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Sea of Thieves - Forsaken Shores free major DLC 27.09.18

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I think what people wanted was perhaps something similar to destiny-with-pirates-and-good (which is sort of what I thought it was going to be when it was originally announced) but what they got was this emergent gameplay thing, but without a lot of the necessary mechanics to make emergent gameplay a real possibility beyond the first week, by which time it feels like people will have seen everything there is to see and, without that continuous gameplay treadmill, they'll go off to the next thing. 

 

Also, people don't need to "calm down and play as intended", because they are doing that and finding there's not much to "play" in the first place. 

 

I really want Rare to pull this out of the bag and do a Columbo, "oh, one last thing..." reveal of more stuff, but it seems telling that MS have put this up on Game pass day one. 

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You’d lose the tension, Flub. You can often get to an outpost and the server won’t spawn another pirate boat in with you. You have all the time in the world to dump your chests.

 

What you're really describing is the destiny tower, which is a tedious place to be.

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@Orko To be fair, all MS first party stuff will be going on Game Pass day one from now on.

 

I think Rare have made some brave decisions with Sea of Thieves but I'm just concerned that they haven't given people enough to latch onto to feel invested. If you can keep people playing for several weeks and make them feel like they have made tangible progress they're more likely to come back for the updates. If people drop it after a few days and don't really feel like they have anything invested the game they probably won't.

 

I understand the arguments some people are making about its appeal but at the very least even its biggest fans must admit that the lack of enemy variety is pretty shit? 

 

Had this come out as can early access the narrative around it might have been different. I'd like to think Rare have a constant stream of updates planned. We'll see.

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I found this really well hidden cave system underwater on a little island. I was swimming next to a wreck and spotted an opening far below. Lara Crofted my way through the submerged tunnel, running out of breath. Emerged just in time in a little cave that contained some rope and a broken box.

 

I assume there are many locations like that in the world that have loot instanced into them in response to a quest you receive, or maybe they sometimes include public loot (a little like the Division dark zones) if you get there at the right time. In either case it was quite disappointing to have found this hidden cave and it be empty. It's stuff like this that makes the world feel like a shell to me - even if it had 'just' contained a neat hat or jacket that would have been really cool. I believe they're planning to add paid cosmetics (pets for example) so perhaps MS see that kind of thing as eating into potential revenue, but it seems like a missed opportunity to get people invested in exploring, sailing and their character.

 

Your most interesting options appear to be attempting to form an alliance with another crew to take on a skeleton fort (teaming up for standard quests is generally pointless as you don't share the rewards) or griefing other players to nick their stuff.

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I think most people will be bailing from this in a few weeks, and not from their  buckets. It’s as I thought with the beta- not enough fun systems yet in the game, plus I think the lateral progression is a mistake - is the quest for a better jacket or hook enough of a hook to keep coming back when they are just cosmetics and the main gameplay loop of going to island / get treasure / return  is the same?

 

There’s a lot of fun in the game, we spent all night speaking like pirates and had a fun encounter with someone on a sloop but it definitely needs more stuff and more risk and reward added to obtaining chests.

Either better and more varied enemies or a higher pirate population.

 

I think @Flub is wrong in thinking outposts should be safe havens. This is currently where it gets more interesting getting your chest back to cash in, without getting looted by other players. A social room with pirate pub activities would be good though. Maybe a chance to wager / steal pirate maps.

 

As enemies the skeletons are so throwaway on all the non skellie fort islands, as are the snakes and there needs to be more aggressive tougher enemies that would make you scope out an island and work as a crew to beat the enemy. I’m not talking monster hunter levels here, just something that made you feel you’d earned it.

 

Rare have created a beautiful and fun to navigate world, but they probably needed another year to fully flesh it out and make systems that want to continually revisit it.

I really hope it develops and grows.

 

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Had a good session on this yesterday. Tried it with some randoms and got lucky, everyone was chatting and having a laugh which is what this game is about. Also tried it with a mate later on for a hour and had alot of memorable moments. Especially being caught in a storm and having to work our asses of to keep the ship afloat.

 

For me this is the perfect game for where i am in life. I havent got time no longer to spend hours getting great at a game or leveling up to the max, so i can unlock stuff and stay competitive. For me these are the reasons i dont really bother with multiplayer gaming anymore. Where with this i know i can come back into it anytime i like and know im not at a disadvantage.

