Sea of Thieves

Merchant alliance quests lack interesting player interaction, a PvPer’s critique

Content of the article: "Merchant alliance quests lack interesting player interaction, a PvPer’s critique"

To help you understand my perspective, I'll give you a quick rundown of who I am and how I play. Feel free to skip this first paragraph. I started during the SoT betas and loved the game, did a mostly solo grind to pirate legend that lasted about a year, and then was fortunate enough to find a dedicated sweaty PvP crew when Fort of the Damned came out. With them, I stole probably 100+ FotDs and reached reaper 75 within the first couple weeks of the emissary system's release. If there's a PvP-related feat the game has to offer, odds are I've done it. Nowadays, I generally duo sloop with a buddy with the intention of stowing away on people's ships and goofing around with them. Our favorite things to do currently are rowboat heists, stove banana shenanigans, and putting explosive barrels in front of other people's parked ships to see if they'll run into the barrels of their own accord. I like doing dumb shit, don't care about loot, and play the game for the memes.

Now, the post

Merchant alliance quests lend themselves to griefing or uninteractive gameplay. Compared to order of souls or gold hoarder, there is no opportunity for PvP or any interesting player experiences that don't end in sadness for the merchant crew.

The unpopular animal quests are valuable only to the ones doing the quest, since those same animals are sold for a tenth of their price (before emissary) when you don't have a quest active for them. That means the aggressing crew can't "win" any loot, the merchant crew can only lose. Sure, you can do some kind of chicken hostage negotiation for the lols, but let's be real, no one does the quests, and even fewer PvP crews are willing to do anything other than shoot on sight and spam "rolls on deck laughing".

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Cargo runs do not give any opportunity for sneak missions, and they are ruined by aggression. As a cargo runner, you're never off your boat for more than 20 seconds when you're running a piece of cargo to the buyer and coming back for the next one, so you're always on guard and always able to spot sneaky idiots like myself. Additionally, all cargo can be ruined to (I think) 20% of their original worth just by things that occur naturally during battle. Cannons will break bottles, water will ruin silks. Plants will probably be fine, but that's 1/3 of the cargo that's unaffected.

I don't have much of a point here, other than to basically gripe that merchant alliance voyages are a recipe for frustration for merchants and those that would pursue them. It's no wonder they're the rarest emissary to encounter on the seas. I would love to see a more interactive type of quest that would allow both the questers and their adversaries to have more fun in the attack/defense of said loot.


Forgot to add a suggestion!

Here's a voyage idea: you speak to the merchant alliance rep at your outpost and they say something like "I heard so-and-so at Golden Sands is paying 50% higher than the going rate for sugar", and then you could buy as much sugar as you care to transport and go from where you are now to Golden Sands, and make that 50% profit plus emissary rewards and whatever, but the catch is you're putting your own gold on the line to do so. Sure, you could buy 100,000 gold worth of sugar, but then you have to travel the seas with that load up for grabs. It could make for some really interesting alliances, lots of gold, lots of theft potential, everything that makes SoT great.

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