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Perenoel1

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Intro
So this is a guide I've been working on for a little while now, its about half done, but i'll just edit it later until its finished. Some of it I've posted separately in other threads, but a lot of it is new. This guide is intended for people can already consistently achieve excellents and incredibles and are looking to get even better. It may help other people as well, but there are already other good guides for more intermediate puzzlers(Dachimpy.com for example). This is a guide for good puzzlers who are looking to become great.

How puzzles Work

Puzzle competitions: These are scored by your highest single league point. In multi-puzzle competitions the overall is scored by the sum of your highest one duty report for each puzzle. For crafting puzzles this simply means one very high scoring session will win. For duty puzzles, each duty report is the average of your sparkly over the entire report. Your sparkly level is created by a moving average of your last 3 minutes of puzzling. Each leauge is about a min, so this means it usually takes about 4-5 mins of continuous flawless puzzling to win a competition for duty puzzles.

The only things i do different for puzzle competitions is try harder and maybe play faster. I try to focus on just puzzling, not making tokens, or sending tells, or playing poker on anthoer account, or talking on the phone(or vent or skype), or making tacos, or any of the stuff i usually do when im puzzling lazy and relaxed. Try to puzzle your own personal best. As for playing faster, sure there is a greater chance i may misplace a carp or sail piece if i play faster, but if i mess up i get to start over. You can't mess up too much though or you'll never do good, so find your own balance between efficeincy and speed. Also, i swabby a sloop so i don't get interupted by battles or short navy routes or anything.

I find that the largest disparity is in sailing and duty nav, where sometimes you only break a combo or constilation every 30-45 seconds, as opposed to something like carpentry, where you can fill a masterpiece every 12-15 seconds or so. All this really means, is that you may have to puzzle a little bit longer to get your maximum league in by chance. So for these puzzles if you think you're puzzling better than your scoreboard placement at 1st, just try to keep going for a while and see if you imporve.

Gunning is simple. Fill cannons the fastest for one duty report and win. Also, puzzle for over a min that league(like all puzzles). Some leagues are very close to a minute, so make sure to be on station the entire time(you can hop on and off just do it quickly) or gun on a slower ship. (ordering bots off sails will slow it down a bit). You can also get a boost but filling everything but cannon balls one league ten filling those 4 quickly the next and continuing to gun. I usually do this every other league to give me alternating high incredibles and booches. It only takes one good league to win

One more note: Make sure you don't hop on the puzzle until the competition starts. If you are already on the puzzle, then it wont start counting your scores, until the league after you clear your first board(meaning you finish the stars and get a new set).

Bakeoffs: Get a good start AND puzzle amazing

You need to do both if you want to win. Bakeoff's are based off of one duty report(lets say 20 mins long). This duty report is the average of your puzzling over that entire 20 min span. If you have a raw score of close to 0 for the 1st 20 seconds(whenn you break your opening combo), you will have to do significatly better than someone who breaks their first combo in 10 seconds, if you want to beat them.

Stats:
Your Stat/rank is the average score of your last 100 or so puzzles. So, If you dissconnect or have one really bad session, it takes a long time(100 sessions or so) to fix the average. If you are a high ultimate, then one DC or so may only bring down to a lower one. Also, i believe that while the last 100 puzzle sessions or so count, the more recent ones are weighted heavier. I can't be sure of that though.

Also, remember that for duty puzzles a session is whenever you leave a station(pillage battle, atlantis fray, TH, ect.), not every duty report. Usually it is very short sessions, like hopping on station 30 seconds before port, that hurts your rank most. The easiest way to improve your rank is to not TH/accept challenges over breaks, and not engage ships at League points when pillaging.


Bilging
Good Bilging is all about slow careful planning. Speed is barely a factor as long as you make at least one move every 8-10 seconds or so. This guide assumes you know how to do basic Sea Donkey/Vegas bilging. (Quick note, i tend to refer to any kind of vegas/sea donkey as just a vegas to make things easier.)

Scoring

This is how I score my bilge combos. Its probably not right, but its a good enough model to base your play style off of.

3 = 3 points
4 = 4 points
5 = 5 points
3x3 = 12 points
3x4 = 14 points
3x5 = 16 points
3x3x3 (Bingo) = 24 points
3x3x4 (Bingo) = 27 points
3x4x4 (Bingo) = 30 points
3x3x5 (Bingo) = 30 points
3x4x5 (Bingo) = 33 points
3x5x5 (Bingo) = 36 points
3x3x3x3 (Sea Donkey) = 80 points
3x3x3x4 (Sea Donkey) = 88 points
3x3x4x4 (Sea Donkey) = 96 points
3x3x3x5 (Vegas) = 144 points
3x3x4x5 (Vegas) = 156 points
3x3x5x5 (Vegas) = 168 points

Try filming yourself and counting the total points per click. The incredible borderline is around 3.5-4 points per click depending on your ocean. Great bilging usually falls between 6-8 points per click.

Heres another table of how many clicks each combo take to average a 4 or low incredible

3 = 0.75
4 = 1
5 = 1.25
3x3 = 3
3x4 = 3.5
3x5 = 4
3x3x3 (Bingo) = 6
3x3x4 (Bingo) = 6.75
3x4x4 (Bingo) = 7.5
3x3x5 (Bingo) = 7.5
3x4x5 (Bingo) = 8.25
3x5x5 (Bingo) = 9
3x3x3x3 (Sea Donkey) = 20
3x3x3x4 (Sea Donkey) = 22
3x3x4x4 (Sea Donkey) = 24
3x3x3x5 (Vegas) = 36
3x3x4x5 (Vegas) = 39
3x3x5x5 (Vegas) = 42


Bilge Techniquies

The important thing to remember about Vegas and Sea Donkeys is that only the middle two columns move in relation to the rest. The left 2 and right 2 simply move up one. The only thing to check for in those 4 columns is if a vertical group of 3 or more will form from removing that horizontal row of the vegas. Focus on those middle two rows, and see where you can move pieces so that after you clear your vegas, they can set you up for your next one.
Heres an example of forming a vegas above the one you just cleared.

