Sea Of Thieves PC And Xbox One: 10 Reasons We’re Excited
It’s A Pirate's Life For Me
We are a couple weeks away from Rare’s latest release of their swashbuckling pirate game, Sea of Thieves. And throughout the past few weeks we’ve had the opportunity to dive into some of the title’s latest improvements during a studio visit and various betas. From pirate legends to skeleton raids to the kraken and beyond, updates on the game’s features have been numerous. Even with all the hype surrounding Microsoft’s first exclusive title of 2018, here are 10 reasons to be excited for Sea of Thieves.
Sea of Thieves releases on March 20 for PC and Xbox One. For those with Xbox Game Pass, the game will be available on day-one as part of the subscription program. That gets you access to both the Xbox One and PC versions, as Sea of Thieves will support cross-play between the two platforms. Special Sea of Thieves-themed Xbox One accessories will also launch alongside the game. We recently played the game, and you can find out what we think in our Sea of Thieves preview.
What are you most excited to explore when Sea of Thieves finally releases? Let us know in the comments below.
Sailing The Beautiful High Seas
Based on our experience with the game's alphas and betas, it’s clear that Rare’s pirate adventure game is absolutely gorgeous. The video game water you sail on is second to none and the picturesque islands feel like unique worlds by their own right. As the sun sets and rises on the sea of thieves, Rare’s use of Unreal Engine 4 shines brightly.
Aside from the game’s graphical quality, its cartoon art style complements the comedic and silly aspects of the game (like firing fellow crewmates out of cannons or playing pirate dress-up with goofy accessories). Sea of Thieves' art style is both beautifully designed and humorously quirky all at the same time.
Thrilling Pirate Voyages
Voyages are Sea of Thieves' version of quests, and there are many different types of adventures pirates can embark on. But before venturing out onto the open ocean, you’ll need to visit an outpost to purchase a voyage from one of the game’s three factions, also known as Trade Companies.
The first trade company is the Gold Hoarders. Those who had the chance to play during the closed beta will have become familiar with these gilded NPCs. The Gold Hoarders challenge you to hunt for treasure via x-marks-the-spot maps and solving riddles. And it is also possible to sell them other rare artifacts discovered around the world.
The second company is the Order of Souls. These mysterious NPCs will pay pirates to go on bounty hunts for the most deadly pirate captains; return with their skulls in hand and you’ll be handsomely rewarded by the trade company.
The third and final trade company that we know of is the Merchant Alliance. They wish to control trade in the world and will thus pay you to scout for supplies (like pigs, chickens, or gunpowder) across the sea. Only caveat is, you must fulfill your contract on time, so best make good use of your in-game pocket watch. You can try out these missions in the game's final beta.
These are the three trade companies that Rare has shared details on, but it’s important to note that they plan to add more factions in due time.
Team Up Or Go Alone
It’s no secret that Sea of Thieves is a unique type of multiplayer game that operates best when players adventure in groups and communicate properly with one another. The larger galleons sailed by a crew of four are not only better equipped with many cannons and multiple sails but are also more sturdy when it comes to attacks.
Yet you might prefer to explore the world alone, and Rare has made this possible with the addition of single-sailed sloops. These small vessels are more nimble than galleons but are far more fragile. Everything necessary to operate the ship (including the sails, wheel, anchor, and map) are within arm's reach, even for solo pirates. Rare has stated that it is far more difficult to play alone, as other crews can easily overwhelm a lone player. But if you sail carefully, you can still venture out on your own solo adventures when your friends are offline.
Guns At The Ready
Although the tranquil waves can be mesmerizing, it’s important to survey the seas as danger lurks around every corner. Other crews are constantly trying to sink your ship and steal your treasure, so you’ll need to be prepared for battle at a moment’s notice. Ship-to-ship combat on the high seas can be chaotic. As the cannon balls whiz by, you’ll need to manage the game’s warfare mechanics between firing back, repairing holes, and steering your vessel. And although that can be overwhelming at first, boarding, killing, and sinking an opposing ship is quite satisfying.
While scouring the various islands on foot, you’ll often run into other crews off on their own adventures or skeleton hordes protecting their long-lost treasures. The sword-fights and gunplay that follow can be a little clunky from time-to-time, but you’ll be rewarded in gold if you can successfully ambush another crew and return the stolen loot back to an outpost. It's a pirate life for all and you'll need to fight for your precious cargo.
