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Three Rings prepares to release the kraken

Do you dare to get this close to the Kraken?
Do you dare to get this close to the Kraken?
Author unknown. Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons.

Recently, Three Rings announced sunset over the iPad game client. The app has been retired from the Apple App Store. If you're an iPad user, you have my sympathies. Still, having helped alpha test PPX, I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief that they have scrapped any plans to replace YPP's current laptop/desktop computer environment with a skinned version of the iPad client's code base. That was a horror show, my friends.

The other reason this is good news in disguise: Remember when it became clear that the newest Sea Monster Hunt would be delayed until the tablet client was stable? That delay is long over. The Kraken has been available for testing for a little over a month now on the Ice Ocean, and we're inching closer and closer to seeing it debut across the production oceans.

Peruse that forum discussion, or check out the Ice changelog since June 6, and get excited. This will be an entirely different form of SMH than those currently extant, indeed a wholly different multiship battle experience than any seen before. Instead of sailing together into a battle board in the usual way of SMH, blockade, or flotilla attack, pirates leave the main ship behind in the safe zone and make their individual way around in rowboats, hunting for treasure and trying to avoid getting sunk by the Kraken's many tentacles. You can only carry a little treasure at a time, so the goal is to row out to a treasure spawning square and row back to the safe zone as many times as you can before the 30-minute timer runs out.

In a way, it's like Viking Raids. With VR, everyone gets to gun. With Kraken outings, everyone gets to battle navigate. Better yet, Kraken adventures are optimized for small boats (the biggest allowed to chart to the lair is reportedly a baghlah), and success doesn't rely on being staffed to full capacity. There's even a potential to solo the lair, if you're particularly skilled.

Again, this new SMH is not available on the production oceans yet. If you want to try it out, you'll need to get access to the Ice Ocean. This requires a subscription, which you may purchase with cash or with doubloons. It also requires that you download and install the Ice client.

Once logged onto Ice, you'll want to prepare yourself for a Kraken outing. Visit your local furnisher's to purchase rowboat kits. There are five different kits, each enabling you to spawn a different type of rowboat (see Eightycats's post, linked above, for a description of each, but check the changelog to see what's been updated; e.g. bumper boats now get three moves per turn, not two). I think you control which type you initially spawn in by equipping it, as you would a sword or bludgeon or goblet. Equip none, and I think you start in a plain old rowboat. While you're rowing around, there's a set of radio buttons where you select which boat you'll spawn in next time you set out from the safe zone.

Your Examiner is just back from her first Kraken expedition, and she has a few tips to share with you:

  • Don't panic about damage. The map layout makes it impossible to avoid hitting a few rocks, and a few collisions won't kill you.

  • You have less time per turn than in the usual battle navigation scenario. Be ready! But don't be in such a hurry that you don't...

  • Communicate! Although collisions with crew members' rowboats doesn't cause damage, it can screw up your trajectory and waste your time. When you see another pirate heading for the same patch of water, tell them your intentions: "Me: R L R" or "I'll wait," etc.

  • Allow a crew member already laden with treasure to have the right of way. You can tell by looking at the icons next to the turn indicator hovering above their rowboat. A splotch on the left indicates Kraken ink or eggs, while a box to the right indicates treasure boxes. They begin grayed out but change to bright colors when they're taken on board.

However, your Examiner has only gone on one expedition, so there's a lot more to learn. Want to share a tip or an observation? Tell us in comments here! Better yet, visit the forum discussion linked above and give Three Rings your feedback, so that the final production release can be the best it can be.