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How to earn the January 2014 Seal o' Piracy

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Only a week or so remains to score yourself the January 2014 Seal o' Piracy. Don't let that worry you, though. All you need to do to earn it is...

Participate in 3 sea battles involving a Junk and 3 sea battles involving a Fanchuan.

So: Another pillaging Seal, but one that will take you much less time than December's "30 battles or bust" goal. And if you're fortunate, you can achieve this limited edition trophy in as few as three battles, because...

If a battle is between a Junk and a Fanchuan, it counts towards both requirements!

Now, you might have noticed that where December's instructions said "complete 30 sea battles," January's say "participate in 3 sea battles." Does this indicate relaxed requirements somehow? Would simply engaging the enemy be enough to count as "participation"? What research your Examiner has done suggests otherwise...

Teshka on the Cerulean Ocean had logged 3 junk battles and 2 fanchuan. Her crew was engaged by a fanchuan on their way home from hauling treasure. Intent on protecting the booty, the officer at the helm evaded grapple and disengaged from battle. Teshka did not earn her Seal.

(Later that same evening, Teshka took off solo through the Ruby archipelago, was attacked by a fanchuan, and lost the battle. But upon exiting the fray, Teshka received her Seal of Piracy!)

So plan on sticking it through engagement to grapple to melee.

The next question is, which ships should you helm (or job on) and at what difficulty should you pillage on them in order to engage the correct quarry? Over on the Puzzle Pirates Forums, Bobjanova of the Meridian Ocean and MaxPain of Emerald offered their observations in October of 2011, and ship spawning mechanisms have not greatly changed since. Combining their suggestions with your Examiner's own observations, one might reasonably expect...

  • Sloops, cutters, dhows and fanchuans to spawn fanchuans, and
  • Merchant brigs, junks and under-powered baghlahs to spawn junks

If you aspire to junk/fanchuan battles, your best bet is to pillage on a fanchuan that's fully staffed and hunting a relatively high difficulty of barbarians and/or brigands.

Sound about right to you? Got some advice of your own? Sound off in the comment space below!

This month's Seal o' Piracy collage features a fantastic Yeti photo created by Gordon Wrigley and shared on Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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