abyss" is that it has an extremely high Attack, 93, because it is a Legendary Cursed Blade. However, every other boost that this weapon provides is nearly useless. The +3 Sweep boost is nifty, however in a competitive PvP scenario you barely use sweep; only when you have no time to press anything else and you need guaranteed AOE damage NOW. This balance of high attack and low-quality boosts earns it the 8th spot on the list.
This weapon is like Whalebone's little brother. There's nothing much else special about it. It is a defensive-boosted blade with a decent 80 Attack, a hefty +3 parry boost and a nice +2 Endurance Boost. This sword easily secures Rank 9 on the list.
The Dark Mutineer has virtually no benefits to it. The only value you get from this sword is the nice 85 Attack. An attack that high on any cutlass guarantees at least the 10th spot on this list.
The Lost sword is essentially the same thing as the Dark Mutineer, however it has a 1 point lower Attack, resting at 84. The +3 sweep boost is very minorly beneficial, as I've mentioned before on the Blade of the Abyss caption.
The Vice Admiral's Cutlass is essentially the weaker version of the Admiral's Cutlass. However, offering a nice +2 Thrust Boost and another nice +2 Endurance Boost, paired with its mediocre 74 Attack, it easily secures the 12th spot on this list.
The Tiger Shark Blade is the younger brother of the Black Shark Blade. You'd expect the weaker version to be a little bit higher up on the list, especially because of the valuable Rank 2 Critical Strike on it, but the problem this sword has is the relatively low Attack, sitting at 62, along with no combination boosts. This sword relies purely on critical strikes for its damage, although it does have a useful +2 Endurance Boost.
Whoa! A green! Bet you didn't expect to see this here. Believe it or not, this sword literally does a tiny bit more damage than the Tiger Shark Blade does. However, lacking any relevant boosts besides Critical Strike, its minor advantage over Tiger Shark falters and thus earns this sword 14th on the list.
Oh my gosh! Another green. This sword is interesting to me, because there was a point in time that it was the best cutlass in my inventory besides the Doom Rattler, which people didn't want me using. When I was forced to use this weapon, it gave out more damage than expected for a green. I guess it does make sense, because this sword gives you a mediocre 70 Attack, and then adds some extra lingering poison damage after each strike! This sword gives you enough damage to be competitive, even without critical strikes, despite it being a green.
The only benefit this sword gives you is its mediocre, yet viable, 72 Attack. Simple as that.
This is the last sword on the list, however it is not to be overlooked. Although it ranks last for a general overview of all the viable cutlasses for PvP, its value lies not in its power, but in its availability. Most people loot this sword earlier on in their pirate life, if they loot it at all. This is because the sword is lower-ranked, with only a measly 58 Attack. However, it provides a Rank 3 Critical boost, which is PRICELESS at a low level, because in essence, no other weapons in its Attack range give out nearly as much damage. This sword is also usable at Level 19 Sword, before you can even use Blade Storm. This is the best weapon for leveling jumpers.
Every other cutlass in the game is of lower quality than what is posted on this list. If you take an interest in Competitive PvP, you need to work your way up this list as best as you can.
Yes, there are 2 daggers tied for first on the list. This was tested and verified by myself and many others for years. These two daggers are the best daggers in the game, without a doubt. Yet, they are equal.
Silver Freeze offers an incredibly high 62 Attack for a throwing knife, and then a MONSTROUS +3 Blade Instinct Boost which slightly boosts every relevant ability that you use on your daggers.
Assassin's Throwing Knives are the only knives that offer a +3 Viper's Nest boost in the game. Viper's nest is your most valuable ability on your dagger, and you will certainly notice the boost in-game, I daresay you will notice it more than any other dagger boost. Despite this dagger's mediocre 46 Attack, it still qualifies as the best in the game because of that one boost alone.
Offering a high 51 Attack, a highly toxic +3 Adder Boost that will keep your opponent rotting badly after you die, plus a solid +2 Blade Instinct boost, the Demon Fang Knives are just simply your best option under the first 2.
This dagger holds the same general idea as the Demon Fang knives. It is just simply better than the ones below it on this list. Offering a mediocre 49 Attack, a toxic +3 Adder Boost, and a useful +2 Sidewinder Boost, this dagger certainly earns 3rd on the list.
Dagger of the Dark Idol has the highest Attack in the game, offering a giant 75 Attack, along with a little bit of lifesteal on the side. There are no other relevant benefits or boosts, but that high Attack damage easily earns this dagger 4th best.
Amazon Knives, Assassin's Knives younger brother. It was a tough choice putting this below Dark Idol. However, that 40 Attack damage really turns me away from this dagger, despite its +2 Viper's Nest Boost. If it was +3, I'd re-think this rank, but it is not.
That 71 Attack though.
Oh, and listen to this professional explanation.
See that "Finesse" boost? It's supposed to be useful, right? Just like I said earlier on in the guide? WRONG. Finesse is a passive skill that lowers the cool-down time of your various abilities, such as Viper's Nest, or Blade Storm.
Weapon boosts only apply when you have the weapon in your hand, when you are wielding it. In a realistic Competitive PvP match, there is a very short amount of time in which you actually have daggers in your hand, because you are only quickly throwing a viper, sidewinder, or adder. Thus, the cooldown reduction will not apply once you sheathe your dagger and start attacking with your cutlass. This makes the potentially useful rank 3 "Finesse", completely worthless.
And that is why I have ranked this dagger 6th on the list.
69 Attack makes this weapon viable in a competitive PvP scenario. The "Drain Health" ability is very minimal and barely helps this weapon's case. Dagger of the Golden Idol receives 7th.
The cool part about this dagger is that you can cheat in PvP by using the "Healing Boost" to boost your health a bit as your enemy is re-spawning and coming to kill you. But don't let them catch you. ;)
Oh, and there's a +1 Viper's Nest Boost, so that's always helpful too.
Every other dagger in the game is of lower quality than what is posted in this list. If you take an interest in Competitive PvP, you need to work your way up this list as best as you can.
Thank you for reading my guide! I put my blood and tears into this, and hope you find this knowledge useful once the full game is completed. Please edit this if you think you can fix any formatting or spelling errors. Once again, thank you!