Community Spotlight - Dread Pirate Doug
The driving force behind the Race of Legends takes the Spotlight to tell us his story!
Spotlights are back! They took a little hiatus in late 2020, but now we’re back out here putting together brand new Community and Creator Spotlights to shine a light on some of our talented players and what makes them stand out.
In our latest Community Spotlight, we’ve prodded the well-known creator of the Race of Legends, Dread Pirate Doug! Let’s take a look into the mind of this legendary Sea of Thieves tournament organiser and find out the origins of the most notorious race on the seas.
[Q]: Can you tell us a little about what got you into gaming?
[A]: We had an Atari 2600 when I was young. I loved playing Joust (anyone remember Joust...? Anyone?) Missile Command, Centipede etc. Once I started gaming on PC it was real-time strategy games that first caught my attention. I LOVED the first Command & Conquer. StarCraft will always have a special place in my heart as well. I spent hundreds of hours competing on BattleNet. I was far from ‘good’ but StarCraft is probably the game I’ve been the most competitive in.
Some of my best memories from high school are cramming 16 people into someone’s living room playing Halo against each other and accusing each other of screen peeking. Those were some great times. Now that we can all game online against each other there isn’t a reason to get together in person and game anymore. That was a special moment in gaming that won’t come again. Good times.
[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves? Do you have any favourite Rare games?
[A]: GoldenEye was the first multiplayer shooter I ever played. It blew my mind and I’ve loved shooters ever since! I played some Banjo-Kazooie but I didn’t own an N64 so Sea of Thieves is the first Rare game I had a chance to really sink my teeth into.
[Q]: What other games are you currently playing? Any favourites?
[A]: At the moment I’m having fun with the most recent Destiny DLC. Rocket League is always a good time and I still play a little Modern Warfare.
[Q]: What brought you over to Sea of Thieves and its community?
[A]: The E3 trailer was when SoT first grabbed my attention. The drama and beauty of the world that Rare was building was so enticing. As soon as the game launched I was Slooping around the seas looking for trouble. Back when every crew was an open crew I eventually met some really nice people that welcomed me into their little group. That was the first time I saw how amazing a good crew is on the Sea of Thieves. The communication, the cooperation, knowing we were all going to win this fight or sink together.
All those epic moments and crazy sessions were why I fell in love with the game. Ask anyone who’s played Sea of Thieves more than once and they’ve got some epic, intense stories to tell. No other game creates stories the way Sea of Thieves does. I’ve made a lot of amazing memories on the seas that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
As fine a crew as you’ll find on the seas. And so neatly turned out!
[Q]: What was the driving force behind the Race of Legends?
[A]: I created the Race of Legends to be my gift back to the Sea of Thieves community. It’s a celebration of everything that makes Sea of Thieves and the community around it so great. We’re a positive, supportive community built around intense, fun competitions.
I wanted to create something that tested nearly all the hard and soft skills a crew needs when they are out on the seas. That’s why each course involves a PvP element as well as obstacles that test a crew’s communication, ship handling and planning while also being able to adjust to the random chaos that the Sea of Thieves brings to every sail (Megs, Skelly Ships, storms etc.) Competing successfully in the Race of Legends means your crew is one of the elite crews on the seas, capable of handling whatever is thrown at you. Even a regular season race is a very high-pressure experience. Crews that win consistently like the Crimson Tide Pirates have talented players with sharp strategic minds that have sailed together for years.
One of the coolest things about watching the Race of Legends evolve over the last two years is seeing a meta develop over the course of each season (each of our five seasons has a different route that pirates race through). It’s the crews that race regularly and have been around since the beginning that tend to set that meta for the rest of the Race of Legends community. But we also have new crews show up and surprise us with their creative ways of completing obstacles.
The Race of Legends literally couldn’t exist without the support of the Sea of Thieves community. Especially the Legendary First Mates (Mike, 0wl, Kaitzu) and the Legendary Officers. Pulling off an event on this scale is a huge effort from a lot of talented, hard-working pirates.
[Q]: Can you name one standout moment from a Race of Legends event?
[A]: This is a tough one. We’ve had The Longest Johns perform a couple times, having them there is always a great time. There have been some incredibly close races on all our courses, including that sword fight at the beacon in Season 2 (Sanitarium Crew vs Crimson Tide Pirates), that was crazy.
