Sea of Thieves sounds like what No Man’s Sky multiplayer should have been

You fight like a dairy farmer!

Multiplayer, teamwork, ship customization, physical loot to carry and stow away, “hand-crafted” locations to visit, various “legends” to tackle, and large-scale skill-based multiplayer combat. All things we only dreamed of doing in No Man’s Sky. These are some of things Rare discussed in an interview with IGN.

Sea of Thieves will essentially be an MMO: an open-world online-only multiplayer game. There does not appear to be leveling, class systems, nor an overarching story line like in traditional MMORPGs. All the things discussed in the interview sound like good ideas in theory, but will they work in practice?

I know what you are thinking: “Sean Murray and Hello Games promised all sorts of stuff for No Man’s Sky and none of it was in the game.” Yes, that’s true, but such situations are the exception, not the norm (otherwise it wouldn’t have been such a big deal). Rare, mighty developer, is a bigger name than little ole’ Hello Games, thus a bigger name to prevent from tarnishing. 

No, you shouldn’t take anything a developer or publisher tells you without a grain of sea salt, but we are obligated to believe them. If you are worried about a game not living up to expectations or having promised features, don’t buy day one. Simple as that. And since it’s online-only, real life pirates will have to plunder elsewhere.

Let’s instead talk about the game assuming everything is true. The idea of customizing your own ship, having physical loot that can be hidden and stolen, and a crew who must operate on skill rather than being a dedicated a role sounds like there is opportunity for a variety of of unique situations or “emergent gameplay” to occur. No particular game aspect or feature is inherently good or bad however, including things like open-world, linearity, difficulty, skill trees, customization, serious or dark tones, lighthearted tones, or colorfulness. It comes down to how those things are executed and if they contribute to the overall experience well.

Despite a lot of neat-sounding ideas, I can’t help but feel like there’s something missing. Maybe I’m thinking too much and it’s just meant to be dumb fun, or maybe I’m right and it could end up being an empty experience full of people fighting each other and doing stale NPC-given fetch quests. Either way I think imagination, role-playing, and perhaps some rum either in-game or out will help make it an entertaining voyage from one’s booty-less real life.

I’m eager to give it a go, but there’s still a lot I would like to hear about such as crew tasks, the factor of wind and weather, how large a crew can be, capturing enemy sailors, marooning salty scallywags on deserted islands, getting drunk and if it affects gameplay, commanding fleets beyond one’s own ship, mutiny, punishment for mutiny, distributing loot among the crew, forming crews and why one would want to be a crew member instead of commandeering their own ship.

I’m also curious how much it’ll be. Never pay more than $20 for a computer game. 

Sea of Thieves: What the hell actually is this game? [IGN] 

Cory Arnold
Pretty cool dude in Japan. 6/9/68