Sea of Thieves adds new reputations to earn and a PvP-centric faction with Ships of Fortune

    
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Pledging allegiance to your chosen Trading Company in Sea of Thieves has gotten just a bit more in-depth thanks to the Ships of Fortune update, which focuses on a new Free Company that encourages PK’ing and adding a new Emissaries system to all of the game’s Free Companies.

The Emissary system is, effectively, a new layer added to the existing Free Company reputation grind, with a new ranking system that offers up extra cosmetic rewards and adds a multiplier to chests cashed in with a chosen Free Company provided players are flying that faction’s flag. Players can choose to be an Emissary for any of the Free Companies so long as they have the right rank and gold for the one-time fee, and flying the flag of any of the factions is decided via crew vote. Earning ranks is a simple matter of continuing to complete activities like voyages, defeating sea beasts and skeleton ships, and clearing skeleton forts. Once players hit a maximum rank of five, a special and highly lucrative voyage will be unlocked.

This same rank system applies to the new Reaper’s Bones Free Company, whose sole purpose is to encourage direct plunder of others. Advancement with this faction involves taking out other people’s ships and turning in their loot, as well as turning in a special Emissary Flag fragment that drops when a player’s ship is flying another faction’s colors for more rewards. Being an Emissary of the Reaper’s Bones will show your ship on the maps of other players, but hitting max rank with this particular faction will unlock the ability to see every other person’s ship on your map, making hunting other players a little bit easier.

While Emissaries are the major part of the update, there are other features as well, including a level cap increase for all Trading Companies, quality-of-life features like optional nameplates for crew members and map markers highlighting the starting locations for Tall Tales, the ability for players to revive one another, and a big shift in the Arena that sees players fighting over a single treasure chest that’s illuminated on a smaller map in shorter 15-minute matches.

There’s lots more to take in with this update, so players would do well to look through the release notes, and a video guide on the Emissary system is below.

source: official site (1, 2)

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Sorenthaz

Annnnd they basically just did the one thing they should not have ever thought to do: add anything in that heavily encourages PKing to become the norm.

Being an Emissary of the Reaper’s Bones will show your ship on the maps of other players, but hitting max rank with this particular faction will unlock the ability to see every other person’s ship on your map, making hunting other players a little bit easier.

And that really just shows they don’t care anymore.

Long live Sea of Ganks I guess.

Game’s going to now die out faster than it already has been unless they add in PvE/Private servers. But don’t worry, the “Sea of Thieves not Sea of Friends” crowd will continue jerking themselves off the whole time until they finally wonder why no one’s playing the game anymore.

flatline4400
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flatline4400

Yeah, that doesnt seem like a great idea.

Also, still not on Steam…

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Sorenthaz

Best to get this update out before Steam so they don’t have to bait and switch Steam players who thought this game wasn’t a PvP game at a fundamental level.

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Kay

>wasn’t a PvP game at a fundamental level.

PvP has always been the core of the game. I don’t see how this update changes that. This is just fight other players, instead of fight other players over treasure.

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Sorenthaz

PvP was a thing to do, not THE thing to do. Everything you could get from PvP was something you could simply get through doing voyages or regular activities in the game. This gives incentives and rewards unique to PvPers in a way that encourages this to be a constant norm as folks try to grind the reputation, because they can’t get it any other way.

This is effectively the patch that defines a reputation for wolves and everyone else is the sheep giving that reputation content.

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FailingToComply

The devs believe (hahahaha!) that players flying the Reaper’s Bones flag will just go after other emissary-flag-flying-ships, as there’s no rep to gain from sinking a non-flag ship. WRONG. It pays to sink EVERYTHING you see, cos turning in any loot they’re carrying contributes to your rep…
I normally PVE in SoT, and PVP if I need to – on patch day I sailed out with a galleon and we sank anything that appeared on the horizon, and did level 20 in 3 hours. This will drive away the people looking for a chilled adventure, or treasure quest, SO fast.

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Sorenthaz

Exactly, and you don’t even need the Reaper’s Bones emissary flag on to get rep.

Also let’s not even begin with how they basically killed the game for folks who like to play solo and don’t want to be forced to run with Galleons all the time. With the new revive mechanics, a solo player has no chance to win against a larger crew if he can’t kill the whole crew before they can revive each other. Emissary stuff is also pretty much a no-go for solo players since it puts a big fat GPS marker on your head.

I would kill so badly to have a private server where I can just chill solo/with friends. But Rare seems to want to push hard to force PvP since their PvE adventures were too much effort for not enough turnout.

Like FFS this game is super beautiful and has such a fun core loop without forcing PvP to disrupt everything. This is a game where I’d be okay if they did a Fallout 1st-type service for private servers, because at least it means I could play the game on my own terms in peace.

