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Fighting Serpents - by Tonks

Serpents are (currently) the most dangerous beast in the sea. If rammed by one, the ship will take tremendous damage. A few hits by them could completely destroy a ship as strong as a Man O'War, not to mention something as small as a Sloop or Sitharon. Therefore, here is an admittedly basic guide to fighting serpents.

The first thing you have to determine is how powerful the serpent is likely to be. Therefore, I'm going to include data from the help file for serpents.

  • Small : 1-6 rooms long
  • Large : 7-13 rooms long
  • Massive : 14-20 rooms long
  • Mammoth : 21-27 rooms long
  • Enormous : 28-34 rooms long
  • Gigantic : 35-41 rooms long
  • Humongous : 42-48 rooms long
  • Colossal : 49+ rooms long
  • Emerald : takes 5 seconds to move/400 HP Multiplier
  • Gold : takes 3 seconds to move/100 HP Multiplier
  • Ruby : takes 2 seconds to move/1000 HP Multiplier
  • Violet : takes 1 second to move/500 HP Multiplier
Body Types:
  • Whale body has extra hitpoints and slows speed down a tad.
  • Serpent body has extra speed and takes less damage.
  • Eel body has less hitpoints and takes more damage.
Head Types:
  • Hammer head has extra ramming dammage but does not enter room.
  • Serpent head bites and has poison. It can send players flying.
  • Sword head is backstab.
  • Dragon head spreads fire everywhere and has extra ramming damage.
Tail Types:
  • Scorpion tails send clusters of poison darts.
  • Serpent tails double the serpent speed if it is not a violet.
  • Dragon tails increases the serpents hitpoints.
  • Fanned tails blow wind, knocks players around, turns the ship.
  • Barbed tails send a blowing cloud of blinding poison at the ship.
Sometimes, serpents can come in multiple colors. In those cases, their stats are a balance of the two colors. For example, an emerald violet serpent would move about as fast as a gold normally would and have a 450 HP multiplier. As a side note, serpents with multiple colors never split into baby serpents.

Now that you've determined how difficult your serpent is likely to be, on to navigating the seas in the best way to fight it. This guide assumes you know how to navigate a ship already.

It's best to keep the serpent off the Larboard or Starboard beams (straight up or down from your ship icon on the ship map). A few points off the beam is fine, but you have the best chance of hitting it when it's directly off the beam.

Now, most of us aren't familiar with nautical terms, so I'll give a brief description of where a serpent is in relation to your ship using examples:

If the serpent is 3 points abaft the Larboard Beam, that means you need to turn the ship -30 degrees to line it up with the Larboard Beam.

If the serpent is 1 point off the Starboard Bow, you need to turn -80 degrees to line it up with the Starboard Beam.

If the serpent is astern or ahead (just behind or ahead of the ship, respectively), you need to turn the ship either -90 or 90 degrees to get it lined up with one of the beams. Generally, it's better to turn the ship so that the wind is blowing into the sails; it's much easier to navigate in this way.

Now, on to firing.

When giving the order to fire, the ship should not be turning. If it is, the chances of hitting the serpent dramatically lower.

Serpent Hunters (SHs) have a better chance of hitting a serpent. You should usually have one on each stern gun and one on the bow gun. Also, the ship spell Devil's Bargain increases everyone's chance to hit it.

Guns should be fired in volleys, meaning all guns that are able to, should all fire at once. Trying to dodge that many shots is nearly impossible for the serpent, and in trying to dodge some, it will be hit by others.

Emerald, gold, some mixed colors, and sometimes ruby serpents can be hit with more than one volley before they're in range of a head shot. Generally, a range of 15 (on the edge of the ship map, if it's off either beam), is the farthest from the ship the serpent should be before firing. Any farther and the chances of hitting it lower. In addition, assuming that they turn instead of dive once they're hit in the head, you can hit them with even more volleys while they move away from the ship. It's inadvisable to do more than one volley per pass when fighting a violet serpent (or a ruby with serpent tails), as they're much too fast.

Head shots - what are they? When a serpent comes within a range of five rooms (seven for baby serpents), shots fired have a chance at hitting it in the head. If this happens, the serpent may either dive or turn away from the ship. If it dives, any additional shots fired that volley may miss, depending on the size of the serpent. Larger serpents take a longer time to get their mass below the surface, giving your gunners more time to hit them.

When you've finally killed the serpent, the ship will be awarded fae, everyone on board will be awarded with serpent points, and, for heroes, hero points.

The battle may not yet be over, however.

The larger serpents have a chance at splitting into baby serpents. These baby serpents keep the color of the parent, so fighting baby violets and rubies can be dangerous (due to their speed), if there are more than two or three. Treat these serpents like their parents, though keep in mind the range for a head shot is now seven. Each baby serpent will also give fae/serpent points/hero points, though much less than the parent.

If your ship takes too much damage (from being rammed or otherwise) while fighting a serpent, Ruby Kah may board your ship. Unlike their cousins, the Emerald Kah, they try to kill players. However, they do serve a beneficial purpose. As long as the Ruby Kah are on board, serpents will not attack your ship, giving you a chance to repair it. To avoid being killed by the kah, you should read their help file to learn what you can about them.

Once your ship has collected 500,000 or so fae, you run the risk of attracting the attention of Khrait scout ships. If you don't wish to fight them - be prepared to summon a seadragon to escape.

And that's it! Good shipping!

December 29, 2006

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