Sea of Thieves today received its latest content update – and the first of many monthly updates – in the form of Black Powder Stashes.
The Black Powder Stashes update brings with it some Bilge Rat-specific Voyages, as well as a host of Quality of Life fixes, bug updates, and tweaks to improve player experience across the game.
Black Powder Stashes
Introduced in the form of different types of Voyages, the Black Powder Stashes offer a challenge to players – dig up, collect, and return Gunpowder Barrels to the Trading Companies located around the Sea of Thieves. Though the catch is that these Voyages send all pirates along the same route, so running into other players is almost a certainty.
The Voyages are split into the following types:
Reaper’s Black Powder Runs
- Sends players from Fort to Fort to find Gunpowder Barrels, Stronghold Kegs, and buried Merchant Crates
- Can choose between an ‘East Fort Run’ and a ‘West Fort Run’
- Extra rewards if Reaper’s Mark flag is raised (so all players can see you on the map)
Black Powder Smuggler’s Runs
- Voyages are split between each region of the sea
- Need to collect Gunpowder Barrels, Stronghold Kegs, and Merchant Crates
- Pirate Legends have an exclusive Voyage they can embark on
By completing these Voyages, players can earn Doubloons, Commendations, Titles, and new ship cosmetics.
Notable Additions and Patch Notes
As well as introducing ‘new and interesting ways’ to play the game through Black Powder Stash Voyages, this update also brings with it a hefty amount of Quality of Life (QoL) improvements. These vary from increased payouts for fish and meat turned in to the Hunter’s Call Trading Company, to now being able to find Mermaid Gems washed up ashore or in shipwrecks.
For the full set of patch notes, click on the below to expand and read further, courtesy of Rare’s full writeup.
- Black Powder Stashes
- Game Balancing
- Accessibility Improvements
- Fixed Issues - General
- Fixed Issues - Arena
- Fixed Issues - Tall Tales
- Fixed Issues - Environment
- Known Issues
- Reaper’s Black Powder Runs – Duke is challenging crews to face off against rivals in an explosive new Reaper’s Run, the ‘Reaper’s Black Powder Run’. These dangerous new voyages task crews with hopping from Fort to Fort finding Gunpowder Kegs, buried Merchant Crates and even guaranteed Stronghold Kegs! With two routes to pick from, crews should keep watch for rival crews as they trek the East Fort Run or West Fort Run. Tackling these voyages with your Reaper’s Flag raised adds extra risk to your voyage but unlocks some unique rewards. These voyages can be repeated if you dare!
- Black Powder Smuggler’s Runs – For crews looking for a less competitive challenge with the same explosive consequences Duke, is offering a set of ‘Black Powder Smuggler’s Run’ voyages. These new voyages take crews into each region of the seas to collect buried Merchant Crates, Gunpowder Kegs and even guaranteed Stronghold Kegs for the Trading Companies. Pirate Legends have an exclusive voyage tasking them to venture into the Devil’s Roar and brave the threats to reap even more Stronghold Kegs! These voyages can be repeated to your hearts content once completed.
- Trading Companies Stockpiling – The Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls and Merchant Alliance Trading Companies have begun stockpiling defences and will now reward players for handing over Gunpowder and Stronghold Kegs. Not wishing to be unprepared, the Mysterious Stranger has also begun rewarding Pirate Legends with Athena’s Fortune reputation for handing over Stronghold Kegs.
- Mermaid Gems – Duke has heard word of Mermaid Gems being scattered across the world; Washed up on Islands, inside Skeleton Fort Vaults, inside Sunken Shipwrecks and even inside the bellies of Krakens & Megalodons! – the Trading Companies are eager to take these off your crew’s hands.
- Mercenary Commendations and Rewards – A range of Mercenary Commendations are available to unlock from your crew’s explosive efforts out on the seas. Earn Doubloons, unlock Titles and purchase newly available ‘The Inevitable Reaper Flag’, ‘The Inevitable Reaper Sails’ and the ‘Mercenary Figurehead’ for taking part in Duke's latest challenges.
Hunter's Call Rewards – Now that they have established a booming business, The Hunter's Call has the capital to reward players with greater Gold and Reputation gains for cashing in fish and meat.
Tall Tales Skeleton Lord Balancing – Captain Briggsy, Captain Graymarrow and the Gold Hoarder now have a more balanced encounter for two person and three person Crews.
