The foundation of any pirate paradise is its distillery. Producing goods necessary for shipboard life and other types of industry, distillers turn the wheels of piracy and act as an important part of the lifeblood of the ocean's economic body. Ye want to be part of this most stalwart of piratical crafts? Well, step up to a still and Do Yer Job!
The distiller's job is to make the best product he can. Many a bubble churns about within the great still of the Distilling puzzle. The distiller arranges these bubbles so as to only send the good stuff up into the keg, and dump the bad stuff into the furnace. The clearer the finished product, the better your score, and don't forget about adding the spice!
To master the puzzle, ye must understand the rules of the still. Click on a piece to choose it. Then click on any piece that connects to it via a small bubble. This swaps the pieces. Not every configuration of pieces can swap, but there is a configuration to move a piece in any direction...
White pieces swap up if swapping with black, down if swapping with brown.
Brown pieces swap up if swapping with white, down if swapping with black.
Black pieces swap up if swapping with brown, down if swapping with white.
The small, connecting bubbles show what swaps can be made. If small bubbles do not connect pieces, they cannot swap.
Advanced swappers can click on a piece and drag it along a route of swappable pieces.
Right-clicking causes the furnace to burn once, regardless of the timer.
Every few seconds, the furnace will burn and send the rightmost row of pieces either up into the finished batch, or down into the furnace. The puzzle then slides to the right, allowing a new column to enter from the left. Yer score in Distilling is determined by what pieces ye send upward and make into yer batch. Pieces sent into the furnace aren't scored, but wasted white pieces recycle into the puzzle as bad, burnt white pieces.
A column's weight determines whether it will be sent up into the batch, or down into the furnace. Black pieces are heavy, white pieces (including burnt ones) are light, and brown and spice pieces are neutral. If a column totals up to being neutral or lighter, it goes up into the batch. If it is heavier than neutral, it sinks into the furnace.
Make sure as many of the pieces ye send up as possible are light pieces and as few as possible are dark pieces and ye'll have a good batch. Ye can see an indication of the quality of yer current batch in the flask at the top of the puzzle. The clearer it is, the better ye'll rank!
When the flask fills, yer labor is scored and contributed to the shoppe output.
Certainly, mastering the complex movements of the pieces is the route to a crystal clear Distilling batch. It takes some practice, but once ye can manage perfect columns there are further nuances to master.
Getting a spice piece into the mix improves the batch. The more spice ye use, the better the batch can be, but wasting spice counts against ye.
Yer other option for improving a perfect batch is the Successive Column bonus. If ye've managed to get good at making perfect columns, the next level of strategy is trying to make more than one in a row. Every time ye follow up one perfect column with another ye get a bonus. A third in a row gets a bigger bonus. A fourth: even bigger. And so on.