- sea of thievesreleased its latest mystery event, The Hoarder's Hunt.
- The four-week event will see players solve puzzles both in-game and elsewhere online, with real-life treasures up for grabs.
- We caught up with the team behind Mystery to find out how it was inspired, how it was made, and to learn a little bit about what's to come.
As the story goes, in 1730, Olivier Levasseur was on the gallows, awaiting execution for a life of piracy - which included stealing huge treasure from a Portuguese galley, which was then buried on Mahé Island in the Seychelles. Asking for the last words, Levasseur took a necklace from around his neck and shouted: "My treasure for those who can understand!" and threw it into the watching crowd. This necklace was hung with a parchment with a 17-line cryptogram, apparently offering the location of its hidden wealth. For over three centuries, treasure hunters have tried and failed to decipher the message on this scroll, and the gold remains lost to this day.
It is a suitable inspiration forsea of thievesnew mystery, The Hoarder's Hunt, which will take players in and out of the game on the hunt for real treasure - a golden skull, which will be awarded to the first player to solve a series of puzzles (with more physical treasure for the next 110 players to reach the end of the process and in-game rewards for others who participate). These puzzles may not beenoughas difficult to decipher as Levasseur's treasure, but it certainly won't be a simple process.
For lead designer Chris Davies, the promise of the event is simple: “Offer the best treasure hunt.sea of thievesIt's five years old and we've done a lot to let players pursue that pirate fantasy of searching for treasure and digging it up. [So,] how can we deliver the definitive version of this? Taking it out of the game as well as in the game and really providing real-world treasures for our community to seek out."
To do this, The Hoarder's Hunt will feature out-of-game puzzles scattered across the online world that will lead you to different journeys locked in-game, which in turn lead tomoreclues outside the game to decode. All of this will culminate in the story of a new character, H, who - for the next four weeks - will send players cryptic messages, helping guide them towards their next goal, leading to a race for the prize (and you cansign up for H's first message now). The first player to complete this final quest will receive the golden skull as a reward.
In addition to Levasseur's gold, the event was inspired by other treasure hunts, from the promotion of Cadbury's Conundrum (which offered real golden eggs to anyone who could solve tricky puzzle books), to the Ready Player One story of a online treasure hunt with great rewards in real life. But it is also a reaction to the previoussea of thievesevents. Prior to launch, Rare created aquest to earn real life golden bananas, and the game's first mystery event saw players solve their casewho killed the sea dog DeMarco.But The Hoarder's Hunt aims to improve both.
The Golden Banana hunt saw fewer and fewer players participating towards the end - The Hoarder Hunt will remain open until its conclusion. Meanwhile, the DeMarco mystery was pretty open ended, leading to a very big mystery dominated by clues exclusively from Rare's social channels. This hunt will be much more open-ended but will be limited in time, giving players more interesting puzzles but with an end goal always in sight.
To do this, Rare has teamed up with real-life puzzlers, tasked with creating truly mind-blowing tasks that will send players across the internet in search of the next solution - with the aim of creating a very interesting dynamic: this should be a collaborative game. effort, with multiple players working together to discover solutions – until it turns into a one-on-one hunt for the last treasure.
“What we don't want,” Davies explains, “is for individuals, puzzle experts, to go out and solve the problem individually. We want this to be something the community can lean on, where they can speculate on possible avenues of research to find solutions. And with the community working together, that's what makes dynamic change so interesting, [until] people get to that point: "Okay, this is really a race with a nice prize at the end."
And that final race will be thrilling to watch - by the time it becomes a true race to the finish, it will be a test of players' moral compass as well as their brains. really is the firstplayerto solve the mystery who wins the reward - not your crew. The final golden skull comes with four detachable golden keys, allowing the winning player to reward their crew - but they don't have to. This is very much by design:
"[This is] the ultimate test of the Pirate Code," says head of trademarks and licensing Adam Park. “Because basically as a crew you can go and win this prize, but whoever proposes this trip will be the real winner. Then that person can turn around and choose to keep the prize for themselves, or it's done so that it can be split with the keys - they can share their loot, but again, it's going to be another fascinating test of how people really behave. . I know what I would do... you'll never hear from me again.'
"That's why I would never have worked with you, Adam," laughs Davies.
All of this has led Rare to think in new ways about how to deliver this Mystery. For out-of-game puzzles, the mantra was that there are no puzzles that are too difficult, as long as enough clues are provided and that at least a few players can crack the code and share it with the community. I won't give anything away, but be prepared to look for clues in some unexpected places.
Even in-game travel is a new venture:
“We call them Hunt Voyages,” says Davies. “Ultimately, you're looking for one of the keys that can be used to unlock the chests added to each Gold Hoarders scene. It's a unique Journey, unlike anything we've done before. He will send you through all the locations in the game, hopping across islands, to go on a treasure hunt across the map in search of these keys. But apparently, after five years, our super-committed players know these locations like the back of their hand. And what we really want is that even if you haven't played as much, even if you're new to the game, you still have a great chance of beating them."
Key to this is the new character, H. Players have been solving puzzles in the game for years, but H speaks to players in a completely different way: “H will see things through a slightly different lens and describe things in a different way. slightly different way. path. You can't rely on how we normally describe these aspects of scenes, you have to interpret H's lexicon and how they talk about these things, try to understand what H was seeing when they took these notes and followed in their footsteps.'
In fact, H will be its own version of Mystery's inspiration, Levasseur, offering players untapped material to discuss, discuss and work together - until they set out on their own to claim the ultimate prize. But do not neglect. you have much less than 300 years to find out.
The Hoarder Hunt Beginssea of thievestoday.register nowto participate.
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