This New Content is Exactly What Sea of Thieves Needs

Following concerns over Sea of Thieves’ lack of content, and worries for the game’s future, Rare today released a video detailing Sea of Thieves’s upcoming content updates, major and minor. And they’re exactly what the game needs.

Design Director Mike Chapman and Executive Producer Joe Neate sat down and discussed the variety of content coming to Sea of Thieves over the course of the next 6-12 months.

The video discussed 6 major updates containing a mix of new playable areas, a new ship type, new mechanics, in-game events, new quests, and more; as well as smaller weekly events starting in May, which will include a variety of events, quests, new mechanics, and fresh additions to existing mechanics or gameplay loops.

This news has me incredibly excited for 3 main reasons:

  • The stream of content is going to be consistent
  • The content included primarily targets areas the community wanted to focus on
  • The updates focus less on changing the core gameplay loop, and more on expanding it

Timing is Everything

Following Sea of Thieves’ launch, players were primarily concerned with the lack of content outside of the 3 Trading Companies and PvP. Moreover, they were worried that if it had taken Rare 4+ years of development to reach this state, how could they add meaningful content in an appropriate amount of time?

The roadmap specifically answers that question by targeting quality as well as quantity – and with the bones of the game in place, time can instead be spent on enriching the world with new gameplay mechanics and challenges.

Within the next 12 months we’ll see 6 major updates – we currently have details on the first three, which you can read about here. These major updates include a variety of content from new mechanics to new enemies to new areas of the map to explore, and a lot in between.

Alongside the major content updates, May will see the start of weekly content, which aims to introduce new mechanics and new ways to play as well as weekly events.

This provides a steady stream of new things to do in the game on a weekly basis, which then ramp up into major content releases every few months. For a game like Sea of Thieves – labelled as a ‘service’ based game – this schedule is more than the community could have hoped for, and the perfect way to offset the lack-of-content upset following launch.

Content That Targets the Community’s Needs

Based on our writeup of the Sea of Thieves community’s requests last week, we established that the community had many wants and needs based on what is and isn’t currently in the game. Rare’s content roadmap does a great job of addressing the most important points first and the lesser priorities second.

Aside from just ‘more content’, the updates address some of the following community requests:

  • More focus on exploration/discovery
  • More quests/voyages to do with current Trading Companies
  • In-game events
  • Exclusive rewards/cosmetics earned through in-game activities, quests, and events
  • Variation in/new types of quests
  • New game mechanics
  • New areas to explore
  • New ship types
  • More types of enemies
  • Generally, just more to do!

Within the roadmap they didn’t mention things like fishing, mini-games, whales, etc – even though they’re all highly requested, they aren’t what the community needs right now, and Rare recognised that.

To that end, Rare also mentioned that Pets – Sea of Thieves’ first microtransaction item – will be delayed indefinitely while they work on adding more meaningful content.

If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it

Going back to the content within the upcoming updates, let’s quickly break it down:

Major updates: introduces new major changes and features to the game (enemies, world areas, etc)

Minor updates: focuses on introducing new mechanics, new ways to experience current content, and utilising the existing mechanics/world (quests that encourage exploration, new Voyages within the current Trading Companies, adding in new things to find within the world, etc)

You’ll notice that these updates have one thing in common – they enhance what’s already there, instead of overwriting it.

Reviewers and gamers are generally in agreement when they say that Sea of Thieves’ core gameplay loop is great – it’s fluid, easy to learn, and somewhat difficult to master. The current mechanics within the game make for an incredible foundation, with the only issue being that there wasn’t quite enough there.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, these content updates take what’s already there and expand on them – using the same areas in new ways, encouraging players to explore hidden islands they would have otherwise sailed past, adding in new quests that provide completely new ways to use the existing mechanics, introducing entirely new mechanics that blend seamlessly into the existing gameplay loop, and so on.

The thing that these updates focus on – and what it looks like they get right – is that they build on the current experience. And that approach is exactly what Sea of Thieves needs.

What do you think? Are you excited for the first lot of updates in May? Let us know in the comments below!

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7 thoughts on “This New Content is Exactly What Sea of Thieves Needs”

  1. So basically ANY content is what Sea of Thieves needs. Too little too late.

    Its over and the game is NEVER going to have the total amount of players played (the reported 2 million number of course that includes all the Alpha and Beta participants to date, even the final Open Beta that was available to all), than the amount of actual units sold of God of War on its release day.

    Pack it in and start working on a Crash and Spyro style remake of Conker’s Bad Fur Day that your long time fans, that never owned an Xbone console by the way, really want. I’d get Windows 10 for that alone lol.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I agree that Sea of Thieves needs a lot of work put into playable content at this stage – what’s in the pipeline looks very promising, but I can certainly say that it would have been welcome to see some of that at launch.

      I don’t agree that it’s too little too late, though – many people who have purchased are happy to await these updates (starting in 2 weeks time) that will offer new events and gameplay every week (though the longevity of those updates remains to be seen) as well as larger periodic expansions.

      I also don’t see why it has to be compared to God of War – which has sold and scored incredibly well, but that’s irrelevant.

      And regarding the 2 million players, that was counting players post-launch only (though it did include retail and Game Pass players) –

  2. The practice that sea of thieves is tiring to establish, Releasing a barebones base game for 60$, that funds the rest of the games development, is doomed to failure. I played the alpha and the beta, did not buy the game….i all ready experienced it all. The game was shallow during these two phases and there was no indication of more depth. This COULD HAVE BEEN a extraordinary game. IMHO – this was rushed out the door. 2 more years of content development and a real story, with real objectives, a true balance for the solo player, would have done this game justice.

  3. The rewards need to be more than cosmetic. I had high hopes for this game being basically like Destiny but with pirates but that isn’t what it is. To ge5 me interested they would have to add deep rpg progression mechanics and rewards that make you want to play. Getting a different eye patch just isn’t going to do it for me.

    1. Hi Eagles,

      Thanks for the comment!

      Rare has been pretty clear all the way through development that SoT wouldn’t be that kind of game, so adding in those elements now would be a pretty massive overhaul of the core game, and wouldn’t really be possible.

      That’s fair enough though, I get why you don’t enjoy that type of approach though, with progression through cosmetics as opposed to RPG elements. Maybe one day a Pirate game will come along that scratches that itch for you


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