The Heavens themselves are the tools of Navigation, and aligning them on the sextant is a heavenly game. Stars fall into the center of the screen from eight points around the edge. The Navigator tries to arrange the shooting stars into either rows or columns of three and more (in which case they disappear) or, more importantly, to match the Constellations highlighted by circles on the board. Fit the correctly colored and shaped star(s) in the constellation circles to complete the constellation.
The Navigator of the vessel keeps her to her charted course and finds the trade winds to speed her progress. A good Navigator multiplies the effectiveness of the Sailors and increase the chances of encountering or avoiding ships depending on your voyage configuration. Booching the navigation puzzle will turn the ship back on her course until reaching the previous league point, when she'll return to the correct heading (though an observant Officer can always turn her about before then).
The navigation duty puzzle is launched by clicking on the wheel of the vessel. Only one pirate performs navigation at any time. This puzzle is reserved for officers or higher in the crew that owns the ship. Other players may also be ordered to navigate by such an officer, allowing them to do the puzzle and chart the course.
Use the arrow keys to rotate the stars through the sextant's rings either clockwise (right) or counter-clockwise (left), or to move between the three rings of the sextant (up and down). Use the space bar to rapidly drop incoming pieces.
Constellations and Scoring
At the start of the puzzle constellations are only one star, growing to two or more as the game progresses. Completing more complex constellations earns greater scores.
Completing constellations boosts the speed of the vessel. The Navigator must ensure that the new stars can always fit on the board, however. If she fails and a new star drops into an occupied space then the Navigator has booched! The board clears, resetting the puzzle, and the vessel turns about on its course! Your crew will also be told that the navigator has booched. This is not a Captain's finest moment.
Like the other duty puzzles, navigation is scored on your efficiency in using pieces to fill constellations and combos, but stretches of inactivity will slowly drop your score back to nothing.
Navigation continues with the same 'board' like the other duty puzzles until you put into port or engage in a sea battle. Unlike the other puzzles, however, navigation continues to increase in difficult during your voyage, such that to reach the really high-scoring constellations it is necessary to sail a whiles uninterrupted. Inter-archipelago voyages are good for this!
You can get an idea of your navigation performance via the indicator:
Lots of spiraling stars and ye be doing well! Like the other duty puzzles, font-size is also an excellent indicator of the value of a particular move.
Navigation tests a Captain's capacity for organization and effective and decisive action. Within a few drops, nearly all of the needed pieces are on the board. It is how you manage these pieces that will determine your success.
It is a good idea to never fully fill a ring. If you must fill a ring be certain that there is at least one of each color of Star within it. This prepares you for any upcoming Constellations. It is generally better to have a lot of pieces available that you are constantly shuffling around, than having few pieces and waiting for the right ones.
Don't worry so much about getting chains or four-in-a-row-style clears. In Navigation, it is all about the constellations.
If ye navigate a particular course many times ye will find that ye can memorize the league points along that course, such that they show up a different color in your charting view and ye no longer need a chart to plot them on a course. Ye must perform at least 'Fine' in a duty report to have a chance of memorization.
Officer Bulletin Board
For more information on the officer bulletin board and other aspects of ye vessel, check out the on vessels and vessel holds section.