On Monday the Sea of Thieves community team hosted a Q&A with Joe (EP), Mike (Design Director) and Ryan (Art Director).
I’ve collected all of the answered questions below, lightly edited. You should note that a small handful of questions were answered with jokes, or in a decidedly ambiguous fashion – these have been omitted from this roundup, but you can go looking for them here.
Q: Are there any secrets in the game that seemingly no one has found?
Mike: There are definitely dots to connect that no one has realised yet.
Q: Could setting bounties on other players work?
Mike: We have some exciting thoughts here. In fact, there are small clues in the build right now and more coming soon. Hopefully, you’ll look back in the future and see the foreshadowing!
Q: Are there any plans to rework riddle maps?
Mike: Yes. They’ll be an update soon that uses the Collector’s Chest to make riddles more valuable and also give you some of the gold up front in the chest. (Ed. note: we covered this back in May).
Q: Will there be a use for the empty chests we find on shores in the near future?
Mike: Yes! Soon you’ll find gold and objects inside as a emergent reward.
Q: Any plans for new weapons to be introduced?
Q: Will we ever get a “Road Map” like we did last year?
Joe: No plans for this. We have moved to monthly updates, and our plan is generally going to be talking about what is coming next in detail (with some teases and glimpses of what is to come beyond that). Sharing a roadmap just puts pressure on the development team, when we have a clear focus to build a sustainable working environment whilst also delivering awesome content every month. To do that, we need flexibility. I really like the new monthly rhythm and it feels like we’re getting into our stride. The next few months have some super exciting content, but I like to have some surprises. That’s if James hasn’t leaked them all 🙂
Q: If you could give a completely confusing hint at a future feature or future update that will cause the community to debate and wonder for months what would it be?
Mike: Haunting waters with burial chest, sails the Ashen Dragon to long lost rest
Q: In ONE word, that describes the following months for sea of thieves.
Q: What happened to James? Has he been keel hauled for his break in NDA?
Joe: Haha. In all seriousness, he was mortified and sent me an email apologising profusely. We all thought it was pretty funny tbh, and I loved the roasting he got from other members of the team on Twitter. No-one will ever get in trouble for this kind of thing here, we have a very open and engaged team and they should never feel afraid to appear on streams / videos etc. He will be back on the stream soon, I’m sure. As soon as he feels ready 😉
Q: So I have a simple question, do you all see the stuff that fans create? Like the Frozen Fangs Concept from KPTN on Art Station? Or just the general things we fans do?
Mike: We see EVERYTHING! We have discussed a lot of new potential world regions, including ice themed regions, however, we want to ensure that any new region will enrich the potential gameplay possibilities. I like the idea of expanding down, rather than out!
Q: Are you planning to add a new region?
Mike: No plans this year, but exciting potential for the future. I think we’ll want to do something very different next time.
Q: Will we get a festival of the damned 2 this year?
Mike: Maybe even better! We loved the lantern mechanic and would love to do more! #newandinterestingways
Q: With all of the ideas you that you’ve thought of and are planning to implement at some point, do you think you’ll get to a point soon where you need to have a brainstorm with the team and think of whole new content?
Mike: I think we’ve had so many ideas over the years and grand plans for where this game could go. Also, it’s a pirate fantasy world and there are so many features and stories that could feel so unique in Sea of Thieves. I can’t see us ever running out, seriously.
Q: Will we learn more about our character and how we came to the Sea of thieves, will there be a story ending to the game?
Mike: We tried to allude to how you got to the Sea of Thieves in the small opening cutscene where you wake up at the start alongside the map you followed. You will see a far richer opening to the game in the relatively near future that will explain a lot more behind this!
Q: Can we please get a Splashtail Figurehead?
Ryan: Absolutely, the best fish in the sea needs its own figurehead!
Q: Will there be new shanties soon?
Mike: There will be more shanties in the future, including a new one relatively soon that ties into a track we released very recently as it will have some emotional importance to the next set of Tall Tales.
Q: Do you have plans to make Pirate Legends something to fear on the seas again, including new content for PL too?
Mike: Yes, I mentioned previously in the Tall Tales Q&A that we’re looking to unlock the value from all the mechanics added in the Tall Tales as part of new refreshed Voyages… so, absolutely Pirate Legends will see new Voyages in the future that benefit from this. Perhaps… even a reason to return to the Shores of Gold as one of the first 😉
Q: Are there plans to give more ways to spend your gold
Mike: Yes, in the short term, we’re adding the Black Market as a new way to acquire cosmetics, but there will be much more impactful ways in the future. We totally see the reality of large gold wallets currently, especially for players who already have their favourite cosmetics. We want to add completely new reasons to spend gold that enrich the experience, not just be more cosmetics.
