Washed: Hourglass Chronicles of a Former Arena Enjoyer

  • Week of 09Jan23

    I miss Arena.

    Controlled supplies with limited throwables and chains; no anchor blocking with crates; time limits. It had its issues and needed some updating, but it offered the best SoT PvP experience to anyone willing to give it a try.

    This hourglass stuff is... okay I guess?

    I don't plan to wear either of the curses on my main account. I just want to PvP. And while this ain't Arena, it beats chasing Reapers around the map. So for now, it's all I've got. But with these long queue times and dwindling server performance, I'm beginning to lose interest and on the verge of taking another hiatus.

    The only thing keeping me motivated at this point is Captaincy. Milestones.

    I've decided to make this thread so that I can actively track my progress through ship milestones and commendations. For ships I owned prior to Season 8, I am tracking the rival ships sunk against the number of matches played (per faction). For ships I owned after the season released, I am tracking rivals sunk against my total sinks.

    Hopefully, this gives me the drive to continue lol. After I hit 100s on my main, I'll start occasionally playing on alts, and track their progress as well. It'd be cool if Rare added kill milestones as too, which only counted during hourglass PvP.

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    If you made it to the end, thanks for reading.

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  • Week of 16Jan23

    A slow week for my ships, but my pirate made some progress.

    Didn't add total sinks/battles stats in the last post, so I'm keeping track of those starting this week.

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    Looking forward to more fun fights.

  • Week of 23Jan2023

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    Took a lot of Ls last week. Whether you curse dumped me, allied against me, out-supplied me or plain out-skilled me: GGs. Regardless of your strats, you played the hands you were dealt, and were good sports throughout.

    Thanks for helping keep this mode alive. It's not Arena, and unfortunately I don't think it ever will be Arena, but it is slowly starting to fill the void.

  • Week of 30Jan2023

    I try to give credit where credit is due.

    Most of my forum posts are critical, and though I try to be constructive, I admittedly don't show as much grace as some of my peers. If I agree with a change, I'll usually just upvote a comment that already expressed what I felt. If I disagree, I like to share why.

    Back when I started this journaling, one of my major criticisms of hourglass was its long queue times. I felt like I got robbed of waiting in the Arena tavern, only to spend my time waiting underwater.

    But since this last patch, I just haven't been waiting at all. I've had gally queues quicker than sloop queues were before, and sloop queues have been damn-near instant. I wanted PvP. I got PvP. For that, Rare, thank you. Thanks for balancing out cursed balls and blunders. Thanks for making it easier to stock up. Thanks for the cheaper storage crates. Thank you for all of that.

    Now to the criticism.

    In the first entry, I mentioned that I don't really have an interest in the curses. What's driving me is simply the ability to keep track of my progress, in ways that Arena never offered (though it would have been nice in Arena). Milestones. How many ships I sunk. How many times I sunk.

    This broke with the update.

    Milestones for same-faction fights are only partially working. They count the number of battles you're involved in, but they don't count the number of ships you sink.

    I didn't notice this until after last week's entry. I said I took some Ls, and I did... but apparently not as many as I thought. In the weekend leading up to that post, a good chunk of my fights were same-faction. And however many of those I won, never counted. When I checked my stats prior to posting, I was a bit surprised, though I just chalked it up to having a bad week lol. Win some, lose some.

    Opened a support ticket, and the person responding was under the impression that the milestones were just delayed, and asked me to wait 72 hours. It's been 120. Still nada. Whether this is a big delay, or due to a bug, or was just overlooked during development, it kinda killed my motivation to play. Why bother, if it's not tracking stats? Sure, I'm still getting allegiance XP, but I don't care about allegiance XP.

    So, this past week I didn't play any hourglass on my main account at all. And I won't until the milestones are patched. I did hop on for a few fishing sessions. Two twilight stormfish away from wrapping up my stormfish. That's something, I guess.

    The rest of the time, I played on my alts. I may not care about my levels, commendations, or cosmetics, but I have friends who do. So to help them, I played on Sunken Pearl for Athena dives, and BoneyBellamy for Reapers. Initially, I was hoping to track their milestones too, but whatever. Guess I'll just keep tabs on their levels, for the sake of keeping tabs on.... something. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Hey, at least the queues were quick.

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  • Putting faces to names

    Had a busy week & hadn't played any hourglass since the last posting. So my alt's levels haven't changed. Logged in to my main account, just to get a summary of my pirate's and ships' milestones.

    Took some screenshots of my ships while I was on. Then logged in on my alts to grab screenshots of the pirates I'll be playing as until the same-faction-stats are fixed. Hoping that's sooner than later.

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  • I hope season 9 will bring major updates and features to this PVP mode, otherwise the inevitable will happen and people will stop playing.

