Sea Of Thieves makes death charge plans walk the plank

The makers of Sea Of Thieves have scrapped plans to add a ‘Death Cost’ that would make deceased pirates hand over some of their coveted gold coins to return to life. Seeing as the game has only repetitive grind and fleeting wonderful experiences with other players, as our Alec’s Sea Of Thieves review explained, the idea of adding more to grind for did not go down well with many players. After initially trying to calm clamouring crews, developers Rare have now responded with a change pirates can understand: scrapping the tax, making it walk the plank wrapped in cursed chains.

The Death Coast was listed as an upcoming feature in the version 1.0 release notes:

“This new feature has the Captain of the Ferry of the Damned deduct a small gold fee when you die. Rates are dependant on the cause of death, so the more avoidable the death, the less patience the Captain will have when we enable this feature!”

Many pirates were displeased. Mutiny not being pleasant for anyone, Rare later clarified that they had never intended to charge a Death Coast for PvP murders, “as we understand the negative impact this would have on player experience.” Unconvinced, many pirates still sat in the mess with a faraway look in their eye, idly sharpening their cutlass and hook. Rare relented.

“Letting everyone know we’ve heard the feedback and the proposed ‘Death Cost’ in #SeaOfThieves is, well, dead,” Sea Of Thieves executive producer Joe Neate tweeted yesterday. “We messed up with the messaging around this, and it’s now gone. Thanks for the honest feedback & discussion on this.”

Good-o.

15 Comments

  1. ColonelFailure says:

    I hope that Rare are aware that their clock is ticking.

    Gold sinks exist for a reason, and they’re going to need something that represents a recurring purchase before too long. They ought also think about what their equivalent of Shark Cards will be sooner rather than later, as there will be those who’d sooner pay to access later, end-of-game goodies than grind for it.

    It’s already too late for broad acceptance of these concepts, but the later it is left before their introduction the more ferocious the feedback will be.

    Unless of course they’ve no aspirations to develop the game further, in which case more power to them.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I don’t think Shark Cards are a need for anyone except maybe Microsoft (most of their major titles in the XBox One era seem to contain microtransactions).

  2. Faldrath says:

    “After initially trying to calm clamouring crews…”

    An alliteration worthy of Mr. Tim Stone, Esq.!

  3. TerminatorJones says:

    I like this patch note: “Players may become comically smaller after fighting the Kraken.”

  4. abstrarie says:

    This game really needed some more time in the oven. Or maybe that wouldn’t really do any good since it seems to lack any direction beyond “you are a pirate and you have a boat and you can earn gold in a few different ways”.

  5. wackazoa says:

    “it seems to lack any direction beyond “you are a pirate and you have a boat and you can earn gold in a few different ways”.”

    Perhaps for some, that is all it needs. I for one have played around 300 hours of Skyrim. Never touched the main story beyond the initial Whiterun quest…

    • Creeping Death says:

      ” I for one have played around 300 hours of Skyrim. Never touched the main story beyond the initial Whiterun quest…”

      Sure, but the entire time you were leveling up, unlocking new skills and more powerful weapons that allowed you to muck about in new and interesting ways.

      Would you have put 300 hours into Skyrim if you only had a starting sword and shield, all you could buy was cosmetics, and all there was to fight was feral Falmer?

    • KDR_11k says:

      Skyrim is full of things to do besides the main story. The big problem with SoT is that they made a design that contains only a few repetitive tasks that you’re supposed to do to grind for money and reputation (I’ve seen people compare it to the procedurally generated Radiant quests in Skyrim, just simple fetch quests with no story justification) but then they also made it “horizontal progression”, i.e. money only buys cosmetics, no upgrades or even supplies.

      Progression is often a crutch to make players swallow a fairly repetitive design but like any crutch you can’t just remove it from a game that needs it without a replacement plan. Many games can do without but they have different core designs that don’t need this crutch.

  6. Catchcart says:

    “We messed up with the messaging around this, and it’s now gone.”

    Ever since the great big Patreon fiasco of last december, I’m getting more and more annoyed at apologies that are apologies for the PR rather than the original decision or the decisionmaking process that led to it. We’re so sorry we didn’t manage to sneak this one by you by using clever words?

    • Railway Rifle says:

      Looking at this one in better faith, it could be “We thought this was a good idea, but it came out looking bad. So rather than work uphill to make people love it, it’s gone.”

      Or you may be entirely correct, of course.

  7. merbert says:

    I’m re-Christening this game “No Man’s Sea”.

    • Railway Rifle says:

      “Set sail on an endless procedural ocean of varied islands, sea-life and vessels” sounds good, honestly.