Sea of Thieves is S&M: victimization by design


Sea of Thieves is S&M: victimization by design

This short look at the game’s design is a thank you to the PvPers, the villains of the seas. By playing the game I’m agreeing to being a victim, so that they can take joy in my suffering. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

if you want to support me.

Recorded using OBS / Audacity and edited using Kdenlive. Go linux!

Thanks Snim for your virtual acting:

Ultima Online footage by Marko: used with permission.

Music from the Flashback, Sea of Thieves, and Starcraft 2 soundtracks.




  1. I tend to play solo and I go out of my way to help people in SoT. Because I want people to know that among all those betrayals, there are still people that are just nice (Which might also encourage even more betrayals, which it just improves the game). So in the same argument that the wolves make the game better, it's incredibly gratuitous to be a wolf of karma.

  2. Interestingly enough, i experienced the other side of this, the sea without thieves, albeit in a different game.
    "Uncharted Waters Online", an MMO based on the classic seafaring adventure games by Koei, has a rather downplayed emphasis on pirates.
    Players can play them, there are a few NPC pirate encounters and there are even pirate "nests" but most of the time, it's just you, your ship, the sea and either awaiting adventure and/or riches.
    And even without wolves, we, the sheep, as a great time calculating, planning and organizing massive trade hauls, got in touch with adventurer friends looking into turning their discoveries into profits…for a price, all from the comfort of knowing that, if we're sufficiently prepared, we'll see the thing through.

    Personally, i avoid games like Sea of Thieves because i genuinely don't enjoy this wolf / sheep dynamic. I derive my enjoyment from the logistics aspect behind getting the loot and hauling it home, even if the haul itself may be eventless. I definitely see the appeal of the thrill, and how it contributes to a game like Sea of Thieves, but for me, i couldn't bring myself to do it.
    I couldn't bring myself to ruin others enjoyment and at the same time, i don't want to have my enjoyment ruined and think ill of others for it.

  3. I'm a single-player gamer, and I've never touched these multiplayer sandbox/survival type games.
    But videos about them are always fascinating.

    Guess I like hearing stories rather than be part of them.

  4. Well said aye. There are some balance issues in the game but players with that advantage can make their own moral judgement on whether they take another ship on. My philosophy is play for the loot but not to troll. World events are fair game. GGs and no trash talking. Also giving tall tale, non emissary ships or newer players a pardon. Maybe it is kind of like you say its not worth the time, But I think it's more that we're fundamentally not bad people and do our bit to help the player base often as much as we go on a hunt. It may also come from our playstyle being voyage based sometimes and other times PvP. So we don't solely play one way and understand and appreciate both sides are needed for the game to work.


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