One of the concerns that some players have held about Sea of Thieves, especially after its public betas, is that the pirate game appears to be a little light on content and goals.
Fortunately, Rare has a lot more tricks up its sleeve for both launch and beyond. In a developer livestream, the studio discussed more content than it had previously been promoting, including different kinds of PvE skeletons to fight, hidden lore books to discover (with special rewards attached), and the pursuit of legendary status. This endgame activity will give player pirates access to their own secret hideouts and a new faction that has its own types of voyages.
Also in the works? Player-owned ships, pets, campaign events, and the ability to save favorite pirate characters on the random generator.
Rare released the launch trailer for next week’s release, so give that a good gander after the break!
With only a few short days until Sea of Thieves officially launches on Xbox One and PC this March 20th, it’s safe to assume that more than a few pirates are arriving late to the party.
If you or a friend have recently become curious about this multiplayer title and are wondering what it’s about and how the gameplay works, Rare has put together a rather comprehensive eight-and-a-half-minute video to walk you through everything you need to know about the game.
From joining crews to managing your ship to going treasure hunting, the video outlines the array of activities that are open for the up-and-coming buccaneer. Go on a voyage of informational discovery after the break!
Two Destinies for the price of one! For this episode, the Battle Bards are gearing up in their favorite space armor to take on highlights from both of the Destiny soundtracks. From buyer’s regret to confusing the gender of a key character, there is all sorts of on-air therapy happening with this kooky trio!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 117: Destiny (or download it) now:
This is it you pirates, scoundrels, and scallywags: Sea of Thieves’ final beta is upon us, and only the most cutthroat and dastardly will survive to see the dawn of launch.
The final beta is scheduled to run from today through Sunday on both Xbox One and PC. Because the team wants this test to run on a greater scale than the game has handled to date, the final beta is open to everybody who wants to come check it out.
The final beta build includes the new skeleton forts that adds PvE challenge to a daring crew. The team does want to stress that this is still a beta test and that there might very well be issues and on-the-fly adjustments happening. To stay up to date on what’s happening, the team advises that players keep track of the official Twitter feed.
Just in case you read that headline and made a mad dash to this first paragraph with the hope of seeing that Rare has changed its mind on making players pick Sea of Thieves characters from a random generator, sorry, it is not to be. According to the team, this generator has been in the works for four years now and the devs are pretty proud of it.
It is certainly strange to hear the studio claim that it wants players to “be the pirate they want to be” while taking direct character customization out of their hands, but it sounds like a moot point at this juncture. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to customize your character at all; you will be able to collect and wear different cosmetics as you progress in the game.
Meanwhile, a third stress test is taking place this weekend as Rare attempts to get Sea of Thieves shipshape for the launch later this month.
While there is no doubt that many — including Massively OP staffers — are excited about the March release of Sea of Thieves, there also has been some growing concern about the way the game is handling its PvP and the potential for abuse that exists.
While Rare is encouraging crews to squabble over treasure and ships, the question arises about whether or not the studio is really aware of the lengths that griefers will go to ruin an experience for others and break the expected gameplay loop. Wolfy’s Eyes, a gaming blog, wrote a terrific essay in which he expressed deep concern over the studio’s apparent naïveté regarding online griefers.
“In my opinion, the PvP in Sea of Thieves is great but also far too open,” he argued. “While I definitely feel that risk on the high seas should be inherent and that alliances between ships for shared gameplay such as the recently discussed skeleton forts should be tenuous at best, the fact remains that — as is often the case with sandbox PvP — all of the risk lies in the attacked and none with the attacker.”
Are you concerned about Sea of Thieves’ PvP scene? Do you see this title devolving into a griefing nightmare?
If emergent PvE content is more your thing, then Sea of Thieves has a great suggestion as an alternative to running away from boarders: skeleton forts. At any given time, one such fort will be active in the world and feature a large skull-shaped cloud hanging over it, beckoning players to their death.
Waves of skeletons, both inside and outside the fort, will greet players when they make landfall. Eventually, a captain boss will spawn who will drop a key that opens a special vault with tons of loot (more than you can carry with one crew at one time, which may prompt a skirmish between crews).
Sea of Thieves is wrapping up a scale (stress) test to work on back-end systems and higher latency prior to the game’s launch later next month.
As an online multiplayer RPG, Sea of Thieves is making its own playbook instead of copy-and-pasting features and structure directly from other games. One such deviation from contemporary MMOs is that the pirate title will not let players mix-and-match their own character’s visuals when starting up a new game.
