Sea of Thieves, what a solid game it is despite its lack of content. It’s one of the only games that I religiously play at the moment, or at least on a weekly basis, that is. Now, I don’t want to be too harsh on its absence of content because to be fair, the game is somewhat deeper than it was when it first launched. Upon release, there was very little for players to do outside of pleasing three vendors, ship on ship combat and the occasional skull fort. Now, however, new and interesting mechanics are being added to the game on a regular basis.
We’ve had a new AI threat in the form of a range of Megalodons, there’s some new items that players can equip and make use of, and then there’s the bi-weekly events that offer unique rewards for those that chase after them. So, what’s the problem? Well, my problem sits with the game’s world. You see, Sea of Thieves is set to soon welcome in its second large content drop; Cursed Sails. The first large content drop arrived in the form of The Hungering Deep, which pulled in the aforementioned Megalodon with a light story included.
For me, someone who has been playing the game since launch, I have to say that I have been left somewhat shocked that Rare hasn’t built upon the world’s story very much. When The Hungering Deep was merely days from arriving, Rare threw in Merrick, a drunken pirate that was mumbling about the arrival of the “Hungering One” for days on end. This was pretty much all that players had to go on until eventually, Merrick sobered up on the content’s launch and began finally making more sense. That, was the base limit of his use.
I was willing to forgive this seeing as though the game was barely two months old when that content dropped, but now that Cursed Sails is nearly upon us (July 31st), I’m in a much less forgiving mood. There’s been no build-up to the content within Cursed Sails whatsoever. Cursed Sails will introduce skeleton ships, a time-limited story, a new ship type – the brigantine, and a few more additions to round off the content. My question is, where is the world’s dynamic story telling? Sea of Thieves is perfectly suited for it, but it seems absent.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see the occasional shipwrecked brigantine popping up? Or maybe some wreckages of the brigantine washed up on some islands? Even some standard shipwrecks with skeleton remains within? Perhaps the addition of a few skeleton arms emerging from the ocean bed near islands and outposts? Or some skeleton-themed ships floating lifelessly in the ocean? Additions like this would go far to introduce Cursed Sails and would certainly go towards forming a premise before the story makes its way to shore.
Sure, these few ideas would hardly change up the game, but it gives players some excitement in the heat of the moment. Maybe we’ll see something within the same week that Cursed Sails arrives, much like how Merrick appeared before The Hungering Deep, but Sea of Thieves deserves more than that. We need to be seeing these neat little additions at least a month prior to content launch, with new nods and winks added in each and every weekly update, if for anything to make Sea of Thieves’ large vast world much more dynamic.
The content to arrive after Cursed Sails is known as Forsaken Shores, which is penned in for a September release. Forsaken Shores will introduce a perilous new section of the map; a volcanic area that will be filled with danger and difficult to voyage. My guess is that this new section of the map will be introduced to the far east and will account for why the most eastern part of the map is so dark and cloudy in comparison to western waters. That’s just my guess, though, so don’t take that at face value. It just makes the most sense in my head.
Still, with that to the side, how neat would it be to see some new map changes closer to the time? Perhaps some lava boils below the ocean? Some new lava-created mini islands popping up to signify the arrival of the new map section? Or even bubbling water effects to account for the heated temperature differences that the new map section will bring with it? We’ve seen a lot of strange rock formations popping up lately, so Rare could even tie that to the Forsaken Shores? Who knows? What I do know is that these are missed opportunities.
Rare would do well to start implementing changes like this to keep the world engaging, exciting and evolving. I know that there’s some minor changes to the world here and there, but nothing significant enough to make the small adjustments stand out, or even, at times, make much sense. Fortnite does an incredible job with its world story-telling, hell, just look at the several weekly map changes in season four, just to introduce the theme of season five. Sea of Thieves would massively benefit from this sort of fascinating world-building.
I would love to see some new secrets thrown in on a regular basis too, or even something just to explain the adventures that the world has seen so far. Would it not be cool to see the washed up skeleton remains of the Megalodon at Devil’s Ridge? Complete with a stone painting to tell the story of The Hungering Deep? Thrown in simply to signify that players, at one point, gathered together to overcome this gigantic threat. I’d even take a Megalodon skeleton enemy that patrols the water in which we fought the Megalodon in the first place. Yes, these are tiny additions that wouldn’t make the world of difference, but it would be a nice nod towards the plot.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ragging on the game here, but I know I’m not alone when I say that this sort of design choice would go down well with the game’s fans, myself included. I love the game, I cant get enough of it. But I do want to see more effort spared for the world’s overall storytelling. Hopefully we see something like this further down the lines. What about you? Do you play the game? Would you like to see some extra meat on the world’s bones in the long run? Sound off in the comments below to make yourselves heard.