Sailing on the Sea of Thieves

So the Posse’s newest try-it-out game is Sea of Thieves – which has some fun points, as well as things I don’t really care for (open world PvP). Overall, though, the fun stuff – like sailing around with your crew doing missions – has outweighed the PvP troubles.

My sister was the one who wanted to try the game out. I already had a copy due to it being included on my XBox Game Pass (still loving it), so there wasn’t a purchase needed for me. The others picked it up on Steam, and we found that it does just fine when it comes to cross-platform play. In fact, since Sea of Thieves is connected to a Microsoft account, if I chose to eventually pick it up on Steam, everything I’ve done with my character would carry over. So this is pretty nice!

Your crew can have up to four players – you choose a ship size accordingly – and while you can play solo if you know the game well enough, it’s really meant for a group. Aside from one run-in last night that we had, I feel as if the fact that we have 3 or 4 people together is part of what keeps us fairly safe in the PvP waters. Solo sloops will usually avoid the bigger ships if they can, and I have seen a few sloops high-tailing it out of our area at the sight of us (though we have no interest in ganking anyone).

The environments are lovely and the water simulation is quite good!

We also had a run-in with a crew from Canada on our second night that turned out to be friendly. They even gave us a bunch of pointers when we told them we were new, and helped us get a key for a chest that gave us some nice loot.

The one incident where we did fall to skirmish, the guys on the ship were very eager to sink anyone they saw – we could hear their voice chat the whole time they were attacking us (we use Discord so they couldn’t hear us). Despite that, we’re still extremely new, so while we did take out a couple of them who boarded, in the end they sank us and sent us to the Ferryman.

Ironically, we had absolutely zero loot as we’d just come back to port to turn stuff in and were puzzling over our next quest. They saw me carrying an empty chicken coop back to our ship, and I heard someone exclaim, “They’re carrying good shit!” right before I took a sniper shot that nearly killed me.

They still got the enjoyment of PKing us, though once we started to return the favor, voice chat on their ship turned into, “I’m on our ship alone, they’re coming and I need help, dude!” And then disappointment as they realized all we had was a bunch of cannonballs and no loot worth mentioning. That was a minor comfort. 🙂

The night wasn’t a total waste as our ship respawned at port on a random island. We explored it, earned a number of commendations, and found a shipwreck right along side it that we explored for some gems, which we brought back for a bit of gold. And that’s pretty much how a session goes.

The thing with Sea of Thieves is to always expect a mission to take longer than you’d think. There’s so many random things that can happen when you’re out there, that things are rarely cut and dry, even on an easy starter mission. Our very first night we had a ghost ship attack us and it resulted in a mutual sinking since we were absolutely new to it all. We were close enough to port when our ship sank that I was able to swim out to retrieve our loot and turn it in anyhow. No real loss!

We also had the “pleasure” of having an accidental run-in with one of the world events (we didn’t know what it was at the time) – Captain Flameheart.

We found a random quest that sent us into the fray of ghost ships, and while I felt it was a bad idea (as the one captaining the ship), the rest of the crew wanted me to go for it. It was an interesting event that ended in our death and Flameheart taunting us from afar for the rest of the time the event was live.

Unlike some ship-based MMOs, your ship is not a mainstay in Sea of Thieves. This is something I found interesting. As I said earlier, you choose your ship type when you first log into a session, so the size and make varies depending on your crew.

If your ship sinks, it just respawns somewhere else on the map, though you do lose all the cargo and supplies you found. Helpful mermaids appear in the ocean that will port you to your ship wherever it is, should it be sent far away. And if you ever die, you will return back to your ship from the Ferryman.

You can customize the look of the ship – which I haven’t played with much yet due to the fact I don’t have the gold to do so. But I’m going to assume whomever is the captain can accessorize the ship and it looks that way each time you start a play session.

Missions reward gold and renown with the factions. Those are things that carry over between sessions and that you do not lose upon death. So, to be fair, getting ganked is more a frustration and loss of time than it is a loss of property.

There are also seasons to this game, which we’re too new to understand much about.

For the most part, we’re treating this like an exploration and sailing game. There’s much about it to enjoy – such as the visuals, customization, the sailing and exploration elements, and playing music together!

The Crew in Music Mode

I doubt I’ll ever be super serious about it, and it’s certainly not a game I want to tackle solo – it’s something to play with friends. But it does help scratch the sailing-game itch I get from time to time, which is why I usually volunteer to sail the ship – and if I’m not sailing, I’m navigating.

So I guess we’ll be the friendly crew of pirate explorers whenever it strikes us to sail into the Sea of Thieves.