Introduction No matter what anyone tells you, the reality of looting is that there are no shortcuts to success. There is nothing a looter can do to guarantee that he or she will find the item they’re looking for, and contrariwise, there is nothing stopping a new looter from happening upon the best weapons in the game through chance alone without expending any effort at all. The most important thing anybody can do to improve their loot is simply to loot as much as their personal schedule will allow. That said, at the advanced level, there are several subtle, but nevertheless important steps one can take to make sure that the time one spends looting is used as effectively as possible. This guide will detail the steps a looter can take to ensure that his or her probability of success is as high as it can be. This guide will be divided into the following sections: Looting Spots, Enemies, and Looting Yield Maximization DPS Optimization on High HP Bosses Loot Pool Manipulation Enemy Nametag Color Manipulation Conclusion Looting Spots, Enemies, and Looting Yield Maximization When an enemy is killed, it may drop a loot container. When two enemies are killed, they may both drop loot containers. To get the most containers in the least amount of time, a looter must seek out spots that have the best probability to yield as many containers as possible in as little time as possible. The type of enemy also factors into this decision-making process. A normal enemy’s propensity to drop higher-quality loot containers is dependent on that enemy’s nametag’s color, which itself is a function of its level. For this reason, a group of three red-tagged enemies is generally a better looting spot than a group of five green-tagged enemies. This is why dedicated looters prefer to loot in the Cursed Caverns Gold Room more than the Group of Three. For a level 50 pirate using a mastered weapon, both areas contain densely distributed red and yellow tagged enemies, but since the gold room contains four enemies to the Group of Three’s three, the Gold Room will have a 33% better loot yield than The Group of Three’s. In other words, the Gold Room is a 33% better looting spot than the Group of Three. After selecting a spot to loot, an effective looter will find a way to defeat his targets as quickly as possible. As of this guide’s creation, the best way to do this is to use a technique called the “Double Toss.” A double toss is executed when a player throws two siege charge grenades in quick succession, resulting in massive damage that can kill level 45 enemies with near-perfect consistency. The double toss is performed by tapping ctrl or left mouse to throw a Siege Charge, waiting until the middle of the throw animation, pressing the “1” and then “5” buttons in quick succession to switch back and forth between another type of grenade ammunition, and then briefly holding down ctrl or left mouse to volley another Siege Charge. The damage output from this technique surpasses that of the vast majority of guns and swords, and deals damage within a wide blast radius. It is therefore an indispensable tool for a player’s DPS and loot yield maximization. Ammunition scarcity is rarely an issue with normal enemies, since the grenades you used will be replenished by the loot drops of the enemies you defeat. DPS Optimization on High HP Bosses Many of the game’s most desirable items can only be found at formidable bosses such as General Darkhart, Remington the Vicious, or the six Legendary Cursed Blade-yielding bosses scattered throughout Isle Tormenta and Raven’s Cove. Just like with normal enemies, achieving the greatest possible loot yield from these bosses is a matter of defeating than as quickly as possible for as long as possible. However, due to their massive amount of health, achieving optimal DPS will often require more steps than are necessary for normal enemies Since there are very few worthwhile bosses that can be killed quickly by one player, it is always better to fight bosses utilizing a team of pirates rather than just one. After assembling a crew for this task, it is advisable to make full use of damage-augmenting abilities such as Curse, Dark Aura, Red Fury, and even damage-boosting potions that you may happen to have on-hand. To contextualize this, a group of players spamming blunderbuss attacks at Palifico will likely be able to kill him quickly. But if one of them lays a Curse on Palifico as soon as he spawns, the Curse ability’s 30% damage enhancement will cause Palifico to die 30% faster, and thus every player there will receive 30% more loot on average. Dark Aura is a bit different. Since a Voodoo Staff with Rank 3 Dark Aura will boost a crew’s damage output by 10%, using the ability in lieu of grenades or a blunderbuss is only a worthwhile tradeoff in a crew of ten or more constantly-attacking players. In the interest of fair play, a group that has reached excessive DPS on a boss may wish to forgo utilizing abilities like curse so that the boss does not die so quickly that some players are unable to tag it and therefore can’t receive its loot drop. Loot Pool Manipulation When I said there were no shortcuts to success in land-looting, I was omitting one exception. The catch is that it may be too late for many of you to take advantage of this shortcut. If there is a specific weapon which a looter desires, that player can make finding it much easier by never unlocking access to weapons that he or she is less interested in. In order to find a specific weapon, a player’s weapon level must be within five levels of that weapon’s level requirement. Therefore, if there is an item a player does not want to find, that player need only limit their weapon level to below five levels of its requirement so that it is impossible to loot it. Unfortunately, since there is no way to “level down,” a player will need to plan to utilize this strategy before even making the pirate that they plan to use it on. To contextualize this, suppose a player really wants to find The Sapphire Curse on their new pirate - but is wary of the risk of looting less-desirable legendary weapons like Silver Freeze from Jimmy Legs. This player can raise his or her odds of finding The Sapphire Curse from 1/3 per legendary drop to ½ per legendary drop if he or she refrains from unlocking daggers, or unlocks daggers but limits their dagger level to a maximum of 24. This will give that player a significant advantage over others who approach these bosses with both sword and dagger fully mastered. Similarly, if a player wants to loot Famed Cursed Blades but does not want to loot Famed Voodoo Dolls, that player need only refrain from unlocking voodoo dolls, and their odds of finding famed cursed blades upon completing the Raven’s Cove quest will increase considerably. Enemy Nametag Color Manipulation On average, red and yellow-tagged enemies will drop more Loot Skull Chests than green-tagged enemies. This means that competent looters will seek out red and yellow-tagged enemies whenever possible so their time is spent more efficiently. However, there are some situations where a looter will opt to kill groups that contain green or grey tagged enemies. This could be because these enemies are more densely clustered together than red-tagged enemies, or because these enemies drop rare items which are exclusive to them. Some looters like to utilize a lower-level friend or alternate account to artificially boost these low-level enemies' nametags, and thus boost the quality of their loot drops. This strategy is essential for finding elusive famed items like the Brigadier’s Bayonet. Conclusions I remind the reader that no strategy detailed in this guide - and no strategy period - will ever grant a pirate guaranteed looting success. Many players who have never considered strategies like these will still find themselves with more impressive inventories than players who have looted more - and thought more deeply - about looting than the vast majority of pirates. And none of what I said will ever be a substitute for dedicated, prolonged looting for vast amounts of time. That is the nature of systems built on Random Number Generators. That said, if you want every advantage in looting, be mindful of the steps you can take to make sure that when you do loot, your time is spent as efficiently as possible. Video version coming soon!