Guys, have an open mind and think about this.
No matter how much you try and sell it, the fact that there's no tension between pirates on crews, the fact that there's no betrayals or walking of the planks, makes Sea of Thieves a non-pirate game. You can't have a true pirate experience without a lingering sense of mistrust, tension and drama within the pirate crew themselves.
In addition, Rare's attempts to encourage more cooperation between crews needs to be complemented with more tension that is within crews. This creates a dynamic set of possibilities, along the axes of betrayal of ones own crew, cooperation and alliances with others, etc. This needs to be a pirate game, and not an item retrieval simulator that happens to have some pirate themes.
So I know what people are thinking: That all this would do is invite briefing. But actually I think the opposite is true, and here's how I think this system should be handled:
Everyone begins unable to engage in any kind of friendly fire. The crew system as we know it remains in place. HOWEVER
In the menu, there's an option which can be toggled on. We can call it something like "Lone Buccaneer" or something like that. When you switch this on, your name appears red to all your crew mates, and you have the ability to inflict damage upon them, and vice versa. In addition, you are UNABLE to use the mermaid to get back on the ship. There's also a 10 minute (we can be flexible with the timing) cooldown before you can rejoin your crew normally.
Another idea can be that, once you decide to be a 'lone buccaneer,' your crew members will have to vote on whether you are allowed to rejoin the crew or not. Marooning can be a more effective way to combat prospective team-killing griefers than the brig, because it opens up more interesting scenarios (what if the player decides to team up with another crew, in order to enact revenge, pirates of the Caribbean style?). Now I know that this also means the player being marooned is still taking up a slot, but that's also true for the brig.
So if you happen to fall off the ship, get killed, or get pushed off, there's a definite penalty.
Now the incentive to toggle the option on, can be like this: When you're a lone buccaneer, there's an increase in the amount of gold you acquire from turning in items, perhaps by 10-20%, which correlates with a decrease in the amount your other crew members earn. This means that there are both incentives to betray, as well as cooperate with your crewmates, and even in the worst case scenerio of everyone being swindled by a single betrayer, players are still not going to lose out on all rewards.
Also, if it's absolutely necessary, players might also be able to have the option to turn the 'lone buccaneer' option OFF for their crews before they start the game (or for matchmaking) so that it's a guarantee that they won't have to deal with it. That's just an idea though.
All of this should accompany more interesting interactions between crews, as well as, if possible, a generally more dynamic crew system where pirates can switch crews, establish a set amount of players who are going to be sharing gold and loot, etc. Though that can be saved for another time.
All of this sounds very convoluted but when you think about it, it would make the game FAR more interesting. This game can get very dull and boring. More content is great, but Rare can only add so much content in so much time. This mechanic would enable a far better ability to create epic tales of betrayal, forgiveness, and drama that are truly hallmarks of the pirate experience.
We shouldn't automatically trust our crewmates. Bonds between crewmembers should be earned through experience, and shouldn't simply be given.
© Post "Very new Sea of Thieves idea" for game Sea of Thieves.
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