    Problems with the mode (imo mainly as a slooper):

    • Boring. Very plain ship v ship. I get excited if I get into a battle next to Volcano in the Ashen region.
    • Due to the PVP lacking any different game modes or just more interesting things that could happen. Most people did not become hardcore PVP only players, they do it for the curse. So once they reach level 100-105 they will use the feature as much as they actively looked for PVP before on main servers - sometimes.
    • So if a lot of people will stop participating in matches. The ones who are not - PVP or uninstall - will go into the que, wait for 5-10 minutes, find other better things to do, in Sea of Thieves or another game all together.

    Can give an example of my own. The week before this one, on my last day off I had a day where I lost maybe 7-8 games and won only 1. So obviously my enthusiasm for the mode dropped a little, since I would like to fight against people with similar skill to mine instead of getting wrecked where I can barely hold my own (happened at least in 4 of those losses)

    So at the beginning of the week I was off again, decided ok I'm level 17, let's make it to at least 20 during next few days.

    Was waiting for matchmaking to put me with someone for over 10 minutes before I stopped. So I am still level 17. This happened around lunch time, UK, Tuesday. Not a prime time for gaming, but it's not like its 5AM either to not find anyone. And given that I am constantly put with people who do aaaloooot more PVP than myself, There really wasn't anyone playing or what?

    Imo they really need to liven up the ship fight, add different game modes(regularly generate interest until you find the perfect formula) where multiple size crews would compete for a common goal. (reduced matchmaking times)
    Finally add a gunplay mode where you practice guns/sword combat. Some plant/defuse or capture the flag or king of the hill would work great.

    Without these additions or similar, I give this mode until summer when it becomes Arena 2.0 in % of players actively playing it.

  • @zig-zag-ltu Don't feel discouraged.

    The content and curses aren't going anywhere, so there's no pressure if you're not progressing as fast as you'd like right now.

    Take each fight as an opportunity to practice. Don't worry about winning, and don't feel upset about losing. Just work towards doing better than you did the last match. Recognize any mistakes, and think of ways to avoid repeating them in the future.

    We all make mistakes. I still make plenty. But I'm trying to make fewer each time. I can only try.

    As for improvements to the mode, I agree with some of what you said. Though I think the devs are on the right track with a lot of the changes they made, I also feel it could use some additions to appeal to more casual players.

    From ideas I've read in the forum, I'm in favor of increased XP for defending & cosmetic rewards on the climb up to 100. I also hope if/when they introduce cross-stamp fights, that it will be easier to find players with similar MMRs.

    I wouldn't oppose some of the other modes you suggested either, though I really doubt the devs would go that route lol. Similar things were requested back when Arena was around, and Rare never seemed interested.

    But if you want those modes, go ahead and make a separate feedback/suggestions thread about it. I'll support it.

  • @theblackbellamy Well the problem is, Sea of Thieves does not feel casual anymore, where you are full of wonder, your session is filled with discovery, an update leaves you in awe, the turned in loot makes you happy.

    The massive big world became small. You know exactly what you gonna get each session to a certain degree, an update often leaves you disappointed (temporary adventures, captaincy without backtracking previous sessions) and no interesting additions/changes to the main map. Unless you count Golden Sands as something that enhances your experience. Looks lovely don't get me wrong, but cities in Zombie movies feel more alive. And the turned in loot doesn't excite you anymore, because Rare treats everyone like we are these youtubers, playing 10hours a day.
    Any better looking/harder to achieve set now costs millions and I am here rinse/repeat doing Athenas to level 5 and don't even make 500k in one session. I don't think spending 20 in game hours just grinding quests to purchase mediocre looking Ancient Veil ship set makes any sense at all, especially after we are given the hideous costume for reaching level 30.... very generosity, much reward, such appreciate.

    So basically the new Season 8 PVP mode is Sea of Thieves ranked. Those 'good' fights which are evenly matched and take time and few factors to determine who came out on top are sure great, if that's your thing. I don't find a lot of joy in 1v1 Sloop, it is just mundane multitasking with some combat. Obviously if you are a god like player, this would be a lot more enjoyable than most people.

    I don't have problems with 2v2 3v3 im yet to try 4v4. I find those battles exciting and when you find good competition the Season 8 truly shines imo. But I still stand firm about my summer argument, I bet at least half the players would not participate nearly as much if there were no curses, or if they were unlocked very quickly. Creating a new curse behind level 500 won't help much either.

    And regarding the gunplay update, I believe I have done that allready.

    P.S. perhaps I came off too whiney commenting my Solo PVP experience. Thing is I know what would it take to become good at PVP, however without training grounds like a gunplay mode, I am just not interested in at least trying to be a sweat, this is not why I like this game. Crew vs Crew was always fun, the problem is you need a crew for that :)

  • Week of 06Feb2023

    Helped a few friends level up their Servants over the weekend. Made a little progress on BoneyBellamy.

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    Noticed the queues were a little slower than last weekend. Hoping it was just a temporary lull, or a few bad stamps.

    Good fights though, as always.

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