Efficient design of wave energy converters requires an accurate understanding of expected loads and responses during the deployment lifetime of a device. A study has been conducted to better understand best-practices for prediction of design responses in a wave energy converter. A case-study was performed in which a simplified wave energy converter was analyzed to predict several important device design responses. The application and performance of a full long-term analysis, in which numerical simulations were used to predict the device response for a large number of distinct sea states, was studied. Environmental characterization and selection of sea states for this analysis at the intended deployment site were performed using principle-components analysis. The full long-term analysis applied here was shown to be stable when implemented with a relatively low number of sea states and convergent with an increasing number of sea states. As the number of sea states utilized in the analysis was increased, predicted response levels did not change appreciably. However, uncertainty in the response levels was reduced as more sea states were utilized.