Running, the reputational conundrum

  • Sea of Thieves' greatest strength is the freedom it gives the player. You can do whatever in Ramsey's name you want (as long as it's not breaking ToS). You can dig up treasure, you can steal other's treasure, you can fight, and you can run. For some reason, it seems as if a very PvP-centric portion of the community enjoys the insane freedom of the game, however their preferred playstyle is also the source of many of the detrimental attitudes for playing the game. Content creators, as while most of them can be bubbly and fun, can also be a source of an unintentional hive mind, especially in PvP.

    Now, to conclude going around the bush here's the main point of discussion: Running.

    In a lot of cases, the PvP in this game can be rather upsetting to the average Sea of Thieves player. No one likes ambushes, or the terrifying hovering sound of chainshots followed by intense pressure of cannons, gun shots, and the water splashing of a boarder climbing up your ship's ladder. Players at times, don't like PvP. Ideally, this should be okay, as long as players understand that it's inescapable. Though, the best option to not PvP, is to... not PvP apparently. Depending on your ship type, you angle your ship with or against the wind, angle your sails for the best speed in your direction, and just... keep going.

    This is usually seen as acceptable. Until it's not apparently. Players don't like chasing boats for extended periods of time, multiple times a day. In a game where freedom is more than emphasized, it's weird that certain valid choices are just, no longer valid because of loot you decide to have on board, or the flag(s) you decide to fly at the point of combat. Just look at any PvP centric streamer that's chased down a boat before, their somewhat subtle expressions and their chat's seething impatience towards the scenario. Ideally you can turn off of the chase, and let that player get away as they got the successful escape from your attempted attack. The problem though, is that for every person you decide not to chase, there's another 20 players also not willing to trade broadsides with you while you look for meaningful amounts of treasure to steal, and a good naval battle in exchange for it. Doubly so for the Reaper's Bones Emissary, where freedom, the major theme of the Reaper's Bones, is treated as some elite form of gameplay where you must fight everything and cannot run, alliance, or shroud your loot should you want to look respectful in front of other players.

    For some reason, most of us know running is a valid strategy, as it is in order to recover damage, to find supplies to continue a fight, to evade imminent danger no matter the crew size. People usually try their hardest to stay as safe and advantageous as possible, most evade combat entirely, some do a little bit of combat and then check out early, and several other scenarios, but they are all assumed the same scenario, running to refuse to fight and sink due to severe damage, extremely low supplies, or crew incompetency.

    Is running really all that valid? Why is it acceptable for some people but not acceptable for others? Why is there such a heavy expectation put upon players in a game where you can optionally commit to a fight? I know there are double standards everywhere, but a valid option, that most real life people take to avoid death, is just seen as unacceptable in the name of someone's fun because "it's all just pixels".

    What are your thoughts on this odd conundrum? Everyone plays the game a similar but different way, but it just seems weird such an entry level strategy is such a mixed discussion between ideologies and playstyles.

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  • To those that like to attack other crews but don't like the chasing (for a long time ) bit; just as we tell people who don't like to get sunk while having loads of loot on board: be more aware, turn in more often, crew up &c - they can try a different (more subtle) "approach", become better in chasing or accept defeat after a certain amount of time and find a different target.

  • It's a valid reaction to being presented with an unappealing alternative. If the person doing the chasing has nothing to offer the person running, why should they fight?

    If someone comes after me with a grade V flag or significant loot on board I am more likely to give them the fight they want than if I just saw them leaving an outpost with nothing to gain from the encounter. It's an even easier choice to run if faced with superior firepower or a larger crew... which happens quite often when solo. Running in those cases is often a tactical choice to find a good advantage, or at least a better scenario than the broadside of a brig or galleon. Frustrated crews often make mistakes.

    No-one is owed a fight, however. The venting over runners usually comes from frustrated chasers who want to be consoled by the community that they are not the ones with the problem - the problem of pride. The sunk cost fallacy is all too real; they get to a point and can't give up. Streamers feel that even more because they have an audience to entertain.

    Knowing this and seeing all the posts from frustrated chasers only emboldens those who run that their choices are effective. There's an element of schadenfreude that comes from wasting aggressive players' time.

  • Not running and not chasing brings down the frustrations a lot in this game

    I rarely run and rarely chase. Sometimes I'll do both but rarely.

    My focus is almost always on time management and efficiency and running and chasing rarely contribute to either. When I run it's almost entirely to mess with a crew where their frustrations are entertaining me.

    I'd rather sink or win in 3 minutes or let a high value target go after a short chase than the alternative of wasting my time.

