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We figured out the ship cutouts!

And there’s prototype footage of the feature in action. Tidbits
🚨  Although this is sourced from public information, it may contain heavy spoilers about those cutouts, so if you’re precious about potentially being spoiled, turn back now.  🚨 Since the inclusion of the cut outs at the bow of the ships in the latest build of the game, observers have been trying to figure out what the might be for. Some figure they’re confirmation of fishing, or potentially for mortars, perhaps for swivel guns, or even for deck-mounted harpoons. Eagle eyed reader @PersonalC0ffee reached out to me via Twitter DM with some interesting images captured from early prototype Sea of Thieves gameplay footage….

Everything we know about the upcoming Mega Update

And a few guesses. Roundups
At Inside Xbox in February, Sea of Thieves executive producer, Joe Neate, confirmed that on March 20th, 2019 – the one year anniversary of the launch of the game – Rare will announce everything that’s coming in their next major update, referred to as the Mega Update! It’s been several months since the last major content update, and we know the team has been working on a wide range of new features for the game. Let’s take a look at everything we know is coming to the Mega Update, and take a few guesses while we’re at it. The Arena 🏴‍☠️…

What’s changed since you last played Sea of Thieves?

A very helpful summary of changes and additions to the game since launch. Roundups
(Updated 6 February 2019) If you took a break from Sea of Thieves, and you’ve been thinking about setting sail once again, but you’re wondering “what’s new?” … this is the place for you! A few notes: Although the world is now much more ‘alive’, the core gameplay loop of ‘completing voyages’ is largely unchanged. If you didn’t enjoy the basic premise of Sea of Thieves before, the additions since launch might not swing it for you. If you want to dip your toes back in without committing to a full retail purchase: Game Pass is cheap, my friend. However,…

Friends Play Free!

Update: The offer is live! News
Are you a lonely pirate? Do you long for a crewmate (or three) to join your piratical exploits? Fear no more, solitary swashbuckler! For one week only, you can invite up to three friends to set sail with you on the Sea of Thieves – completely free! Don’t miss Friends Play Free, running from February 6th–13th. Simply head over to our website and redeem your codes now! Whoops, it looks like someone at Rare briefly hit public instead of unlisted when uploading this video. In what was certainly supposed to be a reveal for Inside Xbox, it seems as though…

The Cross-Play Opt-Out “Controversy”

Groan. Update: now with actual stats. Opinion & Analysis
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 Now that Joe has appeared on Inside Xbox, and following on from Craigs tweet about “sharing stats soon”, we now know details about the PC/console player split, which allows us to better understand any impact that cross-play opt-out might have. During the show Joe confirmed that over the previous weekend, PC players made up 35% of players who set sail, with the remaining 65% being console players. This is significant because we can use those percentages to estimate how the cross-play and console-only pools might split, depending on how many consoles users actually do opt out…

The latest Pirate Times teases a new voyage type

Another reason to be a little bit mercenary. Tidbits
Pictured: another reason, if required, to be a little bit mercenary In the latest Pirate Times, the Sea Of Thieves community team has teased something new coming to the game. In a section titled “Tip-Top Tipple Treasures” we see a graphic of a new voyage type: a scroll adorned with a scorpion seal. From the article: The Pirate Times is informed that a tenacious but unknown rum runner has recently chosen to scatter their stash of illicit alcohol and loot around the Sea of Thieves! All three Trading Companies are interested in this haul, so Duke is working on tracking…

Developer Update (video)

Cross play controls are coming for console players. News
In a dev update today that covered reporting and banning toxic behaviour, and some background on the thinking behind the the upcoming weapons balance (with a detailed breakdown of the changes coming in next week’s dev update), Executive Producer Joe Neate covered another topic that has been a long standing point of discussions among Sea of Thieves players: cross play. Joe has confirmed that, in the lead up to the public release of The Arena, console players will be able to opt out of cross-play in both Adventure mode and The Arena. Sea of Thieves is a cross play title, and…

Tales from the development of Sea of Thieves

Mermaids and emotion and post-it notes. Roundups
Just before the New Year, in what I can only imagine was a fairly obvious attempt to avoid family at the holidays, Rare game designer Gregg Mayles started looking through a collection of images and documents from the early days of Sea of Thieves development. …I’ve been looking back through the huge haul of documents and images I have got from the development of Sea Of Thieves. I’ll share a few and see if anyone is interested! His first tweet was an absolute cracker! Sea Of Thieves started off life as a chat with @SimonSorcerer about ‘deep emotional player engagement’…

