Update – 14 July 2019:
Hey! We have our Hit Reg improvements in Insiders right now, jump in and come hep us test out the latest improvements!
Joe describes the improvements as “significant” and “super promising”.
Longtime players of Sea of Thieves know that hit registration in the game has always been a bit patchy. You shoot, get the hitmarker, but no damage is done.
This kind of thing happens a lot in online games, but many feel that Sea of Thieves can be worse than most. The arrival of The Arena has bought this issue more sharply into focus, and examples of the issue now seem to hit the front page of the official subreddit on a daily basis.
Syncing the game clients and server seems to be slightly more complicated than perhaps some other games, since players are often moving on top of, and inside, physics based objects and volumes: ships and the sea. This means the game has to perform calculations on the fly and display them to the player as fast as possible (client) while also sending the hits to the server to confirm the hit and deal out the damage. It’s when these don’t match up that you encounter “fake” hit markers. This seem to be exacerbated by high-ping/lag, in combination with high-paced combat in situations that rely on simulated or physics-based motion.
Seemingly unbeknownst to many players, the dev team have acknowledged the issue publicly multiple times, and confirmed improvements are being actively worked on as of May-July 2019.
Here’s a summary of their comments:
JOE NEATE Dev Update – 15 May 2019
[An issue that] is game-wide, but has really come into focus with The Arena, is the hit-registration with guns. This has been there for a while. It’s that [using] ranged weapons isn’t 100% reliable.
Some of this is because Sea of Thieves is very complex – it’s you standing on moving, physics-based objects; […] and swimming as well, in this big water simulation that’s being simulated across the network – there’s a lot of complicated stuff going on.
We’ve been digging into this, and we think we’ve made some improvements which we’re going to be testing internally in play-tests. Assuming there have been improvements, we then want to push [that] out to Insiders to ensure it’s behaving as expected, and then hopefully push those out [to retail].
This is going to be an ongoing thing for us, where we’re going to continue to make improvements, because it is a complex system.
SHELLEY PRESTON Arena Q&A on official forums – 16 June 2019
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!
DREW (Sonicbob Here in this sub – 20 June 2019
We are still working on a range of improvements to hit registration and working through internal testing. As you can imagine there is no silver bullet here and the changes being made are pretty far reaching therefore are giving it sufficient time in testing.
Once we have a more predictable release plan for retail we’ll share our plans.
2.0.5 Release Notes Known Issues – 17 July 2019
Ranged & Melee Weapon Hit Detection – In areas of intense movement simulation, players may experience firing shots or striking a target that subsequently do not cause damage to their target. Scenarios of ship to ship and water combat are the most affected.
support.seaofthieves.com Known Issues Wiki – 21 July 2019
In areas of intense movement simulation, players may experience a case of firing shots or striking a target where those hits subsequently do not cause damage to their target. Scenarios of ship-to-ship and water combat are the most affected.
The team are aware of these issues and are working on a range of improvements, beginning with Insider testing for a future update.
If you want to be involved in testing and feedback on the eventual improvements when they’re ready for testing, sign up to the Insider program today.