    There are no obligations and there are not entitlements so I just apply that to the session. Nobody has to fight me and nobody has to leave me alone and I just make choices that make sense in that given situation.

    People can do whatever I'll just do what's best for me and my crew

  • "Sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you". You do whatever you feel it is better to deal with the situation you are in.

    Fighting, ambushing, running, counter attacking, hiding, scuttling and red sea- ing are all valid options. As a gamer you have the possibility to choose.

  • Same with people who rather tuck instead of fighting for loot. Or tuck on ships for hours.

    Because they can. If tucking is allowed why not running?

    “We must fight, to run away. To survive”

  • Do we claim poor sport when a squirrel runs into a hidey hole as a bird swoops down? Is it against the rules when a herd scatters the moment they notice a lioness stalking them? If you don’t want to chase ships then catch them off guard. Become a stealthier predator and you won’t end up in long chases. No one owes anyone a fight.

  • @realstyli said in Running, the reputational conundrum:

    It's a valid reaction to being presented with an unappealing alternative. If the person doing the chasing has nothing to offer the person running, why should they fight?

    If someone comes after me with a grade V flag or significant loot on board I am more likely to give them the fight they want than if I just saw them leaving an outpost with nothing to gain from the encounter. It's an even easier choice to run if faced with superior firepower or a larger crew... which happens quite often when solo.

    Exactly this. Very often now, our mode of operation is to get to Grade V Reaper ASAP by doing Flame Heart or some other world event. All of a sudden boats start showing up and Emissaries are willing to take you on. You get the occasional crew who walks into the fight with their hands empty and underprepared and you can wash them with the supplies you've amassed.

    I have to say though, that the ability to Server Hop using Portals has made this practice viable and IMO it's a more desirable outcome for servers with players who like to PvP. At least attackers have a good incentive now to reach Reaper Grade V as opposed to sneaking about with no loot on board and trying to sink ships while risking absolutely nothing.

    All they need to do now is make the Broken Reaper Grade V Emissary Flag an item that can be turned in to all Trading Companies.

  • I think that it would be better if they runners had a clear winning condition against perpetual chasers.

    Right now they cannot exactly escape their pursuers, they are faster but not that much faster. They'll eventually either make a mistake / get rare'd and having to fight with a massive disadvantage or get chased indefinitely or going into the red sea.

    The moment a perpetual chase takes place, the runners cannot win. All they can do is making it so they are not the only one to lose.
    Some players, like myself, recognize this and choose to break the chase. But others don't accept that their preys would take the worst option every time so they invest into the chase and get frustrated afterwards.

    Imo, something should be implemented to give the runner a way to actually escape their pursuers. Maybe a portal somewhere on the map that allows them to change server with their loot. A perpetual foggy part of the map, that if you're stay in it for long enough, you change server. So they'd have a clear wincon : put some distance between them and the chasers, go for the zone and survive long enough to change server.
    Getting out of the fog in a new server would be cinematic too.

    The chasers would know the gameplan, could try to play around it and it would shorten the chase and cut back the frustration a bit, maybe. :p

  • @grog-minto said in Running, the reputational conundrum:

    I think that it would be better if they runners had a clear winning condition against perpetual chasers.

    Right now they cannot exactly escape their pursuers, they are faster but not that much faster. They'll eventually either make a mistake / get rare'd and having to fight with a massive disadvantage or get chased indefinitely or going into the red sea.

    The moment a perpetual chase takes place, the runners cannot win. All they can do is making it so they are not the only one to lose.
    Some players, like myself, recognize this and choose to break the chase. But others don't accept that their preys would take the worst option every time so they invest into the chase and get frustrated afterwards.

    Imo, something should be implemented to give the runner a way to actually escape their pursuers. Maybe a portal somewhere on the map that allows them to change server with their loot. A perpetual foggy part of the map, that if you're stay in it for long enough, you change server. So they'd have a clear wincon : put some distance between them and the chasers, go for the zone and survive long enough to change server.
    Getting out of the fog in a new server would be cinematic too.

    The chasers would know the gameplan, could try to play around it and it would shorten the chase and cut back the frustration a bit, maybe. :p

    People can rowboat loot sneakily and sell it and then hit a portal for a hop if they wanted to.

    Neither running nor chasing should be catered to.

    Chasers got chain shots and I'd argue the tinkering lead to an even worse situation of camping each other that ranges from unfun to boring for many people, not just the losing side the winners as well

    People can run and they can chase but they are the ones that are responsible for the consequences of that. There is no actual reason to run or chase most of the time other than feeding ego.