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FailingToComply

It’s really odd to be honest, they’ve spent 18 months building a strong PVE base to the game, the latest Tall Tales etc are excellent… and PVP happened, it just wasn’t the core… now they’ve done a U-Turn and basically shouted “It’s Open Season on new players, smaller crews, PVE players”

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Sorenthaz

I guess along the way they did add in some PvP-oriented stuff such as changing up how/where ships take damage, trying to push the Arena mode, and their Reaper’s Run events were obviously geared at trying to get more folks to PvP. The Emissary system is basically a permanent version of the Reaper’s Run voyages, and that’s a great idea on its own.

The problem is they added in a wolf reputation that basically will encourage open season PvP on a much larger scale because anyone who wants that reputation will be encouraged to hunt other players. Though apparently I’m seeing on the forums that you can get reputation for that faction by turning in your own loot to them…? so you can just PvE up that faction too with whatever loot you want to turn into them, I guess. It’s just the item that drops off of a sunken Emissary ship that gives the biggest payout/rep with them.

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Kay

I guess we just get different things from the game or it’s changed since I last played. It always felt as PvE as pushing the payload in overwatch. Doing the regular activities, you still had to look out for other players. Everything seemed balanced around spotting other players, and deciding what to do. Running away or avoiding other players, is some of the most fun we’ve had playing the game.

Although I haven’t played much recently, since my friends are all playing different games now, so maybe they’ve added a bunch of PvE content that a PvE server would make sense. (Really think the biggest problem with the game is how unfun it is to play without people you actually know.)

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Sorenthaz

Oh yeah PvE always had a potential underlying risk but it sounds like it hit a point where more folks were likely to just ally up (so they mutually profit off each other) and go about their business rather than PvP. Tall Tales were added in as sort of story driven PvE adventures to offer up more of a unique PvE experience.

I never did those though because I was burned out by the time the first ones made it to the game, and I haven’t gone back for similar reasons that you haven’t. Playing without friends is a chore and playing solo at this point is too much of a pain. Thus I opt to join galleons, but I feel like I need to use Discord to at least give me basic insurance that my crew won’t be a total mess as random matchmaking is the equivalent of playing the lottery. To me it’s just too much of a hassle to actually get back into the game now, and this update killed any interest I had in coming back.

Phone_Guy
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Phone_Guy

The Arena numbers showed that PvP oriented players want victims not opponents. Other than offering private sessions or PVE, they honestly could fix some of the major PVP issues buy having Faction Reputation increase by completing voyages as well as treasure turn ins. This way a crew who spent a few hours doing voyages only to get sunk before turn in still have something to show for the time. Add some bonus gold for gaining a faction level and it takes some of the sting away and makes players less likely to stop playing and uninstall.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah I don’t understand why they haven’t done that yet. They will likely have to put in countermeasures as time goes on. Their whole approach just seems to be “let’s sit back and see what happens because we think this should go a certain way” when that’s the pitfall logic of any developer that wants to lure in sheep with PvE to be slaughtered by the wolves who’ll be pushing for this rep on day one.

Like the devs’ current train of logic is that because Emissaries will be the most juicy targets, Reaper’s Bones crews will be more likely to ignore non-Emissary ships, especially when they hit max rep and can see any ship with an Emissary flag (apparently it’s not “every” ship, just all Emissary ships). In reality I doubt this will at all be how it plays out, and newbies or non-Emissary ships will still be chased down and killed since there’s still rewards to gain – especially if it becomes a “meta” for folks to sneak chests and such on a non-Emissary/newbie-looking ship.

They just don’t seem to understand that you can’t incentivize and encourage no-limits/no-consequence PvP to become the norm in a game like this. It will cannibalize the playerbase and turn away anyone who wants to just jump into the game to chillax and have some fun. Especially since this Reaper’s Bones faction inherently requires at least one ship on the server to NOT be focusing on Reaper’s Bones rep.

And you do not need to even fly the Emissary flag to earn Reaper’s Rep, Emissary flags are only for if you want better rep gains/rewards. Therefore you can’t even tell which ships are actually going after Reaper’s rep and try to server hop if you’d prefer not to be on a server with a bunch of Reaper’s rep grinders.

They basically just made it super clear that everyone else playing the game that isn’t going after Reaper’s Rep is literally just creating content for those going after Reaper’s Rep. I don’t see how this won’t lead to a major bleedout of the playerbase if Rare doesn’t add some incentives for hitting checkpoints or completing a voyage before turning in the loot.

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dreamer

Well-said. My regular crew has mostly filtered out since launch; some having resorted to the “alliance” servers to enjoy the game in peace.

At the end of the day, I can’t respect a game (or its developers) if the game thinks I should be the content for other players.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah the “alliance servers” will be the only real consistent way to be able to play the game without worrying about those shenanigans. This is a game where I’d be okay if they did a Fallout 1st-esque private server thing.