Sea of Thieves?


#1

So…is anyone here planning on getting in on Sea of Thieves? I played a bit of the beta, but I found it was difficult to do much of anything without a pre-arranged team of people who are actually ready to cooperate and communicate, and I’d love to actually play some of the game, as it seems pretty fun. Seeing as it’s now being included in Game Pass when it comes out on Tuesday, I figure that there’s no downside to giving it a shot. So who else wants to get up to pirate shenanigans?


#2

I can’t escape this game’s strange allure. I’ve played it from the alpha through the beta, and every time I’ve had both a lot of fun and been extremely disappointed. The main draw is very easily the PvP stuff. I love the scale at which it operates. Coordinating your crew in the heat of the moment to catch wind out of a hairy situation while you fire on them, or turning off our lamps in the moonlight to evade detection by a galleon in the distance feels as spontaneous and dynamic as it sounds. I don’t see myself getting bored of that stuff for a few weeks, at least.

The problem I do have with the game, though, is the PvE stuff. It’s extremely one-note, only really serving to increase the stakes of PvP. The buried treasure quests have not been particularly exciting, nor have the skeleton forts, but they do leave you with chests that other players will want to take from you. I got a thrill out of getting greedy and taking on multiple quests before turning in our loot simply because it made the possibility of PvP more exciting.

What is 100% not exciting, though, are the skeletons. They suck, and are the only enemy I’ve yet encountered - hell, they’re the only enemy I’ve even read about. The skeleton forts, which function like Destiny ‘events’ that everyone has simultaneous access to, are a completely soulless grind. We sailed to the huge skull cloud looming over an active skeleton fort to take on the challenge, and were completely crushed by the experience. It amounted to literally TEN waves of skeletons, as many as a dozen per wave. This is a lot of skeletons, for reference. It took fucking two hours, and it concluded with one last wave of a dozen skeletons, lead by a “boss” skeleton, which was just another fucking regular-ass skeleton but in a fancy hat and with a ton of health. It just completely sucked. (It really didn’t help that it glitched and the treasure cave was empty, but hey - it’s a beta.)

The reason that I’m still into this game in spite of this huge, fucking massive failing is what happened next: my buddy went down to get the treasure, and as he walked in I, on the ship, turned around and saw the massive bow of a galleon broadside our little sloop completely out of nowhere. The crew stormed our ship, and I leapt off, knowing I’d die if I hung around and fought. I swam ashore and grabbed a gunpowder barrel, running around the lip of the small island and swimming out and around towards the enemy ship. I swam it right up to their stern, detonating on impact, taking myself out on accident and blowing a shitload of holes in their hull. It’s just chaotic, and wild, and fun.

I just hope they add more toys with which to engage down the line, but for now, it’s pretty fun as-is, though I don’t think it’s going to keep me around for a whole year or anything.


#3

Ive been playing since the alpha and i fucking love this game. Its all I want to play. The final beta felt super dynamic in its structure since the addition of the merchant missions meant i could find random animal cages on islands. I went on this big four hour adventure just purely driven by stuff i found sailing from island to island and dealing with other players along the way. I probably wouldve made more gold doing the actual quests but it was a lot more fun this way

I dont mind the general PVE in the way I dont really mind how simple the “combat” is in say a 3d Mario game, but the skeleton forts are really lame and ask way too much out of the player in their current form. To keep the analogy theyre like if Mario Odyssey had moons where you had to stomp on goombas and koopas for forty minutes straight.

Heres some vids i posted on my public twitter from the betas:





#4

As a Game Pass subscriber, I’ll definitely be checking it out. It looks gorgeous and I’m always down for weird new multiplayer experiences.


#5

This is a fairly rare (lol) game that I want to do well, even though I’m fairly worried it won’t turn out to be something that I particularly enjoy. I haven’t had the chance to play it, but it seems like a big AAA experiment, and it’s exciting to see that big budget presentation and online infrastructure put towards some of the ideas we’ve seen in much smaller cooperative games. It’s the kind of game I hope does well enough to influence the decisions in board meetings to greenlight future games from big publishers.

But… The PVE combat doesn’t look very interesting to me, and the world seems beautiful and, I’m sure, packed with secrets, but not built to be systemically reactive or simulated in the way some of the games I enjoy most are. I also don’t have a big group of friends who are frequently available to play online and there’s no local co-op, which rules out playing with my partner.

Weird situation. Still, to be more pragmatic with my answer, I might cash in one of the many “try games pass for free!” offers that Microsoft have sent through to me and at least give it a whirl and look at the waves and the sunsets or whatever.


#6

Been really hyped for this one for a long time and the open beta last weekend was a blast, even solo - I came out of it with a whole bunch of weird and funny stories.

I’d be very keen to hook up with some Waypointers when it drops. I still have my automatically assigned gamertag - TwangyKitten62. I live in Scotland so I’ll mostly be playing evenings GMT.

On a related note: is there a Waypoint “Club” on Xbox Live?


#7

I’d like to say we tried to get one started around the time of Destiny 2, but it kinda died off. But my GT is Gjallarsean, and you are more than welcome to add me (that goes for everyone else on this thread!).


#8

I’ll probably pop my 14-day free trial to check this out. GT is Darth Navster, add me!


#9

Well, my partner is out of town tomorrow night, so I plan on playing quite a bit tomorrow after work! If any of you see me online, feel free to join up!


