Following concerns over the game’s amount of content at launch, Rare last week promised to release a video detailing their plans for Sea of Thieves’ post-launch experience.
Today, they released a video touching on what players can expect in the next major updates as well as planned minor updates in between, including a new ship, new enemy AI, new items, and new challenges to face in the world.
May: ‘The Hungering Deep’ Update
- New AI enemy
- New mechanics
- Unique event to introduce them, comes with specific rewards
While we don’t know for sure what the enemy will be, all signs point towards hostile mermaids making their way to the Sea of Thieves.
Design Director Mike Chapman stated that while these enemies will be added into the world naturally – so that players may encounter them during regular voyages and interact with them as they would anything else – a specific event would mark their arrival and “showcase them in a cool and interesting way”.
This event will encourage crews to work together to “uncover” and defeat this threat, and come with unique rewards for participating. Alongside new rewards, Chapman and Executive Producer Joe Neate hinted at new items and mechanics making their way into the game with The Hungering Deep, including new ways to communicate with other crews.
Following the introductory event, the new enemy will be part of the game permanently, with the new AI and mechanics becoming part of the regular world.
Starting From May: Weekly Content Updates
- Introducing new mechanics, getting people using them and getting used to them
- Within existing Trading Companies, introducing new ways to play
- Providing more incentive and rewards for players to explore the world
- Bringing unused areas of the game that haven’t been used into play (underwater ruins, reefs, etc.)
- Custom/specific rewards for these weekly events
Following the first major update with The Hungering Deep, Sea of Thieves will be showcasing weekly events for players to participate in.
“What’s great about the weekly events is that it’s a great way for us to announce the content, rather than just doing it through a set of patch notes,” Chapman said.
Neate described these events as falling into a number of different categories, such as:
- Introducing new mechanics in a way that “maximizes its potential” and gets players using it/them
- Introducing a new way to play (such as new ways to interact with the world, or objectives and mechanics within the existing Trading Companies)
- Making more of content/mechanics that already exist within the game
Neate also stated that, where appropriate, these weekly updates will contain specific rewards that relate to each objective. Some of these will also relate to the existing Trading Companies, which can help players continue progressing to becoming a Pirate Legend.
An example of new mechanics discussed in the video is the concept of ‘Cursed Cannonballs’.
While we don’t know what the affect of a ‘Cursed Cannonball’ is, the idea behind it is that it will add another layer to resource gathering an player encounters. When coming across enemy ships, you then have less of an idea of what they have on board – will they be using traditional cannonballs, or do they have these new weapons with new effects?
It also opens up opportunity for resources to play a larger and more varied role in the game moving forward – will planks and bananas have different effects at some point? Are there other types of cannonballs that will be introduced down the track?
New Ways to Play
One of the larger pieces of feedback we discussed in our article last week is that Sea of Thieves currently doesn’t reward exploration.
“People find these amazing underwater caverns or underwater ruins or hidden caves and stuff,” Neate said. “and it’s really fun to go and find that, but you kind of feel like you should be getting a reward for going there, right?”
Some of these weekly events will be focused on this type of content – encouraging players to explore the world through other tasks, such as finding lost items for a new NPC (including exploring areas that aren’t currently being used, such as unmarked islands or the underwater ruins in the world).
Another example is adding new goals and quests to the current Trading Companies, though they didn’t elaborate on what we might expect from these types of updates.
Using the Existing World
When discussing how weekly events would use the existing world and environment, Neate brought up the concept of Skeleton Thrones – exactly what it sounds like, Skeletons Thrones are Thrones that Skeletons have fashioned through out the world on which they can sit and survey ‘their’ land.
The challenge would be that these Thrones are in hard to reach places, so you might catch a glance of one on a nearby island through your spyglass, and then have to work out how to get up there, using the cannons on your ship and climbing skills to navigate your way up to it. Players will have to be inventive in order to physically get to these Thrones.
When finding and making it to these Thrones – as with other weekly events – players will also gain rewards specific to the completed task.
Summer: ‘Cursed Sails’ Update
- New AI threat (unexpected; different to The Hungering Deep)
- New type of ship for players to use
- New mechanics, features, and rewards
Given that the Cursed Sails update is further away, we don’t know as much about what’s going to be included within. Although a new and “unexpected” AI threat will reveal itself, we don’t know how they’re going to affect the game or what new mechanics they’ll bring to the table.
Players will also be able to command a new type of ship – currently, the Sloop allows for crews of 1-2, while the Galleon allows for crews of 3-4, so it’s unclear at this stage if a new ship will be something in between (perfect for crews of 3) or something larger than the Galleon (for larger crews of 6). Given that we haven’t had any indication of a ship larger than a Galleon – and the community has been asking for a 3-man option – the former seems much more likely.
- New AI threat (themed to this new part of the world)
- New area to explore in the world
- Much more perilous – provides new types of adventures
The Forsaken Shores update seems to set itself apart from the previous updates by offering an entirely new area of the world to explore – while we didn’t receive any details other than it being ‘much more perilous’, we do know that we’ll find new enemies and new adventures specific to this part of the world.
Fall/Winter: 3 More Major Updates
Although we don’t have any information on what’s coming during the latter half of the year, we do know that there are 3 more major updates planned – in the same vein as the The Hungering Deep, Cursed Sails, and Forsaken Shores.
While players wait for these major updates, weekly events will also continue to occur in between.
Are you looking forward to the content detailed above? Or are you looking for something else from Sea of Thieves? Let us know in the comments!