Sea of Thieves to get 'new and improved' quest system with lore soon

Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves (Image credit: Microsoft)

Sea of Thieves is an exploration-based pirate game that features great sailing mechanics, but the open-ended plot doesn't appeal to everyone. You have to find your own path and that doesn't sit well with those who prefer single-player experiences. Luckily, developer Rare is aware of these problems and Executive Producer Joe Neate promised a substantial overhaul of the quest system at the Fun & Serious Festival in Bilbao, Spain.

Neate acknowledged that there was a team working on adding guided goals and more lore to the game. Hopefully the team will take about this soon because that will make the title appeal to many more gamers. Gamereactor managed to get the following response from Neate about this upcoming update.

I think it's fair to say Sea of Thieves at launch appealed to a certain range of players that love that free-form, creativity, having their own adventures in this shared world, and almost our quest system gives you a little nudge but that's not the only thing that you chase. But for some people that want guided goals, they want lore, they want story, we know that we're underserving players, but we've proven that we can do it and that it works in the shared world with campaigns we've done around the Hungering Deep or Cursed Sails where you put lore, put story in. So we've had a team working on basically a new and improved quest system around story and lore in this shared world for quite a while now actually, and it was originally planned to be our fourth update, but we actually moved it back to next year because we wanted to add and grow. We saw the potential in it and we wanted to really, fully do it justice. So yeah, there's a team working on that, has been for quite a while, will be for a little while more, but I think when we bring that into the game it's gonna appeal to those people that want that crafted lore, want that adventure, want that story, and also maybe appealing to single players as well.

While Sea of Thieves doesn't need a lengthy campaign, it does need a strong story to bring players back. Maybe the hunt for an elusive treasure which takes you from island to island is a great idea. We'll keep you posted as soon as we know more about the plot.

