If you pre-ordered Sea of Thieves you could play the weekend before I left for the Ukraine. It was a server stress test if you like. I was a few days away from leaving my home and my loved ones for 5 weeks, so Player 2 and I decided to nest. We ordered our favourite food, pre-ordered the game and spent the weekend playing. This was our quality time and also our final time together before the longest period of time we’d be apart. That weekend was full of hysterically funny adventures that I’d rather not try repeat. I think he did it extremely well in his own piece of writing which you can read here.
And then I left the country.
The open beta happened after I’d been in the Ukraine for a few days. I was home sick and adjusting to a strange new country. So Player 2 suggested we play. We spent a good few hours sailing the seas and collecting treasure. A week later the game officially launched and we set sail again. This time employing one of our best friends to join our crew so we could sail a Galleon. We almost immediately voted to throw him in the brig and then danced around his character giggling. We followed that up by picking up a message in a bottle and following its instructions. This found us on an island with some brutal skeletons and it took us around 30 minutes to lure them to the beach and destroy them with canon balls. We ate a lot of bananas in that fight and were rewarded with glowing skulls that fetched us a pretty penny once sold.
Somewhere during this particular voyage we were attacked by a Kraken. For some absurd reason I truly believed I could sail away, so while Player 2 screamed for us to man the cannons I was adamant I could steer. Following a short argument I was promptly grabbed by said Kraken and eaten. I still haven’t heard the end of that one. We eventually got away and celebrated our lumo glowing skull bounty and Kraken survival by heading to the outpost drinking hole where we let our pirate characters get drunk and vomit on each other. Then we danced.
For a brief moment it felt like I was back in my lounge giggling with the people who mean the most to me. It was like being at home and the tinge of home sickness had a brief respite.
A few days ago we pulled my brother into the mix.
It was time for my brother to be initiated into the pirate fold. We gave him our usual welcome by tossing him in the brig for a short while before we began our adventure. Unfortunately, my brother is somewhat of a loose cannon. It started with him literally firing himself out of a cannon and continued when he found a wailing chest and brought it back to our ship. It cried, we filled with water and some shouting ensued. After an hour of slogging it and trying to find treasure (while constantly having to stop to fetch my brother who kept jumping off the boat) we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. 4 lumo green pirate skulls, a bounty discovered in a sinking ship and a good few chests to our name – we headed back to the nearest outpost.
At about this time my friend GeeMax messaged me to ask how much money I’d made as a pirate. Thinking I’d done rather well I told him. The response was embarrassing. In far less time Gee had accumulated substantial wealth from pirating other ships and stealing their goodies. Around this time we spotted another ship. As Player 2 and I debated the pros and cons of attacking them for their loot my brother quietly left the ship. Turns out he didn’t feel the need to share his master plan with us which included boarding the other ship while holding gun powder. They shot at him and blew themselves and the ship up. However, one of their party remained and so, he boarded our ship, shot the gun powder we had and blew us all up as well.
We were revived, returned to the outpost and then spent a considerable amount of time swimming around the bottom of the ocean where we found our lost loot. Only the server glitched and we couldn’t pick it up. Much swearing at my brother ensued. An important lesson was learnt here too. Never try compete with GeeMax. You’ll lose.
I love Sea of Thieves
Every moment playing this game has resulted in giggles and laughs. It is my connection to home and in my darkest days of loneliness when I really just miss those faces I love – this is the game that I turn to. Its like heading to your favourite bar with friends only we’re on the internet. Every time I’ve played it it has presented a glorious adventure.
But the rest of the internet disagrees.
I’ve had to sit on my hands when scrolling through my twitter feed watching the rants. I’ve taken them personally. So let’s address them:
There is no progression system – I know. No one said there would be. In fact, you will never be able to buy a bigger and better ship or bigger and better weapon. You can earn more money and buy cosmetic enhancements. That’s it. The whole point is that when we’re on the sea we’re all equal. We’re all pirates. Want to be a better pirate? Then be a better pirate. You ain’t progressing anywhere. The annoyance of having a complete n00b steal your loot and get away with it based on dumb luck only, kind of makes the game appeal to me.
It is a lot of the same thing and gets boring fast – I sort of disagree here. It is a lot of the same thing but you can change it up. Take GeeMax, instead of heading out on quests he chooses to rob other players. Not much of the same for him then. Some of the guys I work with on this side of the world prefer to hang out at the outpost and hide away till ships dock to sell their wares. They jump them and steal the loot. Me? I like to do a bit of both. And yes, sometimes running away from snakes and collecting wooden planks gets monotonous. But I’ve always found that as I start feeling like maybe it is too much of the same thing something happens that pulls my focus and gets me excited again.
Sea of Thieves is only fun playing with friends – Yes. Most games are to be honest. But for me, this is the full appeal of the game. It is my time to play with friends. We can take it seriously or get drunk at an outpost. It is just our time.
The game is glorious to look at, the motion of the boat on the sea is something spectacular and for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. Maybe my current life circumstances have crafted a game experience that others don’t share. Maybe on my return to South Africa the game won’t bring the same joy to me that it does now. I don’t know. But right now, Sea of Thieves fills my heart with joy every time I fire it up. It has been worth every penny it cost (also, thanks Player 2, who purchased it for me as a gift). I love it and it makes me sad that others don’t feel the same way.