Thursday, February 08, 2018

SEA OF THIEVES : What Worries Me?

I just finished watching this video made by Gopher.  Though I have not actually watched him and Chay play this game (well that is not entirely true, I watched a few minutes of their first Twitch stream), and though I do not think I would probably play this game, in this video he talks about issues he is concerned with.  He talks about content, or the lack there of, cross platform issues, and micro transactions.  I feel this is an issue with many games, especially the newer MMO type games.

I have many of the same concerns.  The one I would like to first address is Micro Transactions.  Like Gopher I can see the rationale for them to some degree, though I believe that if you pay for the game, that should pay for the development of the game if it is of sufficient quality to warrant its existence in the first place.  As for cosmetic things, I can see that too, lots of people want special clothes for their character, or in this case, maybe different paint jobs for their ship.  Like Gopher I believe that you should be able to get the same things in game through process of playing the game, and that MT's should be just a short cut.  I can see the potential for additional content to be purchased, like new ship types, or such, more maps, and lots of other items could be sold in the form of packs that one could purchase if one so desired it.  The Sims franchise was very successful with their stuff packs, I do not see why this would not work as well.  If the game were opened to modding, then that too could be used as a revenue source, as long as the mod authors (developers) were also provided with some of the revenue from the sale of their mods.  They would also have to be like MT's in that for a cutlass recolor or some such thing, the cost would be very low, perhaps like $.50 and for an outfit recolor, maybe a dollar, something like that.  The really popular ones could be combined in a stuff pack, and a few new ones in-house made could be thrown in as a bonus, with maybe a new shop or map to make it worth the money you pay for it.  I do not find it all that difficult to figure out, but I am not the developer of the game, and maybe they just do not have the time to figure all this out and still work on the basic parts of the game.  Hopefully they will be successful, and will have the money for further development and to pay a few extra developers to make such considerations.

The content issue is one that I think they will have to address to make the game successful at all.  Of course it could just be a one-off and they are not really concerned with long term franchise success, and so content is not their concern, as they figure if it is successful, some other larger game house will come along and buy the game from the original developers, and they can then move on to a new game.  That is fine, and I think it is short sighted, but be that as it may, I can see how that could be their goal.

As far as cross platform play, one way to do that is to develop in a cross platform language, like Java, however I do not know if that would help to create a cross platform server environment.  I do not pretend to know how that would work, I only have a rudimentary understanding of software languages, I have always been a hardware person myself.  I know I have seen lots of distasterious results when a game is ported either way, though that does not seem to me it should be so, as they are both PC, just one is dedicated and locked to certain hardware, where as the general computer is a more fluid platform.  Game consoles are actually personal computers, that are locked to their purpose (though they have expanded their purpose as of the latest generations to some degree) and general purpose computers are often not locked to a purpose, but often built with a more specific purpose in mind (such as a gaming computer).  I think the difference comes in the devices used to interact with each type of computer.  Game consoles are designed to be used with a controller, while general computers are designed to be used with keyboard and mouse.  I am pretty sure you could do either with either, even if you had to add some software to either to make them work as they should with the chosen devices.  I think VR will level that field some, as that is a device that is basically the same on either a game console, or a general purpose computer.  If you choke the hardware of either platform you have taken the wrong route, and you should reconsider how you are going to make the cross platform server work.  There must be a way, or just accept that those that have a computer that is more powerful than the game console player has the advantage, much like someone with the better network and better general purpose computer will usually win out against any person with a weaker network or less than ideal general purpose computer.

As far as this game is concerned, the Sea of Thieves, if it does not allow for the boarding of other ships, it there is no Navy component, if it is not a sailing simulator, and you can somehow sail the ship by yourself, then I have no interest in it.  I should be able to port in at Nassau or Madagascar or some other such place, and perhaps have some tap room brawls, and the threat of mutiny, and all the other concerns of being a real pirate.  I should also be able to get a commission from the navy to take on the merchant ships of other nations, for bounty's so that I am not necessarily a pirate but a privateer.  If I capture a rival ship, I should get that ship to add to my fleet.  I should be able to call for quarter from the Navy, or Parly from a rival pirate ship, and though I would loose my ship and my crew, I would be let go, and allowed to go back to the nearest port, where I would have to start all over again to build up my wealth until I could get a new ship, if I did not steal one, build up a crew, and then try again.  If the bounty were high enough, obviously I would get no quarter, and would hang from the yardarms or something like that, but I should have the opportunity for a trial, and therefore a period where I may actually make an escape.  Or if found guilty, sent to Botany Bay, or to some desolate island where I would likely die of thirst before I could find a way to get back to some other place.  You see there is a lot that could be done here, I know it would be a lot to do all that, but what is the point of making a game if it is just another FPS but with ships.  Well maybe there is a big point, but you would definitely not find me buying it then.