‘The Shores of Gold’ Gold Hoarder Encounter – Players engaging in the final encounter will now be given more time to complete the battle before the encounter times out.
Sunken Shipwreck Rewards – Diving into a sunken shipwreck, players now have the chance to find Gunpowder Kegs, Resource Crates and even Mermaid Gems in addition to all the other previously found rewards.
Improving Resource Crates – Players are more likely to find fruit, cannonball and wooden plank resource crates washed up on beaches across the world.
Mermaid ‘Return to Ship’ Improvements – The mermaids are more helpful, appearing more quickly and in a closer location for players when you need them the most.
Cursed Cannonballs - Effect Durations - The duration of effects for all player curses have been reduced. The duration of effects for Peaceball, Riggingball and Ballastball have also been reduced.
Cursed Cannonballs - Anchorball - Anchorball still lowers/raises the anchor but no longer locks it out from being used for a time afterwards. The Helmball and Barrelball remain unchanged.
Cursed Cannonballs - Skeleton Ships – When engaging a Skeleton Ship, the frequency in which they fire Cursed Cannonballs has been reduced.
Megalodon Encounter Balancing – We’ve done a wide balancing pass on the Megalodon encounters out in the world. When encountering a Megalodon players should more clearly be able to identify their personality from how they act around the ship and attack, allowing you to strategise on how to engage with them.
Fleeing from a Megalodon to a nearby island will cause her to quickly give up and leave the area rather than lying in wait under the waves for an extended period. Crews on Sloops and Brigs are now much more likely to encounter a more balanced encounter, while still proving to be a challenge to take down.
Sloop Mast Damage – A damaged Sloop mast now takes half the time to resurrect to provide a more balanced experience for smaller crews.
Eye of Reach Skeletons – Players will now only encounter Eye of Reach wielding skeletons manning certain posts on a Skeleton Ship. These skeletons no longer spawn on islands or during encounters.
Skeletons on Cannons – Skeletons on islands are less accurate with cannons and take longer to return after being killed.
Escaping a Skeleton Ship – When chased by an emergent Skeleton Ship, crews no longer need to put as much distance between them before the Skeleton Ship decides to let you escape.
Morrow’s Peak Outpost Geysers – Geysers on Morrow’s Peak Outpost in the Devil’s Roar now spawn much less frequently.
Devil's Roar Volcanoes - Volcanoes encountered in the Devil’s Roar do not hit ships as often.
This update provides a range of Accessibility Improvements to players across the Sea of Thieves. To learn more about Accessibility in Sea of Thieves, head over to our Accessibility Guides.
Support for ‘Tap to Interact’ – An option has been added to the Accessibility Settings known as ‘Reduce Held Interactions’, which allows many ‘Hold to Interact’ actions to only require an initial tap. Players must still stay within range and wait the full duration of the action.
Radial Menu Support for ‘Toggle’ – An option has been added to the Accessibility Settings ‘Toggle Radial Menus’ which allows radial menus to be opened and closed with two separate button presses rather than a button being held and released.
Radial Menu Support for ‘Sticky’ – An option has been added to the Accessibility Settings ‘Sticky Radial Items’ which allows radial menus to stay selected when releasing the analogue stick.
Radial Menu Support for Keyboard Bindings – All radial menu’s now support selection using number keys in addition to using the analogue stick. These keys can now also be re-binded in the Keyboard Settings page.
Support for ‘Escape’ to back out of Settings pages in stages – An option has been added to the Accessibility Settings ‘Escape as Back’ for Keyboard & Mouse controls. When toggled on, the ‘Escape’ changes its function when navigating the settings menus. When drilled into submenus, previously Escape would return the player all the way back to the top-level menu – with this setting enabled, Escape now steps the player back through each menu requiring multiple presses to return to the top-level menu.
Support for Mouse Hover in Settings – When using a mouse to navigate the settings menu, hovering over an item no longer automatically selects it and requires players to click to select to avoid accidental selection while navigating. This does not affect navigating the settings with a controller.
‘Let Games Read to Me’ Message Priority – When triggering multiple narration messages, there is now a hierarchy to manage the order in which narration messages are played.
Narration of server messages takes priority and pause any current message, playing immediately and queuing up subsequent messages.
Narration of UI messages is second in priority and will play if no other message is currently playing. UI messages will not queue and will override a currently playing message. Player chat messages are third priority and will only play if no other message is currently playing.
