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1.4 Skill Changes: The Freetrader

In the most recent developer's log Flying Lab Software tells us about the many changes planned for The Freetrader (Pirates of the Burning Sea) in patch 1.4.

Freetraders are in a unique position right now. Nobody can survive as long as an FT and they can excel in different areas. They have a moderate amount of combat strength, but it can be difficult to tap into that strength. Theres a definite limbo in FT effectiveness. We approached the Freetrader by giving them some new functionality (stealth, a strong attack debuff) and changing how two of their skill chains are used.

In the process, we removed the following skills from Freetraders: Desperation Fire 1, Repel Grapples 1, Dockyard Contract, Identify Weakness 1 and Before the Wind 1. Here are some of the new Freetrader skills to replace the old ones:

  • Underdog – Tier 1 Desperation: Increases damage, acceleration, turn rate and speed by 7.5%. Only works if you have less than 82% total armor remaining (50% for one broadside).
  • Determination – Tier 3 Escape: Boosts your resists and grappling defense by 15%. Requires an enemy target within 250y range. 4 minute duration, 8 minute reset.
  • Work the System – Tier 5 Logistics: An upgraded version of Claim Prize. Each derelict provides 1-3 commendations instead of 1.
  • Debilitating Broadside – Tier 5 Ship Mastery: Similar to Crippling Broadside, except with an intensity multiplier. Reduces target acceleration, reload, turn rate and speed by 1% per shot that hits (max 15 hits).
  • Running Dark – Tier 5 Smuggling: A clickable OS buff that improves your stealth (20% + 7.5 miles) and OS speed (2.5%) at the cost of reload rate (-20%). Lasts 12 minutes, resets in 10 minutes.

As usual, several existing skills changed (especially Provisions and Preparations). Heres a bunch of those changes:

  • Career Base – added 1 defense
  • Hasty Fire – now lasts 2 minutes instead of 1.
  • Repel Grapples – This is now the same as the Cut Lines pirate skill.
  • Evasion – Now costs 40 morale instead of 50.
  • Reinforcement – now provides 2% all protection, 5% structure integrity
  • Battle Preparations (4 skills): These skills now last for four minutes with an eight minute reset timer. They work different from the Privateer version in that they have a shared cooldown of two minutes, and they can stack. That means its worth getting more than two of these.
  • Provision Allies (4 skills): These skills now provide twice as much benefit to the user as to the group members.

And heres what the Freetrader skill tree looks like:

  • Career: Sailmaster – Mercenary – Carpenter – Gunner – Captain
  • Desperation: Underdog – Dump Guns – Desperation Fire – Rum Ration – Hasty Fire
  • Escape: Repel Grapples – Defense – Determination – Evasion – Deter Pursuit
  • Logistics: Economy: Production – Economy: Manufacturing – Trade Connections – Economy: Shipwright – Work the System
  • Provisions: Defense – Maneuver – Boarding – Offense – Extra Rations

Ship Mastery: Hold Together – Reinforcement – Identify Weakness – Overloaded Shot – Debilitating Shot

  • Smuggling: Rescue Me – Ranging Shot – Smuggled Cargo – Give the Slip – Running Dark
  • Trade: Tax Evasion – Optimal Rigging – Before the Wind – Sailhandling Drills – Misdirection
  • Travel: Travel – Battle Preparations: Maneuver – Battle Preparations: Defense – Battle Preparations: Speed – Battle Preparations: Offense


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