By now you would have had to have heard of the most wonderful co-operative pirate game sailing on the seas, Sea of Thieves. Well in their latest Inn-Side story they discuss the riddle quest system and how they envision it for the future of the game.
Every great pirate story has a tale involving a riddle of some sort. I mean it is not exactly easy to find your treasure after you have left it behind on some random island, and there isn’t a ‘Find My Treasure’ app available on the high seas. One of my favourite pirate riddles, which also happens to be maddeningly unhelpful is the ‘Up is Down’ puzzle solved by the great Captain Jack Sparrow.
If all pirate stories have riddles, it is no surprise Sea of Thieves wants to get in on that action. Almost from the get go, we have seen simpler types of puzzles, ones of the ‘X marks the spot’ nature that while challenging, do not get your seawater filled pirate blood pumping.
Enter the riddles, which rhyme, of course, that will lead a good crew to success and wealth. The riddles work like this;
The scrolls of old, faded and worn,
Hide secrets that you should not scorn,
Simply follow the path, special items you will see,
Led, you will be, to treasure with glee.
Alright so I am no riddle-master but that is basically how the riddle quests in Sea of Thieves work. Once you acquire the riddle itself, you must work (as a team) to solve the individual lines, in order to discover unique landmarks on the islands.
Finding these landmarks will give you a heading to your next destination and make you and your crew one step closer to discovering the treasure. But the catch is you have to decipher the entire puzzle in order to become rich – great wealth comes with great effort, and you will not simply be able to skip to the end of the quest.
The team at Rare has crafted a dastardly way of preventing pirates from jumping to the end of the riddle – this is one puzzle you must solve. Until you discover the previous landmarks and solve the prior steps of the riddle, the proceeding objective will remain blurred. However, in the stylistic and pirate-y style that Sea of Thieves is understandably known for, completing the steps of the puzzle will lead to a bleeding ink animation revealing to you and your crew, the next steps.
Not only that, but Sea of Thieves is adding in new mechanics so to better uncover treasure and solve these puzzles with what I am going to call the ‘Pace System’. Whenever you bring up your compass on an island in order to find the proper direction, time will slow. Everything will be emphasised in this moment to feel like you are pacing the island. Chris Marlow, the Senior Software Engineer of Sea of Thieves has said that you will;
“feel very distinct steps of 1,2, and you can count, you can see the bob, you can feel the crunch of the sand underneath your feet”
All of this is designed to help you measure your distance as you scour the islands for treasure, with slow measured steps that you can say pretty accurately that you have moved 8 paces north-east while doing a steady jig and humming ‘A Pirates Life For Me’.
Now that the system of riddle quests has been established in Sea of Thieves Rare will be able to add in new items with crafted landmarks specifically for the purpose of being discovered as a part of the riddles. They can add in more intricate rhymes and make the inventory a greater part of the quests themselves. From lifting up your lantern in a dark lit cave, or even playing a sweet accordion beat to lure out a Siren, the only thing for certain is that riddle quests are only going to get better.