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So what do you DO in Sea of Thieves?

etta

my hard graphic balls
Mar 24, 2015
12,712
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http://ca.ign.com/articles/2016/10/03/sea-of-thieves-what-the-hell-actually-is-this-game?page=1

How big is the world? Is it procedurally generated?
Let’s take the second question first - no. Chapman makes clear that the world will be entirely handcrafted, designed so players can visit places, have adventures, join a new crew, and bring expertise with them, helping navigate the world by landmarks alone and pointing out useful details (for instance, one island, Thieves’ Haven, includes a ship-sized sea cave that can be used to escape out of sight of marauding players). As for how precisely big it is, Rare aren’t saying just yet - likely because it doesn’t technically exist at this point - but Chapman does say sailing around the whole world could take 6-8 hours (although that might include stop-offs at ports, fights, etc.). What we do know is that it will be entirely seamless (no Destiny planet-hopping here), and it won’t be an endless blue-ocean-and-palm trees landscape: “There are different regions,” Chapman explains, “regions that have different feels, like classic Caribbean, lush wilderness with ancient civilisations, or ones that feel more barren. Regions that convey different emotions and you feel like you’ve been on that seamless journey, that you’ve travelled a long distance.”

What is there to do off of ships?
Chapman doesn’t get into the specifics of this all too much, but makes mention of NPC-manned ports with ship merchants and quest givers, as well as islands peppered with buried treasure and stalked by skeletons or the like. He also mentions “safe zone outposts” - presumably those ports will make up some or all of these - where players will be able to wield swords and show off their in-game wealth, but seemingly not be able to go full PvP on strangers’ booties or booty (I promise this is the only time I’ll make that joke).

Is there a story?
Well, there’s an interesting one. While I’m sure the world will feature a wider backstory, Rare’s focus seems to be very much on creating miniature stories inside of it. Chapman refers to “legends” in the world - say “The Legend of the Cursed Mermaid Treasure” - each with their own beginning, middle and end. Those legends might involve a single objective, or many - as Chapman puts it: “We want goals you can complete within a session and goals that can exist across several sessions.” It seems to be about building a world full of stories to investigate, rather than one big, epochal story to simply complete and be done with.

How do quests work?
On the whole, it seems those legend-type quests will be activated in the normal way; you visit an NPC in a pre-defined location (for example, a port), and they send you off on the first step of your chosen journey. It’s not at all clear how the giant shared world feeds into those set quests - we don’t know if rival crews can arrive to scupper your fun and steal your profit. But Chapman’s keen to point out other opportunities. too. He mentions “procedural layers” over the core game, which lead to the kind of ambient quests we’re becoming used to from more conventional open world game. Examples include generated shipwrecks, which crews can dive into looking for sunken treasure, or spotting a glinting bottle washed up on a beach through your telescope, which could contain a map to some fa-flung new location. That tallies with a separate part of the conversation where he talks about digging up buried treasure as your crew fights off marauding skeletons - odds are that buried treasure and its associated hazards are generated when you find the map.

How does treasure work?
Chapman doesn’t approach this head-on, but it feels as though treasure will be a single currency, used to upgrade yourself and your ship. But there’s a key difference between cash here and in something like The Division - treasure is a physical object, and it only belongs to the person physically holding it at the time.

Treasure chests or valuable artifacts have to be carried onto your ship, then stored in holds, before presumably being traded in at port for your chosen rewards. It leads to some brilliant-sounding thinking - enemy ship boarders will presumably head straight to the main cargo hold to steal what you’ve got, so some players might choose to hide their chests somewhere else (the captain’s cabin for example) as a misdirect, forcing raiders to spend that little bit longer searching for it, or even give up entirely. And what if those artifacts look really, really cool? A richer captain might choose to just keep it as an ornament/rainy day fund.

What happens when you die?
There are two key parts to death in Sea of Thieves, your ship and your character - both are beguilingly weird. Rare doesn’t want death to feel like too much of an impediment, so a sunken ship is always salvageable. In this case, you visit a magical mermaid who makes it rise out of the depths. While you’re dead, however, any treasure on that ship is fair gain. Don’t get back quick enough and fellow pirates will likely do their pirate thing, diving in and grabbing anything not well-hidden enough.

