Sea of Thieves released their new update: Forsaken Shores on September 27th 2018 after a slight delay. It was originally supposed to release on the 19th, but after realizing that there were some serious bugs and a memory leak, RARE delayed the release so that they could give players the best experience possible.
The new campaign opened up a brand-new part of the map called The Devil’s Roar which offered up 15 new islands, new commendations, brand-new lore (story), dangerous volcanoes, as well as small seaposts that are now scattered all over the place. All of this was added to the game with more coming as the weeks move on. This new campaign is permanent with only the items in Duke’s shop being time-limited.
I recently just came back to Sea of Thieves after taking a break during Cursed Sails. For those that read my blog about why I had to leave the game (which can be found HERE), I had high hopes that this campaign would be a new chance at players working together and cutting back on all the trolls and toxic players that have been taking over the servers lately.
Like other portions of SoT, I leave this as a “thoughts” post rather than a review because the world is ever-changing, and there are more things to be added to this campaign in later dates. It is always evolving, so I would rather discuss what it could offer later and the potential (as well as current mechanics) then to give a more definite look.
But enough with the rambling, lets have a look at how my adventure in the Devil’s Roar has been thus far.
- Volcanoes, geysers, and earthquakes- oh my!
—The main attraction to the Devil’s Roar was the addition of a new threat: volcanoes! Multiple islands scattered across this new area have volcanoes that will erupt at random. The warning sign is an earthquake (which makes you move slowly and as if you were drunk- it also moves boats) that is followed by a plume of smoke rising from the volcano. After that you have a few seconds to start making your escape before the whole thing erupts! Lava burns your characters as they run for safety, the surrounding water begins to boil (so you can’t swim in it), volcanic rock bursts from the mountain, and one hit will send you to see the ferryman. The rocks will damage your ship, and the reach of these rocks is insane! You risk everything if you try and sail near these volcanoes, and they are the scariest part of the Devil’s Roar due to their unpredictability.
A common complaint about the volcanoes is how long the eruptions last. Ten to fifteen minutes you might be standing around waiting for the the volcano to calm down. Then, because the eruptions happen at random, you might sail right back to the island after it calms, only for an eruption to start up again. I can attest to this being an issue, especially if you’re trying to dig up treasure. Because, not only are you fighting against the invisible timer, but you also have other threats like skeletons and geysers.
Skeletons still spawn at a rapid rate in the Devil’s Roar, and even the gunpowder skeletons are making their appearance here. So, even if you find a cave to wait out the volcanic eruption, you might just find yourself in a battle like no other when five skeletons find your hiding spot.
Geysers can open up anywhere on the island…and when they do, they shoot your character into the air. You take some massive fall damage, and it halts your progress. You can hit the ground after falling, only to get shot into the air again, and again, and again. These geysers can also open up under treasure chests- areas where you need to dig. And again, you are forced to sit and wait until it is safe, meanwhile an earthquake might begin, and you have to abandon the island. It can get rather frustrating at times.
One good thing about geysers is their ability to destroy skeletons. Getting one on a geyser will instantly shatter them, which can make for an interesting strategy if you are doing missions for the Order of Souls.
So while the area being difficult and more for the advanced players is something exciting and expected, the threat level on the islands and how long it takes to complete a task can be frustrating, and perhaps a little on the unfair side. It’s more rage-worthy than logical, and while I have gotten used to it (personally) more and more forum complaints pop up daily expressing the same thing: volcano eruptions need to be shorter…and while I don’t agree to them being on a specific timer (because of predictability) there should at least be a range of numbers in which you can kinda gauge when the next eruption might start.
—The seaposts offer random equipment at really cheap prices and introduce some new NPCs. They don’t do much else at the moment. It is speculated that these seaposts will be part of the new “cargo run” system for the merchants that are being released in week 2-3 of the new campaign- but as of right now they are mere resting places between volcanic eruptions, and otherwise seem rather pointless.
The NPCs are unique and offer some new dialogue, but other than that, they are not useful and they don’t even count towards any commendations, therefore I just avoid them.
—One of the biggest highlights of the Forsaken Shores was the new mechanic that came with addition of the rowboat. None of us knew what to truly expect when it came to the rowboat. But, now we know that rowboats spawn on random islands. They can be hooked to the back of any ship, and they allow for the transport of crews and treasure to the islands.
What makes the rowboats essential for this campaign, is that they allow you to keep your ship at a safe distance from the volcano, and make for a smaller target when trying to escape an eruption. They give you a better chance at escaping an active island with your life and your loot. But because they spawn randomly, they are a coveted item…and it gives ships an incentive to attack other players if they see someone has a rowboat hitched to the back.