    A pver can easily just get loot again and most of the time a pvper doesn't really need what they are chasing. Let them waste their own time on both ends. They get to do that if they want but interfering in that only brings consequences/changes from their choices into the game for everyone else.

  • “Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.”

    Some have a hard time accepting this. Until you accept you’ll never be happy with the game.

  • @grog-minto said in Running, the reputational conundrum:

    I think that it would be better if the runners had a clear winning condition against perpetual chasers.

    Right now they cannot exactly escape their pursuers, they are faster but not that much faster. They'll eventually either make a mistake / get rare'd and having to fight with a massive disadvantage or get chased indefinitely or going into the red sea.

    I mean, there are some things one can do.

    I remember one time when was in one of these situations, there was no way I was going to win the fight, so all I could do was run. I spotted a skeleton galleon in the distance, headed straight there and shot one cannonball at them. They became hostile and started attacking the ship chasing me, as it was passing right next to them, and I got lucky enough that they got hit by a cursed cannonball that messed them up.

    At some other point, I was being chased while carrying just one chest. It was only one, but it was very valuable, so I didn't want to lose it. I just headed toward an outpost, jumped off the ship with the chest, and let the other guys continue chasing my ship while I cashed it in. They didn't notice I had jumped, so I waited for them hidden in the outpost in case they headed back. Unfortunately they never did, but that would've been a good opportunity for me to cause them some trouble if they had come back and didn't pass near my mermaid.

    Still, I do think your fog idea or something along those lines sounds cool.

  • @liberance I would call that going for a strategic retreat more than running. But there are indeed multiple options available !

  • One of my favourite memories of solo slooping is being chased by a brig, turning my lights off and leading them into a storm, completely losing them in it and carrying on with my adventure knowing I'd tactically bested them.

    Whilst I am mainly solo and mainly PvE, I accept that part of the game is the constant element of danger that PvP brings...and I'm not afraid to run if needs be 😂☠️

  • It's funniest when the determined pvp'ers start hurling the running insults at you when you've only just turned away to get some respite from cannon fire and then proceed to lead them through some rocks or to a fort. I don't run, I fight on my terms. Running to give yourself the strategic edge is completely fair game as it is for the attackers to chase there targets. No one owes anyone a fight, the attackers also have the right to engage any ship they see.

    The main problem is that the attackers generally have nothing to lose because they've server hopped and ships are just throw away items. Someone with a stacked out ship is not going to turn around and fight that server hopped blank cosmetic ship.

    As said above, we must fight, to run away.

  • It's so strange that this forum thread is garnering pro-running statements. I get that the forums and other platforms feature different sides of the playerbase, but I was honestly wondering if anyone was willing to disagree with these statements.

    I think about this to myself sometimes and imagine that if anyone were to disagree with this, they would be easily shut down with the stance that they have an issue with their ego and pride. This topic being created, was from me witnessing the clashes between both sides of the same coin. Some players desperately want to fight other boats, but most players aren't good enough to fight, so they'll run if it means their boat doesn't get to have a long talk with Davy Jones, and they can either keep or fully throw away the maximum of their worth on board.

    Is it odd that different stances on and within this game are based on different player mentalities that lead to the clashes of egos and personalities? Is this really just one facet of a mindset issue within the playerbase? Could this mindset issue, be the root of some major detrimental statements towards the game, the devs, certain types of players, and content creators? Just some questions I've had swimming in my head for a while.

  • @nex-stargaze said in Running, the reputational conundrum:

    It's so strange that this forum thread is garnering pro-running statements. I get that the forums and other platforms feature different sides of the playerbase, but I was honestly wondering if anyone was willing to disagree with these statements.

    I think about this to myself sometimes and imagine that if anyone were to disagree with this, they would be easily shut down with the stance that they have an issue with their ego and pride. This topic being created, was from me witnessing the clashes between both sides of the same coin. Some players desperately want to fight other boats, but most players aren't good enough to fight, so they'll run if it means their boat doesn't get to have a long talk with Davy Jones, and they can either keep or fully throw away the maximum of their worth on board.

    Is it odd that different stances on and within this game are based on different player mentalities that lead to the clashes of egos and personalities? Is this really just one facet of a mindset issue within the playerbase? Could this mindset issue, be the root of some major detrimental statements towards the game, the devs, certain types of players, and content creators? Just some questions I've had swimming in my head for a while.

    I honestly haven't been able to fully grasp what you are trying to get at with your original post and with this one

    I get that to some extent you are thinking out loud about the environment but I'm not clear on where you are going with it

    It's a shared environment with people that have entirely different interests and preferences. It's a dang miracle imo it even works out as good as it does.