So, why wouldn’t you have gotten back quickly? “If players die,” explains Chapman, “a ghost rises up from their body, and they go to the Ferry of the Damned, a ghost ship.” He compares the Ferry to the waiting room in Beetlejuice, a place where all the dead players on a server will congregate and be able to discuss how they died. Heading up the ship is a ghost captain, an NPC you’ll need to complete (as-yet unspecified) tasks for before you’re allowed back to the world of the living. Do so, and you’ll be allowed to walk the plank, dropping your soul from the phantom plane back into your body. Oddly, it reminds me of how death was treated in Haunting: Starring Polterguy, except hopefully not crap.

Is there customisation?
Oh, yes. In the course of the presentation, Chapman mentions (ahem):

Different classes of ship
Character clothing made out of vanquished enemies (for instance, a Kraken tooth hat)
Character augmentations (e.g. hooks for hands, a peg leg made of an old blunderbuss)
Ship upgrades (cannon types, reinforced hulls or upgraded paddles)
Figureheads
Sail designs
Captain’s cabin designs
Ship colour (Black Pearl ahooooy)

[...]

Are there enemies to fight? What are they?
Aside from other players, all of whom can ruin your day on a whim if they want to, the world will feature AI-controlled creatures with a fairly singular view about how you should be dead. Chapman’s examples are “Krakens and pirate skeletons, skeletal lords, sea serpents [and] pirate ghosts.” [...]

Are there NPC ships?
That seems to be a firm no. Chapman constantly makes mention of how every ship you see will be another player, somewhere in the world, so presumably AI characters will be entirely locked to the land.

Can you play alone?
That seems to depend on your definition of alone. If you mean “offline”, then that seems to be a straight no. However, players are able to man a single-crew boat, equipped with one sail, a small capstan (the wheel that drops the anchor), and (I’m extrapolating here) a single cannon. Quests don’t necessarily require more than one person, although Chapman mentions the obvious benefits of having someone guard you while you’re carrying treasure, for example.

[...]“Two small ships, because they’ve got something in common - they’re on their own - could form an alliance together. It’s almost like when you see a wildlife documentary and you see packs of wolves taking down this huge bison. You see these small ships attacking this large ship, this big prize.”

[...]

Are there classes/RPG skills?
No - Rare wants this to be a game, first and foremost, about player skill, particularly skill at working together. “We decided really early on that we didn’t want defined character roles”, explains Chapman. “I guess it’s quite a common thing in other games. ‘I’m the cannon guy and I’m going to invest all my points into cannons so I’m better at cannons.’ That’s runs against what Sea of Thieves is, as that would threaten the emergence. You’d just play in a set way every single time, and you’d just be locked into that mode of play.”

Any other cool touches?
Right, let me tell you about the painting canvas. This is Rare’s take on screenshotting - using this item sees your character render whatever’s onscreen as a gold-framed painting, which exists as an object in everyone’s game, and can be hung up in your ship. “The next time someone crews up on your ship,” Chapman enthuses, “they’re not only saying ‘where did you get that cool sail from?’ they’re also saying ‘when did that happen?’ and you can say ‘that happened 50 voyages ago.’ So the ships and the players start having that sense of history behind them.” It sounds like a fantastically cool way to get players sharing socially in a medium that’s often anything other than social.

[...]



Read further at the link.
 
Sep 4, 2015
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I'm getting deja vu.

Edit - I can see where this is going. It was a (bad?) joke. The "What do you DO?", "procedural generated" in a question, etc... Just making fun of all that. Carry on.
 

5taquitos

Member
Apr 8, 2014
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Sounds great, but that death mechanic sounds like it will get supremely annoying if you're dying often. Interested to see how it plays out.
 

ErrorMacro

Member
Sep 20, 2012
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This idea of a currency that physically exists (in the game) seems pretty damn cool. has it been done before in an MMO?
 

DrunkShogun

Member
Jun 24, 2015
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United Kingdom
Think this thread might be good because it should help control expectation. Nms had problems but people having the wrong expectation was a problem for some.
 

TimeEffect

Member
Mar 17, 2010
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This idea of a currency that physically exists (in the game) seems pretty damn cool. has it been done before in an MMO?

What does that mean? I can burn money and throw it in the ocean? That there is a set economy represented physically in the game world? That's pretty cool.
 

Bits N Pieces

Member
Jun 9, 2015
6,446
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It's sounding like its coming together nicely! Loving the idea of this 'screenshotting'. Rare are back, Baby! :)

Any other cool touches?

