My shipmate theflamey has touched on the origins of our discovering Sea of Thieves and the lengths we’ve collectively gone to in order to be able to play together so I won’t get into that too much. I will say that it’s been really cool getting online and sailing with my best friends as we’ve not played online for a good while and it’s a good way of keeping in touch with them when it’s not possible to see each other, one of the disadvantages of growing up is that there’s less time for gaming sessions in person.
Anyway back to the game. My first jaunt was on my own as I wanted to try to get a little bit of a feel for the game before playing it in a group, it did not go as smoothly as I would have hoped. The initial fannying around on the island collecting supplies was simple enough, stock up on bananas, wooden planks and cannon balls were easy to figure out. It took me a little bit of effort to figure out how to equip my weapons, probably longer than I should, but once that was sorted I was ready to set to sail. This is when things started to go sideways, between juggling the anchor, the sails and the steering I managed to twat my ship into an island and proceeded to balls up the repairs so it sank. At this point I logged off as the others had successfully installed the game so it was time to sail together, the bad news is that the servers were overloaded so that put an end to any adventuring for that day.
Days 2 and 3 were our first voyages together and I have to say it was bloody good fun figuring the game out with my two best friends. We bought some gold hoarders quests to start with and popped to the ship to set sail. We got used to the ship and what was need to set sail, I kept away from steering but helped with the sails, anchor and navigation, The John was in charge of the steering and Flamey was helping with steering, sails, navigation and the anchor. Once we landed on the first island with buried treasure it became apparent that Flamey was some kind of rain man when it came to locating the buried treasure, he was pretty special at finding those chests. I, on the other hand, was pretty amazing at falling overboard, falling out of the crows nest and getting east and west confused, I was mostly alright at the game but at the same time, I was clumsy as hell. We did a few gold hoarder missions and built up a little money to buy more quests and just generally found our feet while avoiding any naval warfare as yet as we weren’t very sure of ourselves, we did sail off the map at one point though which didn’t end well.
Days 4 and 5 were both two-man crew voyages, Flamey on the first and The John on the second. The Flamey and I did a few Order of Souls quests, some of which where the enemies were really quite strong. This is where we sussed out a pretty handy tactic – basically, one person heads onshore and leads the skeletons to the beach nearest the ship while the other person stays on the ship and peppers said beach with the cannons which seems to help quite a bit. We also discovered that you could level up the Merchant Alliance by finding items, such as gunpowder barrels which could be sold and all in all it was an educational session. The voyage with The John was a learning experience from a different perspective, we did the usual quest stuff but we also got a bit braver and started actually engaged a little with other players. We got involved in a couple of ship battles and we came off best and got hammered pretty equally. From a personal standpoint I find the sloop easier to work with than the galleon, less firepower but it’s a lot more manoeuvrable and easier to bail after getting hit (to a point), it’d be interesting to work with a fully crewed galleon though, it feels like there needs to be a third ship in between the sloop and galleon for a three or four-man crew.
We’ve had a few more voyages since then, I’ve gotten quite good with the cannon and we’ve had a few more battles which we’d done quite well in overall. We also had one situation where we approached an anchored sloop and Flamey jumped overboard and seized control of it, sailing it out into deeper waters. Unfortunately, the sailors warped back onto the boat (as per the merman game mechanic, which is actually very useful), he did display some astute piracy though and made off with some booty while getting out of there. We also had this happen to us but fortunately, we make a point of hiding our ill-gotten gains so when the merman warped us back to our ship we were able to chase the interlopers off before they could make off with our treasure. We’ve also played with a fourth member of the crew and early impression is it’s not really his kind of game as he wasn’t exactly the most helpful crewmate we’ve had thus far but again it was cool to be able to chat to him. This is the thing about the game currently, it’s something of an interactive chat room with a limited amount to do. With that being said this isn’t a bad thing currently as it’s not got boring yet and getting to chat with my friends regularly while gaming is a lot of fun. In closing, I still fall off the boat far more often than I should though.
by Lopez the Buccaneer, age 36ish
Categories: Gaming Blogs