There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not a serpent will split when killed. "Changes" covered it but most people still seem to be unsure as to whether or not it will split. So here are some general guidelines to follow:
Comparison of regular serpents vs. "baby" serpents:
- Only Single Color Serpents Can Split.
Look at the serpent in the water, how many colors does it consist of? If it's more than one color, it won't split. But if you're looking at a solid color serpent, try other criteria.
- Only Multi-Headed Serpents Can Split.
Does the serpent have multiple heads? Generally the serpent description will tell you, so if it says "emerald double dragon headed" that serpent has 2 heads and could split, but if it says like "ruby hammer headed" that's got only head and the serpent will not split.
- Only Serpents That Are More Than 25 Rooms "Or So" Can Split.
A serpent that is 25 rooms or bigger is at least a "mammoth" serpent. So anything bigger than a "mammoth" size serpent has the possibility of splitting.
For ease of reference, a "baby" serpent is simply what we call a serpent which was split off from a bigger one. So if a serpent splits, those are its babies. The standard rules of engaging a serpent do not apply when fighting baby serpents. Regular serpents must be fired upon to engage combat with it, babies on the other hand will engage any ship they see. During these times, a technique known as "double deck" firing is generally implemented to help with the onslaught of multiple serpent opponents. This simply means that bottom and top deck fire at different times, helping to ensure you can get a headshot and turn the serpent away. Thankfully, getting a headshot on a baby serpent is easier than a regular serpent, since a regular serpent needs to be within a range of five to successfully hit the headshot and turn the beast away, the babies can be as far away as a range of seven or eight, and still successfully get the head shot in. Generally one good volley can take down a baby, but since they are automatically aggressive and attack you in groups, they can easily be much harder to defeat than their parents.
So what happens when a serpent splits? Well it will split off into multiple smaller versions of itself, the amount of which is based solely upon the size of the serpent: if it's a colossal that splits, expect a lot of babies; if it's a mammoth, expect few. If the serpent you see on the sea meets all the criteria to split into babies, it still might not necessarily do so, as a serpent still only has an 85% chance of splitting into babies, no matter how big. I hope this helps prepare you for you future serpent adventures!
Happy hunting Medievia!