Rare revealed plans recently to add a death tax of sorts to Sea of Thieves, and everyone went bananas. And not in a good way. The developer took the uproar to heart, and has now announced that the death cost idea has been scrapped. I’d say it’s for the best too, since a surprisingly large segment of the Sea of Thieves player community has been quite negative about the game’s lack of content, so it’s probably not a good time to annoy people further.
The death cost concept showed up as part of a listing of coming updates on the game’s official website, where it was explained that when a player dies he or she will go before the captain of the Ferry of the Damned, who will then judge how avoidable the death in question was, and charge a fee based on that. Over on the Sea of Thieves reddit, players were not impressed.
Rare later clarified that the death cost would only be in effect for PvE deaths, but that was clearly not enough, and the negative sentiment grew. Eventually the developer conceded and axed the idea with a tweet from the game’s executive producer, Joe Neate.
Letting everyone know we've heard the feedback and the proposed 'Death Cost' in #SeaOfThieves is, well, dead. We messed up with the messaging around this, and it's now gone. Thanks for the honest feedback & discussion on this. https://t.co/83pYg5HPbq
— Three Sheets Neate (@JoeNeate1) March 26, 2018
I’m sure they had their reasons for wanting to implement a death cost, presumably relating to balancing, but it still sounds like a pretty lame idea to me. As many players have commented already, Rare needs to be building on the Sea of Thieves framework to make it more attractive, not adding penalties to make it more of a grind.