Vegas above a Vegas

You can also create a vegas below the one you're clearing using the same idea. Heres an example(ignore the missed bingo 7 seconds in).

Vegas below a Vegas


The last technique is to simply build a vegas at the top of your screen, then check to see if you can clear one below it before setting off the top vegas which would mess up the lower one. Just be careful to keep your eye on the star meter on the left, for all of these multiple vegas techniques. Its pretty annoying to finish a board wit ha 1 click vegas left on it. The hard part to explain is when to use all these techniques. The best i can say is try to use what the board gives you and keep practicing.


Got Crabs?
Here are a few random videos i tried out for competitions. They all failed horribly, but I think that trying random things like this gave me a better feel for how the pieces move. Maybe not, either way the 1st is just trying to fill the screen with as many crabs as possible. The second shows that if you pause a puzzle while the water level drops, the crabs wont leave immediately when you reenter. The third is using crabs to make a 3x3x3x3x3 Sea Donkey. Even Larger vegas/Sea donkey combos are possible this way as well.

lots of Crabs

22 Crab Combo

3x3x3x3x3 Sea Donkey


Rigging

If you don't know anything about how to play read this 1st.
http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Rigging

Good rigging is all about managing the colors on your board, mostly by using tars. You don't get tars when you first start, so heres some advice.

For the first few boards, just find what color there is the most of, and clear 95% or more of it. Repeat this for whichever color there is the most of on the board.

Once you can get hooks, you can start going for those to increase the size of your clears. The simplest way to to make a ring of 6 pieces with one in the middle.

Here's a video of rigging before tars.
Intro Rigging Video


Okay now you can start rigging for real.

Here is an example of some pretty good rigging.

Rigging Video

Notice how almost every clear makes a tar. If you can make a tar and a hook with the same clear, even better. The other important thing to notice is not only how tars are made, but how they are used. Each tar can get up to 7 pieces of the same color. Try getting 5+ pieces with most tars as a basic rule.


Sometimes random pieces get cleared between the big clears. This is good, if they are unimportant colors. Clear 4 of a color if there are only 7 on the screen, but if there are 15 of a color on a screen, make sure you don't clear just a couple by mistake. This is extremely important to keeping your board looking nice and pretty.

But, keep an eye on the stars on the left side. It doesn't matter how nice your board is set up if you clear them too early. When you have 1-2 stars left on the board hooks, and large clears become more important. You want to try and make full use of all the hard work you spent setting up your board before it goes away.

Rigging Loops can be useful in competitions. Heres a video of a modified double rigging loop that places well in Puzzle Competitions.

Rigging Competition loop


Sailing
Speed matters more in sailing than it does in bilge, but not nearly as much as a lot of people think. The important keys to high level sailing is to clear large combos(usually Vegas 4 to Vegas 8) at least once every 3 mins( lets say 2 mins 30 sec just to be safe). Platforms are worth 4-5 times regular pieces, so whenever possible try to clear platforms at the end of your combo not the beginning. Here is a sailing technique i use whenever the bottom of the board is fairly open. Its goal is to clear the platforms as late as possible. I also have an image of a finished board as an even better example of this.

Sailing technique video

Sailing image

short video of another similar combo



Carpentry
There are two main styles of Carpentry. One is to play as fast as possible, the other is to grain bonus as much as possible. Both take practice and work roughly the same, so try them both out and see what works for you. The other important things to remember are to work on adjacent holes, so you don't get stuck with 2 diagonal holes finished and only 2 left to work on. It can also be helpful to memorize all the good 2 pieces combinations for the holes.





Speed Carpentry:

Carping for speed

Grain Bonus Carpentry:

The main disadvantage to grain bonus carping is it becomes extremely difficult to make tokens. But in token free environments it can score very well despite a slower approach.

The first step to learning how to Carp with grain bonuses is to learn the way the pieces spawn. There are three type of pieces.

1. Pieces that always spawn the same direction(Y,L,I,N)
2. Pieces that spawn in either direction(P,F,T,U,Z)
3. Pieces that are symmetrical and can always be rotated to horizontal.(X,V,W)
4. Putty always follows grain bonus

Basically carp like normal while only placing the pieces horizontal whenever possible. Remember that once a hole as one vertical piece direction no longer matters. Try working 1 in 4 holes grain bonus to start and work your way up to 2 out of 4 then 3 out of 4. Its not necessary to grain bonus every single hole for this to be an effective bonus. Another thing to pay attention to is to not leave a hole that can only be filled by turning a "1. Pieces that always spawn the same direction(Y,L,I,N)" vertical. Putty can fix this to give you the grain bonus anyways, but you probably have better uses for your putty,.



theres a nice table here

Grain Bonus Carping Video


Two Pieces Carpentry Holes:





Gunning

Just a little gunning trick, if you ever want to gun by yourself without being interrupted. Take the navigate with navy mission, order the bots to laze and you can just gun all by yourself with long league points.

Many top gunners gun freestyle, while others use 1 and 2 gun loops. Freestyle gunning is hard to explain, so I made a video of freestyle gunning at a very slow speed to try and make it easier to follow. One form of high level gunning looks a lot like this video only twice as fast.

