Unfortunately, the answer to the question in the thread topic is no. I have sunk around 50 hours into Sea of Thieves after picking up my wife's account with the Anniversary Update. Here are my thoughts so far:
PVP STILL RULES THE SEAS.
Adventuring is a tonne of fun - you just won't get to be doing much of it. At the very least, it isn't an experience you can count on having. Every load of Sea of Thieves is a roll of the dice. You might have two good sessions in a row where you scarcely see another soul, and then not make any progress for two whole weeks because of constant griefing by other players.
The fact that adventuring is so damn satisfying makes this all the more heartbreaking. Most of my experience of Sea of Thieves is getting home from work, excited for some down time, and then giving up after spending an hour and a half being sunk repeatedly on the way to my first destination.
Of 50ish hours of play, only one of my interactions with other players has been positive (I had this interaction about 5 hours in, where a small brigantine crew helped me complete a story chapter - I was so thrilled I shared my loot with them on the home journey). Every other encounter fell into one of three broad categories:
1. The Troll.
These guys are just there to ruin your day - they will attack you regardless of whether or not you are carrying any loot. They presumably play Sea of Thieves when they get bored of capturing and tearing the wings off butterflies.
2. The Sociopath.
A category of player who really wants to form an alliance with you - especially when you are about to drop off 7 crates of devil's cloth. When you politely decline, they try to sink your ship, steal your goods and/or kill you - I guess so they can cope with the pain of mild and friendly social rejection. Is someone not getting enough likes on Insta?
3. The Deckhead.
Words can't quite express how I loathe the deckhead. These aggravating players are there waiting for you at the end of nearly every cargo run, bounty or voyage to swoop in at the last minute and take your stuff. They almost always travel with a large crew, and from my experience will only attack when they have an overwhelming advantage in power (which happens a lot when you are playing solo or with a small crew). The lowest point for me in the game so far was completing around 15 hours of the new Shores of Gold story voyages only to have the final reward stolen from me by a crew of Deckheads. 10 minutes of their time, and a week and a half of mine went down the drain. I liken this to completing a AAA adventure title like Rise of the Tomb Raider and then having your annoying kid brother delete your save file.
This brings us to my next point....
A FAILED SOCIAL EXPERIMENT
Sea of Thieves is an ambitious title that is built around the human drive for socialisation. Despite all the claims of "friendliest online game" and "best online community" that Rare pushed in their latest wave of marketing, in the end Sea of Thieves just enhances the worst parts of our nature.
Bullying (or "harassment" if you are so invested in you high-school golden days that the former term illicits a round of jeers followed by vigorous chest bumping) is actively promoted in the game design - going so far as to train people to behave this way. Most games are built around positive reinforcement as a psychological hook - play the game and complete milestones and you get a nice sound effect, digital artefact or level gain.
The problem is that it is far easier and more rewarding in Sea of Thieves to be a "deckhead" for 10 minutes than to grind through voyages that can take up to 6 hours in the latest story offerings. Worse still, positive reinforcement drives people to continue to behave the same way, as they are rewarded each time for their "misbehaviour". This same phenomena forces even the most decent humans to question their play style, as they leave game session after game session without a single fleck of gold to their name.
Bullying is only bullying if it meets two key criteria. There has to be a power imbalance between the perpetrator and the victim, and it has to be systematic and repeated. So often the word is misapplied to all kinds of social situations, but I don't think this is the case with Sea of Thieves. Being repeatedly targeted by a galleon full of refugee Call of Duty players while I sail around solo in my sloop definitely fits both standards.
I want to like Sea of Thieves, I really do. I am constantly told in a slightly condescending tone by diehard pirates that in the face of all the trolls, sociopaths and deckheads, I should turn my sloop around and just "sail into the wind". Unfortunately, this sums up my gripe with the game.
Every time I load up the Anniversary update, it feels like sailing against the wind is pretty much the core gameplay experience - pushing past all the unpleasantness in the hopes of maybe, sometimes, possibly having 15 minutes or so of piratey adventures.
To all those people who have a low enough pain/effort versus reward ratio that they feel fulfilled by this game - all the power to them. I'm guessing they also enjoy camping, pasturising cheeses and those recipes for home-made Vietnamese subs that have you pickling your own vegetables.
With so many good game titles coming out all the time, I'm just saying that this weary pirate might go with the breeze for a change.