Should we be worried that Rare is ‘splitting the player base’?

Here’s everything the team at Rare has said about Adventure vs Arena. Roundups
The recent announcement of the upcoming “The Arena” update to Sea of Thieves, which introduces a new competitive game mode, has been and enthusiastic but mixed reception from Sea of Thieves players. Fans on both the official forum and Reddit have been voicing their concerns that the introduction of this new game mode is a Very Bad Thing™ and signals a failing of the core game, leading to the apparent inevitability that Rare will end up placing all of their focus on the battle mode if it becomes popular, leaving Adventure to languish. Worse still, they’re worried that Rare’s development…

XO18 Panel with Joe Neate and Craig Duncan

Our full and detailed summary of the entire discussion! Roundups
Rare Studio Head, Craig Duncan, and Sea of Thieves Executive Producer, Joe Neate caught up with Xbox’s Major Nelson to talk Sea of Thieves and field some questions from the audience and from Mixer chat. It’s worth watching the whole thing, however, if you don’t have time for that, here’s a full and detailed summary of what was covered: The Arena The Arena is a response to some players wanting more focus on action, as well as shorter session lengths. A new trading company, the Sea Dogs. It’s a “new way to progress” in Sea of Thieves. Confirmed DeMarco is in…

Sea of Thieves: The Arena (updated)

Now you know everything we know. News
At XO18 today, Rare Studio Head, Graig Duncan, and Sea of Thieves executive producer, Joe Neate, unveiled the next (after Shrouded Spoils) major update to the game: The Arena! The Arena will introduce a new mode to Sea of Thieves. Announcing #SeaOfThieves: The Arena – a new competitive game mode coming in 2019. Prove your worth in the game’s fifth free content update, test your pirating skills against other crews and impress the new Trading Company – the Sea Dogs! Watch the trailer: https://t.co/i0fV8i6ALW — Sea of Thieves (@SeaOfThieves) November 10, 2018 This dedicated PvP game mode will be separate…

The Arena Trailer (video)

New competitive mode coming 2019. Videos
More details coming soon when Craig Duncan and Noe Neate have their panel at XO18 tomorrow.

Developer Update (video)

Looking forward to XO18 and Shrouded Spoils. Videos
Notes of interest: Joe reviews Festival of the Damned, watching all the fun ways people are dying and what they’re doing with the lanterns. The only thing that’s time-limited is the cosmetics; the lanterns and beacons remains in the game! The next update is Shrouded Spoils Some of the content from the update is in testing with Pioneers Also testing that the size of all the inclusions fit in game memory Looking at ~late-November A content update video will be on the way, close to release This weekend is XO18 where Joe and Craig Duncan will show off a trailer…

Developer Update (video)

Drew “The Talent” Stevens. Videos
Drew takes over for Joe, who is too busy galavanting. Notes of interest: Forsaken Shores is now finished, and the time-limited cosmetic content is gone Everything else from Forsaken Shores remains in the game, including the campaign, commendations and titles, and doubloons. Festival of the Damned is now live! Take the light from the well of souls of the Ferry and light your ship lanterns. There’s beacons around the world to light for various commendations. Festival and Ferryman cosmetics, as well as face-paint and makeup. Storms are more dangerous during the festival. Server migrations have been improved around Skelly Ship…

Release Notes – 1.3.4

Festival of the Damned! Bilge Rat Releases
[Link] A big update with regards to bug fixes and improvements on this release so including them all below! Welcome to the first Festival of the Damned, celebrating the spookiest time of the year on the Sea of Thieves! This new update marks the end of Forsaken Shores and the Forsaken Shores time-limited cosmetics found in Duke’s shop. Instead you can find some spooky Festival of the Damned time-limited cosmetics in stock, which will be available for the duration of this Bilge Rat Adventure. Patch 1.3.2 also brings with it improvements to the mechanics of the Eye of Reach, rowboats and rewards gained from The Devil’s Roar. There…

What’s up with Forts and Skelly Ships?

