When it comes to fan requests and feedback, Sea of Thieves is no stranger. Since launch, fans and outlets alike have put forward their opinions on what would make the game a better, more refined experience. When Sea of Thieves launched, one major criticism is that it was lacking in content and didn’t have a very in-depth pool of activities to soak up. I echoed this in my own review of the game and to Rare’s credit, they’ve been working around the clock – and continue to do so – to build upon the otherwise excellent initial experience.
The game launched with little else than three vendors that typically require that you do the same thing over and over again, be it dig for loot, kill for skulls or play go-for. Timed activities were also in place, such as the Skull Forts or the Kraken encounter, but outside of that, that was pretty much the bulk of the game. Since then, Rare has added time-limited campaigns known as The Hungering Deep, Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores, as well as limited-time events, kick-started by Skeleton Thrones.
Sea of Thieves is certainly built for the long run. Rare has a total of four internal teams actively working on content via a queue-based rotation. This means that the teams will work on their content drops, release their content drops and then move behind the other three developers to work on something new, ready for when those developers have released their content – rinse and repeat. This will always ensure that something fresh and exciting will be thrown into the game, with limited-time events filling the gaps in between drops.
What’s interesting is that although the DLC drops are time-limited, most of the content will be left in the game. The Hungering Deep, for example, saw the implementation of a Megalodon. Now that the event is over, Rare released a number of Megalodons into the game. Tools, such as the Speaking Trumpet and the Drum, have also been thrown in permanently, as well as content from Cursed Sails. The same can be said about Skeleton Thrones and other bi-weekly content, being that they will remain in the game indefinitely for those that couldn’t find the time (or patience) to overcome them.
The Cursed Sails threw in a new AI threat – Skeleton Ships – to the world alongside a new ship-type and several other additions, whereas the Forsaken Shores introduced a new area on the map, a rowboat and new activities. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is where things get interesting. Executive Producer Joe Neate took part in a round-table interview a while back regarding the future of the game, seen above. If you skip exactly to the 11 minute mark, you’ll witness Neate teasing a very intriguing piece of info for something that’s possibly coming soon.
Speaking of the future of the game, in particular, the activities that take place “at sea”, Neate said that the team working on Forsaken Shores are working on something that they hoped would be released with that content drop. Neate teases that it’s something that is heavily requested and is an activity that many do out at sea. What could this be? Surely, is has to be fishing. Though, if so, it missed its window seeing as Forsaken Shores is already here. This has easily been one of the most requested features since the game launched in March of this year and assuming that it is fishing, here’s how I personally want it to work.
I think for a game like Sea of Thieves, Animal Crossing should be the perfect template to implement as far as fishing is concerned, but with a few added twists. Sea of Thieves’ ocean is currently divided into four sections; The Shores Of Plenty, The Ancient Isles, The Wilds and Devil’s Roar. Rare would do well to maximize the potential of fishing when it’s presumably added to the game, with each of these locations serving up unique and distinct sea life, possibly by season too.
Fishing rods, I suspect, will only come in one form with several cosmetic variations. However, it would be great to see a handful of different baits that work better on specific fish. I think it goes without saying that a fishing book needs to be added alongside this feature. Fishing in the likes of Animal Crossing and Final Fantasy XV, for instance, is addictive and captivating due to the addition of a fishing book. It allows players to work towards filling something up in a ‘Gotta Catch ’em All’ Pokemon-like sort of way. Let’s not stop there…
Weight and size should also play a role too. This would make for some fun community events, such as who can catch the largest, most heaviest catfish. This should all feed directly into the fishing book so that players can keep track of their fishing achievements, with the Merchant Alliance (or a new vendor) offering more gold per heavier and larger fish. Furthermore, if Rare does indeed throw in a large number of different fish, with rarity and quality serving as a backbone for the function, it’d alleviate some issues with the content.
Or at least, the depth of the game’s content, that is. There’s very little to do when players are at sea, that much has to be said. I can think of nothing more enticing than travelling to each of the four locations in the hopes of nabbing some area-unique sea life. How (or if) Rare plans on adding this in, it would also be great to see them throwing the occasional limited time event too, such as adding temporary special fish to the game to promote its use. There’s a range of possibilities that Rare can run with, so I hope it’s implemented right.
It would also be neat to see Rare throwing in some unique chance rewards through fishing too. Picture fishing for a Carp and pulling up something like the eye patch of a long-dead pirate lord, or a special sea-only chest, or maybe even a dirty old boot. With Rare at the helm I can only picture great things moving forward. Though, in this regard alone, I sure as hell hope they take a leaf out of Animal Crossing’s book and build a system around fishing, rather than just asking us to throw a line and hope for a bite, with little outside of that.
Simply put, I want fish for each area on top of fish that patrol the whole ocean, I want fish weight and height as well as fish rarity, a fishing book to keep track of my achievements and I would absolutely love to see community events thrown in for good measure. What about you? What would you like to see from fishing when it’s inevitably thrown into the game? Do you think Joe Neate has outed the feature via the video at the head of this page? Alternatively, do you think fishing is a bad idea? Feel free to sound off in the comments.