Slow Freestyle gunning

Full speed gunning

Duty Navigation

Duty navigation is all about making constellations. Combos are possible, but don't try for them, its difficult and basically not worth it. The key points are organizing your board to avoid accidental breaks, while leaving extra pieces available to break if you dont get the star pieces you need soon enough. Breaking random groups of 3 while not messing up your constellation is useful in giving you more room to get that last color you need.


9 star Duty Navigation Video

Treasure Haul

Treasure haul With Chests
The goal here is to get out as many chests as possible, the main idea is to leave one or 2 red gems at the top of your screen to get out a chest quickly once it comes.



Treasure haul Without Chests
Click fast. Also, try to make clears at the top of the screen so more things cascade, and alternate between left and right side seems to speed things up a bit too.

TH Video


Quick Puzzling from Dead Starts
The key to getting a quick start is to do something fast. Obvious huh? You can't build or puzzle like you normally do and expect a good 1st DR or a sparkle in the 1st 15-20 seconds. for bilge, rigging break the 1st decent combo you see in your 1st 1-3 clicks. For sails, you want to go for a fast triple-bingo in the 1st 10-15 seconds and maybe break a fast single or double sooner if you can. For carpentry, just concentrate to fill the smallest easiest hole as fast as you can. if you can grain bonus or nice set it, even better. Here's some examples:

Sailing
Fast sailing bingo

Bilging
fast start bilging

Carping

Fast carp holes

This one is a little bit forced, and just filling the holes fast usually works better, but here's a video that used the bonuses.

Carp video with fast bonus

Rigging

There are 4 key point to the fast start in rigging. The 1st is the quick 4 and 6 clears on the 1st 3 pulls. Getting a non-zero score as fast as possible is important. The 2nd is the 10 with a loop to to an initial sparkle. The 3rd and 4th are the big 20+clear. This gives a strong sparkle allowing you to start playing normally, AND gives a tar and hook to get your started.

fast start rigging video


Multi-Puzzling

Puzzling on 2-3 Accounts
One key here is to position the puzzles so you can see them without having to tab through screens if possible(Depends on monitor size). For rigging,bilge and carp i have a 10 seconds rule. I must make one move on each screen every 10 seconds, so i'll usually make 2-3 clicks on one bilge screen then hop over to carp for 2-3 pieces then hop back. You can use the same strategies you normally puzzle with, just at half speed or so.


Puzzling on 4+ accounts
This starts to get tricky. If you can manage to get them all on your monitor maybe you'll have better luck, but i just tab through all the puzzle screens. I basically make one move on each without really thinking much, then move on to the next and keep going. The goal here is not to be perfect or great, just do something kind of intelligent and get mostly goods.



Station hoping
If your station hopping to help out the ship wherever it needs it, it doesn't have to ruin your stats and make you mediocre at all the stations your doing. For pillages, your indicator only resets at a league point, not during or even at the end of a battle. So if you can get a sparkle one puzzle(lets say bilge) then hop off and go sail. Now if the bilge starts to rise, you can hop back on and instantly be sparkling before your 1st move. This can be applied to any number of the 4 stations(and i guess dnav too so 5). You can also do it for SMHs and flotillas to a lesser extent, because every duty report at the 10 min breaks your indicators for the puzzles your not on will reset.



Battle Navigation

Flotillas
Depending on the Brigand king and the type of ship, Enemy flotilla ships repair at about 1.5-3.5 large shot per turn. If your having trouble getting sinks, try targeting one ship at a time, not just firing at whatever is close.

My other main tip for Flotillas(and to some extent Atlantis) naving is to manipulate your move tokens whenever you can. Unlike pillaging the AI puts its tokens in early in the turn and doesnt change it. It makes its moves based on what moves you have at the start of the turn, so if you spawn 2 forward tokens during the turn when you had none at the start, the bots moves are still assuming you have zero forward tokens. Try turning autotoken off and using this to your advantage.

This can also be used defensively. If you are injured and running low on tokens, never use your last token. If you cant move, the bots know you cant move and will shoot you every time. Your best chance is to make them think your moving and sit still if you have to. And remember, if your bilge is full, 2-3 sailors get you the same tokens as 10-15, because bilge caps off the top end, it doesn't take a percentage of sailing juju away. The point is, if you arnt getting tokens due to bilge, move everyone off sails to carp and bilge. Honestly, even TH helps the ship move/repair more than sails at that point. Of course, this is all dependent on having puzzlers willing to move, or a convincing XO.

Cursed Isles
I'm not sure how useful this will be, but i had a request a while back to help someone learn how to "wall hump" to enter and leave CI. So i might as well post it here if anyone else wants help with it

Entering CI without thralls

Leaving CI by wall humping

Token Rigging
Token rigging is similar to token bilging. The main difference is whenever possible make 2 large consecutive clears to get you multiple types of tokens. Besides that, booch your score to get tokens, and alternate large clears to keep your score high.

Heres a video of some decent token rigging. Its probably my least favorite station to make tokens on, so I'm a bit out of practice.

Token Rigging Video


Token Sailing
This is the only video here thats not mine. I'm still learning how to
token sail, and my basic plan is to copy this video from Geologist as much as I can.

Geologist Token Sailing


Token Carpentry
There are two types of Token Carpentry. You can either go all out to make as many tokens as possible, knowing that you'll probably be getting somewhere around a low excellent, or you can try to puzzle at an incredible level while making as many tokens as possible without dropping your performance.