You read that right.
Instead, Sea of Thieves will randomly generate a handful of swarthy sea dogs from various options, giving players the choice to select one or roll up a fresh batch of Frankenpirates. This design choice is very deliberate, as Rare wants players to embrace crazy-looking characters instead of striving for perfection: “We want people to think, this is my very own Rare-created pirate character. It will encourage players to pick a character who wouldn’t normally be a character they would create in a character creator. It’s not about just making ourselves.”
In Sea of Thieves, your character is a pirate roaming the high seas for boxes of treasure, but in real life you won’t need to exchange your own treasures for random in-game treasures. Design director Mike Chapman has stated that microtransactions are possible for the game post-launch, but loot boxes are definitely out of the question for future development. So you might drop a little coin to get a nice skin or cosmetic gear or whatever, but you won’t be looking at lootboxes no matter what.
Of course, if your computer can’t handle the game you probably won’t be looking at anything whatsoever, so you might want to check out the game’s system requirements before eagerly declaring that it’s a sailor’s life for you. The bare minimum specs still require a Windows 10 machine, so if you’ve stuck by an older operating system we’re sorry to inform you that Windows ME is no longer going to keep you in the game. Check out the chart to see if you need to upgrade, and if you refer to buying new hardware as “trimming up the mainsail” in the checkout line, the employees at the store likely won’t care.
Believe it or not, there’s more to Sea of Thieves’ world story than “pirates going mental on each other.” Rare has created a thought-out playscape that is dripping with lore for those who are willing to stop killing each other, eating bananas, and looting treasure to notice. And the first bit of lore is in the title of the game itself.
“The thinking behind the world is that the Sea of Thieves is just this rumor,” said Design Director Mike Chapman in a new dev video. “If you knew the clues to get there, you’d be able to plot a course yourself.”
Even the NPCs have their own motivations and reasons for being in this region of the world — again, which players might discover if they slow down to investigate. These motivations form the driving force behind the game’s core factions. Check out the video after the break!
The beta client for Sea of Thieves has been updated once again, but don’t get your hopes up about playing it right way, as the game is still inaccessible. What you should get your hopes up about is the fact that a new build means a new bunch of stuff to datamine, and that means hints about what’s coming next for the game’s development and the player experience. Among the things that have been found in the current build? References to an open beta and Order of Souls quests.
Open beta is, of course, what it sounds like: The Order of Souls is the faction pirates can curry favor with by sailing in pursuit of mystical and magical phenomenon. The build also contains new options in the pirate generator, new styles for pocketwatches and spyglasses, more hideout objects, and various other bits of game information. Obviously, nothing has yet been officially announced, but it’s a significant burst of forward movement for players eager to learn whatever they can about the title ahead of further testing and release.
Don’t look now, but PvP is coming — and it’s coming to almost every new MMO in development. It only recently hit me just how many upcoming games are being centered around PvP as a core mechanic. Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, Ashes of Creation, Wild West Online, Worlds Adrift, Dual Universe, Chronicles of Elyria, every survival sandbox you could name… all PvP, pretty much all of the time.
I don’t outright resent PvP from being in MMOs, but as a primarily PvE player, it concerns me to see a flood of this washing over titles that I would otherwise have no reservations about playing. Many of the worlds and mechanics of these games have appeal, but not at the expense of having some jerk ambush me and kill me in 1.5 seconds flat at any moment.
Heck, even Sea of Thieves’ piracy gameplay loop has triggered alarms in my head that captains will be looking to swarm the title with griefing tactics once they’re done playing the “proper” way.
Maybe I’m overreacting. How do you feel about the increased focus on PvP in upcoming MMOs? Why do you think we are seeing a rise of such games?
It turns out that not only were players excited to jump into the role of pirates-to-be for Sea of Thieves’ closed beta last month, but even more people were eager to watch them do it.
According to an infographic boasting about the CBT’s big numbers, the closed beta included 332,052 pirates, treasure hunters, and buccaneers. Collectively, that group clocked in over two million hours of playtime.
Rare noted that the game topped out as the #1 title on Twitch with the most live viewers. With 25,563 players streaming and posting their content and an average of 104,240 viewers during that period, Rare calculated that nearly 14.5 million hours of the closed beta were viewed by fans.
Sea of Thieves has a little over a month and a half to go before it launches on March 20th for both Xbox One and PC. Get a bit more hyped for this title by watching a brief video below on its distinctive art style!