Ports have a number of locations to visit. The Governor’s Mansion is the place to go to obtain important missions and then collect cash and item rewards for success. The Tavern is a good place to find information about prices and to pick up general tips on gameplay. Buy low and sell high at the Marketplace, where a number of legal and contraband goods (cotton, arms, sugar, tobacco, wine, etc.) are available. The Bank allows you to store your hard-earned gold in a safe place while earning a low rate of interest, whereas the Moneylender will let you borrow funds at a higher interest rate. Acquire the Warehouse in your home port if you want more space to store your goods. Pay the Shipwright if you want to get repairs, buy ammunition, or purchase a new ship. Not every port has every type of location, though, and you do not know what locations a port has until you have visited it.
Random sea battles against pirates will frequently occur when sailing between ports. These battles take place in real time. Selectively target enemy vessels with a variety of different ammo types (standard, chain shot, firepot, etc.) until all enemy vessels, or your vessel, has sunk. You can attempt to flee and avoid fighting, but retreat means you will not receive the treasure money that is awarded for victory at sea.
Missions send you from one port to another, and sometimes you will need to visit several ports before a mission can be completed. New ports, goods, and missions become available as your career progresses. Successful completion of a character’s story unlocks a special playable character. A character-creation mode can also be unlocked for further replay.
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