 

Im sure rare will build on the formula down the line, but for the moment there is more than enough content to keep me going with what time i have. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, footle said:

You’d lose the tension, Flub.

 

You'd lose some of the tension and gain quite a lot of possible social interactions that just won't happen in the current setup. As I said earlier balancing a fully open pvp game is a tricky thing. Especially one like this that gives off a certain tone. Fair enough in Rust where it's kill or be killed and paranoia is key but a lighthearted pirate game needs more care.

 

Let me put it this way. Last night I did a voyage to get two white feathered chickens. It took me about 45 minutes in total from picking up the quest to handing it in. I had to visit quite a few islands before I found what I was looking for. At any point during that voyage I could have been jumped and killed by players. They could have sunk my ship while I was away. Stole my chickens, killed me. That is all perfectly fine. I managed to avoid all that for the full 45 minutes. It was fun.

 

Imagine if I did all that. I'm feeling pretty good. I have my chickens on deck. I sail near to an outpost. Quick scout around, no sign of anyone. I land and hit the shore with my first chicken to hand in. A galleon spawns in before I get there (Or indeed sails in). BigSmoke420 and his buddies hop off, kill me, steal my chicken and sink my ship. 45 minutes wasted. A lot of players would just quit at this point even if they were into the game.

 

As it stands I handed in my chickens and got a very small amount of gold in return. The risk/reward thing needs some balance. 

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Things that would fix it for me personally:

 

- add AI pirates, British or Spanish soldiers in as enemiesand give them ships, too. Also add some creepy island natives for the islands. There are hints at these with the cave paintings and camp fires everywhere (who lit them? Do skeletons need camp fires?)

 

- add a single safe haven, Nassau style - not every Outpost as flub suggested

 

- actually reward exploration. I too have found intricate cave systems that led to nothing at all. Right now you can set off in any direction and explore which is great, but severely dampened by not actually finding anything of worth most of the time (I found a tea chest and golden vase once, to be fair, but both were just out in the open on the beach) - most of the time it's just empty islands with tiki torches and campfires but no sign of life

 

- Introduce more narrative around the guilds and Athena's treasure to put some direction and intrigue into the game and some sort of shared goal, other than just "become pirate legend" (what does that even mean? What does it entail? Just grinding rep with the guilds?)

 

- Add the ability to form multi-ship crews or player guilds

 

- Again, for me personally, vertical progression is critical to staying engaged. Fancy new hats and boots only keep me interested for so long. I need my +3 eyepatch of sniping! My +6 galoshes of shark avoidance! 

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But surely it should be built so that a galleon doesn’t ‘spawn in’. They aren’t dropping in out of hyperspce. If it was chasing you down to port that would have been fun. You describe little risk and little reward.

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My current thoughts on the game.

 

Pros

Visuals are stunning. The sea is a work of art

Sailing my sloop is insanely good fun

The mechanics are very interesting. I like repairing your ship and using the bucket to bail out water

The quest mechanics that are currently in the game I'm enjoying. I like figuring out where to go, where to dig etc.

 

Cons

I think given the time it takes to complete a voyage the rewards are a little low

The cosmetic side seems a little half baked and not enough to hang the game on at the moment. 

All the rewards are cosmetic but you can't create your own design of pirate?

I know some of you don't agree with me but Rare are going to learn some hard lessons on open world pvp gameplay :)

Emergent gameplay still needs hooks and basic game systems to facilitate and I don't think there are enough in the game just yet.

 

 

I know I might be sounding a little negative but I really like the game. I just think it's been launched in a very unfinished state. I played early Ultima Online for 4 years and this is giving me really good UO feels. It just isn't there yet. People are matchmaking into games and getting thrown in the brig because Rare didn't bother adding the basics like private games. You can't even name your pirate.

 

I probably won't play for more than a few weeks unless they have big stuff to roll out fairly soon but it's definitely a game I'd be happy to come back to further into the life cycle. 

 

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2 minutes ago, macosx said:

But surely it should be built so that a galleon doesn’t ‘spawn in’. They aren’t dropping in out of hyperspce. If it was chasing you down to port that would have been fun. You describe little risk and little reward.

 

You'd think. I've seen videos of it happening.

