The Difficulty with Scoring "Kills" and "Sinks"

by: SurveyorPete – Thursday, 28 June 2018

    Originally posted in

From time to time you see suggestions for earning experience points for PvP kills, and sinking other ships; or experience / commendations for killing so many skellies, or for bounty systems, whereby "aggressive" pirates or crews get a price on their head, and you can earn gold for killing/sinking them. Or suggestions like when defending or attacking a skull fort, if you sink another ship X times, then they get kicked to another server.

The difficulty with all such suggestions is determining who scores a kill or a sinking. While it is often clear who wins a melee between two pirates or a pirate and a skelly, just as often it may not be obvious who killed who.

Here are some examples where it not so obvious who kills who:

  • Two pirates score hits on same enemy (human or skelly). Who scores the kill?
  • A pirate with low health - perhaps from falling from a height - is finished off by a pirate.
  • You score a hit on a pirate, but they then die by a hit from a skelly, or fall, or drown.
  • A pirate dies from a powder keg explosion. Who scores the kill? The player that carried the powder keg to the victim? The player that lured the victim near the keg? The player that made the keg explode?

Similarly, it is not always clear who sunk a ship:

  • What if the ship takes - or has taken - additional damage from rocks, running aground, cannon fire from island/fort skellies, or from lightning, or the Megalodon or Kraken?
  • What if more than two ships are involved in a battle, with two firing on one?
  • If a powder keg is used to sink a ship, who scores the "kill"?
  • Two ships battle with cannons, each scoring hits. The sloop sinks the galleon, but the sloop crew fails to patch one upper deck hole behind the map table. Some time after the battle, the sloop eventually sinks in a storm. Does the galleon crew still score a "sinking"? Even if they have left the server?

Finally, how do you gauge who is "aggressive"? Two ships encounter each other, but neither fires a shot. One sends a swimmer with a powder keg to sink the other; but he is shot by a sniper before he gets too close. Who was the aggressor?

If there was a bounty system, and you attack someone with a price on their head, do you get a price on your head for being aggressive? What if you already have a (higher) price on your own head? How does the game know you being a bounty hunter vs. being just a more aggressive PvPer?


Please stop the suggestions regarding gold, experience, commendations and bounties for killing people and skellies; or for sinking other pirate ships. Ultimately there is no way to make them work in a fair and consistent manner.


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