Ship's crew

Ok, there are several good general ships sites out there, but they either gloss over, or do not address at all the process for hiring a ship's crew. Presence has nice general ships info, and I'm sure there are other sites out there. I have written this little guide because I have given this info to several people, and nobody seemed to want to share it in the first place with me, which was aggrivating, seeing as how I just wanted to hire crew for my ship and it wouldn't affect them in the slightest. So, that being said, here is where, and how, to get to hire a ship's crew.

*** UPDATE ***
Tarken has introduced 2 new crew types and a couple of extra flavors to crew specials as well. New crew types are 'defender' and 'boarder'. Also he has specifically stated what each crew special does, at least for the positive ones.

Crew type: Sailor

The basic crew type is 'Sailor', it is also the easiest to hire. 'Sailor' crew are used for general ship operation, and more, and higher ranked sailors help your ship move faster over water. To hire sailors, simply go to the Shipyards (just a few west of Arelium city), and wander around in here until you find Chance Scheider. The room where Chance is, is where you hire your 'Sailor' crew. Unfortunately, except for hiring 'Cannoneer' crew, none of the rest of this is straightforward, and probably fringes on the "don't share quest information" kind of semi-rules that BatMUD has, but I'm gonna post it anyway until I'm told to take it down or re-word it.

Crew type: Assault magi

Our next stop is the Temple of the Winds, also on Laenor. Head to the center of the temple, then from there head n, s, e, and w and 'search statue'. It should say something like 'You find a small ... stone?'. Once you have collected 1 stone from each of the 4 statues, go back around to the statues and 'insert stone in hole' until all the holes are filled, then go back to the center of the temple, where an obsidian key should be waiting for you, or very shortly appear. We can now use this key to get to where we can hire 'Assault magi' crew.

Assault magi are used to fire magical ranged attacks at other ships. A magical option to using cannons. They have the advantage of not blowing up as cannons can do if you aren't careful (and even if you are). To hire 'Assault magi' crew, head over to Furnachia and go to the 'Oldfort' area. Head to the elevator (the pillar that rises and falls) inside the area and take it up 1 level to the 3rd floor. There should only be 1 exit to the south. Head s and unlock the door with the key you got from the Temple of the Winds, then head s thru the door and here is where you hire 'Assault magi' crew. For the next step, inside this room you need to 'search under bed' and get the aquamarine stone that you find, then go back to the elevator. Once back on the elevator, 'put aquamarine in mold'. This will let the elevator rise to a hidden 4th floor, but only once, so don't be slow and miss it. The 4th floor exit is to the west only. Take this west exit, and there should be a column in the room description, in this room do 'get ticket' and you should get a ticket that will allow you to get in to hire 'Speed magi' crew. Thats it for this area, so on to the 'Speed magi'.

Crew type: Speed magi

Speed magi help, well, speed. They help mostly in speed over land, but do give a small boost to water speed as well. So I've heard anyway. To hire 'Speed magi', head to Desolathya and go to the 'Pier' area. Head all east and then n, and d. This is where you hire 'Speed magi' crew. One catch for this area is that the SHA Phenomenon is not always docked there, so you can't always hire speed magi. Now, from the end of the pier, head 1 w, then n, and kill the blocking guards, then head d and kill Timoreth the drunk captain. Timoreth will have a box, bust it open, and bust open the box thats inside the 1st box and get a sapphire. You will need this sapphire to get thru to hire 'Defense magi' crew. So....onward to 'Defense magi' crew!

Crew type: Defense magi

Defense magi help protect your ship against ranged attacks. They are mostly used to help in defense of magical attacks, but can also sometimes deflect cannonballs. To get 'Defense magi' crew, we need to head to Rothikgen, then head to the 'Lighthouse' area. Enter the area and find the room with the blue force field blocking up. With the sapphire, you can pass thru this force field and hire 'Defense magi' crew. Once you are done here, head d out of the hiring hall, and e and se into the lighthouse, then in the room with the boxes and such, 'climb down' to get into the catacombs underneath. Once down here, wander around until you find a room with rotten crates and barrels and such, and 'search crates' You should find an emerald stone. This emerald will let us in to hire 'Lift magi' crew.