 

Risk vs reward. Insanely difficult to balance. Especially in an open PvP game. It'll be interesting to see how the game develops. Note that even Eve Online has consequences for murder in certain areas. For good reason too. And that's a game where being a shit head and ruining years of work is celebrated :)

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31 minutes ago, Flub said:

Imagine if I did all that. I'm feeling pretty good. I have my chickens on deck. I sail near to an outpost. Quick scout around, no sign of anyone. I land and hit the shore with my first chicken to hand in. A galleon spawns in before I get there (Or indeed sails in). BigSmoke420 and his buddies hop off, kill me, steal my chicken and sink my ship. 45 minutes wasted. A lot of players would just quit at this point even if they were into the game.

 

This is close to what happened to me. I'd found a shipwreck underwater and got a skull and a chest from it. Then got blown up shortly afterwards.

 

I'm assuming then that those guys either got that loot or it's lost forever. :(

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5 hours ago, ronin said:

The comparison with No Man's Sky is not valid at all, since 1) the prospect of multiplayer in that game was a blatant lie, and 2) Sony provided no dedicated servers for this to be possible, in the first place.

 

Sure it's valid. The comparison has nothing at all to do with pre-release bullshit.

 

We have two games here that left players scratching their heads on where the game was. Both presenting a paper thin gameplay loop with no meaningful progression and one that never really evolves. In NMS, that you did on that very first planet didn't change vs what you were doing on the 15th planet. Same with SoT and it's quests. They both exhibit amazing technical achievement at the expense of depth in the gameplay design. I understand NMS has picked itself up and is a much richer, interesting game these days. I hope Rare can do the same with SoT.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, tnman said:

 

This is close to what happened to me. I'd found a shipwreck underwater and got a skull and a chest from it. Then got blown up shortly afterwards.

 

I'm assuming then that those guys either got that loot or it's lost forever. :(

 

I think when you sink a ship the loot ends up on the surface.

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@Flub

 

Just reading your Pros and Cons post and I Was going to start this today, I've decided I'm going to wait for now and see what happens in the coming weeks and months, I've got plenty to play anyway so I'll wait and see what happens, especially with Far Cry out on Tuesday, I'll come back to this another time. 

 

I've enjoyed watching all the videos people have been posting

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I've only glanced at this thread over the last couple of weeks and I can see both sides of the arguments raised. For what it's worth, my opinions so far are based solely on the final game which I spent a good 10+ hours on just yesterday, using a gamepad on Windows 10, the majority of which were with@Nicky,@Kiwi Cake and a random...

 

My first impression was that it threw me in at the deep end; not necessarily a bad thing but I felt I had to learn quickly, especially when I joined a ship where the captain was barking out orders, but within an hour or so, I became exactly that and had a couple of Americans willing to do my bidding. Once I got used to the sailing mechanics and began to explore, I felt there was a lack of urgency, I imagine intended, to go around and do things - which I also imagine has put a handful of people off. However, it becomes second nature when you get into the flow of: Accept Quest > Set Course > Complete Objective > Return Bounty > Repeat

 

Following on from this, I found it difficult to perceive who was what and where. By that I mean, there are numerous outposts, which I didn't know were friendly and were plentiful in interactions and there were various islands which appeared to have zero gameplay. Obviously, I later found out that bottles can lead to secret treasure and such but without this information, it seems like places to visit for visiting sake. Those that did have some gameplay, i.e. Skeletons to kill, help to show up the really poor combat system which is not only shallow but has such poor feedback, especially for the first-person melee, that it feels neither satisfying or understandable when you make the killing blow or are killed yourself. This is in contrast to the ship mechanics which, as has been mentioned, allow for various tactics and mastery of numerous individual and collective roles. Off the ship though, the outposts themselves are poorly laid out and I think each seller could be better signposted to indicate their role, what they require and when.

 

Having said all this, I had some excellent games with the guys above even if the experience is unlikely to change in the short to mid-term. The game is what you make it. We had a decent crew, sailed from place to place through storms, boarded ships and delivered loot. We located buried treasure, hunted chickens and played music. It was great! I'll certainly be about for more games over the coming days and weeks, I'm trying to rank up each of the progression trees to access new bounties but I don't feel particularly precious about the order in which things are done or how urgent time is to do them. It was good just to go along with others and take it as it comes. There is a competitive side though, I finished a skull cloud island yesterday and aside from showing up the game's clunky combat for the umpteenth time, it distributed a tonne of lucrative rewards. I'm currently sat on about 20,000 gold and I've spent a bit of what I had beforehand on what little customisation there is.

