Sea of Thieves is dodging the enlargement downside

New content material can, surprisingly sufficient, be a double-edged sword for on-line video games. Everybody loves attending to log in and open their favourite recreation to search out new character courses, dungeons, or worlds to discover. However new content material typically invalidates all the things that got here earlier than. World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto On-line are each vastly well-liked video games that wrestle with this downside: The most recent content material is all the time the very best, and the remainder will be forgotten. Uncommon’s pirate recreation, Sea of Thieves, has neatly dodged this downside, and the most recent replace ensures the complete sea is price crusing.

Sea of Thieves’ preliminary technique was to launch occasional expansions, after which began working a month-to-month replace schedule. Now Uncommon has totally switched to a three-month seasonal mannequin. The map is usually unchanged, save for the brand new Satan’s Roar, a volcanic area that sometimes showers gamers with fiery meteors. That is an opt-in onerous mode for plucky gamers, as a result of you can’t spawn there. Gamers must deliberately sail throughout the map and enter the area. The whole lot else added in these seasons is constructed on the prevailing recreation world.

Uncommon goals to make all content material viable with seasons, so gamers don’t must repeat one precious voyage or occasion repeatedly. In GTA On-line, gamers can do older enterprise content material, however there’s no level if they’ll spam the Cayo Perico Heist for hundreds of thousands of {dollars} for much less effort. In Sea of Thieves, although, gamers will progress their seasonal content material by doing something, and might earn all rewards by fishing, killing krakens, or finishing the sport’s Tall Tales — no PVP or harmful occasions required.

Sea of Thieves - a player investigates a map from the Merchant Alliance, which shows the location of some lost treasure.

Uncommon: Microsoft Sport Studios

Seasons may also develop tales as Uncommon updates the sport. Beforehand, new lore would arrive in expansions or month-to-month occasions. Gamers watched Stitcher Jim arrive as a brand new NPC, uncovered his villainy, after which watched him each be a part of after which betray the Bilge Rats. The rise of Lord Flameheart was informed by the sport’s Tall Tales quest system. Gamers might keep in mind the months-long strategy of the Reaper’s Bones taking up an island and ultimately changing into their very own, PVP-focused faction. Future enemies, just like the Grand Maritime Union, can be constructed up by future seasons.

Mike Chapman, inventive director at Uncommon, spoke to Polygon in a name. He estimated it’ll take about 40-50 hours for gamers to work by 100 ranges of the season, however most seasonal gadgets can be added to the in-game actual cash retailer as soon as the season is completed, giving folks an opportunity to catch up. A number of issues, like tattoos or a ship flag, will stay locked to the season, as a approach of claiming “I used to be there.”

Joe Neate, govt producer of Sea of Thieves, additionally defined how Uncommon will construct on seasons over time. “Seasons is the baseline for what Sea of Thieves can be shifting ahead,” He stated. “Every season, we plan to launch with new issues that change the sandbox with new adventures and issues to do.” Sea of Thieves has three core groups, and every one is engaged on seasonal content material.

Whereas increasing the map and having a continuing array of latest areas could be extra thrilling on the floor, it might additionally cheapen the remainder of the world that Uncommon has spent so lengthy constructing. By layering new actions on prime of acquainted areas, gamers have a purpose to return to Thieves’ Haven or Sanctuary Outpost on their adventures. The Seasons system reduces the motivation to only spam essentially the most precious attainable voyages within the Satan’s Roar, and incentivizes the straightforward joys of catching an enormous fish and cooking it.

Whereas some video games are increasing their map additional and additional to incorporate new continents or cities, Sea of Thieves is remaining targeted on the world we’ve been crusing by for the final three years. By making every area so dense and stuffed with potential hazard, Uncommon can keep away from making issues boring. Seasons appears to be a great way to proceed the formulation Sea of Thieves has developed to date, whereas bringing again previous content material just like the Skeleton Thrones or regional ship battles. Uncommon says that the sport is at present at its hottest but, so 2021 appears to be a good time to be a pirate.

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