A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options

  • Sea of Thieves being a sandbox environment make it a powerful juggernaut of an adventure game. Being able to choose what you want to do is the starting ignition of every story on the seas.

    Every story can end in many ways, but the most generalized ways of ending a session in Sea of Thieves, is success and failure. For every few moments you managed to sell a large haul of treasure at the outpost, the others end with your vessel meeting it's watery grave with the Ferryman and all of your efforts (if any) resulting in wasted time.

    Most people when they respawn from recently sinking make usually 1 of 2 or 3 choices:

    • Leave the game (and possibly start a new session)

    • Return to where they may have last sank (to retrieve any on-board items they lost or to seek revenge against any pirates that may have successfully stolen their treasure)

    • Somehow, against all that's against them, without leaving the game or server merging, do something else.

    One issue I have noticed for a lot of people that have the right amount of determination, or too much determination, is that consistently, and constantly going back to the same place in some vein attempt to recover even a morsel of what they lost, or to refuse their enemy to claim full victory. Some try to be respectful and leave game after their second or third sink, while some don't care and would rather no one get anything should they get caught in an unlikely conflict, a.k.a. constantly coming back over and over again, emptying their enemy of supplies that either forces them to run, or take the sink as the constantly returning crew is rewarded, even after going through 3 different refreshes of fresh supplies via sinking and respawning.

    It's not often you'll do something else in the same session you sank in unless you're somehow okay with the idea that the same crew of hostile pirates are out there, ready to give you nothing but trouble should they see you again.

    The easiest choice when sinking is to leave, ending that session properly, but at the price of experiencing whatever feelings you're bound to have following your failure. We already have several upon metric tons of threads, youtube comments, reddit/twitter/facebook(Meta) posts depicting those various feelings when their sessions end in unsatisfactory ways.

    My conflict in these choices is that there isn't a single one where in any scenario, it ends in a net positive for all parties. Being sunk is almost like a game over in this game, the "You died!" of Minecraft and several other games with archaic ways of loss. If you leave the game, you're left with whatever feelings you have to deal with following your failure. If you go back, you risk losing again, as you'll probably have less supplies than before against a relatively mighty foe, with the only benefit of shrinking their supplies assuming they don't steal it from you on your third and up return. Then ignoring the problem and threat that gave you that misery and then just staying on the same server is just more questionable than going back for a third time.

    Like with the running thread last week, this has been an issue that I always wanted to see discussion about, since I know of players that have issues with losing crews constantly coming back over and over again, and if every single complaint thread regarding situations in PvP mean anything, it's clear these players have selected "Leave Game" and left in a very unsatisfactory way.

    Does Sea of Thieves have great post-sunk choices? Do these common choices seem inaccurate to what normally happens at the end of a session? Maybe I made some strong assumptions about the playerbase? There's a likely chance that the way you end your sessions isn't how others usually end their sessions, so feel free to share your thoughts on this topic!

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  • […] and all of your efforts (if any) resulting in wasted time. […]

    This would only be true if the person(s) that got sunk, didn't turn in when they had the chance. If you turn in loot regularly, you won't have that much too lose.

  • Sooo. What is the complaint about here?

  • The only real failure in the game is if someone takes out frustration on their own crew or another crew.

    There isn't really failure in the gameplay. We do piles of this and piles of that and turn in lots of stuff. We all sink and lose and get frustrated but we don't often lose anything we can't just go spend a little time doing/getting again.

    Not taking anything personal and focusing on personal goals prevents most of the issues. There is nothing to take personal or get vengeful about. It's random people during relatively short interactions. That could potentially blossom into friendships or crew mates sometimes but any of the negative stuff isn't worth investing any emotional energy into.

    It's pretty easy going out there for people that keep their focus on their goals. That doesn't have to be gold and glory that can be social goals as well.

    I think one of the biggest issues people run into comes from expectations in a shared environment of all types of people. Expectations lead to more disappointment and more frustration especially when the other people have no obligations. The good is great because the bad stinks

  • @nex-stargaze

    Personally, it's never a waste of time because I enjoy the simple act of playing the game. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy turning in treasure and am disappointed when I lose my haul. But it's never a waste because I still got to sail around on my sloop and fight skeletons and monsters.

    Heck, I sometimes just play the game to fool around and don't even bother with treasure or collect loot with the goal of giving it all away at the end. On rare occasions I stock up on cooked meat, planks, cursed and regular cannonballs, firebombs, etc. Then I kill myself and spend the whole time hanging out on the Ferry, giving out gifts to passing pirates.

    I understand that the treasure, rep, and commendations are the big, obvious goals and are what most players strive for. But if you can get into the mindset of enjoying the game solely for the gameplay, then even an unprofitable play session is still a fun time.

