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[Guides] Grapple & Boarding Guide

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Posted on 2007-06-01 12:20:23 | Show thread starter's posts only

Grapple & Boarding Guide

Command icon for Grappling Skill

How to Use the Grapple icon and stunt; BASICS
More detail will follow but this is what most beginners want to know:

To grapple:

First buy the grapple stunt at the skill tutor - the higher the stunt level the more successful your grapple attempts.

1) click seabattle under the "stunt" tab
2) make sure you have stunt points to spend
3) click upgrade (click "learn" only for your first time buying the stunt)

Buy and equip grapple from shipyard boss - again, a higher level hook means better success. (ability to purchase hook levels depends on your stunt level)

go to high sea
** Turn off auto fire** or you may sink the ship before you can board it.

  auto fire when OFF looks like this

  auto fire when ON looks like this 

go to  battleground or instance or high seas or where ever the ship is you want to grapple

you must first target the ship you want to grapple.

to do this click on the ship you want to attack one time (my mouse is set to left click - you can change this under ctrl+Q >> game controls)
if you click two times you will fire your cannon at the ship.

You will see a "halo" around the targeted ship.

then pretty much run into/ crash into that ship and click the grapple icon form the interface while you are touching the ship (or as close to targeted ship as possible)
[grapple icon from interface ctrl+A then "at sea" tab]

make icon easier to use by clicking and dragging the icon from the interface to your "hot key bar" at the bottom of the screen...
{personally I have set up  bar #0 for sea battle, bar 1 for falchion, bar 2 for sword and etc etc}.
This way you just have to hit the F key indicated in the square you dragged the icon activate the grapple skill.

"Hot Key Bar" - in picture below; F7 is the key to activate the stunt and I have lvl 12 grappling stunt.

Once you hook the ship the scene will change.
You usually want to look for the captain of the ship and kill them
Your sailors will be a lot weaker than you and the captain is the hardest one to kill.
Your sailors will auto attack the other sailors.
If the opposing captain is near his sailors your sailors may attack him, if he stays near the ships wheel your sailors will kill the opposing sailors first, then attack the captain.

The captains name and look will depend on the type/level of ship you board but generally they start out/generate by the ships wheel and work their way to the rope net that you have to cross to get to the other ship.
So, cross over to the other ship at the closest area (left side of our character) and go toward the wheel (left once you cross the ropes).

crossing the rope net;

On higher level ships the captain will run to the ropes right away and it can be hard to tell who he/she is.
Hold the alt key to read names.

here is the captain of a Captain of a Crete Iron Fist;

You will then have to wait a very slow real Life 10 seconds before the scene changes after the captain dies.

When you re-appear in the sea battle scene the ship drop will be in the water; usually a figurehead or cannon. You may need to immediately stop sailing or you will be to far away to pick it up.

Be ready to be attacked, ships may have sailed closer to you when you were in the boarding scene.


There are different types of grapple in this game. (More on that in the next section.)

Here are the basics:

  • You need Grappling Skill to be able to equip and to use grapples. It is a Stunt Skill of Sea battle.
    - It is an active skill - you need to click on the Grappling icon to use it (with grapple already equipped). Takes 100 SP each use.
  • You can fail to grapple. Success depends on:
    - Number of sailors on the enemy ship - more sailors = bigger chance to fail.
    - Level of your grapple skill and the grapple you use, compared to the level of enemy.
  • There is a limit on grapple distance. If the two ships are too far away, you can't grapple the enemy.
    Different types of grapple have different maximum distances.
    For all types except Grappling Hooks, the higher level the grapple, the higher the maximum distance is.
    Grappling Hooks of all levels have the same distance - 10.
  • When -not- equipped, the grapple, no matter which type, will take up 50.00 of weight in your ship's load.
  • Only grapple skill 11 (see last post) grapples can be player made (Foundry 101). All other grapples are either bought at the shipyard boss or picked up as drops/drifters/wreckage.
  • Only grapples used to board ships are sold at the shipyard boss. (see below for other types)


There are 5 types of Grapple, each has different use.

(I've also included a table at the end of this guide for you to check stats and requirements for different types and levels of grapple.)

Grappling Hooks = Boards Enemy Ship
*NOT the same as Mechanical Hook!*

Shipyard Boss sells this type (ie. Grappling Hook to board ships) and -only- this type.

If you want to get Drawing drops, or to level both your sea and land battle skills, then this is THE grapple for you.

This is the only type you can use to board ships.

For info on boarding ships, check the next part of this guide (next post).

*I've seen many players confusing Grappling Hooks with Mechanical Hooks.
MH cannot be used for boarding. When in game, always pay attention to the names and descriptions.

Mechanical Hooks = Slows Down Enemy Ship
*NOT for boarding ships!*

Shipyard Boss does -not- sell this type. NPC Raiding Ships drop them.

When you succeed in grappling with this type of hook, the enemy ship's sailing speed will be down to 3 - 0 for a period of time.

On the offense, it can help preventing a fast ship from running away and out of your cannon firing range.
On the defense, you have a bigger chance of sailing away from an attacking enemy after your Mechanical Hook has slowed it down.

*I've seen many players confusing Grappling Hooks with Mechanical Hooks.
MH cannot be used for boarding. When in game, always pay attention to the names and descriptions.

Greek Fire Thrower = Causes Fire Damage to Enemy Ship

Shipyard Boss does -not- sell this type. NPC Raiding Ships drop them.

