Ship combat is one of Pillars of Eternity II’s best features but how does it work and how do you win? This Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire Ship Combat Guide will tell you everything you need to know to master boat to boat combat with a step by step guide showing you everything from initiation to combat.
When you approach a vessel, or one approaches you, you get the opportunity to initiate combat or retreat. There are several factors here that you want to take into account before making the decision. Firstly, in the upper right corner of the screen, is the level and class of your opponent. While the importance of the class depends on your party makeup, the level is vital regardless of your team. If an enemy captain is 2-3+ levels ahead of you, you’re going to have a really difficult time with boarding combat.
Other information to take into account are the resources of both vessels. This is a fantastic way to make a direct comparison between your vessel and their vessel. If the enemy vessel has more hull armor, stronger sails and more crew, it will be a tough one to take down. You can choose to board these ships directly, which is advised if the ship is much bigger than yours, but you will sustain heavy damage and some casualties in doing so. Once you have weighed up your options, you can either retreat, board or enter combat.
Combat Screen & Options
Once you engage in ship to ship combat you are presented with a turn-based battle of will and tactics. While initially appearing shallow and simple, it’s actually a very in-depth and rewarding system that can net you tons of gold and very rare items if you can master it. There are several aspects of the screen that you want to familiarize yourself with.
Firstly, the location of both ships. At the center bottom of the screen you will see a large vessel with a distance marker inside and then a dark vessel on the exterior of the circle. You can click the white vessel to open your ship menu. This lets you glance at the different cannons on both sides to better plan your attack. The white vessel is always your ship, the distance marker is the distance between you and the enemy vessel and the black vessel is the enemies position in relation to yours. If you are heading directly toward one another, turning to port or starboard will turn you left or right respectively, but the enemies vessel will remain unless they choose an action. It is very important that you understand your ships positioning.
The center of the screen displays current and past actions by both vessels. The star icon represents who is taking the first turn and the boxes below are the actions each vessel takes. This is a good way of looking to see when cannons were fired, when they can be reloaded and which side of your enemies ship is ready to fire next.
The actions are the most important aspect of ship to ship combat. Each available action is explained below.
Full Speed Ahead
This is the quickest way of closing distance between the two ships. This is the best offensive move to make if you are trying to get closer for short-range cannons or to board the enemy vessel.
While not as fast as full speed ahead, Half Sail lets you close the distance to the enemy ship while maintaining a higher defensive rating. This is very useful when the enemy port or starboard side is facing you and preparing to fire, especially if they have just used hold position.
Hold Position leaves your ship in its current position. The best benefits to this is that you gain an accuracy bonus on your next volley. If you have powerful guns with a long reload time, or you are firing at your enemies at maximum cannon range, this is a great way to have more chance at a solid hit.
Turn to Port
Port is left, easily remembered as both have four letters (at least that’s what I use. It will turn your ship one to the left. This is usually fast but bigger ships take more turns to move. Useful when you want to launch a volley from your Port cannons.
Turn to Starboard
The same as Port except your ship turns right. Useful for launching a volley from your starboard cannons.
Prepare to Jibe
Arguably the most useful maneuver. Initiating a Jibe is preparing to turn your ship 180 degrees. This is most effective after firing a set of cannons. If you have just unleashed a volley from your port side, use Prepare to Jibe will turn your starboard side to face the enemy. This allows for two full volleys of fire in very quick succession. It can also be a very useful move for retreating. If you are facing your enemy head on, a 180 turn is the best line for a retreat.
The Report To command allows you to adapt to the circumstances of the battle. It allows you to move injured sailors to the healing spots and also allows you to use reserve crew to repair parts of the ship.
Brace For Impact
If your enemy has just used hold position and has port or starboard side facing your ship, this is usually a good move to make. It has a 50% chance of reducing all damage taken. This is a fantastic asset when you are dealing with a better armed enemy ship as you move in to board.
You offer your surrender to your enemies. They will demand certain resources and gold for doing so. Only cowards use this option. A captain goes down with his ship!
That wraps up our Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire Ship Combat Guide. If you’re still struggling, post a comment below.
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