Sea of Thieves is currently available for $59.99 through various retailers, but it's free for Xbox Game Pass subscribers. The title runs at native 4K resolution on Xbox One X. The game started off as a rather barebones experience when it first launch, but due to excellent post-launch support, Rare has managed to turn it around.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • I played the beta, and I've been keeping an eye out for the thing that will bring me back to the game. This is a... Start, I guess. I need way more variation before I can return.
  • it was a shockingly bad game, that hasn't really progressed so far. booted it up the other day, and there is still nothing to do.
  • I disagree. It's a different experience every time you play. You can make stuff up and the randomness is always appreciated. Just yesterday my son and his cousin made an adventure out of the rowboats. Crazy stuff and fought a kraken in it. I watch him and others play Fornite which is the same damn repetious stuff over and over again and I don't get it. But I guess thats what the masses want and what sells.
  • Disagree, there's plenty things to do at any time, especially with the latest additions. It's different from more traditional games that hold your hand towards your objectives. But it's a rich world with lots to do.
    From what you say I get that you haven't really played it a lot. I suggest try playing it with a crew, best if they're your friends. That's where the game shines. But you won't find traditional levelling up structures here, it's definitely no Destiny.
  • EVERYTHING is better with friends. At least Destiny is still fun with complete strangers.
  • Even Fallout 76 is better with friends. Having played Sea of Thieves and watched both on streams, it's eerie how similar both games are in regards to leave it up to the players to compensate for the sheer lack of anything to do in both games. More often than not, the entertainment factor of both games boils down to the conversations you have with your mates whilst playing, not actually from the game itself as it gives you hardly anything to use to create fun out of. It's not the game that feels fun or rewarding, it's your mates.
  • You'd be surprised how at least on SoT this is by design. Game elementa are designed precisely for the emergent experience with friends. You might not like it, no game is for everyone (or should), but RARE know what they're doing. One of their guys tweeted some of their design drafts, and they are very thorough, every little element is a decision taken towards a certain experience. And they did a great job.
  • ofc they know what they are doing. Having no stories, real quests and real goal is a lot less work, less effort and less costly.
    Just like the kraken not having a body and having ink to hide that fact is just a short cut designed to reduce development cost.
    I think you're giving them way too much credit. Here they just tell you take a sandbox and some pirate cloths. Go in the box and play pretend pirate with your friends. We are judging the game and not how much we enjoy the company of our friends.
  • Completely ignore sweatshopking’s comment. This person has obviously not played the game much. Sea Of Thieves isn’t a game for the weak stomach. I have been on the alpha test when there wasn’t much in the game and I was very hooked. Making friends and enemies is half the fun! Fast forward to now and there is so so much now. You have skeleton ghost ships everywhere. Meg’s of all sorts trying to eat your ship. Kraken nightmare of pirate joy! Volcano’s of death! Lots and lots of customization including the cannons on your ship. Very neat game. I have been playing every week and I enjoy the game very much! Hell I got Red Dead 2 for Christmas and only played it for a few hours and then felt the virtual sea calling me. Shanties to be played, tails to be told, ships to be sunk, and the many many sweet booty to be robbed!! If you are looking for a crew memeber, remember my name! Aaarrrgg!!
  • Me and a buddy on PC play this game from time to time. At first it was very much learning curve. Game really doesn't tell you much, but that's half the fun. Your a pirate. You do pirate things. You get a map of an island for treasure and you have to use what tools you have to find the treasure. That part of the system is great. The other night we lost our boat but we had our row boat. So we continued on our way with our treasure using only our compass and our general memory of areas on the map. One thing I would like is some sort of leveling. The visual upgrades are great but I feel like the money system is wasted if only used for visual things. I understand that would make it very hard for balancing but I think it would give more people reason to use their money on new guns and clothing. Other than that I'm loving the game.
  • Personally I played around 10 hours of it. My take is that it's great for people who love fetch quests and grinding. Getting to legend pirate or getting all achievements is so much of a grind. It's insane(imo).
  • It's not really designed for grinding, because it has horizontal progress. Quests are really an excuse to get our there and generate emergent adventures. It's not like most games where you escalate in power
  • Well, to become pirate legend or to get all the achievements you need to do a crazy amount of randomly generated fetch quests. Resulting in crazy amount of grinding. I've read somewhere that it takes a ridiculous 10k hours or something crazy like that to achieve all achievements. And it takes 230 hours just to be pirate legend. Have you managed to become pirate legend? The adventure you talk of is just time you spend with friends to get something that was randomly generated to a point on a map.
    Sorry but to me spending time with a friend and enjoy the company of friends can be obtained in so many other games.
    And at least in those games there is a real purpose for doing things. Here I don't see much reasons to grind
  • Any addition to the evolution of the game is welcome. I trust the developers. that said, it sounds like this could bring the game to play more like a normal open world game, or worse, a MMO. Hope I'm wrong, but SoT is special for its uniqueness, and turning it into something else to gain more players wouldn't be right.
  • I preordered the game whilst it was still in beta and still deeply regret paying full price for what's still just a prettied up early access title. I tried getting back into during the Hungering Deep and Cursed Sails events but ultimately the game just felt like the most boring and tedious parts of MMOs stretched out into an entire game. If there was a story or sense of progression to be invested in, maybe the constant, repetitive fetch quests would've been bearable. I really hope the devs decide what sort of game they want SoT to be and try to make it that instead of what is basically just a £30 concept game.
  • Feels like they are desperately chasing after everybody that left. First the arena to get the PvP players back, now this (it's too late) to get the more casual players back. I appreciate the effort but it is too little too late. They should've addressed this instantly, as it was the single biggest complaint about the game. It even was throughout the one and a half years of alpha and beta but they never felt wrong.
  • Improve?? What do you mean I have had so many discussions with "fans" of the games telling me that the game was so great/perfect, GOTY and they wouldn't want anything different.
    Some say that it's great that there were no real quests and no stories... This would be bad news for these people. Unless ofc these people were just puppets who will support whatever they do no matter what they do. And they would find this great. hmm
  • Sea of Thieves is my favorite game of 2018.
  • Not had chance to play since launch but enjoyed it very much. Need to get back into it again soon, just worried i'll get griefed constantly whilst learning the ropes again. Need a crew of newbies like me. GT Ian Rhodes
  • It's not that bad, but well, on update launch games it's full, and more people means more jerks.