Since our last Community Spotlight we’ve had a Closed Beta, plenty of press coverage and a couple of Scale Tests too. There’s been a lot going on here in Twycross and it’s all culminated in the Sea of Thieves community growing faster than ever, with veterans and newcomers alike making names for themselves in all manner of ways.

However, before we begin tracking down and catching up with the pirates behind the latest slew of gamertags etched into rocks, signage and wanted posters throughout Sea of Thieves’ world, there are still more Deckhands to meet! Sam, otherwise known as WyMeRz online, joined the growing crew of Deckhands not too long ago and is here now to tell us what it’s like to moderate the community, both in and out of the Forums.

Sam was well-acquainted with the team before becoming a Deckhand.

[Q]: Tell us a little about what got you into gaming?

[A]: It all started at a very young age, one Christmas morning when I opened up a box containing a Game Boy bundled with a copy of Pokémon Crystal version (still one of my favourite Christmas gifts to date). From then on, I was hooked on mobile gaming until my cousin introduced me to one of gaming’s greatest titles… Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo blew me away as a young boy and as a result, I’ve been gaming ever since.

[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves and do you have any favourite Rare games?

[A]: Yes, very much so. One of the first FPS titles I ever played was GoldenEye and man, what an incredible gaming experience that was! Oh, and let’s not forget about Diddy Kong Racing, an N64 classic racing title that’s often overlooked. The multiplayer mode where you faced off against friends or NPCs to see who could gather the most dinosaur eggs and bring them back to your nest while attempting to defend your eggs was always a good time.

[Q]: What games are you playing currently? Any favourites?

[A]: Beyond Sea of Thieves, I’ve been playing a lot of Fortnite Battle Royale over the past few months and Halo 3 whenever I’m in the mood for a good old-fashioned arena shooter. I’ve already put nearly 300 hours into Fortnite BR since its release last year, and I have who knows how many hours logged on Halo 3 since its release in 2007. I recently did the math and found out that I’ve played more than 10,000 multiplayer matches across several XBL profiles over the years. Needless to say, even after 10 years it’s one of the best console shooters to date.

[Q]: What was it that first drew you towards Sea of Thieves?

[A]: It was Rare’s approach to developing Sea of Thieves that really drew my eye. I’d seen the Sea of Thieves gameplay reveal trailer back at E3 2016 but I put the game on the back burner for some time after that. Jump ahead six months or so and I stumbled upon a video of Joe talking about his favourite subject… feedback! The first 1000 players had just been invited to the Tech Alpha and after watching some more behind-the-scenes footage, I felt somehow connected to the development team and I wanted to help make Sea of Thieves the best it could be.

[Q]: When did you first become a Deckhand, and what is it like having the role?

[A]: I first became a Deckhand back in October of last year. Incredible, it’s an honor to have this opportunity to help shape a positive and welcoming community surrounding Sea of Thieves. It feels good to be a part of something bigger than myself and to know that my efforts help create a welcoming environment for players all around the world.

Of the photographs Sam sent us, this the favourite. Three guesses as to why...

[Q]: Previously our Deckhands have been exclusively for the Forums, but now branch out and moderate our Club too. Are there any differences between moderating the two communities?

[A]: There are slight differences between the two. Interaction and activity in the Xbox Club is usually more spur-of-the-moment and centered on big events (such as playtests), so conversations feel briefer. On the Forums, interacting with community members feels more consistent and the format allows for more in-depth conversations about the game. So interacting with the two communities can feel a bit different, but at the end of the day, we’re all excited about Sea of Thieves.  

[Q]: Having now played Sea of Thieves, do you have any standout moments?

[A]: One moment stands out from the rest. I was sailing with my fellow Deckhand Rmac when we suddenly came across a one-man sloop. We decided to hold our fire and I quickly boarded the ship undetected. Once aboard I jumped up and down, playing my hurdy-gurdy as to show the other player that I meant no harm. After plugging a few holes and helping the other player adjust their sails into the wind, I suddenly felt the cold steel of a cutlass as I was knocked off the ship. I thought “I was just trying to be friendly” but no matter.

Jump forward 20 minutes or so and we not only encountered the same player once again but another ship sailed by the legendary KattTruewalker and Lizalaroo! Out of curiosity I looked up the gamertag of our mystery guest and I couldn’t believe it… it was Craig Duncan, the Boss himself! I yelled out on the mic “It’s Craig”! We all put away our weapons and began to talk about the game. Suddenly a fourth ship arrived at the outpost and it was none other than our good friend Pikaaron (a fellow Deckhand). Together we all drank grog, played water tag, had a dance party on the docks, and enjoyed each other's company inside the wonderful world of Sea of Thieves.

[Q]: What are you looking forward to most in Sea of Thieves?

[A]: It has to be the journey that players must undertake to become a pirate legend. Mike Chapman has done a fantastic job of hyping up the journey toward becoming a pirate legend for some time now, so I can’t wait to fully sink my teeth into the game’s progression system at launch.

It looks as though Sam's sense of adventure is reflected in more than just his enjoyment of Sea of Thieves!

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate name, what would it be?

[A]: I’d have to go with Captain Long Beard. It’s not particularly original but hey, it works.  

[Q]: What kind of hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?

[A]: Photography is a big one for me, as it doubles as a hobby and my career. Whenever I get the chance, I love to escape the city to photograph the beautiful surrounding landscapes. Although when I’m not fighting traffic to go photograph mountainous terrain or a barren desert, I enjoy watching as many films as I can get my hands on. There’s nothing better than shutting off all the lights and fully immersing yourself in a film.    

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!

[A]: When I was in middle school, my friends talked me into joining our school’s basketball team even though I had little to no experience with the sport. I wasn't very good but I was able to jump particularly high for my age. In no time I was put on the starting roster and tasked with going for the jump ball at the start of every game. Needless to say, after the game started and I did my small part, I was quickly put on the bench and replaced with a much more capable player. Nevertheless, I was still a starting player and I wore that title like a badge of honor for the rest of the school year.  

And that concludes our Spotlight on Sam, who we raise our tankards to as thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and serving the community! With so many people now using the crow’s nest as a hiding place on their ships, maybe there’s an opportunity to flex those jumping skills again…

We’ll be back soon with another Spotlight on a member of the Sea of Thieves community, but until then, keep an eye on our social channels for all the latest on the game.