  • "> I understand that the treasure, rep, and commendations are the big, obvious goals and are what most players strive for. But if you can get into the mindset of enjoying the game solely for the gameplay, then even an unprofitable play session is still a fun time."

    Although you are right but for someone who likes to max out ranks i can say after the 8 time you get sunk trying to rank reapers you get demoralized...

    And before people coming yapping about reapers being a PvP emissary yeah i get that but you try to play with a friend who does also know about himself he is really bad at PvP. Well it just shucks being defenseless when every time you finish an event or are busy with it someone pops up which mostly are brigs and galleons and just faceroll you instead looking for an even 3v3 / 4v4 fight.

    But yeah not saying they arent allowed to attack anyone but people do need to learn that no one owes anyone a fight reaper or not. People are free to hunt other ships for loot as people are free to leave or red sea their loot. Time is precious to a lot of people and they may use that time as they see fit as long they don't cheat or harass other players.

    So i can see how people especially new players can see it as a waste of time. Because some want to progress and others don't care and do it for the gameplay.

  • Games have made players have a sense of loss when failing for decades. Imagine playing super Mario bros on NES and making it to world 8-3 or 4 and running out of lives. Do you get to start where you failed? No, you start at 1-1.

    It has only been the past few years that games have tried removing the feeling of loss when you lose which is something that only fits in very few games. Most of these are solo or co-op adventure games and many of the multiplayer ones are FPS that cycle titles every 6 months with literally no new content/gameplay (what are we on the 5th wwii CoD?)

    People need to accept that you will not win every single game, just like you won’t sink and lose every single one, and they will have better fun with the game. Some of my greatest most enjoyable moments in this game were a loss in a fight. The fight was that epic. ZERO moments like that have been generated from the PvE or grinding in this game.

  • @Nex-Stargaze Your post was written very well, but I think that you missed a 4th option. Sometimes my crew waits. If we're focused on a voyage, we'll often take a mini-break after being sunk - either staying at the island we spawned at to pick up additional loot, or we'll sail on to an outpost to resupply - after about 10-20 minutes, we sail back to our initial objective in the hopes that those who sank us have moved on or are long gone. Most of the time, they are. We may have lost whatever loot we were carrying, but we can recognize that that doesn't mean that the voyage itself is over or lost - just delayed.

  • @jeroenxp1 said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    So i can see how people especially new players can see it as a waste of time. Because some want to progress and others don't care and do it for the gameplay.

    And I can sympathize. That's why I never played competitive online games. It's not an easy thing to do to let go of the "can't lose" mentality. Took me almost 30 years of playing games to get it and it still slips out of my grasp now and then.

    Sea of Thieves is really pretty forgiving in many ways. You can't lose any money or rep you've already earned, and treasure and supplies are thick on the ground. Really the only thing you CAN lose, IS your time. And there are things you can do to mitigate that (frequent turn-ins, not hoarding treasure, etc.).

    Of course, bigger things like forts, treasure vaults, Athena voyages, and emissary ranks are much more time intensive, and consequently higher risk. Just remember that playing the game as a grade 5 Reaper with all commendations is pretty much identical to playing the game as a zero progress newby pirate.

    @kommodoreyenser said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    Games have made players have a sense of loss when failing for decades. Imagine playing super Mario bros on NES and making it to world 8-3 or 4 and running out of lives. Do you get to start where you failed? No, you start at 1-1.

    Keep in mind, though, that the lives system didn't come from some core philosophy. It was largely because that's how arcade games were made, and arcade games were designed to get as many quarters out of you as possible.

    Not saying that there isn't merit in the idea, but we shouldn't hold past games up too high as examples, because most, if not all, of their design decisions were originally financially motivated.

    Some of my greatest most enjoyable moments in this game were a loss in a fight. The fight was that epic. ZERO moments like that have been generated from the PvE or grinding in this game.

    For you. And that's fine. But I've had plenty of amazing PvE moments that would have been ruined by the intervention of a hostile player. That's just my preference.

    PvP and PvE both offer equal yet unique experiences to the player and neither is better than the other. Sea of Thieves offers a game where you can seek out either yet experience both. I prefer PvE and never fight other players. But I do still enjoy a good chase and like to interact with other players, whether it be a friendly meeting or just seeing how long I can goof around with them before they kill me.

  • I like your point about their money-incentivized motivation, Hombre, but tread carefully - this isn't necessarily PvE vs. PvP thread and I'd hate to see it get locked down as a result because you started turning it into 1.

  • Yesterday, I was attempting to grind out some Ashen Winds commendations - I still need a few boss defeats and a skull to set fire to some skelly ships. Anyway, I was solo and all three I had down to the last phase before I was attacked and lost to bigger, better crews.