Pure tokens:

Pure token Carping

slightly worse pure token carping

Incredible tokens:
Incredible Token Carping

Token Bilging

Forget everything you know about high end bilging. This is all about speed, and making extra moves(lowing your score) to get tokens. The main technique for tokening in bilge is to get the top piece one spot above the bottom(duh). Here are some techniques to help.
1. simply clear a 3 horizontal to move a token up 1.
2. Clear a 3 horizontal as part of a combo to move a token up 1.
3. If there arnt 3 ina row horizontal, break a vertical group to make the 3 horizontal clear.
4. if you can put the top above a crab and the bottom below it makes for an easy clear.
5. Break a vertical group of 3 to line up the tokens.
6. Use a blowfish instead to line up the tokens.
7. Break a 4 or 5 vertical group to line up the tokens
8. combine vertical and horizontal breaks for more complicated clears if you can see them
9. break an uneven Bingo/Sea Donkey/Vegas to move one token up an additional space or 2.
10. Line the lower token token with the vertical part of a bingo/Sea donkey/Vegas, and the upper token with the horizontal part, to move the token up 2-4 spots depending on the height(3-5) of the vertical clear.



Bilge token techniques video

Token Bilging

Distilling
Distilling is the 2nd most luck based puzzle after Shipwright. There are tons of good distilling tutorials already out there already(Dachimpy.com has lots of good step by step techniques), so the only thing I'll add is the gold standard for distilling is usually 9+ rows of white before you send up the 1st row. Distilling, maybe more so than most puzzles requires lots of practice to perform at top speed.


Distilling Video


Alchemy
If you don't know anything about the puzzle, try reading the wiki 1st.
http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Alchemy

This guide is more for people who are around respected/master+ and trying to get better. Alchemy starts off with 10 bottles and drops down to 8 around distinguished i think, then down to 6 around master/renowned. Your score is the average score of each bottle.

Basic Concept:

You want to fill as many different color bottles as possible. Filling multiple bottles of the same color in a fill is a nice bonus, but the number of different colors is what really controls your score.

Scoring:

The bottles that are filled up at the bottom of your screen are what determines your score. Any partially filled bottles at the end of your session will not count at all toward your score. Also, if you fill more than the 6(or more at early levels) bottles at the bottom in your last fill, only the highest bottles count.


Strategies:

Crossover pieces that can have two separate colors flow through them are good. You usually want to try to have as many of these on your board. Also, pieces that only have one color, but multiple pipes are usually better than the smaller pipe pieces.

There are two ways to control what pieces you get on your board:

1. Once you have your fill set up, add the leftover "bad" pieces you don't want, and leave the good ones behind for later.

2. Remember that only bottles that you fill completely count towards your score. You can use a "waste" fill of only one color in one bottle to get rid of bad pieces you don't like. just make sure you remember which bottle you use for this, and don't fill it up completely, unless it's the last fill and you have extra bottles.


How to use Quicksilver:

There are two ways to use quicksilver.

The first is to use it to fill every bottle in a voodoo. This is the easiest way to use it, and scores fairly well, especially if you have a bonus or two as well. One big advantage of this, is that if you use it to finish off more bottles than you have room for, only the highest bottles count for your score. Example video of ending with a voodoo:

Voodoo Quicksilver Alchemy

It fills 9 bottles and the highest 6 count toward my score. I use up some one bottle fills to try and get an extra bonus at the end.

The second way to use quicksilver, is more difficult, but can score much higher. You can use it to add an extra color to your fills. I've got a good example video here:

Alchemy with extra Quicksilver fills

Notice how even if i use a couple of one bottle fills in these videos, none of those bottles end up actually counting to my score. Also, sometimes it's better to only fill one of a color instead of two, if filling the two means you wont be able to use that color in your next fill. Good Alchemy is about planning ahead, keeping a good board, and a little luck!



Shipwright
Shipwright is the simplest and easiest puzzle in the game. Make sure you can clear both 5 pieces, then try to set up the four and 3 pieces so you can clear a combo of at least 3,3,4,5,5. I sometimes prefer this to 3,4,4,5,5 because theres more of a chance to get extra 3 pieces in before the 5 pieces. Good shipwrighting is all about knowing what the shapes each piece look like so you can set up for possible pieces you don't have and hope to get lucky. Most of SW is hoping to get lucky. The only real tip I can give is to find a good starting board. Scores don't register until you place the 4th piece of your opening combo, so you can leave before that if you decide to take a stupid risk early and it doesn't pay off.


Blacksmithing
First of all if you don't know how the puzzle is played read the wiki first, this is a more advanced guide.
http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Blacksmithing


There are 4 steps main steps to blacksmithing

Step 1: find alternating sets or combos. I usually board search a little bit to at least make sure there is 1-2 of each piece type on the board. You cant combo unless you have them all. Then look for a path that connects a 1-4 number combo and a path that connects a knight, bishop, rook, queen combo. Once you get comfortable with this you can try doing larger alternating sets(3 to 5 alternating sets is a good opening combo) or starting a 2nd alternating set.

Step 2: Strike the rest of the board until it is all silver, except the rumjug. Also if possible put the rumjug in a corner, it makes step 3 much easier. My only advise here is look for almost "dead" pieces that only have 1-2 squares they can go to and use those first.

Step 3: Find trouble pieces, dead pieces, and end pieces
Trouble pieces, are ones that cannot be reached by any other piece, but can reach others. These are ones you will have to use your rumjug to get to.

Dead pieces or dead paths are ones that do not go to any other square. Only one dead path can be used and you have to end with it obviously.

End pieces are all the pieces that can reach the rumjug.

Step 4: Once you've found all those, you need to look for paths. You can use 3 paths. The first two must end at the rumjug and the third can be a dead end. Be careful to only use each piece in one path(thats where i mess up sometimes)! Once my board is silver, I usually don't strike until i know the rest of my moves.

Blacksmithing video example

Foraging
The first thing i need to explain about foraging is the Foraging Bug. If no pieces cascade/break after you clear your combo of crates, the combo scores as a 0. Its annoying, but simple to avoid if you know about it.

