Sea of Thieves offers multiple gameplay styles to its players. Some like to sail the seas and complete quests in PvE; some like to battle other buccaneers in PvP. The latter group hasn’t gotten as much attention lately since The Arena mode shut down, but it sounds like things will get sweatier in Season 8.
Sea of Thieves creative director Mike Chapman appeared on the Xbox Expansion Pass podcast to talk about what the team is cooking up for the new season. “Season 8 is focused firmly on PvP, but that feature set will have a knock-on effect to PvE, in a way that we actually hope will take some of the heat off PvE players,” Chapman stated.
“There will still be PvEvP mixed, absolutely, but [Season 8 will be] doing something in the PvP space [that] will change the dynamic of how PvE players relate to people playing PvP.” It’s a vague but interesting statement — perhaps we’ll be seeing some new form of weaponry that players can use against enemies and also on each other. Alternatively, those seeking PvP could have a sequestered part of the sea where they could freely do battle.
Any focus on PvP comes with concerns about balance and griefing. “There’s still flaws in the game, in terms of the prevalence of spawn camping [and] in terms of giving players enough control of how they want to play,” Chapman continued. “You can see some of that thinking in the Emissary system, in terms of players being able to opt into more risk for greater reward, where you don’t attack players who are obviously clearly focused on PvE.”
Hostile players attacking those just trying to enjoy PvE is not a new notion in Sea of Thieves. The Hunter’s Cry Adventure had to be updated due to griefing getting in the way of people actually completing the quest. The latest Sea of Thieves adventure is called The Herald of the Flame, and it’s had no such issues so far. That said, we can help you track down Stitcher Jim’s journals and all the hidden Reaper Scouts if you need some guidance.