Sea of Thieves, Rare’s multiplayer pirate romp, won’t be out until March, but the devs are betting that you’ll want to know what you’ll actually be able to do in its nautical world before it launches. The latest video cuts off a vertical slice, showing off the game’s trading companies (the factions you’ll be doing quests for), missions and multiplayer shenanigans.
Quests, or voyages, are doled out by factions and generally cover the entirety of the human experience: searching for treasure, kidnapping chickens and hunting down undead pirates. Actually picking what voyage your crew will undertake is unexpectedly neat. Voyages aren’t just hidden away in a journal or quest log—they’re physical scrolls that can be shown to other players. So everyone will be able to place their voyage on a table for the rest of the crew to browse and choose which one they’ll embark upon. This also means that players will be able to undertake voyages that they haven’t yet unlocked themselves.
Turning abstract things into physical objects seems to be a theme. One of the factions, a sort of East India Trading Company analogue, hands out quests to transport or collect goods, including animals, and these items actually have to be looked after while you’re at sea. If you leave all the chickens you collected down in the hold while the ship’s taking water, for instance, you’ll end up with some soggy, dead poultry. It looks like this will sometimes work in your favour, however. If you’re transporting explosives and an enemy ship attacks, you can dump the explosives overboard and then blow them up, taking out the other vessel.
I hadn’t realised just how much of a sim Sea of Thieves was, but I’m definitely paying attention now.