We’ve seen videos, stories, and other details of the mechanics, but what about Sea of Thieves multiplayer? The latest Inn-Side Story video from the development team offers up a briefing on how the team is approaching the problems of a multiplayer sandbox and making an online game that’s friendly.
Executive producer Joe Neate is at the table with senior designer Shelley Preston as the two discussed the direction Sea of Thieves has taken in terms of its online world. Initially, the game had mechanics of more “open” sandboxes such as friendly fire, but the devs soon learned that no rules meant bare little cooperation.
“You were always waiting for the knife in your back. It wasn’t a rare thing that we thought it would be. It happened all the time,” said Preston. “We made the design choice to switch to an ethos where the crew bond is absolutely sacred. [Add] other people and other crews and that’s where you get the pirating thing. That’s where you get the knife in the back.”
The video also touches on new things that were revealed during New York Comic Con, such as the addition of a small ship that lets players sail the seas on their own or at the least with one other person. The hope is that the two people will form a bond and will embolden both to form bigger crews and sail on larger ships.
Despite these systemic efforts, the devs do realize that there will still be people who just refuse to play along no matter what. The answer to trolls is to throw them into the Brig, which is an option voted on by the rest of the crew. Should the imprisoned player manage to work up remorse, the crew can vote to have that person released and return to the crew as normal.
You can take in the full video below.
Like Ms. Preston says at the end of the video, “Be a cool pirate”. The Brig system definitely sounds like an excellent way to corral those kinds of players who can’t stand to see people have fun, but we’re also half-expecting people to figure out a way to abuse the system as soon as possible. Rare Ltd. will learn that bad actors in multiplayer games will find a way soon enough…