[Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4

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    Exploration and combat are both very important to the Sea of Thieves experience. As the game, the world it inhabits grows and changes, we want to hear your thoughts on how you are finding the balance of the two play styles when you play.


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  • I really enjoy exploration and one of the things I enjoy the most are the messages in bottles and the books that start a voyage.

    These objects in-game give a nice variety to the classic format of get voyage from trader, complete voyage, return to trader.

    I would really enjoy more things like this in the game, more ways to begin voyages and more things to interact with when completing these voyages and a bigger reward for following through with a good treasure hunt.

    I think if we had more of these things it would compel more players to interact with the environment in a positive way to gain greater rewards than simply allowing other to complete voyages and then steal there rewards.

  • @sefer-noctis said in [Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4:

    I really enjoy exploration and one of the things I enjoy the most are the messages in bottles and the books that start a voyage.

    These objects in-game give a nice variety to the classic format of get voyage from trader, complete voyage, return to trader.

    I would really enjoy more things like this in the game, more ways to begin voyages and more things to interact with when completing these voyages and a bigger reward for following through with a good treasure hunt.

    I think if we had more of these things it would compel more players to interact with the environment in a positive way to gain greater rewards than simply allowing other to complete voyages and then steal there rewards.

    Seconded! The chance to 'find' something in-world feels far more special than going to a trader & starting a voyage yourself. The 'grind' of doing trading voyages has earned a negative connotation for some, but they are still valid & important aspects of play.

    Objects in game- message bottles, journals, etc. add a bit of spice. Maybe some other types could be introduced to increase the variety & encourage players to explore the less visited corners of the map?

  • I’ve said it a couple times but I think the random artifacts and trinkets should be hidden in nooks and crannies throughout the world. Maybe a pile of 3-4 ornate ones? If there was a possibility for being rewarded for exploring more people would do it and people would do it more than once.

  • This is a thread we needed! Thanks Khaleesi.

  • I am an obsessive explorer. Every game I play, I explore the nooks,crannies, everywhere I can get to, in order to see EVERYTHING the devs put in a game. secrets, easter eggs, cool vistas. I would think someone worked h*****n every inch of a game (hopefully) so I want to see it all, I feel like its the right thing.

    So I love exploring, even more if there is something to discover that maybe some other people miss. I would always like more of this in a game. I have already had fun randomly exploring islands and caves. 4/5 of my sorrow/grogs have been random finds.

    Really love the shipwrecks to explore as well. you can get loot AND voyages. win win. That being said, one of the best feelings i've had is sinking 2 galleons while in a duo sloop with my buddy as we fought over a fort. That feeling was great! even more so when we were rewarded with the fort loot

  • @khaleesibot i play a lot of solo or duo sloop, when im solo i would love to explore around, take in the sights and find things whether loot/lore/easter eggs but im always rushing to get back to my sloop in case a ship is coming. while on a duo sloop only one of us gets to explore whilwe the other keeps watch on the ship so one crew mate is denied a chance to explore.

    i would like to see tried different servers by population not by playstyle (pvp/pve). if you wanted a relaxed exploring session perhaps playing with your kids you could join a "low population server" which could have a 4 ship max for example to give breathing room.
    a "classic" server would be current settings.
    a "high population" server could have minimum 10 ships for people wanting more combat opportunities.

    all these options keep you playing with other player ships and threat of a fight or getting robbed is still always there you would just get to choose how much breathing room you have.........just a thought.

  • To be honest I think this game is actually pretty well balanced now. At least the sessions I play are about a 50 50 split between PvP and PvE I reckon.
    Last night for example I played about two hours and in that time I emptied a couple of sunken gallons with no probs, had a brief battle with a sloop which just sort of finished with us waving and sailing off lol (I think we both ran out of supplies in the end), I helped a random pirate kill some skellies by pistol shooting them from my anchored boat while he grabbed his treasure (this ended in bell ringing and waving lol) and finished off having my boat sunk while on an island digging up treasure (Just stood on beach sarcastically clapping as they pointlessly cannonballed my boat from offshore then sailed off, didn't even grab the 3 chests I'd stashed on beach right next to my boat, amateurs lol).
    I personally enjoy PvP more than PvE but I don't shoot first unless I'm pretty damn sure they have treasure on board that would be worth it (that is the idea of the game afterall) or I see a galleon attacking a sloop and feel obligated to help out :)
    Great game though and in my opinion shouldn't have PvE only servers as that isnt the game advertised and yes it's lacking things to do but it seems it is coming.
    Lastly, how would PvE only servers fit in with the progression in Sea of Thieves? Surely you can see the huge advantage you would then have over players "risking it all" by playing the game as it was intended? Not sure how you'd get over that really other than no progression for PvE only players but then what would be the point.
    Happy Pirating ☺

  • All I have to say is, give us the option to opt out of PvP. This pleading is not even funny anymore. The game is not even fun anymore.