In the video the 1st one puzzle shows the forage bug where nothing breaks, the 2nd combo shows setting up a horazontal clear of 3 to avoid it. Note that other groups break at the top in the second video. This usually happens which is why the bug isn't noticed all the time even if you dont deliberately set up clear to avoid it.

Forage Bug Video


Besides the bug the other key points to foraging are clear in groups of 3 whenever possible. Also, clearing crates at the same time(3 crates cleared) scores slightly higher than 3 in a row(single,double,triple) although theres not always much you can do to control which happens.

Weaving
Weaving scores similar to Sailing pieces with one major difference. The scores for breaking multiple colors at the same time are multiplied together, not added.

Assume that weaving is scored by 1 point for each piece cleared, times a multiplier for the level and number of colors cleared at that level.
For example if 5 reds are cleared for a single, then 4 blue and 5 green and 6 yellow for the double, then 7 blue for the triple, the score would be.
5 +
(4+5+6)*2*3 +
7*3

For 116 total for the combo. Also, I assumed no time penalty at all and a fairly small efficiency penalty. To be honest, it doesn't seem to really matter if I'm right about this being the exact scoring, because it works when you assume its true and score high with it.

The basic strategy to use this is build the board up as high as you can, and clear large combos of multiple colors on each level.



CI Foraging
Cursed Isles foraging is different than regular foraging, so i decided to make a guide on how to reguarly score Swifts and Frenetics.

General advice: Start foraging as soon is possible. As long as your not lagging, dismiss the fray as soon as you win and click on the plunder the horde to start foraging. this gives you 3-4 more seconds than just wating for it to start on its own. If everyone does this on a sloop for 5 rounds that can mean about 40 more chests overall! If you are lagging you might not want to do too much of this and risk a disconnect... Also try whatever you can not to lag... it realllly sucks

Clearing crates: The goal here is to clear as many as possible as fast as possilbe, combos and such dont matter.

Small crates:The foraging screen is 10 spaces high, which means there are 9 spaces below the small crates. The fastest way to clear these is just to do 3 sets of vertical-3 rows underneath them. If you do a 4 and a 3 then you will have to do 2 horazontal rows, this takes 4 clears instead of 3 so try to avoid this. You can get frentic rating sometimes doing all 3 clears of only small crates, it really speeds things up.

Medium crates: These have 8 spaces below them so 4 clears are very good here. it would take 2 vertical-3 clears and then 2 horazontal clears to get a row done as opposed to just 2 vertical-4 rows or a vertical 4, vertical 3 and one horazontal. Also, a 5 and a 3 clear works just as well. The most important thing however is not getting these stuck on the sides. If they are on the sides or one space away from it make sure you clear the row closest to the side before clearign the inner one. If there are 2 of these crates on the board near each other, clear the one closest to the middle 1st, starting with the vertical row furthest away form the other crate.


Large crates: The most important thing is do not get these stuck! If they are on the side or one away from the side, you have to clear the outsermost row and then the middle row before finishing the row closest to the middle. If they are in the middle however, its much easier to clear them safely. Clear the middle row 1st, then clear each of the side rows. There are 8 pieces below these crates as well so 2 sets of 4 or a set of 5 and 3 work well for clearing the vertical rows. But its more important to just worry about not getting them stuck! If they do get stuck, especially early on you can always dismiss the forage session and start a new one. It will cost you a little bit of time, but its much better than getting nothing.

If a crate does get stuck, I usually clear the rest of the crates on the screen, if i still dont have a special piece to get it unstuck jsut abandon the puzzle and start a new one. It'll only cost you a small amount of time and you can still get a good number of chests.

Here an example of how leaving immediately when you get stuck can still work out fine.

Stuck in CI Forage




Special pieces: I dont really like these. The one that shakes the screen is good to keep off to the side incase you do mess up and need a 2nd chance to not get a crates stuck.

And the vertical clear ones are nice when they are above a crate.
i always save the verticle clear ones until they become useful or get near the bottom.

I use the Horazontal Machetees on the medium and large crates which tunrs their size to only 7 from the bottom (which makes a 3 and 4 combo easy) but usually only slow you down with small crates.

Besides that i just get rid of them as soon as possilbe because they get in the way.


Ants are the WORST because they can mess things up and they slow the game down by clearing a block every turn. I try to get them off the screen or destroyed as soon as possible. Monkeys slow you down too. If possible use the horazontal or vertical swords to kill special pieces you dont want. Sometimes if a monkey is surrounded by other special pieces i dont want, i'll click it to get rid of them and plan out my next few moves while it does its animation.

Remember that clicking fast helps a little bit but its still much better to just click smart. Smart moves will get you a swift rating usually and then making them fast gets you frenetic.

Short Video Example

Long Video Example


SwordFighting

Team Swordfight
Bots tend to play like a #1 SFer with a broken space bar. When they get breakers, they seem to use them very efficiently, but they also play really slow. The only thing you need to know based off this, is that the more stuff on their screen when they clear, the more its gonna hurt. To stop this, its much more important to kill the bots that are near dead, than to stay teaming in 2s and 3s. And remember just because your combo will might kill a bot with no damage, that bot is no threat to attack right now, its often better to hit one with a half screen or so. Hit a bot that you are 100% sure will die, rather than risk getting your combo returned right back to you, in addition to the bot with a half screen that can now clear, that you should have killed instead. Oh, and there are very very few situations where stalling helps, so to make it simpler, don't stall. Ever.



1v1 Swordfight

Breaking a 1x4 before a 2 sword combo can force a column 4 sword. I feel like this is one combo that not enough high-end sword fighters try to use.

1x4 2x15 2x12 opening combo


Also, if your playing someone you know is a good deal better than you, try to send side swords whenever you can.

