I'm not trying to say that Cursed Crews as a piece of content haven't been fun…I had a terribly fun time during the event. My issue with the Cursed Crews has more to do with the problem that it embodies…delayed implementation.
The Skeleton Ships in their post-event version more or less are exactly the same as the event but lesser. They are a downgraded version of the event with nothing new to offer and haven't even been applied to the core game, yet. So what are some of the issues with Skeleton Ship implementation:
- They repeated the same formula. Arbitrary location, they just spawn on you, they sit out there until they despawn or are destroyed. That's pretty dull. I think we were all anticipating that the post-event version would actually change the core gameplay. They'd appear and be aggressive towards us…not just act as passive loot boats in the distance. They have no agenda, they don't terrorize the locals, they aren't even in a location where ships would be passing by…they are inconsequential to the world.
- The newness factor wears off. There really isn't any more surprise. They are just what they were when you were asked to fight them 50+ times for the event.
- They aren't incorporated into the main gameplay loop. Without their incorporation into the main quest system they really aren't changing the game that much. Sitting out by themselves off in the middle of nowhere really isn't transforming the game experience as much as they could.
- They have taken the place of existing content…meaning they don't simply act as additive to the experience. It's either a fort or a fleet. You can't do both and you never have to choose between both. You just do what's in front of you if not just to access the other thing you wanted.
I think there needs to be a shift of priority.
As future patches go out, I'd like to see the developers incorporate the post-event format of content as a part of the original dev cycle for that major update. I'd much honestly rather have less content per update instead of consistently receiving content that feels unfinished in its post-event form…the form that we interact with the rest of the game's lifespan. If that form isn't fun…was it really worth adding?
Example: I'd rather have had AI skeleton ships incorporated into the main quest system than had the event at all. I think the IMPORTANT thing for this content to do is to improve the game and incorperate ship combat into the day to day of the quest grind…it hasn't been. IF they add content…they really need to have the secondary phase of that content prepared instead of struggling for weeks after the event to even get it in the game in the way they envisioned (The Meg was an issue before it). It just feels like I'm playing unfinished product and the "positive" experience I had with the content turns bitter very quickly when it just sits in a shell of its intention for weeks on end not really playing into the game.
A model event is the Gunpowder Skeletons. It was already in the form it would be in the main game. This meant that the development time for that content wasn't wasted on one-off short term experiences and, imo, it fulfilled its ideal role off the bat, it worked perfectly after the event.
© Post "The Problem with Cursed Crews…" for game Sea of Thieves.
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