    Understand that not everyone has fun through "risk and reward".
    Understand that not everyone comes to this game looking for a "thrill".
    Understand that not everyone would get bored without the PvP, understand that there are people that would so enjoy this game if it was just the PvE side, and that they were scared away from this enjoyment because of the boundless PvP.
    Understand that a single bad experience out of a handful of encounters, even if they are the minority, is enough to drive people away from the game.
    Please, understand. It's not fun anymore.

  • I still see quite some people requesting PvE only servers or safe zones, which makes me wonder if the player combat is truly balanced with exploration.

    I'm against the seperation of groups on special servers though because there are better and easier way to solve this without spending time breaking out game mechanics and turning the game into something completely different. The time spent on breaking up the game would be much better spent invested in the game as a whole on new features everyone could enjoy.

    Improved matchmaking / searching the seas
    Instead of creating seperate servers that require complete rework of the game's core mechanics, I think it would be a better idea to try and make sure that people that kill a lot of others and sink a lot of ships end up dealing with people that are into the same.

    To do this I think Rare should calculate and attach a number to each player based on the amount of player kills / ship sinking / deaths / voyages completed and when matchmaking take the average of everyone on the ship to add them into a server that has around the same number. It doesn't have to be the exact same but I think they could create several steps or leagues of server slots. This doesn't have to be surfaced to the players.

    The result would be that everyone on the server is about as experienced as the others and probably have a similar way of playing. Everyone would be matched with somewhat likeminded or equally skilled players. It would also put griefers together with other griefers or people that actually know how to defend themselves and most importantly away from people that can't.

    I think this solution would benefit the entire community without changing the game's core mechanics to cater to specific people. It will allow everyone to play the way they want without removing the 'danger' of other pirates. Having a more equal playing field might even convince the 'pure' PvE players to dip their toes into a more fair PvP setting with equally experiences people.

  • There is no exploring, the game is boring. This is the truth though, as much as it pains me to say as I looked forward to this game for so long, and it is the overwhelming consensus.

    But really, there's hardly anything to explore, and I feel at this point it would require a complete overhaul of the game to make it fun for those wanting exploration and adventuring. It feels like the game was released at least a year too early.

    While I no longer think giving a PvE-only option will fix the game due to the fact there is absolutely nothing to do in the game, I still support giving gamers the choice as many are calling for it, and many have quit playing or are about to quit playing because of this.

    At this point it appears the die hard supporters of the game are those who play it solely for the PvP aspect of the game. This is also clear from the multiple threads asking for a "battle royale" mode or asking for more weapons, more ways to kill each other, more ship types, more cannons, etc. In contrast, there are rarely threads asking for more content that can make the world feel alive and not empty. And whenever people mention PvE, they are met with a barrage of toxic comments about how the game isn't PvE, how it is not the intent of the game, how it goes against Rare's vision, etc.

    I'm 100% certain the intent of the game wasn't a PvP free-for-all. If this is indeed the intent, or if this is what Rare wants and tolerates now, then the game description and game information on this website needs to change ASAP, and many people need to be reimbursed and apologized to.

  • @greaseman85 said in [Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4:

    There is no exploring, the game is boring. This is the truth though, as much as it pains me to say as I looked forward to this game for so long, and it is the overwhelming consensus.

    But really, there's hardly anything to explore, and I feel at this point it would require a complete overhaul of the game to make it fun for those wanting exploration and adventuring. It feels like the game was released at least a year too early.

    While I no longer think giving a PvE-only option will fix the game due to the fact there is absolutely nothing to do in the game, I still support giving gamers the choice as many are calling for it, and many have quit playing or are about to quit playing because of this.

    At this point it appears the die hard supporters of the game are those who play it solely for the PvP aspect of the game. This is also clear from the multiple threads asking for a "battle royale" mode or asking for more weapons, more ways to kill each other, more ship types, more cannons, etc. In contrast, there are rarely threads asking for more content that can make the world feel alive and not empty. And whenever people mention PvE, they are met with a barrage of toxic comments about how the game isn't PvE, how it is not the intent of the game, how it goes against Rare's vision, etc.

