With less than a week remaining to earn your March 2014 Seal o' Piracy, you might be feeling a touch of panic. You haunt the Inn and the Tournament Board, waiting and watching for a tournament featuring today's freeplay puzzle to appear. You don't dare hop a pilly for fear of missing something. When a tourney shows up, you sing praises and hallelujahs! Then you curse a blue streak when it's canceled for lack of participants. Or it's not canceled, but it's only one tournament and you need to participate in a total of four.
Fellow pirates, there is a better way! Here are three things you can do take control of your destiny and achieve your prize--that sweet, sweet limited edition trophy.
With badges/subscriptions, all tournaments are possible
Buy a parlor badge or subscribe. On the Jade, Opal, Meridian and Emerald Oceans, a parlor badge will cost you the paltry sum of 4 doubloons (roughly 10,000 pieces of eight on the open market, depending on the Ocean and the day). From the time you buy it until 30 days later when it dusts (and that's 30 login days; days on which you do not log in don't count against its lifetime), it will enable your participation in any tournament of any type on any day. (You still have to pay any entry fees, though.)
On the Cerulean Ocean, a subscription will grant you the same access. You can buy weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions for real life money. You can also "coinscribe" for 42 doubloons per month.
Subscribing or buying a badge solves the problem you might have today, Tuesday, March 25: The freeplay parlor puzzle today is treasure drop, but for some reason everyone is creating tournaments in swordfight and rumble. Buy your parlor badge or subscription, and you can enter those tournaments, no problem.
Take control of your destiny! Create your own Tournament!
Create your own tournament. Stop waiting for fate to intervene! Claim your power. Make that tournament happen.
You can create a tournament of the day's freeplay type(s) at any time, for free. If you have a subscription or parlor badge, you can create any of the four tournament types whenever you like. You can do this from any tournament board, be it in an Inn or on a ship or in your own home. Once you have created your tournament, don't forget to join it!
Now, you want to make sure the tournament actually happens. If the minimum number of players specified do not join in, it'll get canceled and you won't get credit toward your Seal. In order to minimize the chance of that happening...
Set "Minimum Pirates" to 2. Your Examiner's research has determined that a 2-player tournament does count toward your Seal. (You're welcome!)
Check "Rated." This will attract pirates who would like to improve their puzzle standings. Especially important in attracting players to swordfight and rumble puzzle!
Offer up some sort of prize. Even if it's just those broken crates, foils and old fish you've acquired from countless sea monster hunts. Drag something into the 1st and 2nd place prize boxes.
Specify a pot bonus. Come on. You can afford to give away a few PoEs, right? No? Well, job on a pilly or go sail with the Navy. That'll fix that. A tournament with no prize bonus is an unhappy tournament. Even 500 PoE is something! (Make sure you put that in "Pot Bonus", not "Entry Fee.")
Give it time. Give the tournament at least 15 minutes until start time. This gives other pirates time to notice the ocean-wide announcement and disentangle themselves from whatever they're doing. (By the way, you didn't check "local players only", right? For the purposes of this exercise, don't check that box.)
When in doubt, /w. Check to see how many pirates are online. If you're the only one logged onto Ice at the moment, well, that answers that question.
For those times when you're your own best friend...
If you're truly desperate, make an alt. BIG BLINKING CAVEAT OF DOOM: I do not recommend this. It arguably goes contrary to your terms of service, because it can look like alt abuse. But if you were an unscrupulous pirate, or if you were very impatient, or if you really really really wanted your Seal on the Jade Ocean and you can't get the 4 other pirates currently logged on to notice your tournament...
...then, really, who could blame you for creating a 2-pirate-minimum tournament, and entering it twice?
Although you can create 3 pirates on a single account, you cannot be logged on as two pirates from the same account at the same time. But you can create a second login, open the puzzle pirates client twice, and log in as a pirate from each of your two logins. Have one pirate create the tournament, have both pirates enter the tournament, and then just wait for the whistle. In this case, you'd want to set the tournament for the shortest wait until start time possible (5 minutes), just to get the dang thing over with.
If you're going to go this route--and do note again that I do not recommend it--make the tournament unrated. This is very important if you don't want your innocent Seal-hunting to get you banned from the game. Some very unscrupulous pirates have used alts in order to artificially alter their puzzle standings. That's alt abuse. Oceanmasters frown upon it. So uncheck the "Rated" box to ensure your little tournament doesn't look like that.
But hopefully you won't need to do that, right? ...Right.