This week, the good folks over at IGN tossed up a great little in-depth look at Sea of Thieves’ and how the game actually starts. I am nauseated to report, however, at my own feeling of horror and dismay when I found out that Sea of Thieves – a pirate roleplaying game where you play a role as a pirate offers absolutely zero initial customization for the pirate you are roleplaying as.
According to IGN’s article, Sea of Thieves opens up, just like every other roleplaying game worth it’s salt, in a tavern. Except in this game, instead of playing a character you spent way too much time tailoring to your specific tastes, you will have to pick from eight procedurally-generated pirates. These pirates are generated based on 20 different factors, which Rare claims will lead to an “infinite” number of variations. I’m not sure why this route was chosen, rather than giving me as many slider menus to play with as I damn well please, but hey! At least you can click the “regenerate” button to bring up as many another 8-pirate batches as you want until you’re satisfied!
Pulling a direct quote from the IGN article:
The idea is to get players to choose a character they’d like to role-play as, rather than simply trying (and, as in most games, failing) to create themselves. If possible, Rare wants players to choose someone they’d never normally make.
And to make things even better:
Just make sure you’re sure you want to spend hours with your pirate – you never get a chance to alter their physical appearance again.
Just exactly how the fuck did this decision get approved? I don’t know about anyone else reading this, because I’m sure in the era of lootboxes, mindless battle royales, and microtransactions – there are probably less and less casual gamers who actually give a shred of a shit about creating a character who (they feel) truly represents them, but I do, and I am immediately turned off to Sea of Thieves knowing that I’ll just have to click the “randomize” button a billion times over before I get something that actually suits me.
Oh, and by the way, you don’t get to keep one persistent ship either. The ship you choose (either a two or four-person vessel) only lasts as long as the gameplay session you’re in. Which, y’know, is dumb. The big compromise here, apparently, is the fact that you can buy cosmetic shit (like figureheads, sails, hulls, etc.) that you keep forever to apply to any ship you play on. Likewise, you can buy clothing, equipment, and accessories to deck out (haha get it) your procedurally-generated pirate to make them feel more… Yours.
All of this is obviously a huge bummer, so I’m hoping there’s still time for the Sea of Thieves team to backpedal a bit and give us some more options, because I can’t think of a bigger turn-off in a roleplaying game than skimping the player on customization. How do you feel about this? Turned off? Couldn’t care less? Let us know on Twitter and tune in tonight on Twitch when we talk about it further on Not Another Gaming Podcast. Also, buy a shirt at the official WGG Shop right here!