We figured out the ship cutouts!

And there’s prototype footage of the feature in action. Tidbits
🚨  Although this is sourced from public information, it may contain heavy spoilers about those cutouts, so if you’re precious about potentially being spoiled, turn back now.  🚨 Since the inclusion of the cut outs at the bow of the ships in the latest build of the game, observers have been trying to figure out what the might be for. Some figure they’re confirmation of fishing, or potentially for mortars, perhaps for swivel guns, or even for deck-mounted harpoons. Eagle eyed reader @PersonalC0ffee reached out to me via Twitter DM with some interesting images captured from early prototype Sea of Thieves gameplay footage….

Everything we know about the upcoming Mega Update

And a few guesses. Roundups
At Inside Xbox in February, Sea of Thieves executive producer, Joe Neate, confirmed that on March 20th, 2019 – the one year anniversary of the launch of the game – Rare will announce everything that’s coming in their next major update, referred to as the Mega Update! It’s been several months since the last major content update, and we know the team has been working on a wide range of new features for the game. Let’s take a look at everything we know is coming to the Mega Update, and take a few guesses while we’re at it. The Arena 🏴‍☠️…

Fan art: check out this incredible pirate diorama

3D artist Miguel Delgado commemorates his 2-man crew. Community
Something many pirates have requested as a merch option for Sea of Thieves is the ability to purchase a figurine of your pirate – something you can sit on your desk, or next to your gaming set up at home. 3D artist Miguel Delgado took matters into his own very talented hands by designing, printing, crafting and painting a diorama of his two-man crew! Miguel did the digital 3D work with Zbrush & Maya, then 3D printed and hand-painted the final work. The result is stunning! We got in touch with Miguel who graciously took to the time for a quick…

Developer Update (video)

More Mercenary Voyages are on the way. Dev Updates
In this week’s dev update, Joe confirms what he broadly discussed on Major Nelson’s podcast last week, about bringing more Mercenary Voyage variations into the game as a way to drive interesting player behaviour without a huge amount of dev overhead (while the studio works on bringing out the big stuff). Here’s what Joe said about Mercenary Voyages during that show: We brought in Mercenary voyages [with the latest update]. You go to Duke in the tavern, and there’s one voyage in there at the moment […] but that’s just the first one to celebrate Friends Play Free. As we…

Release Notes – 1.4.3

Weapons balancing and Mercenary Voyages. Minor Releases
[Link] MERCENARY VOYAGE OF THE RUM RUNNER Duke’s in the tavern, offering a lucrative voyage for would-be mercenaries. Recruit some new pirates for your crew and start grabbing loot! New Mercenary Voyage – Purchaseable from Duke for the low price of five Doubloons, this voyage challenges pirates to seek out the stash of a notorious Rum Runner, collecting rewards valuable to all the Trading Companies. This voyage can be repeated to your heart’s content once completed, just purchase another from Duke! Loyal to the Coin – A new ‘Mercenary Voyage’ section has been added to the Reputation tab along with our first…

What’s changed since you last played Sea of Thieves?

A very helpful summary of changes and additions to the game since launch. Roundups
(Updated 6 February 2019) If you took a break from Sea of Thieves, and you’ve been thinking about setting sail once again, but you’re wondering “what’s new?” … this is the place for you! A few notes: Although the world is now much more ‘alive’, the core gameplay loop of ‘completing voyages’ is largely unchanged. If you didn’t enjoy the basic premise of Sea of Thieves before, the additions since launch might not swing it for you. If you want to dip your toes back in without committing to a full retail purchase: Game Pass is cheap, my friend. However,…

Friends Play Free!

Update: The offer is live! News
Are you a lonely pirate? Do you long for a crewmate (or three) to join your piratical exploits? Fear no more, solitary swashbuckler! For one week only, you can invite up to three friends to set sail with you on the Sea of Thieves – completely free! Don’t miss Friends Play Free, running from February 6th–13th. Simply head over to our website and redeem your codes now! Whoops, it looks like someone at Rare briefly hit public instead of unlisted when uploading this video. In what was certainly supposed to be a reveal for Inside Xbox, it seems as though…

The Cross-Play Opt-Out “Controversy”

