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When I destroy enemy buildings with my ships they drop in the water. The tooltip implies that they might be useless, but in that case why are they implemented? It feels like they should be good for something.

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First of all, they are good for something, they can be sold to npc traiders for licences. Beyond that they are worthless. While I have no proof for that fact I have came to that conclusion through deduction:

  1. Items are eather usefull by themselves, or as parts of a scematic at the academy (or both). And since those items aren't usable by themselves (i.e you can't put them in an open slot of a viechale, setelment or the arc and activate) If they have a fanction (beyond to sell them) it would be as a needed part for a schematic.
  2. I have descovered most of the scematics at the acedemy, and didn't encounter one that needs them.
  3. Beyond 2, since those things are only available by sinking enemy ships, If you play a game withput enemies, or that you have already destroied all your rivals and the npc enemies (the baracuda and the merceneries), you have no way of getting said items, which means that if there was a schematic requiering them, you couln't creat in that game, which is just not fair or nice.
  4. since it's not fair to and frastraiting to the player to get a schematic which he has no option or chance to complite, I believe that the developers didn't put them as requierments even for the schematic which I haven't unlocked and checked yet.

Just sell them to an NPC near you for the licences, they can acumilate for quite a lot. Should be said, that some of the items droped by enemy ships are white flags, shield, clocking devices and etc. and are usable for a single time aboard a ship.

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You also need to pick up one of each of these kinds of junk items to unlock Trenchcoat's portrait, a title, and player color pink. –  Corey Csuhta Dec 12 '12 at 15:26

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