Rare answered some of our most burning questions about the company's upcoming pirate adventure, Sea of Thieves, recently at its studio in the UK.
Sea of Thieves is a shared-world pirate adventure game set in a whimsical ocean full of mystery. You'll plunder piles of loot with your friends, trade goods with merchants, and hunt down the dreaded Kraken, all from the relative comfort of your living room.
Many players have been wondering how character creation works and what pirats will aspire to throughout the game, and we're here to provide the answers.
Sea of Thieves won't have dozens of sliders and dials, allowing you to finely tune the shape of your nose or cheekbones. Instead, Rare has attempted to strike a balance between customizability and accessibility.
When you initially make your character in Sea of Thieves, you will be presented with a carousel of eight, completely randomly generated pirates, pulling from a potential pool of millions. The idea is that no two pirates will look the same, even if, like most players, you simply hit the "play now" button and go with whatever design you're given.
Instead of asking players to do the heavy lifting, spending hours to design a unique and memorable pirate face, Rare will do it for you.
Rare made the point that in many other games of this nature, players often simply stick with the default skin. In a game world that revolves around player-generated lore and personal legends, encountering pirates that look identical 75 percent of the time would potentially infringe upon that idea.
Instead of asking players to do the heavy lifting, spending hours to design a unique and memorable pirate face, Rare will do it for you. But hey, if you're like me and you're the kind of gamer who will spend hours and hours customizing your dude or dudette in Fallout 4 until they look perfect, know that Rare doesn't completely remove control from the player.
Hairstyles, beards, peg legs, hooks, and more transitory cosmetic options will be available in the vanity chest, found on ships or outside clothes shops. Additionally, Rare will let you reroll the pirate generator carousel an infinite number of times until you find the pirate that's right for you. It's important to note too that hitboxes will be normalized, so picking a smaller pirate won't help you.
Be wary though, once you pick, that's it, you become locked in, and that character becomes tied to your gamer tag on Xbox Live. Rare wants player identity to truly matter in Sea of Thieves, to the point where specific players will be recognizable from their character models alone. Your deeds will go with you.
Pirate hideout, legendary voyage "raids"
As you ascend up the ranks of faction rep with the game's various voyage traders, eventually you will be able to find a special hideout, available only to you and crew members you choose to bring there. The exact location of the hideout will be a mystery for players to unravel, but once they have, it'll become their personal hangout, providing access to higher-level quests and more epic-looking gear. The quests obtained via the hideout dubbed the Tavern of Legends, haunted by the ghosts of player pirate's past. The voyages obtained here were described to me as being an approximation to Sea of Thieves' "raid" content, granting the most exclusive outfits and rewards for completing the most difficult missions.
And of course, like all voyages in Sea of Thieves, you will be able to share them with completely new players. Because you're a pirate legend, with access to those more complex quests, you will become a desired player. This will help you on your way to becoming a Pirate Legend. Rare noted that the first player to reach this level could become showcased among the community.
The future: Ship Captaincy
A few months after launch, Rare is planning to drop its first major update, which will bring in a new system called Ship Captaincy. You will gain access to a new ship that will also sport unique forms of customization. Players who encounter you on the seas will know simply by looking at your ship that you're a veteran player. The impressive styles that will come with Legend-level customization should alter the dynamics of your interactions with other players.
Players who have ascended to the hideout and have become Pirate Legends will later be able to become Captains, and this is where Rare will shift the focus from personal Legends over to crew Legends, allowing groups of players to become feared on the high seas, adding in new systems for dedicated teams. This will form part of the future content, as Rare moves the game towards the "Golden Age of Piracy."
Skeleton outpost raids
For those who played in the Alpha or Beta, you might have seen these eerily empty islands that were full of ramparts and abandoned watchtowers, known as outposts on the map. Rare demonstrated how they will work in the full game.
Similarly to supply drops in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or The Division's Dark Zone, a gigantic, foreboding thundering skull cloud will appear above outposts sometimes, as you're sailing across the high seas. That beacon will be viewable for miles in every direction, alerting players to the piles of juicy loot therein.
Inhabited outposts will be swarming with powerful skeletons, requiring players to work together to eliminate the threats at hand. Once you have destroyed the outpost skeleton boss, he will drop a key players can pick up and fight over. Of course, then comes the high-drama of dealing with the loot, as each active outpost will come with a vault, crammed with more chests than any single crew can carry in a single trip.
These outpost raids will be the perfect opportunity for players looking for more PvP-oriented action, no doubt, with potentially huge hauls of loot as a reward. On the flip side, it could help solo players know where to avoid (or if they're brave, sneak in for some brash thievery).
Tons of content
Between these systems, the Kraken fight, trade guilds, tavern quests, dynamic updates, and more, players should find that Sea of Thieves has a huge amount of content and activities for budding buccaneers when the game launches. Rare is aiming to provide a huge array of dynamic, emergent activities for players to uncover as they sail on the perilous Sea of Thieves.
Sea of Thieves launches on March 20th, 2018 for Xbox One and Windows 10 as part of Xbox Play Anywhere for $59.99, or as part of Xbox Game Pass for $9.99 per month.
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