Improvements to how Forts stack behind Skelly Ships are in the works. Tidbits
Since the end of Cursed Sails, and the introduction of the fort-like Skeleton Ship encounters (signified by the cloud ship), you will have noticed that Skull Forts no longer activate until the Skelly Ships are cleared. Because the payouts for defeating the fleet captain were initially half what they were during the event (they’ve since been increased), pirates have been much less likely to tackle the Skelly Ships, meaning a huge reduction in Forts activating overall. Senior Producer, Drew Stevens, dropped by one of the many Reddit threads discussing this topic to shed some light on the situation. Hey Everyone, I’ve…

Community Shenanagins

24-to-48 hours of pure pirate pedantry. Community
Updated: Video from The Cutthroats added above! While some of us can eek out a couple of hours to sail the seas every week, other absolute madmen spend days hunting and hoarding. Reddit user /u/JPizzel133 and his crew spent about 24 hours turning their Brigantine into a trash barge. Why? Why not! Watch to the end to see what treasure awaits in the hold. “I Love Trash” from r/Seaofthieves Card Not to be outdone, the insane pirate posse known as The Cutthroats spent 48 hours collecting over one thousand skulls, then carefully arranging them on a fort to celebrate Halloween. The…

Inn-side Story: Visual Effects (video)

Fire! Splashes! Bubbles! Videos
This month’s Inn-side Story features a chat with Andreas and Natalie from Rare’s visual effects team. Seeing how they pulled real life photo and video captures into the game in a way that retains the Sea of Thieves visual style is fascinating. Check it out, then pay careful attention to the world around you on your next adventure to see their handiwork in action!

Developer Update (video)

Settling into a more stable release schedule. Videos
Cool stuff from Joe in this one. The last two releases have felt much more robust, and with the amount of content that’s been released into the game since launch, it does make sense to completely remove the intermediary weekly updates where there’s no significant changes being added to the game. Notes of interest: Cargo Runs are out! Joe’s interested to see how stories emerge from Cargo Runs, and also to get a perspective of how Cargo Runs effect Merchant Alliance (tacit admission that Merchants are the least activated voyage type). Forsaken Shores has been a good test of taking…

Release Notes – 1.3.1

Cargo Rums Runs are here! Minor Releases
[Link] Updates Cargo Runs – These voyages offer an alternative way to climb the ranks of the Merchant Alliance. Obtain a contract, find out who’s waiting with the cargo, grab it and go! Don’t dawdle or damage the goods if you want the full reward when you reach your destination. The Merchants have standards… Skeleton Ship Rewards – Skeleton Captain-led ships at the end of ship battles now give four Skeleton Captain Chests and four Skeleton Captain Skulls instead of two each. Rowboat Damage – Increased damage now taken by Rowboats from Gunpowder Barrels. Stuck Rowboats – You can now push Rowboats that are…

Blocktober

See what those now-familiar islands looked like as low-poly placeholders. Tidbits
In October 2017 Michael Barclay, from Naughty Dog, started the Twitter hashtag #Blocktober with the goal of showcasing the rarely seen stages of game development where rough versions of objects and mechanics are put into action, giving devs an idea of how those systems play together. Luckily for Sea of Thieves watchers, Design Director, Mike (Chappers) Chapman, joined in the festivities by sharing some screenshots and information from early in the development of the game. Read on to sea Snake Island like you’ve never seen it before! Mike Chapman: Time to get involved with #Blocktober! Here’s one the first islands that…

Developer Update

Week one of Forsaken Shores was smooth sailing… Videos
Not a lot of info in this one, folks. To be honest, it’s nice that the launch of a major new expansion went smoothly and there’s not a lot to cover off. The only notes of interest are: Using Pioneers to get feedback and stability metrics for the launch of Forsaken Shores, which was “pretty uneventful”, was great! Joe loves the rowboat. Rare are looking at difficulty-balancing and feedback from The Devil’s Roar. It’s supposed to be a difficult, perilous place where the rewards are greater. They’ll continue to monitor feedback and telemetry over time. Keep giving feedback! They’re seen…

Forsaken Shores!

Release Notes: 1.3.0 Major Releases
[Link] Forsaken Shores As The Devil’s Roar opens up to a new wave of pirates, meet a survivor of the last expedition to this perilous region and learn the fate of their crew in the Forsaken Shores campaign. This content update also introduces and showcases a raft of new features that will persist in Sea of Thieves beyond the time-limited campaign. Devil’s Roar Map – Explore the newly emerged lands to the east, where both sea and land provide new hazards for unwary pirates! Volcanoes – Exploding in a fiery inferno, volcanoes rain down hot rocks that damage players and ships. It has never been more…