From spectral phantoms and coral beasts to Jack Sparrow's and Spanish fleets, the Sea of Thieves has been constantly updated. But the most recent Captaincy update, which was released at the start of August alongside season 7, may be one of the most significant changes yet. Captaincy allows players to name and decorate their own ship, sell to a special vendor, and otherwise flex their status on the high seas.
When Sea of Thieves was first released, threats were light on the ground. Developer Rare has since expanded the map into the fiery, fearful Devils Roar and added a slew of new quests and quests to explore. All of these improvements have been external, changing the world. Pirates have received new tattoos or dresses, but rarely have they been given new opportunities to express their own narrative.
Peering down a spyglass at a Captained ship adds a little melody, and you get to see their ship name, which is also emblazoned above their quarters. You cant do anything about it, although many attempt, often with cannons and fire. Peering at other ships, with names like the parrot-cosmetic-adorned Booty Hunter or the black and gold Booty Hunter, make them seem like similarly established characters.
In a conversation with Polygon, creative director Mike Chapman says the team has discussed adding this feature on and off since its release. I think weve reached a point now with the sandbox facilities that have evolved so much, and theres such a breadth of different experiences and play styles that it was time to allow players to be Captains.
Players can progress through the Tall Tales quest lines, build a reputation with factions, join Adventures, and compete in world events. There are no Boots of Better Sailing to acquire or Pirate Points to spend in talent trees. Your pirate may savor new items, like tattoos or a cool sword, but each session ended with a fresh, unadorned sloop.
Players may build their own fleets, purchasing new ships, and locking specific customization slots, like a treasured capstan or cool cannon to automatically load on a sloop, brigantine, or galleon. And if your ship is hammered or firebombed, it will be repaired or replaced for a small price.
Shelley Preston, the lead designer for Sea of Thieves, said when we thought about deep customization that players desired to express how they play and who they are as a captain. Milestones that correlate with globe-like, volcanic rock-like decorations can help you develop that play style.
Preston thinks it's important to ensure that the cabin and the quarters are spacious and comfortable.
When you're under stress and your ship is sinking, Chapman says that it's a process to ensure that Captains had fun options without cluttering up their ships too much. What you don't want to do is push it too far that it's detrimental to the core gameplay, that youre affecting the free flow of walking around the ship and accessing damage holes. So its trying to tread that line of not affecting the core gameplay, but rather giving you the freedom to express yourself and the things that you'
The Captaincy update is one Ive enjoyed the most so far, while the dolly dress-up aspect of quickidiously arranging little items on my sloop is lovely.
It's also fun to sink another ship and look at their logbook. When my friends and I were aboard a brig, we worried for our precious cargo. We fought back and marveled at their achievements. All of the other Captaincy features, like the ability to sell items in bulk to a convenient vendor at outposts, are just the icing on the cake.