FESTIVAL OF GIVING
The Outpost taverns have been dressed in jolly decorations – it’s time for the season of giving! Mysterious gifts of unknown origin have appeared throughout the Sea of Thieves, and Stitcher Jim has tasked crews with retrieving them. Rewards are on offer for delivering them to his beloved, currently camped near the wreckage of Merrick’s ship on the Uncharted Reef, now being referred to as The Reapers’ Hideout.
Jim is also becoming increasingly fascinated by the secrets held within the Ashen Tomes. With rumours of a new volume of Tomes, skeleton crews have become even more protective of their cargo, securing them inside Skeleton Forts protected by deadly Skeleton Lords!
- Gift Seeker Voyages – Skeleton crews have begun to seek out the scattered gifts and hoard them at Skeleton Forts. Stitcher Jim offers players Gift Seeker Voyages to investigate the Forts and retrieve these gifts, but beware – rumours tell of the vicious Mutinous Helmsman protecting the hoard…
All Gift Seeker Voyages are time-limited for the duration of the Festival of Giving update.
- Gift Seeker of Legend Voyage – Pirate Legend crews are tasked with a more deadly Voyage to retrieve guaranteed high-value gifts. While the stakes are higher, Legends must prepare to face off against a harder encounter with both the Two-Faced Scoundrel and The Duchess defending their hoards.
The Gift Seeker of Legend Voyage is time-limited for the duration of the Festival of Giving update.
- Washed-Up Gifts – Players will now find both Humble and Generous Gifts washed up around the world!
- Mercenary Commendations and Rewards – A range of Mercenary Commendations are available to unlock by participating in the Gift Seeker Voyages offered by Jim, earning players Doubloons to spend in the Black Market.
All Mercenary Voyage Commendations, Doubloons and Title are time-limited for the duration of the Festival of Giving update.
- Ashen Skeleton Forts – Crews warn of ominous Red Skull Clouds appearing on the horizon. By engaging with these Skeleton Forts, crews will fight through enemy waves and encounter Ashen Key Masters or Ashen Guardians before finally facing a Skeleton Lord! Upon their defeat, Skeleton Lords will not only drop the Fort Key but a set of Skeleton Orders leading to a stash hidden somewhere nearby. In addition to regular Fort rewards, crews will find guaranteed Ashen Chests along with gifts to be returned to The Reaper’s Hideout!
The Ashen Skeleton Forts will become a permanent addition to the world after the Festival of Giving update, allowing players to encounter this threat at any time.
- Ashen Guardian and Ashen Key Master Sightings – These Ashen Skeletons continue to patrol the Sea of Thieves, but their Skeleton Orders now have the potential to reward players with gifts along with Ashen Chests buried deep in the sands.
The Ashen Guardians and Key Masters will become a permanent addition to the world after the Festival of Giving update, allowing players to encounter this threat at any time.
- Ashen Treasures Commendations and Rewards: Volume 2 – Stitcher Jim and the Outpost stores both have new stocks of Ashen cosmetics, rewarding players for collecting the next volume of Ashen Tomes hidden inside recovered Ashen Chests. In the Festival of Giving update, players can recover Tomes of Power, allowing access to new Commendations and cosmetics including items from the clothing, weapon, item and ship sets. Players will continue to find Tomes of Curses to allow access to previous Ashen cosmetics.
All Ashen Treasures Commendations and rewards will become a permanent addition to the Outpost shops after the Festival of Giving update.
NEW PLAYER ONBOARDING
New pirates continue to break through the Shroud and discover the vast expanse of the Sea of Thieves. These fresh-faced folks need help finding their sea legs and must be introduced to the Outpost locals and Trading Companies…
The Maiden Voyage provides players new to Sea of Thieves a safe space to learn about the world they’re about to reach. Taking place on a new island, the Maiden Voyage will teach players actions from the basics such as eating food and using a cutlass, through to sailing their ship and facing off against their first threats out at sea.
- The Maiden Voyage – Follow the guidance of the Pirate Lord to pick up basic controls, then explore a new island on the border of the Devil’s Shroud. When you’re ready, head out to sea for the first time, breach the Shroud and enter the Sea of Thieves. New pirates are directed to complete the Maiden Voyage before being granted access to Adventure and Arena modes.
- Something for Seasoned Pirates? – While the Maiden Voyage is aimed at introducing new players to the world of Sea of Thieves, seasoned pirates may also choose to explore this new island for any secrets it may hold. Players will always have access to the Maiden Voyage from the main menu.
- Maiden Voyage Commendations and Rewards – New Commendations are available for pirates uncovering the secrets hidden on Old Sailor Isle. Unlock the Pirates Lord’s Jacket and Magpie’s Fortune Sails as part of your journey through the Devil’s Shroud.
Once the Shroud is broken, new pirates arrive on the Sea of Thieves ready for their first Voyage. The Gold Hoarder Trading Company now offers all new recruits an onboarding Voyage to help teach them the ropes, from voting on Voyages to retrieving treasure.
- Mysterious Stranger Introduction – Upon awaking in the Outpost tavern, players are now introduced to the Mysterious Stranger before being directed to the Gold Hoarders Trading Company to begin their first Voyage.
- ‘X’ Marks the Spot Tutorial – All Gold Hoarder representatives now offer an introductory Voyage, teaching players the basics of Voyages and how to find that elusive ‘X’ before returning with the treasure. New players can visit the Gold Hoarders on any Outpost to pick up their first Voyage!
The Festival of Giving update brings a range of improvements to sword combat, with the goal of removing potential exploits while creating a more fluid sword combat experience and better interplay between attacker and defender. To learn more about the reasons behind these changes, read this developer post by Sea of Thieves Design Director Mike Chapman.
- Sword Miss Cooldown – When performing a sword strike and missing an opponent, the cooldown before the player can swing again has been reduced.
- Sword Stunlock Removal – When successfully blocking a sword strike, you will no longer be stunned and unable to move. If you are hit and damaged by a sword strike, the stun duration has now been reduced. However, skeletons continue to be affected by stun from both blocked and damaging strikes as before.
- Sword Wield Timing – When wielding a sword, the player now has a brief delay before being able to strike. Revised animations have been added to better identify when the sword has reached its idle state and allow the player to strike.
- Directional Damage Indicator – When you are being attacked, the damage effect around the screen now identifies the direction in which the damage came from.
- Sword Trails – Wielding a cutlass and striking your foes once again uses a trail visual effect.
- Portable Ammo Crates – Portable Ammo Crates can now be found washed up across the Sea of Thieves. These can hold 50 ammo and can be carried to the Ammo Chest found on your ship or on an island to restock the Ammo Crate’s supply.
- Storm Lightning Balancing – The frequency of lightning strikes hitting players while inside a storm has been reduced, but wielding your cutlass will continue to increase the chances of being hit and any subsequent damage.
- It Should Just Work? – Throwing up onto a fire will now extinguish it as expected!
- Selling Collector’s Chests – All Collector’s Chests found across the world or discovered during Tall Tales can now be sold to the Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls or Merchant Alliance Trading Companies once they are empty. Crews are rewarded with gold and reputation for each chest cashed in!
- Fire Visual Effects – Fire visual effects have been improved on HDR and high-spec machines.
As always, check out the full release notes for the list of bug fixes, plus the cosmetic additions to the Pirate Emporium and the Black Market.