When grappling succeeds, for a period of time the Thrower will steadily burn the enemy ship, causing damage to its sails, hull and sailors.
The higher the level the Thrower, the more damage and longer lasting time it has.

This grapple is probably a favorite among players with Merchant Ships.
That is because these ships have fewer cannons, slower sailing speed and even slower turning speed.
Throwers' burn damage increases the otherwise weaker attack power of Merchant Ships.

It is not just for ships with weaker attack, however.
It has been said that a LvL 9 Greek Fire Thrower can sink a Flying Tiger Raiding Ship (LvL 7) with just one grapple. [source]  

Smoke Thrower = Reduces Enemy's Hit Rate

Shipyard Boss does -not- sell this type. NPC Raiding Ships drop them.

Once grappled, the enemy's cannon attack hit rate will decrease.
This can be very useful for fighting Flag Ships in Battlefields because their ATTK is so high.

In PVP situations, the losing side may be able to turn things around by weakening enemy's attack power with this grapple.
The winning side could use the Thrower to rip whatever remains in enemy's attack power. [source]

Tracer Thrower = Reduces Enemy's Sailors DEF

Shipyard Boss does -not- sell this type. NPC Raiding Ships drop them.

When grappling works, Tracer Thrower will lower the enemy's sailors' defense.
As a result, cannon fire from your ship will do more damage to them.

If you want to kill sailors, this grapple is a very good companion to Buckshot Canister Balls.
Since the Thrower weakens sailors' DEF, your Buckshot Canister will kill them even faster.


"Regular" Grappling Hooks
Level 1 - Alexander, Beirut, Istanbul
Level 2 - Athens
Level 3 - Algiers
Level 4 - Algiers
Level 5 - Seville
Level 6 - Seville
Level 7 - Hamburg
Level 8 - Hamburg
Level 9 - Muscat
Level 10 - Zhigu

Level 10 Fire, Smoke, Tracer, and Hook - Seward, San Francisco, Cruz, Salinas, San Diego, Magellan Supply station.

All types of grapples are found from the wreckage from pirate raiding ships, each level drops that level of mechanical hook, tracer thrower etc.

They are also found in drifters (more frequently on the Asian side of the map, but still a rare drop)

Players can make level 11 Flame Dragon Grappling Hook and Flame Dragon Fire thrower.
(Drawings from???)


As you can see, some types of grapple really need the help of Buckshot Canister Balls.

But really, no matter which grapple you use, Buckshot Canister Balls will help improve the grappling success rate.

The more sailors you kill beforehand, the better chance your grapple has for hooking the enemy ship.

So, whenever you plan on using a grapple of any type, remember to bring some BCB with ya!

Bugged text edited, broken links and images fixed or removed, information updated. ~ dwolfy
Added where to get grapples  - Ele  6/27/2011

[ Last edited by xanthian31 at 2011-6-27 09:17 ]

Posted on 2007-06-01 12:23:32 | Show thread starter's posts only

On Boarding Ships:
You of course need decent Weapon skill level - don't go chasing after Pirate Bosses with LvL 10 Gun skill!

Before you board, we suggest you to first use Buckshot Canister Ball to kill off all enemy sailors except the captain.
Watch its sailor bar drop to almost to empty. Then, grapple enemy ship with a Grappling Hook <-- Must have those two words in the name!
Not Mechanical, not Greek, not Smoke, not Tracer!

Once boarded, 5 or more* sailors and the captain from each ship will come onto the battle scene.
(Yes, even if you've killed off all the sailors).
* There is a theory that needs confirmation: 1 on-board sailor represents 10 salors active on your ship

During the scene you and your sailors can attack 3 things: enemy, grapple and the enemy ship's mast.

Sailors and captain. Kill the captain and you win.

Kill the captain when:
- You are hoping to get a drawing drop from the captain.
Captain's stats and the number of healthy sailors left on the ship will affect how strong or weak the enemy sailors are.
Warning: You must be ready for captain's drop window because it comes up as soon as captain dies. If you leave boarding battle scene without getting the drops you won't be able to get them from the wreckages. I advise you to have auto-loot selected so you won't miss it.

(pothook) Once it's destroyed you will be returned to the seabattle scene and both sides will lose sailors.

Destroy the Grapple when:
- You've been grappled by enemy or,
- You grappled the enemy, but,
- They are too strong or for whatever reasons you don't want to fight on-board.
Then this is your way out of the battle scene.

In game, it's the Steering Wheel. Its durability is according to enemy ship's hull durability. Destroying it is the other way to win the battle.

Destroy the Mast when:
- Enemy ship's hull has already suffered lots of damage, and,
- (PVE) Your goal isn't drawings / (PVE & PVP) You don't think you can win by hand-weapon fighting

Remember we said enemy captain's stats affect how strong or weak the sailors are?
Well, same for you and your sailors. You having more Defence means your sailors can take more damage.
This is why Guns are the worst weapon for boarding and why you would want to wear high Defence armor.

During the battle scene, you can heal your sailors by using "Medic Kit"
(Shipyard Boss sells them. They can also be obtained from drifters or from wreckages on Battlefields)
In fact, you probably want to keep your sailors healed when fighting a strong enemy.

[ Last edited by xanthian31 at 2011-4-8 19:45 ]

Posted on 2007-06-01 12:25:19 | Show thread starter's posts only

Note: You need to be logged in to see the attached table.


[ Last edited by xanthian31 at 2011-4-8 19:18 ]