    I'm 100% certain the intent of the game wasn't a PvP free-for-all. If this is indeed the intent, or if this is what Rare wants and tolerates now, then the game description and game information on this website needs to change ASAP, and many people need to be reimbursed and apologized to.

    I really want to give my feedback about the exploration and PvE so Rare can improve it from our experiences but the truth is, I don't play this game because everytime I find another player it just ruins my day. For the rest of the day I'm feeling stuff that I shouldn't be feeling after playing a game.

    So my only feedback right now is, let me explore that part of the game without making me feel awful. Once I can, I'm more than willing to give all the feedback in the world but until that's resolved i'm just not playing because it makes me miserable.

    And if everyone that enjoys PvE leaves, it's just not going to improve, ever.

  • @fishst1ck said in [Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4:

    Having a more equal playing field might even convince the 'pure' PvE players to dip their toes into a more fair PvP setting with equally experiences people.

    Seriously, what is it so hard to see that a person's fun is not the same as another person's fun? I would never engage in PvP, fair or not. It's just not fun. If there was a "PvP only area" like MMOs colliseums or war zones, I would try it but if I'm forced to do PvP without way to opt out, balanced or not, fair or not, I'm just not playing.

  • @navarita said in [Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4:

    @fishst1ck said in [Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4:

    Having a more equal playing field might even convince the 'pure' PvE players to dip their toes into a more fair PvP setting with equally experiences people.

    Seriously, what is it so hard to see that a person's fun is not the same as another person's fun? I would never engage in PvP, fair or not. It's just not fun. If there was a "PvP only area" like MMOs colliseums or war zones, I would try it but if I'm forced to do PvP without way to opt out, balanced or not, fair or not, I'm just not playing.

    I'm sorry, nobody is forcing you to have fun a certain way or do PvP. It is however a core mechanic in the game, just read the "About Sea of Thieves" on this site (or the back of the box, or the description on the appstore):

    Sea of Thieves is a new type of multiplayer game that delivers all you need to live the free-roaming pirate life. Whether adventuring as a group or sailing solo, you'll encounter other crews... but will they be friends or foes, and how will you respond?

    That you want to play a passive merchant sailor in this game, doesn't remove the dangers on the seas. The suggestion of matching more likeminded people, for example those that don't want to engage in PvP or prefer not to would at least make sure that it'll be less dangerous.

  • I don't really think that PvP ('combat') and PvE ('exploration') can ever be properly balanced out unless the elephant in the room is addressed, which is that PvP has no consequences, no real risks, and it can threaten to dominate the game because diehard PvPers don't have any reason to interact with the rest of the game world if they don't care about the PvE content, the gold you earn from the content, and the cosmetics you buy with said gold.

  • Funny how you reposted this without the link to the disappointing "public statement" about PvE or safe zones. "Never". Okay well thanks for not wasting half of your playerbase's time. I'm sure many who clicked that link and read it just gave up on this game. You think you're top dog? You can't even break the main demographic. And in all this info and all these staff updates, the only thing you can say about THE most requested feature is: "never". I loved this game. And I really don't want to hate it. I really want to enjoy this game, but I don't wanna force myself to like it. I have nearly 200 hours in this game, I'd hate to just drop it because of some narcissistic comments from the Devs. The costomer is always right, no matter what business, and you guys couldn't even hold to this. You want to be right about everything, but you were wrong at the birth of development for this game. You're only chance is to just make it pay to win. You basically screwed yourself from the start. There's other successful and unsuccessful games to learn from, but you didn't learn anything. You didn't even try. You just took the worst parts of the best games and mashed them together. Though, there are some good ideas in the game. Nobody cares about a stupid UI screen fading in all pretty. People want content, not slight improvements where none were needed.

  • I'm sorry, busy schedule irl so I do not have time to read through 4 megathreads of ranting. So here's my 2 cents.
    Honestly, my expectations for sailing and running voyages has been cut short. The games "carrot on a stick" or prize as pirates would know it, are not in sync with the hours one spends losing it all to current mechanisms.
    Good luck to you Rare. It has huge potential.

  • Make chests physical objects.

    So it can roll down rocks. I hate placing it down and it's forever stuck like on a rock.

