Sea of Thieves’ Gunpowder Skeleton Event is OK, But the Next Event Sounds Better

Sea of Thieves’ second timed event is now finally upon us. I say timed event instead of weekly event because, well, each event will come with its own unique time allocation based on the depth of its content. The first event was titled Skeleton Thrones and had players travelling the seas in order to locate some deviously stationed thrones. Once located, players would need to fire themselves from their ship’s cannons to reach them and then sit on them, with or without players from other crews, based on each individual throne.

It was a fun piece of content, however, it went on to highlight one glaring issue. This event was active for roughly two weeks in total. There were ten thrones that players needed to reach; five of which could be sat on by a single pirate, whereas the other five needed a mixture of at least two pirates from two crews. This led to quite a few players aimlessly sitting in a larger throne, in the hopes that another crew would pass by and spend a chunk of time reaching the throne to help their fellow gamer out. Fun, indeed, but frustrating.

Marauder’s Arch, for example, housed a throne that was very tough to reach. Many players did this in the first few days of the event, leaving stray players at the mercy of other player’s kindness. It didn’t help matters that Marauder’s Arch is situated on the far north-west corner of the map, a place that’s tucked out of the way and sees very little interaction unless players need to voyage there. It wouldn’t have been so bad if this was a throne that required just one player from one crew to unlock, but sadly, that just wasn’t the case.

Either way, for what it was, I rather enjoyed it. I think Rare pinned too much hope that players would openly engage with one another, much like what was present in The Hungering Deep, but the end result wasn’t quite as team-esque. Before we move on, it’s worth pointing out that players can still access these thrones and unlock the accompanying Bilge Rat currency, but the timed cosmetics that came tied to that specific event are now long gone. With that out of the way, players can now look forward to Gunpowder Skeletons.

The Gunpowder Skeleton event is now active and will run until July 10th. The Bilge Rat vendor has a new stock of skeleton-themed weapon skins up for grabs, which again, will no longer be available once the event reaches its conclusion. In order to purchase these items, players will need to spend Doubloons. Doubloons are exclusive to the Bilge Rat vendor and can only be earned through completing their tasks. Much as you would expect, Doubloons can be earned in bits and pieces via participating in the newly released timed event.

Despite how much I enjoy playing Sea of Thieves, I have to say, the Gunpowder Skeleton event is playing it a bit safe, if you ask me. The event introduces a new skeleton behavior, being that skeletons will now often spawn holding a Gunpowder Barrel. If you get too close, the skeletons will blow you up via lighting a fuse, which is a function that players can now take advantage of too. There’s a total of fifteen Bilge Rat tasks to work towards. However, these tasks are far from what I would describe as innovative or even particularly exciting.

The tasks include blowing up a group of bone skeletons, leaf skeletons, gold skeletons and shadow skeletons. Players will need to blow up at least three skeletons in one go by shooting the skeleton that’s holding the Gunpowder Barrel. Do this three times for each skeleton type and you’ll unlock one of the aforementioned fifteen tasks, per-type. Do this ten times for each skeleton type and you’ll unlock another task, again, per-type. It’s very simple stuff and can be nuked when taking on a fort or any given Order of Souls voyage.

There’s a few additional tasks present that helps to spice things up a bit. This includes the likes of causing a chain-reaction by blowing up two or more skeletons holding Gunpowder Barrels, or another, blowing up skeletons at a fort whilst another crew is present. The latter, for me at least, is proving far too much trouble than it’s worth. My first attempt saw me completely hammered by a full Galleon crew before I could so much as utter a word. My second attempt, I managed to pop off a shot before, again, getting owned once more.

Sadly, I couldn’t manage a third attempt because the fort became inactive quite swiftly, which I’m guessing is due to it being much easier to flood out thanks to the exploding skeletons. There’s a few hours wait between each active fort appearance, which means in order to fulfill that specific task, which needs to be done twenty times in total, I’ll need to put in some considerable time and effort for the grand total of twenty Doubloons. It’s annoying that the hardest task falls to the kindness and the mindsets of other players.

Hopefully, moving forward, we see less strenuous tasks when it comes to crew-by-crew activities. I don’t mind them, don’t get me wrong, but I would be lying if I said I was actually having fun at moments like this. The problem here is that when a fort is active, the prospect of all of that fort-loot largely outweighs the twenty Doubloons, so a fight is pretty much what you can expect to contend with. This, I suspect will only become more of a problem as time moves on and more crews complete the requirements. Still, it’s nice to see new tasks.

I don’t want to come across like I’m bashing the game because I truly enjoy it. I’ve spent more time on Sea of Thieves than any other game in the last year. Though, there’s absolutely no denying that this event plays it too close to the chest. Why? Because we’re literally just doing what we would usually do when playing the game, with the addition of skeletons picking up explosives. It has its fun moments, for sure, and there’s certainly something appealing about watching the bone-heads go KA-BOOM in rapid succession.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s an OK event and offers something to pass the time. Though, it doesn’t have a scratch on Skeleton Thrones, which was at least unique. On the flip-side, the next event sounds much better. Titled “The Sunken Curse”, players will be tasked with exploring the depths as part of the next adventure. Little is known about the event outside of that, but I’ve pointed out time and time again that underwater exploration is a must, so it’s nice to see that this is likely to play a small role in a few weeks time.

I’ve still got quite a bit to unlock as far as the new Bilge Rat tasks go. I don’t suspect I’ll have any luck completing forts to get that one fabled task. It’s not difficult in concept, but it’s most definitely something that can only be achieved at the discretion of another players attitude. Let’s hope that The Sunken Curse plays on the game’s mysterious elements and has us seeking out lore or participating in a scavenger hunt. Have you had fun with the event? What do you think will be included in the next event? Hit the comments below.

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Howdy folks! Now, as of July 23rd, 2019, I no longer operate here at Xbox Tavern. It was one hell of a ride; creating this, building this, and operating it for several years, but, we all hit a proverbial point that encourages us to move on, and that's what I've done; handing the reigns to the very capable Jamie. Want to keep in touch? My Gamertag is Kaloudz Peace! Love to you all, Mark!

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