Rumble

Team Rumble
If you want to "insta" a bot in team rumble, a charge group of 14-16 should do the trick. To play it safe, you should also added 10-15 quick pieces to the drop-off for bruises.

A few team rumble punches


1v1 Rumble
Bludgeon choice.
Top tier: Skull rings/Blackjack/hammer
2nd tier: Rope coils/Fish/Chain/skeleton bone

Theres really no reason to ever use any of the other bludgeons.

Oh and use fish for Boxing.

Strikes and Bruises.
This is the core of rumbling. There are 3 basic attacks you can do.
3 charge groups: add up to 9 droppoff balls
4 charge groups: add up to 13 droppoff balls
6 charge groups: add up to 18 droppoff balls

Adding less is fine, is just send a few less bruises. Adding more does nothing so its just a waste of time. Anything larger than a 6 attack generally becomes weaker and easier to clear. The only time you want to use larger attacks is when you know its going to finish your opponent. Remember that not every strike needs to have full bruises. Sometimes you need to send faster attacks to disrupt your opponent more. The key to striking is finding a good balance of faster strikes and bruised strikes.

Natural bruising
This is the best thing you can do in rumble. Its easiest to try in no bludgeon, and then in time work it into your other matches as well. The idea is to create an initial charge group that does not get covered up, then create other charge groups that can be covered by your opponents sprinkles. This way you can unleash a full bruised strike, without taking the time to add the droppoff balls yourself.

A more complicated way of doing this, is to make your charge groups in a way that they drop off other pieces that are already on your screen. This can be dangerous, as one strike can mess this up entirely, but when done correctly, its very effective.



Sprinkling

While Striking and bruising are the keys to rumbling, if you want to take your game to the next level, try to improve your sprinkle clearing as well. Heres a video where i focus on sprinkle clearing by getting rid of bruises whenever possible.

Rumble Sprinkling video



Drinking
If you don't know the rules for scoring, read the wiki , then come back.

Mug choice
1000 4 or 5 piece: Stein, chalice
1000 6 piece: Stein, chalice
1500 4 piece: Stein, horn
1500 5 piece: Stein, chalice
1500 6 piece: Stein
2000 4 piece: Horn, Stein
2000 5 piece: Stein
2000 6 piece: Goblet, pitcher/Stein
2500 4 piece: Horn
2500 5 piece: Goblet, Stein/Horn
2500 6 piece: Tankard, Goblet
3000 4 piece: Horn, tankard
3000 5 piece: pitcher, goblet, horn
3000 6 piece: pitcher


General rules for most settings
Drinking is all about board control. Here are a few simple rules to help you control the board. They aren't things that work 100% of the time, but are great general guidelines.

1. Play the highest piece whenever possible, on an opponents stein whenever possible.
2. Don't finish a row worth 100, unless its split 3 pieces each.
3. Let your opponents finish rows of 6-7 of their color in the early game.
4. Don't finish a 6-7 color row in the early game, unless its with a barrel.
5. If your opponent ever has 4 out of 6 colors in a row, try to block the 7th spot, with a piece of a different shape and color next to the 7th spot. Blocking is also useful for most of your opponents rows in the late game as well.


4 color drinking with horns
1. If You're using a horn, Clear every row you can.
2. If your not using a your but your opponent is, clear every unblocked row.

5 color drinking with steins

Classic Drinking
Read the rules and keep a count of how many stains you have compared to your opponent. Whoever gets the end bonus usually wins. Also, remember that every stain you have is 20 points for you AND 20 points you opponent cant get. So don't be afraid to win the ending bonus by a lot. many times its actually helpful to avoid clearing 100 points rows with your pieces or intentionally clearing an opponents 100 point row. The bonuses you get from staining their row after you clear it, balance out the 100 points they got, and you get the 200 point endgame bonus as well as board control.

Treasure Drop

Standard

Holes
New holes spawn randomly in between rounds, so it helps to finish rounds 1 and 3 1st, giving you first pick on any new developments on rounds 2 and 4.

My only other tip for now is to get good at regular TD, then take another look at the more random style of holes.

Happy puzzling!

edits
I now have a section for every duty puzzle, including tokens, and every crafting puzzle. Some of them still need work, but at least they are all started. I'll post some info/videos on the 4 carousing puzzles soon. Also, i'll take any requests so let me know what you'd like to see.
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Tzz Made of Fail on Midnight
Tzz's Ultimate puzzle Guide
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[Edit 40 times, last edit by Perenoel1 at Jul 13, 2011 1:56:14 PM]
[May 31, 2011 2:35:22 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Captainnkid

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Pretty good information :) Keep working on it and i'm sure it'll help many pirates. Maybe request an OM to get it stickied? Maybe, they will agree?!
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[May 31, 2011 2:45:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
bronzebeard

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Is this aimed more at getting up to #1 or doing well in competitions? Your sailing bit for example... loved the huge combos, but you can stay at the top of the charts just doing efficient bingoes. Also, maybe you should be more specific in the text when you say "large combos" what you actually mean where you haven't done so.

Also, how sure are you on the exact way puzzles are scored, say weaving?
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by bronzebeard at May 31, 2011 3:42:09 AM]
[May 31, 2011 3:39:12 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Perenoel1

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Yes you can get #1 sails by efficient bingos, but if your on the same ship as someone doing consistent large sailing combos, they'll top you every duty report. A large sailing combo I consider vegas 4-vegas 8, but i'll try to clean up my posts with more details like you suggested.