  • @greaseman85 I would say I'm a supporter and I still have fun exploring and voyaging and pve-ing in general. The road map videos have said that more PVE content is coming so I dont really feel the need to beg for more of it. I'm content to wait and keep slowly making my way to legend

  • Will you get XP After a completed voyage? Will we get more rewards at higher reputation? Will we be able to convert our gold into reputation?

    A level 35 gold hoarder and a riddle with 4 texts on it give's you a castaway.

    Atleast make the low tier items golden and make it an increase chance to get higher rewards and order of souls to have a skeleton to drop another skull and a new item called the cursed skull.

    Make cursed chests more gold and they give us more reputation because of how rare they are.

  • @fishst1ck said in [Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4:

    @navarita said in [Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4:

    @fishst1ck said in [Mega Thread] Balancing Exploration and Player Combat - Part 4:

    Having a more equal playing field might even convince the 'pure' PvE players to dip their toes into a more fair PvP setting with equally experiences people.

    Seriously, what is it so hard to see that a person's fun is not the same as another person's fun? I would never engage in PvP, fair or not. It's just not fun. If there was a "PvP only area" like MMOs colliseums or war zones, I would try it but if I'm forced to do PvP without way to opt out, balanced or not, fair or not, I'm just not playing.

    I'm sorry, nobody is forcing you to have fun a certain way or do PvP. It is however a core mechanic in the game, just read the "About Sea of Thieves" on this site (or the back of the box, or the description on the appstore):

    Sea of Thieves is a new type of multiplayer game that delivers all you need to live the free-roaming pirate life. Whether adventuring as a group or sailing solo, you'll encounter other crews... but will they be friends or foes, and how will you respond?

    That you want to play a passive merchant sailor in this game, doesn't remove the dangers on the seas. The suggestion of matching more likeminded people, for example those that don't want to engage in PvP or prefer not to would at least make sure that it'll be less dangerous.

    Problem is, the player base is highly toxic and Rare gambled on people being nice (they lost). So while this is great in theory, in practice it is a failure. The moment anyone sees another ship, a fight will happen, even if both players are PvE players, because the problem is that everyone is now on edge expecting the other to attack. This is not fun.

  • I'm not supporting PvE or safe zones, but there needs to be law. There's pirate code, but you can laugh and burn it while nothing happens. There needs to be code enforcement of some kind. I get that merchant sailors faced these dangers, but it was also illegal to attack other ships. In this game, attacking other ships is supported by law. If there was a motive to not attack random people for no reason, this wouldn't be an issue. Like I said previously in another forum topic, PvP should feel like an event. It should feel very intense and very special. PvP is just an annoyance in this game because there's no reason for it and there's no motivation to help anyone. You don't get gold. You get a warm feeling in your heart. What a great reward right. there's also no exploration in this game. It's all water and a few islands which are mostly covered in rocks or ground which cannot be walked on. The majority of caves are corridors leading outside again, or empty rooms with no purpose. The uncharted islands are embarrassing to even think about. No animals, no lore, no nothing. It's a pointless island that's mysteriously not on the map.. probably cause it has nothing. Combat is really strange because most of the ship cannot be damaged. The main mast is the most important part of a boat but the masts are invulnerable. I'm not sure if you guys realised, but the sloop cannot be damaged on the lower deck In the back. I'm not sure why you filled the smallest ship with mostly empty space when the only thing missing from the galleon is the bilge. Also I have to say that the ship combat is very basic. You shoot holes, their boat floods. That's the only way to sink them. There's no damage to sails or the rudder or even ship fatigue from getting shot so much. There's no speed loss from ship damage. There's really no ship damage, just a few things you can fully repair with a wooden plank. There needs to be more to destroying or sinking a ship. At last, I just want to say that the fact that you can't challenge the other crew and board them. It's just silly video game nonsense. No sunken ship is going to have treasure that 1. Floats to the surface of the ocean 2. Is worth anything after being shot with cannons and drowned with water.

  • PVE players need stop exaggerating about how often they are attacked.

  • I would love to explore more. But the Kill on Sight (KoS) mentality prevents me from doing much of that. I do it but never when I have anything of value on my ship. And most times my empty ship will be sunk by any passing ship.

    So for me this comes down to if Rare likes the KoS mentality or not. My only options to tone it down Rare has already said they won't do.

    That said anything that allows me to not worry about my ship being sunk, while I'm exploring would help. Otherwise I have to have extra time to find loot, hide loot then sail half of the map back to the hiding place and grab it.

