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. Dev Update Videos
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…

Developer Update (video)

“What I do have are a very particular set of skills.” Dev Update Videos
Notes of interest: A wave of bans have gone out for a “very small amount” of players who have been cheating. “We will find you, and we will ban you.” A new update will come on February 6th. As part of the update players will need to re-download the full game again, however the overall game size is much smaller (roughly half or less). As well as general quality-of-life improvements, streamer mode, double-gun fix, and combat tweaks/improvements are also coming in the Feb 6 release. There’s a “fun little thing” planned for the release too, but they’re not ready to…

Sea of Thieves Weekly Stream: Athena’s Fortune

Parrots confirmed. Live Stream Roundups
More tidbits from Joe this week, including more tease about something “kind of fun” coming with the Feb 6th release. Will be a fun event/activity (Joe has previously said it will “celebrate friendship”. Joe might talk about it on Inside Xbox (early Feb) but until then there will probably not be any ‘content’ announcements (aside from the already public stuff – Arena, Quests, Pets). Here’s some Q&A of note:   Q: How is Arena going in Pioneers testing? Joe: Arena isn’t yet in Pioneers but it’s the next goal for it. Shelley: We’re still fairly early with Arena in terms of…

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…

Developer update (video)

Double gun will become undone. Dev Update Videos
Notes of interest: The key next step for Arena is to get it into the Pioneers testing program to start getting feedback. Rare want to grow and build Arena with Pioneers before it goes out to a wide release. The double-gun exploit has become more prevalent recently. The effective “one-shot” nature of the current usage was never the intended design. A fix will be coming “to one of our game updates”. A setting to disable gamertags will be coming in the next update (useful for streamers). The “Recent Players” view on Xbox has been buggy and will be in the…

Mouse and Keyboard support is coming to Sea of Thieves (updated x3)

Squeak. 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”. UPDATE 3 (March 14): Mouse and Keyboard for console is slated for release into the game on March 20th, 2019. In…

Creating a new type of multiplayer game

Joe’s talk from the Fun and Serious Game Festival. Talks & Panels
Executive Producer, Joe Neate, recently presented a talk at the Fun and Serious Game Festival about how the team at Rare set out to create “a new type of multiplayer game”. There’s some interesting background in here about Rare’s original goals for Sea Of Thieves and how they focussed on player stories and building an experience to give players a range of emotions. There’s also some excellent acting work from Design Director, Mike Chapman. Looks like the talk I gave at the @funandserious festival is up online. If you're interested in how we set out to create a new type…

Developer Update (video)

Reviewing 2018. Dev Update Videos
A long update from Joe today as he takes a look back at 2018. Joe covers the tie leading up tot he launch of the game, what launch was like, how the team felt about how the game was reviewed, and much more. He also says “moment in time” a lot! It’s a great look back at the year from his point of view, and worth a watch for any Sea of Thieves fan.

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…

Tales from the Tavern (podcast)

Videos
This is a great, long-ranging chat from Joe, Jon, Emma, Craig and Matt Booty (Head of Xbox Studios). Hearing Craig and Joe talk about the first week after launch, in contrast to the Shrouded Spoils release, really puts the year into perspective. There’s not much in the way of tidbits here, but Joe does mention a “new location” that is being worked on as part of a future release (could be the Sea Dogs Tavern, or possibly something further out?) and Craig mentioned “tens of thousands” of new players thanks to the various Black Friday deals.

Release Notes – 1.4.1

Gilded Voyages! Minor Releases
[Link] Gilded Gifts ‘Tis the season to be jolly! As we approach the end of an incredible year for Sea of Thieves, the Pirate Lord has decided to reward the sheer volume of piracy displayed with a gift for every pirate who sails the seas during December, in an initiative he’s calling Gilded Gifts. Wondering what he has in store for you? Visit Duke at any Outpost tavern this month and purchase a Gilded Voyage for the fine sum of 0 Doubloons. This special voyage type with its high-value rewards will add some real holiday joy to your inventory. But choose carefully:…