    To keep an environment so shared and with so much freedom it's going to be nonstop incompatibility with sporadic moments of shared interest. We just take the bad with the good and try to work out sessions that work for us.

    Everyone finds some of what they want and nobody finds everything that they want that's just how it goes.

  • @nex-stargaze said in Running, the reputational conundrum:

    It's so strange that this forum thread is garnering pro-running statements. I get that the forums and other platforms feature different sides of the playerbase, but I was honestly wondering if anyone was willing to disagree with these statements.

    I think about this to myself sometimes and imagine that if anyone were to disagree with this, they would be easily shut down with the stance that they have an issue with their ego and pride. This topic being created, was from me witnessing the clashes between both sides of the same coin. Some players desperately want to fight other boats, but most players aren't good enough to fight, so they'll run if it means their boat doesn't get to have a long talk with Davy Jones, and they can either keep or fully throw away the maximum of their worth on board.

    Is it odd that different stances on and within this game are based on different player mentalities that lead to the clashes of egos and personalities? Is this really just one facet of a mindset issue within the playerbase? Could this mindset issue, be the root of some major detrimental statements towards the game, the devs, certain types of players, and content creators? Just some questions I've had swimming in my head for a while.

    It’s not about “pro-running”, it’s pro-freedom.

    There are players of all kinds on the seas, some are just not confident in their abilities to fight.

    Yes, a lot of players can improve this with time and practice, but there are also players for whom that’s not a realistic expectation - they may have real world hinderances.

    In a shared world game such as this (as I said, with no skill-based matchmaking), lambs are thrown in with the wolves. The lambs running should not be a surprise.

    I can understand the wolves’ frustrations also, but if they have just a little empathy they could see it from the other perspective and not feel so entitled to an easy meal.

    If the wolf wants the lamb to fight, surprise it, corner it, or just provide an incentive.

    Above all though, attitude goes a long way.

    Be magnanimous in victory and humble in defeat. Loot is not the be all and end all, this game is meant to be social and it's the positive encounters with other players, in opposition and co-operation, that drives a lot of us and keeps is playing.

  • @nex-stargaze the people who are so vocal about running are the ones who just want you to sit on there broadside and take cannon shots until you sink, errr no not happening. Why they think someone breaking off to avoid a broadside is running is beyond me. It's a game of cat and mouse. The victor will be the one who puts there ship in the right position, that's the beauty of naval combat.

    Running with no end game is just a lost cause and I can understand the frustrations. I've chased reapers across the map and you just think why? Make a play, use a fort, get me stuck in rocks, use skelly ships. The tools are there.

  • As a solo slooper, I’m usually left with a decision to run or not. If I trade a few shots and think I can take the enemy ship, I’ll fight, if I’m outnumbered AND outskilled, I run.

    Honestly I believe that if you’re allowed to steal my treasure, I’m allowed to run and hide it. It’s not unheard of in pirate lore at all. Jack sparrows definitely done it.

  • I don't bother running anymore, i don't carry enough on me to care of they get it, i don't use a flag. Someone starts towards me, i just hop servers. Ship combat just isn't engaging enough, I've watched the videos and tips and all that and it's boring. So i don't do it, it's not an integral part of the game.

  • It's ultimately your choice to decide what to do. So choose.

    https://i.imgflip.com/2/5p5ks2.jpg

  • I'm not going to bother reading all of this after going over a paragraph. If you don't like or want to chase people, then don't. Go after a different boat and quit complaining, honestly. You're saying the game is full of freedoms and they are not obligated to fight you, just as you aren't obligated to fight them.

  • @nex-stargaze People whining about players "running" is the same source as people whining about players capturing their ship and "spawn camping".

    The only people whining about either is people who don't understand when they've lost.

    If someone takes your ship, and kills your player every time they return - you've lost, scuttle and move on.

    Ditto if you try to attack someone, and they run into the wind in a sloop - you've lost, you weren't good enough to trap/catch them, move on.

    The people who relentlessly chase you even though they can't catch you are just stupid. When they do that, I just lead them on the longest chase I possibly can (and slowly dump any loot I have one by one - idiots like that are never going to stop for the loot, and if they get lucky and I get krakened or something, they get squat) to waste as much of their time and make them as frustrated as possible, then I just scuttle/quit. Losers like that deserve it.

  • @grog-minto said in Running, the reputational conundrum:

    But others don't accept that their preys would take the worst option every time so they invest into the chase and get frustrated afterwards.