    If we are talking about Voyages then anything that would help me not feel like I have to run back to an outpost with 1 item at a time would help.

    Zeffin

  • Give interesting quests, not this fetch missions. Give difficult voyages with high pay-out, good enigmas, true enemies (skeletons are just boring and killing them gets you nothing), some sort of Ship vs Ship combat that is not entirely reliant on PVP (Random NPC Royal Cargos; Cursed AI Ships [Flying Dutchman]). Then you will see the complains about PVP going down.

    I do PVP a lot because there is no other reason to NOT kill another pirate. PVP is what keeps me getting back to the game, as the game right now does not have any sort of "hook" to keep me in it. There is no progression, no ranking, no competitive scene, no healthy PVE experience nor adventure. The awesome things are the Mechanics that are in the game (sailing, ship combat etc).

    In my view, to really make this game shine, the missions and player adventure through out the world needs to be outstanding, catchy. Because right now, everything feels more like chores than voyages.

  • Maybe I am missing something. I'm a long time gamer, from back in the Texas instrument days. I say this to point out I recall the day and age when a game was just how it was. You had two buttons and a joy stick, c**p graphics and limited options for things you could actually do. We also didn't have other players to play against. All games were PvE. Then MMOs came out, and early on I loved them (DAOC anyone?). Why? In truth I hate playing against other players, and I love playing with other players. PvE coop. SoT is limited on environmental, NPC enemies. And it had me scared at first, but after playing awhile now, I dig it.

    I'm ok if a 4 man galleons come and wrecks me when I'm a single man sloop. I like that I feel I need to fly like the wind to get my booty and go. I like it because the best AI will never beat real intelligence.

    Think the old book 'The Most Dangerous Game'. Hunting other players presents the best challenge. Defending against those hunters is the best challenge.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, and I get that there are jerky PvP players that can make being a PvE player frustrating, but please instead of begging the game change or create PvE servers why not just accept the PvPers are part of the environment and you need to just get good.

    I get the come backs and rebuttals people have. I play SoT with my 10 y.o. on the spectrum son, who is crushed when we get mugged and destroyed by PvPers, and it makes me furious. Furious that he is so upset by it, not furious at the game and not at the other players. Except you s***s with the esp hacks and targeting hacks, you are just wastes of skin and oxygen. A good game should challenge you, you should win some and lose some. Sounds to me like Rare is doing fine. I'm more than halfway to pirate legend in under a few weeks with minimal play and hardly any of it PvP. When PvP forces itself on me and I lose, I feel no different than when that d**k black Knight for Demon souls would kill me with on hit. I'm p****d but determined to figure out how to beat it. Isn't that the point though?

  • @fancypantzmcgee No game should make anyone furious, especially one that was marketed as some silly cartoony shared world adventure.

    And please, the "git gud" argument is beyond idiotic at this point.

  • @COMBATxKITTY

    Hey man..... You said in the recently locked thread that: "The PvP in this game is silly to say the least. I mean come on, jump up and down up and down with a sword while eating bananas, how hardcore?"

    Are you an angry man in general bro or is it because you lose all of your PvP encounters? You do realize that players can't hold both a sword and a banana in their hand at the same time right? Also, the maximum amount of banana's any player can carry is 5.

    Regardless, if you are constantly getting owned by bunny hopping sword attack spamming players who while fighting you also have the free time to get to a barrel and replenish their banana's you really need to up your gameplay dude.

  • @xpvtx LOL I'm not man. Stop assuming gender ok. It is not the 1950's anymore. Women are actually allowed out of the kitchen and we can play video games, we can also vote too incase you didn't know.

    Why am I angry? Why would you think I am constantly being owned? Myself and my friend in a sloop have sunk four man galleons so not only should you not assume gender but also maybe you shouldn't assume player skills either simply because someone disagrees with you. You can try to pretend SOT is a hardcore PvP game all you want but guess what? Its not.

  • @khaleesibot
    Past my posts from the previous megathreads
    (dyes and different voyage types)
    I'd go forward with random event npc quest givers.

    Either some of the shop keepers trying to track their late shipments.

    An old salt in the tavern mumbling stories of lost treasure / cursed skull / golden animal.

    A castaway on an island trading their map for safe passage to the nearest outpost.

    Something that gives more story to the voyage system but feels more like a fulfilling side quest.

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