Crew type: Defender

While you are on rothikgen, head to skeep and go to the 8th block of Tale-Teller's Road in Shadowkeep, then north. Hire your defenders here. Defenders are used to help repel boarders from enemy ships.

Crew type: Lift magi

Lift magi help your ship fly over land. Only Class 5 and Class 6 ships can fly over mountains "out of the box", with just Rank 4 lift magi. Class 4 ships can be made to fly over mountains if they promote their lift magi crew to high enough levels. Class 3 and lower ships cannot fly over mountains at all. So finally, back to Laenor to hire 'Lift magi' crew. We need to head back to the Temple of the Winds, and from the center of the temple, head ne, then 'jump'. Head nw, and if someone has opened the vortex recently, you can nip in and hire crew by taking the 'vortex' exit here, or if not, continue to the sw, then e. Once in the middle 'insert emerald'. You should get a message about a light show, then head w, and ne, and the 'vortex' exit should be there now. Thru this exit is where you can hire 'Lift magi' crew. To get out of this section, head vortex, sw, e and 'jump portal' to get back to the main part of the temple.

Crew type: Cannoneer

Ok, the last crew type to hire is 'Cannoneer' crew. They are real simple. Just sail to Lucentium, then sail into silverlake, then find Rallo and hire 'Cannoneer' crew there. Cannoneers man the cannons. Cannons can be used for ranged attacks against other ships.

Return trips

Now this is a bit of work to get all these keys and such just to hire crew, but these pieces are chestable, so you won't have to do this *every* time you want to hire crew, or check for trainers (more on that later). However, each of these keys lasts only a certain number of uses before they have to be replaced, so its not a bad idea to have a backup of each one handy just in case.

Crew costs

The different crew types cost different amounts to hire. Below is a table outlining the costs of the standard ranks, and the special crew types. The special crew types are considered Rank 4 crew. Also, IMO there is no reason to hire a crew at less than rank 4. The cost difference between a rank 1 and a rank 4 crewmember is not all that great, and you get better performance out of a higher ranked crew.

As of April 14, 2012 special crew type prices have changed somewhat, so I'll have alot more extrapolated pricing until I can verify the costs.
Please note: These tables contain some extrapolated or unconfirmed data. This data will be in RED to differentate it. As the data is confirmed, I'll remove the red.

EDIT 13 September, 2015: It seems that at some point crew pricing was reduced by some 40% for the base crew types, and the formulas for the other crew types have been changed as well. I'm gonna have to clear this table until I get enough data to be able to extrapolate pricing again. *mutter*

Thanks to Wick and Div for helping me get data for this table!

Crew Type Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Rank 4 Loyalist Morale Officer Rebuilder Master Rebuilder Negotiator Professional Negotiator Trainer Healer Master Healer Warden Farseer Illusionist Illusion Piercer
Sailor 900 1500 2100 2700 4200 14200 4700 20700 3700 16700 17700 5200 14700 ??? 3700 ??? 11700
Lift 1800 2700 3600 4500 6000 16000 6500 22500 5500 18500 19500 7000 16500 ??? 5500 13500 13800
Assault 2400 3600 4800 6000 7500 17500 8000 24000 7000 20000 21000 8500 18000 ??? 7000 15000 15300
Defense 3150 4500 5850 7200 8700 18700 9200 25200 8200 21200 22200 9700 19200 ??? 8200 ??? 16500
Speed 2100 3000 3900 4800 6300 16300 6800 22800 5800 21800 19800 7300 16800 ??? 5800 ??? 14100
Cannoneer 3600 4800 6000 7200 8700 18700 9200 25200 8200 21200 22200 9700 19200 ??? 8200 ??? 16200
Defender 2550 3300 4050 4800 6300 16300 6800 22800 5800 18800 19800 7300 16800 ??? 5800 ??? 14100
Boarder 1800 2400 3000 3600 5100 15100 5600 21600 4600 17600 18600 6100 15600 ??? 4600 ??? 12900

