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 looking at what the game mode will be, how you play Arena, finding the magic and finding the fun with Arena. We’ve had some play tests that are super promising, and we’re just looking at refining that and getting it in to Pioneers.
Joe: Contrary to some of the other updates that we’ve put out, which get into Pioneers maybe a couple or a few weeks before, in terms of when it’s actually going to come out to the wider player-base, we want to get this [to Pioneers] super early and go through a lot of iteration.
Shelley: Exactly. It’s something we’re absolutely going to be building with the community and with Pioneers.
Q: Will the double gun patch arrive earlier than Arena?
Joe: We’re about to test it in Pioneers actually. We’ve got some all-up combat tweaks and improvements that we’ve started testing with Pioneers, and the double gun fix will come in with that. So, you’re probably going to see that early Feb (Note: now confirmed for Feb 6th). Streamer mode will be coming out in the same update.
Q: Graphics bug issue?
Joe: A fix is coming in the next update.
Q: Are there any plans to have a way for friends to join on the same server?
Joe: It’s not on our immediate road map, but in the future we definitely want to enable this. There’s loads of different ways that people would like to be able to join up with more than just a group of friends on [one] ship. So, whether it’s people that just want to go out and explore together in that world, or they want to challenge their friends to battles, or races, or all of the kind of crazy, creative game modes that people have come up with; all of the different crazy things. We definitely want to give that option in the future. […] We want to do that, and we’re going to start figuring that stuff out soon, but it’s not on our immediate plans.
Q: Will we have to pay actual money for pets?
Joe: Yeah, we’ve been quite open about that. They’re cool, they’re great, they’re fun, they’re social – so if there’s someone else on your crew who has one, you’ll be able to play with it and have fun with it.
James: One thing I’ve seen the pets team working on this week: stopping pets walking in the water and just standing there. It’s incredibly distressing when you have your favourite [pet] just sat there, bubbling away underwater, just looking at you. They seem quite content… somehow the parrots have learned to be aquatic.
Joe: Erm, parrots confirmed [reaction].
Joe: We play-tested a new unannounced thing. Something that can be done or used anywhere… it’s an exciting thing. It was the first time I play tested it, and you were all gathered round watching coz it’s getting to the end of the prototype stage. Like anything in Sea Of Thieves, trying to remove the HUD, remove the on-screen prompts and tips, and have it as tactile as possible in terms of feedback to [players] – so you can naturally figure out what to do, figure out how to use this certain mechanic – and I thought it worked really well.
Q: When are you going to talk about future plans?
Joe: We’re figuring that out at the moment, in terms of how we talk about what’s coming and when. We’ve pulled together our plans and the whole team [is] working across loads of different things, and how we talk about that, that’s our focus at the moment.