Rare Wanted to Make an Intuitive Multiplayer game
The main thing that Rare wanted to achieve with Sea of Thieves, gameplay wise, was to create a multiplayer game that felt instantly intuitive to the players. For instance, putting all five crew members on a ship would give them a vague idea of what to do and how to behave. Before the ship can move, you would naturally place someone at the wheel, and then have other people raise the anchor so you’re no longer tied to the ground. After that, you’ll need people to adjust the sails and their lengths to determine the ship’s direction and speed.
A ship is meant to be a familiar environment for players, and allow them all to have a general sense of what they need to do in order to make progress. in addition to that, Rare acknowledges that there hasn’t been an epic pirate game in recent years, and they felt that it was a waste to leave such an interesting theme unexplored. Their goal was to send players out on an adventure together where they could discover treasures, and also do so without having to adjust to a steep difficulty curve.