Groan. Update: now with actual stats. Opinion & Analysis
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 Now that Joe has appeared on Inside Xbox, and following on from Craigs tweet about “sharing stats soon”, we now know details about the PC/console player split, which allows us to better understand any impact that cross-play opt-out might have. During the show Joe confirmed that over the previous weekend, PC players made up 35% of players who set sail, with the remaining 65% being console players. This is significant because we can use those percentages to estimate how the cross-play and console-only pools might split, depending on how many consoles users actually do opt out…

The latest Pirate Times teases a new voyage type

Another reason to be a little bit mercenary. Tidbits
Pictured: another reason, if required, to be a little bit mercenary In the latest Pirate Times, the Sea Of Thieves community team has teased something new coming to the game. In a section titled “Tip-Top Tipple Treasures” we see a graphic of a new voyage type: a scroll adorned with a scorpion seal. From the article: The Pirate Times is informed that a tenacious but unknown rum runner has recently chosen to scatter their stash of illicit alcohol and loot around the Sea of Thieves! All three Trading Companies are interested in this haul, so Duke is working on tracking…

Developer Update (video)

Cross play controls are coming for console players. News
In a dev update today that covered reporting and banning toxic behaviour, and some background on the thinking behind the the upcoming weapons balance (with a detailed breakdown of the changes coming in next week’s dev update), Executive Producer Joe Neate covered another topic that has been a long standing point of discussions among Sea of Thieves players: cross play. Joe has confirmed that, in the lead up to the public release of The Arena, console players will be able to opt out of cross-play in both Adventure mode and The Arena. Sea of Thieves is a cross play title, and…

Tales from the development of Sea of Thieves

Mermaids and emotion and post-it notes. Roundups
Just before the New Year, in what I can only imagine was a fairly obvious attempt to avoid family at the holidays, Rare game designer Gregg Mayles started looking through a collection of images and documents from the early days of Sea of Thieves development. …I’ve been looking back through the huge haul of documents and images I have got from the development of Sea Of Thieves. I’ll share a few and see if anyone is interested! His first tweet was an absolute cracker! Sea Of Thieves started off life as a chat with @SimonSorcerer about ‘deep emotional player engagement’…

A full weapons rebalance is coming

Bullet-speed, damage, knock-back, hip-fire all to be tweaked. News
In a (very short) dev update this week, Joe expanded on the brief mentions we’ve heard previously about some “all-up combat tweaks” that  are coming in the Feb 6 update. Here’s his direct quote from the video: As well as [the double gun fix], we’re looking at a bunch of general combat tweaks and improvements – everything around personal combat. At the moment we’re testing a bunch of those changes and tweaks with Pioneers, so we’re not quite ready to talk about the specifics of what we’re doing because we’re still taking feedback and adjusting, but broadly we’re going to…

Developer Update (video)

“What I do have are a very particular set of skills.” Videos
Notes of interest: A wave of bans have gone out for a “very small amount” of players who have been cheating. “We will find you, and we will ban you.” A new update will come on February 6th. As part of the update players will need to re-download the full game again, however the overall game size is much smaller (roughly half or less). As well as general quality-of-life improvements, streamer mode, double-gun fix, and combat tweaks/improvements are also coming in the Feb 6 release. There’s a “fun little thing” planned for the release too, but they’re not ready to…

Sea of Thieves Weekly Stream: Athena’s Fortune

Parrots confirmed. Videos
More tidbits from Joe this week, including more tease about something “kind of fun” coming with the Feb 6th release. Will be a fun event/activity (Joe has previously said it will “celebrate friendship”. Joe might talk about it on Inside Xbox (early Feb) but until then there will probably not be any ‘content’ announcements (aside from the already public stuff – Arena, Quests, Pets). Here’s some Q&A of note:   Q: How is Arena going in Pioneers testing? Joe: Arena isn’t yet in Pioneers but it’s the next goal for it. Shelley: We’re still fairly early with Arena in terms of…

Live Stream: Non-Stop Boombox Action

Questions and answers galore! Tidbits
This was a really fun and entertaining stream with explosions and shenanigans galore. And, lucky for us, a huge amount of Q&A too (despite Jon starting every stream letting the viewers know they won’t be taking questions, nice try Jon). If you have time, definitely give the full video a watch. But if you’re only interesting in the goss, here are the notes:   Event Frequency Burger: Is the fort frequency going to stay? Andy: We looked at a bunch of events and things that can happen inside the world – so the forts, the kraken, the megalodon and the…