In a huge dev update, Joe Neate takes us through a raft of upcoming features. As always, it’s a great idea to watch the full video above. For reference, heres a full summary:
Digital Business strategy – AKA in-game purchases
Rare have been upfront about pets being paid additions to the game right from launch. Now, with pets coming to testing soon, Joe has confirmed Sea of Thieves’ broad monetisation strategy. The stated principles for digital purchases are:
- No power advantage
- Nothing that will “separate players”
- Completely optional
- Know what you’re buying – no loot boxes.
Pets will be hitting Insiders for testing soon. Initially pets were slated for the Anniversary Update, but feedback from testing confirmed they were below the quality level Rare were aiming for, so they went back into development.
New Emotes will be coming as paid purchases. (We’ve previously confirmed new emotes are on the way). Everyone has a default set of emotes they can use. There will be “additional sets” of emotes that players can optionally purchase.
Special Ship Cosmetics will be part of this strategy too. These will “celebrate much-loved games or characters, similar in style to the Bango and Perfect Dark” figureheads.
Pets will head to Insiders for testing first, with emotes and ship cosmetics to follow. When everything is ready for retail release, all three purchase types will come to the main game at the same time.
This option will come to Arena first, with Adventure to eventually follow. The cross-play opt-out setting will be “a preference” to allow for matchmaking to get you into a session. Joe mentions that locations and times come into play with matchmaking, so if there’s not enough console-only pool players matching into a session you’ll be alerted that you’re in a cross-play session, if that’s the only way to start a match.
This will be coming to Insiders “fairly soon”.
The dev team think they’ve “made some significant improvements” to hit-reg. Melee hit-reg improvements have already been in testing with Insiders, and now gun/projectile improvements are in to testing too. Internal testing has been “super promising”, but testing at scale will give a much better indication on the result.
Arena ship sizes
Insiders tested mixed ship matches, but this has been tabled for now due to feedback on the experience. The team is still working on the best way to bring Brigantines and Sloops into the Arena environment, with testing going on with Insiders currently.
Black Powder Stashes
There’s been questions from the community around what aspects of BPS are time limited. The assumptions are that the cosmetics are time limited, but in the past different aspects of commendations and titles have remained in the game for players. With this event there are some custom mechanics, like selling kegs to the Gold Hoarders and Order of Souls, and you might assume that mechanic would potentially not remain in the game after the event – which would essentially orphan these achievements. We’ll hear more from the team next week about what’s staying past the event, and how that will work.
With a large amount of feature testing coming to Insiders this month, it’s a great time to sign up and help test these changes at scale. You can join Insiders here.