Rowboats can take damage- and even when hooked to the back of a ship they can get destroyed. The rowboats can get beached (and must then be pushed offshore by another player), and they do require using triggers (if you play console) in order to row and steer. I don’t think they are difficult to use, but they can be really slow at times, and can also get beached very easily. They have been a fun addition to the new campaign, and I have heard nothing but people loving this new system. Because, not only have people been using the rowboats to transport loot, but it also adds a new level to PvP. So many pirates fill their rowboats with gunpowder barrels and sail off to another ship in hopes of doing some massive damage- because rowboats are pretty fast (most of the time if you’re not turning)! So there’s a lot of depth to something so small, and it has been so fun getting to use these rowboats.
- The Forsaken Shores Alliance:
—What drew us to Forsaken Shores in the first place was the video showing the plight of the Forsaken Shores Alliance. We have a man in a rowboat, singing a sad shanty about those poor forgotten sailors as we watch a volcano erupt, and they are all running for their lives. We assume from the video that everyone perished…and according to the commendations, we are to figure out what happened to the remaining crew.
If you want the story, you can speak with Stitcher Jim at Liar’s Backbone and/or talk to Grace (Captain Marrow) at Marrow’s Peak Outpost. I won’t give any spoilers, then again, I’m sure you will piece it together rather quick as to what happened to that crew, and who was responsible. But, I can say that adding more story to Sea of Thieves is always refreshing. There is so much lore in this universe..so many important characters mentioned in the lore books, in the art book, in the future novels that we have yet to see. There are so many important characters (such as the Pirate Lord, etc) that we know so little about. And as this universe opens up, more and more of this is being revealed. I find it rather fascinating, and it just makes the game deeper.
- New Cosmetics:
—What would a new campaign be without new items? The Devil’s Roar has brand-new fashions to share with those pirates that brave its waters. Marrow’s Peak Outpost offers brand-new cosmetic sets including the Kraken and Crawler sets. The Kraken set was my favorite, being based around the Legendary creature. All the new items revolve around the glowing eyes, the tentacles, and the ink. This set even has a new hull for your ship, an amazing figurehead, and daunting sails.
The crawler set is based on the infamous crab (something appearing all over Sea of Thieves)- with claws/pincers on all the items. Blue, red, yellows…very colorful compared to the kraken items. Just like with the kraken set, you also have sails and a figurehead, but there is no hull for the crab just yet. Lastly, we have the Ashen set which is unlocked by completed various tasks in the Devil’s Roar. The Ashen ship items (and weapons) are bought via dubloons and are unlocked by visiting all 15 islands in the Devil’s Roar.
The Ashen clothing set is bought with gold but is unlocked only after you have completed 5 Gold Hoarders voyages AND 5 Order of Souls voyages in these dangerous seas. All the sets are highly creative and unique to the area. So, if the older fashions are a bit too stale for you, I highly suggest logging in for a makeover. But, while the Shores of Plenty have discounted their clothing, the Devil’s Roar outfits are much higher-priced so I really hope you have been saving your gold.
In conclusion, I really think that Forsaken Shores has been the best addition to the Sea of Thieves since the Hungering Deep. The Bilge Rat Adventures have been fun, but outside of Cursed Sails, I never thought they added much to the universe (not to mention they were all pretty easy)- but when you add story with new missions, new areas, new mechanics…this is what the players have been asking for.
Gold is plentiful in the Devil’s Roar, but it really is not for newer players, solo players, or the faint at heart. It tests everything you know about this game, and it requires a good crew with massive amounts of coordination and communication. It is trying…and that’s what makes it so fun, frustrating, but exciting.
I guess my only complaint is that an experienced player can breeze through the commendations in 1-2 days. It is a shame that the cargo runs have not come out yet, because so many people have already experienced everything that the Devil’s Roar offers. When people get bored, that’s when the toxic players come out. Because they have nothing to do, they just stalk people and cause trouble just because they think it’s funny.
And what is worse, is that most the toxic players coming out (lately) are the Pirate Legends. Even though Forsaken Shores added in a new Athena Quest, the Pirate Legends really have nothing else to do. There is still no end-game, there is nothing to ‘beat’ or ‘finish’, and when the Pirate Legends get bored, you get angry players that are tired of being sunk for no reason.
Other mentions to this campaign was the new barrel UI which makes collecting items so much easier. My complaint with the barrels though, is the inclusion of the scrolls which give you random quests. They are so easy to click on accident, and they just clog up your mission wheel—and since there is no way to delete missions you don’t want, it can get rather annoying. Other than that, the new UI has been the best thing to happen to barrels thus far, and I am very thankful for it.
I have had a lot of fun in the Devil’s Roar, and I look forward to what else they will bring to it, in the future.
But what do YOU think?
What are your opinions of the new map? Do you like the volcanoes as they are? Do you think the volcanoes need to be changed? How have you liked the rowboats? Are you looking forward to cargo runs? which new cosmetic set was your favorite and why?
As always, let me know your thoughts/opinions in the comment section down below. Thank you all for reading and supporting this blog. I will see you all in the next one! 😉