#10

So, so far launch day has been a case of “Yarr harr, broken this be”. Like, rep not showing, gold resetting to zero, servers down at launch due to over-demand, people’s weapons constantly getting swapped at random, clothing disappeared… just a mess. Game’s great fun, but if you’re on your own and there’s a 4-man boat after you, just log off and lose what you have. It’s just… it’s not a good time. Hoping to crew up later.


#11

I’m hoping things are a bit more settled by the time I get home from work later today…but we’ll see.


#12

I’m partly on spring break, so I downloaded it and fired it up and … can’t connect to the game servers, SAD FACE. But it would be fun to play something with you again @Gjallarsean, so let’s see if we can hook up some time when they’ve sorted the server loads.


#13

It’s an interesting case because it’s definitely more a set of mechanics than a proper game, but that set of mechanics is so satisfying that it’s still a ton of fun to play. Speaking of which, my GT is hetscape if anyone’s looking for an extra player during reasonable EST hours!


#14

I played this for like 5 hours last night and I’m super into it. My friends aren’t getting it until later in the week so I played solo and was really surprised at how rewarding/challenging it is to manage the steering, navigating, sails, and combat by yourself. I’ve been going through a rough patch recently and something about sailing alone and exploring in this incredibly good-looking world (cranked up to high at 1440p some of the lighting and water effects are stunning) was extremely therapeutic for me.

It is definitely a bit sparse when it comes to content and the non-ship combat is pretty unsatisfying but I can easily see myself sinking tons of time into this. I fear this may turn into a No Man’s Sky situation where people buy in thinking this will be some sort of MMO type thing packed to the gills with content everywhere you look and it’s really not that, but is just a super charming game with a vibrant world to mess around in, which is more than enough for me.


#15

This is reassuring to me, as I don’t get to play with other people as much as I would like, due to family, schedules, and a sometimes overriding introversion. I’ve wondered how much single-player value there may be, so I’m encouraged that there may be a there, there.


#16

So much of what I heard from pre-release coverage was how absolutely essential it would be to team up, but I had a blast on my own. I’m sure it’s a fundamentally different experience playing with a crew, but not necessarily a superior one in every way. I can see this turning into a podcast/album game for me where I just kick back at night and get lost in it while listening to something. It is a bit intimidating solo at first, but it’s worth giving a shot.


#17

I played a few hours solo and enjoyed my time, but I can tell the game is obviously made for parties first. Piloting the sloop alone can be quite fun in a Steering A Big Truck kind of way. I’m looking forward to the server issues getting fixed because at a certain point I stopped getting notifications about my faction ranks and that didn’t feel great.


#18

I’m bummed that psychological conditioning from years of Destiny-style games with aggressive “binge and purge” instant-gratification progression systems, have made those design structures an expectation in any online game, without a regard for how those systems can slowly deteriorate the inherent enjoyment of games via expected reward structures.

Granted there are valid complaints about Sea of Thieves lacking variety in quest design, shallow combat, and PvP that’s aggressively unfair to solo players.

But damn y’all, can we not have games about exploring a massive space frontier or living out the colloquial pirate fantasy without needing to have big mind-numbing green numbers vomited onto the screen.

Sorry to soapbox, this is one of those issues that’s almost totally unexamined in gaming and that aggravates me.


#19

I’m gonna take a month of that Game Pass thing and try the game out. I’m not a huge fan of multiplayer games, yet alone MMO-lite, co-op PvP sort of games, or sea-faring pirates adventures, but it seems to have that old-school Rare charm (sans the “cheeky” sexism that I’ve noticed poking through their classic games on recent replays - the humour is always very quintessentially “bloke”), I love the look of the customization options (normalizing physical disabilities and non-standard body sizes!)…

And, maybe the most pressure, I’m quite good friends with someone who’s doing Community Management for Microsoft on this game, so, like, I do feel like I owe them at least poking my head in to see what the fuss is about. Which isn’t the healthiest reason to start paying for a subscription service, but I succumb to peer pressure very quickly! Whoops!

(Also I heard you get an achievement for eating a banana called “Cronch” and the McElroy fan in me needs that on my Live profile.)


#20

Once the servers settled, the game’s much better for stability. Yeah, still the odd “sync stutter” - walking forwards and suddenly finding yourself doing it again, as the server tries to balance players - but at least rewards worked and rep registered.

The game itself, though, is curious - being hunted down by someone who’s got every advantage is no fun, and when it happens right when you start it could put you off completely. But the opposite is true; just sailing, alone, getting stuff done is, well, kinda dull. You’re just… pootling along, getting your stuff done, and moving on to the next thing. There’s no tension (unless you’re doing a Message In A Bottle kill quest on your own - woof, are those hard) and it is, well, plain sailing. It’s hugely relaxing, but too relaxing in a way.

I don’t know how servers split - are there “lone wolf” servers and “big crew” servers? - but last night I sailed around for two hours and never saw another sail. I got stuff done, gained some levels, and felt like the game was a nice relaxing change of pace after AC Origins and Monster Hunter World, but it felt a little… empty. There must have been people on - I died trying to MiaB on my own a few times, and ran into other dead swabbies - but the game compartmentalises you all so heavily I assume that if you’re just “doing your thing” you’ll do so in different corners.

Also, achievements seem to just… unlock? Like, you’ll get a ton early just doing stuff. Full sail? Blop. Eat a banana? Blop. Anchor turn? Blop. Didn’t do anything? Random blop. Like, I have the “hit rank 5 with Merchants” one, and I’m not (7/5/3 IIRC at the minute for treasures/skulls/trade) so that was odd. Also they can pop way after you did the thing - I got the one for “interrupting their lonch” way after I did it, for example. Altogether, just, confused.