Crew Type Rebel Destroyer Harmer Amateur Negotiator Incompetent Deputy Blinder Illusion Breaker Gullible Illusionist Apprentice Nav
Sailor 2200 2200 2200 2200 2200 2200 2200 2200 2200
Lift 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000
Assault 5500 5500 5500 5500 5500 5500 5500 5500 5500
Defense 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700
Speed 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300
Cannoneer 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700 6700
Defender 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300 4300
Boarder 3100 3100 3100 3100 3100 3100 3100 3100 3100

Special crew types

When you go in to each of the hiring halls to hire different crew types, one of the commands you can use is 'list'. This will show you which special crew type (if any that day) is available to hire. I'm not really sure that the 'Negative' crew do bad things for you, I haven't heard anything if they do or not, but I would stay away from them anyway. It seems the better crew are always higher priced, and the negative ones are pretty low priced for the most part.

More on Trainers

Trainers are like the Holy Grail. They will allow you to increase your crew's ranking beyond rank 4, all the way to rank 7, without having to spend crew training points to do so. Finding trainers is rare, so you need to keep working at it. I personally check at each hiring hall every day to see if a new trainer has come up. Now, don't get discouraged, you don't need to be so dedicated (obsessive-compulsive, whatever) to get crew trainers, but you do need to wait. See, getting a trainer really has alot to do with your sailor reputation, or 'Arr' level. The higher your 'arr' the more likely it is that you will get a trainer to pop. There is supposed to be a super-secret way to increase your 'arr' quickly, but I have no idea what it is, I just sail whenever I need to change continents, or to different areas, and I visit each of the main harbours once daily. I would recommend that you do not do what I did, and get impatient waiting for trainers, and spend a ton of crew training points on increasing your sailor's rank from 4 to 5 with points alone. Now that I have trainers, I wish I had all those points back.

Anyway, the way trainers work is like this. The maximum rank crew you can hire from the hiring hall is rank 4. All special crew are considered rank 4 crew. To promote your crew past this, you either need to have trainers or use the crew training points (more later on this). You can have up to 3 trainers for each crew type you have on board. Each trainer you have for that crew type lets you train your crew up 1 higher level. So for example, say you have 3 sailor trainers, 2 defense trainers and 1 lift trainer. You would be able to (in the hiring hall of that crew type) promote your sailors to rank 7, your defense magi to rank 6, and your lift magi to rank 5. You can only have 5 crew members of each type out for training at one time, so if you have alot of one type of crew (sailor, defense, lift, etc) it can take some time to get everybody promoted. Training does take quite a bit of real-life time. Each time you promote a crewmember, it takes the old rank * 1 rl hour to train that crew to the new rank. So to train a sailor from rank 6 to rank 7 takes 6 rl hours. Of course, it also takes money to train, and magi take more money than non-magi do to train. So thats it for trainers, with 3 for each crew type you can increase your crew rank to 7 all the way around.

You might be wondering what the advantages of a higher ranked crew are, well here are a few answers. Higher ranked crew perform better than the same number of lower ranked crew. For example, once you train your sailors up a rank, and every sailor is trained to the new rank, you will notice a speed increase, especially over the tradelanes, when sailing. Likewise lift magi will be able to sail over obstacles easier, the higher rank they are. Class 5 ships are the first class to be able to sail over mountains, well, with a stock crew maybe, but a class 4 ship might be able to sail over mountains if it has a full compliment of rank 8 lift magi. Now this would take some work, but it saves having to sail around those mountains to get places.

On crew training points

Ok, I have mentioned crew training points several times before, and here is the quick-and-dirty about them. To advance your crew past rank 7 you will *absolutely need* crew training points. Getting them is pretty straightforward, but time consuming. The way to get them is to engage in ship-to-ship combat against NPC pirate ships using the aquamarine compasses. Once you have disabled the ship and killed its crew, you can capture it, then plunder the cabin. You will get some gold and a silver coin (and maybe some other stuff) as a reward. The silver coin will give crew training points. You have to deposit the coin at your helm to get the points. I'm not gonna go into ship combat here, because I don't feel like it right now, and I don't really know much more than the basics anyhow.

Anyway, thats it for this guide. I hope you find it helpful.