‘Let Games Read to Me’ Player Chat Messages – The first chat message from a player will begin with "[Gamertag] says", with any consecutive messages from that player dropping the “[Gamertag] says” so that multiple messages will be read out as if they were part of one larger message. As soon as there is a break in speech however, the player’s gamertag will be read out again at the start of the next message.
Crew Member ‘Join’ & ‘Leave’ Notifications – Crew members now receive a notification when a player joins or leaves their crew.
Tall Tales ‘Shroudbreaker’ New Puzzles – The Shroudbreaker Tall Tale has had a range of new Vault Puzzle variants added to provide a varied experience each playthrough.
Tall Tales ‘Cursed Rogue’ New Puzzle & Briggsy Fight Locations – The Cursed Rogue Tall Tale has had a range of new Puzzle variants added. Crews will now find new locations for Skeleton Crews and buried quest items and will engage Briggsy in different locations on islands for a more varied experience each playthrough.
Tall Tales ‘Revenge of the Morningstar’ New Puzzle Locations – The Revenge of the Morningstar Tall Tale has had a range of new puzzle variants added to new islands for a more varied experience each playthrough.
Digging up Bait – Players now have a chance to find fishing bait from digging in the world. Digging on beaches, shorelines and grassy areas will yield the different bait types, happy digging! The amount of bait found in island barrels has also been reduced as part of this change, however crews will still find they can acquire some stock at outposts and sea posts to prepare for their journey.
Interactive Hatches – The Shipwrights have added player-controlled hatches to both Sloop and Brigantines. Brigs have hatches added to the small window in the Captain’s Cabin, Sloops now have hatches on the small windows which players can close to help defend from attacks.
Outpost Tavern Audio – Tavern ambient audio experience has been enhanced to be more interesting for players.
Audio during Pirate Selection – The ambient audio experience has been enhanced when selecting a new pirate.
Session Setup Panel – When navigating the front-end menu and selecting your game mode, ship type and crew type – there is a UI panel showing the choices that you have made when setting up your session.
Controller & Keyboard Settings Menu - Improved the layout of the Controller and Keyboard screens on the settings menu.
Resolved an issue allowing players to sprint while changing weapons in order to fire two shots in quick succession when wielding two guns.
Resolved a stability issue causing Gunpowder and Stronghold Kegs to sometimes explode during server migration.
Killing Skeletons while under the effects of Cursed Green Cannonballs now correctly progress the following commendations: The Curse of The Foul Grog (Grogball), The Curse of The Dancing Demon (Jigball), The Curse of The Black Viper (Venomball), The Curse of The Sandman's Revenge (Wearyball), The Curse of The Fools Stride (Limpball), Master of Cursed Iron and Legend of Cursed Iron.
Using a Gunpowder Keg to destroy a Skeleton Ship will now correctly count towards Skeleton Ship Commendations.
Players and their crews will receive credit for engaging with Kraken and Megalodon encounters even if they are on the Ferry of the Damned and/or have lost their ship when the encounter ends.
The Megalodon Makeup description now correctly refers to the player having to complete the ‘Hunter of the Great Maw’ Commendation to unlock.
Dropping a one-handed item onto a lantern set dressing object no longer causes the player to be unable to pick up the item.
Pirate Hideout audio reveal now plays at the correct location at Golden Sands Outpost.
When ‘Let Games Read to Me’ and ‘Speech-To-Text’ are both enabled, transcribed messages will not be read out by ‘Let Games Read to Me’ because that message was already spoken across voice chat.
The description for the ‘Athena’s Voyager’ Title now correctly identifies the unlock criteria.
Pirate Hideout audio reveal now plays at the correct location at Sanctuary Outpost.
Floating meat from Megalodons, sharks & Krakens now will bounce off your ship if sailed through.
Revised the description of the ‘Legendary Treasure Hunter’ title, to correctly identify the unlock criteria.
Players will now correctly hear ringing in their ears whilst under the influence of grog.
Taking a bite of food while quickly interacting with barrels no longer causes the incorrect icons to be shown in the Barrel UI.
Players will now be able to access the second page of a radial menu after rebinding their Item Radial/Map Radial and Interact/Disengage keys.
The Pirate Phrase Wheel now has messages for Raw Fish; Devilfish, Battlegill, Islehopper, Pondie, Wrecker and Plentifins.
Anchoring your ship on the west side of Plunder Outpost no longer puts your ship out of range for the Ship Customisation Chest.
The Ship Flag box now uses the correct iconography and descriptions when trying to un-equip a Flag.