Right, let me tell you about the painting canvas. This is Rare’s take on screenshotting - using this item sees your character render whatever’s onscreen as a gold-framed painting, which exists as an object in everyone’s game, and can be hung up in your ship. “The next time someone crews up on your ship,” Chapman enthuses, “they’re not only saying ‘where did you get that cool sail from?’ they’re also saying ‘when did that happen?’ and you can say ‘that happened 50 voyages ago.’ So the ships and the players start having that sense of history behind them.” It sounds like a fantastically cool way to get players sharing socially in a medium that’s often anything other than social.
 
Dec 5, 2009
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Mount Airy, MD
Here's what I'm still unclear on: this is a very group-focused game, right?

Will it be playable (and fun) on your own? I'm long since past the part of my life where I've got a "crew" that I game with.
 

GankzyMcfly

Member
Jan 31, 2014
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getting me excited... ill be there day 1 for sure. Just hope the game is more forgiving then games like Ark.
 
Oct 11, 2009
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So as someone who set right next to the devs and listened to the devs talk about the game and seen the game running for 30 min I can tell you there is at least some game there.



Not sure yet how much game but at least more then NMS.

You can solo or in co-op go treasure hunting, ship building, exploration, ship battles, to towns, trade, barry treasure.
And some more stuff that I can't think off right now.

They have been delivering a milestone on the project EVERY week since they started over 18 months ago.
Every week it h as new elements added on and every few days giant playtest with entire team to see what works and what does not.

If your thinking a NMS situation, well sure it could be disappointing and maybe lacking in some aspects but at least there is a game here ALREADY.

And to me it's much more confident already then NMS ever was.
 
Feb 25, 2013
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Thanks for posting this! At first I read the title and was like, don't do this, then I read the OP and was like yeah, that works lol.

Interesting read. I think what is going to seal the deal for me is variety and complexity of ships since that is what you are going to be spending most of your time in.

One thing that I think would be cool is if there where artifacts and such of varying rarity that you could decorate your ship with that you have to find and that you can't just buy as an upgrade at a shop or something. The more of these you have the more your infamy and or lengend increases which opens up more possibilities or something. Or give perks like better chance to run into a Kraken, find more floating debris, replace the rats that let you know you are taking on water with some other animal, make a wall of fog around your ship, stuff like that. Wet dreams perhaps.

Oh well, I'm still pumped for whatever Rare has in store regardless.
 

randomengine

Banned
Feb 22, 2012
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This game would sell millions of copies if they allowed you to hit people with cannonballs and slow-mo the rag doll physics of a cartoon-like character getting hit in the face/body in varied and interesting ways.
 
Sep 4, 2015
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Aztechnology

Member
Jun 1, 2013
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A little better, but I'm still not there yet. I have a vision in my head of the game from what they've said and I think at this point not really showing us what is going on under the hood is a mistake. I'm really skeptical that it can deliver that great PVE/PVP hybrid experience with enough depth that it doesn't just turn into a map full of incessant KOS attacks. If there are only a small handful of things to do outside of attacking other players ships, then I think I'll leave this ship sunk.
 

flkraven

Member
Jul 26, 2013
8,211
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Did they ask why the game is being listed at $39.99? Is it just because they did that with Nuts & Bolts etc? Will it be propped up with micro transactions?
 

serenewarfare

Banned
Jul 17, 2013
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Not a fucking chance.

Yeah, no way this game comes out that soon.

That was the month given out though, right? I looked on releases and it said Feb 2017. Maybe it was at or around E3 when that month was stated?

No that's a wrong placeholder. The last thing I remember they said "it will be ready when it's ready".

IIRC, the February date came from someone in an interview pressing about when the game was coming, and they were told "sometime in early 2017, maybe around February". It wasn't a placeholder or anything, but it was never given a firm date or month. It is scheduled for Early/First Half 2017 though.
 

Fabtacular

Member
Jun 23, 2016
235
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Assuming Scorpio is accompanied by suppoet for some VR peripheral, best-case scenario would be to have Sea of Thieves release Holiday 2017 alongside Scorpio and feature VR support.

If Sea of Thieves hits just right, I could be the AAA killer app VR is looking for.

(Obviously would need to feature VR/non-VR crossplay for player base purposes.)