A note to all captains; this guide is meant for use by advanced players who have already mastered all basic concepts (e.g. proper sailing, line fighting, skill choices, outfitting, itemizing) and assumes that the player has knowledge of terminology and jargon associated with PvP. This guide will be the most useful to those captains aspiring for leadership positions in their group/nation. This guide will not be a breakdown of standard PvP and should not be treated as such. However, players of all skill levels are encouraged to continue reading as some information will be highly useful for all captains. Enjoy!
Introduction to Advanced PvP Edit
What should be considered "Advanced PvP"? Advanced PvP is player vs. player action in which the player already has a deep understanding of intermediate game-play and mechanics and feels fully comfortable in taking part in and/or leading any fight.
There are four keys to excelling at Advanced PvP, they are:
Key: Experience Edit
As most people will tell you, the only way to truly be a force to be reckoned with is by having experience. Unfortunately, PotBS has two major difficulties regarding the ability to gain experience. First, the game is not reliable. Meaning, there is not always a guarantee you'll get a fight at any given time. Having patience is an important part of gaining experience. Waiting in the red zone for long periods of time is common. The second difficulty is the fact that the learning curve for PvP is extremely steep and that different levels of PvPers are stacked in strange and difficult ways. For instance, the number of average PvPers is actually significantly higher than below-average PvPers, due to the fact that when players first start getting into PvP, it can become very easy to simply give up due to the steep learning curve, and fall back into the regular player who might consider fleeting or missions a more worthwhile effort. If a player is able to get past the difficult learning stages, he is far more likely to stay a PvPer, and quickly get better and better. What this means however, is that experience is a difficult to obtain, but valuable commodity. When it comes down to it, Experience is the most valuable asset in a PvPer's arsenal. It allows the experienced PvPer to predict enemy movements and strategies, tactics and much more. It gives the edge to the experienced PvPer even if he is outgunned or outnumbered. Obtain experience whenever you can! This involves simply getting into as much PvP as you possibly can, and experiencing it first-hand.
Key: Skill Edit
In this guide, skill is considered the mechanical ability of the player to press keys, click icons, execute maneuvers and other abilities. Skill come much the same way as experience, by doing it. Skill allow you to do things faster and with a higher degree of efficiency. The mechanical ability of the player DOES matter. The player's actual reaction time and hand-eye coordination are important and can decide a battle. Skill is extremely important when it comes to 1v1s, group combat, and port battles. In 1v1s, skill will decide whether you can execute a successful t-bone or sidelock as you intended, or whether you will be able to stern camp an enemy. In group combat and port battles, skill can make the difference of being able to get a block fast enough, or missing it by seconds and going down to the depths, or even being unable to give a successful block to a teammate resulting in him losing his ship. Having skill will mean that you don't put yourself on an island, and you have your ship completely under your control. The ability to rapidly select or use skills (as in the in-game abilities e.g. Crew Focus) plays a massive role in all PvP. A player who is skilled at executing his skills, repairs, and clickies can beat out even a player with higher experience. Hone your skill whenever you can! This involves practicing selecting skills, swapping between them, knowing their cooldowns, knowing and practicing how to sail your ship to it's best ability, and practicing giving and taking blocks in a group setting.
Key: Adaptability Edit
Adaptability is having the capability and confidence to change plans or tactics in the blink of an eye. Adaptability is key due to the fact that PvP is extraordinarily dynamic and difficult to predict. The enemy may throw a curve-ball at you at any time, and being able to respond and successfully counter these curves defines having adaptability. For instance, in a 1v1, you may have been planning for the enemy to demast and attempt to board you. In the event he immediately starts pounding your hull, you'll need to react fast, and with full confidence. In group combat, the danger of being stagnant in your tactics is even higher. If the enemy has been line fighting you to a stalemate, but suddenly is able to take wind and immediately charge straight at you, staying in a static line will soon spell disaster for you and your teammates. You'll need to make a lightning fast choice to react to the situation and have no doubts about the choice you made. If you falter in confidence of the decision, your team will falter, and this can cause terrible outcomes. In a port battle is where adaptability comes into play to the highest degree. A port battle commander who is not adaptable makes the fleet extremely weak and brittle. If the enemy employs a tactic that the commander cannot adapt to, the fleet will often succumb to disaster. Become more adaptable whenever you can! This involves reading up on tactics and their counters, knowing how certain enemies and fleets can react, then implementing these counters with confidence.
Key: Knowledge Edit
The final key is knowledge. Knowledge is the only relatively easy resource to come by, and is the only one that can be taught. Thus, this guide will focus on the aspect of knowledge. All forms of PvP can be greatly supplemented by knowledge. This guide will range from tactics to win a 1v1, to full on strategies when leading a 24 player fleet in a port battle. You are now invited to sit back, put your thinking cap on, and read on!
The Dance of Two Ships: Advanced 1v1 Strategy Edit
The Clash of Squadrons: Advanced Group Combat Strategy Edit
The Last Argument of Kings: Advanced Port Battle Strategy Edit
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