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Rare is still hard at work on Sea of Thieves as it moves through the alpha phase toward the beta phase and eventually toward the full release in 2018 for PC and Xbox One. One of the things that Rare is doing differently than other games is affording players a really unique twist on how players acquire cosmetic items.
Polygon is reporting that Rare's executive producer, Joe Neate, had a brief discussion with PR front man Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb during E3 about the new take on acquiring cosmetics in the game, and it was mentioned that as players rack up coins and attempt to go spend them, sometimes the vendors will display items based on the player's actions.
One of the examples that was used was a player who enjoys killing other players. A player who constantly kills other players might be confronted with some brand new cosmetic items completely centered around being a bloodthirsty pirate. In this way, players might be presented with a patch over the eye, a hook for a hand, or some sort of bandanna or iconography on the apparel that represents bloodthirsty player choices.
This is a very interesting way of addressing the cosmetic issue in games. In previous videos and interviews, Rare developers mentioned that there will be different vendors scattered throughout Sea of Thieves, so different vendors will have different items available for players throughout the game.
It's not mentioned if the different vendors will offer different tailor-specific items for the players, but it seems like it might be a possibility.
Shaping and organizing the game around the emergent gameplay decisions that players make will most certainly play a role in how gamers customize and personalize their characters in Sea of Thieves, especially given that the game relies so heavily on player interactivity and community.
If the developers spend a good amount of time on the variety of vendors available across the game, then it becomes that much more impactful to experiment with different play-styles and options. For instance, in the article, one of the things that's mentioned is present is that it's possible to get stranded and have a mermaid to bring the player back to their ship.
And speaking of ships... each player will have a role aboard the vessels. It's a collaborative and cooperative multiplayer experience where gamers will need to work hand-in-hand with each other to sail the ship, man the cannons, repair any damage to the hull, and even plan out how to navigate the seas and retrieve treasure.
Having these defining roles and then being able to reward players with special or unique cosmetic items that they can purchase makes the game seem a lot bigger and more rewarding for those who experiment and step outside the boundaries of the typical adventure exploration process. The game is currently going through limited testing but it will be released in full in 2018 for Xbox One, Xbox One X and PC. You can join the testing by heading over to the Sea of Thieves Insider Program page, where you can attempt to join the ongoing development process of the upcoming title.