Skeletons can no longer navigate into areas players cannot reach on The Crow’s Nest Fortress, preventing the fort encounter from continuing.
Keyboard rebinding for ‘Slot 8’ is now correctly named.
Dropping a Merchant Crate now correctly plays the crunch sound effect to indicate it has become damaged.
When multiple players are interacting with the same barrel, the UI will no longer occasionally get stuck.
Shops will close automatically if a player takes damage or is harpooned while browsing.
The ‘Toggle HUD’ is no longer available in the Front-End Settings Menu.
The Legendary Flintlock now correctly unlocks when completing the ‘Legendary Sea Dog Commendation’
The Legendary Flintlock now sits correctly in the player’s hand and aligns with the target when aiming.
Players will now receive a popup when earning the Victorious Sea Dog Blunderbuss after completing Grade 5 for the Legendary Sea Dog Commendation.
Leaving the Arena while the contest start music is playing will no longer cause the music to continue to play on the front end.
Players will be removed from the tavern cannon when migrating to a new server.
Resolved an issue with the level of detail on some dressing items in the Arena Hand in locations.
Tall Tales - Shores of Gold
Players who are joined by friends who have progressed further in the Tales will now correctly be able to vote on that Tale to begin. Crew members will always be able to vote on the latest Tall Tale unlocked by any member of the crew.
Books previously used as world decoration have been removed to avoid confusion with Tall Tale Voting Books or Tale Journals.
The Tall Tales Reputation page now supports a wider range of written languages without overlapping text.
Players interacting with objects in the world while opening and closing a Quest Book will no longer find the book pages become blank.
‘Art of the Trickster’ – Crews who are killed and subsequently migrate while engaging with the Trapmaker’s Lair encounter will no longer find the encounter to reset back to the beginning.
‘Art of The Trickster’ – The Skeleton Waves now consistently spawn during the Trapmaker’s Lair Encounter.
‘Art of The Trickster’ – The ‘Captain of the Lair’ now consistently spawns at the end of the Trapmaker’s Lair Encounter.
‘Fate of the Morningstar’ – When releasing a trapped soul, leaving a returning to the chest will no longer replay the animation.
‘Shores of Gold’ – Resolved a number of areas where geometry would disappear inside the trap chasms.
‘Shores of Gold’ – Looking out from inside a waterfall no longer makes the cave appear as if underwater.
‘Shores of Gold’ – Players should no longer become stuck if jumping into the rocks when leaving the Gold Hoarder encounter and jumping off the waterfall.
‘Shores of Gold’ – Players should no longer be able to climb out of the environment in the trap chasm.
‘Shores of Gold’ - Players can no longer become snagged and stuck moving around inside the Compass Vault on Shores of Gold.
Mutineer Rock is now better identified on the ship’s map and correctly matches players’ X Marks the Spot maps.
Dagger Tooth Outpost now renders correctly when viewed from a distance.
When a Skeleton Fort is inside a storm, it will no longer rain inside the vault.
Players should no longer become stuck in the corner of the Sea Post Shop and become safe teleported.
Players should no longer become stuck between two palm trees on Marauder’s Arch.
Players should no longer get stuck and fall through the ground inside a tunnel on Marauders Arch.
Players should no longer become stuck when navigating the stern of a sunken shipwreck.
Players should no longer get stuck between palm trees and the market stand on Plunder Outpost.
Players should no longer clip through parts of the environment around Galleon’s Grave Outpost.
Players should no longer clip through parts of the environment around Plunder Outpost.
Certain wooden barrels found around outposts in The Wilds no longer have corrupt textures.
Lanterns hanged around Mermaid’s Hideaway are now correctly attached to their posts.
Island Pools will no longer have incorrect reflections on Plunder Valley.
Players can no longer find missing textures on a cliff face on Old Faithful Isle.
Waves should no longer been clipping through the geometry in a cave on Crescent Isle.
Removed a misplaced crate on Sunken Grove.
Removed misplaced rocks on Lone Cove.
Removed misplaced tree clipping through rocks on Crooked Masts.
‘Stars of a Thief’ Unable to retrieve Totem – After placing the Star Jewels in the statue to retrieve the totem, leaving the area and returning will cause the statue to close and the totem to be lost.
Ranged & Melee Weapon Hit Detection – In areas of intense movement simulation, players may experience firing shots or striking a target that subsequently do not cause damage to their target. Scenarios of ship to ship and water combat are the most affected.