All the scorings i posted I'm guessing at, based on some competition ranks and other tests I've done. It doesn't matter if they are right or not, either way they are close enough to be used as models. Assume its true, increase your score according to it, and your actual puzzle score will increase as well.
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Tzz's Ultimate puzzle Guide
[May 31, 2011 4:07:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aenor

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Here's a tip for CI foraging that I figured out that lets me get Frenetic at least 66% of the time:

Use your first few moves, before any crates have appeared, to focus on getting rid of as many as you can of one particular color. As if you were a jellyfish. Then, just as in bilging after you've used a jellyfish, the probability of having lots of easy and fast clears is much greater.
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false_dmitri

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Are you sure about your NxN bilging numbers? I never had much luck scoring well using more than 1 move to form those.
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[May 31, 2011 9:09:22 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Yasmi6

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its really late here but i have to thank you for the effort you made in this guide... wil check some of the videos tomorrow
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[May 31, 2011 5:55:48 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
ubernova

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Your a God.
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[May 31, 2011 6:17:47 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Perenoel1

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Are you sure about your NxN bilging numbers? I never had much luck scoring well using more than 1 move to form those.


They are currently correct for midnight and they used to be accurate for viridian, but it seems harder to bilge there the past couple weeks. Either way the proportions are still correct, you just may need to be puzzling at a 4.5 points per move for an incredible instead of the 3.5-4 that i mentioned on my point scale depending on your ocean.



I edited to clean it up and added a bunch of CI forage videos. Still more to come for the other puzzles.
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Tzz's Ultimate puzzle Guide
[Jun 1, 2011 8:23:08 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Lynax

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It's Massive!
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sprngweather

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I think going for Vegas 4+ is a solid way to get very high scores in sailing; however, it is certainly possible to get very high sailing scores just by setting off repeated bingo-vegas sized combos (yes, high enough to win familiar competitions). There's more than one way to skin a cat. :)
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[Jun 1, 2011 6:18:36 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
bobdonnell

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I think going for Vegas 4+ is a solid way to get very high scores in sailing; however, it is certainly possible to get very high sailing scores just by setting off repeated bingo-vegas sized combos (yes, high enough to win familiar competitions). There's more than one way to skin a cat. :)


In recent times A vegas 4+ is generally the only way you can win a fam on Viridian atleast and genearlly you need back to back high combo's to boost your score up
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[Jun 1, 2011 6:45:01 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Stephensam

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Very nicely laid-out! I like learning and this should prove to be a great reference material!

Though, your distilling section is very short :P
Some advice on distilling I would've added is to practice until you don't have to really think when moving pieces around.
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Perenoel1

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Very nicely laid-out! I like learning and this should prove to be a great reference material!

Though, your distilling section is very short :P
Some advice on distilling I would've added is to practice until you don't have to really think when moving pieces around.


i added a little bit to distilling, but honestly other people have done a great job with tutorials already. My goal here is to make guides for things that other people haven't done. Also, just because i've posted in some sections doesnt mean im done. I plan on expanding on all the other short sections as well.
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Tzz's Ultimate puzzle Guide
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Tempusfugit4



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I think this thread needs to stay at the top of the section.

Short question. I want to retrain my gunning from looping to freestyle. Any idea how long does it take (on average) to reach a decent level of competency?

I might need to rephrase that... How long did it take you to get to Ren-G-M from scratch the first time you learned how to gun?
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[Jun 6, 2011 3:11:18 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Perenoel1

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I think this thread needs to stay at the top of the section.

Short question. I want to retrain my gunning from looping to freestyle. Any idea how long does it take (on average) to reach a decent level of competency?

I might need to rephrase that... How long did it take you to get to Ren-G-M from scratch the first time you learned how to gun?


I 1st learned to gun like 2 years ago so i completely forget how long it took to get to that level. A month maybe? it depends on how fast you learn and how much you practice. I do remember that i got a good deal better when i switched from WASD controls to only using my mouse.

My best advice is to start playing slow to get a good feel for how the pieces move and keep increasing the speed as you get more comfortable.
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Tzz's Ultimate puzzle Guide
[Jun 7, 2011 12:18:14 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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I think this thread needs to stay at the top of the section.

Short question. I want to retrain my gunning from looping to freestyle. Any idea how long does it take (on average) to reach a decent level of competency?

I might need to rephrase that... How long did it take you to get to Ren-G-M from scratch the first time you learned how to gun?


I 1st learned to gun like 2 years ago so i completely forget how long it took to get to that level. A month maybe? it depends on how fast you learn and how much you practice. I do remember that i got a good deal better when i switched from WASD controls to only using my mouse.

My best advice is to start playing slow to get a good feel for how the pieces move and keep increasing the speed as you get more comfortable.


When I switched from standard looping to central looping, which IMO has a potential just as strong as freestyle gunning, I think it took me a week for a basic competence and I have no idea how long it took me to master it. I do know that it only takes me about two weeks to lose every time if I stop doing it though ^_^
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[Jun 7, 2011 12:27:03 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chylamydia

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Another few questions :

Any tips to deal with

1) multi-stationing (eg covering both bilge and carp in a sloop pillage)

2) short puzzle sessions (+ unpredictable session lengths due to jobbing with newer navvers)

3) multi-tasking? (XO/station, or nav/station)

I understand that quick and dirty methods (triples/bingos in bilge, tar/loop but smaller and do it every 2-3 pulls instead of every 3-5 pulls in rigs) hit gold faster, but is there a way to smoothly transition from that to the higher scoring techniques when i realize that a possible 4 turn battle is looking more like a 15+ turn battle - preferably without going to blue for set up?

Yes, everything i describe is stat killing - but i do do them at least semi regularly and much of that is do to with id rather get out and pillage than try to protect stats....

on the other hand id like to know how to .. not kill them quite so quickly.