Q: Are there any plans to do events that change their outcome based on player actions all over the world?
Mike: Yes, we’ve talked about so many ideas like this. I love this approach. In fact, players help with the Dark Relics has already set in motion a course of events you’ll see start to pay off in October and November.
Q: In both gameplay and art direction, what’s your approach to striking the right balance between the “pirate” and “fantasy/magical”?
Ryan: That’s a tricky one and something we are always trying to balance ourselves, sometimes a piece of concept art has been a bit too medieval fantasy rather than pirate, but it’s about emerging yourselves in pirate inspiration from movies, books and history… failing that… wrap a rope around it, add a few barnacles, and make sure it’s made from enough wood and hey presto: it’s pirate.
Q: Could we get more “general” pirate clothing that doesn’t belong to a set?
Ryan: We are looking at adding in more general pirate clothing and actually have some being worked on right now, we also love the idea of more ways for players to role play as pirates in the world with clothing.
Q: Will the Creator crew include all types of creators? (YouTubers, cosplayers, propmakers, artists, social media fan pages, musicians etc) or will it focus on streamers?
Joe: We absolutely intend for the creator crew to support all types of content creators, but at its initial launch it’s focused on video. We have some work to do to enable support for creators of other types which we will be working on as soon we launch. Totally understand the question here, we love all of the creativity amongst our community and want to support it all.
Q: Will we ever see more ship skins representing other cultures? Like a ship skin that makes a ship look more like asian ships?
Ryan: We are working on new ships cosmetic all the time and played around with some great looks but want to make sure that when added they are part of the rich lore and history we are building… if we just had the right story of some type ……👀
Q: Will there be away of saving progress in game ie like tall tales so you con go back to it at a later date or time?
Joe: this is super complex in terms of the work required, but we definitely hear the feedback. We are looking at all the options we have here, with the aim of reducing the time investment required to complete Tall Tales. Ironically, it will take quite a time investment from us 🙂
Q: Will the Sea of the Damned become any more expansive than it is right now? Like hitching a rowboat off the ghost ship and finding places like those depicted in so much of the concept art.
Ryan: I’d also love to adventure in the Sea of the Damned but it would split the players between the worlds and I don’t think anyone wants to live in limbo forever. You never know there could be a way of bringing a little of the sea of the damned to the main sea when the time is right and the worlds align.
Q: Will we ever figure out why The cursed Mermaid statues randomly appeared?
Mike: Yes, you will! All will hopefully become clear!
Q: Will the black market cosmetics be priced high enough to incentivise players to fight over the reapers chests?
Joe: We believe so, and the doubloon reward from Reaper’s Chests will be going up too…
Q: NPC’s have some really cool looking clothing,beards,hair styles etc. What is keeping you from releasing these to us?
Ryan: We often want NPCs to feel special in the world as rich characters to meet so sometimes have to build them in a different way from player models, but we are always looking how to enable players to have clothing or options that matches or echoes them to role play in the world. The team have been cooking up lots of new things and when ready look forward players getting their hands on them.
Q: Will we see any new curses in the future? I would absolutely love some skeletal curses or some mermaid curses.
Ryan: We have explored a whole range of cool curses for the pirates from the order of souls eyes, gold curse and many others and we haven’t exhausted them yet. I can’t wait to see players adventures with the others.
Q: Are the objects from the Sea of thieves RPG canon? Will we ever see characters like the Lord guardian in the video game?
Mike: All Expanded Universe stuff, like comics, novels and the RPG is all canon. All is a possibility to show up in the game, just like the Sea Dogs from the comics.
Q: Will we ever be able to “wear” our weapons?
Mike: Showing the weapons on the character is extremely difficult with how varied body sizes are. We’d love to support this, but it would take a lot of investment of artists and engineers that could be spent on new features. Its a great example of something that should be simpler than it actually is unfortunately.
Q: Can pets go on our shoulder?
Mike: Unfortunately not 🙁 This is part of the pirate fantasy, but it pains me to say that this was too complex with all the varied cosmetics and body sizes. Basically, the same reason you don’t see weapons carried on your character.
Q: Will we ever get masks…?
Mike: Love the idea of masks and we’ve discussed it a lot, especially recently. There are some technical issues we’d need to overcome with different player sizes, but we’re still investigating.