 

As a game designer though, I think the game is missing a handful of features that can help lead the player in and sustain engagement past "collect 2 chickens in cages" over and over again for 50 hours. I don't doubt that Rare are onto a nugget of brilliance but, putting the server's day one technical issues to one side, I think it's lacking from a wealth and variety in content to sustain the audience. However, I'm also willing to bet that they also have a roadmap for where the game is heading throughout the coming year, and beyond...

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6 minutes ago, Sie said:

 

Sure it's valid. The comparison has nothing at all to do with pre-release bullshit.

 

We have two games here that left players scratching their heads on where the game was. Both presenting a paper thin gameplay loop with no meaningful progression and one that never really evolves. In NMS, that you did on that very first planet didn't change vs what you were doing on the 15th planet. Same with SoT and it's quests. They both exhibit amazing technical achievement at the expense of depth in the gameplay design. I understand NMS has picked itself up and is a much richer, interesting game these days. I hope Rare can do the same with SoT.

 

 

Again the difference for me is NMS was an indie labour of love the developer was heavily incentivised to build on after launch jitters because of the rewards for their efforts. Rare on the other hand are Microsoft staff developers, and in my experience a lukewarm launch will see them cut losses and move on to something else

 

hope not but seen it happen too often

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2 minutes ago, Flub said:

I think when you sink a ship the loot ends up on the surface.

 

Yep.

 

Only 21% of gamers have unlocked the achievement of voting on a voyage which suggests a significant proportion of loners (like me so far) are playing this.  I run without lights, so surely the  "Perfect Dark" one is achievable?

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8 minutes ago, CovisGod said:

@Flub

 

Just reading your Pros and Cons post and I Was going to start this today, I've decided I'm going to wait for now and see what happens in the coming weeks and months, I've got plenty to play anyway so I'll wait and see what happens, especially with Far Cry out on Tuesday, I'll come back to this another time. 

 

I've enjoyed watching all the videos people have been posting

 

Oh don't get me wrong. There's lots of fun to be had. If you have gamepass or can find a cheap month it's definitely worth taking a look. I'm just not convinced it has legs as it is at the moment. I don't think I'd personally recommend paying full price for it now.

 

4 minutes ago, Cosmic_Guru said:

 

 

Only 21% of gamers have unlocked the achievement of voting on a voyage which suggests a significant proportion of loners (like me so far) are playing this. 

 

In my playtime I've only ever seen one galleon. All the rest were sloops with solo players. The galleon was docked and I was getting ready to logout so I boarded them. Got killed but it was a laugh :)

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10 hours ago, JPickford said:

I said this a while back but I still think this might be Rare's final game.

 

I think I would be okay with that. At least they’d go down making a game that they seem to have wanted to make and believed in, combined with a good marketing push from Microsoft, rather than making some generic family friendly game that’s been foisted upon them. 

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18 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

 

I think I would be okay with that. At least they’d go down making a game that they seem to have wanted to make and believed in, combined with a good marketing push from Microsoft, rather than making some generic family friendly game that’s been foisted upon them. 

 

Yeah, they are at least trying to make something original.   A huge step up from churning out Kinect support products.

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1 hour ago, Hodge said:

For me this is the perfect game for where i am in life. I havent got time no longer to spend hours getting great at a game or leveling up to the max, so i can unlock stuff and stay competitive. For me these are the reasons i dont really bother with multiplayer gaming anymore. Where with this i know i can come back into it anytime i like and know im not at a disadvantage.

 

I'm really pleased you've said this - this is EXACTLY what I was hoping for TBH.  Which I concede isn't what many others want from it.

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I haven't tried the game yet but I am surprised that there are people who thought this will be something deep and expansive. Nothing like that was suggested by the videos and general info. I am looking forward to trying it with friends but I highly doubt that this can offer anything else than rinse and repeat simple activities, which need only small bursts of time to enjoy.

 

Which is great at this age to tell you truth, which is difficult to gather friends for sustained online gaming.

