Sea of Thieves has been out for two years now and it’s received a few updates – to put it lightly. There has been so much added to the game over this period to the point where the experience now compared to the original is so vastly different that it’s almost overwhelming all there is to do and see. But Rare certainly isn’t slowing down as they set to continue their monthly free updates. There’s still so much potential left in Sea of Thieves, and we love it so much here at Shacknews that we want to talk about some more things we hope to see added.
For those that might not be aware, we wrote up a similar piece right before the release of Sea of Thieves in 2018. Of those wishes listed, roughly ten of them have made it into the game. So let’s take a look at what else we want in Sea of Thieves!
Let’s get this big one out of the way first. Tavern games, pub games, bar games, whatever name they go by in your area, we want them in Sea of Thieves. But we don’t just want normal games you’d find at a casino. The real world can keep its blackjack, poker, and roulette, Sea of Thieves needs its own themed games that fit within the pirate world.
The Witcher 3 had Gwent, Fable 2 had Fortune’s Tower and Keystone in its Pub Games line-up, and even Dungeons & Dragons has Three-Dragon Ante. What would be really incredible to see in Sea of Thieves is a Hearthstone or Gwent-like game, which features various characters and mechanics from the game but represented in card format. This would also be fantastic to see as a mobile game or even a physical release.
After a long play session of Sea of Thieves, it somehow doesn’t feel right to just sell everything and log out. A relaxing session in the tavern over a card game would be the perfect cap to end the night – or it may even spur on more adventure.
The playable area in Sea of Thieves is huge. It’s so big that in order to pass the time between sailing from Keel Haul Fort down to the Devil’s Roar for that Reaper’s Bounty, most players like to stand around fishing or playing the banjo. However, players would never say no to new areas to explore.
Devil’s Roar has already offered an explosive and dangerous location and Tribute Peak is really only available for a short while in the Shores of Gold Tall Tale, so what other environments could we expect? For starters, how about an arctic region and a southeast Asian-inspired region.
While ice and pirates aren't necessarily a combo that springs to mind first, it does offer a host of new environmental opportunities. Consider the impact a blizzard might have on visibility or the trouble of crossing a slick and slippery patch of ice while being hotly pursued by an abominable snowman.
Then there are the East Asia-inspired regions. This has actually been touched on in the Sea of Thieves art book through clothing concept art. Imagine ornate buildings and high-reaching towers, islands connected together by bridges, and other things you can only dream about (or see in a Studio Ghibli film).
Outside of the player-based joys of exploring new areas, it would also represent an opportunity for the developers at Rare to toy with new lighting and color palettes. Each region is already strikingly different in its visuals, so seeing an icy and cold region or Asian region brought to life in-game would be a visual feast.
More ways to board a ship
As it stands, there are currently two ways to board an enemy vessel: climb the ladder or land on it by jumping or getting shot out of a cannon. Most players these days know to sit by the ladders and blast anyone that pokes their head above the top rung, making it extremely difficult to assault a well-defended vessel. For this reason, pirates need more ways to get on an enemy ship.
One idea that gets thrown around quite a lot is a boarding axe. This would allow players to pick a unique route up the side of an enemy ship, albeit with its own unique disadvantage: hacking at wood with an axe is noisy.
Another idea, which might be rather difficult to implement, is letting pirates crawl through large holes made by cannons and explosives. Holes would mean water pouring in and potentially pirates! It would allow for vastly more options when it comes to getting on a ship full of blunderbuss-wielding Pirate Legends.
Shipwrecks offer players the chance at finding some free loot out between islands. They might contain rare meat, a collection of cursed cannonballs, even a Reaper’s Chest, but as you pull up below the circling seagulls, you know exactly what type of ship you’re going to find – it will be a galleon.
This galleon will either be upside down or right-way-up. It will have two decks to search with one way in. It will even have a captain’s quarters that you might forget about. The point is, while the contents are different, the searching has become regimented.
What we would love to see are a couple of new shipwreck models. Perhaps you’ll find a galleon that’s been split open at the side or the little remains of a sloop. Maybe the galleon has really rotted away or maybe it’s a sunken skeleton ship you find!
More enemies to fight
I’ve killed thousands of skeletons in my time as a pirate in the Sea of Thieves. I’ve killed shadow skeletons at the Fort of the Damned, Ashen Guardians and Key Masters on islets, even lowly sun-bleached skeletons roaming around islands. It’s time that the line-up of enemies expands beyond the brittle bones of previous pirates.
The land could be teeming with giant crabs and mythical beasts, caves might be plagued with ghosts and banshees, zombies and liches, and the water could have giant sea serpents, jellyfish, squid, and manta rays. Each of these certainly represents a lot of work, but they all add a new flavor to the combat.
Different weather patterns
Sea of Thieves has a couple of different climates on offer, but not much variance in the weather. The fiery area of Devil’s Roar has volcanoes where magma falls from the sky, the rest of the map has a giant rainstorm forever circling, and there’s even the odd patch of fog that rolls in. All of these drastically alter ship-to-ship combat and even affect how players navigate the sea.
Beyond these, it would be incredible to have the weather in Sea of Thieves expand to include more variance. For instance, while the rain is nice, having it limited to only appear when near the storm makes it more of a hassle as you know it means contending with a helm with a mind of its own. Some light rain clouds might change up how it feels to explore a familiar island, much like how fog makes familiar waters daunting and fraught with danger.
There are also more types of weather that are iconic to the pirate fantasy. Rogue waves and whirlpools, mud and hail, blood moons, solar eclipses, and quicksand – all of these would add more spice to Sea of Thieves, changing up how players interact with the world.
More ship customization
Originally, players could only customize their ship’s sails, hull, and figurehead. This allowed players to look noticeably different from one another when sailing around. The next level of customization came shortly after, giving players the ability to change the helm, capstan, and even the cannons. Now, ships all look drastically different from one another and players have countless cosmetics to unlock. But there’s certainly room for more!
Players have been asking for a long time for the ability to name their ship. It makes sense as right above the doorway leading into the captain’s quarters is a lovely big plaque where a name could be engraved. We’ve already seen this put to use with the Blackwyche on Shipwreck Bay. There is one glaring problem though: the players.
In order to curb vulgarities being emblazoned across a ship, Rare could implement a Soulsborne-like system where various words are suggested and can be combined together to form a ship name.
Outside of this, it would also be nice to have new lantern models. As it stands, all lanterns look exactly the same on every ship, save for the various colors. They’re all wrought iron. A bit more variety would really make the ship pop.
Then there is, of course, the rowboats. These invaluable tools are attached to the back of each vessel and each one looks exactly the same. Having a rowboat adopt your ship’s colors would make it feel more special and important, and would add to the look of each ship.
Lastly, the captain’s quarters on a galleon. This area is used for voting on voyages, storing pets, and even sometimes treasure, but it still looks mostly the same as it did back in 2018. Being able to buy different furnishings, alter the style of bed, and even pick out a new table and chair would add a bit more zest to this magnificent room.
Sea of Thieves has been an incredible addition to my gaming life, bringing hundreds of hours – if not more than a thousand hours – of joy. Since it released back on March 20, 2018, Rare has done a phenomenal job of supporting the game and continues to do so to this day. We can’t wait to see what else Rare has planned for the future of Sea of Thieves.
Sam Chandler posted a new article, 7 more things we want in Sea of Thieves
Thank you! I mixed up my initialism!