This wasn’t my best moment as Race of Legends host, but it is hilarious. I’m notorious for my ‘flexible’ approach to countdowns.
But if I had to pick one amazing moment I’d go with the epic Cursed Cannonball fight in the last race of our first March Madness Tournament (Crimson Tide Pirates vs Banana Bois). Lightning was hitting both crews, the waves were tossing both ships around. Both crews were still landing Cursed Cannonballs on each other every few seconds. Back then there weren’t limits to the number of Cursed Cannonballs a crew could have, but now we hand out five to each crew at the beginning of each race to keep things a bit more fair. I’ll never forget the ‘Cursenado’.
A typical mix of hulls, sails and pirates amidst the Race of Legends!
[Q]: What’s your favourite cosmetic setup for your ship?
[A]: The OG Ashen set is probably still my favorite. It brings back so many great memories of exploring The Devil’s Roar for the first time.
[Q]: What are your favourite additions to Sea of Thieves over the past year?
[A]: I’ve loved the new Tall Tales! The ‘Shores of Gold’ Tall Tales were fantastic, but I feel like the newer ones are a 2.0 version. The combination of the music, the ghostly shipwrecks and the fiery caverns... amazing. I can’t wait to see where this story takes us!
[Q]: Thinking back, are there any standout moments for you in Sea of Thieves since you started playing?
[A]: I’ve had so many memorable adventures on the seas that it’s hard to narrow down just one. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a Skeleton Galleon come out of the sea next to our ship. One of the most epic things I’ve ever experienced in a video game.
Probably the hardest I’ve ever laughed in my life is when Kharites, 0wl, Artblaster and me danced around the Ferry of the Damned in just the Bob Ross wig playing The Longest Johns over game chat. The reaction from people spawning in was so funny I may have actually injured myself laughing at one point. You can find the video on the Sea of Thieves Reddit and you can hear me cackling/giggling in the background. You just don’t have moments like that in other games.
Is it art? Bob Ross would know.
[Q]: What are your greatest achievements in a game, Sea of Thieves or otherwise?
[A]: I can’t really say I’ve achieved anything in a game bigger than the piece of paper nailed to the fireplace in the tavern at Golden Sands. I still remember hesitating about tweeting out a resume for my pirate. I had less than a hundred followers on Twitter, I hadn’t really created any Sea of Thieves content at that point and I was nervous that no-one would get the joke. But apparently someone over at Rare got the joke!
I was sailing with my 10-year-old nephew a few weeks ago and we stopped by Golden Sands to grab a Voyage. The crew there recognized my name and thanked me for helping them get their tattoos! It’s amazing that the studio thought my joke resume was worth adding to the game and I’ll be forever grateful for the honor.
[Q]: Who’s the best/most skilled Rare employee who has raced in your event?
[A]: Okay, this feels like a trap but here we go:
Joe, Mike, Shelley and Andrew ran a fantastic race when they competed in the Race of Legends in early 2020. They only lost to me and the Legendary First Mates by around 10 seconds (and we’re the ones that designed the course)!
BUT we’ve also had Bobbles, Ev1lMinnow and their crew compete in the Curse of Legends several times as well as our marathon tavern crawl to support AbleGamers last October. Those guys keep coming back to a really intense PvP event and they get better every time, so I’d give them the trophy for now. Maybe we need to see some crews from Rare go head-to-head to settle this once and for all?
Raring to go in the climactic race of a season…
[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate and ship name, what would they be?
[A]: Dread Pirate Doug is of course a reference to Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride. The name of his ship is the Revenge but of course there isn’t much money in revenge.
[Q]: What kind of other hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?
[A]: I’m really into reading and learning about history and I listen to a LOT of audio books. I’m also a huge Star Trek fan (DS9 is the best series – change my mind).
[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!
[A]: I have a cat named Captain Flameheart and a dog named Wilfred and they are best buddies!
That brings us neatly to the end of this Community Spotlight. Huge thanks to Dread Pirate Doug for taking the time to answer all our burning questions and give us the scoop on what goes into making the Race of Legends so special. We’ll have another Spotlight soon, but don’t forget you can take a look through all our previous Community Spotlights in the meantime!
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