Rare Promises Pirate MMO on the Horizon with Sea of Thieves

Back in June, creators of classics Killer Instinct and Viva Pinata wowed X-Box One and PC users at E3 with a new pirate adventure.

As I sit to take my electric quill in hand, this old salt's fingers tremble with excitement. It's been nigh on three years since Pirates of the Caribbean Online shut its doors. Since that dark day, many an MMORPG pirate wandered the gaming seas for a new home.

Yes, there are sailing games and pirate-themed games of all types -- even Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag offered some excellent swashbuckling. But, they weren't the same experience some craved of being able to join a crew, board a ship, and sail the seas in search of adventure and action in both a co-op and PvP environment.

Then, last year at E3, Rare and Microsoft put out a teaser trailer for Sea of Thieves -- a game that promised amazing high-quality action and thrills from the same studio that has created A-list games since 1985.

Have you played Donkey Kong Country? GoldenEye 007? StarFox? That gives you an idea of the kung-fu wizardry Rare brings to the table.

Creating a Pirate World

In an article I posted after POTCO closed, I made a case to game developers for creating a new pirate-themed MMO. Part of that was designing a world that felt like the Golden Age of Piracy, whether historically-based or completely mythological.

Sea of Thieves' initial trailer seems to show a world that's not going to use actual locations and characters from history, but is richly detailed to give one the look and feel of life on the high seas in the 17th or 18th century.

Character costumes, objects, locations etc. all seem unique, colorful, and mesh well together with the world they exist in.

Action Stations!

A pirate's life is one of action. And the trailer shows that players can expect plenty of it. Does treasure hunting, cave exploring, fighting nasties, sailing, and ship-to-ship combat sound like plenty of action?

Rare's videos so far indicate there will be as much as you can handle.

There also seem to be hints at side quests and mini-games to add even more to your pirate to-do list.

And if facing NPC dangers wasn't intense enough, other player crews may be gunning for your ill-gotten gains!

Epic Tales

Skeleton attack

Another hope I had for a future pirate MMO game is being able to send my pirate self on a journey of discovery with challenging odds and astounding rewards. In the trailers, we see footage of the player digging up a buried chest, only to be set upon by ruthless skeleton pirates.

There's no telling if locating treasure is part of bigger quests or merely side quests to earn extra loot.

I've not seen game stills or videos of any other enemies so far. But, all indications are that other players can be unfriendly just as much as they could be a member of your crew.

Be Your Own Man... Woman... Pirate!

One of the strengths of MMOs is character customization and variety, not just at the creation stage but all along the way.

Sea of Thieves' trailer shows a crew of pirates aboard ship and working together as a unit but it also shows a wide variety of character types. Male and female with different body styles, clothing, weapons and equipment are on display.

It gives this Amazon pirate hope of being able to create the exact persona I want to become in the game. There's no indication if there will be distinct career paths or classes, yet. And it appears you can give your pirate their own unique names or those could be online profile names.

Bring Us That New Horizon

The final plea I made those years ago was that a new pirate MMO should have as big and open a world as possible. Where you feel like you're really going someplace new to find untold treasures while facing unknown terrors. Rare does appear to indicate that the world of Sea of Thieves will be an open shared one where players can interact in both friendly and unfriendly ways as they seek their fortunes.

Will this be a world always changing or will player actions have an impact on how things evolve for others playing? Will Rare expand or add on to the existing world as players explore or more players come on?

Also, I'm curious if the PC and X-Box One players will occupy the same server. That doesn't seem out of the question. That ocean could become very popular.

The Sea of Thieves E3 video (at the top) has over half-a-million views so far. That's a good indication for plenty of pirates like meself are just chomping at the bit to be able to strap on our cutlasses again. Let's hope they can deliver.

Keep a Sharp Lookout!

If you're a keen-eyed pirate who's dying to know what's on the horizon for this new game, you can check out:

Published Mar. 23rd 2016
View Comments
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Pleeeease let this be good. The only pirate game I've ever really spent time on was way back on Sid Meier's Pirates. I've craved a great game like that for ages and would love to see it be an MMO. Don't let us down Rare!

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