Sea of Thieves – The Hungering Deep and Why Time-Limited Campaigns Are Good for the Game
Sea of Thieves released for PC and Xbox back in March. Sam wrote a post about it, and how her opinion differed from the entire internet. I’ll admit I was never hyped about this game leading up to the launch. I was not won over by this game after launch either.
That All Changed About 2 Months Ago
Sam mentioned in her post how the game is better with friends. That is entirely true. But even more important is which friends you play it with. I jumped into a crew with friends on the launch day. I hated every second of gameplay and deleted the game shortly after an hour of play time. The crew dynamic didn’t suit me, and I felt like I didn’t belong (I was still trying to learn the ropes while the other crew members had been playing the beta for months).
Enter the Crew of The Drop All Anchors Galley Gang…
I have never had so much fun or laughed as much as I do while playing a game than I have with Galley Gang. Nothing is taken seriously and everything is for the lols (I’d also like to point out that our captain is the best boat drifter to ever live).
About The Hungering Deep
Now I’ve got my ship, I’ve got my crew and my newly found obsession with completing Order of the Souls bounties. With the highly criticised lack of story progression, there isn’t much more to do than grind towards reaching Pirate Legendstatus (which looks totally worth it by the way. I met a Pirate Legend while on this adventure and had to take a selfie! I need that fancy swag in my pirate life).
The Sea of Thieves team have been working hard on new content to add to the game – The Hungering Deep being the first addition. This was supposed to be the response to the lack of campaign and story progression complaints. Hints leading towards a boss being added to the game, new items to collect and an emphasis on teamwork, we were excited about the release (although all GeeMax really wanted was to be able to change the Galley’s flag colours).
By the time you’re reading this, The Hungering Deep has already left the game as it was a time-limited campaign that was only in the game for 2 weeks. I’ve covered a brief outline of the adventure below for those who might have missed it;
Tackling the Hungering Deep…
The pirate we met in the trailer was Merrick, the centre point that the entire campaign unfolded around. When you spawned in at any Tavern (the starting point of each session), you’d be accompanied by a drunken bilge rat named Duke. Like other NPCs, you could have a chat with him and he’d tell you where to find Merrick if you were looking for an adventure.
So off you go on your quest to find this dude named Merrick just because it’s something different from the usual grind.
You follow a set of riddles and clues from islands (both charted and uncharted) to outposts, collecting pieces from Merrick’s journals. Every so often you’d return to him on the beach of Shark Bait Cove for further instructions or rewards. My favourite part was that keeping the pirate feel of the game, most of the location names are muddled up as if heard from a drunken pub story.
New Gear and Cosmetics
Like most game updates, The Hungering Deep came with new cosmetics to purchase, as well as some new equipment. These cosmetics are still available even though the event is over for those still looking to purchase any of the Shark Hunter swag.
Another new feature is that if you climb up into your ship’s crow’s nest you’ll find a Ship Customisation Box. This is where you can set the colours your flags are flying. More flags can be bought from the Shipwright Shop.
The speaking trumpet and drums are the two new items that are added to your utility wheel as you progress on this adventure. These are also available in-game now that the campaign has come to an end (I’m writing this ahead of jumping back into the game so will update you on how you can acquire these if you aren’t automatically given them).
What Do They Do, You Ask?
The speaking trumpet, as the name suggests, allows you to speak to other ships (the aim is to promote camaraderie and teamwork rather than the typical fight or flight response we get when seeing another ship on this horizon).
We had some great fun with this trumpet during our quest. So much fun we ended up with a 3 galleon, 2 sloop travelling party (we basically shouted at any nearby ships telling them exactly where we were going at any given point). Most of the time it was to Shark Bait Cove. I’ve also had some really great experiences with the trumpet during general gameplay, like pretending to be the police pulling other sloops over or asking other crews if they want to build snowmen.
The drums are a new instrument. They were required to spawn the hungering deep (which by the way, is a Megalodon AKA really big shark).
Moving Forward With New Content
This small content update proved how much depth there can be to this game.
The quest with all its puzzles and riddles wasn’t too long or too difficult that it made me lose interest. Some might argue that it might have been too short. Personally, I’d rather have several smaller adventures (which is clearly the intention) that each take an hour (90 minutes max) than something that takes up an entire evening.
There are also two empty slots remaining in our utility wheel. I’m sure the Sea of Thieves team has a purpose for in future additions.
Speaking of Future Additions…
Sea of Thieves unveiled the two next DLCs coming soon during the Xbox E3 Press Conference on Sunday, 10 June.
Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores will be coming to the game later this year, each bringing their own unique additions to the game.
Cursed Sails will be another time-limited campaign. This will add crews of skeletons to the seas, as well as a 3 man ship (finally). Forsaken Shores will add a rowing boat and a new volcanic area to the map. This area is supposedly going to be tough for even veteran pirates to navigate (They can bring it! Beetle001 and I have become a well-oiled machine! We’re so in sync we took down a 4 man galleon while only taking one hit in our sloop).
Why I Welcome The Time-Limited Campaigns Over “Expansion Pack” DLCs…
Sea of Thieves is a living breathing world where no two game sessions are ever the same. Regardless of how good you think you’ve become, it just takes one voyage to test you. Even running into a Pirate Legend crew can cut you back down to size. The Hungering Deep added something new to do a handful of times. Adding it as permanent DLC would have been a waste. Yes, newer players miss out on the experience, but that adds a level of “real life pirate stories“. My personal favourite (for now) will be telling the story about “that time we had to play the drum for what felt like 5 hours on the trip to summon the Megladon”.
Once you’ve completed the campaign enough times (whether you’re trying out new strategies or helping friends with their first attempt) you go back to the normal day-to-day pirate shenanigans.
I’d love to hear your Sea of Thieves adventure stories so please share them with me in the comments or on Twitter! I’ve had some of the most fun in my gaming history with this game and I cannot wait to play these next additions.
For now, this has been Beatrice Cackle Fruit of the Drop All Anchors Galley Gang, who is signing off to go hunt down more skulls.
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