On Wednesday the Sea of Thieves community team hosted a Q&A with some of the Arena leadership team.
You can read the whole thing here, but to keep things nice and simple we’ve summarised the discussion below.
Q: When are we going to be able to play with sloops and brigs in the Arena?
Shelley: We want to do this! In fact they’re currently in the Insider build for experimentation. We are working towards finding the right approach for adding all the ship types into Arena whilst creating a fair and level competitive playing field.
Q: Crossplay, the Opt Out. We’re still hanging on very little info, its been 5mo. since it was originally announced.
Jason: We are actively developing input-split matchmaking. This feature has been more complicated to create than expected and we continue to work hard to get you all the right approach. When there is news, Joe will let you know through the Developer update.
Q: are you considering to add more modes to the Arena (fleet vs fleet, races, asymetric Xv1 man o war, etc)?
Shelley: We are excited about the potential for lots of game types in Arena but our immediate focus is making the experience that we have the best it can possibly be for players! We’re improving matchmaking, looking at ways to improve the open crew experience, reducing quitting and trying to ensure contests are more competitive!
Gregg: We’re looking at different ways of encouraging people to stay in The Arena. Part of that is improving the contest experience. We’re also considering consequences for repeated quitters.
Q: Will Cursed Cannonballs make an appearance in Arena?
A: As you mentioned we have tried these during the Arena’s initial development, we found the random element unfair and moved to starting them inside the ships barrels. We still found this caused issues post ships sinking and again made battles unfair. We love cursed cannonballs and are working on a solution to get these back into the Arena.
If you want to help with testing these out please join the insider program and keep an eye out.
Q: Will Arena have lore behind story in the future? And will we be seeing npcs at the docks for each colored banner soon?
Gregg: You’ll be able to learn more about the Sea Dogs in the future…
Q: Can we ever have animals and weather removed? It’s such a nuisance to be trying to covertly swim chests under an enemy’s nose only to get attacked by packs of sharks. Also, having our game start with our ship in the storm and hearing it be torn apart wastes valuable resources
Gregg: We want to retain some emergence in Arena. That’s just Sea of Thieves! It’s finding the right level of unpredictability.
Shelley: Don’t forget you can cook animals to change your strategy…
Q: Any plans to put a notification on screen when some one leaves or joins your crew in Arena (and Adventure).
Gregg: It’s already in the game. [Checks release notes]. It’s coming soon.
Q: Is there no possibility to choose either to leave, or have a “rematch” with the Pirates that also want to stay?
Shelley: We are currently looking at giving players the control to find new rivals rather than doing it automatically. This is something we got great feedback from for our Insiders.
Q: Why did you decide to make The Arena tavern interior not accessible via Adventure mode and The Arena tavern exterior not accessible via The Arena itself? Is there a technical thing or just a design choice?
Gregg: Technical reasons!
Jason: It gives us more capacity to add more things to the game.
Shelley: We still have those dreams!
Q: Any plans to bring more or time limited cosmetics towards the Sea Dog faction to incentives playing Arena for us high level Sea Dogs?
Shelley: There will be more cosmetics and commendations coming to The Arena!
Q: Is hit reg on the guns specifically being looked at?
Shelley: We are actively looking at hit reg on guns. There’s no update to share yet but we’ll let you know when there is!
Q: Matchmaking – its extremely frustrating to be matched with people that aren’t on the same level as you.
Jason: We’re looking at improving matchmaking and matching players of similar skill together.