Jokes About Sea of Thieves

The digital key purchased for $40 should open the door to an unconditional holiday with milky rivers and jelly shores.

Setting sail for adventure

Sea of Thieves cannot be compared to No Man’s Sky, but I really want to. NMS invited players to explore the infinite cosmos, while SoT immediately informs you of its capabilities and it’s better for new pirates to have a relatively small but well-crafted map. NMS promised that players traversing the galaxy would encounter each other, and lied, while SoT promised regular naval clashes and delivered. The marketers, it seems, never seriously lied throughout the game’s advertising campaign, whereas it wouldn’t hurt to check everyone involved in promoting No Man’s Sky for a pathological passion for lying. And, just in case, schizophrenia.

In terms of any formal criteria, the first project is not similar to the second. They have different themes, genres, and everything else. But the impressions from these two opposite poles are still the same. After playing either one of these games, at some point you can’t help but wonder, sorry, what is there to play here.

Exploring uncharted waters

Here and now, the grand pirate adventure known as Sea of Thieves is held up by three dwarf whales.

The first, and I would say the main one of the three, is to learn how to steer the local ships. In the first-person world of online buccaneers that we contemplate, nothing is done with a single mouse click. No quick menus and no screens with a bunch of switches and checkboxes – if you need to raise the sails, you take and go to the ropes to figure out there at what speed the sloop will sail when you reach the winch and personally raise the anchor.

Where the ship will sail – that’s a separate question, and it is not solved by simply pressing the “map” button, but by going down to the captain’s cabin. Where, yes, there is a map on the table. Having studied its contents and remembering that you are playing alone now, and accordingly, you also have to adjust the course, you run back to the bridge, realize that in principle you should have dealt with the map first and only then raised the anchor, grab the wheel and steer to the east. However, in doing so, you give too much right roll, collide with the dock, and rush into the hold to patch holes and bail out water.

For a lonely sailor, modestly cruising from atoll to atoll, all this routine is a real non-stop test of dexterity, nerve strength, and gamer enthusiasm. Fortunately, the designers of SoT wisely spread the islands at approximately the same distance from each other. Small enough so that you don’t get bored with repeating the same simple actions, but enough for you to have time to deal with both the wheel, the map, and the anchor. And at the same time, think about whether it’s time for you to join someone’s crew.

A high-seas adventure

The second small big adventure of Sea of Thieves is gathering a battle quartet. And this adventure will happen, strangely enough, outside of the game. Surprisingly, in our pirate sea, no one thought to arrange a real pirate bay with live people on an island and invitations to teams. Here, one could regret the resulting sea of sociopaths caught between the game designer’s hammer of “No auxiliary menus” and the same game designer’s anvil of “PvP everywhere!”, and console oneself with the thought that at least the voice chat is open, and everyone in the vicinity will hear your profanity if necessary, but… No. Design is design, ideas are ideas, but why should I go to social networks and persuade friends to spend their collective $120 just so I can play pirates with someone?

No list of assembling the personal composition of quartets, no global chat at least in the main menu of the game, no special island for this purpose, no simple matchmaking, nothing. Bought the game alone – play alone. Or pray to the internet to send you a trio of sailors. And then pray that your new random acquaintances are at least a little bit sane.

Finally gathered a team? Welcome to the robbery of sea caravans. Or rather, the Olympic robbery of other gamers. Where, yes, the main thing is not victory, but participation, because epic boardings do not end with anything serious. A real-life case: one particularly crazy crew of corsairs relentlessly sank my unfortunate sloop for fifteen minutes in a row. I didn’t care, because on the one hand, I was respawning near an island with a quest, and on the other hand, the only thing you can truly lose in Sea of Thieves is time. Well, and I didn’t have any transferring trophies left after the first death, so there was no point in retreating at all.

However, playing alone is also a viable option. With its reservations, but about as viable as collective swims. Especially since SoT currently gives the same tasks to everyone, and sea battles happen far less often than one might think.

Facing the legendary Kraken

The last dwarf whale, on which the local gameplay is based, is an endless series of tasks “find and bring”. These countless assignments are distributed by three guilds – gold buyers, skull buyers, and chicken buyers. You won’t believe it, but they give out tasks that correspond to their profile. The first ones want players to sail to neighboring islands from trading settlements, dig up chests, and bring them to the buyers. The second ones want players to sail to neighboring islands from trading settlements, knock skulls out of skeletons, and bring them to the buyers. The third ones want players to sail to neighboring islands from trading settlements, catch chickens there, and bring them to the buyers.

The variety of tasks is simply jaw-dropping. And it would be fine if 90 percent of the whole game didn’t consist of this routine.

For treasure, effort, and loyalty to duty, the merchants pay with gold, which can be used to buy various cosmetics like a gilded beer mug or hipster sails with hearts from other merchants who are conveniently located just a few steps away from the buyers.

That’s pretty much all there is in the game. Well, except for the steroid versions of familiar tasks, where you have to kill not three waves of skeletons, but seven, or where treasures need to be found based on slightly more complex clues than usual.

Now even the kraken, which used to emerge its tentacles on the sea surface, is just a decoration. Only the tentacles, without a body. Pirates, wait for updates.

A pirate's life on the open ocean

The screenshot was taken from

During the first (and penultimate) ten hours of playing Sea of Thieves, I had the opportunity to experience exactly two truly exciting adventures, each lasting about 30 minutes.