    Did I feel I failed? Nope. I didn't get my optimal outcome, sure, but a couple still counted towards the commendations because I came back and was there when they defeated the bosses. The loot wasn't my objective and I knew, from past experience, the chances of doing an Ashen Wind solo and getting away clean are not 100% (it can be easier at some locations than others), and I hadn't really prepared enough - I should have stacked some tridents.

    Playing solo a lot is one way to get used to losing and knowing when to let things go. It's never personal and I can't really blame bigger crews for wanting an easy win and some free loot - especially if they are cool when I give them a GG, that lessens the blow somewhat. From my point of view, yeah it's a shame but that's the way it is. The wins are far more exhilarating because I know what loss feels like.

    As for changing servers, I will do that sometimes, but only if I get a sense the crew is toxic (in voice comms) and/or they just attack on sight (not picking prey/not looking for loot, just sinks). The "attack on sight" crowd are particularly tough on solos just trying to get things done. It's a legit way to play, won't say it's not, but they are hard to avoid (not make yourself look like a target) and will generally keep coming back even if you deal with them. They will also typically fixate, making it hard to bait them towards other crews. So I will usually hop servers after sinking to one of those.

    In the end though, I never feel losing is really a waste of time, there are always things to work towards besides gaining gold and it's a chance to learn. If I cared about losing so much, I wouldn't sail solo at all.

  • @gamerbadgr82 Nope, we're not going there.

    This is a PvPvE game, and you have to deal with the dangers regardless of your skill, or what you want to do.

  • @galactic-geek said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    this isn't necessarily PvE vs. PvP thread and I'd hate to see it get locked down as a result because you started turning it into 1.

    Agreed. Seen WAY too much of that.

    I just felt the need to respond to the Kommodore on that note in particular. I never like to see something defended by tearing down its mirror image. Especially when they're so interwoven like the PvPvE in Sea of Thieves.

    @gamerbadgr82
    While you have a right to your opinion, it's not the talking points of this particular thread. It's important not to hijack discussions with a tangential topic.

  • Well, this thread will probably get locked soon, falling victim to Neate’s Law: All Sea of Thieves discussions inevitably end with PvE server arguments. :/

  • @realstyli If you want more tridents, you can get 10+ from any treasury within as little as 5 minutes. Just sail over to 1, swim down, ignore the event, collect all of the tridents, place them into the statue, return to the ship, and retrieve them. Easy! 😉

  • @galactic-geek said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    @realstyli If you want more tridents, you can get 10+ from any treasury within as little as 5 minutes. Just sail over to 1, swim down, ignore the event, collect all of the tridents, place them into the statue, return to the ship, and retrieve them. Easy! 😉

    Yep, I certainly considered this option. It just seemed like a chore to swim them all back up... not that an Ashen Winds boss isn’t a chore in itself without them! XD

    EDIT: Hold on! Did they change it so you can store tridents with the mermaids?? I swear that wasn't a thing before? Wow.

  • A reminder to all, please avoid derailing topics or posting on other subjects. We have removed a number of off-topic posts as a result.

  • At the end of a basketball game, does the losing team have post-game options?

    Or the losing side of an Overwatch match?

    This is a game with potential for team fights. There's usually a loser to those fights, not a win-win. With SoT, you get to decide when you've had enough of that particular team fight.

  • @remy-leboat said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    At the end of a basketball game, does the losing team have post-game options?

    Or the losing side of an Overwatch match?

    Interesting point to bring up, but my counter point is this: The end of a basketball game and the end of an Overwatch match are very linear in terms of wins or losses. Your objective is to succeed, and if you don't succeed, usually, you just try again later, with little to no attachment of anything from when the match is over.

    In Sea of Thieves, if you lose a haul of treasure you desperately wanted to sell but couldn't due to an inevitable threat that prevents you from feasibly doing so. In some cases, you're perfectly capable of returning back to retrieve what you've found/earned again without having to actually do it again regularly (Which is very evident of the constantly cycling world events in a session). That's what makes the post-sink very non-linear in the first place, you session isn't over until you can believe it is over.

  • As some have said before me, a "failure" is only what you decide it is.

    Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. It's a game. The point in playing is to have fun. Not having fun? Stop playing. So have a fun time losing! You went out, you did stuff, and it ended in a battle for your treasure which you may have ultimately lost- but, in the end, it's your mindset that counts.

    I have an example of this. (Storytime!) Just yesterday, I was solo reaping (I wanted to get some PvP practice) heading to the Reaper's Hideout to turn in my stuff, when I saw a brig coming my way. The session had been uneventful up to that point, so I saw this as an opportunity to achieve the original goal of the session and perhaps rank up my measly third-level flag.

    A naval battle ensued, ending with their ship sinking. However, they kept on crashing into the island and not using perfectly good cannon opportunities. I should have been suspicious.

