Sea Of Thieves' Lead Designer Rules Out Bigger Ships And Crews For Launch

Image: Rare

No one like constraints, especially when it comes to maximum players in multiplayer. But we have limits for good reasons — fun, balance, performance, etc. For Rare, when it came to deciding the capacity of ships in Sea of Thieves, the developer settled on four as the perfect number. What makes it perfect, though?

IGN's Joe Skrebels hit up Mike Chapman, Sea of Thieves' lead designer and posed him this very question. Turns out four was the best number to keep things "intimate" and to discourage players from "splintering off":

"If the two of us were to go out to the pub together with two other friends, you've got that intimate relationship, you're all getting on together. If it becomes six or eight people, you start getting people splintering off and it's really hard to communicate — four seems like the magic number."

That's not to say Rare has never considered bigger ships, with Chapman stating the player feedback has shown a desire for eight and even 10-player galleons.

Creating Stories Together: How Rare Is Building Sea Of Thieves

The experience – the very core experience at the heart of Sea of Thieves – is intangible. It can't be described or placed on a vision board or rattled off, point-by-point, in a presentation. It can’t be seen in throwing a voyage on a table in-game or customising your pirates eye-patch, or giving yourself a wooden leg.

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While there are no plans right now, Chapman doesn't rule out changes down the road:

"Of course, we're going to keep looking at this beyond launch ... There may be other things we'll do with ships in the future."

If the player count does get upped, maybe it could open the doors to some sort of captain role, ala Natural Selection? I don't even know how it would work — I just want more games with this mechanic.

Sea of Thieves Dev Explains Why the Maximum Crew Size Is 4 Players [IGN]


    I get the idea but this isn't a pub, there isn't a hens night on the bow to distract your 5th friend....

    is it possible to play this game solo? or do you need friends otherwise youll be ganked?

      I've played in a mix of solo and random matchmaking and haven't really found any experience to be 'better than' the other. Sure playing with 3 other people can lead to more adventures than going solo but it isn't like Escape from Tarkov where playing alone vsa team of players is a severe disadvantage.

      There is a bit of skill and knowledge of the fundamentals of sailing in play that will improve your experience immensely. Knowing to catch the wind in the right way is vital.

      I wish however combat was a little more in-depth. Currently you fire cannonballs at the ship low enough to flood it. You can't take out the sails or grapple which means all combat is essentially blow holes in their ship or (with a bit of skill) ram them so you can board.

    There are solo ships, so yes. But it does seem like this game has quite a limited array of content, being able to buy or steal special ships and even have maybe much larger crews would have been quite awesome.

    PLUS is a pirates life really just about getting treasure chests, seems there is huge potential for quests of different types (just look at all the pirate movie for ideas).

    BUT I guess dev is just going for that initial hype cash grab.,

      I understand where you are coming from as the game I originally thought of when I saw this title "Sea of Thieves" was something along the lines of Sid Meiers Pirates (a game that you may be aware of), this game does look very "attractive"; but if they are only gonna have two forms of transportation than it might have lost much of its core audiences interest since, as we all know, we want (in a broad sense) at least some variation.

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