Guys, I’m starting to become a bit concerned about Sea of Thieves.
Last week, I listed it as one of the games that I’m definitely looking forward to playing when it comes out on the 20th, but I’ll have to admit that a lot of enthusiasm for this multiplayer pirate game is bleeding off. My three biggest concerns right now are thusly:
- That there isn’t enough content to provide a deep and long-lasting experience, especially without many typical forms of progression. The team is putting a LOT of weight on rep grinding for cosmetics as the key carrot here, as there will not be any stats, usable loot, levels, character talents, and the like. We know that Rare held back on showing all of its content in the open beta, so I think it is prudent to reserve judgment on this.
- That this title is ripe for off-the-hook griefing that goes above and beyond the PvP encounters that the dev team envisioned. Wolfy lays out a good argument here from his personal experience.
- That the devs don’t even trust players to make their own pirates but have inexplicably turned the character creator into a random pirate generator from which you will choose your toon.
This last one might be the most inconsequential when compared to the first two, but it’s also the point that gets me the angriest. I watched this recent dev video in which the team kept patting themselves on the back for this system, defending its inclusion because sliders are hard and they’d been working on it for four years.
Do you think we are too delicate to handle sliders? Are there solid metrics out there showing gamers who get to a character creation screen and get so frustrated at picking their own looks that they run from the computer screaming? And do you not see the hypocrisy in advertising this as a game where players can be the pirate of their choosing when you don’t trust the player to be the pirate that they perhaps really want to be?
Actual quote from the devs on this:
“We wanted a way to get cool characters in the game without making a million sliders and toggles and a way for everyone to have a cool character that represents themselves even if they have no artistic skill.”
Yes, because there is NO OTHER GOOD WAY for players to create a personalized character unless you thrust mandatory RNG into our faces. Which, by the way, pretty much all MMOs offer anyway if you want to randomize your look. It’s not a new thing. It shouldn’t take you four years to do. And it’s stupid that this is the only path to picking your character, because now we are all going to have to repeatedly reroll the looks until the game somehow guesses what would best represent us.
The studio also seems to think that this will speed up the entry into the actual game, which ignores that (a) some of us really do enjoy character creation and (b) we’re only going to be sitting there hitting refresh on the generator for the same amount of time that it would take to pick and choose our looks.
Or as one commenter said, “How can I be the pirate I want to be with an RNG system? With that type of system I’ll be the pirate I pick after giving up looking for the pirate I want to be.”
It’s so insulting and condescending that it boggles the mind. And here Rare is just grinning as if this is the best thing ever, because it knows that we gamers would hurt ourselves if we got real scissors instead of the rounded ones that can’t cut butter.