    When their ship sank, I sailed my boat to the dock to get ready to sell. As I did, I noticed a player jumping around on the island. I reloaded my ammo and left my ship.
    As I approached, I noticed two shining lights on the hideout. Snipers. Only after being sent to the ferry I realized it had been a well-planned ambush.
    I returned to my ship to find it boarded. I fought well- if it had just been me against any single one of them, I am certain I could have prevailed- but there were three and I couldn't overpower them.

    They were sort of spawnkilling me at this point, but not very well. Every time I respawned, I was able to get a few hits in, but they would always overpower me. They had a sniper positioned at the helm at all times, but never once accounted for when I spawned below deck.

    At one point, I got tired of it and decided to throw a firebomb to see how they reacted. Surprisingly, they put it out after I died again.

    Finally, I decided to hide on my own ship for a while to get them to lower their guard. In short time, however, I heard the noises of the ship sailing. I got up to find only one enemy aboard, who I defeated without significant damage to myself.
    "GG" they said as their soul floated away, and they vanished before I had a chance to return the message.
    At this point I had figured out what they had been doing. In-between killing me, they had been selling my loot. I ended with a few skulls and storage crates.
    Why they hadn't sunk my ship was not clear, but I guessed it was to get PvP practice or to make sure I didn't sail back and cannonball them into oblivion.

    Did I fail?
    Yes. I lost a bulk of my loot.
    Did I have a good time?
    Yes. I achieved my original purpose- to fight someone- and I got some practice as to how to avoid death when being spawn camped under less intense conditions than normal.
    Plus, I still got the embassy bonus and some of the treasure remaining.
    I could have left with anger. But in the end, I succeeded. I kept my cool, fought well, and didn't loose any confidence.
    In fact, as I logged off, I smiled more than when I win.

    Victory and failure are things. They won't change. How you approach them is up to you.

    Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

    (Now, My computer is dying so I don't have time to proofread this so sorry for errors or lack of clarity.)

    Very brief edit- Fixed some stuff

  • You know how when you respawn you’re usually in the same area of the map as where you sank. What if, the more times you sink in a sector, the further away you respawn?

    As a way to encourage the player to try something else in the game, by making it more effort to keep going back. It’d be nudge theory, the change in distance doesn’t force the player not to sail straight back there, but it does make them have to judge if it’s worth the effort/time.

  • @nex-stargaze said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    My conflict in these choices is that there isn't a single one where in any scenario, it ends in a net positive for all parties.

    If sinking was ever to result in a net positive for all parties then you'd defeat the current purpose of staying afloat.

    Sinking can and (usually) should be considered game over.

  • @touchiertooth28 said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    @nex-stargaze said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    My conflict in these choices is that there isn't a single one where in any scenario, it ends in a net positive for all parties.

    If sinking was ever to result in a net positive for all parties then you'd defeat the current purpose of staying afloat.

    Sinking can and (usually) should be considered game over.

    Game over ? Nah, New ship and/or new server.
    Though I suspect you were talking about the battle not the game session.

  • @lem0n-curry said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    @touchiertooth28 said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    @nex-stargaze said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    My conflict in these choices is that there isn't a single one where in any scenario, it ends in a net positive for all parties.

    If sinking was ever to result in a net positive for all parties then you'd defeat the current purpose of staying afloat.

    Sinking can and (usually) should be considered game over.

    Game over ? Nah, New ship and/or new server.
    Though I suspect you were talking about the battle not the game session.

    Yes I was talking about the battle. The victor should have time to retrieve the spoils.

    Topics like these, however, should sometimes be discussed within the context of Insiders.

  • @gamerbadgr82 said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    You know how when you respawn you’re usually in the same area of the map as where you sank. What if, the more times you sink in a sector, the further away you respawn?

    Isn't the way this works that if:

    1. Sunk by a player, you respawn pretty far away.
    2. Sunk by an NPC/other cause, you respawn relativaly close.

    I'm asking really, I'm not quite sure at the moment.

  • @liberance said in A sandbox, a failure, and the post-failure options:

    Isn't the way this works that if:

    1. Sunk by a player, you respawn pretty far away.
    2. Sunk by an NPC/other cause, you respawn relativaly close.

    I'm asking really, I'm not quite sure at the moment.

    Yes, it's supposed to work that way but it is somewhat situational.

    I think the general rule is that if you get sunk by PvE, you will get respawned in the same region. If you get sunk by PvP, you will get respawned in a different region. When you get spawned in a region, you get spawned at an island that doesn't have another ship in the island zone. I'm not sure if it actively checks for the farthest away island in the spawn region if sunk by PvP or not.

    This can result in getting placed closer than you should be because getting sunk between zones or near the middle of the map can place you in an adjacent zone not very far away. Also, if there are ships near the farther away islands and you were sunk via PvP, you can end up being placed on an island closer to the border between regions instead.

    This is all just guesswork though based on observation.

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