Dress The Part
When you first fire up Sea of Thieves you’ll be greeted by what Rare’s calling "The Infinite Pirate Generator." You’ll be able to circle through eight pre-created pirates coming in different shapes, sizes, genders, and appearances. If none fit your preference, you can regenerate the eight characters over and over again until you find one you’d like to roleplay.
Once you’ve selected your pirate the real fun begins. At outpost shops you can spend your hard-earned gold on a ton of cosmetic items to dress up your buccaneer. From full costumes to peg-legs, how you choose to outfit your character will allow you to further stand out.
Rare has confirmed that microtransactions will be in the final game but stated there will not be a loot box system nor will purchases affect gameplay or give unfair advantages. During the first patch update Rare plans to sell virtual pets, so you will know exactly what you are buying.
During the closed beta and scale tests, players discovered two uniquely designed treasure chests with some interesting effects. The Chest of a Thousand Grogs will make the carrier drunk immediately, and the Chest of Sorrow will periodically cry and fill your ship with water if you don’t bail quickly. These cursed chests will change the way you play the game. For example, some players have reported that playing their concertina and hurdy-gurdy instruments have soothed the Chest of Sorrow’s tears. And others have shared that they’ve used the Chest of a Thousand Grogs to easily ambush drunken foes. Although these chests might seem like an unnecessary challenge, they are worth your trouble as they can be sold to the Gold Hoarders for far more gold than most regular chests.
In recent developer updates and concept art, Rare has shown some additional chests that appear out of the ordinary, but we don't know what effects these chests will have on the player or the world around them. We can only speculate and hope that more cursed chests are on the horizon for the game’s full release.
Since the first Sea of Thieves marketing materials launched, players have speculated about the skull cloud with glowing green eyes. We now know it is one of the title's emergent gameplay systems. A giant skull cloud will randomly appear above a particular skeleton fort which informs all pirate crews sailing around the map that a raid is going down. As crews converge on the island, they can choose to work together or battle each other through the waves of enemy skeletons. Once you’ve fought your way through the horde, the captain will appear and challenge players to a battle.
When the captain is defeated, the cloud will dissipate and the skeleton will drop a key to the fort’s vault. Once the vault is open, other crews are free to sabotage, but Rare has stated that there will be more loot than a single crew can carry. How raids will transpire is up to you: Can crews work together? Will there be an all out war for the vault’s contents? Or should you escape with the key and return when the coast is clear?
Thanks to data-mining Redditors, diverse classes of skeletons are rumored to be in the final game. Codes for bone, metal, plant, and shadow skeletons have been discovered while data mining the alphas, betas, and scale tests.
Become A Pirate Legend
Turns out the slogan “Become Pirate Legend” was not simply Sea of Thieves marketing material but rather the game’s first form of endgame content. As you level up your reputation with the various factions, you’ll eventually be approached by a mysterious group of NPCs who you’ll want to impress. Although it is unclear what these challenges might entail, we do know that once you’ve proven your worth, you’ll be invited into The Tavern of Legends. This secret lair is hidden somewhere within the sea of thieves and was even in the closed beta (although no players were able to uncover its secrets).
Inside the secluded tavern, the ghostly pirate lord will sell you legendary voyages. And although these voyages are by far the most valuable and fruitful in the game, they can still be shared with any other pirates regardless of their rank. Rare expects the first Pirate Legends to arrive in the hideout a couple weeks after launch, and when that happens, you’ll begin to see some unique cosmetic items and high-ranking titles sailing throughout the world.
Become A Legendary Captain
For the game's first major update, Rare has promised that you can expect yet another achievement to strive towards: becoming a Legendary Captain. The second tier of endgame content makes the Tavern of Legends your personal hideout, as you’ll automatically spawn there when signing on. The ship wading in the background of the cave will also become yours to sail and customize. When other players see the legendary ship sail out from underneath the hideout’s waterfall (think the Batmobile bursting out of the Batcave), they’ll know a Legendary Captain is on the seas.
Release The Kraken
After much speculation and discussion among the community, we can finally confirm that something wicked lies beneath the ocean's waves. The Kraken is very much real, acting as a force of nature similar to the game’s storms that can emerge at any time. The ocean will grow dark with ink and the in-game music will begin to change if the kraken draws near. If you are unable to outrun it, it will wrap its giant tentacles around your ship and any other ships nearby, attempting to crush them beneath its weight. Crew members can be attacked, thrown, and thrashed around if you don’t bring the fight to its suction-cupped limbs. And as an emergent gameplay element, the Kraken will act differently depending on the situation. Rare has stated there will be a reward if you and your crew are able to take down the Kraken, but we will have to wait to find out what that might be.