 

It looks beautiful, it is original and it has cross play. I doubt it will be a system seller and it may possibly be the last game Rare will ever make.

 

But it sure looks fun.

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1 hour ago, Flub said:

 

You'd lose some of the tension and gain quite a lot of possible social interactions that just won't happen in the current setup. As I said earlier balancing a fully open pvp game is a tricky thing. Especially one like this that gives off a certain tone. Fair enough in Rust where it's kill or be killed and paranoia is key but a lighthearted pirate game needs more care.

 

Let me put it this way. Last night I did a voyage to get two white feathered chickens. It took me about 45 minutes in total from picking up the quest to handing it in. I had to visit quite a few islands before I found what I was looking for. At any point during that voyage I could have been jumped and killed by players. They could have sunk my ship while I was away. Stole my chickens, killed me. That is all perfectly fine. I managed to avoid all that for the full 45 minutes. It was fun.

 

Imagine if I did all that. I'm feeling pretty good. I have my chickens on deck. I sail near to an outpost. Quick scout around, no sign of anyone. I land and hit the shore with my first chicken to hand in. A galleon spawns in before I get there (Or indeed sails in). BigSmoke420 and his buddies hop off, kill me, steal my chicken and sink my ship. 45 minutes wasted. A lot of players would just quit at this point even if they were into the game.

 

As it stands I handed in my chickens and got a very small amount of gold in return. The risk/reward thing needs some balance. 

 

This is exactly what happened on my first night. Had my sloop looted while on an island. Lost everything, including caged chicken, and was killed when I returned. I didn’t exactly rage quit but certainly sighed after wasting a whole night. But fuck it, I’ll try again tonight. I learnt nothing trying the game with a full crew of randoms but the single player boat at least let me get a grasp of how to play. My game pass is paid up for the year so if this does turn out to be a turkey I certainly won’t feel too bad.

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Presumably you can hide your loot somewhere less obvious if you need to leave your ship to explore an island?

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2 minutes ago, Black Cat Supremacist said:

 

This is exactly what happened on my first night. Had my sloop looted while on an island. Lost everything, including caged chicken, and was killed when I returned. I didn’t exactly rage quit but certainly sighed after wasting a whole night. But fuck it, I’ll try again tonight. I learnt nothing trying the game with a full crew of randoms but the single player boat at least let me get a grasp of how to play. My game pass is paid up for the year so if this does turn out to be a turkey I certainly won’t feel too bad.

 

So you got cross because you got pirated? In a pirate game? I don’t understand. You need to scope landing areas, get on and off the island as quick as you can then run the risk/reward thing to decide if you’re going to head straight back to an outpost or go on another voyage. 

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13 minutes ago, Yiggy said:

 

So you got cross because you got pirated? In a pirate game? I don’t understand. You need to scope landing areas, get on and off the island as quick as you can then run the risk/reward thing to decide if you’re going to head straight back to an outpost or go on another voyage. 

 

Like I said, I just sighed and switched off. It’s a learning experience but ultimately I don’t have a huge amount of time to waste  on games these days. 

 

A skeleton using a cannon sunk my boat as well which was rather unexpected. Again, a learning experience.

 

 

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59 minutes ago, linkster said:

Again the difference for me is NMS was an indie labour of love the developer was heavily incentivised to build on after launch jitters because of the rewards for their efforts. Rare on the other hand are Microsoft staff developers, and in my experience a lukewarm launch will see them cut losses and move on to something else

 

hope not but seen it happen too often

 

The perception I have of this game is that the Microsoft you've been describing would never have published a game like this in the first place. 

 

Haven't Rare been given a lot of freedom in making this? That's certainly what I've felt when watching dev logs and the like. 

 

Someone earlier posted that Rare should show us their road map - I absolutely agree because at the moment a lot of people aren't going to be aware of any updates like the pets thing they've talked about. They don't need to detail much of it for me, just let us gauge the post launch programme. 

 

Going to have another game today. The servers really were a let down yesterday, hopefully its calmed down while America is quiet. 

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28 minutes ago, Pob said:

Presumably you can hide your loot somewhere less obvious if you need to leave your ship to explore an island?

 

Yes you can, if you mean by taking it off the ship.  Not many places to hide it on the ship, except maybe the crows nest.

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