Sea of Thieves raises anchors and sets sail for its seventh season, which is available now. The free update is headlined by its new suite of captaincy features, allowing players to name their ship, customize the captain’s cabin, and embark on new captain’s voyages, among many other new tools. For rare players and veterans alike, this update feels a bit like the culmination of the last four years, in that it’s a new chapter.
The features coming to the game in Season 7 have been long in the making and long-requested, but they’re also looking to reshape the game in some big ways for years to come. I recently sat down with Sea of Thieves Creative Director Mike Chapman and Lead Designer Shelly Preston to talk about the journey so far, the major Season 7 update, and what else might be on the horizon for the future. the game. More than anything, I wanted to know why Sea of Thieves still doesn’t have a close comparison in the world of video games. Where are the likes of Sea of Thieves?
“Creo que si nos hubieras hecho esa pregunta en 2018, creo que a estas alturas habríamos esperado, al menos, ver el ADN o la inspiración”, dijo Chapman, y agregó que el equipo agradecería más juegos donde “el El núcleo del juego está impulsado por la interacción de jugador a jugador”. Aún así, la pareja dejó en claro que, aunque pueden carecer de competencia directa, no les falta inspiración. El juego en sí todavía ofrece mucho.
“Sea of Thieves se basa en esta fantasía pirata de la que todos tienen una idea, pero significa cosas ligeramente diferentes para diferentes personas”, dijo Preston. “Para algunas personas, podrían ser las batallas más despiadadas y sanguinarias, o para otras, podría significar la maravilla de zarpar y no saber muy bien qué hay en el horizonte. Y el hecho de que podemos crear diferentes aspectos que hablan de todos de esos, pero luego está habitado por jugadores que son todos individuos únicos, como si no pudieras, no puedes diseñar eso, que las personas son personas. Y están en este mundo juntos[…]I don’t think it will ever stop inspiring us creatively.”
Even expansive open worlds like GTA Online, Fallout 76 and No Man’s Sky, while each feel like Sea of Thieves in different ways, never really capture the unique cadence of Rare’s pirate game. The open nature of its aim is almost the antithesis of most live service games that can seem so unforgiving and reward-focused. Sea of Thieves has many rewards for players, but more than other games, it feels like the journey is the destination.
The shared open world environment gives players the brushes, but doesn’t tell them what to paint. To put it succinctly, consider the team’s motto, which Chapman says should perhaps be tattooed on his back: “tools, not rules.”
So the Season 7 update is something of a bookend, the start of a new chapter in the game’s story that gives veteran players new ways to experience the open world, while also giving new players a stronger incorporation of tools. .
Players looking to be captains can now purchase a ship of their own with in-game gold earned from their adventures. They can then name and customize their cockpits with a new class of unlockable decorations and cosmetic items meant to tell each Captain’s story without words. Fill your shelves with Tall Tales trinkets to fondly remember your first trip to the Shores of Gold, or fill the room with fiery figurines if your greatest adventure took place in The Devil’s Roar, Sea of Thieves’ volcanic biome that serves as something like the difficult game. mode.
Each Captain’s ship will tell their story as they see fit, just as Day-One patches, Pirate Legend hooks, and Wild Rose jackets do for the swordsmen themselves. Optional cosmetic equipment means your ship will retain its aesthetics, right down to the patched holes in the hull, if you wish. The Sea of Thieves community loves RPGs; seriously, check out Twitter, where a lot of them tweet exclusively in character. This attention to detail is theirs, and it’s what Chapman called “little magic touches.”
Also new in the update is what Preston was hesitant to label as quality-of-life features, including the streamlining of the first few moments of a new session. “It’s a balance,” he told me. “We’re adding new stuff and bringing in new features and we’re still growing, but the stuff that’s out there isn’t going to be out of date or out of date. It’s going to be with us on the journey.”
Historically, players would wake up at an outpost and spend a few minutes filling their ship with fruit, planks of wood, and cannonballs to better prepare for what lay ahead. But in the Captaincy update, captains can cut that process down to a simple transaction with outpost vendors: give them a little gold and your ship will be instantly replenished.
Not only does this feature give future new players a different take on the game than veterans had when they first arrived, but it’s also available for experienced players to move into. More than a quality of life solution, this system is about allowing players to better role-play as the Captain of their own ship. The rationalization is almost like a bonus effect.
“I think as the game grows, it’s worth thinking about all the players, the veteran players, the new players, and feeling it yourself as well,” Preston said. “We can go back and we can say, ‘There’s a better way to do this, we can improve this, we can come up with something that makes it more efficient for players.'”
Sovereign NPCs, dressed as the powdered wigs they like to think they are, now wait at each outpost as well, and will streamline your loot trades by becoming a one-stop shop for selling chests, skulls, and more. But due to their exaggerated self-perception, they only deal with captains, they have no time for an ordinary buccaneer. Taken together, this and the other new systems (naming your ship, keeping your picture in sessions, and paying for a little extra service) is why Rare considers the Captaincy upgrade to be a VIP experience.
As a long-time fan of the game, it’s clear to me that the breadth of new content in Season 7 makes it one of the biggest updates in the game’s history, but with Captaincy finally removed from the list, I was wondering what It’s up to the players. ‘ wish lists.
“Something magical and unexpected, something that moves the story forward in a big way[…], all those little ‘I wish I could do this in Sea of Thieves’ daydreams. I think we have an example of features in production that tick all those boxes,” Chapman joked, stressing that it’s too early to reveal exactly what he means.
“There are things that we’ve wanted to do for years, that maybe the community doesn’t know are more internal, we’ve always wanted to do this kind of release as well. So there’s always a mix, there are things that are requested by the community, things that we also wanted do, and then there are things that are a little more reactive.[…]That’s the beauty of a live service.”
“I think the game has gotten a lot richer than what we first released in 2018,” Chapman said, “but it’s never lost heart.”
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