The first one started as I approached one of the western “trading” islands. As usual, I was returning from a voyage, proudly sailing alone, with only one unfortunate chest to deliver to the shore. Just one, because taking on a bunch of quests, exploring all the necessary islands, collecting treasures, and sinking near the dock without turning in even half of the loot because a galleon noticed you – that would be too much of a potential blow to the system. It was not worth the risk. Especially since the galleon did notice me. And not just noticed – I wouldn’t even be able to deliver my one stolen chest to the pawnshop even if I ran like a kamikaze.

Out of principle, I changed course and observed the crew of four bandits through my spyglass for about twenty minutes across the entire map. That was a real test of multitasking skills.

I had devised my desired endgame – to escape the pursuit at a distance sufficient for landing on a trading island and selling the chest. And then, with a sense of my own dignity, I could go down under a barrage of pirate cannons. Accordingly, there were three main tasks – maneuvering myself to a sufficient distance for landing, plotting a clever course that would coincide with the arrival at the trading island, and, finally, timely reconnaissance to ensure that the chosen piece of land turned out to be suitable and that there would be no one else there during the crucial 30 seconds besides me.

I raced like a mad rat from the helm to the map and back, watched the enemy’s turns through the spyglass, drenched in real sweat, and probably got the best entertainment that Sea of Thieves could offer. Once – at the very beginning of the pursuit, when the galleon was within the range of a long cannon shot but was approaching me stern-first – I managed to run the slow pursuers aground with my zigzagging in the water. Once those bastards managed to hit my sloop, shooting a cannonball through an entire atoll. Once the galleon caught up to me and delivered two full broadsides at close range.

Brave the high seas

Then, I have to think, I almost lost the chase. The dual nature of solo travel saved me: a one-person crew on a dinghy has no chance of defeating anyone head-on, but there is no chain of command to disrupt. A sinking loner can lower the sails in two seconds, turn the wheel to the right, raise the sails again, say a prayer, and run to patch up the hull turned into a sieve, while the other captain, even if he instantly understood what was happening, can only start shouting maneuvers in voice chat.

I was lucky that the galleon caught up with me when I approached a healthy rock at kissing distance, to once again test the annoying quartet of collective alertness. It turned out that although I was already halfway sinking, I could easily turn around 180 degrees, and the galleon had already sailed past the rock. In other words, drop anchor, lower the sails, do whatever you want, but you have to go around the protruding rock from the water.

That was probably the decisive moment. After plugging the holes and bailing out the water flooding the hull, I ran to deal with the map and discovered that I was heading straight for the pawnshop. The galleon could still be seen in the spyglass, but on the ho-o-orizon. I couldn’t have asked for a better chance.

I drop anchor, wipe off the sweat, grab the suitcase that became more expensive by 20 minutes to the center of the universe, receive the most valuable 136 gold in the world, return to the dinghy, start the “Smile and Wave” animation, and, feeling like a winner of fate, wait for the galleon to arrive. And it didn’t arrive. Four people crossed the entire map twice in pursuit of one loser and his one loser’s chest, spent almost half an hour, and eventually just gave up.

Isn’t this the miracle of online games? Isn’t it for moments like these that we play this game?

I promise, the second anecdote will be more concise. Moreover, it still needs to be told because it’s about another pole of gamer drive.

So here it is. During the ten thousand and first visit to a tiny island with three kilograms of sand, two palm trees, and nothing else, Sea of Thieves gave me a bottle with a treasure map. The bottle was lying in the sand and promised a chest with real Christmas ornaments instead of the usual purchase of hidden treasures.

Abandoning all other tasks, I rushed to the indicated island and quickly dug up the chest. Suddenly, it turned out to be enchanted and periodically started sobbing. But, of course, while the tears shed by the chest almost flooded my ship, I didn’t pay attention to this circumstance. In the last, probably, second, preventing a shameful sinking, I finally set a course for the merchant and placed the chest right next to the wheel, just in case.

Approaching the nearest trading post, I found out that I couldn’t simply sell the goods. Someone’s galleon had already docked at the settlement. It seemed that the guys didn’t notice me right away, and without taking my eyes off their ship for a second, I slowly steered towards the opposite shore of the island. I thought I would sneak with the chest, sell it, and then it didn’t matter what would happen next.

And then my dinghy sank. I completely forgot about the enchanted chest during the stealth maneuvers.

It was too late to surrender, there was only a minute left to swim to the island. Grabbing the unfortunate trophy, I almost made it to the shore and rejoiced that all’s well that ends well, but then I got eaten by a shark. That’s how it goes.

Searching for treasures and legends

I repeat, both stories about the exciting pirate life fit into 30 minutes of gameplay. 30 minutes that you still have to catch among 10 hours of routine voyages from trading posts to atolls with boring tasks and back.

Yes, the SoT client boasts pleasant graphics. Yes, the local servers die, but they don’t give up and are relatively quickly restored. Yes, equal pirate brawls are great and fun. But the content is spread so thinly throughout the game that you can easily spend a whole day at sea and never encounter real adventures. In Sea of Thieves, there is simply nothing to do after the first long session.

Towards the end, I would like to criticize Microsoft for not allowing the game to be released outside of their Microsoft Store, which makes the price exorbitant and finding online friends much more difficult. But you know, I sailed through virtual seas for a few days and realized that if it weren’t for the monthly Xbox Game Pass subscription for $10 per month, I would have wasted money on another empty game, even if it were sold on Steam for a minimum of $30. Which Sea of Thieves will only be worth after several major content updates.

For 4,000 wooden coins, the game is almost empty.

Sea of Thieves
PC, Xbox One
Action, Adventure, MMO
Microsoft Studios
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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