A full weapons rebalance is coming

Bullet-speed, damage, knock-back, hip-fire all to be tweaked. News
In a (very short) dev update this week, Joe expanded on the brief mentions we’ve heard previously about some “all-up combat tweaks” that  are coming in the Feb 6 update. Here’s his direct quote from the video: As well as [the double gun fix], we’re looking at a bunch of general combat tweaks and improvements – everything around personal combat. At the moment we’re testing a bunch of those changes and tweaks with Pioneers, so we’re not quite ready to talk about the specifics of what we’re doing because we’re still taking feedback and adjusting, but broadly we’re going to…

Live Stream: Non-Stop Boombox Action

Questions and answers galore! Tidbits
This was a really fun and entertaining stream with explosions and shenanigans galore. And, lucky for us, a huge amount of Q&A too (despite Jon starting every stream letting the viewers know they won’t be taking questions, nice try Jon). If you have time, definitely give the full video a watch. But if you’re only interesting in the goss, here are the notes:   Event Frequency Burger: Is the fort frequency going to stay? Andy: We looked at a bunch of events and things that can happen inside the world – so the forts, the kraken, the megalodon and the…

Mouse and Keyboard support is coming to Sea of Thieves (updated x2)

Not official yet, but it seems likely. News
UPDATE: That was quick! Razer has now removed Sea of Thieves (and quite a few other games) from their page. Big Brother is watching! Click to see the original page vs the update. It’s probably very safe to assume support is indeed coming for the now-removed games, although they’re obviously not ready to announce yet. UPDATE 2: Unrelated to the Razer snafu, Executive Producer Joe Neate confirmed on today’s live-stream that mouse and keyboard for console “is on our roadmap”. In September 2018 Microsoft announced that (long rumoured) mouse and keyboard support is coming to Xbox. With Sea of Thieves being…

Sea of Thieves in the Top 10 most searched video games on Google

It’s the most searched new IP on the list. Tidbits
Sea of Thieves has garnered the 7th spot in the trending “video games” search results in Google’s Year In Search 2018. While it’s a genuinely impressive result for a supposedly “dead game“, it’s worth keeping context in mind. According to Google “lists are based on search terms that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year.” With this in mind it makes sense that Sea of Thieves might be higher on this list since it launched this year. It is notable though that it’s the highest new IP on the list, and the other franchise games all…

Sea of Tease: New ship-to-ship interactions are on the horizon

New and interesting ways. Tidbits
Reddit user Decoraan spotted this interesting tidbit from the most recent weekly dev live-stream (1:00:13): Joe (reading question): “Have you ever considered boarding ropes?” Hmmmmmm James: Ah, interesting..! Joe: That’s an interesting questions isn’t it. James, have you ever considered boarding ropes in Sea of Thieves? James: Boarding ropes is, ah, it’s an interesting one. I’m not usually that into PvP so, ah, it’s something I’m sure I could look at using? [Gameplay mayhem] Joe: New and interesting ways for interactions between ships and stuff in the future, it’s definitely [something] we’ve got our eye on. Not directly boarding ropes,…

More forts, ships, megs and krakens is a permanent thing

The increase in encounters – introduced in Shrouded Spoils – is here to stay. Tidbits
If you’ve played many of the major Sea of Thieves content updates or Bilge Rat Adventures, you’ll know that it was quite normal for the spawn rates of items or enemies in the game to be increased during the event – the increased numbers of sharks in the lead up to The Hungering Deep, boom-skellies during Gunpowder Skeletons, or mermaid spawns during The Sunken Curse, to name a few. This has lead to some speculation that perhaps the increased encounters that have made Shrouded Spoils so engaging might be reduced after the event. Never fear, pirates. Senior Producer, Drew Stevens,…

How the Mermaids made their way back into Sea of Thieves

“I feel like you can lay the blame at my door.” Tidbits
Not long after Shrouded Spoils arrived, Rare coder James Thomas hinted that he’d tell the story of why the Mermaids were removed from the game for Forsaken Shores, and how they made their way back in. One day (probably this week) I’ll reveal the petulant tale of how I held these mermaid statues hostage until they were given a purpose. — James Thomas (@BIGsheep) November 28, 2018 Later that week James dropped some fantastic behind the scenes info, which gives some great insight into how the team at Rare are developing Sea of Thieves. We’re reproduced the thread here: James…