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tinnitus on sage
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Tinnitus on Emerald
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Perenoel1

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Another few questions :

Any tips to deal with

1) multi-stationing (eg covering both bilge and carp in a sloop pillage)

2) short puzzle sessions (+ unpredictable session lengths due to jobbing with newer navvers)

3) multi-tasking? (XO/station, or nav/station)

I understand that quick and dirty methods (triples/bingos in bilge, tar/loop but smaller and do it every 2-3 pulls instead of every 3-5 pulls in rigs) hit gold faster, but is there a way to smoothly transition from that to the higher scoring techniques when i realize that a possible 4 turn battle is looking more like a 15+ turn battle - preferably without going to blue for set up?

Yes, everything i describe is stat killing - but i do do them at least semi regularly and much of that is do to with id rather get out and pillage than try to protect stats....

on the other hand id like to know how to .. not kill them quite so quickly.

------------
tinnitus on sage



1. I think i should add a whole section on multi-puzzling, seeing as different puzzles have different problems and puzzling on 2-3 accounts is far different than like 6-8. Sorry theres no real short answer here, i'll try to post one soon, but im not sure how to record any videos.

2. You can always watch your stat drop, then go fix it later. Thats usually what i do. There are situations when you want to get your indicator up as fast as possible(bakeoffs, leaving CI) so i think i'll make some videos and put together a section on starting puzzles quickly.

3. This is pretty simple. Nav comes 1st. Once you have your moves put in puzzle till the end of the turn, then put in your next moves.(assuming your not going to LSM, in that case just forget the puzzle till the next turn). Bnav always comes 1st.



Also, to dachimpy, I've heard some good things about central looping, never really like it myself, but you've got some videos of it, right? i think I've already linked to your website from here like twice. A lot of what I'm going for here are things that you and other people didn't really have already.
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randy_chimp

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Yeah I am planning on updating my website, in fact I have been in conversations with someone that wants to rebuild it. Unfortunately everyone has their things that they are good at and I don't have the time to learn the other things.

I am planning on doing a few things like sword fighting, rumble, bilge etc. While I don't practice them I feel like I know most of the ideas of how to at least get to ultimate.

As for multi-stationing the way that I saw people do it in the OCL is that they had a secondary station such as carp that they started on and got sparkly as fast as possible, then switched to their primary stations such as sails. The idea was that if carp was needed then they could switch instantly and have sparkly without any delay.
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[Jun 8, 2011 12:20:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Perenoel1

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Well feel free to add anything of mine, or lemme know if you need help with it.

Also, I've still been editing and adding stuff to this every few days, i just put in a bunch more "empty" sections of things i plan to do later.
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Tzz's Ultimate puzzle Guide
[Jun 8, 2011 6:37:40 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Chylamydia

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thanks for the tips <3

I've never really being able to get the timings right for primary/secondary station hopping - i fairly often go from dead start to dead start after moving across stations ...

I did find that bilging in battle and carping out of battle works fairly well (for battle lengths <20 turns, and a navver that doesnt get shot more than a couple of times on a sloop) - longer than that sparkly bilge can't keep the ship dry at the damage level (roughly 20-25 percent)

looking forward to what you're gonna add =D
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Well feel free to add anything of mine, or lemme know if you need help with it.

Also, I've still been editing and adding stuff to this every few days, i just put in a bunch more "empty" sections of things i plan to do later.


I would love the help and am currently starting a rebuild project, including a programmer for the site and some people for marketing. However while I will be remaking all of my guides they are still very based upon the idea of an incremental change to your puzzling approach that incorporates the things that the "elite" take for granted most of the time so I will keep my focus on that for the videos because I feel that if I try to do any more styles than that the quality will degrade. If you want to be in charge of a more tips style section of the website that would be brilliant.
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[Jun 10, 2011 9:34:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
warp11

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Multi-stationing in a PvP.

As Chimpy described it, you can have a primary and secondary station but it works just as well for as many stations as you want. You can keep your incredible going on every puzzle at once as long as you don't hit a session end and just jump on and milk the sparkles on whatever station needs it the most.

I for one tend to do this in sinking PvP's while gunning so that the naver gets that extra bit of regeneration or that extra move that can be so crucial.

Oh and for the record, if you're doing sail/rigs as a secondary station, I strongly suggest rigs. You can score far quicker and more consistent than in sails which is always good if you're forced to switch stations quickly.
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Yea thats basically what i wrote in the multi-puzzle section, but i tried to go into a little more detail.

Next big update should be the 4 carousing puzzles by sometime next week. Any questions on specific puzzles or or requests of stuff to add , post here and i'll add it when i can.
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[Jun 16, 2011 1:26:47 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Perenoel1

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i changed my mind and added just a little bit for Team rumble/SF and a nice expansion on token bilging techniques.
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[Jun 21, 2011 7:13:51 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
bobdonnell

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Make sure you harp on how important board control generally is in drinking, this is where alot of people fall. Using a stein to 2000 and clearing a row right away gives the opponent generally 7 spots to stain therefore almost making the row clear pointless.
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This puzzle guide is pretty useful *thumbs up*

Still have troubles with the bilging puzzle, though... Just can't get better score than poor/fine x_x
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When you're at the low ranks of bilging, don't do anything except create a clear with every single click you make. Once you're up to GM, start doing all the bilging tutorial stuff. At the low ranks, the higher matches don't score very many points compared to the cost of the clicks to set it up.
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My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~ Jack Layton

Sublime is shame.
[Jun 29, 2011 9:18:48 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Noctuelle13

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When you're at the low ranks of bilging, don't do anything except create a clear with every single click you make...


Oh hey, it works... thanks for the tip ;)
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Noctuelle of Drogeo, Malachite
[Jun 29, 2011 3:55:04 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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