The Privateer Project

Alric Ravensinger and I (and later the entire community) have long had Privateer vs. Musketeer debates that have spiraled into fun discussions involving every class. For example, I posted an image of a Swashbuckler from the Pirate101 commercial tearing the sails with his knife, labeled "This is why we can't have nice things." And so this project of mine had to remain a secret, of course... until now.

I've always thought Privateers were overpowered. In fact, I have a page dedicated to them HERE. However, I wanted to (a) see for myself if they were as overpowered as I'd claimed, and (b) get some actual experience playing one. I started my Privateer secretly...

Keeping Quiet

In Pirate101, it isn't too hard to solo most battles. In fact, playing with friends can slow you down a lot, not because they've incapable, but because the number of enemies increases with them, and more enemies usually equals more time spent. Ship quests, however, are a different story. Assuming you don't buy and fully equip a ship every chance you get (who has the gold for that?), you usually need assistance. Thankfully, Autumn Dreamwalker's nautical experience parties were of some assistance, but you also gain less experience when you're leveling your nautical level above your character level, so I still had some difficulty later on.

There were some pretty great moments while questing. I met up with a number of interesting people, and had a variety of questing partners. One I'll not soon forget, shown above, is a battle in which we filled the space up entirely. Not necessarily on purpose. In fact, I'd normally have one person join and the others wait a round to save enemies, but sure enough, this one filled up.

When requesting help, I'd have to leave out my class... and discreetly send out True Friend Codes for those willing to assist. So many people were happy to help, that I'm surprised things didn't slip any sooner. Many were aware for quite some time, including Duncan Stormthief, who works very closely with Alric.

Now, of course, keeping the secret was all in fun! But it was work, too. People'd occasionally catch me and drop a hint. Kelsey Fireheart even saw me and posted a picture, asking if it were my pirate!

Speed Questing Begins

I was about level 28 and well into Cool Ranch when I first heard of Captain Swing's gear (see it HERE). I had to have it. However, you could only farm Swing during Bonnie Anne's last promotion quest, and this Privateer was the closest I was to level 57. And so, I began spending an increased amount of time in-game over the past week to quest as quickly as possible to hit 57.

It was a wild ride - I finished Cool Ranch and did Mooshu (15 levels) in two days. Marleybone took longer than expected, but after defeating Rooke, I finally hit 57, and used my points to level Bonnie up and do her promotion quest up to the point of Captain Swing.

Since then, I've been actively farming him in-game for an entire gear set or two, but particularly his hat. Naturally, that'd be the toughest piece to obtain. I'm now on Run #86, having received two outfits, three sets of boots, and five sets of slicers, but no hats. I'll be patiently fighting until I receive at least one.

Are Privateers Overpowered?

To be honest, playing a Privateer has been... interesting. Fun would probably be a little bit extreme of a word. Hehe...

I will say that it's been interesting to obtain companions I've never had before, and try out various talent combinations and whatnot. I even redeemed my Handsome Dan from my Admiral's Bundle on him.

After playing through level 58 and completing Marleybone, I have to say that Privateers are not as overpowered as I'd imagined. In fact, it takes a painfully long time to defeat enemies in combat when you've got to do them one at a time, with only one AoE, and the rest not scaled to do damage appropriate for your level. Whereas on a Musketeer, any turn you're NOT hitting multiple enemies is a waste.

There's one thing that sets them apart, though. Espirit de Corps and Battle Zeal. You see, agility, strength, will, damage, and all of those other stats are entirely irrelevant if your accuracy or dodge can't match your enemy's. And so, in PvP particularly, you can essentially make your companions invincible to all but select Musketeer companions and the enemy pirate. When melee units and having a show-down, though, and a Riposte war occurs, if you can win, that can be a devastating blow. And with these buffs, there's no question that Privateers win.

A Conclusion?

Truthfully, I can't say I've decided yet how well I enjoy Privateers, but it's been very interesting to play one, and I now certainly have some experience with the class. For now, I'll not be doing Aquila, however, I'll be busy farming Captain Swing with a Privateer friend of mine...

It wasn't until I requested some assistance with Armada ships in Marleybone that my cover was blown. When Alric figured out, it was a pretty great moment on Twitter. Talk of my "double life" followed, and I'm fairly certain that we were all entertained. I will definitely have to point you to some tweets you may be interested in. Click on the number to view them: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

It's been... dare I say it? Fun! Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!


  1. We've all thought that Privateers were OP, but not until we made one ourselves and experienced how hard it is to lead an entire RED/BLUE team to victory.Privateers are the stronghold in battle, victory conditions always depend on the privateer you have on your side! :D

  2. Privateers are overpowered in PVP. Who cares about PVE, it's not hard to solo A.I unless your just very bad at the game. In PVP you can Stack battle zeal, Inspire the Crops (2 of them if you use toro), and thats +100% accuracy and dodge, combine that with Elusive rank 3 and you will never hit the privateer, and if by some miricle you DO, you then have to deal with 10 different heals. Don't forget they can double stack critical buffs as well and completely negate dodge. No other class in the game can do any of this. They are very broken, only bad players have a hard time winning 90% of their PVP's with a privateer.

    1. That is true on the PvP end. But PvE can be tough - and not because I'm necessarily bad at the game. :P It was much easier to solo on a Musketeer. You have options and power availability, whereas with Privateers, you have no great attacks like every other class. In fact, out of the whole list, you mention two powers as being useful.

      Their heals actually aren't incredibly effective - at least the team ones. They're rather low, in fact. And the critical buffs don't stack, either. You can cast them both at once, but it'll only use one.

      You're right that they're overpowered in PvP, though. Even though the pirate has powers to attack 100% of the time, companions don't. And when you're using one unit to fight four, that can be pretty tough.

    2. You are right in soe things Swordroll, but in order to make your Privavteer useful you have to come up with a strategy. Like a good strategy, not just buff then charge, like this:
      Companion here
      You here. Companion here
      Companion here
      Then use your privateer to buff them up like usual, it usually takes 1 turn for you to get your companions to make a wall in front of you, letting the enemies get closer to you, and I would recommend having a Musketeer or 2 with you that has over watch. Anyways, after you buff use your Musketeer to shoot the enemies, just to get some damage in, then when you are finished buffing we'll attack I guess.


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