    @grog-minto People that do that are stupid. They are doing it to themselves and deserve the frustration they get. They need to learn when they've lost ant they'll be less frustrated.

  • @gravesilence272 said:

    If someone takes your ship, and kills your player every time they return - you've lost

    Not necessarily - it's bleak to be sure, but it is still possible to win that fight. You really only ever lose an encounter once your ship sinks.

    if you try to attack someone, and they run into the wind in a sloop - you've lost, you weren't good enough to trap/catch them, move on.

    Again, not necessarily. Just because you can't catch them doesn't mean that you still can't shadow them, make them nervous, and hope they make a critical mistake as a result.

    As for you dumping your loot, I happily accept your donations.

  • I personally don't find a problem with either chasing or fighting. The problem relies more so on game imbalance and taking advantage of mechanics or tools that are being taken advantage of in a way that deviates from their main functions and clashes with the flow of the game. For example, portal hopping, we have a tall tale portal mechanic being taken advantage of to run away not from a fight but from the game itself. As part of pvp events, and as stated before, you have 2 options: Fight or flight. The initiation of such confrontations starts with any ship that pursues with those being pursued determining the nature of the confrontation. The pursued wins if they either escape, or sink the pursuer whereas the pursuer wins only if they sink those in pursuit. However, leaving the premise of the server itself should have consequences as it would not be escaping a pursuit, but quitting the game to join a different server. The same can be said for those players who throw treasure overboard in the red sea or deliberately sink in it to deny the spoils to the opposition, it's unsportmanship behavior that goes against the nature of the game.

    As for reapers, it's a given based on their reward focus, they would be more aggressive. The focus of reaper rewards centers around pvp, examples of this reasoning can be found in the increased rep reward and focus in collecting emissary flags, being highlighted in the map for others to find you, and the dark intense themes presented in the reaper's emissary and hideout. This "aggressive" gameplay style towards other emissaries is most of the time (and naturally) generalized to being hostile towards ALL other players.

    Regardless, you don't have to commit to any fight, running away is a valid strategy that the majority of the community accepts in any encounter, it only becomes a problem when people whine about it or try to find ways to escape the encounter itself by escaping the server.

  • @nex-stargaze
    For a potential steal, I put the situation in one of 2 categories, then act on the outcome.

    Category 1: They don't know I'm here.
    If I am undetected and know that the enemy ship is brimming with gold, or is in the process of completing a lucrative world event, this is when I'll take a more sneaky means of attack. I'm more of a fan of seal team missions (gunpowder kegs and a rowboat) than tucking.

    Category 2: They know I'm here.
    Most of the time, If I'm out to attack other players, I'll have a reaper flag up. In this case, there's no subterfuge to engage in, since they know my location and my intent. Sometimes, they won't see a stealth team coming, but my crew just prefers to sail at them when the jig is up.


    Then, after deciding a course of action, if I don't get a sink and they run, I decide what to do based on what kind of runner they are:

    Competent Runner
    If an enemy ship is making quick and smart sailing decisions, like anticipating a future bad wind, then I put them in this category. I'll usually leave them alone within 5 minutes, unless I know that they've got a ton of loot on them, then I'll give chase for longer, hoping they make a mistake.
    Most sloops are in this category.

    Incompetent Runner
    If the enemy ship is slow on sails and is not making good wind decisions and anticipations, then I put them in this category. I'll pursue and should get an opportunity to fight them soon.
    Brigs and Galleons are primarily in this category, as most crews have trouble coordinating good sail control, even under pressure. I just stole 200k from a brig last night because they didn't get their sails in the wind as soon as needed.


    In general, good runners get away from me. There's no sense in wasting everyone's time. If I'm running reapers, I like to tall tale server hop to ensure Category 1 is available for as long as possible.

    Besides good sail control, what's important for runners who actually want to sell loot is using an unexpected strategy. If you're a sloop, get in a good position and try to double board the enemy, or go towards barrels floating in the sea for a gunpowder barrel. You'd be surprised how effective boarding with multiple pirates can be!

  • @galactic-geek said in Running, the reputational conundrum:

    Again, not necessarily. Just because you can't catch them doesn't mean that you still can't shadow them, make them nervous, and hope they make a critical mistake as a result.

    Sure, usually this is what happens to the dudes chasing me though.

    @galactic-geek said in Running, the reputational conundrum:

    As for you dumping your loot, I happily accept your donations.

    If all it costs to get you off my tail is an empty storage container or "peculiar curio" - I consider it loot well spent. Enjoy the donation.

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